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HD 6850 budget eyefinity setup

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December 23, 2010 12:33:15 AM

It's upgrade time, I'd like some advice on a future BUDGET eyefinity setup.
I already have a 20" Asus vh202t-p.
I am looking to get an HD 6850 (that's the highest my budget will allow) and a second monitor in the next 30days (the third one will have to wait). Current budget: $360.

Should I:
1. Stick with 20" monitors and get two extra Asus vh202t-p's (or other 20" monitors: dell, acer...) for a 4800x900 setup? I don't mind the bezel difference.

2. or Attempt a 23" setup and get an Asus vh236h now, 2 extra ones later for a 5670x1080? I'd have to ditch my current monitor.

3. or Attempt a 20"-23"-20" setup at 4800x900 and get the 23" now and an extra 20" later.

Obviously bigger res monitors are better but is 5670x1080 worth the extra cash knowing that:
1. A single HD 6850 might not able be to handle that much resolution in current games.
2. 20" monitors are selling for dirt cheap.

Current system:
CPU: Core i3-530 at @ 3.5ghz
Mobo: Asus p7-h55 m-pro
RAM: 4GB DDR3 @ 1600mhz
a c 214 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
December 23, 2010 1:04:10 AM

I would just go with the extra 2 20" monitors.You already have one why waste it.I think even with 3 20" monitors running eyefinity is alot to ask of a single 6850.I would buy the second card now then buy the other 20" later and they will be dirt cheap.Or you could buy a 6870 and do it that way.According to this review you'd be getting about 40FPS with a single 6850 with 3 1080p monitors.So you might be able to pull it off better with the 3 20",but it's totally up to u.I'm just saying your going to need a bigger card to get max graphics.

http://www.hardwareheaven.com/reviews/1065/pg14/sapphir...

EDIT: what is the make and model of your power supply?
a c 214 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
December 23, 2010 1:08:08 AM

Just my opinion but after i looked everything over i would go with the 3 20" monitors because better looking graphics is better than 1080p.The moniotrs are still 720p and better FPS is everything.
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December 23, 2010 1:50:58 AM

Thanks purple stank. My psu is a corsair 650tx (650w).
a c 214 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
December 23, 2010 2:55:13 AM

Buy 2 of those 23'" or 3 if you can manage the money it looks like a really good deal.
Wait and save up money for the graphics card and just get the monitors now,then get the 6870.

Better to save money and do it right and not rush into it.

Of course this is totally up to you depending on how much FPS you want.

The way it looks if your spend $125 on the 20" and $140 on the 23" you can't even get the 6850.And i would reccomend the 6870 for an eyefinity setup so that it's palyable FPS.

Just buy as many 23" monitors your budget will allow and then save for a 6870.
December 23, 2010 4:51:17 PM

A 6870 and 3x23" monitors would be way out of budget and I wouldn't be using the the 20" monitor I already have.

Getting a 6850 instead would keep the cost of the entire system to a minimum. I could still get the deal on the 23" just because it's a good monitor and go the 20"-23"-20"route. I'm pretty sure a $90 deal for that last 20" will show up within the next 30days.

I might have to give up on high fps but there's still the possibility to overclock the 6850 to 6870 levels.

However, I'm not sure how eyefinity would turn out with a 23" at the center and 20" on the sides.
Besides, this would only allow 4800x900 and that resolution, I might as well go with 3x20" which would make it easier on the 6850 and bring cost even lower.

Any thoughts?
Any experience with unconventional eyefinity setups?
a c 214 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
December 23, 2010 5:37:54 PM

No i have no experience with Eyefinitys setups in general...
I would say just to keep them all the same,seems wierd when their uneven.

I would defeinitly agree with 3 20" it is way better for the card to operate at not such a heavy load and better FPS.

