GTX 560 ti vs Radeon HD 6950 2GB vs GTX 480 1536MB

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rapolitas

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Hey guys. I'm building a new gaming rig, and I was wondering which graphics card I should get. Right now I'm thinking one of those three. GTX 560 ti vs Radeon HD 6950 2GB vs GTX 480 1536MB. So if you could help me choose, I would appreciate. I'm gonna game at 1920x1080 resolution. My processor will either be i5-2400 or Phenom X4 955 BE. I know that the i5 is better, but it will depend on my budget which one I'm gonna get. So yeah, which card is the best?

Note: If you know any other cards which are even better, please tell me ;)
 

wfrantz

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Similar price points, and different fan boys will tell your differently also. Performance will be similar. the Radeon card will likely use less power.... and the extra ram would be good for higher resolutions using AA.

If that is your price point, bang for buck I think would be the 6950. Also you can unlock it to be a 6970. :)
 
Your choice should factor in whether you have or plan to have games that make extensive use of PhysX or if you play some games that don't offer AA (or have weird side effects of normal AA).

Nvidia cards offer PhysX for games that support GPU accelerated PhysX.

ATI cards offer Morphological AA, which works on games which don't support AA, or even in games like Two Worlds 1 and 2 which cause some odd glowing effect around the edges of objects. It also supports SSAA officially (Nvidia has a 3rd party program that unlocks this, it doesn't appear to handle it exactly the same).
 

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Don't get the GTX480. It is a great card, but the noise might be difficult to live with.

If you plan to overclock your card, the GTX560 will reach to GTX570 and HD6970 levels, yet remain very quiet and cool at the same time. The chart below is the starting point for a GTX560, which the Asus is typical of the factory overclocked models that you are likely to find for sale. Yes, you can overclock the 6950, but gains in performance per clock added (scaling) are not as much as the GTX560. PhysX is a nice benefit if you play any PhysX enabled games.
 

rapolitas

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I will play all sorts of games like racing, first person shooter, RPG, RTS and so on. All kinds. And I would prefer a quiet card, too. As I understand the GTX 480 is loud, right? But from what I've seen, isnt the GTX 480 the best of all 3, too? I still can't make up my mind since you guys suggested different cards ;D I will overclock, if necessary to play the games on higher graphics.
 

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If you can afford $350, a GTX570 is right around or just above GTX480 performance, but is updated with better architecture and much better noise and cooling. I used to have a GTX480, and just had to upgrade to a GTX580 when they came out due to the noise. The GTX 560/570/580 cards are really easy to live with and excellent performers.



"However, when PhysX is enabled, it adds superlative nuances and really creates some “wow” moments. The chunky explosions, cloth effects, paper, fog, and environmental detail enhancements are very cool. I have to admit that the eye candy is a lot of fun to watch. Once you've turned it on, it's not something you'll turn off if your hardware can handle it."
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/batman-arkham-asylum,2465-11.html

 

rapolitas

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So basically the GTX480 is out of the picture. Now it's between HD6950 2GB, GTX560 ti and GTX570 1280MB.
Which one of those three is better? Does the GTX560 ti compare to the other 2?
 

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The chart on this page gives you an idea of the hierarchy. The GTX560 is $250. The 6950 is $275 - $300. The GTX570 is $350. If you are not afraid to overclock, then the GTX560 can match a GTX570 when overclocked. Of course, the GTX570 can overclock as well. If you can afford $350, then GTX570 all the way.
 

fshaharyar

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cards will differ in performance but if you are looking for a future proof card for about 2years or so then go with 6950 as it has 2 gb for frame buffer and you can even game at 2560X1600 res. but 560 may not handle that I am an ATI fanboy but if you are going to game less than 2560 at 1920 res then 560ti will blow if it is overclocked.
 

rapolitas

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I looked on the website where I'm buying and the GTX570 is a bit too expensive for me. So I should get the GTX560 ti instead of the HD6950? I am gonna be gaming at 1920x1080 anyway. So maybe I don't need the 2GB of RAM the 6950 has to offer? Plus, the GTX has PhysX. So I should get the GTX instead of the 6950?
 

rapolitas

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I will game at 1920x1080. And I'm buying the monitor soon, so I don't think I'll be increasing my res in the near future. And if I will, I'll just go SLI with another card ;)
 

rapolitas

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http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/293?vs=330

In the link you can see that the HD6950 is leading in basically all resolutions, not only the really high ones. The only games where GTX560 ti is better are Dirt2, Battleforge, HAWX and Civilisation 5. And Battlefield 2 they're pretty much equal. So I'm not so sure which one is actually better. Now I'm completely lost ;(
 

