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GTX 570 or 6850 CF

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January 25, 2011 11:38:34 AM

Hello guys, I've been so torn about which graphics setup to pursue. I have all the parts for my new PC

Processor - 2500k sandy bridge
Motherboard - ASUS P8P67 LGA 1155 P67 SATA 6 GBps and USB 3.0-Supported ATX Motherboard
Hard Drive - Western Digital 500gb 7200rpm
Memory - Corsair 4GB ddr3 1600 9-9-9-24
Power Supply- 750w Corsair
and obviously a Case / fans and a dvd drive.

I have been reading reviews of the graphics cards. Mainly the 6850 CF, 6950/6970 & gtx 570.

My budget for an fx card is $300-400. The 6850 CF outperforms the 570 in almost every game benchmark and i can get 2 of them for very close to $300.00. But it is "older" technology. My friend who is an avid PC builder always suggests 1 card because of compatibility of crossfore/SLI with other games. Should i worry about that either? My questions is, what should I GET!?!?

Benchmarks for Reference: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/302?vs=306

I will be playing games like Mass Effect 3, Guild wars 2, and crysis 2. I can fork out the money for a 570 or 6970 but should I?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!!

Thanks,
Barry

More about : gtx 570 6850

a b U Graphics card
January 25, 2011 4:57:14 PM

I always suggest going with a higher end single card solution for a couple reasons:

1. Power Draw
2. Stability (Single card always more stable than multiple cards)
3. Future expansion (Ability to add in another card later for SUPER POWER when stability and price aren't as much as an issue and when you have more money for a bigger PSU, if needed)

In your case, you're right that the 6850 CF does beat the 570 in most scenarios (reference: Guru3d.com), however the 6850 CF setup does draw more power, approximately 30+ watts more under full load, not to mention you have two video cards dishing out huge amounts of heat instead of one, so if airflow is a problem in your case, that could present performance and heat issues.

One other thing to consider is at what settings you're going to be playing your games on, and at what resolution? I don't see your monitor in your setup. And a last thought, another 2 gb of RAM might not hurt.
January 25, 2011 5:07:39 PM

Look dude,there will always be guys saying to you to go for a single gpu solution to avoid problems.But lets face it in pc gaming their are bound to be some problems or else you would have bought a ps3 or x360 and a simple laptop for pc related work.In the end it all comes down to your hard earned money.Are you seriously willing to give more money for a less performing gpu?And for games like Guild war and mass effect 2 ,one 6850 or gtx 570 or 6970 is going to be enough.But trust me you will be needing that another 6850 for crysis 2 and games like metro 2033.No offence to borisof007.
And one last thing,the guys that suggest a single gpu should not mention every time that you can add another card later because then you will have the same multi-gpu problems with that setup too.
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a c 141 U Graphics card
January 25, 2011 5:40:02 PM

it depends on the situation. some people will only CF or SLI if the they're not satisfied with the level of performance the fastest single gpu can give. some other choose to CF or SLI later so they can add more performance for cheap. but for those who want to do CF or SLI they must at least understand the complexity of multi gpu setup so they know what to expect from the setup. :) 
January 25, 2011 6:12:32 PM

borisof007 said:
I always suggest going with a higher end single card solution for a couple reasons:

1. Power Draw
2. Stability (Single card always more stable than multiple cards)
3. Future expansion (Ability to add in another card later for SUPER POWER when stability and price aren't as much as an issue and when you have more money for a bigger PSU, if needed)

In your case, you're right that the 6850 CF does beat the 570 in most scenarios (reference: Guru3d.com), however the 6850 CF setup does draw more power, approximately 30+ watts more under full load, not to mention you have two video cards dishing out huge amounts of heat instead of one, so if airflow is a problem in your case, that could present performance and heat issues.

One other thing to consider is at what settings you're going to be playing your games on, and at what resolution? I don't see your monitor in your setup. And a last thought, another 2 gb of RAM might not hurt.



I will be playing at 1920 X 1080 pretty much exclusively. Most Likely 4xaa and max settings, i don't mind putting it on 2xAA or none of need be. At that high of a resolution, jaggies aren't really that annoying.
January 25, 2011 6:18:05 PM

renz496 said:
it depends on the situation. some people will only CF or SLI if the they're not satisfied with the level of performance the fastest single gpu can give. some other choose to CF or SLI later so they can add more performance for cheap. but for those who want to do CF or SLI they must at least understand the complexity of multi gpu setup so they know what to expect from the setup. :) 



So it can be pretty complex? I've built a few computers but never tried crossfire / SLI. But I have read quite a bit about it. I was just worried about some games not supporting it and then being stuck with a single 6850 card basically.
January 25, 2011 6:20:04 PM

abhishekshukla1989 said:
Look dude,there will always be guys saying to you to go for a single gpu solution to avoid problems.But lets face it in pc gaming their are bound to be some problems or else you would have bought a ps3 or x360 and a simple laptop for pc related work.In the end it all comes down to your hard earned money.Are you seriously willing to give more money for a less performing gpu?And for games like Guild war and mass effect 2 ,one 6850 or gtx 570 or 6970 is going to be enough.But trust me you will be needing that another 6850 for crysis 2 and games like metro 2033.No offence to borisof007.
And one last thing,the guys that suggest a single gpu should not mention every time that you can add another card later because then you will have the same multi-gpu problems with that setup too.



