Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question
Solved

AMD Eyefinity vs. Nvidia Surround

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
Share
April 7, 2014 11:42:43 AM

Thinking of upgrading my graphics card and I'm divided between the two giants. At the moment I have 3 monitors that are being run by an AMD card. I'll list what I like, and what bothers me with my system. I'm hoping to get some quality opinions about both, AMD & Nvidia, systems.

My positives about the AMD system:
+Graphics cards have more vRam, which is good for multi-monitor
+Graphics cards are cheaper
+Quite easy setup, bezel compensation
+HydraGrid

My negatives about the AMD system:
-Drivers are bad
-The monitor connected to DisplayPort is tearing a little
-Some windows maximize over all 3 screens
-Graphic cards can run hot
-Many bad cards, that must be replaced

I don't own an Nvidia system, so I can't describe it, but from my previous experience I know:
+Great driver support
+Good build quality
-Expensive cards

a b Î Nvidia
a b À AMD
a c 96 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
April 7, 2014 11:58:21 AM

generally those three positives about nvidia are true. However since WHQL 314.22 (? i think that's the one) nvidia drivers have been plagued with issues all over the place, that basically make them about as reliable as AMD drivers... its not that they're bad, per say.... but that they've been moderately buggy (like AMD drivers) for about a year now. If anything you'll notice most graphic driver issues these days tend to be nvidia ones (likely because most people have nvidia cards, but it's quite a reversal from 18 months ago, when problems with nvidia drivers were almost unheard of)

That said, currently, AMD driver support for eyefinity only works properly (while in xfire) with the r9-290/r9-290x series gpus. So for triple monitor support on multiple gpus in xfire/SLi, you'll likely find nvidia a better experience on ALL their cards... the lone AMD cards which work right are the 290/290x
m
0
l
Related resources
April 7, 2014 12:17:27 PM

ingtar33 said:
generally those three positives about nvidia are true. However since WHQL 314.22 (? i think that's the one) nvidia drivers have been plagued with issues all over the place, that basically make them about as reliable as AMD drivers... its not that they're bad, per say.... but that they've been moderately buggy (like AMD drivers) for about a year now. If anything you'll notice most graphic driver issues these days tend to be nvidia ones (likely because most people have nvidia cards, but it's quite a reversal from 18 months ago, when problems with nvidia drivers were almost unheard of)

That said, currently, AMD driver support for eyefinity only works properly (while in xfire) with the r9-290/r9-290x series gpus. So for triple monitor support on multiple gpus in xfire/SLi, you'll likely find nvidia a better experience on ALL their cards... the lone AMD cards which work right are the 290/290x


At the moment I own an AMD 7970 card, and I've tried CrossFireX with two for a week or so, but then a fan broke on one of them. While I was playing games I noticed that some games actually worked slower in CrossFireX than with just 1 card running.

I've heard that the 290 are now better at that department, but I'm undecided between the amd 290x and nvidia 780. I guess the one that has better driver support for multi monitor will win. I don't like those little bugs, that appear with eyefinity, such as: the DP screen has a horizontal tear line, the mouse pointer sometimes bugs out, without HydraGrid you can't maximize a window on just 1 screen(it still resets every restart, and doesn't work on Photoshop and some other programs). That's all I can think of right now. I like that I can switch off the side monitors with Win+P keys to watch movies on the middle one, and everything moves to it.
m
0
l

Best solution

a b Î Nvidia
a b À AMD
a c 96 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
April 7, 2014 12:34:47 PM

well.... here is the thing. it's sorta a multi-part answer to your question so bear with me because i don't know what you are planning to buy.

if you plan to get 1 gpu to drive 3 monitors, i would get a 780ti. Its not really strong enough to play everything on ultra but it's the closest you'll get with a single gpu.

