Best ATI Buy At The Moment

HaGGardSmurf

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Hey guys I need some help.

I have a 4870 at the moment which was the old card from my older PC, I've since built a new pc and just carried the card over since it suited my gaming needs just fine.

My PC has 4 gb of 1600mhz ddr3 which I will likely be upgrading to 8 gb. A phenom II x4 955 and a 850 watt psu

Anyhow Ive been playing deus ex and it seems to push my card to its limit. I only play at 1440 x 900 but ill likely upgrade to a 1080p monitor. I'm kind of an amd fanboy and have a crossfire board so I want to go ati and might as well go 6 series for dx11 and some future proofing. I've since turned into a PC gamer its more fun and better looking than console :p

So I'm looking for some help from you guru's I'm looking for a card in the 2-300 range cheaper the better. I've been thinking the 6870 or 6950 I've heard the men isn't a huge deal between 1 and 2 gb but anyhow I don't know the 6 series cards too well.

Also do the brands matter much? Xfx to me seems high and sapphire seems kind of lower end I'm told brands don't matter much but I'm still unsure.

Thanks guys.
 

rmcron5296

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At your resolution the 6870 would be sufficient. I read that the recommended GPU requirements for Deus Ex is a HD 5850 so the 6870 would be fine.

If you want more future proofing, even though it isn't really a valid term haha, I'd go with the 6950. The main difference between the 1gb and 2gb version is based on resolution. The 2gb is needed for higher resolutions and helps with Eyefinity if you're looking to go that route.

Usually when I update my graphics card I try and find the best card I can afford and get it. I do that so when I feel like I need an upgrade later I can just buy a second card and crossfire. I have a 2gb HD 6950 and I love it. I have no problems with any games I've tried to play and I have the same processor as you as well and they perform well with each other especially with an overclock.

Brands are generally personal preference. XFX has a double lifetime warranty so if you sell it the person who bought it gets the warranty as well. MSI Twin Frozr II and III have awesome cooling options. Sapphire is usually regarded well, but I have no experience with it. My card is XFX, but the one fan version. My temps go a little higher than I would personally like, but nothing even close to being not safe. If you go with XFX I would get the dual fan version. I would recommend that with any brand you go honestly.

You can also wait until later on in the year to see what the 7000 series can do. I don't know when they'll be out officially, but I have read sometime this quarter. It's up to you.

Here are a couple links to 6870s and 6950s so you can check them out and see what the reviewers have to say if you want.

HD 6870

XFX

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150561

Sapphire

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102925

MSI

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127545

HD 6950 Here are 1gb versions just so you know

XFX

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150527

Sapphire

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102949

Gigabyte

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125385

I couldn't find a 1gb 6950 from MSI on newegg, but I'm sure you could find one elsewhere.

 

HaGGardSmurf

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Damn thanks for the responses I'm thinking about the twin frozer II 6870 the 6950 doesn't seem like enough of a performance boost to justify the extra cash. I do like the cooler on the card, I'm big into low temps and my 4870 runs hot!

I like the fact the card has that cooler since it gives more oc potential w/o needing to buy an aftermarket cooler.

I do have 2 monitors setup one at 1440 x 900 and the other is just 1280 x 1024 used mainly for email iTunes etc. Would I also be able to hook up my tv along with the monitors? Its 1080p 58" or would the resolution be too high? I would only be gaming on one screen but I asssume all screens add together for the total resolution.

Also eyefinity may happen for me but would be in a year or so and I would prob crossfire the card by then.
 

rmcron5296

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Here is one more thing to consider before purchasing. Toms recently looked into micro-stuttering when cards were crossfired and the 6870 was one of the main cards looked at. Here is the link.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-geforce-stutter-crossfire,2995.html

Apparently they discovered that cards less powerful than the 6950 are a lot more susceptible to micro-stuttering when crossfired. The last page of the article says this

Right now, if you asked us whether it'd be smart to "go cheap" on an inexpensive card and double-down later with another one, we'd have to suggest against it if you're the sort to be bothered by micro-stuttering. The improvement in performance would be negated by the phenomenon's impact. Currently, it seems like cards less powerful than the Radeon HD 6950 are not well-suited for dual-card CrossFire. Even if the frame rates look decent, the slower the GPU, the more pronounced you'll see micro-stuttering during gameplay.

