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Single ATI Radeon 6870 vs Dual ATI Radeon HD 5670 CrossfireX

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November 21, 2010 3:28:39 PM
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First of all, crossfire setups tend to have many more issues than do single-gpu setups.
Second of all, they take more power, cost more, and give off more heat.
Third of all, crossfire 5670s are not even in the same league as a 6870.

Although seeing that a 6870 is so much more powerful but also costs significantly more, I would recommend a 5770. That should be somewhere near the 5670 crossfire performance level, and it costs a lot less than two 5670s. This one is only $110.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
November 21, 2010 3:33:31 PM

Thanks so much for the prompt response. :)  I was configuring a system and they charge 90 more for the single 6870 (over their default dual 5670s), my concern was more for available PCIe slots and the dual was taking up 2, so I was wondering what the difference is. They do not offer any other single cards that would free up the 4th PCIe slot I guess...maybe the other single cards offered are thick and take up more space? The 6870 seems to be the only choice if I want a tv tuner, wireless card, and upgraded sound card. The price differences for the single cards were not making a whole lot of sense to me - just an amateur enthusiast. So thanks again.


Single Video Card Options

Single 1GB GDDR5 ATI Radeon™ HD 5870 [add $135.00]
Single 1.5GB GDDR5 NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 480 [add $360.00]
Single 2GB GDDR5 ATI Radeon™ HD 5970 [add $405.00]
Single 1GB GDDR5 NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 460 [add $90.00]
ATI Radeon™ HD 6870 [add $90.00]

Dual Video Card Options

Dual 1GB GDDR5 ATI Radeon™ HD 5670 CrossfireX™ Enabled [Included in Price]
Dual 1GB GDDR5 ATI Radeon™ HD 5770 CrossfireX™ Enabled [add $180.00]
Dual 1GB GDDR5 ATI Radeon™ HD 5870 Crossfire™ Enabled [add $495.00]
Dual 1GB GDDR5 NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 460 - SLI Enabled [add $405.00]
Related resources
November 21, 2010 4:23:33 PM

lol. so many choice. are you not budget limited? :D  if you can afford it 5790 is the fastest on the option. what resolution you're playing at? also what is your pc other spec? it might help us suggesting better deal for you
November 21, 2010 5:59:38 PM

Oh those are the choices that Alienware gives you.... Not a gamer hon, nor do I have the skills to build myself. I can definitely swap components, install hard drives, install ram, install optical drives, that sort of thing, but no expert, just a pc enthusiast who does free tech support for family and friends, lol. I just wanted a quality PC that will last several years. Looking at all the 'mainstream' pcs on the market right now, the mid range Alienware Aurora seems to be decent, hoping for more discounts on black friday, but we'll see I guess. Most pcs I've been looking at have very low power supplies, HP has 350, Dell if you get the XPS 8100 has 350 watts too, the XPS 9100 has 525 but if I price that out, it gets pretty expensive too, and I don't care for the case itself - the red and the piano black feels it can easily be broken. Plus this way it should be quieter b/c of the liquid cooling, etc and I love the layout of the inside. This is the build I was looking at... I can save more if I just get the 3gb default ram and upgrade to 9 myself. Since I do mp3 encoding from cassettes, I was thinking I'd like an upgraded sound card instead of the integrated one. Only way I can get that is if I choose the 6870... they don't have the 5790 as a choice. My current monitor which I plan to keep for now is 1680x1050.


Intel® Core™ i7 920 2.66GHz (8MB Cache) Quad Core Processor
Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium, 64bit, English
ATI Radeon™ HD 6870
9GB Triple Channel 1333Mhz DDR3
1TB - SATA-II, 3Gb/s, 7,200RPM, 32MB Cache HDD
Alienware® 19-in-1 Media Card Reader
Single Drive: 24X CD/DVD burner (DVD+/-RW) w/double layer write capability
Creative Sound Blaster® X-Fi™ Xtreme Audio
1525 PCIe WLAN card with 11n mini-Card & external antenna
Hauppauge WinTV HVR-1250 Hybrid TV Tuner with Remote Control
Internal USB Bluetooth

(I'll be adding a 2tb hard drive immediately to this build myself for the second hard drive when I get it).

This build with my discounts and coupons comes to 1537.10 pre tax (if I get the default 3GM of RAM it will be 1482.64)

If I get the default Dual 1GB GDDR5 ATI Radeon™ HD 5670 CrossfireX™ Enabled, then I can't have the upgraded sound card, so those 2 changes (5670 and integrated sound) for this build comes to 1411.10 pretax (if I just get 3GB RAM, 1344.97).

OFC hoping to save a little more on black friday or cyber monday on top of that...

One last question can I just remove one of the dual 5670 cards? And add a sound card myself later? Or is that not possible since it is crossfire enabled? If it is possible would a single 5670 be decent for a non gamer who does watch TV and DVDs on the pc (plan to add a blu-ray burner much later on myself).
November 25, 2010 1:21:07 AM

A few things to know:
Renz meant to say the 5970, not the 5790. It is a single-slot card that has two very fast gpus built into it, meaning that it is much, much, faster than crossfired 5670s while only taking one slot.

If you're not a gamer, why do you care what graphics card it has? If you don't want a gaming system, don't buy an alienware.

There are cheaper brands than Alienware. There are many companies that custom-build them, and you get much more choice over the components as well as it being cheaper. I don't know anything about these companies personally, but I've heard of ibuypower.com and cyberpowerpc.com.

