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SLI or Crossfire - Need help!

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 1, 2011 1:13:05 AM

MY POWERSUPPLY
OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ700MXSP 700W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply compatible with core i7
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Other parts computer will be running:
i5 sandy bridge 2500k 95w, 1x Sata 6 HDD,100 to 175 dollar Motherboard, DVD burner (if I need to I will take this thing out of there to save on power after windows install LoL) 8GB Memory (Willing to go with 8GB - 4gb x 2 vs 8gb - 2gb x 4 to save power as well) 6x 120mm case fans

I'm looking at the following card combos and I can afford buying 2 of them all as they are in price but range, but I cant afford buying two of these cards and a new power supply right now...

ati 6850
ati 6870
nvidia 460
nvidia 560

I just don't want to have any issues when I'm gaming I've read that lack of power to your video cards can cause lack luster performance during game play...

Any help is appreciated

More about : sli crossfire

March 1, 2011 1:37:48 AM

Thats what I was thinking with the 560's they seam to be the best bang for the SLI buck, but I'm just really worried about my power supply. In the future I will upgrade it to like a 1000w, but right now I cant ill be pushing my budget to get the 560s'. The ati option was in there because they are a low power solution.
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a b U Graphics card
March 1, 2011 1:46:31 AM

I would avoid both SLI and Crossfire. The cost, the extra heat, extra power consumption and the loss of space in your case rarely if ever are worth performance increases your eye will probably not notice anyway. SLI and Crossfire are only really worth it if you have two underpowered cards that can't push enough frames on their own. Get one good really powerful card or a card that has dual GPU's if you must.
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a b U Graphics card
March 1, 2011 1:59:18 AM

Unless you can get a pair of 560 cards at a really good deal, like 20-30 percent less total price wise then the single card solution that they match power with in test and games when running in SLI, then don't bother unless you plan to dedicate one of them to Physx usage a lot. Otherwise at that point it isn't worth it, and you will be better off sticking to a powerful single card solution. Not every game supports SLI or Crossfire, so often you will find yourself having to use disable one of the 560 cards, thus losing out on the performance in some titles you could have had if you'd just went with a more powerful single card.
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March 1, 2011 2:02:49 AM

Quote:
I would avoid both SLI and Crossfire. The cost, the extra heat, extra power consumption and the loss of space in your case rarely if ever are worth performance increases your eye will probably not notice anyway. SLI and Crossfire are only really worth it if you have two underpowered cards that can't push enough frames on their own. Get one good really powerful card or a card that has dual GPU's if you must.


My eye in regards to 60 vs 100 fps the argument states you cant tell the difference, but when your playing a game and you have lots of action and lots of units on the screen and running at 1920x1200 I can see the difference when the fps drops from 100 fps to 30. I would rather have smooth game play 24x7 then the wave of FPS.
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March 1, 2011 2:13:11 AM

Quote:
Unless you can get a pair of 560 cards at a really good deal, like 20-30 percent less total price wise then the single card solution that they match power with in test and games when running in SLI, then don't bother unless you plan to dedicate one of them to Physx usage a lot. Otherwise at that point it isn't worth it, and you will be better off sticking to a powerful single card solution. Not every game supports SLI or Crossfire, so often you will find yourself having to use disable one of the 560 cards, thus losing out on the performance in some titles you could have had if you'd just went with a more powerful single card.


There is not a single card solution that could keep up with any of those cards listed in SLI/Crossfire 580 single vs 6850 CF the 6850 CF wins IMO... and It's cheaper and consumes less power

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/302?vs=305

Quote:
560 TI hands down... Start here, the 560 taked every bench as a single card except Dirt 2 .... in SLI none of the others can compete.

http://www.guru3d.com/article/gefo [...] i-review/4


even jacks link shows that for benchmarks on the sli vs single card and the argument with SLI and Crossfire not compatible with games... the only major vendor that did that recently was blizzard and hopefully some day they will fix that otherwise almost every game is compatible with it... And thats more of a Crossfire only issue WoW is SLI compatible I believe SC2 is as well
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March 1, 2011 2:21:27 AM

