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Altermatives to installing two 6990's?

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October 1, 2011 7:32:51 AM

For $1400 there has to be a better alternative! I want to set up a high end eyefinity rig using 3 monitors at 27" or 30". (Haven't decided yet which monitors). I would just like to know if there is a better alternative for the money. What would be second best?
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October 1, 2011 7:47:21 AM

You could go with the 3G version of the GTX580 and SLI.
A GTX580 is far more powerful than a 6970 and the 3G version add's another 1G of VRAM compared to the 6970 which will give you increased performance at such high resolutions as Nvidia Surround and Eyefinity.

MSI GTX580 Lightening 3G

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

You would need a very powerful CPU for a 6990 crossfire so you don't bottleneck.You way overpay for performance in that way.
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October 1, 2011 7:55:33 AM

johnstac said:
For $1400 there has to be a better alternative! I want to set up a high end eyefinity rig using 3 monitors at 27" or 30". (Haven't decided yet which monitors). I would just like to know if there is a better alternative for the money. What would be second best?


Too may problems with CF. I'm about to give up on it. I want to just tell you to get 3x 6970's, but I can't honestly say that you will be happy with it.

I also can't comment on the 3GB GTX 580 SLI suggestion, since i never owned any. But I did have a GTX 570 SLI set up, and it was much less problematic then the CF set up I have now. FPS rates were a little lower but the games seemed a lot smoother.

I decided to go the AMD route because I thought that 4GB of RAM would yield better performance across 3 monitors then 2.5GB offered by 2x GTX 570's. I was wrong.
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October 1, 2011 8:09:03 AM

you will also overpay for performance with 2 580's,A 6990 wins about 7 outta 12 benchmarks.Crossfire works great,never an issue,3870's,4870's,5850's and now 5870's.
I find that most issues are user issues.
I was running 3 1920X1200 monitors in eyefinity with the 5870's,BFBC2 full settings and it ran flawlessly.with a 1090T only at 3.8G.
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October 1, 2011 8:59:57 AM

Earnie said:
I find that most issues are user issues.


Some, not most. Modern computer parts go through zero QC, unless you are paying for the very top tier parts, like this one here: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168.... People get defective parts all the time and sometimes don't even realize it. There shouldn't be any user issues because everything is plug and play now.

When I first got my new GPU's, I forgot to plug in the 6pin power cables into one of my HD 6950's, it started emitting a terrible noise when powered on to get my attention. It's pretty much idiot proof.

My brother bought a HIS HD 5670 last fall. When connecting 2 monitors to the card, the screens would flicker randomly or when loading a video on youtube or hulu. Tech support tried to tell him that it's his computer and he needs to re install. Fortunately, he was smart enough to ignore the guy, RMA through newegg before the return period expired, and the problem disappeared. Didn't even need to reinstall the drivers.

So, I'm following suit. Just got an RMA# for one of my MSI HD 6950's which I believe is causing the issues. This thing gets louder then my blow dryer when running non demanding games while the other stays quiet.
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October 1, 2011 10:32:53 AM

A GTX580 SLI beats a 6970 crossfire by a lot in every benchmark.I don't see how a 6990 would be faster than a GTX580 SLI.Yes it's more expensive to go with a GTX580 SLI over a 6990 but your paying for better performance and really good aftermarket cooling.I believe one of the biggest problems with the 6990 is how extremely loud it is and how poor it is at cooling.
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October 1, 2011 5:20:42 PM

what i meant by user issues soloman was not the hardwar,but the setting up of it.Drivers,how they are installed etc..


Sry purple,but a 580 does not beat the 6990 in all benchmarks,it wasnt about a 6990 against a sli 580,but 1 580.as quoted by you "A GTX580 is far more powerful than a 6970 "(which i believe you meant 6990)
Either way ,a 580 sli or a 6990 crossfire will probably be bottlenecked in some way by any cpu.
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October 1, 2011 6:21:24 PM

Earnie said:
sry purple,but a 580 does not beat the 6990 in all benchmarks,it wasnt about a 6990 against a sli 580,but 1 580.as quoted by you "A GTX580 is far more powerful than a 6970 "(which i believe you meant 6990).

i don't understand you.... anyway 6990>580>570 //////////
580>6970 and equal to a 5970
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October 1, 2011 6:23:30 PM

No I meant a single a 6970.A single GTX580 is more pwoerful than a single 6970.Since a 6990 is basicly x2 6970's on one card then it would be the same comparing a 6970 crossfire to a GTX580 SLI.A GTX580 SLI is more powerful than a single 6990.

