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crossfire 2x6970 or 1 7970?

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#26
I have had quite a few headaches with Quad-fire, especially on Skyrim and now that profiles are out only 2 cards out of 4 are used.
I know that 4 GPUs are not 2 GPUs and support is not so covered because there aren't so many systems with such many GPUs but still, I'd rather pick a single GPU that could match 6990 CFX any day.
 
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#27
I have had quite a few headaches with Quad-fire, especially on Skyrim and now that profiles are out only 2 cards out of 4 are used.
I know that 4 GPUs are not 2 GPUs and support is not so covered because there aren't so many systems with such many GPUs but still, I'd rather pick a single GPU that could match 6990 CFX any day.
Well I can see what you mean. That's the main reason I've always stayed away from dual GPU cards. There always seems to be issues with them. And it didn't matter whether it was Nvidia or ATi, whether it's the 9800GX2, GTX 590, 4870x2, 5970 or the 6990. Typically it seems to be microstuttering issues. And occasionally lack of SLI or CF profile. Although it seems as though ATi is getting their act together more so than Nvidia in this regard. The 5970 and the 6990's didn't seem to have as many issues as cards past.

Regardless, CF 6970's will beat a 7970, and considering the cost, to me it's a no brainer especially if you already have one. I mean, why pay more for less performance? :confused:
 

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#28
Skyrim, Rage, BF3

I've been using CrossFire for every generation (excl. 2900) since the x1900 series. There are some games where CrossFire fails and you're using a wasted card. Many newer games don't utilize CrossFire very well. When it does work, it works beautifully but that just isn't always the case. AMD drivers aren't bad, they just don't work with everything when it comes to CrossFire. After using Crossfired 6950's, with the latest batch of games to come out, there's no way I would recommend doing it. A single, more powerful card in this case is definitely the better option.
 
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#29
Skyrim, Rage, BF3

I've been using CrossFire for every generation (excl. 2900) since the x1900 series. There are some games where CrossFire fails and you're using a wasted card. Many newer games don't utilize CrossFire very well. When it does work, it works beautifully but that just isn't always the case. AMD drivers aren't bad, they just don't work with everything when it comes to CrossFire. After using Crossfired 6950's, with the latest batch of games to come out, there's no way I would recommend doing it. A single, more powerful card in this case is definitely the better option.
Agreed, Rage still seems to be broken for me on my 2x 6950's and it definitely was no fun waiting 2-4 weeks if I remember correctly waiting for a crossfire driver for a single player game meaning I'd have definitely almost finished the game once the profiles have come out. It is a big suck and hoping AMD can do better with launching these damn drivers at launch but for now a single 7970 looks like the way to go if you got money to spend.
 
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#30
Skyrim, Rage, BF3

I've been using CrossFire for every generation (excl. 2900) since the x1900 series. There are some games where CrossFire fails and you're using a wasted card. Many newer games don't utilize CrossFire very well. When it does work, it works beautifully but that just isn't always the case. AMD drivers aren't bad, they just don't work with everything when it comes to CrossFire. After using Crossfired 6950's, with the latest batch of games to come out, there's no way I would recommend doing it. A single, more powerful card in this case is definitely the better option.
And all three of those games just have issues in general, even with single card solutions let alone multi-GPU's.

Rage is a horribly broken game that no matter what GPU you have will look and play like crap.

Skyrim's horrible optimization and lack of proper compiling has caused major problems even with the most powerful gpus' out.

Same is the story with BF3. Everything was mostly ok right before release, they changed something and had Nvidia and ATi scrambling to "fix" drivers that were never really broken.

It's unfortunate that the only games that you'd actually recommend a 7970 over CF 69xx's are ones that were released horribly broken and, for the most part, still are.
 

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#31
It's unfortunate that the only games that you'd actually recommend a 7970 over CF 69xx's are ones that were released horribly broken and, for the most part, still are.
No, that's just some of the games. I'll still end up getting another 7970 eventually anyways. All I'm saying is that CrossFire does indeed have issues sometimes and if you're the sort that doesn't mind working through them, sure, go ahead and run CrossFire. Still, a single card experience is much smoother with less problems. That's a fact.
 
