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7870 or GTX 570? SOLVED: 7870 it is!

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I have a 6850 1gb that I got a few months back for about $150 shipped. I can get another one for about $125 now - but I'm not sure if I should run two 6850's in xFire or just get a single GTX 570.

Obviously cost-wise it makes sense to just buy the $125 card and get the same performance (some of the time) as the GTX 570 - but I have my reasons/doubts which is why I'm making this thread... (Basically decided I'm not at all interested in a multi card setup at this point in time, as I'll go on to explain).

Below are two games that scale VERY nicely with xFire:

558

556

And below is one that doesn't scale at all:

605

Some just don't scale very well, like only 30% or so - I didn't post an example but I didn't look very hard.

Since I already own one 6850, it probably makes a lot of sense to most of you that I just buy a second one for now - But I'm put off by the issues often associated with multi card setups, as well as the undeniable and unavoidable fact that many games don't scale well or even at all, and I won't have any upgrade path from 6850's in xFire.

An example of a game with no xFire or SLI scaling is StarCraft 2, which has no xFire or SLI support and which I play quite often. It would be somewhat (okay, very) disappointing for me if I bought another 6850, and saw nearly 100% scaling in, say, Dirt 3 but 0% in SC2. This is my main reasoning for not really wanting to add a second 6850 - on top of the fact that my girlfriend can really use my card as an upgrade to her Athlon II x3 with a single 4550 (lol). << I see upgrading her computer in the process of upgrading mine as saving some money in the long run, instead of buying myself a second 6850 and still having to buy her PC something newew/better.



So, I can't justify spending anything over $350 for a card - even this is a completely ridiculous amount of money for me to spend at this point in my life... but I enjoy PC gaming so it is what it is. I think the best bang for that amount is a GTX 570. I'm not a huge fan of PhysX gimmick games but it is nice to have when you play one of those games, so that's why I want Nvidia even though I've always been an AMD guy.

I know I can get a GTX 570 for cheaper than $350 but that's for a 1250MB card. I'm running 1080P and I know a 1250MB frame buffer is plenty right now - but already there are games such as BF3 and GTA IV that can easily use over 1.25GB when you start turning on all the bells and whistles, even at 1080P. I want to keep the card for a year, then I will probably add another when the price drops considerably and I feel like I can use more horsepower/SLI drivers have improved some.

I found an EVGA card that will fit in my Antec 300 (11" max card length) and is 2560MB (!) for $357 shipped. I figure the price will drop a couple of dollars by next month when I make my purchase. I think the decision to get a 2560MB card will somewhat "pad" me for the future, and will be nice if I ever go to SLI since when you go SLI or xFire you don't get double the memory, unfortunately.

Is there anybody who thinks that I'm not making the right decision (please support your statements) and does anyone think I can do any better for any cheaper? (I prefer Newegg or Tiger Direct only)

I've been researching all day long and the EVGA card with the huge frame buffer seems to fit my wallet (ish), fits in my case, will provide me with plenty of horsepower for any game out there at 1080P - and doesn't have any of the multi GPU issues associated with it.

The only minor concern I have is my CPU but I highly doubt it will be an issue. Here are my system specs. Note that the CPU and NB are overclocked heavily so take that into account.

Asus M5A99X EVO AM3+ 990X Mobo
Phenom II x4 960T OC'd 4.15Ghz (3100NB - 2070HT)
4GB GSkill Rip Jaws OC'd to 1730MHz @ 9-9-9-24 (stock 1.55v) (*Adding 8GB more when it comes in the mail for a total of 12GB)
Sapphire Radeon HD 6850 1GB (OC'd 950/1150 at 1.20mV)
850W OCZ ZX Series Fully-Modular PSU
Antec 300 Case (Original)

Thanks for any help!

**EDIT -

Now I'm torn between a 570 (2.5GB ed) and a 7870 (2gb) - I'm thinking 7870....
Edited by FromUndaChz - 3/26/12 at 11:27pm
post #2 of 22
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post #3 of 22
If you're going to go multi GPU, I wouldn't recommend AMD. SLI is much more pain-free than Crossfire IMO.

However, I always go for a single card if possible to avoid potential driver issues, scaling issues, and issues with microstutter. HD6870 Crossfire in particular was tested by Tom's hardware to have quite horrendous micro stutter, especially considered to a similar SLI setup. I can't imagine HD6850s doing any better since they are less powerful than 6870s.

HD6870 Crossfire=thin red line, GTX 560 SLI=dotted green line:
Crossfire-SLI-stuttering,W-I-300546-22.png
Edited by 996gt2 - 3/26/12 at 10:13pm
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post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 
post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 996gt2 View Post

If you're going to go multi GPU, I wouldn't recommend AMD. SLI is much more pain-free than Crossfire IMO.
However, I always go for a single card if possible to avoid potential driver issues, scaling issues, and issues with microstutter. HD6870 Crossfire in particular was tested by Tom's hardware to have quite horrendous micro stutter, especially considered to a similar SLI setup. I can't imagine HD6850s doing any better since they are less powerful than 6870s.
HD6870 Crossfire=thin red line, GTX 560 SLI=dotted green line:
Crossfire-SLI-stuttering,W-I-300546-22.png

So what if I'm avoiding multi GPU setups all together...

