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Single card vs Crossfire

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 2, 2013 3:25:28 PM

Hey everybody,

My question of the day today, Crossfire or one GPU?

Some context: I currently have one 7850 2GB GPU in my rig, and it does a great job at maxing out most games, however, some newer games that are coming out that are more demanding (i.e. Far Cry 3, Crysis 3, The Witcher 2, and, despite being a little older, TW Shogun 2) I cannot max out. Usually high-ultra works on these newer games with ~4xAA, but its definitely not max. And I would love maxed out games.

So, because my motherboard is crossfire compatible, I was thinking about getting a second 7850 (identical card) and crossfiring the two to eliminate any problems and get back to maxing games. And, the 7850s are only $225 now. Great price.

I did some research however, and I found that there are some problems with crossfire like microstutters or microlag or whatever the official technical term is, that can slow down your performance. I have done a little more reading but havent found anything really decisive either way from Google, so I thought I would ask people who probably have experience with that kind of thing.

My only qualm about going with one card is its expensive as hell. I would love to pay only $225 for another card than $400 for a brand new one.

Let me know what you guys think. Thanks in advance for the help.

-Zacharoni

More about : single card crossfire

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March 2, 2013 3:35:57 PM

First of all, $225 for a 7850 is not a great price.
What card do you currently have?

The cons to crossfire are that not all games are optimized for it, you need a mobo with multiple x16 pcie slots, and power consumption.

Please give us your specs so we can help you make a decision.
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March 3, 2013 1:33:18 AM

$225 is a good price relative to what I bought the card for a year ago...

Specs:

i7 3770k @3.5ghz
16 GB G.Skill Sniper RAM
Radeon 7850 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...)
Currently a 750 Watt PSU, hopefully upgrading to the Thermaltake Smart Series 850 Watt
27" Acer LED Monitor
ASUS P8Z77-V LK (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=13-131-...)

I cant think of anything else that you would need, just let me know if you are going to need anything else
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March 3, 2013 1:36:14 AM

A 750W is more than enough for 2x 7850 and an i7.

For $225 you can get a 7870, crossfire the 7870 and 7850, you'll have performance somewhere between 7850 cf and 7870 cf.
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March 3, 2013 4:33:12 AM

if you CFX a 7870 and 7850, it negates any performance increase from a 7870. The 7870 will go down to 7850 level. In my opinion go for the CFX
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March 3, 2013 4:43:40 AM

I'm debating the same thing right now Zach. I know for far cry 3 uses crossfire well but for crysis 3 I'm not sure. I haven't found anything yet but the game just came out. I know the beta 13.2 beta6 supposedly supports crossfire but the videos on youtube with people using this setup does not show any better minimum fps than what I'm currently getting with one card. This should get better though with time especially being that the game is designed with amd.

I'm going to buy a second one on Monday, if you want I can report back the results.
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March 3, 2013 4:52:21 AM

cdrkeen said:
I'm debating the same thing right now Zach. I know for far cry 3 uses crossfire well but for crysis 3 I'm not sure. I haven't found anything yet but the game just came out. I know the beta 13.2 beta6 supposedly supports crossfire but the videos on youtube with people using this setup does not show any better minimum fps than what I'm currently getting with one card. This should get better though with time especially being that the game is designed with amd.

I'm going to buy a second one on Monday, if you want I can report back the results.


Yeah that would be great. Thanks.
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Best solution

March 6, 2013 5:50:27 PM

Sorry for the delayed response. I wasn't able to get the card Monday and after having more time to think it over I just went with a single card solution, the Gigabyte 7970 windforce3 OC, and selling my 7850.

My second pci express slot only runs at 2.0 4x speed, it may of been okay but to accompany that with possible bad scaling problems, finding the right driver, micro stuttering issues etc. I think it would of been a major headache. I had a 4850 crossfire setup a couple years ago and had nothing but headaches, I ended up selling both cards for a single card...Maybe crossfire has improved since then but that scared me away from doing it.

I had some micro stuttering which didn't make the fps drop, it just felt kind of choppy for the lack of a better way to describe it. I got random crashes, and sometimes the minimum fps would be less than a single card.

If you OC at all the 7950 is a great choice too you can get a great deal on one for around $300. check this one out

http://www.amazon.com/Gigabyte-Mini-Displayport-PCI-Exp...

Models like the MSI twin frozer III, and the gigabyte windstorm3 are great economical solutions that can reach and surpass the fps of a gtx 680/7970ghz plus you get 2 great games or you can sell one or both which would take 100 off the price tag.
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March 6, 2013 6:12:14 PM

Allright thanks. Ill definitely keep that in mind, and keep reading stuff on it. Ill definitely keep a 7950 in mind though.
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March 6, 2013 6:12:20 PM

Allright thanks. Ill definitely keep that in mind, and keep reading stuff on it. Ill definitely keep a 7950 in mind though.
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March 6, 2013 6:13:01 PM

Best answer selected by Zacharoni.
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