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6950 Crossfire vs GTX 580?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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November 28, 2011 11:59:17 PM

I'm deciding between these two setups but I honestly can't decide.

The HD 6950 will definitely bring better results on paper, but I've heard some horror stories about micro-stuttering. On the other hand, the GTX 580 is undoubtedly a great card (PhysX, CUDA, games optimized for Nvidia, etc), but the price/performance ratio is questionable, especially considering the fact that AMD's 7000 series and Nvidea's 600 series is right around the corner.

Help!

More about : 6950 crossfire gtx 580

a b U Graphics card
November 29, 2011 12:08:52 AM

Cyber monday sales end soon, 2x6950's can be had cheaply.
The performance is a lot better than a 580.
I've heard some people complain of micro stutter and I've heard some people have no issues at all.

2x6950 is a higher end solution.

What resolution are you playing at ?
What is the rest of your system ?
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a c 143 U Graphics card
November 29, 2011 12:14:59 AM

HD 6950s in CF beats a single GTX 580, and the performance is close to/better than 2 GTX 570s in SLI due to the great scaling of the HD 6K series in CF.

Microstuttering is noticeable with low end/mid range cards in CF such as the HD 68xx, article stated that it's barely noticeable with High end GPU Configurations such as HD 6950/GTX 560ti.

You might wanna wait for the upcoming HD 78xx series, but they won't offer too much performance increase as they have just higher frequency of Core & Memory clock you just will get a benefit of 28 nm process for lower heat issue and power consumption.

The big monsters HD 79xx series are coming in Q1/2 2012, they have the XDR2 rambus memory which is twice faster than GDDR5, this will offer a great performance impact than the current HD 6990.

So it all depends on you frustration, if you buy now you'll be happy if you wait and just see how the HD 78xx perform, it would be better.
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November 29, 2011 12:18:22 AM

spentshells said:
Cyber monday sales end soon, 2x6950's can be had cheaply.
The performance is a lot better than a 580.
I've heard some people complain of micro stutter and I've heard some people have no issues at all.

2x6950 is a higher end solution.

What resolution are you playing at ?
What is the rest of your system ?
I've got an i5 2500k running @ 3.8Ghz and a 1050W PSU (I'm guessing that this is all that matters). 1900x1080.

I want whichever setup will be playing games maxed out at 60+ FPS for at least two years. I'm assuming that Battlefield 3 will be the most demanding game that we'll have until 2013...is that a fair assumption (obviously ignoring future installments of horrendously optimized Eastern European shooters like Metro 2033 and ARMAII)?

Or do you think maybe I should just get a single $270-$350 mid-range card (GTX 570, unlock-able HD 6950, GTX 560 Ti 448) and wait for the HD 7000 and/or GTX 600?
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a b U Graphics card
November 29, 2011 12:30:34 AM

At that resolution one 580 would likely be enough for anything.
You could wait for the 7 series from amd and the 580 will likely
drop a few bucks. But then again the lower end 78xx will come out first and the more powerful 79xx afterwards so the 580 might drop only after it is no longer the top single GPU.
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November 29, 2011 12:46:52 AM

Guys...I have to buy a card now.

Oh, and I'm not even going to bother with the mid end 7000s. 7900+ and 660+...go big or go home. So I've decided that I'm going to wait for these cards, and probably upgrade during Christmas next year after the dust settles. So should I get the GTX 570 or unlock a HD 6950?

It makes no sense dropping $500 on a GPU when a faster and more efficient version will be released in 3 months and cause a dramatic price drop in the GPU under question...right?
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a c 143 U Graphics card
November 29, 2011 1:46:37 AM

Few HD 6950s are still unlockable, the Sapphire Toxic is the most famous one but no longer available at stores, so you might want to get a HD 6970/GTX 570 or HD 6950 it's still a good value for the money and performance.
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November 29, 2011 1:48:39 AM

ilysaml said:
Few HD 6950s are still unlockable, the Sapphire Toxic is the most famous one but no longer available at stores, so you might want to get a HD 6970/GTX 570 or HD 6950 it's still a good value for the money and performance.

