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[AMD Blog] The crazy good value of AMD CrossFire technology

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"The crazy good value of AMD CrossFire technology"

Once the domain of ultra-enthusiasts, multi-GPU configurations have become increasingly easy to configure and afford. Today, it doesn’t take much more than plugging the GPUs into a compatible motherboard, connecting a little bridge cable and flipping the system on—the driver does all the work, in truth. But the technological advancements that have ushered in that simplicity and affordability have also had another effect: it has actually made an AMD CrossFire™ technology system a spectacular value for gamers.

System configuration for performance charts:

  • Intel Core i7-3970X (3.3GHz)
  • MSI X79A-GD65
  • 16GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3-1600
  • Windows® 7 x64
  • AMD driver: AMD Catalyst™ 12.11 beta
  • NVIDIA Driver: ForceWare 306.97 WHQL
  • All games tested at: 2560×1600, 4xMSAA, 16xAF

AMD CrossFire™ technology is a really good value for gamers looking to get crazy performance out of their rigs. For example, let’s say you have around $300. The XFX Core Edition HD 7850 is $154.99+shipping (after mail in rebate*) on Newegg as of November 9th, so a pair of them would run you $310.00 not even including the value offered by the free games I mentioned above. So, how might a pair of these GPUs fare against our competitor’s solution in the same price range? See for yourself…

Grab a pair of AMD Radeon™ HD 7870 GHz Edition boards. For a modest price increase to $419.98 (after mail in rebate*) as of November 9, Newegg will sell you a pair of PowerColor AX7870 2GB GPU with free shipping to boot. You’ll still get those free copies of Hitman: Absolution and Far Cry 3, and you’ll still get the 20% discount code for Medal of Honor: Warfighter. But perhaps more importantly, your GPU performance will literally be off the charts (haHA).

So what do you think about that charts and everything related to multi-gpu configurations vs single gpu?

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I do regret buying the GTX 670, but not for its performance, but the money which I would have to spend on the second one. I could be running 7950 CF right now, because these cards are currently very cheap and yet offer a similar performance

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I do regret buying the GTX 670, but not for its performance, but the money which I would have to spend on the second one. I could be running 7950 CF right now, because these cards are currently very cheap and yet offer a similar performance

  1. AMD Robert Hallock (Product Marketing Manager), was not consistent when decided to do a bench using AMD latest beta 12.11 and Nvidia WHQL 306.97, instead of latest Nvidia beta 310.54(which were released before his bench), to be honest should be 12.10 WHQL vs 306.97 WHQL or 12.11 beta vs 310.54 beta;

  2. This chart numbers are very subjective, I hope to see some review from a trusted source;

  3. Running dual-gpu config isn´t as simple as they intend to show, motherboards that features PCI-E x8+x8 are more faster than x16+x4, and less bottleneck likely besides many users didn´t know about that fact;

  4. Power consumption of dual HD 7850 or HD 7870, is higher when compared with Nvidia single GPU´s GTX 670 and GTX 680 respectively;

  5. Micro Stuterring related with Multi-GPU solutions, either SLI or CFX; MIN fps;

  6. Driver problems reported by many Crossfire users and some games that only use 1 GPU;

  7. Noise values measured with 2 cards are superior than just 1 card.

After that, do you still regret your purchase? :)

But if you really need HD 7950 CFX performance, yes it´s cheaper than GTX 670 SLI.

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Yeah, I don't care for noise level or power consumption, I have a noisy case, a good PSU, so it's not really a difference for me.

I could spend $600 for a dual HD 7950 instead of $800 for dual GTX 670. But that's a $200 difference, which I cannot afford.

Anyway, most of those points could be made into one.

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Yeah, I don't care for noise level or power consumption, I have a noisy case, a good PSU, so it's not really a difference for me.

I could spend $600 for a dual HD 7950 instead of $800 for dual GTX 670. But that's a $200 difference, which I cannot afford.

Anyway, most of those points could be made into one.

Ok, if you don´t care about those points...joining them can be confuse to read.

By the way I never been a fan on dual-gpu, always prefered to wait to next Gen to buy a single card with higher performance.

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Yeah, I don't care for noise level or power consumption, I have a noisy case, a good PSU, so it's not really a difference for me.

I could spend $600 for a dual HD 7950 instead of $800 for dual GTX 670. But that's a $200 difference, which I cannot afford.

Anyway, most of those points could be made into one.

Right but back when you bought it prices for HD7950 were probably not that low and also GTX670 OC Windforce performed faster than HD7970 925mhz with drivers back then :) Also, RadeonPro wasn't released yet so Micro-stutter was a more serious issue on CF than SLI. I think you'd be better off selling the GTX670 next time you want to upgrade and get a faster single-GPU. Perhaps you can dump GTX670 next year if you really need an upgrade or turn down settings so that you can last until Maxwell in 2014. I mean in theory if you really wanted to you could sell a GTX670 now and grab a 2x HD7950 with the game bundles. I bet the 670 has a higher resale value than 7950. I see you are using a Catleap. Ya with games like Far Cry 3, Hitman Absolution, Sleeping Dogs and upcoming Metro Last Light and Crysis 3 a single GTX670 will need to turn down some settings. But sometimes it's not worth it to spend $600-800 just to be able to use 4xMSAA and everything on Ultra. Most games today look nearly identical at Very High with minimal MSAA. And certain settings like HDAO/ambient occlusion barely add visuals while incurring a huge performance hit. MSAA can be substituted with FXAA to get a reasonable tradeoff in performance vs. image quality. It's part of the game though if you went with a high resolution display. I am just not sure the next generation is worth upgrading to. I have a feeling once PS4/Xbox 720 launch, in 2014 we might see next generation game engines like Unreal Engine 4.0 and those truly next gen games are going to crush GTX780/GTX670 SLI.

