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The best performance solution for 2560x1600?

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October 19, 2011 6:56:02 PM

Hello,

I was just wondering what your opinion is about this. What is the best solution for playing the most demanding current and future games on a 30" screen? Here are the approximate prices from Newegg.com:

3x 6970 2GB (6GB): 3x$360 = $1080
2x 6990 4GB (8GB): 2x$700 = $1400
3x 580 GTX 1.5GB (4.5GB): 3x$470 = $1410
3x 580 GTX 3GB (9GB): 3x$550 = $1650
2x 590 GTX 3GB (6GB): 2x$750 = $1500

Out of these options, which one do you think is the best? Do you think the 4.5GB solution will run out of RAM relative to other ones?

This is not just a theoretical question, that's why I'm including the prices. Of course, I'm not going to buy it now since new cards are going to be released soon, but since the dual-GPU cards will probably be released in Q1 2012, I think that it's reasonable that the performance trend will be similar to what it is right now.

The reason why I'm asking this now is because due to scarce supply, I think that pre-ordering or buying the dual-GPU cards as early as possible will be the only way to get them. Therefore it would be good to know if they're a better option compared to triple-GPU setups before they come out, assuming that the current trend holds.

Thanks!
a c 143 U Graphics card
October 19, 2011 7:16:24 PM

What's your full system specs ?
And the high end AMD HD 79xx GPUs are XDR2 rambus memory which is twice faster than GDDR5, a single HD 7950 could perform better than HD 6990.
October 19, 2011 7:26:57 PM

ilysaml said:
What's your full system specs ?
And the high end AMD HD 79xx GPUs are XDR2 rambus memory which is twice faster than GDDR5, a single HD 7950 could perform better than HD 6990.

It's for a future computer, it will be top of the line. Probably something like i7-3930K (non-stock air cooler, overclocked) and EVGA X79 E779 Classified.

So what do you think will be better if they follow the same performance trend as the current cards, 3x7970 or 2x7990? This is the question I'm asking here.
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a c 143 U Graphics card
October 19, 2011 7:58:45 PM

We can't make a prediction, we better wait and see till the Upcoming series is out, and the new SB-E CPUs as well and see how they will perform together.
a c 171 U Graphics card
October 19, 2011 8:48:14 PM

i would be going with a 2gb+ card. and just FYI, when you SLI/crossfire cards, the amount of ram doesnt get added together, each card contains a mirror of another cards ram, so the useable ram is the amount of a single card. A single 6970 or gtx580 will do the job. I would suggest going with a single card first and adding a second card later when prices drop. i wouldnt worry about 3 cards unless your running 3 of those monitors.
October 19, 2011 9:05:19 PM

I was under the impression that when you CrossFired or SLIed cards that the memory wasn't doubled as well. For example two 6970s in CrossFire gives you 2 GBs not 4 GBs of RAM. And for the most part, GPU RAM is a gimmick anyway. The 6990 had 4 GB and the 590 3 GB but you didn't see the 6990 blowing the 590 out of the water because it had an extra 1 GB did you? No you didn't. The 580 1.5 and 3 GB versions would be a close tie. Look up some benchmarks. If I had to bet, I would say the 3 580s in SLI though. The 580 is the fastest single GPU graphics card on the planet. Oh and remember that DirectX doesn't take advantage of more than 4 GPUs.
a c 143 U Graphics card
October 19, 2011 9:11:13 PM

11796pcs said:
I was under the impression that when you CrossFired or SLIed cards that the memory wasn't doubled as well. For example two 6970s in CrossFire gives you 2 GBs not 4 GBs of RAM. And for the most part, GPU RAM is a gimmick anyway. The 6990 had 4 GB and the 590 3 GB but you didn't see the 6990 blowing the 590 out of the water because it had an extra 1 GB did you? No you didn't. The 580 1.5 and 3 GB versions would be a close tie. Look up some benchmarks. If I had to bet, I would say the 3 580s in SLI though. The 580 is the fastest single GPU graphics card on the planet. Oh and remember that DirectX doesn't take advantage of more than 4 GPUs.

