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6970s (or maybe 6950 firmware upgrade to 6970) crossfire or a new 7970

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May 31, 2012 9:13:39 PM

i'm buying graphics cards for a system my question is, buy two 6970s for crossfire, or one 7970. buying the 6970s off eBay they will come in around a 100 dollars less then a new 7970 would costs, suggestions?...also i would not be able to buy another 7970 for quite some time..so that's not exactly an option...although..i don't know
May 31, 2012 9:35:36 PM

Don't jump into crossfire as a primary start. Go with the 7970, because, in the long run, you will get more bang for your buck. The crossfired 6970s will age much faster (in terms of tech), and are already outdated (PCIe 2.1 vs. 3.0).

The 7970 will last longer and will be more compatible with future upgrades.
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May 31, 2012 9:45:36 PM

wigglerthefish said:
Don't jump into crossfire as a primary start. Go with the 7970, because, in the long run, you will get more bang for your buck. The crossfired 6970s will age much faster (in terms of tech), and are already outdated (PCIe 2.1 vs. 3.0).

The 7970 will last longer and will be more compatible with future upgrades.


i have an i5 2500k, so won't really take full advantage of pci 3.0
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May 31, 2012 9:55:46 PM

I say go with the 7970 as well as you may not be able to afford a second one now but the performance will be better and later you will be able to purchase a second.

Flare
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a b U Graphics card
May 31, 2012 9:56:46 PM

You also won't take advantage of PCIe 3.0 because it's barely ever relevant for today's demands. But yeah, the axiom, which is usually right, is to get the single best card you can afford right now, and crossfire later. A 7970 will destroy almost anything you throw at it, especially if your monitor resolution is 1080p and you're limited to 60 frames per second (this describes most people on this site). You can upgrade later. The 6970s will also use a lot more power and don't OC as well.

(I'd also consider OCing a 7950 or getting a 670 rather than getting a 7970, but it's up to you.)
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May 31, 2012 10:03:06 PM

Flareside said:
I say go with the 7970 as well as you may not be able to afford a second one now but the performance will be better and later you will be able to purchase a second.

Flare

well a 7970 does not give better performance the 2 6970s so that is kind of an invalid statement...so yeah....lol;)
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May 31, 2012 10:11:12 PM

motorneuron said:
You also won't take advantage of PCIe 3.0 because it's barely ever relevant for today's demands. But yeah, the axiom, which is usually right, is to get the single best card you can afford right now, and crossfire later. A 7970 will destroy almost anything you throw at it, especially if your monitor resolution is 1080p and you're limited to 60 frames per second (this describes most people on this site). You can upgrade later. The 6970s will also use a lot more power and don't OC as well.

(I'd also consider OCing a 7950 or getting a 670 rather than getting a 7970, but it's up to you.)


well i have the same kind of problem getting a 670, i can get two 580s for about the same amount rofl
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a c 291 U Graphics card
May 31, 2012 10:29:26 PM

I'd go with dual HD 6970. Sure, it's crossfire. Sure, it will consume more power. So what? You save $100. You get AWESOME performance. Remember, half a year ago crossfire HD 6970s was one of the most powerful setups you could get. You will max out all the games there are. And the statement that they will age much faster than HD 7970 is invalid. How can they age faster if they are faster than HD 7970?
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a b U Graphics card
May 31, 2012 10:29:30 PM

...pretty sure you can't get two 580s for $410. They are almost the same price as 670s right now (cheapest I saw on newegg for a 580 was like $370). Am I missing something? Even if you use ebay, is anyone actually selling 2x 580s for $450?

Anyway, you should tell us about your monitor. Are you going to be using a 60 Hz 1080p panel? If so, unless you're playing competitive BF3 or something, you won't really need the extra performance that 2x 6970s provide over a single 7970/7950/670. The single card will use much less power and generate much less heat, and you can upgrade it better later.

edit: to finish the thought, though, if you're going for more than one monitor or you have a 120Hz monitor or you are gaming at more than 1920x1080/1200, then yes, go for the 2x 6970.
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a c 87 U Graphics card
May 31, 2012 10:37:33 PM

Overclocking a Radeon 7950 gives you far more performance for the money than two 6970s, even if you overclock them, and the increased power usage of the two 6970s versus a single 7950 or 7970 is enough to make up any cost difference very quickly because they'll cost you more than $100 (I can show you guys the math if you want to refute this claim) a year more than the 7950 and a little less than that a year more than the 7970. The 7970 and 7950, when overclocked, are faster than two 6970s (even if you overclock the 6970s) while still using far less power and offering more future-proofing through their higher VRAM capacity per GPU.

If you really want Crossfire right now, then get two Radeon 7850s and OC the heck out of them.

