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2 6850s vs 1 6950

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November 29, 2011 1:58:19 PM

Alright guys im looking to upgrade my computer so it will last 3 or 4 years before i have to build a new one. Im thinking about runnig crossfire and was wondering how it whould do vs 1 higher end card. I will not be putting anymore money into this computer after i build it.

2 of these http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

vs

1 of these http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

What wins?

Also i have a 600 watt ocz stealthxstream....will that run those cards crossfired?

one more thing http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite... what is up with this card it looks like a beast so i thought i would ask lol

More about : 6850s 6950

a b U Graphics card
November 29, 2011 2:00:19 PM

Go with the 6950. There is nothing wrong with that 4870x2, but dual-gpu setups can be a bit random in performance, and anyway It's not a lot faster than a 6870 which you can get at similar price now.
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November 29, 2011 2:03:35 PM

eyefinity said:
Go with the 6950. There is nothing wrong with that 4870x2, but dual-gpu setups can be a bit random in performance, and anyway It's not a lot faster than a 6870 which you can get at similar price now.



So the 4870x2 is pretty much 2 4870s in one card correct? so if i ran those crossfire it whould be like having 4 4870s?
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a b U Graphics card
November 29, 2011 2:06:34 PM

Yes and no. It is two 4870's on one card but crossfire on those older cards isn't as good as what it is now. You might get 65-70% or so extra performance with that. Adding a 3rd and 4th gpu is even worse, with performance gains of 20-30% only after the 2nd gpu.

Note that is just for that old 4870x2, AMD's newest cards are pretty great in crossfire, 2-way, 3-way or 4-way with 80-90% scaling per card. I would still recommend the 6950 over anything else.
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a b U Graphics card
November 29, 2011 2:12:24 PM

Have a read through this thread http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/forum2.php?config=t... and make your mind up. I recommended to the guy to get 6850s in crossfire against a single 6970. There are some benchmarks which prove that the 6850 CF setup is noticeably quicker than the 6970, so it will be quite a bit quicker than the 6950.

The problem I had with crossfire was a cheap and crappy power supply, after swapping for a better one I am ASTOUNDED by the performance, it's amazing.

If you go crossfire just make sure you allocate a good amount of your budget to the motherboard and power supply to make sure you don't run into problems.
Make sure your mobo's PCI Express slots run crossfire at either Dual x16 or Dual x8 otherwise you might suffer from some stutter but other than that I have to recommend 6850s in crossfire.
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November 29, 2011 2:13:50 PM

eyefinity said:
Yes and no. It is two 4870's on one card but crossfire on those older cards isn't as good as what it is now. You might get 65-70% or so extra performance with that. Adding a 3rd and 4th gpu is even worse, with performance gains of 20-30% only after the 2nd gpu.

Note that is just for that old 4870x2, AMD's newest cards are pretty great in crossfire, 2-way, 3-way or 4-way with 80-90% scaling per card. I would still recommend the 6950 over anything else.



Alright i see......is it worth spending the extra money on the 2g 6950? I heard it really only worth it with multi monitor setups. im using my 42 1080p tv to run it btw.
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a b U Graphics card
November 29, 2011 2:15:34 PM

If you can find an HD6870X2 for a good price it will make a good choice as well :) 
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November 29, 2011 2:22:45 PM

tjcoops said:
Have a read through this thread http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/forum2.php?config=t... and make your mind up. I recommended to the guy to get 6850s in crossfire against a single 6970. There are some benchmarks which prove that the 6850 CF setup is noticeably quicker than the 6970, so it will be quite a bit quicker than the 6950.

The problem I had with crossfire was a cheap and crappy power supply, after swapping for a better one I am ASTOUNDED by the performance, it's amazing.

If you go crossfire just make sure you allocate a good amount of your budget to the motherboard and power supply to make sure you don't run into problems.
Make sure your mobo's PCI Express slots run crossfire at either Dual x16 or Dual x8 otherwise you might suffer from some stutter but other than that I have to recommend 6850s in crossfire.


