The best performance solution for 2560x1600?

fomoz

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Hello,

I was just wondering what your opinion is about this. What is the best solution for playing the most demanding current and future games on a 30" screen? Here are the approximate prices from Newegg.com:

3x 6970 2GB (6GB): 3x$360 = $1080
2x 6990 4GB (8GB): 2x$700 = $1400
3x 580 GTX 1.5GB (4.5GB): 3x$470 = $1410
3x 580 GTX 3GB (9GB): 3x$550 = $1650
2x 590 GTX 3GB (6GB): 2x$750 = $1500

Out of these options, which one do you think is the best? Do you think the 4.5GB solution will run out of RAM relative to other ones?

This is not just a theoretical question, that's why I'm including the prices. Of course, I'm not going to buy it now since new cards are going to be released soon, but since the dual-GPU cards will probably be released in Q1 2012, I think that it's reasonable that the performance trend will be similar to what it is right now.

The reason why I'm asking this now is because due to scarce supply, I think that pre-ordering or buying the dual-GPU cards as early as possible will be the only way to get them. Therefore it would be good to know if they're a better option compared to triple-GPU setups before they come out, assuming that the current trend holds.

Thanks!
 
What's your full system specs ?
And the high end AMD HD 79xx GPUs are XDR2 rambus memory which is twice faster than GDDR5, a single HD 7950 could perform better than HD 6990.
 

fomoz

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It's for a future computer, it will be top of the line. Probably something like i7-3930K (non-stock air cooler, overclocked) and EVGA X79 E779 Classified.

So what do you think will be better if they follow the same performance trend as the current cards, 3x7970 or 2x7990? This is the question I'm asking here.
 
i would be going with a 2gb+ card. and just FYI, when you SLI/crossfire cards, the amount of ram doesnt get added together, each card contains a mirror of another cards ram, so the useable ram is the amount of a single card. A single 6970 or gtx580 will do the job. I would suggest going with a single card first and adding a second card later when prices drop. i wouldnt worry about 3 cards unless your running 3 of those monitors.
 

11796pcs

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I was under the impression that when you CrossFired or SLIed cards that the memory wasn't doubled as well. For example two 6970s in CrossFire gives you 2 GBs not 4 GBs of RAM. And for the most part, GPU RAM is a gimmick anyway. The 6990 had 4 GB and the 590 3 GB but you didn't see the 6990 blowing the 590 out of the water because it had an extra 1 GB did you? No you didn't. The 580 1.5 and 3 GB versions would be a close tie. Look up some benchmarks. If I had to bet, I would say the 3 580s in SLI though. The 580 is the fastest single GPU graphics card on the planet. Oh and remember that DirectX doesn't take advantage of more than 4 GPUs.
 

So you've just got yourself fooled by the 4 GB and 3 GB of the HD 6990 / GTX 590...they are a dual GPUs in one PCB each has a 2 GB of Vram and both runs in a CF mode, they say 4 GB for marketing when you actually benefit from a 2 GB only
 

11796pcs

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Thanks for the clarification, I forgot that the dual-GPU cards actually run in CrossFire/SLI. Do you still have to download the application profiles though?
 

I don't know really i never had a CF or a single Dual GPU but you can go to AMD website and check that, the CF patch is a fix for a driver bug it's not a big deal it can be integrated to the CCC easily.
 
Just get two 2gb HD6950s with good cooling and give them a nice high overclock for $600. Outside of Metro 2033 at max settings you will get very good performance even at 2560x1600. Give the rest of the money to charity.
 

fomoz

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Metro 2033 and Crysis 2 DX11 are two games that I want it to run at high fps, maxed out. As well as future games. I'm definitely going with at least 3 high-end GPUs in my next computer. Thanks for the suggestion though.
 

gnomio

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1304409842JEKIDRyqse_5_2.gif

http://www.hardocp.com/article/2011/05/03/nvidia_3way_sli_amd_trifire_redux/5
 

fomoz

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Probably not, most likely just a single 2560x1600 screen. 3x 1080p is not out of the question though, so I'd like it to be able to handle both with ease.


Excellent, thanks for sharing! I definitely appreciate high fps, but I wish they did a 2x 590 GTX vs 3x 580 GTX comparison though, since they pretty much cost the same thing.
 
