Crossfire, or not to crossfire...

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

Moderators: morphine, SecretSquirrel

Crossfire, or not to crossfire...

Postposted on Wed Sep 11, 2013 1:30 pm

So a friend and i are both thinking of upgrading our graphics cards soon here, and from our conversion i was unable to answer, what would be better gaming performance-wise. 2 HD 7790 1gb's or just one 7870 2gb?
AMD FX-8320
Gigabyte 990FX-UD3
16GB G.skill Sniper 1600
Radeon HD 6790 1GB
1GB Seagate 7200 rpm & 125GB Crucial M4
srgramrod
Gerbil
 
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat May 11, 2013 10:34 pm
Location: San Diego, CA, USA

Re: Crossfire, or not to crossfire...

Postposted on Wed Sep 11, 2013 1:38 pm

Neither. Look at BF4's "recommended" specs. Look for a card with at least 3GB of RAM.
My subscription allows you people to exist on this site and makes me a better human being than you'll ever be
JohnC
Gerbil Jedi
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 1890
Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:08 pm
Location: NY/NJ/FL

Re: Crossfire, or not to crossfire...

Postposted on Wed Sep 11, 2013 1:57 pm

Friends don't let friends use Crossfire.
i7 3820 @ 4.4, Custom Water Loop | ASRock X79 Extreme4 | 8GB G.Skill 1638mhz
GTX 970 @ 1465 | BenQ 24" 120Hz | Samsung 840 250GB | 2x2TB Toshiba | Win 8.1 Pro x64
X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Pro | Sennheiser HD555 | Corsair TX850V2 | Fractal Arc Midi R2
Prestige Worldwide
Gerbil Elite
 
Posts: 515
Joined: Mon Nov 09, 2009 10:57 pm

Re: Crossfire, or not to crossfire...

Postposted on Wed Sep 11, 2013 1:57 pm

A single, faster card is always better than putting two slower cards in crossfire since crossfire/SLI will never double your performance.
Damage wrote:Don't try to game the requirements by posting everywhere, guys, or I'll nuke you from space.

-Probably the best Damage quote ever.
superjawes
Graphmaster Gerbil
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 1163
Joined: Thu May 28, 2009 9:49 am

Re: Crossfire, or not to crossfire...

Postposted on Wed Sep 11, 2013 2:03 pm

Crossfire/SLI is only really worth it IMHO if you already have the fastest card on the market and still need more performance.
Firestarter
Gerbil XP
 
Posts: 496
Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2004 11:12 am

Re: Crossfire, or not to crossfire...

Postposted on Wed Sep 11, 2013 2:17 pm

Firestarter wrote:Crossfire/SLI is only really worth it IMHO if you already have the fastest card on the market and still need more performance.

Even then it is not worth it unless you have a multi-monitor setup.
My subscription allows you people to exist on this site and makes me a better human being than you'll ever be
JohnC
Gerbil Jedi
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 1890
Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:08 pm
Location: NY/NJ/FL

Re: Crossfire, or not to crossfire...

Postposted on Wed Sep 11, 2013 2:38 pm

JohnC wrote:
Firestarter wrote:Crossfire/SLI is only really worth it IMHO if you already have the fastest card on the market and still need more performance.

Even then it is not worth it unless you have a multi-monitor setup.


Eh? What about if your single display is >= 4MP? What difference does it make if you need it to drive a higher net resolution on one vs >1 display?

Edit: And since we're talking specifically about crossfire, multi-displays are moot as the new frame pacing drivers don't yet support them.

If you like running the most demanding games with most/all the eye candy, even a single hd 7970 can be a bit anemic at 2560x1600. Hence, an argument for crossfire. Especially if you already have an HD 7950/70. Sure you could buy a Titan instead. But what's more appealing to most? A $1000 upgrade path? Or a $300 one? (for the same or better performance in many current games)
cynan
Gerbil Elite
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 844
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2004 2:30 pm

Re: Crossfire, or not to crossfire...

Postposted on Wed Sep 11, 2013 2:46 pm

cynan wrote:
JohnC wrote:
Firestarter wrote:Crossfire/SLI is only really worth it IMHO if you already have the fastest card on the market and still need more performance.

