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Help! 2 x GTX295 Quad Sli or 5870 Crossfire

Soldato
Joined
18 Jun 2005
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3,434
I am about to inherite 2 gtx 295's from my brother (along with a gtx 285 and an i7 975) - oem models. He is leaving for Canada next week. Problem is I ordered a 5870 from OcUK a couple of days ago for a new build with an Asus Rampage Extreme II X58.

So the big question for me is 2 gtx 295's in quad sli any good. I always though quad sli scaled poorly and since the 5870 is very close to a GTX 295 performance wise and consumes less power, I was hoping maybe 2 x 5870's in Crossfire would scale better than quad sli and give better results in games.

Therefore as I now have a reasonable offer on the 295's so I was wondering would I be better off selling the 295's and buying a 2nd 5870 if I wanted to go Crossfire down the road. I'm also getting his 30" Dell LCD so I would make use of the cards I think.

Or should I return the 5870, get my money back, and save a tonne of money by keeping the GTX's which are free.

Purely on a performance basis is GTX295 Quad sli faster than 5870 Crossfire ?
 
Soldato
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I would avoid a quad-GPU solution.

The 5870 crossfire will be more reliable, more consistent, and will use less power. In most cases it will probably be faster as well. I would sell the 295s and buy another 5870.
 

D13

D13

Associate
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how much can you get for those gtx295's? thats what it all boils down to
 
Caporegime
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I would agree. Sell and get another 5870. You should be easily be able to cover the cost of it.

Then you could always add a third later as tri-xfire seems to be a sweet point with ATI.

On another note, I wish my brother would give me 1000's of pounds worth of free kit. :(
 
Permabanned
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I would avoid a quad-GPU solution.

The 5870 crossfire will be more reliable, more consistent, and will use less power. In most cases it will probably be faster as well. I would sell the 295s and buy another 5870.

like he said. but i would avoid sli and crossfire all together. In my eyes this technology is still in its infancy and still prone to hit and miss scaling / microstutter. Just my feeling
 
Soldato
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Personally i would sell the 2 295's and install the 5870 when it arrives then wait till the 5870x2 comes out and add one of those.. ;)
 
Associate
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2X 295's will take up a very significant amount of wattage under load, compared to Two 5870's from what i've seen in reviews. What PSU do you have? (would recommend >850-1KW< for running the 295's but much less with the 5870's (<700> watts for example


~Ant
 
Caporegime
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In a house
5870 Xfire without a doubt, as the 295's are old tech and dearer, so theres no point buying them, and Quad SLi doesn't scale very well, the 2x 5870's would probably be faster.
 
Soldato
OP
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18 Jun 2005
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Ta for the advice.

Bits for my rig are still on the way.

So far have ordered

- Coolermaster HAF 922 plus extra 200mm red led fan from CM's shop, and a Noisblocker Multiframe 120mm S1 for the bottom intake on the case
- Corsair HX1000 PSU
- Asus Rampage Extreme II X58
- Saphire 5870
- Corsair H50 Cooler
- Sony Opticarc 24X DVDRW
- WD 2TB Caviar Green for storage
- Microsoft Sidewinder X8 Wireless gaming mouse
- Microsoft X6 keyboard
- Inheriting from bro, an i7 975 and 2 x WD Velociraptors 300GB

Still no decision on the memory. It's either 6GB Corsair GT 2000mhz CAS 8 or 6GB Gskill 1600mhz CAS 6 which is probably as fast and puts less strain on things. Friend is in same boat as me but I want to overclock.

For my screen, I am hoping to get away with using my Sony Bravia 32W4000 1080P LCD and Sony HT-SS1000 Receiver with the 5870's HDMI. Screen has virtually zero input lag compared to latest PC LCD's, no dead/stuck pixels and very even backlight, and amp does 5.1 LPCM over hdmi. Only problem I anticipate is such a low res/large pixels on a 32 inch screen. But reluctant to go for something like the latest Dell U2410 over some of the issues being reported on these forums.

Anyone know if you can run crossfire with 2x5870's and still use the hdmi port ? Think this used be a problem for people with nvidia card in sli and dvi/hdmi adaptors. Also wondering if trifire will work on an rampage ii extreme and a haf 922. Think there might not be enough pci slots.
 
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Soldato
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Manchester
I wouldn't go mad with the memory. In the past I've sometimes gone for really high end memory, and I've always regretted it. The price-performance payoff just never seems to be worthwhile. You need highly synthetic benchmarks to really see any difference. I agree with ejr22, go for the cheaper sticks. You will still have plenty of overclocking flexibility with the G-Skill.

If you want to improve system performance, you could take the money you save on the memory and get an 80Gb intel x-25m SSD in place of the velociraptors (or maybe one of the 128Gb indilinx drives). I would also be tempted to get two 1.5Tb drives instead of a 2Tb. Cheaper and 50% more storage. Doesn't really matter too much though.

Good choice of PSU :)
 
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Associate
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I wouldn't go mad with the memory. In the past I've sometimes gone for really high end memory, and I've always regretted it. The price-performance payoff just never seems to be worthwhile. You need highly synthetic benchmarks to really see any difference. I agree with ejr22, go for the cheaper sticks. You will still have plenty of overclocking flexibility with the G-Skill.

If you want to improve system performance, you could take the money you save on the memory and get an 80Gb intel x-25m SSD in place of the velociraptors (or maybe one of the 128Gb indilinx drives). I would also be tempted to get two 1.5Tb drives instead of a 2Tb. Cheaper and 50% more storage. Doesn't really matter too much though.

Good choice of PSU :)

I agree with your memory comment, RAM prices drop fairly quickly too so you'll kick yourself later on when see your RAM at less than half price only a year later
 
Associate
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1 Jan 2007
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1,104
cant understand why you would want to use a 32" 1080p tv when you say your brother is giving you a dell 30" monitor, the monitor is loads better more than double the pixels as it will do a res of 2560x1600 rather than the puny 1920 x 1080 that a tv will do, so 4096000 pixels for the monitor vs 2073600 for the tv. as for lag etc on the monitor, not experienced anymyself had my dell 30" for 2 years now, plays everything fine and dandy
 
Soldato
OP
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18 Jun 2005
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3,434
That 30" has terrible lag. Very sensitive to that. Alas. I'm also one of these people who sees phosphorous trails on the latest panasonic vierra V10 plasmas. That's the only reason why. That, and my amp works very well with the tv, as does the 360,PS3 and Wii :)

Thanks for the comments on the memory. 2000mhz doesnt seem worth it. And I will probably never hit that speed, at least not for a long time, whereas 1600mhz at CAS 6 timing should provide as good performance as 2000mhz at cas 8 and be easier to achieve.

One thing - out of curiosity, would this 2000mhz corsair gt cas 8 be able to do cas 6 or 7 at 1600mhz or is it a gamble ?
 
Associate
Joined
5 May 2008
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188
On another note, I wish my brother would give me 1000's of pounds worth of free kit. :(
amen
btw two 5870s in crossfire should scale better than four 295 and be alot quieter and COOLER!
 
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