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Hardware  » Video card question involving Eyefinity vs Surround

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66 posts found
  Horusra

Hard Core Member

Joined: 6/26/05
Posts: 2198

 
OP  2/28/12 4:41:56 PM#1

#1 Ok Radeon has scared me in the past due to drivers not the actually abilities of the card.  Are there still a lot of driver issues with game compatability with the new drivers?

#2 I am building a beast and my sticking point is between Crossfire 7970's looking at Eyefinity or paying $300 more for SLI 590's with Surround in mind.  For gaming is the $300 worth the support of Nvidia with drivers and compatability with games or is Eyefinity doing just fine.

#3 Also with the items above does the Crossfire and SLI remove the FPS, lag, and other graphical issues?  I am new to trying to setup a multi monitor display.

 

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13319

2/28/12 5:41:59 PM#2

AMD drivers are about as good as Nvidia drivers.  It's been that way for a few years now.

If you're going for a rig with 3+ monitors, then you really should go with AMD.  AMD has had three generations of cards designed with 3+ monitors in mind.  Nvidia has had zero so far, and Nvidia Surround is really just an attempt at hacking things together through drivers that the silicon isn't meant to handle.

Even if you insist on going Nvidia, don't get a GeForce GTX 590.  Those are bad cards.  They're two GPUs on a single card (so a single GTX 590 is SLI already), and it's simply too much heat in too small of a space to be safe--which is why several of the cards didn't even survive the review process.  At that high of power consumption, AMD's PowerTune is a must-have feature--and AMD has it and Nvidia doesn't.

Also, the difference between 3 GB per GPU and 1.5 GB per GPU doesn't matter to most people, but if you're using three monitors, then it should matter to you.  Nvidia does have some 3 GB version of a GeForce GTX 580, but those are both more expensive than a 7970 and also a lot slower.

There is a substantial chance that you'll have driver problems with CrossFire 7970s early on.  That's partially for the general reason that new GPU architectures tend to have problems at first.  But there's also the issue that the first official driver that supports CrossFire in 7970s will be the one that releases next month.

What else are you getting in your rig?

  Horusra

Hard Core Member

Joined: 6/26/05
Posts: 2198

 
OP  2/28/12 6:12:59 PM#3

rig is water cooled CPU and GPU x 2

Intel i7 3820

32 GB RAM DDR3-1600

Win7 Pro

Asus P9X79 Pro board

1200 Watt PS

80 GB SSD

1 TB Data HD

Creative X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Pro

 

Waiting till April to get the GPU's to see if the new cards drop the price on the top line stuff now

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13319

2/28/12 7:19:43 PM#4

You already bought that, but just not the video cards yet?  Or is that merely what you're planning on buying?

You didn't specify the power supply or the case, which are the two big things you have to worry about in order to handle high powered systems.  "1200 Watt" is not a power supply any more than "1 GB" is a video card.

I wouldn't count on price drops when Kepler launches.  That seems to be based on a rumored $300 price for Nvidia's top Kepler card.  It would be very weird for Nvidia to charge only $300 for their top end card unless forced to do that in order to compete on price.

  Horusra

Hard Core Member

Joined: 6/26/05
Posts: 2198

 
OP  2/28/12 7:36:42 PM#5

the power supply is a 1200 watt thermaltake toughpower Grand-1200M

 

Case I am looking at is the Erebus Full Tower with built in 8x120 mm cooling Cap, Quad pump with 2 dual radiators.

 

Other case I am looking at is the CoolerMaster HAF 932 Advanced Full Tower with separately bought liquid cooling that I have not decided on yet.

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13319

2/28/12 7:45:37 PM#6

Looking at?  Or have already bought?  Because if you don't already have that power supply, then you really should get something better.

http://www.hardocp.com/article/2011/12/15/thermaltake_toughpower_grand_1200w_psu_review/9

  Loke666

Elite Member

Joined: 10/29/07
Posts: 16628

2/28/12 7:57:50 PM#7

The AMD drivers are a lot better nowadays, they were in a sad state 10 years ago but I don´t agree with Quizz, Nvidias drivers are still somewhat better.

It is on the other hand true that if you plan more than 2 screens AMD might be the better choice.

I am personally not so sure that it is worth the money to SLI or Crossfire but you are about the cards, the only ones really worth it is the top of the line cards.

