Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question
Closed

(2) GTX 680s in SLI VS. (2) AMD 7970's in Crossfire

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
Share
March 21, 2013 8:32:02 PM

Hello everyone!
I'm planning on building a new rig this summer, and am set on just about everything except for a GPU. My original intention was to get 2 GTX 660 Ti's (I have a single one right now) and put them in SLI. Then changed my mind and decided to go with two 680s. After flip flopping back and forth, I'm still not really sure. Then I was doing some research and noticed the price point for the 7970's was a good bit cheaper than the 680s + more or less matched performance. The price and performance more or less won me over. Then something occurred to me, AMD does not have nVidia's PhsyX technology. It may seem small, but I do enjoy playing games like Borderlands 2 with it turned up.
One way or another, I would be overclocking any card I get, and since this would be a gaming rig, they would be under a good deal of stress at any given time.

To break down the questions, I'm curious if any of you guys would:

1. Go Dual or single 680 vs. 7970 or vice versa
2. Stick with the 660 Ti's
3. Know if its possible to have a dedicated PhsyX card with AMD cards

For right now, money doesn't matter. Of course, that will change when I actually start buying stuff. I would like to spend around 1k on a GPU(s) but feel free to throw out any Titan/690/7990 setups you may have. Heck, feel free to throw out any 7770/650 Ti ideas you guys have! I'm open to anything, as I'm still trying to get everything nailed down.

Thanks!

Luke
March 21, 2013 8:38:34 PM

i would go with another gtx 660 or a pair of gtx 680's. like you physx does matter to me. yes you can use hacked drivers to get it to work with an amd card gpu (visuals) and dedicate nvidia for physx gpu but again HACKED drivers...i rather use certified or beta drivers (beta only when i have to)...sli has less driver issues then crossfire so that's also a kill point for me and AMD. And of course AMD 7000 series has frame latency issues...high frame rates can still look choppy. now some fixes have been added to drivers and more are supposedly coming. but in the end for me there are just to many negatives with going amd to make up for the price/performance ratio advantage amd has.
Score
0
March 21, 2013 8:41:47 PM

also...you get a pair of gtx 680's if you have another PCIe slot to spare you can dedicate you gtx 660 to physx.
Score
0
Related resources

Best solution

March 21, 2013 8:50:46 PM

I'd say go with a 2nd 660ti for now and save for your next platform upgrade end of this year or mid next year.

As for 680 vs 7970. Single cards the 7970 runs circles around the 680, but you want physx so stick with nVidia.

Multiple cards, depends on the game & drivers if they scale nicely.

If you have the budget and looking at 2x 680s, why not get a Titan? Might perform 23-30% lower than 2x 680s but uses less power and no multi-card issues.
Share
March 21, 2013 9:29:00 PM

Two 680's is your best bet.
Score
0
a b À AMD
March 21, 2013 9:36:56 PM

The 680s are pointless. A 680 is only 5% faster than a 670, but it costs 25-30% more.

Buy two 670s for $350 each, and you'll run circles up with the Titan and the 690.
Score
0
a c 156 À AMD
March 21, 2013 9:42:18 PM

A couple notess:
- The AMD PhysX hack no longer works with any of the latest Nvidia drivers, so newer games will not be supported. The last drivers that worked were something like a year ago.
- A 7970 will not "run circles around a GTX 680". Perhaps you meant a "GHz" edition? Even then, the results will depend on the game. Tomb Raider 3, for example, was shown to now run slightly better on the 680 than the 7970 GHz with the latest drivers.
http://www.hardocp.com/article/2013/03/20/tomb_raider_v...

Here's a nice review comparing SLI and Crossfire in terms of frame latencies:
http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-r...

Here's a review of GTX 660 Ti's in SLI vs. a GTX 690, which should be comparable to a pair of GTX 680's in SLI:
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/graphics/display/gefor...

If it were me, I would go for the second GTX 660 Ti, which should be everything you need for a normal 1080 or 1200 monitor resolution.
Score
0
March 22, 2013 8:46:05 AM

10537161,0,395051 said:
A couple notess:
Tomb Raider 3, for example, was shown to now run slightly better on the 680 than the 7970 GHz with the latest drivers.
http://www.hardocp.com/article/2013/03/20/tomb_raider_v...

Check your numbers mate, in the 7970CFx vs 680SLI test, the 7970s are running at 2560x1600 while the 680s are are doing 1080p. All this to remain playable. In single card tests, both cards run at 1080p and the 7970 performs quite a bit faster.
Score
0
March 22, 2013 8:54:18 AM

"atomicWAR" is correct, with the latest drivers the 7970 will NOT run circles around a Gtx 680. A 680 will have comparable and occasionally superior frame rates in many recent games (although bear in mind that any hierarchy can be subject to change according to the resolution and further driver updates). At present, a standard 680 will generally outperform both 7970 and 7970 Ghz edition in Crysis 3. The 670 aquits itself very favourably too in comparison. Remember that this could change with further driver updates though.

http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/2013/03/15/crysis-3-pe...

It is often said that the 680 has more headroom and potential for manual overclocking. Furthermore, apart from the obvious PhysX, FXAA, TXAA and 3D vision bells and whistles (which admittedly not everyone cares about) and in addition to the power efficiency and better temps, the 680s appear to be on top with frame TIMES which are often overlooked or unmeasured in reviews. You want smooth? The 680 is generally a better bet.

http://uk.hardware.info/reviews/3991/amd-radeon-hd-7970...

