I'm done with multi-GPU - so when should I upgrade?

From the pixels, bits, and shaders to the graphic cards that power them. Discuss the latest from AMD and NVIDIA here.

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Re: I'm done with multi-GPU - so when should I upgrade?

Postposted on Sun Feb 24, 2013 10:43 pm

Yes, yes, you definitely know what's "nearly as fun" for me (and for other people) better that I myself do
You say some pretty ridiculous things. Are you taking your medication?
if video gaming is the most fun you can have then yes, I absolutely do know better.

if having a life is ridiculous then I don't want to be cured.

their is so much more to life than computer gaming and my response was in answer to an op who's spent around a grand a year just on gfx cards for the past several years wondering what he should do with another grand +..... suggesting he not waste it on more pc gaming hardware is sage advice in comparison to any alternative when it's already been admitted no additional returns can be had with that grand.

not saying I don't game, not saying it isn't fun but tossing a grand a year just at the gfx side of it in a world of maxed details on $500 cards seems excessive / something less polite when so much more is available in life.

that said not my coin, do whatever but I suggest you spend it elsewhere and if it has to be on PC then perhaps better speakers, display, SSD if you don't already have one, a car, a trip, another hobby, try skydiving, I did it for a while until it got boring but it is something I recommend everyone do at least once in life just to be sure they have that quality.
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Re: I'm done with multi-GPU - so when should I upgrade?

Postposted on Sun Feb 24, 2013 10:49 pm

How people spend their money isn't a good topic for this forum.

It's already trending into personal attacks and that's gonna lead to warnings on accounts.
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Re: I'm done with multi-GPU - so when should I upgrade?

Postposted on Sun Feb 24, 2013 11:05 pm

clone wrote:if having a life is ridiculous then I don't want to be cured.
Ah, yes, the old "I don't like what you like, so my option makes me a better person" argument. Or maybe it's the "I'm more sociable and outgoing than you, so I'm a better person." Either way, get outta here with that junk and go back to the school locker room where you belong.
clone wrote:their is so much more to life than computer gaming and my response was in answer to an op who's spent around a grand a year just on gfx cards for the past several years wondering what he she do with another grand +..... suggesting he not waste it on more pc gaming hardware is sage advice in comparison to any alternative.
In your opinion. In my opinion, there's nothing much better to spend it on.
Besides, he hasn't spent "around a grand a year", judging from his own description of his purchases. The 7800s came out in like 2006. What a crock.

Besides, you don't even know anything about the OP. He could be disabled and unable to do the things you like to do. He could be fabulously wealthy and find the prospect of spending $500 on a GPU totally irrelevant. He could be a professional gamer who needs the top-end performance he's asking about. You don't know.
clone wrote:not saying I don't game, not saying it isn't fun but tossing a grand a year just at the gfx side of it in a world of maxed details on $500 cards seems excessive / something less polite when so much more is available in life.
In your opinion. Some of us don't appreciate the "so much more" the way you apparently do. Some of us are content to sit at home and entertain ourselves, away from the chaos of the rest of humanity. Being an introvert doesn't make me incompetent, stupid, retarded, or antisocial -- it just makes me an introvert. And further still, some of us suffer from crippling physiological, neurological, and psychological conditions which make us incapable of enjoying those things even if we wanted to.

Also, I just love when people ask questions about A-B-C and someone's totally sincere answer is 9-8-7 -- totally unrelated.
  • "What GPU should I buy to replace my awful Crossfire mishmash?"
  • "You should take up skydiving."
HUH? It's the same as -- oh, just look at this. The point is, you're not helping.
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Re: I'm done with multi-GPU - so when should I upgrade?

Postposted on Sun Feb 24, 2013 11:16 pm

Yes, just relax guys (and girls) - no need to give such cliché "advices" as "you should go outside more" or telling each other to not forget to take medications... Make love, not war! :wink:
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Re: I'm done with multi-GPU - so when should I upgrade?

Postposted on Mon Feb 25, 2013 2:32 am

Techreport has some weird anti-gaming individuals onboard, but the funny thing is some games are better than ever and still improving, eg Skyrim and PC racing sims+equipement.
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Re: I'm done with multi-GPU - so when should I upgrade?

Postposted on Mon Feb 25, 2013 2:56 am

To get back on topic. I upgraded a while back from HD 4850 crossfire to a single HD 6870. Even though this was a marginal performance gain (if any) it felt like a huge performance gain because game play was much smoother and performance between different games didn't vary so dramatically since I didn't have to rely on proper crossfire support.

