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ATI Card suggestions for very high settings on 3x1920x1200

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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September 26, 2011 8:13:20 PM

Hi guys. I'm looking to buy an overclock-friendly (voltage adjustable) ATI GPU to drive my 3x1920x1200 Eyefinity group. I am willing to buy an aftermarket cooler if necessary, but I can't spare more than 2 slots for the GPU and cooler.

BUDGET: I would prefer not to spend over $400 but if that's not possible I could make exception if I was confident that I could overclock and sustain very high or maximum settings a good frame rates for top-end games at my resolution for the next year. In other words, I want something that is future-proof as far as games go for the next year or so.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: This week or sometime similarly soon.

USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Eyefinity gaming (Crysis 1 & 2 and all the toughest, most demanding games)

CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: ATI Radeon 6970 (bought a crappy card though and am planning to RMA it), Antec TruePower 750w

OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS:
Phenom II X4 955 w/ Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro
ASUS M4A79T Deluxe
8G Corsair 1600mhz DDR3
XFX HD-697A
WD 300G Raptor
5x Caviar Black 640G RAID 5
750 Watt Antec TruePower
Antec P193
Eyefinity-3x1920x1200

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg preferred but possibly also TigerDirect, NCIX, Amazon

PARTS PREFERENCES: ATI only, please. I want just 1 card because I don't have room for crossfire.

OVERCLOCKING: Yes - I want to be able to adjust voltage and push this card to its maximum, beyond "official" overclocks.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Eyefinity 3x1920x1200 (6016x1200 with bezel compensation).

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I am willing to buy an aftermarket cooler if necessary but I am new to VGA aftermarket cooling and I would need help determining compatibility. That said, I don't really have more than 2 slots of room unless the fan only takes up the "center" area of the slot. I have a SATA port expansion below the card but it only extends a few inches from the back of the case, so a card-centered fan could potentially share the expansion slot.

I can't tolerate any whine or noise louder than my case fans, which are like 28 dBs or something like that.

Thanks for your help, guys!

EDIT: most of this information has changed. Here's the updated information:

I need 2 quiet, overclock-friendly ATI cards to run Crysis 2 (and others) at maximum or near-maximum settings at 6016x1200.

BUDGET: Under $600 preferably, but could spring for $700 if absolutely necessary for high-end gaming for a year.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: This week or sometime similarly soon.

USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Eyefinity gaming (Crysis 1 & 2 and all the toughest, most demanding games)

CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: ATI Radeon 6970 (bought a crappy card though and am planning to RMA it), Antec TruePower 750w

OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS:
Phenom II X4 955 w/ Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro
ASUS M4A79T Deluxe
8G Corsair 1600mhz DDR3
XFX HD-697A
WD 300G Raptor
5x Caviar Black 640G RAID 5
750 Watt Antec TruePower
Antec P193
Eyefinity-3x1920x1200

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg preferred but possibly also TigerDirect, NCIX, Amazon

PARTS PREFERENCES: ATI, 2 cards in CrossfireX.

OVERCLOCKING: Yes - I want to be able to adjust voltage and push these cards to their maximum, beyond "official" overclocks.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Eyefinity 3x1920x1200 (6016x1200 with bezel compensation).

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I am willing to buy an aftermarket cooler if necessary but I am new to VGA aftermarket cooling and I would need help determining compatibility. I need quiet cards because noise sucks.
a b U Graphics card
September 26, 2011 8:31:21 PM

The 6970 is AMD's fastest single chip card, only the 6990 is faster and you're not going to get it for $400.

You might want to look at the HIS ICEQ Turbo - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It's not particularly cheap but it's one of the quieter ones at load and could overclock to 1 GHz (no guarantees obviously).
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September 26, 2011 8:32:39 PM

get yourself a liquid cooled 6990?
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Related resources
a c 1382 U Graphics card
a c 156 K Overclocking
September 26, 2011 8:55:41 PM

Minimum HD6950 2GB but would suggest 2 in Crossfire.
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a b U Graphics card
September 26, 2011 9:03:18 PM

$400 for 6016x1200... and you want to be good for a years worth of high end gaming??? I think you may need to adjust your budget, or your goal...

Just a question but isn't your CPU going to bottleneck your graphics performance at that resolution???

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a c 216 U Graphics card
a b K Overclocking
September 26, 2011 9:05:39 PM

I suggest smaller monitors and resolution. With a resolution like that, I'd want at least a crossfire 6950 setup if not trifire. That's a lot of resolution and you won't be able to maintain very high settings on a lot of games, even with two 6950's.

