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Need a new Gfx card to play BF3 smoothly!

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#26
Well, I run BF3 on one of my rigs that has a 2500K and 2 GTX460's 768MB of VRAM in SLI. It handles everything at Ultra settings with 2X MSAA and 16X AF with no issues, single or multiplayer at 1920x1080 resolution. I don't think VRAM becomes an issue until you go past 1080p res or run more than 2X AA.
 
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#27
J

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#28
This one's much better, it's a reference board from AMD itself rather than cheaped out non-reference.

http://www.eclipsecomputers.com/product.aspx?code=GC-XR695H2

Reference cards nearly all unlock to 6970 unlike the non-ref like that one, most of which doesn't anymore. Plus, they have a superior quality PCB with dual-BIOS, so you can just switch back between the two BIOS'es. Along with a Volterra Digital PWM for cleaner power and software monitoring of voltage.

Reference or non-ref? Answer here:

VisionTek 900352 Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 ...

This one's reference.



And this is that card.

 
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#29
This one's much better, it's a reference board from AMD itself rather than cheaped out non-reference.

http://www.eclipsecomputers.com/product.aspx?code=GC-XR695H2

Reference cards nearly all unlock to 6970 unlike the non-ref like that one, most of which doesn't anymore. Plus, they have a superior quality PCB with dual-BIOS, so you can just switch back between the two BIOS'es. Along with a Volterra Digital PWM for cleaner power and software monitoring of voltage.

Reference or non-ref? Answer here:

VisionTek 900352 Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 ...

This one's reference.

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/HIS/Radeon_HD_6950/images/front.jpg

And this is that card.

http://www.coolingconfigurator.com/upload/pictures/Sapphire-Radeon-HD6970-2GB-V2.jpg
Thanks for that john, just a few things though Regarding the pros and cons of going for reference and non reference cards, i guess if the non reference cards can unlock to a 6970 and the reference cards can not that must be a bonus (Although i am sure i've read somewhere the sapphire can do it :/) but the con is this - Surely going for a card that is a generic variety over a card that is done by a known manufacturer is a bad idea as you don't really know what sort of card it is your getting?

I mean it might be a few pounds cheaper but would that result in poorer cooling,build quality and design? Rather than something that has a trusted design and cooling features?
 

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#30
I recommend a GTX570. If youre looking to max out MSAA in games. the 6xxx series take a rather big performance hit when it is turned on. In many cases the 570 beats a single 6970 in BF3 in ultra settings.


Ive got 2 6970s myself and after looking at some of the BF3 benchmark scores. I wish i had gone 570 SLi instead.

Here are some benchmarks/comparisons that Guru3d done on BF3.

(Also - keep an eye on the 560Ti, you will be suprised)
 

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#31
Thanks for that john, just a few things though Regarding the pros and cons of going for reference and non reference cards, i guess if the non reference cards can unlock to a 6970 and the reference cards can not that must be a bonus (Although i am sure i've read somewhere the sapphire can do it :/) but the con is this - Surely going for a card that is a generic variety over a card that is done by a known manufacturer is a bad idea as you don't really know what sort of card it is your getting?

I mean it might be a few pounds cheaper but would that result in poorer cooling,build quality and design? Rather than something that has a trusted design and cooling features?
You you have it backwards.

Reference = Unlock
Non Reference = Unknown Success Rate of Unlocking (many don't)

The reference cards are pretty much guaranteed to be high quality. They are made by AMD and rebranded by the reseller with a sticker, nothing more. I have owned several 6950's (still have one) and a couple 6970's (same card really). All of my reference 6950's unlocked, and they overclocked extremely high. Judging from some peoples results with 3rd party designed 6950's, I would stick with reference for performance, quality, and guaranteed unlocking - if you care about that.

Also know this; unlocking doesn't provide a huge performance boost. It's the overclocking that really does it. The shader unlock gives anywhere from 2-10% of an increase in performance over stock 6950. It's the 6970 clocks that give it the real performance lead.

Go reference, unlock, overclock, win!!
 
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#32
I have a GTX460 1GB overclocked to stock GTX560 speeds and my frame rate using Ultra settings, no AA using retail fraps gives me around 60 average in 1680x1050 resolution even on 64 player servers!