Jack, the 700w Modxstream is not on the list but there old line gamexstream 700w is on there which new egg no longer sells.
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a b U Graphics card
March 1, 2011 3:27:53 AM

Legacy1785 said:
Quote:
Unless you can get a pair of 560 cards at a really good deal, like 20-30 percent less total price wise then the single card solution that they match power with in test and games when running in SLI, then don't bother unless you plan to dedicate one of them to Physx usage a lot. Otherwise at that point it isn't worth it, and you will be better off sticking to a powerful single card solution. Not every game supports SLI or Crossfire, so often you will find yourself having to use disable one of the 560 cards, thus losing out on the performance in some titles you could have had if you'd just went with a more powerful single card.


There is not a single card solution that could keep up with any of those cards listed in SLI/Crossfire 580 single vs 6850 CF the 6850 CF wins IMO... and It's cheaper and consumes less power

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/302?vs=305

Quote:
560 TI hands down... Start here, the 560 taked every bench as a single card except Dirt 2 .... in SLI none of the others can compete.

http://www.guru3d.com/article/gefo [...] i-review/4


even jacks link shows that for benchmarks on the sli vs single card and the argument with SLI and Crossfire not compatible with games... the only major vendor that did that recently was blizzard and hopefully some day they will fix that otherwise almost every game is compatible with it...



I honestly did not look at the Guru3d link, mainly due to the fact they only bench the few most popular games that are known to work with dual card configs when running SLI and Crossfire test, and they don't point out what current games have issues with dual card setups. Why Hilbert doesn't ever bother to cover that aspect of things when doing review wrap ups, who knows. In his defense, he isn't the only reviewer who doesn't though. Granted, a pair of 560 cards in those test really does surpass everything else tested, but at $250 a pop, you are looking at spending USD$500 easy to get that performance, its not like you couldn't get great performance from a single HD 6970 anyway as it is, saving $150 in the process.

And no, not every game on the market supports dual card setups still. There are a lot out there that don't, and it is a common problem for games to not support SLI and Crossfire upon release for at least a month or two when a driver fix is available (Need for Speed HP & Shift, Split Second, Force Unleashed 2, Front Mission Evo, Bad Company 2, Lost Planet 2 are some examples of games that got fixed finally or never did). I deal with this issue on both my SLI and Crossfire systems all the time. And sometimes new driver releases will break dual card support on some games and get fixed again next driver release. It doesn't bug me so much because I usually don't buy games on launch anyway and I can always revert back to specific drivers if needed, but just saying, the problems are def there. So unless your dedicated, don't mind doing work arounds or using one card for games that cant use two, and waiting for driver support for new games that may not work with dual cards right off, it may not be for you. If you mainly only play the headliner FPS titles though, you may find yourself pleasantly surprised. But like I said, not like a single 6970 couldn't have gotten you there either. Its no slouch in its own right either.
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March 1, 2011 7:31:11 PM

thats a good point... I don't mind messing around with drivers my standpoint on why I want to go with SLI or Crossfire right now is bang for buck... I never add that second card like I say I will and just buy new rigs so the money I have now I want to stretch as far as I can and a Crossfire/SLI rig seams to be the best performance for the money.
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a b U Graphics card
March 1, 2011 8:33:28 PM

Well that opens up a whole new range of issues. My boards invariably support Crossfire because I prefer Intel Chipsets and RAID Controllers but I prefer NVIDIA Graphic cards. Therefore I end up with a Single GPU by default. I still don't think that SLI / Crossfire is worth it in terms of cost / benefit. It sort of falls in to the 4 GB RAM vs 8 GB RAM type argument. In theory there are potential performance gains but in practice nothing worth the premium dollar you end up paying. Real World Computing is the only benchmark that matters if you want bang for buck.
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March 1, 2011 8:49:46 PM

What board? Most now days can perform Crossfire and SLI
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March 13, 2011 8:41:39 PM

Best answer selected by Legacy1785.
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