If you are figuring a 6970 like you currently have and planning on $400 on top of the current card, then you might be able to go a 6990 and you still won't likely max out Crysis 2 or Metro 2033 across 3 screens.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
September 27, 2011 12:22:32 AM

Yeah, upping your budget and Crossfiring HD6950 2gb cards is what you'll want to do.
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a b U Graphics card
September 27, 2011 12:30:41 AM

He doesn't have room for crossfire.
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a b U Graphics card
a b K Overclocking
September 27, 2011 12:35:04 AM

eyefinity is one of the weird cases where the amount of graphics ram you have avaliable can make a BIG difference.

Large resolutions is where crossfire starts to out perform a single card to the same spec. the dual gpu's and the avaliable ram make a diff.

my system is listed below and i run and eyefinity group of 3 at 5040*1050 all high settings and it works well.

i would also reccomend the 2x 6950 in crossfire config.
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a b U Graphics card
September 27, 2011 12:36:44 AM

I would also recommend 2x6950 2gb, but he doesn't have room in the case. He really seems to be stuck with a 6970.
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a c 216 U Graphics card
a b K Overclocking
September 27, 2011 12:40:05 AM

Or 6990 if he can get some more money.
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a b U Graphics card
a b K Overclocking
September 27, 2011 12:40:28 AM

no room for crossfire would really limit you to a 6990 (2x 6970's on a single card)

you board supports the crossfire (790fx chipset) so im assuming its a case limitation as to why u can't fit 2 cards.

if i understand correctly you currently have a 6970?
it would be cheaper to get a 2nd 6970 and a larger case than it would be to get a 6990.
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a c 1382 U Graphics card
a c 156 K Overclocking
September 27, 2011 12:41:20 AM

eyefinity said:
I would also recommend 2x6950 2gb, but he doesn't have room in the case. He really seems to be stuck with a 6970.

He has space in the case like any other mid tower http://www.antec.com/Believe_it/product.php?id=MTgxNg==
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a b U Graphics card
September 27, 2011 12:47:59 AM

rolli59 said:
He has space in the case like any other mid tower http://www.antec.com/Believe_it/product.php?id=MTgxNg==


I'm just going by what he stated in the op

Quote:
PARTS PREFERENCES: ATI only, please. I want just 1 card because I don't have room for crossfire.
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a b U Graphics card
a b K Overclocking
September 27, 2011 1:30:23 AM

looks like he is stuck between a rock and a hard place.

no room for 2 cards, but wants better performance than a 6970.
nothing much you can do.

either fix the issue causing you not to be able to crossfire (hardware limitition or space issues)
or get a 6990
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a c 1382 U Graphics card
a c 156 K Overclocking
September 27, 2011 1:47:32 AM

It would be a small price to pay to get a big enough case to house all those drives so the motherboard that has 4 PCIe X16 slots can be used as intended!
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September 27, 2011 1:50:42 AM

Thanks everyone for the replies. I really didn't anticipate this much help. This is why I love this forum.

Let me address all the comments so far:

The reason I don't have room for crossfire is because all my expansion slots are eaten up right now by the following:
PCI-E: Main graphics card (the topic of this thread)
PCI: [blocked by graphics card]
PCI-E: SATA expansion card
PCI: Hauppage TV Tuner
PCI-E: Second Graphics Card (I neglected to mention that I currently use a Radeon 4850 with a 4th monitor mounted above the eyefinity and when I am home in the summer also to display to an HDTV across the room. This can't go.)
PCI-E: [covered by second graphics card]

I'm open to suggestions about modifying this system but I do need the secondary graphics card (although it is conceivable that the fan could be swapped out to open up the other PCI-E slot!), the TV Tuner is really nice, and I need to have the 2 additional Sata ports from the expansion card.

So I suppose a crossfire setup is actually conceivable but I don't know if the 4850 would be alright without the fan (possibly a smaller aftermarket fan is in order?) Any recommendations or alternative setups are welcome.

As to the question of a CPU bottleneck, I have seen absolutely no difference in game benchmarks with or without a light CPU overclock using a 6950 that I used to have.

