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GTX 560 ti, 570, Radeon 6950 or 6970? Objective help please!

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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February 18, 2012 4:58:49 AM

I was looking for some advice since you guys at Tom's havent let me down yet.

After searching for a week I'm still at an indecision as to what to get with regards to me getting rid of my GTX 460 se (wasnt my choice)

My maximum budget is £200 all in but I'm getting the card second hand as thats how I get all my parts (because I love wasting my time fixing stuff :lol:  )

My spec is as follows:

Lan Party JR - X58 T3H6
Corsair TX750w Enthusiast V2
6GB Corsair Dominator 1600
Intel i7 920 (hopefully will be clocked to 3.8 in a day or 2)
Coolmaster V10
GTX 460 se EVGA

I'll be using it with my projector in 1080 and 1600×900 resolutions

Mainly playing in order:
Skyrim with loads of mods (reason for overclocking the CPU)
Stalker Clear Sky
Stalker Call of Pripyat
Crysis 1 and 2
RAGE
Battlefield 3
iRacer
GTA 4


UK based if anyone has any second hand cards

Not against dual card setup just scared of microstuttering as I've not encountered this before and read a little about it, any idea why this mainly happens? I dont want the hassle of it, 2nd hand is enough as it is! Am I at risk if I go for that option? 460 sli?

Is there any difference between the 400 series texture wise than the 500 series apart from they generally run faster ie would a 570 look better than 2 460's in SLI?

The guy in the local computer shop told me that Nvidia is the way to go as I would get better textures and basically having a fully fledged ATI card wouldnt give as good depth as a GTX, any idea what hes talking about?

Is a 2gb edition instead of a 1gb card going to be much better for me since I cant go over the 1080p threshold (projector limited) as from what I've read and seen the only reason to have this is to really boost the resolution (and for one game GTA4 which I can live without for £30-50)

Would ideally like this setup as cheap as possible as £200 is really breaking the bank for me

Currently looking at a 560ti Twin Frozr for 150quid which goes at 8.30 this morning so any recommendations or help especially on the Nvidia vs Radeon front as im a bit confused, would be mightly appreciated.

Thanks for reading and especially for your help.
Asa
a b U Graphics card
February 18, 2012 6:19:24 AM

Well, for BF3 maxing out you want a GTX 570, or possibly an HD 6970. No, a 2GB frame buffer has been proven to be the same experience as a 1GB card at 1080p. More memory really only comes into play with multimonitor setups.

The guy who told you to go with nVidia doesn't know what he's talking about, he probably just likes nVidia. Take that info with a grain of salt.

So if saving a few dollars is important to you, I'd go with the 560ti. It will handle most games at 1080p with some eye candies turned down for the more demanding titles like BF3. Its cheaper than the HD 6950 but close to equal in performance.

I do think a 570 would look better than two 460's. But I say grab the deal on the GTX 560ti and then either upgrade when Kepler comes out or add a second 560ti.
February 18, 2012 6:30:20 AM

Hey,

1) I'd say the 6950 IMHO. For price for performance sake. I bought a 6950, and did over 50 hours of research JUST on that. You can take 3 minutes after opening it up, flash the bios, and BOOM you got a 6970 on your hands and you only payed a fraction of the price of a 6970. The card itself is SUPER cheap (IMO) and it gives you even better performance than a 6970 when flashed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvp5-SlV1Q0

2) The 2GB will do you SO much better than the 1GB version. It makes the world of a difference. The performance difference is worlds apart, but it is still acceptable for it's price and for those who really can't afford the 2GB version.

3) I don't know much about the textures and stuff that the local dude was talking about but from the HOURS of phone calls that I've made with NCIX, (Literally) thousands of forums read about the comparison between the 560ti and 570 and the 69xx series, is that, AMD is A) Cooler, B) Generally push better FPS numbers, C) If you ever wanted to go CrossfireX, AMD has the most sophisticated multi-display engineering systems. (Eyefinity vs. Surround) D) AMD is also much MUCH cheaper.

Some guys are DIE-HARD fans of NVidia, and there you will get the biased opinions. Sounds like the IT you described.