That being said, in terms of pure performance there is an argument to be made that the 7970 is a better all-round card; "zander 1983"'s claim can be said to be correct provided you are only talking about games that rely heavily on "direct compute". e.g. Sniper Elite V2, Sleeping Dogs etc. In that respect, this gen's AMD cards do generally run rings around Nvidia's (with the sole exception of the Titan). A gtx 500 fermi series will generally give you better performance than a 600 kepler series in such games.

I recently bought a custom build and chose the 680 SLI option simply because I actually like 3D and Phys X. I was originally planning on dual factory overclocked 670s as the builder was offering them for no extra cost over stock clocked and they have a comparable performance to a stock clock 680 for a lower price... but then I managed to get the builder to upgrade these to factory o/c'd 680s for comparatively minimal extra cost.

So to answer your questions:

1. IMO if you are not bothered about 3D vision, TXAA and FXAA then bite the PhysX bullet and go for the as its 7970 its cheaper (unless YOU pay the electricity bill and game for several hours each day) and is far stronger for Direct Compute games. You may be able to find a reasonably priced Ghz edition if you shop around.

2. However, if the above IS important to you then go with the 670 Sli as suggested by "Dark Sable". Best price/performance ratio. The jump in performance from 660ti to 670 is far greater than the increase yielded by 670 to 680.

3. To my knowledge this would not be possible without a hack and even then each new Nvidia driver update would likely have a counter measure rendering the current hack redundant until an update or new one came along from the hacker's side.
Score
0
March 22, 2013 9:02:37 AM

Look at some of this advice... While it's true that 670 offers pretty good value compared to the 680, there's simply no point upgrading from 660 Ti to a 670, whether you get single card or SLI, PERIOD. And while we're in the business of recommending products by value, 660 Ti happens to offer even more bang for your buck than a 670 does.

If you're gaming at 1080p then I suppose a second 660 Ti is all you should get for now. This generation of cards is already a year old and your current one is this gen so don't be hasty. If I were you I'd just get another 660 Ti and perhaps wait for next gen if you wanted to SLI something with a bit more bang. (Chances are 2x 660 Ti SLI will still give a single high-end next gen GPU a run for it's money, but that's just speculation.)
Score
0
March 22, 2013 9:08:17 AM

mw200380051 said:
10537161,0,395051 said:
A couple notess:
Tomb Raider 3, for example, was shown to now run slightly better on the 680 than the 7970 GHz with the latest drivers.
http://www.hardocp.com/article/2013/03/20/tomb_raider_v...

Check your numbers mate, in the 7970CFx vs 680SLI test, the 7970s are running at 2560x1600 while the 680s are are doing 1080p. All this to remain playable. In single card tests, both cards run at 1080p and the 7970 performs quite a bit faster.
said:


Not sure why this should be a surprise. Tomb Raider, like Sleeping Dogs is published by Square Enix who have a special partnership with ATI meaning that their games are optimised for Radeon cards in general, not to mention that most if not all of their recent games use direct compute which this generation of Radeon excels at. In other instances Nvidia can perform better though even when there is "official" ATI association. See my frame time link in my original response to the OP and also:

http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/2013/03/15/crysis-3-pe...
Score
0
March 22, 2013 9:21:15 AM

hizodge said:
Look at some of this advice... While it's true that 670 offers pretty good value compared to the 680, there's simply no point upgrading from 660 Ti to a 670, whether you get single card or SLI, PERIOD.

perhaps wait for next gen if you wanted to SLI something with a bit more bang. (Chances are 660 Ti will still give a single high-end next gen GPU a run for it's money, but that's just speculation.)


-Respectfully disagree given the reviews I have read but they were mostly hard copy publications so can't be bothered to look for them now. The OP will just have to trawl and compare the review sites for the 660ti vs 670 conundrum ;-)
Score
0
March 22, 2013 4:33:51 PM

My brain is about to explode from so much information, which is a good thing :) 

After sifting through everyone's feedback, I thought it would be a good idea to tell you what exactly whatever card I buy, would be doing.

1. Play games. I know, stunning. I would like to be able to run BF3, @ 120+ FPS* (Ultra) and get 60 FPS** on Crysis 3 at medium to high settings. Obviously this will change as new games a developed and released, but I wanted to give you guys a point of reference.

2. Be up to heavy usage. As I said before, whatever card(s) I get will be overclocked. They will at times, be under heavy stress for several hours. I would hate to buy an expensive, just to have it burn out during benchmarking or gaming.

3. Run cool, clean and quite. Right now I have the Power Edition 660 Ti from MSI. I took it out to clean it after a few months, only to find that there was really no point. At all. This thing stays VERY clean. It also idles in the 20s (celcius), and those temps usually stay in the 40s during games like Crysis 3 and BF3. It's also quite, as in, "Can't be heard so trying is useless" quite.


Alright, now that we got all that out of the way, I wanted to give you guys some more stuff to chew on.

1: 2X 660 Ti's VS 2X GTX 670's
I saw a lot of people saying to get another 660 Ti over upgrading to 2 new 680s/7970s. Many of you also suggested to go with 2 670s, as the performance between the 670-680 is 5-15% (by my research) This seemed to be the way to go, except for the jump between my factory OC 660 Ti and a overclocked reference 670 is almost 0.
I think it will be best if I buy a 2nd 660 Ti, and put them both in the new build. Then, later on down the road, I can sell them and buy a Titan/690.

2: I was wondering if it would be better to buy a 680 NOW and then later down the road, just buy another. Instead of going with the above plan.

Anyway, eager to hear you guys thoughts on the matter

Thanks,
Luke

Score
3
!