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Gtx 480 or 6950 1GB

peonyu

Platinum Member
Mar 12, 2003
2,038
23
81
Hey guys, I currently have a 6950 1gb [not unlockable] and I also have a Gtx 480 card that I received from a friend. I want to keep one card and sell the one I dont keep, my question is which card overall is better. Right now Im leaning towards the 480 since from what I have seen its overall a faster card, and it has more memory on it [1536MB].

The 6950 hasn't really impressed me much performance wise, its fast but I was expecting more than just a straight up 2x speed increased from a single 4850 considering how long ago that card came out.

Anyways, between the two, any suggestions on which to keep. My main concern with the 480 is heat. Is it really that much hotter than a 6950 and are there any other drawbacks to it compared to the 6900 series ? Does it lack some DX11 features etc.
 

Smartazz

Diamond Member
Dec 29, 2005
6,128
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You might be running into a CPU bottleneck assuming that you're still running that Core 2 Duo in your sig. The earlier 480's generated more heat than the later production cards, but the 6950 is still a much more efficient card than the 480. Personally, I'd go for the 6950, especially with that power supply in your sig.
 

peonyu

Platinum Member
Mar 12, 2003
2,038
23
81
My sig is old, I should update it.

I have a 750W Corsair TX PSU. Cpu is the C2D, Im mainly looking at the speed, and the 480 does seem better. Would a 4.3ghz C2d really limit the card that much, I know its not a I7 but the frequency is pretty high.
 

LOL_Wut_Axel

Diamond Member
Mar 26, 2011
4,310
8
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At what resolution are you gaming?

More than 1GB of VRAM is only useful for resolutions higher than 1920x1200 with 4xAA/16xAF. As to which you should keep, it depends on your case, your power bill, and your resolution. The GTX 480 will be faster, but it'll also consume a lot more power while heating up a lot more. At 1920x1200 you'll only see the benefit of the 480 on games like Crysis 2, Mafia II and Metro 2033. For the future it should be better, though. If your case has very good airflow, you have a decent power supply, and you don't care about your system using 50% more power when gaming, get the GTX 480.

Your CPU, even at that frequency, will definitely mean a slight bottleneck. Do not do SLI.
 

peonyu

Platinum Member
Mar 12, 2003
2,038
23
81
My monitor is capped at 1280x1024, guess Ill stick with the 6950 in this case since it seems like the memory wont be a issue.
 

LOL_Wut_Axel

Diamond Member
Mar 26, 2011
4,310
8
81
My monitor is capped at 1280x1024, guess Ill stick with the 6950 in this case since it seems like the memory wont be a issue.
At 1280x1024 even a Radeon HD 6850 is mostly overkill. Anything more than a 6870 is simply nonsensical. Stay with the Radeon HD 6950.
 

dac7nco

Senior member
Jun 7, 2009
756
0
0
My monitor is capped at 1280x1024
LOL, sell both, and get a 6870 for $175. Why are you capped at that resolution? There are ~$120 1080p monitors you could get which would be under the price you would get for both cards, plus the 6870.

Daimon
 

bryanW1995

Lifer
May 22, 2007
11,143
32
91
You might be running into a CPU bottleneck assuming that you're still running that Core 2 Duo in your sig. The earlier 480's generated more heat than the later production cards, but the 6950 is still a much more efficient card than the 480. Personally, I'd go for the 6950, especially with that power supply in your sig.
Huh? He has a dual core cpu and a 750 tx psu (60a btw), that psu would easily handle that rig with any single card and almost any dual card config that you could imagine.

@OP: I'd go with the gtx 480 unless power/heat are a major concern for you OR you are on a lower res like 1680x1050.

LOL, sell both, and get a 6870 for $175. Why are you capped at that resolution? There are ~$120 1080p monitors you could get which would be under the price you would get for both cards, plus the 6870.

Daimon

Ok, so you're at 1280x1024. Even a 6950 1gb is overkill at that low res, gtx 480 is a major waste of money. Sell the gtx 480 and use that money to get a decent 1920x1080 monitor.
 
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Smartazz

Diamond Member
Dec 29, 2005
6,128
0
76
Huh? He has a dual core cpu and a 750 tx psu (60a btw), that psu would easily handle that rig with any single card and almost any dual card config that you could imagine.

@OP: I'd go with the gtx 480 unless power/heat are a major concern for you OR you are on a lower res like 1680x1050.


Ok, so you're at 1280x1024. Even a 6950 1gb is overkill at that low res, gtx 480 is a major waste of money. Sell the gtx 480 and use that money to get a decent 1920x1080 monitor.
He sig originally said he had a 380W Antec PSU, which I wouldn't want to stick a GTX 480 on. I agree with the recommendation to sell the card and get a 1080p display, especially since they're pretty cheap these days.
 

