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CrossFireX vs. SLI

Our evaluation today is going to consist of comparing the latest AMD and NVIDIA high-end video cards in a multi-GPU configuration. We are going to compare GeForce GTX 580 SLI, GeForce GTX 570 SLI, Radeon HD 6970 CrossFireX and Radeon HD 6950 CrossFireX. In order to put these video card combinations to the test, we need to test at higher resolutions, in a configuration that will benefit these technologies. We are going to test in AMD Eyefinity and NVIDIA NV Surround resolutions. We are using three Dell 2408WFP displays to run at 5760x1200 or 5040x1050 depending on what is playable.

We of course need to be very careful about what drivers we are using, we have made sure to use the latest possible drivers for this evaluation. For the AMD video cards we are using Catalyst 10.12a Hotfix driver, which was the recommended by AMD driver to use for this testing. We also have the latest Catalyst Application Profile 10.12 installed. For the NVIDIA video cards we are using the new ForceWare 266.35 Beta driver.
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Mods: Feel free to merge this with the respective official threads if you see fit. I made a separate post since this is a comparison of the two sets of new cards, rather than this single manufacturer or that being the focus of the review.
 
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Originally Posted by RagingCain;11978546
Its a shame they didn't compare single monitor high resolutions.
fixed
smile.gif
i'm surprised they didn't this time as well. still a very good review with the latest drivers of both sides.

i hope people will read the review and notice the changing in settings. hardocp likes to find the best optimal setting for the gpu in question. don't look at just the scores or you will be fooled.
 

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I can't exactly spit this to the official threads since it's only one article... so I'll leave it as is.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by soilentblue;11978600
fixed
smile.gif
i'm surprised they didn't this time as well. still a very good review with the latest drivers of both sides.

i hope people will read the review and notice the changing in settings. hardocp likes to find the best optimal setting for the gpu in question. don't look at just the scores or you will be fooled.
I noticed that on Mafia II (Physx should have been off for nVidia.)

Although I knew the performance was comparable, I find it somewhat misleading because to get that performance level from the 6970/6950s, you need to be utilizing multiple monitors.

I mean its great that the ATi cards run so well at that res, most people don't use/have Eyefinity. Every comparison & review has been like this. Using resolutions that obviously go beyond the memory capacity of the Geforce cards. I don't have a problem with that, I am no fanboy, but I get this feeling like they are doing this on purpose, I just don't know why.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by RagingCain;11978752
I noticed that on Mafia II (Physx should have been off for nVidia.)

Although I knew the performance was comparable, I find it somewhat misleading because to get that performance level from the 6970/6950s, you need to be utilizing multiple monitors.

I mean its great that the ATi cards run so well at that res, most people don't use/have Eyefinity. Every comparison & review has been like this. Using resolutions that obviously go beyond the memory capacity of the Geforce cards. I don't have a problem with that, I am no fanboy, but I get this feeling like they are doing this on purpose, I just don't know why.
if you float around hardforum you will notice that it's the land of big resolutions. on hardforum it's a very useful review. here it seems where 1920x1080 is king........not so much. it's also why alot of people here call amd's 6900 series a failure and they say success.

if you wanted to relate that review to single monitor setups then amd catches nvidia where AA gets raised above the normal 2x or 4x. eyefinity is alot more widely used than you may realize.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by soilentblue;11978600
fixed
smile.gif
i'm surprised they didn't this time as well. still a very good review with the latest drivers of both sides.

i hope people will read the review and notice the changing in settings. hardocp likes to find the best optimal setting for the gpu in question. don't look at just the scores or you will be fooled.
HardOCP lists an "Apples-to-Apples" comparison at the bottom of each page, where they actually show the scores using the same settings on all GPUs.

I can't wait for optimized 6900 series drivers!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by RagingCain;11978752
I noticed that on Mafia II (Physx should have been off for nVidia.)

Although I knew the performance was comparable, I find it somewhat misleading because to get that performance level from the 6970/6950s, you need to be utilizing multiple monitors.

I mean its great that the ATi cards run so well at that res, most people don't use/have Eyefinity. Every comparison & review has been like this. Using resolutions that obviously go beyond the memory capacity of the Geforce cards. I don't have a problem with that, I am no fanboy, but I get this feeling like they are doing this on purpose, I just don't know why.
One GTX580 can play anything @ 1200p. Why spend 1K in GPU to get 100fps + in games? Reason right now for multi- GPU is if you run multiple monitors. Just like SLI and CFX are only for the elite same goes for 3 monitor setup.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by soilentblue;11978860
if you float around hardforum you will notice that it's the land of big resolutions. on hardforum it's a very useful review. here it seems where 1920x1080 is king........not so much. it's also why alot of people here call amd's 6900 series a failure and they say success.

if you wanted to relate that review to single monitor setups then amd catches nvidia where AA gets raised above the normal 2x or 4x. eyefinity is alot more widely used than you may realize.
It wasn't just hardforums that has done this type of review/comparisons. Techpowerup did the exact same thing.

