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Author Topic: Yet Another Video Card Comparison...  (Read 5947 times)
crazybernie
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June 27, 2011, 01:10:47 PM
 #1

***EDIT*** Revised chart to include "Stock"  vs "Tweaked" results and show the possible gains to be had.

http://img703.imageshack.us/img703/7876/vidcardbtccmpv2.jpg

Notes:

- The MHash performance and wattages are an average of the values from the Wiki site.  There were a few cards that I pulled wattage information from other sources due to not being listed on the Wiki.  So don't be too surprised if your card does not perform as well as these averages at stock speeds.

- I did not list cards that were no longer/not currently available with two exceptions: the 5830 and the 6990.  Nobody has the 5830 available for a "reasonable price," and nobody has the 6990 available.  I didn't include eBay for these availability considerations (although you can get used 5830's there for about what I listed it for), or the large number of Google/Pricewatch shopping vendors that I consider to have questionable reputability.  YMMV.

- I pulled the majority of prices from Newegg and Tiger Direct.  I did not include prices for tax, shipping, or rebates.

- The 5770 still has the best overall performance for a combination of power consumption and price.  Newegg has a 5770 for $89.99 after rebate, making it an even better deal.  Get 'em while they're still available... the rebate is only good till 6/30, and unlike most rebates, it's good for two cards per household.  The 6870 makes a solid second place choice, but I'd probably recommend spending extra on the 6950 if you're going multi GPU and looking to maximize your performance vs space.  Of course the 6970's and 5870's are still kicking around for the brute-force-money-is-no-object fellows... ^_^

***POST REVISION***

- I've taken the averages of the lowest two scores to use as the "Stock" performance numbers.  This can account for some variance between cards that come tweaked from the manufacturer as well as different settings/mining apps.

- I've taken the averages of the highest two scores to use as the "Tweaked" performance numbers, to be used as theoretical gains.

- With these revisions, the 6950 is painted in an even more favorable light when you factor in the possibility of unlocking dormant shaders and overclocking.  The 6970 also rises to the occasion with great performance vs power consumption if you don't mind the higher entry cost.  Older cards like the 5830/5870 offer great performance/watt but are unfortunately held back by pricing and availability of these discontinued parts.  Buying second hand is a mixed bag, as people generally want more than the cards are worth (eg, people asking for $200+ for 5830's).


Thoughts?

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June 27, 2011, 02:41:10 PM
 #2

6990 is off by a wide margin.
For 760+ mhash/s you would have to OC past 900mhz so power consumption just for the card itself will be 450-500+ watts

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crazybernie
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June 27, 2011, 03:07:02 PM
 #3

Well I was averaging the scores, and people conveniently refrained from posting their wattage consumption... >.<

The 6990 is generally for those unconcerned with price/power consumption.  Even with an adjusted power consumption though, it's still a relatively good performance/power card (@ 450 watts, it would score a 1.69 MHash/j).  There's also the matter of availability, or lack thereof.

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June 27, 2011, 03:14:07 PM
 #4

The scores on the Wiki tend to be very high. Eg I get 250Mhashes a sec on a 5830 OC'ed to 925mhz. You'd have to OC even higher to get 285 (the score for a 5830). For a stock 5830 it's ~220Mhashes or so.

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Reckman
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June 27, 2011, 04:50:36 PM
 #5

5850 Probably the best card for mining back when they were 150
fcmatt
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June 27, 2011, 05:43:33 PM
 #6

one has to be careful comparing reference cards to non-ref.
lets use the 6950 as an example. the 6950 can have the shaders unlocked. it can
be overclocked/overvolted to get an easy 420+ mh/s.

so your chart has a lot of problems to someone who studies these card variances in
depth. spending some time understanding why some cards do so much better then other
cards in the same type is the key to getting extra out of them.

crazybernie
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June 27, 2011, 06:57:39 PM
 #7

Fair enough... how about this revised comparison?

*** Image moved to first post ***

- I've taken the averages of the lowest two scores to use as the "Stock" performance numbers.  This can account for some variance between cards that come tweaked from the manufacturer as well as different settings/mining apps.

- I've taken the averages of the highest two scores to use as the "Tweaked" performance numbers, to be used as theoretical gains.

- I didn't touch the wattage figures for now... there's too large an amount of unrecorded figures.  I might do a search for some stock wattages later.

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June 27, 2011, 07:07:59 PM
 #8

You're quite correct that the 5770 is the best deal going right now. But even better is 2nd hand cards.

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crazybernie
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June 27, 2011, 08:13:20 PM
 #9

Second hand cards are very hit and miss... people who know about bitcoins are asking a lot more than they're worth and as a result everyone else is asking for more.  I did however hook a buddy of mine up on a used 5830 for $115 through Amazon.