Hmmm i see im on a tight budget though about $600 or so and im also upgrading many other things ram,cpu,case,etc would i be able to pull of the board and powersupply as well as 2 cards with that budget? I was hoping to reuse my 600 watt as its only 2 months old. Also i do overclock but i have never delt with overclocking crossfired cards can you even do that? if so will i face cooling issues with the cards?
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a b U Graphics card
November 29, 2011 2:23:43 PM

I'd only bother with the 2gb 6950 if I was playing on eyefinity or higher than 1080p yes.
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a c 79 U Graphics card
November 29, 2011 2:25:06 PM

@op: dual 6850 is a powerful combination. but if you're susceptible to microstuttering, you might wanna skip the 6850 and go for the 6950 1gb for it's powerful gpu. if you want you can add another 6950 down the road. the 6850 has 127 tdp and the 6950 has 200w tdp. without knowing the rest of your specs it is hard to recommend either 6850s in cfx or a 6950 1gb. i think you might be able to run either one card without much trouble.
the 4870 x2 is not a good choice imo, and the advertisement is a bit misleading. you don't get 2 gb gddr5 for each gpu with that card. 4870 x2 is a dual gpu card where the gpus have their individual 1 gb vram and connected in cfx. so the effective memory you get is 1 gb. additionally you don't get eyefinity support with this card - it only supports 2 monitors. no dx 11. not to mention it has higher chance of microstuttering than 6850s.
@tjcoops: did you face any microstuttering problem in any resolution (e.g. 1080p or higher)?
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November 29, 2011 2:35:34 PM

de5_Roy said:
@op: dual 6850 is a powerful combination. but if you're susceptible to microstuttering, you might wanna skip the 6850 and go for the 6950 1gb for it's powerful gpu. if you want you can add another 6950 down the road. the 6850 has 127 tdp and the 6950 has 200w tdp. without knowing the rest of your specs it is hard to recommend either 6850s in cfx or a 6950 1gb. i think you might be able to run either one card without much trouble.
the 4870 x2 is not a good choice imo, and the advertisement is a bit misleading. you don't get 2 gb gddr5 for each gpu with that card. 4870 x2 is a dual gpu card where the gpus have their individual 1 gb vram and connected in cfx. so the effective memory you get is 1 gb. additionally you don't get eyefinity support with this card - it only supports 2 monitors. no dx 11. not to mention it has higher chance of microstuttering than 6850s.
@tjcoops: did you face any microstuttering problem in any resolution (e.g. 1080p or higher)?



Alright time to sound like a noob.... What is eyefinity and microstuttering?
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a b U Graphics card
November 29, 2011 2:37:11 PM

I get Microstutter at lower frame rates, but this isn't the cards, it's the fact that my crappy motherboard only crossfires in 16/4 so the performance of the cards is uneven, hence why I recommend having a motherboard that supports dual 8 or 16x crossfire.

I'm not sure if 600w is enough to be honest, could possibly be enough if produces the power it's rated at, I'm not too familiar with the psu though.

I used a PSU calculator that rated my whole system as needing 480 watts, and my systems quie power hungry, so if your power supply is good, 600 watts could cut the mustard :) 

I play at 1920x1080 btw :) 
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a b U Graphics card
November 29, 2011 2:44:15 PM

nutmanmatt said:
Alright time to sound like a noob.... What is eyefinity and microstuttering?


I can't really explain microstuttering in technical terms, but my experience of it is that it's like the game stutters/freezes for literally a microscopic amount of time and then plays as normal but it happens in a rhythmical pattern, like every second, for a millisecond it stutters. It can make a 50fps game look like 20fps

If your frame rate is higher than your screens refresh rate you will not notice micro stutter at all, and with a dual 16 or x8 mobo I think it's less of a problem as the card's performance is evenly matched :) 

Someone else will have to answer to the technical side of micro stuttering but I hope my little description helped :p 
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a c 79 U Graphics card
November 29, 2011 2:44:55 PM

nutmanmatt said:
Alright time to sound like a noob.... What is eyefinity and microstuttering?

