Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Help me choose a Card, Please!

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
Share
October 27, 2011 9:05:03 PM

hi i am building my first pc very soon and i need a few questions asked..

here is my planned setup...

Case- CoolerMaster Haf X
CPU- Intel Core i7 2600k
Motherboard- AsRock Fatal1ty z68
Graphic Card- HELP!
RAM- Corsair 8Gb (2 x 4Gb) Vengeance
PSU- Corsair 850w Pro Series Gold AX850
SSD- Corsair 60Gb Nova Series 2
HDD- Western Digital 2tb Caviar Green
Optical Drive- Sony 24x Dvd Burner
Cpu Cooling- Watercooled

so i need to pick a graphics card, i will be doing gaming and some video editing, i want to play the latest games on max settings with a watchable frame rate. the monitor i plan to get is samsung 27'' monitor- Samsung P2770FH. i am tight on cash so i cant afford the best gpu but i was thinking of the gtx 570. my questions are..

1) what gpu do you recommend for my needs?
2) can the 6950 still be unlocked to 6970?
3) will my mobo be able to add sli or crossfire?
4) can i add a second smaller monitor for when i am not gaming?

Additional info...
i might add the gpu to my water cooling rig in the future.
i will probabliy add a second gpu in the future to make it crossfire or sli
i have a second smaller monitor that i want to add and use sometimes

all help greatly appreciated!!

More about : choose card

October 27, 2011 9:38:05 PM

1) Price to performance, both the 6970 and the 570 are great cards. I think you'll be happy with either one. If I were you, I'd just look for a good sale and get whichever one is cheaper.

2) For the most part, you can't find new 6950's that can be unlocked, plus the unlocked 6950's are considerably less power-efficient than a 6970 and will draw more power than a 6970.

3) From the looks of the manufacturer's website, your mobo will support either CFX or SLI

4) Sure, but not sure why that would help any.

My other opinions: The only reason I would consider leaning towards the 6970, however, is that you mentioned adding a second monitor later - the 6970, with 2GB VRAM will handle the higher resolutions needed for dual-monitor setups better than the 570 with only 1.2GB, especially if you plan to use anti-aliasing when you get that second monitor setup. Otherwise, you might try to squeeze out an extra $100 and go with a GTX580.

Those are my 2 cents, hope it helps!
October 27, 2011 9:49:17 PM

cdub1980 said:
1) Price to performance, both the 6970 and the 570 are great cards. I think you'll be happy with either one. If I were you, I'd just look for a good sale and get whichever one is cheaper.

2) For the most part, you can't find new 6950's that can be unlocked, plus the unlocked 6950's are considerably less power-efficient than a 6970 and will draw more power than a 6970.

3) From the looks of the manufacturer's website, your mobo will support either CFX or SLI

4) Sure, but not sure why that would help any.

My other opinions: The only reason I would consider leaning towards the 6970, however, is that you mentioned adding a second monitor later - the 6970, with 2GB VRAM will handle the higher resolutions needed for dual-monitor setups better than the 570 with only 1.2GB, especially if you plan to use anti-aliasing when you get that second monitor setup. Otherwise, you might try to squeeze out an extra $100 and go with a GTX580.

Those are my 2 cents, hope it helps!


thanks so much for your help. i will probably get the 6970, also i heard it is better for higher resolutions. hopefully the price will drop soon and i can get crossfire. if i was only running one monitor would the 570 be better?

thanks again i really appreciate it!
Related resources
a c 105 U Graphics card
October 27, 2011 9:53:52 PM

6950 2gig would also be a viable option. will also scale well in xfire.
October 27, 2011 9:56:50 PM

swifty_morgan said:
6950 2gig would also be a viable option. will also scale well in xfire.


thanks i was wondering about that, is the difference between the 6950 and 6970 big because if it isn't i might go with the 6950 and do a bit of an oc
Thanks for the answer :) 
October 27, 2011 9:59:16 PM

"...if i was only running one monitor would the 570 be better?"