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#32
yes but that's today's reality... with the on-going success of consoles, PC games often suffer from improper optimization and Because of that, Yes indeed, single card config means less hassle...

It also means less work for the CPU to deal with... and in my particular case, it also means x16 pci-e bandwith instead of x8...

So my question to you guys is this:

I'm gaming on a 60hz monitor @ 1920x1080, and I always want MAX settings and MAx quality which is why I bought 2x6950 2gb 1 year ago when my friends were saying it was overkill for my setup...

So, do you think trading my 2x6950 for 1 single 7970 is worth it (no matter the cost of the 7970) ??

Does the 7970 beat the 6950 2gb CF? or barely? Now I know, I could search on google about this and prob find some answers, but I'm feeling lazy @ the moment, I've been searching the web like crazy of late (for skyrim mods and fixes...)
 
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#33
Im going to say 7970. This is because generally one singe(powerfull) card has a higher minimum frame rate than any multi card setup.
 
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#34
To the OP, I would say 7970 because of power consumption as well as the fact it is fast. When you sell the 6970 and put that to the price of a 7970 vs. a second 6970 you are going to be out ~the same money. You are also going to take some strain off the power supply.
 
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#35
If you already have a HD 6970, then I would go with another for Crossfire, but if you don't have a HD 6970, then the HD 7970 is by far the better choice. :)
 

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#36
I could search on google about this and prob find some answers, but I'm feeling lazy @ the moment, I've been searching the web like crazy of late (for skyrim mods and fixes...)
Don't even need google. Check TPU's review section.
 

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#37
I'm thinking that you should get on 7970, and if for any reason, you feel like getting another (perhaps to lack of performance, haha), you have a chance.
 
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#38
No, that's just some of the games. I'll still end up getting another 7970 eventually anyways. All I'm saying is that CrossFire does indeed have issues sometimes and if you're the sort that doesn't mind working through them, sure, go ahead and run CrossFire. Still, a single card experience is much smoother with less problems. That's a fact.
Perhaps for some. I've literally run mutli-GPU setups for 7 years and other than with Nvidia and some 9600's, I've never had an issue with them. Seriously. I've never had to load any special profiles that weren't there or anything of the sort. Quite possibly because the games that didn't support it didn't need to. i.e. the FPS were already so high that it didn't matter.
Quite honestly, I'm rather puzzled that people have so many issues with multi-gpu setups.

That's just my experience and it seems to be different than, I guess, most peoples. Makes me wonder what am I doing differently than they?

yes but that's today's reality... with the on-going success of consoles, PC games often suffer from improper optimization and Because of that, Yes indeed, single card config means less hassle...

It also means less work for the CPU to deal with... and in my particular case, it also means x16 pci-e bandwith instead of x8...

So my question to you guys is this:

I'm gaming on a 60hz monitor @ 1920x1080, and I always want MAX settings and MAx quality which is why I bought 2x6950 2gb 1 year ago when my friends were saying it was overkill for my setup...

So, do you think trading my 2x6950 for 1 single 7970 is worth it (no matter the cost of the 7970) ??

Does the 7970 beat the 6950 2gb CF? or barely? Now I know, I could search on google about this and prob find some answers, but I'm feeling lazy @ the moment, I've been searching the web like crazy of late (for skyrim mods and fixes...)
The PCIe x8 lane bandwidth is not even a concern. There's still plenty of bandwidth there to keep your CPU fed to it's limit.

Your friend is right, 2 6950's is overkill really. Since your monitor is only 60Hz, there's really no point in running your GPUs' above that. Anytime you exceed the refresh rate, you're liable to get screen tearing (a lot of people mistake this for micro-stutter). Personally, I can't stand screen tearing so I enable Vsync in almost every game I play.
Some people will say that Vsync causes input lag, and indeed on some older games it does. Especially source based games such as CSS, DoD, TF2, etc. However, I personally haven't experienced input lag on most other games that I have, and I have quite a few (~140 on steam alone).
Input lag is typically only experienced on older game engines.

At any rate, if you already have 2 x 6950's, getting a 7970 would be a small improvement over your current configuration, not to mention, you'd be lucky to even get $440 for both cards, and that's only if they're reference and unlock. I don't think an additional $110 for a minimum increase is worth it.