So you've just got yourself fooled by the 4 GB and 3 GB of the HD 6990 / GTX 590...they are a dual GPUs in one PCB each has a 2 GB of Vram and both runs in a CF mode, they say 4 GB for marketing when you actually benefit from a 2 GB only
October 19, 2011 9:19:32 PM

ilysaml said:
So you've just got yourself fooled by the 4 GB and 3 GB of the HD 6990 / GTX 590...they are a dual GPUs in one PCB each has a 2 GB of Vram and both runs in a CF mode, they say 4 GB for marketing when you actually benefit from a 2 GB only

Thanks for the clarification, I forgot that the dual-GPU cards actually run in CrossFire/SLI. Do you still have to download the application profiles though?
a c 143 U Graphics card
October 19, 2011 9:23:34 PM

11796pcs said:
Thanks for the clarification, I forgot that the dual-GPU cards actually run in CrossFire/SLI. Do you still have to download the application profiles though?

I don't know really i never had a CF or a single Dual GPU but you can go to AMD website and check that, the CF patch is a fix for a driver bug it's not a big deal it can be integrated to the CCC easily.
a c 376 U Graphics card
October 19, 2011 9:26:34 PM

Just get two 2gb HD6950s with good cooling and give them a nice high overclock for $600. Outside of Metro 2033 at max settings you will get very good performance even at 2560x1600. Give the rest of the money to charity.
October 20, 2011 1:39:04 PM

jyjjy said:
Just get two 2gb HD6950s with good cooling and give them a nice high overclock for $600. Outside of Metro 2033 at max settings you will get very good performance even at 2560x1600. Give the rest of the money to charity.

Metro 2033 and Crysis 2 DX11 are two games that I want it to run at high fps, maxed out. As well as future games. I'm definitely going with at least 3 high-end GPUs in my next computer. Thanks for the suggestion though.
a c 143 U Graphics card
October 20, 2011 1:51:41 PM

Are you going to do Eyefinity ? 3 monitors setup ?
October 20, 2011 2:11:59 PM

ilysaml said:
Are you going to do Eyefinity ? 3 monitors setup ?
Probably not, most likely just a single 2560x1600 screen. 3x 1080p is not out of the question though, so I'd like it to be able to handle both with ease.


Excellent, thanks for sharing! I definitely appreciate high fps, but I wish they did a 2x 590 GTX vs 3x 580 GTX comparison though, since they pretty much cost the same thing.
a c 125 U Graphics card
October 20, 2011 2:35:13 PM

3x 6950 2gb cards would be the best bang for your buck. It's been proven that 3 cards benefit from much smoother gameplay than 2 even if they aren't scaling perfectly in terms of avg FPS. Essentially you're removing the micro stutter that is sometimes present with 2 card setups. Also, if you buy the right ones you can flash them to 6970s.

Otherwise I'd say just go with 2x (or 3x) 6970 2gb or 2x GTX 580 1.5gb cards.
October 20, 2011 2:54:48 PM

wolfram23 said:
3x 6950 2gb cards would be the best bang for your buck. It's been proven that 3 cards benefit from much smoother gameplay than 2 even if they aren't scaling perfectly in terms of avg FPS. Essentially you're removing the micro stutter that is sometimes present with 2 card setups. Also, if you buy the right ones you can flash them to 6970s.

Otherwise I'd say just go with 2x (or 3x) 6970 2gb or 2x GTX 580 1.5gb cards.