570 or 7870? Other?
post #6 of 22
Why not a single 6950, shader unlocked? It will be better than both options in my opinion. (You want mine? smile.gif )
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post #7 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevman17 View Post

Why not a single 6950, shader unlocked? It will be better than both options in my opinion. (You want mine? smile.gif )

Not really. In some cases yes, but generally I've found the GTX 570 to be the faster card (I've owned both).

I had a 6950, and even overclocked to almost 1 GHz it easily lost to my GTX 570 in 3DMark Vantage and 3DMark11. Granted, it wasn't shader unlocked, but the unlock represents only a small performance increase

My 6950 @ 975/2800, with CPU @ 5.1 GHz:
3DMark Vantage P24349
http://3dmark.com/3dmv/3864174

My 570 @ 900/2100, with CPU @ 4.8 GHz:
http://3dmark.com/3dmv/3985299
3DMark Vantage P26278

Quote:
Originally Posted by FromUndaChz View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by 996gt2 View Post

If you're going to go multi GPU, I wouldn't recommend AMD. SLI is much more pain-free than Crossfire IMO.
However, I always go for a single card if possible to avoid potential driver issues, scaling issues, and issues with microstutter. HD6870 Crossfire in particular was tested by Tom's hardware to have quite horrendous micro stutter, especially considered to a similar SLI setup. I can't imagine HD6850s doing any better since they are less powerful than 6870s.
HD6870 Crossfire=thin red line, GTX 560 SLI=dotted green line:
Crossfire-SLI-stuttering,W-I-300546-22.png

So what if I'm avoiding multi GPU setups all together...

570 or 7870? Other?

I'd say 7870 if you can afford it, but you can find used GTX 570s for around $240 in the marketplace, which is a better deal IMO than paying $350 for a new 7870.
Edited by 996gt2 - 3/26/12 at 10:25pm
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post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 996gt2 View Post

Not really. In some cases yes, but generally I've found the GTX 570 to be the faster card (I've owned both).
I had a 6950, and even overclocked to 1 GHz it easily lost to my GTX 570 in 3DMark Vantage and 3DMark11. Granted, it wasn't shader unlocked, but the unlock represents only a small performance increase

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/549?vs=518

According to my link above.. the 570 is tied for the most part with the 7850 or beats it by a bit in many BM's.. both cards cost the same, but the 570 I'm looking at has 500MB more memory, which would be nice for modding Skyrim, for instance...

Should I look into the 6950? Or stick with the 570 2.5GB?

**Edit**

I looked into the 6950 - I can get one for $250 which saves me $100 but it also is slower by about 15 FPS in many games... and the 6950 only has a 1GB frame buffer which is something I'm highly interested in upgrading because I know my Skyrim mods are raping my 1GB of memory.

I'm leaning on the side of a 570 still.. maybe a 7850 but from what I see the 570 higher FPS in more games than not as well as CUDA and PhysX (not a huge deal but something to consider) and 500MB more frame buffer for the same price...

GT - What marketplace? Is there one on here for used goods or something??
Edited by FromUndaChz - 3/26/12 at 10:31pm
post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by FromUndaChz View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by 996gt2 View Post

Not really. In some cases yes, but generally I've found the GTX 570 to be the faster card (I've owned both).
I had a 6950, and even overclocked to 1 GHz it easily lost to my GTX 570 in 3DMark Vantage and 3DMark11. Granted, it wasn't shader unlocked, but the unlock represents only a small performance increase

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/549?vs=518

According to my link above.. the 570 is tied for the most part with the 7850 or beats it by a bit in many BM's.. both cards cost the same, but the 570 I'm looking at has 500MB more memory, which would be nice for modding Skyrim, for instance...

Should I look into the 6950? Or stick with the 570 2.5GB?

6950 is definitely going to be slower than a 2.5GB 570, and the older 69xx architecture sucks at tessellation and GPU compute compared to Fermi and GCN. I've owned a 6950 before (a very good overclocker at that), and IMO it's not worth it.

Since you're looking at 2 cards that cost about the same, I'd say go for the 7870 since it is faster out of the box and will likely overclock better than a 570. The extra 500MB shouldn't make a big difference unless you are playing at 2560x1600.
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post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by FromUndaChz View Post

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/549?vs=518
According to my link above.. the 570 is tied for the most part with the 7850 or beats it by a bit in many BM's.. both cards cost the same, but the 570 I'm looking at has 500MB more memory, which would be nice for modding Skyrim, for instance...
Should I look into the 6950? Or stick with the 570 2.5GB?

I would say get what ever is cheaper. The 570 may beat the 6950 in 3DMark Vantage, but the 6950 beats it in FPS in every game test I've seen. (Reference the Tom's BF3 chart above.) The 7850 is probably the worst choice, that card seems like an under-performer.

Edit - Conflicting opinions, lol. I have the 6950, and I love it but I just bought a GTX 680. It looks like the 570 costs about $300, at that point I'd get the 7870. If you are looking to spend closer to $200, get a 6950. Either way, crossfire isn't worth it. I had a few annoying issues (crashes, lower possible overclock than single gpu) with my 6950 crossfire setup.
Edited by stevman17 - 3/26/12 at 10:33pm
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