if you plan to get 2 gpus to drive 3 monitors, i would either get a r9-290 or gtx 780.
pros and cons of each

r9-290
pros
-a little bit faster/stronger then the 780.
-crossfire scales a LOT better (90-95% scaling vs 70-75% scaling for sli), so the small advantage in power will translate to a much bigger advantage in xfire/sli
-more vram (4gbs vs 3); now i'm not sure this will matter much but who knows, there may be games that need more then 3gb

cons
-runs hotter and louder, need good case airflow because there are no good blower designs for this card
-much bigger power pig then the 780
-eyefinity is not perfect
-likely more expensive option

780
pros
-great blower design, which will remove a lot of the extra heat with the titan style blower
-runs cooler and won't suck up as much power
-generally speaking, while SLi is not perfect, it works better then xfire on Dx9 titles
-Nvidia Suround, while not perfect, generally is less buggy then eyefinity
-likely be able to find these cheaper then the 290
-Previous gen console ports are all nvidia optimized titles.

Cons
-poor scaling in SLi
-not particularly user friendly
-GeForce Experience software is a buggy mess
-next gen console ports will all be AMD optimized titles
Share
April 7, 2014 12:46:49 PM

ingtar33 said:
well.... here is the thing. it's sorta a multi-part answer to your question so bear with me because i don't know what you are planning to buy.

if you plan to get 1 gpu to drive 3 monitors, i would get a 780ti. Its not really strong enough to play everything on ultra but it's the closest you'll get with a single gpu.

if you plan to get 2 gpus to drive 3 monitors, i would either get a r9-290 or gtx 780.
pros and cons of each

r9-290
pros
-a little bit faster/stronger then the 780.
-crossfire scales a LOT better (90-95% scaling vs 70-75% scaling for sli), so the small advantage in power will translate to a much bigger advantage in xfire/sli
-more vram (4gbs vs 3); now i'm not sure this will matter much but who knows, there may be games that need more then 3gb

cons
-runs hotter and louder, need good case airflow because there are no good blower designs for this card
-much bigger power pig then the 780
-eyefinity is not perfect
-likely more expensive option

780
pros
-great blower design, which will remove a lot of the extra heat with the titan style blower
-runs cooler and won't suck up as much power
-generally speaking, while SLi is not perfect, it works better then xfire on Dx9 titles
-Nvidia Suround, while not perfect, generally is less buggy then eyefinity
-likely be able to find these cheaper then the 290
-Previous gen console ports are all nvidia optimized titles.

Cons
-poor scaling in SLi
-not particularly user friendly
-GeForce Experience software is a buggy mess
-next gen console ports will all be AMD optimized titles


Thank you, this is a really great answer! I'm looking to run 3 monitors from 1 card at first, but might buy another later. I have a 850W PSU which ran 2 7970 vapor-x's fine. At the moment only 1 of these cards is running most games on ultra(played BF4 on ultra recently with 40-50 fps).

I don't like if the card is too noisy, and the 7970 vapor-x is too loud for me. And I have an Intel processor, which is said to go better together with Nvidia(but I don't know why). However if crossfire scales that good, I might be leaning towards AMD.
m
0
l
a b U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
April 7, 2014 1:09:13 PM

Good tip ^ :) 
m
0
l
a b Î Nvidia
a b À AMD
a c 147 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
April 7, 2014 1:09:44 PM

Quote:
-next gen console ports will all be AMD optimized titles


just because xbone/ps4 use amd gpu inside it doesn't mean the pc port will automatically favor radeon over geforce.
m
0
l
a b Î Nvidia
a b À AMD
a c 96 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
April 7, 2014 6:56:17 PM

renz496 said:
Quote:
-next gen console ports will all be AMD optimized titles


just because xbone/ps4 use amd gpu inside it doesn't mean the pc port will automatically favor radeon over geforce.


we're already seeing this. almost every console port works much better on radeon excepting for those ports that work on old code from previous versions of the game.

Xickle said:
Thank you, this is a really great answer! I'm looking to run 3 monitors from 1 card at first, but might buy another later. I have a 850W PSU which ran 2 7970 vapor-x's fine. At the moment only 1 of these cards is running most games on ultra(played BF4 on ultra recently with 40-50 fps).

