Long time Nvidia user takes plunge into 3 x R9 290 Trifire

Discussion in 'Videocards - AMD Radeon' started by negachampa, Nov 12, 2013.

  1. negachampa

    negachampa Active Member

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    EVGA 780 Ti SLI
    I thought that I would share some initial impressions and experiences from my upgrade to 3x 290 in trifire coming from 2x gtx 680 SLI. Prior to upgrading I searched the net for any info on the R9 series in trifire but there does not seem to be much out there right now. I figured i would try it and if it didn't work well i could just sell one of the cards.

    I have been a long time Nvidia user running SLI every gen since the old gtx 8800 days. I did have some reservations about switching to amd as I have heard of their driver issues and the microstutter problems. Although framepacing has brought major improvements.

    My reasoning to run 3 290s is basically the incredible value the R9 series brings to the table. It cost me less to buy 3 290's then it would to buy 2
    780 ti's. plus the added benefit of 4 GB vram , which at 2560x1600 is much needed And now I know that I made the right buy as 3 290s are much more powerful then 2 780 tis.

    After extensive overclocking and testing I am able to get all 3 cards to run at 1075mhz !!! Stable with no throttling at full load with 80% max fan speed, temps max out at 90c full load. Yes, this is very noisy for a video card, in fact the noisiest I have ever had. I will admit this is the only draw back, the sub-par stock cooler. However, for my setup my rig is about 15ft away from where I am sitting so it doesn't really bother me. But if my rig was close to where I was sitting it would be way too loud.

    Microstutter with trifire is really not an issue with framepacing. I don't know what is was like before but coming from SLI I can say for sure it is just as good as SLI now. Mind you I have not tested out any older games but the games I am playing right now all have no microstutter and are super smooth. BF4 , SWTOR, Far Cry 3, Metro Last Light, Crysis 3. One thing i did notice is that framepacing seems to work much better when you force V-sync in CCC and not in game. For some reason in game V-sync more often then not will not work well with framepacing and would have microstutter, there must be some sort of sync between the framepacing and v-sync. Every game is different but i found this worked the best.

    The performance I am getting is awesome, in BF4 I am able to max out all settings at 2560x1600 plus the resolution slider at 150% and maintain over 60fps all the time.... no fps drops or hitching what so ever. You can really tell that amd put a lot of work into making sure bf4 runs great. The only game so far that has been problematic is COD ghosts. But from what I hear there are a tons of crossfire problems so I am sure this will get solved with future driver updates. Although I did play COD ghosts with my 680's prior to upgrading and I was not at all impressed with this game.

    other factors that swayed me was knowing that there are sure to be many driver optimizations over the next while for the R9 series, but the Nvidia drivers are pretty mature for the 7xx series, also there is Mantle, another huge questions mark that i think if amd can get developers to use it will be a huge plus for amd. hopefully this turns out to be true.

    Well hopefully this will assist with others who are looking for feedback on trifire with R9 series. I can totally recommend and from a long time Nvidia user i am blown away from the value these 290's bring. A 290 OC to 1075mhz gets you performance between a Titan and 780 ti for way way less money.

    Now if only this week will go by quick so i can get back home for some more trifire goodness, lol.

    cheers all,
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2013
  2. XBEAST

    XBEAST Ancient Guru

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    2 780 Tis would destroy 3 290s because of higher OC and better scaling (2 vs 3 cards). With lower power consumption and noise too!

    Did you compare 2 and 3 290s? How much performance in % 3rd card adds?
     
  3. Fox2232

    Fox2232 Ancient Guru

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    AMD improved scaling with r9-290(x). You got official slides which are close to reality.
    2x ~ 1.87x
    3x ~ 2.60x

    In some benchies 2x had nearly linear scaling close to 1.95x. Have not seen 3fire benchies, so I can't judge. But as always it matters more on game if it's GPU bottlenecked or not.

    Because if you take game which has heavy CPU bottleneck and have 75fps with One GPU, then you may have 85fps with Two and 85fps with Three.

    Having Strong SLI/CF is more about keeping fps stable than doubling, tripling it.
     
  4. PieEyedPiper

    PieEyedPiper Master Guru

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    Sounds like a great set up!

    What psu are you using?
     

  5. AC_Avatar100400

    AC_Avatar100400 Master Guru

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    Were are your facts R9 290 is close to 780 performance and with 3 and right scaling it a lot more gpu power.780ti is hardly a improvement over 780.

    This now makes me wonder if R9 290 crossfire is a good fit for me.
    Thanks for the info on your experience.
     
  6. negachampa

    negachampa Active Member

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    LOL, not going to bite on this troll bait !!!
    Thanks, i am using a OCZ 1250W PSU. Ran Prime 95 at the same time as Unigine Heaven 4.0 with cpu and all 3 cards at 100% for 3 hours and no issues.