Although hopefully the new 680 GTX or whatever they will be called will all have at least 2 or 3 GB or RAM, what do you think of the 3x 2GB 6870 vs 3x 1.5 GB 580 GTX? Will the nVidia cards be bottle necked by lack of RAM at this resolution and AA? It seems so here since the 590 GTX 3GB is in reality 2x 1.5 GB GPU's, correct?
a c 143 U Graphics card
October 20, 2011 3:09:38 PM

You won't have a Frame Buffer issue with the GTX 580 at this resolution, the single AMD HD 2 GB GPU is equipped with 2 Gb of VRAM in order to keep up with eyefinity, as a single GPU from AMD is capable of running 3 monitors at 5760x resolution.
For 1080P 1 GB of VRAM is what you need, 2560x resolution you're fine with 1.5 GB of VRAM.

It's performing as it should in the 2560 x 1600
And you're right about the GTX 590 thing.

AMD high end 7K GPUs are all equipped with 2 GB of XDR2 Rrambus Memory, 1 GHz GPU frequency and they are 28nm, don't know anything about the upcoming nVida GPUs. That's why i said better wait for the new series as long as you're not building now.
October 20, 2011 3:24:11 PM

ilysaml said:
AMD high end 7K GPUs are all equipped with 2 GB of XDR2 Rrambus Memory, 1 GHz GPU frequency and they are 28nm, don't know anything about the upcoming nVida GPUs. That's why i said better wait for the new series as long as you're not building now.

You're right, I won't need to decide or pre-order right away anyway because Ivy Bridge will probably only ship in late Q1 2012 and a triple-GPU solution seems to be a great option either way. I hope that Tomshardware does a direct 3x 7970 vs 2x 7990 vs 3x 680 GTX vs 2x 690 GTX (or whatever they will be called) comparison either way, I'm really curious to see the outcome.

Then again, with 2x dual-GPU cards I'll have space left for a dedicated PhysX card :)  Also, I'm still upset with AMD over IQ (stencil shadows) issues I'm having in some games. I've been told that it's not AMD's fault, it's just not as well supported by some games which were "Made for nVidia". Doesn't change the fact that if I would've went with nVidia, I wouldn't have had this problem.
a c 143 U Graphics card
October 20, 2011 3:49:30 PM

fomoz said:
Also, I'm still upset with AMD over IQ (stencil shadows) issues I'm having in some games. I've been told that it's not AMD's fault, it's just not as well supported by some games which were "Made for nVidia". Doesn't change the fact that if I would've went with nVidia, I wouldn't have had this problem.

It's been AMD nowadays btw. HD6990=GTX 590, 5970>580>6970>570>6950>560Ti
You've spoken about a good point, nVida GPUs doing better than AMD's in some particular games such as Metro 2033, Crysis 1,2 and a lot of other games.. I've concluded that any gamed labeled "nVidia the way it's meant to pe played" is doing better on nVidia's cards. On the Other Side, AMD has put it's own logo "AMD Gaming Evolved" in Deus Ex HR, Shougun 2, made a lot of conferences showing Eyefinity on Dirt 2,3, Aliens Vs Predators.... and those games runs better on AMD cards.
Actually i don't care who bribes who, i just care about the overall performance which i noticed from AMD recently.
October 20, 2011 9:47:46 PM

BTW, would anyone like to speculate as to when the Southern Islands and Kepler enthusiast cards will be released? Wikipedia says late Q4 2011 for AMD and early Q1 2012 for nVidia, what do you guys think?
a c 143 U Graphics card
October 20, 2011 9:50:08 PM

December 6 for the low end AMD HD 78xx and Q1 2012 the 79xx
October 20, 2011 10:20:00 PM

Who's getting the label on BF3?
October 20, 2011 10:21:44 PM

Reading the dates you posted, If Im about to purchase two hd6970 2db your saying Id have to wait till 2012 for the comprable upgrade?
a c 125 U Graphics card
October 20, 2011 10:55:16 PM

Yeah, unless the 7870 blows the pants off 6950 lol. Which it might, depending on how they do it - if you consider the 5870 was the top model for the last gen (besides dual gpu 5970)
October 21, 2011 1:04:24 AM

dudeguzman said:
Reading the dates you posted, If Im about to purchase two hd6970 2db your saying Id have to wait till 2012 for the comprable upgrade?

