Switching from NVidia to ATI

RabidSnail

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I have recently gotten a third monitor and been messing around with NVidia Surround long enough to hate it (About a week). My current cards are slightly outdated (GTX 460) and I have been thinking of upgrading anyway. So im making the switch to ATI Cards. Unfortunately I am under educated on anything to do with ATI. My long term goal is to have Quad Crossfire running 4 monitors. My thoughts were one card per monitor, but have recently been advised that more that 2 cards in crossfire tend to get clunky and dont receive much performance boost. (True?) The monitors run at 1920x1080, and I would be using 3 in Eyefinity, and one above it in extended mode (I might have the terminology wrong, but i think you get the intent of what i want to do, if its possible.) My main usage for my computer is using things such as Revit, CAD, Sketchup, Rhino, and other architectural programs, but I also do some gaming with things such as Skyrim, Bioshock Infinite, and Ghost Recon. Due to the quantity of cards i would like, I wanted to keep it under $250 a piece, but if general consensus is to only dual crossfire, i can push that a little. The date of purchase will be mid June-ish.

I was considering this card, but like I said, i dont know enough to defend why i chose it.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150605

Any advice is appreciated!
 
In my opinion. Get the most powerful or close to most powerful card and add another for at best Dual Xfire. More than that and the issues and scaling are not worth it.

In general pairing lower end cards are pointless. HD79xx are the minimum I suggest to consider in Xfire.

So 2 x HD7970s or 2 HD7950s would be my suggestion.

Keep in mind that for most games this is unnecessary power and a single AMD HD7970 will run four monitors extended without issues via display port to DVI/HDMI adapters

2 of these : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814202026

DO NOT get XFX. It has become a second rate overpriced and unreliable manufacturer.
 
What about 2D surround did you hate? Eyefinity may not be any better in the areas you hate. I see more support with Surround than Eyefinity in most recent reviews I've seen and it is far easier to setup, though it may not have as many options, which is why I'm asking about what turned you off on 2D surround.

You may also want to make sure AMD has fixed their crossfire issues by the time you buy the cards:
http://www.pcper.com/reviews/Graphics-Cards/Frame-Rating-GeForce-GTX-Titan-GeForce-GTX-690-Radeon-HD-7990-HD-7970-Cross-6
www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-7990-review-benchmark,3486-13.html

You'll notice that they performed doubly bad in Eyefinity.
 


Its still very far off, probably not this year.

As for manufacturers. My preferences are as follows. Sapphire > HIS > MSI > Asus.

The one I linked is a Dual-X model from Sapphire that has AMAZING components, good cooling and can OC very well. Its pretty damn quiet too.

HIS IceQ models are also very nice, especially in a Xfire solution because the hot air of the GPU is pushed directly out of the case. However this makes for a louder cooling solution. The IceQ also has very good components and cooling and OCing capabilities but are slightly inferior to Sapphire chips in my opinion as Sapphire is AMDs biggest partner.

The IceQ : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161420

Personally I own 2 Sapphire Dual-X cards, both at 1180 MHz up from stock 800MHz on the reference HD7950.
 


You are aware that the HD7990s driver are still in BETA and the driver issued it has is not the same as a normal Xfire setup would be???
 


The Xfire testing was done with both the prototype and the latest beta drivers, but there are several other tests from the last few months, all show the same issue.

They also tested with almost every Crossfire setup available, not just the 7990:
http://www.pcper.com/reviews/Graphics-Cards/Frame-Rating-GeForce-GTX-660-Ti-and-Radeon-HD-7950
http://www.pcper.com/reviews/Graphics-Cards/Frame-Rating-Dissected-Full-Details-Capture-based-Graphics-Performance-Testin
http://www.pcper.com/reviews/Graphics-Cards/Frame-Rating-GTX-660-vs-HD-7870-plus-HD-7790-HD-7850-GTX-650-Ti-BOOST
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/graphics-card-benchmarking-frame-rate,3466.html

It doesn't matter what is tested, crossfire is not doing well.
 
Look I do not disagree that SLI is better implemented than Xfire. Not by any means, but people are making a massive deal about something they do not understand. Frame latency or metering or whatever you want to call it is not anywhere NEAR mature enough to base a decision on. I was one of the first to have a discussion about this on Toms. You can read it here : http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/386945-33-testing-method-intro-techreport-hd7950-gtx660ti

Its just to early to say what frame latency is really like to the human eye, we do not know what the threshold is from where it is seen and felt.

 
Look I do not disagree that SLI is better implemented than Xfire. Not by any means, but people are making a massive deal about something they do not understand. Frame latency or metering or whatever you want to call it is not anywhere NEAR mature enough to base a decision on. I was one of the first to have a discussion about this on Toms. You can read it here : http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/386945-33-testing-method-intro-techreport-hd7950-gtx660ti

Its just to early to say what frame latency is really like to the human eye, we do not know what the threshold is from where it is seen and felt.

EDIT : Sorry double post!
 


Why is it not enough to base an opinion on? For years every review that gave an opinion on the subject has commented that SLI performed better. Now we have a way to measure and show why.

If it is not good enough to use science to compare, why not take it from gamers who tested two machines with both SLI and Crossfire, then decided what they preferred: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-7990-review-benchmark,3486-13.html

If you want a better experience, you don't want crossfire atm. They are working on fixing it, but we don't know how well it'll be, and when you purchase a card(s), you want it to be good the whole time, not in some unknown future. That is also why I said that if he is purchasing in June, to check back because we don't know what the prototype will bring. Currently it is better, but still behind.

