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Is watercooled HD 6970 Tri-Crossfire the ultimate graphics solution?

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August 4, 2011 9:55:15 AM

I have read that quad crossfire/sli is not recommended because of gaming performance problems such as sudden dips and then spikes in framerates, and microstutter. I read that this is due to the complexity of a quad crossfire/sli technology and games cannot handle it well. I have also read that the HD 6970 scales much better in CF compared to the GTX 580 in SLI. Is all of this true? Would a watercooled HD 6970 tri-crossfire setup be the ultimate graphics solution for real world PC gaming?

Any responses will be appreciated.

Thanks.
a b U Graphics card
August 4, 2011 11:29:28 AM

Do you to intend to use 3 monitors? (If not, more than 2 GPUs seems to be wasted money)

Given that a pair of 6950s in XFire often closely rivals or even outperforms the 6990/GTX590 but for only $500 or so, that would seem the logical choice for a still-fairly-reasonable price but with a truly great price/performance ratio...

http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/2011-gaming-graphics...

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a b U Graphics card
August 4, 2011 12:15:50 PM

Real World PC gaming? lawl

When would tri xfire 6970's be considered real world gaming? Tha is when you want to have 6-9 screens in a ridiculous eyefinity setup.. so no, not real world at all.

The most powerful performance tho would have to go to tri sli GTX 580's without a doubt.
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a b U Graphics card
August 4, 2011 2:35:34 PM

580 tri sli is so not worth the extra cash, the 6970 tri xfire for sure if i had to choose.

Would be even cheaper to get 3 reference 6950's and flash the 6970 bios, they have identical performance.
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a c 214 U Graphics card
August 4, 2011 2:58:50 PM

It really all depends on what your useage is.As mdd1963 already said, anything more than a 6970 crossfire or a GTX580 SLI is really not worth it.If your already getting over 60 fps why would you need more?

Also when you have more than dual cards of that high performance caliber you need a very fast CPU so that the setup doesn't get bottlenecked.

What are your full system specs?

What resoultion is your monitor? Do you plan to run a multi monitor setup?


Here's a benchmark of the exact question on the GTX580 3 way SLI vs the 6970 3 way crossfire.

http://www.hardwareheaven.com/reviews/1084/pg18/xfx-rad...

Although the resoultion is a multi monitor setup it really shows just the GPU strength and doesn't get bottlenecked at all from the CPU.The test show each card with it's raw strengh.And as you can see the 6970 3 way crossfire performs almost the exact same as a GTX580 3 way SLI which makes spending the extra $500 for the GTX580 3 way not worth it at all.
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August 4, 2011 3:11:38 PM

Yeah like the others guy said tri-sli is an huge overkill unless you running 6 monitors in some crazy setup which I doubt. 2 cards are enough to max anything right now, even one is enough if you are on a single monitor. Unless you like gloating about your fps because you suck in games then I don't see the point of tri-sli. Or can you be a troll?
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a b U Graphics card
August 4, 2011 5:54:28 PM

TRRRRROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLL
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August 4, 2011 10:16:02 PM

Nope, not trolling. Just planning on building a super high-end gaming PC.

Thanks.
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August 4, 2011 10:21:55 PM

For how many monitors? 1? 3? 6? Pretty sure any real world game doesn't need 3 cards.
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a c 214 U Graphics card
August 4, 2011 10:42:26 PM

Metro does.
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a b U Graphics card
August 4, 2011 10:44:29 PM

If you want to run 3 2560x1600 monitors in surround, get 4 cards. That'd be super high-end... I would probably die of starvation if I had a setup like that.

