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HD 6950 (2gb) or GTX 580

Discussion in Hardware Hangout started by ::1/128, Oct 11, 2011

  1. Oct 27, 2010
    I need to get a new graphics card for all the stuff that's coming out soon. I would ideally like to get a card/set-up that would cover me for a couple of years. I've narrowed it down to a two options right now: HD 6950 2gb or GTX580.
    I realize the GTX580 is a much better, more expensive GPU. However, I was thinking that the HD 6950 2gb may be sufficient to cover any of the games coming out in the next few years (WUXGA, Max. Settings). I know that if I need more power in the future I could put two HD 6950's in crossfire. However I may not be able to accommodate this as I have a microATX board and a 620w PSU. I would like to get at least one more year out of these components (preferably more). Also a single GPU makes things simpler.

    Do you think the HD 6950 is enough for the next few years (and if not should I risk a crossfire setup) or should i go with something more substantial like the GTX 580?
  2. Jan 21, 2011
    You can turn a 6950 into a 6970. They're the same card.
  3. Jun 23, 2010
    What resolution are you gonna be playing on?

    Also, only a few 6950 2GB will unlock now.
  4. Oct 27, 2010
    1920 x 1200, max settings, AA ect.

    Also do you think the effectivly HD 6970 will be enough for the next few years?
  5. Jun 23, 2010
    Well, if you really need a upgrade then yes. But I would say wait for the 7xxx series/6xx series.
  6. Feb 21, 2007
    yes it will probably be enough to run games at high or medium settings for the next few years.

    Also the gtx580 comes in 1.5gb and 3gb, which will alter your price. It can also do SLI just like 6950 can do crossfire.

    The 6950 has more memory than the 580 1.5gb version and is cheaper (if i remember right).

    I had this same decision a couple months ago, and went with the gtx580 1.5gb version. My res is 1280x1024 so I don't need the 3gb. I love it, and do not regret it. I don't think you can go wrong with either option.

    One thing to note: with the gtx580, it does run warm under full load. Like when stress testing it, it would jump into the 70-80 degrees C range. This was on air. Currently I have it watercooled and at constant full load it sits around 40-45 degrees C depending on ambient temp. I am not sure about the 6950 temps, as I do not own one.
  7. Nov 29, 2010
    False, those models don't launch anymore, those were the early models.

    a 580 out preforms the 6970 anyways.
  8. Jan 21, 2011
    I'm not sure about power consumption on a crossfire set up, but I've been looking at getting 2 6850's and crossfiring them for my computer. 2 6950's should be enough to play about anything you throw at it for a while, so you may want to look at getting one now and one later possibly.
  9. Jul 1, 2010
    Bang for the buck I would probably go with the 6950. You could crossfire two of them for just over the price of a 580, which would outperform the 580 if you really wanted to. In all honesty, you might get higher FPS with the 580 if using a single 2950, but unless your fps is down in the 30 range with the AMD you won't notice it anyway. nVidia cards also tend to run A LOT hotter than AMD cards.

    I personally have a 6870 and I can run basically anything out full settings at 1920x1080 with no fps lag or stuttering.

    If there is a physx issue with AMD, you could always get a cheapy nVidia card and run it with the AMD card to cover physx. I know that the 7000 series AMD cards are supposed to be killer if you can wait.
  10. Oct 27, 2010

    Any idea on the time frame for this.. I just REALLY want to play Skyrim on max settings the day it comes out :razz:
  11. Mar 19, 2011
    Yeah Too bad those cards are going to see you back at least 800$ maybe more once they launch at least Nvidia for sure.
  12. Oct 22, 2007
    7k cards will be next year, so there is your time frame. The card will run warm when used such as bf3 cranks my temps on auto up to 85 on one and not far behind on the other, hence both are going to water this week or next (have 6970's) under full load expect around 300 watts for my card so you will be around 250 lowest, closer to 275 probably per card. So your psu won't cut the needs for xfire. The xfire 6950 will out perform the 580, but the 580 would be a better option if you want the card to last a while or just wait for the 7k cards, they are suppose to smoke the 6k series. The 3gb version vs the 1.5gb in the nvidia cards only plays a factor if you are looking at running multiple monitors and AA settings. Do you have to have all the eye candy no, will you notice a little less AA probably not, and a 6950 could last you 2 years if you don't have to have it cranked up max everything and you could use that money saved and get a beast card down the road, but what's the point if you want it now. Everything changes with cards constantly so you might as well go with a 580 or just get a 6970 and love it, just understand they can run warm. Have mine and can't say i have had a issue with it yet. BF3 ran no prob, again though it will run hot as balls...
  13. Jun 23, 2010
    Actually its true. Only a select few have the ability to unlock. Mainly the best luck for unlocking is the MSI HD 6950 Twin Frozr III 2 GB

    If you don't believe me, go take a look at Overclock.net.
  14. Mar 20, 2011
    I purchased two XFX 6950's 2GB and flashed them to 6970's quite a while ago, but recently one of my friends went to Fry's and purchased two and I was able to flash them with no problems. Save money and go with the XFX 6950's. Work great and I am running maxed out at 2560x1600. They do run hot in crossfire, but I have not come across any card that hasn't

    If you decide to go that route I have the tools to flash back and forth with ease, just hit me up.
  15. Aug 8, 2010
    I didn't read all the other posts but I suggest you go by your chipset on your MOBO.

    Nvidia or AMD.

    If chipset is Intel, abort.

    I have Asus Crosshair IV Formula with AMD 965 BE & 2- 6870's in Crossfire X and spank-a-licousness.
    All I am saying is there are things to consider like AMD has a FUSION feature where you have all native AMD rig and voila! Spank! Overclock like a MOFO!

    So check it out. Intel is amazing but rediculously more expensive. I am po so I use AMD. Plays everything FLAWLESSLY!

    A friend of mine has had Crossfire for the last 4 or 5 generations of ATI/AMD video cards and has not once experienced any issues concerning it. I assisted in all builds.

  16. Nov 29, 2010
    You. Out
  17. Jun 23, 2010
    AMD Chipset = AMD GPU
    Nvidia/Intel Chipset = Nvidia GPU
  18. Feb 21, 2007
    when u gonna watercool ur card? I'm lovin my load temps under water :whistling:
  19. Oct 27, 2010
    Thanks for all the great feedback guys.