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Advice on HD 6950 or 6970 please

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hi guys, I'm looking to get 2 new cards for a crossfire setup, and was leaning towards 6950s and unlocking the extra shaders (not the full 6970 BIOS). The ones easily available to me can be summed up here:
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?...cPath=193_1179

I was leaning to MSI, but noticed that they and Sapphire have a red PCB, and I was unsure if this meant they would be fully reference or not, and couldn't really find out anywhere (Though I do know both make unlockable cards). If anyone could confirm success or failure unlocking red PCB MSI or Sapphire cards, I would appreciate it.

Secondly, I am perhaps in the near future going to put them under water, and as such was thinking that the actual 6970s would likely be higher binned chips and as such, would have greater headroom once I put them under water. I can get them here:
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?...cPath=193_1178

As you can see they are not really that much more expensive if I were to go with MSI

Thirdly, I assume that 6970 waterblocks by EK (for reference boards) would fit 6950s seeing as they are essentially the same PCB: http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?...ducts_id=16378

Any advice and constructive help would be greatly appreciated!
    
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post #2 of 18
I was on the same boat as you.

Decided on x2 HD6970 CFX, if you can afford it, it is the best choice in my opinion.

However 6950 CFX is better in terms of price/performance.

But I'd say go for x2 6970CFX for these reasons:

- You won't have to flash the cards to get better performance out of them.
- E-Peen (Here in OCN e-peen is a very important thing )
- Higher binned chips (At least from what I've seen).

Either choices will serve you good, I just went with x2 6970 CF and I don't regret it
    
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post #3 of 18
6950 is value. 6970 is performance and OC. It overclocks better than the 6950.
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post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HybridCore View Post
6950 is value. 6970 is performance and OC. It overclocks better than the 6950.
Yes, that was my assumption. Thanks!
Quote:
Originally Posted by kcuestag View Post
I was on the same boat as you.

Decided on x2 HD6970 CFX, if you can afford it, it is the best choice in my opinion.

However 6950 CFX is better in terms of price/performance.

But I'd say go for x2 6970CFX for these reasons:

- You won't have to flash the cards to get better performance out of them.
- E-Peen (Here in OCN e-peen is a very important thing )
- Higher binned chips (At least from what I've seen).

Either choices will serve you good, I just went with x2 6970 CF and I don't regret it
Yes, well this will be my very late christmas present/early birthday present (If I went over the cost of 2 6950s), so cost is not such a problem.
    
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post #5 of 18
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So nobody else has anything to say?
    
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post #6 of 18
I would personally go for the 6950 as the increases in performance to price is kinda minimal. Sure 3-4 frames is important at times, but when it costs close to 50-80 bucks more (Canadian) I personally do not think it's worth it.
post #7 of 18
My sapphire 6950 2GB is non-reference, because where I got it, they listed it wrong

NON-REF
11188-00-40R

REF
21188-00-40R
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post #8 of 18
6950 CF is by far the better value. All you need to do is run them at ~900-920MHz to match the performance of 6970's.

Flashing/unlocking the 6950 is overrated. Most of the performance difference between the 6950 and the 6970 is clock speed, therefore overclocking yields a larger performance increase than unlocking. You will gain 1-3% in performance from unlocking where as you will gain 10-15% (6970 performance and beyond) from overclocking. See the comparison in my signature.

The 6970 gives you the performance without the hassle and as a result carries a premium price over the 6950. The 6970 has better rated memory for a potential higher memory overclock. Also, the chips binned for the 6970 may have potential for a higher core overclock.
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post #9 of 18
I have 3 3650's underwater and all flashed with 6970 bios and running 950/1400 with no added voltage. One actually achieved stability with no added voltage at 1025 core. Though Im sure if I was to really start overclocking and increase voltage the memory would hold me back as of right now I cant get any hire then 1425 without crashes.
post #10 of 18
Go for the 6970's, get peace of mind for everyday use.

However, the 6950's are better $/fps kind of thing.
    
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