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2x6850 CF single card substitute?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 12, 2012 8:28:24 PM

I want to add more monitors into my rig and I am going to need to change my GPU's in order to do so.

What is the cheapest single-card substitute for 2x 6850's crossfired in terms of gaming performance? I would drop one of my 6850's in favor of this card allowing me to use 3 monitors on one 6850 plus 'X' monitors on this substitute card. And would I need to upgrade my 650W PSU?

And no, I don't use Eyefinity. I only game on one monitor at 1920x1080.

Current Setup
Video Card - 2x XFX 6850
CPU - AMD Phenom 955
MOBO - GIGABYTE GA-890GPA-UD3H
RAM - 8GB DDR3
Primary Monitor (Gaming) - 24" 1920x1080
Secondary Monitor (Applications/TV) - 22" 1680x1050
Tertiary Monitor (Applications/Tools) - 24" 1920x1080
PSU - 650W

What are peoples opinions on running two different cards in one rig so as to achieve maximum amount of monitors? One card for gaming power and the other just to support more monitors. My goal is to be running upwards of 6 monitors and all the additional monitors would be >=24".

Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.
March 19, 2012 4:53:46 PM

Sorry to bump, but I am still looking into this quite heavily and would really appreciate some feedback on it! Thanks.
a b U Graphics card
March 19, 2012 5:37:50 PM

You could grab an eyefinity 6 edition card (even if you don't play on 6 screens you can still use 6 outputs on a single card). Just make sure the monitors take Displayport.

Are you hacking into the matrix or what?
Related resources
a c 125 U Graphics card
a b 4 Gaming
a b C Monitor
March 19, 2012 6:00:48 PM

The problem with running a second card is it will drop your PCIe bandwidth to your gaming card. Not a big deal, but it does hurt performance a bit.

I think an eyefinity 6 single card would be best, although that does eat up more VRAM.
March 19, 2012 6:09:12 PM

Thanks for the suggestion guys! Do you have a link to one of these cards? I'm not able to find one at my normal retailers (newegg.ca and ncix.com). I found a low-profile 6770, but that wouldn't hold up in gaming against my 2x 6850. Do you know how the 7850 or 7870 cards might fare against 2x 6850 for gaming performance?

Edit: Oh, and no I am not hacking into the Matrix... :p  I just really like my screen space.
a c 503 U Graphics card
a b 4 Gaming
a b C Monitor
March 19, 2012 7:09:57 PM

If you want an idea of the relative performance at a resolution of 1920 x 1200:
March 19, 2012 7:16:30 PM

Wow, I didn't think my cards ranked that high. :S I was hoping I wasn't going to have to break the bank for a 7900 card. :(  Price you have to pay for real estate I guess. Thanks for the chart to reference!

Edit: I certainly don't feel I am getting that kind of performance out of my cards come to think of it. I'm not able to run fluidly new games on top settings. In fact, I am finding I am having to turn off settings or go on low more and more for some things. Are you sure about that rating?
a c 125 U Graphics card
a b 4 Gaming
a b C Monitor
March 20, 2012 12:55:15 AM

Typically CF and SLI solutions offer higher avg fps than a single top end card. The downside is a bit of instability or stuttering sometimes (and only for some people, I almost never see stuttering) as well as less driver support (sometimes takes a while for CF drivers for new games).

a c 503 U Graphics card
a b 4 Gaming
a b C Monitor
March 20, 2012 1:16:47 AM

Pragmata said:
Wow, I didn't think my cards ranked that high. :S I was hoping I wasn't going to have to break the bank for a 7900 card. :(  Price you have to pay for real estate I guess. Thanks for the chart to reference!

Edit: I certainly don't feel I am getting that kind of performance out of my cards come to think of it. I'm not able to run fluidly new games on top settings. In fact, I am finding I am having to turn off settings or go on low more and more for some things. Are you sure about that rating?

The test system specs are:

GPUs: Pair of HIS Radeon HD 6850 1 GB GDDR5 (GPU Clock: 775 MHz, Memory: 1 GHz)
CPU: Intel Core i7 920 @ 3.8 GHz
Motherboard: Gigabyte X58 Extreme
Memory: 3x 2048 MB Mushkin Redline XP3-12800 DDR3 @ 1520 MHz 8-7-7-16

The same test system, excluding the GPUs, is used for the reviews so that a consistent comparison can be made between graphics card models and configurations.

Your system configuration may have a problem with micro-stuttering that is causing you to have to lower your graphics quality settings to get a playable (i.e. less annoying stutter) experience. The only sure solution is a single card like the Radeon
HD 7970 if you want that level of performance.
!