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Author Topic: 6990s worth it compared to cheaper video cards? i.e. 5830s  (Read 2624 times)
1.21gigawatts
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June 03, 2011, 03:45:21 PM
 #1

I ordered a few 6990s a few weeks ago that are on back order.  Meanwhile, I've been building rigs with cheap 5830s.
At this point, I am wondering if I should just cancel all my backorders for 6990s because it's not a great $ to MH ratio.
Is anyone getting 6990s just because you have money to burn?  You want to play video games too?  You believe they will hold up better for resale later?
What are your reasons?
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June 03, 2011, 04:13:01 PM
 #2

I ordered a few 6990s a few weeks ago that are on back order.  Meanwhile, I've been building rigs with cheap 5830s.
At this point, I am wondering if I should just cancel all my backorders for 6990s because it's not a great $ to MH ratio.
Is anyone getting 6990s just because you have money to burn?  You want to play video games too?  You believe they will hold up better for resale later?
What are your reasons?

your secondary costs for the machine should also be factored in.

You have to buy 1 mb/cpu/ram/PSU/case/etc for each system, so you are decreasing incremental cost by making each machine as powerful as possible.

you just gotta do the math and figure out what gives you the cheapest TOTAL MH/$ ratio, not just on a per-card basis.
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June 03, 2011, 04:27:31 PM
 #3

I've run the numbers and it isn't worth it to buy 6990s compared to a cheaper video card.  Unless someone has limited space in their apt, and can only run 1 rig with all 6990s vs 2 rigs with all 5830s.  Unless you've found a cache of used 6990s for 50% off, I can't see why someone would build with 6990s?  Maybe my math is off
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June 03, 2011, 04:48:21 PM
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I've run the numbers and it isn't worth it to buy 6990s compared to a cheaper video card.  Unless someone has limited space in their apt, and can only run 1 rig with all 6990s vs 2 rigs with all 5830s.  Unless you've found a cache of used 6990s for 50% off, I can't see why someone would build with 6990s?  Maybe my math is off


factor in electricity too and your view might change a bit.
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June 03, 2011, 06:29:05 PM
 #5

I just picked up (2) Diamond 6990's. I got them because I initially planned on running them in my main desktop machine for mining. I only run 1 machine at home currently, therefore I wanted to maximize it's GPU power/output/mining ability.

However I also have a test machine that I use occasionally. I was going to use it for an ESX lab, but I might convert it into a Bitcoin mining rig. Smiley

I just installed one of the 6990's last night and I'm getting ~650-700 Mhash/s, stock. (both GPU's on 1 card)
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June 03, 2011, 06:38:03 PM
 #6

It's not worth it.  I've done the calculations many times, and every time, the 5850/5830 wins out on electrical usage and MHash/$ compared to the 6990.

My friend bought two 6990's, but only because he is one of the types to buy top-end stuff if he is going to buy anything at all.  I make more MH/s than him and spent several hundred less.
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June 03, 2011, 07:17:31 PM
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It's not worth it.  I've done the calculations many times, and every time, the 5850/5830 wins out on electrical usage and MHash/$ compared to the 6990.

My friend bought two 6990's, but only because he is one of the types to buy top-end stuff if he is going to buy anything at all.  I make more MH/s than him and spent several hundred less.

totally agree, got a bud that picked up a 6990 when he got into mining, i chose 3 5870's for the same price.   Tongue

Actually I think I might've paid less than his 6990 while getting more m/hash
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June 03, 2011, 07:20:48 PM
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It's not worth it.  I've done the calculations many times, and every time, the 5850/5830 wins out on electrical usage and MHash/$ compared to the 6990.

My friend bought two 6990's, but only because he is one of the types to buy top-end stuff if he is going to buy anything at all.  I make more MH/s than him and spent several hundred less.

totally agree, got a bud that picked up a 6990 when he got into mining, i chose 3 5870's for the same price.   Tongue

Actually I think I might've paid less than his 6990 while getting more m/hash

So 3 5870's consume <= power than a single 6990? Heh, I may have to change my plans for future rigs Cheesy

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pokermon919
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June 03, 2011, 07:25:00 PM
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It's not worth it.  I've done the calculations many times, and every time, the 5850/5830 wins out on electrical usage and MHash/$ compared to the 6990.

