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Are these two Sapphire 6950s the same + How does it compare to an MSI?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 14, 2012 7:54:51 PM

So $265 Sapphire 2GB 6950:

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

The same card is at NCIX which I can hopefully pick-up in-store:

http://ncix.com/products/?sku=64448&vpn=11188-05-20G&ma...

Are the two cards the same? If so, the NCIX total would be $300 after pricematch. No shipping charges. Newegg total $312. The Newegg card has a $20 rebate card with it. So technically I can save $8 here. I'm guessing pick-up from NCIX is my best bet because rebates are usually unreliable from what I know.

How does that card compare to the MSI Twin Frozr II OC?

http://ncix.com/products/?sku=64181&vpn=R6950%20Twin%20...

Total $263 after rebate.

I plan on crossfiring 1-2 years down the road when I start to underperform.

I know the OC version is clocked higher by a measly 10MHz. But in terms of unlockability, OC ability, build quality etc. which card would you guys recommend? Is the $40 (or $5 without MSI rebate) difference worth it? The warranty on MSI cards is 3 years and Sapphire is 2. How big of an issue is this usually considered? I want to make a decision by tonight and I'm hoping you guys can help. I'm kind of looking for a final recommendation here as I've already driven myself crazy trying to make a decision. Thanks!
a c 1382 U Graphics card
January 14, 2012 8:00:25 PM

They look to be the same card, they should be just as good as MSI!
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a b U Graphics card
January 14, 2012 8:07:11 PM

As far as overclockability goes, they should all be the same since the basic card is AMD's design and the partners only repackage it with their own cooling and a 'factory overclock' which can be obtained by any of the 6950's. It's all a matter of preference at this point. BTW, I have received two mail in rebates from MSI for gtx 460's that I bought through ncix without any problems as long as you don't mind waiting 10 weeks for delivery. Also, ncix took 4 days to ship to ottawa from BC and newegg.ca took approx 2 business days if that will help your decision.
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a b U Graphics card
January 14, 2012 8:17:28 PM

Forget the comment about delivery. The pick up in store comment went in one ear and out the other or in one eye and out the other...however you want to look at it.
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January 14, 2012 8:21:33 PM

alrobichaud said:
As far as overclockability goes, they should all be the same since the basic card is AMD's design and the partners only repackage it with their own cooling and a 'factory overclock' which can be obtained by any of the 6950's. It's all a matter of preference at this point. BTW, I have received two mail in rebates from MSI for gtx 460's that I bought through ncix without any problems as long as you don't mind waiting 10 weeks for delivery. Also, ncix took 4 days to ship to ottawa from BC and newegg.ca took approx 2 business days if that will help your decision.


I think the Sapphire is a reference design (as it has the bios switch) and the Twin Frozr II OC only has a non-reference board. Would OC still be the same in this case? And the shipping for the NCIX is from the ON warehouse to scarborough so I don't think that should be much a problem. Especially considering the fact that I may have to RMA.
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a b U Graphics card
January 15, 2012 11:09:42 AM

daman40k said:
I think the Sapphire is a reference design (as it has the bios switch) and the Twin Frozr II OC only has a non-reference board. Would OC still be the same in this case? And the shipping for the NCIX is from the ON warehouse to scarborough so I don't think that should be much a problem. Especially considering the fact that I may have to RMA.



You used to be able to flash the second BIOS on the older 6950's to unlock the extra cores to make it comparable to the 6970. You would go from this



to this



I have read that this feature was disabled on newer versions of the card so don't be suprised if the switch does nothing on the sapphire card. I have a sapphire 6970 which also has the overclock switch but it does absolutely nothing that I have been able to figure out. I did not know that ncix shipped out of ON. The two gtx 460's I bought were from their EBAY site. They were both factory refurbs which qualified for the same warranty and rebates and they did ship from BC. I do know that newegg.ca ships out of the GTA so, either way, delivery would be fast for you. Forgetting about the OC switch, they will all overclock the same. The following will further explain unlocking the extra cores.

http://www.techpowerup.com/articles/overclocking/vidcar...
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January 15, 2012 2:36:31 PM

alrobichaud said:
You used to be able to flash the second BIOS on the older 6950's to unlock the extra cores to make it comparable to the 6970. You would go from this

http://tpucdn.com/articles/159/images/before.gif

to this

http://tpucdn.com/articles/159/images/after.gif

I have read that this feature was disabled on newer versions of the card so don't be suprised if the switch does nothing on the sapphire card. I have a sapphire 6970 which also has the overclock switch but it does absolutely nothing that I have been able to figure out. I did not know that ncix shipped out of ON. The two gtx 460's I bought were from their EBAY site. They were both factory refurbs which qualified for the same warranty and rebates and they did ship from BC. I do know that newegg.ca ships out of the GTA so, either way, delivery would be fast for you. Forgetting about the OC switch, they will all overclock the same. The following will further explain unlocking the extra cores.

http://www.techpowerup.com/articles/overclocking/vidcar...



I apologize for being stupid but I'm really confused about unlocking. One option is to just flip the switch and see if it works? And the other is to flash the bios?
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a b U Graphics card
January 15, 2012 7:47:53 PM

daman40k said:
I apologize for being stupid but I'm really confused about unlocking. One option is to just flip the switch and see if it works? And the other is to flash the bios?



Forget about the article I linked. The switch isn't really an overclock it is a BIOS switch. If it works, you can switch to the backup BIOS and flash it with a new BIOS which unlocks the hidden cores so that it will be the same as the 6970. At some point AMD had disabled this feature since people were buying up 6950's and unlocking them instead of paying more for 6970's. Just google unlocking the 6950 and see what the masses are saying. I am only repeating what I have read.
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January 21, 2012 2:18:58 AM

alrobichaud said:
Forget about the article I linked. The switch isn't really an overclock it is a BIOS switch. If it works, you can switch to the backup BIOS and flash it with a new BIOS which unlocks the hidden cores so that it will be the same as the 6970. At some point AMD had disabled this feature since people were buying up 6950's and unlocking them instead of paying more for 6970's. Just google unlocking the 6950 and see what the masses are saying. I am only repeating what I have read.




So. Let me get this straight. Even if I can unlock the cores by flipping the switch, I shouldn't keep it that way and should instead go back to the original switch state Nd flash a new bios? Why?
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