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New GPU, Crossfire or single? (mirco-shuttering)

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January 11, 2012 7:21:18 PM

hello, I am building my 1st pc and have listed my basic build here:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/332508-31-tomshardwar...
building this by the end of the week (hope to) unless i am convinced other wise by ppl on here.
Will be for Gaming and some graphic designee, video editing ect.
games will be stuff like BB3, Skyrim, Shogun 2, C5 and up coming games.


I have several questions about the GPU, I read the articles on micro-shuttering and the articles on best GPU for your money.

now i am not sure i understood how to fix the micro-shuttering problem. As the only set up that reduced it almost completely was a amd 6870 2G with a 6870 1G. (not even using 2 6870 2Gs worked!!!) but that is not very cost efficient as there only like $40 difference between the two of them.

so What should i do? Should i go with 6870 in crossfire 3? or run a 6970 on a better mother board so that i can eventually run a 7XXX card? I would like to be able to have expand ability in CPU and GPU later down the road (2-3years).

This is not an exact question just want to know what is the best way to increase my performance.
a b U Graphics card
January 11, 2012 8:50:53 PM

Any crossfire or SLI setup can suffer Micro-Stuttering some worse then others the only way to 100% completely avoid if is have a single GPU.
Plus tests that have been done show the Top end GPU's suffer the problem less when paired up compared to mid or Lower end ones.

honestly I would personally whack a pair of 6970 or 6950's together in Crossfire, or buy a Single 7970
a b U Graphics card
January 11, 2012 9:01:33 PM

Do you have a microcenter nearby? They have some amazing deals on CPU, motherboards.

Here is the build I made for around $1350.

2500k- $160
P8p67 Asus Pro- $160
Radeon 6950 2gbx 2 in CFX- $540 (both unlocked to 6970s :) )
PSU- 1k watt with 80amps on 12v rail...$120
Ram- 8gb 1600mhz- $40
SSD- 90gb Corsair Force 3- $110
Case- NZXT Phantom full tower- $110
CD drive- $40
CM 212+ cooler- $30

You're build is wasting extra $100 on 2600k...hyperthreading does nothing for games. Infact it causes microstuttering sometimes. You need to get a 1000W PSU with 5yr warranty so you don't have to spend money on it again 2-3 yrs from now when you upgrade. They cost around $120 when they are on sale...and they are certainly worth it...at the very least get a 850w psu with 70amps on 12v rail...this is bare minimum.

When you're spending $1300-$1500 if you spend any less than $550 on the video card...you wasted money somewhere..thats my thinking if you're building a gaming rig.

Another thing abuot spending 1300-1500...you need an SSD...there are some awesome deals for $160 w/rebates..Vertex 3, Corsair Force GT, Kingston Hyperx, Crucial m4,etc. once you go SSD...there's no going back to hard disks...and that whole z68 cache thing is pointless at this price range...thats for folks with a budget under $1000.

For motherboard...get p67...you don't need z68 unless you do a lot of video transcoding..and use intel's quicksync technology from the onboard gpu. You also don't need gen 3..it adds 0% for gaming for even the 7970...get Asrock p67 extreme 4 or Asus p8p67 Pro or EVo...all 3 are solid boards that you can find on deals for under $150. Remember motherboards are all the same within the same chipset...the $300 board performs withing 1-2% of the $150 board.

For your harddisk...wait a few months if you can for a better deal...prices are too high due to Thailand flooding. I personally don't need more than 120gb so the SSD alone is enough for me, and man this is my first SSD..my bro has Vertex 3 Max iops 120gb...its insanely fast..even my cheap force 3 from corsair is insta open for any program.

You don't need 16gb ram...anything above 6gb does literally 0 for gaming. Get the cheapest 8gb kit(4gx2) with 1600mhz and cas latency 8/9 for under $40. The 1600 does aid gaming compared to 1333 but nothing higher helps..and Cas below 8 is not worth the money.

Now microstuttering is all random...I don't have issues at all..but those 6870s and GTX 560tis are known for it. Frankly if you're spending this much...get a 7970 for $550...if you wait a few weeks you might be able to get a non-reference card with dual fans for $550 after rebates. This is a lot more future proof...and there won't be issues with microstuttering.

Now my pc has the CPU overclocked to 4.5ghz....1.35v with a cheap CM 212+...I suggest you do the same for extra performance...over 90% of 2500k hit that frequency..no issues at all.

Hope this helps.
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a b U Graphics card
January 11, 2012 9:06:56 PM

A 6870 with 1gb + a 6870 2Gb in crossfire with be exactly the same as 2 6870 1Gb. Any motherboard that can take a Radeon 6000 (or 5000 or 4000 unless agp) series can take a 7000 series. Crossfire/SLi normally produces most FPS for the money (on this kind of budget) but has the micro stutter thing and some games have driver issues with it especially when 1st released. Decisions up to U hope this helps.
January 11, 2012 9:26:53 PM

simon12 said:
A 6870 with 1gb + a 6870 2Gb in crossfire with be exactly the same as 2 6870 1Gb. Any motherboard that can take a Radeon 6000 (or 5000 or 4000 unless agp) series can take a 7000 series. Crossfire/SLi normally produces most FPS for the money (on this kind of budget) but has the micro stutter thing and some games have driver issues with it especially when 1st released. Decisions up to U hope this helps.


I don't think the OP really meant 6870 2GB + 6870 1GB. The Tomshardware study into micro-stuttering had a setup with a 6870 with two GPUs on it, plus a regular 6870 = 3 processor cores. That setup was a vast improvement over 2 regular 6870s in crossfire.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-geforce-stut...
a c 124 U Graphics card
January 11, 2012 9:40:30 PM

Trifire and Tri SLI is known to reduce micro stutter, if not completely remove it. It is only 2 card setups that might have it. Seems to me the 6800 series is the worst affected by it, though some people report it with other setups as well. I installed a GTX 590 for someone and it was stuttering like crazy in some benchmarks, but it still got a good framerate.

Anyway, I'd suggest getting a single 7970.
January 14, 2012 4:18:53 PM

Thanks for all the replies!

So to save on money I will have to down grade the GPU (1.5k) is a bit high seems like right now.
So several questions.

1-will the price of the 6970 drop a lot ie $100-50 in the next 2 months, due to the 7000's being out now?

2- if i drop the GPU down to one of these which is better? and how big of a difference would i notice from the 6970 playing BBF3 and up coming titles? (6mounths can always go for crossfire or SLI)

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

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

I would like to understand what is the key differences between them based of the details section in newegg.
like clock speed of the NVIDA is 950Mhz while the AMD is 800 but hte AMD is 2G which will outperform is it a simple ration... :pt1cable: 

also between the AMD 6950 will a 1G with higher core clock speed out perform a 2 G?
does this relate to the6970 2g as well? there are so many choices out there would like to make a informed choice.
a c 124 U Graphics card
January 14, 2012 4:26:53 PM

Well first of all Nvidia and AMD use very different architectures so you can't compare them based on that or clock speed.

Just look for benchmarks.

Typically the 6950 1gb and 2gb models perform the extact same except if you go to ultra high resolution, but in that case you really need more power anyway (like crossfire the 2gb models). At 1080p, 1gb is sufficient.

The 560 Ti is typically just a little slower than the 6950, but it isn't by much so it's also a good choice if you like Nvidia.
!