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ASUS GTX 580 vs 2x6970 in Cossfire

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April 3, 2011 4:43:56 AM

Hello,


I'm trying to choose a Graphics Card and need some advice. The other specs are:

i5 2500k, ASUS P67 Sabertooth, 850W Corsair PSU

I'm trying to choose beween an ASUS GTX 580 DirectCUii or 2x 6970s DirectCUii in Crossfire. I'm worried that 2 6970s are overkill as i'm only playing on 1 1920x1280 and i'm worried about temperatures, noise and power usage and i've heard some bad things about CrossFire. It'll be in a NZXT Phantom Case.

I want to play games like; DA: origins and 2, Napoleon Total War and Shogun 2, and future games like Skyrim, Batllefield 3 and Mass Effect 3
Thanks
a b U Graphics card
April 3, 2011 5:31:31 AM

A pair of 6970s is monumentally faster than a single 580. No competition. If you're worried about temps and power usage, get a single 6970. The 580 is good if you want the single fastest GPU, regardless of cost, but if price matters at all, it's pretty much universally a bad choice.
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April 3, 2011 8:14:56 AM

get a 580 you will also get other features like phyx, cuda, 3d vision, 3d vision surround, amd better drivers. while a amd card doesn't have these features and has bad drivers you will always get problems with that card in games, trust me buy nvidia and you will be happy. and most of the games are nvidia dominated best example crysis 2
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a b U Graphics card
April 3, 2011 10:14:03 AM

nitin kulkarni-26 said:
get a 580 you will also get other features like phyx, cuda, 3d vision, 3d vision surround, amd better drivers. while a amd card doesn't have these features and has bad drivers you will always get problems with that card in games, trust me buy nvidia and you will be happy. and most of the games are nvidia dominated best example crysis 2

Crysis 2?

That'll run fully maxxed out on a single GTX 570 or HD 6970 easily at 1080p. Physx is a gimmick, 3dvision is irritating (IMHO) and requires a special monitor, surround is no different from Eyefinity, and both manufacturers have decent drivers (believe me, I've used both of them).

Seriously, look at the performance:
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/305?vs=298

It's an absolute slaughter. Every single game runs faster on the 6970s, and often by > 1.5x. Whether the games are nvidia dominated or not, the pair of 6970s is simply faster.
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a c 226 U Graphics card
a b Ĉ ASUS
April 3, 2011 1:19:23 PM

Consider a pair of 900 MHz 560 Ti's which can be had as low as $215 each ($235 - $20 MIR). That's $430 for better performance than ya can get with twin 6970's ($670-ish) and the 580's ($500-ish)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The factory OC'd 560 Ti's perform very close to the 570's. Guru3D uses the following games in their test suite, COD-MW, Bad Company 2, Dirt 2, Far Cry 2, Metro 2033, Dawn of Discovery, Crysis Warhead. Total fps (summing fps in each game) for the various options (single card / SL or CF) are tabulated below

6950 (479/751)
560 Ti (455/792)
6970 (526/825)
560 Ti - 900 Mhz (495/862)
570 (524/873)
580 (616/953)
6990 (762/903)
590 (881/982)

Single 580 = 616 fps or $0.81 per frame
Twin 6970's = 825 fps or $0.81 per frame
Twin 900 MHz 560 Ti's = 862 fps or < $0.50 per frame

Looking at your original two choices, the twin 6970's are about 33% faster than a single 580. But from a cost per dollar standpoint the twin 6970's and single 580 are an even match to the penny. However, if ya widen ya choices, the twin 6970's are more than 55 % more costly than the faster twin 900 MHz 560 Ti's.

As to the other features, PhysX is certainly no gimmick, though it sometimes is used as such by game developers. The devs for Sacred 2 for example incorporated PhysX to such a minimal extent as to be laughable. However, it did allow them to put a PhysX sticker on the box and thereby drive sales.

On games like Metro2033, Mafia II and Batman Arkham Asyslum the effect is rather stunning. If I can paraphrase THG's review "Once you turn the eye candy [PhysX] on, you are not going to turn it off". But rather than listen to myself or other's opinion, look at this video and decide for yaself.

http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/batman_arkham_asylu...