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That's for the reference model GTX560 at 822 mhz. You actually would have a hard time finding one of those. Most GTX 560's are clocked around 900 mhz or more, the Gigabyte GTX560 SOC is clocked at 1000 mhz. It makes a big difference.
http://www.guru3d.com/article/gigabyte-gtx-560-ti-soc-review/
 

rapolitas

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The site im getting it from has this info about the card (and its the only GTX560 ti available)
Technical data

* GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti (GF114)
* Manufacturing process: 40nm
* Maximum power consumption: 180W
* Interface: PCI Express 2.0
* Memory: 1024MB GDDR5
* GPU Clock Speed: 822MHz
* Shader Clock: 1644MHz
* Memory Clock: 4008MHz
* Memory Interface: 256 bit
* Stream Processors: 384
* Texture units: 64
* DirectX 11, Shader Model: 5.0
* Connectors: 2 Dual-Link DVI-I, mini-HDMI
* HDCP, NVIDIA SLI, PhysX, CUDA


So as I understand, that's the one used in the bench.


And for the HD6950 it has this:

Technical data

* GPU: AMD Radeon HD 6950 (Cayman Pro chip)
* Manufacturing process: 40nm
* Maximum power consumption: 200W / 20W (Load / Idle)
* Interface: PCI Express 2.0
Memory: 2048MB GDDR5
* GPU Clock Speed: 800MHz
* Memory Clock: 5000MHz
* Memory Interface: 256 bit
* Stream Processors: 1408
* Texture units: 88
* DirectX 11, Shader Model: 5
* Built-in 7.1 HD audio controller
* Connections: 1x DVI-I, 1x DVI, 1x HDMI (1.4), 2x mini-DisplayPort
* HDCP, ATI CrossFire, ATI Eyefinity


So which one is faster, now that you know the clock speeds?
 

rapolitas

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On the site I'm buying, the GTX560 ti is 256,00 €. Is it from amazon.com? Because currently I live in luxembourg.
 

steve24

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Very interesting thread, I'm in the EXACT SAME BOAT. The two cards I was looking at were the GTX 560 SuperOverClock edition and a Radeon HD 6950.
Here's what it comes down for me:

You can take any 560 and OC to match 570 performance, and you can take a 6950 and OC to come close to 6970... however, you can unlock a 6950 to show near 6970 performance even without changing voltage by flashing the BIOS with that of a 6970. Then OC to your comfort level to hit what I feel is excellent bang for the buck. Especially when two hooked in on a CrossFireX capable motherboard will hit well over what GTX 580 could ever dream of doing alone. :na:

Ultimately, I think that a 6950 unlocked and OCed will produce greater results than 560 OCed would.

Downer... a 6950 unlocked and OCed I read would hit high temps, upwards of 93 Celsius. I'll need to figure out cooling in a dual GPU setup.

Good luck and let me know what you decide!
 


I personally have an XFX 6950 flashed to a 6970, and it is OC'ed to 900MHZ. I operate at max of 75-80C (I just finished gaming for a while, and MSI Afterburner is showing I maxed out at 74C). My max fan percent was 40% during that same time. I'm not sure what conditions caused 93C, but I don't believe that is normal.
 

rapolitas

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Very nice answers. But also, the ti has physx, which improves the appearance a lot. And the ti is cheaper, too. (at least from the site im buying). So I'm still not so sure if the 9650 is that much better to sacrifice 50 more euro. Since I'm building the rig in a few weeks, I'm gonna be waiting for price changes and maybe the 9650 1 GB edition. But keep the suggestions coming guys, they're really helping me make up my mind! ;)
 


It only adds graphical effects if the game was built to use GPU accelerated PhysX. The improving visuals is a personal opinion, though I agree, most games with the ability look better with it on. Don't be mislead to believe it helps with all games, there are only about 20ish games that have this ability.

I also find ATI's MLAA improves visuals too. In fact, I have several games in which AA doesn't work on, but MLAA does, I have 2 games which support GPU accelerated PhysX, but only use it on 1 (I have an old card I use for a dedicated PhysX card).

You'll want to figure out if you have one of those 20ish games with GPU accelerated PhysX, as it's not all that common. Then figure out how important PhysX is in that game.
 

rapolitas

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Oh, I thought more games supported PhysX. Oh well then, that falls out. So then it's the HD6950, right? But which one should I get? The default one, or something from a different vendor?
 

ganteng3005

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I still suggest the GTX 560 Ti. You will find that if you OC the graphics card, you will get a better performance then 6970 (at least in my MSI GTX 560 Ti) without exceeding 65C in temperature. Noise nearly can't be heard.
 
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