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2 - 6950's or 7950 with Eyefinity?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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May 9, 2012 4:28:09 AM

I'm kind of in a dilemma here. I just got my eyefinity setup and my xfx 6950 isnt really able to push 5670X1080 that well. I was thinking about buying another one but my psu only has 2 6+2 pin pci express connectors. So with another 6950 and new psu would cost about the same as a new 7950. I've heard mixed reviews with crossfire but my motherboard does support dual PCIe at 16x/16x if that helps any. So would the 7950 push 3 monitors better or just as good as 2 6950's?

Here's My Specs

Case: Corsair Graphite Series 600T
Mobo: ASUS Sabertooth 990FX
CPU: AMD FX-6100
GPU: XFX Radeon HD 6950 2GB
Ram: Corsair Vengeance 8GB
PSU: Corsair Enthusiast Series 650W
SSD: 64GB Crucial
HDD: 1TB Seagate, 2TB Seagate
Monitors: Eyefinity 23" LG LED 3D, 2x 23" Acer LED

More about : 6950 7950 eyefinity

May 9, 2012 4:34:53 AM

The two 6950's would be better than the single 7950.
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May 9, 2012 1:17:16 PM

Crossfiring 6950 seems to be a better option.
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May 9, 2012 2:09:34 PM

eye infinity needs more vram especially at your proposed resolution.

While typically I wont recco a cross-fire, the 6950 CF would be better option in this case (thanks to the extra vram it brings in)
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May 9, 2012 2:25:01 PM

psirohi said:
eye infinity needs more vram especially at your proposed resolution.

While typically I wont recco a cross-fire, the 6950 CF would be better option in this case (thanks to the extra vram it brings in)


Crossfiring a 6950 wont give him any extra ram, the 2 6950's will still only use 2 gigs of ram. The 7950 has 3 gigs. While the 3 gigs on the 7950 may be good for future use, the 2 6950's will give you more power which is what you need.

We have surprisingly similiar systems. I run the Sabertooth 990Fx with the FX6100 processor, and a 128 gig crucial ssd. I was running 3 lg screens, but upgraded to 3 24 inch asus's. I was running a 5850 and upgraded to a 7950 2 weeks ago. Great card and for being a single card the 5760x1080 performance is outstanding, however its not enough to max some of the games that are out there.
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May 9, 2012 2:40:08 PM

I would go with the Xfire 6950.
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May 9, 2012 2:43:45 PM

Price24 said:
I'm kind of in a dilemma here. I just got my eyefinity setup and my xfx 6950 isnt really able to push 5670X1080 that well. I was thinking about buying another one but my psu only has 2 6+2 pin pci express connectors. So with another 6950 and new psu would cost about the same as a new 7950. I've heard mixed reviews with crossfire but my motherboard does support dual PCIe at 16x/16x if that helps any. So would the 7950 push 3 monitors better or just as good as 2 6950's?

PSU: Corsair Enthusiast Series 650W

Go for CF 6950. With regards to your TXCorsair 650, I believe it will be sufficient. I use the PSU calculator with your PC config & 2x6950 and the result yielded around 476W recommended: http://www.extreme.outervision.com/PSUEngine
GPU's such as 6950 usually comes with bundled molex to PCIe adaptor ( 1x6Pin + 1x6+2Pin ). I was in similar setup before ( only difference is 720BE unlocked + Corsair 620HX & 4x500GB WD Caviar Black) & it works just fine.
By the way, the 2x6950 will be a 45-60fps in skyrim at ultra with lots of HD mods in my rig.
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May 9, 2012 2:47:46 PM

"While typically I wont recco a cross-fire, the 6950 CF would be better option in this case (thanks to the extra vram it brings in)"
Thanks for AdioKIP setting the record straight. It would seem logical that the vram in a xfire set-up would double - not the case!!!!! I'm thinking one powerful single card HD7970 - no need for new psu - sell you HD6950.
-Bruce
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May 9, 2012 5:12:07 PM

+1 to the 6950 CF setup.
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May 9, 2012 6:18:48 PM

AdioKIP said:
Crossfiring a 6950 wont give him any extra ram, the 2 6950's will still only use 2 gigs of ram. The 7950 has 3 gigs. While the 3 gigs on the 7950 may be good for future use, the 2 6950's will give you more power which is what you need.

