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6970 vs 6950 unlocked

post #1 of 40
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can anybody tell me what the difference is between these to card. I keep reading about "how" to unlock it but not much on why and what the benefit(besides the obvious financial aspect)
   
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post #2 of 40
A 6950 is almost the exact same card as a 6970. The have the same PCB so they share all the same circuitry.

But AMD needed to differentiate the cards so they simply disabled some shader units and lowered the clocks for 6950. Luckily these changes were made to the bios so with a 6970 (or a modded 6950 one) bios you get back all the functionality of a 6970 but for cheaper.
post #3 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sexybastard View Post
A 6950 is almost the exact same card as a 6970. The have the same PCB so there share all the same circuitry.

But AMD needed to differiante the cards so they simply disabled some shader units and lowered the clocks. But these changes were made to the bios so with a different bios you get back all the functionality of a 6970 for much cheaper.
so you're saying, that as far as the hardware configurations goes, there are no differences, only that some of the shaders were disabled?

guess I'm going with two 6950s then
   
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post #4 of 40
Short simple answer: A 6950 unlocked is no different from a normal 6970.
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post #5 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by InterestedThirdParty View Post
so you're saying, that as far as the hardware configurations goes, there are no differences, only that some of the shaders were disabled?

guess I'm going with two 6950s then
Hardware: A 6970 has a 6/8 pin whereas a 6950 has a 6/6 pin connector.
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post #6 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by InterestedThirdParty View Post
so you're saying, that as far as the hardware configurations goes, there are no differences, only that some of the shaders were disabled?

guess I'm going with two 6950s then
Yep.

All reference cards can be unlocked. Most non reference cannot.

Actually the one difference in the the hardware is that the 6970 comes with an 8pin + 6pin while the 6950 has 2 x 6pin. But this is not a big deal since the extra two wires on an 8pin are ground so they don't really add any extra power.

Get two reference 6950's and unlock them. You will thank your wallet.
post #7 of 40
I believe the RAM IC's on the 6970's are more capable/higher voltage than those on the 6950's.

Hence the plethora of people unable to hit 6970 memory clocks on their unlocked 6950's.
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post #8 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by kidwolf909 View Post
I believe the RAM IC's on the 6970's are more capable/higher voltage than those on the 6950's.

Hence the plethora of people unable to hit 6970 memory clocks on their unlocked 6950's.
I'm fine with this - increasing the ram past 1350 does literally nothing for my framerates and almost nothing for benchmarks (which I have later realised is to do with ECC )

You're right, though. And I believe the 6970 ram runs at tighter timings as well.
Edited by fluxlite - 4/12/11 at 1:22pm
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post #9 of 40
Also, 1GB 6950's cannot be unlocked. Different Arcitechture.

It's like the 5850 and 5870 though. You could overclock the 50 to the speed of a 70 but the 70 would always win because it had 1600 Streamed CPU's on the actual PCB/GPU chip and it's little brother had only 1440 of them.

But..the 6950 2GB Ref is the bang same as the 6970. It is a 6970 with a different bios flashed. That's all!
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post #10 of 40
A few people a while back where having problems when flashing a 6970 BIOS to the 6950, the VRAM on the 6970 runs at tighter timmings, there are some BIOSes about that just unlock the shaders, no noticeable difference than a 6970 even though the VRAM will be running a tiny bit slower. After the unlock you have to OC to 6970 speeds I believe.
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