I think you'll be happy either way you go. Those cards tend to trade blows in benchmarks, it just depends on the game. If you're serious about a second monitor, second card later on, I'd still probably lean towards the 6970.
a c 105 U Graphics card
October 27, 2011 10:03:24 PM

General Sherman said:
thanks i was wondering about that, is the difference between the 6950 and 6970 big because if it isn't i might go with the 6950 and do a bit of an oc
Thanks for the answer :) 



depends, can be as little as 6 up to 20 or so FPS difference between the cards in any given game. If you can get the 6970 by all means get it. The 570 will fall short in the vram department. ........... unless you buy the $400 model with the extra ram on it.
October 27, 2011 10:03:52 PM

cdub1980 said:
"...if i was only running one monitor would the 570 be better?"

I think you'll be happy either way you go. Those cards tend to trade blows in benchmarks, it just depends on the game. If you're serious about a second monitor, second card later on, I'd still probably lean towards the 6970.


thanks i am now debating between the 6950 and 6970, is the difference worth the extra money because i am on a budget and if the performance difference isnt too big i might get a 6950 and just do an oc!
October 27, 2011 10:09:08 PM

General Sherman said:
thanks i was wondering about that, is the difference between the 6950 and 6970 big because if it isn't i might go with the 6950 and do a bit of an oc
Thanks for the answer :) 



I feel like I'm overdoing it on your thread, lol. I guess I'm just bored and overeager to help, hahahaha.

For what it's worth, I own a 6950 and have been extremely happy with it. You can find 2GB models with non-reference cooling for around $250-$270 and they can handle today's games without a problem. Other than having to turn down AA from time to time (such as most are experiencing in BF3), I am running all games at 1920x1080, with the highest available settings - BF3, SCII, WoW, Space Marine, Civ 5 - all of these games average 50+ FPS with my current rig - and you have a better setup than I do. In very intense spots, where both the CPU and GPU are being taxed, I will get dips to around 30-35 FPS, but I never go below 30 FPS and below 40 FPS is pretty rare as it is.

As mentioned as well, the 6950's have shown MASSIVE scaling, in terms of 75-85% improvements when used in CFX. They are considerable more affordable when you consider the cost of buying 2 of them and are really outstanding cards for the price.

Ok, that's really my last post on here, I hope I have helped and not confused!
October 27, 2011 10:38:24 PM

cdub1980 said:
I feel like I'm overdoing it on your thread, lol. I guess I'm just bored and overeager to help, hahahaha.

For what it's worth, I own a 6950 and have been extremely happy with it. You can find 2GB models with non-reference cooling for around $250-$270 and they can handle today's games without a problem. Other than having to turn down AA from time to time (such as most are experiencing in BF3), I am running all games at 1920x1080, with the highest available settings - BF3, SCII, WoW, Space Marine, Civ 5 - all of these games average 50+ FPS with my current rig - and you have a better setup than I do. In very intense spots, where both the CPU and GPU are being taxed, I will get dips to around 30-35 FPS, but I never go below 30 FPS and below 40 FPS is pretty rare as it is.

As mentioned as well, the 6950's have shown MASSIVE scaling, in terms of 75-85% improvements when used in CFX. They are considerable more affordable when you consider the cost of buying 2 of them and are really outstanding cards for the price.

Ok, that's really my last post on here, I hope I have helped and not confused!


Thanks you soo much, that was exactly the answer i was looking for!! thanks for putting so much effort into this thread! i am now convinced to get the 6950!
a c 230 U Graphics card
October 27, 2011 10:44:15 PM

Case - Excellent case .... alternatives to consider are the Antec 1200 V3 and DF-85

PSU - I'd go with the HX850.....lower price, better jonnyguru rating ....alternate ....if ya consider one of the above alternate cases, you can use the CP-850 which. It's scores higher thna the AX850 and matches the HX850's 10.0 performance rating ..... however, the CP is cooler, quieter and much less expensive than the Corsair PSU's

http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...