Maybe look at some of the unconvential cards like the combining of 580s on a single card, or 2 of the 6870x2 or something. I readily admit to knowing far less about AMD graphics cards so... don't anyone punish me too severely, lol.
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a c 214 U Graphics card
August 4, 2011 10:48:28 PM

Are you building the enitre PC or do you just need the GPU part?
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a b U Graphics card
August 5, 2011 1:07:33 AM

well once he gets his weekly allowance he will decide
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August 5, 2011 1:26:48 AM

jjb8675309 said:
well once he gets his weekly allowance he will decide


I have 6k to spend on my rig. Your car (if you even have one) probably costs less than that you clown.
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a b U Graphics card
August 5, 2011 1:31:37 AM

I tell you one thing
If his weekly allowance is 6k
I want his parents to adopt me :) 
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a b U Graphics card
August 5, 2011 1:33:49 AM

Viper2
More power to you brother
You are building a system I can only dream of
Dont listen to the haters
btw
Dual watercooled 6990s is the way to go
remember 6990 is a dual core GPU
so it is basically a quad CF in a two card CF
you wouldnt have to upgrade for 10 years LOL
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August 5, 2011 2:30:09 AM

king smp said:
Viper2
More power to you brother
You are building a system I can only dream of
Dont listen to the haters
btw
Dual watercooled 6990s is the way to go
remember 6990 is a dual core GPU
so it is basically a quad CF in a two card CF
you wouldnt have to upgrade for 10 years LOL


Read the first couple sentences of his first post....
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a b U Graphics card
August 5, 2011 2:39:24 AM

@OP

well I hope your doing more than gaming for 6k :lol:  my rig costs about 700 and it does everything on a single 1080p display so whats ur point?
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a b U Graphics card
August 5, 2011 2:43:05 AM

ok
i did
quite thoroughly
your point sir?

he wants the ultimate solution
a dual hd 6990x2
is the best way imho
gives you the pros of quad
but with only using two cards

"Would a watercooled HD 6970 tri-crossfire setup be the ultimate graphics solution for real world PC gaming?"

the answer is no
why use a three card config
when you can use a dual gpu 2 card config?

better watercool them though
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a b U Graphics card
August 5, 2011 2:47:27 AM

jjb8675309 said:
@OP

well I hope your doing more than gaming for 6k :lol:  my rig costs about 700 and it does everything on a single 1080p display so whats ur point?



well of course what he wants to spend his money on is his own business
but to spend 6k for gaming is on the absurd side

seriously 2k will build killer rig
and donate the 4k to starving babies

would be different if it is was a mission critical workstation
but for gaming?!

but still I would love to see the pictures and specs on that rig if done right :D 

BTW his point was his computer costs more than your car
actually the total computer setup in my house cost more than my car :D 
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a b U Graphics card
August 5, 2011 2:48:41 AM

well most benches ive seen show barley any improvement over 3 gpus not to mention the driver blunder for 4 gpus; have fun with that. I'd say get 2 6970s with the ability to add a third and judge the performance from there, that is a ridiculous setup in itself

I understand what your saying in the convenience to watercool 2 gpus rather than 3 but I want to know what monitor setup this rig will run before I can make a further rec
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a b U Graphics card
August 5, 2011 2:51:03 AM

and my car is definitely more expensive then my computer imo anything over 2.5k for a gaming rig IS absurd
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a b U Graphics card
August 5, 2011 3:04:39 AM

I love gaming
I just want to say that
I really dont get much time now with the family and work
but I appreciate it as a child of the 70s (b1970)
who had an Atari Pong machine when it first came out
but the idea of a system of even 2.5k just dedicated to gaming
is not fathomable to me
a well built $1000 rig will play any game out there nowadays

though of course I do love the concept of More Power
and can appreciate the extremity of building a 6k rig
but to build it for gaming and browsing just doesnt make sense
but hey it is not my money
better have that thing Folding at Home during downtime to justify it's
existence
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a b U Graphics card
August 5, 2011 3:32:01 AM

It would not be the ultimate solution because there are other factors to consider besides raw graphical power, such as how much noise you are generating. getting 250 fps in games is not much benefit if your computer sounds like a jet engine.
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a b U Graphics card
August 5, 2011 5:09:47 AM

that is why I said watercooling :) 
really running even one HD 6990 on air
is rough
at that level of card it should be watercooled
not only for cooling but for noise factor
and if you spend that kind of money on a card
then an a watercooling setup isnt too expensive to protect your investment
really a combo of Peltier and watercooling would be called for
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a b U Graphics card
August 5, 2011 7:57:18 AM

I would search Google for personal experiences with quad GPU in dual cards configurations setup because of driver issues might appear in some cases. The try fire is also an option. And yes, water cooling is good if properly made.