My recommendation is a 7950 and overclocking the heck out of it. As for the PCIe 2.x versus PCIe 3.0, don't worry about that much. It's only a serious problem when the 7900 cards or better have less than 8GB/s of PCIe bandwidth and even then, 4GB/s of PCIe bandwidth isn't much of a bottle-neck. So long as you keep up at least a PCIe 2.x x8 connection, PCIe 3.0 x4 connection, or better, the PCIe bandwidth shouldn't be problematic for gaming. Compute, on the other hand, would not be so forgiving of less than even 16GB/s of PCIe bandwidth (PCIe 3.0 x16), but gaming is less demanding on the PCIe bus.
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May 31, 2012 10:45:49 PM

motorneuron said:
...pretty sure you can't get two 580s for $410. They are almost the same price as 670s right now (cheapest I saw on newegg for a 580 was like $370). Am I missing something? Even if you use ebay, is anyone actually selling 2x 580s for $450?

Anyway, you should tell us about your monitor. Are you going to be using a 60 Hz 1080p panel? If so, unless you're playing competitive BF3 or something, you won't really need the extra performance that 2x 6970s provide over a single 7970/7950/670. The single card will use much less power and generate much less heat, and you can upgrade it better later.

edit: to finish the thought, though, if you're going for more than one monitor or you have a 120Hz monitor or you are gaming at more than 1920x1080/1200, then yes, go for the 2x 6970.

i have 2x 1080p monitors, and yes you can get a used gtx 580 for $200, that is finding the right card @ the right time
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May 31, 2012 11:03:52 PM

l1nks said:
well a 7970 does not give better performance the 2 6970s so that is kind of an invalid statement...so yeah....lol;)


raw perormance is not the whole story, you have microstuttering issue, so even if your fps are higher on the 2x6970s vs 7970, the 7970 well more likely give you a smoother experience. also sli and crossfire setups have driver issues that are hard to fix alot of the time.
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May 31, 2012 11:54:28 PM

think i might just wait for 660ti and sli then
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a b U Graphics card
June 1, 2012 12:03:45 AM

l1nks said:
well a 7970 does not give better performance the 2 6970s so that is kind of an invalid statement...so yeah....lol;)

Sounds to me like you have already made up your mind and know what your talking about anyways
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a c 87 U Graphics card
June 1, 2012 12:27:59 AM

l1nks said:
think i might just wait for 660ti and sli then


Starting off with Crossfire or SLI is usually not a good option except for very high end systems where there is no alternative. GTX 660 TIs, at best, would only support up to two cards in SLI, so you're left without much room for improvement that doesn't involve replacing both cards. A Radeon 7950 would solve that problem because it can be overclocked far beyond Radeon 6970 Crossfire can and the unlike GTX 660 TI, it is not only out right now, but would also overclock better and would have more VRAM capacity and bandwidth meaning better future proofing.
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June 1, 2012 12:50:40 AM

blazorthon said:
Starting off with Crossfire or SLI is usually not a good option except for very high end systems where there is no alternative. GTX 660 TIs, at best, would only support up to two cards in SLI, so you're left without much room for improvement that doesn't involve replacing both cards. A Radeon 7950 would solve that problem because it can be overclocked far beyond Radeon 6970 Crossfire can and the unlike GTX 660 TI, it is not only out right now, but would also overclock better and would have more VRAM capacity and bandwidth meaning better future proofing.

now, wouldn't say that, 60s are typically considered the best overclockers and 2, sometimes 3gb versions of 60's series cards are typically available, this is based on prior cards, so its kind of just speculation....well..less then your reply lol
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a c 87 U Graphics card
June 1, 2012 1:04:41 AM

l1nks said:
now, wouldn't say that, 60s are typically considered the best overclockers and 2, sometimes 3gb versions of 60's series cards are typically available, this is based on prior cards, so its kind of just speculation....well..less then your reply lol


Give me a single recent example of THAT. The GCN architecture is superior at overclocking than the Kepler architecture, so you're likely wrong about that already. The GTX 460 and 560 did not have ANY 3GB models so you're also wrong about that. I didn't base anything on speculation. I use facts. What you have just said to me is not only rude, but blatantly wrong in every way. I have overclocked Radeon 7850s up to the performance of the Radeon 7970. Radeon 7950s are even better than that and can go way beyond the Radeon 6990. If you don't want my advice, then fine, but the next time that you want to argue with a computer engineer, you'd better get your facts strait.
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June 1, 2012 1:52:08 AM

blazorthon said:
Give me a single recent example of THAT. The GCN architecture is superior at overclocking than the Kepler architecture, so you're likely wrong about that already. The GTX 460 and 560 did not have ANY 3GB models so you're also wrong about that. I didn't base anything on speculation. I use facts. What you have just said to me is not only rude, but blatantly wrong in every way. I have overclocked Radeon 7850s up to the performance of the Radeon 7970. Radeon 7950s are even better than that and can go way beyond the Radeon 6990. If you don't want my advice, then fine, but the next time that you want to argue with a computer engineer, you'd better get your facts strait.

i'm not trying to be rude, it may seem like i often respond with negative things but i like to counter things in my head to come out to a nice medium, i know it sounds weird, lol
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June 2, 2012 12:01:40 PM

blazorthon said:
Give me a single recent example of THAT. The GCN architecture is superior at overclocking than the Kepler architecture, so you're likely wrong about that already. The GTX 460 and 560 did not have ANY 3GB models so you're also wrong about that. I didn't base anything on speculation. I use facts. What you have just said to me is not only rude, but blatantly wrong in every way. I have overclocked Radeon 7850s up to the performance of the Radeon 7970. Radeon 7950s are even better than that and can go way beyond the Radeon 6990. If you don't want my advice, then fine, but the next time that you want to argue with a computer engineer, you'd better get your facts strait.