    I am out of town right now for work, but when i am home this weekend I will post some trifire vs crossfire scaling so people can see what to expect.
     
  7. screwtech02

    screwtech02 Active Member

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    That's awesome!! I to am looking into a X79 setup with tri-fire. Look forward to some scaling info!
     
  8. AcidSnow

    AcidSnow Master Guru

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    I went into using a crossfire setup when Battlefield 3 came out, and it's been a lot of fun. ...Playing at 1080p, I've got enough power for basically every game, but I think BF4 is starting to tax my 1GB of VRAM -- I get random stutter/low fps in certain areas of a map. I plan on upgrading when AMD shrinks their processor to 20nm, because I'd love a R9 390 that can run cool & quiet at a great price point!
     
  9. Kaerar

    Kaerar Master Guru

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    Actually just wait a week or two and the 290/X will do so with the Aftermarket brand coolers. Modded coolers are lowering temps to around 50-65 degrees already with Accelero Extreme's for instance. I have a feeling that the stock AMD cooler is just a bit **** really :D
     
  10. yasamoka

    yasamoka Ancient Guru

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    What's the point in more than 2 x 290s for 2560x1600 60Hz? Maybe massive AA but even if there was microstutter you'd be hitting a CPU bottleneck long before you hit a GPU bottleneck for that stutter to manifest itself (if it's there).

    You GPU performance is practically double mine and I'm running 1440p 110Hz. 60FPS is very easy.
     

  11. mR Yellow

    mR Yellow Ancient Guru

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    Post some pics of your beast of a PC.
     
  12. DiceAir

    DiceAir Maha Guru

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    i can say. before i had my issue I was doing ultra bf4 2560x1440 and got 60fps the whole time not a single drop no matter what happend. even the biggest explosion and not a single drop. but now that i run 96Hz so far my monitor is working except for the screen jump in 2d mode and it's related to bad driver.

    So having 3x 290x will even introduce stutter as amd haven't fixed it completely for above 2way crossfire. I must say having windows 8.1 really helps cause I can see directx 11.2 making me share my main memory for games and making it smoother. I can play bioshock on full gfx max aa at 96FPS constant no drops. So maybe adding more memory to system will make everything even faster. Especially when running battlefield 4 cause it's 64bit
     
  13. mR Yellow

    mR Yellow Ancient Guru

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    So, are you happy now with your setup?
     
  14. negachampa

    negachampa Active Member

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    I do agree that the stock cooler is s***t, but couple things made me pull the trigger. Main one is that I sold my two 680s and i needed something now, and didn't want to wait a month or two for the aftermarket coolers. Also alot of the aftermarket coolers vent the hot air inside the case , not the blower kind like the stock cooler that vents all the hot air out the back of the card. I didn't think that having 3 cards so close together with the fans venting the hot air on top of the other cards would be a wise decision. I am still undecided if i will do my own cooling solution in the future.

    Yeah sure it is a bit over kill, but come on , it still rocks =), Also , in BF 4 when i only am using two cards i can not set the resolution slider past 100% or it sometimes dips below 60fps with lots stuff going on, but with 3 cards i can set the resoluction slider to 150% which is a huge increase in image quality, it is downsampling from a higher res.

    I will have a pic on my phone i took when i had it all set up, i will post later on tonight when done work.

    Also when i get back home this weekend, i am going to do some 2 vs 3 cards tests some people can get a feel of what kind of scaling you can get from trifire.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2013
  15. Deathchild

    Deathchild Ancient Guru

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    Yeah, sure thing. Sounds cool. Will be interesting to see the results. :) (Thanks.)
     

  16. eclap

    eclap Banned

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    monster setup! gratz. But please get a dedicated soundcard! you just spent over £900 on 3x 290, even a SB Z OEM would improve your experience no end, you can have them for under £60. DO IT NOW!!!
     
  17. Deathchild

    Deathchild Ancient Guru

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    Damn I wonder if I should also get one? :D Lol. Maybe the Asus Xonar DG.. or something. O,o
     
  18. eclap

    eclap Banned

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    Even a Xonar DG would be a nice upgrade from onboard, much more punch. are you using headphones?
     
  19. Deathchild

    Deathchild Ancient Guru

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    Um, yeah, I got some Steelseries Siberia V2s around my head right now. :D Do you think that's ok?

    Otherwise.. I got some pretty ok Logitech x-530 5.1 speakers. Using 2.1 only of it though.
     
  20. eclap

    eclap Banned

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    Siberia v2 are usb, right? if so, don't bother getting a soundcard.
     

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