Radeon HD 6870 vs HD 6950?

By Hawarimi · 6 replies
Apr 27, 2012
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  1. Hi,

    I have quite a dillema now and I'd be really grateful if someone more experienced than me could help me:p It's been 4 years since I've last upgraded my rig. I just couldn't be bothered because all I've been using it for was surfing the web and making music (it was sufficient for that).
    Recently, my power supply died on me along with my mobo and I've finally decided to do a decent upgrade. At that time I didn't really think about getting a neat graphics card. I've bought a Phenom II X4 955 BE, Gigabyte GA-880GM-D2H mobo, 4 Gigs of RAM (unfortunately clocked at 1066 but I could change them somewhere down the road, I suppose) and a 500W PSU (OCZ SilentXStream II). I also have a 1080P LCD. Now I'm thinking about a decent graphics card to complement the set. I'm not an avid gamer but I'd really want to see Crysis 2 in DX11 mode:p I'm on the fence between an XFX 6870 (dual fan + heatpipe version) or a 6950 2GB. The thing is, I'm on a tight budget and I really don't want to splash out. I know that the 6950 2gb will smoke the 6870 but is it worth the dough? I will be gaming in 1080p nothing more. I don't think that either card can run C2 DX11 maxed at that resolution but I think it's possible to get bearable FPS with no AA/AF and lowered tesselation. I think the 6870 would do just fine, wouldn't it? Here in Poland I can get the XFX for quite a nice price but the 6950 is significantly more expensive (I'd have to fish for it on an auction site). Also, I think that my CPU would be a serious bottleneck for this card (even OC'd) and the 500W PSU might not be sufficient as well. What do you think? Should I stick with the 6870 and do some reasonable OC?

    Thanks for your help
  2. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

    I assume your PSU is the StealthXStream II 500W (there is no OCZ SilentXStream PSU series AFAIK); you should be okay with either card.

    I, however, would recommend the GTX 560Ti instead; it trades blows with the HD 6950 and runs cooler. Driver support is also better overall for NVIDIA products, and you may get it cheaper as well.
  3. Hawarimi

    Hawarimi TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for your answer. Yep, I've got the StealthXStream, I've mixed up the name a bit. However, it seems that some people write about the "silentxstream 600W" thingy on the net, the name just stuck in my head and that's why I called it like that (either there really is a PSU series that goes by that name or people are just wrong):p Thanks for pointing this out. I was considering the 560Ti too but I don't know if I can afford it (well, I certainly can't afford the 2GB version). Do you have any specific manufacturer models of the 560Ti which would be solid and reasonably priced? Also, is the 2GB vram really important if I won't be using anything past 1080p?
  4. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

    The VRAM isn't important if you're limited to 1080p; it would be if you're going to be using a multi-monitor setup in the future, or buy a monitor with a higher native resolution.

    Here, I've found the Galaxy 2GB 560Ti to be the cheapest (about AED 900, which is around $250), and that's for the two-fan variant. eVGA, Gigabyte, ASUS & MSI are the top brands I'd recommend, and if you can't find\afford those, go for PNY, Galaxy or Zotac. ECS\EliteGroup and Sparkle should only be considered as a last resort, if the others are either extremely expensive or unavailable.

    Where are you located? Please fill out your profile so we can help you better.
  5. Hawarimi

    Hawarimi TS Rookie Topic Starter


    Thanks:) From what I've seen on Allegro, I could probably afford an used Gigabyte 560Ti with warranty still valid or a new Zotac 560Ti. As I've previously said, I'm from Poland (Kraków, to be precise). So you think that I'll be able to squeeze more overall performance out of the 560Ti with these system specs without killing my PSU? I've heard some pretty bad things about its TDP and operating temperatures. Also, people say that the Zotac is very loud when the GPU load is high.
  6. Hawarimi

    Hawarimi TS Rookie Topic Starter

    A small update:

    I found a shop in my city which sells a brand new Sapphire HD 7850 with full warranty for a rather nice price. Would I get any long-term benefits from forking out some more money on it? I heard some nice things about the card - in comparison to the 560Ti, it runs cooler & quieter, it's noticeably faster and has significantly reduced power consumption due to its 28nm architecture. Also, it sports 2GB of vram which should render it a bit more future-proof (as it turns out, some games can use that extensively even in 1080p, mainly all the resource hogs such as BF3 and C2). Do you think it's worth it? Is Sapphire a respectable brand (had an X1950Pro of theirs, no problems whatsoever but I'm asking just to be on the safe side)? To be honest, I'm also quite concerned about this card not fitting in my GA-880GM-D2H without blocking some other components:p
  7. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,319   +1,405

    I feel that nVidia has better drivers, better long-term support, and better image quality. If you look at some of the differences between how they handle AA and post processing, nVidia obviously has the upper hand. The problem? not the best Price:performance. If you want to get some awesome frames at 1080p, go with the 7850. If you are worried about quality, go with nVidia.

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