Wow you got a thorn up his ass.

Let's just get one thing straight.

Links you obviously know some good things about graphics card.

My recommendation from a college student who has a lot of experience in computer, but is not an engineer and in no way trying to tout his education, I'd say go with a single card solution, staying away from Sli/Crossfire will be your best bet.

Trust me you do not want to go dual cards yet. And if you really want to upgrade now or want to in general don't wait for the 660's. They are months away unless I am mistaken otherwise.

I'm actually on the fence and verge of upgrading because I want to play BF3 on Ultra maxed on 1080p with smooth game play.

I currently have a 5970 and while this card is monstrous the crossfire sometimes blows chunks. Many games can't take advantage of anything more than a single card setup.

Some games do it well but for the most part they don't. Crossfire setups don't even look at them because as powerful AMD cards can be, the drivers are made by 15 year old blonds high off of bathsalts. Meaning they are always bust, and you typically have to wait for new drivers to fix one problem for a new problem to occur on an older game you play, so then you have to wait for a new driver to have a fix for both of those problems, in which you start getting bad performance and weird issues in your favorite game.

But seriously, go with a single card setup. A 7970 will do fine. If you want to go all nerd action and overclock a 7950, do that as well. My suggestion get the Asus 670 it's overclocked and has great reviews and even tops a 680. Or go for a 680.

The performance of the 600 series is phenomenal. So just go with what you think. These are only my suggestions and out look. Not trying to be the anal computer nerd and force it on you. This is all just from experience.
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a c 291 U Graphics card
June 2, 2012 12:17:47 PM

Since when engineers are taught about overclocking cards and building computers? :lol: 
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June 2, 2012 1:19:52 PM

Sunius said:
Since when engineers are taught about overclocking cards and building computers? :lol: 


Um arnt engineers the ones the create chips and graphic cards. Hell with out engineers we wouldn't have the tech we have
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a b U Graphics card
June 2, 2012 1:26:20 PM

Get the 7970, the drivers shall improve overtime and so will the performance of the card.

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a c 291 U Graphics card
June 2, 2012 2:14:47 PM

zakattak80 said:
Um arnt engineers the ones the create chips and graphic cards. Hell with out engineers we wouldn't have the tech we have


Physics engineers do that. Not computer engineers. Also they aren't taught anything about overclocking or computer building. Zero. Non. Nil.
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June 2, 2012 3:16:45 PM

Sunius said:
Physics engineers do that. Not computer engineers. Also they aren't taught anything about overclocking or computer building. Zero. Non. Nil.



Still have a hard time believing the groups creating the chips and the architecture don't understand computers and have stability at higher clocks in mind when building new chip
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a b U Graphics card
June 2, 2012 3:32:40 PM

Wow, this has gotten off topic...
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June 7, 2012 9:11:34 AM

Best answer selected by l1nks.
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a b U Graphics card
June 7, 2012 2:52:48 PM

Hey man, if you don't feel you have the right answer... Just send me a PM and i know we can work this out.
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June 7, 2012 4:03:08 PM

Rockdpm said:
Hey man, if you don't feel you have the right answer... Just send me a PM and i know we can work this out.

Just going to get a 670 or 680 :p 
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a c 87 U Graphics card
June 7, 2012 4:11:58 PM

l1nks said:
Just going to get a 670 or 680 :p 


If you want to go with Nvidia here, then a ~$400 budget makes a GTX 670 the best option and a higher budget makes a factory overclocked GTX 670 4GB the best option. I do not recommend the GTX 680 because it is hardly any faster than he 670 at all (factory overclocked 670s can beat the 680), despite being a lot more expensive than the 670 and using more power. The 680, today, is more of a novelty item in comparison to the GTX 670. The same is true for the Radeon 7970 versus the Radeon 7950 for overclockers because with the same PCB and cooler, a 7950 is equal to a 7970 in performance when both are overclocked to their reasonably maximums. There's little reason to buy a GTX 680 or a Radeon 7970 for a gaming machine for anything other than bragging rights about having spent more money to get the same (or even sometimes worse) performance and a card with a slightly higher number in its name.

Also, if you go Nvidia, be weary of the most recent driver, 301.42, because it is known to cause throttling during gameplay for some people.
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a b U Graphics card
June 7, 2012 4:22:29 PM

Agreed. I got the 670 and love it
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a c 272 U Graphics card
June 7, 2012 9:36:05 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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