To the OP, I would say 7970 because of power consumption as well as the fact it is fast. When you sell the 6970 and put that to the price of a 7970 vs. a second 6970 you are going to be out ~the same money. You are also going to take some strain off the power supply.
That's not true. Since the 7970 came out prices on the 69xx cards have been dropping. 7970's are anywhere from $550 - $600. I bet he could get another 6970 for <$250 and in the same right have better performance in most games.
As for the games mentioned previously, well, support for them will just get better and better so pretty soon that will be a non-issue altogether.
 

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#39
Makes me wonder what am I doing differently than they?
You probably haven't been using 2560x1600, or higher resolutions. I got into multi-GPU because I wanted to game at ultra-high resolutions. What a mistake that was. If you've been using the "common" resolutions, like 1680x1050 or 1920x1080(or 1200 back in the day), then sure, my experince using multiple GPUs has been the same as yours...But put those cards into a situation where they should have really been intended for, and it's a different story.


The 5-series cards finally made 2560x1600 a doable gaming resolution, when using two. But you couldn't use AA levels higher than 2x more often than not, without losing that ~60 FPS performance. 6950 improves upon that a bit, but still, isn't good enough, even with two GPUs. Not when you play new games.

From running 4870's, and knowing what the 5-series was generally going to offer, I bought itno Eyefinity, and again, that ~60FPS is not possible without multiple cards, and the 7970's might finally be enough for that. I'll be finding out at some point.


Single monitor @ 1920x1080 or less...you don't need a second card, or an HD7970. HD6970 is fine for any of that, some titles you won't get maximum details, but oh well.

2560x1600? Eyefinity? You'd still need multiple cards, even with HD7970's from what I can see.




So...to properly answer your question...what res are ya running?


;)
 

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#40
Perhaps for some. I've literally run mutli-GPU setups for 7 years and other than with Nvidia and some 9600's, I've never had an issue with them. Seriously. I've never had to load any special profiles that weren't there or anything of the sort. Quite possibly because the games that didn't support it didn't need to. i.e. the FPS were already so high that it didn't matter.
Quite honestly, I'm rather puzzled that people have so many issues with multi-gpu setups.

That's just my experience and it seems to be different than, I guess, most peoples. Makes me wonder what am I doing differently than they?
Thing is my experience is the same as yours. I really haven't had any issues either, other than games not being optimized (or the other way around) for CrossFire. You recognize this issue as well, yet you say you don't have any issues ever. So, having troubles with CrossFire on a hardware level, nope no issue. With games (the reason we use video cards in the first place) there can be issues with dual cards over a single card. Hence, why I and so many others have suggested a single card.
 
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#41
You probably haven't been using 2560x1600, or higher resolutions. I got into multi-GPU because I wanted to game at ultra-high resolutions. What a mistake that was. If you've been using the "common" resolutions, like 1680x1050 or 1920x1080(or 1200 back in the day), then sure, my experince using multiple GPUs has been the same as yours...But put those cards into a situation where they should have really been intended for, and it's a different story.


The 5-series cards finally made 2560x1600 a doable gaming resolution, when using two. But you couldn't use AA levels higher than 2x more often than not, without losing that ~60 FPS performance. 6950 improves upon that a bit, but still, isn't good enough, even with two GPUs. Not when you play new games.

From running 4870's, and knowing what the 5-series was generally going to offer, I bought itno Eyefinity, and again, that ~60FPS is not possible without multiple cards, and the 7970's might finally be enough for that. I'll be finding out at some point.


Single monitor @ 1920x1080 or less...you don't need a second card, or an HD7970. HD6970 is fine for any of that, some titles you won't get maximum details, but oh well.

2560x1600? Eyefinity? You'd still need multiple cards, even with HD7970's from what I can see.




So...to properly answer your question...what res are ya running?


;)

Running 1080p at the moment. :D

But you're right, I haven't gone to a higher resolution. My next monitor will be a 120Hz 27" Samsung with a much higher resolution and 16:10 aspect ratio. But I just couldn't pass up the HANNspree that I have now, got a SMOKIN deal on it. :pimp:

However, in the future I may try an eyefinity setup if I can find a monitor that has almost no bezels. Or maybe even try using a projector or something. :D


But all very good points. I read about how the 7-series will be able to use some really odd resolutions and even several monitors of different size. Now that'd be crazy.

