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670' Sli or 7970's Crossfire for a new PC?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 23, 2013 2:24:27 PM

Hi all, I am italian, so I'm very very sorry if I won't write specific and technical words about this matter.
First of all, I want to say that my new PC must (or will) be a gaming PC (but editing not excluded), very good gaming.
So (and let's think that here in Italy prices are not so "good") in my new config will be more or less based on an i7 (3770) and an XFX 850W or 750W Pro (talkin' about power supply). NO overclock.
Now, all the new PC (with case, SSD, O.S., but also re-using my old burner) will cost me more or less 1700€. I wanted to go on a Gtx690 or a Titan, but I can't.
So, since prices of 7970 (not Ghz Ed.) and 670 (2gb not 4) are more or less the same, from brand to brand they change just some euros, I was undecided of what I must choose!

I am not a great expert, but I want to think to the future.
I am not choosing a single card because I don't want to be "tight" right now, I will also play, but not very much, on multimonitor, but above all I don't want to go tight (I don't if it's the right word) because I would like to max out (or so) also some future "heavy game" not just older games like BF3 or Far CRy 3, or Crysis 3 etc..

Watching benchmarks 7970's Crossfire is "a little" better than a 680 Sli (too much expensive and it seems not too much better of 670 Sli).
But here in italy (yeah we are a ruined nation) the greatest part of forums is convinced that crossfire's stuttering and problems is unbearable, exaggerated and so on...
It seems that "crossfire" means blasphemy!
But in some way it's true that AMD it's not the greatest talking about drivers&support (I never had nVidia..).

So I would like to know for you what it's worth: 670's Sli or 7970's Crossfire?

The cost would be the same, but instead of actual stuttering and other issues, it seems that new games like Crysis 3 or the future Battlefield 4 are developed for AMD (gaming evolved) so it makes me think that future drivers&support would be better, much better...
But we have to think that I also play a lot of games like F1, FIFA, NBA, Assassin's Creed, Dishonored etc. etc. (but I can also temporarily deactivate a card of two if I would have trouble) and not just Battlefield Far Cry or Crysis....

Please, can you help me??
Thank you very much!

Sorry for my english!

More about : 670 sli 7970 crossfire

a b 4 Gaming
April 23, 2013 2:36:07 PM

Crossfire does have microstutter issues, but it might not be unbearable either. However, the point of choosing two high end GPU's to work together, is for the best experience possible. For a while now, if not from the start, SLI has always been commented on as being smoother by reviewers, even when Crossfired cards have higher FPS. This is due to microstuttering issues, which has been analyzed a lot lately:
http://www.pcper.com/reviews/Graphics-Cards/Frame-Ratin...

That article shows you the 7970's in CF, and how the performance looks. In some cases, crossfire has no real benefit over a single card.

RadeonPro and other FPS limiters can fix the problem, because if the GPU's are being held back, they get force to space out the frames. If you do this, you lose out on performance, and more annoying is when FPS changes from one part of a game to another, which changes how much you need to limit the FPS for a microstutter free experience.

Due to all that, I'd recommend the 670's over 7970's.
April 24, 2013 3:00:42 AM

Thank you.
No other suggestions?? Must I really go on a 670' sli thinkin' about the future and thinkin' that 7970 has 3gb instead of 2 of 670??
Related resources
a b 4 Gaming
April 24, 2013 6:52:04 AM

I'd go with the 7970's http://amzn.to/YdFM4A just because they are a better overall value. I've heard about the microstutter issue but it's nothing that can't be fixed in an update. You will have better performance with the 7970 and they will last you longer at a lower price point. I personally haven't owned Nvidia cards in quite a while because the AMD are such a better value for the performance. I have no problem switching back to Nvidia if they come out with better prices on their cards. =)
a b 4 Gaming
April 24, 2013 8:01:44 AM

byogamingpc said:
I'd go with the 7970's http://amzn.to/YdFM4A just because they are a better overall value. I've heard about the microstutter issue but it's nothing that can't be fixed in an update. You will have better performance with the 7970 and they will last you longer at a lower price point. I personally haven't owned Nvidia cards in quite a while because the AMD are such a better value for the performance. I have no problem switching back to Nvidia if they come out with better prices on their cards. =)


Better performance means more than FPS. Especially since those extra FPS might be barely visible due to the crossfire issue. What is better performance is what gives you smoother, visible FPS.

We've been brainwashed to thinks FPS at all costs is the best things there is, but what if half those frames are only 10% visible, do they count? Do they help? If you are looking to win a benchmarking contest, I guess they do, but if you are looking to play a game, it doesn't.

As far as 2GB's go vs 3GB's. Unless you are doing with high end resolutions, like 5760x1080p, you'll never know the difference.

http://hardocp.com/article/2012/12/04/gtx_680_vs_radeon...
Quote:
Per usual, there is more than just performance, i.e. framerates, when determining the "best" platform for gaming. We of course speak about the real-world "feel" of gaming between SLI and CrossFireX on a multi-display setup. There is no question that SLI feels smoother, thanks to the added technology that NVIDIA employs to address this very topic


http://www.pcper.com/reviews/Graphics-Cards/Frame-Ratin...