I do like the HIS IceQ card but it's not reference, so how can I adjust the voltage to get a large overclock?
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September 27, 2011 2:08:56 AM

You know, the crossfire idea is sounding increasingly attractive. But I do need council on dealing with the other graphics card fan -- I can't just move it down one slot because the P193 (case) has the PSU chamber cover right below the mobo. Unless I popped out the chamber cover, but that would theoretically mess up the case airflow. So I guess what I need is some kind of small aftermarket fan, unless the card could survive without a fan? I doubt it.
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a b U Graphics card
a b K Overclocking
September 27, 2011 2:11:04 AM

Have you considered a USB based external graphics card to replace the 4850, these are normally fine for TV /movies and web browsing.

this would free up that slot for Crossfire.

friend of mine runs 2x 5850 in crossfire with eyefinity and uses an external USB graphics card for TV / movies (on a 4th monitor) while he games in eyefinity.
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September 27, 2011 2:35:04 AM

This particular card is unique because it's one of the old ones with a TV OUT (S-video with like 5 extra pins) that can display over component video, which is the best signal my HDTV will take. I doubt external graphics cards could do component video--I couldn't find any such cards on Newegg.

I could try this as an alternative option, but isn't there an aftermarket HSF for my 4850 that wouldn't take up an additional slot?

EDIT: Wait I screwed up. 2x Crossfire would use the blue slots first. So here's what I'm envisioning:

PCI-E: Main Card 1
PCI: [blocked]
PCI-E: Secondary Card
PCI: Tv Tuner
PCI-E: Main Card 2
PCI-E" [blocked]

-or-

PCI-E: Main Card 1
PCI: [blocked]
PCI-E: SATA expansion slot
PCI: Tv Tuner
PCI-E: Main Card 2
PCI-E" [blocked]

Either way, I have to give up something. But as to the crossfire, what two cards would you guys recommend for my goals? Specific cards, please (as in links to Newegg). Remember I want to have voltage control, so I guess this means they would have to be reference design (I'm still not clear about this). Also quiet.

Thanks.
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a b U Graphics card
a b K Overclocking
September 27, 2011 2:47:37 AM

Ur HDTV should have better than that, u sure it dosn't have DSUB? or HDMI even?


Also look for a lower end graphics card (single width) with component to replace the 4850.

all just different ways to achieve what your after.

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September 27, 2011 2:52:08 AM

Yeah the HDTV was made when HD was pretty new. It can only resolve up to 1080i. And no, it does not have VGA or HDMI. It looks like I'm gonna have to buy more than 2 new graphics cards.
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a b U Graphics card
a b K Overclocking
September 27, 2011 3:12:20 AM

So yeah id say thats what ur up against.

either USB Video card with component for HDTV
or Lower end (single width) PCI-Express with component for HDTV.

all so you can fit a 2nd 6970.

in saying that, being you have a 790fx chipset im sure you will run x16 x16 (Dual Cards)

but x16 x8 x8 (with 3 cards). which will obviously be a performance hit.

you will need to have your gaming cards in PCI-Express slots 1 & 3 i believe (check ur mobo manual) to get full x16 in each slot.

as for specific 6970 models, you seem to know what ur after (regarding voltage control) i dont know of any specific models / brands off the top of my head sorry.
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a b U Graphics card
a b K Overclocking
September 27, 2011 3:40:03 AM

hmmm, grab a cheapy case + psu + mobo and make a home server then chuck a couple of your extra drives in there then run the movies off that?
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September 27, 2011 4:02:51 AM

Okay I figured it all out.

I'm gonna keep the 4850 but go with an external tv tuner stick ($70) and a PCI Sata Controller ($20) which will fit like so:

PCI-E: Main Card 1
PCI: [blocked]
PCI-E: Secondary Card
PCI: SATA Controller (low profile will allow for the 4850 to keep its fan)
PCI-E: Main Card 2
PCI-E" [blocked]

So this decided, here's a NEW gpu request:

I need 2 quiet, overclock-friendly ATI cards to run Crysis 2 (and others) at maximum or near-maximum settings at 6016x1200.

BUDGET: Under $600 preferably, but could spring for $700 if absolutely necessary for high-end gaming for a year.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: This week or sometime similarly soon.

USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Eyefinity gaming (Crysis 1 & 2 and all the toughest, most demanding games)

CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: ATI Radeon 6970 (bought a crappy card though and am planning to RMA it), Antec TruePower 750w

OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS:
Phenom II X4 955 w/ Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro
ASUS M4A79T Deluxe
8G Corsair 1600mhz DDR3
XFX HD-697A
WD 300G Raptor
5x Caviar Black 640G RAID 5
750 Watt Antec TruePower
Antec P193
Eyefinity-3x1920x1200

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg preferred but possibly also TigerDirect, NCIX, Amazon

PARTS PREFERENCES: ATI, 2 cards in CrossfireX.