Thing is my experience is the same as yours. I really haven't had any issues either, other than games not being optimized (or the other way around) for CrossFire. You recognize this issue as well, yet you say you don't have any issues ever. So, having troubles with CrossFire on a hardware level, nope no issue. With games (the reason we use video cards in the first place) there can be issues with dual cards over a single card. Hence, why I and so many others have suggested a single card.
Good point, but as I mentioned earlier, the games that weren't optimized, at least that I've come across at my resolution, it didn't really matter. My framerates were already well exceeding my monitors refresh rate and that's all that really matter to me.
I mainly use multi-card setups tomax out eyecandy. keep my minimum frame rates higher and spend less time at the minimum. This is something that most reviews don't even touch on --time spent at minimum FPS or time spent below a playable framerate.

Both great points guys. :toast:
 
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#42
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#43
Crysis Warhead minimal frames 2560X1600

HD6990: 33.8 FPS
HD7970: 23.5 FPS

Difference: playable VS unplayable. I guess HD7970 is better...........
 
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#44
My next monitor will be a 120Hz 27" Samsung with a much higher resolution and 16:10 aspect ratio
They do not exist. Choose either 120Hz or higher resolution like 1200p/1440p or 1600p.
I'd already be running a 120hz 30 incher if it existed

I also agree with Dave, I got this CFX to run multiple 30 inch monitors but with all the CFX issues the scaling after the third GPU is barely noticeable.
I used to get strange CFX usage on GPUs, the 1st and the 4th would end up being used while the other 2 had the clocks stuck in idle and such. Skyrim for example does not use all of my GPUs, only 2.

People should always pick the fastest single GPU and then if it's not enough you'd add another of it, but crossfiring two slower GPUs is vastly inferior to a single faster GPU.
 

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#45
Crysis Warhead minimal frames 2560X1600

HD6990: 33.8 FPS
HD7970: 23.5 FPS

Difference: playable VS unplayable. I guess HD7970 is better...........
Actually, you're looking at this the wrong way.

Neither solution is playable @ that FPS, in my opinion. I want 60 FPS MINIMUM @ 2560x1600. BTW, Those numbers may not be accurate 100% to everybody else's results.

7970 does 2/3 of 6990 performance for 1/2 the power. At high resolutions, you'll need multiple 7970's anyway, and there's where the 7970 shows the real benefit. You can run quad 7970 for say 94FPS total, or you can run dual 6990 or quad 6970 for 67.6 FPS, with both solutions using the same power.

Of course, Crossfire scaling isn't linear, but even if you get only 80 FPS with quad 7970, which is more likely(you won't get liner perforamnce with 6990, either), you still get higher performance for less power consumption.

Yes, it costs more. So? Nobody really NEEDS a 7970, so it's priced like the luxury it is.
 
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#46
Crysis Warhead minimal frames 2560X1600

HD6990: 33.8 FPS
HD7970: 23.5 FPS

Difference: playable VS unplayable. I guess HD7970 is better...........
Absolute minimums tell us nothing about whether the game is playable or not. At the very least you need to be comparing framerate over time before drawing any conclusions.
 
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#47
Absolute minimums tell us nothing about whether the game is playable or not. At the very least you need to be comparing framerate over time before drawing any conclusions.
It tells you nothing about it, yes, to all other people, and the staff of many reviewers and benchmarkers it tells the most..
 
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#48
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#50
This is how the thread should have started. Changing from CrossFire HD5850 to HD7970 might result in a small performance boost, but it is worth in every way and recommended.

Changing from CrossFire HD6970 to HD7970 is pure imbecility. The power savings and whatever BS new technologies incorporated in HD7970 do not justify the loss of performance by a huge 50 % amount.

It does not take a genius to figure out that 3000 shaders clocked at 880 MHz are better than 2000 shaders clocked at 925 MHz, as well as memory bandwidth of 352 GB/s is better than 264 GB/s. I am thinking that people voting for HD7970 are just ordinary fools, who have no life and post in forums for no reason, and they do damage to the forums with their insignificant votes without any reasonable arguments.
 
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