I thought this one was unlockable...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

So anyways. Last question,

So should I get a GTX 570 or an unlocked HD 6970, which basically boils down to; between the GTX 570 and HD 6970, which is the better card?
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a c 143 U Graphics card
November 29, 2011 1:54:46 AM

GTX 570 is a bit faster than HD 6970, Also the Sapphire Dirt 3 Edition you linked is unlockable it will unlock the extra shaders and you OC it to HD 6970 clocks then you're good to go.
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November 29, 2011 2:04:23 AM

ilysaml said:
GTX 570 is a bit faster than HD 6970, Also the Sapphire Dirt 3 Edition you linked is unlockable it will unlock the extra shaders and you OC it to HD 6970 clocks then you're good to go.

...so which card would be the better choice? The 6950 has 2GB of RAM but the GTX 570 only has 1.2GB. Now if you do recommend the 6970 over the GTX 570, should I get the unlock-able 6950 or an ACTUAL 6970?
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a b U Graphics card
November 29, 2011 2:11:03 AM

the best option you've listed is the cfx 6950's

dont worry about the unlock....you wont need it.....

if you go with ONE card get the 6970 over the unlocked 6950.....you dont hafta f around with your bios' and its memory and vrm is of better quality.......

and if nvidia is more your style the 570 is just about the same performance wise against the 6970.....but the extra v-ram CAN come into play @ max set.

cant go wrong either way

good luck

bTx
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a c 143 U Graphics card
November 29, 2011 2:20:25 AM

The 2 GB of VRAM will be helpful in higher resolutions above 1080P, the higher the resolution in games, the more VRAM there should be since more textures & packs need to be loaded.
But in 1080P you're more than good with the 1.2 GB of the GTX 570.

I recommend GTX 570 since nVidia cards are doing much better than AMD's in particular games such as BF3, Crysis 2, Metro 2033.

If you're choosing between HD 6950/70, i would recommend HD 6970 for the maximum OCing potentiality in the same time not avoiding your warranty.
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a b U Graphics card
November 29, 2011 2:27:21 AM

I have 2 Sapphire flex 6950's that I bought about a week ago and they run everything. I run Battlefield 3 without a stutter at a steady 75 fps at max everything (including MSAA). I unlocked the shaders and am running at 840/1325 clock and that is more than enough. The card has the dual bios so just follow the directions on techpowerup for non reference cards to unlock the shaders.

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

Out of stock for the moment but you may be able to find them elsewhere. Im using a 2600k in my build btw. I saw a thread here where a whole bunch of people were bashing crossfire. Don't buy into it. You can get anywhere from 10-30% more fps with 2 6950's for the price of one 580 3GB. Hope I could help.
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a b U Graphics card
November 29, 2011 2:43:35 AM


"I recommend GTX 570 since nVidia cards are doing much better than AMD's in particular games such as BF3, Crysis 2, Metro 2033. "


show me anything that states this?not true in my books.




I run 2-6950 dirt 3 edition sapphires,bios 2 has unlocked shaders on mine,set to 6970 clock speeds and baboom,plays bf3 on all ultra at avg of 120 FPS.smooth as butta.
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November 29, 2011 2:54:19 AM

Guys, I don't think I'm going to be cross-firing anything until Q3-Q4 next year...

So it basically boils down to HD 6950 (unlocked)/HD 6970 vs GTX 570. I was thinking that the HD 6950 would be best because unlocked they perform at 6970 levels and the 2GB RAM is more future proof than 1.2GB...and they're also much cheaper (lol). But then again, the 6970 can be better over-clocked...

