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7970 vs 6950-2gb crossfire/does 6950Xfire have stutter in eyefinity

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 17, 2012 2:05:58 PM

So in a few weeks i will be doing a fresh build from the ground up.
My budget is 1300$ish and i have about 550$ for graphics spending.
This build will be used for eyefinity on 3x 24" 1920x1200 displays and mostly used for gaming and music production although i also do (baisc) video editing and many things that dont require lots of horsepower.
Im all tied up between dual radeon 6950 twin frozr IIs (CAN be unlocked but lets not consider that in the comparison as its much more unlikely now) and a single radeon 7970.

6950s --> ]=http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=14-127-588&SortField=0&SummaryType=0&Pagesize=10&PurchaseMark=&SelectedRating=-1&VideoOnlyMark=False&VendorMark=&IsFeedbackTab=true&Keywords=unlock&Page=1]

and for the 7970 ill get whatever has the best warrenty and support as they are all reference models right now (i know the xfx has custom cooling but it doesnt o/c any higher than reference and noise isnt an issue)

So far i know that the 7970 should perform slightly slower than the 6950 however it has the advantage of being a single card and that meens less stuttering and better driver/game compatability also i could crossfire it in say 1-2 years and get a large performance increase
however i can do about the same thing with selling the 6950s+tossing in 2-300$ and buying new card/s

I also have the question of is microstutter even present in the 6950s when playing eyefinity @ 5920x1200 expecialy when your framerates will be in the 40s range when you max out the settings in some games

so basicly should i get a single card or go xfire and will microstutter be present if i do?

thanks for the help :D 
a c 125 U Graphics card
January 17, 2012 2:17:22 PM

stutter is an unkown. Some people/cards/setups get it, some don't. I've been running CF 5850s for almost 2 years now without stuttering (besides specific cases, like Skyrim). I even ran eyefinity for a little while on them without issues.

Bang for your buck, the 6950s are the way to go. But the 7970 would be a safer bet for smooth gameplay.

Personally, I'd probably get the 7970 just because it has a really good new architecture and it overclocks like mad.
January 17, 2012 2:20:59 PM

I believe microstuttering is really only prevalent when frames rates are consistently low, around 30fps. Based on these results:

http://www.hardocp.com/article/2011/01/11/amd_69706950_...

I'd say that it's very possible you'll run into some microstuttering issues if you plan to play graphically-demanding games on high settings.

Personally, I'd wait to see some more benchmarks and recommendations before making any decisions on the 7970, but it is shaping up to be pretty good. Also, is there a reason you can't/don't want to wait for kepler, the next-gen nvidia cards?
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a b U Graphics card
January 17, 2012 2:27:37 PM

I think you know the answer here. You're talking about two last gen cards when the new generation is here. There are pros and cons as you mentioned, but unless you can wait to see what else is forthcoming I would say the single 7970 is a safe bet. Myself, I would wait to see what non-reference designs will be available soon.
January 17, 2012 3:43:27 PM

I could wait for kepler but i would need to run sli to get "surround" and i would rather get the radeons because eyefinity has alot more pollish and i can get it now rather than in 3-5 months.
Also that [H]ardOCP review didnt comment on microstuttering just playability of the game and that review is a year old and things have changed alot since then in the more demanding way.
I do like the thought of running dual graphics cards in my system it just sounds/feels cooler but for practical reasons I'm kinda leaning twords the 7970 because its performance will only go up with driver optimizations where as the 6950s are prettymuch at their peak already and microstutter is elimated as a possable issue.
I guess we are just going to have to wait this one out for about a week or two unless I can find some info that sets me one way or the other.

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a b U Graphics card
January 17, 2012 5:36:50 PM
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I personally own 3 X 6950s 2gb all unlocked to 6970s...my pc has 2 of them in CFX and I've only played BF3 so far but I don't get any stutter. A lot of other cards like 6850, 6870, 560ti, 560,etc have reported issues with bf3. I think micro stuttering is overstated. It's like the guy with the bad part that adds long negative reviews on newegg..but the thousands of others who didn't have an issue never say anything.

I think 7970 is still the better choice. It has 3gb frame buffer something that you may need at that resolution for say a Crysis 3 or Bf4...the 6950s will only function at 2gb in CFX. Also, after 1-2yrs the 7970 will be a viable card for CFX..but 6950 will not (at your resolution) because it barely manages 30+fps with current high end games.

Finally, all the reviews for 7970 based on reference design are pointless. HardOCP used sapphire trixx to overclock their card beyond the limits set by AMD powertune. I think they hit 1.25ghz on core and around 1600 on memory...at that speed it might be beating 6950 CFX. Now think about the Asus DCU2, MSI twin frozer 3, and Gigabyte windforce cards that have better circuits, vram, and overclocking room. I think you can hit those clocks and keep them 24/7 safe. Wait 1 month all these custom 7970s will be out. They will be worth the money for the long term.
January 17, 2012 11:37:33 PM

Best answer selected by specter51095.
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