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6970 and 6950 crossfire - enough of a PSU? Temp?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
On a whim, I think I might get a 6970 to go with my unlocked 6950 because I'm not sure if i'll be able to unlock a 6950 if I get one and I would like the extra power. First of all, is it worth getting the 6970 to go with it or will a locked 6950 give me a similar increase in power? Secondly, will 750W (at 80% efficiency I think) be enough to power the 6970 too? Lastly, my card already gets pretty hot as it is (around 79 full load). Will the temps increase by a lot if I put in another card? Will I need aftermarket cooling or will careful placement suffice?

I'm in the UK so cards are a bit more expensive but which card is the best? I can get a 6970 for £275 new http://www.scan.co.uk/products/2gb-x...-mdp-dl-dvi-i- (ignore that price) or a 6950 for £190 http://www.ebuyer.com/282093-his-695...-e-h695fn2g2mg

Is it worth going for the more expensive 6970 or should I save some money? Or are those models not good ones to go for. I'm at a loss as to which models are good or not. Thanks
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post #2 of 9
Save the money, and get a good 6950 that will overclock well and possibly unlock.

A highly overclocked 6950 will beat a stock 6970 anyway, and has a much higher over-clock potential range relative to stock clocks. That is, the 6950 stock clocks have a higher headroom for OCing than 6970 stock clocks and are thus greater bang for the buck.

I always get the lower of the siblings (6850 over 6870, 6950 over 6970) for you save money and the truth is that when both are overclocked the differences are minimal and anything that will run on the higher will run on the smaller.

For example:

http://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/407...iew/index.html
 
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post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by willibj View Post
Save the money, and get a good 6950 that will overclock well and possibly unlock.
Thanks, I think I will get a 6950 since I do like mine but its not a great overclocker

How would I know if it would unlock? I like the look of the card you have, but can you unlock the shaders on it?
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post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by willibj View Post
Save the money, and get a good 6950 that will overclock well and possibly unlock.
Yep
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post #5 of 9
Unlocking is a possibility, but I've done my research and it doesn't seem worth it honestly.

Look here:
http://www.overclock.net/amd-ati/107...win-frozr.html

and more specifically here:
http://www.overclock.net/amd-ati/909...-unlocked.html

The 2nd link has a direct comparison between stock, unlocked, stock overclocked and unlocked/overclocked 6950's. The results are fairly conclusive, and the conclusion says it all.


Quote:
Originally Posted by WorldExclusive View Post
So, is it worth the risk? In my opinion, No. Others may see a 1-3fps increase differently.
Like we've seen with the GTX 580 vs GTX 480 and now with the 6950/70, at the same clocks the extra shaders offer minimal performance boost. Once the core and memory clocks are increased, the user will achieve similar 6970 performance with a stock 6950. The Techpowerup test was done with COD4, a DX9 game at an unknown resolution. My test was done using DX11 games that are more demanding and resemble other new titles on the market. I'm not saying one test is better than the other, it really depends on how the test was done and results vary. It's obvious now why AMD limited the 6950 to 840MHz OC in CCC, once the 6950 is OC'd to 6970 clocks you have a 6970. There's more than one way to get to 6970 performance with your 6950 and the best way is to simply overclock it. Don't read into 3DMark11 results, in actual gameplay it's all a wash.

Edited by willibj - 10/11/11 at 4:34pm
 
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post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by willibj View Post
Unlocking is a possibility, but I've done my research and it doesn't seem worth it honestly.
Yes this is true. I unlocked my card and have seen no actual performance increase. In synthetic benchmark I have seen a very very little increase of performance but not enough to make a difference in gaming.
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post #7 of 9
Unlocking seems to be a fun process for those who like to tinker, and an extra 1/2 inch to the e-peen for benchers who enjoy value for money.

In the real world, however, you will not notice a difference at all. Overclocking the core and memory is the only focus for actual performance variation.

Personally, as you can see in my sig rig components and overclocks; I'm all about performance vs safety/longevity/temps. I go for the balance of highest clocks at lowest possible reasonable volts. The diminishing returns of the highest few Mhz are not worth the miniscule increases to me, and certainly not worth the exponential increase in danger.
Edited by willibj - 10/11/11 at 4:38pm
 
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post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by neonraver View Post
Secondly, will 750W (at 80% efficiency I think) be enough to power the 6970 too?
A good 750W supply (like the TX) is more than enough. AMD's 6000 series is super power efficient. You could probably get away with a solid 650W unit.

For reference, you can check Phaedrus' PSU calculator http://www.overclock.net/power-suppl...alculator.html

Quote:
Lastly, my card already gets pretty hot as it is (around 79 full load). Will the temps increase by a lot if I put in another card? Will I need aftermarket cooling or will careful placement suffice?
Well heat rises, so yes, the temps on your top card will be a bit warmer (usually ~5-6c in my case). As long as the cards aren't sandwiched together though there shouldn't be any problem.

If there isn't adequate space between the cards (at least 1 slot) then reference, external-exhaust models are your best bet short of water cooling.
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Well, it was on offer in scan for £206 so I got the twin frozr III PE 2GB 6950. Comes on Thursday. Bit of an impulse buy, hope it shows dividends. Gonna put this on the top because the XFX card will likely run too hot on top.
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