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Which of these 3 video cards should I purchase?

In a previous thread I asked which video card I should purchase and believe it got locked for "thread bumping" so to the mod that closed it I apologize for bumping.

@On topic... I'm looking to get the most bang for my buck video card that performs rather well. My budget for this build leaves me only a measly $246USD to purchase a ssd for my os and a decent gaming card. So short but sweet.. I need the best frame-per-second to cost-per-frame I can get. That being said I have a few cards to choose from:

1. XFX HD-687X-CNFC Radeon HD 6870 2GB 256-bit $169.99AR
2. XFX HD-687A-ZDFC Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit $169.99AR
3. XFX HD-687A-ZHFC Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit $149.99AR
4. GIGABYTE GV-R685OC-1GD Radeon HD 6850 1GB 256-bit $129.99AR

Objective: I plan to run pretty much all games at max settings in 1280x720 resolution. CPU is a 2500k mildly overclocked to 4.3GHz and my system sports 8GB of 9-9-9-24 DDR3 1600 Sniper memory (theme of PC is BF3 and red ripsaws would throw it all off... besides its the same chips different heat spreader). I probably will never use Eyefinity but my choice is 1GB ram and better cooling or 2GB ram and standard cooling. I also don't plan to OC at all since these cards run hot as-is but if I did it would probably be something mild like 930/1100 on the 6870. And last but not least I can fit a 13" card in so length isnt an issue.

Comments on each card:
#1 It offers 2GB's of GDDR5 ram *if* I ever want to do Eyefinity. Otherwise #2 is my choice.
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#2 It offers a better cooling solution than the rest of the cards and is decently priced.
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#3 Is the same card as #2 but with XFX's standard GPU cooler instead of the "black edition sytle" cooling version.
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#4 If you feel a 6870 is too overkill for my intentions. I would have went with XFX for my 6850 choice but the price of the card costs the same as #1 & 2 with no rebate. Rather get the better card and take a risk on the rebate. :-]
10 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about which video cards purchase
  1. BF3 is a monster game and eats video cards for lunch , unfortunatly the cpu is not much help in this game as it's all about the gpu. To get decent fps you may have to play at mid to high settings with the 6870 , so I would get the #1 choice and have 2gb of video ram. By no means is the 6870 overkill and if you could get more budget money I would look at the 6900 series cards , when the new 7000 series are released there could be a price drop and maybe you could get some good deals.
  2. Best answer
    I'd get the $150 6870 if those are my only choices.

    But personally, I'd go with the $140 5870 on 1saleaday.com right now. It'll keep up with a 6950.
  3. inzone said:
    BF3 is a monster game and eats video cards for lunch , unfortunatly the cpu is not much help in this game as it's all about the gpu. To get decent fps you may have to play at mid to high settings with the 6870 , so I would get the #1 choice and have 2gb of video ram. By no means is the 6870 overkill and if you could get more budget money I would look at the 6900 series cards , when the new 7000 series are released there could be a price drop and maybe you could get some good deals.


    Waiting is also an option I forgot to add. I wish the 2GB version came in black edition (2-fan) style or if they sold the cooler for $20 on the egg. My original setup was going to be an AMD X4 955 but got lucky and snagged an Open-Box 2500k for $133 shipped. That's what $9 more and a ton of performance compared to the 955. Another thing to keep in mind is since the Bulldozer release I haven't seen any sort of price decrease in AMD cpu's so would hate to wait 2 months after 7xxx is released to save $20. Running 2500k's stock GPU sucks for two reasons... steals from OC'ing potential, steals from the cpu processing data, and lastly steals some RAM away. :(
  4. Where'd you snag an open box i5-2500K?

    Why do you game at 720p, btw? I assumed you were commited to MW3 on your TV or something like that.

    inzone said:
    BF3 is a monster game and eats video cards for lunch , unfortunatly the cpu is not much help in this game as it's all about the gpu. To get decent fps you may have to play at mid to high settings with the 6870 , so I would get the #1 choice and have 2gb of video ram.
    Are you saying the 2GB will help at 720p or are you assuming he'll game at a higher resolution? I get the impression that a 1GB card is just as good as a 2GB card based off of what I've seen: http://www.hardocp.com/article/2011/02/24/amd_radeon_hd_6950_1gb_performance_review/3
  5. dalauder said:
    Where'd you snag an open box i5-2500K?

    Why do you game at 720p, btw? I assumed you were commited to MW3 on your TV or something like that.


    Goto the egg and type in 2500k open box. It should take you right to the item. However since the release of the 2500k the egg only offered open-boxed versions 3 times. According to the guy I was talking to at the egg they only run the sale when they get 20 chips to sell. It normally sells out of those 20 chips in 5 minutes so you have to be lucky... a good thing however is the open-box I received worked without a single hicup.

    EDIT: The 2GB/720p comment... 2GB was for Eyefinity or in otherwords multi-monitor setup. If your not using Eyefinity 1GB is enough as 2GB is overkill.

    @dalauder Just picked up one of the cards. Thank you for suggesting it as it's only 4% slower than a 6950 and its about 25% faster than the 6870. Love you man (no homo!)
  6. Centora said:
    Goto the egg and type in 2500k open box. It should take you right to the item. However since the release of the 2500k the egg only offered open-boxed versions 3 times. According to the guy I was talking to at the egg they only run the sale when they get 20 chips to sell. It normally sells out of those 20 chips in 5 minutes so you have to be lucky... a good thing however is the open-box I received worked without a single hicup.

    EDIT: The 2GB/720p comment... 2GB was for Eyefinity or in otherwords multi-monitor setup. If your not using Eyefinity 1GB is enough as 2GB is overkill.

    @dalauder Just picked up one of the cards. Thank you for suggesting it as it's only 4% slower than a 6950 and its about 25% faster than the 6870. Love you man (no homo!)
    I wish I had a need for one of those. That price is ridiculous. (I've bought from that site before btw, it's legit--just clearance items).
  7. dalauder said:
    I wish I had a need for one of those. That price is ridiculous. (I've bought from that site before btw, it's legit--just clearance items).


    I wasn't worried about it's legitness... :P Only small worry I have now is using a first-gen DX11 card vs second-gen DX11. Ohh well I didn't need Eyefinity and 2GB of ram anyways. For $145 and *almost* the performance of a $240 card I can live with no motion blur or AF. :-]
  8. The 5870 doesn't do as well in tessellation--that's the 1st vs. 2nd Gen DX11 difference.
  9. dalauder said:
    The 5870 doesn't do as well in tessellation--that's the 1st vs. 2nd Gen DX11 difference.


    I'm use to playing games like need for speed carbon, etc. Old old games that my I5-2500k on-board can handle max settings. So no idea what tessellation is.... but I'm sure when I do find out what it is I'll be like damn I'd rather have a 6870.. ;P

    @On topic.. That card from 1saleaday I believe is this card:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814129140

    Would I be able to flash the bios of this card to that of lets say this card:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102856

    If I can would I see any sort of gain out of doing this like stability, better cooling, better overclocks, or longer life? Not to dis VisionTek at all... but the VisionTek only has like 19 reviews and the Saph 200+. If they bot the same exact hardware just better firmware on the Saph.. I would want the Saph due to all the bugs worked out whereas I don't see VisionTek spending hours on end to make the card any better than factory. Possibility to brick the card?
  10. Best answer selected by Centora.
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