I'm building a Gaming rig in a month or two and have every single part picked out except a GPU. For starters the CPU will be an i5 2500k if that helps. I was planning on getting a 6870 but figured I'd just go all out and get something for around $240. My choices are between a 560 ti and a 6950. Here are some points to help out
- I will NOT be using Eyefinity, 3D or Physx. I do have a 32 inch LCD HD tv hooked up by HDMI for watching movies and stuff, and with my 5770 I have no issues, so either GPU should be fine.
- I might go CF or SLI eventually, but if I am happy with my performance(like I ended up being with my 5770) then it won't be an issue, so comparing which card scales better is non-issue.
- I DO plan on overclocking both my CPU and GPU, so if a certain GPU oc's better then that would help.
- I play at 1920x1080 on every game now, so I will probably continue at this resolution.
- $250 is my maximum, before rebates. I do not trust rebates, so I want to focus on the buying price, not the possible outcome.
- Same goes with game deals, as I have most of the games that come bundled with these cards.
- Promo prices are also irrelevant, since this wont be for a while
I also really have no preference over brand. I have only ATI cards (1 integrated on desktop, 1 laptop, and this 5770, which is an XFX), so I don't know if Nvidia is better or not. As for manufacturer's, I hear good things about MSI, HIS, and especially Sapphire. I also hear to stay away from XFX and Powercolor, although my XFX has been great for the past 2 years.
I have two 6950 2Gb's in Crossfire (Sapphire and Diamond) with a 24" main monitor and 22" secondary with great performance. Even as a single card, it performs very well. Unfortunately, I know nothing about Nvidia, but I have heard the 560ti is almost identical in performance as the 6950.
A matter of personal preference. Also MSI6950 is slightly smaller in size & have attractive features :
Propeller Blade on Twin Frozr III
- The special blade design generates 20% more airflow than traditional design.
- The airflow covers wider area for the better heat dissipation.
- 11°C cooler & 13.9dB quieter than reference design!!!
Power Edition Architecture
- Triple overvoltage function support by MSI Afterburner to raise overclock capability.
- 6+2 Phase Power System design provides better overclock stability.
MSI Exclusive P/S Switch Function
- Two fan speed profiles–Performance/Silent
- Performance Mode provides best cooling demand; Silent Mode balances noise and GPU Temperature.
Military Class II Component
- SFC (Super Ferrite Choke) has higher current for better overclocking ability.
- Hi-C CAP for GPU provides more precise voltage.
- All Solid CAPs have longer lifespan.
Go with MSI, it has better cooler, quieter and shorter. It doesn't have better reviews anyway (yes, yes, in newegg Gigabyte has more 5 stars than MSI, but MSI hasn't got any 3 star or below). If you are confused of 1GB or 2GB, only buy 2GB if you plan running on Eyefinity (Multi Monitors) or Unlocking the shader. Currently this card is your best bet. I don't think it's worth it to get 560 ti which is little cheaper when you can get this MSI Twin Frozer III card with just $10-$20 increase over a 560 ti reference cooler. Unless you are getting a 560 ti twin frozer III, get this Cheap twin frozer III. The performance of 560 ti and 6950 should be almost the same, but since a twin frozer III is such cheap for 6950, go get 6950.