Even though a 680gtx might not be an improvement on paper, it might lead to a much more pleasant gaming experience.
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Re: I'm done with multi-GPU - so when should I upgrade?

Postposted on Mon Feb 25, 2013 5:29 am

Thanks kumori (and Airmantharp earlier for saying something similar). That's the kind of thing it's very helpful to hear.

I just wish AMD's and Nvidia's road-maps were a little more clear. :-?
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Re: I'm done with multi-GPU - so when should I upgrade?

Postposted on Mon Feb 25, 2013 7:02 am

I have to admit that Crossfire was never very good. I had a pair of X1950's and then a brief stint with some borrowed 4870 X2's
SLI was supposedly better but still suffers from microstuttering, which was the deal-breaker for me. The last time I did SLI my boards had 12MB RAM each!
Moving away from dual-GPU solutions seemed to net me less headaches and smoother gameplay.

Whilst average FPS numbers may not have changed much, the perception of smoothness and fluidity was rather obvious. Microstuttering can DIAF along with any dual-GPU solution that introduces it.
Also, quieter, cooler and generally better value for money were nice bonuses in the single-GPU solutions.

I would suggest you eBay your pair of 5870's and buy either a 7970 or a GTX670. You'll likely be getting the new card at less than half-price that way, which will probably offset any dissatisfaction that this is an "incremental" performance boost.
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Re: I'm done with multi-GPU - so when should I upgrade?

Postposted on Mon Feb 25, 2013 11:54 am

I have been running 6870's and have never *not* had an issue with a new game.

I've dealt with blue Screens, to overheating, to stuttering, to running perfectly but sometimes randomly CTD'ing, to one card not working, to just crap performance. I don't know if nvidia is better, but I think i'm done with ati. And most def. done with sli/crossfire.

I'm thinking I'll upgrade in Q3, with a ~$300 budget. At the very least it'll be an upgrade in the vram department...1GB just doesn't cut it at all anymore.
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Re: I'm done with multi-GPU - so when should I upgrade?

Postposted on Mon Feb 25, 2013 12:13 pm

If I had 1GB 5870s it would be a no brainer to upgrade now, but since I splurged on 2GB variants that's not a motivating factor either. I know, I know, woe is me, 1st world problems, etc... :P
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Re: I'm done with multi-GPU - so when should I upgrade?

Postposted on Mon Feb 25, 2013 12:17 pm

The per-GPU memory limit was the major reason that I upgraded from a Radeon HD3870X2 (2x512 MB) to a Radeon HD4870 1GB card a few years back. I haven't seen a problem with the 2 GiB in my current Radeon HD6970 card, even at 2560x1600.
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Re: I'm done with multi-GPU - so when should I upgrade?

Postposted on Mon Feb 25, 2013 12:20 pm

I agree with other posters in going with a higher end single GPU. You could sell your 5870s and get a used GTX 670/680 or spend more for a new one. I too got tired of issues with crossfire, no experience with SLI. I had pair of 4850's then a 4870X2. When they worked, they worked great, albeit some micro stuttering. The problem came for me when AMD put them into legacy status and crossfire wasn't supported by some games for my last crossfire card (4870X2). After playing with drivers and unable to force crossfire on some games, I gave up. It was really hit/miss for me. I knew that new cards were coming up to be released, so I just decided to buy last gen parts, and snagged a cheap GTX 580. Been running great so far and am enjoying the jump in performance and Nvidia drivers.
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Re: I'm done with multi-GPU - so when should I upgrade?

Postposted on Mon Feb 25, 2013 12:25 pm

There seem to be an awful lot of people here who have tried multi-GPU solutions, been irritated by the broken promises, faults, issues and incompatibilities and will never go dual-GPU again.

Has anyone actually owned a dual-GPU rig and thought it was genuinely better than an equivalent single card?
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Re: I'm done with multi-GPU - so when should I upgrade?

Postposted on Mon Feb 25, 2013 12:50 pm

Chrispy_ wrote:There seem to be an awful lot of people here who have tried multi-GPU solutions, been irritated by the broken promises, faults, issues and incompatibilities and will never go dual-GPU again.

Has anyone actually owned a dual-GPU rig and thought it was genuinely better than an equivalent single card?


When I first had my 4850 setup I was very happy, jumping from a 8800GTS 320. The products were new and support was high for them, albeit some games not supporting crossfire. For me I was used to the simplicity of a single GPU, not having to worry about support for multi-gpu, in which FPS can actually go down even today. So I was pleased with them early on, and they were much better overall than my single 8800GTS, the small issues that many experience with multi gpu solutions were too irritable of an issue for me in the long run. Personally I would rather have solid/stable FPS over a range of games rather than high FPS in one game and massive issues in another. This is still an issue today we see with AAA titles and multi-gpu solutions, I find this to be the major reason for not wanting SLI/Crossfire in the near future.
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Re: I'm done with multi-GPU - so when should I upgrade?

