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6990 or Xfire 6970s?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 18, 2011 1:57:11 AM

Okay so I was actually supposed to put together my new build last month with a SB and a Nvidia card probably a 580 but now with the whole new stuff from amd/ati involving the 6990 and more so their upcoming bulldozer cpus ive decided to hold back and see if perhaps i'll get one of the 8 core zambezis in June. In doing so i want to go with a friendly solution to pair with an AMD system and that being ati unless Nvidias dual card solution proves to be phenomenal in some spontaneous way.

So what do you guys think? I know the 6970s although consuming a tad bit more watts will give a 2-3% better performance compared to the 6990 but then the heat issue arises with having 2 cards closely packed unless my case which will be a Raven 3 with the 90 degree mounting should eliminate this worry partially? I could get a larger xfire bridge and have them run at x16 x8 but then i lose that 2-3% boost and it would be as if i had a 6990 in the 1st place. I've also heard that the 6990 gets awfully loud and i do want to keep noise levels to a minimum... doesnt have to be dead silent but a little woosh wont bother me.

Thoughts?

More about : 6990 xfire 6970s

a c 196 U Graphics card
March 18, 2011 2:11:00 AM

Definitely Crossfire 6970s, they will need slightly more power but they will handle their heat output much better as more of it will leave the case. Even set right next to each other there is generally enough of an airgap that they wont be overheating, they will be running hotter than normal but not to the overheating range. I believe that 2 6970s also comes out cheaper than a 6990 and will come out to be a lot quieter so i would definitely take that over a 6990.
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March 18, 2011 6:36:42 PM

My native resolution will be 1920x1080 single monitor nothing special i dont need no multiple displays or a high high resolution im at 1680x1050 right now and happy with that as it is. I know one 6970 will push 1920x1080 pretty easily with the recent games and i would probably add a second one for xfire later on unless theres a reason to go with a 6990 now over a 6970. and a second later. I dont plan to tri xfire or quad ever its useless and a waste of money in my eyes since i would just upgrade GPU 2-3yrs later
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a b U Graphics card
March 18, 2011 7:39:31 PM

6970s are like 10% better, but still i'd wait for 590 to come out and read the reviews of it to get the image of its performance...
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a c 106 U Graphics card
March 18, 2011 7:54:23 PM

I say two 6970s. You may just want to go eyefinity while you're at it since that's generally way too much power for a single 1080p monitor ^_^. Sure you can wait for the GTX 590 to come out decide, but even if it's a little faster than the 6990 it's still going to be louder and hotter than two separate 6970s in your case. If you're only going to have two cards, you may want to opt for a board that will give them an extra slot of space between those two cards.
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March 18, 2011 8:18:03 PM

In a year or so depending how fast games evolve and demanding they become i wouldnt say it would become overkill... unless one 6970 will be good for 2-3 years i'd xfire to cope with new games and hover 50+ fps
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March 18, 2011 8:25:09 PM

Yeah i know a 6950 unlocks and can run on par with a 6970 but ive heard that it can burn out and have problems in the future due to a difference in vram between the cards with the 6970 having a higher quality ram idk if this is true but surely theres a reason a 6950 and a 6970 both exist even being so similar.
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March 18, 2011 11:03:54 PM

Quote:
you got to remember we are in the day of LCDs and not CRTs anymore. You buy a gpu that can power your monitor. Now LCDs have a emulated refresh rate of 120mhz or 60mhz. That's 120fps or 60fps. If the card and the LCD goes out of sync you will have ghosting and tearing issues. Now you can use methods such as vsync to keep it in sync but your basically wasting your money then. Then the other problem you will create is putting on strain on your cpu which means at your resolution your gpu will run out from under it with a huge pace. So you will have to overclock the living daylights out of it.
In the end you'll see a mate with a slower single gpu getting better gameplay than you and you will be confused why.
you can't run a high end gpu setup with a low end LCD. You will create more problems for yourself.


This does not help me at all and it also sheds some insult. I know the difference between 120hz and 60-75hz etc. I dont need 120hz as i have no intention to do any 3d gaming cause right now it all just seems like a gimmick and waste of money until monitors/tvs start to display 3d w/o the need of any glasses.

