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Building a new Computer, torn on crossfire or single card solution

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July 20, 2011 3:39:53 PM

Okay, so a I'm building twin computers for a friend and I and I'm now torn on video cards. Until today I was set on getting a 6870 and later on upgrading to crossfire when the games started to require that. However, in an $1100+ build I'm weighing some minor tweaks to the build.

For now, he's not ready to pull the trigger on all the parts, and I've been ordering whatever pops up as a good deal/discount over the last 3 weeks.

Build:
Lian Li- Case PC-K62
ASRock P67 EXTREME4 (B3) LGA 1155
Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost)
Crucial M4 64gb SATA-III boot drive
HITACHI Deskstar 7K3000 1.5TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s storage drive
Thermaltake Toughpower XT TPX-775M 775W Modular
G.SKILL Sniper Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900)

So far I've found deals on the case, power supply, ram, and Newegg sent me a 20% coupon for the crucial SSD for my recent purchases, so I've jumped on all of those.

So at this point I'm weighing our video card options quite heavily. I've got a 26" HannsG running 1920x1080 and I imagine he'll be buying a similar monitor. My big concern here is issues with crossfire, and with the difference in price at this expensive of a build its just a matter of long run goals. Either way, we'll be buying one card now, and a second card for crossfire later. It's obvious a 2gb 6950 is going to be a stronger card now, and a stronger crossfire later. The only reason I'm so tempted is because of the deal I found on this HIS 6950 today


Original card was going to be XFX 6870

Just looking for some input. He's already leaning towards the stronger single card solution to avoid any issues.

We both play similar games, BC2, intend to get Battlefield 3, crysis 2, Skyrim, etc.

Thanks a lot!
July 20, 2011 4:57:42 PM

I guess I'm at the point as to whether or not the $80 is worth the performance and future upgrade-ability is worth it for the 6950>6870.

It's easy to get the impression when the 6950 has 2gb memory, and you can unlock it to a 6970 with a firmware update. I'm thinking playing on my current 26" monitor is really going to take advantage of the bigger card. I think my friend might be hanging on to his 23" monitor and won't quite see the same performance increase or benefit from the memory.
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a b U Graphics card
July 20, 2011 6:48:09 PM

You said that your friend will be using a display same as yours that is why I said 6950 is very good
Else if he is getting a lower resolution display then a 6950 wil be more than enough mod it to a 6970 he don't even have to crossfire as it will perform very good in all games.
Also he can go for GTX 560ti as this one performs almost similar to 6950 and is cheaper. gtx 560ti is a very good overclocker and at maximum overclock it performs like a 6970
July 20, 2011 7:46:57 PM

Thanks for the help. We're pretty set on the 2GB memory interface on the 6950, a 4gb crossfire later on I can only hope will be beastly. Though I imagine any of these cards on crossfire will be great, it's just easy to consider the 2GB card to be superior.

Not to mention the inherent value in getting a 6970 for the price of a 6950 by unlocking it in the bios.
a b U Graphics card
July 20, 2011 8:07:20 PM

2+2 =4GB won't be much useful in lower resolution
its meant for high resoltion with all eye candy ON ;) 
else 1+1=2GB is sufficient
July 20, 2011 8:09:09 PM

Well, that's what I mean. 1920x1080 is considered a pretty big resolution isn't it? And I like eye candy.
a b U Graphics card
July 20, 2011 10:41:11 PM

It is big but not that big as 2560x1600 :p 
July 21, 2011 12:11:00 PM

I sprung for the card yesterday afternoon. I figure the excess memory, etc, will provide to be a bit more future-proof and other cards. I'm by no means an expert but from the reading I've done it looks like DX11 tessellation is going to benefit greatly from this GPU. While it may not be the best bang/buck I'm hoping that it will last longer and prove to be a stellar deal next year when I can just slap another one in and have a crazy setup capable up handling any display upgrades I make. My friend told me yesterday he may just buy a 32" 1080P tv and run his computer and xbox on that.

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a b U Graphics card
July 21, 2011 3:11:14 PM
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Go for the 6950 2GB version in case of using 1920x1080
a b U Graphics card
July 21, 2011 6:22:27 PM

Nice decision :) 
July 21, 2011 6:53:38 PM

Ill wiegh in on crossfire here ive been using it for the last 6months with a pair of 6850's. I have an Antec 300 case with mild airflow and an overclocked Phenom 940 at 3.6ghz. So far i have had zero issues with compatability or heat and crossfire was basically self installing once i installed the second card after installing the correct drivers for the first card. If i had 2 pci-e slots crossfire or sli would be my first choice.
a b U Graphics card
July 21, 2011 7:00:07 PM

xx12amanxx said:
Ill wiegh in on crossfire here ive been using it for the last 6months with a pair of 6850's. I have an Antec 300 case with mild airflow and an overclocked Phenom 940 at 3.6ghz. So far i have had zero issues with compatability or heat and crossfire was basically self installing once i installed the second card after installing the correct drivers for the first card. If i had 2 pci-e slots crossfire or sli would be my first choice.

I will always stick to single card solution as SLI and Crossfire has lot of known issues :D 
do a google search you will get lot of info on it, one example: Microstutter, but there are lot more
July 21, 2011 7:03:52 PM

mjsharma said:
I will always stick to single card solution as SLI and Crossfire has lot of known issues :D 
do a google search you will get lot of info on it, one example: Microstutter, but there are lot more



True your right...I could do a search and read all kings of info on known issues call me lucky but in the amount of time ive been using crossfire i have not experienced any issues. Quiet the contrary it has been awesome and the performance for the amount of money i spent is sweet!
a b U Graphics card
July 21, 2011 7:18:33 PM

xx12amanxx said:
True your right...I could do a search and read all kings of info on known issues call me lucky but in the amount of time ive been using crossfire i have not experienced any issues. Quiet the contrary it has been awesome and the performance for the amount of money i spent is sweet!

But you can't risk your money just to see if you are lucky or not, that is why I go for single GPU :D 
July 21, 2011 9:42:05 PM

Single GPU leading to fewer headaches is one of the reasons I went with the 6950, I imagine by the time I'm ready for a GPU upgrade, crossfire will either be a lot better, or there will be solid options for a reasonable price in single GPU configurations.

However the scaling of crossfire in the 6000 series is nothing to sneeze at. For now I'm pretty sure my "eventual" upgrade will just be an additional card.
July 28, 2011 1:24:31 AM

Best answer selected by oogystick.
a c 271 U Graphics card
July 28, 2011 2:36:43 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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