Postposted on Mon Feb 25, 2013 1:06 pm

DancinJack wrote:Even then, don't those multi-gpu cards still have issues too?

I've been curious: what are these issues that people keep referring to? I've been running a dual-GPU system starting 2006 all the way until 2010 with SLI and then from 2011 on with Crossfire. The only time I actually ran into a real problem that was SLI related was circa 8800GT era and a Windows XP reinstall cured it. Since then it's been pretty good so far. So why do people keep complaining about those issues which just don't seem to exist for me?

On top: I've been pondering about upgrading the videocards in the PC in my sig but I suppose it does make sense to wait for the next gen cards. Will probably go with nVidia this time.
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Re: I'm done with multi-GPU - so when should I upgrade?

Postposted on Mon Feb 25, 2013 1:17 pm

1) Constantly looking at GPU-Z and seeing only one card out of two getting utilized when that shouldn't be the case (Arma II/Day-Z most recently)
2) Bad luck picking games that either aren't supported or have issues that remain unresolved (Anno 2070 for one, Civ5 was another for awhile)
3) Frequently noticing that the reported FPS didn't match my perception of the frame-rate (mostly in shooters, not that I play many of them these days)

These issues have persisted though multiple iterations of hardware and different operating systems over the years. :(
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Re: I'm done with multi-GPU - so when should I upgrade?

Postposted on Mon Feb 25, 2013 2:05 pm

Yes, just relax guys (and girls) - no need to give such cliché "advices" as "you should go outside more" or telling each other to not forget to take medications... Make love, not war!
some get overly defensive and the rest don't get sarcasm, whatever, I'm guilty of it on occasion.
Has anyone actually owned a dual-GPU rig and thought it was genuinely better than an equivalent single card?
yes and no, yes it offered more but never enough to justify the coin lost in the endeavor.

I did it a few times with Nvidia and ATI at the time the business was up and running, the first was done as an experiment then we decided to try a setup from each just to be fair, we sold off the used cards which rarely involved a significant loss financially, more often than not we'd just pass them onto family or friends.

whenever we built we used the best which never changed the result as dual gpu inevitably became pointless because of lingering support issues that never got ironed out before the next generation of cards arrived, a lack of demanding games to exploit it's advantages and lifespans were much shorter because of the rapid transitions from DX9 to DX 10 to DX 11 making the dual rig obsolete in comparison to a new more feature rich flagship single gpu, ATI was slower to dual than Nvidia but by the time HD 4870 X2 came out they were pretty solid.

if only talking up 3dmark then dual was great but if we were gaming it wasn't so much making for a great example of synthetic testing offering little value in the real world.

p.s. auxy, leave your baggage at home, their is nothing wrong with throwing in a little reality, honesty and perspective no matter how much it bothers you, go whine at Flip Mode for saying he no longer games and sold off his gfx card, he might care more than I about your position.

note: edited to clarify dual gpu elements of the post.
Last edited by clone on Tue Feb 26, 2013 2:38 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: I'm done with multi-GPU - so when should I upgrade?

Postposted on Mon Feb 25, 2013 2:23 pm

JohnC wrote:Just get the Titan... You know you want to - it will be the most powerful single-GPU card for quite a long time :evil: :wink: and I hate to use this dumb abbreviation, but it's very fitting here, so... "YOLO" :wink:


+1 OP sounds like he's trying to justify a Titan purchase.
Hey, if you can afford then good for you. It's certainly the closest you can get to dual-GPU performance from a single card in this generation. :D
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Re: I'm done with multi-GPU - so when should I upgrade?

Postposted on Mon Feb 25, 2013 2:30 pm

I think the old advice about multi-GPU still stands to reason- if you can help it at all, you should only use it when one card simply cannot be enough. That's why I went with 2xHD6950's when I did, as that was by far the cheapest (and coolest/quietest) way to power a 4MP display while using reasonable settings in current games. One card just wasn't going to be fast enough for me. And Crossfire did make a tangible improvement in gameplay, but as dr.fish stated above, the perceived framerate didn't match what FRAPS was reporting, and at least with Crossfire, there were enough teething problems with newer games to sour the taste.

From my experience, Crossfire seemed to give a 30-50% boost in subjective smoothness, while giving an ~80% boost in measured framerates.
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Re: I'm done with multi-GPU - so when should I upgrade?