How does one unlocked HD 6950 handle Battlefield 3 at Ultra (everything max'd) during multiplayer?
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a c 143 U Graphics card
November 29, 2011 3:22:27 AM

not too much difference between the stock HD 6950/70

As i told you before. nVidia is doing much better
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November 29, 2011 3:33:45 AM

ilysaml said:
not too much difference between the stock HD 6950/70
http://media.bestofmicro.com/Y/V/313591/original/amd%20ultra%201920.png
As i told you before. nVidia is doing much better
http://media.bestofmicro.com/Z/J/313615/original/nvidia%20ultra%201920.png

Yeah, but that's single-player...

So...do the unlocked 6950s perform exactly like a 6970? If the answer is "Yes" then I suppose that I'm going with the 6950. And furthermore, wouldn't the performance be significantly worse in multiplayer?
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a c 153 U Graphics card
November 29, 2011 3:37:50 AM

The answer to both of those questions is Yes and No.

The later is only because it is not "significantly" worse. Just a little. There is a very nice website somewhere that tells you how to flash the card, as well as what to do, and what kind of card you need. As well as showing benchmarks after. I can't find it for the life of me though.

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November 29, 2011 3:41:42 AM

Helltech said:
The answer to both of those questions is Yes and No.

The later is only because it is not "significantly" worse. Just a little. There is a very nice website somewhere that tells you how to flash the card, as well as what to do, and what kind of card you need. As well as showing benchmarks after. I can't find it for the life of me though.

If I OC'd a smidge would they then be equal at stock settings? Would the card still remain stable? I've got a 1050W PSU and a DC-14 CPU fan.

BTW...what's the difference between flashing and unlocking?
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a c 143 U Graphics card
November 29, 2011 4:15:21 AM

Like what earnie said there's 2 types of flashing:-
1- Flashing the non reference HD 6950 which unlocks the extra shaders
2- Flashing the reference design cards wich unlocks the HD 6950 to full HD 6970.
the link provided by Heltech shows the #2 Flashing process, Non reference design cards such as Dirt 3 Edition unlocks the extra shaders only, be advised that not all the switches in the non reference design cards are BIOS Switches, MSI Twin Frozer III has a switch regarding to fan adjusting speeds and voltage tweaking.
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a b U Graphics card
November 29, 2011 3:34:57 PM

Buy a 570 and be done with it.
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a b U Graphics card
November 29, 2011 4:06:36 PM

spentshells said:
Buy a 570 and be done with it.



he wants something good!
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a b U Graphics card
November 29, 2011 4:13:58 PM

ilysaml said:
GTX 570 is a bit faster than HD 6970.


No it isnt.
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a b U Graphics card
November 29, 2011 4:15:33 PM

Crazy to buy any high end card right now. The 7800 series will outperform the gtx 580 anyway. I really would not recommend the 580 or crossfire 6950's right at this moment.
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a b U Graphics card
November 29, 2011 6:39:20 PM

eyefinity said:
Crazy to buy any high end card right now. The 7800 series will outperform the gtx 580 anyway. I really would not recommend the 580 or crossfire 6950's right at this moment.


You don't know this and the specs that have been put out do not indicate the 78xx cards will outperform even the 69xx series let alone the 580
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a b U Graphics card
November 29, 2011 6:42:18 PM

eyefinity said:
No it isnt.


It really depends on the game. We can however confim it costs less.
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November 29, 2011 6:46:59 PM

got to tell ya.........i have 2 x 6870 in now since day one and have never had an issue with anything, including microsuttering.............and it beats a 580 in gaming benchmarks ($200 cheaper)

it really depends on the MB and what pci-e lanes are doing in it........mine uses x16/x16 and has no problems
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a b U Graphics card
November 29, 2011 6:51:07 PM

spentshells said:
You don't know this and the specs that have been put out do not indicate the 78xx cards will outperform even the 69xx series let alone the 580


What specs? Also you're kidding me right?

spentshells said:
It really depends on the game. We can however confim it costs less.


