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GTX 570s SLI Superclocked vs GTX 580s SLI vs 6970s XF in 2560x1600

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September 17, 2011 9:57:30 PM

Hello,

I have a bit of a pickle here. I know it's been asked to death but my situation is a bit more peculiar.

I am building a new computer and I use that compute for work (design, web development, app development and occasional 3D Studio Max and Premier/AE work)

I mostly game on Xbox 360 on a 106" projector and 7.1 high end speaker setup, however, I want to get ready for BF3.

I am waiting for X79 and SB-E CPUs but in the mean time I have i7 940 w/ 12gb of ram and ASUS P6T.

I will probably not game too much on PC in general but I have 3 monitors to run. 2x 24" (1920x1200) and 1x 30" 2560x1600.

The pickle is that i don't know what set of cards to buy here without wasting money.

One of the factors is that I want to install OSX on this machine but that's a minor thing. Just putting out there due to compatibility with OSX hackintosh scene.

Getting 2 580s in SLI is pretty much a $1000 expense. I don't know if I really need to pay that much money since I'm not sure if 2 570s SLI can push BF3 in 2560x1600 in all it's glory.

My goal is to get performance on 30"-er that will be 50-60fps at the highest settings and maximum quality.

Is 580s SLI the only setup that can deliver this? Will 2 570s in SLI do it? How about 6970s SLI?

For some reasons it's very difficult to see comparison between 2 570s SLI and 2 580s SLI vs 2 6970s.

I tried Anandtech's Bench 2011 but nothing comes up when I put 570s SLI and 580s SLI.

Some advice is much appreciated since I saw that there's a lot of smart people who tried many things here.

Thanks guys.
September 17, 2011 10:57:29 PM

Yes, I think you'll need the 580s for the very highest settings. I'm basing this on my knowledge of Crysis 2, which 2x580 can't handle at 60fps on the highest settings. (Incidentally, get C2)
September 18, 2011 12:26:45 AM

I'm getting responses from other forums pretty much unified that the best thing for money and performance (including VRAM limitations and dual card scaling) is to get 6970s in Crossfire. At $320 a piece this seems like a really cheapest solution but I am so afraid of micro-stuttering and the HEAT coming from 6970s.
Related resources
September 18, 2011 1:14:22 AM

The recent Tom's stuttering article said that it ceased to be much of a problem once you hit the 6970 level. Yes, those would be good, but you said you wanted absolutely maxed settings.
September 18, 2011 1:19:02 AM

Read this for some info on microstuttering: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-geforce-stut...

It shows only a slight edge to Nvidia and given the configurations you listed above I would find it hard not to recommend the 6970's. Performance isn't at all far off 580 SLI and is significantly cheaper. Here's a review http://www.overclock3d.net/reviews/gpu_displays/powerco..., it also concludes
Quote:
The few tests that the considerably pricier GTX580SLI setup comes out on top are ones where the HD6970XF is already pushing out huge numbers and the difference is pretty meaningless.
September 18, 2011 1:19:39 AM

Other option here would be Xfire 2GB HD6950's.
September 18, 2011 1:51:09 AM

here i have a crossfirex3 of 6970 and i get 50-60 under crysis 2 on a triple 19'' eyefinity
so i would likely recomend you to get at least two 580 or even 3
or at least to get a 45-60 fps ration on battlefield 3 the minimal i would recomend whit your spec is my setup
i7 and triple 6970 for about 1000$
if you have the cash watercool all this
September 18, 2011 2:35:36 AM

I have 2 GTX 580's in SLI backed up by an i7 2600k running @2560x1440 and I have yet to find any game on max that drops me below the 60fps vsync cap for my monitor. Even Crysis 2 with the DX11 and texture pack enabled I can set everything to absolute maximum and it never even twitches below 60fps. I can't vouch for the other cards but 580's should do the trick. They are also nice and quiet, unlike some other cards and if you buy an EVGA brand they have lifetime warranty. Keep in mind what processor you have will also impact your performance to some degree in most games.

Here is a good bench to see the differences in most of those cards.
http://www.techspot.com/review/440-hard-reset-performan...
September 18, 2011 2:37:50 AM

Yes if you are looking at around $1000 forget the 580's and go for tri-fire 6970 as wirzy mentioned. Only need to watercool if your going to overclock. Other option depending on your mobo and if you want x16/x16 and dont want the WS revolution (only mobo with x16/x16/x16) is to go 6990/6970 also ~$1000 if you can find a 6990.
September 18, 2011 2:54:52 AM

You'll need to OC the 2500K big-time for that kind of graphics power; I think this may be one of the few situations in which water cooling is warranted.
I don't think 3x x16 is necessary. x8 would do. Nothing would justify a 6990.
September 18, 2011 6:32:25 AM

Agreed x8 is perfectly fine, but some people insist on x16 so just thought the 2 card option should be mentioned.

