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RedvsGreen, who goes into my next build

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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May 3, 2011 9:16:16 AM

wanted to make this a poll but computer is giving me fits, grrr :fou:  .....oh well :sarcastic: . :p 

anyway, I'm running through my parts list on my up coming build and I find myself at a crossroads so to speak. Crossfire two 6970s or Sli two gtx 570s. so I thought, "why not let the people in the THG forums decide"

1. $750 before rebate is the max
2. I won't be buying the parts till about 4-5 months from now
3. I will consider tri- sli/crossfire
4. psu wattage is in the range of 850w - 1250w (psu is not set "in stone" yet till gfx cards are decided).

Opinions are welcomed [:jaydeejohn:5] , Discussion is welcomed [:jaydeejohn:5] , new ideas are welcomed [:jaydeejohn:5].

Edit: Forgot this: And thank you for the replies

Edit 2: changed budget

More about : redvsgreen build

May 3, 2011 9:35:32 AM

Oh well i don't know much about CF/SLI-ing GPUs but i think 2 570's vs 2 6950's have a "similiar" performance. About the price? I have no idea about that, coz i'm Indonesian - saya tak punya referensi harganya (translate it on g translate :D )
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a c 214 U Graphics card
May 3, 2011 9:54:38 AM

Really depends which game your looking at.Their are mostly neck and neck althouth the crossfire performance should be much better with the 6970 than the GTX570.
If you do have about $800 to spend I would suggest going with the 6990.It is more expensive than the 6970 crossfire and it's exactly the same thing but goiung with a single card solution is always the best way.You don't have to worry about waiting for drivers for maximum performance from crossfire and the techincal issues thats acosiated with a crossfire setup.

Also be mindful that you can always crossfire a 6990 with either 6950 or 6970 if you need more performance.But at such high levels in GPU power you will need a very fast and capable CPU to not bottleneck them.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
May 3, 2011 10:51:46 AM

This question has an easy answer. Tom's did an article not too long ago about dual/tri SLI/Crossfire of the GTX 570 vs the HD6950(not the HD6970);
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/crossfire-sli-3-way...
Crossfired HD6950s essentially match or beat SLIed GTX 570s depending on resolution. The HD6970 of course should do much better. For tri-SLI/Crossfire the 2560x1600 numbers are the only ones that matter as if you resolution is lower than that a third card is really rather pointless overkill.
Considering you say you won't be buying this stuff for another 4-5 months this topic may be premature. 4-5 months from now is September/October and AMD's next series of cards is supposedly due out sometime at the end of this year so by then it may make more sense to wait.
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May 3, 2011 11:28:40 AM

if you're really need that multi-gpu solution to power all your needs you can get hd 6950 crossfire as it seems to have better value for money... but since you said you'll welcome new idea... i think if i were you i will try to upgrade to the fastest single gpu possible and stay as far away as possible from sli/crossfire and even dual gpu card as there are more factors to consider when you take on multi-gpu solution... you need a not only better but also bigger power supply of course... you need a good chassis as two gpu will produce a lot of heat.... if you gaming more than regularly... multi-gpu solution comes at a higher cost of electricity... and not to say sli/crossfire definitely will have more issues to deal with in terms of driver performance.. compared to single gpu... and also multi-gpu solution can be bottlenecked by your current system... causing your 800 dollars worth cards unable to use its full potential... everything that i'm saying above is no mean to offense anyone who are now enjoying their multi-gpu solution... its not that sli/crossfire isn't good... in fact it is great to add more performance to your gaming experience and maximum detail... but like i said... there are tradeoffs for doing so... you doing it with more money... more power... more heat... and definitely more issues to deal with... since you stretching your budget to 800... i will go no further than gtx 580... yes it is power hungry for a single gpu... but not as much compared to crossfire/sli...
getting a gtx 580 means getting maximum performance without factor in those headache issues... since you're only do the shopping in 4-5 months time and like jyjjy said... it may be worth to wait for amd 7000 series and maybe kepler as well if you're patient enough... sorry for over-typing....
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May 3, 2011 6:58:03 PM

no need to be sorry for the over-typing phenon90, through you may want to try separating into paragraphs next time :heink:  ..... makes it easier to read [:jaydeejohn:5] .

okay, the reason behind the long time buying time is 1. out of that 4-5 months, 2-3 of those will be spent at Navy boot camp + A-school, 2. I will be head deep in job apps and interviews so I really will not have the time for doing research on this build after I get back. 3. I like to start thinking and/or researching a build at least two months before I buy, this is to try and avoid any major problems down the road.

