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Crossfire old GPU series? Or do I go for a new single GPU?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hey guys, long time no see.

I'm looking at upgrading my graphics card in the coming months due to the fact that my 6950 is showing it's age now. And with Battlefield 4 coming out and a few other games. It's probably a good idea to upgrade.

I plan to spend about $300 on one card. I can go a little higher for taxes/shipping etc. And I was originally planning to get myself a 7970 (and in a month or two the price should drop a bit more considering R9 coming out etc)

But out of curiosity I checked out the crossfire page on AMD's website. And apparently my card the 6950 is crossfire capable with another 6950, 6970, or 6990.

Assuming I can even find 6950-70-90's being sold still like this one... http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814202035

I'll be spending half the money. Still getting an upgrade + my old GPU's power as the secondary card.

or I can spend 300-400 on a 7970.

I should also mention I want to get 2-3 years out of the card. Meaning before I start to notice it not performing as good as I would like while gaming (FPS wise). So if two 6000 series xfired will show their age long before a 7970 let me know...

Thanks guys.
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Infinite
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post #2 of 8
If it were my money, I'd wait until the new AMD R9 series cards are shipping and see what you can afford with your $300 budget. You won't be able to buy the top end R9 290X but you should be able to pick-up one of the mid range cards that will be faster (or close to) two 6950 in Crossfire.

One of the chief concerns these days is VRAM. Picking up a new card might net you 3GB of VRAM or more, where as with your 6950 2GB card, even if you add a second one - you're still limited to 2GB usable VRAM. The new consoles are pushing VRAM requirements up a bit, and 2GB might become a bottleneck at 1080p in the next 2-3 years.

New boards are coming out literally "any day now" - hold tight a week and see what happens.

Greg
post #3 of 8
Depends. Crossfiring 6950's will yield similar performance to the 7970 in terms of performance gains. However, Crossfiring two GPU's will utilize more power, and you might encounter driver issues (stuttering, scaling, etc.). Using a single GPU solution will be much more stable and with a little OC, will outperform the Xfired 6950's. However, the price on the 6950 makes it a sensible purchase, as I personally wouldn't want to drop $300 extra bucks for similar performance that can be had for $180.

Up to you.
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hammong View Post

If it were my money, I'd wait until the new AMD R9 series cards are shipping and see what you can afford with your $300 budget. You won't be able to buy the top end R9 290X but you should be able to pick-up one of the mid range cards that will be faster (or close to) two 6950 in Crossfire.

One of the chief concerns these days is VRAM. Picking up a new card might net you 3GB of VRAM or more, where as with your 6950 2GB card, even if you add a second one - you're still limited to 2GB usable VRAM. The new consoles are pushing VRAM requirements up a bit, and 2GB might become a bottleneck at 1080p in the next 2-3 years.

New boards are coming out literally "any day now" - hold tight a week and see what happens.

Greg

Oh... I assumed the new R9 thing meant a few high-end cards. Not an entire lineup like 6950-70-GHz70-90 etc. So what your saying is due to the huge changes in hardware already here or coming... (next-gen consoles, games coming out, 64bit OS becoming standard, R9, nvidias 800) getting a second 6900 card to crossfire is most likely a worse option then waiting and picking up the 6950 equivilant in the R9 series for $300-$400?

If I end up bypassing xfire and 7970 completely and wait for R9. When do you think they will release. I'm looking for the 6950 or 7970 equivilant here price wise. Won't they release top-down? Like the high end $700-$1000+ first then the mid range of $300-$500?
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Infinite
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post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bi-Polar Bear View Post

Oh... I assumed the new R9 thing meant a few high-end cards. Not an entire lineup like 6950-70-GHz70-90 etc. So what your saying is due to the huge changes in hardware already here or coming... (next-gen consoles, games coming out, 64bit OS becoming standard, R9, nvidias 800) getting a second 6900 card to crossfire is most likely a worse option then waiting and picking up the 6950 equivilant in the R9 series for $300-$400?

If I end up bypassing xfire and 7970 completely and wait for R9. When do you think they will release. I'm looking for the 6950 or 7970 equivilant here price wise. Won't they release top-down? Like the high end $700-$1000+ first then the mid range of $300-$500?


Looking at this Anandtech update from Sept 25, they say the R9 280X is going to be in the $299 price range, have 3GB VRAM. Nobody knows what the performance is going to be like compared to the current 7800/7900 series GPUs, but my personal guess is that the 280X is going to come in about 7970 performance levels.

There are two new GPU series coming from AMD in October -- the R7 and R9 line. The R7 looks like a rebranded 7900 series to me, the R9 will most likely be the new GPU chip. Who knows, AMD Is always very secretive about releases until the NDA gets lifted.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/7369/amd-announces-next-generation-r7-and-r9-video-cards

Greg
post #6 of 8
OP wait till oct 15th if your budget is 400 - 450. sell your HD 6950 and get a R9 290 aka Hawaii Pro if it fits your budget. if your budget is 300 go for R9 280X aka Tahiti XTL which is a tweaked HD 7970 running at 1 Ghz. imo R9 290 is your best bet. massive next gen Hawaii GPU, 4GB VRAM and perfect for BF4. thumb.gif
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post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Based on what you guys said; hammong & raghu78. I will be waiting for the R9 cards to be released. It's relieving to know that they are releasing a "top-down" series rather than piecemeal cards at a time. Based on what your link from anandtech said; hammong, I'll probably end up getting the R9 280X. If it actually is the $300-$400 6960/7970 equivalent of the R9's when they are finally released. Looking forward to coming on here in a month or two's time and joining an elitist forum club for R9 owners. LOL. Thanks again guys.
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Infinite
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post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bi-Polar Bear View Post

Based on what you guys said; hammong & raghu78. I will be waiting for the R9 cards to be released. It's relieving to know that they are releasing a "top-down" series rather than piecemeal cards at a time. Based on what your link from anandtech said; hammong, I'll probably end up getting the R9 280X. If it actually is the $300-$400 6960/7970 equivalent of the R9's when they are finally released. Looking forward to coming on here in a month or two's time and joining an elitist forum club for R9 owners. LOL. Thanks again guys.

OP R9 280X reviews out. thumb.gif

http://www.hardocp.com/article/2013/10/07/asus_r9_280x_directcu_ii_top_video_card_review#.UlOj3FP3x8E
http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-reviews/63522-amd-radeon-r9-280x-3gb-review.html
http://www.anandtech.com/show/7400/the-radeon-r9-280x-review-feat-asus-xfx

the ASUS R9 280X DCII TOP (1070 mhz) has outstanding acoustics. very low noise and load temp of 70c - 74c. the XFX R9 280X (1000 mhz) has higher noise compared to ASUS DCII but much lower temperatures of around 61c - 63c. looks like ASUS cooler runs at lower fan speeds. so you could get lower temps at higher fan speed . obviously there will be a slight increase in fan noise.
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