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Too many choices!

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hi I am trying to decide what graphics card to put into my new system which I am working on. I had planned to use a Geforce GTX 560 Ti but then I had started looking at the likes of the Radeon HD 6970. I had been planning to get two Geforce GTX 560s and overclock them, basically which of these is a better choice, or is there something else that'll cost about £300?
Teh Powerhouse
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Teh Powerhouse
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post #2 of 15
At what resolution are you gaming? What's the rest of your system like?
/hwaw
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post #3 of 15
There are really a ton of choices out there these days for video cards, but that's a good thing, means that there's competition and thus lower prices, yay.

I'd say right now the best high end option for the buck is currently crossfire'd 6950 2GBs flashed to 6970s. I don't really know Pound pricing, but the 6950 2gbs can found for about 40 pounds less than the 6970s? They're only a bit more expensive than the gtx560s and provide superior performance. However be aware that at times xfire driver support can be spotty, and people complain.

If you are content to sit on a single card for a while you can get a 580 which will power you through just about any game on any setting and wait for prices to drop on a second card when the 590 comes out. Then no SLI headaches either.
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post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
Wow thanks for fast replies! The system i'm building will be (when finished) OC'd i5 2500K on Gigabyte P67 UD4 board, SSD drives, and the aim is to play Crysis 1+2 on max settings in the end, I absolutely loath Lag in any game and my current PC lags in even oblivion (been saving and its missed a few upgrades!)
Ocpokey sorry you're going to have to treat me as a little bit of a fool here, I understand crossfireX and SLI are methods of combining two cards, but I admit I hadn't exactly worked out yet how that all that worked out (systems i've built up until now all been single GPU) is it difficult to set up?
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post #5 of 15
It's not terribly difficult no.
You need a motherboard that supports crossfire or SLI (they're usually labelled at time of purchase), then you pop two of the same card type into the 2 PCI-E (x8 or x16) slots. Connect what is known as a "bridge" (its a little plastic strip with a buncha wires inside) to the bridge ports to the two cards, install either nvidias control panel or ATis catalyst control center, plug all the PCI-E power plugs in and whoosh away you go.

Just a side note, there is an SLI Hack (that I haven't tried) that allows you to use SLI on almost any motherboard, it's not 100% guaranteed like a supported mobo, but I've heard nothing but success stories in using it.

Oh, side note #2, some of the driver issues I mentioned are when xfire is not recognized in a game, and so only 1 GPU is actually being utilized. I think sadly Crysis 2 demo doesn't currently work in crossfire, though that may change at release.
Edited by ocpokey - 3/12/11 at 3:54pm
Bleeding Edge
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post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
Ah ok thats very helpful, these cables you speak of, do they come with the motherboard or do you need to buy them?
The board im purchasing I think supports both things, but if crossfireX is sometimes not supported is this not the same for SLI? If its not why isn't everyone just using SLI or have I missed something vitally important about SLI?
Teh Powerhouse
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Teh Powerhouse
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post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike12345567 View Post
Ah ok thats very helpful, these cables you speak of, do they come with the motherboard or do you need to buy them?
The board im purchasing I think supports both things, but if crossfireX is sometimes not supported is this not the same for SLI? If its not why isn't everyone just using SLI or have I missed something vitally important about SLI?
The bridges are generally supplied with each Video card, and sometimes with motherboards.

CF and SLI are supported in both cases regardless if one is supported.

Support is from having 2x PCI-E Slots that are running at least 8x bandwidth on both. Not sure about SB builds but almost all of the boards should be.

As for the video card, I highly recommend going with 6950 2GB and flashing to 6970, amazing card for the money in that bracket nothing beats it $/fps.

I'd recommend getting one for time being since thats more then enough to run just about anything under the sun unless your planning on running Eyefinity/Surround.
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post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike12345567 View Post
Ah ok thats very helpful, these cables you speak of, do they come with the motherboard or do you need to buy them?
The board im purchasing I think supports both things, but if crossfireX is sometimes not supported is this not the same for SLI? If its not why isn't everyone just using SLI or have I missed something vitally important about SLI?
SLI used to be vastly superior to Crossfire, and so far more people used SLI than crossfire, and then game makers focused on supporting SLI more than crossfire. Lately things have changed, crossfire is giving amazing performance gains, up to and as good as SLI in terms of scaling, with the cards hitting a softer dollar niche (they generally give a higher performance/$$ ratio) and increasing peoples adopting of AMD/ATI cards in general and especially in crossfire. So now games are moving towards being more crossfire friendly. However there is still the occasional hiccup where a game will not have a crossfire profile, and for whatever reason AMD has been sluggish to update at times and then things go without utilizing crossfire for a while.

Again however, this is more an exception than the rule these days, so that's why people don't all just go SLI, although there is still a heavy SLI over crossfire stigma, from before.
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Bleeding Edge
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post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by ocpokey View Post
SLI used to be vastly superior to Crossfire, and so far more people used SLI than crossfire, and then game makers focused on supporting SLI more than crossfire. Lately things have changed, crossfire is giving amazing performance gains, up to and as good as SLI in terms of scaling, with the cards hitting a softer dollar niche (they generally give a higher performance/$$ ratio) and increasing peoples adopting of AMD/ATI cards in general and especially in crossfire. So now games are moving towards being more crossfire friendly. However there is still the occasional hiccup where a game will not have a crossfire profile, and for whatever reason AMD has been sluggish to update at times and then things go without utilizing crossfire for a while.

Again however, this is more an exception than the rule these days, so that's why people don't all just go SLI, although there is still a heavy SLI over crossfire stigma, from before.
In the past it was two cards in SLI usually scaled better than 2 in crossfire(the 6000 series have changed that a bit) and when going tri SLI/CF...Tri crossfire usually won... quad SLI/CF is a HUGE waste of money, since scaling for both suck...

Right now going 2 card CF/SLI right now...it is a the same...just depends on what performance you want and how much you are willing to dole out...
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post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thank you for all your replies, I think Neokolzia has a point, in that I should stick to one card for the time, although I don't know how to flash from one series to another so i'll have to look into that.
If crossfireX were to offere better preformance in somecases than SLI, and the reason its not supported yet is that people are only starting to move to it, then I suppose i'd use crossfire since it won't be until summer that i'd get the second graphics card.
My last question is whether if I get the 69502GB flashed to the 6970 will that be able to run say Skyrim (next elder scrolls game) or a similar RPG game at max res/settings without lag?
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Teh Powerhouse
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