The GTX460 overclocked is the card to get especially for the price it is at now! You will not be upset with this card in BF3!!
 

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#33
I'd get a GTX470 - £100 or a GTX480 - £120. I've got both and they are fantastic cards for the price. I also have 2x 5850's in cfx and the GTX480 isn't far behind them at top FPS, but on average FPS the GTX480 does better. but I think that's just driver issues right now. I picked up that GTX480 for $220 at newegg. :toast:
 

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#34
I have a GTX460 1GB overclocked to stock GTX560 speeds and my frame rate using Ultra settings, no AA using retail fraps gives me around 60 average in 1680x1050 resolution even on 64 player servers!

The GTX460 overclocked is the card to get especially for the price it is at now! You will not be upset with this card in BF3!!
I can't really say I agree at all with that. The gtx460 is going to leave the OP wanting in BF3 and in the future. It's a relatively weak card, and it's really dying out at this point. In the green camp I would do a 560Ti 2GB minimum. gtx 460 also has lower mem bandwidth, and only 1GB total vram. It's not going to provide a "max settings" experience at 1080p or probably even 1680x1050.

560Ti 2GB or 6950 2GB. 69502GB reference = cheap 6970
 

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#35
This is what i come up with running BF3 @ 1920 x 1080 Ultra settings with two GTX280's 1GB cards of course.

 
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#36
I can't really say I agree at all with that. The gtx460 is going to leave the OP wanting in BF3 and in the future. It's a relatively weak card, and it's really dying out at this point. In the green camp I would do a 560Ti 2GB minimum. gtx 460 also has lower mem bandwidth, and only 1GB total vram. It's not going to provide a "max settings" experience at 1080p or probably even 1680x1050.

560Ti 2GB or 6950 2GB. 69502GB reference = cheap 6970
I disagree because well, I have the card and know what it can do in BF3! I play ultra quality in every setting but turn off AA and like I said, using fraps I get an average of 60 smooth in 1680x1050. So how does this qualify as not a max setting experience? FSAA does not make a game look any different graphic wize. I know some here will flame me for this but truth is AA does not make a game look any better then with no AA. Yes, you see a few more jaggies on straight lines but so what? You turn off AA in BF3 and the GTX460 overclocked can hold its own to any stock GTX560 card. I would put my name and reputation to this because there is no difference between a GTX560 and an GTX460 other then core, shader and memory speeds. They both are 256bit and both have 336 Cuda-cores...
 

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#37
I disagree because well, I have the card and know what it can do in BF3! I play ultra quality in every setting but turn off AA and like I said, using fraps I get an average of 60 smooth in 1680x1050. So how does this qualify as not a max setting experience? FSAA does not make a game look any different graphic wize. I know some here will flame me for this but truth is AA does not make a game look any better then with no AA. Yes, you see a few more jaggies on straight lines but so what? You turn off AA in BF3 and the GTX460 overclocked can hold its own to any stock GTX560 card. I would put my name and reputation to this because there is no difference between a GTX560 and an GTX460 other then core, shader and memory speeds. They both are 256bit and both have 336 Cuda-cores...
First off, I'm talking 1920x1080 as it is the standard resolution for most ALL gamers now. Oh and a gtx 560 is not a gtx 560 Ti. They are quite different. He's not looking at the plain 560.

Secondly, you can't argue what maximum settings is. It's all settings cranked to the maximum. You don't get to pick and choose things to disable and call it maximum. So again, it's maximum settings or nothing.

Hell even nvidia themselves show that you can't get 60FPS with that card at max settings at those resolutions. These are using recommended settings too, not even maximum:

http://www.geforce.com/Optimize/OPS/Battlefield-3-NVIDIA-GeForce-GTX-460-OPS

I am not attacking you personally because you own a gtx 460. I just think it's irresponsible to tell someone to buy a card that works OK for you and your below average resolution and settings. The gtx 460 is a nice card. I've owned a couple 470's and currently have two 480's. I don't want to have to go grab performance charts on the 460/BF3 (which I'm looking at now), because they clearly show you can't run the game at around 1080p at ultra/max settings with 60FPS. In fact it doesn't really even get close to that. If you think you can get 60FPS with maximum settings ( and I mean maximum, including AA etc) then please provide us with some proof. A fraps benchmark + screenshot of your setup would suffice. Otherwise you shouldn't say things that are not true.