eyefinity is amd's multi-display tech. with eyefinity one can use multiple monitors (1 with the displayport) for broader display area. most of current nvidia cards support up to 2 displays, but amd's can support more.
as for microstuttering,
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-geforce-stut...
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November 29, 2011 2:58:40 PM

tjcoops said:
I can't really explain microstuttering in technical terms, but my experience of it is that it's like the game stutters/freezes for literally a microscopic amount of time and then plays as normal but it happens in a rhythmical pattern, like every second, for a millisecond it stutters. It can make a 50fps game look like 20fps

If your frame rate is higher than your screens refresh rate you will not notice micro stutter at all, and with a dual 16 or x8 mobo I think it's less of a problem as the card's performance is evenly matched :) 

Someone else will have to answer to the technical side of micro stuttering but I hope my little description helped :p 


I notice you keep saying i need a good mobo for it.....Heres the mobo i plan on getting http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Will this be good for crossfireing the 6850s?
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November 29, 2011 3:14:43 PM

de5_Roy said:
eyefinity is amd's multi-display tech. with eyefinity one can use multiple monitors (1 with the displayport) for broader display area. most of current nvidia cards support up to 2 displays, but amd's can support more.
as for microstuttering,
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-geforce-stut...



I see so i really dont have to worry about eyefinity since im not going to run a multi monitor setup. And i think i understand what microstuttering is now kinda.........
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a c 79 U Graphics card
November 29, 2011 3:17:46 PM

nutmanmatt said:
I notice you keep saying i need a good mobo for it.....Heres the mobo i plan on getting http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Will this be good for crossfireing the 6850s?

is this the board?
i couldn't find pcie details on tigerdirect so i looked it up on newegg. looks like you get x16+x4 cfx with that board. you can technically cfx dual 6850s. imo, for optimal performance (like tjcoops said) you should get a mobo that supports dual x8 or dual x16. afaik 970 boards don't support that.
edit: afaik amd's 970 chipset is aimed at 'mainstream' and supports single card setups. 990x and 990fx support multi-card sli and cfx. you should look it up (the cipset comparisons) on amd's website.
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November 29, 2011 3:28:46 PM

de5_Roy said:
is this the board?
i couldn't find pcie details on tigerdirect so i looked it up on newegg. looks like you get x16+x4 cfx with that board. you can technically cfx dual 6850s. imo, for optimal performance (like tjcoops said) you should get a mobo that supports dual x8 or dual x16. afaik 970 boards don't support that.
edit: afaik amd's 970 chipset is aimed at 'mainstream' and supports single card setups. 990x and 990fx support multi-card sli and cfx. you should look it up (the cipset comparisons) on amd's website.



I see the problem is the 990x and fx boards are out of my price range.....So i think i may go single card since that will fit my budget better........
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a b U Graphics card
November 29, 2011 3:33:45 PM

Have a look at the Asus M5A99X EVO, it runs in dual x8 mode. If any 990x mobos are out of your price range then a single card is a good option
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a c 79 U Graphics card
November 29, 2011 3:36:51 PM

nutmanmatt said:
I see the problem is the 990x and fx boards are out of my price range.....So i think i may go single card since that will fit my budget better........

is the pc in your siggy the one you currently have? it doesn't look so bad. you could try to hold out a little longer (7-8 months) and see how the new hardware that are coming out next year perform and cost. you could try to get more out of your processor or put the new gfx card (if you must buy one now) in the current system.
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November 29, 2011 3:39:22 PM

tjcoops said:
Have a look at the Asus M5A99X EVO, it runs in dual x8 mode. If any 990x mobos are out of your price range then a single card is a good option



Ya that mobo is over half my budget........single card is looking good for me...........Maybe buy a 990 and one card and save up for another one later......
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November 29, 2011 3:42:43 PM

de5_Roy said:
is the pc in your siggy the one you currently have? it doesn't look so bad. you could try to hold out a little longer (7-8 months) and see how the new hardware that are coming out next year perform and cost. you could try to get more out of your processor or put the new gfx card (if you must buy one now) in the current system.


Ya its a beastly little computer can handle skyrim ultra at 20-25 fps...kinda suprised me.....heard the radeon 7000s are coming out next month or so maybe ill wait a while and see how those turn out.
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December 6, 2011 10:56:23 AM

Best answer selected by nutmanmatt.
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