We have surprisingly similiar systems. I run the Sabertooth 990Fx with the FX6100 processor, and a 128 gig crucial ssd. I was running 3 lg screens, but upgraded to 3 24 inch asus's. I was running a 5850 and upgraded to a 7950 2 weeks ago. Great card and for being a single card the 5760x1080 performance is outstanding, however its not enough to max some of the games that are out there.


thanks for the correction the readings in afterburner are misleading :p . nice catch.


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May 9, 2012 6:22:16 PM

If you are doing mulitple monitors you can plug one of the monitors into the second card to make use of that cards v-ram , that's the only way to get use out of the second cards v-ram.
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May 9, 2012 6:28:15 PM

inzone said:
If you are doing mulitple monitors you can plug one of the monitors into the second card to make use of that cards v-ram , that's the only way to get use out of the second cards v-ram.


On AMD cards in crossfire you can only use monitors with the primary card.
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May 9, 2012 7:06:15 PM

If you want the best performance now go with the Crossfire 6950's. If you want an upgrade path in the future go with a 7950 and plan on adding another one later on down the line like I do.
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May 9, 2012 7:29:58 PM

+1 to AdioKIP. Right now, 2x 6950s will out perform 1 7950. However, in the future you won't have the option to purchase a 7950. I've found that running multiple GPUs is better when you have multiple monitors.
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May 9, 2012 7:32:17 PM

Randomkid I didn't know they made a molex to 6 pin pci e. Well it sounds like another 6950 would be better and cheaper with the molex to 6 pin as long as 650w is enough. I play alot of first person shooters and with all the new games coming out in fall I want to be prepared

With crossfire does the primary card just off load some of the work to the second card or do they work together?
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May 9, 2012 7:41:11 PM

In crossfire, all the power from the 2nd card is dedicated to the first. Basically the computer will act like there is only one card, all the outputs on the second card are disabled.
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May 10, 2012 3:50:53 AM

Price24 said:
Randomkid I didn't know they made a molex to 6 pin pci e. Well it sounds like another 6950 would be better and cheaper with the molex to 6 pin as long as 650w is enough. I play alot of first person shooters and with all the new games coming out in fall I want to be prepared

With crossfire does the primary card just off load some of the work to the second card or do they work together?

This question answered by AdioKIP. In addition, when I monitor in GPU-Z log, I see the load as equally distributed meaning the utilization on each card is almost the same.

With regards to the molex to 6PIN, you will need two of that for the 6950 but no problem because they come in pairs. I am not sure if all 6950 will include it in its bundle so check for that. For my sapphire 6950 flex & sapphire 6950 dirt edition, it both came with 2 molex to PCIe converter each.
Here is how it looks like:

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May 10, 2012 7:19:23 AM

purple stank said:
Cablemanagement?

Hehehe... its my old rig. ( where is that embarrassed icon? :)  )
My new one is better but not as good as motto's though.... :) 
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May 10, 2012 8:07:02 AM

What cooler is that? Is it the case that's big or is it the cooler that's small?
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May 10, 2012 9:03:23 AM

Its a small cooler... XIGMATEK Loki SD963 92mm with a 2nd FAN. The case itself is AZZA Helios 910 which unfortunately can not accomodate a 120mm heatsink due to is 230mm sidefan. The graphics cards has moved to an i5-2500K build in a CM enforcer case. I just use this AMD rig for browsing & non gaming stuff using an old GT9500 gpu.
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May 10, 2012 10:16:24 AM

Loki is a decent cooler.The red looks really good with that PSU.

