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GTX 690 VS GTX Titan vs Dual GTX 680 Sli vs Dual AMD 7970 GHZ Crossfire

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April 28, 2013 10:53:19 AM

One of my clients would like an extremely high end build and I would like some help on what graphics card I should get for the build. This client says that he definitely wants an i7 3970X processor.

My Question however is what graphics card would be best for a single 1440p Monitor in this build: A GTX Titan, A GTX 690, Dual GTX 680 in Sli or Dual AMD 7970 GHZ Edition cards In Crossfire?

Selected Specs Besides Graphics Card:
Intel Core i7-3970X Extreme Edition Sandy Bridge-E 3.5GHz (4.0GHz Turbo) LGA 2011 150W Six-Core Desktop Processor BX80619i73970X

ASUS Rampage IV Extreme LGA 2011 Intel X79 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Extended ATX Intel Motherboard

G.SKILL Ares Series 32GB (4 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) Desktop Memory Model F3-1866C10Q-32GAB

SeaSonic X-SERIES X-1050 1050W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Full Modular Active PFC Power Supply

CORSAIR Hydro Series H60 (CW-9060007-WW) Water Cooler

2 x In RAID 0 (Boot Drive): SAMSUNG 840 Pro Series MZ-7PD128BW 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

LSI Internal SATA/SAS 9211-8i 6Gb/s PCI-Express 2.0 RAID Controller Card, Single

Data Drive: Western Digital WD Black WD2002FAEX 2TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive - OEM

LG Black 14X BD-R 2X BD-RE 16X DVD+R 5X DVD-RAM 12X BD-ROM 4MB Cache SATA BDXL Blu-ray Burner, Bare Drive, 3D Play Back (WH14NS40) - OEM

COOLER MASTER HAF 932 Advanced RC-932-KKN5-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case with USB 3.0, Black Interior and Four Fans-1x 230mm front RED LED fan, 1x 140mm rear fan, 1x 230mm top fan, and 1x 230mm side fan

Microsoft Windows 8 Professional 64-bit (Full Version) - OEM

This build is obviously extremely high end. Any suggestions for components? Or comments on the ones I have already selected. I just need to make sure that everything is right with this build! Please help me to select the right graphics card.

--Dsudi19
April 28, 2013 10:58:07 AM

Single GPU setups require less power and have less bugs than 2x cards. The Titan or 690 would be my choice. Of course they cost like $100 or so more than 2x680's but you will avoid all the bugs and other issues.

About the H60 cooler. I have one right now. It's a load of junk.
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April 28, 2013 11:04:19 AM

splinter007 said:
Single GPU setups require less power and have less bugs than 2x cards. The Titan or 690 would be my choice. Of course they cost like $100 or so more than 2x680's but you will avoid all the bugs and other issues.

About the H60 cooler. I have one right now. It's a load of junk.


What Liquid cooler would you recommend?

--Thanks for the feedback by the way
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April 28, 2013 11:14:21 AM

First of all: Stay away from Crossfire. There's a lot going on at the moment with runt frames and so on (http://www.anandtech.com/show/6862/fcat-the-evolution-o...) - so that's one option out.
The 690 is just two underclocked 680's on a single PCB, so they perform basically the same. 2 680's in SLI will output a lot more heat and consume more power than a 690. That's why I would pick a 690 over dual 680's.
Then we're at the 690 vs Titan. The 690 WILL outperform the Titan, as the 690 is 2 high-end GPUs and the Titan is a single super high-end card. So, if your clients games doesn't support or scale very badly with SLI (like WoW), then I would pick the Titan (because then the 690 would pretty much just be a 680, and the Titan outperforms a 680). But if they do (as BF3, for example), then the 690 would be the better choice.

I would personally pick the 690 at the 1000$ price point.

EDIT: And I also agree with the others on the cooler - the H60 is a waste of money. Stay on the stock cooler if you don't overclock, or go with a Corsair H100i or Swifttech H220 if you want to overclock.
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April 28, 2013 11:15:42 AM

splinter007 said:
Does the client plan on overclocking? An H60 would be perfect only if the client doesn't overclock. The H80 has a thicker radiator and cools much better. The best closed-loop would either be the Corsair H100i, Swiftech H220, and a few others.

Although the H220 is about double the H60.

EDIT:

Temps on load:
http://www.overclockers.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/...

Temps overclocked on load:
http://www.overclockers.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/...


No, the best pre done water cooler is the Swiftech H220.
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April 28, 2013 11:18:06 AM

completelyrandomname said:
splinter007 said:
Does the client plan on overclocking? An H60 would be perfect only if the client doesn't overclock. The H80 has a thicker radiator and cools much better. The best closed-loop would either be the Corsair H100i, Swiftech H220, and a few others.

Although the H220 is about double the H60.

EDIT:

Temps on load:
http://www.overclockers.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/...

Temps overclocked on load:
http://www.overclockers.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/...


