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Gigabyte 7870s in crossfire or a 7970 or equivalent

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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May 24, 2013 11:56:28 AM

I have had a gigabyte 7870 for almost a year now, and I was thinking about if i should get another one because of how much they have dropped in price. I have also looked at this 7970; http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I have always had faith in gigabyte cards, so this is the one i like, but it is $150 more than another 7870 which is around $250. I was also looking at some GTX 660 Ti 3gb cards. I understand that with crossfire, there is a chance to have random frame drops and micro stuttering. If I could get your opinion on this, that would be great
May 24, 2013 12:22:08 PM

First of all, 3 gb on the 660ti is useless. Because of the 192 bit bus, it may never even manage to cross 2 gb. After using 2 gb vram, even the 256 bit bus gtx 670 and 680 become very slow after using 2 gb and the 660ti will be also be slow as hell after using 2 gb.
I would have recommended the 7870 in xfire but xfire has many problems. If you want to go multiple card, then nvidia is better in my opinion. I would say get a hd 7970 or Ghz Ed. Anyway, if your looking for the best performance per dollar, then get the hd 7970 Ghz or if you can wait, then maybe the 8000 series but thats your choice. If you want to go nvidia then you may get the gtx 780(no point in getting the gtx 770 or gtx 760ti when they mainly because they are just rebaged material and will cost more. Get hd 7970 ghz instead of these). Well your looking at either a 7970 or gtx 780 or 680 or whatever(not titan) but the cost the gtx 780 is 650$ stock so i would not not recomment it. In my opinion, the hd 7970 Ghz would be your best choice.
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May 24, 2013 12:22:57 PM

First of all, 3 gb on the 660ti is useless. Because of the 192 bit bus, it may never even manage to cross 2 gb. After using 2 gb vram, even the 256 bit bus gtx 670 and 680 become very slow after using 2 gb and the 660ti will be also be slow as hell after using 2 gb.
I would have recommended the 7870 in xfire but xfire has many problems. If you want to go multiple card, then nvidia is better in my opinion. I would say get a hd 7970 or Ghz Ed. Anyway, if your looking for the best performance per dollar, then get the hd 7970 Ghz or if you can wait, then maybe the 8000 series but thats your choice. If you want to go nvidia then you may get the gtx 780(no point in getting the gtx 770 or gtx 760ti when they mainly because they are just rebaged material and will cost more. Get hd 7970 ghz instead of these). Well your looking at either a 7970 or gtx 780 or 680 or whatever(not titan) but the cost the gtx 780 is 650$ stock so i would not not recomment it. In my opinion, the hd 7970 Ghz would be your best choice.
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May 24, 2013 12:30:24 PM

SuperGamerBoy said:
First of all, 3 gb on the 660ti is useless. Because of the 192 bit bus, it may never even manage to cross 2 gb. After using 2 gb vram, even the 256 bit bus gtx 670 and 680 become very slow after using 2 gb and the 660ti will be also be slow as hell after using 2 gb.


What?
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May 24, 2013 12:38:22 PM

I have to agree with avoiding crossfire for now. Right now AMD has microstutter issues with crossfire that doesn't really make it worthwhile.

I would suggest the 7970 but if you really want to go dual-GPU then NVidia performs much better for that.
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May 24, 2013 7:42:40 PM

slomo4sho said:
SuperGamerBoy said:
First of all, 3 gb on the 660ti is useless. Because of the 192 bit bus, it may never even manage to cross 2 gb. After using 2 gb vram, even the 256 bit bus gtx 670 and 680 become very slow after using 2 gb and the 660ti will be also be slow as hell after using 2 gb.


What?


Thats true, there was an article on guru3d or overclock.net or tomshardware that tested the cards and the nvidia 670 and 680 performed better at a resolution upto 1080p because of the 256 bit bus and the 660ti wasnt also far behind but turning the res down gave the 660ti a boost and it finished on par with the top two single gpu 6xx series gtx's. But for AMD the hd 7970 was the winner(no ghz edition tested). It was behind the gtx 670. Here is the list of the gpu's tested from 1st to last(dont remember all of the gpu's that were tested)
1. Gtx 680
2. Gtx 670
3. Hd 7970
4. Gtx 660ti
5. Hd 7950
6. Hd 7870(Dont remember if it was XT or not)
But when they turned up the res to 1440p and beyond, the nvidia cards took a real beating because of their shorter bus. This is how they finished-
1. Hd 7970
2. Gtx 680
3. Hd 7950
4. Gtx 670
5. Hd 7870
6. Gtx 660ti
The article itself stated what i wrote. Now, only if i could find it(It was a pretty old article. From around the time when they launched.
If you want, i could also add the amount of vram the card have.
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May 24, 2013 7:49:43 PM

SuperGamerBoy said:
slomo4sho said:
SuperGamerBoy said:
First of all, 3 gb on the 660ti is useless. Because of the 192 bit bus, it may never even manage to cross 2 gb. After using 2 gb vram, even the 256 bit bus gtx 670 and 680 become very slow after using 2 gb and the 660ti will be also be slow as hell after using 2 gb.


