Dual card setup for new gaming rig

I am having a hard time picking a new gaming setup rig. I was convinced to go with a single card setup either a gtx 680 or 7970 Ghz edition, but with new cards coming out pretty soon, only a matter of a couple months, yes I'm talking about the 8800's, I don't want to buy a 7970 GHz and then be like the same performance or less than a 8870, so I was thinking for the price of a 7970 or 680 I could get a nice little mid-range SLI or CFX setup going that will last longer and actually cost the same or less. Actually on the December 2012 Best for Money GPUs the AMD 7850 CFX, 7870 CFX are recommended. What do you guys suggest instead of a single gpu solution. Choices are 660 SLI, 660 Ti SLI, 7850 CFX, 7870 CFX?

Thanks ahead of time
14 answers Last reply
More about dual card setup gaming
  1. IMO, if a single card can get you the performance you want, then it is a very bad idea to instead go with a multi-GPU solution:
    -It's louder
    -It's hotter
    -It draws more power
    -You get microstutter
    -You get many, many more finnicky driver issues than with a single card

    However, if you are dead set on going CF/SLI instead of a single card, then either 660 SLI or 7870 CF would be my choice depending on how much you want to spend.
  2. Which one will give me better performance, and which one is cooler? I hear there are some issues with the 7870 CFX setup. I understand your points and already knew that, but thanks man.
  3. There's issues with any SLI or CF setup, that's the point.

    Anyways, if temps/noise are a main concern for you, then one of the Nvidia pairs is probably the way to go. As for performance, my best guess is that [OC = manually OC'd not factory OC'd]

    7870 OC CF > 660ti (OC or not) SLI > 7870 CF > 660 (OC or not) SLI > 7850 CF (not sure how the 7850 does with overclocking)

    I am not a fan of 660ti SLI as I don't think it's a balanced combination and think that in a year or two that 192-bit bus is going to kill that setup, but who knows? It's currently the best performer there unless you're wanting to go for an all out OC'd 7870 setup (which will NOT be quiet and cool)
  4. I actually don't care much for it being too noisy or cool. Just the best performing and best bang for buck. I can get the 7870 HIS IceQ pair for less than a 660 ti SLI.
  5. Well then it just comes down to what you want to trade off... with the 7870s you would risk getting a lousy overclock and having lower performance than 660ti SLI and with 660ti SLI you spend a bit more money and you risk that the 192-bit bus on those cards will come back to haunt you in the future.

    Dunno what the rest of your build is, but for CF/SLI you want to make sure you have a high quality PSU that's at least 750W (my baseline recommendation is the Corsair HX750), a CPU that's at least the equivalent of a 2500k, and a mobo that has a pair of PCI-e 2.0 x8 slots (or better)
  6. Well why not go with a mid-high overclock on the HIS 7870 IceQ CFX Setup and not have to worry about a huge or lousy overclock and the 660 ti sli 192-bit bandwidth restriction that could haunt you in the end?

    I intend on getting a 3570K cpu as it is the best for gaming right now in terms of price/performance, was looking at the latest AMD FX-8350 and it's just not as good and not going for that. So 3570K for cpu, Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H motherboard and XFX 850w Pro Series (80 plus silver), has 4x 6+2 pin PCI-e connectors so that should be good huh?
  7. Well my guess is you'd still need to OC them to at least 1200 MHz core to get to 660ti SLI performance, but I dunno for sure.

    If this is the PSU you're talking about, then you're good to go there :)

    Mobo/CPU look good too
  8. Yeah, I'll probably do some definite overclocking and test out the setup man, run 3d mark 11 a bunch of times and everything, but should be fine really. What kind of 3d mark 11 P score should I strive for with that kind of setup and the 7870 GHz IceQ cards?
  9. Wow 14.2K huh, pretty nice man, almost as much as 7970 in CFX, negligble atleast. Very nice. I can deal with some games not being able to work with CFX man, really I can use one if need be. But most of the big games that come out will be fine with crossfire I am sure. Did you see the power supply I linked that I was talking about?

    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1143937&sku=P450-0800
  10. mf2385 said:
    Wow 14.2K huh, pretty nice man, almost as much as 7970 in CFX, negligble atleast. Very nice. I can deal with some games not being able to work with CFX man, really I can use one if need be. But most of the big games that come out will be fine with crossfire I am sure. Did you see the power supply I linked that I was talking about?

    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1143937&sku=P450-0800


    That PSU should be fine, I think.

    Remember too that TT tested with a 3960x CPU so their P score is higher than what you will get.
  11. In terms of gaming man the performance isn't that much high actually man, plus I will be overclocking the 3570K to a stable 4.5 GHz pretty much out of the box.

    Also which 7870 GHz edition is a better one to get, well two of them to get? I see the MSI HAWK edition is always a good version to get, I had a HAWK 5770 a couple of years back, worked great and actually a 560 Ti HAWK.
  12. What do you think about this Cooler Master 800w 80 plus gold, Crossfire Certified power supply:

    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=6389019&sku=C283-2092
  13. I've not read reviews of that one but in general I avoid Cooler Master power supplies.
  14. If that's the case, then what can you recommend for my 7870 cfx setup? Do you know anything about these Ultra brand power supplies?

    For instance this Ultra, fully modular, 1050w version:

    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1583413&Sku=U12-41564

    or

    this OCZ ZX 850w fully modular, 80 plus gold

    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=7213993&CatId=5441
  15. Well that XFX pro 850W unit sounded fine...

    I'm personally partial to Corsair PSUs - the HX or AX 850 are solid options there

    That Ultra PSU sounds like a great way to burn down your house... stay away from that
  16. Compared between pricing and performance, I still sticks with 660Ti graphics card. I personally feel NV's drive is much better for gaming. I am quite satisfied with current Gigabye 660 Ti Windforce card.

    here is benchmark comparison.
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-660-ti-memory-bandwidth-anti-aliasing,3283-9.html
  17. I really like Corsair also, the last power supply I owned was the Corsair TX 750 for my old rig. So the AX 850 or HX 850 should be more then enough then?

    I really like the pretty newly release Corsair AX Series 760 or 860, I might get this one:

    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=7413649&sku=C13-2586
  18. Yeah 850W is more than enough for your rig and that new AX860 unit is sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeet if you're willing to spend the cash for it :bounce:

    http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Corsair/AX860/11.html
  19. Well so the question remains 660 ti SLI vs 7870 HAWK GHz CFX. Question isn't easy to answer I guess. But the 192-bit bandwidth for SLI might be sticky later on when it becomes a bottleneck...

    Will the 192-bit bandwidth of the 660 ti bottleneck the gaming experience? Will the 7870 GHz not be able to OC to those speeds?
  20. 3570k w/ corsair h80i liquid cooling
    gigabyte z77x-ud5h
    8gb (2x4gb) corsair vengeance
    corsair ax 860 (80 plus platinum) (fully modular)
    2x gigabyte gtx 660 ti windforce or 2x msi hd 7870 hawk edition
    cooler master haf 932 advanced atx case
    samsung internal dvd-rw drive
    2tb seagate barracude 7200 rpm

    This is basically what I'm working with at the moment on my build before I buy sometime this week.
  21. If I can get 2x HD 7850 2GB for $205 each wouldn't that be the best performance/price I can get for a mult-gpu setup?
  22. Well nevermind that, Tigerdirect sucks with price-matching, they say they do it and just make excuses up about why they can't price match like 10 things I just asked them to price-match for me from Newegg.com
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