I want the best GPU set-up that money can buy

By Infantry1982
Aug 11, 2010
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  1. Okay, I'm building a new rig and I would like some advice on what GPU set-up I should go with. I don't care if it's single-GPU, SLI or Crossfire. I'm only concerned with performance.

    Gaming preference: Arma2 Combined Operations, Crysis 2 (when released), Battlefield Bad Company2, all settings maxed out of course. I want to be prepared for upcoming games in the near future.

    Budget: not an obstacle. I'm willing to spend whatever it takes to get the best.

    1. Mobo: ASUS PT6 Deluxe V2
    2. Graphic Interface: three PCIe 2.0 X 16 slots
    3. 3 X 2GB G.Skill Trident DDR3 2000
    4. CPU: Intel Core i7 960
    5. CPU Speed: 3.2 GHz
    6. Power Supply Make/Model: Corsair HX Series
    7. Power Supply Output: 850 W, +12V@70A
    8. Country: USA

    Thanks in advance for your input!
  2. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Posts: 2,278

    you can get an ATI Radeon 5970 for around $700

    now if you really wanted to splurge you could pick up an ASUS "Ares" which is essentially a quad-fire graphics card, which will run you well over $1000 :)
  3. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,395   +830

    Hm, don't we all.
  4. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,288   +7

    Ummm...2x Radeon HD 5970?
  5. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] I'm a TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 4,317   +117

    Rather just go with double 5870's or single 5890.
  6. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,783   +639

    which is [essentially] a Crossfire graphics card
    /fixed
    Our OP said price is no object, therefore I suggest getting two Ares cards and have the shrouds gold plated (better heat dissipation than plastic). It would also be an idea to buy another motherboard that supports four-way SLI (X58A-UD9, 4-SLI Classified or SR-2) and four GTX 480's just in case the OP needs PhysX support in games.
    ?????

    http://www.hardocp.com/article/2010/08/02/asus_ares_dual_5870_gpu_video_card_review/
    and
    http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/radeon-hd5800-3way-cf.html

    BTW...a HX850w PSU going to severely tested with SLI'ed GTX 480's or CFX HD 5970. 1000w-1200w (80-100A @ 12v) is a more realistic requirement.
  7. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] I'm a TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 4,317   +117

    Oh its just a hassle. IMO.
  8. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Posts: 2,278

    my mistake... i could have sworn the Ares was two 5970s, which would be insane now that i think about it :)
  9. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,783   +639

    I think the Ares qualifies as insane regardless. A couple of years down the track you'll be able to pick one up on eBay for <$200.
    The Sapphire HD 5970 4Gb Toxic isn't exactly cheap but will provide comparable performance. Unless our OP is planning on multi-monitor gaming then Crossfired HD 5870 1Gb cards make better economic sense- and even that is overkill on gaming IQ and fps.
  10. Infantry1982

    Infantry1982 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Wow, thanks for the advice, guys!

    I'm leaning towards the Shappire HD 5970 4GB Toxic. So as I understand it, its two 5970s wrapped up in one?

    Do I have to fool around with hooking up a Crossfire connection?

    Is it overkill, considering that I just want to play the most demanding games at max settings at 1900X1200 res on a single monitor??

    Thanks
  11. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,867   +74

    The 5970 is two 5850's on a single board
     
  12. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,395   +830

    And here I sit, with bated breath, waiting for infantry's third post.
  13. raybay

    raybay TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    You do have to face the fact that there will be another newer and better, as soon as you purchase and install the one you get.
    I would much prefer to wait for the reports to come in on which one is reliable and will be still working a long time down the road, rather than have the current best and then suffer through the quality control machinations of the manufacturer.
  14. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,395   +830

    Yeah well, not if you want to be the first kid on your block to have one, so there.
  15. Infantry1982

    Infantry1982 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Okay, I've done a little research on what exactly the HD 5970 Toxic is. Sounds very impressive.

    What are your thoughts on two GTX 480s in SLI configuration?
  16. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Posts: 2,278

    well, considering the 5870 is roughly the equivalent of the GTX 480, you would probably be seeing around the same performance with a single 5970/GTX 480 SLI setup--but it will depend on the software you are running.
  17. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,783   +639

    As red pointed out, the 5970 is essentially two 5850's. SLI'ed GTX 480's will pulverise a 5970, primarily because a single GTX 480 has superior performance to a 5850 (and is also 10-15% faster than a 5870) and SLI scales 10+% better than CrossfireX.
    Todays Tech Report's SLI/Crossfire article-somewhat limited in scope, but the trend is apparent. Having said that, an SLI GTX 460 1Gb setup or CF'ed HD 5850 is sufficient for 1920x1080 gaming.
    http://techreport.com/articles.x/19404
  18. klepto12

    klepto12 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,364   +9

    why not just get two GTX 270 and call it good :)
     
  19. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 4,263   +41


    THAT'S IT? Yeah waste of money.
  20. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,288   +7

    Exactly...

    However, the OP asked for the best GPU setup that money can buy...Any thoughts on 2x HD 5970 (QuadCFX)?
  21. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 4,263   +41

    I find it amazing that the 5970 can get a 25% oc just on the air cooler. My friend has one with a 1090 core clock.

    Well the only thing that's going to compare to 2x5970's is 3x480. And with higher resolutions ati wins out. In this comparison I'd say good going nvidia for having a 100>90>70% scale rate for up to tri sli on the 480. If Ati would tweak their drivers they could do the same I bet.

    I'd personally go for the 480x3 because of the better scaling. You're spending 1500 usd either way. 16x16x8 speeds on the mobo is okay, the "x8" is a 2% performance decrease from "x16," no biggy.
  22. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,288   +7

    The OP's mobo has 3 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (at x16/x16/x1 or x16/x8/x8 mode)...That good with 3x GTX 480?

    Also, will the Tri SLI setup run cooler than the 2x HD5970? And power consumption?
  23. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 4,263   +41

    Simply, No and No, but I thought I seen he had no budget so maybe its not an issue. I"m using a 1200watt psu right now but not even using half. He'd need a 1200 watt or better to run 3 of those, and buy aftermarket coolers too.
  24. Infantry1982

    Infantry1982 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    OK, I think i've narrowed it down to two options:

    1) Sapphire HD 5970 4GB toxic

    OR

    2) two GTX 480 (Fermi) in SLI

    What do you think I should go with?
  25. raybay

    raybay TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    Most will probably pick the two GTX 480, but I have had better luck with the Sapphire units than any other.


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