I change my mind. Here is Tom's in depth guide on BF3 and the top gpu's


I get that you like your graphics card, but I personally think it is a poor choice for someone looking to buy a new card. The 460 is not even current gen, and it will soon be one tier below last generation. I might have recommended it at the end of 2010 as a budget card. The guy already said he's in the market for a 560Ti or a 6950. You could potentially ruin his experience by giving him poor advice. That's all I'm saying here.

Side note: The gtx 480 is still a great option due to its extreme value now. I bought one of mine for $150 cash on craigslist months ago. Who knows what kind of used deal you could get now. I would go with the 6950 2GB (msi twin frozr II especially if you don't want reference) as it's going to give you gaming for a few years to come, while something like the 460 is breathing its last breaths right now. The 6950 will also let you do 3 screens / eyefinity out of the box - and believe me BFBC2 and BF3 are AMAZING in eyefinity. They just plain scale better too.

Good luck!!!
 
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#38
LordJummy,

To be fair in maleficarus defence. The GTX 460 performs simiarly to today's gen 6850. I've got friends whom run the 6850 and 5850 tier cards and get upto 80 FPS on ultra on BF3.

Although I would agree, if I'm buyin a new card I wouldn't advise a GTX 460 unless I was getting it super cheap, safer bet would to be a 6850,6870 or better yet a 6950 for ensure best performance in upcoming gaming titles.
 

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#39
LordJummy,

To be fair in maleficarus defence. The GTX 460 performs simiarly to today's gen 6850. I've got friends whom run the 6850 and 5850 tier cards and get upto 80 FPS on ultra on BF3.

Although I would agree, if I'm buyin a new card I wouldn't advise a GTX 460 unless I was getting it super cheap, safer bet would to be a 6850,6870 or better yet a 6950 for ensure best performance in upcoming gaming titles.
Judging by the charts I saw I highly doubt your friends get 80FPS in full maximum ultra settings @ 1920x1080 and up. Maybe partial ultra with resolution and eye candy turned down a bit.

I agree the 460 is a good little budget card, no doubt about that at all. I'm definitely not insulting it. I just don't think it's a wise choice for the OP or anyone else looking to get top end performance in next gen games, that's all. Some people might take that as a personal attack, but they would be mistaken.
 
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#40
First off, I'm talking 1920x1080 as it is the standard resolution for most ALL gamers now. Oh and a gtx 560 is not a gtx 560 Ti. They are quite different. He's not looking at the plain 560.

Secondly, you can't argue what maximum settings is. It's all settings cranked to the maximum. You don't get to pick and choose things to disable and call it maximum. So again, it's maximum settings or nothing.

Hell even nvidia themselves show that you can't get 60FPS with that card at max settings at those resolutions. These are using recommended settings too, not even maximum:

http://www.geforce.com/Optimize/OPS/Battlefield-3-NVIDIA-GeForce-GTX-460-OPS

I am not attacking you personally because you own a gtx 460. I just think it's irresponsible to tell someone to buy a card that works OK for you and your below average resolution and settings. The gtx 460 is a nice card. I've owned a couple 470's and currently have two 480's. I don't want to have to go grab performance charts on the 460/BF3 (which I'm looking at now), because they clearly show you can't run the game at around 1080p at ultra/max settings with 60FPS. In fact it doesn't really even get close to that. If you think you can get 60FPS with maximum settings ( and I mean maximum, including AA etc) then please provide us with some proof. A fraps benchmark + screenshot of your setup would suffice. Otherwise you shouldn't say things that are not true.

I change my mind. Here is Tom's in depth guide on BF3 and the top gpu's


I get that you like your graphics card, but I personally think it is a poor choice for someone looking to buy a new card. The 460 is not even current gen, and it will soon be one tier below last generation. I might have recommended it at the end of 2010 as a budget card. The guy already said he's in the market for a 560Ti or a 6950. You could potentially ruin his experience by giving him poor advice. That's all I'm saying here.