Anyway I myself would much rather have a single 7950 and upgrade to another down the line than a 6950 crossfire.The 7950 is just such a better card.AMD really did good with the 7000 series,imo.
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Anonymous
May 10, 2012 10:23:28 AM

I would go for the stronger card.The 7950 is strong enough by itself to push 3 monitors well.If you go 6950 xfire your still going to be stuck with 1 6950 when xfire decides its not going to work.I owned a 7950 with eyeinfinity and especially if you overclock it you can pretty much push every game to max settings on its own.
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May 10, 2012 12:33:39 PM

As an owner of both setups, I would HIGHLY recommend going for the 7950. I have the Sapphire OC version, and when overclocked to what it is capable of (1100Mhz +) it actually blows the doors off my 6950 setup. You will have less heat, more room in your case, higher probability of achieving a higher overclock with one card compared to two, and the issues of crossfire will need not bother you.

I got rid of my 6950's for the sole reason that I DID NOT like the dual card configuration once I had given it a shot. FAR too many games come out with buggy results / poor support for crossfire setups, and often can take weeks to sort them out.

To give some background, my 6950's were giving me a graphics score of around 8200 in 3DMark11. With my 7950 clocked at 1200 Mhz (stable), I am achieving a graphics score of 9700. That is a massive increase. Now, to be fair, I ran the 6950's with a Phenom 1090T clocked @ 3.7Ghz, and the 7950 is now powered by an i5 2500K @ 4.5Ghz, but even if you ran the 6950's on my new CPU, I doubt they would achieve a high enough score to knock the 7950 off.

In the end, I am very happy that I traded my crossfire setup for what really is a monster of a single GPU, easily outperforming a GTX 680 at the clocks I was able to achieve. All of this, when compared to the 6950's, comes with less power consumption, the ability to keep your current PSU, greater stability and smoother gameplay, more room in your case, newer technology and the factor of futher future proofing your system. The 6950 was / is a great card, but with the price drops of the 7000 range, it really is the better option in my opinion.
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May 10, 2012 12:55:04 PM

AnToN_CheZ said:
As an owner of both setups, I would HIGHLY recommend going for the 7950. I have the Sapphire OC version, and when overclocked to what it is capable of (1100Mhz +) it actually blows the doors off my 6950 setup. You will have less heat, more room in your case, higher probability of achieving a higher overclock with one card compared to two, and the issues of crossfire will need not bother you.

I got rid of my 6950's for the sole reason that I DID NOT like the dual card configuration once I had given it a shot. FAR too many games come out with buggy results / poor support for crossfire setups, and often can take weeks to sort them out.

To give some background, my 6950's were giving me a graphics score of around 8200 in 3DMark11. With my 7950 clocked at 1200 Mhz (stable), I am achieving a graphics score of 9700. That is a massive increase. Now, to be fair, I ran the 6950's with a Phenom 1090T clocked @ 3.7Ghz, and the 7950 is now powered by an i5 2500K @ 4.5Ghz, but even if you ran the 6950's on my new CPU, I doubt they would achieve a high enough score to knock the 7950 off.

In the end, I am very happy that I traded my crossfire setup for what really is a monster of a single GPU, easily outperforming a GTX 680 at the clocks I was able to achieve. All of this, when compared to the 6950's, comes with less power consumption, the ability to keep your current PSU, greater stability and smoother gameplay, more room in your case, newer technology and the factor of futher future proofing your system. The 6950 was / is a great card, but with the price drops of the 7000 range, it really is the better option in my opinion.



How do you overclock your 7950. I have the same Sapphire 7950 OC edition and am not sure if I got a bad chip not capable of overclocking or if there is something I'm missing but I've tried thru CCC and Trixx and each time the card crashes with just a 100mhz overclock.
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May 10, 2012 1:02:57 PM

You might have gotten a bad chip.Have you tried increasing the voltage?
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