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Best "bang for the buck" ~$500

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 13, 2011 10:27:58 PM

I am planning the build for my second gaming PC and I'm having trouble deciding on what to purchase in the GPU department. I would like to stay around $500 but I'm not sure what is going to be the best performance to price ratio. I was looking at the 6970, 580, or maybe 2 560ti's in SLI. I've heard the 560ti's in SLI actually outperform the 580 but I can't remember where I read that. Anyway for around 500 bucks what is going to give me the best performance.

The rest of my build is not certain yet or I would list everything. I'll mostly be gaming at 1920x1080. I'm not sure if there's any other info that would be useful but if so just tell me what else may be an important factor.

More about : bang buck 500

a c 181 U Graphics card
December 13, 2011 10:45:22 PM

Either the GTX 560 Ti's or two HD 6950's in crossfire. Just food for thought. Iprefer Nvidia my self and good luck to ya
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a c 88 U Graphics card
December 13, 2011 10:47:44 PM

Agreed , 560ti SLI or 6950 xfire would be the best bang for buck and faster than a single 580
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December 13, 2011 10:58:38 PM

I would have to say 2 560ti's. You can also overclock them to proform close to the 570's and it would basically be like have a dual SLI of 2 570's. Wish you luck in your purchase.
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a c 226 U Graphics card
a c 204 4 Gaming
December 13, 2011 11:16:16 PM

In a single card configuration, it's a toss up between the 6950 and 560 Ti. Twin 900 Mhz GTX 560 Ti's @ $430 - $460 will get ya 862 fps in Guru3D's Game test suite....40% faster than a single $500 GTX 580 and a bit faster than the 825 fps ya'd get from twin 6970's. If ya search a few reviews on the Asus model, you will see that overclocked they can reach speeds of 1000 to 1070 MHz.

http://www.pureoverclock.com/review.php?id=1201&page=17

Twin 6970's reach 825 fps and don't have anywhere near the OC potential. That's an incredible 30% OC. Personally, I don't like to run at max voltage and keeping stock voltages or a notch above, I been setting them to 980 - 1020 MHz.
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a b U Graphics card
December 13, 2011 11:18:42 PM

Wait for 1 month. New 28nm cards are coming out next month and are supposed to improve performance by x2 of the current generation cards on the Radeon HD 7XXX and the nVidia GTX 6XX series.
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December 13, 2011 11:39:32 PM

samuelspark said:
Wait for 1 month. New 28nm cards are coming out next month and are supposed to improve performance by x2 of the current generation cards on the Radeon HD 7XXX and the nVidia GTX 6XX series.


Yeah but those will probably be way out of my budget.

I'm strongly considering the twin 560ti's but going with the 6950s will save me 100-150 bucks so I may go with those if they aren't that much slower. I don't really plan on OCing them though as I still have to figure out how to set up a dual GPU system.

Also I could go with 2GB cards if I get the 6950s. At the risk of sounding like an absolute noob, I'm assuming the GPUs have to be the exact same, right? As in I couldn't get a 2GB card and SLI it with a 1GB card to save a few bucks since the memory doesn't stack.
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a c 88 U Graphics card
December 14, 2011 8:06:44 AM

Best to get 560ti's with 2gb of ram as some of the latest games are vram hungry, and same goes for the 6950's if you choose to get them instead.
You can only SLI (Nvidia) with the same model and amount of ram , but with crossfire (AMD) you can have two cards with different ram but they have to be the same model.
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a c 175 U Graphics card
December 14, 2011 10:12:53 AM

Do you mean deciding between Dual 560ti and single 6950 2GB or Dual 560ti with Dual 6950 1GB?

Basically If you are on $500 budget I will say Dual 560ti or Dual 6950 1GB. I found a good video comparing them here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yESeP_27cqo
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December 14, 2011 9:56:46 PM

I decided to go with a 6970, it falls slightly behind 2x 560ti or 6950 but I'm eventually going to add a second 6970 so in the long run it'll be better.
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a c 181 U Graphics card
December 14, 2011 11:05:33 PM

you know if you wait for new ones to come out the price for the 6970s will drop a lot and you might be able to get 2 of them just a thought.
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a c 175 U Graphics card
December 15, 2011 1:35:04 AM

Shavako said:
I decided to go with a 6970, it falls slightly behind 2x 560ti or 6950 but I'm eventually going to add a second 6970 so in the long run it'll be better.

Oh. Good Idea
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