EDIT: your link is not related to the topic we had. That is about single cards, this about crossfire/sli, they are two separate issues and fixes.
 

Kingbob

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First off, XFX is, in my opinion, the EVGA of Radeon cards (except their 7970 cards have been pretty crappy).
As mentioned above, I'd strongly recommend getting a 79** card and crossfire-ing it. A 7950 crossfire would be great as well as a 7970 crossfire, whichever is more in your price range. A 7950 crossfire would run you about $620 and a 7970 crossfire would be close to $800.

Here's a good 7970 to crossfire:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814202008

Here's a good 7950:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150588
 


That depends on the person. I am happy with Xfire, I have had both solutions. Currently have 2 HD7950s.

Although I will admit my SLI rig was 2 GTX260s. So its older, but yeah, it remains a preference.

But no the testing has not been perfected, as I was saying.

Think of it like this. We know that we want 60FPS because that allows for dips in FPS to still remain above 30FPS. So that means when a review is done, we look at cards that can give us 60FPS in a given game.

Now can you say the same of latency? Can you say that you notice latency at the 20-50-100ms?
No, obviously you can not. Because we do not have a threshold yet. WE DO NOT KNOW.

 


+1 except for the XFX... :D
 


I gave you a link with several people who tested them side by side, and still picked SLI, every one who they tested. I think it is pretty clear that given the same FPS, even if a little higher, Crossfire has something going on, one that is shown in inconsistent frame delivery.

I have no doubt that the issues won't stand out as a problem for some people, but that does not mean SLI would not have been better for the same person. You can't know until you see them side by side. Also note that the frame pacing technology was not present with the 260's, so it would be different with a new card.
 


You are missing the point. SOMETHING is not ANYTHING to go on. So until SOMETHING is proven, it will always remain a preference.
 

I gave you at least 7 reviews which showed uneven frame delivery, including objective opinions from the reviewers. They included videos in some, and a blind test with several gamers. What more is needed to show that Crossfire has a problem? It is not a preference deal. At least not in regards to what delivers smooth performance.

I just feel sorry for anyone listening to your blind faith in AMD. If he wanted a single GPU, then AMD makes sense now, but not with crossfire.

But if you are using Crossfire, at least use RadeonPro or another FPS limiter to fix the stuttering.
 


I do use RadeonPro, whats the dif? Its not blind faith, I am helping the OP with his question and explaining to you that nothing you have posted is concrete EVIDENCE.

The worst part is I have already told you I find SLI a bit better myself(well from a stutter point of view), and you somehow missed that and continued to argue? I am using AMD because I am happy with it and I prefer Eyefinity above surround...

Relax dude, I am just arguing both sides of the coin. Get it?
 

RabidSnail

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Here is my reason for disliking Surround:

I currently work with two horizontal monitors, and one vertical. I absolutely love the setup for what i do in my professional career. when it comes to gaming i change to to surround. Im fine making the change, but surround is a pain to change. i have to close like 5 programs, go through a setup, and then when im done, change back. all my icons get messed up (I use Stardock Fences) and to me its a pain. then every time i go to change back its a pain because i have to restart my system for some reason. I have talked to customer support about the issue, and they have determined the need to restart is due to an older card. From my understanding, ATI Catalyst allows an easier transition with "profiles". I still dont fully understand this subject, so hey, if im wrong ill stay with NVidia. lol Im just trying to get the best solution to my issue for the best price. if ATI cant solve my problem any better, then there is no reason to switch
 


Hmmm this seems like an odd issue. Havn't seen this. Maybe someone will be able to help you if they happen to see this.
 

RabidSnail

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what part do you find odd? I have done a lot of googling on this issue of the displays freezing or need to close programs and it actually seems like a known annoyance. I wouldnt say common, but definitely documented
 


Odd asin something I have not experience myself or happen to read on. :)
 

RabidSnail

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gotcha. Im actually doing a build for a buddy in 2 weeks using ATI cards by Asus and was planning on checking out the ATI Catalyst Profiles thing to see if it is what im looking for.

IF i go with dual xfire (Which i think is the general consensus) I would push to about $350 per card... maybe $400 if someone really sold me on a specific card. But i would only purchase one to start out with. Would i be able to run something like skyrim with a 3 monitor eyefinity setup on one $400 card for 6 months or so? Im sure the answer is yes, but if the quality is too poor ill get pissed and stop playing :p
 


If you will be waiting on the second card, DEFINITELY go for an HD7970. OC it a bit and enjoy, will run most game well and maybe some lowerred detail in skyrim eyefinity.
 


I've not heard of the issue either, but I don't use surround either. I was not aware of 2D Surround allowing for two profile and one landscape monitor or visa versa. So in that regard, Eyefinity may be good. I do warn you that Eyefinity has microstutter issues as all the links I provided earlier show, so for gaming crossfire currently is difficult to use. Using a FPS limiter can help, just set it a little lower than your average FPS in most games.
 

nguyenm

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A Single HD 7970 ghz edition would suffice your needs. As for crossfire, AMD is already working on it: http://techreport.com/news/24748/amd-says-frame-pacing-beta-driver-due-in-june-july-timeframe

They also announced that the single GPU frame pacing has been fixed with latest driver.

And gentleman, It is his idea to switch to AMD/ATI so please do not shift the topic to Nvidia, he has his reasons.

As for crossfire recommendations, two HD7950 would satisfied you as the 3gb fram buffer. When 2 gpus so cx/sli they do not double memory so unless you would have the budget for 4gb gtx680 sli i would recommend you to play safe and cheap with AMD.
 

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