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PostPosted: 29 Oct 2014, 13:23 
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I have neglected my gaming rig for a few years but am thinking of refreshing it now that I'm getting my evenings back and can start playing again.

I currently still run the rig listed in my sig; a dual GTX580 SLI setup with 3x 1920x1080 screens running a 2D Surround resolution of 5760x1080 before bezel correction.

The options I am looking at include:

1. 2x R9 290X in Crossfire configuration
These cards seem to be greatest bang for buck right now but my previous experience with Crossfire wasn't great (4970x2 I think it was) - lots of flickering in most games and the card ran so hot the heatsinks eventually melted off beyond repair, rendering the card unusable. Are the latest generation improved in build quality, heat generation, driver stability and game support?
EDIT: I forgot about the R9 295X2 - sounds like this might be a better solution than two 290Xs?

2. 2x GTX980 in SLI configuration
I'm not averse to spending more if I can save time in tinkering with the hardware and drivers. I am familiar with the nVIDIA setup and I like the way 2D surround works - though it would be nice if they support monitors of different resolutions. I guess they still don't?

3. 1x nVIDIA Titan Z
Is this card really worth the money? Did it get upgraded with 900 series technology or is this still essentially 700 series hardware?

Are there any new cards on the horizon that are worth waiting for? I have no bias to AMD or nVIDIA - I will be building the rest of the rig around the choice of cards - any recommendation on chipsets to match my GPU choices are welcome.

I am also thinking about replacing my centre screen with one of the ultra-wide ones. Whilst I cannot imagine playing anything without triple-wide nowadays there are still many games that don't support it so I'm considering a bigger centre screen just for those games. Last time I checked, only Eyefinity supported this - is this still the case? My current 2D Surround setup is so sensitive that the one screen that is connected via a slightly longer DVI cable occasionally fails to sync.

Thanks in advance!

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Rig 1: Intel i7-4790K Devils Canyon | ASRock Z97X Killer Intel Z97 Socket 1150 | Noctua D15 cooler | 16 GB G.Skill TridentX DDR3-2400 | 500GB Samsung 840 EVO SSD | Corsair AX1200i | 2x EVGA GTX980 4GB ACX2.0 (SLI)

Rig 2: Intel i5-2500K | ASUS P8P67 Pro Intel P67 LGA1155 | Corsair A50 cooler | 4GB G.Skill RipJawsX DDR3 RAM @1600mhz 6-8-6-24 2T | 128GB Crucial RealSSD C300 SSD | Corsair AX1200 | 2x Palit GTX580 1.5GB (SLI)


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PostPosted: 30 Oct 2014, 11:26 
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Huh. 850 views and no opinions? Did I post this in the wrong forum? :lol:

So having done a bit more research it looks like 2x R9 290Xs currently cost less than 1x R9 295X2. Other than needing a motherboard that is Crossfire ready, is there any disadvantage in having two cards vs. one with two GPUs? My previous experience with an 'X2" card wasn't great but I am hopeful that AMD has fixed that now?

I am also leaning towards the i7 4790K/Z97 combination - any thoughts on this? Should I wait for the imminent Broadwell chips?

Seriously, just fishing for opinions here... sound off, tell me I'm nuts, tell me to go do my own damn research... :thumbup:

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Rig 1: Intel i7-4790K Devils Canyon | ASRock Z97X Killer Intel Z97 Socket 1150 | Noctua D15 cooler | 16 GB G.Skill TridentX DDR3-2400 | 500GB Samsung 840 EVO SSD | Corsair AX1200i | 2x EVGA GTX980 4GB ACX2.0 (SLI)

Rig 2: Intel i5-2500K | ASUS P8P67 Pro Intel P67 LGA1155 | Corsair A50 cooler | 4GB G.Skill RipJawsX DDR3 RAM @1600mhz 6-8-6-24 2T | 128GB Crucial RealSSD C300 SSD | Corsair AX1200 | 2x Palit GTX580 1.5GB (SLI)


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PostPosted: 30 Oct 2014, 23:04 
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Yeah, this forum takes some time for replies :) not all people browse on a daily basis.

so.. about your problem.

1. the 290x use a new Crossfire mode than the old 7970 cards... so you won't have such things as MicroStutter anymore. it will support amd FreeSync when using 3x Displayport which COULD be a problem as most cards only have 1 DP AND you need to plug ALL monitors from one card if crossfire is activated.

2. the 980 are Power efficient cards! and have some headroom for overclocking. AND in new drivers Nivida supports Portrait mode! (no mixed resolutions yet) AND Nvidia G-Sync which works in Surround. but you need an compatible monitor.

3. The Titan Z is way to expensive while the GPU is really powerfull it is old technology!



in the next 4-8 months new GPU's from AMD and nVidia will hit the market! as the 980 is based on the GM204 chip and extremly power efficient the next GM210 should be somewhat stronger. and AMD's new GPU is also rumored to be a monster.

But if you wan't a GPU now you'd better go with a 290(x) or a 980.
IMHO two cards are always better than a single DualGPU card... but the 295X2 with extra Watercooling sure keeps it cold! so thats no argument anymore. It's more the saftey... you can unplug one and plug the other somewhere else... if you think it's broken or anything.

it's your decision :) if you prefer AMD or Nvidia.

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PostPosted: 31 Oct 2014, 08:49 
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I wondering what I should do now too. Although I'm in a slightly different situation.

Are you going to run new monitors or are you keeping your old ones?
The reason I ask is because if you want to go higher in resolution or get G-sync monitors, It kind of changes my recommendations.


EDIT: Also, a single 980 / 290x should be powerful enough to run 5760x1080 in many cases. Although I understand the need for more power as to not worry for a few years.

