Crossfire HD 7870 vs. GTX 770/Radeon 290 R9

Hello Tom's hardware forum posters! This is my first post, so bear with me if the formatting is not what you are used to. This site has been very helpful in putting my rig together so far.

I have been putting together a new mid-range budget rig, and have purchased everything I need except for the video card(s). I'm looking through Cyber Monday specials on Newegg, and came across a nice deal on a Powercolor HD7870 GHz edition, so nice in fact, that I am considering buying 2 of them and going with Crossfire. My original intent was to buy either a single GTX 770 or spring for a Radeon R9 290 once a better cooling solution surfaces that won't break my warranty.

Given that the cost after rebates of two 7870s in Crossfire is a mere $260, is there any reason I should entertain the other two options? Do you think my rig can handle it? I've never done SLI or Crossfire before, and noted that my mobo comes with an SLI bridge, is that sufficient for Crossfire... or do I need to buy a crossfire bridge (ie are they the same interface)?

Here are my specs:

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  1. I recommend cross-fire when you already have one of the cards. The R9 290 will play extremely well at 1080p.
    If you are using one monitor and the latest drivers, cross-fire has been greatly improved though.
    If you want a trouble free experience and not much for tinkering, get one card. You should wait for aftermarket cooling on the 290 before considering it.

    R9 290>>770.
  2. Thanks Embra. I think perhaps I'm not asking the right question, and didn't outline my criteria well enough.

    I have $300 to spend on a graphics card or cards. So really the R9 290 is a pipe dream (and so is the 770)

    I am not seeing very good value in the $300 range on a single card setup, mainly because the R9 290 is so damn good at $400, or probably $430 with non-reference cooling once those are available.

    What i want to achieve...

    Full 1080p resolution, single monitor, ultra settings on games for at least the next 2 years. However, I should say I do not delve into the first person shooter world often. I will probably play BF4 because I got a free copy. But other than that my gaming stays in the Skyrim, Fallout, Civ V, Simcity type world.

    With those things in mind, do you have a recommendation?
  3. R9 280x all the way. One of the best deals for performance. It plays better than the 770 in most games.

    Cross0-fire is always very tempting, but unless you are wanting to deal with issues at times, always look to a one card solution.
    I only sli or cross-fire when I already have a card I want to couple.
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