Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Help me decide between AMD and Nvidia, 30" IPS or 57x12

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
Share
July 18, 2011 12:46:17 PM

As a note, before anyone says "google it" understand I've tried my best but I am currently deployed and on a satellite connection that is very very slow. The vast majority of sites with info that could help me simply will not load. I want to order parts soon, most likely on amazon, to be shipped home to wait for me to get back in a little over a month.

Basically, I need help deciding which way to go. From what I can tell either is going to be equally expensive. I currently have 3x 1920x1200 Asus 25.5" displays, but I only use one with the other 2 attached to a different computer. I was looking at what would be needed to run an eyefinity or surround setup using all 3, and it seems like I would need to spend a minimum of $1000 on graphics card upgrades to get any sort of decent performance out of that setup, (6990+6970 or 2x 3gb GTX 580) and I can't really tell which will offer the best performance.

The other choice is to sell my 3x Asus screens and my current GTX 570, and buy a 30" IPS panel, most likely the HP ZR30W. If I did this, I would probably run CF 6970's since the 2.5gb GTX 570's are way too expensive for what you get. The cash from selling some of the current components offsets either way and ends up around $1000 give or take.

Games I typically play are Mass Effect 1/2 and 3 when it comes out, BFBC2, upcoming BF3, Crysis 1 and 2, Eve online, Global Agenda, MW2/ Black Ops, Witcher 2, Far Cry, etc. Obviously some of those are more strenuous for the system than others. I like the settings as high as I can get them, although I'm not very concerned about AA which I know is a Vram hog.

Here are my current system specs:

-Gigabyte P67A-UD3-B3
-Intel i5 2500k 4.5ghz with corsair H50
-8gb Corsair XMS3 1600mhz DDR3 4x2 (9/9/9/24)
-PNY GTX 570 1.25gb
-Patriot torx 64gb SSD
-4x 1TB drives of various makes (2 in RAID 0, 2 for storage)
-Basic DVD drive
-Antec 1200w modular PSU

For the games I play, which choice would make more sense? Is there a clear-cut winner for gaming experience? I can't make up my mind either way since I know I will like both, although I think the 30" will be less of a headache as far as game support goes (I'm aware that some of the games I play don't support surround as its considered cheating). What are the pros and cons of Eyefinity vs Surround? Sorry if this is a question asked often, I tried to look over some of the other toms posts about it but most won't load.
a b U Graphics card
July 18, 2011 1:22:10 PM

Simple.

Sell your gtx 570 for about 250 or so.

Buy 2 6970's with the money you get from the gtx 570. You will spend about $400-$450 TOTAL.

Profit.


?
m
0
l
July 18, 2011 2:03:07 PM

Thanks, will 2 6970's run DX11 Crysis 2 with texture mod maxed out? A guy here has a new alienware laptop with an i7 and SLI GTX 580M and he can barely get playable framerates on it without AA enabled at all. I don't want to be trying to play at 30fps, to me that is unacceptable.

My budget is around $2000 and that includes a few other things like upgraded SSD.
m
0
l
Related resources
July 18, 2011 2:29:55 PM

Quote:
1. 1* HD6990 is already enough for most games at 5760*1080, so 2* HD6950 2GB at 500USD + should be enough, no need for 2 GTX580s.

2. yea, GX570 SLI would be bottlenecked by the frame buffer IMO at 5760*1080.


Thats why I don't even consider GTX 570. Its a great card for single 1920x1200 but thats where its value ends.

So I should be able to do well with 2x 6950 for Eyefinity? I could always add a 3rd if it runs out of horsepower for the settings I choose, the 6950 seems to be really good bang for the buck right now.

One thing I heard but could not confirm is that eyefinity has problems with multiple games open at once, for example when I play Eve online or Global Agenda I run 2 or sometimes 3 clients at a time. Is this a true problem or just internet scare tactics?
m
0
l
a b U Graphics card
July 18, 2011 3:07:36 PM

i run 2 asus 6970's in cfx and it plays on eyefinity just fine........

as for the 6990's im not too sure you'd even be able to find one right now.......
m
0
l
July 18, 2011 7:19:37 PM

I finally dug up the information I was looking for about multiple instances of a game on eyefinity. It appears that because the OS is tricked into seeing one large screen, its difficult to get a fullscreen game to go to just one monitor, which is not an issue since I run them in windowed borderless mode anyways.

I'm leaning heavily towards a 3-way 6950 CF as opposed to a 2-way 6970 setup.
m
0
l
a c 216 U Graphics card
July 18, 2011 10:00:53 PM

Unlocking the shaders show 3-5% increase over the basic 6950. You can also easily OC 6950 to 6970 levels and end up with more performance with two 6950's over a 6990. It'll be a lot quieter is most cases.

