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3x 6970CF of 2x6990CF

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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May 4, 2011 6:25:21 PM

okay so i know this is WAY OVERKILL, but i have the money for either and i need to run 6 monitors all on 6x1 portrait, running 11 different instances of a game.

Now that the explanation is out of the way.

Case: HAF X
MOBO: Asus P8P67 WS Revolution
Proc: I7 2600K
Heatsink: Corsair H70
RAM: 16GB 4x4GB 1600 DDR3
SSD: 120GB
HDD:1TB Raid 1
OD: LG Bluray Burner
PSU Corsair 1200W supply.

Now my question is, which config would be prefered? 2x6990 or 3x6970?

heat is a problem with 3 stacked cards i know, but the case should be able to exhaust a good amount.

Just lookin for tips thanks.

More about : 6970cf 2x6990cf

May 4, 2011 6:37:41 PM

Have you considered running fewer instances of the game spread on a few different machines? I only ask, because I can't imagine the CPU could keep up very well with that many instances.

But if I were to choose between the two, I'd prefer 3x6970's. Scaling beyond 2 GPU's gets a little sketchy, and worse with 4. The 6970's would also be cooler and quieter.

I'd probably look at water cooling with the cost savings, or make sure to choose a cool quiet card, like the MSI R6970's. Their design would get a lot better airflow even if they are close, but you'd need a good enclosure to exhaust the heat, as a lot of heat exhausts in the case.
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May 4, 2011 6:43:02 PM

My vote is for GTX 580 SLI *3-way*, you pay only 100$ more than for 2 6990s and get more performance, yeah, 6970s will be a lot cheaper, but perform a bit worse, also 580s are cooler and quieter, if you really have to choose between 6990s and 6970s then i'd choose 6970s, they are a bit faster, maybe a bit loudier and hotter
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May 4, 2011 6:44:16 PM

Watercooling is out of the question sadly.

So 3 6970 at 8x is gonna be better that 2 6990's at 16x?

Also the 6990 will have space in between them on that motherboard, the 6970 will be right on top of eachother...
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May 4, 2011 6:47:26 PM

^6990s at 16x will still be a bit behind than 3 6970s at 8x i guess, and if you are going with 3 way 6970s you will fry the middle card...
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May 4, 2011 6:54:09 PM

Unless you use watercooling....
Why is it out of the question? Money doesn't seem to be the issue.
Also the 6990 are 2 chips that are slower then the 6970 chip thus going 3way with the 6970 is the fastest but also the hottest possible.
Go 3way 6970 if you can convince yourself of using watercooling and if not go the nvidia way (580) (though multi monitor is a bit less smooth).
The 6990 is way too noise and hot.

Also didn't some guy named psychosaysdie have two 6990's? What happened to him?
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May 4, 2011 7:21:10 PM

Money isn't an issue, i just dont trust myself setting it up.
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May 4, 2011 7:29:19 PM

Watercooling is pretty easy if you're not a total clutz. Takes a bit of research and planning to get the right stuff but after that it's not bad.

Anyway.

TriCF 6970s gets my vote for value, but CF6990s would be badass...
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May 4, 2011 7:29:58 PM

BTW, what game do you plan to run 11 instances on? I have serious doubts that your system could support that many instances on a modern game. Even an MMORPG.
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May 4, 2011 7:32:50 PM

Mrsh4dy said:
Also didn't some guy named psychosaysdie have two 6990's? What happened to him?

He 'decided' to leave.
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May 4, 2011 7:52:07 PM

bystander said:
BTW, what game do you plan to run 11 instances on? I have serious doubts that your system could support that many instances on a modern game. Even an MMORPG.


Eve online.
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May 4, 2011 9:00:28 PM

Prove me wrong, but isn't the 6990 the only card in the current lineup that is able to support 6 cards out of the box? From what I read the 6970 needs a MST hub, which are still not available from amd and require DP 1.2 displays. At least for the moment, no 6970 eyefinity versions exist.

Have you considered running them not in xfire? I would imagine a single card could easily run 2 or 3 instances though I have never done this. In this case however doors open up to other possibilities as well, like 3x580s not in sli.
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May 4, 2011 10:15:12 PM

Mousemonkey said:
He 'decided' to leave.


yeah right, it was more like he couldn't find anything but problems to talk about regarding his 6990s
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May 4, 2011 10:17:58 PM

jjb8675309 said:
yeah right, it was more like he couldn't find anything but problems to talk about regarding his 6990s

I don't know what sparked it but I've seen the Mod's report.
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May 4, 2011 10:32:09 PM

Mousemonkey said:
I don't know what sparked it but I've seen the Mod's report.


Huh... I wondered why I haven't seen him around. :sweat: 
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May 4, 2011 10:56:04 PM

jjb8675309 said:
yeah right, it was more like he couldn't find anything but problems to talk about regarding his 6990s

Getting two of those without seeing the reviews, which universally criticize the epic noise levels, was, and still is, a foolhardy decision. Toss in the notoriously poor multi-GPU driver support from AMD, then well, he got what he deserved.

And bdbeall, anyone who looks at that HardOCP review where only 5 benchmarks are used, and two of those are F1 and Dragon Age 2 is being fooled by shoddy benchmarking. But beside that, the CPU bottlenecking was so much a factor that HardOCP realized their error and re-benched using a faster CPU. Here is their conclusion from the more recent article:

"In our redux today, using our new 4.8GHz CPU, GTX 580 3-Way SLI has come out of its hibernation and is peeking around its fort ready to lay aim on the first prey it sees. That prey happens to be AMD Tri-Fire. In all of our testing today, the GTX 580 3-Way SLI setup performed faster than AMD Radeon HD 6990+6970 Tri-Fire, except for Dragon Age II.