  Horusra

Hard Core Member

Joined: 6/26/05
Posts: 2198

 
OP  2/28/12 8:01:58 PM#8

Have not bought anything yet researching at the moment.

 

  Horusra

Hard Core Member

Joined: 6/26/05
Posts: 2198

 
OP  2/28/12 8:04:38 PM#9

This is just the specs I am looking at

  mbrodie

Hard Core Member

Joined: 5/15/04
Posts: 781

2/28/12 8:13:49 PM#10

for a system like that you're gonna want a gold 80 power supple to be safe.. look at corsair they make an excellent 1200w gold 80 PSU.. might cost a little more, but more consitent and higher rated power

 

plus SLI for gaming is a bit of a waste of money.. if you wanna go the 3 screens you're better off with the 7970 for eyefinity... i and a few friends have SLI / crossfire and generally for gaming we turn off the second card because sometimes it can actually make the game play worse then not...

  Horusra

Hard Core Member

Joined: 6/26/05
Posts: 2198

 
OP  2/28/12 8:17:51 PM#11

On my other question which really decides the CXF or SLI.  Playing say Skyrim anyone have any knowledge if it allows you to run at higher than medium settings and are solve the lag and graphical problems from stress on the cards?  Cause if not really then the whole dual card is really pointless and I will go with one 7970 which can do 3 monitors and run Skyrim on Medium settings.

  Horusra

Hard Core Member

Joined: 6/26/05
Posts: 2198

 
OP  2/28/12 8:20:34 PM#12
Originally posted by mbrodie

for a system like that you're gonna want a gold 80 power supple to be safe.. look at corsair they make an excellent 1200w gold 80 PSU.. might cost a little more, but more consitent and higher rated power

 

plus SLI for gaming is a bit of a waste of money.. if you wanna go the 3 screens you're better off with the 7970 for eyefinity... i and a few friends have SLI / crossfire and generally for gaming we turn off the second card because sometimes it can actually make the game play worse then not...

I have read that dual cards in games on a single monitor are not that great unless you are trying to boost older cards.  I am more interested if it makes the 3 screens run smooth for more graphically intense games.  If I am going to still be stuttering and having to lower the graphics to medium settings then I am really not getting the bang for my buck and will just save the cash.

  mbrodie

Hard Core Member

Joined: 5/15/04
Posts: 781

2/28/12 8:20:52 PM#13
Originally posted by Horusra

On my other question which really decides the CXF or SLI.  Playing say Skyrim anyone have any knowledge if it allows you to run at higher than medium settings and are solve the lag and graphical problems from stress on the cards?  Cause if not really then the whole dual card is really pointless and I will go with one 7970 which can do 3 monitors and run Skyrim on Medium settings.

i have a 2 x Gainward 2GB GTX560Ti Phantom II

 

i run skyrim with single card no SLI at max graphics settings and have no fps issues... SLI makes hardly any difference to my FPS if i enable it... it honestly isnt worth the money for gaming

 

if you're insistent on 3 screens go with the 7970 from what i've seen in reviews and such.. eyefinity is playing games across all 3 screens single card with max graphics settings well

  Horusra

Hard Core Member

Joined: 6/26/05
Posts: 2198

 
OP  2/28/12 8:36:56 PM#14

Only interested in the dual card aspect of the multi screen not the benefits to single screen playing.  I have read reviews that 7970 only runs skyrim well on medium settings unless there is somewhere else saying different.  this is for multi screen.

  mbrodie

Hard Core Member

Joined: 5/15/04
Posts: 781

2/28/12 8:51:04 PM#15
Originally posted by Horusra

Only interested in the dual card aspect of the multi screen not the benefits to single screen playing.  I have read reviews that 7970 only runs skyrim well on medium settings unless there is somewhere else saying different.  this is for multi screen.

2 x 7970's in eyefinity running high res depending on game should run between 60 - 80 fps which should be more then enough... the problem is that games arent generally optimized for multiple video card setups so you dont benefit from it as much as you should... the problem there is that it'll basically cost about $1000 just for video cards... but the games should be more then playable considering the resolution

  Horusra

Hard Core Member

Joined: 6/26/05
Posts: 2198

 
OP  2/28/12 9:08:17 PM#16

Anyone know if when the 6 monitor cards come out are they generally beefier than the standard version or are they just the same with 6 outputs?

