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Sli/crossfire help

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Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 7, 2011 5:37:03 AM

Hey guys,

I need some help, im about to build my new gaming rig and im torn between GPU setups.

But before you make your decision ill be playing games on a 24" 1080p monitor at 1920x1080.

Other specs are:
Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD7B3 Z68 MB
Intel Core i7 2600K LGA1155 with CoolerMaster V8 Cooler
8Gb DDR3 1600Mhz G.Skill 2X4Gb
1000Gb 1Tb Samsung SATA2 32Mb
Antec Twelve Hundred FULL- CASE
Thanks in advance guys

More about : sli crossfire

a c 169 U Graphics card
July 7, 2011 6:29:53 AM

Budget ?
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July 7, 2011 6:53:10 AM

$800-1000 on graphics
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July 7, 2011 6:57:57 AM

What power supply you plan on using first before anything?

Also I would recommend either a single AMD 6990 or GTX 590 but if you want to use multiple cards use the HD 6950, 6970's in CrossfireX or the Nvidia GTX 570, 580 in SLI.

This is my recommendation for the budget for graphics...just make sure you have a good PSU to run it either Corsair, Silverstone, Thermaltake or Ultra.
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July 7, 2011 7:15:34 AM

1000w crosair modular psu
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a b U Graphics card
July 7, 2011 9:49:05 AM

badoosh said:
What power supply you plan on using first before anything?

Also I would recommend either a single AMD 6990 or GTX 590 but if you want to use multiple cards use the HD 6950, 6970's in CrossfireX or the Nvidia GTX 570, 580 in SLI.

This is my recommendation for the budget for graphics...just make sure you have a good PSU to run it either Corsair, Silverstone, Thermaltake or Ultra.

Having the budget doesn't mean he have to spend it. If he is gaming on a single monitor at 1920x1080, a 6850 will be more than enough.

To OP:
With that kind of budget, why don't you buy 2 more of your 24" monitor + an HD6950 + 5.1 sound system for Eyefinity & surround sound for a more immersive gaming experience than you will ever get from an overkill of a GPU.
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July 7, 2011 10:14:13 AM

randomkid said:
Having the budget doesn't mean he have to spend it. If he is gaming on a single monitor at 1920x1080, a 6850 will be more than enough.

To OP:
With that kind of budget, why don't you buy 2 more of your 24" monitor + an HD6950 + 5.1 sound system for Eyefinity & surround sound for a more immersive gaming experience than you will ever get from an overkill of a GPU.



Haha its just that i want to play games out today on max setting and games in the near future as well, and i wouldnt want to upgrade for a while.

And i dont mind gaming on a single monitor because i think eyefinity is stupid for gaming, the whole egde of the monitor between them detracts from the experience for me.
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a c 169 U Graphics card
July 7, 2011 10:15:48 AM

What resolutions are you going to play on ?
For 1080p,I'd recommend GTX 580/HD 6970 but if you're going to play on higher resolutions,then consider GTX 590/HD 6990
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a b U Graphics card
July 7, 2011 10:34:09 AM

rivo101 said:
Haha its just that i want to play games out today on max setting and games in the near future as well, and i wouldnt want to upgrade for a while.

And i dont mind gaming on a single monitor because i think eyefinity is stupid for gaming, the whole egde of the monitor between them detracts from the experience for me.

Don't say it unless you've tried it yourself. I play on Eyefinity and I will never ever go back to single monitor gaming unless it is ZUMA in facebook. And if you pick out the right monitors with thin bezels, you will hardly notice them once you are in the game.



And don't spend $800-$1000 on graphics card to play on 1920x1080 on a single monitor. That will be really stupid. :)  At best, get a ~$300 HD 6950 2GB. It should be more than enough to give you the max setting you want.
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July 7, 2011 3:34:23 PM

I took my first step into crossfire with the 5800 series cards (dual 5850s) in order to drive Eyefinity displays, but I think overall it was a bad decision. Until they make crossfire 'just work' (and for the life of me I have no idea why the software needs to know the difference between single or dual GPU configuration to work correctly), my future rigs will consist of a single powerful card instead of 2 mediums. I really liked the idea to improve my game performance by adding a $100 card to an existing rig (assuming the $300 card drops to $100 by the time the next gen cards come out..didn't really happen with the 6000 series cards...). However, the CAP stupidity and negative scale performance for some titles just pisses me off. I want to be able to use the hardware I purchase.

So, forget sli/crossfire. At least until drivers can make it seamless to the application layer.
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July 7, 2011 3:39:43 PM

Do yourself a treat and get a CF config of two 6850 and OC them.

If you want to go single card, go for a 6950.

@Cnox, I don't know about you, but my twin 6850 are the best investment I made in term of graphics. I am happy I got them for The Witcher 2, but I admit that amd should really kick their butt for releasing a profile on the launch date of the game.

As for performance, it is quite impressive.
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a c 130 U Graphics card
July 7, 2011 3:59:13 PM

I had the same dang problems as cnox with my crossfire setup. I went out an picked up my 580s and have had no problems with SLI whatsoever.

I'm running 1080p and though 2 580s may seem like overkill, I can crank every detail on earth, crank up the AA, and also add in AA transparency. Playing BFBC2 with these things is incredible. The definitely crank out more fps than my monitor is capable of, but this is why I'm currently searching for a 27" 120Hz monitor, but there aren't that many available at this time.

Further, contrary to popular belief, my CPU does not bottleneck these things. GPU-Z shows each reaching the high 90%s while playing BFBC2 and I don't OC anything.