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June 27, 2011, 08:52:22 PM
 #10

You're quite correct that the 5770 is the best deal going right now. But even better is 2nd hand cards.

i have not done the math but i have to wonder if the price of buying psu/MB/ram/proc/etc... outweighs
their apparent value.

now the 5830 on the other hand for the same price or slightly more had enough mh/s per card to offset
those costs easily.
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June 27, 2011, 08:53:29 PM
 #11

your 5870 price is off.

its about 300$ for the 1gb version, 550$ for the 2gb version.  both produce the same amount of hashes

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crazybernie
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June 27, 2011, 09:17:42 PM
 #12

The key to the prices was finding the card in stock at a reputable vendor.  That is why I used TigerDirect and Newegg for my price/availability checks.  Doing some extra searching, I did find a 1GB 5870 from a vendor with some positive ratings that claims to have the card in stock for $419.99.  Everyone else lists it as a special order or out of stock item.  Considering it's a discontinued item, good luck getting any "Special orders."

Of course, you could always take your chances and buy a used one for only $249 from bobbyhGrin

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gigica viteazu`
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June 27, 2011, 10:39:39 PM
 #13

so i better get 2x 6950 than 2x 5870 ? does the brand count ?

tkx

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June 27, 2011, 11:06:06 PM
 #14

so i better get 2x 6950 than 2x 5870 ? does the brand count ?

tkx

when it comes to 6950s it is not the brand that counts as much as the design. when buying
a 6950 for mining you want a reference card. that is a card that AMD designed and manufacturers
copied pretty much exactly. it is those cards which can have the extra shaders unlocked and thus
improve performance. they also overclock well and you can control the voltage. plus they have
a dual bios in case you screw up the card you can revert it back.

hope that helps.
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June 27, 2011, 11:28:20 PM
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so i better get 2x 6950 than 2x 5870 ? does the brand count ?

tkx

when it comes to 6950s it is not the brand that counts as much as the design. when buying
a 6950 for mining you want a reference card. that is a card that AMD designed and manufacturers
copied pretty much exactly. it is those cards which can have the extra shaders unlocked and thus
improve performance. they also overclock well and you can control the voltage. plus they have
a dual bios in case you screw up the card you can revert it back.

hope that helps.

Any tips on how to tell if it's reference card or not Huh

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June 27, 2011, 11:35:01 PM
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Any tips on how to tell if it's reference card or not Huh

this is reference design with the fan at the back


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June 27, 2011, 11:52:04 PM
 #17



Not sure if this is a good buy at $270 after MIR...

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June 28, 2011, 09:48:12 AM
 #18

6990 is off by a wide margin.
For 760+ mhash/s you would have to OC past 900mhz so power consumption just for the card itself will be 450-500+ watts

That's not true.  At 880mhz, I'm getting 379.8 mhash/s for each core (759.6 mhash/s for the card).  With finely tuned over/underclocking, I was able to get 3x6990 to do a stable 2.41 ghash/s in under 1300w for the entire system (efficiency of 1.85 mhash/J for the entire system, 2.00+ mhash/J for each card).  I'd guess the system w/o the GPUs is around 100-150w, which means each card is doing about 400w, maybe less.  I can overclock them even higher as well but I wanted to keep the system at safer amperage levels.  This was before software tweaks I made that pushed it 3.5-4.0% faster (3% of it thanks to bitless's Ma optimization).  I don't know how much power they use now but they're doing 2.50 ghash/s now.  I don't think power has changed too much since temps are about the same as before (all but a "defective" core are below 80C on air cooling).  I still have plenty of room to get it even faster but I'll be losing a lot of efficiency in the process and I'll be over the power usage constraint I placed upon myself for the whole 3 card system.

On the other end of the spectrum, I can tweak the system to be at least as efficient as 2.10 mhash/J (or over 2.35 for the card) while still maintaining a hash rate above 2.0 ghash/s.  I'm sure all the efficiency numbers are even higher now with the 3+% speedup.  The PSUs and GPUs matter quite a bit at the higher OC levels.  I've seen GPU cores that require a lot more voltage to achieve the same rate as another one.  And if you're unlucky (like me), you'll get a card with cores that are well over 10C higher than the other core on the same card, making it so you can't overclock as much while using up more power due to the extra heat.

I run Linux and use the phoenix miner with the poclbm kernel.  It's the fastest miner for me and beats even hashkill in raw speed while having less than 1% stales.  My numbers are now higher than hdminer now (@915, I get 817 mhash/s vs hdminer's 802. @960, I get 857 mhash/s vs 840).  I think my hardware tweaks put them over the top, as the software tweaks haven't quite reached the 6.4% hdminer claims so I'd be interested in finding out if hdminer would get even better numbers with my setup.  I'm just not willing to pay the hefty price to find out.
crazybernie
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June 28, 2011, 01:41:53 PM
 #19


If it was for gaming, I'd say no, unlocking the bios wouldn't get you much by way of performance gains.  For bitcoin mining, it's a much better value.  Those extra shaders can make a nice bonus for only $30 more, instead of paying $100 more for a 6970.  Plus, if you're overclocking, that bios switch could be a godsend.

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June 28, 2011, 03:40:18 PM
 #20

5830 "tweaked" at 318 Mhash/s? How, exactly? water cooling + 50% overclock?
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