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6950 unlocked vs 6950 overclocked????

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
whats the difference?

is there any difference besides clock speedS?


the reason I ask is because Im looking to get a 6950. and trying to decide between the 6950 1gb and 2gb
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post #2 of 18
Yes, its the difference between a 6970 and 6950 overclocked - the 6970 (6950 unlocked) can be overclocked as well
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post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
is there any difference between an overclocked 6950 and an unlocked 6950? or are they exactly the same?
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post #4 of 18
There are two types of unlock. Are you referring to full 6970 BIOS unlock or just shader unlock. Here would be my opinion.

Full 6970 BIOS versus 6950 shader unlock = full 6970 BIOS wins.

Full 6970 BIOS versus 6950 overclock (no unlock) = depends on 6950 overclock. the 6970 BIOS gives you about 5% performance boost. So your overclock will have to gain you more than 5% to break even or get ahead - meaning at least 900 mhz core.

6950 shader unlock only versus 6950 overclock (no unlock) = me thinks overclock will win provided you bump that to at least 900 core clock.

6950 shader unlock + overclock versus 6950 overclock (no unlock) = 6950 sharder unlock + overclock is pure win.
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post #5 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by (mirror)52-D.S.L. View Post
is there any difference between an overclocked 6950 and an unlocked 6950? or are they exactly the same?
Unlock is faster. You have 2 more full shader cores.
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post #6 of 18
First off here a little something about the unlock
There are two types of 6950 unlocks:

Type 1 unlock: Shader increase to 1536 units (same as the 6970)
Type 2 unlock: Complete BIOS flash to a 6970

The type 1 unlock is almost risk free and can be achieved with almost all the 6950´s.
The type 2 unlock on the other hand is a bit more risky because due to the full 6970 BIOS flash also the timings of the 6970 and other settings which are different will be applied.
To some cards that ultimately can lead to card failure or mailfunction.
Further marginal differences can be seen here:

But be advised that the Type 2 unlock only yields about 1-3% performance increase.
Wheter the Type 1 unlock + stock 6970 clocks have shown to yield the exact same amount of performance a normal 6970 would achieve
So according to those results one could imply that a Type 1 unlock + stock 6970 settings would upgrade a 6950 to a full 6970 performancewise even though other settings or structural differences are unequal.



Both types of unlocks will void your warranty if something goes wrong so be sure to bare that in mind when doing it.
There have not been any long term studies about the affect of the unlocking process and further causations yet.....but I am confident to say that nobody has encountered any problems yet
So I personally would advise you to leave the unlock be as it is not included in the warranty and just overclock your card 5-10% higher ...thus a higher overclock should be able to not only compensate but even exceed the performance boost the unlock provides
And if you must have an unlocked card at least wait until we know more about its long term affects

I would also like to refer you to my thread in which similar questions and all advantages/features benchmark results,performance comparisons to other cards including all designs etc etc should be displayed and answered

http://www.overclock.net/nvidia/9848...md-6950-a.html

Here the full guide + tips on unlock from TechPowerUp:http://www.techpowerup.com/articles/...ng/vidcard/159
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Now you should be pretty much informed about the unlock.
Here a little bit about the unlockability of the 6950´s out there:


If a card unlocks or not is depending on wheter or not it has been laser cut to make it impossilbe for software to unlock the unfunctional units.

Another crutial part of the unlock is for the card to have a BIOS switch so in case somthing goes wrong you can always flash to the second BIOS.

Basically 90% of the tested Twin Frozr III cards unlocked fine there are already some newer laser cut products around so be careful to check the arrival date of the card at your local retailer before buying it to ensure it couldn´t have been laser cut yet.


Hope I could help
Anything earlier than March 15th should be fine I believe
Edited by Kung Pow - 4/18/11 at 8:32pm
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post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
Well thanks kung pow. That was way more than I needed to know, however know I can be even more confident in my card choice thanks to you. I have decided to go with the sapphire version of the 1gb 6950. and give it a strong overclock.

If the 1gb version has pretty much identical performance as a 2gb, and if a 2gb with a 7% overclock performs the same as a 6970. Than by that logic If I overclock my 1Gb 7% than I will In essence be the owner of a 6970 (not to say I wouldnt try and overclock past 7%)

good answer man, hopefully this will help other people with a similar question.

source: 1gb vs 2gb performance
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/331?vs=293
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post #8 of 18
Check out the link my my sig.
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post #9 of 18
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post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by (mirror)52-D.S.L. View Post
Well thanks kung pow. That was way more than I needed to know, however know I can be even more confident in my card choice thanks to you. I have decided to go with the sapphire version of the 1gb 6950. and give it a strong overclock.

If the 1gb version has pretty much identical performance as a 2gb, and if a 2gb with a 7% overclock performs the same as a 6970. Than by that logic If I overclock my 1Gb 7% than I will In essence be the owner of a 6970 (not to say I wouldnt try and overclock past 7%)

good answer man, hopefully this will help other people with a similar question.

source: 1gb vs 2gb performance
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/331?vs=293
I think you misunderstood a little^^

The shader unit unlock to 1536 + stock speeds of a 6970 grant you equal performance.
However the unlock most probably will not work on 1 GB cards.

The only way your 6950 can fully equal a 6970´s performance with the mildest overclock is if it were unlocked + stock clocks of a 6970 as you can see in the picture of my big post.
In my oppinion the unlock is not crutially required though, I think with a healthy overclock the performance gain of the unlock cannot only be compensated but also exceeded.
Also it will void your warranty and we do not have any long term affect studies of it yet.
Only people that do not want to stress the card with its max clocks should consider unlocking it.
The performance gain isn´t that much although it can be considered benefitial and noticable in benchmarks etc.

I would recommend you a 2 GB card not only due to its higher probability of unlocking but also the fact that 2 GB of VRAM supply with a greater future proofness and enable you to use advanced graphical settings such as AA ,AF etc

The reference 2GB version is only slightly more expensive than the 1 GB one.
I would recommend you to get a reference Sapphire 6950 ...one of the cheapest 2 GB versions...99% unlockability, great overclocker ,voltage controller etc etc basically all you need

Also read the above post again + links I am sure you can find much more information there as well.
Edited by Kung Pow - 4/18/11 at 8:36pm
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