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BF3 - new gpu today - HELP!

current specs:
intel i7 940 @ 2.93 ghz
ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard
12 gigs of corsair dominator ram
hds: 2 x WD velociraptor 150gb in raid 0
GPU: gtx 295
powersupply: corsair 1kw modular (bluebox)
windows 7 64bit
gaming resolution : 1920 x 1080

i need to upgrade my gpu and have the day off so i was gonna stroll up to frys and get some new parts. need help though.

1.) what is better 1 nvidia 580 or 2X radeon 6970s?

2.) i assume the 6970's but are they going to be that much better than 1 580? is it gonna be worth the cash, to me if im getting a decent amount more FPS than its worth it, but if the increase is minimal or un-noticeable id rather get 1 580 and a new SSD.

3.) i have never run SLI/CF before. do i need to do anything special other than plugging them both in and connecting them together?

4.) any other advice you can give? i think when i bought my mobo it came with the connection peice for both gpus but im not sure if i still have it... is that something that would come with 2 new gpus if i went that route?

thanks in advance. ill be monitoring this thread all morning and will reply with any additional questions quickly, i am wanting to leave in the next couple hours.

36 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about today help
  1. You're running a gtx295 right now, does your motherboard support Crossfire? I doubt it. My suggestion is to get TWO GTX560Titaniums(Not the regular version) Only $240 a piece or so, and spank a single 580 for the same price

    There ya go
  2. yes my mobo supports sli/crossfire

    (SLI and CrosFireX on Demand)
  3. Yes, it does support crossfire, and also yes, two HD 6970's will annihilation a single GTX 580.

    Source :
  4. Actually I dont think your motherboard supports Crossfire (AMD's version of dual cards) cause its an older motherboard.

    This means that Xfire any AMD cards is out of the picture. Like wakanabi said, either get two 560ti's in SLI to smoke a single gtx580, or you can opt for two 570's (the equivalent of 6970's) in SLI to completely blow the 580 away. Your PSU will be fine for either thing you decide.

    As for the SLI bridge, no, most cards don't come with the bridges, but some do, so make sure you take a look at the box to see if it does come with it. If it doesn't I am sure Fry's will have them to sell seperately without much issue. And yes, you DO NEED THE BRIDGE lol.

    You will need to download special drivers from Nvidia for the sli feature to be enabled.. other than that just watch out for heat. Your PCI-e slots in that mobo are spread out far enough that there will be a space between the two cards, which is great, but you still need good ventilation in your case to be able to keep the cards cool.

    Otherwise, enjoy!


    Oh, nevermind I didn't know it did take xfire.

    In that case go for 2 AMD cards, either the 6970's or the 6950's (which replace the 570 and the 560ti respectively). The reason for this is because AMD cards scale much better than nvidia cards when using more than one. This means that xfire 6970's will perform better than sli 570's. And yes, these in xfire will obliterate a single gtx 580.
  5. You might be better getting a Single GTX 580 as you will then be able to upgrade to two in the future when you are ready.
  6. Best answer
    1- 2 HD 6970s/50s in CF is better than a single GTX 580 and better than 2 570s in SLI (generally AMD HD 6K series scales better than nVidia's)
    2- HD 6970s in CF perfroms better than a single HD 6990 or GTX 590 in some cases.
    3- No, just ensure you provide a proper cooling for the case, and the Crossfire bridge comes with most AMD HD 6K worries.

    4- you don't have to go with a 6970s in CF as a single one will do the job, and you better wait for the AMD 7K series as the new XDR2 rambus memory is said to be twice faster than GDDR5 besides the 1GHz GPU frequency, 28nm process = less power & less heat... a signle high end GPU such as HD 7950 is going to perform close to if not better than HD 6990....
  7. True dat. 7k series is gonna blow nvidia outta the water, same as the new AMD 'Bulldozer' Processors will, and better price.
    Yeah if you can do crossfire get 6950s, only $230 a piece($200 after rebate), can't go wrong with that
  8. wakanabi said:
    same as the new AMD 'Bulldozer' Processors will, and better price.