Crap Daddy

Senior member
May 6, 2011
610
0
0
So if you say you have a 480 and a 6950 and ask which to keep why don't you try both and see what's best for you? The 480 smokes the 6950 if you ask which is better but on the other hand it's more than enough for your res.
 

bryanW1995

Lifer
May 22, 2007
11,143
32
91
He sig originally said he had a 380W Antec PSU, which I wouldn't want to stick a GTX 480 on. I agree with the recommendation to sell the card and get a 1080p display, especially since they're pretty cheap these days.
Sorry, I missed that he had an old PSU listed. :oops:
 

RussianSensation

Elite Member
Sep 5, 2003
19,458
744
126
Sell the GTX480 since it has more value. Keep the 6950. For your resolution and CPU, there will be no benefit of having the GTX480. With your CPU, you are losing about 10% right off the bat with the GTX480, bringing its performance very close to the 6950.
 
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SlowSpyder

Lifer
Jan 12, 2005
17,305
998
126
At that low of a resolution there really isn't any point in keeping the GTX480, I doubt you'd be able to tell a difference between the two. Keep the cooler running, lower power using card.

Now if you plan on upgrading your monitor in the near future, that may change things. You could always sell the 6950 and buy a bigger monitor (I would say up to about 1080P the 6950 1GB should be plenty good, but I would likely keep the GTX480 if I went higher).

Just my $.02

*edit - And your dual core CPU may be holding back performance in some games, also. That could be part of the reason you aren't seeing as big of a jump as you thought.
 
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3DVagabond

Lifer
Aug 10, 2009
11,951
200
106
I don't really like the GTX480 overall, too hot and inefficient. At that low of a resolution though the 480 is quite a bit faster. As is typically the case, as resolution goes up the AMD card gets better relative to nVidia offerings. The 6950 doesn't actually catch the 480 at hires, but gets close enough to give you something worth consideration. @1280*1024 though the 480 is ~25% faster. In some really demanding games that could be noticeable.
 

LOL_Wut_Axel

Diamond Member
Mar 26, 2011
4,310
8
81
I don't really like the GTX480 overall, too hot and inefficient. At that low of a resolution though the 480 is quite a bit faster. As is typically the case, as resolution goes up the AMD card gets better relative to nVidia offerings. The 6950 doesn't actually catch the 480 at hires, but gets close enough to give you something worth consideration. @1280*1024 though the 480 is ~25% faster. In some really demanding games that could be noticeable.
The only problem is that even in graphics intensive games at 1280x1024 he should be seeing FPS in the 100 ballpark. So no, it won't make a difference.

I say he sells the Radeon HD 6950 1GB and gets a 1920x1080 monitor. If you notice input lag and response time differences you should go for a 23-25" TN panel monitor. If you care more about image quality, viewing angles and high contrast (very deep blacks), get a 23" PVA panel monitor like a Samsung 2333T. If you want both decent response time and input lag as well as good image quality, viewing angles and good contrast, you can take a look at the ASUS ML239H.
 

3DVagabond

Lifer
Aug 10, 2009
11,951
200
106
The only problem is that even in graphics intensive games at 1280x1024 he should be seeing FPS in the 100 ballpark. So no, it won't make a difference.

I say he sells the Radeon HD 6950 1GB and gets a 1920x1080 monitor. If you notice input lag and response time differences you should go for a 23-25" TN panel monitor. If you care more about image quality, viewing angles and high contrast (very deep blacks), get a 23" PVA panel monitor like a Samsung 2333T. If you want both decent response time and input lag as well as good image quality, viewing angles and good contrast, you can take a look at the ASUS ML239H.
What you are saying is good advice. You are right, he needs a bigger monitor to really get his money's worth out of either of those cards. There are a few titles even at his res where he could notice a difference in performance between those 2 cards. So, even if he doesn't upgrade his monitor the 480 is better overall. That's unless heat and power usage are a concern.



I certainly wouldn't recommend someone buy a 480 to use at 1280*1024, but since he already owns the cards it's a different story. Either way, we are both telling him to do the same thing, just for different reasons.
 

LOL_Wut_Axel

Diamond Member
Mar 26, 2011
4,310
8
81
What you are saying is good advice. You are right, he needs a bigger monitor to really get his money's worth out of either of those cards. There are a few titles even at his res where he could notice a difference in performance between those 2 cards. So, even if he doesn't upgrade his monitor the 480 is better overall. That's unless heat and power usage are a concern.