Even then it is not worth it unless you have a multi-monitor setup.


Eh? What about if your single display is >= 4MP?

That too. But not many people have such setups:
http://store.steampowered.com/hwsurvey
Majority of people whom I personally know play at 1080p, either with single or multiple monitors (or TV's).
My subscription allows you people to exist on this site and makes me a better human being than you'll ever be
JohnC
Gerbil Jedi
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 1890
Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:08 pm
Location: NY/NJ/FL

Re: Crossfire, or not to crossfire...

Postposted on Wed Sep 11, 2013 3:14 pm

1600p like me!

Granted I'd been working toward that goal for five or six years, and I'm not giving it up. That means running multiple cards to get smooth performance. 50FPS with a little frame-to-frame latency is better than a solid 35FPS, in the end, when you're playing a shooter.

But yeah, if you can get 60FPS with one card, that'll be better and smoother and give you less headaches than a multi-card setup every time.

And no, you do not ever want to run two low-end cards; you're compounding bottlenecks with bottlenecks, and it's worth spending a few more bucks to get a good single card.
Canon 6D|24-105/4L IS USM|70-300/4-5.6 IS USM|40/2.8 STM|50/1.4 USM|85/1.8 USM|Samyang/Bower 14/2.8 Full-Manual Rectilinear Wide-angle|24/2.8 IS USM|
Canon EOS-M|11-22/4-5.6 IS STM|22/2 STM|EF-M 18-55/3.5-5.6 IS STM|
Airmantharp
Gerbil Elder
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 5129
Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2004 10:41 pm

Re: Crossfire, or not to crossfire...

Postposted on Wed Sep 11, 2013 3:57 pm

A single faster card would be my suggestion.
Z68XP-UD4 | 2700K @ 4.7 GHz | 16 GB | GTX 780 SLI | PCP&C Silencer 950 | XSPC RX360 | Heatkiller R3 | D5 + RP-452X2 | HAF 932 | 480 GB Extreme Pro
Waco
Gerbil Elite
 
Posts: 813
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2009 4:14 pm

Re: Crossfire, or not to crossfire...

Postposted on Wed Sep 11, 2013 4:40 pm

Micro-stuttering is still an issue on many games when using Crossfire. I believe that the RAM mirrors in Crossfire also so that you would only have an effective VRAM of 1GB when Crossfired even though you'd have a sum total of 2GB physical VRAM.

Single card is still the way to go unless you're doing something outrageous and the fastest single card option still isn't enough.
Intel Core i5-4670K | Asus Z87-A | G.Skill 8GB 2400MHz CL10 | Asus DirectCU II R9 290 4GB | Samsung 840 120GB |Thermalright Macho | Lancool PC-K59
puppetworx
Gerbil Elite
Silver subscriber
 
 
Posts: 518
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 5:16 am

Re: Crossfire, or not to crossfire...

Postposted on Wed Sep 11, 2013 5:29 pm

puppetworx wrote:Micro-stuttering is still an issue on many games when using Crossfire. I believe that the RAM mirrors in Crossfire also so that you would only have an effective VRAM of 1GB when Crossfired even though you'd have a sum total of 2GB physical VRAM.

Single card is still the way to go unless you're doing something outrageous and the fastest single card option still isn't enough.


No solution works without mirroring memory; think about it for a second and you'll understand why (if not, GIYF). Multi-GPU does make a whole lot of sense in many specific applications, but in general as you state, a single card that can perform at about 80%-90% of what two cards could do is generally still a better option, both because it will probably be smoother, and because it is generally less likely to give you issues, fewer moving parts theory and all.
Canon 6D|24-105/4L IS USM|70-300/4-5.6 IS USM|40/2.8 STM|50/1.4 USM|85/1.8 USM|Samyang/Bower 14/2.8 Full-Manual Rectilinear Wide-angle|24/2.8 IS USM|
Canon EOS-M|11-22/4-5.6 IS STM|22/2 STM|EF-M 18-55/3.5-5.6 IS STM|
Airmantharp
Gerbil Elder
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 5129
Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2004 10:41 pm

Re: Crossfire, or not to crossfire...