What?


Thats true, there was an article on guru3d or overclock.net or tomshardware that tested the cards and the nvidia 670 and 680 performed better at a resolution upto 1080p because of the 256 bit bus and the 660ti wasnt also far behind but turning the res down gave the 660ti a boost and it finished on par with the top two single gpu 6xx series gtx's. But for AMD the hd 7970 was the winner(no ghz edition tested). It was behind the gtx 670. Here is the list of the gpu's tested from 1st to last(dont remember all of the gpu's that were tested)
1. Gtx 680
2. Gtx 670
3. Hd 7970
4. Gtx 660ti
5. Hd 7950
6. Gtx 7870(Dont remember if it was XT or not)



GTX 7870? o-O Sounds more like XFX 7870...
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May 24, 2013 8:54:03 PM

Oops Typo, thanks Priphase, will fix it now.
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May 24, 2013 9:05:36 PM

SuperGamerBoy said:
slomo4sho said:
SuperGamerBoy said:
First of all, 3 gb on the 660ti is useless. Because of the 192 bit bus, it may never even manage to cross 2 gb. After using 2 gb vram, even the 256 bit bus gtx 670 and 680 become very slow after using 2 gb and the 660ti will be also be slow as hell after using 2 gb.


What?


Thats true, there was an article on guru3d or overclock.net or tomshardware that tested the cards and the nvidia 670 and 680 performed better at a resolution upto 1080p because of the 256 bit bus and the 660ti wasnt also far behind but turning the res down gave the 660ti a boost and it finished on par with the top two single gpu 6xx series gtx's. But for AMD the hd 7970 was the winner(no ghz edition tested). It was behind the gtx 670. Here is the list of the gpu's tested from 1st to last(dont remember all of the gpu's that were tested)
1. Gtx 680
2. Gtx 670
3. Hd 7970
4. Gtx 660ti
5. Hd 7950
6. Hd 7870(Dont remember if it was XT or not)


Real chart in today's drivers:
1. 7970
2. 680
3. 670
4. 7950
5. 660ti
6. 7870xt
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May 24, 2013 10:58:28 PM

faster single card over crossfire any day. Dual NVidia cards isn't really an issue though. AMD are releasing a driver to fix their stuttering/uneven frame spacing in the next couple months (or so they claim, they have been saying this for years).
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May 25, 2013 2:17:07 AM

SuperGamerBoy said:
slomo4sho said:
SuperGamerBoy said:
First of all, 3 gb on the 660ti is useless. Because of the 192 bit bus, it may never even manage to cross 2 gb. After using 2 gb vram, even the 256 bit bus gtx 670 and 680 become very slow after using 2 gb and the 660ti will be also be slow as hell after using 2 gb.


What?


Thats true, there was an article on guru3d or overclock.net or tomshardware that tested the cards and the nvidia 670 and 680 performed better at a resolution upto 1080p because of the 256 bit bus and the 660ti wasnt also far behind but turning the res down gave the 660ti a boost and it finished on par with the top two single gpu 6xx series gtx's. But for AMD the hd 7970 was the winner(no ghz edition tested). It was behind the gtx 670. Here is the list of the gpu's tested from 1st to last(dont remember all of the gpu's that were tested)
1. Gtx 680
2. Gtx 670
3. Hd 7970
4. Gtx 660ti
5. Hd 7950
6. Hd 7870(Dont remember if it was XT or not)
But when they turned up the res to 1440p and beyond, the nvidia cards took a real beating because of their shorter bus. This is how they finished-
1. Hd 7970
2. Gtx 680
3. Hd 7950
4. Gtx 670
5. Hd 7870
6. Gtx 660ti
The article itself stated what i wrote. Now, only if i could find it(It was a pretty old article. From around the time when they launched.
If you want, i could also add the amount of vram the card have.


You are confusing memory bandwidth with memory utilization. The 660 with its 192-bit bus has 6 32-bit memory chips (2000Mb each) that have full access to the ram for a total ram capacity of 1.5G. In order to reach 2GB of VRAM, two more 32-bit wide chips are usually added to the reference design and these two chips share the 32-bit bus with two of the original 6 chips so 4 chips have independent buses and 4 have shared buses. A 3GB card would have 12 32-bit memory chips and the chips would be paired together and every 2 chips would share a 32-bit bus so all 12 chips would share buses.

The problem lies in the memory bus bandwidth when it come to performance and not the actual utilization of the available ram. Higher resolutions will require greater amounts of VRAM and the extra ram is utilized but would not be as efficiently accessed on a smaller bus so performance may stagnate. Ultimately, the extra ram is only useful for higher resolution or multi-monitor scenarios where the extra ram could be utilized.
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