  User Deleted
2/28/12 9:29:22 PM#17
Originally posted by Horusra

Only interested in the dual card aspect of the multi screen not the benefits to single screen playing.  I have read reviews that 7970 only runs skyrim well on medium settings unless there is somewhere else saying different.  this is for multi screen.

 

I'll try to respond to a few things.

 

I believe there is a patch (maybe a beta patch) for Skyrim that supposedly increases performance on the 7970 (maybe all amd cards in general... I really haven't played Skyrim in a while).

 

I don't think I saw you mention what monitors you were looking at?   I looked back through the thread and you mention multi monitor.. but I don't think you specified how many total monitors?   So how many monitors and which ones?  

 

moving on...

 

Pretty much if there are games currently on the market that you actually play... your best bet is to look up benchmarks of those games and see if they favor a certain card.   If the majority of games you plan on playing have that little "nvidia the way its meant to be played" logo... they will likely perform better on nvidia cards.

 

If you are going to go with SLI or Crossfire... it might be good if you know someone with SLI/Crossfire and can play some games on their system.   Why?   Different people have different levels of sensitivity to micro stutter.   Some people can't see it at all... others can't stand playing games due to micro stutter.   Its due to how the screen updates are done in a multi card setup... as I say your personal experience can vary greatly from someone else... when looking at buy over $1000 in video cards you might want to have a personal experience first.

 

The main thing with Crossfire is to make sure you keep your cap files from AMD up to date (application profiles for crossfire).

 

Oh and about the power supply... if you are going with a 1200W I would personally buy a Corsair AX1200.. but I guess I'm biased because I use Corsair AX series exclusively now.

 

You might find more information posting something like this on forums at Anandtech or a site like that.

 

For the most part I have a similar machine to what you want to build.   I just don't have multiple monitors so I can't really comment beyond what I've read.

 

I use the motherboard you listed and have a 3960x.   Along with 2x Sapphire 7970's.   I only use a single monitor which is a Dell 27" IPS unit.   <- Its very nice for the work I do.

 

As I said this is my work machine as well as my gaming machine.   I'm happy with my Sapphire 7970's with any game I've played... but I just don't have direct experience with multi monitor setups and gaming.   I have run two monitors for extended desktop while working but that was a few years ago.

 

I would toss out that... if you are just going to game on the machine.. I'm not sure the X79 is a platform I would step into.  

 

 

 

 

 

  Horusra

Hard Core Member

Joined: 6/26/05
Posts: 2198

 
OP  2/28/12 10:03:46 PM#18

my monitors are 3 Samsung T260 25.5" screens.  Two hooked up to one come and 1 to another that is my screw around PC.  Which basically I would just bring over for the 3.  I use to have SLI setup of GTX 9800 OC.  I did not have any visual problems that annoyed me with it.  Bought a single 560 ti a few months ago.  My current processor is a i7 920.

  mbrodie

Hard Core Member

Joined: 5/15/04
Posts: 781

2/28/12 10:12:50 PM#19
Originally posted by Antarious
Originally posted by Horusra

Only interested in the dual card aspect of the multi screen not the benefits to single screen playing.  I have read reviews that 7970 only runs skyrim well on medium settings unless there is somewhere else saying different.  this is for multi screen.

 

I'll try to respond to a few things.

 

Oh and about the power supply... if you are going with a 1200W I would personally buy a Corsair AX1200.. but I guess I'm biased because I use Corsair AX series exclusively now. 

 

corsair AX-1200w Gold 80 is the power supply i was talking about a few posts back, meant to be a very good unit

  Loke666

Elite Member

Joined: 10/29/07
Posts: 16628

2/28/12 10:22:32 PM#20
Originally posted by mbrodie
Originally posted by Antarious

I'll try to respond to a few things.

Oh and about the power supply... if you are going with a 1200W I would personally buy a Corsair AX1200.. but I guess I'm biased because I use Corsair AX series exclusively now. 

corsair AX-1200w Gold 80 is the power supply i was talking about a few posts back, meant to be a very good unit

yeah, it is excellent. 1200w is probably more than you need unless you go for the 2x 590 GTX (probably more than you need even then) but it is one of the best PSUs on the market...

I have a similar model but just 950W myself, best PSU I ever had by far.

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