No, the best pre done water cooler is the Swiftech H220.


I second that.
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April 28, 2013 11:18:13 AM

splinter007 said:
Does the client plan on overclocking? An H60 would be perfect only if the client doesn't overclock. The H80 has a thicker radiator and cools much better. The best closed-loop would either be the Corsair H100i, Swiftech H220, and a few others.

Although the H220 is about double the H60.

EDIT:

Temps on load:
http://www.overclockers.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/...

Temps overclocked on load:
http://www.overclockers.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/...


My H100i cools my 3930K well. I don't know if it is the best but works well.
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a c 217 U Graphics card
April 28, 2013 11:18:32 AM

splinter007 said:
Single GPU setups require less power and have less bugs than 2x cards. The Titan or 690 would be my choice. Of course they cost like $100 or so more than 2x680's but you will avoid all the bugs and other issues.

About the H60 cooler. I have one right now. It's a load of junk.


I've never seen anything to suggest the 690 has fewer bugs than 680 SLI. They are both in SLI, and have the same issues, only the 680 isn't underclocked, and gives you 4GB option, which may not matter much, at least not yet.

That said, I'd forget the 7970 CF, as Crossfire has issues still.

I'd be more inclined to recommend either a Titan or 680 SLI 4GB, but the 690 would still be in the conversation if noise is an issue, as it is quieter than the 680 SLI setup.

So basically the 680 sli and 690 are SLI cards with the highest performance, giving the edge to the 680's due to clock speeds, and the option for 4Gb of Vram to be sure you are good to go in the future, which may never be needed and the 690 is quieter between them.

The Titan is fast, but not as fast as those cards. It may be about 25% slower than the above options, but they do have a fair bit of OC headroom. Their advantage is that their performance is not reliant on SLI drivers and support from games. They also have the most consistent frame deliver.

If your client wants the most hassle free experience, the Titan is the best choice. If your client wants the highest FPS, the 680 sli is the best choice, unless he is also picky about noise, then get the 690.
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April 28, 2013 11:21:15 AM

I would take the LQ310 by zalman. I'm running the LQ320 which I got only because it was on sale but they are identical just without a glowing light(didn't realize it had that until i had it running) on the cpu block. They can be picked up for a good price and then drop a couple of noctua nf-f12 fans on there and it runs very quiet I find.

The 690 won't get you much better than a regular sli aside from the fact its a bit cooler since you only have one big card running instead of two(heat wise). Performance wise I don't think he's gonna notice a lot of difference between the 690 and the titan except that the titan is just one single gpu so you don't need to worry about sli profiles. I'm currently running 1 with 3 1080p monitors and everything I do is on highest details in games. Crysis 3 being the only one I have to drop my AA down to medium. But being only at 1440p the 690 will give better performance. Going up to multimonitor setups I would get the titan.
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Best solution

April 28, 2013 11:25:06 AM

I have gtx 680 in sli and have no problems what so ever in any games. 2 680's will outperform a titan and gtx 690 plus cheaper. I run a 2560x1600 set-up and I actually owned a Titan and sold it within a week. I took a huge frame rate cut coming from 2 680's in sli. Don't let others fool you by saying there are bugs and the smoothest of one card is better. I speak from owning both set-ups so go with the 2 680's. As for the cooler go with the H100i. I was able to reach 4.9ghz on my 3770k which is pretty impressive for HOT ivy to say the lease.
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April 28, 2013 11:36:16 AM

Dropdead777 said:
I have gtx 680 in sli and have no problems what so ever in any games. 2 680's will outperform a titan and gtx 690 plus cheaper. I run a 2560x1600 set-up and I actually owned a Titan and sold it within a week. I took a huge frame rate cut coming from 2 680's in sli. Don't let others fool you by saying there are bugs and the smoothest of one card is better. I speak from owning both set-ups so go with the 2 680's. As for the cooler go with the H100i. I was able to reach 4.9ghz on my 3770k which is pretty impressive for HOT ivy to say the lease.


If you look in my signature, I too have 680 SLI. I understand their performance, but you are talking about comparing 680 SLI to a single 680, where the Titan is somewhere between the FPS of 680 and 680 SLI. 680 SLI has more frame variance than a single Titan, but it is not bad. The question is about what is better. Higher less stable FPS, or a little lower very even FPS. Not to mention, it is quieter, draws less power, and more importantly, is always supported. SLI is not always supported, though it is most the time, it is not always.

Look at the frame variance charts:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-7990-revi...
http://www.pcper.com/reviews/Graphics-Cards/AMD-Radeon-...