Here's the article with specs: http://www.tomshardware.com/news/amd-HD-7900-XDR2-Rambu...

Radeon HD 6950:
Up to 800MHz Engine Clock
2GB GDDR5 Memory
1250MHz Memory Clock (5.0 Gbps GDDR5)
160 GB/s memory bandwidth (maximum)
2.25 TFLOPs Single Precision compute power
562.5 GFLOPs Double Precision compute power
Double slot form factor
TeraScale 3 Unified Processing Architecture
1408 Stream Processors
88 Texture Units
128 Z/Stencil ROP Units
32 Color ROP Units

Radeon HD 7870:
Node TSMC 28nm HPL
Architecture VLIW4
GPU Thames XT
Radeon cluster 24
Radeon cores 1536
GPU frequency 950 MHz
Texture units 96
ROPs 32
Graphics memory 2GB GDDR5
Memory frequency 5800 MHz
Memory interface 256 bit
Memory bandwidth 186 GB/s
Power consumption 120 watt

Like wolfram23 said, it looks like the 7870 will be faster than the 6950 (just like the 6870 was faster than the 5850).
a b U Graphics card
October 21, 2011 1:13:52 AM

codenamed Southern Islands, will be based on the same architecture found in AMD's current Cayman-architecture chips, such as the Radeon HD 6900-series.
So don't expect something radical.
a c 143 U Graphics card
October 21, 2011 3:22:00 AM

They are pushing the high end models which are XDR2 to 2012 to compete with nVidia's high end GPUs
October 21, 2011 3:51:21 AM

ilysaml said:
They are pushing the high end models which are XDR2 to 2012 to compete with nVidia's high end GPUs

Makes sense, especially if it's closer to the release of Ivy Bridge.
a c 143 U Graphics card
October 21, 2011 3:53:10 AM

Now you already know everything, stop asking so many questions :p  :D 
October 21, 2011 4:12:59 AM

ilysaml said:
Now you already know everything, stop asking so many questions :p  :D 


This is a discussion :p  I'm really looking forward to the new hardware releases, but I can't do anything about the agonizing wait. Speculating about them is the only thing that makes me feel happy at this point :) 
a c 143 U Graphics card
October 21, 2011 4:13:57 AM

I know, just kidding... i'm open anytime
October 21, 2011 4:17:42 AM

ilysaml said:
I know, just kidding... i'm open anytime

I know. I edited my post. Thanks for participating!
October 23, 2011 3:01:40 AM




fomoz said:
Here's the article with specs: http://www.tomshardware.com/news/amd-HD-7900-XDR2-Rambu...

Radeon HD 6950:
Up to 800MHz Engine Clock
2GB GDDR5 Memory
1250MHz Memory Clock (5.0 Gbps GDDR5)
160 GB/s memory bandwidth (maximum)
2.25 TFLOPs Single Precision compute power
562.5 GFLOPs Double Precision compute power
Double slot form factor
TeraScale 3 Unified Processing Architecture
1408 Stream Processors
88 Texture Units
128 Z/Stencil ROP Units
32 Color ROP Units

Radeon HD 7870:
Node TSMC 28nm HPL
Architecture VLIW4
GPU Thames XT
Radeon cluster 24
Radeon cores 1536
GPU frequency 950 MHz
Texture units 96
ROPs 32
Graphics memory 2GB GDDR5
Memory frequency 5800 MHz
Memory interface 256 bit
Memory bandwidth 186 GB/s
Power consumption 120 watt

Like wolfram23 said, it looks like the 7870 will be faster than the 6950 (just like the 6870 was faster than the 5850).




This article makes it really hard to want to go out and buy to HD 6970 2gb rightn now..

I wonder if they have waited for all of us building a pc to play bf3 with there existing cards and then slam us with the new ones a month later making us say, darn it and consider upgrading..
a c 143 U Graphics card
October 23, 2011 11:53:48 AM

This card will consume less power and give a bit better performance than the HD 6970
The big monsters are coming Q1 2012
October 23, 2011 1:14:50 PM

dudeguzman said:
This article makes it really hard to want to go out and buy to HD 6970 2gb rightn now..

