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Leaning toward 6970 but unsure

post #1 of 11
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Right now I've got an HD 5770 and a phenom II x4 965. I'm thinking about getting a 6970 right now, then getting a Bulldozer motherboard/CPU in the future with multiple pcie slots as mine only has 1 right now, and getting another 6970. I'm holding back because if I get a bulldozer, I want it to be a sufficient cpu for years to come, and though there's a lot of hype, I'm not completely assured that it would be good enough to last long for me, does anyone know anything about that? If it does turn out to be less than satisfactory, can I run crossfire on an Intel motherboard/CPU instead? If so what is the performance like compared to an AMD motherboard?

And should I be getting 6970s to begin with? I know the 580 is pretty much better, but I've looked at a lot of benchmarks, and in some the 6970 could be, as an example, 70fps compared to 95, and at others its only a few frames behind. I play all types of games, but the ones I want to run well the most are multiplayer shooters, because in games like Metro 2033 and Crysis I'm ok with low framerates as ill be playing alone, but in something like Homefront or Battlefield 3, the more fps the better I play. It seems that the 6970 scales well when moving up in resolution.

Currently I am using this monitor: http://www.lg.com/ca_en/computer-pro...W2052TG-TF.jsp Its worked great for me, never had any problems with it, but I think I would like to go to something bigger and 1920x1200. As for 2560x1600 monitors, the price is pretty crazy for 1 monitor, and I don't know if I would even want something that big. Does anyone know if monitors with resolutions somewhere between those two are going to become common anytime soon? I'd rather not buy a 1920x1200 and see something higher come out 6 months later. I suppose I should also ask, is going from 1680x1050 monitor to 1920x1200 worth it just for the purpose of a larger resolution? What kind of an increase in image quality and detail will I really see? I don't think I want a 1920x1080 monitor, first because I really like my vertical space, 16:10 feels like a nice balance, and its only 30 more vertical pixels so as far as image quality goes its just not worth the buy to me. Another thing I was wondering, does gaming at a higher resolution require a more powerful CPU? Or does its workload stay the same at all resolutions? What settings in a video game actually require more CPU power?

At my local computer store(not interested in buying online), the cheapest prices for video cards I'm considering are(canadian dollars): gtx 480 $300, gtx 570 $350, gtx 580 $500, hd 6970 $370, hd 6990 $730(just throwing that one in there).

So I've got two main ideas. 1. 6970 now, bulldozer later with second 6970. 2. gtx 580 now, within a year get a new motherboard with an intel cpu, and another 580. Similar, but I suppose it comes down to amd vs intel/nvidia. Price difference/noise/power consumption/heat aren't my main focus, I want performance first.

I know its a lot of questions, but this is a pretty big plan, so I want to be sure, I'm open to any ideas.

edit: How much would upgrading my RAM to a higher speed affect performance?
Edited by nachoz - 3/25/11 at 1:12pm
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post #2 of 11
As I hear, reference 6950s are still unlocking to 6970s, so a 2gb 6950 is a much better value than a 6970 if your store sells them.
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post #3 of 11
Nobody can speculate how the Bulldozer is going to perform until it comes out. Intel works just fine with Crossfire and SLI. As for most the 570 and 6970 in single or dual cards is enough. It going to depend on your monitor setup and resolution that will determine how high of a video you will need.
     
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post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Another thing, getting 2 video cards, I would plan to use them for 3 years more or less depending on how software advances. I hear about how overclocking can reduce lifespan and its not a good idea to overclock video cards you plan on keeping for a long time. Would it be a bad idea to overclock whichever cards I get through drivers like AMD overdrive(not sure if nvidia has their own equivalent)?
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post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nachoz View Post
Another thing, getting 2 video cards, I would plan to use them for 3 years more or less depending on how software advances. I hear about how overclocking can reduce lifespan and its not a good idea to overclock video cards you plan on keeping for a long time. Would it be a bad idea to overclock whichever cards I get through drivers like AMD overdrive(not sure if nvidia has their own equivalent)?
Aaaand another thing, in the overview of a certain 6970, it said "50%* faster with ASUS exclusive Voltage Tweak". Not sure what to think about that.
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post #6 of 11
1) 6950 unlock to 6970 provides a better price point for the same performance.
2) Performance will continue to increase for the 69xx series cards over the next couple of driver releases. Depending on the review you may have been looking at pre-Mjölnir benchmarks.
Waiting on X399
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post #7 of 11
Overclocking will not hurt your video card.

Unless you pump insane voltage through it without keeping it cool and use it for 5 + years 24/7 at least.
    
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post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Somenamehere View Post
Overclocking will not hurt your video card.

Unless you pump insane voltage through it without keeping it cool and use it for 5 + years 24/7 at least.
What would be too hot for those cards?
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post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by beers View Post
1) 6950 unlock to 6970 provides a better price point for the same performance.
2) Performance will continue to increase for the 69xx series cards over the next couple of driver releases. Depending on the review you may have been looking at pre-Mjölnir benchmarks.
About the unlocking the 6950. I'm not sure exactly what is happening there. Is it actually becoming a 6970, and can then be overclocked in the same extent as a 6970, making the 6970 useless? Or by making it as fast as a 6970, are you overclocking it just in a different way?
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post #10 of 11
Yes, a 6950 gpu will be very close to the headroom a 6970 would have. Once it is unlocked, it will run at 6970 clock speed and voltage, you would oc it as any other 6970. The only advantage the 6970 has is better memory chips, which really isn't much of a difference in terms of performance.
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