Originally Posted by Sporkisian
I'm considering scrapping the 570's and even going with 580's at this point. I don't know if I want to though lol, just because that's an extra $1000 because I would have to get either the 3gb versions or something with custom cooling. Can one card run 3G vision or is that just with two cards as well?
Because this is my first build I really don't want to end up with something "half assed" quality wise if I were to decide to go with the surround. This is hurting my brain haha. I have $4000 to burn on the whole system including monitors so I may as well make it as future proof as I can
I went from 570 SLI and stepped up to 580 SLI for the purposes of Surround. That extra 10-15% performance increase actually made a pretty big difference in allowing some settings to be enabled that were previously disabled or lowered in Metro 2033 and Crysis + Warhead. Most other games played the same with no noticeable increase.
With that said, as you can see from the responses so far, what settings and what games a person plays will determine how enjoyable Surround will be. Obviously, if you want to enable as many settings as possible while playing at the full resolution, your money is best spent on the 3GB 580's (preferably on three of them at least). As I mentioned before, in my experience, two way SLI offers good performance in the majority of games out there, but a third card really is needed to really maintain high performance in Surround for those system intensive games. If you are willing to sacrifice and compromise, two way SLI is just fine, but be aware that you may not be able to enable AA in some games, and may even need to lower some other settings as well.
For me, I'm not as "hardcore" as I used to be, and I'm guaranteed to never replay a game again after I beat it, as I have such a huge backlog of games already that have never even been touched. Therefore, in games like Crysis and Metro, performance in them no longer matters to me. For others, like Defoler, an expensive, high-end setup should not see any compromises whatsoever. However, he makes a great point that an HD6990 would be a great alternative and is more likely to work with your mismatched monitor situation. In the end, *your* financial situation and standards for gaming should be what decide for you.
And to answer your question, you certainly can use 3D Vision with a single card on a single monitor, but expect to have half the performance versus 2D. If you want 3D Vision Surround, you would still need at least two cards.