Choosing between two 6950s

ekolow

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Sep 10, 2011
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APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Before BF3 launches BUDGET RANGE: $200-$300

USAGE: BF3, Skyrim, Witcher 2.

CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX850 V2 850W ATX12V v2.31/ EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC High Performance Power Supply

OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS:
Mobo: ASRock P67 EXTREME4 GEN3 LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157265
i5 2500k cpu

PARTS PREFERENCES: Whichever has the best dependability and warranty

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080 max

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Must run BF3 at 30fps minimum at close to max/max settings, I figured that I would need a 2gb card since I will be running at a pretty high resolution. I also do not want to have to worry about overheating, my system will be air cooled. And I don't want a loud card.
After Christmas if the single card is not performing as well as I wish I will likely sell it and upgrade to a higher spec single card, or go Xfire.

The two cards in question are
PowerColor AX6950 2GBD5-2DH Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity - 264.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814131393
AND

HIS IceQ X Turbo H695QNT2G2M Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity - $269.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161372

I am doing the Deus Ex bundle on both, however the HIS card also comes with Dirt 3, this does not matter to me though, whichever performs best is the one I want.
 
Solution
I have a set of instructions for unlocking the shaders with a bios edit (still requires a flash, but not to a 6970 bios). Recently there have been a few posts on people who have found the HIS 6950 IceQ cards are still unlocking. That is, of the last 4 people who posted about it in the last month or 2, only 1 was not able to unlock the shaders and it's likely just one with damaged shaders, which was always a possibility before.

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/316974-33-radeon-6950-shader-unlock-instructions#t2368661

Because of this, I'd choose the His IceQ. Don't expect to unlock it, but it appears there is a vary good chance it will, even today.

ekolow

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Sep 10, 2011
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It would be helpful to know if they have different dimensions(HIS is not posted) or other features, such as unlocking to a 6970. DO either of those cards unlock?
Ive looked up this one
SAPPHIRE FleX 100312FLEX Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102929
And someone mentions that they unlocked it - "Sapphire trixxx and the card automatically unlocked to the 6970 shaders". Would this make much of a difference in games?
 
I have a set of instructions for unlocking the shaders with a bios edit (still requires a flash, but not to a 6970 bios). Recently there have been a few posts on people who have found the HIS 6950 IceQ cards are still unlocking. That is, of the last 4 people who posted about it in the last month or 2, only 1 was not able to unlock the shaders and it's likely just one with damaged shaders, which was always a possibility before.

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/316974-33-radeon-6950-shader-unlock-instructions#t2368661

Because of this, I'd choose the His IceQ. Don't expect to unlock it, but it appears there is a vary good chance it will, even today.
 
Solution

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