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Crossfire 7850 or upgrade to a single 7970/50 for 5920X1080p gaming?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 5, 2013 8:38:16 PM

As the title suggests, I would like to know what road should I choose to play games in high settings at 60 fps, I don't need to max everything out, I know that I won't be able to use AA no matter what setup I have.

My 7850 2gb runs most games in medium settings at 40+ fps and older games with unreal engine 3 or source engine at max settings at 60 fps. However, when it comes to advanced engines, such as Far cry 3, guild wars 2, the witcher 2 and assassin's creed 3 it struggled even on medium settings to keep me above 30 fps.

What is the most cost efficient way to upgrade? I don't even want to consider Nvidia cards as I consider them quite overpriced and underpowered for the price performance ratio.

Please help me.

Thanks.
a b 4 Gaming
April 5, 2013 9:02:59 PM

According to the latest research from PC Perspective and other sites using the new FCAT test protocol, Crossfire technically is often no better than running a single card and a waste of money. Nvidia SLI does not suffer from the same problem and generally produces smooth gameplay that scales in a near linear manner over a single card.

Given those facts, your dilemma is that a single card will have problems running high settings at that resolution, so it's good that you are resigned to lowering your settings. Looks like your best option is to go with the single 7950 or 7970, or to reconsider your opinion of Nvidia SLI.

Quote:

AMD CrossFire Performance - A Bridge over Trouble Water?
Where AMD has definite issues is with HD 7970s in CrossFire, and our Frame Rating testing is bringing that to light in a startling fashion. In half of our tested games, the pair of Radeon HD 7970s in CrossFire showed no appreciable measured or observed increase in performance compared to a single HD 7970. I cannot overstate that point more precisely: our results showed that in Battlefield 3, Crysis 3 and Sleeping Dogs, adding in another $400+ Radeon HD 7970 did nothing to improve your gaming experience, and in some cases made it worse by introducing frame time variances that lead to stutter.
http://www.pcper.com/reviews/Graphics-Cards/Frame-Ratin...

What FCAT does is show how FPS graphs can tend to overcount FPS by including partial or "runt" frames. FCAT cleans up FPS graphs and shows a more realistic view of the performance you will experience. In this FCAT chart, you can see two things: 1) The 7950 Crossfire option is not much better than a single 7950, and 2) The Observed FPS is just not high enough over 30 to be considered consistently playable.

http://www.pcper.com/reviews/Graphics-Cards/Frame-Ratin...
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April 5, 2013 9:34:26 PM

I'm playing Bioshock infinite with CF 7850's @60 fps in ultra no problem.
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April 5, 2013 9:41:36 PM

17seconds said:
According to the latest research from PC Perspective and other sites using the new FCAT test protocol, Crossfire technically is often no better than running a single card and a waste of money. Nvidia SLI does not suffer from the same problem and generally produces smooth gameplay that scales in a near linear manner over a single card.

Given those facts, your dilemma is that a single card will have problems running high settings at that resolution, so it's good that you are resigned to lowering your settings. Looks like your best option is to go with the single 7950 or 7970, or to reconsider your opinion of Nvidia SLI.

Quote:

AMD CrossFire Performance - A Bridge over Trouble Water?
Where AMD has definite issues is with HD 7970s in CrossFire, and our Frame Rating testing is bringing that to light in a startling fashion. In half of our tested games, the pair of Radeon HD 7970s in CrossFire showed no appreciable measured or observed increase in performance compared to a single HD 7970. I cannot overstate that point more precisely: our results showed that in Battlefield 3, Crysis 3 and Sleeping Dogs, adding in another $400+ Radeon HD 7970 did nothing to improve your gaming experience, and in some cases made it worse by introducing frame time variances that lead to stutter.
http://www.pcper.com/reviews/Graphics-Cards/Frame-Ratin...

What FCAT does is show how FPS graphs can tend to overcount FPS by including partial or "runt" frames. FCAT cleans up FPS graphs and shows a more realistic view of the performance you will experience. In this FCAT chart, you can see two things: 1) The 7950 Crossfire option is not much better than a single 7950, and 2) The Observed FPS is just not high enough over 30 to be considered consistently playable.

http://www.pcper.com/reviews/Graphics-Cards/Frame-Ratin...


It is the first time I hear that SLI is superior to crossfire. I thought they were pretty much the same thing except that crossfire gives you more options to pair different cards while nvidia forces you to buy the same card. But if that is true then crossfire is definitely not an option.
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a b 4 Gaming
April 5, 2013 10:00:36 PM

in the past it is known sli is better implementation of multi gpu configuration compared to cf. first it was about scaling. not until 6k series amd able to catch up and in some case surpassing nvidia in term of scaling. now that multi gpu have become more matured the focus is to have smoother gameplay when using such config. micro stutter and latency issues is the common problem when running multi gpu setup. about the latency in frame rates nvidia has been working on it for quite some time already (they start the work on improving frames latency during fermi era) while amd just start to work on it.
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April 5, 2013 10:07:23 PM

So crossfire 7850 for eyefinity is not a good option then? I have updated my hardware info by the way.
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a b 4 Gaming
April 5, 2013 10:52:03 PM

Do you play with v-sync or willing to cap your FPS (adjusted to the average of any game you play)? If so, crossfire can be helpful. The problem is when there isn't something in place to slow the cards down, the cards have nothing in place to space out the frames.
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April 5, 2013 11:10:41 PM

I do like Vsync; I hate screen tearing. So yes I will most likely be using Vsync in a crossfire config.
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April 6, 2013 9:43:57 AM

I found this 7970 for $379.99: http://shop.amd.com/us/Manufacturer/Sapphire/Detail/Gra... Is this a good deal?

I also found this 7950 for $269.99: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Which of these 2 cards is the best deal for me? Are these 2 particular cards models solid choices? Would getting the 7950 and then overclocking it be a good choice for eyefinity? Or should I spend the extra $110 and go with the 7970?

Remember my focus is on eyefinity and not on single monitor gaming; my 7850 is more than enough to max everything out in most games on single resolutions.

Thanks.
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a b 4 Gaming
April 6, 2013 9:51:12 AM

One thing you might want to know, something I just learned on a podcast from Pcper.com, is that Eyefinity does not work with v-sync. I'm not sure if that is only a problem in Crossfire, or all AMD cards, but I think it was all. I do not know if Nvidia has the same issue, but I do not believe so.
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April 6, 2013 10:06:40 AM

Does anyone here do eyefinity with a single 7950 or 7970? I must say I am tempted to go for the 7950 because the price is quite appetizing.
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April 6, 2013 11:04:53 AM

Sorry to hi-jack the thread but I have a quick question. Since it is known that 7850 crossfire doesn't do well with older tiles, wouldn't it work out in the sense that a single 7850 could handle all the 2010~ games maxed out. While the Crossfire'd 7850's could handle the AAA titles(BF3 FC3, Crysis)
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April 6, 2013 11:19:59 PM

Can anyone please help me decide? which of those 2 cards would be the best deal?

Thanks.
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