The other thing about waiting to crossfire / SLI later is, the card may be hard to come by. I have a 4890 in my PC i Built in 2009. 4890's you can't find anywhere.
January 25, 2011 6:28:10 PM

Well this gives you another reason to sli or go with 6850 cf.
a c 271 U Graphics card
January 25, 2011 6:32:28 PM

renz496 said:
it depends on the situation. some people will only CF or SLI if the they're not satisfied with the level of performance the fastest single gpu can give. some other choose to CF or SLI later so they can add more performance for cheap. but for those who want to do CF or SLI they must at least understand the complexity of multi gpu setup so they know what to expect from the setup. :) 

And some of us do it from the get go and then don't need to upgrade anything for ages and have never had any stability problems.
staind said:
The other thing about waiting to crossfire / SLI later is, the card may be hard to come by. I have a 4890 in my PC i Built in 2009. 4890's you can't find anywhere.


This is one of main reasons that I don't advocate the "single card now and get another one later" option.
January 25, 2011 6:40:12 PM

Mousemonkey said:
And some of us do it from the get go and then don't need to upgrade anything for ages and have never had any stability problems.


This is one of main reasons that I don't advocate the "single card now and get another one later" option.



So you think the 6850s is a good idea? It's what I'm leaning to. More performance for less $$ just makes more sense to me. Only thing I was worried about was compatibility issues with games, but I would think most new games would come set up for that? Or at least ATI would have driver updates.
a c 271 U Graphics card
January 25, 2011 6:45:32 PM

Pretty much every major game title I've played since about 2005/6 has supported SLi, there's been a few lessor titles that haven't but I've usually managed to force SLi through Nv control panel.
January 25, 2011 6:48:21 PM

I vote for the 6850's in CF. You can get Asus DirectCU's for $160 each after rebate.
January 25, 2011 6:48:41 PM

Mousemonkey said:
Pretty much every major game title I've played since about 2005/6 has supported SLi, there's been a few lessor titles that haven't but I've usually managed to force SLi through Nv control panel.


what about crossfire? Can that be force through the drivers? Since i wasn't planning on SLI any cards.
a c 271 U Graphics card
January 25, 2011 6:53:30 PM

I haven't had much experience playing about with crossfire and the couple or so times that I have messed with it the drivers seemed to kick up issues.
a b U Graphics card
January 25, 2011 6:54:25 PM

Crossfire is getting more and more support, and per your recommendation of settings and resolution, I'd recommend the Crossfire solution (and also because you weren't planning on ever going SLi, so if that's the case, go the 6850 crossfire route).
a c 271 U Graphics card
January 25, 2011 6:58:59 PM

borisof007 said:
Crossfire is getting more and more support, and per your recommendation of settings and resolution, I'd recommend the Crossfire solution (and also because you weren't planning on ever going SLi, so if that's the case, go the 6850 crossfire route).

Nice U turn.
January 25, 2011 7:06:07 PM

So Basically.. I am not going to be playing unpopular titles. Most games I am going to play and want to play should have the proper driver support. I.E Crysis, Guild wars 2, SWTOR, Mass Effect 3, New Elder Scrolls. Games on those lines, and on the rare side I play some "older" not as popular games, I will be restricted to the performance of a single 6850? Which should run any older games perfectly fine. Any other thoughts guys? You all have been very helpful.
January 25, 2011 7:09:46 PM

staind said:
The other thing about waiting to crossfire / SLI later is, the card may be hard to come by. I have a 4890 in my PC i Built in 2009. 4890's you can't find anywhere.

I am going for 6850cf from single 5850 myself and if you can overclock them you can get almost the same performance as 6870 cf and to be honest gtx 580 is the only single gpu that can guarantee you good fps on every single game coming out within the next 6 to 8 months on Very High settings.So your best bet would be 6850 ,also you can get 6850 toxic edition (better cooling,more overclock potential than reference card).

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a c 125 U Graphics card
January 25, 2011 8:24:41 PM
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I'm definitely all for the CF 6850s. Bang for your buck it's better to CF/SLI lower end cards. Much like SLI 460s beating a single 480, or how my CF 5850s beat a single 5970.

As for issues, to be honest, I've had very few. The only ones I can think of were pretty easy to solve, basically boiled down to a bad driver install (for whatever reason). So a clean sweep and reinstall fixed most of them. The other odd issue was with a couple games not supporting CF, but in both cases it was because they were too new (F1 2010 and Starcraft 2) and they now have full support.

It also is very easy to set up. Plug both cards in with 1 CF bridge. Boot up. Install drivers AND the Crossfire Application Profiles (this is a separate download. I don't know why). Reboot and enjoy.

EDIT: And yes that motherboard will support CF cards fine. There's plenty of room.
February 16, 2011 1:22:00 PM

Best answer selected by staind.
a c 271 U Graphics card
February 16, 2011 6:26:04 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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