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Single vs Multiple Cards for "Special" eyefinity setup

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 29, 2013 3:26:21 AM

So, i searched the forums, and what i read is that if you have a single monitor, it would be wiser to buy a single high end card, like a HD7950/70, but if you had more than a single monitor you would be better served with crossfire/sli.

ATM i am running 3x 1080p monitors on a single HD5850. The thing is, and this is why i couldn't find my exact situation by searching the forums, i rarely play @5760x1080, what i normally do is use left and center monitors as aditional space, for having steam, raidcall, firefox etc etc open all the time, and play on my right monitor. I also program a lot, since i study in the area, so the space to have eclipse + browser + pdf's and whatnot open really help.

So my point is, i can run everygame smooth in my setup, but would like to upgrade it so i could run everything at 60fps (vsync is a must for me).

First the questions that help you guys.
APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: whenever i decided that i have a good choice, and am not forcing a buy. Can be today, can be in a month.
BUDGET RANGE: 500-700€ for Both cards or about 400-450€ for a single high end.

USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming @1080p with vsync on while powering the other 2 monitors.(i can maybe in the future change 1 screen to 120hz. i don't know if that helps with anything).

CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: HD5850 - Corsair HX-850W Modular

OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS: ASROCK z77 extreme4, CPU Intel 1155 i5 3570 3.40GHz, 4x2GB Kingston DDR3 1333MHz memory (yeah i know, this is really old, might have to change it soon), Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo, 1TB Caviar Green (i think) WD Drive. (i shall get a SSD after this), NOX Coolbay HX Full Tower.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Any in europe.
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Portugal

PARTS PREFERENCES: No really preference, but i was a nvidia dude up until the 9xxx series, but now, for somewhat reason, i prefer ATI.

OVERCLOCKING: Not in my plans
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 3x 1920x1080

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Will i need more cooling that just the stock from the case and the 212 EVO?

So, should i get a really good graphics card, like the GTX 680 / HD7970, wait a month for the 7XX Series from nvidia, or get double graphics? like 2x HD7870?

My idea was to connect the gaming monitor to one graphics and the other two to the other one, if this is the case will i be benefiting from crossfire at all?

Thank you for your time and sorry for any bad english across the post, not my native language.

EDIT: I don't know if it helps but i have 1x VW246 and 2x VK246 Asus 24" monitors which are connected through an DP -> DVI adapter and DVI cables.
April 29, 2013 4:17:35 AM

So it sounds like you aren't so much wanting eyefinity but rather an extended desktop across three monitors. If you are going to game on just one monitor at 1080p then I would think one high end card would serve you fine. If you go dual cards no matter what all displays are still connected to the first card.
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April 29, 2013 4:35:06 AM

boredmug said:
So it sounds like you aren't so much wanting eyefinity but rather an extended desktop across three monitors. If you are going to game on just one monitor at 1080p then I would think one high end card would serve you fine.


Its not like i don't use eyefinity from time to time, to play BF normally, its just that most of the time i prefer single monitor gaming, really depends on the games.

boredmug said:
If you go dual cards no matter what all displays are still connected to the first card.


I can't connect like 2 monitors to a card and 1 to the other, forcing more power into 1 monitor than the others?
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April 29, 2013 7:39:56 AM

You're wanting a setup similiar to what I have, I even upgraded from a 5850 like you. Currently I'm running 2x 7950's in crossfire with 4 1080p screens connected. For what you're wanting a 7950 would be a great choice. Good value for the money, powerful enough to max a lot of games on 1080p, and has no trouble handling 4 monitors. When gaming, for most games i play on 1 screen, but its nice having the EyeFinity option for the games that support it. The 3 gigs of ram on the 7950 go a long way in helping when running at EyeFinity resolutions. Overall I would say I gained about twice the power going from my 5850 to my 7950 and that was before adding my 2nd 7950 for crossfire. One thing I will say, ATI has had a lot of trouble with there Crossfire Drivers/Studdering issues. They are actively working on a fix and have given an ETA of this summer. Honestly if I had known this ahead of time I would have put off buying my 2nd 7950. While it does help in some games, I can definitely tell there are issues with the setup and not giving the performance you would think from having 2 high end cards.

If you go dual cards, you can plug monitors into both, BUT this would disable Crossfire/SLI so you would still be only getting the power of 1 card so would be pointless unless you wanted more than 4 screens.
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