The bottom line is this; for years, SLI has delivered smoother game play, no matter how fast the two cards are individually. We purchase these cards for smooth game play, not a FPS number (I assume you are playing with them, and not just benchmarking), so why go with the cards which will play like they have much lower FPS than they have?

It is possible AMD will fix it. They've had years to work on it and haven't, but then again, they are now aware of the issue, and have said they'll try to have a fix out by July. You can take that chance or not, it is up to you.
April 24, 2013 10:48:47 AM

ok again thank you all, I understand.
But are you sure that a difference of a single GB between the two cards (7970 and 670) won't be, in the next future (end 2013 and all 2014) a little "problem"?? I won't change cards in 2014. I want to keep this sli or crossfire I am going to do, for almost the entire 2014, but do you think SLI it's going to be great? It's a risk if I go with 7970's CF, but isn't too "safe and not too much <<futuristic>>" ??
a b 4 Gaming
April 24, 2013 11:00:28 AM

I do not know if it will or will not be a problem. I doubt it'll effect me, as I don't use high levels of AA, which is the main culprit to needing more vram. I have a 120hz monitor, so I'd rather have high FPS than super AA. I also use 3D Vision, which is almost like doubling your resolution, further diminishing the need for more vram.

What will be needed in the future is only speculation. Usually more vram requirements means more horsepower to take advantage of it, so it usually doesn't effect purchases, but we never know what the future will bring. If you want to cover yourself, you can buy a 4gb version of the 670.
April 25, 2013 8:42:45 AM

any other that could say something about this question? just two?
a b 4 Gaming
April 25, 2013 8:49:49 AM

Are you just wanting to go Crossfire anyways? If so, just go crossfire. It sounds like you are just waiting for someone to tell you Crossfire is good enough to buy.
April 25, 2013 9:03:44 AM

No, don't take it badly. I knew you would!
But more answers are better than just two "thougts". Because yes, your is a way of thinkin', and it's proved by how you answered someone (even if documented) that was advising me the Crossfire.
I am not waiting for anything.. You simply did not convinced me a hundred percent, as byogamingpc didn't, for crossfire.
Why you have to take it badly if I don't think your answer is the rightest?
Two answers are telling me to go on a crossfire and on a Sli. Fifty fifty...

It's simple statistic.
Two answers: one says CF. the other says SLI.

Do you think it's close?
Probably for you, but not for me.

If I wanted to ear (to read) just a person, I wouldn't open this thread!
I meant to get the attention of more than someone.
I didn't, I am asking if I still can get any other answers.
a b 4 Gaming
April 25, 2013 9:10:35 AM

You said you came from other forums saying the same thing. Anyways, here, these are the latest reviews. Not from some random people, but professional review sites using the very latest technology to test. Remember, FPS does not say what runs smooth, only what creates more numbers:

http://techreport.com/blog/24415/a
http://www.pcper.com/reviews/Graphics-Cards/Frame-Ratin...
http://www.anandtech.com/show/6857/amd-stuttering-issue
http://www.pcper.com/reviews/Graphics-Cards/Frame-Ratin...
www.tomshardware.com/reviews/graphics-card-benchmarking...
http://www.pcper.com/reviews/Graphics-Cards/Frame-Ratin...
http://www.pcper.com/reviews/Graphics-Cards/Frame-Ratin...
http://www.pcper.com/reviews/Graphics-Cards/AMD-Radeon-...
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-7990-revi...

Basically any review site that has looked at microstuttering finds the same thing. AMD has microstuttering issues, while SLI is much smoother. The only reason Crossfire gets the nod, is if they do not look at what is smoother, and only looks at the FPS that fraps gives. So you have to ask yourself, is having the highest FPS the most important thing, or having smooth game play?
a b 4 Gaming
April 25, 2013 9:29:09 AM

Crossfire should not be a consideration at this time. The evidence that has been reported on any review employing FCAT testing has dramatically shown a serious problem. And it's not just microstuttering and frame latency, several of yesterday's 7990 reviews couldn't even run all their games because the drivers lacked even basic Crossfire support. Getting a Crossfire system means this is the situation you will be faced with time and time again.

Quote:
"Out of eighteen titles, five did not scale, or worse, showed negative scaling. These are not small titles, but big AAA games: Assassin's Creed 3, Batman: Arkham City, F1 2012, StarCraft II, Skyrim, and World of Warcraft. What really surprises me is that this long list is the same as the one we had with our reviews of HD 7990 "New Zealand" implementations by board partners, like the ASUS ROG ARES II and PowerColor Devil 13. So either AMD does not care or can't fix CrossFire support with these games millions of people play."
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/AMD/HD_7990/31.html

If you paid attention to any of the 7990 reviews, they showed that AMD is working on a driver fix for the microstutter issue that might be out at some point in several months. The game support issue has been on-going and neverending for the past decade. Bottom line, though, why buy something that's broken and hope for a fix when you have an option that works very well already available?

In terms of running out of VRAM with future games, if you are on a single monitor, it is unlikely to be a serious problem. If you do run into a VRAM wall, there are simple remedies, like turning down AA settings.
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