Considering interim upgrade to 6950

Discussion in 'Technology' started by AKS, Jun 17, 2011.

  1. I found what appears to be a damn good deal on newegg.

    $199 shipped with 2 games? Seems pretty nice. I can manage that price for sure, and I think it's actually possible to (not saying I will) Trifire it with a 6990 when I begin to construct my "megarig" at the end of this year.

    I'm thinking of impulse buying this 'mo 'fro this weekend. I just passed 2 sets of preliminary exams (neuropsychology and counseling) and my dissertation proposal over the past week (that's a lot of work; trust me), and I feel like I deserve some sort of reward for my extensive suffering over the past few months. It's looking like I may need to wait until December before I actually start to collect the wages I want, so I'm thinking of getting this card in the meantime.

    Do you guys agree that this XFX 6950 and apparently 2 games (that I don't have) would be a significant upgrade over my EVGA GTX 460 1GB? I have a Tuniq 650W PSU, modified Gateway 6810-01 (I know, ancient POS, but I modified it to fix the overheating issues), and currently an EVGA GTX 460 1GB.

    I'm going to shut down my PC in a minute to measure whether I can fit a card 2 more inches long into this case (questionable). Any other issues I should be aware of?

    EDIT: Well, it looks like I should be able to squeeze it in there. I was afraid of something protruding from the board that would block it. I think it can fit.
  2. The only concern you should have with any ATI card is cooling. How many fans have you got in your case? What's the airflow like in there?

    Although I dearly loved my 4870 that thing ran hot as hell even in a Mozart TX tower with good airflow and around 9 or 10 ATX Fans in there. It has even on occasion shut the computer down.

    If you're going to have a tight fit in your case you might want to consider upgrading your case to something bigger with more fans and airflow; I bet that monster gets as hot as hell under load.
  3. I've added an adjustable 80 mm fan on the side and a 120 mm fan in the back. I was considering adding one more 120 mm fan if I buy this card. I prefer the larger fans.

    My tentative long-term plan for my "megarig" late this year/ early next year is an OC'ed i7-2600K and 6990 in a full tower case, but money will be a bit tight until December. I basically need this thing to hold up for 6 months, although I would of course like it to last beyond that. It does have a lifetime warranty, which is nice. This XFX 6950 would be a placeholder upgrade until I get my license and earn some real $$$.

    My other recent cards (4850 and GTX 460) have been external exhaust designs and this isn't, which is a bit of a concern. I prefer the heat to be expelled rather than blown around in the case. I really don't want to buy an expensive case until I actually rebuild completely. Stuffing this card into a small case is a concern.
  4. A 6950 is not a substantial upgrade over a GTX 460.

    If you really want to treat yourself with a roughly $200 piece of hardware that will make an enormous difference in performance, get a SSD.
  5. Seems like a decent amount of improvement to me, although it varies by individual game.

    Just Cause 2
    Highest Settings
    AA: 4x
    AF: 16x
    Resolution: 1920x1200

    Radeon HD 6950 54 FPS
    GeForce GTX 460 1GB 39 FPS

    Battlefield Bad Company 2
    Highest Settings
    AA: 4x
    AF: 16x
    Resolution: 1920x1200

    Radeon HD 6950 50 FPS
    GeForce GTX 460 1GB 35 FPS

    There was only a 9FPS difference with Dirt 2, however.

    I've been putting off getting SSDs because they seem to be steadily dropping in price. I was trying to hold off as long as I could while the capacity goes up and price goes down. Would a SSD make a big difference for gaming?
  6. My brother has an OCZ SSD in his i7 920/12GB DDR3/GTX460 gaming setup, and in games that are notorious for long load times (Fallout 3, Oblivion, Mass Effect) it made an enormous difference. Everything loaded up instantaneously when I tried it. I was very impressed. I actually think it dramatically changed the gameplay experience. You get a much better sense of being in a huge epic world in one of those games when there's no perceptible load time moving between areas. His computer also boots up very quickly.

    I'm also holding off for them to get bigger and cheaper, but if you really want to make a $200 impulse purchase, that would make a much bigger difference than a slightly better video card.