6870 or 6950 at 1920x1200: Worth $100 more?

vapor

n00b
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Jan 22, 2003
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56
Hey all,

I'm looking to get a new video card to go along with my new Dell U2412M and eventually a Core i5 2500k. I've got it narrowed down to the XFX 6870 stock dual fan (possibly Black Edition, same price) and the XFX 6950 2GB stock dual fan. In Canada, the after tax, after rebate price gap between the two is $100 ($194 vs $295). Alternatively, the XFX 6950 1GB stock dual fan is $261, or $67 more than the 6970.

In the foreseeable future, I'm looking to play Starcraft II, The Witcher II, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Rage, Batman: Arkham City, Assassin's Creed: Revelations, Diablo III, Mass Effect 3 and Guild Wars II. I have absolutely no plans to go multi-monitor or get a higher resolution monitor. I'm not super picky about having the settings and AA and AF jacked up; I'd love to have it but I'm more concerned about playing future games at native resolution.

So, do you think it's worth shelling out the extra hundred on the 6950 2GB to be a bit more future proof, or should I grab the 6870 and save the cash to upgrade when it struggles to run games at 1920x1200?

Thanks!
 

DOOMHAMMA

Gawd
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Sep 16, 2010
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I would say go for the 6950, but if there is any way for you to just wait a tiny bit longer, the 7xxx series is due to come out soon maybe. But, that could be December, so, maybe you could just get the 6950. I don't know what you have in there right now. I think that the current dry spell, despite AMD's claim that that will go away, for the 6970's is a sign that they are ready to release the cards sooner than later.
 

novadaemon

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Aug 24, 2006
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I don't think it's worth it. you are essentially paying 50% more for around a 10-20% performance increase.
Odds are you won't be unlocking to a 6970. Unless you feel that 20% is the difference between playable and unplayable I'd save that $100 toward a future card.
If I were you I'd get a used gtx 480, but if used isn't your thing then go for the 6870.
 

pman065

Weaksauce
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Aug 18, 2011
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I think its worth it. at 1080 with new games coming out theres a good chance it might use over 1gvram. so i suggest the 6950
 

Poordevil

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Aug 6, 2010
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I have never regretted buying the fastest card I can afford. That way you will never be caught telling yourself, as you dial back video options, I shoulda got the faster card. Also, I have never thought to myself as I play games, this video card is really more than I needed, I shoulda saved my money and bought a slower card.
 

hdnut

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I have never regretted buying the fastest card I can afford. That way you will never be caught telling yourself, as you dial back video options, I shoulda got the faster card. Also, I have never thought to myself as I play games, this video card is really more than I needed, I shoulda saved my money and bought a slower card.

Totally.
 

Lord_Exodia

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I have never regretted buying the fastest card I can afford. That way you will never be caught telling yourself, as you dial back video options, I shoulda got the faster card. Also, I have never thought to myself as I play games, this video card is really more than I needed, I shoulda saved my money and bought a slower card.

Well said +1

I have been doing this for a Veeeeeery long time and this has always been true. You only regret it when you don't buy enough card rather than when you buy too much. Well... unless your a cheap bastard :p
 

Evil Scooter

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I have never regretted buying the fastest card I can afford. That way you will never be caught telling yourself, as you dial back video options, I shoulda got the faster card. Also, I have never thought to myself as I play games, this video card is really more than I needed, I shoulda saved my money and bought a slower card.

+2 What he said.
 

jwang26

Weaksauce
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Oct 2, 2010
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73
it depends on how your budget it...I was in the same boat as you except with a 2560x1600 monitor..i did a lot and I mean a lot of research...If money is no option yes the 6950 is the better card but realistically at your resolution you only need 1 gb...Also if you crx the 6870 the price pretty much comes out to a 6950 (depending where you find it) ..In terms of performance at your resolution 1900x1200 a Crx 6870 your best bet performance price wise....it should be able to max out any of the games you listed above...I recommend anyone with under 2560x1600 to do with the 6870 crx set up for, anyone over needs a gpu with 2gb of vram as that resolution is very demanding on the gpu
 

defaultluser

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Jan 14, 2006
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Buy what you can afford. The 6950 is not overkill for that resolution, but you can also skate-by with the 6870 comfortably (for now).

The relative performance difference is small for a large chunk of cash, but remember that every time you upgrade (at that high resolution) your starting price for a card will likely be well over $150 or more. Given that, if you consider the fact that the 6950 might buy you an extra year of gaming, that can more than justify that cost.
 

rtangwai

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I'm looking to get a new video card to go along with my new Dell U2412M and eventually a Core i5 2500k. I've got it narrowed down to the XFX 6870 stock dual fan (possibly Black Edition, same price) and the XFX 6950 2GB stock dual fan. In Canada, the after tax, after rebate price gap between the two is $100 ($194 vs $295). Alternatively, the XFX 6950 1GB stock dual fan is $261, or $67 more than the 6970.

Where are you located? I've seen the cards you want a bit cheaper than you quoted after tax - do you need them shipped? If you are in Vancouver or Toronto you'll be saving $20-$30 each, which might make you consider Crossfire.
 

Rizen

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I have never regretted buying the fastest card I can afford. That way you will never be caught telling yourself, as you dial back video options, I shoulda got the faster card. Also, I have never thought to myself as I play games, this video card is really more than I needed, I shoulda saved my money and bought a slower card.
This.

