I normally wouldn't come here for a new build, but I really want to know if the 7970 CF is a good idea for a new build I am planning for this month-next month. I have used many of AMD's CPUs but do not know about the graphics cards that much. Coming from an nvidia guy, I was really impressed with the 7970 in benchmarks, but haven't seen a machine using them in person.
One concern I wanted people to sound off on was, are the drivers as bad as some say? I've heard some nasty things about Catalyst drivers and was wanting to hear some opinions on it.
Lastly, I wanted to know how well Crossfire works, with the 7970's, I've heard that it works OK but needs improvement, some people say there are visual oddities ingame and others say it's flawless. Need some opinions on this as well.
They've released several driver updates since launch that supposedly have fixed many of the 79xx CF issues, so it's probably mostly fixed.
That said, what games/resolution/settings do you want to play at? The only reason to crossfire 7970s is to play at 2560x1600 or greater resolution... if you're gaming at 1080p then you're pretty much wasting your money right now on CF 7970s.
I have 7970s in CrossFire and game at 2560 x 1440.
I took a leap of faith going with CrossFire and it works perfectly in BF3 and scales very well there for example. Many other games frankly don't need the horse power so can't really tell you how well its working there because would be fine with a single 7970 anyway. You need to enable V-SYNC by the way... it just doesn't look right with it OFF for me even though fraps will be reporting 100+ fps. Looks way better with VSYNC = ON at a steady and constant 60 fps.
Alan Wake is broken in CrossFire however but works fine if you just simply disable it in Catalyst. Hope that gets fixed in Catalyst 12.3.
Overall I am glad I went CrossFire no regrets and am confident things will only get better as the drivers improve.