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GTX 570 SLI or 6970 CFX

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 22, 2011 5:55:35 PM

I am currently spec'n a computer on PC specialist and I thought I had solved what sort of graphics card I wanted to get, originally 2 GTX 570's, but i have recently revised that decision. I am now debating whether to get what i already stated or get 2 ATI 6970's.

What caused me to have a change of heart was looking at how well each performed in different benchmark tests carried out by 2 different sites. The links to the two different test are here http://www.hardocp.com/article/2011/01/11/amd_69706950_... and http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gtx-570-sli-revie... . I will be using a single screen with a resolution of 1440x900 (19" widescreen). The current spec looks like this:

Case
PCS MAELSTROM T900 BLACK GAMING CASE

Overclocked CPU
Overclocked Intel® Core™i7-2600k Quad Core (3.40GHz @ max 4.80GHz)

Motherboard
ASUS® P8P67 PRO (NEW REV 3.0): USB 3.0/SATA 6Gb/s, CrossFireX™ & SLI

Memory (RAM)
8GB KINGSTON HYPER-X GENESIS DUAL-DDR3 1600MHz, X.M.P (2 x 4GB KIT)

Graphics Card
1.25GB NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 570 - 2 DVI,mHDMI - DX® 11, 3D Vision Ready

2nd Graphics Card
1.25GB NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 570 - 2 DVI,mHDMI - DX® 11, 3D Vision Ready

Memory - 1st Hard Disk
120GB INTEL® 510 SERIES SSD, SATA 6 Gb/s (upto 450MB/sR | 210MB/sW)

2nd Hard Disk
640GB WD CAVIAR BLACK WD6402AAEX, SATA 6 Gb/s, 64MB CACHE (7200rpm)

1st DVD/BLU-RAY Drive
24x DUAL LAYER DVD WRITER ±R/±RW/RAM

Power Supply
CORSAIR 1000W PRO SERIES (HX1000) 80+ MODULAR PSU (£169)

Processor Cooling
COOLIT ECO A.L.C (ADVANCED LIQUID COOLER) (£49)

Thermal Paste
ARCTIC COOLING MX-3 HIGH THERMAL CONDUCTIVITY COMPOUND (£9)

Sound Card
ONBOARD 6 CHANNEL (5.1) HIGH DEF AUDIO (AS STANDARD)

Network Facilities
ONBOARD 10/100/1000 GIGABIT LAN PORT - AS STANDARD ON ALL PCs

USB Options
6 x USB 2.0 PORTS @ BACK PANEL (MIN 2 FRONT PORTS) AS STANDARD

As you can see this is a high end build (£1800/$2800) and I am hoping to play many of the new games on highest settings, with AA or AAA etc, so what would be the best in this case.

Replacing the GTX with the ATI means i need to add more power again (It is a high power PSU because i will be overclocking and want to make sure i am on the safe side) so that led me to wonder, does the ATI get very hot, or does it stay around the same as the GTX.

If anyone could shed light on this problem i would be much appreciated.

Regards Josh.

More about : gtx 570 sli 6970 cfx

a c 646 U Graphics card
March 22, 2011 6:12:53 PM

Add these reviews to your list. Note that Guru3d only reviewed the 6950's in Crossfire, but you can expect the 6970's to not scale as well as the 6950's (due to greater bottlenecking) and to run hotter and noisier.
http://www.guru3d.com/article/radeon-hd-6950-crossfirex...
http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gtx-570-sli-revie...

Average dual card scaling across all benchmarks at 1920x1200:
6950: 1.67x
570: 1.7x

Noise levels (vs. single card)
6950: 49 Dba (+8 Dba)
570: 42 Dba (+2 Dba)

GPU Temps (vs. single card)
6950: 89c (+12c)
570: 81c (+4c)

I think you should be particularly concerned about the extra heat and noise generated by the 6970's in Crossfire, and the numerous reports all over these forums about problems with AMD Catalyst drivers in Crossfire. This review contains actual noise samples of both setups:
http://www.hardwareheaven.com/reviews/1084/pg21/xfx-rad...
In regards to the 6970 Crossfire setup: "...the noise levels being produced in dual and triple card mode were, to be honest, unbearable."

On the other hand, the GTX 570's will have none of those problems, and will allow you to play PhysX games as a nice little bonus.
March 22, 2011 6:27:13 PM

So does that mean you are recommending the GTX?

I don't mind too much about noise levels (I wear headphones, or have speakers very loud), I only really care about top performance (sorry to sound rude) in gaming.
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a c 646 U Graphics card
March 22, 2011 6:46:27 PM

nenru said:
So does that mean you are recommending the GTX?

