I'm an old school pc builder - but I haven't built a new machine in a few years and seem to have lost my touch. I am building an i7 2600K based system, 8-16gb ram, and want to run an Eyefinity card for multimonitor gaming. The last card I bought was an 8800 GTX Nvidia (years ago! lol) and want this next machine to be a beast. I'm not worried about the cost, but obviously don't want to spend 4000 on a pc. So if I could get some opinions/advice on an ATI Eyefinity card that would work for me, that would be awesome.
APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Next couple of weeks
BUDGET RANGE: around 300-400 for video
USAGE:Gaming - BF3, COD, Crysis, etc.
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg
PARTS PREFERENCES: I'm REALLY interested in the Eyefinity stuff, I'm looking to do at least 3 monitors - no real plans on anymore than that at the moment.
Hmm, theoretically, AMD HD6970 could work will 3 monitors at gaming, but with only a single HD6970, you aren't looking at higher than medium graphic settings with 3 monitors (5760x1080 resolution, depending on game of course).
With a $400ish budget, I think the best you can do is twin 560 Ti's
Guru3D uses the following games in their test suite, COD-MW, Bad Company 2, Dirt 2, Far Cry 2, Metro 2033, Dawn of Discovery, Crysis Warhead. Total fps (summing fps in each game @ 1920 x 1200) for the various options in parenthesis (single card / SL or CF) are tabulated below along with their cost in dollars per frame single card - CF or SLI:
A pair of 6870's would be my choice under $400 as it pops out 701 fps in the test suite at a cost of 49 cents per frame. The factory OC'd 6950 is a bit steep at 63 cents per frame and is substantially over budget for 759 fps. At 7.5% over budget ya have the twin factory OC'd 560 Ti's which will get ya 862 fps at a cost just a hair higher than the 6870's (50 cents per frame).....above that, single cards cost more than cheaper cards in SLI / CF.
However ...... tThree monitors is a big load for gaming, if we talking modern, demanding games.....while I'd be comfy w/ one or two 6970's or 560 Ti's for applications and less demanding games, 3 screen gaming including games like Metro 2033, I'd want no less than (3) GTX 580's. As far as the dual GPU cards (6990 / 590) , with a 2nd card adding as little as 10% performance wise, I'm not impressed and my experience with triple CF has been along the lines of what is described here:
So over the years Multi-GPU support has improved quite a bit, AMD still isn't up-to snuff at the level of NVIDIA though, multi-GPU supports still literally and directly remains the Achilles heel of ATI's Catalyst drivers.
So let's round things up, personally we always say stick to one or maybe two high-end cards as there is so much less driver fuzz to worry about. It's like this with ATI, once you pass 2 GPUs you'll often find yourself compromising a lot with new game titles versus multi-GPU support.
One 6970 gets 28 fps in Metro 2033 on just one 23" monitor..... now triple the load and you can expect something in the 10 fps range. Three 580's get above 90 on a single screen in Metro 2033 which should stay perty close to 30 fps on 3 screens. For this kind of gaming, I think it would be a less than satisfying experience if ya wanted to play "maxed out" and I think ya's need to spend close to $1600 to meet that goal..... fortunately, I don't have that goal
However..... now we have the 7970 out and the 680 reportedly popping in a few weeks..... with an expected $800-900 investment in monitors and $1000 - $1600 in GFX cards, I think I'd wanna wait and see what develops between now and late Spring.