OVERCLOCKING: Yes - I want to be able to adjust voltage and push these cards to their maximum, beyond "official" overclocks.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Eyefinity 3x1920x1200 (6016x1200 with bezel compensation).

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I am willing to buy an aftermarket cooler if necessary but I am new to VGA aftermarket cooling and I would need help determining compatibility. I need quiet cards because noise sucks.
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September 27, 2011 4:04:44 AM

Wait for AMD 7000 series in Jan-Feb next year.
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a b U Graphics card
a b K Overclocking
September 27, 2011 6:35:12 AM

lozz08 said:
Wait for AMD 7000 series in Jan-Feb next year.


i... don't think thats very viable, don't they spread the gpus out over several months, like doing the 7650 in jan then the 7670 in feb, etc?

and i still think my idea is the best :)  that way you can move your tv/pc/server anywhere you want without needing to move it all as a set :D 
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September 27, 2011 7:11:17 AM

Yeah Mouse's idea is good but I really only live two places: campus during the school year and home during the summer. I always have everything I own right where I live so I don't need to split up my system (moving 4 monitors, a 70+ pound tower, speakers, games, and all the peripherals is a huge pain but it only comes twice a year). Besides, that extra graphics card will fit in if I clear some space like I described earlier.

But back to to the main issue, I'm looking at two of these as a possibility--factory overclock, 2 GB, $300 (with a possibly difficult rebate) and claims to allow voltage control (despite not being a reference design?)--and I've actually heard this exact card in perdon and it's very quiet at 50% fan speed.

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

What do you think? Would two of these in Crossfire with a good overclock achieve maximum or very high settings with Crysis 2 and similar titles at 6016x1200? I don't need 8x Anti-Aliasing or anything too extreme (I'd settle for 2x AA), and I usually find frame rates ~30-35 to be sufficient.
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a c 216 U Graphics card
a b K Overclocking
September 27, 2011 3:02:21 PM

mouse24 said:
i... don't think thats very viable, don't they spread the gpus out over several months, like doing the 7650 in jan then the 7670 in feb, etc?

and i still think my idea is the best :)  that way you can move your tv/pc/server anywhere you want without needing to move it all as a set :D 


Not disregarding your suggestion, but when they launch a new series, they usually start at the top or upper middle. Like the 5000 series started with the 5870 and 5850 at the same time, then they went down from there. The 6000 series started with the 6870 and 6850, then the 6950/70 and slowly went down from there. I think the 7000 series will follow the same distribution order of the 6000, as they do plan to have a new architecture in the 7900 cards.
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a c 105 U Graphics card
a b K Overclocking
September 27, 2011 3:10:25 PM

Didn't you say you didn't have room for crossfire ? Guess I wasted my time on the suggestion above, huh ?
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a b U Graphics card
a b K Overclocking
September 27, 2011 4:14:00 PM

bystander said:
Not disregarding your suggestion, but when they launch a new series, they usually start at the top or upper middle. Like the 5000 series started with the 5870 and 5850 at the same time, then they went down from there. The 6000 series started with the 6870 and 6850, then the 6950/70 and slowly went down from there. I think the 7000 series will follow the same distribution order of the 6000, as they do plan to have a new architecture in the 7900 cards.



ohhhh, i had no idea of the release order, i always figured it started at the lower end of the spectrum :)  ty bro... well then yeah it might be a better option if he can wait on gaming for about 4-5 months :S that would kill me though :D 
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September 27, 2011 4:35:00 PM

swifty_morgan said:
Didn't you say you didn't have room for crossfire ? Guess I wasted my time on the suggestion above, huh ?


Initially I didn't but I've reconsidered and I'll be able to clear up some room. Sorry bout that.
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a b U Graphics card
a b K Overclocking
September 29, 2011 3:57:40 AM

Chainzsaw said:
Alright did some digging for you...

First of component output is a dead end technology, it's of the old analog signal.

But apparently, I read somewhere that this worked:

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=104&...

This is a DVI to COmponent output dongle.

"This DVI->Component dongle will work. Even though monprice says otherwise, I have it working with my HD3650."

At the cost of 6 bucks, I dont think you could go wrong (even if it doesn't work).




just saw this in another thread in these forums. it may help
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