My friend bought two 6990's, but only because he is one of the types to buy top-end stuff if he is going to buy anything at all.  I make more MH/s than him and spent several hundred less.

totally agree, got a bud that picked up a 6990 when he got into mining, i chose 3 5870's for the same price.   Tongue

Actually I think I might've paid less than his 6990 while getting more m/hash

So 3 5870's consume <= power than a single 6990? Heh, I may have to change my plans for future rigs Cheesy

for sure it consumes more power, but I also have 50% more hashing power, roughly.
I'm getting 400m/hash with each 5870, can oc it some more to get a little more juice but eh. While the 6990 is 700-800mhash depending on clocks. 1.2ghash>800mhash
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June 03, 2011, 07:36:44 PM
 #10

It's not worth it.  I've done the calculations many times, and every time, the 5850/5830 wins out on electrical usage and MHash/$ compared to the 6990.

My friend bought two 6990's, but only because he is one of the types to buy top-end stuff if he is going to buy anything at all.  I make more MH/s than him and spent several hundred less.

totally agree, got a bud that picked up a 6990 when he got into mining, i chose 3 5870's for the same price.   Tongue

Actually I think I might've paid less than his 6990 while getting more m/hash

So 3 5870's consume <= power than a single 6990? Heh, I may have to change my plans for future rigs Cheesy

for sure it consumes more power, but I also have 50% more hashing power, roughly.
I'm getting 400m/hash with each 5870, can oc it some more to get a little more juice but eh. While the 6990 is 700-800mhash depending on clocks. 1.2ghash>800mhash

One other thing; a 5870 costs ~ 400 each; and you get 400MH/s out of it. A 6990 costs ~750, but I easily get 830MH/s out of it.
Just curious how this works out in the favor of the 5870?

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pokermon919
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June 03, 2011, 08:05:58 PM
 #11

It's not worth it.  I've done the calculations many times, and every time, the 5850/5830 wins out on electrical usage and MHash/$ compared to the 6990.

My friend bought two 6990's, but only because he is one of the types to buy top-end stuff if he is going to buy anything at all.  I make more MH/s than him and spent several hundred less.

totally agree, got a bud that picked up a 6990 when he got into mining, i chose 3 5870's for the same price.   Tongue

Actually I think I might've paid less than his 6990 while getting more m/hash

So 3 5870's consume <= power than a single 6990? Heh, I may have to change my plans for future rigs Cheesy

for sure it consumes more power, but I also have 50% more hashing power, roughly.
I'm getting 400m/hash with each 5870, can oc it some more to get a little more juice but eh. While the 6990 is 700-800mhash depending on clocks. 1.2ghash>800mhash

One other thing; a 5870 costs ~ 400 each; and you get 400MH/s out of it. A 6990 costs ~750, but I easily get 830MH/s out of it.
Just curious how this works out in the favor of the 5870?

I picked mines up for around 230-250 each
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June 03, 2011, 09:21:13 PM
 #12

It's not worth it.  I've done the calculations many times, and every time, the 5850/5830 wins out on electrical usage and MHash/$ compared to the 6990.

My friend bought two 6990's, but only because he is one of the types to buy top-end stuff if he is going to buy anything at all.  I make more MH/s than him and spent several hundred less.

totally agree, got a bud that picked up a 6990 when he got into mining, i chose 3 5870's for the same price.   Tongue

Actually I think I might've paid less than his 6990 while getting more m/hash

So 3 5870's consume <= power than a single 6990? Heh, I may have to change my plans for future rigs Cheesy

for sure it consumes more power, but I also have 50% more hashing power, roughly.
I'm getting 400m/hash with each 5870, can oc it some more to get a little more juice but eh. While the 6990 is 700-800mhash depending on clocks. 1.2ghash>800mhash

One other thing; a 5870 costs ~ 400 each; and you get 400MH/s out of it. A 6990 costs ~750, but I easily get 830MH/s out of it.
Just curious how this works out in the favor of the 5870?
Definitely depends on purchase price.  IMO, 5850's and 5870's are not worth the current purchase price.  5830's, for $109 each, are a steal.
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June 03, 2011, 09:28:00 PM
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+1 on the 5830's.  For $109 you can easily pull 275 MH/s and I'm sure you can go higher.  Only problem is power, think they pull 175-180+ watts a full load.
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June 03, 2011, 09:50:27 PM
 #14

One way in which 6990s win out is future re-sale value. They have staying power that 5830s likely do not. If you worry about BitCoin going bust in a year or so, and you find yourself with say 4 5830s, you might find yourself hard pressed to drop them as they fill kind of a weird niche (weak graphic power, high temp and power consumption at a price point that puts it against cooler sleeker used gtx460s). while a 6990 is likely to be a hot commodity for couple of years to come.

