Triple Monitor Gaming on a Budget: SLI vs. Crossfire vs. Single High-end GPU

By Julio Franco
Feb 25, 2013
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  1. JC713

    JC713 TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 6,114   +732

    Maybe buy the 4GB version

    This proves that a Core 2 Duo is the bottleneck with new cards:
  2. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,072   +1,181

    I'm saying people should decide where they want to be in gaming and purchase their CPU and GPU accordingly.

    SLI and Crossfire should not even be an option to consider, if all they have is a budget CPU. I feel this review was about budget SLI/Crossfire configurations, not budget CPU's.
  3. DKRON

    DKRON TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 518   +7

    I've been using crossfire configuration for 5 years now and would never go back, having 2 cards for the game to use makes both the stress and temperatures lower for uses and therefore the cards will last longer. started off with 5850's and now have 7870's, there is no game which I cannot play max settings which is perfect
  4. baN893

    baN893 TechSpot Member Posts: 81   +10

  5. madboyv1

    madboyv1 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 908   +36

    I don't know... maybe that most games have a hard enough time using four threads as it stands? Last time I checked, it was mostly RTSs and some simulators that really took advantage of more than 2-4 threads.
  6. EEatGDL

    EEatGDL TechSpot Booster Posts: 241   +43

    Then tell jo5hh too, because it seems you're bad writing sarcasm; no quote, no exageration or an ending that put clears your sarcasm. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one following your post who thought you were talking serious.
  7. Footlong

    Footlong Newcomer, in training

    Not to mention microstuttering that increases a lot in any dual chip solution. I prefer a single card. It's cheaper in my eletric bill.
  8. baN893

    baN893 TechSpot Member Posts: 81   +10

    I don't feel like this should be a place for hypothetical arguments such as the one you are making. Just because you are trying to build a budget setup shouldn't mean that you lack basic understanding of CPU bottlenecks. If you are going to build a desktop and want to do it right (especially if you are going through reviews of triple monitor setups) you should have come across CPU reviews where it is evident that the FPS difference between an 1155 i5 and a 2011 i7 are seriously marginal.

    In case any newbie who doesn't know about this, this is for you: http://www.techspot.com/review/465-intel-sandy-bridge-e-core-i7-3960x/page9.html
  9. Just thought I'd pitch in some useless info. I run a Core2 Quad @ 3.2ghz with a single Gigabyte 7850OC 2GB. I've just finished the sleeping dogs campaign at medium settings running 5760x1080 and while cleeeeeaarly not maxed out my frame rate never dropped low enough for me to notice or for it t break my immersion.

    If I could fit a second gpu on this old matx mobo I would probably xfire my 7850 but that isn't going to happen. If anything this review has helped me to decide I'm better off selling my 7850 and buying a 7950 instead. Total cost will be about the same but with less hassle driver wise and no need to upgrade anything else.
  10. Luay

    Luay Newcomer, in training Posts: 26

    No one would buy the $280 HIS 4GB HD7850 when a Gigabyte, XFX, HIS HD7950 is $20 away.

    If I see someone try to do it like Gwen from the Ghost Machine, I would make like Jack.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDkdD3jwAS4

    I'm assuming you will conclude this way as I haven't even started to read the article yet, so thanks ahead for the lesson. On with the reading.
  11. Souvs

    Souvs Newcomer, in training

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  12. JC713

    JC713 TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 6,114   +732

    This is hard to believe

    This is huge in computer animated films also
     
  13. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 2,209   +523

    I had major issues with 2 X GTX460's installed. Ended up selling both & buying a GTX 570. I never looked back. I've since upgraded but I'll never ever consider dual setup's again.
  14. JC713

    JC713 TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 6,114   +732

    Is it too loud or hot?
  15. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 2,209   +523

    Neither. I just had a lot of glitching, erratic frame rate problems & crashing to desktop while playing. (No. It wasn't my PSU)
  16. JC713

    JC713 TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 6,114   +732

    Interesting, I guess it is worth buying a single card rather than 2 I guess
  17. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 2,209   +523

    Your mileage may vary, don't let me put you off but there are pitfalls that are inherent with multi gpu setups. If you decide to go with it I wish you the best of luck. As for me... I'll stick with single cards.
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  18. JC713

    JC713 TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 6,114   +732

    Plus some games scale really badly so it basically kills the point of the 2nd card
  19. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TechSpot Booster Posts: 853   +84

    Wondering why you skipped over the 7870. It also comes close to the 7950 at times and is cheaper than a 660Ti.