Just so you know, building a computer really isn't hard at all. I built my first system about a year ago... A couple months before that, I really didn't know the first thing about computer hardware. All building a computer takes is knowing what components are compatible and then not being a moron and breaking something while installing it. It's really not hard at all, maybe takes an hour or two. If you do decide to build one, you can easily get the parts online. I like newegg.com. If you buy the parts soon, you can get some great black friday/cyber monday deals.
November 25, 2010 6:43:15 AM

Thanks for the advice jryan388 and the correction. You're right I pretty much "don't care" too much about the graphics card, but knowing little about them, that's why I came here to ask. :) 

I researched ibuypower and cyberpowerpc few months back, read some really bad reviews - bad wiring jobs, doa's and the like. I have a Fry's a few blocks from me so parts at a great deal not an issue. They had a velocity microsystems pc that I really liked, but building what I wanted on their site was way over the alienware price too. Those guys seem to build a quality PC.

My fiance bought me a souped up HP Elite few months back for my birthday, I had a BSOD on first boot, few days later I started having issues and HP wanted me to send it back for repairs b/c they diagnosed a hardware issue but my fiance suggested I return it. Which seemed to be the right decision because after researching the motherboard of that system, turns out there's a class action lawsuit against it. A week later HP changed their model numbers on all their PCs as they seem to do every few months, I hoped they had resolved the issue, contacted them for specs on the new system, and they said nothing had changed except the model number so ofc I am reluctant to go with them now. Among other things the motherboard seating is poor design, you can't upgrade ram because the graphics card literally blocks access to the slots, lol, sigh... So bottom line is I have a budget of a little over 1500 and he had some caveats as to what he'd like me to have in the machine. Anyhow while I am confident tinkering inside a PC, not so confident in starting from scratch, plus you have to get an OS and drivers, etc.


Does anyone know?
Quote:
One last question can I just remove one of the dual 5670 cards? And add a sound card myself later? Or is that not possible since it is crossfire enabled? If it is possible would a single 5670 be decent for a non gamer who does watch TV and DVDs on the pc (plan to add a blu-ray burner much later on myself).



Thanks again. :) 
November 25, 2010 8:32:21 AM

silvery said:
Thanks for the advice jryan388 and the correction. You're right I pretty much "don't care" too much about the graphics card, but knowing little about them, that's why I came here to ask. :) 

I researched ibuypower and cyberpowerpc few months back, read some really bad reviews - bad wiring jobs, doa's and the like. I have a Fry's a few blocks from me so parts at a great deal not an issue. They had a velocity microsystems pc that I really liked, but building what I wanted on their site was way over the alienware price too. Those guys seem to build a quality PC.

My fiance bought me a souped up HP Elite few months back for my birthday, I had a BSOD on first boot, few days later I started having issues and HP wanted me to send it back for repairs b/c they diagnosed a hardware issue but my fiance suggested I return it. Which seemed to be the right decision because after researching the motherboard of that system, turns out there's a class action lawsuit against it. A week later HP changed their model numbers on all their PCs as they seem to do every few months, I hoped they had resolved the issue, contacted them for specs on the new system, and they said nothing had changed except the model number so ofc I am reluctant to go with them now. Among other things the motherboard seating is poor design, you can't upgrade ram because the graphics card literally blocks access to the slots, lol, sigh... So bottom line is I have a budget of a little over 1500 and he had some caveats as to what he'd like me to have in the machine. Anyhow while I am confident tinkering inside a PC, not so confident in starting from scratch, plus you have to get an OS and drivers, etc.


Does anyone know?
Quote:
One last question can I just remove one of the dual 5670 cards? And add a sound card myself later? Or is that not possible since it is crossfire enabled? If it is possible would a single 5670 be decent for a non gamer who does watch TV and DVDs on the pc (plan to add a blu-ray burner much later on myself).



Thanks again. :) 


Usually you will have a pci slot below the second pcie slot which shouldn't be blocked by the 5670 since it's a pretty modest card and won't require that big of a heatsink but AFAIK most add in sound cards are using the pci slot not the pcie so you shouldn't have to remove the 5670
November 25, 2010 5:12:07 PM

@ OP Alienware it's nice choice for people that just want to buy good looking system and don't know how to build there own system but this thing is way overpriced just ad all the component and check prices online, go on you tube-spend couple evening watching other people doing it and you will be good to go and alot more satisfied
Now the choice of VGA cards...if you decide to go with ATI/AMD (drivers are a mess) take my advise..stay away from crossfire (5970 is still multiple gpu card) 6870 is ok choice or wait for new cards-coming soon,good luck
November 25, 2010 5:40:39 PM

Lrrr, according to the specs for the Intel x58 express/socket 1366 motherboard they are using, it has 2 PCIe x 16 and 2 PCIe x 2, there was no mention of a regular PCI slot in the PCI cage for Alienware.

Yeah ortoklaz, reading lots of issues on the crossfire set up, not to mention I don't need crazy graphics, thanks for the advice and confidence.
November 25, 2010 6:11:08 PM

if going with one card don't worry about PCIeX16,8,4... you need one PCIe or PCIe2.0,for sound card you want PCI express X1 or PCI ( most modern mobos have them)
Single 1GB GDDR5 ATI Radeon™ HD 5870 [add $135.00]
Single 1GB GDDR5 NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 460 [add $90.00]
is good choice,spend the money on PSU,CPU cooler and sound card
November 27, 2010 6:07:31 AM

Best answer selected by silvery.
November 27, 2010 7:54:32 AM

This topic has been closed by Maziar
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