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Limitations of two cards vs one card solution

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
My question is straight forward.

What are the limitations of a two card set up that does better than a one card set up?

Example: One GTX 580 alone is much faster than an AMD 6870 but the AMD 6870's crossfire beat out the one GTX 580 even less expensive.....What are the limitations of having cards crossfire?

Are there instances where you do not gain the benefit of crossfire cards over GTX 580? Please name them. (ex:Streaming video, browsing, gaming, 3D applications, Blu-ray or wathcing DVD's)

One GTX 580 is $520.00 two AMD 6870's are $460.

Like to clear up something I'm learning about......thank you in advance. I can't find this answer.
     
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post #2 of 8
There are all sorts of problems associated with multiple cards setups such as stuttering and tearing. Heat can also be a problem for the top card as it'll be limited on cool air.

If your question is on performance only, then you have to look into reviews of the Crossfire and analyze which one has better performance for your application.
post #3 of 8
Game's might not always support multi gpu configuration's.

OVerclocking, and stability, as well as overall experience is a potential hinderance with more then 1 GPU.

This is possible. but not likely.

1 GPU is a easy carefree solution. no worry's. no issue's. Very smooth.

but for example. my 6870's can in fact beat a GTX 580. how smooth the gameplay is compared to these 2 solution's can widly vary.

my previous GTX 295 sli was a nightmare.

Iv'e never used single GPU's. i was always a multi gpu kind of guy. besides the 295's i cant complain on what i experienced.

but 1 gpu is most of the time a bit smoother.

But 2 > 1 is most cases.
Edited by Yoko Littner - 1/16/11 at 5:30am
    
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post #4 of 8
Yes. For example with GTA4, you'll lose performance by enabling crossfire because it's so badly optimized for it. In that case you'd have to use a single 6870, which is much slower than the GTX 580.

In other cases your system can be plagued by microstutter, where 60fps feels like 30fps.
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post #5 of 8
Proof? in my GTAIV i can actually use 2GB of VRam

and it uses crossfireX. the data is mirrored to my dual 1GB card's.

However i see 2GB of usable vram. and runs better with CFX enabled


Quote:
Originally Posted by OverTheBelow View Post
Yes. For example with GTA4, you'll lose performance by enabling crossfire because it's so badly optimized for it. In that case you'd have to use a single 6870, which is much slower than the GTX 580.

In other cases your system can be plagued by microstutter, where 60fps feels like 30fps.
    
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post #6 of 8
The thing is that some games don't scale very well on crossfire or sli. There are games that don't increase FPS at all using multi gpu solutions, and, you will be better with only one card(WoW, and some others)

And, with only one powerful card you can upgrade in future adding another card of the same type when they're cheaper. Instead, if you buy 2 6870s you can't upgrade without replacing them all. It will have 580 performance. Instead, if you buy a 580, you can buy other in the future for more performance.

I recommend you a reference 6950 flashed to 6970. Or two of them
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post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Cost Analysis: 3DMark Vantage GPU Test (1920x1200)
•$242 Radeon HD 6870 1GB costs $13.37 per FPS
•$255 GeForce GTX 470 1GB costs $12.94 per FPS
•$324 Radeon HD 5870 1GB costs $14.86 per FPS
•$437 GeForce GTX 480 1536MB costs $17.27 per FPS
•$500 Radeon HD 5970 2GB costs $14.66 per FPS
•$500 GeForce GTX 580 1536MB costs $14.79 per FPS
•$484 Radeon HD 6870 CrossFireX costs $13.79 per FPS

http://benchmarkreviews.com/images/r..._Benchmark.jpg

This is the conclusion from Benchmarks review of stock GTX 580 with AMD 6870 Crossfire along with an AMD 5970 card.

Qoute "Beginning with frame rate performance, the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 video card competes at a level comparable to the dual-GPU ATI Radeon HD 5970 and occasionally matched up well against a pair of AMD Radeon HD 6870's in CrossFireX configuration. All three of these options share the same $500 price point, and both offer similar DirectX 11 functionality. In comparison to the Fermi GF100-powered GeForce GTX 480, the GF110 proved that GeForce GTX 580 was far more than an added streaming multiprocessor and clock speed increase; it was the perfect blend of tessellation, shaders, and texture units we first witnessed with the GF104 inside GeForce GTX 460.

In our DirectX 10 tests, 3D Mark Vantage had the GeForce GTX 580 trailing slightly behind the Radeon HD 5970 and CrossFire 6870's in Jane Nash, but then it comes back and matches or exceeds them in New Calico. Crysis Warhead matches the GeForce GTX 580 to the Radeon HD 5970 equally, and both trail behind the Radeon 6870's in CrossFire. In our DirectX 11 tests, Aliens vs Predator puts the GeForce GTX 580 video card behind the Radeon 5970 and CrossFire 6870's, and then positions it between them for Battlefield: Bad Company 2. Then BattleForge, Lost Planet 2, and Mafia II all report the GeForce GTX 580 even with, or outperforming, the Radeon HD 5970 and CrossFire 6870's. Testing with Metro 2033 the GeForce GTX 580 takes a turn South, and both Radeon contenders surpass it. Tom Clancy's HAWX2 clearly works better with GeForce tessellation, putting the GTX 580 and all other NVIDIA products way ahead of AMD Radeon video cards. Finally, the Unigine Heaven benchmark confirms the trends we've seen in all the tests leading up to this, and position the GeForce GTX 580 slightly ahead of the dual-GPU ATI Radeon HD 5970 and trailing shortly behind a pair of AMD Radeon HD 6870's in CrossFireX."

I find myself reminded that this video card matches performance with a dual-GPU Radeon HD 5970 that was priced at $700 for the longest time, and the few remaining models have come down to Earth. And while the GTX 580 proves itself a contender against the 5970, there's still the small matter of two AMD Radeon HD 6870's combined into CrossFire to consider. This will ultimately be a decision for the consumer, who either wants the best overall performance a single card can offer along with several proprietary features benefits only available from NVIDIA, or they'll settle for two lesser products that produce comparable frame rates. Unqoute.

http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.ph...=614&Itemid=72

Pretty close but a pair of AMD 6870 do slightly edge over in some situations against the single GTX 580.

In my own opinion I do prefer the simple single card solution. It does greatly make a difference where two cards aren't an option and aren't being utilized however and I like that big edge more than dual cards.

The GTX 580 has been vastly improved and even in high stress 3Dmark 11 or Crysis in full max settings it's been doing great with nothing above 74C and fan at 76%. Nvidia really addressed the heat issue that's plauged them for a long time.

Thanks all for responding and making this more clear to me it helped me make this decision based on my own needs.
     
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post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
I barely overclocked it just to break the 40.2 Gpixles Fillrate / 200.8 Gb's Bandwidth with my EVGA GTX 580 @ 838Mhz/1046Mhz/1676Mhz.

     
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