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Need to decide on Xfire or not for GPU upgrade

post #1 of 8
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I am currently trying to decide between two different choices for a GPU upgrade.

Purpose: With the new generation of Consoles coming out, and my PC struggling more and more with the latest tech, I would like to make a GPU upgrade.


1. Crossfire my 6870 with a supplementary 6870.

2. Sell my current 6870 and purchase a completely new GPU.


Pros for point 1.
1. For roughly $100 dollars I can nearly double the GPU performance of my system.

Cons for point 1.
1. I would need to remove my Xonar DG audio card (blocking vent slot for second GPU)

2. I game at 1080P and am uncertain how much longer a 1GB solution is viable for gaming at 1080P.

3. I have noticed concerns about AMD GPU Xfire microstuttering. How noticable is it?

4. My PSU is only 550 watts, and I would need to replace the PSU with a higher wattage model. However, my current PSU is roughly 5 years old, and I am uncertain what the lifespan of this PSU is. So, complicatingly, I don't know if an upgrade expense to Xfire 6870 will become a running cost of the PC or not (this depends on the lifespan of the PC).


Pros for point 2.
1. I will be able to choose a more efficient solution in terms of electric costs.
2. Access to >1GB GPU memory.

Cons for point 2.
1. I would like to only consider options that are roughly %200 performance of my current single 6870 in order to justify the purchase as opposed to 2X 6870. This means that in cost, it seems this card will likely cost anywhere from $280 to $300 dollars. I live in the US, so I am able to order from Newegg.

Thank you!
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post #2 of 8

Here's what I would do:

Use MSI afterburner to monitor the amount of VRAM usage while gaming.

If you are above 900MB then you should upgrade to a 2GB card.

If you are below 900MB then you should upgrade to a 2GB card because you will need it very soon.

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post #3 of 8
Hi there! In my honest opinion, getting a single powerful GPU is better, in terms of scaling and compatibility with new games, things like crossfire/SLI might have problems with due to driver issues etc.

I would definately go with option 2, and in your case because of your budget, this card would be a very good option: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814202003

If you don't intend to stick to the red team, you can consider this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130932
Edited by RocketAbyss - 7/15/13 at 8:45pm
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post #4 of 8
If it is in fact the console ports that you are worried about, then I strongly suggest that you postpone the upgrade. No one knows what sort of requirements those ports will have. And it is impossible to tell what hardware will be required to play them well even at 1080p. So it would be wiser to wait and see the performance of the new ports on current hardware and then decide on what GPU to buy, depending on what will give you your desired performance at the resolution you play.

Also, as time goes by the prices of current GPUs will drop and you will get a much better GPU for the same amount of money then as opposed to now. thumb.gif
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post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the tip Legonut. I may try that tomorrow (getting late), however, its a tricky situation because the vram usage varies so much from game to game. Currently I can max out the Texture resolution for most games, but on games like Bioshock Infinite and Natural Selection 2, I can only run Medium textures. It will definitely be intersting to see how the consoles will use the roughly 5 GB ram that they have access to. And for ahnafakeef, I have thought about putting off upgrading, but its definitely worth looking at the buying options right now, and I have the upgrade itch as well hahaha.
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post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Awooboowoo View Post

And for ahnafakeef, I have thought about putting off upgrading, but its definitely worth looking at the buying options right now, and I have the upgrade itch as well hahaha.
I think its quite the opposite. AMD has an almost two year old 7970 that has nowhere near the ability to compete with Nvidia's latest offerings (780/Titan). Thus Nvidia is pricing their cards as high as they desire, and is getting away with it too because of absence of a competitive card on the high end level. If AMD's upcoming 9000 series cards can put up a fight, Nvidia will probably lower prices on their cards. And as we know, AMD generally prices their cards decently. So you'll most likely get better value for your money if you wait at least until October (which is when AMD is supposed to release their cards).

But I still stand by my original point of waiting until we see some benchmarks of the new console ports to buy a new GPU. This transition between consoles will most likely see a noteworthy change in system requirements for games.

As for the upgrade itch, I'd advise trying to fight it for a little while longer. You've made it through Crysis 3 and Metro Last Light already, and there probably isn't another title coming out before October that will have as high requirements as those games. So waiting would be the best option in my opinion.

But hey, if you're still thinking of pulling the trigger within that budget, i think getting a 7970 and flashing it to the GHz BIOS is your best choice right now. It has a GB of VRAM more than its competitor the 770 from Nvidia, thus making it slightly more future-proof.
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post #7 of 8
op, i used to have a 6870 paired with my Phenom and i was able play all my games just like my i7 rig can with a 7950 before. at lower settings, though. BF3 taxed it at even medium settings during large fights. i agree with other posters but if you can't wait . . . i recommend a 760 or a 7950 for now (something no more than $300 and with at least 2GB).

my phenom quad at 4GHz played BF3 1080 Ultra and 4MSAA just fine with a 7970 (about 6% - 9% faster than a 7950). gpu usage in MP went down to 75% but playable.

http://www.3dmark.com/3dm11/5198643

http://www.3dmark.com/3dm11/6543975

look at the graphics score.

the 6950 > 6870

7950 = 2 6950

even with 2 6870 your chip is going to bottleneck it but you'll get more fps. the problem is the VRAM will still limit you.

edit: i had the 7950 with my phenom for just a short while prior to selling it, so i can't show you any other figures.
Edited by rdr09 - 7/16/13 at 6:25am
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post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies ahnafakeef and rdr09. Its pretty good advice I to wait for the release of the HD9xxx series and wait for the capabilities of the new consoles to be more known. I may simply wait then for a solution later on. Thanks for the help
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