Quote:
Thanks, will 2 6970's run DX11 Crysis 2 with texture mod maxed out? A guy here has a new alienware laptop with an i7 and SLI GTX 580M and he can barely get playable framerates on it without AA enabled at all. I don't want to be trying to play at 30fps, to me that is unacceptable.

My budget is around $2000 and that includes a few other things like upgraded SSD.


There is a big difference between a GTX 580 and a GTX 580M.
m
0
l
a c 216 U Graphics card
July 18, 2011 10:22:48 PM

Quote:
I dont buy that unlock ***,
1. reference cards are extinct
2. ur better off overclocking

and agreed GTX 580 has more kick much more kick than a GTX580M.


also, go for Dual GPU first, I doubt u will be needing 3 GPUs at this point even with eyefinity


Non reference cards also unlock. Most of them always could using the right directions. However, more and more cards have locked bios or laser cut shaders, so it's not something to count on, which is why I said that even unlocked, there is only a 3-5% difference, and since they can overclock past 6970 levels, you'd still end up faster than a 6990.
m
0
l
July 19, 2011 1:36:43 AM

Go with a single Dell Ultrasharp 30". They perform better than the HP equivalent. I'd rather have one big screen with a super resolution than 3 widescreens with fat-ass bezels running through them. If you really like the 3 screen idea, go with the dell monitors that let you turn the screen into portrait mode and link them together for 3240x1920. Even Tom's said that was the best version of eyefinity to game on.

I'm in the process of saving up for a single Dell Ultrasharp 27" and SLI 580 3Gb. but that is about $2k when it's said and done. The Dell I have (P2411hb) rotates to portrait mode and I paid $180 for it. Three of them would be significantly less than an Ultrasharp and offer higher resolution, but I don't want the bezel.
m
0
l
July 19, 2011 1:40:39 AM

Why dont you just SLI your Gtx570 for 2d Surround?Or they have different sync polarization?
m
0
l
July 19, 2011 9:31:10 AM

joshyboy82 said:
Go with a single Dell Ultrasharp 30". They perform better than the HP equivalent. I'd rather have one big screen with a super resolution than 3 widescreens with fat-ass bezels running through them. If you really like the 3 screen idea, go with the dell monitors that let you turn the screen into portrait mode and link them together for 3240x1920. Even Tom's said that was the best version of eyefinity to game on.

I'm in the process of saving up for a single Dell Ultrasharp 27" and SLI 580 3Gb. but that is about $2k when it's said and done. The Dell I have (P2411hb) rotates to portrait mode and I paid $180 for it. Three of them would be significantly less than an Ultrasharp and offer higher resolution, but I don't want the bezel.


Interesting. The reason I'm leaning towards the surround is that I already have the screens. I have a dell account with discount so I was looking at the u3011. How do you like yours?

For some of the other questions:

GTX 570 doesn't have enough Vram for either application, it is a good card and quite fast by itself on a single 1200p screen but I don't want to be running out of buffer and suffering a performance hit because of it.

As far as starting out dual, thats what I plan to do, with room to add a 3rd if I need it. I'm pretty much settled on the 6950 at this point, I see no need to try to unlock it since it performs well anyways. I plan to overclock them, does anyone know if there is a decent waterblock out for reference models? I learned my lesson with 5850's about trusting stock AMD cooling in crossfire.
m
0
l
a c 127 U Graphics card
July 19, 2011 10:03:39 AM

Anyway you slice it, you're going to sacrifice quality for the higher res if you want to keep the framerates you're used to on one screen. That's the trade-off with that high of a resolution. There isn't a whole lot of "official" info or many review out there regarding 2D vision or comparing it to eyefinity but either way, you could get more VRAM if that's what you think you need, but check out this interesting article with the last gen video cards:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/3d-vision-surround-...

570s perform similarly to 480s in SLI (over 60fps for BFBC2). In all cases, even though the Radeon cards had more VRAM, the Nvidia cards performed better with 3 monitors in 2D. Just something to think about.
m
0
l
July 19, 2011 11:11:29 AM

I don't need to keep the framerates I'm used to on one screen, but I don't want my hardware dragging its feet at 25-30fps either. It drives me nuts to see that.

That link you posted is interesting, since BFBC2 is a game I play heavily and BF3 should be around the same specs. What are your thoughts on the GTX 580 3gb?
m
0
l
July 19, 2011 11:17:05 AM

My monitor looks the same as the U2311 only slightly larger. The base design lets the monitor rotate between portrait and landscape. A feature I rarely use. I have used in in AfterEffects and DreamWeaver, but I've never gamed on it in portrait position. I like my monitor, it was normally much more expensive, but I got $150 off as a black-friday deal. Now that it's last year's model, it might be hard to come by, but should also be cheap. It features an accelerometer that knows when the screen has been rotated and rotates the menus, unfortunately this doesn't apply the the graphics card. You have to go into the graphics card and change it before you rotate the screen, or you could turn your head sideways, which makes using the mouse quite a challenge.
m
0
l
a c 127 U Graphics card
July 19, 2011 11:41:25 AM

arc00ta said:
I don't need to keep the framerates I'm used to on one screen, but I don't want my hardware dragging its feet at 25-30fps either. It drives me nuts to see that.