Side note: The gtx 480 is still a great option due to its extreme value now. I bought one of mine for $150 cash on craigslist months ago. Who knows what kind of used deal you could get now. I would go with the 6950 2GB (msi twin frozr II especially if you don't want reference) as it's going to give you gaming for a few years to come, while something like the 460 is breathing its last breaths right now. The 6950 will also let you do 3 screens / eyefinity out of the box - and believe me BFBC2 and BF3 are AMAZING in eyefinity. They just plain scale better too.

Good luck!!!
AA does not make any game "max" settings. The graphics stay the same no matter the AA level used. This you can argue till the cows come home but it will not make it true, the moon is not made out of cheeze. All AA does is takes jaggies away from straight lines. It dosen't "add" anything else, I repeat any extra effects to the game thus making the game basically the same visually. Sure you can argue it makes things more detailed bla, bla, bla, but i am not going to get into that sillyness with you. Also 1680x1050 resolution is more or less the same as 1080P. The math of close enough to not lose any sleep over so let us not nickle and dime this debate? As for 60 FPS on my card? I can 100% absolutly gureentee I do in fact get an average frame rate of 60 FPS using ultra "in game" quality settings. I already stated I turn AA 100% off not only in game but in control panel as well. All those benchmarks you guys click too all use some degree of AA which takes a solid 20% off the top in performance. Also most of those reviews do not have the GTX460 running GTX560 speeds. I do in fact I am bang on for speed being 800core/1600shader/4000memory. That is in fact out of the box GTX560 speeds. I also never mentioned GTX560Ti anywhere in my post because the Ti model is not the same as it has 384 shaders vs. 336 so those two can't be even compared.
 
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#41
I'd recommend a HD 6950 as it is slightly faster card then the GTX 560ti and it isnt that far behind the GTX 570, also the 2gb of vram will be useful in future games, but if you can find a GTX 570 for less than £250 than i would recommend you buy that.
 

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#42
AA does not make any game "max" settings. The graphics stay the same no matter the AA level used. This you can argue till the cows come home but it will not make it true, the moon is not made out of cheeze. All AA does is takes jaggies away from straight lines. It dosen't "add" anything else, I repeat any extra effects to the game thus making the game basically the same visually. Sure you can argue it makes things more detailed bla, bla, bla, but i am not going to get into that sillyness with you. Also 1680x1050 resolution is more or less the same as 1080P. The math of close enough to not lose any sleep over so let us not nickle and dime this debate? As for 60 FPS on my card? I can 100% absolutly gureentee I do in fact get an average frame rate of 60 FPS using ultra "in game" quality settings. I already stated I turn AA 100% off not only in game but in control panel as well. All those benchmarks you guys click too all use some degree of AA which takes a solid 20% off the top in performance. Also most of those reviews do not have the GTX460 running GTX560 speeds. I do in fact I am bang on for speed being 800core/1600shader/4000memory. That is in fact out of the box GTX560 speeds. I also never mentioned GTX560Ti anywhere in my post because the Ti model is not the same as it has 384 shaders vs. 336 so those two can't be even compared.
Your post pretty much defeats itself.

All one has to do is focus on your "logic".

"Also 1680x1050 resolution is more or less the same as 1080P"

This is ridiculous. That's like saying "75% is basically the same thing as 100%, what's the difference?" It's flat out not the same. There is no gray area with mathematical fact.

"AA does not make any game "max" settings. The graphics stay the same no matter the AA level used. This you can argue till the cows come home but it will not make it true, the moon is not made out of cheeze. All AA does is takes jaggies away from straight lines. It dosen't "add" anything else, I repeat any extra effects to the game thus making the game basically the same visually. Sure you can argue it makes things more detailed bla, bla, bla, but i am not going to get into that sillyness with you."

"Maxing out the settings" means ticking every single option, including AA (most taxing option available), maximum AF, DOF, etc, etc. There is also no gray area here. There is maximum settings, and not maximum. Just because you don't *think* AA adds anything to the picture doesn't make it so. I'm sorry, but these are things you simply can't argue at all.


I fail to see any argument from you at all. It's pointless anyways because he wasn't considering a GTX 460 in the first place. I just wanted to make sure he didn't take you seriously, because it would have been a poor decision in my opinion.