Even for OCing the 2500K a D-14 is one of the best cooling options imo, still no need for water cooling no? Or are you thinking something along the lines of a H70, H80 or H100? But they are significantly more ($50-80AUS).
September 18, 2011 8:43:10 AM

Considering this PC won't be necessarily a gaming PC... I really only intend on playing BF3 and ARMA 3 (in 2012) on it, the professional apps optimizations for Nvidia and CUDA are a very important point.

For example Photoshop is optimized to work best with Nvidia cards.

This is why I have decided to go with 2x 570s with 2.5gb each in SLI.

I think this will run BF3 great at maxed out settings. Maybe not with 16x AA and 32AF but whatever.. I will be happy with like 8x AA and 16AF.

I mean 6970s and these 570s run better than any single card even 590s so I can't imagine they will not be able to play BF3 in all it's glory.

The price is ok.. I mean 6970s are around $360-$390 and 570s 2560 are $395.. not much of a difference but if anything I get more flexibility/support with applications.

I have also seen that 570s in SLI seem to be the best scaling Nvidia cards for SLI and from other people's responses on other forums they are the smoothest and with least amount of micro-stuttering. Smoothest framerates.

I think that's what I'm gonna do.
September 18, 2011 9:28:45 AM

Quote:
For example Photoshop is optimized to work best with Nvidia cards.


Where did you read this? Firstly the graphics card is of little importance for photoshop (I say little as in yes I know it plays A PART but the cards we are talking here are all far more than capable) your biggest performance increase will come from your RAM, CPU and SSD (throw in a scratch disk here as it can also improve performance significantly) the only application in the Adobe Suite that benefits form CUDA cores is Premier (this may have changed with CS5.5 but I doubt it, I only have experience with CS5 mastersuite so I cant comment on 5.5). So don't use that as the basis for your decision.

But your correct 570SLI is not going to hold you back, can't say if it will run BF3 at max settings or not, but it will run it and run it well.
September 18, 2011 10:16:40 AM

Only to give you head up, Ninja pants...Illustrator also uses the 3D gpu factor when making things...in 3D. While rare, still exists.
September 18, 2011 11:02:12 AM

Ninja Pants said:
Quote:
For example Photoshop is optimized to work best with Nvidia cards.


Where did you read this? Firstly the graphics card is of little importance for photoshop (I say little as in yes I know it plays A PART but the cards we are talking here are all far more than capable) your biggest performance increase will come from your RAM, CPU and SSD (throw in a scratch disk here as it can also improve performance significantly) the only application in the Adobe Suite that benefits form CUDA cores is Premier (this may have changed with CS5.5 but I doubt it, I only have experience with CS5 mastersuite so I cant comment on 5.5). So don't use that as the basis for your decision.

But your correct 570SLI is not going to hold you back, can't say if it will run BF3 at max settings or not, but it will run it and run it well.


Ninja pants.. I use Adobe professionally along with all of their other software. Graphics card is of GREAT importance to Photoshop.. especially CS5 and CS 5.5 that utilize CUDA capabilities in drawing things and working faster with display. Not to mention Illustrator with 3D capabilities and large number of vectors being drawn out as well as After Effects and Premier that get HUGE advantage from latest Nvidia cards.

Let's not get into that.. you are not right.. trust me.

But that's beside the point.
September 18, 2011 12:04:32 PM

Not that it should matter but so do I, and if that's what you want to believe I am equally more than happy to leave it that as you are correct it is besides the point.

Good luck with the build.
September 18, 2011 1:46:36 PM

I support that SSD point. Photoshop load time! Budget doesn't seem to be that much of an issue, and it's definitely worth it if you can afford it.
September 18, 2011 3:04:35 PM

kajabla said:
I support that SSD point. Photoshop load time! Budget doesn't seem to be that much of an issue, and it's definitely worth it if you can afford it.


Already got the SSD.. so that's a non-issue
September 18, 2011 3:42:58 PM

wirzy said:
here i have a crossfirex3 of 6970 and i get 50-60 under crysis 2 on a triple 19'' eyefinity
so i would likely recomend you to get at least two 580 or even 3
or at least to get a 45-60 fps ration on battlefield 3 the minimal i would recomend whit your spec is my setup
i7 and triple 6970 for about 1000$
if you have the cash watercool all this


BF3 is amazingly efficient. I'm currently running SLI gtx 580 and was running around 120 fps in the Alpha. A single GTX 580 will get you in the 70-80 fps on full settings in BF3
September 18, 2011 4:07:32 PM

^wow
there'll always be more and hungrier games, though.
September 18, 2011 5:10:51 PM

if its true then all say like you a single 580 or sli for maxed or even 2x6970 should do it

but wow a game that look so great a this rate well

i was comparing bf3 look to crysis2 even better so the spec for me should follow but if you try it then i'll hang on to your word
at what resolution are you cause it change everything 1xscrenn=150fps in crysis2 for me
3xscreen around 60fps a big difference
September 18, 2011 6:28:35 PM