Postposted on Thu Sep 12, 2013 11:04 am

I ran Crossfire for a little while and the worst part was that newly games often didn't properly take advantage of crossfire until newer drivers were released.
kumori
Gerbil Team Leader
Silver subscriber
 
 
Posts: 282
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:11 am

Re: Crossfire, or not to crossfire...

Postposted on Thu Sep 12, 2013 12:57 pm

one 7870 2gb?
ding.
Neither. Look at BF4's "recommended" specs. Look for a card with at least 3GB of RAM.
given the cards they are using it's likely the resolutions they are looking for don't need it.
neg
clone
Gerbil Elite
 
Posts: 900
Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2007 10:40 am

Re: Crossfire, or not to crossfire...

Postposted on Thu Sep 12, 2013 1:09 pm

:lol: Given your words they can just save their $$$ by staying with their current cards or buying something less expensive than 7870 and just play the game at lowest possible settings.
My subscription allows you people to exist on this site and makes me a better human being than you'll ever be
JohnC
Gerbil Jedi
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 1890
Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:08 pm
Location: NY/NJ/FL

Re: Crossfire, or not to crossfire...

Postposted on Thu Sep 12, 2013 1:11 pm

There are plenty of sites that have all the intricate details, of exactly why you should avoid mutli-GPU configs, including TR.
Never use multiple graphics cards until you've hit the limit of what you can achieve with one graphics card.
People that disagree with that statement are irrational (biased) and completely ignorant of easily measurable and repeatable issues with multi-GPU configs.

I have had both types of SLI (3DFx and Nvidia) as well as a couple of dual and quad Crossfire configs; My experience matches the articles around the web - concluding that even, lag-free frame delivery is far more complex than a FRAPS, DCAT or FPS average, and Mutli-GPU configs suck at it, even with frame-pacing driver wizardry.

The benchmarks and tests put some numerical proof to the problems associated with multi-GPU configs, but that's only the tip of the iceberg; You will feel and experience all manner of other drawbacks too, ranging from:
  • SLI being slower than a single card when there's a compatibility problem
  • SLI causing image-quality issues (graphical corruption)
  • Games being completely incompatible and not running on SLI systems at all
  • Higher power draw
  • Higher noise levels
  • Delayed driver support for new features
  • vsync issues and input lag that are hard to quantify and measure, but affect your gaming enjoyment
  • The need for a PSU with more cables, a motherboard with more slots, and the reduction of PCI-E bandwidth to each card (in some cases)
I hear rig lists are all the rage, and I <3 the rage! Workstation = Black tower thing; HTPC = Shhhh!; Laptop - AMAZING FOLDING PC!
Chrispy_
Minister of Gerbil Affairs
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 2161
Joined: Fri Apr 09, 2004 3:49 pm

Re: Crossfire, or not to crossfire...

Postposted on Thu Sep 12, 2013 1:19 pm

It would be foolish to buy a 1GB card these days, even if you're only pushing a 1080p display. VRam requirements have skyrocketed, texture sizes are huge. Not to mention what everyone else has stated about the inherent issues with SLI/Crossfire.

I've been using a 6870 x 2 setup for several years now and am simply not happy with it, primarily due to stutter + poor performance with newer games (or not working at all).

Save yourself the heartache and buy one powerful card.
I am jaded. I am cynical.
lilbuddhaman
Gerbil First Class
Silver subscriber
 
 
Posts: 132
Joined: Sat May 10, 2008 8:23 pm

Re: Crossfire, or not to crossfire...

Postposted on Thu Sep 12, 2013 1:20 pm

clone wrote:
one 7870 2gb?
ding.
Neither. Look at BF4's "recommended" specs. Look for a card with at least 3GB of RAM.
given the cards they are using it's likely the resolutions they are looking for don't need it.


How long will this fallacy persist?

Memory usage is not determined by resolution alone, and increasing the assets a game uses can exponentially increase the amount of needed VRAM without affecting performance- while adding things like stupid amounts of MSAA and SSAA will decrease performance AND increase memory usage.

