Three monitors in portrait setup, should I go GeForce or Radeon?

Hi guys, I just got paid, so it's time to build an awesome new rig (eating is not important). Here's what I'm thinking:

This build will use three monitors, probably Asus VE228H's, in portrait mode.

I'll be doing a lot of gaming on this rig, and I'm not talkin' about Farmville. The most graphics-intensive game I play right now is probably Skyrim (with fifty gazillion mods), although Borderlands 2 can get pretty...pretty (and Physx!). Basically, I'm looking for a graphics card solution that can chew up games at max settings for the next few years. I definitely want two, count 'em, two graphics cards though. Two years ago, when I made my current comp, I built it with two GeForce 470s. I sold one to a friend after a few months, thinking I'd never need it. But now...yeah, I kinda wish I had two of those bad boys...

Buying isn't urgent: I'm looking to build this computer sometime at the end of the year, when I move into my new place (so I actually have someplace to put it). I'll probably be buying parts from newegg or amazon, whichever is cheaper at the time of purchase.

And finally, the rest of my comp will look something like this: Antec 1200 case, core i7 3770K processor (unless someone can talk me out of it. Come on, it's not THAT much more expensive than an i5), 12GB RAM, any mobo with usb 3.0 and SATA III, couple o' SSDs, 850-1000W PS.

Now, down to the meat of the question: GeForce or Radeon? I'll get this out of the way right now, I'm not spending more than 300 dollars for a graphics card. I mean really, that's just stupid. Because I plan on getting two and SLIing or CrossFiring, even a 25 dollar difference in price can be a huge impact on the overall price of the build. Now, this probably puts me down into the GeForce 570 vs Radeon 7870 range, unless 670s and 7950s go on sale (please, Santa?). Now I've checked specs, I've checked benchmarks, and I'm always baffled how a seemingly better card (the 7870s faster clock, more memory) can get its ass kicked by a seemingly inferior card (the 570 isn't even 2GB man, what the hell). This makes me a little reticent to buy from AMD, as well as the fact that I've always been a GeForce man, and it's always worked for me in the past.

So then! What do you think?
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  1. The only advise I can give you is get the i5 as the money saved should go into graphics, seriously if you want to game on 3 monitors an i3 and spending more on GPU is better than an i7 will be and maybe even better than i5 if it gets better GPUs.
  2. So i5 3570K instead of i7 3770k?
  3. i5 3570k for gaming 7970 ghz edition sapphire or gigabyte crossfire / or 7990 thats would just be me i'm a amd fan boy :) just because i love my 7970 vapor x oc 1200/1600 playing bf3 max setting @ 5760x1080 lags some times mostly 35 fps+ thats just with one card .

    if you like to edit videos / multitasking etc get the i7 3770k

    + i heard going with 680sli or 690 aint bad even better on bf3 at my res but ccc aint finish with there drivers i think + 1gb extra witch is good for games like skyrim / multi monitors
  4. AMD cards typically perform better at higher resolutions/multiple monitors, and come bundled with a superior utility (Eyefinity) for it.
    A lot of the benchmarks you saw are probably at 1080p, where AMD and Nvidia are fairly evenly matched. Also with low/moderate settings on AA and MSAA, which is a strong point for Radeon cards. When you start scaling the resolution and AA up, AMD cards pull ahead.,3232-8.html,3232-10.html
    The GTX690 is a dual GPU card, costing well over $1000. That's why it is at the top of every graph.

    Also, don't compare clock speeds across different GPU's to figure out which is better. It doesn't work like that. And the amount of VRAM doesn't affect performance until you run out of it, and only about 1.5GB is used at 1080p. When you start hitting higher resolutions (which you are doing), then the amount of VRAM becomes important.

    Drop down to the 3570k, no need for an i7 if all you are doing is gaming.
    Get a single strong card over two weaker cards in SLI/Crossfire. Less power consumption, less heat and easier expandability later.
    Its easier to do and will give a bigger boost to performance to add a second 7970 than it would be to add a third 7870.
  5. In my opinion this last round of NVIDIA cards has equalized the multi-monitor setup game.

    If you are going to be running @ 5760x1080 like lasttimeii with max textures make sure whichever card you get has plenty of VRAM.

    I believe with the current cards available going NVIDIA would give you a better bang for your buck.
  6. also if its just gaming just get 8 gb ram and just get 850w psu if your going to cf/sli and um if you really like Physx then just get a 670 4gb sli.
    i don't recommend a 690 its not really 4gb its just 2gb but then again sli/cf driver do tends to suck
  7. lasttimeii said:
    also if its just gaming just get 8 gb ram and just get 850w psu if your going to cf/sli and um if you really like Physx then just get a 670 4gb sli.
    i don't recommend a 690 its not really 4gb its just 2gb but then again sli/cf driver do tends to suck

    I probably only need 8 gigs of ram, but 12 gigs is only 20 bucks more...

    And I don't really like physx I guess, it's not totally necessary.

    Well, so far I'm hearing that I should just get whatever graphics card I want as long as it has plenty of vram
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