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Buying a ATI HD6950, Which manufacturer to go with?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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November 13, 2011 6:53:54 AM

Hey,

I'm building a new machine, I am going with an ATI 6950, and all of the components in my new build are blue (predominantly).

Currently i can't make my mind up between

HIS HD6950 ICE-Q X 2GB ($299)
which is all blue, and apparently supports hybrid crossfire/SLI

Sapphire ATI HD6950 2GB ($289)
which is predominantly black, with blue elements, and has the 6970 shaders unlocked

I plan on using my old graphics card in the x8 slot of my MOBO, which is a old 256MB Nvidia card, simply because all my monitors are VGA, and there wont be enough pots on the 6950 to support all of them without spending money on adapters.

So my question is, which is the better card? for Cooling and features?

Thanks in advance.
November 13, 2011 6:56:31 AM

buy something with a better cooler.

I'd pick MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III and MSI R6950 Twin Frozr II over both of those.

III = $299, II = $279
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November 13, 2011 7:00:52 AM

Thanks for the reply

While that looks like a good card, my local computer parts stores don't supply cards by that manufacturer. Without going into the details, I can't buy online. The two cards listed above are all that's available to me.
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November 13, 2011 7:05:37 AM

Go with the sapphire, if its already unlocked to the 6970 that is......... but is your slot an x8 PCIE slot or an x8 AGP slot
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November 13, 2011 7:11:29 AM

Thanks for the Reply

My MOBO is ASUS P9P67 Deluxe, which has the following expansion Slots
2 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (x16 or dual x8)
1 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (x4 mode, black)
2 x PCIe 2.0 x1
2 x PCI
I will populate either the second x16 slot (running at x8) or populate the x4 one, to ensure that x16 geos to my 6950
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November 13, 2011 7:54:50 AM

x8, x16, doesn't matter, only 1-3% difference, you can't even tell.

if it has a dual bios preloaded with 6970 bios, go for that one then.

You planning on overclocking the gpu?
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November 13, 2011 8:21:55 AM

I have done some research over the last few days because I am still pondering wether to get a 6950 now or wait for the new 7000 series.

there is a whole lot of advertising online for the Sapphire Toxic but I dont think that card has anything going for it other than a slight performance advantage. The power draw is insane, thanks to you having to manually overdrive the cards allowed power draw which is otherwise being restricted by AMDs Powertune and leads to even worse performance than a reference 6950, the cooling solution supposedly very noisy and material quality seems to be low (since the guerilla advertising strategy worked so well in regards to the 6970 bios the demand is high I guess)

Are you talking about the Toxic edition or the normal Sapphire 2GB? The standard model doesnt have all the drawbacks of the Toxic but also not the performance advantage obviously and no second bios with a high chance of 6970 unlock. Might still be able to do it with flashing.


I have found the best 6950 is the ASUS EAH6950 DCII 2GB.

Amazing build quality, silent cooling even at maximum overclock and what a lot of people do not seem to know - you can unlock 6970 shaders on it(need to do it the oldschool way though like with the reference models) :-)
Price is about ~30 euro less than either Toxic and Twin Frozr III too.
Only problem might be the size since in total it takes up 3 slots.


And why dont you ask your local dealer to order whatever card you decide on? They should be able to do that. Or find a better dealer!
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November 13, 2011 8:24:16 AM

okay, i'll go with the Sappire, thanks for the responses guys. As for over clocking, i might give it ago, although i have never done it before. Any tips?
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