Buying Guide GeForce GTX 560 Ti vs Radeon HD 6950
The change within the multi-GPU sport over the last eighteen months or so has been dramatic. It’s been a long time coming however the expertise is lastly coming of age, but there’s now an actual reason to be dropping a second card into your property system other than simply bragging rights: straight performance.
When the know-how first turned accessible in our residence gaming rigs although it was very totally different situation. With a combination of flaky driver help, dodgy hardware implementation and albeit shoddy efficiency, it was laborious to recommend anybody half with the extra money for the second card.
The diminishing returns you got from dropping in that second GPU made it a very expensive and ineffectual luxury.
With driver enhancements, and far better graphical silicon coming from each the giants of the graphics card world, the performance increase from dropping within the further card has improved measurably. We’re finally getting shut, and sometimes hitting, that two times boost the additional silicon and spending money ought to provide you. There may be now a compelling argument for at the least making your preliminary graphics card buy with a thought to adding a replica GPU at a later date. Or just making a twin purchase right off the bat.
With the performance of decrease-end cards in multi-GPU setups rivalling, and sometimes beating, the highest playing cards of their generation it is fairly a feat. Particularly contemplating that picking up two lesser cards is commonly a less expensive option to go too. The question is though, during which basket do you place your eggs?
With single graphics cards the motherboard is not a difficulty, but when you’re speaking about pairing them up it is an exclusive club. You’ll be able to drop any single card into a board but double-up and you’ll want to make a choice. Do you hedge your bets and choose up an ordinary, CrossFire-ready mobo, or spend the additional cash and look out for an SLI-certified board?
Effectively, that’s what we’re right here that will help you decide. We have paired up the highest two mid-vary choices from Nvidia and AMD, theand the Radeon HD 6950 to see how the manufacturer’s multi-GPU tech and their particular person silicon performs.
Will it be a green landslide for the Nvidia crew or a Texan pink-wash from AMD? Let’s find out…
The SLI vs CrossFire debate has been raging for around six years now, but a quick have a look at the Steam hardware survey would let you know that Nvidia has won.
Of the small proportion of multi-GPU players on Valve’s network a massive ninety five per cent are running SLI. That is fascinating considering SLI-licensed motherboards are a relative rarity compared with their ubiquitous CrossFire-succesful cousins.
Nvidia has stopped creating its personal chipsets which means it’s only a question of licensing for the motherboard manufacturers. But what this additionally means is a worth premium for that SLI certification; so more often than not it is solely the excessive-end motherboards offering SLI options.
First things first
So if you want to have an SLI setup you really have to be serious about that while you come to construct the basics of your gaming rig within the first place. CrossFire is much more forgiving, but then being so far behind it really must be. Likelihood is that when you’ve acquired a relatively modern ATX board in your current rig you’re already set up for an AMD-primarily based solution. But since their inception both applied sciences have been little more than a luxurious, and largely found in excessive-end rigs from system integrators. That began to vary although when AMD modified its GPU strategy.
With the ailing-fated HD 3000 series it decided it could no longer compete at the high-finish with its Nvidia rivals, deciding as an alternative to go for cheaper, quantity GPUs. Its answer for the excessive-end though was to pair up two of its cheaper GPUs on a single PCB.
Now, it wasn’t an awesome strategy proper away. The shoddy and brief-lived GeForce 7950 GX2 showed how messed up twin GPUs could be and the HD 3870 x2 was little different. The next generations of AMD’s multi-GPU single playing cards; the HD 4870 x2 and HD 5970, compelled it to tighten up its CrossFire drivers to great success.
This multi-GPU competitors additionally forced Nvidia to redress the diminishing returns of its personal driver set to the purpose where we’re now generally seeing double the efficiency from twin card setups from each companies. It’s also set to be the high-finish battleground of this current technology of cards, with Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 590 and AMD’s Radeon HD 6990 moving into the ring in the subsequent couple of months for a real battle royale. With cheese.
However at this loopy excessive-end of graphics playing cards you’re taking a look at £500+. Decide up a few £200ish mid-range playing cards although and you’ll get almost the identical degree of performance. The GeForce GTX 560 Ti is Nvidia’s newest mid-ranger and is the natural evolution from the frankly awesome GTX 460. Paired up this older card produces the identical kind of performance as a GTX 580.
With this new GPU pairing though you are passing the GTX 580′s efficiency in all our checks bar the system-crushing Metro 2033 and Crysis Warhead benchmarks.
Our favourite card of the moment, the Radeon HD 6950, nevertheless, has a clear sweep in CrossFire in comparison with the single GeForce flagship card.
one hundred Per Cent Increase
The tessellation-heavy benchmarks of Heaven 2.0 and Metro 2033 are probably the most telling, providing numbers on the 2,560 x 1,600 decision that we have never earlier than seen. In some of the legacy benches though, significantly the Nvidia favouring DiRT 2, the twin GTX 560 Ti holds sway. However general the somewhat pricier AMD twin-set wins out.
As well as the performance advantages, together with a 100 per cent boost in Heaven 2.zero, the HD 6950 setup is also one that more people could have entry to. SLI-licensed boards are nonetheless pretty uncommon, high-finish products, whereas most ATX boards will already have CrossFire functionality as standard.
With this latest card and a extra strong driver set AMD may nicely be cutting that 95 per cent Nvidia Steam favouritism all the way down to size. CrossFire for the win, then. Who thought you’d hear anyone say that a 12 months or so ago?
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