    Ah, my bad. That 4T i5 should of read 4T i3 (or any AMD CPU).

    Ah yea, I don't need that link... Mainly because it only shows 4 games out of 1000, and not even the best ones. If you think those 4 games tested are a full representation of multi-threading performance in games, then you stopped yourself short. Juss sayin.

    I've built every computer I've ever owned, each costing at least $2000 (piece by precious piece). Click my name and take a look at my specs.

    For the games I was playing at the time, and following all major CPU and GPU reviews, I knew I could get by with an i5 2500K @ 4.5GHz, but the majority of gamers on a budget, buy i3's and AMD CPU's, and we all know about i3's and AMD CPU's, which makes this multi-GPU review quite confusing on why they left out budget CPU's? I get the whole bottleneck thang, but budget gamers are MORE likely to already have bottlenecks, so showing, for example, 2 660Ti's getting 60fps @ 5760x1080, is not a true representation of what a budget gamer with an Phenom II 980 or Athlon II X4 will experience... IMO, and by the looks of it, others here too.

    I mean, when we (me anyway) look at single GPU reviews using a single monitor, and see a range of CPU's tested with ours included in them, we can honestly expect to get VERY close to that performance.

    When you show half the story, you get half the facts.

    Maybe you need to visit your forums once in a while.
  20. baN893

    baN893 TechSpot Member Posts: 81   +10

    Just out of curiosity, could you please link me the review, or multiple ones as well, where I see a full representation of multi-threading performance in games? I'm always willing to learn something new.

    That link also wasn't intended for you. It is for people who are new to the whole thing. Also, you made your profile private so people like me aren't allowed to drool over your specs. :'(

    I see what you are saying with not including low-budget CPU's, but this review isn't meant to review CPU performance in triple monitor setups. It's a standoff of

    "SLI vs. Crossfire vs. Single High-end GPU"


    I don't think this review is trying to say "this is a budget build that is perfect for triple monitor gaming", simply "this is how budget SLI vs. Crossfire vs. Single High-end GPU will compare against each other when CPU bottlenecks are eliminated". TechSpot could/should do a follow up review saying something along the lines of "based on our recent review about budget triple monitor graphic card configurations, we found Crossfire 2GB HD 7850's to be the best value solution. Now let's see how low we can go with processors that are cheaper than an 1155 i5 3570k/2500k without bottlenecking the GPU's performance."

    I hope TechSpot would do that, as part of a "Budget gaming series" or something. I'm sure we would agree that that would be beneficial, informative, and educational to all of us.
  21. jeetshek

    jeetshek Newcomer, in training

    I was planing to buy a MSI Lightning 7970 for 5760x1080 resolution. The plan is after purchasing this bad boy, I will purchase one more cheap 7970 or a 7950.

    I was wondering few things

    1. If I will push Lightning 7970's overclocking potential, do I need a second one ?
    2. Should I go for 7870 crossfire instead of a 7970 ?
    3. I have a 1366 X 768 montor (Please dont laugh) . Though I have plans for upgrading the display but....Can I add 2 more monitors of same resolutions for playing games ? will it look good.
  22. syntaxbreaker

    syntaxbreaker Newcomer, in training Posts: 16

    Ohh that is pretty cool of a gaming gear men, but pretty cool budget too :D
  23. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Staff Posts: 1,135   +276 Staff Member

    1. For the resolution you play at NO.
    2. No, stick with one high-end card if you can.
    3. You can add two more 1366x768 screens but I wouldn't bother. A single cheap 27" with a 1920x1080 resolution would look much better in my opinion.
  24. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,072   +1,181

    Steve, we gotta work on get your likes further up the charts. You and the other article contributors do so much more for TechSpot than myself, I feel ashamed to have the score I do.
    UNKNOWN9122 likes this.


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