Also here is a story from my personal experience. My friend and I were purchasing video cards at the same time and we both were trying to decide between the 6870 and 6950. After much consideration and asking around I chose the HD 6950 2gb and he chose the HD 6870 1gb. It has been 3 months since then and here is were we both stand. I haven't had any trouble with any games I've thrown at it. I can play The Witcher 2 on Ultra settings minus ubersampling and stay at 40-50 FPS. My friend can still play the same games as me, but he has to lower the settings down. He and I are very big into having things look the best they can. We have almost identical systems other than HD/PSU brand/RAM brand and he now wishes he had gone for the HD 6950 even if it was the 1gb version. This is just one personal experience so don't take it for the standard. We both like maxing games and having the best looking output as possible.

I would have to say it all depends on how much you want to spend, crossfire potential because of the micro-stuttering, resolution, and how much you want to max games and such. Both cards are great. It all comes down to your personal preferences.

Here is the head to head from AnandTech, but I don't think you resolution is on there. I couldn't find another benchmark that had your resolution on it. It goes down to 1680x1050

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/290?vs=331


 

HaGGardSmurf

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Hmm, this is where things get interesting. I've looked on newegg and they have the 1gb version of the 6950 for 239.99 with a $30 mail in rebate. So it'd be like $10 difference. However my last xfx rebate was never given to me. And I think it voids the warranty since you need to cut the sku off the box

However it expires before im planning on buying the card and it had the stock cooler where the msi has a much better one. Damn, now I'm confused, according to the benchmarks the 6950 isn't too far ahead of the 6870.

As for the micro studdering it makes sense to go with a 6950 but I'm not entirly sure ill cf at this point. Also I wonder if new drivers will help the studdering as the article suggested, so if I went 6870 by the time I cf it may be fine to go 6990 and 6870 and have no studdering.

So I guess ill just have to keep an eye on prices and if the 6950 goes on a good sale ill grab it, otherwise ill go 6870.
 

HaGGardSmurf

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As for micro studdering it says triple GPU is the absolute best, and the graphs show that also.

Now if I were to get the 6870 now, and say the 6970 x 2 a year down the road would that bypass the micro studdering? I understand that using a lower powered card along with a higher powered one is a cause of micro studdering but they are pretty close in spec and it is a triple GPU setup, and for whatever reason they have less studdering than a dual gpu setup.

Anyhow at this point I think I want to go more for the 6950 but its an issue of money, I dont want to spend an extra $50 for a small performance increase, but at the same time I want to be able to feel like I have very high end components.

I'll just scout local sales and whatnot.
 

HaGGardSmurf

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I've found this for $240 http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125385&Tpk=6950

Quick thing I'm wondering is, will the card output sound through the hdmi port? I can see right now I'll have my 58" TV hooked up and will "stream" video to it. I'll just treat it as a 3rd monitor and play video with WMP on it, and set the sound output to the HDMI port on the card? Assuming it will output sound also?

Also can I use the 2 dvi ports and a hdmi port? I was looking at another card and you could only use 2 dvi and the display port, if you wanted to use hdmi you could only use 1 dvi and then the other monitor would need to be plugged into the display port?

Kind of a pain in the back but the card comes with a display port to hdmi adapter doesn't it?
 

rmcron5296

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You can not crossfire a 6800 series with anything other than another 6800 series. Same with with the 6700, 6900, and whichever else. It has to have the same first 2 numbers to be able to crossfire.

Yes sound is put out through HDMI to your TV. I am currently using that sort of setup until I get my 3 monitors sometime in the coming weeks.

This website will show you how to setup Eyefinity. Just answer the two questions and it will recommend some stuff for you. The link will show you what ports you will have to use for Eyefinity as well as some alternatives to the DisplayPort such as an active DisplayPort to DVI adapter.

http://www.amd.com/us/products/technologies/amd-eyefinity-technology/how-to/Pages/set-up.aspx

EDIT: If you are just trying to hook up 3 monitors to and use them separately like one for gaming, one for surfing, and one for music I don't think there are any restrictions on which ports you use. I could be wrong, but I have to go to work and don't have enough time to look it up at the moment.

As for the adapters that come with the cards, it depends on the brand. My XFX HD 6950 2gb came with a Crossfire bridge and that was it. No DVI to anything or vice versa. I don't know which brands come with what so I can't recommend a certain brand, but you can probably search Google and get an answer for some of them.

If you aren't purchasing right now I would suggest just waiting until you the week you are and check every sort of deal place you can. I am signed up for Newegg and Tiger Direct's email which sends me deals almost daily from them both. Hopefully by the time you plan to purchase you can have saved up a little more because I would recommend the HD 6950 if you ever plan on going to a bigger resolution or doing Eyefinity.
 