I wonder if they have waited for all of us building a pc to play bf3 with there existing cards and then slam us with the new ones a month later making us say, darn it and consider upgrading..

Trust me, wait for the new cards to come out before upgrading. It seems like it's a long wait right now, but you'll be really glad you did when the new ones are released. In reality, 2-3 months is a short time and I'm sure that the wait is gonna be worth it.

ilysaml said:
This card will consume less power and give a bit better performance than the HD 6970
The big monsters are coming Q1 2012

It will also probably cost around $260 for a reference model on the release date.
October 23, 2011 1:41:22 PM

Man, this isn't an upgrade, its a new build to play the game.. My old pc which I dont even use any more is an xpx dell that cost me $3500 in 2004. I have multi laptops but want to get back into gaming. I may just end up buying a cheap card to get me to start playing the game and then upgrade it to what I really want.. Sucks to have three monitors in a box and not start playing that way..

Hmm. thoughts on what cheap card I can buy so I can wait, but need to play bf3 with in a week it comes out..
October 23, 2011 1:50:25 PM

buy a used card such as a gtx470 and run that until the next lot come out, then sell it, there shouldnt be to much of a money loss
October 23, 2011 5:30:42 PM

dudeguzman said:
Man, this isn't an upgrade, its a new build to play the game.. My old pc which I dont even use any more is an xpx dell that cost me $3500 in 2004. I have multi laptops but want to get back into gaming. I may just end up buying a cheap card to get me to start playing the game and then upgrade it to what I really want.. Sucks to have three monitors in a box and not start playing that way..

Hmm. thoughts on what cheap card I can buy so I can wait, but need to play bf3 with in a week it comes out..

You need to play it as soon as it comes out? LOL!

Well, I'm afraid that even if you upgrade your video card, your PC from 2004 will have a very hard time running BF3.

The fact remains that it's not a good idea to buy a gaming PC right now, since it will become outdated in three months or less. It won't suddenly not be able to run games, but you will be able to get one with equal performance for a lot less money.
October 23, 2011 9:58:58 PM

I already have the i7 2600 k processor, RAF932 case, 16 gig mem, 2 tb hard drive, 850 watt power supply.

Im missing the motherboard and graphics card because Im still not sure what I want to get based on BF3 Benchmarks...

The thing is I dont want to wait 3 months.. So I will probably do as we1shcake said and go out and by the gtx470 and sell it and buy $800 worth of GPU.
October 24, 2011 10:39:37 AM

dudeguzman said:
I already have the i7 2600 k processor, RAF932 case, 16 gig mem, 2 tb hard drive, 850 watt power supply.

Im missing the motherboard and graphics card because Im still not sure what I want to get based on BF3 Benchmarks...

The thing is I dont want to wait 3 months.. So I will probably do as we1shcake said and go out and by the gtx470 and sell it and buy $800 worth of GPU.

i basically did the same thing, a 470 is more than enough for medium settings and then ill buy myself a nice next-gen card after i got a cpu to match it
October 28, 2011 2:44:10 AM

Just got a used hd5770 instead of a crossfire hd6970 2gb. Im gonna wait till the new cards come out to play my eyefinity the way it should be played.
October 28, 2011 2:47:26 AM

Ouch, my PC got owned by BF3. Can't play it maxed out in 1080p :'( 
a b U Graphics card
October 28, 2011 3:04:05 AM

Maybe they should start designing the games properly. Gpus want throughput. That's what theyre about. Bigger on device storing space will increase the performance a great deal. But Gpus are running their best when they are fed as many threads as possible. Is that happening in the games of today? Don't think so otherwise Amd/nvidia won't be selling much Gpus like they do now.

But I can see what they going to use to sell their Gpus with the new releases. Pci-e 3.0 compliant Gpus.
!