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HD 6870 - 1 gb or 2 gb?

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June 15, 2012 1:24:58 PM

I have a HD 5670 which is great most the time, but doesn't really perform that well in newer games. I want to upgrade and I have my eye on a HD 6870. I don't like GeForce, or Nvidia mainly, so I'm sticking with AMD/ATI. Now when I bought my HD 5670 I opt'd to get a 1GB card versus the 512 MB. This turned out to be a good deal since Crysis 2 with the Hi-res Textures requires a 1GB card. (Before you scoff, my system actually pulls higher fps in hi-res). Now that I'm looking at the HD 6870, I have the option of 1GB or 2GB. Is the 2GB worth it? Will I see any more performance out of it? Are newer games going to recommend 2GB cards? I know we don't know what the specs for Crysis 3 are yet, but I'm hoping a HD 6870 will be able to handle it.

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a b U Graphics card
June 15, 2012 2:03:55 PM

1Gb 6870 would be fine Benchmarks show the 6950 1GB version performing better at 1920x1080 than the 2GB version.

The 6950 is only about 15-20 % faster than the 6870 so unless you plan on crossfiring them (better move quick) the card would be better off with 1GB of ram

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a b U Graphics card
June 15, 2012 2:14:20 PM

If you have a 1080p screen or plan to going for one than get the 2gb.
Worths the extra cash, on some games 1gb can be a little bottleneck, the performance will not change on games that don't require it but on other games there will be some performance loss due to the memory size. and example here is max payne 3 that if you want to activate geometric antialiasing it requires 2030 gb of memory to work properly on max graphics at 1080p.
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a c 365 U Graphics card
June 15, 2012 2:16:08 PM

Generally, it depends on the size of your monitor. For a 1920x1200 or smaller resolution monitor, 1GB of RAM is fine for the vast majority of games. However, there are a few outliers such as GTA 4 which would probably try to eat up 4GB of VRAM if it that much was available; a poorly ported console game.
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a c 91 U Graphics card
June 15, 2012 2:28:09 PM

jaguarskx said:
Generally, it depends on the size of your monitor. For a 1920x1200 or smaller resolution monitor, 1GB of RAM is fine for the vast majority of games. However, there are a few outliers such as GTA 4 which would probably try to eat up 4GB of VRAM if it that much was available; a poorly ported console game.


^^ +1. for the price of the 2GB version, I would just get a faster video card. for single monitor resolutions (unless you get a 2560x1600 or something like that), you'll more likely be limited by the GPU's power than the 1GB of memory.

as for games like GTA4, I can attest that on my current system, it doesn't eat up more than 2GB of VRAM on my 7970 with everything maxed out (unless I'm missing a meter to max out somewhere)... I can also tell you that by adjusting down things like distant details, it's very easy to get VRAM usage below 1GB with a BARELY noticeable drop visually.

I recommend you getting this card instead:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

it's a 6950, faster than the 6870, it has 2GB of ram, and it's the same price if not cheaper due to the sale :bounce: 
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a b U Graphics card
June 15, 2012 2:31:15 PM

vmem said:
^^ +1. for the price of the 2GB version, I would just get a faster video card. for single monitor resolutions (unless you get a 2560x1600 or something like that), you'll more likely be limited by the GPU's power than the 1GB of memory.

as for games like GTA4, I can attest that on my current system, it doesn't eat up more than 2GB of VRAM on my 7970 with everything maxed out (unless I'm missing a meter to max out somewhere)... I can also tell you that by adjusting down things like distant details, it's very easy to get VRAM usage below 1GB with a BARELY noticeable drop visually.

I recommend you getting this card instead:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

it's a 6950, faster than the 6870, it has 2GB of ram, and it's the same price if not cheaper due to the sale :bounce: 


Such a good deal, and this card is dual bios with all stream processors in tact
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June 15, 2012 3:28:53 PM


I recommend you getting this card instead:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

it's a 6950, faster than the 6870, it has 2GB of ram, and it's the same price if not cheaper due to the sale :bounce: [/quotemsg]


Only 820MHz core clock? What I have right now.... http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... runs OC's @ 920 Core/950 Mem. (Stock it's 775)

I can't remember if I've ever owned a Sapphire card. How are they? I've had a 3dfx - Voodoo3 2000 PCI, a Hercules - 3D Prophet 4500 , Gigabytes - Radeon 9600 Pros (3) and a HD 5670 (and numerous 2d cards and a monochrome Hercules card... yeah, I'm that old.) I even have a Elsa Gloria XXL sitting on a shelf next to me. I've been burned by STB, Creative, S3 and, remember Pine? XFX too, but they made good on it.

(FWIW, my Voodoo3 2000 PCI card is still running in my Dual Xeon Server. Though it doesn't run games anymore it provides a lot more eye candy versus the ATI Rage XL that came embedded in it.)