If you plan on O.C. make sure you get the AsusDirectCU version.It comes with a voltage tweak that you can get even more out of the card than a traditional reference card.DirectCU versions allow you to apply a 50% overclock performance to a regular card of only 8%

HOLY ***...
Buy this it's the exact version i was talking about and it's open box for $135
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
December 23, 2010 6:54:26 PM

The AsusDirectCu deal is sold out :(  good call though!
a c 214 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
December 23, 2010 6:57:09 PM

You should get the 6870 Open Box.I would take the 6870 over the DirectCU6850.6870 is still faster even if you O.C. the 6850.
December 23, 2010 9:51:44 PM

Hesitated too long.. sold out now. ugh!
December 24, 2010 9:35:54 PM

Thanks yesitsmario. Do you guys think the price might drop even lower in the coming weeks?
I would hate to pull the trigger now and see an insane deal on this card in two weeks.
a c 214 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
December 24, 2010 10:30:45 PM

Their could be slight pricedrops per manufactuer but the general price range i don't think will drop for some time.
December 25, 2010 6:07:32 PM

If this is all gtx460s sli can manage at 4800x900 I wonder if a single hd 6850 can offer any playable fps.

a c 214 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
December 25, 2010 11:02:59 PM

I've played AvP before and it's really demanding try looking up BFBC2 or Black Ops.I really don't think you would get playable fps with just 1 6850.You might with a 6870 O.C. but i still don't think you would be maxing things out.Should just save up your money for 2 6850's then you would be set.
December 26, 2010 1:12:11 AM

The plan is to eventually get a second card, but that won't happen anytime soon because I would need a motherboard upgrade. And with sandy bridge new cpus and socket coming up, I'd rather wait and let things settle before upgrading.

The resolution question for eyefinity remains though 5670x1080 vs 4800x900.
From that review it seems like a single 6850 would do alright at 5670x1080.
In this case I'm wondering if getting at least one 23" monitor now and leaving the upgrade path for a 3x23" setup open wouldn't be a better option than sticking with 3x20"
a c 214 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
December 26, 2010 1:24:45 AM

Its totally up to u,personal perference.I would rather go with 3 20" because i really like having good FPS and eyecandy features like A/A and such.I don't really notice much of a difference between 720p and 1080p monitors for computers.Like i said it's totally up to you,you are the buyer.
December 29, 2010 6:32:36 AM

I got the xfx dual fan instead for $172. I was worried about the Asus cooler exhausting inside the case. Haven't received the card yet, I'll update when I get it (hopefully I won't regret this).
a c 214 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
December 29, 2010 3:57:58 PM

O thats really nice the dual fan?Can you post it?

I ust got my 6870 not to long ago,it's such a beast!!!Also good thing oyu got the dual fan,these cards heat up pretty fast and the fan is extremely loud.Hopefully yours won't be to loud since you got the x2 fan.
December 29, 2010 4:09:25 PM

ok im going to chime in now and say that 1 6850 is not going to play badco at 3x hd resolution i have 3 1280x1024 lcd's in eyefinity and the hd6870 can just play badco on high blackops how ever it is fine.
i would say go for the 2 20in screens
December 29, 2010 6:07:51 PM

Here is a review of xfx. They got a pair in crossfire.
http://www.kitguru.net/components/graphic-cards/zardon/...

Thanks sharpbrick, I'll definitely stick with 20"s then, and I guess I'll just have to lower settings until I get a second card. Hopefully the one card I'm getting will have enough overclocking headroom for playable fps.
December 29, 2010 6:11:04 PM

What 6870 did you get purple stank?
a c 214 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
December 29, 2010 6:14:25 PM

Yes...i didn't realize how HUGE it was until it arrived and i put it in.The fan is extremely loud so i might look into an aftermarket cooler for it,that might be some time because it is so new.Don't get me wrong the performance is outstanding it is just very loud and gets very hot.The card is so big it raises my CPU temps by 3c.Like one big heat conducter.Mine is the XFX version btw.I would give it a 9/10 great card besides the noise/heat.
a c 214 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
December 29, 2010 6:15:50 PM

What type of case do you have,are you sure it will fit?And what is your power supply?
a c 214 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
December 29, 2010 8:55:02 PM

WoW 3.5ghz on a stock cooler?
Could get something as simple as a Hyper 212+ and it would be way cooler.

only thing thats different between the two is the exhaust that goes out the back just has a plastic shell over it that forces the airflow out the back of the card.I think the Asus version has a better heatsink so it doesn't get as hot...
December 29, 2010 9:15:28 PM

