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Radeon hd 6950 vs 7950

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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September 20, 2012 10:59:56 PM

Looking to order a GPU tomorrow and curious which is better. Sticking to AMD so I wont be having any pcie3.0 support.
I looked at benchmarks on anandtech site and seems the 7950 is way better but not sure if that was because of 3.0 vs 2.1 or not.. plan to play skyrim, bf3, witcher2 and ffxiv when it gets rereleased. Possibly fable3 also. Dunno of any other games due to not having any high-end gpu before. First and only was a 9550 lol.
Also I may go CF in the future after builds fully done.

More about : radeon 6950 7950

a c 87 U Graphics card
September 20, 2012 11:08:14 PM

The 7950 is a far better graphics card and the PCIe version has almost nothing at all to do with it. It has more cores that utilize a superior micro-architecture, a wider memory bus without sacrificing memory clocks, and more memory capacity (probably the least important gain for most people, but still). FWI, playing with PCIe 2.0/2.1 x16 instead of PCIe 3.0 x16 is usually around a 1% gaming performance loss when you're using a single 7950. It's no big deal in this situation. It's more important for some other things (especially high-end multi-card systems where 16 lanes of PCIe 2.0/2.1 aren't available and compute performance), but not this.
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a c 275 U Graphics card
September 20, 2012 11:11:08 PM

To answer your question, the 7950 is usually considered a bit stronger.

Do not make a decision on pci-e 2.0/3.0 issues. There will be negligible difference in performance with a single card, and almost none on dual cards either.

As to planning for cf/sli, I am not much in favor.
Would you add another 9550 today, had you spent more initially to plan for cf? I think perhaps not.

Here is my canned rant on that:
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Dual graphics cards vs. a good single card.

a) How good do you really need to be?
A single GTX560 or 6870 can give you great performance at 1920 x 1200 in most games.

A single GTX560ti or 6950 will give you excellent performance at 1920 x 1200 in most games.
Even 2560 x 1600 will be good with lowered detail.
A single gtx690 is about as good as it gets.

Only if you are looking at triple monitor gaming, then sli/cf will be needed.
Even that is now changing with triple monitor support on top end cards.

b) The costs for a single card are lower.
You require a less expensive motherboard; no need for sli/cf or multiple pci-e slots.
Even a ITX motherboard will do.

Your psu costs are less.
A GTX560ti needs a 450w psu, even a GTX580 only needs a 600w psu.
When you add another card to the mix, plan on adding 150-200w to your psu requirements.
A single more modern 28nm card like a 7970 or GTX680 needs only 550W.
Even the strongest GTX690 only needs 650w.

Case cooling becomes more of an issue with dual cards.
That means a more expensive case with more and stronger fans.
You will also look at more noise.

c) Dual cards do not always render their half of the display in sync, causing microstuttering. It is an annoying effect.
The benefit of higher benchmark fps can be offset, particularly with lower tier cards.
Read this: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-geforce-stut...

d) dual card support is dependent on the driver. Not all games can benefit from dual cards.

e) cf/sli up front reduces your option to get another card for an upgrade. Not that I suggest you plan for that.
It will often be the case that replacing your current card with a newer gen card will offer a better upgrade path.
The GTX780 and amd 8000 series are not that far off.
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September 20, 2012 11:16:29 PM

Which ones are good 7950s? Trying to stick with my black/red theme in case, was looking at the his/msi card but seems sold out on newegg. Don't know which are good oc'ers, also the bench had a 7950 and a 7950 w/ boost, not sure what that's all about either lol,
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a c 87 U Graphics card
September 20, 2012 11:18:13 PM

There is a new 7950 BIOS that enables a Boost function.

As for what are the best models, well, pretty much any of them that have an after-market cooler except for the XFX models as far as I'm aware.

This one is fairly cheap, but has the Boost BIOS and an excellent cooler:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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September 20, 2012 11:24:00 PM

Graphics do bother me quite a bit so i want to be able to play pretty much maxed out. I play on a 27" 1920x1080 Samsung led monitor. It's my First build and is gonna be my last for quite some time lol.
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a c 275 U Graphics card
September 20, 2012 11:33:06 PM

For gaming, buy the strongest graphics card you feel comfortable paying for. Particularly if you want it to last.
Read this article on best gaming cards for the money:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...

Think of splurging on a GTX670 or 7970.
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September 20, 2012 11:35:10 PM

Slow hotel WiFi... How do you tell which have the updated boost bios and which don't?
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September 20, 2012 11:38:20 PM

Honestly 300-400 is fine. It's what I was gonna pay going cf 6870 but decided to look around more, gpu is hardest thing to choose it seems, and im sticking to AMD, never had issues lol the 9550 is going strong still since 2005 XD
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a c 87 U Graphics card
September 20, 2012 11:41:34 PM

Aspec1989 said:
Slow hotel WiFi... How do you tell which have the updated boost bios and which don't?


Any that have it have the boost clock specified in their specifications. Any that don't have a Boost clock specified don't have one and thus use the older BIOS. For example, I knew that the 7950 that I suggested has the Booost BIOS because it stated this in its specifications.
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a c 87 U Graphics card
September 20, 2012 11:43:01 PM

Aspec1989 said:
Just curious but what about this, or the MSI look alike? Guessing no due to their coolers... So the gigabyte/MSI frozr/sapphires with 2x/3x fans would be the best? Especially if ocing?

http://www.compusa.com/applications/SearchTools/item-de...


I wouldn't recommend that card based on the cooler. There's nothing wrong with the colors, but the cooler doesn't look (it looks like a reference cooler to me; it probably is a reference cooler) like it is able to do a great job.
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September 20, 2012 11:44:00 PM

Oooh, alright lol
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September 21, 2012 12:04:55 AM

Meh that sapphire one you linked would be fine. Just no reviews on it, ill probably go sapphire, MSI twin frozr or the gigabyte with 3x fans. All seem to be great brands, I hope.
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a c 87 U Graphics card
September 21, 2012 12:21:36 AM

Aspec1989 said:
Meh that sapphire one you linked would be fine. Just no reviews on it, ill probably go sapphire, MSI twin frozr or the gigabyte with 3x fans. All seem to be great brands, I hope.


Yeah, these are pretty much all good models except for the XFX Ghost 7950.
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September 21, 2012 12:35:15 AM

Out of the 3 which is the best? As far as overclocking goes and what not... Between the gigabyte, MSI twin frozr, sapphire / sapphire flex?
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a c 87 U Graphics card
September 21, 2012 12:37:48 AM

The Gigabyte WindForce is a great competitor... I don't know if it's the best, but it might be. The TwinFrozr is also great. I think that I'd put the Sapphire cards a little behind them, but not by much.
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Best solution

a c 87 U Graphics card
September 21, 2012 1:45:23 AM

Aspec1989 said:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

has the boost bios? I must be blind or something lol can't find it anywhere. May be the one I go with if so.


It doesn't have Boost, but it's only about 2% slower than the maximum boost of the Boost-enabled cards and has one of the best coolers available, so it's still great.
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September 21, 2012 1:56:20 AM

Guess ill go with it then since I plan to overclock the card some anyways. Seems to be a good oc'er after reading reviews.
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September 21, 2012 1:56:41 AM

Best answer selected by Aspec1989.
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September 21, 2012 1:57:47 AM

Thanks for the help and info everyone, especially you blazorthon
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a c 87 U Graphics card
September 21, 2012 2:03:33 AM

Glad to help.
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