Postposted on Mon Feb 25, 2013 2:46 pm

clone wrote:all the while the fastest single card solution was offering more than any game demanded at the time


Probably this, x1000.

Dual-GPU gaming has always been 99% about benchmarking e-peen (unless you're talking about gaming on multiple displays, which come with their own subset of issues and hiccups to add to all the dual-GPU issues)
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Re: I'm done with multi-GPU - so when should I upgrade?

Postposted on Mon Feb 25, 2013 3:15 pm

clone wrote:p.s. auxy, leave your baggage at home, their is nothing wrong with throwing in a little reality, honesty and perspective no matter how much it bothers you, go whine at Flip Mode for saying he no longer games and sold off his gfx card, he might care more than I about your position.

Huh? I'm not sure what you're saying. I hope the thread doesn't get locked. I don't think it should get locked but Ryu has a pretty low threashold sometimes. Still, we could be nicer to each other around here, and learn to state our opinions for what they are: no better than anyone else's. I agree with you about the worth of dual-gpu setups, but if other people feel it's worth it for them I guess I'm not in a good place to tell them it's a waste and they should go outside 8)
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Re: I'm done with multi-GPU - so when should I upgrade?

Postposted on Mon Feb 25, 2013 3:19 pm

I'm in a similar situation to that of the OP. I'd like to move to a single card solution (currently running dual GTX 570's @1920x1200). I was looking at Titan as my solution but its price is a barrier. It looks like I be running with my current SLI setup into 2014. :(
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Re: I'm done with multi-GPU - so when should I upgrade?

Postposted on Mon Feb 25, 2013 3:26 pm

Chrispy,
Been there too, much happier with single 27" vs. triple 22" - even though it was fun to play with, too much hassle.
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Re: I'm done with multi-GPU - so when should I upgrade?

Postposted on Mon Feb 25, 2013 3:51 pm

Chrispy_ wrote:Dual-GPU gaming has always been 99% about benchmarking e-peen (unless you're talking about gaming on multiple displays, which come with their own subset of issues and hiccups to add to all the dual-GPU issues)

My reality is that on just a single 1920x1200 display, in newer games (Crysis 3), that a single card = unplayable vs SLI = playable. CPU is an OC'ed 3770K.
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Re: I'm done with multi-GPU - so when should I upgrade?

Postposted on Mon Feb 25, 2013 4:59 pm

Chrispy_ wrote:Has anyone actually owned a dual-GPU rig and thought it was genuinely better than an equivalent single card?


As I said, quite happy with my retired 295 and my current 590 in terms of performance and support.

It was only the 4870X2 that ticked me off.
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Re: I'm done with multi-GPU - so when should I upgrade?

Postposted on Mon Feb 25, 2013 5:00 pm

clone wrote:p.s. auxy, leave your baggage at home, their is nothing wrong with throwing in a little reality, honesty and perspective no matter how much it bothers you, go whine at Flip Mode for saying he no longer games and sold off his gfx card, he might care more than I about your position.


...dude, WTF is wrong with you? Seriously...
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Re: I'm done with multi-GPU - so when should I upgrade?

Postposted on Mon Feb 25, 2013 5:03 pm

OK, everyone needs to settle down or we're done here, and I'm looking at at least three posters.

Thanks for listening.
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Re: I'm done with multi-GPU - so when should I upgrade?

Postposted on Mon Feb 25, 2013 5:05 pm

Heh. Ned posted while I was writing a response.

I have been handing out warnings for this thread. I'm of the mind to split out the off-topic noise.
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Re: I'm done with multi-GPU - so when should I upgrade?

Postposted on Mon Feb 25, 2013 5:29 pm

End User wrote:My reality is that on just a single 1920x1200 display, in newer games (Crysis 3), that a single card = unplayable vs SLI = playable. CPU is an OC'ed 3770K.


This is true, but ONLY for Crysis (I think - Metro 2033 comes close, though)

Part of the reason is because Crysis pushes more polygons and latest tech without fear of the consequences.
Part of the reason is because the game isn't even close to being well-made, or optimised.
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Re: I'm done with multi-GPU - so when should I upgrade?

Postposted on Mon Feb 25, 2013 5:37 pm

So, obviously I'm thinking about getting a 7970 or something, and my nephew is thinking about getting a 7950 - so if we bought them at the same time that should net us the six game "Never Settle" bundle, right? Seems there aren't any retailers that really mention getting the double games for buying two cards, is it a real thing? Any reason it wouldn't work with a mismatched 7970 and 7950?
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