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6850 CF or 6950?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I own one Radeon 6850 (OC'd to 850mhz) right now.
It's more than enough to play Dirt2 and SC2 at ~60fps most of the time.

I'm going to be getting 2 more monitors for an eyefinity setup. I will need some more power to run games on 3 monitors at the same speed and quality. So I need to decide between a second 6850, or a single 6950.

The CF solution will be cheaper and faster right now. But I think for what I play, that will be way more power than I need. Plus I'm concerned about compatibility issues with some games running CF, plus there's the extra noise and heat from two cards, also issues such as microstuttering.

If I go with a single 6950, it will be more money and less powerful. But I can unlock it to a 6970, it will still be enough gpu power for my needs. It will be cooler/quieter and much less complicated. Then if in 1 or 2 years I decide I need to upgrade again, I can just add a second 6950 at that time.

At first I was leaning toward the 6850, but now I'm not sure.
Thoughts?

Note: I know my current mobo is not good for CF because the gpu's will run in 4x mode. I am going to be replacing this board with a CHV once it become's available, as I will be getting a BD asap anyways.
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post #2 of 3
Eyefinity even on 1 6970 isn't going to be pretty, you'll need to turn down most of your settings as the resolution is absolutely going to dominate the GPU. You'll find that you are going to easily need CF 6970's with a preference towards 3 GPU's.

The VRAM on the 6950/70 will help much more as it is 2GB therefore allowing more frame buffer for the much larger resolution in the future. I would recommend going that route.

In my own personal experience - I had SLI 470's and switched to triple monitors, tried tri-sli 470's but just kept running out of frame buffer, switched to SLI 580's and still wasn't happy. I'm finally happy with the performance and being able to max everything out on tri-sli 580's but you'll find once going to triple monitor, its just a steep down hill slide from there having to upgrade all of your components to try and keep up with triple monitors.
Edited by appleg33k85 - 6/3/11 at 8:02am
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post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
I don't think performance would be that bad.

This review shows that a single 6950 running at 5760x1080, at max settings with 4xAA and 16xAF, still scored 39fps. That's not ideal, but it's totally playable. If I turn down the AA and AF, that should improve performance without significantly hurting quality.
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