Quote:
[The CP-850] is completely unmatched by any ATX unit on the market I can think of. You'd have to spend twice as much as this thing costs to find the next best thing, performance wise.


Your Case / PSU combo is $370 .... The Antec combo is $270 .... that $100 buys a better SSD and HD and sacrifices nothing....in fact the CP-850 scores 10.0 to the AX850's 9.5 on jonnyguru.....

http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...

MoBo - Asrock does not offer an industry standard 3 year warranty. If you're OK with their 2 years, no reason to worry. It worries me personally so I'm using one of these depending upon budget

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

CPU - Won't need it for gaming but the 2600k will help a lot w/ the video editing

CPU cooling - water cooling on Sandy Bridge is a waste of time, money and effort.

http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...

Quote:
It's almost ironic that coolers like this are becoming available just as processors transition to designs that may ultimately render them unnecessary; even overclocked to 5GHz, an Intel Sandy Bridge 2600K doesn't need anywhere near this level of cooling
.

$30 - Hyper 212+
$50 - Scythe Mugen 3 (5 - 7C better than the 212+)
$80 - Thermalright Silver Arrow

RAM - Vengeance is a good choice but ya want the low profile versions ... without the toothy heat sinks.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...

SSD- I'd either hold off till ya can afford a bigger one of the current generation or stretch that budget to 120 GB

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HD - "green" = slowwwwww. For video editing boxes, I use the Seagate Barracuda XT. The 2TB model is a bit more affordable than the 3 but the 3 is faster and bigger.

http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...

GFX - For video editing, there's a likelihood that your software benefits from CUDA so that means nVidia.

http://www.studio1productions.com/Articles/PremiereCS5....

http://www.studio1productions.com/Articles/PremiereCS5....

In Guru3D's tests, the factory OC'd 560 Ti's produce numbers very close to the 570 and, in SLI, pass both the 6950 and 6970 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:

$ 240.00 6950 Frozr OC (484/759) $ 0.50 - $ 0.63
$ 205.00 560 Ti (455/792) $ 0.45 - $ 0.52
$ 360.00 6970 (526/825) $ 0.68 - $ 0.87
$ 205.00 560 Ti - 900 Mhz (495/862) $ 0.41 - $ 0.48
$ 320.00 570 (524/873) $ 0.61 - $ 0.73

Since you seem perty sure you gonna double up on the GFX cards, I highlighted the CF / SLI numbers in bold text. I'd get just one 560 now, overclock it from the factory OC'd 900 MHz to 1000, for $205 - $230 and put the savings in the bigger / faster SSD. Later on add the 2nd 560.....They start at $205

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

27" is a bit big for 1920 x 1080. I'd suggest a 23'6" model if you want to avoid the graininess that comes from having too large a monitor and being able to see the individual pixels.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

1) what gpu do you recommend for my needs? - The 900 Mhz 560 Ti, especially for CUDA enables video apps
2) can the 6950 still be unlocked to 6970? - They wise to this trick and either gotta find an old card or a "rare bird"
3) will my mobo be able to add sli or crossfire? Ones I referenced do
4) can i add a second smaller monitor for when i am not gaming? - yes, for the usage described.... since you said "if not gaming" than the extra memory on the 69xx series isn't an issue. 6950's scale about 154% on average accordin g tot he Guri3D tests .... 560's about 175 % on average
October 27, 2011 11:55:22 PM

JackNaylorPE said:
Case - Excellent case .... alternatives to consider are the Antec 1200 V3 and DF-85

PSU - I'd go with the HX850.....lower price, better jonnyguru rating ....alternate ....if ya consider one of the above alternate cases, you can use the CP-850 which. It's scores higher thna the AX850 and matches the HX850's 10.0 performance rating ..... however, the CP is cooler, quieter and much less expensive than the Corsair PSU's

http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...

