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Author Topic: I'm going to buy a used XFX Radeon 5870. Does the model make a difference?  (Read 1447 times)
evlew
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September 21, 2011, 06:18:56 AM
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as stated above.  does 1gb or 2gb matter.  Is there some that do not perform as well.  I have never owned an XFX card but hear good things.

Please let me know your thoughts.
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P4man
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September 21, 2011, 06:51:28 AM
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amount and speed of ram do not matter. If anything, less is better (tiny power savings).

evlew
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September 21, 2011, 06:52:56 AM
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And there is no models to avoid?  they all perform relatively in the same ballpark?
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September 21, 2011, 06:56:22 AM
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I have 2 xfx 5870 cards. Both non-referencial. Version 1.6 and 3.0. The 1.6 overclocks to 980/320 with no problem, but the 3.0 is stable only up to 960/320.
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September 21, 2011, 07:31:37 AM
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And there is no models to avoid?  they all perform relatively in the same ballpark?

Yeah, there is no big difference between them. Some cards might be factory overclocked, giving you a small guaranteed overclock, but how high these cards go is more dependent on your luck than on the brand. The only thing Id pay close attention to is the cooling solution (unless you plan on an aftermarket cooler anyway) and perhaps warranty.

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September 21, 2011, 07:32:12 AM
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XFX cards are fine for mining. My experience is with 5850s, and I have one XFX. The core doesn't clock quite as high as my Sapphires (about 25 Mhz less), and the memory doesn't clock quite as low (about 100 Mhz higher). But the difference is pretty minor. All else being equal though, I suppose I would take Sapphire over XFX.  
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September 21, 2011, 09:51:57 AM
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And there is no models to avoid?  they all perform relatively in the same ballpark?

Yeah, there is no big difference between them. Some cards might be factory overclocked, giving you a small guaranteed overclock, but how high these cards go is more dependent on your luck than on the brand. The only thing Id pay close attention to is the cooling solution (unless you plan on an aftermarket cooler anyway) and perhaps warranty.
While a majority of cards are the same there can be big differences. A normal saphire 5850 can usually get around 380 while a saphire toxic 5850 can get 400+. Another example is some 6870's can only downclock their memory slightly.

Also reference is always better assuming the price isn't outrageous.
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September 21, 2011, 01:43:48 PM
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I prefer 1GB models over 2GB more memory can lead to more sensitive overclocking.

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evlew
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September 21, 2011, 06:14:11 PM
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And there is no models to avoid?  they all perform relatively in the same ballpark?

Yeah, there is no big difference between them. Some cards might be factory overclocked, giving you a small guaranteed overclock, but how high these cards go is more dependent on your luck than on the brand. The only thing Id pay close attention to is the cooling solution (unless you plan on an aftermarket cooler anyway) and perhaps warranty.

That's the only thing that sucks is the guy I'm buying it off of didn't register the double lifetime warranty, but i've been building and fixing computers for 10 years and have never seen a card go bad that wasn't abused. 

It's a killer deal though.  $135.00 
Should I take it?  I was just going to sell one of my 6870's to a friend probably.
P4man
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September 21, 2011, 06:16:57 PM
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But you are going to abuse it.
For that price tho, you should still take it Smiley

evlew
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September 21, 2011, 06:30:13 PM
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But you are going to abuse it.
For that price tho, you should still take it Smiley


Normally that would be true.  But, I'm no longer the greedy miner I use to be.  Chances are I'll go easy on it.  I'm not going to flash as I had a bad experience recently and reverted all my cards back to stock and overclocked to the max the manufacturer is willing.