A GTX580 SLI or a 6990 won't get bottlenecked as much as you'd think(of course anyone spending this much money on a GPU will have a powerful CPU to go with it).It's when you add the 3rd or 4th(6990 crossfire) card that it will start to get heavy for the CPU.That's where you need a fast CPU like a 2500k or 2600k.
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October 1, 2011 6:24:00 PM

@ OP what is your full system specs ?
without a 3-way SLI/CF you won't enjoy gaming with 3 monitors.
before anybody judge, all look at this, Metro 2033/ 43 min FPS with 4way 580
http://forums.guru3d.com/showthread.php?t=331025
4-way 580, I7 990X @ 5 GHz...

EDIT : i agree with earnie, HD 6990 CF would be bottlenecked by a CPU unless it's as powerful as the 970X/980X/990X
and 4-way 580/590 SLI needs at least a 12 Core AMD opteron or a Dual Xeon to handle it
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October 1, 2011 7:39:22 PM

purple stank said:
A GTX580 SLI beats a 6970 crossfire by a lot in every benchmark.I don't see how a 6990 would be faster than a GTX580 SLI.Yes it's more expensive to go with a GTX580 SLI over a 6990 but your paying for better performance and really good aftermarket cooling.I believe one of the biggest problems with the 6990 is how extremely loud it is and how poor it is at cooling.


GTX 580 SLI it is more expensive then a 6990, but only by about $130 or so.

the cheapest HD 6990 can be had for $710: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
with every 6990, you get free blow dryer sound effects that flips on every time the cards is pushed. nvidia used to be notorious for this. my old GTX 470's were the reason I went out and spent $180 on gaming headphones, i couldn't take the noise. when HD 6000 and GTX 500 came out, they seemed to have switched roles.

a pair of GTX 580 come out to $840 after rebates: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
if you want reference 580's, you can take this http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite... or this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

plus 2 free copies of batman, that can be resold for about $20 each.

In all honesty, I see absolutely zero reason to buy a 6990.
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October 1, 2011 7:41:02 PM

My whole reason for going with the GTX580 was because they make 3GB models.And yes it is faster but where it counts most is the amount of VRAM.Yes a 6990 is cheaper but the main problem with them is how hot and loud they can get since their are no aftermarket versions.
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October 1, 2011 7:54:05 PM

purple stank said:
My whole reason for going with the GTX580 was because they make 3GB models.And yes it is faster but where it counts most is the amount of VRAM.Yes a 6990 is cheaper but the main problem with them is how hot and loud they can get since their are no aftermarket versions.


I went for HD 6970 in CF in place of gtx 570's i had a little while back just for the increased amount of VRAM. FPS rates went up but the games look like crap. Crysis 2 was much more smooth with the nvidia cards.
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October 1, 2011 7:57:35 PM

any game advertised as "nVidia the way it's meant to be played" runs great on nVidia cards.
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October 1, 2011 8:00:18 PM

ilysaml said:
any game advertised as "nVidia the way it's meant to be played" runs great on nVidia cards.


thats pretty much all of the games that i play. BF2, BF3, Crysis. I was thinking about getting Metro 2033, but people say it isn't worth it.

I do play black ops, zombie mode, but only on the PS3. the reason for that is because all my friends play it on the PS3.
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October 1, 2011 8:02:19 PM

Metro 2033 has the nVidia same thing too.. LOL
DEUs EX HR is the first game to be "AMD Gaming Evolved" and runs better on AMD GPUs better than nVidia's specially with 3D enabled...
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October 1, 2011 8:09:02 PM

ilysaml said:
Metro 2033 has the nVidia same thing too.. LOL
DEUs EX HR is the first game to be "AMD Gaming Evolved" and runs better on AMD GPUs better than nVidia's specially with 3D enabled...


I got a PS3 copy of that game for free, no sense buying it again. i started playing it, but don't like it. the trailers were very impressive though.
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October 1, 2011 8:10:51 PM

ilysaml said:
@ OP what is your full system specs ?
without a 3-way SLI/CF you won't enjoy gaming with 3 monitors.
before anybody judge, all look at this, Metro 2033/ 43 min FPS with 4way 580
http://forums.guru3d.com/showthread.php?t=331025
4-way 580, I7 990X @ 5 GHz...

EDIT : i agree with earnie, HD 6990 CF would be bottlenecked by a CPU unless it's as powerful as the 970X/980X/990X
and 4-way 580/590 SLI needs at least a 12 Core AMD opteron or a Dual Xeon to handle it



Maybe it would help to share what I'm using now. Perhaps I can use something I already have:

Gigabyte P67A http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Seasonic 850 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MSI N570GTX http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Intel i7 2600 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



Hopefully that helps. Not sure if I have room for another identical card without removing something else. I think I have a sound card in there right now. Not sure. I would have to look at it again. Either way, I'm thinking that I will need room for two cards in order to drive 3 monitors efficiently.

Edit: Also want to add that my rig is super silent and I built it with that in mind. Fractal Design Define XL, Thermalright Archon heatsink, Intel SSD HD. It is absoultely silent and I would like to keep it that way.
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October 1, 2011 8:11:07 PM

solomonshv said:
I got a PS3 copy of that game for free, no sense buying it again. i started playing it, but don't like it. the trailers were very impressive though.

strange, it's the most i loved..... anyway i'm telling you that both AMD and nVidia GPUs depend on the game...
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October 1, 2011 8:14:41 PM

ilysaml said:
strange, it's the most i loved..... anyway i'm telling you that both AMD and nVidia GPUs depend on the game...


oh, i know that. but that's all game developer and hardware manufacturer politics. i'm not interested in who bribes who. i just want my games to work. don't care who's logo is on it.
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October 1, 2011 8:22:50 PM

So with two GTX580's, could I make it do the same thing that eyefinity does? Is Eyefinity the gold standard for stretching the screen over 3 monitors? Does Intel have something just as capable?
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October 1, 2011 8:23:21 PM

johnstac said:
Hopefully that helps. Not sure if I have room for another identical card without removing something else. I think I have a sound card in there right now. Not sure. I would have to look at it again. Either way, I'm thinking that I will need room for two cards in order to drive 3 monitors efficiently.

CPU seems to be fine to handle HD 6990s in CF, this is a review shows HD 6990s in CF, simply beats 580s SLI
http://www.guru3d.com/article/his-radeon-hd-6990-crossf...

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October 1, 2011 8:24:25 PM

If you want it to stay silent then the 6990 is definitly not the card you want unless you go with a water cooling solution.Since you already have one of the best version of GTX 570 ever made I would suggest getting another and O.C.ing.
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October 1, 2011 8:25:26 PM

johnstac said:
So with two GTX580's, could I make it do the same thing that eyefinity does? Is Eyefinity the gold standard for stretching the screen over 3 monitors? Does Intel have something just as capable?

a single HD 6990 can drive up to 6 monitors called Eyefinity, nivida can drive up to 3 monitors with SLI called 3D surround
Intel has nothing to do with both technologies
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October 1, 2011 8:27:55 PM

purple stank said:
If you want it to stay silent then the 6990 is definitly not the card you want unless you go with a water cooling solution.Since you already have one of the best version of GTX 570 ever made I would suggest getting another and O.C.ing.

and would be 2 GTX 570s in SLI capable of providing a great gaming experience at 5760× resolution with 1.5 GB of VRAM?
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October 1, 2011 8:28:06 PM

solomonshv said:
Too may problems with CF. I'm about to give up on it. I want to just tell you to get 3x 6970's, but I can't honestly say that you will be happy with it.

I also can't comment on the 3GB GTX 580 SLI suggestion, since i never owned any. But I did have a GTX 570 SLI set up, and it was much less problematic then the CF set up I have now. FPS rates were a little lower but the games seemed a lot smoother.

I decided to go the AMD route because I thought that 4GB of RAM would yield better performance across 3 monitors then 2.5GB offered by 2x GTX 570's. I was wrong.



And this is exactly what I was looking to find out. I have one GTX570 now so in order to use the Eyefinity setup, I would also have to sell this GTX 570 which to date has been problem free. In terms of performance will I notice any between two GTX 570 over two GTX 580? Is it substantial enough for me to ebay my existing 570 to buy the 580's?
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October 1, 2011 9:12:38 PM

I guess my question above is what it comes down to or better yet, the last question that ilysami asked which is whether 2 GTX 570's are capable of driving 5760 resolution.

If they can't do it adequately, I guess it comes down to whether I will spend $1000 for two GTX 580's or $1400 for two 6990's. I guess I was just disillusioned because I thought that one 6990 would drive the 3 monitors or so I was told. There is a difference though between whether they will operate or whether they will operate smoothly.
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October 1, 2011 9:13:28 PM

I was just saying you since you already own it and it's a really good card as is you might as well get another instead of going through the hastle of re selling it.The GTX570 is more compareable to a 6970.The GTX580 surpass all of them but the problem is if your already getting 60fps your not going to notice a difference or why need more.
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October 1, 2011 9:20:30 PM

purple stank said:
I was just saying you since you already own it and it's a really good card as is you might as well get another instead of going through the hastle of re selling it.The GTX570 is more compareable to a 6970.The GTX580 surpass all of them but the problem is if your already getting 60fps your not going to notice a difference or why need more.

oh you seem you don't get it, he is not gaming @ 1080P he will do Eyefinity (3 monitors on 5760x resolution) which will need at least 2GB available of VRAM to cope up with that resolution, and in order not to experience a lag of FPS he will need the most powerful GPUs such as GTX 590, HD 6990
check the link i provided above, a guy with 4-way 580 gets 43 fps when playing metro 2033 which isn't reasonable with 4-way SLI
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October 1, 2011 9:35:36 PM

heres a 1st hand account,I used 3 24" samsungs at 5760X1200 with 2 5870's in crossfire,played flawless on all high settings DX11 BFBC2,also all high settings AVP,COD,Grid,fear3.Avg over 60 fps easily.
IMHO,going sli or crossfire with 2-580's or 2-6990's is more of a waste of money,If you already have a Good card,then just sli it and you will be fine.

another idea i was just reading is HD6990 + HD6970 Tri-Fire

I'm to lazy to double check,buy what are your complete system specs?
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October 1, 2011 9:55:11 PM

Earnie said:
heres a 1st hand account,I used 3 24" samsungs at 5760X1200 with 2 5870's in crossfire,played flawless on all high settings DX11 BFBC2,also all high settings AVP,COD,Grid,fear3.Avg over 60 fps easily.
IMHO,going sli or crossfire with 2-580's or 2-6990's is more of a waste of money,If you already have a Good card,then just sli it and you will be fine.

another idea i was just reading is HD6990 + HD6970 Tri-Fire

I'm to lazy to double check,buy what are your complete system specs?

All the games you mentioned not demanding games such as Crysis 2, Metro 2033, DXHR, BF3, the upcoming rage, Metro 2034.... no way HD 6970s CF /570s SLI
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October 1, 2011 9:57:35 PM

Even a GTX570 SLI can power a Eyefinity setup.It's just reccomend that you use above 2GB.

http://www.hardwareheaven.com/reviews/1084/pg17/xfx-rad...

Look on the next page also for muli setups.Also the BFBC2 benchmarks are almost exactly what your going to see doing this with BF3,expect that it will tax it more.
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October 1, 2011 10:04:48 PM

Earnie said:
ilysami your on crack!


heres a vid I was just watching,not sure of the game,dont own it.:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THytIxiIOSg

don't give me videos to watch, give me benchmarks and proven numbers to read. i know that any GPU from AMD 6K series that is eyefinity capable, or any SLI from nVidia can run any game on earth with 3 monitors.
but the question is how smooth and fast will the game run like ? how many fps will he get ?
if you wanna be a real Geek, show me how GTX 570s SLI in 2D surround will perform with Crysis 2 or metro 2033 ? Just Cause 2 is like (huh)?
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October 1, 2011 10:07:47 PM

ilysaml said:
don't give me videos to watch, give me benchmarks and proven numbers to read. i know that any GPU from AMD 6K series that is eyefinity capable, or any SLI from nVidia can run any game on earth with 3 monitors.
but the question is how smooth and fast will the game run like ? how many fps will he get ?
if you wanna be a real Geek, show me how GTX 570s SLI in 2D surround will perform with Crysis 2 or metro 2033 ? Just Cause 2 is like (huh)?



Ahh,your one of them,benchmarks mean crap,there just numbers,The vid wasnt posted for you,and if you actually read,i said i didnt know abvout the game,it was an example while googling 5760x1080 setups.

Try googling 5760X1080 and you will see many configs and what to expect from ACTUAL gameplay,not Numbers.
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October 1, 2011 10:17:47 PM

Numbers are a way to base your own playstyle.Some people don't mind playing in the 30's others like it to be in the 60's.
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October 1, 2011 10:25:24 PM

30 FPS is still playable in any game, but 60 FPS better for the eyecandy and the more FPS the more smooth and fast actions you feel and experience in front of you eyes
http://www.boallen.com/fps-compare.html
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October 1, 2011 10:30:40 PM

agreed,its a good way of seeing if your upgrades are doing anything,but numbers can be fudged with settings,my point of the vid was to show actual gameplay,was watching some with metro2033,crysis..etc....on certain hardware and settings in a real world setting.
Peace out
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October 1, 2011 10:41:40 PM

@ OP, a single HD 6K series from AMD that's eyefinity capable will run any game on 3 monitors, how smooth and fast is the game depends on how much powerful is your GPU and how many FPS you get.
580s SLI will require 1000W PSU, 6990s CF will require 1200W PSU (you'll add 300 bucks above your budget then)
6990s will give you the maximum performance while doing the eyefinity and will be some kind future proof for the upcoming games.

IMO, delay the eyefinity thing and enjoy gaming at 1080P with the single GTX 570 until the new AMD 7K series come out, 28nm is less power consumption & less heat and those GPUS are the new XDR2 technology which is twice faster than GDDR5, a single HD 7950 is said to be better than HD 6990 as some sites claimed
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October 1, 2011 10:41:56 PM

ilysaml said:
30 FPS is still playable in any game, but 60 FPS better for the eyecandy and the more FPS the more smooth and fast actions you feel and experience in front of you eyes
http://www.boallen.com/fps-compare.html


I personally get sick playing games with FPS in the 30's. At least 1st person and over the shoulder type games. 40+ is a requirement for myself.
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October 1, 2011 10:46:08 PM

bystander said:
I personally get sick playing games with FPS in the 30's. At least 1st person and over the shoulder type games. 40+ is a requirement for myself.

that's what i'm pointing at, but you can't deny that a lot of people can't differentiate between 30 FPS and more in gaming, but i noticed it with Crysis 2
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October 3, 2011 10:40:48 PM

I only recently discovered that if I use the ASRock Z68 board, I would not have room for a sound card if I go with 3 GPU's so I'm still needing two cards. If I am limited to two cards, would the 6990 still be the best way to go?
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October 3, 2011 11:16:34 PM

The problem with x2 6990's is that almost any processor will bottleneck it.
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October 3, 2011 11:16:56 PM

ilysaml said:
Metro 2033 has the nVidia same thing too.. LOL
DEUs EX HR is the first game to be "AMD Gaming Evolved" and runs better on AMD GPUs better than nVidia's specially with 3D enabled...


What about Dirt 2 and Alien Vs Predator? They were developed on ATI/AMD hardware IIRC.
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October 3, 2011 11:46:12 PM

Mousemonkey said:
What about Dirt 2 and Alien Vs Predator? They were developed on ATI/AMD hardware IIRC.

yes, According to benchmarks AMD GPUs wins over nVidia on those games too
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October 3, 2011 11:56:34 PM

ilysaml said:
yes, According to benchmarks AMD GPUs wins over nVidia on those games too

Yes, maybe so but are they not also "AMD Gaming Evolved" titles? And if so then your previous statement would be incorrect.
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October 4, 2011 12:03:43 AM

well, technically Deus Ex Human Revolution is the first games in series to have the "AMD Gaming Evolved Logo" so technically i was correct.
but i won't lie and say that i meant it... as i didn't get the chance to play those 2
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October 4, 2011 12:30:42 AM

I think Warhammer the RTS games are as well.Which have been out for like 2 or more years.
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October 4, 2011 12:43:27 AM

Mousemonkey said:
Yes, maybe so but are they not also "AMD Gaming Evolved" titles? And if so then your previous statement would be incorrect.

and i just saw the intro of both on youtube, no "AMD Gaming Evolved" Logo is included
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October 4, 2011 3:51:41 AM

ilysaml said:
@ OP what is your full system specs ?
without a 3-way SLI/CF you won't enjoy gaming with 3 monitors.
before anybody judge, all look at this, Metro 2033/ 43 min FPS with 4way 580
http://forums.guru3d.com/showthread.php?t=331025
4-way 580, I7 990X @ 5 GHz...

EDIT : i agree with earnie, HD 6990 CF would be bottlenecked by a CPU unless it's as powerful as the 970X/980X/990X
and 4-way 580/590 SLI needs at least a 12 Core AMD opteron or a Dual Xeon to handle it


I need clarification here. In what circumstance are you indicating that a high end CPU is necessary? I have another thread going on right now as well asking this very question. Now I will only be using two 6990's but does that require any additional CPU? I was planning on using a -7-2600 or even and i5-2500 if I can get away with it. At the same time I don't want to spend all this money on the two video cards and then find out that my CPU is bottlenecking.
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