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Graphics Cards - CrossFire & Dual vs Single?

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New Member
May 22, 2013
Hi there. This is my first post on this forum.

I am looking to buy and build a new gaming system this summer, which will be my second. However I am still learning all about the different components and what to look for. When I bought my first system 3 years ago I didn't really know what I was doing and a friend of mine helped to pick out what I should get. I am wanting to upgrade to a system which will last me a good 5+ years with reliability and most importantly still being able to play and run future games with ease. One thing I haven't managed to get my head around is the CrossFire feature with AMD graphic cards. What are the benefits of having a dual Graphic card system? How do I fully utilize them?

For my new system, I am currently looking at 2 Graphic cards, the 'Gigabyte ATI Radeon HD 7950 Windoforce 3X 3072MB GDDR5 PCI-Express Graphics Card' and the 'Sapphire HD 7870 XT rev2.0 2048MB GDDR5 PCI-Express Graphics Card'. Would having a dual card system massively improve the fps and graphics of my games or would I hardly notice a difference compared to using only one. My main problem at the moment is the budget I'm on, and I'm looking to save money where I can, although I am happy to spend the majority of it on good graphic cards if it is worth it. Should I buy a single Gigabyte card (which is slightly better than the sapphire) and this would be satisfactory, or would I benefit greatly from going with getting 2 Sapphire cards instead. Or would it be worth the extra buck buying 2 Gigabyte cards? Or would having two just be unnecessary?

If this is important the games I mostly play are FarCry 3, Assassin's Creed, Call of Duty, GTA. Mostly those genre of games.

I have 2 monitors, an LG at 1920x1080 and another crappy one at 1280x1024 which I will probably replace in a year or so.

Currently, the system that I am looking to buy (excluding the graphics cards) is:
  • Intel Core i7-3930K 3.20GHz (Sandybridge-E) Socket LGA2011 Processor
  • ASRock X79 Fatal1ty Champion Intel X79 (Socket 2011) DDR3 Motherboard
  • Seasonic 1000w '80 Plus Platinum' Modular Power Supply
  • Thermaltake Armor Revo Gaming Case - Snow Edition
  • TeamGroup Xtreem LV 16GB (4x4GB) DDR3 PC3-17000C9 2133MHz Dual/Quad Channel Kit (TXD316G2133HC9NQC-L)3HC9NQC-L)
  • Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-Bit
  • Antec Kúhler H2O 920 Series 4 High Performance Liquid CPU Cooler ( LGA 1150 / 1155 / 1156 / 1366 / 2011 / AM2 / AM2+ / AM2+ / AM3+)
  • LG CH10LS28 BD-ROM 10x BluRay ROM / DVDRW SATA-II Optical Drive - Black (Retail)

Another question: is my system good enough and all I should really buy is a new graphics card to last me into the future of new, performance hungry games?
My Current system is:
  • Intel Core i7 930 @ 2.80 GHz
  • Asus Rampage II GENE Motherboard
  • AMD ATI Radeon HD 5770 XXX (875 MHz, 1028 MB @ 1300 Mhz)
  • OCZ 3x2GB DDR3 Triple Channel @ 534 MHz
  • OCZ Mod X Stream-Pro 600W PSU
  • Coolmaster CPU watercooling block (forgotton the model)
  • Intel 330 120 GB SSD
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit

Thanks in advance for your answers.
Just buy a GPU, that'll be fine. If you do upgrade you get far more power for your buck on z77 than x79.
If you haven't overclocked that 930 yet, you definitely should. Might be limited on RAM speed though with the overclock.

It's quite simple...in CFX, you get the added power of both GPUs. To be more specific, the GPUs alternate which frame they render. It isn't quite twice as fast due to driver inefficiencies, but it can be a very large jump in performance.

That being said, two cards is usually overkill for a single screen.
Thanks for your replies. I am thinking I will just buy a new GPU. It will save me some money.

I had overclocked it but my motherboard gets way too hot! Currently nothing is overclocked and the north bridge is running 65C and I am only on the internet. When I play games it goes up to about 70C. When I overclocked it was idling at ~72C and getting even hotter when i was gaming. My voltage levels weren't that high either. I have a case fan blowing air directly onto it (although it is making little difference). I'm sure its not meant to to be that high!
Hmm, that's strange.

Try feeling the heatsinks with your hand? They should be hot. If they're not...that means that heat's not transferring to them and they might not be making good contact.
yeah the heat is transferring. It feels like it is 65C. Is it worth buying a better fan as the one I'm using is a cheap one.