Now onto the gpus;
the main reason for the multi- gpus is to take full advantage of the cpu. I will be buying, either 8 core (will go 12 if I can) Bulldozer or 6 core Sandy Bridge. 2. resolution at or above 1980 x1080 with a good chance of me going triple monitor shortly after words. I'm going to throw out the idea of having a tri-graphics card setup and maybe keep that as an upgrade option for if I ever need to use it. Also I decide to go with a 1200 or 1250w psu so I have plenty of power and room to grow, just need to decide on which one but that's for another topic. speaking of which, I have to cut the gfx budget to $750 to make room for a aftermarket cpu cooler, no way am I stick with the stock cooler for this build.

Anyway, I must say thank you again for the thoughts, suggestions and new ideas.

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a b U Graphics card
May 3, 2011 7:40:59 PM

You do not need that much CPU power for 3 video cards. If you buy a quad core or maximum hexa core sandy bridge, will be enough. You just need to overclock it. Even the i5 that is now on socket 1155 beats all previous CPU's from AMD and Intel when gaming.
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May 3, 2011 9:03:39 PM

Maybe I should of said that I'm not going to do 3 video cards (or gpu) and leave that only as a future upgrade (2-4yrs depending on video game development) if I need it. However, more then likely I'll do a new build or update the video cards (and cpu) before I do that upgrade. Also I'm not "pulling the trigger" on the cpu decision till I see some benches on SB vs. BD or something similar.

so here are my choices for dual so far -
nVidia:
GTX 590 (single card as it's already a dual gpu)
GTX 570
GTX 560 ti
unknown

AMD/ATi:
6990 (single card as it's already a dual gpu)
6970
6950
unknown


I must admit I am a little curious about the amd hd 7xxx series and their performance, also anymore ideas for gfx card?

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a c 376 U Graphics card
May 3, 2011 9:15:29 PM

Those are pretty much your options at this point. As for the performance of the HD7000 cards it would all just be a guess at this point.
As for the cards taking full advantage of the processor... it doesn't quite work like that. What you would need is for games to take full advantage of the processor and a good amount of games still only utilize 2 cores. It will be a while before games are designed to take advantage of more than 4 cores. Then there is also the limitations of the monitors. Most LCD monitors still max out at 60hz which makes frames per second over 60 meaningless. Even on 120hz monitors the advantage over 60 is questionable. Just buying the most expensive/fastest processor possible and 3 high end cards because you have the money to do so will not necessarily give you a notable improvement to the gaming experience.
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May 3, 2011 10:05:43 PM

Indeed it does not but it seems I must repeat my self :pfff: , I AM NOT DOING 3 VIDEO CARDS. Seriously, I did some more research (to confirm peoples thoughts) before my last post and found this out to be true thus me not doing 3 video cards. There is a higher chance of me doing a new build or updating the cpu & gfx cards before I ever think about adding a third card. The only reason I would ever need 3 video cards is if I'm doing a large amount of video processing or graphic processing, neither of which I see myself doing.

For games not using more then 2 cores, that's soon going to change. Starting at the end of this year your going to see more and more games come out that will utilize more then two cores. And as far as buying the most expensive/fastest processor, I never said i would be doing that, although you may of misunderstood what I said from another post. I will wait for the performance benches before i decide on what cpu I'm going to get, weather it be Intel or AMD, or a 4, 8, or 12 core. Like I said benchies first then my decision. Also I am limited by a budget of $2000 for this build so I can't spend an enormous amount on just the cpu without crippling other areas (think $300 max for the cpu).
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a c 214 U Graphics card
May 3, 2011 10:14:21 PM

Just get a 6990.Way better to have a single card.And in 2 years if you feel you need more power you can add another 6990.I do have to warn you as of now crossfiring 6990's takes a lot of CPU power to not bottleneck them.Not just more cores but you also need a very fast CPU.The benchmarks of the 6990 crossfire were so bad when adding a second card because the CPU started to blottleneck it.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
May 3, 2011 10:26:27 PM

Two HD6990s is also quad crossfire which doesn't scale nearly as well as dual. The HD6990 isn't a very good choice for the money IMO. Two HD6970s would be both better and cheaper while two HD6950s would be close in performance and over $200 less.
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a c 639 U Graphics card
May 3, 2011 10:54:04 PM

Please do not get a 6990 unless you use headphones or play games with the sound very loud. The 6990 produces epic noise levels and does so with an annoying fan profile that abruptly ramps up and down, up and down, etc. while gaming.

Deciding between SLI'ed GTX 570 and Crossfired 6970's is a matter of deciding which games you prefer to play. The Tom's article mentioned earlier is a very bad example of a balanced review. It used very few benchmarks and featured several games that are notoriously favorable to AMD. A better review is one with a wider, more balanced selection of games. As you can see from the chart below, when a range of games are benchmarked, the 570's generall perform either a lot better than the 6970's or lose by just a little, depending on the game. I would decide which games you want to play then pick the setup that produces the best performance for those specific games.