    Source please? lol

    I am a huge fan of AMD, i really am. But coupled with the fact that these cpu's have been in development for 3 years and we still barely know anything about them.. not to mention the fact that they said they would be competing with last gen intel cpu (i7-960 or whatever).. yeah I am not optimistic. Hell, Intel's next CPU's, the i7-3800 or whatever, we arleady have some preliminary benchmarks and previews for.. This whole time, bulldozer we only know rumors of. Doesn't seem like the company is too confident about these cpu's. Also, hd 7000 will be pci-e 3.0 cards... yet bulldozer most likely will not be a pci-e 3.0 cpu like the upcoming Ivy Bridge. Yeah, AMD just lost all of its enthusiast crowd to Intel for that reason alone..

    Once again, I love AMD to death.. I just can't see them pulling something out of thin air that will match/beat intel at this point. And lets say that they do manage to match and even beat intel cpu's. Congrats, you guys just beat a cpu thats a year old.. you will be beaten again in 6 months with IB, yet you probably don't have very much at all in the works to compete with that.

    In all honesty, I HOPE that AMD comes out and beats intel, if anything to keep prices low, because if they don't, Intel prices will skyrocket and we will all be screwed
  9. Go for an AMD card for bf3, nvidia cards are having problems

    6970 will easily max the beta by itself on 1200p

    And yes 2x 6970 almost give double the performance of one 580
  10. what about this card? how would this compare to 2 6970's in crossfire?
  11. oh.... you still not convinced at all.....
    even if it's 20 GB, the HD 6970s will beat it, the GPU Clock, stream processors, transistors are the most determinate factors of a GPU strength, not the VRAM.

    you better look at benchmarks instead of asking the same question over and over and being doubtful
  12. ilysaml, no disrespect intended. this model was not one i listed so i wanted to make sure that this was in the loop before i made a decision that costs me several hundred dollars. i appreciate ALL of the opinions and responses in this thread. im leaning towards 2x 6970's at this point.
  13. i don't mean a disrespect at all... and sorry if i showed that.
    what i'm clearing out is that a GTX 580 is the same GPU in all the versions, the more VRAM won't change anything.

    and Again, a pair of HD 6950s in Crossfire will beat the single GTX 580
  14. if you're going Eyefinity, then you're best option will be the one you linked above and in SLI cause you'll be dealing with a high resolution 5760×1080 ...
  15. 0ozee said:
    Go for an AMD card for bf3, nvidia cards are having problems

    6970 will easily max the beta by itself on 1200p

    And yes 2x 6970 almost give double the performance of one 580

    What problems are nvidia cards having? The early beta benchmarks show nvidia cards having higher fps.
  16. I've been playing at 1920x1200 on a 6950 2gig card without a hiccup. Your hardware is better than mine sans card. The 560sli thing. the numbers may be higher but the actual performance will be lacking. If you have money...... 6950/6970 2gig.... or a single 580. may as well use the horsepower you have.
  17. ok guys, pretty much sold on 2 6970's, didnt pull the trigger yet as its been a busy couple of days. last question. for about $330 (after rebate w/ lifetime warranty) i can get the standard 2 gb card with the 880mhx clock from xfx - for about $30 more i can the 900 mhx clock from gigabyte (no lifetime warranty.) does it really matter to get a little bit more core clock when im gonna crossfire them anyway? is it gonna pay off for the extra $60 total?

    thanks again, also XFX, good brand? ive been nvidia (bfg,evga) for the last 10 years.
  18. XFX, Sapphire, Gigabyte, MSI are all good brands, and btw Sapphire is the best partner for AMD and i have been using their products since the X1900.....

