Need a card for moderate-high end gaming

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: 1 Month or less

BUDGET RANGE: ~$250

USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming (NON-Twitch games, mostly RTS and RPG, not much FPS), some picture editing, but that's about it.

CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: For a new build, upgrading from an 8800 GTS, PSU dependent on card

OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS: Looking to build into a Corsair 500 case, using an i5 2500k CPU, MOBO will be Z68 chipset

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg USA or Tigerdirect

PARTS PREFERENCES: Not particularly tied to GeForce or Raedon, but I have heard that Raedon cards give the best value for the money (and a long time ago someone told me that GeForce work better with Intel CPUs and Raedown works better with AMD)

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe if it is relatively simple to do. Would rather not have to OC to start with

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Yes, in the future

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080, single monitor

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I'm doing research for a future build (upgrading from an old 8800 GTS) and having trouble deciding on a card, currently I'm leaning towards the GTX 560 Ti or Raedon 6950 series. I want something solid, reliable and able to be upgraded, SLI/Crossfired in the future if I need mroe power. THe main thing I'm building for is Skyrim and SWKoTR. This will be my third build, and it seems I need to re-learn everything each time. After reading the posts on the forum and reviews on the site, I'm getting bad vibes about the 560 Ti and leaning towards Raedon. Any advice would be helpful.
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More about need card moderate high gaming
  1. Get a radeon 6950 2gb. If you get a reference board you can very easily unlock extra shaders and have it run at 6970 speeds. I bought a sapphire one a few weeks ago from newegg and it's great. Paid $250. Kills skyrim on max. Plays battlefield 3 on ultra and stays above 30. Drop even just one small setting and I get 40-60 easy. Wow on ultra does 60+. Check out techpowerup.com for how to unlock. The shaders are simply a flick of a switch on the board. Then you flash the bios(there are 2 in case you screw up) to 6970 and you've got a sick card. The stock speeds are great and the unlock is icing on the cake.
  2. Both cards are great and you can't go wrong with either one. I like nVIDIA cards better because I have been using them longer and switching from a 8800 GTS to a GTX 560 Ti will be smoother. Having said that, there is nothing wrong with the HD 6950.
  3. Kronk42583 said:
    Get a radeon 6950 2gb. If you get a reference board you can very easily unlock extra shaders and have it run at 6970 speeds. I bought a sapphire one a few weeks ago from newegg and it's great. Paid $250. Kills skyrim on max. Plays battlefield 3 on ultra and stays above 30. Drop even just one small setting and I get 40-60 easy. Wow on ultra does 60+. Check out techpowerup.com for how to unlock. The shaders are simply a flick of a switch on the board. Then you flash the bios(there are 2 in case you screw up) to 6970 and you've got a sick card. The stock speeds are great and the unlock is icing on the cake.


    Thanks for the replies. What board do you recommend for that? Here is the one I was looking at: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131730
  4. Revisiting this topic, I'm looking for recommendations on any reference cards still available for the 6950? I'm looking all over and it appears that most are out of stock at Newegg, etc (at least they don't say that they are "reference" cards). How can one tell that the cards are unlockable?
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