I don't really know what is 'best'. I only gave reasons for each of the 3 options (minus the 7970 CF one).
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April 28, 2013 11:41:04 AM

Dropdead777 said:
I have gtx 680 in sli and have no problems what so ever in any games. 2 680's will outperform a titan and gtx 690 plus cheaper. I run a 2560x1600 set-up and I actually owned a Titan and sold it within a week. I took a huge frame rate cut coming from 2 680's in sli. Don't let others fool you by saying there are bugs and the smoothest of one card is better. I speak from owning both set-ups so go with the 2 680's. As for the cooler go with the H100i. I was able to reach 4.9ghz on my 3770k which is pretty impressive for HOT ivy to say the lease.


BigMack70 said:
If this is a gaming build, you should seriously try to convince your client to go with a pair of Titans. That CPU is an absolute waste of money from a value perspective for gaming, so you may as well get a GPU setup to match.

I would definitely not build a crossfire build for a client unless it was specifically requested. If you can't talk him into Titan SLI, I'd recommend 680 SLI or a single Titan.


I think the Titan SLI would be a little to expensive for the build...I think the 680 in SLI sounds the best for 1440p gaming..Which model you you recommend?
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April 28, 2013 11:44:05 AM

Oh and noise is NOT an issue.
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April 28, 2013 1:26:21 PM

BigMack70 said:
I just don't understand the decision to pair a 3970x with that setup... it's not a balanced build for gaming. Now if the client envisions doing other workloads on the rig, that's great. But for gaming, 3970x + 680 SLI is no better at 1440p than 3570k + 680 SLI, even though the 3970x is $800 more expensive.

Anyways, if you go with the 680s in SLI, I second that 4GB EVGA option above.


Yeah the client really wants the 3970X...I tried to convince him that it is not really worth it but he still wants that is in the build. So the final best decision is the 680 SLI?
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April 28, 2013 1:32:00 PM

Yes, 680 in sli is the best route for your client. Get the EVGA and never look back;)
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June 10, 2013 12:46:54 PM

I have a 680 sli, I'm really happy with it, but I got the fan profile to keep temperatures below 70 degrees, mostly between 64-65, and the 4 fans (msi twin frozr III) goes to 3500 rpms., had to buy headphones to play games :-). terrible noise; no problems with scaling (current driver) even Bioshock Infinite scales perfect. I'm coming from a crossfire where had troubles with scaling, a total crap, now I can not believe how well the 680 sli scales. Stuttering, never or I do not notice that at least.
The CPU cooler (dual 13 fans) is running at 1800 rmps doing a lot of noise and vibrations, but the noise coming from the two 680 is almost unbearable, it is like a sound coming from a blending machine)
Yes issues with v sync and hair in tomb raider, but changing the AA setting it is fixed. Sure it is a driver glitch.
I love the 680 ski !! noise is my main concern.
I think I would buy a single 780 (it can handles fine current games) and save money for a second 780 to be purchased when the prices drops.
That is my way to trade both 680 by two 780 when the price dops a bit in some months.
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June 10, 2013 3:50:45 PM

Pituky said:
I have a 680 sli, I'm really happy with it, but I got the fan profile to keep temperatures below 70 degrees, mostly between 64-65, and the 4 fans (msi twin frozr III) goes to 3500 rpms., had to buy headphones to play games :-). terrible noise; no problems with scaling (current driver) even Bioshock Infinite scales perfect. I'm coming from a crossfire where had troubles with scaling, a total crap, now I can not believe how well the 680 sli scales. Stuttering, never or I do not notice that at least.
The CPU cooler (dual 13 fans) is running at 1800 rmps doing a lot of noise and vibrations, but the noise coming from the two 680 is almost unbearable, it is like a sound coming from a blending machine)
Yes issues with v sync and hair in tomb raider, but changing the AA setting it is fixed. Sure it is a driver glitch.
I love the 680 ski !! noise is my main concern.
I think I would buy a single 780 (it can handles fine current games) and save money for a second 780 to be purchased when the prices drops.
That is my way to trade both 680 by two 780 when the price dops a bit in some months.


You don't have to keep the temps below 70. Anything below 85C is fine. It'll help the noise issue.
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July 31, 2013 5:00:36 PM

Every now and then I have customers come that upgrade their rig once every 5 years or so and just want the best despite not understanding how little value the best sometimes provides them compared to best bang for buck option, generally Ill provide them with the best info possible to educate their choices and if they still chose the lesser value option then that's fine its their money!

If you can provide your client with real world examples of how little the 3970K will benefit him vs a 3930K for the massive difference in cost and show him where that money could be better spent here's what Id do: Take the 3930K , put the difference towards a Swiftech H220 , 2 GTX 780s and an Enermax Max revo 1500W. This setup will destroy all other options in terms of performance except ofcourse SLI Titans but GTX 780s can be OCed with ease to Titan speeds and cost $700USD less. The other bonus is future expansion as He/you can always add a third GTX 780 later down the line and not have to worry about PSU limitations and the Haf 932 has the cooling power with that 230mm right onto the cards, its just a pitty it obscures the cards glowing green Geforce GTX logos as 2 of three GTX 780s with stock cooling is something to behold!
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