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Author Topic: ATI Video Cards... Series 5 vs Series 6  (Read 3959 times)
Muhahahahaz
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May 08, 2011, 02:55:34 PM
 #1

Hi Guys,

I'm looking to upgrade my video card for mining purposes, but I've been out of the hardware loop for a while. The most confusing thing is that it seems like the Series 6 video cards may not always be better due to the weird choices that AMD made...

Which is better, 6990 or 5970? What about 6970 vs 5870? Or 6950 vs 5850? Better yet, are these even the right comparisons to be making? Mainly, I would like to figure out two things: (1) the absolute best mining card, and (2) the absolute best card excluding the dual-core ~$700 cards (i.e., excluding 6990 and 5970).

I'm mainly interested to hear about which cards are better for mining, but I do game as well, so any info on that would also be appreciated.

Thanks in advance!
Muhahahahaz
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vuce
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May 08, 2011, 02:56:59 PM
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https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Mining_hardware_comparison

this will answer all your questions.
Muhahahahaz
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May 08, 2011, 03:07:32 PM
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https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Mining_hardware_comparison

this will answer all your questions.

I thank you, but I have already looked there. The problem is that there are multiple entries for each card. This makes it impossible to tell which cards are actually better. For instance, the 6990 and 5970 cards are all intertwined. Certainly, the top card is a 5970, but perhaps it's just overclocked more than the others...

Is there any kind of consensus as to which cards actually work out the best? Grin
vuce
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May 08, 2011, 03:10:44 PM
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https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Mining_hardware_comparison

this will answer all your questions.

I thank you, but I have already looked there. The problem is that there are multiple entries for each card. This makes it impossible to tell which cards are actually better. For instance, the 6990 and 5970 cards are all intertwined. Certainly, the top card is a 5970, but perhaps it's just overclocked more than the others...

Is there any kind of consensus as to which cards actually work out the best? Grin

clocks are also displayed. There can be quite a difference between different sdk versions, platforms and miners. I'd say 5970 > 6990 > 5870 > 6970.
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May 08, 2011, 05:08:52 PM
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The absolute best mining card for what? What are your priorities?

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May 08, 2011, 05:39:11 PM
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In terms of maximum possible hashing the 5xxx series have a slight edge, but 6xxx is no slouch in comparison. They are not too far apart when they are clocked and set right.

One of the biggest adv 5xxx had on 6xxx was price, but even that is really a wash now. In fact if you need a steady supply of hardware or don't want to look for used hardware this 6xxx maybe the only route at this point to go.

The power draw maybe the the fine line because 6xxx will come with 2gb variant and does consume more power as a result.
gigabytecoin
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May 08, 2011, 06:58:19 PM
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In terms of maximum possible hashing the 5xxx series have a slight edge, but 6xxx is no slouch in comparison. They are not too far apart when they are clocked and set right.

One of the biggest adv 5xxx had on 6xxx was price, but even that is really a wash now. In fact if you need a steady supply of hardware or don't want to look for used hardware this 6xxx maybe the only route at this point to go.

The power draw maybe the the fine line because 6xxx will come with 2gb variant and does consume more power as a result.

The 6990s are king apparently on the mining comparison wiki page...
Garrett Burgwardt
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May 08, 2011, 07:00:50 PM
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I disagree. My 6990 hashes far faster than my 5970 on the same platform, and it stays cooler due to the better cooling design.
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May 08, 2011, 09:34:46 PM
 #9

I'm going to step in right here, I got two 5870x2 GPU's up to 820 mhash/s each using Phoenix and 10.12 drivers with stream 2.1 (975mhz core, 300mhz memory) All with temps lower than my 5970's with better hashrates, They are better Grin The Jury is still out on Power consumption, but you can underclock the memory to 300mhz very easily.

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May 08, 2011, 09:42:29 PM
 #10

5870/5970 are more efficient than the 69xx/6990.

The cypress core has 1600 SPs vs 1536 SPs, which is what gives them the edge.  Yes the SPs are different between the 2 cores.  The Cayman core is ~25% bigger than Cypress, thus its power consumption is higher.  Sadly the supply of 5870s and especially 5970s is pretty much gone.  You can pick up 5870s on ebay for cheaper than the unlockable 2g 6950s, so I'd say the used 5870s are a better plan, especially if you get reference design cards.

gat3way
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May 08, 2011, 10:04:24 PM
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Nope, 6970 tends to be faster than 5870...first off, there is a difference in clock speeds (which theoretically still gives out some advantage to 5870s) then 5870s are  VLIW5 and you would never achieve the same ALUPacking as on Cayman whatever you do. There are also other advantages like reduced clause switch latency, generally, 6970's performance at stock speeds tends to be a bit higher than 5870. Some of the new hardware features are not yet supported by fglrx/sdk2.4, so you would expect the difference to grow bigger in time.

And yes, 5870 is more energy-efficient.
Muhahahahaz
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May 09, 2011, 01:53:03 AM
 #12

Thanks for all the input everyone! I just won a brand-new 5970 on eBay for $610 (or $625 including shipping). What do you think, good price? Smiley
eck
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May 09, 2011, 02:16:48 AM
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That seems really high, considering the 6990s are $730 new at Newegg.
Muhahahahaz
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May 09, 2011, 02:57:47 AM
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That seems really high, considering the 6990s are $730 new at Newegg.