Depending on the game, it wasn't just a small victory either. In F1 2010 there was nearly a 30% performance advantage with GTX 580 3-Way SLI over Tri-Fire. In BC2 there was a 24% performance improvement over Tri-Fire. However, there was equally some unimpressive differences, such as Metro 2033 with 6% and Crysis: Warhead with 7%."
http://www.hardocp.com/article/2011/05/03/nvidia_3way_s...

Tri-SLI with GTX 580's is the #1 absolutely, no question, best graphics card setup conceivably possible... assuming you have the CPU horsepower to pair it with.
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May 4, 2011 11:12:56 PM

I'd also seriously look at a dual processor server board if I were you for running that many instances. Having less than one core per instance will probably cause unpleasant lag in some situations. I'm still not sure you can get 11 clients running properly on one machine however.

I really think the multiple PC idea is best personally. Use a program like multiplicity to control all 3 machines with one keyboard/mouse, and build 3 more midrange machines with a 2500k and 6950/6970 (or Nvidia equiv) in each. It would be cheaper than a server board with dual hex cores, and perform much better than a single machine with one processor and a ton of GFX horsepower stacked.
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May 5, 2011 1:41:27 AM

17seconds said:
Getting two of those without seeing the reviews, which universally criticize the epic noise levels, was, and still is, a foolhardy decision. Toss in the notoriously poor multi-GPU driver support from AMD, then well, he got what he deserved.

And bdbeall, anyone who looks at that HardOCP review where only 5 benchmarks are used, and two of those are F1 and Dragon Age 2 is being fooled by shoddy benchmarking. But beside that, the CPU bottlenecking was so much a factor that HardOCP realized their error and re-benched using a faster CPU. Here is their conclusion from the more recent article:

"In our redux today, using our new 4.8GHz CPU, GTX 580 3-Way SLI has come out of its hibernation and is peeking around its fort ready to lay aim on the first prey it sees. That prey happens to be AMD Tri-Fire. In all of our testing today, the GTX 580 3-Way SLI setup performed faster than AMD Radeon HD 6990+6970 Tri-Fire, except for Dragon Age II.

Depending on the game, it wasn't just a small victory either. In F1 2010 there was nearly a 30% performance advantage with GTX 580 3-Way SLI over Tri-Fire. In BC2 there was a 24% performance improvement over Tri-Fire. However, there was equally some unimpressive differences, such as Metro 2033 with 6% and Crysis: Warhead with 7%."
http://www.hardocp.com/article/2011/05/03/nvidia_3way_s...

Tri-SLI with GTX 580's is the #1 absolutely, no question, best graphics card setup conceivably possible... assuming you have the CPU horsepower to pair it with.


So will this support 6 screens?
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May 5, 2011 1:58:05 AM

bdbeall said:
So will this support 6 screens?


Not that I'm aware of.

Also, beware of Matt, he has a tendency to only see the worst ATI reviews and the best Nvidia reviews. That one, for example, doesn't compare 3 6970's, but 1 6990 and 1 6970 vs 3 580's. 3 6970's is faster than 1 6970 and a 6990.

He's not always wrong in his assessments, but you always have to double check other sources first.
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May 5, 2011 9:00:32 AM

Mousemonkey said:
He 'decided' to leave.


Ah oke gotcha, thanks.

Back on topic:
No the 6990's are out of the question noisewise. Also it's quad-fire with weaker chips then the 6970, it just not properly supported.
And as someone else posted the 6970's will try to kill eachother.
Thus leaves the 580gtx's which can bottleneck most cpu's and might possibly also make a shitload of noise.
Either way I would seriously look into a watercooling build. If you are afraid of frying it try it on a old pc (if possible and not too costly).
If you do go watercooling I think the 6970's are the best choice (less wattage and less chance of bottlenecking).
Anyway GL.
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May 5, 2011 9:25:39 AM

jjb8675309 said:
^LMAO


Can I ask why you found my suggestion funny?

Do you not think that 3 separate PC's each with a 2500k, 8GB RAM and a AMD6970 or GTX580 could run a dozen EVE instances more efficiently than either a 2600k 16GB 3x 6970/580 build or a dual processor Xeon build?

I promise they'd kill the 2600k build so bad it's not even funny, and you aren't building a dual hex core Xeon system cheaper than 3x 2500k systems. (Even then triple GPU scaling issues would make the three individual systems perform better)

I'm still not sure you have enough GPU horsepower personally, but if money is truly no object you could put Xfire 6950's (flashed?) in all three machines if you wanted.

A dozen clients is a LOT, trying to run them all on one machine is just asking for trouble.
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May 5, 2011 5:25:19 PM

11 instances of a MMO? Do I dare ask why? I'd prefer to believe you're not asking a community of gamers for assistance to set up a system for botting, so please enlighten us.
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May 5, 2011 9:19:26 PM

it isn't to bot i promise you that, i just really enjoy the game. The system i have now runs 7 instances pretty smoothly and i just alt tab in between instances. Only thing is i only have 3 screens with 2 on each screen, so im just llooking at doubling. For anyone that has ever played eve, they know its not to much of a button masher.
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May 6, 2011 6:39:04 AM

My assumption was that you mine for a Corp, and were planning to run mostly mining barges with a couple haulers? So you'll usually be doing very little active work, but need to be able to quickly warp out all of your ships if a pirate comes near. I really don't see a way to do effective PvP combat boxing like that, and PvE combat doesn't benefit from that many boxes, basically leaving mining?
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Best solution

May 13, 2011 2:59:17 AM

2x 6990's all the way
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May 13, 2011 3:04:07 AM

Best answer selected by bdbeall.
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May 13, 2011 3:55:58 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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