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Should I bother unlocking my Radeon 6950?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 13, 2012 2:08:26 PM

I just purchased a MSI Twin Frozr III - Radeon 6950 to make my older machine more "gameable"...stil waiting for it to arrive. The machine is a Dell XPS 420 with a Pentium Quad Core processor (Q6600) OC'd to 3.0Ghz. I'm replacing an old HD 3870 with the 6950 (and yes, I am upgrading the power supply also).

Supposedly, Twin Frozr III 6950 is pretty simple to unlock with a utility provided by MSI. Should I even bother? Or will the CPU bottleneck the card to the point that it's not even worth it?

Thanks in advance.
December 13, 2012 2:55:19 PM

No.
And yes.
December 13, 2012 3:07:49 PM

coozie7 said:
No.
And yes.



agree.
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December 13, 2012 3:23:56 PM

Newer 6950s don't unlock. Only the very first ones to come out did. So even if you wanted to I doubt the card would.
December 13, 2012 3:35:58 PM

In May of last year, MSI released their own BIOS to unlock the Twin Frozr III 6950. This card is used and was purchased around that time, so I might be able to. But from what I'm hearing, it's probably not worth the time or risk.

What about a CPU upgrade (without changing out the mobo)? My options appear to be the other Intel quads (Q9550/9650) or the "Extreme" series (QX6850/QX9650). With one of those upgrades, am I still in a bottleneck situation with an unlocked 6970?

I'm trying to get the most I can out of this box for the next couple of years until it's time for a complete overhaul.


Thanks.
December 13, 2012 5:12:29 PM

If you have a quad already stop spending money on CPU get something like an SSD that you can move to your new system when purchased.

Thent
December 13, 2012 5:34:51 PM



According to that chart...a Q9650 is a couple "levels" above my Q6600, so I assume that would reduce or eliminate any bottleneck on an unlocked 6950. Can't really find them at online retailers anymore (at least not at a reasonable price), so I'll keep an eye out for a cheap one on eBay.

Thanks.
December 13, 2012 5:38:53 PM

thently said:
If you have a quad already stop spending money on CPU get something like an SSD that you can move to your new system when purchased.

Thent



Already upgraded to an SSD. In fact, that's what set the GPU upgrade in motion. I didn't really use the machine for gaming, or much of anything else for that matter as the hard drive had slowed to a crawl. I figured I'd eventually get rid of it for a new machine, but decided to upgrade to an SSD instead. It breathed such new life into the machine, it made me want to keep it longer...hence the GPU upgrade.

Really, I just want this machine to get me through the new SimCity and C&C games coming out next year, but I will also enjoy playing BF3 in high fidelity for a change.
December 14, 2012 7:47:37 PM

jmarks2001 said:
According to that chart...a Q9650 is a couple "levels" above my Q6600, so I assume that would reduce or eliminate any bottleneck on an unlocked 6950. Can't really find them at online retailers anymore (at least not at a reasonable price), so I'll keep an eye out for a cheap one on eBay.

Thanks.


The Q6600 is two levels lower than Q9650 because they are comparing the stock Q6600, not the 3.0Ghz OC version.

In reality, the Q6600 @ 3.0+ is near that tier.

I don't think it will worth your money to get a new Core2Duo. Sandy/Ivy bridge is probably going to be much cheaper in the new year as Haswell is a completely new platform. So you can plan your upgrade those parts.

My suggestion is taht get a Better video card that won't become obsolete too quickly like the 7850 or higher, and wait for CPU sales next year or christmas. Then you can actually transfer that card to the new computer.

I'm running a Q6600 3.0 ghz with 4830 and still haven't had the need to upgrade yet. But if a 7850 comes on sales for like 140 dollars, I'll probbaly buy it and put this dell inspiron 530 on future life support.

!