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System Core: | Intel Core i5-2500K + ASUS P8Z68-V + 16GB Corsair XMS3 DDR3 1333 MHz | Win7 x64 | MSI R7970 Lightning 3GB [1105/1400] |
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PostPosted: 31 Oct 2014, 11:59 
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Finally I have replies! Thank you! I wish I had a prize I could award hahaha! :mrgreen:

I'm kinda happy with my current resolution as these screens are already pretty wide already - I do use them for work as well. The only change I am currently considering is sticking a 21:9 monitor in the middle but right now I'm not convinced it would be an ideal solution as the dot pitch will likely be different, as will be the response times, blacks, mid-tones, etc.

G-Sync is a new thing to me (I just had to look it up!); this only applies to nVIDIA cards, right? Is FreeSync going to be the same thing or will we have competing technologies again? I'm leaning towards the R9 cards at the moment so it doesn't sound like there would there be anything to gain by upgrading my screens right now. It does sound like something I'd want but I'd feel bad getting rid of three perfectly good screens - especially if I have to do it all again if I switch GPU brand again. None of the cards I currently have shortlisted have 3xDP - in fact I can't find any that do. I guess that seals the decision on upgrading my screens, for now anyway.

Interesting to hear that a single card could support 5760x1080 - how well would it cope with current games? It was certainly not the case back when I built my current rig; I put two GTX580s in it because even a single one couldn't maintain a rock solid 60fps in every game with max settings. I actually sacrificed a little detail (sacrilege! :lol: ) when I went to triple-wide but although I hardly stare directly at my peripheral screens, I can't imagine playing without them now. I think I will either go for 2x R9 290X in Crossfire mode or the R9 295X2 Crossfire-on-a-single-card variant, depending on what the prices will be at the time of purchase.

I am looking at xmas (or just after) for this purchase - I could wait forever for the next thing around the corner but I have to take the leap at some point. The only thing that I am considering waiting for is the Broadwell chips, but they'll be an unknown and I've been burned a little by Sandy Bridge on the last 'tick/tock'.

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Rig 1: Intel i7-4790K Devils Canyon | ASRock Z97X Killer Intel Z97 Socket 1150 | Noctua D15 cooler | 16 GB G.Skill TridentX DDR3-2400 | 500GB Samsung 840 EVO SSD | Corsair AX1200i | 2x EVGA GTX980 4GB ACX2.0 (SLI)

Rig 2: Intel i5-2500K | ASUS P8P67 Pro Intel P67 LGA1155 | Corsair A50 cooler | 4GB G.Skill RipJawsX DDR3 RAM @1600mhz 6-8-6-24 2T | 128GB Crucial RealSSD C300 SSD | Corsair AX1200 | 2x Palit GTX580 1.5GB (SLI)


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PostPosted: 01 Nov 2014, 13:55 
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If you go single card, you may have to scale back a few settings, I'm not one to try and max everything out. I'd go for a 295x2 if you have the space and power supply. It has a really good I/O With a Dual-Link DVI and 4 MiniDp 1.2 ports. That I/O will allot you to expand and use the same input for each monitor. It also allows you to expand easily if you wanted to go more than 3 ( up to 5) [although up to 6 if you use an mst hub, but that gets crazy] monitors.

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System Core: | Intel Core i5-2500K + ASUS P8Z68-V + 16GB Corsair XMS3 DDR3 1333 MHz | Win7 x64 | MSI R7970 Lightning 3GB [1105/1400] |
Display: | 3 x Dell Ultrasharp 3007WFP-HC @ 7680x1600 | Dell u3011 |


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PostPosted: 10 Nov 2014, 00:19 
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Right, a potential spanner in the works. The game I am spending most time in right now is the Elite:Dangerous beta (yes, it's definitely still beta so things are changing almost daily!) and from reading the Frontier forums there is a myriad different issues being experienced by people with R9 290/290X Crossfire and 295X2 cards. Some people are reporting that the game won't launch at all with Crossfire enabled, whilst others claim they are getting far higher frame rates with Crossfire disabled. The driver support sounds as flaky as it was when I had my 4xxx series X2 card and I'm now worried that I'm going to get stuck with this endless cycle of troubleshooting again if I go AMD.

The redeeming counter-argument is that SLI, though much better, isn't currently flawless either, though my existing 2x GTX580s seem to cope fine even at 6030x1080.

From what I've read, a single GTX980 *should* be faster than a single R9 290X. If this is true then I may need to consider having a single GTX980 for now and 'upgrade' to a second 980 should I find that I need the grunt for a future game/setup. I'm not convinced I should take the leap for two GTX980s unless I can be sure that SLI will be supported in E:D.

There are still some things I don't like about this option however:
I really liked the R9 29x integrated water-cooling design - are there any GTX980 designs that have this? I don't fancy the faff of fitting my own.
I would be buying into the proprietary G-Sync support - will buying GSync monitors lock me out of a future Freesync solution?
Due to the same spat that has resulted in G-Sync/Freesync, the GTX980 only supports Displayport 1.2? Is this an issue?
Does nVIDIA even allow triple-wide with a single card these days?

_________________
Rig 1: Intel i7-4790K Devils Canyon | ASRock Z97X Killer Intel Z97 Socket 1150 | Noctua D15 cooler | 16 GB G.Skill TridentX DDR3-2400 | 500GB Samsung 840 EVO SSD | Corsair AX1200i | 2x EVGA GTX980 4GB ACX2.0 (SLI)

Rig 2: Intel i5-2500K | ASUS P8P67 Pro Intel P67 LGA1155 | Corsair A50 cooler | 4GB G.Skill RipJawsX DDR3 RAM @1600mhz 6-8-6-24 2T | 128GB Crucial RealSSD C300 SSD | Corsair AX1200 | 2x Palit GTX580 1.5GB (SLI)


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