@zeal: You are still spending over 1000$ with the AMD cards unless you already have the three monitors.

Another thing is I also don't get 100+ frames in many games, at least not average fps.

Average frames per second is what counts to me with the eye candy mandatory, not optional.

Its also about being future ready for games not out yet. We are seeing games coming out that are more and more demanding.

I personally see dual GPUs necessary for the highest quality and smoothest gameplay on a single monitor setup already. I mean that's just my opinion, but I believe it is also shared with many other enthusiast gamers, which is why I find it strange that many of these reviews neglect the arguably largest niche, the 1080 and 1200 resolution users.

Don't get me wrong, Eyefinity has its place in reviews and clearly AMD are not only competitive performance wise but price wise are outsanding, I just find it strange that this is (I think) the third respectable site that has done the 69xx CFX vs 5xx SLi comparisons showing only multi-monitor setups.

Written by DROID2
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by RagingCain;11978752
I noticed that on Mafia II (Physx should have been off for nVidia.)

Although I knew the performance was comparable, I find it somewhat misleading because to get that performance level from the 6970/6950s, you need to be utilizing multiple monitors.

I mean its great that the ATi cards run so well at that res, most people don't use/have Eyefinity. Every comparison & review has been like this. Using resolutions that obviously go beyond the memory capacity of the Geforce cards. I don't have a problem with that, I am no fanboy, but I get this feeling like they are doing this on purpose, I just don't know why.
I see your point, but remember that nVidia's Vision Surround came out with the GTX4xx series; nVidia's own testing would have told them this would happen - their frame buffers just aren't big enough.

nVidia probably took a step back and realised that triple-screen game play represents 0.0000001% of their target market(s). If they're that interested, we'll probably see the GTX6xx with 2460MB and 3072GB framebuffers, respectively.
 

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Quote:


Originally Posted by RagingCain
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It wasn't just hardforums that has done this type of review/comparisons. Techpowerup did the exact same thing.

@zeal: You are still spending over 1000$ with the AMD cards unless you already have the three monitors.

Another thing is I also don't get 100+ frames in many games, at least not average fps.

Average frames per second is what counts to me with the eye candy mandatory, not optional.

Its also about being future ready for games not out yet. We are seeing games coming out that are more and more demanding.

I personally see dual GPUs necessary for the highest quality and smoothest gameplay on a single monitor setup already. I mean that's just my opinion, but I believe it is also shared with many other enthusiast gamers, which is why I find it strange that many of these reviews neglect the arguably largest niche, the 1080 and 1200 resolution users.

Don't get me wrong, Eyefinity has its place in reviews and clearly AMD are not only competitive performance wise but price wise are outsanding, I just find it strange that this is (I think) the third respectable site that has done the 69xx CFX vs 5xx SLi comparisons showing only multi-monitor setups.

Written by DROID2

It's a shame your cards are bottlenecked by your processor. My old Phenom II 940 bottlenecked my lowly 5970.
 

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Originally Posted by JadedFloridian
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It's a shame your cards are bottlenecked by your processor. My old Phenom II 940 bottlenecked my lowly 5970.


Since when is a 5970 lowly? LOL.Since when does a 940 compare to a 1100T?And by bottlenecked you mean what? Campin under the bridge?
 

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Originally Posted by Redwoodz
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Since when is a 5970 lowly? LOL.Since when does a 940 compare to a 1100T?And by bottlenecked you mean what? Campin under the bridge?


Aren't the 940 and 1100T virtually the same speed clock for clock on each core? Most games won't take advantage of the 6 cores on the 1100T and therefore will perform close to a 940 (when clocked the same, of course).

The architecture itself seems to be an issue for some games. I experienced 40-70% GPU usage in some games with a 955 @ 3.8 GHz and both, 5850 crossfire and GTX 470 SLI. Don't get me wrong, a lot of games will not cause this bottleneck but the CPU intensive games generally do.
 

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Lol @ bottleneck, this is my backup rig. I do have a i7 980x but sadly it is collecting dust due to my own water cooling snafu that I have been too lazy to fix/clean up.

At ~4.1 GHz, there is no visible bottleneck from either processor in video games, they perform identically.

@Parity
I totally agree that the Eyefinity and Surround should be compared, but thats weird that they only compared those two features no? The 5870 supported Eyefinity, and when the 480 came out (with NvSurround) there were single monitor comparisons with high resolution. I still don't quite understand why we don't see them here?

Its almost like a couple of these sites want to overly emphasize the AMDs, which isn't necessary, the 6970/6950 is very impressive especially at that price, only the less informed believe it was a failure @ launch.

Here finally found a single monitor high-res review / benchmark that actually uses 580 SLi as well:
http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1488/1/

Oddly enough they left out Multi-monitor support.
 
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