I would suggest the 6950. With 2GB, if you tend to hold onto your video card purchases longer, I believe the extra 1GB will come in useful.
 

sheltem

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Dec 7, 2009
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Too bad you're not here in the States. Newegg just had a sale on an XFX 6870 for $155 AR; I picked one up. It came with 3 games: Shogun 2, Deux Ex Human Revolution and Dirt 3. Maybe you can find a forum member willing to flip the 6870?
 

jhokie

Limp Gawd
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Jan 23, 2005
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Food for thought:
6870 Crossfire handily beats even a single 6970... see comparison
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/292?vs=301

I think in terms of performance for the dollar this may be the absolute best setup you can get right now.

Caveats:
Make sure your understand what you're getting into with crossfire. You'll need a case with good cooling, a sufficient power supply (I would start at 650W+ with a quality brand) and a proper fan setup. Also be aware of potential microstuttering issues, and personally I haven't been able to get crossfire to work in windowed mode, so you might be stuck using full screen for everything. Also, I was looking at a couple 6870s, and I saw that not every card comes with a crossfire bridge, so make sure you examine the pictures to make sure the bridge is included.

I just made the plunge to add a second 6950 to my system for Crossfire, and so far I am happy with it. If you decide to go this route I think you would be very happy with the performance for your dollar.
 

kidstechno

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Dec 14, 2005
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580
I play at 1920x1080 and just bought a Sapphire Dirt 3 Edition 6950 2GB. It absolutely tears through anything I throw at it (with the exception of The Witcher 2 but that game is a beast on graphics). Plus it's super quiet when just browing/surfing or doing non-gaming things. Coming from a HD 4890 tornado, makes a huge difference.
 

jwang26

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I still think for the price 2x6870s easily outperform a 6950 2gb...if you google it you can find many different benchmarks that prove this case...you have to do some bargain shopping but if you do your research youll see the 6870 in crossfire is the way to go
 

Drheadbang

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Aug 12, 2011
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I bought a 6870 when I should of gotten a 69xx series. I am probably going to buy a 7970 partially due to regret. Buy the 6950. You can always xfire an additional 6950 when southern Islands come out.
 

jhatfie

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Mar 19, 2003
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I have owned unlocked 6950's in crossfire, GTX580 at 960Mhz core and sold them all so I am now running crossfired 6870's. The 6870 is a great card if you can find a good deal on one. Like some others, I recently nabbed another one for cheap, sold the free games and essentially got a 6870 for around $100 (my other ended up being $120 after rebate and selling games). I have one in my gaming HTPC as well, which is actually what set me off on testing two of them in my gaming rig since I was so pleased with it originally.

Check out some reviews, the performance difference at your resolution between both cards is often fairly small. Only time I have noticed ram limitations with the 6870's was at 2560x1600 with 8xAA and everything maxxed in a couple games. If you are looking for future proof, then yes, the 2GB 6950 would certainly have longer legs as games will only get more demanding, but having used both cards, I spoke with my wallet and sold the other cards, keeping the 6870's. (of course I plan on selling them though one 7xxx cards are released)

Decent example of how 6870 w/ factory OC'd performs compared to other cards. Note that it runs at 975/4600 which every one of my 6870's run easily.
http://www.guru3d.com/article/his-radeon-6870-iceq-x-turbo-x-review/19
 

vapor

n00b
Joined
Jan 22, 2003
Messages
56
I'll be picking up a 2GB 6950 later today since I upgrade rather infrequently (currently using a Q6600/9600 GT) and I'm not interested in going Crossfire due to the additional heat and noise. Thanks everyone!
 

vapor

n00b
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Jan 22, 2003
Messages
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Just got this thing install yesterday. It worked fine for two boots, but now I can't get a signal on either DVI output ... the computer does boot, though. Tried reseating it and the PCI-E power connectors multiple times, using a different DVI cable, and resetting CMOS. I put my 9600 GT back in and I get a signal. Anything I'm missing? Specs in signature.
 
Joined
Aug 22, 2001
Messages
2,766
Just got this thing install yesterday. It worked fine for two boots, but now I can't get a signal on either DVI output ... the computer does boot, though. Tried reseating it and the PCI-E power connectors multiple times, using a different DVI cable, and resetting CMOS. I put my 9600 GT back in and I get a signal. Anything I'm missing? Specs in signature.

doa
 

rtangwai

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jul 26, 2007
Messages
1,369
DisposableHero is right, it's toast - I had a HD6950 do exactly the same thing (no output but the computer boots). Ran great for several months before suddenly going poof. Thank God I bought XFX, that double lifetime warranty makes me feel a *LOT* better especially when the replacement card *ALSO* craps out - I just got that replaced last Thursday.
 

rdz5008

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Nov 18, 2010
Messages
210
I have never regretted buying the fastest card I can afford. That way you will never be caught telling yourself, as you dial back video options, I shoulda got the faster card. Also, I have never thought to myself as I play games, this video card is really more than I needed, I shoulda saved my money and bought a slower card.

There should be a sticky thread in this section called "should I buy the faster card?" And include your post only.
 

Spare-Flair

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Apr 4, 2003
Messages
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Hey all,

In Canada, the after tax, after rebate price gap between the two is $100 ($194 vs $295). Alternatively, the XFX 6950 1GB stock dual fan is $261, or $67 more than the 6970.

Thanks!

False, after rebate, the 2GB XFX and Powercolor 6950s are only $230 at the unmentionable retailer. Try shopbot.ca to find the lowest prices in Canada.

http://www.shopbot.ca/m/?m=6950+2GB
 
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