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6850 crossfired vs 6970

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I've been stuck on the decision on what card to get next and I'm trying to figure out if I want to have one of the below options. I'm trying to balance out low cost and processing power on the graphics card side.

The PSU is a Corsair 850HX 850 watts, although I am thinking Corsair 1000HX 1000 watt psu if it's needed for the future.



Single Radeon 6970 2GB - $390

Two Crossfired Radeon 6870 1GB - $210 each ($420)

Or a in between single Radeon 6950 2GB - $275



I'm thinking the crossfired 6850's will probably be the most power and is only $30 more than the single card 6970.

I don't actually know, was hoping if someone would help me out also to find out if the 850 watt power supply is enough for the 2 6850's crossfired
Edited by Drybones5 - 5/12/11 at 5:35pm
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post #2 of 11
I always vote for one powerful gpu rather than two less powerful gpus in crossfire/sli. It never makes sense to go the crossfire/sli route when building a brand new rig, since you're going to be capping yourself (assuming you don't go 3-way crossfire/sli). With one powerful gpu, you have the option of adding another one later on. If you decide you don't want to add another one, i think it would be easier to sell that single card solution, rather than two or more cards.

Of the three choices, I'd go with the 2GB 6950. You save over $100 for only slightly worse performance. If I had to pick between the first two choices, I'd go with the single 6970.
Edited by onoz - 5/12/11 at 5:41pm
 
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post #3 of 11
850 watts is way more than enough. 650 watts would be good. 750 would be a little bit overkill.

Just go with a single 6970. You would still be very happy!
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post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
So now I have to decide between slightly better performance with a 6970 or go $100 off with a 6950

I'm probably not going to try to make the 6950 a 6970 through the bios firmware trick in fear of breaking it and I don't have the money to do that kind of experiment at the moment although I would love to eventually.


I'll have to see how expensive the bulldozer/fx cpu series is before I decide on a card at the moment.
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post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gnarlybug5 View Post
850 watts is way more than enough. 650 watts would be good. 750 would be a little bit overkill.

Just go with a single 6970. You would still be very happy!
Well my reasoning is to ensure enough power + the ability to expand to 6990 or higher if I desire.
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post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Actually another thing, XFX has 2 6970's that I see

one at 880MHz and one $35 more for 900MHz

if I proceed with the slightly overclocked one, will the amount I can overclock it be the same as the normal 880MHz 6970?
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post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drybones5 View Post
Actually another thing, XFX has 2 6970's that I see

one at 880MHz and one $35 more for 900MHz

if I proceed with the slightly overclocked one, will the amount I can overclock it be the same as the normal 880MHz 6970?
Don't go with the OC'd one. You'll get the same max OC with both.
 
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post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by onoz View Post
Don't go with the OC'd one. You'll get the same max OC with both.
I've been seeing MSI's Afterburner for ATi/AMD overclocking, would it work on any ATi/AMD card?
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post #9 of 11
Yes. I use MSI Afterburner to bring my XFX 6950 2gb comfortably up to 880/1325 (it's in a water-cooled setup).

I too would go with a 6950 2gb considering it's overclockability and potential. That being said, I just saw this deal tonight (6970 2gb for $320 AR) and almost regretted just buying a second 6950 2gb to do crossfire last night.

With either card, once you get one you're locked into that card for crossfire (technically, no, but who would buy a 6950 first then a 6970 to pair with it if it's going to run both cards at 6950 speeds?) in my opinion. That being said, the 6950 is a fantastic way to go.

Generally when they sell a slightly faster card, they put better components into it so that it can run more comfortably at those higher speeds.That being said, a 20mhz overclock isn't going to stress the components much at all, and certainly not enough to justify spending $30 for an otherwise mostly the same card, with very little benefit to those 20mhz.
post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.GumbyM.D. View Post
Yes. I use MSI Afterburner to bring my XFX 6950 2gb comfortably up to 880/1325 (it's in a water-cooled setup).

I too would go with a 6950 2gb considering it's overclockability and potential. That being said, I just saw this deal tonight (6970 2gb for $320 AR) and almost regretted just buying a second 6950 2gb to do crossfire last night.

With either card, once you get one you're locked into that card for crossfire (technically, no, but who would buy a 6950 first then a 6970 to pair with it if it's going to run both cards at 6950 speeds?) in my opinion. That being said, the 6950 is a fantastic way to go.

Generally when they sell a slightly faster card, they put better components into it so that it can run more comfortably at those higher speeds.That being said, a 20mhz overclock isn't going to stress the components much at all, and certainly not enough to justify spending $30 for an otherwise mostly the same card, with very little benefit to those 20mhz.
Just to clarify, if you see small overclock differences between two cards that basically look the same (and from the same company), 9 times out of 10 there's no difference in the hardware.

When comparing two such cards, unless you're able to find out for sure (and asking on here is a good way ) that one of the two actually has upgraded components, you should probably assume that the two cards are identical other than the clocks flashed into the bios.

XFX are especially famous for releasing like 4 'clocked' versions of the exact same physical card. Buying the cheapest one (as long as it's not some crappy non-reference version, which they also often do) is usually the best idea when it comes to XFX, IMHO.
    
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