Because your only using this for a projector, you won't really see a difference, only which one is the cheapest you can find. I actually got a brand new 6950 (Haven't used yet) that I got from PowerColor 2 days ago, but I decided to go to the 7xxx series cause I'm kinda a heavy gamer, and I'm an over-killer. You can buy it for £190 :)  Just for a fellow Tommer :) 

You won't go wrong by buying a 6950. See if you could flash the 6950 to a 6970, then I'd say 6970 ALL-DAY long! But now you can do even better than a 6970 with a 6950, without the fuss. Just 3 minutes of your life. Plus considering the price difference!

Hope I could help man!
Jacques
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February 18, 2012 6:46:45 AM

Hi thanks for the tips buzznut. Looks like I didnt get that twin frozr after all. I'm really settling on a 560 ti unfortunatley not the 448 version as the lack of second hand ones really inhibits me getting at it.

The 6950 looks like an interesting choice as I can see if OC it can suprass the 6870 quite easily.

I did have my reservations about what the guy was saying in the IT shop, he has spewed some crap about other stuff aswell so thanks for the heads up on that, just to clarify, I wont be missing out on any of the good stuff by not going for an Nvidia card?

And how definitive is that comment you made about the 1gb being just as good as 2gb? If thats the case I may be able to get a 6950 1gb at a very reasonable price (£110)

Thanks for your help matey!
February 18, 2012 7:05:47 AM

Please excuse 6870 typo, what am I on about, tired *shoots head*

Cheers for chiming in Jacques!

Yea from reading what you guys are writing I think the IT guy was bullshitting me, he sounds like another fanboy to me now thanks for the input on that ill remember that in the future.

Yes the case is getting stronger by the sentence for the 6950, you'd sell me yours eh!? Gotta say mate thats a bit to rich for me I can get a GTX 570 or a 6970 for that! £130 to £150 is what im looking at, poss a £160 for a frozr but that means being especially nice to the mrs =) but I appreciate the offer, muchas gracias amigo!

I think ive been swayed yet again by Toms forum! hurray I feel like I'm making the best bang for my buck decision!

Thanks guys I'm off to bed to dream of red and black coloured boxes. I'll be making a purchase tomorrow so big thanks and a thumbs up to you both!
a c 78 U Graphics card
February 18, 2012 7:10:44 AM

The new 6950s do NOT unlock and not all the old ones do either. just FYI. if you're buying it second hand and its an older reference dedign you might still get lucky though
a b U Graphics card
February 18, 2012 7:14:02 AM

If you can get a 6950 for £100 and have the option to get your money back if it doesn't work, I'd choose that.
A new 6950 w/ 2GB VRAM is £220 at http://www.overclockers.co.uk/index.php
That's the only UK link I had available. I suppose a 1GB card would be a bit less.
As for SLI the 460SE it will probaly equal a single 560 or even a 560TI if overclocked as well. I have 460 336 core cards SLI'ed and from all I've read, they are equal to or faster than a 570.
Naturally, the AMD fanboys are gonna' tell you how much better their cards are.
Whatever you get, those games are gonna need all the video you can give them for high FPS.
February 18, 2012 8:59:51 AM

Ok I still havent gone to bed! Thanks for the input unskol thats a handy thing to know, any idea how you can tell a OCable one from a non OCable one? any paticular brand I should be looking for?

Thanks for the link DelroyMonjo, how are you getting along with your SLI setup? Any problems thus far and what games are you playing buddy?

Is it really worth me keeping this 460se and sticking another in there? I can get one for £70 max but if thats the case I could have a single GPU for £140 if i get mine on ebay now

Ive been looking at 5850 in crossfire (doesnt look so hot) but ive also been looking at 6850's in crossfire and they do look excedingly fast although I'm scared of the crossfire backlash of being able to play nothing and getting BSOD all the time.

Any of you guys get this or have had/have a similar setup and can speak from experience?

Id like the best bang for my buck for max £150 second hand ive decided, I'd like to play max in everything, I was thinking I can get this poss.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Zotac-Geforce-GTX-560Ti-448core...

But its from Zotac, why do people generally not go with this brand? Is there anybody whos had one and can tell me what there customer service is like? I only suggested that because I know its the 448 model which is the better card out of all that I've chosen from what I can see apart from possibly the 6970.

