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Radeon HD 6950 - Which Manufacturer?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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October 30, 2011 4:01:37 AM

So I'm pretty set on buying a Radeon HD 6950 but I'm not quite sure which manufacturer I should go with. Based on some research, here's what I've come up with:

XFX - a lot of DODs and unreliability
Sapphire - great reviews but I've heard rumors about bad reliability. Can anyone clarify this for me?
PowerColor - overall pretty solid, but some unsatisfied customer reviews

Those are the only brands I've really looked in depth at so far. No news on Diamond, HIS, Gigabyte, ASUS, VisionTek, or any others I might have forgotten to mention. Anyone with personal experience recommend a specific brand, or know of which ones to avoid?
October 30, 2011 6:19:57 AM

Dennycrumbubble said:
So I'm pretty set on buying a Radeon HD 6950 but I'm not quite sure which manufacturer I should go with. Based on some research, here's what I've come up with:

XFX - a lot of DODs and unreliability
Sapphire - great reviews but I've heard rumors about bad reliability. Can anyone clarify this for me?
PowerColor - overall pretty solid, but some unsatisfied customer reviews

Those are the only brands I've really looked in depth at so far. No news on Diamond, HIS, Gigabyte, ASUS, VisionTek, or any others I might have forgotten to mention. Anyone with personal experience recommend a specific brand, or know of which ones to avoid?

gigabyte. i bought one the other day for bf3 and it hasn't done me wrong. this card has 3 fans on the heatsink and is pretty much dead quiet. just remember these cards are long. i upgrade from a 4850 and could not believe the size difference, it almost didn't fit in my antec three hundred cases.
October 30, 2011 6:35:23 AM

Anything with two fans and over and has good warranty.

I would only buy 2GB Versions to Unlock

MSI - Twin Frozr II & III
Gigabyte - Tri Fan
XFX - Dual Fan

i have dual Twin Frozr II, it's worth it. Don't buy reference cards, they have crappy cooling and you won't be able to overclock them far.
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a b U Graphics card
October 30, 2011 6:42:07 AM

XFX is only reliable if you live in the US. The negative reviews and feedback tend to come from those who do not live in the US (there are some cases in the US). Gigabyte and ASUS are reliable. My experience with HIS and Sapphire have been fine (running a HIS card ATM). I've heard some not so nice things about VisionTek, so I would stay clear IMO. Not sure about Diamond.
October 30, 2011 7:07:07 AM

^ VisionTek Sucks.
October 30, 2011 7:40:56 AM

i have to cast my vote for the sapphire toxic 6950. 6970 pcb. unlockable shaders with a switch. ive read theyre a lil warm but mine never goes over 55 degrees. overclocked, and overclockable further. fantastic card.
October 30, 2011 11:04:50 AM

go with ASUS, I blieve they are the only one who offers a 3 year warranty !!
October 30, 2011 11:23:48 AM

I have to agree with Neonneophyte. I just recently got a Sapphire Toxic 6950. It easily unlocked the extra shaders equivalent to the 6970 & it has some good overclocking headroom. It's currently idling at 39C with 24% fan at 950 core clock, 1450 memory clock, & 1.24 voltage. I'm really liking it so far! The others have good recommendations as well though.

I want to add that this is my 3rd Sapphire card & they've all been good. (3870, 5870, & 6950)
a c 143 U Graphics card
October 30, 2011 1:42:00 PM

Really there are all good brands, Sapphire is the best partner by the way.
Any card that is not a reference design is great, non reference designed cards run cooler and less noise than reference ones.

Powercolor is good, but the materials and finishes are not that satisfied.
And for me, Factory OCed cards are useless you can achieve those clocks pretty easy.
Gigabyte
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Sapphire
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Gigabyte HD 6950 1 GB won the purchase award when reviewed in the round up by Toms recently
a b U Graphics card
October 30, 2011 2:33:54 PM

I only buy XFX. Never had a problem at all. Nobody beats the warranty.
a c 91 U Graphics card
October 30, 2011 2:56:01 PM

most cards regardless of brand are pretty reliable. ( personally i would never but Palit/Diamond/PowerColor )......... These cards run hot, some of them surprisingly hot. Get one with the best cooling solution.
a b U Graphics card
October 30, 2011 4:08:31 PM

Diamond has been around long enough to be reliable.
Powercolor is fine if you have no plans to overclock at all i wouldn't buy one
xfx has good support in canada as well as the usa
saphire is really good
asus also really good
msi is really good
No visiontek does not suck i'd put them above powercolor, palit, zotac on par with gainward
palit is ok but may require an aftermarket cooler
gainward is pretty good
gigabyte has some geat twin fan designs
October 31, 2011 5:34:04 PM

So after some thought I think I'll go with the Sapphire Toxic 6950. It's a little extra, but adds 80MHz to the core clock with the flip of a switch and allows for much more overclocking, has a single fan and a vapor cooling system, and overall seems solid and quiet. Thanks for the suggestions guys.
a c 355 U Graphics card
October 31, 2011 6:44:33 PM

Sapphire is good. It's parent company is PC Partners which is an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) who produces Radeon video cards (among other electronics) for other brands. For example, they may have a contract to manufacture Radeon HD cards for Gigabyte; the card rolls off the production line, a Gigabyte sticker is slapped on to it and then it's shipped out to Gigabyte.

Pine Technology is another OEM and they are the parent company of XFX.
October 31, 2011 8:38:53 PM

For some one who has never overclocked any thing is it an easy thing to do on the 6950 cards. I was about to buy two 6970's
!