As for your other comments: You most likely skimmed what I wrote, because you seem to be talking about a different subject than myself. I'm glad to know that your opinion trumps that of all major hardware review websites and hardware professionals though. Thank you for showing me the light! :)


PS: Just to be certain. Did you read this page?


Notice this isn't even on "ultra". The GTX 480 doesn't even get 60FPS at high settings here. Is your gtx 460 faster than a stock 480?
 
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#43
Your post pretty much defeats itself.

All one has to do is focus on your "logic".

"Also 1680x1050 resolution is more or less the same as 1080P"

This is ridiculous. That's like saying "75% is basically the same thing as 100%, what's the difference?" It's flat out not the same. There is no gray area with mathematical fact.

"AA does not make any game "max" settings. The graphics stay the same no matter the AA level used. This you can argue till the cows come home but it will not make it true, the moon is not made out of cheeze. All AA does is takes jaggies away from straight lines. It dosen't "add" anything else, I repeat any extra effects to the game thus making the game basically the same visually. Sure you can argue it makes things more detailed bla, bla, bla, but i am not going to get into that sillyness with you."

"Maxing out the settings" means ticking every single option, including AA (most taxing option available), maximum AF, DOF, etc, etc. There is also no gray area here. There is maximum settings, and not maximum. Just because you don't *think* AA adds anything to the picture doesn't make it so. I'm sorry, but these are things you simply can't argue at all.


I fail to see any argument from you at all. It's pointless anyways because he wasn't considering a GTX 460 in the first place. I just wanted to make sure he didn't take you seriously, because it would have been a poor decision in my opinion.

As for your other comments: You most likely skimmed what I wrote, because you seem to be talking about a different subject than myself. I'm glad to know that your opinion trumps that of all major hardware review websites and hardware professionals though. Thank you for showing me the light! :)
Hey man you can be fooled into thinking you need to max out AA to have good quality. If that floats your boat so be it. I will continue to disable AA and game 60 smooth in all my games on mid range cards...

Ps> yup, looked at those Tom links. Stock CPU running 3.4 with a stock 460. I am 4GHz with oc'd 460. Did you remember that little bit of info? Add 600HMz to the CPU and 200MHz to the GPU and those links are 100% irrelevant! You follow?
 
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J

John Doe

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#44
You you have it backwards.

Reference = Unlock
Non Reference = Unknown Success Rate of Unlocking (many don't)

The reference cards are pretty much guaranteed to be high quality. They are made by AMD and rebranded by the reseller with a sticker, nothing more. I have owned several 6950's (still have one) and a couple 6970's (same card really). All of my reference 6950's unlocked, and they overclocked extremely high. Judging from some peoples results with 3rd party designed 6950's, I would stick with reference for performance, quality, and guaranteed unlocking - if you care about that.

Also know this; unlocking doesn't provide a huge performance boost. It's the overclocking that really does it. The shader unlock gives anywhere from 2-10% of an increase in performance over stock 6950. It's the 6970 clocks that give it the real performance lead.

Go reference, unlock, overclock, win!!
I agree with this post regarding the Cayman GPU. If AMD, reference is your best bet in terms of PCB quality/unlocking chance. Reference boards are made by PCpartner (Sapphire). Companies just sticker them before shipping out, meaning brand doesn't matter.
 

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#45
Hey man you can be fooled into thinking you need to max out AA to have good quality. If that floats your boat so be it. I will continue to disable AA and game 60 smooth in all my games on mid range cards...

Ps> yup, looked at those Tom links. Stock CPU running 3.4 with a stock 460. I am 4GHz with oc'd 460. Did you remember that little bit of info? Add 600HMz to the CPU and 200MHz to the GPU and those links are 100% irrelevant! You follow?
I'm not fooled into anything, sir. I'm not saying I run AA or any of this for that matter. (although I do run it, because I can.) This isn't about what I do. It's about your unjustified claims. You have a right to do whatever you want with your games. The point is, you are wrong about the things you said. You can't max it out at 60 average fps. There is only one definition of maximum. You don't get to pick and choose what maximum is.