I certainly wouldn't recommend someone buy a 480 to use at 1280*1024, but since he already owns the cards it's a different story. Either way, we are both telling him to do the same thing, just for different reasons.
That's true, but I don't think we should measure overall performance from games like Metro 2033 and Mafia II. Civilization V is just badly optimized for AMD cards. They're the exception to the rule as most games with either of the cards should run at around 100 FPS at 1280x1024.

With that in mind, a GTX 480 should provide ample power except for those few games at 1920x1080, so he should sell the Radeon HD 6950 and get a new monitor.
 

peonyu

Platinum Member
Mar 12, 2003
2,038
23
81
So if you say you have a 480 and a 6950 and ask which to keep why don't you try both and see what's best for you? The 480 smokes the 6950 if you ask which is better but on the other hand it's more than enough for your res.

The 480 is still boxed, and not opened yet. It was a RMA and my friend went with 2x 6970s and gave me the old one [he RMAd a "dying" 295 I believe and got a 480], If I open it its value is less.

As far as the monitor goes I can afford a 1080p one, im more concerned with how much extra $ a month/year a 480 will cost me with its power intake [if anyone wants to take a guess at how much, be my guest].
 
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LOL_Wut_Axel

Diamond Member
Mar 26, 2011
4,310
8
81
The 480 is still boxed, and not opened yet. It was a RMA and my friend went with 2x 6970s and gave me the old one, If I open it its value is less.

As far as the monitor goes I can afford a 1080p one, im more concerned with how much extra $ a month/year a 480 will cost me with its power intake [if anyone wants to take a guess at how much, be my guest].
You're not gonna do any better selling it, to be honest. GTX 480s are the most powerful card you can get for $300. For a bit more you can get similar performance, less noise, lower power consumption and a worse power delivery system with the GTX 570. If you can get $200 for the Radeon HD 6950 that's more than enough for a great monitor so you can actually enjoy gaming.
 

pandemonium

Golden Member
Mar 17, 2011
1,777
76
91
As far as the monitor goes I can afford a 1080p one, im more concerned with how much extra $ a month/year a 480 will cost me with its power intake [if anyone wants to take a guess at how much, be my guest].
It just so happens I've developed spreadsheets that show exactly what you need to know (see sig). Otherwise I can show you how you can calculate it out directly for your use if the rates and usage aren't close to what's on the sheets. :)
 

LOL_Wut_Axel

Diamond Member
Mar 26, 2011
4,310
8
81
As far as cost goes, if you're in the US the GTX 480 should cost around $40 more a year than a Radeon HD 6950 to run if you're gaming around 8 hours a day.

It's not that much of a difference; I think GTX 480 + new 1920x1080 monitor is the best choice.
 

ArsenalGear

Junior Member
Mar 20, 2003
12
0
66
Last year I had this:

Core2 E6400 @ 3.2GHz
nV 7950GX2

I upgraded to a 5850 and the improvement in BC2 was pleasant, but not what I hoped. In late January, when TigerDirect had their i5 2500/2600 sale, I jumped on it. I was SHOCKED how much of an improvement it made. I had assumed the overclocked E6400 was not a bottleneck, but I was seriously wrong.
 

LOL_Wut_Axel

Diamond Member
Mar 26, 2011
4,310
8
81
Last year I had this:

Core2 E6400 @ 3.2GHz
nV 7950GX2

I upgraded to a 5850 and the improvement in BC2 was pleasant, but not what I hoped. In late January, when TigerDirect had their i5 2500/2600 sale, I jumped on it. I was SHOCKED how much of an improvement it made. I had assumed the overclocked E6400 was not a bottleneck, but I was seriously wrong.
Well, there are some other things you have to take into account. You're using a 65nm Core 2, which has around 8% lower IPC than Core 2 45nm. That, and your CPU was also clocked 34% lower, which should give it a disadvantage of 31-32% or so in speed. In the end, your old CPU should be around 40% slower than his, even if both are Core 2 Duos. With it being clocked so high, it should remove a good portion of the bottleneck.
 

3DVagabond

Lifer
Aug 10, 2009
11,951
200
106
Well, there are some other things you have to take into account. You're using a 65nm Core 2, which has around 8% lower IPC than Core 2 45nm. That, and your CPU was also clocked 34% lower, which should give it a disadvantage of 31-32% or so in speed. In the end, your old CPU should be around 40% slower than his, even if both are Core 2 Duos. With it being clocked so high, it should remove a good portion of the bottleneck.
He's also talking 5850. A 6950 or 480 will be bottle-necked more, all else being equal. Of course, all of this is academic as the OP owns all of this equipment and is just going to drop one of these cards in.

After reading more of this thread I'm wondering if the best thing to do in his current situation is to just sell whichever card he can get the most for? There's a lot of "upgrading" the OP needs to do for either of these cards to run up to potential.
 

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