It used to cost less, now they are both $320 with rebate on newegg. (just checked there, 1 model each at $319.99)
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a b U Graphics card
November 29, 2011 7:29:30 PM

... if I had to choose right here and now between a 570/6970 I'd go with the 570. Both tesselation and 3dVision are better. For multi-monitor single card config. I'd no doubt choose the 6970.
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a b U Graphics card
November 29, 2011 7:31:07 PM

Earnie said:
he wants something good!

a GTX 570 isn't good? [:russwood1488:7] :lol: 
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a b U Graphics card
November 29, 2011 7:45:07 PM

Well the choice was a lot easier when the 570 was $30-$40 cheaper a month or so ago. Now it's take your pick but for future proofing the 2 GB RAM would make the 6970 the choice for me.
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a b U Graphics card
November 29, 2011 7:56:15 PM

eyefinity said:
Well the choice was a lot easier when the 570 was $30-$40 cheaper a month or so ago. Now it's take your pick but for future proofing the 2 GB RAM would make the 6970 the choice for me.


I agree 100%... I'd recommend to anyone to try and get a card with atleast 2GB of VRAM especially if their cranking the settings with a higher resolution. Either way, it's a toss up between the two as they're both great cards.

All in all, I would "wait and see" what the next gen is gonna bring. Buy a card now, it'll turn out the newer cards are better in every possible way and ya want to sell to get the $$ back and you're not going to get half of what you paid two months prior and ya feel like a dummy for not waiting... (this isn't applicable to rich folk though).
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a b U Graphics card
November 29, 2011 7:57:49 PM

the sapphire 2G 6950 dirt 3 has a dual bios switch in which position 2 has unlocked shaders,thus only requiring clock speeds to be bumped up to become a 6970 as both of mine are.

another alternataive i was researching earlier was 2 6870's in crossfire in which in some games they were actually faster than a 590 and 6990,there not much either.

as for the next gen cards,were not really sure what to expect,but as of right now the AMD 6000 series scale way better than nvidia's SLI,most times close to 100%.

I mean if you want something nice now,and wanna try crossfire,the 6870 and 6950 's are a good way to go.the 6870's being the cheapest by a long shot,just google 6870 crossfire and check out some vid's
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a b U Graphics card
November 29, 2011 8:03:54 PM

Earnie said:
the sapphire 2G 6950 dirt 3 has a dual bios switch in which position 2 has unlocked shaders,thus only requiring clock speeds to be bumped up to become a 6970 as both of mine are.

another alternataive i was researching earlier was 2 6870's in crossfire in which in some games they were actually faster than a 590 and 6990,there not much either.

as for the next gen cards,were not really sure what to expect,but as of right now the AMD 6000 series scale way better than nvidia's SLI,most times close to 100%.

I mean if you want something nice now,and wanna try crossfire,the 6870 and 6950 's are a good way to go.the 6870's being the cheapest by a long shot,just google 6870 crossfire and check out some vid's


Boils down to a few things, if you want to save $$ then there's nothing wrong with 6800 series cards in CF but if someone is into high tesselation, AA, etc then start looking at cards from 6900/560ti and up.

And typically nobody gets 100% scaling, usally tops 93%.
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a b U Graphics card
November 29, 2011 8:10:37 PM

RussK1 said:
Boils down to a few things, if you want to save $$ then there's nothing wrong with 6800 series cards in CF but if someone is into high tesselation, AA, etc then start looking at cards from 6900/560ti and up.

