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Multiple GPU an economical solution?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 25, 2012 7:52:46 PM

So in the next few weeks i will be ordering parts for my first ever custom build. Im on a bit of a budget so im aiming to get bang for my buck. I was wondering if with crossfire or SLI if with 2 or more cheaper cards if you do indeed get the performance of a more expensive card. If this is the case i'd be willing to spend some more money. Atm im willing to spend about ~ $150 for one graphics card for my new system

Currently I have a ATI Radeon 5670 HD 1 GB card which iirc is less than $80. Would I come out ahead buying another one of these and putting them in a crossfire setup in my new build or just put 1 $150 card in there instead?

*if it is the case that i would get better performance with multiple cards then i what i said before about spending more money i would consider spending about $250 if it gets me the power of $400+ card. (just throwing those numbers out there for perspective - idk how realistic these possible expectations may be)


I want to be able to run all modern games maxed out.
I also plan to be upgrading from 1 monitor to using possibly 3 displays for multitasking purposes and may eventually move to 8 monitors; are there advantages to sli/crossfire for this vs 1 card?
a b U Graphics card
March 25, 2012 8:21:05 PM

With the gpu horsepower you're talking about quote" I want to be able to run all modern games maxed out." ain't gonna happen. You are looking at least $400 - $600 to do that. HD7970/50 HD7870 GTX 580 GTX680.... As you can see to do what yo want won't be cheap. You could SLI some midrange cards like the GTX560Ti or HD6870.
Sorry to burst your bubble but BF3 and likely more of the new games to come out will need a lot of gpu HP!!! (and a good power supply to run them)
-Bruce
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a c 228 U Graphics card
March 25, 2012 8:29:43 PM

Quote:
Im on a bit of a budget so im aiming to get bang for my buck. I was wondering if with crossfire or SLI if with 2 or more cheaper cards if you do indeed get the performance of a more expensive card.


Yes. For example 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:

$ 200.00 560 Ti - 900 Mhz (495/862) $ 0.40 - $ 0.46

So for $400 ..... ya get 862 fps oin SLI at a cost of $0.46 per frame. Now let's look at the single GPU options

$ 450.00 580 (616/953) $ 0.73 - $ 0.94
$ 480.00 7950 (603/NG) $ 0.80 - ERR
$ 560.00 7970 (675/NG) $ 0.83 - ERR

-616 fps for the 580 at $0.73 per frame, 40% less performance for $50 more money
-603 fps for the 7950 at $0.80 per frame, 30% less performance for $80 more money
-675 fps for the 7970 at $0.73 per frame, 22% less performance for $160 more money

Guru3D changed out the test suite so can't compare numbers for the 680 :(  But eliminating Dirt2 it's 25% faster than the 580. Estimating from there.....

-770 fps for the 680 at $0.65 per frame, 11% less performance for $100 more money

Looking at the red camp, the same holds true

$ 160.00 6870 (434/701) $ 0.37 - $ 0.46

So for $320 ..... ya get 701 fps on SLI at a cost of $0.46 per frame. Looking at the single GPU options

-616 fps for the 580 at $0.73 per frame, 12% less performance for $130 more money
-603 fps for the 7950 at $0.80 per frame, 14% less performance for $160 more money
-675 fps for the 7970 at $0.73 per frame, 4% less performance for $240 more money

However, maxing out "all games" is not an option on 3 monitors with that level of GFX HP. Two of those 560's does 49 fps in Metro 2033at 1920 x 1200 .... not gonna get that at 5760 x 1080.
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March 25, 2012 11:58:42 PM

Being on a budget the highest res i will be playing at would be 1900x1200 but likely will be more likely 1900x1080p as 1200's seem to cost ~ $100 more. Also I plan to use only one of the monitors to play games on. Unless i have been living an unexplored life i dont see why you would use more than 1x monitor for a game?
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