I don't mind too much about noise levels (I wear headphones, or have speakers very loud), I only really care about top performance (sorry to sound rude) in gaming.

Yes, I am saying to go for the GTX 570's in SLI. If noise doesn't bother you, then the drivers should be factor. These two cards in single mode are fairly evenly matched, although the reviews I have seen give the 570 the edge. So things like ease of use and stability should tip the scales. All the same, if performance is all you care about, then there are certain games that favor one or the other. You should try to target those games that you play, and then look up some benchmarks with an eye towards your specific gaming preferences.

This pretty much sums it up:
"the AMD Radeon HD 6970 is priced to compete with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570 and we have to say the two cards traded blows. In the 11 benchmarks that we ran the GeForce GTX 570 won six and the Radeon HD 6970 won five of them. As you can see, these two cards are very close in terms of gaming performance and even the price tag is pretty close. What we have here again is a battle between the feature sets that both companies offer and brand loyalty."
http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1488/20/
March 22, 2011 6:49:28 PM

Thank you very much for your help indeed, I will stick with the GTX 570 SLI then. BTW what brand of GTX 570 is better (e.g. ZOTAC, GIGABYTE etc)
a c 646 U Graphics card
March 22, 2011 9:14:43 PM

nenru said:
Thank you very much for your help indeed, I will stick with the GTX 570 SLI then. BTW what brand of GTX 570 is better (e.g. ZOTAC, GIGABYTE etc)

Here is where it's hard to go wrong. Starting with the reference model, the stock vapor chamber heatsink vents exhaust outside the case, so it is a better option for SLI, as it minimizes the affect of hot exhaust heating up the interior of the case and the second (upper) video card. The reference model is quiet and effective. The reference cards also have a redesigned shroud that facilitates air intake into the heatfins. I would look at the EVGA models, or the card I have by PNY, both of which come with a lifetime warranty. Other recommended brands are Asus, MSI, and Gigabyte.

For the custom heatsinks, the main benefit will be cooler GPU temperatures, but with a tradeoff of higher interior case heat due to the fact that they blow their exhaust inside the case. I would not recommend these for SLI unless you have very good case airflow. In the past, the custom coolers would have been much better than the reference cooler, but these latest reference vapor chamber coolers are a big step up from the past.

Reference:


Custom:
March 22, 2011 10:27:59 PM

I wonder if this system ain't quite abit overkill for such a low resolution.
March 22, 2011 10:36:48 PM

A single card of that level ought to do very well at 1440x900.

I'm an AMD fan, but if you want the performance, I'd say go for the Nvidia card. I think it's a bit faster than the Radeon.
a b U Graphics card
March 23, 2011 12:06:33 AM

Glad someone finally mentioned it.

AT that resolution, a second GTX 570 is an obscene waste. You will not see any noticeable improvement in any situation for several years.
I would recommend getting a single GTX 570, and a better monitor.
March 23, 2011 4:55:29 PM

Quote:

welshmousepk wrote:

Glad someone finally mentioned it.

AT that resolution, a second GTX 570 is an obscene waste. You will not see any noticeable improvement in any situation for several years.
I would recommend getting a single GTX 570, and a better monitor.


For 1440x900 it would be, but i dont plan on sticking with that resolution for long. Later i will be getting a new HD monitor with a much higher res, something like a Dell ultra sharp at 2560 × 1440. Also i am making sure it is definitely future proof, as i don't really want to make any upgrades (maybe up the RAM soon).
March 23, 2011 6:30:42 PM

Returns on RAM really diminish after 8 GB. Games will likely outstrip the graphics available today far before they need more than 8 GB of RAM.
March 24, 2011 5:05:28 PM

Yeah, I'm sticking at 8gb. I changed the order a bit and i am now also getting a 1080p monitor (Benq G2222HDL @ 1920 x 1080) so i am definitely sticking with the SLI config. If not for performance now, certainly for future-proofing later.
a c 217 U Graphics card
March 24, 2011 8:26:18 PM

At your new resolution, you'll find the extra 2GB's of ram per card will give you a noticeable improvement in some games. You might also like MLAA, which I find I have to use more and more, as all these console ports rarely support AA.
March 24, 2011 8:36:46 PM

Cheers bigman i will check it out now :) 

@bystander: Yeah i was reading up on the MAA, don't they also have something called SAA?

@physco I had no idea it was released yet, i thought it was like next month or something... I'll check it out :) 
!