High? Yeah... ok. Tell me where you can find a brand-new 5970 for less than $650-$700. They are better miners, and they are becoming very scarce now. There are many sites, such as Amazon, that are actually charging $800+ due to their limited availability. But sure, let me go ahead and spend like $175 more to buy a 6990 from Newegg (the total price will be around $800 after taxes!).

Or maybe you didn't notice that this card is brand-new? Maybe a used card could be had for less or something, but I'm not gonna mess around with crap like that.
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May 09, 2011, 06:30:01 AM
 #15

Are they really going for that much right now? I have been considering finding a good time to get most value out of my 4 x 5970 mining machine I have been running. This might be a good time to do it with a huge difficulty increase. Been considering just getting out of mining and enjoy watching my btc value go up and becoming more of an ambassador.
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May 09, 2011, 10:35:57 AM
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High? Yeah... ok. Tell me where you can find a brand-new 5970 for less than $650-$700. They are better miners, and they are becoming very scarce now. There are many sites, such as Amazon, that are actually charging $800+ due to their limited availability. But sure, let me go ahead and spend like $175 more to buy a 6990 from Newegg (the total price will be around $800 after taxes!).

Or maybe you didn't notice that this card is brand-new? Maybe a used card could be had for less or something, but I'm not gonna mess around with crap like that.

I agree with eck, that is a high price. You can find 6990s for $710 if you buy out-of-state to avoid the sales tax. That's only 16% higher than what you paid for the 5970, except the 6990 is approximately 20-25% faster. So a 6990 would have offered you more bang for the buck...
nster
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May 09, 2011, 11:29:50 AM
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You do know that the 6990 is faster than a 5970 right? There is not even a doubt the the 6990 is faster than a 5970. Not only that, but it is far better for gaming as well. You just got ripped off

5970s are great miners when bought used. They can get as low as 400$ shipped used. But new ones just arent worth it. The 6990 @ stock 830 speed is 100Mh/s faster than a 5970 @ stock (~700 vs ~600).

I personally like the 6950 1GB as the best middleground between gaming and mining. Most are unlockable still, which is a HUGE bonus. 6950 1GB consume less than 6950 2GB AND have NO speed loss in GAMES OR MINING unless you game with 2560x1440/1600 or in eye-infinity. It is also cheaper. They are at 239.99$ - 30$ MIR @ newegg, Free ship = 209.99$

2* 209.99 = 419.98$ For the speed of a 6990, and that's NEW from NEWEGG. They can do over 350Mh/s each when they are put at 6970 speeds, and when downclocking memory, they can go even further

T0 show you how much you got ripped:

625$ --> 600Mh/s
vs
420$ --> 700Mh/s

600Mh/625$ =  0.96Mh/$
700Mh/420$ =  1.67Mh/$
700Mh/480$ =  1.46Mh/s (before MIR)
600Mh/480$  = 1.25Mh/s (before MIR, before Unlock shaders)

Difference: 1.67/0.96 = 174%. So it is 74% better to get the 6950s! or 52% before MIR, 30% better before unlock shaders as well

You just got RIPPED badly.... You CANNOT justify buying a 5970 @ 625$ SHIPPED.
DON'T BE MAD AT US FOR TELLING YOU THE TRUTH, YOU ARE THE ONE TO BLAME FOR NOT DOING YOUR RESEARCH

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sniper_sniperson
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May 09, 2011, 12:13:07 PM
 #18

Quote
5970: 802Mh/s | 2.31Mh/W | 347W | 850Mhz core | SDK 2.4 | phoenix -q 6 -k poclbm AGGRESSION=19 WORKSIZE=128 BFI_INT VECTORS, Ubuntu 11.04, fglrx 11.4, memory clock @ 1000MHz

From mining comparison table.

Now let's check 6990:

Quote
6990: 772Mh/s | 1.8380Mh/W | 420W | 900Mhz core | SDK 2.3 | Phoenix & Poclbm Overclock switch ON + overclocked to 900 mhz, VECTORS AGGRESSION=12 BFI_INT WORKSIZE=128

3-4 weeks ago for our rendering farm we got almost the same test results, 5970 brought 810Mh/s. Also 5970 is 2 times cheaper than 6990. Latter throws a lot of heat directly in the motherboard, another problem I'll say.
nster
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May 09, 2011, 02:30:32 PM
 #19

You are comparing a 125 mhz OC to a 70 mhz OC... do you see the problem? also, 6990s are best on sdk 2.4 cat 11.4

oh and Aggression 19 vs 12....

5970    740    2.1511    344    850    3200    2.1    PCI-E 2.1 x16    phoenix/1.3    AGGRESSION=12 WORKSIZE=128 VECTORS BFI_INT, memory clock @ 300MHz
6990    708    2.05    346    830    3072    2.3    PCI-E 2.1 x16    mrb's hdminer

Considering it isn't the right miner and the 5970 has the advantage because of the mem clock being downclocked, it is safe to say They have about the same hashrate, and the 6990, asfter mem downclock, has better Mh/W

So even considering this, Paying 625$ for a 5970 is stupid since the 6990 is MUCH better than a 5970 in gaming

even better, the 6950 1GB in CFX owns the 6990 for the $

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sniper_sniperson
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May 09, 2011, 03:04:49 PM
 #20

50Mhz is neglibible. Feel free to test and see. And AGGRESSION switch doesn't make so big gap in bolded ratios. On my test rig there is no difference between AGGRESSION=6 , =7, or double value (=12, =14). But for sure the price of 5970 is not $625 - last month bought 2 for 285 Euro each.

btw here we're comparing cards for mining, not for gaming. For second I prefer nvidias ...
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