Originally Posted by Blacklac
So basically, 2 benchmarks, one shows nVidia in a good light, while another shows ATI in a better light. Both on old drivers. What makes you prefer the one that shows ATI in a better light?
I could care less either way, but I am curious why benchmarks are always back and forth. Bottom line, they are quite similar and the level of OC will easily put one ahead of the other. I have seen a few benchmarks showing a 560 SOC beating a stock 6970 2GB, so clocks truly matter.
Having said that, I was under the impression an unlocked 6950 can't quite match a 6970, is that correct? Maybe that was only the 5850/5870 cards.
"The saving grace to the GeForce GTX 560 Ti was in its overclocking potential. And so, we took the Galaxy GeForce GTX 560 Ti GC and overclocked it as high as we could. We found positive results by doing this. With voltage tweaking and overclocking we were able to bring the GeForce GTX 560 Ti up to Radeon HD 6950 level of performance. Of course, it takes maxing the GTX 560 Ti in order to do this, and you still canâ€™t make up for the RAM difference between the two video cards." source
the review he linked favors the 560 because they maxed it out, and left the 6950 stock and locked. also, AFAIK the 560 cannot OC as high as the 69xx series can, which is another reason they are better.
there are two major differences between the 6950 and the 6970. the first, which everyone knows about, is the increased shader count on the 6970. the second, which people often forget, is the higher binned ram which allows for higher safe voltages and higher OCs.
there is a method to unlock your 6950 to a 6970 bios, which bumps up the voltage on your ram to the stock 6970 voltage, theoretically allowing you to reach the same OC as the 6970, but this is dangerous as you're gambling on whether your ram will be able to take the punishment. there have been reports of cards failing after a few weeks of pushing higher voltages as the ram cannot support it.
the second method is to modify the bios to unlock the extra shaders on a 6950, while leaving everything else stock. this is by far the safer way to go, but you won't be able to push your ram as hard as you would a 6970 or a 6950 w/ a 6970 bios.
i'd be interested to know if those cards unlock for you. i have 2 XFX reference models, one from launch and another 3 months later, both of which unlocked perfectly.