Yea except the buy.com deal on the asus died before I could make up my mind. When I saw the xfx dual fan for $172 I pulled the trigger. The heatsinks are practically the same. They both have 2 copper heat pipes going to aluminum fins. Granted the asus overclocks higher, I don't think the trade off is that bad.
January 19, 2011 12:56:18 AM

Update:

Setup the 2 20" monitors with an old 15" I had, while I wait to get a third 20".
HD 6850 stable at 900/1170 and playing smoothly at 3840 x720.
Although the card is doing great at this resolution I'm slightly worried that it will choke once I add a third 20" and bump the resolution to 4800x900. I really don't want to have to rma this card.

There is minor artifacts on the monitor connected through the dp-dvi adapter . I get a line moving through the screen from bottom to top every now and then while gaming (not very noticeable).

Thoughts?
February 9, 2011 12:21:06 AM

I find myself in a very similar situation as you...............

Looking at using my 6850 overclocked to run 3 20" 1600x900 monitors and was wondering if you had bought the third 20" monitor and if so how well do they run in eyefinity?

I will eventually get another GPU for crossfire but due to budget would like to just get two more 20" monitors at this time. Would rather get 23" but think that a little much for one or even two 6850's

I Would be very interested to hear how things turned out for your eyefinity setup.

I mainly play wow but would like all my settings maxed as they are now, card runs great on one monitor.

Thanks Swiftor

Also did you have to get a display port adapter for the third monitor. I'd read that I will need one to make it all work
February 9, 2011 2:49:36 AM

I don't have the 3rd 20" monitor yet. I used an old 15" I had laying around for 3840x720.
At that resolution my overclocked 6850 (930/1200) ran Burnout paradise and Dragon Age settings maxed with 30+ fps.

I ran the unigine heaven benchmark v2.1 to get an idea of how the card would preform with dx11 games and got 25 fps with 10.8 min fps.
This was with high shaders and textures, trilinear filter, 4x anisotropy, and normal tessellation.
When I set tessellation to extreme I got 17.7 fps with 6.7 min fps.

After this, knowing that I couldn't xfire because of mobo limitation, I decided to rma the 6850 for a 6950 (that I haven't received yet).

In crossfire though, two 6850s outperform a 6970 at 5700x1080.
http://www.kitguru.net/components/graphic-cards/zardon/...

So, I'd say wait up a bit and find some deals on 23" monitors (even if you end up having to with a 20"-23"-23" setup for awhile). My 15"-20"-20" didn't bother me as far as immersion goes. The only thing that bothered me was the resolution being stuck at 3840x720. Even then, gaming was so much better than on a single monitor.

I don't know how demanding wow is but a single 6850 would get you close to 51 fps in black ops. http://www.hardwareheaven.com/reviews/1065/pg14/sapphir...

Then add another 6850 down the line and get all the eyecandy you want.

As for the display adapter, you will need an active one if your third monitor does not have a display port.
I got this one because this site was giving 15% off on it. It worked. This one would work too.

I hope this helps.
February 9, 2011 3:09:02 PM

Thanks for your response....valuable to hear ideas from someone in a similar situation.

Think I'm going to do the same RMA the 6850, its a great card but unfortunately wow does'nt do well with crossfire so although I could crossfire and get great performace it would'nt do much for my primary game.

Think I'm going to order a 6950 and stick with a one card setup for now, can always crossfire down the road when the need arises. Restocking fee kinda sucks but worth it to get exactly what I want.

Think I will sell my 20" monitor and go with one 23" for now and add a couple in another month or so when prices drop or I find a good deal.

Looking at a 23' acer for $145 with 80000/1 contrast. Found a 23' samsung at Fry's for $139 with a 50,000/1 contrast ration both 1920x1080 will I notice much of a difference in the contrast ration?

Still curious as to how well the oc'd 6850 would have handled (3) 20" 1600x900 in eyefinity playing wow. If it had good FPS and all settings on ultra that would be an awesome buget eyefinity setup.

Thanks again for taking the time to respond. Interested to hear how your system works out.
a c 272 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
January 23, 2012 7:41:56 AM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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