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a b U Graphics card
June 15, 2012 3:41:45 PM

mpyusko said:
I recommend you getting this card instead:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

it's a 6950, faster than the 6870, it has 2GB of ram, and it's the same price if not cheaper due to the sale :bounce: 



Only 820MHz core clock? What I have right now.... http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... runs OC's @ 920 Core/950 Mem. (Stock it's 775)

I can't remember if I've ever owned a Sapphire card. How are they? I've had a 3dfx - Voodoo3 2000 PCI, a Hercules - 3D Prophet 4500 , Gigabytes - Radeon 9600 Pros (3) and a HD 5670 (and numerous 2d cards and a monochrome Hercules card... yeah, I'm that old.) I even have a Elsa Gloria XXL sitting on a shelf next to me. I've been burned by STB, Creative, S3 and, remember Pine? XFX too, but they made good on it.

(FWIW, my Voodoo3 2000 PCI card is still running in my Dual Xeon Server. Though it doesn't run games anymore it provides a lot more eye candy versus the ATI Rage XL that came embedded in it.)[/quotemsg]


Anybody else want to take this ?
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a c 91 U Graphics card
June 15, 2012 3:45:17 PM

spentshells said:
Only 820MHz core clock? What I have right now.... http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... runs OC's @ 920 Core/950 Mem. (Stock it's 775)

I can't remember if I've ever owned a Sapphire card. How are they? I've had a 3dfx - Voodoo3 2000 PCI, a Hercules - 3D Prophet 4500 , Gigabytes - Radeon 9600 Pros (3) and a HD 5670 (and numerous 2d cards and a monochrome Hercules card... yeah, I'm that old.) I even have a Elsa Gloria XXL sitting on a shelf next to me. I've been burned by STB, Creative, S3 and, remember Pine? XFX too, but they made good on it.

(FWIW, my Voodoo3 2000 PCI card is still running in my Dual Xeon Server. Though it doesn't run games anymore it provides a lot more eye candy versus the ATI Rage XL that came embedded in it.)


Um, how can you compare core clock speeds of different architectures? even my 7970 comes at only 925mhz core clock at stock...

Speaking of which, I am a happy and proud owner of the sapphire 7970 OC. it has been running really cool, quiet, with a hefty OC on air (1150mhz core, 6000mhz VRAM). Generally I hardly hear complaints from sapphire cards, and when I do it's usually a bit of coil whine.

anyway, the 6950 for under $200 is a steal, a pair of them in CF can match or even exceed a gtx 670.
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a b U Graphics card
June 15, 2012 4:26:30 PM

6870 doesn't have enough power to use 2GB of Vram, nor does the 6950 unless your running higher than 1080p.
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June 15, 2012 4:28:21 PM

I apologize. I don't go shopping for GPU's all that often. It certainly does sound like a good deal. When I bought the 5670 it was because I was doing a new system build and I skimped on the GPU with palns to upgrade later. It served me well for a couple years. It runs Crysis and Warhead and maxed out settings. But I run into some serious issues trying to play Crysis 2. I figure I'm due to upgrade anyway. Then'll I'll give the 5670 to my buddy who is stuck with a GeForce 8400 GS on his C2D system.

Anyway, Crossfire isn't really an option right now since my mobo only has one PCIe X16 slot. I guess in the end, I'm out to get the most ATI bang for the buck @ ~$200.
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June 15, 2012 5:02:43 PM

geekapproved said:
6870 doesn't have enough power to use 2GB of Vram, nor does the 6950 unless your running higher than 1080p.

On what basis are you making this claim? After what I read in this review, Tom's claims a 1GB version of the card would suffer in the high res area. Later confirmed in this review "the reference 2 GB card takes away most of that lead when 4x AA is enabled. This lead reduction is mostly caused by the poor performance of 1 GB cards at Metro 2033’s highest test setting."

I am still doing my homework.
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a b U Graphics card
June 15, 2012 5:08:41 PM

i can confirm that if you want to play with geometric antialiasing you will require more than 1gb at 1080p resolution...

Metro 2033/Serious Sam 3 BFE/Max Payne 3 just some titles that i know go over the 1000gb memory limit when antialiasing is activated.

unless you go to the FXAA technology wich will lower a lot that memory requirement, but that is a feature more upgraded in Geforce GPUS.
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a b U Graphics card
June 15, 2012 5:19:33 PM

ricardois said:
If you have a 1080p screen or plan to going for one than get the 2gb.
Worths the extra cash, on some games 1gb can be a little bottleneck, the performance will not change on games that don't require it but on other games there will be some performance loss due to the memory size. and example here is max payne 3 that if you want to activate geometric antialiasing it requires 2030 gb of memory to work properly on max graphics at 1080p.


+1
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June 15, 2012 5:28:24 PM

Best answer selected by mpyusko.
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June 15, 2012 5:29:52 PM

Ok. Sold. I just ordered the 6950 2GB from Newegg.

Thanks guys. Hopefully it'll be more than 2 years before I need to upgrade it again. ;-)

Besides that, it comes with Dirt 3 and BFE3 free coupons. No harm in that.
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a c 91 U Graphics card
June 15, 2012 6:24:08 PM

Thanks for best answer. best of luck and happy baming, BF3 and Dirt 3 are both awesome games to play on a 6950
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a c 273 U Graphics card
June 15, 2012 10:46:39 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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