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Thinking of a Graphics Card Upgrade

Discussion in 'System Builder's Advice' started by Razerian, Nov 6, 2011.

  1. Razerian

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    Currently I play on a 1920x1080 monitor with a 6870 in my system and I am getting the itch to put something a little more powerful in there, thinking maybe a 6950 2gb (hopefully unlocked). I can sell my current card to a friend for $130, which would make the total cost right around $150-$160.

    I have thought about crossfire and that's within my budged but I am a little bit concerned with the difficulties I've heard people having with it, i.e. microstutter and temperature issues.

    Are either of these things worth it? Or will I need to spend more to see a decent performance increase? :confused:
  2. lilhasselhoffer

    lilhasselhoffer

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    You fail to mention what kinds of games you play, and how much vram the 6870 has. Both of these things could have offered us a better insight into if the upgrade would be worth it.

    That said, you are working with a decent resolution. Presumably, you're pushing the eye candy up to as high as it can go. You really have to ask yourself three questions:

    1) What happens if the 6950 doesn't unlock?
    2) Do I plan on multi-monitor play in the near future?
    3) Do I mod games?


    The first question is a big one. You basically spend double what you would have on the 6870 to purchase a 6950 (assuming discounts and rounding). Does that kind of price point justify itself with performance...unlikely. Crossfire occasionally has issues, but it most often does not. $130 may buy you another 6870 in a couple of months, and nearly double your performance...

    If you're going to run multi-monitor then the upgrade is definitely worth a look. Just be wary that DP adapters are expensive, and crossfired you won't have to worry about DP.

    Mods generally screw with vram. Increasing it is generally a good thing if you mod. If you don't mod, the extra vram is generally not worth the price. This one is a big leap of faith, as not knowing what you play makes the answer to this one entirely up to you.


    Find these three answers out for youself, and you'll know what to do. Additionally, the 7xxx series is coming soon. Its introduction may signal lower prices on the 6xxx series...
  3. Razerian

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    Thanks for your advice.

    It's a 1gb 6870. I play everything but shooters on my PC, (RTS, RPG, etc) what makes my card sweat the hardest is probably Dragon Age II, although oblivion with all the mods installed isn't exactly a breeze either. I will also be buying Skyrim this week and playing that pretty heavily.
  4. radrok

    radrok

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    As an avid Oblivion player and probably avid Skyrim player in the future: I'd recommend you to wait until Skyrim launch and see if the performance level satisfies you like this.
    We both know that Oblivion is an heavily moddable game that revolves around community and naturally Skyrim will follow that trend...
    Think about it, you are going to gather a lot of mods and thus you'll need a good amount of VRAM but that happens with time passing by and so you can play the game lightly modded while there aren't a lot of mods out and then buy a new graphics card when the HD79xx/GTX6xx series are out that, following the rumours, shouldn't take more than three months at worst
  5. Razerian

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    I didn't think that the new generation of gpus was that close. The only reason I am considering this is because of the guaranteed money for my current card. I'm trying to figure out if the difference is worth the hundred or so dollars.
  6. radrok

    radrok

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    It's either this December (very unlikely) or the beginning of next year (Q1 2012) of course IF there are no delays.
    Anyway a 6950 2GB would be a good improvement for modded gaming, especially for the additional VRAM even though 1GB is still fine but not future proof as we are seeing with latest game titles.
    About the unlockability... it's hard to say if a 6950 will unlock or not, chances are that a reference design is more prone to unlocking... otherwise a custom one needs you to modify that card BIOS with RBE, that isn't that hard of a task, and it's not guaranteed to unlock.
  7. Razerian

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    I had heard we are likely to see low performance stuff from AMD in the next month or two with the good stuff still a good ways off. But I guess that's what I get for being busy for a couple of weeks and not checking. :banghead:
    The specific 6950 I was looking at was a sapphire one which apparently has a modded bios loaded into the back up bios chip on the card, or at least that's what most people say. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102945
    Don't know if that helps the odds or not for unlocking it. I'm really quite torn on this one, seems like my best bet will be to see how skyrim goes or if there's a really good deal on one in the meantime.
  8. radrok

    radrok

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    I can tell you by experience, and by owning quite a few of them that Sapphire cards are top notch :rockout: ( not ever one has needed RMA service, they are all fully functional).
    I happen to have here on my desk a 6950 2GB that I managed to shader unlock some time ago, it's a reference model though so I cannot really help you with that one...
    I hope someone who has had experience with it could enlighten you! :toast:

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