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ATI 6950 and monitor suggestions?

Discussion in 'Sim Racing Hardware' started by Ian Dancy, Feb 27, 2012.

  1. Hi guys,

    Im currently running an Intel Q6600 CPU @3.41GHz with 4GB DDR2 RAM @ 850Mhz through a Dell 24" WFP monitor @ 1900 x 1200 res. Im thinking of getting an 2GB ATI 6950 and move up to 3 screens. Do you think my system could handle running an 6950 on three screens? (i have a 650W PSU and currently running an Nvidia 560 ti)

    my cheapest option is getting two 1900 x 1080 monitors for the sides but will this work in eyefinity with the different screen heights? Is it workable if i display 1900x1080 on my 1900x1200 monitor?

    getting two more 1900x1200 monitors is rather expensive so if needed i could probably get three 1080p monitors for the same money if not cheaper. So which 24" monitors whould you recommed?
  2. Jim Cole

    Jim Cole

    First off, to setup eyefinity you need the same resolution on every monitor or it won't work. Second you are going to have to get an active display port adapter to connect the third monitor.

    Lastly, if you are not running a 64bit version of windows, then you are going to run into issues with lack of memory. 32bit windows can only see 4Gb max, and can only use 3Gb max. That includes the memory that is on the graphics card.
  3. Alex Ball

    Alex Ball
    Web Nerd

    To add to what Jim said: Depends which games you play. rFactor and iRacing should be fine, but not rF2 or pCARS or Shift2 or whatever.
  4. AH right. thanks guys. I have win 7 64 bit. I would have to run my 1900 x1200 at 1900 x 1080 and get second monitors that are physically the same height as my one. Should be interesting. I do play pCARS a lot, might have to do some thinking or more likely, saving!
  5. Don't forget that 3x 1920x1080 = 6 Megapixels, which is A LOT of work, even for a 6950. If you are not planning on playing the latest games and don't care going past medium settings then you can get away with a single 6950. Most of the time you will have to set the resolution to 4800x900 (3 x 1600x900) to get a playable fps. (yea forget pCARS)

    Now, if you plan to play modern games at triple 1080p with a decent image quality and framerate then you will definitely need a 2nd 6950. Which will require you to upgrade the rest of your rig (mobo, CPU, PSU, RAM) to handle the 2nd card.
  6. thanks glight. This is looking like i need to wait and save to go for a new system rather than just a parts upgrade. I cant afford 2 6950's right now. I dread to think what PSU power id need to! lol
  7. Hi Jim A 32bit operating system will use between 3.3Gb and 3.5Gb but the memory on the graphics card isn't included in this. This memory is maintained and looked after by the GPU and circuitry on the graphics card itself.
  8. Jim Cole

    Jim Cole

    That is not exactly true Roadster-2. Everything I have ever read about memory addresses in 32bit windows tells me that Windows and thus the games and GPU are not able to address anything beyond 4Gb at all. There have been people trying to use a utility that was predominantly used for servers to attempt to get past it, but with mixed results.

    Various devices in a typical computer require memory-mapped access. This is known as memory-mapped I/O (MMIO). For the MMIO space to be available to 32-bit operating systems, the MMIO space must reside within the first 4 GB of address space.

    For example, if you have a video card that has 256 MB of onboard memory, that memory must be mapped within the first 4 GB of address space. If 4 GB of system memory is already installed, part of that address space must be reserved by the graphics memory mapping. Graphics memory mapping overwrites a part of the system memory. These conditions reduce the total amount of system memory that is available to the operating system.

    In other words, the more GPU ram you have, the less ram you have available for system ram.

    @glight: I am not certain about 1080p, but my rig running a single HD 6950 is running rF2 fine with almost everything turned to max on triple 1680 X 1050 screens. I don't know that it would take that much more of a hit to get to triple HD monitors, but I guess it might.
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  9. 1680x1050=1.764MP x 3 = 5.292MP total
    1920x1080=2.074MP x 3 = 6.221MP total
    The difference is roughly 1MP which would be significant in terms of fps.

    My comments on a single 6950's performance were directed at gaming in general (should have made that clearer). I had no idea rF2 was so efficient though! I guess it would make more sense for someone to stick with a single 6950 (or 6970) if they aren't planning on doing anything other than simracing on triples.

    I have an 800W in my PC but that is just so it runs quiet and I have some room if I want to switch to the green team later on since they have higher power consumption. For a pair of 6950's I think the lowest I would go is 700W (maybe 650W). You never know when you're going to need more power so best to get a little extra room ;).

    My PC is getting close to 60fps in pCARS running at 4900x900 and my (relevant) specs are:
    i5 2500k @ 4.4GHz // 2xHD6950 2GB // 4GB RAM
    So if you don't want to sacrifice image quality in pCARS on triples, you will need a new system. If you can live with lower settings (or closer to 30fps) then you could get away with just a new card.
    • Like Like x 2
  10. My old system was Q8200 Quad Core @ 3.5Ghz with 4G 1600Mhz Ram running a 6970. I run 3x 1280x1040 (tight for space and the lower M.Pixel count really helps FPS!). From practical experience, a 6950 should run okay and have reasonable frame rates on your system, but it wont show anything like the real power of the Gfx Card. I upgraded recently and built a 5Ghz i5 system, the difference in power and FPS was remarkable with the same Gfx card, showing how much my old hardware was holding it back (Of course, now the card is holding back the rest of the system LOL!) Its all about balance, but if like most of us, you cant just 'Buy it all' at once, getting and using the 6950 now is not a bad idea, you just wont get the best from it right now :)
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Jim Cole

    Jim Cole

    That makes sense glight, didn't do the math on that one :)

    As for the PSU, you can have a look here and calculate what you need, then just add a little extra to be sure you have some overhead in case the system needs a little more at times.
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