But it's unlikely that this will really be enough to tip the scales in the 6990s favor. I personally consider it to be one of the worst buys one can make other than say nvidia. For pure hashing the 5830 is the king of MHash/$ if you can stand the noise/heat/elec bill.
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June 03, 2011, 09:52:08 PM
 #15

Yea if you're looking to buy retail I don't think nothing can beat a 5830 for $/hash ratio, but if you can find a 5850 for roughly the same price you should get the 5850. It consumes less power than the 5830 and has a bit more hashing power.
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June 03, 2011, 10:26:39 PM
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One way in which 6990s win out is future re-sale value. They have staying power that 5830s likely do not. If you worry about BitCoin going bust in a year or so, and you find yourself with say 4 5830s, you might find yourself hard pressed to drop them as they fill kind of a weird niche (weak graphic power, high temp and power consumption at a price point that puts it against cooler sleeker used gtx460s). while a 6990 is likely to be a hot commodity for couple of years to come.

But it's unlikely that this will really be enough to tip the scales in the 6990s favor. I personally consider it to be one of the worst buys one can make other than say nvidia. For pure hashing the 5830 is the king of MHash/$ if you can stand the noise/heat/elec bill.
This is a valid point.  The resale on a single 6990 will probably be higher down the road.  I'd go for a 6990 if they were more reasonably priced, or if I wasn't able to get my hands on a 5830 down the road, but until then...  5830's it is!
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June 03, 2011, 11:37:12 PM
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5850's are getting scarce and if you do find them anywhere the price has shot up to $200-$300.  Considering they could be had for under $150 not too long ago, that's crazy.

So, like everyone said.  If your space is at a premium you may want to look at the 6990 or even 5970's for that matter.  If you don't mind the space a few extra bucks for power and can't find the 5850's, the 5830's are the champ.  I did this a few weeks back when I was looking for cards and the 5830 came out on top of my utterly non-scientific formulas.  I took numbers off the Wiki and tried to cram them together to figure out what was the best value both by $/MH and Watts/MH.  Of course, the 5850's price has gone up since then if you can even find it, so it's a bit skewed..



GPU | MH Range | Watt Range | Lowest Price Online | MaxMH/Low Price | MaxMH/High Watt | MaxMH/Low Price + MaxMH/HighWatt


5830 | (206-307) | 175w | $109 | (2.8 ) | (1.75) | 4.55

5850 | (252-355) | 151-194w | $155 | (2.2) | (1.82) | 4.02

5870 | (313-421) | 188W | $379 | (1.11) | (2.23) | 3.34

6950 | (295-360) | 160-200w | $236 | (1.5) | (1.8 ) | 3.3

6970 | (323-372) | 151-175w | $339 | (1.09) | (2.1) | 3.19

5970 | (530-802) | 294-347w | $909 | (0.88) | (2.31) | 3.18

6990 | (708-772) | 346-420w - $734 | (1.05) | (1.83) | 2.88
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June 04, 2011, 12:14:05 AM
 #18

I would say skip the 6990s and go for 6950s instead.
They can be had for around $275, and they are unlockable to 6970s with a simple bios flash.
That easily gives it 375 MHash on stock clocks, and definitely 400+ with some OCing
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June 04, 2011, 12:26:59 AM
 #19

I ordered a few 6990s a few weeks ago that are on back order.  Meanwhile, I've been building rigs with cheap 5830s.

cheap.... i got mine a few weeks ago(FU tigerdirect it said it come with assassin's creed AND IT DIDN'T, my records show it was supposed to!) and it was a pretty big financial decision...

dude above, i got the 5830 for $100 here

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Meatball
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June 04, 2011, 12:45:54 AM
 #20

I would say skip the 6990s and go for 6950s instead.
They can be had for around $275, and they are unlockable to 6970s with a simple bios flash.
That easily gives it 375 MHash on stock clocks, and definitely 400+ with some OCing

I read a few places that flashing the 6950 with the 6970 bios is not good for the card, but there is a mod'd 6950 bios that will unlock the extra Shaders.  Made my 6950 jump from about 330 MH/s to 370 MH/s at an 870/625 OC.  Pretty sure I could crank it higher, but it's my main gaming machine, so I don't want to blow the card.

If you want to risk it and jump to the 6970 BIOS, Techpowerup has a good article on it.

If you just want to unlock the shaders, check out the following post.

Regardless, fudging around with the bios is risky and you could brick your card.

Though I still don't know if the 6950 at $275 for maybe 375 MH/s still isn't worth it compared to a 5830 at ~$100 and 270 MH/sec.
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