To read this chart, bars to the left of the center line are games that favor the GTX 570 SLI setup. Colored bars to the right of the center line are those games that favor the 6970 Crossfire setup. (Click the graph for a larger image.)


http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/radeon-h...

"Comparing CrossFireX and SLI with respect to top-end graphics cards, we cannot prefer either of them because their standings depend much on a particular game, and we don't think that users will buy a pair of such products for a total of $700-750 to play only a few select games. People who use such solutions naturally expect high performance in every game they launch. As for other aspects, our GeForce GTX 570 SLI tandem produced less noise, had lower GPU temperatures and also came at a lower cost than the Radeon HD 6970 CrossFireX"
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a c 214 U Graphics card
May 4, 2011 12:29:21 AM

I was thinking that the 6990 will be better once they release more drivers.
I just found it amazing that when they went to bencnhmark the card that for once in a long time their CPU's were bottlenecking the 6990.
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May 4, 2011 6:40:47 PM

Thanks for the chart and link matto17secs.

I have entertained the idea of doing CF 6990 or sli gtx590 (just for s**ts and giggles) but 1. performance does not warrant the cost, 2. Same reason for me not doing 3 cards, I will not be able to use all that power, 3. limited by budget, and 4. two cards scale better vs. just one 6990 or GTX 590

Truth is I'm looking for the best performance per cost in a dual card configuration. so far the only cards that have really show this are the GTX 570, HD 6970, HD 6950, and possible the GTX 560 ti (still need to come down in price through)

this list can be limited even more by the noise at 100% and the heat.

so anymore thoughts, ideas and or opinions of what i should go for?


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a c 214 U Graphics card
May 4, 2011 7:05:20 PM

I would say the 6970 is the best option.Scaling is really good.If your worried about noise you can always get one with an aftermarket cooler which should drasticly reduce the amount of noise compared to the reference.One thing tho you have to remember is that with these big card noise is just part of the equation.The bigger the card the more heat the more noise.Unless of course it's water cooled.

Not to many aftermarket coolers still for the 6970,i can only see 2 of them.This one I believe is the best and MSI is known for making really good aftermarket coolers.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


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a c 639 U Graphics card
May 4, 2011 10:28:07 PM

I don't know if you clicked on the link I provided, but there is also the chart below showing dual card scaling between the 6970 and GTX 570. As usual, it depends on the game being played (have you looked up your specific game?).

If it's my money, I would go for the Nvidia dual card solution, mainly for the driver support, which is generally accepted as more stable than AMD in dual card configurations. This can be seen in the chart by noting that there are 8 games where the 6970's scale at less than 65%, while there are only 4 where the GTX 570's scale below 65% (including the notoriously AMD-leaning game, F1).

Adding up all the numbers, the average scaling looks like this:
6970 Crossfire: 76.75%
GTX 570 SLI: 77.85%

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a c 214 U Graphics card
May 4, 2011 10:37:24 PM

With performance that close it really comes down to whats the right price and which company you prefer.

In all honesty if you aren't going to purchase the GPU until months from now you might as well wait for the new AMD cards.Since they are supposidly going to be released right around the same time your planning on buying it might not be a bad idea.

EDIT: Actually the 7xxx series won't be avaible until mid to late 2012 so disregaurd that.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
May 4, 2011 10:51:44 PM

purple stank said:
EDIT: Actually the 7xxx series won't be avaible until mid to late 2012 so disregaurd that.
Where did you read that?
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a c 376 U Graphics card
May 4, 2011 11:39:45 PM

That's a pretty old and sparse article but even so it says "towards the end of 2011" so I dunno where you got "mid to late 2012" from.
The latest rumors actually have it coming sooner, possibly over the summer even.
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a c 214 U Graphics card
May 4, 2011 11:49:06 PM

I must have gotten that mixed up with the other dates they were giving,my fault.

That would make sense for them to release their new cards with their new line of processors.
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May 5, 2011 3:43:37 AM

I did actually click on your link Matt.

so the best option for performance is, drum roll please *drum roll starts*...............................
the GTX 570s :pt1cable:  :bounce: 

but if the AMD hd 7xxx series comes out before I buy, I'll check them out and probably even go down that road instead

Anyway, I'll leave this thread open (not picking a best answer) so if you want to discuss the 7xxx series (and any rumors), go right ahead [:jaydeejohn:5]
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Best solution

May 5, 2011 11:01:20 AM

great option... but don't wait too long to get one... kepler and 7000 series will launch by the end of the year....
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May 6, 2011 4:56:32 PM

no more discussion? okay, will a mod please lock this thread as it is now dead.
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May 6, 2011 4:56:41 PM

Best answer selected by James296.
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