HaGGardSmurf

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I think your right, just wait until I'm ready to buy then watch for sales and whatnot for a week.

Eyefinity would be nice but realistically it won't happen for me. I'd need 3 new monitors and a much larger desk.

Crossfire also probably won't be a big deal I probably won't do it, if a 4870 lasted me this long i imagine the 6950 will last a while too.

Ill go with the 1gb version since I seriously doubt ill ever go over 1080p or ever do eyefinity with the card

I'd like the 6950 but will need to find it on sale. But if I can find a 6870 for under $200 I don't think i would be able to resist.
 

rmcron5296

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@jjb8675309 and FlintIronStagg

I'm kind of an amd fanboy and have a crossfire board so I want to go ati and might as well go 6 series for dx11 and some future proofing.

That was why I didn't mention a GTX560Ti. I just figured since he preferred AMD and they were competing cards I'd not mention it.

@OP I know you mentioned problems with XFX and their MIRs, but if you would be willing to try again here is an XFX HD 6950 1gb dual fan for $249 and a $30 MIR making it $219.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150552

Like I said before you can just wait and see what deals are out when you plan on buying. That sounds like a good idea if it works for you. I just saw that XFX card and thought I'd link it.

 

ps3hacker12

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not true with the 6700 series, eg the 6770 can crossfire with a 5750.
 


Only because the 6770 is actually a renamed 5770 (they were originally rebranded solely for the OEM market where sales depend on having the new generation card but the OEMs decided to also change their products name but the cards are actually still 5770's so will crossfire with the 57xx series cards since the are 57xx series cards themselves !
 

rmcron5296

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Yeah I misread the chart. The 6700 is a rebrand of the 5700. Good catch. That was my bad. Here is the crossfire chart.

AMD_CrossfireX_Chart_1618W.jpg
 

HaGGardSmurf

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I'd rather go ati for no other reason than the fact that my machine is a complete amd machine.

Honestly I doubt ill ever crossfire. My original plan with the 4870 was to crossfire it when I started to feel the need for an upgrade but now that I feel like I need an upgrade I'm going to just buy a new card with dx11. I suspect it'll be the same thing a few years from now, I'll just buy a single card insteadof cf'ing.

I don't have an extreme gaming setup by any means and based on my past gaming history ill probably end up upgrading (crossfire or whole new card) when I start having a bit of lag ingame or am unable to use high-very high settings in games. Which will probably be in a couple years so by then ill just buy a new card.

I may buy from newegg.com and have it shipped to my mailbox in the us, I live in canada so I'm mainly browsing on the. CA site but the. Com site is cheaper even though the Canadian dollar is stronger than the US ATM, but I guess we pay duty and all that extra crap.

Anyhow, I really don't want to do a mail in rebate I've heard nothing but bad things from people and have even experienced it myself. I had to cut the barcode off my box so I assume i voided my warranty.

Edit: Another thing... The 6950's cant be flashed to 6970's anymore can they?
 

rmcron5296

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No you can no longer flash 6950s to 6970s.

The thing with XFX warranties is that you have to register the product within 30 days of purchasing the product or you only get a limited warranty that doesn't do much anyways. Once you register the product on xfxforce.com, you get the double lifetime warranty and seeing as you're in Canada you have the option to change thermal paste, change to an after market cooler, and some other options that won't void the warranty in other countries. Canada and the US are the only two countries that can. I had to send in a service ticket to make sure, but the verified it the same day with a quick and timely response.

I got my MIR after like 3 months, but I got it none the less. My buddy I mentioned before got his in 1 1/2 months. I understand not wanting to do a MIR as many people have had a nightmare of a time, I'm just sharing my pleasant experience so far. From other people's experiences I have read about other bad experience with XFX, but I can't say it has been a bad one at all for me.

I would stay away from XFX if you are worried about the MIR. As far as I know most other companies aren't much faster, but you're already had a bad experience so there is no point to purposely put yourself through something like that again.

If you aren't looking to max every game that you throw at your computer the 6870 will work well. The microstuttering might not be a plus, but when you feel like upgrading the new series of cards will be out and you can just grab one of them. The 6950 just gives you better options later down the road with crossfire, the possibilities of higher resolutions, and better quality games right now. Just weigh the options for each and you can decide what you really need and as long as your happy with it that's all that matters