You get 150 at ultra/hdtextures? That's truly impressive with any setup.
September 18, 2011 6:45:51 PM

at a resolution oone screen 1440x900 (19'') tri-fire 6970 120-150fps and thats a reprensentation of what cause the micro-stutering in crossfire not so stable fps rate the more you grade the micro-stutering fade away since always over 60fps even with the stutering but at a 40-60 fps then you see the micro-stutering since it pass from a high to a mid fps range and about a couple of frame = stutering


at a resolution of 4320x900 i'll do about 45-65 fps and yes i see micro stutering but its less annoying then you can think

and at 3dmark11 my score is about 14700 pts they are averclocked to 950 and backed up whit a i7 2600k at
4,8 ghz
September 18, 2011 7:07:23 PM

Oh, at tiny resolution. IMO that's pointless; a big monitor will do more for your looks than fancy effects at 1440.
September 18, 2011 8:20:52 PM

wirzy said:
if its true then all say like you a single 580 or sli for maxed or even 2x6970 should do it

but wow a game that look so great a this rate well

i was comparing bf3 look to crysis2 even better so the spec for me should follow but if you try it then i'll hang on to your word
at what resolution are you cause it change everything 1xscrenn=150fps in crysis2 for me
3xscreen around 60fps a big difference


Crysis 2 still is a fairly inefficient engine thought not nearly as bad as it's predecessor. I ran fully maxed out on in-game settings and x16 AA @ 1920-1080 in nvidia control panel (enhance setting) at around 70-80 on one GTX 580. SLI was not setup during the Alpha for optimized SLI but when I could get it working (small spouts) it pushed 120 fps on high settings. The frostbite 2 Engine is easily one of the most efficient and sexiest engines seen in a long time.

September 18, 2011 8:26:06 PM

ok but that still represente what i was saying you should get at least two 580 or two or three 6970
for a triple screen like yours cause it will drasticly drop his frame rate
but it could be good whit one 6990 or two 6970 not sure but 100% sure that 580 sli and 6970 x3 should be enough power just be sure to pass the 4 -4,5 ghz to handle all this power

a board x8x8x8 is enough only about 2 at 5 fps difference from a x16 (per card )
September 18, 2011 9:09:35 PM

Tom's reviews of Crysis 2 contradict you pretty strongly, ceph. They couldn't consistently max C2 even with 2 580s. That is what you're referring to, right?
September 18, 2011 9:32:45 PM

I don't think you actually read what I posted.
September 18, 2011 9:33:55 PM

I think I misunderstood what you posted :D 
What did you max? BF3?
What kind of fps do you get in C2?
September 18, 2011 9:34:37 PM

Crysis 2 blows and is inefficient. Even with 2 overclocked GTX 580's in SLI I can hit only approx. 50-60 FPS. My other comment was in reference to Bf3.
September 18, 2011 9:35:00 PM

Right.
September 29, 2011 10:04:45 PM

cepheid said:
Crysis 2 blows and is inefficient. Even with 2 overclocked GTX 580's in SLI I can hit only approx. 50-60 FPS. My other comment was in reference to Bf3.


That's odd because I get closer to 80-100fps average with 2 580's in SLI, I normally run with V-sync though and I never see it go below the 60 fps cap. I'm running max settings in dx11 with the texture pack at 2560x1440. What is the rest of your system and what drivers are you using?
September 30, 2011 12:16:21 AM

Energy96 said:
That's odd because I get closer to 80-100fps average with 2 580's in SLI, I normally run with V-sync though and I never see it go below the 60 fps cap. I'm running max settings in dx11 with the texture pack at 2560x1440. What is the rest of your system and what drivers are you using?



2600K OC 5.0Ghz
Driver 280.26
SSD 240g OCZ
SLI GTX 580's OC 900mhz
1920x1080

I can get 80-100 but that's not what it's at on average on high only during the less graphics intensive parts. Also with VSync unless you're running a 120hz monitor will cap you at 60-75.


It's not my comp it's the game and if you're pulling 80-100 it's not average throughout and yes I run Texture and DX11. The game engine just blows, always has, always will.
September 30, 2011 2:33:57 AM

Problem with 80-100? lol
September 30, 2011 11:00:14 PM

kajabla said:
Problem with 80-100? lol


Troll harder.
October 1, 2011 12:38:13 AM

No seriously I don't understand your complaint
October 1, 2011 12:48:46 AM

kajabla said:
No seriously I don't understand your complaint


Because there is no complaint. "The Crysis Engine is inefficient" is just a fact and why it's used to benchmark video cards.
October 1, 2011 3:29:17 AM

OH got it
October 8, 2011 12:46:13 AM

I got the EVGA GTX 580 Superclocked with 1.5gb of ram.. I'm running it on ULTRA in 1920x1200 now with 60+ FPS. I have no doubt that I'll be able to run BF3 as it is now in ULTRA in 2560x1600 and 60+ FPS once I get another GTX 580 Superclocked. Their engine is very efficient it seems.
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