It seems every time there is a new console generation, there is an expected exponential increase in PC graphics for about 3-4 years and then a period of stagnation begins. If you look at a game like Far Cry 3 or Hitman that use some new DX11 effects/lightning, modern HD7970/GTX680 get crushed at your resolution:

http://www.guru3d.co...enchmark,6.html

That tells me even if GTX780 is 75% faster than GTX680 it will only be enough to max out games like Hitman and Far Cry 3 but nothing will be left over for truly next generation DX11 games in 2014 and beyond. It's almost like 2013 will be the worst time to upgrade since NV/AMD are still stuck on 28nm and that means power consumption constraints. More likely it will be an incremental increase from HD7970Ghz/GTX680 (maybe 30-50%) but that's just not enough when 4xMSAA often results in a 30-35% performance hit on its own with deferred lighting engines of today. Do you guys think GTX780 will be as fast as a GTX690? I am not so sure. Perhaps I am wrong expecting an exponential increase in graphics starting in 2014. Maybe developers will continue to use current Frostbite 2.0, CryEngine 3.4 and will hold off on adopting a truly next gen engine like UE4 (or something else). To me all the current game engines already look outdated and nothing special. I feel like graphics have barely improved from Crysis 1/Warhead days but performance keeps getting worse and worse. Games like BF3 and Far Cry 3 look better but barely considering Crysis is 5 years old. I feel like we have hit a point of diminishing return and to get to Samaritan / Square Enix Demo graphics we might need 5x the power of GTX680.

I don't think HD7950 CF or GTX670 SLI will be fast enough to even run a DX11 PC game looking like that. What do you guys think, will 2013 GPUs be a stop-gap before a real increase in 2014 because then we'll get 20nm Maxwell/HD9000?

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+Like BestJinjo!

I think HD 7950 CF or GTX 670 SLI have plenty of power to run any game on MAX settings with High resolutions, but the problem seems to be, the unoptimized PC games. If you look at my Games Performance Test topics in this forum, will see that newer games are a waste of money, what is the point to have a High-End card like GTX 670 or HD 7950 that can´t maintain avg 60 fps in games at 1080p?

Sometimes is better to cap fps at 30, but gameplay will be more smooth, like I did with GTA IV, for instance.

About your previously question related to GTX 780, i think it will not be faster than GTX 690, because next gen a.k.a. GTX 700, will be just a Kepler refresh, so being faster than GTX 690 seems unlikely.

There are many games that continue to use old engines with just some light modifications, like Cod Black Ops 2, with that 7 years old engine...Shame!

But if people continue to buy those titles, sure the companies will make profit and forget about innovation, and forget to do their home work better.

It´s insane that patches/updates nowadays comes with more than 1-2GB, some of them reach 7GB, what the hell is that?

If new consoles will come end of the year 2013 due rumors, GPU´s year can be 2014, newer game engines for PS4 and Xbox720, It can lead to a desirable jump also in PC gaming.

Like someone said, the future console generation it could be the last one, attending to the colossal jump in the past years made by mobile phones and tablets in gaming area. There are many people that trade their usual consoles for a gadget capable of reasonable gaming, internet, calls, music, video, gps, photos...etc

Imagine if they can release a Crysis or BF with outstanding quality for Android/iOS devices, playable with controller, and connected to TV along with multiplayer sessions. :huh:

Yes, the part of playing with controller connected to TV is actually possible with some tablets/smartphones, and multiplayer still limited to few games.

But the point is, how fast is that kind of technology is growing...

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Right but back when you bought it prices for HD7950 were probably not that low and also GTX670 OC Windforce performed faster than HD7970 925mhz with drivers back then :) Also, RadeonPro wasn't released yet so Micro-stutter was a more serious issue on CF than SLI. I think you'd be better off selling the GTX670 next time you want to upgrade and get a faster single-GPU. Perhaps you can dump GTX670 next year if you really need an upgrade or turn down settings so that you can last until Maxwell in 2014. I mean in theory if you really wanted to you could sell a GTX670 now and grab a 2x HD7950 with the game bundles. I bet the 670 has a higher resale value than 7950. I see you are using a Catleap. Ya with games like Far Cry 3, Hitman Absolution, Sleeping Dogs and upcoming Metro Last Light and Crysis 3 a single GTX670 will need to turn down some settings. But sometimes it's not worth it to spend $600-800 just to be able to use 4xMSAA and everything on Ultra.

The beauty of Catleap is that I don't have to enable any antialiasing. Yeah the jaggies are visible, but I'm kind of multiplayer gamer, so I enjoy high framerate, rather than good quality of image. And obviously 2560x1440 resolution takes a lot of gpu power.

Do you guys think GTX780 will be as fast as a GTX690?

(...)

I don't think HD7950 CF or GTX670 SLI will be fast enough to even run a DX11 PC game looking like that. What do you guys think, will 2013 GPUs be a stop-gap before a real increase in 2014 because then we'll get 20nm Maxwell/HD9000?

Usually dual-gpu cards from previous generation are faster than flagship models from current series. However, this is true with the latest series, since most of the gpu utilization is handled by the drivers. Simple example, the newest Catalyst perfomance in comparison to those from HD 7970 launch. That's why I'm not even trying to judge if GTX 780 would outperform 690, it might, but only in some titles.

I'm pretty sure though, that GeForce GTX 680/ HD 7970 and GTX 690/7990 users can skip the next series.

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