See Dragon Age II with the High Resolution Texture Pack (which isn't so high resolution, really) and every well-modded Elder Scrolls game ever. You're going to need that VRAM, at 1080p no less. And yeah, an HD7870 will be 'fast enough,' but I wouldn't settle for less than a 3GB HD7950 or 4GB GTX670/680/770 today, though I'd prefer a card with no less than 6GB of VRAM, at a minimum, so 8GB just to be safe. Maybe they'll come out later this year.
Canon 6D|24-105/4L IS USM|70-300/4-5.6 IS USM|40/2.8 STM|50/1.4 USM|85/1.8 USM|Samyang/Bower 14/2.8 Full-Manual Rectilinear Wide-angle|24/2.8 IS USM|
Canon EOS-M|11-22/4-5.6 IS STM|22/2 STM|EF-M 18-55/3.5-5.6 IS STM|
Airmantharp
Gerbil Elder
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 5129
Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2004 10:41 pm

Re: Crossfire, or not to crossfire...

Postposted on Thu Sep 12, 2013 1:22 pm

lilbuddhaman wrote:It would be foolish to buy a 1GB card these days, even if you're only pushing a 1080p display. VRam requirements have skyrocketed, texture sizes are huge. Not to mention what everyone else has stated about the inherent issues with SLI/Crossfire.

I've been using a 6870 x 2 setup for several years now and am simply not happy with it, primarily due to stutter + poor performance with newer games (or not working at all).

Save yourself the heartache and buy one powerful card.


Most of your issues are two-fold: you used two lower-end cards, and you used AMD. I had a pair of 2GB HD6950's, and they were plenty fast for 1600p for some games- and a stuttery mess in others, like BF3. That's on AMD, Nvidia fairs far better.

Don't go multi-GPU unless you're using decent mid-range cards, and if you do, make sure you get the ones with more VRAM.
Canon 6D|24-105/4L IS USM|70-300/4-5.6 IS USM|40/2.8 STM|50/1.4 USM|85/1.8 USM|Samyang/Bower 14/2.8 Full-Manual Rectilinear Wide-angle|24/2.8 IS USM|
Canon EOS-M|11-22/4-5.6 IS STM|22/2 STM|EF-M 18-55/3.5-5.6 IS STM|
Airmantharp
Gerbil Elder
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 5129
Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2004 10:41 pm

Re: Crossfire, or not to crossfire...

Postposted on Thu Sep 12, 2013 1:33 pm

Airmantharp wrote: I wouldn't settle for less than a 3GB HD7950

Smart man. Though I'd say that aiming for a 6GB single card is a little bit premature ;-) Most (if not all) games would not "push" for that any time soon - the most practical reason for having that much video RAM would be to use third-party mods and unfortunately not many games allow people to create these...
My subscription allows you people to exist on this site and makes me a better human being than you'll ever be
JohnC
Gerbil Jedi
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 1890
Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:08 pm
Location: NY/NJ/FL

Re: Crossfire, or not to crossfire...

Postposted on Thu Sep 12, 2013 1:35 pm

If you are considering an HD 7870, I think the minimal increase in budget (like an extra 10-15%) to an HD 7950 is a no-brainer. After the recent price drops, the HD 7900 cards represent a bit better value. And more future proof. For example, this HD 7950 for $215.
cynan
Gerbil Elite
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 844
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2004 2:30 pm

Re: Crossfire, or not to crossfire...

Postposted on Thu Sep 12, 2013 1:46 pm

Given your words they can just save their $$$ by staying with their current cards or buying something less expensive than 7870 and just play the game at lowest possible settings.
the op mentions spending $100 - $150 you suggest he spend around $300..... why not $1000?

I always go from the money position, your sarcasm as usual ignores that inconvenient requirement before items trade hands.

respect the op's request.
neg
clone
Gerbil Elite
 
Posts: 900
Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2007 10:40 am

Re: Crossfire, or not to crossfire...

Postposted on Thu Sep 12, 2013 1:58 pm

clone wrote:
Given your words they can just save their $$$ by staying with their current cards or buying something less expensive than 7870 and just play the game at lowest possible settings.
the op mentions spending $100 - $150 you suggest he spend around $300..... why not $1000?

I always go from the money position, your sarcasm as usual ignores that inconvenient requirement before items trade hands.

respect the op's request.


Where does the OP mention $100-$150? There is only mention of 2x HD 7790 or 1x HD 7870, which is more like $200-$250.

