I thought I had my decision made but now I'm 2nd and triple guessing myself. I was pretty set on a Crossfire setup with some 6950's or Nvidia SLI counterpart until I started reading more about Micro Stutter.
Aside from Tom's article on it, I'm interested to hear from those of you that run Crossfire/SLI, if Micro Stutter really is as bad or obvious as it is reported or if its just one of those things that happens from time to time?
Well, all I can really tell you is what worked for me. when I was originally looking to build my system I wanted a video card at least as powerful as a GTX 580. After reading some reviews about how two HD 6870's in Crossfire bested the 580 in most games for about 2/3 the price I went for it.
With the HD 6870's in CF Micro stutter was noticeable, sometimes very noticeable. After reading about a possible solution I gave it a try. I created a 4GB Ram Disk, disabled the paging file an all other drives and dedicated the entire Ram Disk to a Paging file, except for the tiny amount win 7 requires you to keep free.
This has completely eliminated all Micro Stutter as well as the occasional dropouts where my frame rate would almost bottom out (worse than a Micro Stutter).
The program is called "Dataram RAMDisk v3.5" and it's free as well as being completely certified by windows for Win 7 64bit and many others.
So yes, there is a greater risk of Micro Stutter with 2 cards. How bad of a risk depends on your system and choice of cards but, that doesn't mean it cant be dealt with.
For the solution I outlined you do need to have an extra 4GB of ram to dedicate to the Ram disk and even then I cant guarantee it will work for you, Just that it worked great for me.
Thanks for the belated response. Since you are the only one to respond, I suppose you get the best answer.
I have gone with a single 6950 and unlocked the extra shaders. Based on your experience and what I've read since posting this question, when its time for a graphics upgrade, I'll be getting a 6970 to crossfire with and overclocking the 6950 to match.