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Is crossfire worth it?

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March 23, 2012 1:25:21 AM

Hi I am building a computer right now and I was thinking about using crossfire, but I don't know if it's worth it? It seems like it would cause a significant output increase, but i could be wrong? But it also seems like if you had 2, 3, or 4 way SLI or crossfire going it would require a huge power supply depending on what graphics card you got. So what I'm trying to figure out is about how much wattage crossfire is going to use and if its even worth it. I don't need to have the very best so something that would play games just on medium settings at a decent frame rate would do just fine, and I don't know if it would be cheaper to just go the single better graphics card way or go with two or three lower end graphics card and buy the larger power supply. So anything that you can tell me I would appreciate.

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March 23, 2012 1:29:50 AM

all depends on what cards your going to crossfire.

if its 2 low end cards. nope just get a single high end card instead. (less problems, less power draw)
2 high end cards however is, as there is no single card that will offer the performance you are after.

NOTE: dual gpu cards are crossfire / sli on a single card. and suffer from larger heat and wattage restrictions.
a b U Graphics card
a b ) Power supply
March 23, 2012 1:33:55 AM

Tom's Hardware publishes an monthly "Best graphics cards for the money," here. It is for gaming GPUs and shows the best value at several price points. If you have a dollar amount in mind that want to spend, you can find the corresponding GPU(s).
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a b U Graphics card
a b ) Power supply
March 23, 2012 1:38:55 AM

^+1 crossfire/SLI is really only worth it if you are running multiple high res displays. It doesn't make sense if you can get a single card that will do it for a close price.

Doing it when buying new doesn't make sense otherwise. You can get a highend... or by the sound of your requirements mid range card. then in a year or three you can get a second to double performance and save money. Can't do that if you start out spending the same with low end crossfire

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a b ) Power supply
March 23, 2012 1:48:02 AM
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It really depends on what cards you have and what you are doing. The only time it is every worth going with crossfire cards is when you have two extremely high end cards. Mid or low range cards are not worth putting in parallel as there often exists a single high end card with more performance than two others put together.

From my experience, Crossfire is hit and miss. In some games such as Metro 2033 the performance gain is almost 100%. In other games it's around 60-80%. In some games it causes strange behaviour and in others it will crash completely. SLI is very much the same way, mixed gains overall.
March 23, 2012 3:39:20 AM

No. I feel like I got 50 bucks worth of improvement for my 260 dollar purchase. Buy the single best card you can afford and go with it.
March 23, 2012 3:50:09 AM

treefrog07 said:
Tom's Hardware publishes an monthly "Best graphics cards for the money," here. It is for gaming GPUs and shows the best value at several price points. If you have a dollar amount in mind that want to spend, you can find the corresponding GPU(s).


If you're going to use this article I would strongly recommend waiting for next month's edition. Kepler has dropped the prices of the entire 5xx line. Not to mention the release of the 680 itself. The AMD cards are also likely to drop soon if they intend to remain competitive.
a b U Graphics card
a b ) Power supply
March 24, 2012 12:09:10 AM

You may want to wait for next month's guide. I have tried crossfire and single cards. I'm still using a 5870 (because I don't get to game as much as I planned). I believe a single high-end card is sufficient. I also ran 3870s and 4870s in crossfire; they well in the benchmarks, but I didn't see much difference.

If you have specific games you want to play, be sure to check the games' home pages because some run better with nVidia and others run better with AMD.

Don't plan to be able to add another of the same card later - they will become scarce to unavailable as time passes and newer cards are developed and released. If you are going to crossfire buy identical cards at the same time.
April 2, 2012 12:30:44 AM

Best answer selected by tygasp.
April 2, 2012 2:53:40 AM

I agree with everyone that, on a new build, go with a single highend card. but what if you already own a hd6850 for example and wish to increase performance cheaply?
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