That link you posted is interesting, since BFBC2 is a game I play heavily and BF3 should be around the same specs. What are your thoughts on the GTX 580 3gb?

I know what you mean about the framerates.

I'd say the 3GB would be a great single card, though there is some speculation on high amounts of VRAM and whether or not it enhances gaming performance. One thing we do know is it definitely enhances profits.

You'll definitely need a couple of 570s or 580s to get the processing power necessary for the three screens. It doesn't seem like the additional VRAM is entirely necessary. In theory it is. Though as that review showed, in practice the return doesn't seem to be there. I wish there were more info out there regarding this. Based on the following review, the 3GB and the 1.5GB perform fairly similarly even at higher resolutions:

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

All goes back to whether you need tons of VRAM to drive more pixels. All signs point to "not really".
m
0
l
a c 127 U Graphics card
July 19, 2011 11:56:37 AM

Still looks like 2 GTX 580s in SLI with their measly 1.5GB of VRAM beat anything with more. That's what I mean about the VRAM.
m
0
l
a c 127 U Graphics card
July 19, 2011 12:09:44 PM

Quote:
^ But then again it's 1k for Tri monitor setup for just the cards,
2* GTX 570 might be enough to run anything safe from Crysis or Metro

True. I'm thinking if I were to run 3 monitors, I might just turn down or turn off AA to keep minimum frame rates at a maximum anyhow.
m
0
l
July 19, 2011 12:26:41 PM

Huh. I posted a reply but I guess it didn't show up.

I was asking about the 3gb 580 in general, I would be using a pair of them. I'm willing to spend a decent amount on this but I don't know exactly what setup will work best. To me, after reviewing several benchmarks of AMD vs Nvidia, the 6950 seems right on the heels of the 6970 and slightly faster than the 570 (talking CF/SLI here). For its price, I can buy 3 of them for a similar amount as two 6970's, one 6990, and nowhere near 2 GTX 580's.

The reason the 6990 came up is because I could run 3-way with a 6970 without using up 3 slots, since my motherboard is pretty cramped. If I decide to go 3-way 6950's I'll have to grab an 1155 mobo with more slots.

To reiterate, I'm not looking for the cheapest solution possible, I'm looking for the absolute best performance I can get with my $2000 budget.
m
0
l
a c 127 U Graphics card
July 19, 2011 12:35:26 PM

Can't go wrong with 2 3GB GTX 580s. I've had no problems to date with SLI.

I have a $800 chip on my shoulder regarding crossfire and AMD drivers. I wouldn't recommend a crossfire setup to anyone.
m
0
l
July 19, 2011 12:46:28 PM

ubercake said:
Can't go wrong with 2 3GB GTX 580s. I've had no problems to date with SLI.

I have a $800 chip on my shoulder regarding crossfire and AMD drivers. I wouldn't recommend a crossfire setup to anyone.


What setup did you have that didn't work out?

I had a set of 4850's in CF that was OK besides overheating all the time, and then a set of 5850's that seemed to have even more heat problems and driver issues, especially with BFBC2. I replaced those with the single GTX 570 and was happy with that, but with all the surround technology really coming together these days I don't see why I shouldn't try it.
m
0
l
a c 127 U Graphics card
July 19, 2011 2:43:12 PM

arc00ta said:
What setup did you have that didn't work out?

I had a set of 4850's in CF that was OK besides overheating all the time, and then a set of 5850's that seemed to have even more heat problems and driver issues, especially with BFBC2. I replaced those with the single GTX 570 and was happy with that, but with all the surround technology really coming together these days I don't see why I shouldn't try it.

5850s (3). When I saw the youtube Crysis2 video with the 6990, I knew they still hadn't gotten it figured out.
m
0
l
July 19, 2011 3:16:07 PM

Looks like the 2x GTX 580 3gb are the answer then, using my current 3x 1920x1200 in surround. Thanks a lot for the replies guys.
m
0
l
July 19, 2011 3:30:27 PM

Well I apparently can't select a best answer, it refuses to load.
m
0
l
a c 127 U Graphics card
July 19, 2011 3:32:25 PM

arc00ta said:
Looks like the 2x GTX 580 3gb are the answer then, using my current 3x 1920x1200 in surround. Thanks a lot for the replies guys.

Great choice. Have fun with those. I don't know what the extra VRAM will get you, but it sure as heck can't hurt.
m
0
l
!