Go for the 580s. It's seriously the best video gaming graphics experience I've seen to date.
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a c 107 U Graphics card
July 7, 2011 4:09:16 PM

I'd say get a single 6970 or GTX 570 for now and add a second card down the line when you need more power. Anything more is generally a bit overkill for 1080p. If you wanted to buy two cards anyway though I'd say look at the SOC series from Gigabyte, the Lightning series from MSI, and the Matrix cards from ASUS.

MSI R6970 Lightning Radeon HD 6970
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GIGABYTE Super Overclock Series GV-N580SO-15I
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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July 7, 2011 7:13:08 PM

yea i have tried eyefinity on 3 screens and i dont like it, the edges of the screen ruin it for me. Theres no way ill every do it unless they come up with monitors with no edges if that makes sense.

I dont think you guys are listening to me, i want overkill lol ive never had a high end gaming pc before.
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July 7, 2011 8:41:11 PM

redgarl said:
Do yourself a treat and get a CF config of two 6850 and OC them.

If you want to go single card, go for a 6950.

@Cnox, I don't know about you, but my twin 6850 are the best investment I made in term of graphics. I am happy I got them for The Witcher 2, but I admit that amd should really kick their butt for releasing a profile on the launch date of the game.

As for performance, it is quite impressive.


I'm not arguing that when it works, it's great. My argument is that you can rely on a 100% working platform with a single high performance card than a less than 100% working platform with SLI/Crossfire. My exposure to dual GPU configs has been confined to AMD tech, but I believe SLI has the same limitations WRT application profiles. It's interesting that AMD would describe a 'fix' to negative scaling in games was to disable crossfire in the game.

I don't know about you, but I play a lot of different games. I think about half of them work under Crossfire. I think that's pretty bad. Add to that the fact that crossfire disables automatically when running in a window (I don't believe this is an issue for single GPU configs) for me that's just another pound of BS to add to the pile.

DX10 and DX11 supposedly add support for dual GPU in window mode, but the DX10 titles I've tried did not have it work (apparently 'supports' and 'does' are 2 different things in a game developer's eyes).

Here's another pound: a single card can run in 16x PCIe speeds, but go dual gpu and it's 8x 8x. Unless you pay a premium for your motherboard...

So, I'll just restate it: Skip the SLI/Crossfire, get a beefy card instead, put the money saved in extra power supply, additional card purchase and expensive motherboard to offset the cost of getting the higher quality single card. At the end of life of the machine, you'll just have 1 POS card to get rid of instead of 2.

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a c 273 U Graphics card
July 7, 2011 8:51:44 PM

cnox said:
I'm not arguing that when it works, it's great. My argument is that you can rely on a 100% working platform with a single high performance card than a less than 100% working platform with SLI/Crossfire. My exposure to dual GPU configs has been confined to AMD tech, but I believe SLI has the same limitations WRT application profiles. It's interesting that AMD would describe a 'fix' to negative scaling in games was to disable crossfire in the game.

I don't know about you, but I play a lot of different games. I think about half of them work under Crossfire. I think that's pretty bad. Add to that the fact that crossfire disables automatically when running in a window (I don't believe this is an issue for single GPU configs) for me that's just another pound of BS to add to the pile.

DX10 and DX11 supposedly add support for dual GPU in window mode, but the DX10 titles I've tried did not have it work (apparently 'supports' and 'does' are 2 different things in a game developer's eyes).

Here's another pound: a single card can run in 16x PCIe speeds, but go dual gpu and it's 8x 8x. Unless you pay a premium for your motherboard...

So, I'll just restate it: Skip the SLI/Crossfire, get a beefy card instead, put the money saved in extra power supply, additional card purchase and expensive motherboard to offset the cost of getting the higher quality single card. At the end of life of the machine, you'll just have 1 POS card to get rid of instead of 2.

My experience of SLi is not the same as yours is of Crossfire, they are not quite the same it seems because SLi works a lot better than you are describing Crossfire as working (or not working).
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a c 130 U Graphics card
July 8, 2011 9:26:13 AM

rivo101 said:
yea i have tried eyefinity on 3 screens and i dont like it, the edges of the screen ruin it for me. Theres no way ill every do it unless they come up with monitors with no edges if that makes sense.

I dont think you guys are listening to me, i want overkill lol ive never had a high end gaming pc before.

This is why I suggested 2 580s. It's awesome.
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a c 130 U Graphics card
July 8, 2011 9:28:42 AM

Mousemonkey said:
My experience of SLi is not the same as yours is of Crossfire, they are not quite the same it seems because SLi works a lot better than you are describing Crossfire as working (or not working).

Same here. Contrary to all the issues I had with crossfire, I've had no issues with SLI.

Crossfire issues drove me away from using AMD video cards for now.
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a b U Graphics card
July 8, 2011 10:28:47 AM

^Crossfire are better now on the 69XX cards. I have not tried it myself but all reviews on these turns out positive. I will try it as soon as my choice 6950 card get back on stock.

To OP:
Advice have been given. Enough talk... Just buy. :) 
I'd really love to see a $1000 GPU/GPU's set-up.
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a c 273 U Graphics card
July 8, 2011 4:46:58 PM

randomkid said:
^Crossfire are better now on the 69XX cards. I have not tried it myself but all reviews on these turns out positive. I will try it as soon as my choice 6950 card get back on stock.

To OP:
Advice have been given. Enough talk... Just buy. :) 
I'd really love to see a $1000 GPU/GPU's set-up.

Let us know when you do, and also what you are comparing it against.
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