on my stock 6870's i'm getting 275-280 vs when they were overclocked getting 305+
It makes me rest easier though.
haploid23
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September 21, 2011, 06:52:59 PM
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performance-wise, model does not matter much. although, some of special editions are binned to be better overclockers, like sapphire toxic, XFX black, or asus ares. cooling does matter though, and different model have different cooler designs. if you're only using a 1 card setup or care about noise, then get a non-reference model, as they generally cool a little better and produce less noise. however, their design is less ideal for cramming  a lot of cards on the motherboard because they shoot heat everywhere, and the card on top will recycle and use the heat from the card on the bottom. this is where a reference design will be superior because they have a directional flow of heat/exhaust, although they do produce a little more noise

evlew
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September 21, 2011, 07:04:31 PM
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performance-wise, model does not matter much. although, some of special editions are binned to be better overclockers, like sapphire toxic, XFX black, or asus ares. cooling does matter though, and different model have different cooler designs. if you're only using a 1 card setup or care about noise, then get a non-reference model, as they generally cool a little better and produce less noise. however, their design is less ideal for cramming  a lot of cards on the motherboard because they shoot heat everywhere, and the card on top will recycle and use the heat from the card on the bottom. this is where a reference design will be superior because they have a directional flow of heat/exhaust, although they do produce a little more noise

Wow thanks for that info.  That is useful.  All my rigs contain 4 cards which are spaced out with PCI-E risers, a 5 dollar k-mart dish rack, and some room fans.  I have noticed all my existing cards have directional exhaust.
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September 21, 2011, 07:49:48 PM
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Normally that would be true.  But, I'm no longer the greedy miner I use to be.  Chances are I'll go easy on it.  I

EVen if you are not going to overvolt and overclock it, just running it at full load 24/7 is abusing it.

Gaming GPUs arent designed for that. They are designed for gaming performance, and due to the very competitive nature of the market, generally specced really close to their limits (much more so than CPUs for instance, which will generally take far higher overvolting and overclocking abuses). Compromises are made to keep noise and cost down, but the load bitcoin mining puts on them is far bigger than any game. WIth an aftermarket cooler, my 5850's VRMs will not go above 60-65C in any game Ive tried, but will go to 90C while mining. And gamers rarely play 24/7/365, nor do they often  cram 3 or 4 such hot cards in a single case.

Thats not to say they will fail because of it, but odds are definitely higher than for a single card thats used for gaming a few hours per day. There is a reason professional FireGL or tesla cards cost so much more, even though they use basically the same chips. Those are designed (and binned and priced)  to run 24/7/365.

evlew
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September 21, 2011, 07:59:21 PM
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Normally that would be true.  But, I'm no longer the greedy miner I use to be.  Chances are I'll go easy on it.  I

EVen if you are not going to overvolt and overclock it, just running it at full load 24/7 is abusing it.

Gaming GPUs arent designed for that. They are designed for gaming performance, and due to the very competitive nature of the market, generally specced really close to their limits (much more so than CPUs for instance, which will generally take far higher overvolting and overclocking abuses). Compromises are made to keep noise and cost down, but the load bitcoin mining puts on them is far bigger than any game. WIth an aftermarket cooler, my 5850's VRMs will not go above 60-65C in any game Ive tried, but will go to 90C while mining. And gamers rarely play 24/7/365, nor do they often  cram 3 or 4 such hot cards in a single case.

Thats not to say they will fail because of it, but odds are definitely higher than for a single card thats used for gaming a few hours per day. There is a reason professional FireGL or tesla cards cost so much more, even though they use basically the same chips. Those are designed (and binned and priced)  to run 24/7/365.

I'll go easy on it for a miner Wink
evlew
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September 22, 2011, 06:06:12 AM
 #16

If it has the squirrel cage fan near the end of the card does that necessarily indicate that it is reference?

according to the model number and some forum boards advice it is not a reference model, but it sure looks like it to me.
haploid23
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September 22, 2011, 07:13:36 PM
 #17

here you go, this should clear up any confusion:

non-reference



reference


reference will look like that no matter what brand. non-references will look different across different brands.

evlew
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September 22, 2011, 09:32:52 PM
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Thanks.  There are a couple rare occasions that appear as is they are non reference but are actually reference.  I just wanted to make sure it didn't work the opposite way as well.

So I'm getting a reference XFX 5870 XXX edition for 135 shipped.  I'm pretty pumped I don't think the guy even looked at ebay prices before listing it. 
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