You don't list your intended uses but if ya doing movie editing, 3D rendering and other CPU intensive tasks, these can be offloaded to the GPU via CUDA.

Where I would suggest the 6970's though is if you are going to use a 2560 x 1600 monitor, the 2GB ATI cards have an advantage in gaming at that resolution.
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a b U Graphics card
April 3, 2011 1:33:34 PM

well i wouldn't say that there are more problems with crossfire than with SLI, but imo 6970s are way overkill for only 1 monitor, but i still recommend a single 6970 over 580, cause you have better multi-monitoring support, more VRAM, you run better higher resolutions, and in the future if you will want to add another card, 6970s will be cheaper than 580s and run the same or even better, what about drivers.. well both nVidia and AMD have had problems, but right now AMD has more or less good drivers and nVidia has problems, physx isn't a big plus *imo*, cause it sometimes kills "the experience of gaming" *imo*, 3D runs better on AMD, but it's more supported for nVidia
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April 4, 2011 4:27:09 AM

Best answer selected by DidHeDied.
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April 4, 2011 8:05:00 AM

cjl said:
Crysis 2?

That'll run fully maxxed out on a single GTX 570 or HD 6970 easily at 1080p. Physx is a gimmick, 3dvision is irritating (IMHO) and requires a special monitor, surround is no different from Eyefinity, and both manufacturers have decent drivers (believe me, I've used both of them).

Seriously, look at the performance:
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/305?vs=298

It's an absolute slaughter. Every single game runs faster on the 6970s, and often by > 1.5x. Whether the games are nvidia dominated or not, the pair of 6970s is simply faster.

yes but perhaps you forgot the issues with crossfire and amd drivers are really bad, and crossfire will not be good on games that do not support it. amd Fail. and if you are comparing a single 580 to 2 6970's it is unfair compare 2v 580's.
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a b U Graphics card
April 4, 2011 4:08:33 PM

^ there are many ppl saying that the latest drivers have improved CF scaling and the performance a lot, so it's not fail, i know they were really bad, but now it's over and nVidia has now problems with 'em.. 6970CF actually beats 580SLI, but there are more stuff which support SLI than CF... and there also are issues with SLI not only CF
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April 5, 2011 10:53:13 AM

who says 6970s beat 580 get some info . and sli issues are less than crossfire
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a b U Graphics card
April 5, 2011 3:36:10 PM

i've never told that SLI has more issues than CF, i was only talking that SLI has some issues, which are the same/worse than by CF, overall i agree that CF is worse, but it scales better
3DMARK11 performance/extreme preset:
http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-r...
- 580SLI beats 6970s, but down you have extreme, where 6970s are better

6970s are head to head with 580s:
http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-r...

580s beat 6970s:
http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-r...

next were Dirt2 and F1 2010 *Dirt favors nVidia, F1 AMD*..

head to head :
http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-r...

http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-r...

multi-monitoring:
http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-r...

.. in some games 6970s win , in some 580s
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a b U Graphics card
April 5, 2011 3:55:07 PM

Now lets consider the possibility that tessellation might be used much more in games that are released in the next 2-3 years, now all the AMD gpus are basically if tessellation was utilized throughout entire environments of games the AMD boards would choke imo, to me it feels like not too long ago devs just got dx10 right....although realistically, I don't see games utilizing dx11 enough to make a big enough difference within the 580s and 6970s lifespan to the point where the Nvidia chips take off in the long term, but in the end just something to consider...
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a b U Graphics card
April 5, 2011 4:01:06 PM

Either way its looks like 6970/50s in crossfire does deliver nice results, can't say the same for my abondoned 6870s, but the high end seems to deliver...
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a b U Graphics card
April 5, 2011 4:05:44 PM

yeah, everyone has positive and negative sides, AA is better on AMD, while tesselation on nVidia
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a b U Graphics card
April 5, 2011 4:12:55 PM

I would really like to see some minimum fps numbers of 6870 crossfire 1 card vs single, bc part of the problem that I was experiencing does not seem to be consistent with the 6900 series
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July 8, 2011 5:22:30 PM

If you really only plan on using one monitor go with NVIDIA IMO, but if you ever plan to go multi-monitor AMD support for it kills NVIDIA hands down. In my experience with past machines NVIDIA multi-monitor displays are buggy and difficult to deal with.
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