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6950 or 6970?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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November 22, 2011 6:22:02 AM

Just wondering which cards people recommend. i would like a card that does put out great performance, preferably enthusiast :D 

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: within 4 weeks

BUDGET RANGE: under $450 au After Rebates

USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Game: Skyrim, BF3. Work: 3dsMax, Zbrush, Photoshop

CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: CoolerMaster Silent Pro Gold 1000W, No current GPU

OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS: G.Skill 8gb RAM 2x4, i5 2500k

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: www.pccasegear.com

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Australia, Victoria

PARTS PREFERENCES: i really don't mind

OVERCLOCKING: Yes

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe

sorry about my premature thread before.

Thanks for any replies.
MONITOR RESOLUTION: (e.g.: 1024x768, 1280x1024, 1440x900, 1600x1200, 1680x1050, 1920x1080, 1920x1200)

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: (e.g.: Need to have better than stock cooling; Want a card with a lifetime warranty; Must run Crysis with full AA on a three-display setup, etc.)

More about : 6950 6970

a c 169 U Graphics card
November 22, 2011 7:57:55 AM

If the price difference is under $50,go with 6970;otherwise,go with 6950
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November 22, 2011 8:09:53 AM

the price difference is more like $100 because the 6950 is on special and the 6970 is just the normal price. But with that said $100 really isnt that bad, just one day's work and im on school holidays soon.
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November 22, 2011 8:21:34 AM

getting the 6950 is much better because in every benchmark i saw both have similar performance to each other but 6970 is only 3 or 4 % better but won't really help in games and oh, you can also able to unlock the 6950 to 6970 so same thing.
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November 22, 2011 8:26:33 AM

oh really, thanks. il have to check out what the overclocks look like.
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a b U Graphics card
November 22, 2011 11:45:35 AM

pro-gamer1 said:
getting the 6950 is much better because in every benchmark i saw both have similar performance to each other but 6970 is only 3 or 4 % better but won't really help in games and oh, you can also able to unlock the 6950 to 6970 so same thing.


Um, no. The 6970 is substantially faster than the 6950- it's a more powerful card to be sure. That being said, in the spectrum of all graphics cards they do fall pretty close together. Is the extra money worth it? Depends on your purpose and what level of performance you want. Either card is a great product. As are the GTX 560 ti (6950 competitor) and GTX 570 (6970 competitor).

Unlocking a 6950 to a 6970 isn't a sure bet anymore. Many non-reference cards can't be unlocked and many inexperienced users may not feel comfortable making those kinds of tweaks. That being said, look into it if you do decide on a 6950.

If you're intending to play newer games with all settings cranked up on 3 (assuming 1920x1080) monitors you probably aren't going to achieve that with a single card. That kind of setup requires a lot of horsepower!
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a b U Graphics card
November 22, 2011 12:12:57 PM

I would like to clarify the issue of unlocking. I have my 6950 unlocked. It is incorrect to say that the additional shaders make it a 6970. The 6970 has different memory timings and memory clock rates. It has other components that differ also. When unlocked a 6950 falls in between the two cards. If done successfully it does make the card a value. However if you can afford it, get the 6970. It is one of best single cards available right now. You might say for 90% of the use there is little difference between the two. It is that 10% that you pay the up charge for.
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November 22, 2011 12:42:37 PM

beltzy said:
Um, no. The 6970 is substantially faster than the 6950- it's a more powerful card to be sure. That being said, in the spectrum of all graphics cards they do fall pretty close together. Is the extra money worth it? Depends on your purpose and what level of performance you want. Either card is a great product. As are the GTX 560 ti (6950 competitor) and GTX 570 (6970 competitor).

Unlocking a 6950 to a 6970 isn't a sure bet anymore. Many non-reference cards can't be unlocked and many inexperienced users may not feel comfortable making those kinds of tweaks. That being said, look into it if you do decide on a 6950.

If you're intending to play newer games with all settings cranked up on 3 (assuming 1920x1080) monitors you probably aren't going to achieve that with a single card. That kind of setup requires a lot of horsepower!

ahh! ok see in the link i don't saw a really big difference so no need to waste money rather gtx 570 is better than both but a little expensive.
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November 22, 2011 12:46:46 PM

beltzy said:
Um, no. The 6970 is substantially faster than the 6950- it's a more powerful card to be sure. That being said, in the spectrum of all graphics cards they do fall pretty close together. Is the extra money worth it? Depends on your purpose and what level of performance you want. Either card is a great product. As are the GTX 560 ti (6950 competitor) and GTX 570 (6970 competitor).

Unlocking a 6950 to a 6970 isn't a sure bet anymore. Many non-reference cards can't be unlocked and many inexperienced users may not feel comfortable making those kinds of tweaks. That being said, look into it if you do decide on a 6950.

If you're intending to play newer games with all settings cranked up on 3 (assuming 1920x1080) monitors you probably aren't going to achieve that with a single card. That kind of setup requires a lot of horsepower!