3x 6950 2gb cards would be the best bang for your buck. It's been proven that 3 cards benefit from much smoother gameplay than 2 even if they aren't scaling perfectly in terms of avg FPS. Essentially you're removing the micro stutter that is sometimes present with 2 card setups. Also, if you buy the right ones you can flash them to 6970s.

Otherwise I'd say just go with 2x (or 3x) 6970 2gb or 2x GTX 580 1.5gb cards.
 

fomoz

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Although hopefully the new 680 GTX or whatever they will be called will all have at least 2 or 3 GB or RAM, what do you think of the 3x 2GB 6870 vs 3x 1.5 GB 580 GTX? Will the nVidia cards be bottle necked by lack of RAM at this resolution and AA? It seems so here since the 590 GTX 3GB is in reality 2x 1.5 GB GPU's, correct?
 
You won't have a Frame Buffer issue with the GTX 580 at this resolution, the single AMD HD 2 GB GPU is equipped with 2 Gb of VRAM in order to keep up with eyefinity, as a single GPU from AMD is capable of running 3 monitors at 5760x resolution.
For 1080P 1 GB of VRAM is what you need, 2560x resolution you're fine with 1.5 GB of VRAM.
perfrel_2560.gif

It's performing as it should in the 2560 x 1600
And you're right about the GTX 590 thing.

AMD high end 7K GPUs are all equipped with 2 GB of XDR2 Rrambus Memory, 1 GHz GPU frequency and they are 28nm, don't know anything about the upcoming nVida GPUs. That's why i said better wait for the new series as long as you're not building now.
 

fomoz

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You're right, I won't need to decide or pre-order right away anyway because Ivy Bridge will probably only ship in late Q1 2012 and a triple-GPU solution seems to be a great option either way. I hope that Tomshardware does a direct 3x 7970 vs 2x 7990 vs 3x 680 GTX vs 2x 690 GTX (or whatever they will be called) comparison either way, I'm really curious to see the outcome.

Then again, with 2x dual-GPU cards I'll have space left for a dedicated PhysX card :) Also, I'm still upset with AMD over IQ (stencil shadows) issues I'm having in some games. I've been told that it's not AMD's fault, it's just not as well supported by some games which were "Made for nVidia". Doesn't change the fact that if I would've went with nVidia, I wouldn't have had this problem.
 

It's been AMD nowadays btw. HD6990=GTX 590, 5970>580>6970>570>6950>560Ti
You've spoken about a good point, nVida GPUs doing better than AMD's in some particular games such as Metro 2033, Crysis 1,2 and a lot of other games.. I've concluded that any gamed labeled "nVidia the way it's meant to pe played" is doing better on nVidia's cards. On the Other Side, AMD has put it's own logo "AMD Gaming Evolved" in Deus Ex HR, Shougun 2, made a lot of conferences showing Eyefinity on Dirt 2,3, Aliens Vs Predators.... and those games runs better on AMD cards.
Actually i don't care who bribes who, i just care about the overall performance which i noticed from AMD recently.
 

fomoz

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BTW, would anyone like to speculate as to when the Southern Islands and Kepler enthusiast cards will be released? Wikipedia says late Q4 2011 for AMD and early Q1 2012 for nVidia, what do you guys think?
 

dudeguzman

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Reading the dates you posted, If Im about to purchase two hd6970 2db your saying Id have to wait till 2012 for the comprable upgrade?
 

fomoz

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Here's the article with specs: http://www.tomshardware.com/news/amd-HD-7900-XDR2-Rambus-Memory,13408.html

Radeon HD 6950:
Up to 800MHz Engine Clock
2GB GDDR5 Memory
1250MHz Memory Clock (5.0 Gbps GDDR5)
160 GB/s memory bandwidth (maximum)
2.25 TFLOPs Single Precision compute power
562.5 GFLOPs Double Precision compute power
Double slot form factor
TeraScale 3 Unified Processing Architecture
1408 Stream Processors
88 Texture Units
128 Z/Stencil ROP Units
32 Color ROP Units

Radeon HD 7870:
Node TSMC 28nm HPL
Architecture VLIW4
GPU Thames XT
Radeon cluster 24
Radeon cores 1536
GPU frequency 950 MHz
Texture units 96
ROPs 32
Graphics memory 2GB GDDR5
Memory frequency 5800 MHz
Memory interface 256 bit
Memory bandwidth 186 GB/s
Power consumption 120 watt

Like wolfram23 said, it looks like the 7870 will be faster than the 6950 (just like the 6870 was faster than the 5850).