I don't like if the card is too noisy, and the 7970 vapor-x is too loud for me. And I have an Intel processor, which is said to go better together with Nvidia(but I don't know why). However if crossfire scales that good, I might be leaning towards AMD.


well if you have a 850W psu, i'd stick with a r9-290 or 780 over the 780ti... just know a single one of ANY of those cards will actually be weaker then your xfire 7970.
m
0
l
a b Î Nvidia
a b À AMD
a c 147 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
April 8, 2014 12:48:27 AM

Quote:
we're already seeing this. almost every console port works much better on radeon excepting for those ports that work on old code from previous versions of the game.


examples?
m
0
l
April 8, 2014 2:28:30 AM

ingtar33 said:
Xickle said:
Thank you, this is a really great answer! I'm looking to run 3 monitors from 1 card at first, but might buy another later. I have a 850W PSU which ran 2 7970 vapor-x's fine. At the moment only 1 of these cards is running most games on ultra(played BF4 on ultra recently with 40-50 fps).

I don't like if the card is too noisy, and the 7970 vapor-x is too loud for me. And I have an Intel processor, which is said to go better together with Nvidia(but I don't know why). However if crossfire scales that good, I might be leaning towards AMD.


well if you have a 850W psu, i'd stick with a r9-290 or 780 over the 780ti... just know a single one of ANY of those cards will actually be weaker then your xfire 7970.


I don't have the 7970's xfired anymore. Hopefully a 850W psu can run two 290 or 780's, like it did the 7970. I might even install water cooling for them, but I'll need to get some information about the power consumption of water cooling.
m
0
l
a b Î Nvidia
a b À AMD
a c 96 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
April 8, 2014 12:49:20 PM

Xickle said:
I don't have the 7970's xfired anymore. Hopefully a 850W psu can run two 290 or 780's, like it did the 7970. I might even install water cooling for them, but I'll need to get some information about the power consumption of water cooling.


well 2 r9-290s will draw about 500-550W... your cpu at worst will suck up 180W, that's 730W with 120W left over for your system + water loop... looks good to me.

2 780s will draw about 480-500W depending on overclocks... so a little more headroom...

now understand that those are worse case numbers with your system under 100% cpu/gpu load. so you have enough psu for 2 of either. The 780ti on the other hand... 2 of those will suck up 600W easy... and then we're talking a lot less room... not sure you'd have enough power for 2 780tis in SLi.
m
0
l
April 8, 2014 2:51:31 PM

ingtar33 said:
Xickle said:
I don't have the 7970's xfired anymore. Hopefully a 850W psu can run two 290 or 780's, like it did the 7970. I might even install water cooling for them, but I'll need to get some information about the power consumption of water cooling.


well 2 r9-290s will draw about 500-550W... your cpu at worst will suck up 180W, that's 730W with 120W left over for your system + water loop... looks good to me.

2 780s will draw about 480-500W depending on overclocks... so a little more headroom...

now understand that those are worse case numbers with your system under 100% cpu/gpu load. so you have enough psu for 2 of either. The 780ti on the other hand... 2 of those will suck up 600W easy... and then we're talking a lot less room... not sure you'd have enough power for 2 780tis in SLi.


Thanks for another informative answer! I'm probably going to go with the 290, but I'd just like to ask one more question: Did they fix the frame rate drops/strutter that was happening with the 7xxx series?
m
0
l
a b Î Nvidia
a b À AMD
a c 96 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
April 8, 2014 4:42:11 PM

Xickle said:
Thanks for another informative answer! I'm probably going to go with the 290, but I'd just like to ask one more question: Did they fix the frame rate drops/strutter that was happening with the 7xxx series?


on the 7900 series... not really... it's a partial fix right now

for the r9-290/290x it's never been an issue. they solved the problem through hardware for those cards.
m
0
l
!