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Is there any reason NOT to Crossfire at 1080p?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 29, 2012 12:25:46 AM

Okay, for Christmas my fiancee bought me an MSI 7950 Twin Frozr III. She knew I was getting ready to build a new system and wanted to jump start it, lol. My current mobo does not support Crossfire. I can afford to buy another 7950 when I buy the rest of my new PC. I already have one 7950 and an 850W PSU.

Other than cost, is there any reason NOT to Crossfire at 1080p? Everyone says only Crossfire at higher resolutions but I'm wondering why? Just because of wasted power or will power not be as great at 1080p compared to 1600p?

I'm very satisfied with one 7950, but something like 8x AA on Skyrim brings me down to 30 fps and below. BF3 runs pretty good but again AA and HBAO cripple it. Would another 7950 let me enable these and get 60+ frames?

I'm debating on getting another 7950 with the rest of my PC, or getting either a 120Hz monitor or 2560x1440 monitor. I can't afford both, so I'm wondering if I should get overpowered now, then step up to a new monitor around next Fall, or get the new monitor now and be underpowered for it until around next Fall?

More about : reason crossfire 1080p

December 29, 2012 4:32:19 AM

CrossFire now and get the better monitor later. More FPS are always better ;) 
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December 29, 2012 4:45:08 AM

From what I understand, both of those games are mostly CPU-bound, so that may be what's holding back your fps.

Look up some crossfire results for those games and see if that'll provide much improvement.
You might be better served upgrading your processor instead.

If you do go crossfire, be aware of the microstutter issues, and look into RadeonPro.
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a c 217 U Graphics card
December 29, 2012 4:57:39 AM

It's not really worthwhile to use 8x AA, especially 8x MSAA and FXAA which is likely why your Skyrim performance is poor. After 4x MSAA, the gains are pretty much unnoticeable. That should help your Skyrim performance.

If you go for 120hz or 1600p, two 7950's would give you gains worth considering crossfire. I'd plan ahead with a motherboard capable of supporting it.
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a c 127 U Graphics card
December 29, 2012 5:17:51 AM

Its not worthwhile to Crossfire/SLI at 60hz 1080p because of diminishing returns on your dollar (value I guess, not cost).
If a single 7950 will get you 40FPS in a game at high settings, Crossfiring another in will only net you a 20FPS performance boost (because of Vsync). So for 200% the cost and power consumption of a single card, you are getting 150% performance. Factor in that if you turn down the superfluous settings like AA and MSAA, a single 7950 with be getting you 50-55 FPS in intensive games, netting only a 5-10FPS boost by getting another one in. 110% performance for 200% cost.

That's why you need a higher resolution and/or refresh rate for Crossfire/SLI to be worth it.
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December 29, 2012 5:31:09 AM

crossfire so you get more fps.
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December 29, 2012 6:59:34 AM

aramisathei said:
From what I understand, both of those games are mostly CPU-bound, so that may be what's holding back your fps.

Look up some crossfire results for those games and see if that'll provide much improvement.
You might be better served upgrading your processor instead.

If you do go crossfire, be aware of the microstutter issues, and look into RadeonPro.


actually, bf3 is GPU bound. Just sayin.

Skyrim is GPU and cpu independent.
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a c 127 U Graphics card
December 29, 2012 7:17:31 AM

^ Single player it is, large multiplayer games are CPU bound to a point.

Nope, Skyrim is the best example of a CPU dependent game around except for maybe StarCraft 2.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/fx-8350-vishera-rev...
Pretty linear graph showing which CPU's have the strongest single-threaded performance.
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a c 217 U Graphics card
December 29, 2012 2:48:55 PM

manofchalk said:
^ Single player it is, large multiplayer games are CPU bound to a point.

Nope, Skyrim is the best example of a CPU dependent game around except for maybe StarCraft 2.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/fx-8350-vishera-rev...
Pretty linear graph showing which CPU's have the strongest single-threaded performance.


After patch 1.4, Skyrim has become far less CPU dependent. Look at the THG System builder marathon. They had one season with huge CPU bottlenecking, followed by huge gains on every platform.
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December 29, 2012 3:10:33 PM

My current CPU is i7 2600 @ 3.4Ghz but like I said, I'm building a new rig so I'm just trying to decide on a new monitor or GPU to purchase with it. Thanks for all the info, though.
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a c 127 U Graphics card
December 29, 2012 3:16:52 PM

My gut says get the monitor first. A monitor will last much longer than anything inside the computer. I'v been using my Benq G2420HD for over four years and it has seen three different computers in that time.

If you get the dual graphics cards, they might already be outdated by the time you have the capacity to use their performance.
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December 29, 2012 3:38:38 PM

manofchalk said:
My gut says get the monitor first. A monitor will last much longer than anything inside the computer. I'v been using my Benq G2420HD for over four years and it has seen three different computers in that time.

If you get the dual graphics cards, they might already be outdated by the time you have the capacity to use their performance.


Would you recommend 120Hz or 2650x1440? I'm inclined to get the higher resolution but I'm wondering if it makes that much difference? 720p to 1080p seems like night and day. How about the jump to 1200p, 1440p, or 1600p?
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a c 127 U Graphics card
December 30, 2012 3:31:36 AM

TBH I have never used a monitor of higher resolution than 1080p, so I cant speak from personal experience there.
I have used a 120hz when I was over at a friends place though. It really does make everything feel smoother, turning around in games and just generally using it you can feel the difference.

Though I cant make that decision for you, because whether you prefer a higher resolution or refresh rate is personal preference. Personally if I had the cash for either, I would get myself an Eyefinity setup, 5760x1080 (which I guess you could say is equivalent to a higher resolution).
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