As for your claims: prove it with a BF3 bench / screenshot and I'll believe you. You are claiming that you get gtx 580+ results from a gtx 460 with an overclock. I am skeptical of this. Just take a quick fraps benchmark, and a screenshot of cpu-z, gpu-z etc. Must provide sufficient proof of your claims, and until then it's fantasy.

OH and PM me from now on. Too off topic and I'm unsubscribing for fear of further derailing OP's thread.
 
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#46
I agree with this post regarding the Cayman GPU. If AMD, reference is your best bet in terms of PCB quality/unlocking chance. Reference boards are made by PCpartner (Sapphire). Companies just sticker them before shipping out, meaning brand doesn't matter.
Just want to say thanks to john doe and lordjummy, i think it looks like i will indeed buy the reference 6950 although i would of loved to gone for the gainward 560ti 2GB phantom, but i can not seem to find one on the site i get most of my stuff from and that is near to the reported price.

The only thing i am slightly worried about buying a generic/reference card is not knowing the actual dimensions of the card in regards to whether it will fit in my case- and i have not got a dremel! LOL
 
J

John Doe

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#47
Just want to say thanks to john doe and lordjummy, i think it looks like i will indeed buy the reference 6950 although i would of loved to gone for the gainward 560ti 2GB phantom, but i can not seem to find one on the site i get most of my stuff from and that is near to the reported price.

The only thing i am slightly worried about buying a generic/reference card is not knowing the actual dimensions of the card in regards to whether it will fit in my case- and i have not got a dremel! LOL
It's superior to the Gainward. Those Gainward are Palit... cheap stuff.

As for reference, it really is the best choice. Nothing generic about it at all. In fact, it's a card made by AMD themselves rather than the Sapphire. The one with black PCB. The blue PCB one I compared to on the photos is a cheaper to make, Chinese revision. ;)

Also, it's harder to find info on non-ref. Non-reference (if cheaper) usually stands for cheaped out GPU's. They aren't up their with boards made by AMD in quality. The reference PCB is 10.5' long:

http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1488/3/

oh and, this is the Gainward 560 Ti PCB. Cheaply made and gets outperformed by the Cayman GPU, especially when it's unlocked. :)



 
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#48
If you can't afford a 580 pick up a 2nd hand 480 there isn't much difference apart from power draw and the heat still kick ass cards.
 
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#49
I'm not fooled into anything, sir. I'm not saying I run AA or any of this for that matter. (although I do run it, because I can.) This isn't about what I do. It's about your unjustified claims. You have a right to do whatever you want with your games. The point is, you are wrong about the things you said. You can't max it out at 60 average fps. There is only one definition of maximum. You don't get to pick and choose what maximum is.

As for your claims: prove it with a BF3 bench / screenshot and I'll believe you. You are claiming that you get gtx 580+ results from a gtx 460 with an overclock. I am skeptical of this. Just take a quick fraps benchmark, and a screenshot of cpu-z, gpu-z etc. Must provide sufficient proof of your claims, and until then it's fantasy.

OH and PM me from now on. Too off topic and I'm unsubscribing for fear of further derailing OP's thread.
Anyways you can call me a liar all you want. I know what I get using retail fraps. I know my game play is 60 smooth in the native resolitioon my LCD can push out. And I also have a 46 inch 1080P LCD TV as well that I also hook up from time to time to game on. This is why I know 1680x1050 and 1080P are basically the same visualy speaking...
 
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#50
The reviews I have read indicate that you will go beyond 1GB of Vram only on ultra settings at resolutions of 19XX and above, I think in the one review that was more detailed it showed a max useage (can't remember the map) at 1920 x1200 on high settings to be 940MB, at 1080 it was around 900 I think. Either way there is no reason not to play it safe and go for the extra memory if it's affordable..... unless you are a fanboi of course, I just refuse to buy a Gfx card for one game lol.

As for the 560Ti or 6950, I have both (well albeit the 6950 is fully flashed to 6970) and I find in most things that the 560 is quicker (just) but it feels snappier, but thats probably because I run the 560 at 1040mhz with only a minor voltage tweak (and thats faster than a stock 570) and I cannot run the 6950/6970 higher than 900mhz no matter how much volts I put through it, sadly I sold my other one that did 940mhz :(.