The HD6950 is very slightly faster than the GTX 560 Ti at reference speeds as you've said. The advantage of the GTX 560 Ti comes once overclocking is involved so if you plan to OC get a GTX 560 Ti with nice cooling. If not then you might as well get the HD6950.
the reference 560 well be safer to overclock since my psu actually does decant airflow to my 5770 but if i get a larger 6950 it wouldn't get direct airflow to the fan. i oc'ed my 5770 to 925 clock and memory 1300, with temps maxing at 76.
As said above the HD 6950 is slightly faster than the GTX 560Ti, but they perform similar to each other depending on the game...
That said the advantage of a 560Ti is when overclocked, the HD 6950 does support overclocking as well....
Reference designed cards run hotter and noise that non reference designed cards, non ref cards gives more room for overlocking and run quite cooler with less noise than the ref cards.
i know overall the 6950 outperforms the 560 by a few frps on most games but it seems thats only if your at super high res. do y'all think 560 well be a better by at 1080?
1. The 560 factory OC'd models can be had cheaper than the reference 6950
2. The factory OC'd 560's outperform the factory OC'd 6950's
3. The factory OC'd 560's have waaaay more headroom for additional OC'ing than the factory OC'd 6950's
4. The 560's scale waaay better in SLI than the 6950's do in CF
Guru3D uses the following games in their test suite, COD-MW, Bad Company 2, Dirt 2, Far Cry 2, Metro 2033, Dawn of Discovery, Crysis Warhead. Total fps (summing fps in each game @ 1920 x 1200) for the various options in parenthesis (single card / SL or CF) are tabulated below along with their cost in dollars per frame single card - CF or SLI:
You all seem to forget that, if you get a reference model 6950 (or even a twin frozr 3, like me) you can unlock it to a 6970, which undoubtedly outperforms the 560 Ti.
Just my 2 cents...
i have consider that, but the fact is the odds of finding an unlocked card are getting slimmer and slimmer. it's not worth buying the most expensive 6950 knowing it might not unlock, specially when the 570 is knocking on the door at that price. also i'm factoring size and temps to my choice and the 560 wins in that category hands down .