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Need some advice for Surround setup

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
So I currently have a reference evga 580, I am planning on putting everything under water and going Surround I would simply get another 580 and SLI but from what I've heard, the lack of vram is hurting high res setups. I am also planning on getting ivy/kepler when it comes out later this year (hopefully).

So my dilemma is that in order to go surround I would either have to,

a. get another 1.5gb 580 and suffer from lack of vram ($450 after MIR)
b. sell my current 580 and get 2 3gb 580s ($1080 - whatever my card sells for, so $680 total if it sells for at least $400)
c. get x2 2gb 560ti's and sell my 580 ($540 after MIR - $400, so I would only spend $140 total) I would also OC these pretty high since they will be cooled very well.
d. get x2 2gb 6950's and sell my 580 ($580 - $400, so $180 total) I would also OC these pretty high.

I don't really want to go crossfire, I hear the drivers are bad and there are a lot of problems when doing crossfire/eyefinity. I am leaning towards option C because the 560s should hold up well enough until I can get kepler. Let me know what you think would be the best option, thanks!

I will be running 5760x1080 with U2311Hs
Edited by subz3ro - 5/14/11 at 5:06pm
post #2 of 11
If you're already planning Kepler, just go with the cheaper setup between 2gb 560s and 2gb 6950s for now (i don't see where you're getting 2x 2GB 6950s for $466). If you weren't planning Kepler, I'd say 3GB 580s to future proof, but no point in future proofing for ~5 months.
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post #3 of 11
Well, dual water cooled 580s is the way to go right now, unless you really really want to leap on Kepler the minute it's out. If you do, then either a 460-2win or a pair of 560s is the way to save the money,
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post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by -Apocalypse- View Post
If you're already planning Kepler, just go with the cheaper setup between 2gb 560s and 2gb 6950s for now (i don't see where you're getting 2x 2GB 6950s for $466). If you weren't planning Kepler, I'd say 3GB 580s to future proof, but no point in future proofing for ~5 months.
SAPPHIRE 100312-2SR Radeon HD 6950 2GB

The choice would be much easier if I knew when kepler was coming out but I fear that It will be delayed. Then I might regret getting 2 560s when all the good holiday games come out. I don't think I will be able to run battlefield 3 in surround and that is what I am REALLY looking forward to.
post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by subz3ro View Post
SAPPHIRE 100312-2SR Radeon HD 6950 2GB

The choice would be much easier if I knew when kepler was coming out but I fear that It will be delayed. Then I might regret getting 2 560s when all the good holiday games come out. I don't think I will be able to run battlefield 3 in surround and that is what I am REALLY looking forward to.
Hmm. Is that a reference PCB? I wouldn't go with any 6950 other than reference, the selling point of 6950s is the unlock. Out of the available options, the 2x3gb 580s is going to be the only thing that'll rock BF3 on surround. 6990+6970 should, but it won't handle high AA as well.
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post #6 of 11
Most ati crossfire/eyefinity issues are in regards to 5xxx series setups and most specifically quadfire setups with dual 5970s.

I have not heard of people having issues with crossfire or eyefinity setups with 6xxx series cards that they havent been able to get figured out.
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post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
So for 5760x1080

2gb 6950 cf unlocked/oced
or
2gb 560Ti sli oced

Either will be under water. What experience will be better?
Edited by subz3ro - 5/14/11 at 5:56pm
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by subz3ro View Post
So for 5760x1080

2gb 6950 cf unlocked/oced
or
2gb 560Ti sli oced

Either will be under water. What experience will be better?
6950 CF beats 560 SLI with ease.
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post #9 of 11
AMD is where it's at right now if you want to go with high resolution, especially multiple monitors, not only because of the vRAM but also the better scaling.

The driver issues you are referring to only apply to the AMD 5 series cards. That said, I'm not going to pretend AMD is quite on part with Nvidia in terms of drivers - almost, but not quite.

You also won't get first-party 3D with AMD (not mentioning Physx because it's a joke).
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post #10 of 11
For what it's worth, at Surround resolutions, the 1.5GB cards will do pretty well provided you do not exceed 2X-4X AA (depending on the game). Crysis and Metro 2033 are going to be two of the most intense games that will tax two GTX 580's and fill up, or come close to filling up, the VRAM. All other games will run very well with most, if not all settings maxed - especially Source-engine games.

The way I see it, the two best options from your list would be to either get another 1.5GB GTX 580 or get the two HD6950's. The first option would be good since you are already most of the way there to getting a Surround setup completed, whereas the second option would be the best bang for the buck when all said and done.

If it were me buying a new setup today, I would opt for the cheapest option, which would be the HD6950's. The biggest drawback these AMD cards have going for them is the stock cooler's noise profile, but since you are going to be watercooling them no matter what, then that point becomes nullified. Furthermore, the 6950's power draw is significantly less than the 580's, so you would still be well within the limits of your current PSU.

Also, knowing what I know now, AMD has the better multi-monitor desktop experience as you have the capability of creating profiles that will help in making your overall computing experience much more user friendly. Nvidia still has yet to provide this feature after making promises for well over a year. This is an area that I feel Nvidia has a lot to improve upon before Surround can be considered a good competitive alternative to AMD's Eyefinity offering. It's true, you can always download extra software (ie. Matrox Powerdesk - which does not support Portait resolution setup, FYI) to mimic the experience in Surround, but AMD has it working straight from the driver. Just something to think about.

Also, regarding AMD's drivers, matrices stated it perfectly: scaling is a non-issue in the 6000 series. In my experience though, they are really no better or worse than Nvidia, but I will say that AMD have made great strides to offer faster turn around times for fixes for new games through their profile package. The drivers were originally a big turn off for me from the AMD camp, but lately, I haven't been all too impressed with Nvidia's drivers either as the 270.61 drivers have recently borked BF:BC2 for me. Downgrading drivers, or playing in DX9 mode are the only fixes that have worked.

Suffice it to say, no matter what you choose, each camp will have their own set of pros and cones when it comes to multi-GPUs and multi-monitors. I would make your choice based on the features you want (ie. 3D, PhysX, custom profiles, etc.) and the price tag you are comfortable paying. But when it's all said and done, you will be amazed at how great multi-monitor gaming is.

I would also highly recommend giving Portrait mode a good run when you do get it set up!
     
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