Quote:
[The CP-850] is completely unmatched by any ATX unit on the market I can think of. You'd have to spend twice as much as this thing costs to find the next best thing, performance wise.


Your Case / PSU combo is $370 .... The Antec combo is $270 .... that $100 buys a better SSD and HD and sacrifices nothing....in fact the CP-850 scores 10.0 to the AX850's 9.5 on jonnyguru.....

http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...

MoBo - Asrock does not offer an industry standard 3 year warranty. If you're OK with their 2 years, no reason to worry. It worries me personally so I'm using one of these depending upon budget

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

CPU - Won't need it for gaming but the 2600k will help a lot w/ the video editing

CPU cooling - water cooling on Sandy Bridge is a waste of time, money and effort.

http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...

Quote:
It's almost ironic that coolers like this are becoming available just as processors transition to designs that may ultimately render them unnecessary; even overclocked to 5GHz, an Intel Sandy Bridge 2600K doesn't need anywhere near this level of cooling
.

$30 - Hyper 212+
$50 - Scythe Mugen 3 (5 - 7C better than the 212+)
$80 - Thermalright Silver Arrow

RAM - Vengeance is a good choice but ya want the low profile versions ... without the toothy heat sinks.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...

SSD- I'd either hold off till ya can afford a bigger one of the current generation or stretch that budget to 120 GB

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HD - "green" = slowwwwww. For video editing boxes, I use the Seagate Barracuda XT. The 2TB model is a bit more affordable than the 3 but the 3 is faster and bigger.

http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...

GFX - For video editing, there's a likelihood that your software benefits from CUDA so that means nVidia.

http://www.studio1productions.com/Articles/PremiereCS5....

http://www.studio1productions.com/Articles/PremiereCS5....

In Guru3D's tests, the factory OC'd 560 Ti's produce numbers very close to the 570 and, in SLI, pass both the 6950 and 6970 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:

$ 240.00 6950 Frozr OC (484/759) $ 0.50 - $ 0.63
$ 205.00 560 Ti (455/792) $ 0.45 - $ 0.52
$ 360.00 6970 (526/825) $ 0.68 - $ 0.87
$ 205.00 560 Ti - 900 Mhz (495/862) $ 0.41 - $ 0.48
$ 320.00 570 (524/873) $ 0.61 - $ 0.73

Since you seem perty sure you gonna double up on the GFX cards, I highlighted the CF / SLI numbers in bold text. I'd get just one 560 now, overclock it from the factory OC'd 900 MHz to 1000, for $205 - $230 and put the savings in the bigger / faster SSD. Later on add the 2nd 560.....They start at $205

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

27" is a bit big for 1920 x 1080. I'd suggest a 23'6" model if you want to avoid the graininess that comes from having too large a monitor and being able to see the individual pixels.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

1) what gpu do you recommend for my needs? - The 900 Mhz 560 Ti, especially for CUDA enables video apps
2) can the 6950 still be unlocked to 6970? - They wise to this trick and either gotta find an old card or a "rare bird"
3) will my mobo be able to add sli or crossfire? Ones I referenced do
4) can i add a second smaller monitor for when i am not gaming? - yes, for the usage described.... since you said "if not gaming" than the extra memory on the 69xx series isn't an issue. 6950's scale about 154% on average accordin g tot he Guri3D tests .... 560's about 175 % on average


Woah thanks! i am new to Toms Hardware and the level of help i am receiving is crazy! thanks for going through an individual component breakdown.
interesting that you suggest the 560 ti because that was the card i was originally going for until i heard there was a big difference in gaming.
i think you might be right about the 27'' monitor is it kinda like watching a youtube video in full screen?
i am really confused and dont know what to do... its now between the asus 560ti and the xfx 6970.
gaming will be a big part of my usage probably more than the video editing part, do you still think i should get the 560ti?
i can see you put a lot of work into your post and i really appreciate it. i would give you a best answer... if i knew how!
!