As for the off topic discussions about spending 6k on a PC, i think it can be done easily. Just ad a PCi-E 512Gb SSD, a few HDD's, 2-3 video cards, a 1.5Kw PSU and the rest.
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a b U Graphics card
August 5, 2011 10:38:57 AM

I've been checking and haven't seen any 6990s on newegg or tigerdirect. i realize there's others but havent bothered looking beyond those 2. newegg is my personal favorite because their warehouse is < 1 day away so all ground shipments get to me in 1 day.

Anyway... I'd trust 2 590s over 2 6990s (if u can find 'em).

You literally need 3 or 4 580s to run 3 displays of 2560x1600... so unless you are doing that, you should never need more than 2 6970s or 2 580s with high-end boards leaving you the option of adding a 3rd.

I just ordered all the parts in my sig, already had the 570s, and everything except the mobo arrived today... I went with the 2600k over the 2500k b/c I plan to use a lot of encryption on my storage, I plan to do a lot of media creation (home movies, sound recordings, mixing) etc.

I tried to set a budget but like viper, I had quite a bit more available. It's so incredibly fun spec'ing and building a rig of any budget, I dare say it was intoxicating. I say let viper enjoy his moment. We all know, including him, a $2.5k or 5k machine is yesterday's news by the end of this year, just like every sub $1k build. Let's not rain on his parade, and by extension, my recent lil march down main street (hehe)

So get a 2560x1600 display, or 3x 1920x1080, or 1920x1080/1200 120hz 3D monitor. Get 2 6970s or 2 580s, top of the line motherboard, top shelf AMD or intel processor, awesome SSD, fast storage drive(s), a beautiful case, and watercool the hell out of it. If you go 2500k or 2600k you won't bottleneck your graphics setup as quickly as you would going with AMD's current lineup, but a 990x board sets you up nicely for the "comeback".
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a b U Graphics card
August 5, 2011 11:17:08 AM

SSDs are nice, but, other than shorter Windows and game loading times, and, starting the level before everyone else does in multiplayer, they do pretty much nothing for actual gaming performance....

The original poster has still not stated what his monitor configuration in gaming would be, which massively affects the recommendations....

3 or 4 way SLI or Crossfire is almost pointless for 1920x1280.....

If you could have 58 fps at 1920x1280 in Metro with twin 6950s ($500) and 70 fps with 6990/6970 combo ($1200) or 590/580 ($1200) combo, which would you choose?
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a b U Graphics card
August 5, 2011 4:14:49 PM

^dos 6950s! for sure the best value here
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a b U Graphics card
August 5, 2011 5:24:17 PM

True but for a PC like this why not spend money on something faster than HDD? I think all would.
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a c 214 U Graphics card
August 5, 2011 5:36:15 PM

I agree.SSD's are the way to go.

The whole purpose of having a SSD is for the OS.Every time you do something the OS needs to get information from the HD.With a mechanical drive it makes everything slower because every time you do something it needs to access it.With a SSD it makes the OS's access time almost nonexistent making everything faster.It's not just for loading times.
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a b U Graphics card
August 5, 2011 5:38:11 PM

as far as spending 6k on a gaming machine
I said it earlier
more power to Viper2 :) 
I spent way more money than I should years ago on buying
a SVT Cobra Mustang
Did I need 400 hp to go to work?
No
but was it alot of freaking fun?
Heck yeah!

We only live once
so enjoy it

and do realize there might be a little jealousy behind some of
these posts LOL

with that said
with a 6k machine
there better be a RAID 0 PCI-E 2 x 512gb SSD setup in there :) 
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a b U Graphics card
August 5, 2011 7:51:16 PM

He's gonna run out of slots for video cards :D . King, i think you want this PC more then anybody here lol.
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a b U Graphics card
August 5, 2011 8:15:27 PM

IROC does not stand for international race of champions, but any 6k rig should have some sort of ssd config
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a b U Graphics card
August 5, 2011 9:10:04 PM

ionut19 said:
He's gonna run out of slots for video cards :D . King, i think you want this PC more then anybody here lol.



