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Crossfire 6950 2GB/1GB Models Question and bonus question

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hi,

I am currently looking to upgrade my rig to handle ultra a little better on Battlefield 3.

Right now I have a Sapphire HD6950 2GB reference model. I want to crossfire it with another 6950 and was seeing if it would be compatible with a 1GB version (to save a little money), or would it somehow hinder the performance of the 2GB model?
Would it simply just create 3GB of shared memory? If that's the case, would I loose any frames/performance not having that extra 1GB if I didn't go with another 2GB model at a 1920x1080 res, or do only higher resolutions and eyefiniti setups require that much memory?

Bonus Question: Would I be bottle necking my crossfire on a mobo with x16/x4 lanes? If so, would it be noticeable and worth the upgrade to a FX chipset mobo with x16/x16.

Sorry for all the questions, trying to be sure. Thank you all, battlefield 3 soon!!!!!!
Edited by xstarscream - 10/23/11 at 9:47pm
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post #2 of 10
You would see 1GB usable ram total. You do not add to your vram when you add another card, the system will however only allow you to allocate the amount of vram your lowest performing card has.

And no, you would prob see a 5-7% perf decrease @ 4x.
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post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JedixJarf View Post
You would see 1GB usable ram total. You do not add to your vram when you add another card, the system will however only allow you to allocate the amount of vram your lowest performing card has.

And no, you would prob see a 5-7% perf decrease @ 4x.
So does that mean I should get another 2GB model? Is memory not shared, how does the memory work in crossfire?
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post #4 of 10
VRAM isn't added when in Crossfire/SLI so you would be limited by the lower card, in this case the 1 GB. As for your mobo, you will definitely be limiting the card at 4x, to what degree I'm not really sure you definitely won't be able to get the best performance out of that card. If you are going to get a new mobo, you could save some money and get an 8x/8x as you will not be limiting any of the current cards that way in crossfire. (might have to upgrade later on if you want to crossfire 6xx/7xxx)
post #5 of 10
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So get a 2GB model if I crossfire? And is that much memory only needed with eyefiniti setups essentially, so overkill in my case?
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post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by xstarscream View Post
So get a 2GB model if I crossfire? And is that much memory only needed with eyefiniti setups essentially, so overkill in my case?
Well, @ 1080p BF3 uses over 1300mb ram. Get another 2GB model if you can.
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post #7 of 10
4x Won't be limiting you much at 1080p. Then again 1gb of VRAM won't either, nor will 2 6950s.

I would just get the 2gb version if you're planning on keeping these cards for awhile, otherwise you're stuck with 1gb of memory (as you only get the minimum memory of either card).

Also, since you unlocked one card, mind as well unlock another. Try getting one of those TOXIC Sapphire 6950s, I hear they still unlock to 6970s.
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post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by xstarscream View Post
So get a 2GB model if I crossfire? And is that much memory only needed with eyefiniti setups essentially, so overkill in my case?
A lot of newer games have been easily using >1gb of VRAM. Crysis uses all my VRAM (1.28gb) and it's a 4 year old game, BF3 beta used all my VRAM and was supposedly not actually ULTRA. IIRC Crysis 2 with texture pack + texture mod uses over 1.5gb at times so 2gb isn't too much overkill, and if you're going to spend that much crossfiring you definitely don't want a bottleneck.
post #9 of 10
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All in all, are crossfire 6950's going to be a good investment for BF3 and future games for awhile? Or should I save and wait and just buy a single 6990 or 7xxx series eventually?
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post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by xstarscream View Post
All in all, are crossfire 6950's going to be a good investment for BF3 and future games for awhile? Or should I save and wait and just buy a single 6990 or 7xxx series eventually?
That's always the ultimate question... Nobody has an answer for that...

6990 has better performance than stock 6950 CF... But you can pretty easily overclock/unlock 6950s and get them cranked up higher than a 6950 can be cranked for a bit less money.

I also don't think you'll be limited by 4x, as we saw in a few Tomshardware articles.

I'm running 2x6950 unlocked and overclocked, and I'm sure hoping my setup carries me for a few more years. Until now I've never owned anything near the top of the line, but I bought these cards almost a year ago now when they first came out, and I'm still cruising at the top tier of gaming. I regularly play racing games in eyefinity and have no problems, but in Metro 2033 and BF3 I played single screen as the cards couldn't keep up with full detail (and Metro was creepy enough on one screen, let alone in surround; Also, BF3 beta was pretty rough due to me not being able to go to 11.10 preview drivers for a variety of reasons, but it was very playable on a single screen).

I'm sure you'll get a good taste of what is to come in gaming on the release of BF3 and people's reactions to it depending on their current video hardware.

Also, the next generation desktop components won't be out until likely April or so, if they're on schedule, so if you're waiting now, it'll be about 6 months... I'd just get the Toxic 6950 that supposedly unlocks and overclocks well, Crossfire the two.. And definitely get a 2gb card if you've already got one.

Best of luck!
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