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Eyefinity running slow on Sapphire hd 5870

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March 18, 2011 2:55:08 PM

Hello,

Long time follower, first time poster. After seeing a bunch of awesome eyefinity setups at PAX east 2011, I finally gave in and got myself 3 brand new 22in monitors to do my own setup. I have had a Sapphire HD 5870 1gb for over a year and a half now and its the first time i'm running eyefinity on it. Upon my first try to run it, it was really slow and I had trouble getting more than 30 fps. After configuring the graphics settings down bit by bit i got it to run much smoother.

My question is, what is the cheapest solution for me to get this setup to run on high settings? Get another 5850 or 5870 and crossfire? Or try to sell my 5870 and get a 5870 2gb for about $260 on newegg? I originally bought my 5870 for about $400 bucks, so I don't really want to go into full upgrade mode.

Thanks for reading. Any thoughts are appreciated.
a b U Graphics card
March 18, 2011 3:01:43 PM

A typical 5870 has only 1GB of RAM, that is no where near enough to run 3 monitor eyefinity in games. If you want solid performance at decent quality, you're looking at 2 x 6950's in crossfire. The decent performance and 4gb combined memory will provide for a much better experience.

Sorry, unless you want to run your 3 monitors at lowest settings, that's the only way to go...
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a c 125 U Graphics card
March 18, 2011 3:12:18 PM

I partially disagree with Grif.

I most certainly agree that 2gb VRAM is going to help a ton, but you can still get by with 1gb by turning off AA and lower graphic quality a bit. Having a second 5870 will help significantly so long as you don't exceed the 1GB VRAM.

So a second 5870 will push better framerates for sure, but you will never be able to max games out due to the limited VRAM.
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a b U Graphics card
March 18, 2011 3:19:56 PM

wolfram23 said:
I partially disagree with Grif.

I most certainly agree that 2gb VRAM is going to help a ton, but you can still get by with 1gb by turning off AA and lower graphic quality a bit. Having a second 5870 will help significantly so long as you don't exceed the 1GB VRAM.

So a second 5870 will push better framerates for sure, but you will never be able to max games out due to the limited VRAM.


Yeah i understand that, which is why i said 'if you want solid performance at decent quality', meaning (in my head) something like 4x AA and at least 8x AF. Of course he could do okay by turning everything off but that isn't the type of gaming experience that should be accompanied by 3 monitor eyefinity.

But yeah, another 5870 would do fine really, but as you say, the combined 2GB memory may limit the experience.
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March 18, 2011 4:00:12 PM

Thanks guys. I have all AA settings off and the graphics settings around medium and that seemed to run ok. Can I crossfire with a 2gb 5870 or does it need to be another 1gb 5870?
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March 18, 2011 4:20:43 PM

Don't crossfire a 1gb with a 2gb you are wasting your money. Crossfire will only utilize the lowest common denominator i.e. 1gb from each card. In addition, crossfire will still be limited to 1gb of total frame buffer because crossfire mirrors the contents of the memory to both cards.

My suggestion is to upgrade to a 6950 2gb or higher, GTX 570 or higher and sell your card.
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March 18, 2011 4:25:35 PM

Ah...i see. That makes sense. I thought for some reason that the ram would be combined between both cards. Man, who the hell is gonna wanna buy an old 5870 1gb?

Would it be better to run 2 5870s or 1 single 6970? I think going with 2 6950s sounds like the best option, but I won't be able to shell out over $500 and i'm hoping for the best solution for under $300
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March 18, 2011 4:57:35 PM

I've been running eyefinity now for about 2 months with one 2gb 6950 and was playing the crysis demo on gamer setting at mid 30's fps. I primarily play wow and have had to turn the settings from ultra to good and lower shadows to fair and turn off sunshafts, which has given my very playable fps with v-sync turned off. I'm right around 60 fps most of the time higher in some areas and lower in densely populated areas.

I'm pretty impressed with the card,it runs a little faster than the 5870 but the biggest difference is in the 2bg memory, which you gotta have at eyefinity resolutions. I plan to buy another one in the next couple of months so I can kick it back up to ultra settings but for now it's just fine.

I bought the Sapphire 6950 with 2gb memory on Newegg for 256.00 aftter rebates. I believe you can still get that price through the 18th of march (today).

It overclocks pretty well and can also unlock to a 6970, which I did'nt do because I did'nt feel it was needed.

Overall I'm really happy with this card and eyefinity, I knew that ultimately I would need to crossfire to have the best gaming experience but knew it would be awhile before I could afford the 2 cards and a new MB that supports crossfire, but in the meantime I'm happy with what one 6950 can do at 5670x1080 on (3) 21.5" Acer Led's.

Not sure what games you play but one new 6950 may hold you over until you can get another one.......just a though, good luck.

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March 18, 2011 5:39:49 PM

I play mostly FPS games and starcraft 2. SC2 need not apply since it doesnt support eyefinity anyways.

I might go with your idea and settle with one 6950 and maybe get another one in the far future.

Unless anyone has more ideas to throw at me.
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a c 125 U Graphics card
March 18, 2011 6:06:13 PM

Well, not sure if you can even find them but there's some 2gb 5850s out there which would be ok in CF. There's also 2gb 560s which would be fine in SLI.
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March 18, 2011 6:41:08 PM

After looking around at prices for each card, I think i'm leaning towards just going with 1 2gb 6950 for now. I checked out a few gtx570s but they're all above $300. If a 6950 looks anything like my 5870 does on a single monitor while it's in eyefinity mode, i think i'll be very satisfied.
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