Secondly the monitor i have my eye on is not a low end lcd by any means: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

From all the replies im getting i assume its safe to say i'll get 1 6970 for now and xfire it down the road when i start to see games maxing out the single 6970. Im just preparing a rig for BF3 =)

I do want to have an empty slot open to give the xfired 6970s some room but i'll need to run x16 x8 probably and lose >5% of performance i guess nbd but still lol
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March 20, 2011 11:04:18 PM

BlazenDemon said:
In a year or so depending how fast games evolve and demanding they become i wouldnt say it would become overkill... unless one 6970 will be good for 2-3 years i'd xfire to cope with new games and hover 50+ fps

instead of getting an overkill GPU setup right now, it would make sense to get a reasonable setup instead (i'd get 2x6950's if you want to crossfire) and enjoy it for two years and then get a whole new high-end computer with new gfx cards, a new cpu, new SSD, etc. in 1-2 years your overkill setup will be bottlenecked by your cpu anyway imo.
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March 21, 2011 1:13:06 AM

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1680x1050 cf for that resolution?

he's planning on having 1080p, unless i read wrong. with current AMD drivers, i think that it's good to have extra horsepower because some games might not work that well until proper drivers come out. in Dragon Age 2 performance was terrible until i installed the 11.4 preview. even now i should be getting smooth fps all the way, but i notice some slowdowns.
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March 21, 2011 1:31:17 AM

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yes also notice the 1080p one. One 6950 will handle that with ease.

i'd say that it depends on the game and settings. Metro 2033 1080p 2xAA/16xAF i'm not so sure, but i might be wrong.
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March 21, 2011 7:49:31 PM

Yes i will have a new monitor to go along with the new rig @ 1920x1080 as opposed to what im at now with 1680x1050 and a 9800GTX+. I'll just go with a single 6970 and xfire it 1-2yrs from now that should give me at least 4yrs maybe more of eye candy enabled gameplay. I dont plan to go over the top with multiple monitors 1 is fine for me. Plus anything past like 4XAA is hardly noticeable to me and on a higher resolution it would be less obtrusive.
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Best solution

March 21, 2011 8:40:43 PM

BlazenDemon said:
Yes i will have a new monitor to go along with the new rig @ 1920x1080 as opposed to what im at now with 1680x1050 and a 9800GTX+. I'll just go with a single 6970 and xfire it 1-2yrs from now that should give me at least 4yrs maybe more of eye candy enabled gameplay. I dont plan to go over the top with multiple monitors 1 is fine for me. Plus anything past like 4XAA is hardly noticeable to me and on a higher resolution it would be less obtrusive.

good plan imo :) 
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a b U Graphics card
March 21, 2011 8:48:41 PM

personally I would avoid AMD crossfire as it does not work as advertised, you will have high avg fps but minimum fps will be less than a single card and the so called "microstutter" does not happen all the time but frequently enough to drive you nuts, imo if you want a dual card setup go for sli, otherwise Id go for a more powerful single setup, I know some people will say otherwise but I truely believe there is a reason why Nvidia has a higher price premium
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March 21, 2011 10:01:35 PM





DAMN hmmm do i want an airplane in my room... not really... I did notice that the 6 series or even the 6970 in particular has a very high load temp of 90+ idk what fan speed thats on but right now with my BFG 9800GTX+ (rip bfg gfx cards =[) i have my fan @ 50% and it idles low 40s and loads are in the 60s-70s depending on the game and if i want i can bump the fan up to 75% where its audible but i wear headphones so i dont hear it and then its under load around 50s and low 60s. These temperatures are pretty safe and i sure like them, but idk if i would like to see my card go up to 90s and be THAT loud i assume 100% speed? and its still that hot? wtf
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March 21, 2011 10:16:21 PM

http://techreport.com/articles.x/20126/15 from the looks of this chart though it looks like the levels are all relatively the same when comparing the 6950, 6970, gtx 570/580 with Nvidia having a slight advantage i think i'll be fine with the 6970 plus for the small % extra performance a 580 gives over the 6970 isnt worth that extra $100 or so

oh and this will be in a Raven 3 RV03 case so hopefully when that releases and reviews come in the new silverstone fans will push air better and faster than its predecessor models/fans
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March 29, 2011 4:30:08 AM

Best answer selected by BlazenDemon.
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