Basically for the price I can get:
£160 6850 In Cross Fire
£170 560 ti 448
£140ish 6950 (not sure if I can upgrade that now, would have been my choice and turn it into 6970)

But as I'm getting these 2nd hand im worried as I wont be able to send the crossfire GPUs back at all and will have to resell them at a loss.

This is my train of thought, any help on this issue would be great as I'd like to make a purchase in the next couple of days and its really breaking my balls trying to figure out what the hell to do!
February 18, 2012 7:44:04 PM

Hey bud. I just looked over my calculations from last night, and I typed in the wrong numbers. :)  £150? I assure that you can flash it. Remember mines brand new. Not used! Talked to NCIX and they confirmed that it can be flashed! :)  If you have troubles you can always give me a ring, and ship back. Customer service is always 1st. :p  Name > Gold. Yeah. If you can get anything under £140, JUMP on it! It is a steal.

BTW the IT was seriously bullshitting you. It's like saying Mercedes vs BMW. BMW is always the way to go. I mean you can't say that! It completely depends on what models you are comparing! In general, if any two, I'd say that AMD is generally better, but there are definitely NVidia cards that absolutely dominate AMD, but so does AMD have cards that dominate NVidia. So like I said earlier, the best choice is to first see what you can go. Search around the forums, look and ask for review copies from like Motherboards.org or Linus Tech Tips, look on craigslist, Amazon used, and even eBay! You have TONS of options! :sol: 

@unksol The older ones can too! As long as your drivers are updated, you'll will be to flash 'em! Whats nice about the 6950's, is that they have a dual bios. Meaning that if your stupid enough to break or brick your card. Just flick the switch on the card (Yes it has a physical switch on the card :na:  ) and presto! Your back to normal! SO you can NEVER brick your 6950 software wise! I absolutely LOVE that feature, and IMHO should incorporate that into all cards! I mean it's like .9 c to add onto the card and can be the factor that pushes a buyer between A Card and B Card!

Even if you don't have the bios flashed to 6970 specs, the 6950 will max out ANY game (Tested XD) 6970 would allow you then to do have a nice Eyefinity set-up! Same with the 6950 specs, but not maxed out though. But I'd rather have 3 monitors on high settings than a single monitor on Ultra. Our eyes see much wider and filling up that width fools your brain into thinking you are actually there. I'd much rather play BF3 on medium settings with my 4800x1200 setup than maxing it out on a single monitor. But I don't know if your into the whole 3 monitor thing.

They've actually tested that the 69xx series performs better than consoles! I know. Pretty big statement, but it does. Movies at the theatres reach 23-26 fps, Blu-ray reaches 30 fps, Consoles reach 30 fps, and the 6950 let alone being on 6970 specs run > 40 fps, depending on the game.

Plus bro, I'd stay away from SLI or CrossfireX setup. Yes it does look impressive, but they cause a lot of hassles, rather use the extra money and buy a single higher performance card than two less performance cards.

eg. 2x 6970 < 6990
2x 5850 <6950 or 5890

The reason why you can't tell from an OC'able to a non-OC'able is because all 6950s are OC'able. But you just have to make sure that they ar reference cards! If not, don't even think of buying them. Non-reference just means that AMD didn't allow them to use the exact PCBs, the chips are the same but everything else is different. Please correct me if I'm wrong! I'm just telling you guys what NCIX told me. Sapphire, AMD, Gigabyte, PowerColor, HIS are all reference card manufacturers. Excuse me if I forgot a few...

6950's also have a GREAT resell value!
February 18, 2012 7:49:49 PM

asa of the smith family said:

But its from Zotac, why do people generally not go with this brand? Is there anybody whos had one and can tell me what there customer service is like?


All I can say is that I quite like Zotac. I have never had to contact customer service (Probably for a reason :p ). Whenever I have troubles with my cards, or I tesst other people's systems, I always have a Zotac 9800GT with me. Most reliable card that I have bought in my life! I play Black Ops on it with pretty high settings on it actually! XD. I payed $45 for it off of Craigslist! Best buy I have ever made ;) 
February 21, 2012 3:47:30 AM

So have you made a choice or found any good deals yet?
!