    i would get the gigabyte for the better cooling solution, also check reviews on it before you buy... No worry about warranty, if the card will run for 3 years without problems, it will last more than that and in this gaming era, HD 6970 might become useless after 3 years
  19. so gigabyte just for the cooling? extra clock doesnt really matter? so if i am looking at all of the 6970's on newegg how do i determine which is gonna be the best for cooling? btw, im running an antec 1300 and added an additional 90mm on the side blowing in so i shoudl have plenty of cooling regardless.
  20. you can overclock the extra 20-MHz with any standard GPU with eyes closed....
    all reference designed cards run hotter and noisy than non-ref designed cards.
    non-ref designed cards give a better cooling solution, more headroom for overclocking, i never go above 82 in full GPU load.
    * i looked at newegg before i post above, the Asus is good also but will take 3 slots for a single GPU (and it's really a big problem)
    * the MSI Twin Frozer sounds better than MSI lightening, so i choose gigabyte for myself....
  21. Indeed, and i suggest you read the feedback from users and check reviews on the web.
  22. i am right now, seems like a good card, thanks for the help. ill probably order these up next week. now to try and find a good ssd... any suggestiosn? :D
  23. Best answer selected by hatebreeder.
  24. hatebreeder said:
    i am right now, seems like a good card, thanks for the help. ill probably order these up next week. now to try and find a good ssd... any suggestiosn? :D

    what's your price range ?
  25. well, i want a 120 gb, dont want to spend more than like $250 $300 on it. i dont want to buy a peice of crap, and the more i read on em the more horror stories i read.
  26. Corsair Force GT SATA III 120GB
    OCZ Vertex 3 SATA III 120 GB MAX IOPS

    i don't have an experience with SSDs and i have been planing for 3 months which one i go with, those 2 particularly are the bests among SSDs, check reviews for each and do some research, and compare between Corsair Force 3 and Force GT...

    this website will give you benchmarks for SSDs, and do a little search on it you'll find everything you wanna know about SSDs
  27. thanks for your help. that corsair one is the one ive been looking at for a while.
  28. cool then, enjoy gaming without disturbance :)
  29. sorry to keep posting, i keep looking aroudn at benchmarks, one thing i saw that shocked me:,847209/Battlefield-3-Beta-18-Radeon-and-Geforce-cards-SLI-und-Crossfire-benchmarked/Practice/

    the bottom benchmark shows 2 570's outpreforming 2 6970's by a good margin. i was under impression that 6970's were superior to the 570's.

  30. chech this link by toms, explains how AMD, nVidia CF/SLI scales in 3-way and 2-way CF/SLI,2865.html
    the GTX 570s are compared with HD 6950s in both 2-way and 3-way and even though, the HD 6950 wins in most of all benchmarks? so how will you compare HD 6970s with GTX 570s ?

    the Beta of BF3 is not the determinant factor, and it\s more dependent on the game.
    AMD has published beta drivers 2 days ago and claims it boosts the performance of the GPUs 3 times faster than normal drivers for the BF3.

    you'll find the GTX 570s better than HD 6970s in some games and VICE VERSA
    i was talking some minutes ago in other thread that Cysis 2, Metro 2033 runs better in nVidia cards because it has the logo "nVidia the way it's meant to be played"
    and the first "AMD Gaming Evolved" Deus Ex human revolution runs better on AMD cards.
  31. that is a great read. for sure going with the 6970's. thanks again!
  32. hehe don't worry, i'll not escape because i got the BA :D, and always glad to discuss and argue :)
  33. one last final question, more of for my friend than me but it got me curious...

    he was looking at the cards i planned on buying ( the 2 6970's in crossfire) and was curious if 1 590 would be better than 2 6970s. he has almost an exact replica of my system specs except i think he is running an antec 900 vs the full size tower.
  34. read Tom's review about the HD 6990, GTX 590 and you'll find out that they recommend a pair of HD 6950s/70s over the HD 6990 and recommend a pair of GTX 570s over the GTX 590.
    2 HD 6970s perform better or close to the HD 6990, depending n the game.
    you can google HD 6970d CF VS HD 6990/GTX 590 (both are the same)
  35. This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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