At that price range, as far as I'm concerned, albeit a bit more than the HD 7870, an HD 7950 wins.
Last edited by cynan on Thu Sep 12, 2013 2:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
cynan
Gerbil Elite
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 844
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2004 2:30 pm

Re: Crossfire, or not to crossfire...

Postposted on Thu Sep 12, 2013 1:59 pm

clone wrote:
Given your words they can just save their $$$ by staying with their current cards or buying something less expensive than 7870 and just play the game at lowest possible settings.
the op mentions spending $100 - $150

He did not. Nice attempt at weaseling out, though.
My subscription allows you people to exist on this site and makes me a better human being than you'll ever be
JohnC
Gerbil Jedi
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 1890
Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:08 pm
Location: NY/NJ/FL

Re: Crossfire, or not to crossfire...

Postposted on Thu Sep 12, 2013 3:24 pm

Before this turns into an argument, I'd just like to point out that two 7790's (as low as $100 with MIR) are about the same price as one 7950 (as low as $200 with MIR).

The 7950 beats two 7790's hands down. Even the deluded "budget-Crossfire" lovers can't argue with that.
I hear rig lists are all the rage, and I <3 the rage! Workstation = Black tower thing; HTPC = Shhhh!; Laptop - AMAZING FOLDING PC!
Chrispy_
Minister of Gerbil Affairs
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 2161
Joined: Fri Apr 09, 2004 3:49 pm

Re: Crossfire, or not to crossfire...

Postposted on Thu Sep 12, 2013 4:18 pm

Chrispy_ wrote:Before this turns into an argument, I'd just like to point out that two 7790's (as low as $100 with MIR) are about the same price as one 7950 (as low as $200 with MIR).

The 7950 beats two 7790's hands down. Even the deluded "budget-Crossfire" lovers can't argue with that.

This is the exact kind of answer i was looking for, i just wanted to know if the 2 lowers would be better than the upper. Thank you all for your replies
AMD FX-8320
Gigabyte 990FX-UD3
16GB G.skill Sniper 1600
Radeon HD 6790 1GB
1GB Seagate 7200 rpm & 125GB Crucial M4
srgramrod
Gerbil
 
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat May 11, 2013 10:34 pm
Location: San Diego, CA, USA

Re: Crossfire, or not to crossfire...

Postposted on Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:33 am

Cynan wrote:Where does the OP mention $100-$150? There is only mention of 2x HD 7790 or 1x HD 7870, which is more like $200-$250.

At that price range, as far as I'm concerned, albeit a bit more than the HD 7870, an HD 7950 wins.
it looks like I misinterpreted the op's question, I had assumed the op already had 1 HD 7790 and was asking if adding a 2nd or ponying up for an HD 78xx was the way to go.

ahh, had I looked at his sig I would have noticed it.
JohnC wrote:He did not. Nice attempt at weaseling out, though.
their is no weaseling JohnC, that might be something your good for but not me.
neg
clone
Gerbil Elite
 
Posts: 900
Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2007 10:40 am

Re: Crossfire, or not to crossfire...

Postposted on Fri Sep 13, 2013 1:24 am

clone wrote:it looks like I misinterpreted the op's question

Now this one is even better attempt. Well done. :wink:
My subscription allows you people to exist on this site and makes me a better human being than you'll ever be
JohnC
Gerbil Jedi
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 1890
Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:08 pm
Location: NY/NJ/FL

Re: Crossfire, or not to crossfire...

Postposted on Sat Sep 14, 2013 12:25 am

Now this one is even better attempt. Well done.
you are classless ace, a troll, nothing more, admitting an error is a sign of character, your actions are the sign of a child, if not in body, absolutely in mind.... here I'll put a smily on the end and it'll be ok :D :roll: :wink:
neg
clone
Gerbil Elite
 
Posts: 900
Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2007 10:40 am

Re: Crossfire, or not to crossfire...

Postposted on Sat Sep 14, 2013 6:30 am

Why does every damn thread you join devolve into this nastiness, clone?
flip-mode
Gerbil Khan
Silver subscriber
 
 
Posts: 9101
Joined: Thu May 08, 2003 12:42 pm
Location: Cincinnati, OH

Next

Return to Graphics

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests