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  1. #1
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    Question Run crossfire vs. 1 new single card.

    So I bought an Alienware Aurora a little over a month ago, and it has an AMD oem Radeon 8870 GHZ edtion. So far it has played every game very well until I got Crysis 3, but when I did some tweaking with the game settings, I managed to get around 40-50 frames average. Now the game looks great on these settings, but I am sure there will be more graphically demanding games coming out even over Crysis 3. So, I was thinking about within the next 6-8 months whether I should upgrade to a crossfire setup, or get a more powerful single gpu. I got a quote today from Alienware for the 2nd oem 8870 GHZ card, which was $ 515.00 Now I gotta say that is overall kinda high for that card, but I guess because it is oem and new it is to be expected. So I just wanted get some ideas for what I would be better off doing a little later on down the road gpu wise. I was thinking that if the crossfire setup is not going to get me at least close to double the fps, then it probably would not be worth it.

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    Way Too Jealous Member Supertrucker's Avatar
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    As I understand it, an 8870 OEM is just a 7870 with a new name. You may want to try and find out if an 8870 will crossfire properly with a 7870 because 515 dollars is an insane price for an "8870" of any flavor. That price is really damn close to a pair of 7950s each of which would be faster than your current card.

    You will have to run gpu-z or something like it to find out if you have a normal Pitcairn 7870 or one of the newer Tahiti based 7870s too. Since the Tahiti one would only crossfire with another Tahiti and Pitcairn with Pitcairn.

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/6570/a...eries-for-oems suggests that it pitcairn based but it would be best to be sure.

    Second edit: http://legitreviews.com/article/2156/ shows the difference between the two. The easiest way to tell would be using the shaders count in gpu-z. The Tahiti core has more of them.
    Last edited by Supertrucker; 06-28-13 at 11:15 PM.
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  3. #3
    Member (G{in}[AK)TION]'s Avatar
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    i ran crysis 3 on my 7870 crossfire setup, and it runs just enough to be playable. like there will be times where it has micro lag in keyboard and mouse but it dosent bother me much.

    you could try to overclock the cards a bit though.

    but if i had the chance, i would upgrade to at least a single 7970 lighting or a gigabyte 7970. and if i got a big monitor or wanted more hardware mining power, get two 7970s.

    what im saying is, a 7970 would probably do better. but seeing how this IS an Nvidia game, a geforce card would probably do better.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Supertrucker View Post
    As I understand it, an 8870 OEM is just a 7870 with a new name. You may want to try and find out if an 8870 will crossfire properly with a 7870 because 515 dollars is an insane price for an "8870" of any flavor. That price is really damn close to a pair of 7950s each of which would be faster than your current card.

    You will have to run gpu-z or something like it to find out if you have a normal Pitcairn 7870 or one of the newer Tahiti based 7870s too. Since the Tahiti one would only crossfire with another Tahiti and Pitcairn with Pitcairn.

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/6570/a...eries-for-oems suggests that it pitcairn based but it would be best to be sure.

    Second edit: http://legitreviews.com/article/2156/ shows the difference between the two. The easiest way to tell would be using the shaders count in gpu-z. The Tahiti core has more of them.
    I am absolutely positive it is Pitcairn based. I just happened to remember it when you mentioned that and after looking at some reviews for this card a month ago.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by (G{in}[AK)TION] View Post
    i ran crysis 3 on my 7870 crossfire setup, and it runs just enough to be playable. like there will be times where it has micro lag in keyboard and mouse but it dosent bother me much.

    you could try to overclock the cards a bit though.

    but if i had the chance, i would upgrade to at least a single 7970 lighting or a gigabyte 7970. and if i got a big monitor or wanted more hardware mining power, get two 7970s.

    what im saying is, a 7970 would probably do better. but seeing how this IS an Nvidia game, a geforce card would probably do better.
    Yeah I think I would spend the money on the 7970 card before I pay over $ 500 another of the same as I have. I am not sure if my aurora could handle running 2 of those 7970's though, since it has a 875 watt power supply, but I believe Alienware was selling the Aurora with 2 GTX 680's.

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    Way Too Jealous Member Supertrucker's Avatar
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    Yeah. I'd be looking at that 309$ sapphire 7970 with the game bundle pretty strongly. Or a pair of 7950s that would end up costing you less than that 515$ after selling off the current 7870.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814202008 this sapphire. I jad the same cooler on one of my 7950s and it was fairly quiet while having the card clocked at 1100/1600 so its a decent enough cooler. Way way better than the reference cooler on my other 7950.

    Edit: just saw your PSU comment, 875 is enough for dual 7970s even overclocked, if its a good 875w PSU.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Supertrucker View Post
    Yeah. I'd be looking at that 309$ sapphire 7970 with the game bundle pretty strongly. Or a pair of 7950s that would end up costing you less than that 515$ after selling off the current 7870.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814202008 this sapphire. I jad the same cooler on one of my 7950s and it was fairly quiet while having the card clocked at 1100/1600 so its a decent enough cooler. Way way better than the reference cooler on my other 7950.

    Edit: just saw your PSU comment, 875 is enough for dual 7970s even overclocked, if its a good 875w PSU.
    I guess by chance do you have any idea how much fps increase would I be looking at with the single 7970 on Crysis 3 over the card I have now?

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    Way Too Jealous Member Supertrucker's Avatar
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    I can give you a close guess if you tell me your system specs and what settings(res, aa, etc) you want. I'd just run my CPU and GPU close to your speeds then you add 5% or so to my speeds for it being a 7970 instead of 7950. Won't be home from work for a couple of hours to test it but it would be there some time tonight.
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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by mark3800 View Post
    I guess by chance do you have any idea how much fps increase would I be looking at with the single 7970 on Crysis 3 over the card I have now?
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Supertrucker View Post
    I can give you a close guess if you tell me your system specs and what settings(res, aa, etc) you want. I'd just run my CPU and GPU close to your speeds then you add 5% or so to my speeds for it being a 7970 instead of 7950. Won't be home from work for a couple of hours to test it but it would be there some time tonight.
    Here are the specs, Intel i7-3820 quad core 10MB cache automatically overclocking itself from 3.6 ghz to 4.1 ghz, 8gb ddr3@ 1600mhz, running raid 0 500 gb solid state hybrids, Windows 7 home premuim 64 bit, and graphics card you already know. If I missed something let me know. I'll check back on this tomorrow, getting late here.

  11. #11
    Way Too Jealous Member Supertrucker's Avatar
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    You didn't list game specs so I'll just assume you run 1080p for res and run a few different detail options. The 3820 should end up being identical to my 2700k so it should line up pretty good performance wise.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mark3800 View Post
    Yeah I think I would spend the money on the 7970 card before I pay over $ 500 another of the same as I have. I am not sure if my aurora could handle running 2 of those 7970's though, since it has a 875 watt power supply, but I believe Alienware was selling the Aurora with 2 GTX 680's.
    you just said that is a 875 watt power supply. that is plenty of power for dual 7970s
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  13. #13
    Way Too Jealous Member Supertrucker's Avatar
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    And for what its worth, guru3d has the 7970ghz being about 50% faster than a 7870 at 1920x1200. But as I said, I'll test when I get home using the 13.6 betas.

    http://www.guru3d.com/articles_pages...nchmark,6.html
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  14. #14
    Way Too Jealous Member Supertrucker's Avatar
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    Name:  crysis3 2013-06-29 02-47-43-14.jpg
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    I thought the game had a canned benchmark but it doesnt, so for the sake of total consistency, all i did was load a fresh game and aim the pistol at the center of the boat on a red light. No running or combat or anything, so it wont be indicative of worst case performance, but it should give you a general idea if you do the same with your setup. Since there was no movement or combat fps stayed steady, tracked with fraps.

    CPU was at 4.1 for the tests.

    1 card, 1000/1425 clocks
    1920x1080 smaa low 1x 16x af very high textures very high overall setting 35 fps

    1920x1080 smaa low 1x 16x af very high textures high overall setting 44 fps

    2 cards 1200/1600 clocks

    1920x1080 smaa low 1x 16x af very high textures very high overall setting 76fps.

    So with my current drivers, 13.6 beta2, the game has pretty much full crossfire scaling.
    Last edited by Supertrucker; 06-29-13 at 05:54 AM.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Supertrucker View Post
    You didn't list game specs so I'll just assume you run 1080p for res and run a few different detail options. The 3820 should end up being identical to my 2700k so it should line up pretty good performance wise.
    Yeah, I completely forgot about the game specs lol. I don't know if it matters now, but this is what I have them set at. Res. 1920x1080 anti-alias=disabled texture res.=high v-synch=no game effects=very high object=very high particles=high post processing=high shading=high shadows=very high water=very high.

  16. #16
    Member Gabkicks's Avatar
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    amd is supposed to release special drivers to improve crossfire performance soon.
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  17. #17
    Way Too Jealous Member Supertrucker's Avatar
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    Yeah they are due out July 31st with the anti stutter drivers. Though even without that "fix" I am more than happy with my crossfire performance. But the demo drivers did dramatically improve crysis 3 performance and that's always a good thing in my book.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Supertrucker View Post
    Yeah they are due out July 31st with the anti stutter drivers. Though even without that "fix" I am more than happy with my crossfire performance. But the demo drivers did dramatically improve crysis 3 performance and that's always a good thing in my book.
    Yeah, I am not sure with what setup I would go with, crossfire or the single 7970. I saw a few negatives on both, which for crossfire I saw some games will not play. In my case, unless a 7870 would work with the 8870, otherwise I would facing that outrageous price Alienware quoted me for another 8870. I am not sure why they are charging so much for oem cards, since I could probably only get around $300 for mine if were to sell it. Then for the 7970, I saw some complaints about it running hot, or at least the one with the single GPU fan was running hot. What cards did you use to run the crossfire test 7950's or 7970's?

  19. #19
    Way Too Jealous Member Supertrucker's Avatar
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    Id be shocked if you could get even 200 to be honest, thats where brand new 7870 ghz editions start.

    I have 7950s, not 7970s, so a 7970 would be a touch faster than what i put up. Most tests show it to be around 5% faster at even clocks, and i ran at the clocks of that sapphire. Its true that crossfire doesnt work in some games, right at launch, and it has a few limitations. For example, it doesnt work on any game not run in full screen, even windowed full screen. So if you have dual monitors and like to run windowed full screen, crossfire is going to be pointless.

    These cards, when overclocked, do put out some decent heat, but like i said i have the 7950 version of that sapphire with that cooler. It allowed me to overclock, keep the fan at 50-60% which was quiet enough, and kept the gpu under 80c or so in a warmish room.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Supertrucker View Post
    Id be shocked if you could get even 200 to be honest, thats where brand new 7870 ghz editions start.

    I have 7950s, not 7970s, so a 7970 would be a touch faster than what i put up. Most tests show it to be around 5% faster at even clocks, and i ran at the clocks of that sapphire. Its true that crossfire doesnt work in some games, right at launch, and it has a few limitations. For example, it doesnt work on any game not run in full screen, even windowed full screen. So if you have dual monitors and like to run windowed full screen, crossfire is going to be pointless.

    These cards, when overclocked, do put out some decent heat, but like i said i have the 7950 version of that sapphire with that cooler. It allowed me to overclock, keep the fan at 50-60% which was quiet enough, and kept the gpu under 80c or so in a warmish room.
    After looking around I would say this would be my card of choice for a single gpu upgrade http://www.amazon.com/Sapphire-DL-DV...words=AMD+7970 The only thing I am not sure of though, is this card blows air into the case, rather than out the back. I guess I would have to talk to somebody who is running this card in their Aurora.

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