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Thread: Need help with GPU choice and dimensions

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    Need help with GPU choice and dimensions

    Hi all,

    I'm in a bit of a dilemma and need your help !

    After much research, I've narrowed down my new GPU budget to somewhere around £200 (give or take 20 odd quid). I'll be gaming at 1900 x 1080 as that's the max res for my monitor.

    Having pored over dozens of benchmarks and buying guides I'm at a bit of a crossroads as to whether to go for:

    - A GTX 560 TI (likely factory overclocked) such as the MSI Twin Frozr 2 or the Gigabyte 1Ghz SOC.

    - A HD 6950 with a decent cooler such as the Twin Frozr 3 Power edition.

    Is there anything comparable or better than these within the same price bracket ?

    (You may have noticed that I favour MSI's great coolers, as they seem to keep the temps AND noise down unlike many reference designs).

    Also:

    - Many people recommend flashing the BIOS of a 6950 to a 6970 but I'm reluctant to do that as the performance gain seems minimal and I don't particularly want to fry my card. The 6950 I list is a rev 2 anyway and isn't flashable.

    - Games I'll be buying this for are stuff like Metro, Stalker, Witcher 2, the Bioshocks, BF:BC2, the Cryses, etc.

    - I've considered a GTX 570 and a HD 6970 but they seem to offer rather small performance gains for the money.

    - My mobo (an Abit IP 35 Pro XE) has some rather poorly placed IDE port on the side where the end of the GPU's PCB would end up. With my current HD 4850 this isn't a problem (its length is 246mm) but with some of the newer Radeons their PCBs look gargantuan (270mm +). Does anyone have any experience of using cards with long PCBs on this mobo and if so does the IDE port get in the way ?

    - Do most vendors (i.e. Scan) issue RMAs if the card is too big for your mobo / case ? Or does it have to be a DOA or damaged in transit scenario only ?

    Any suggestions or revisions very welcome !

    Many many thanks !

    Azoth
    Last edited by azoth; 23-05-2011 at 04:00 PM.

  2. #2
    Anthropomorphic Personification shaithis's Avatar
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    Re: Need help with GPU choice and dimensions

    I'd probably go with the 6950 unless you are after Physx or 3DVision.

    I can also strongly recommend the gigabyte windforce cards. Their coolers are also extremely efficient and quiet.

    The card should not foul the IDE but you will probably have to remove the card to plug/unplug from that port. It's the same story with SATA ports in a lot of mobo/gfx card combos as well.
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    Re: Need help with GPU choice and dimensions

    The HD6950 2GB reference models have a dual BIOS meaning they won't go kaput even if the flash is bad.


    Those despicable Elk,stealing the pond weed!

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    Re: Need help with GPU choice and dimensions

    @shaithis

    Not particularly interested in either (though PhysX might be useful) so no problems there - performance for my cash is what I want :-)

    I see what you mean by Windforce now. Gigabyte have this as their only Windforce ATI model:

    gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=3693#ov

    hmm...

    @ Cat the Fifth

    I thought the dual BIOSs were just different profiles e.g. a quiet profile and a performance profile ? Mind you I could be wrong. Also, that Twin Frozr model I'm considering is not a standard PCB, so I don't think flashing would work anyway. Now if there was a standard PCB with a good cooler on it then we'd be talking !
    Last edited by azoth; 23-05-2011 at 04:10 PM.

  5. #5
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    Re: Need help with GPU choice and dimensions

    No, there is a switch so if you mess it up, you can throw the switch and boot from a second default bios.
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  6. #6
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    Re: Need help with GPU choice and dimensions

    @ shaithis

    I see.

  7. #7
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    Re: Need help with GPU choice and dimensions

    Looks like it is possible to flash the Twin Frozr III to a 6970, but only if you find a suitable BIOS:

    pureoverclock.com/review.php?id=1287&page=17

    I think this has pretty much sold it to me. Now I just need to be extra sure the IDE port won't get in the way and that a BIOS can be found and it will be an utter bargain.

  8. #8
    Anthropomorphic Personification shaithis's Avatar
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    Re: Need help with GPU choice and dimensions

    http://www.techpowerup.com/vgabios/

    Best place to start looking for a bios...
    Main PC: Asus Rampage IV Extreme / 3960X@4.5GHz / Antec H1200 Pro / 32GB DDR3-1866 Quad Channel / Sapphire Fury X / Areca 1680 / 850W EVGA SuperNOVA Gold 2 / Corsair 600T / 2x Dell 3007 / 4 x 250GB SSD + 2 x 80GB SSD / 4 x 1TB HDD (RAID 10) / Windows 10 Pro, Yosemite & Ubuntu
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  9. #9
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    Re: Need help with GPU choice and dimensions

    Make sure you unlock the shaders only as the RAM on the HD6950 is rated for lower speeds AFAIK.


    Those despicable Elk,stealing the pond weed!

  10. #10
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    Re: Need help with GPU choice and dimensions

    @shaithis

    Thank you, that is an excellent resource !

    @Cat the Fifth

    Could you please point me to a guide ? That would be super.

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