2 Card CrossFire vs Single Card Setup

Hey people. Question for the people who are familiar with CrossFire and whatnot.

Am I better going for which of these:

1x HD7970 1000m/5700m 3GB
2x Hd7850 860m/4800m 2GB

I know it would seem obvious on first glance, but I am carefully looking into this system and trying to keep costs down (both of these options are about $500). Personally, I am leaning towards the 2 card setup, but with the advances I may be missing something, and haven't been keeping that up to date with the industry lately.

I will be playing games like BF2, Just Cause, Metro 2033, Crysis 1 and 2, and similar games to these. These will be running on a single 1920x1080 FHD screen.

I will be using a Intel 3750K overclocked to ~4.3-4.5GHz and a set of Geil Dual-Channel C9 16GB (4x4) RAM running at 1600Mhz, all on a Gigabyte H77 motherboard with a XFX 850W PSU (because I will quite likely move to a quad-crossfire setup in 6-8 months). I doubt I will be overclocking my GPU or RAM.

So, ideas?

EDIT: Could I get away with a 500W + Case deal on the website I am looking at with the 2 cards?
4 answers Last reply
More about card crossfire single card setup
  1. BigMack70 said:
    What 500W model are you looking at? It might power a 7970 if it's very high quality but not a pair of 7850s.

    It's a fairly basic corsair one. But if its going to be a 'might' with a 500W, I will get a seperate 650W, just in case.
  2. Best answer selected by JamesLangley.
  3. Always go with best single card in ur cost range, and leave ability to crossfire/sli. (if you want)

    I made the mistake of trying to go SLI first off with my 1st rig. Never again.

    Builds since, I've left ability to expand w/ a second card and have done so about a year later after prices have come down and sys requirements have come up. I've never regretted going that route...
  4. Dollar for dollar, two near top end cards have long outperformed the single top end card. Microstutter is a non-issue on any card above $200 price tag. Wasn't always that way..... back before 2010, the single card option was the way to go and for a while I continued to do so.

    Later, when I continued to always go for the top end card, I got tired of doing builds for other people that kicked my rig's butt for less money. Nowadays, buying the top end GPU is just like buying the top end GPU, very hard to justify it on a performance per dollar basis.

    I used to plan like jones did, figuring I'd get a second card later....but I found by that time, I found it hard to justify the additional investment in what was now old technology and the price drop was never as big as I anticipated.


    Game - 7970 fps / 7870 CF fps (1920 x 1200)

    Hawx 2 - 196 / 283
    Mafia 3 - 118 / 131
    Lost Planet 2 - 87 / 125
    AVP - 92 / 132
    Just Cause 2 - 103 / 170
    Metro 2033 - 84 / 118
    Dirt 3 - 85 / 133
    Far Cry 2 - 167 / 256

    Which one do ya take ? Don't ask me.....if ya like the numbers on the left better, take the 7970.....if ya like the numbers on the right better, take the twin 7870's.
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