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Trying to find the Best GPU Solution for my build

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October 13, 2011 10:35:28 AM

So I am trying to find the Best GPU Solution that will fit into 1 of 2 equal but different builds.

I won't bore you guys with specifics but I am either going with a FX-8150 and an ASUS Crosshair V Formula,
or a i7-2600K/2700K with an ASUS Maximus IV Extreme-Z.

Both will support a Maximum of 2, X16 PCIE slots, so 2 Cards period. I am looking for a GPU solution that will run this years games at MAX Settings And AA like BF3 while being able to last a few years in terms of just being able to run future games. Something to note is that I am 100% NOT concerned with Power Consumption or Noise.

Every time I tried to Run the BF3 Beta (or Alpha for that matter) I could swear my 9800GTX was trying to scream at me. (Spoiler: It still ran on low)

One of the few solutions I have been looking at so far is a single 6990 with Swiftech's Epsilon Block (Did I mention the GPUs were going 2 be liquid cooled?) The 6990 scales a lot better than the GTX 590 and overclocking potential is much better mainly on liquid with a manual switch to get the GPUs back up to 6970 speeds. Also

Solution cost: $890
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.swiftech.com/epsilonhd-6990fullcovervgawater...

I know a few who call Dual-GPU cards a "Gaming-Sin" but I disagree. Scaling problems aside I want an upgrade route with my build to possibly add another card.


Another option is EVGA's GTX 580 Classified Hydro Copper. It is the 3GB, "Classified" version being $10 more than the regular 3GB Hydro. For a Single GPU it is a great card, even though 2 Single GPU cards beat a single Dual-GPU Card with or without overclocking I can only support 2 cards period; 4 GPUs are better than 2. Never the less a beastly little card with power to spare. Nvidia SLI will work without teh 1337 hacks on AMD3+ boards so no worry there.

Solution Cost: $730
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Just in case anyone wants to call me bias I am neither an AMD, Intel, Nvidia, ect fanboy
(I am a Halo Vet and a Plat Zerg though)

If you can prove me wrong here is Here is EVGA's 590 Hydro if anyone is interested. It is again a Dual-GPU card. I have found no benchmarks for overclocking on liquid but it is a pretty good card. Again I plan on upgrading and can only support 2 cards. Also the Block is pretty sexy but the 6990 just seems to have a lot more for the overclocker.

Solution Cost: $900

Any help is greatly appreciated. INB4LIQUIDCOOLINGPARTS, I am using top quality component so no worry if I can support a Full CPU-GPU loop.
October 13, 2011 11:23:43 AM

It looks like you have it under control to me man, go for it.
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October 13, 2011 11:53:46 AM

xeenrecoil said:
It looks like you have it under control to me man, go for it.


Question is which 1? Leaning towards the 6990 but like to get some input.
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a b U Graphics card
October 13, 2011 12:07:57 PM

Meh, I wouldn't waste my money on the 6990 or the 590. First off, go with the i-2600k CPU. It is just plain a lot better than the Bulldozer in terms of gaming. Hell a i-2500k is alot better but that's another topic.

Seriously though, I would go with two 6970's in SLI. For one, it will cost ALOT less and give you roughly the same performance, not to mention the fact that you can overclock them better than those dual GPU cards, which should give you higher performance overall. No need to get more than the 2GB of VRAM at this point unless you are gaming at over 1080p in multi monitors or you have a 30 inch screen in that 2500x1080 resolution.

The 6990 and 590 just aren't optimized very well, at least in my experiences, and no, 4 gpus are not always better than 2. Aside from the fact that you might actually need 2 PSU's for 4 gpu's, 4 is very very shitty optimized.. you will run into more problems than its worth for that "increase" in performance that you wouldn't even know was there.

Once again, I would get two 6970's in Xfire or two 580's if you can afford them. Since you are using water blocks, you can just buy two cheap 580's and use your water cooling.

just my 2 cents.
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October 13, 2011 12:21:01 PM

phishy714 said:
Meh, I wouldn't waste my money on the 6990 or the 590. First off, go with the i-2600k CPU. It is just plain a lot better than the Bulldozer in terms of gaming. Hell a i-2500k is alot better but that's another topic.

Seriously though, I would go with two 6970's in SLI. For one, it will cost ALOT less and give you roughly the same performance, not to mention the fact that you can overclock them better than those dual GPU cards, which should give you higher performance overall. No need to get more than the 2GB of VRAM at this point unless you are gaming at over 1080p in multi monitors or you have a 30 inch screen in that 2500x1080 resolution.

The 6990 and 590 just aren't optimized very well, at least in my experiences, and no, 4 gpus are not always better than 2. Aside from the fact that you might actually need 2 PSU's for 4 gpu's, 4 is very very shitty optimized.. you will run into more problems than its worth for that "increase" in performance that you wouldn't even know was there.

Once again, I would get two 6970's in Xfire or two 580's if you can afford them. Since you are using water blocks, you can just buy two cheap 580's and use your water cooling.

just my 2 cents.


Actually you can get the 6990 GPUs just as high as the 6970 cards. I have read a lot on the Dual-GPU issue and many problems with the 590 and 5970 do not effect the 6990, nor do most scaling problems. 2 6990s in CrossfireX will perform better with liquid/overclocking than 2 6970s in Crossfire or 2 580s in SLI.

I am getting a 1200W PSU that will power 2 6990s just fine. I am working with Real-Time Media creation and heavy gaming which will benefit from 4GB of VRAM. Overclocking potential is also a lot better the more you have, the 570 will run out of VRAM by the time it hits it's full OC potential even on air.

A lot of the 3rd party blocks are inferior, while the 580 Classified Hydro has a outstanding custom block and is clocked much higher than any reference card by default.

Reference:
Core Clock: 772MHz
Shader Clock: 1710MHz

580 Classified:
Core Clock: 855MHz
Shader Clock:1710MHz

In terms of CPUs Everyone is waiting on overclocking benchmark results for the FX-8150. If they are not any better then the 2600K or the upcoming 2700K is a much better Value Sand Bridge is the way 2 go.

Also with GOOD Full Cover Blocks 2 XFX 6970's would cost $1,040.
http://www.swiftech.com/KOMODO-HD6900.aspx
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October 13, 2011 1:10:41 PM

So what this is really coming down to is a single 4GB 6990 with swiftech's Epsilon Block vs a Single 3GB GTX 580 Classified.

6990 w/Epsilon Block $890 http://www.swiftech.com/images/products/detail/epsilonh...

Pros: 2 GPUs on single PCB, great overclocking performance comparable to and sometimes better than 2 6970's, CrossfireX with upgrade for a total of 4 GPUs, 8GB of VRAM to maximize Overclock Potential.

Cons: Possible Scaling problems, some Driver Problems, DIY Installing Water Block?


EVGA Classified 580 Hydro $730 http://www.evga.com/PRODUCTS/IMAGES/GALLERY/03G-P3-1593...

Pros: Single best GPU on the market, Great Overclocking with 3GB VRAM, no scaling problems, custom full cover block
Pre-installed, Great SLI Performance.

Cons: Only 2 cards period on Z68 or other chipset with limited PCI-E slots



I do really like the classified 580 but the 6990 Guarantees more raw-Power in the long run with some possible and foreseeable problems. I am and will running multiple screens but not likely beyond 1920x1080, at least 2 at that rez.
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Best solution

a b U Graphics card
October 13, 2011 5:29:36 PM

You just answered your question. Get the 6990.

Scaling/driver problems for the 6990, while present, are not as bad as everyone thinks and only affects a handfull of games.. and well.. they can only get better really. It shouldn't be difficult to install a water block, just be careful, much like everything else when playing around with a computer. Not to mention the fact that the single 6990 will be able to run 3 monitors while the 580 will only be able to run more than 2 in SLI.
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October 13, 2011 5:36:58 PM

phishy714 said:
You just answered your question. Get the 6990.

Scaling/driver problems for the 6990, while present, are not as bad as everyone thinks and only affects a handfull of games.. and well.. they can only get better really. It shouldn't be difficult to install a water block, just be careful, much like everything else when playing around with a computer. Not to mention the fact that the single 6990 will be able to run 3 monitors while the 580 will only be able to run more than 2 in SLI.


Good Point, I am getting Thermal Compound for the CPU anyway and Swiftech has good instructions so no worry's about installing myself.
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October 13, 2011 5:37:17 PM

Best answer selected by SecretCobraz.
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a b U Graphics card
October 14, 2011 2:06:08 PM

Have fun with it. Definately a beat of a card, so it will give you lots and lots of milage!
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