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[H] GeForce GTX 680 3-Way SLI and Radeon 7970 Tri-Fire Review - Page 7

post #61 of 68
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Originally Posted by CallsignVega View Post

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Originally Posted by Acefire View Post


Lol for $1500 you better not have to disable anything. That is one of the pleasures of 3gb vram. With 2gb You still have to tweak everything to get your game to play, while I just dog it old school.
If I dropped that kind of cash on a system and someone told me I had to disable Aero I would shoot them in the face.......

Ya, because having 400-500 MB of VRAM sitting there doing nothing reserved by Aero while playing a game is "hard-core". I know it is difficult for most people, all four mouse clicks or so to adjust on a game executable. rolleyes.gif

Aero uses 102mb of VRAM for me. Not sure where 500mb came from
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post #62 of 68
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tslm View Post

Aero uses 102mb of VRAM for me. Not sure where 500mb came from

I must have missed the memo where all Aero VRAM usage equals whatever setup you are using. wink.gif

At 10-mega pixel Surround, I have seen between 350-500 MB VRAM usage savings.
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post #63 of 68
It sucks that they had to resort to such early drivers in order to test the AMD setup. On the flipside, AMD has a product with so much memory bandwidth that it's practically begging to be used in triple monitor setups. Minority or not, there really isn't an excuse as to why, after almost 5 months, AMD will allow their drivers to be such that their product performs inferior to the competition in a situation that one would think it will particularly excel at. I hope that AMD will resolve a lot of their graphics card driver issues when they dump legacy support in future driver releases. I'm not saying this is surely going to cause performance improvements across the board, however it's reasonable to believe that people at AMD are getting the memo about their customers' reaction to driver performances, after which they have come to realization that a major reworking of the driver is needed in order to provide necessary benefits.

I also believe that reviews like this should take overclocking into account. We're looking and the absolute high end in the graphics department here, which is clearly something that mosty enthusiasts (you can never exclude really rich uninformed people that stumble upon such setups) are interested in. I'm willing to be that the vast majority of people that consider setups like this are going to 1. know how to overclock a GPU, and 2. be willing to overclock their GPUs. That being said, putting out the numbers for power consumption, heat, noise, etc. on overclocked setups in addition to the performance numbers would be a welcome addition to the review.

Lastly, when doing reviews on CFX/SLI configurations, they should really stop mentioning stuff like "xxx setup feels smoother and it's something that really needs to be experienced to be understood" and just plot the time, in milliseconds, that it takes to render a series of frames. Fraps can do this and even spit the data out in a format that you can just put into excel and have a nice little line graph ready to show. It takes a little extra effort and provides far more information than "take it from us, x setup feels a lot smoother than y". Heck, it could even help driver teams (I'm pretty sure people at AMD/Nvidia read these review too) better understand the nature of the problem and work on a fix.
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post #64 of 68
Well it's been three months since AMD released the 7970 so which ever drivers HardOCP were able to use that works is all that counts. Should we wait until AMD gets working multiple GPU drivers working properly? When would that be? rolleyes.gif
Quote:
As stated on the first page, we are using the 8.921.2 RC11 AMD Radeon HD 7900 driver for Tri-Fire since it is the only driver that will work with Tri-Fire+Eyefinity. We do have the latest CAP installed, 12.3 CAP1.

For GTX 680 3-Way SLI we have the latest Beta driver installed, ForceWare 301.24.

The reviewers did a good job whether the competition on either side is ready. Despite the fact this was an early driver release only after three weeks for Nvidia, ready or not hear we come. wink.gif

As for the game choices, I hardly call BF3, Batman Arkam City, Dues Ex, and Skyrim all 2011 games hardly irrelevant. Metro 2033 is so old school no one even plays it. I think HardOCP's games choices were just right and not biased when it's what's out there and being played, gaming evolved or the way it was meant to be played. tongue.gif

Multiple monitor set up with three GPU's at highest resolution was a good way to test them for the most accurate results.
     
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post #65 of 68
I don't think they were bad games to test either I just think more games should have been tested. I'm not even just talking about Hard either I think most review sites that test 5-6 games and slap a number on the review at the end are doign a disservice to their readers.
    
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post #66 of 68
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Originally Posted by m3t4lh34d View Post

While most of what they say is true, it is VERY clearly evident how biased they are towards Nvidia. If you read their footnotes and comments throughout the article, you can easily tell which team they favor. For example, in BF3 where the GTX 680s were sluggish and unplayable with 2x or 4x AA, they downplayed the disadvantage by saying that the following games weren't sluggish with AA. Also, in the Power Consumption section, they downplay the advantage in some titles that the 7970 setup achieved by passing it off as bad scaling and that all of the GPUs weren't being utilized. This may be the case partially, but it seems that they did nothing but make excuses for Nvidia when they were outperformed.

I can't really comment on the first part as the 2GB clearly had issues with higher AA in some titles at triple 1080P res(prob due to Aero not being disabled) but if you look at the scaling of the games where Tahiti had less power draw, you'll see that they weren't working properly. Less GPU usage = less power draw. Tahiti has a higher stock TDP to begin with so it makes sense that in games where the GPUs are being utilized properly it would draw more power.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tslm View Post


Aero uses 102mb of VRAM for me. Not sure where 500mb came from

I've seen it use 500MB of VRAM in BF3(mostly because of Aero Peek and BF3 launching in windowed mode) and 900MB of RAM multiple times on my system:
aero-kill.pngaero.png
Edited by PoopaScoopa - 4/26/12 at 8:19am
post #67 of 68
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Originally Posted by IcedEarth View Post

I'm undecided about any test done on these cards.
Look at how much AA affects the GTX680 in BF3, just as it should due to a VRAM limit. Yet they insist that it feels smoother?
Then look at how the GTX680 scores so well with max AA in Deus Ex: HR, even though we all know there should be a limitation. The margin between the 680 and 7970 here is stupidly insane for no apparent reason.
This all has to be driver related. AMD really need to get their drivers into shape ASAP, the 7970 was kicking ass in BF3 like it was meant to, yet actual gameplay performance sucked (one reason why I always say benchmarks are completely useless), then in other games the 7970 was getting destroyed for no apparent reason.
I bet with a better driver package, the 7970 would be dominating the 680's in any game. I think this review indicates that. There's no way Deus Ex was a hardware limitation, absolutely no way. The same goes for BF3 and the quality of the game play, even though it was putting out more consistent frames.

This is why I've always like Nvidia cards over AMD. Even when AMD is ahead in hardware they never seem to have the driver support to back it up in more than a few key titles.
    
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post #68 of 68
WTB Terry Makedon.
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