+1
The 6950 and 6970 are different cards. There is no more new 6950 cards that can be unlucked to a 6970. If you lucky to find a old production reference card with a dual bios switch then you can unlock it to a 6970. Still this card will perform a little inferior to a normal 6970 at stock speed. One of my friend failed to unlock a sephire 6950 to 6970 and he can't switch back to old bios so his card is dead(though he got it replaced through RMA). So if the price gap is less than 50$ in the reference versions of 6950 and 6970 then buy the 6970.
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November 22, 2011 1:20:03 PM

IsketchI said:
the price difference is more like $100 because the 6950 is on special and the 6970 is just the normal price. But with that said $100 really isnt that bad, just one day's work and im on school holidays soon.


Will the special still be good 4 weeks from now?
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a b U Graphics card
November 22, 2011 3:48:37 PM

pro-gamer1 said:
ahh! ok see in the link i don't saw a really big difference so no need to waste money rather gtx 570 is better than both but a little expensive.


Also not true :)  the GTX 570 and 6970 are very comparable. Brand preference is ok for people to have but don't present it to others as fact!

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November 23, 2011 6:10:36 AM

Thanks for all of the responses. so to clear up a few things i will be using a monitor with a 1920x1080 resolution. And i really do want to be able to turn the graphics up to max with no lag.. with my question i am mainly asking because i would like to know is it worth buying a better (more costly) card. i am thinking long term here, would it be worth it or would i be upgrading to the newer cards before i need to worry about lag with max graphics games?
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November 23, 2011 6:12:11 AM

i guess if it's actually worth it i might look at the 6990?
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a b U Graphics card
November 23, 2011 9:55:07 AM

beltzy said:
Um, no. The 6970 is substantially faster than the 6950- it's a more powerful card to be sure. That being said, in the spectrum of all graphics cards they do fall pretty close together. Is the extra money worth it? Depends on your purpose and what level of performance you want. Either card is a great product. As are the GTX 560 ti (6950 competitor) and GTX 570 (6970 competitor).

Unlocking a 6950 to a 6970 isn't a sure bet anymore. Many non-reference cards can't be unlocked and many inexperienced users may not feel comfortable making those kinds of tweaks. That being said, look into it if you do decide on a 6950.

If you're intending to play newer games with all settings cranked up on 3 (assuming 1920x1080) monitors you probably aren't going to achieve that with a single card. That kind of setup requires a lot of horsepower!

Where I work, I have unlocked more than 30 or so HD6950s to 6970s. Sapphire and powercolors always do it, and even most ASUS, MSI and XFX cards can make it as well.

Get a 6950. Not worth the extra $100
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a b U Graphics card
November 23, 2011 12:38:39 PM

The 6990 isn't a bad option. However, 6950's in crossfire will cost you around $500 and provide roughly the same performance as the $700 6990. The 6990 does eliminate the hassle of having 2 cards (it's crossfire on a single board) so just decide if that's worth the price difference.

If it were me, I'd go with the 6950's- no question. I would also attempt to unlock the 6950's, but I certainly wouldn't bank on it.

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November 24, 2011 4:02:58 AM

ok so i will get a 6950 which is something that i wanted to find out because it means i can get this all quicker. i will be getting the asus 6950 2gb direct cool 2. i would like to know if this can be oc easily?
also would getting another one later on be ok? like a year from now if i need a bit more power could i get another of the same card?
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a b U Graphics card
November 25, 2011 12:40:27 AM

You can OC it, yes. I have two in crossfire, but you need to know if your case, PSU and mobo support two triple slot cards/
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November 25, 2011 3:41:16 AM

IsketchI said:
ok so i will get a 6950 which is something that i wanted to find out because it means i can get this all quicker. i will be getting the asus 6950 2gb direct cool 2. i would like to know if this can be oc easily?
also would getting another one later on be ok? like a year from now if i need a bit more power could i get another of the same card?


I'm a newb, but I did do some research by toms hardware on 5 different brands of 6950s. Almost all of the games they used NEVER need the extra 1gb. Only once at the 2500x1600 setting did a card with the extra 1gb prove more than last place in FPS. I just myself bought the Gigabyte model 6950 1gb model after reading reviews. Sapphire does run closely second. And for the issues of NOT being able to boot back the BIOS, I will just keep my card a 6950 and not try to unlock the shaders. =)

I guess I could be wrong, since the benchmarks were done in October. Maybe BF3 does need the extra memory, lots of other games really don't though.
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November 25, 2011 3:05:49 PM

I Have CF 6970 but budget wasnt an issue when buying them
if you want to same $100-$150 get the 6950's also you can unlock tthem to a 6970 with easy bios switching. hope that helps
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November 26, 2011 12:45:26 AM

thanks for the advice caruso26 but i think il just get one for now and maybe another later. but how do you do the bios switching?
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!