Are you kidding me?

I live vicariously through you people on here :) 

I was happy getting a VelcoiRaptor 10k rpm drive for my tower
used for $50 on Ebay

so if I get a chance to help somebody build a 6k rig
you know I got to think big

and it is doable

definitley needs to be a full ATX board with RAID onboard

how about this
one PCIe 512gb SSD for boot
and two VelociRaptor 10k Sata 6gbs 600gbs in Raid 0?
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a c 214 U Graphics card
August 5, 2011 9:41:42 PM

All it is is us just talking randomness.Lets wait till the OP decides what he/she wants to do and then we can start brainstorming.
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a b U Graphics card
August 6, 2011 12:52:54 AM

Yea the OP hasnt been back since the little mini flame
Hope they arent too pissed off :) 
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a b U Graphics card
August 6, 2011 1:13:22 PM

king smp said:
Are you kidding me?

I live vicariously through you people on here :) 

I was happy getting a VelcoiRaptor 10k rpm drive for my tower
used for $50 on Ebay

so if I get a chance to help somebody build a 6k rig
you know I got to think big

and it is doable

definitley needs to be a full ATX board with RAID onboard

how about this
one PCIe 512gb SSD for boot
and two VelociRaptor 10k Sata 6gbs 600gbs in Raid 0?


in my opinion nowadays the velocity raptor drives suck, they are noisy, high in power consumption, and expensive even this hybrid SSD would beat it:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD vs hybrid SSD vs velocity raptor:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/3734/seagates-momentus-xt...
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a b U Graphics card
August 6, 2011 1:19:16 PM

With what cpu?
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a c 595 U Graphics card
August 6, 2011 3:32:40 PM

Quote:
"We thought there might be some CPU limitedness going on with triple-GPU performance, but we had no idea GTX 580 3-Way SLI was being held back so much by the CPU in at least two specific scenarios.

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...
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a b U Graphics card
August 6, 2011 4:01:31 PM

the thing i love about AMD/ATI is the compatibility with other cards in the range, eg a 6990 can crossfire with a 6950 and a 5750 can crossfire with a 6770 or a 5970 with a 5830:
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a b U Graphics card
August 6, 2011 4:13:07 PM

ps3hacker12 said:
in my opinion nowadays the velocity raptor drives suck, they are noisy, high in power consumption, and expensive even this hybrid SSD would beat it:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD vs hybrid SSD vs velocity raptor:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/3734/seagates-momentus-xt...



while true a SSD can beat a Raptor
but when you compare price vs performance vs gb
they are a nice deal

and BTW have you ever owned and used a Raptor?
My raptor is quiet
and in PCMark07 game storage it beats a Spinpoint F3R
easily
as far as power usage
http://www.anandtech.com/show/3636/western-digitals-new...
it is less than other 7200rpm drives like the barracuda


There isnt a mechanical Sata hard drive on the planet that can
come close in performance

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

and can you get a 600gb SSD for $270?
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a b U Graphics card
August 6, 2011 4:50:17 PM

king smp said:
while true a SSD can beat a Raptor
but when you compare price vs performance vs gb
they are a nice deal

and BTW have you ever owned and used a Raptor?
My raptor is quiet
and in PCMark07 game storage it beats a Spinpoint F3R
easily
as far as power usage
http://www.anandtech.com/show/3636/western-digitals-new...
it is less than other 7200rpm drives like the barracuda


There isnt a mechanical Sata hard drive on the planet that can
come close in performance

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

and can you get a 600gb SSD for $270?


i said hybrid SSD, and yeah i got an old velocity raptor drive from a friend (after a few years of service in his PC), maybe its just that its used (mine seemed to making clicking noises too hence why i repalced it). But yes the Hybrid SSD in that comparison is only $99 for a 500GB hybrid.
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a c 271 U Graphics card
August 6, 2011 4:54:14 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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