And typically nobody gets 100% scaling, usally tops 93%.



here is just one example,there are some games here that ARE scaling at 100%.

http://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/3744/his_radeon_hd_695...
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a b U Graphics card
November 29, 2011 11:07:54 PM

Here is the simple answer - I have 5 different systems. One has two HD6950s, one two GTX570s, and one a GTX580. a) GTX580 is actually smoother in games that hit my 120hz Vsync, BUT when it comes to more intense games like BF3, the 6950s win out over the GTX580 and the two 570s by a LONG shot. If you wanna play games in more of the Starcraft 2 sorta bracket, however, the GTX580 is much better, as SC2 has horrible xfire and SLI setup. On a sidenote, my 6950 system has a FX-8150 @ 4.6, the 570s have a Core i7 2600k @4.2 and the GTX580 (Might get a second for it at some point) has a Core i7 3960x which I have yet to try to overclock, only had it a couple days and waiting on the water cooling still.
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a c 143 U Graphics card
November 30, 2011 3:27:09 AM

Quote:
GTX 570 is a bit faster than HD 6970

eyefinity said:
No it isnt.

I know they perform neck to neck in most situations, having the same average performance but unfortunately in most titles favors nVidia such as Crysis 2/BF3/BF2/Metro 2033 the GTX 570 shines


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a b U Graphics card
November 30, 2011 5:25:45 AM

I wouldnt say shines,depending on the game/application,i'd say even,not shines.
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a c 143 U Graphics card
November 30, 2011 5:29:54 AM

IF you encounter 0.1 % increase, then you have a gain.
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a b U Graphics card
November 30, 2011 5:32:16 AM

not to mention the 570 is about 70-80$ more and has less vram.

and your comment was "shines",not gain.
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a c 143 U Graphics card
November 30, 2011 6:23:10 AM

VRAM won't matter in resolutions under 1920*1200, even in 2560X they will perform the same.

and what do you understand from "shines" ?
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a b U Graphics card
November 30, 2011 6:58:36 AM

ilysaml said:
VRAM won't matter in resolutions under 1920*1200, even in 2560X they will perform the same.

and what do you understand from "shines" ?



shines to me means waaay better,however you missed the $ diff,which i dont blieve is worth the diff in performance. :sleep: 
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a c 143 U Graphics card
November 30, 2011 7:10:36 AM

Price dilemma is another thing to discuss, and by the way some models are in the same price range.
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a b U Graphics card
November 30, 2011 7:48:42 AM

Which part of average results don't you understand?

And seriously do you think I couldn't link F1 2010, Shogun, AvP etc etc that shows the 6970 "shining"? On average the 6970 is the faster card, not by a whole lot but it *is* faster on average.
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a c 143 U Graphics card
November 30, 2011 8:51:24 AM

eyefinity said:
On average the 6970 is the faster card, not by a whole lot but it *is* faster on average.

Flat Wrong.

From bit-tech.net
Quote:
Still, we can’t judge a product based on what we hoped it would be, only on what it actually is, so does it compete effectively with the GTX 570 1.3GB? The two cards traded blows all the way through our games testing suite, with neither being able to pull out a commanding lead.

From techspot.com
Quote:
The Radeon HD 6970 was at best found to be 20% faster than the GeForce GTX 570, while there were instances where it was also 20% slower.

From hardwarecanucks.com
Quote:
Things become a bit less cut and dry when the higher-end Cayman board is compared directly against the GTX 570. At lower resolutions NVIDIA’s card is able to pull away and at 1920 with AA enabled it really becomes a toss-up between the two cards.

From techpowerup.com
Quote:
Unfortunately AMD's Radeon HD 6970 can not meet that price target. With performance comparable to GeForce GTX 570

From tomshardware.com
Quote:
As for the Radeon HD 6970, it should be selling for $20 more than a GTX 570. Based on its display outputs alone, that makes AMD’s card worth the Andrew Jackson to me, personally. Otherwise, the two cards trade blows, with the GTX 570 faring better at 1680x1050 as AMD’s Radeon HD 6970 retains more of its performance at 2560x1600.

That's the average performance I'm talking about. With the fact that GTX 570 is faster in 1680 & 1920 resolution in addition to games featuring "The way it's meant to be played".
It took the lead only in 2560x resolution
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