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Asus DirectCU II 780 OC or DirectCU II 770 OC SLI?

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June 28, 2013 10:11:30 AM

Hi guys, I'm doing my first build and I'm hesitating between two Asus non-reference cards: the DirectCU II 780 OC and DirectCU II 770 OC.

The price in my country for the 780 is expected around £600 when it releases in late July, and the 770 is currently around £360. This means that I could afford either one 780 or SLI 770s.

Which one do you guys think is the best value? I'm aware that the 770 only has 2GB memory as oppose to the 780's 3GB.

I will be using one monitor at 1080p, but I may switch to three monitors in a year or two. The rest of my build is as follows:
Intel 4770K; Asus Z87 Pro Mobo; AX860i PSU; 16GB of 1600 Crucial Ballistix RAM. I think that's all the other components that are relevant to performance. I've already got all of the components, and just need the graphics card.

I appreciate any help you guys can give me!
a b Ĉ ASUS
a c 639 U Graphics card
a c 431 Î Nvidia
June 28, 2013 10:30:24 AM

The 780 is worth it just for that GK110 GPU. It is considerably more powerful than the GK104 chip used in the GTX 770, comes with the extra 3GB of VRAM, and scales better when overclocking. Basically, with the GTX 780, you can overclock it (or get a factory overclocked version) and run as fast as a much more expensive GTX Titan. The performance level should be sufficient for any gaming you want to do, compared to GTX 770's in SLI, and will run a bit more smoothly being that it's just a single GPU.
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June 28, 2013 10:38:28 AM

Wow, thanks for the quick reply! When you put it like that the 780 looks a lot more attractive. I hadn't considered the stability implications of SLI!
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a b Ĉ ASUS
a c 639 U Graphics card
a c 431 Î Nvidia
June 28, 2013 1:40:32 PM

Yohannas said:
Wow, thanks for the quick reply! When you put it like that the 780 looks a lot more attractive. I hadn't considered the stability implications of SLI!

The 770's in SLI will undoubtedly give considerably higher performance, but the 780 will still give enough performance on a single monitor to override the concerns about additional heat, power, and noise on the SLI setup. Essentially, the 770's in SLI will be overkill and will make for a more complicated setup. With the 780, it will be simpler, quieter, cooler, more efficient, and you will still have to option to upgrade to dual 780's in SLI at some point in the future.

You can check Tom's review to see the performance differences if you jump back and forth between single and dual GPU results.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-770-gk1...
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June 28, 2013 2:45:17 PM

17seconds said:
Yohannas said:
Wow, thanks for the quick reply! When you put it like that the 780 looks a lot more attractive. I hadn't considered the stability implications of SLI!

The 770's in SLI will undoubtedly give considerably higher performance, but the 780 will still give enough performance on a single monitor to override the concerns about additional heat, power, and noise on the SLI setup. Essentially, the 770's in SLI will be overkill and will make for a more complicated setup. With the 780, it will be simpler, quieter, cooler, more efficient, and you will still have to option to upgrade to dual 780's in SLI at some point in the future.

You can check Tom's review to see the performance differences if you jump back and forth between single and dual GPU results.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-770-gk1...


Thanks again, that's a really useful link, and a point well made. One more question: Is it worth waiting a month for the DirectCU II 780 or should I pull the trigger on EVGA's ACX SC 780 now? I've done a lot of comparisons and the only major differences are that Asus' 780 runs cooler and it has a backplate. However, with my Corsair C70 I'll have 2 120mm fans blowing air right over the GPU, so cooling isn't really an issue.

What's your opinion?
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June 28, 2013 5:31:50 PM

How on earth did I never find these reviews? I've done so much googling! Thanks again for the useful links! I'm going to have to make a tough decision here; I guess it's quite a subjective choice.

EDIT: After looking at those links for more than 5 seconds I realised that it compares each individual non-reference to the reference, separately. I have indeed found both these reviews before! Thanks anyway though.
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a b Ĉ ASUS
a c 639 U Graphics card
a c 431 Î Nvidia
June 28, 2013 7:09:34 PM

Yohannas said:
How on earth did I never find these reviews? I've done so much googling! Thanks again for the useful links! I'm going to have to make a tough decision here; I guess it's quite a subjective choice.

EDIT: After looking at those links for more than 5 seconds I realised that it compares each individual non-reference to the reference, separately. I have indeed found both these reviews before! Thanks anyway though.

The thing I was looking at was the fan noise and load temperatures. The noise is the same and the temps are very similar.

Here's TechPowerUp's database of every GTX 780 review:
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviewdb/Graphics-Cards/NVID...
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June 29, 2013 12:07:22 AM

Thanks a lot. I actually made a table comparing the two a couple of weeks ago, and when all of their specs are put side by side it's quite clear that in the long run the Asus is the better bet, but out-of-the-box the EVGA is better. Since I will be overclocking it, I think the Asus will be the best choice. It's just frustrating to have to wait a month for it. Thanks for all the help!
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June 29, 2013 3:35:09 AM

I would concur with matto. The 780 is weaker than a 770 SLI, but it's more than strong enough for 99.9% of current games (Crysis 3 being the only exception I can think of, and even then it's still playable at max settings), and has the added merit of an upgrade path via SLI, which you don't have with dual 770s (3- and 4-way SLIs... well, let's just say there's a reason we don't recommend those. If you thought two GPUs could get messy, you ain't seen nothin' yet.).

Waiting tends to suck, unfortunately. However, in this case, I think you'll find the ASUS worth the wait.
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June 29, 2013 3:46:32 AM

Thanks Jack, insightful as always. In that case I think I will wait for its release; I just hope it won't take too long for it to get to England. I'll curb my need for gaming with the 360 for the moment. I guess it'll make me appreciate the 780 more!
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June 29, 2013 3:53:04 AM

Yohannas said:
Thanks Jack, insightful as always. In that case I think I will wait for its release; I just hope it won't take too long for it to get to England. I'll curb my need for gaming with the 360 for the moment. I guess it'll make me appreciate the 780 more!


According to the recent AMA, they're expecting it to be available within the next month: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/asus-ama-toms-hardw...

Trust me, nothing makes you appreciate good hardware like bad hardware. I had to spend the first two years of my computer owning life gaming at >20 fps on minimum settings on a tiny laptop screen. Now, I never fail to be overcome with joy when I see a game at 60 fps and max settings. Hell, I get a warm, fuzzy feeling when videos don't stutter. It may suck to experience, but it sure makes you grateful for what you have.

A pleasure as always,
Jack
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June 29, 2013 4:06:35 AM

Jack Revenant said:
According to the recent AMA, they're expecting it to be available within the next month: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/asus-ama-toms-hardw...

Trust me, nothing makes you appreciate good hardware like bad hardware. I had to spend the first two years of my computer owning life gaming at >20 fps on minimum settings on a tiny laptop screen. Now, I never fail to be overcome with joy when I see a game at 60 fps and max settings. Hell, I get a warm, fuzzy feeling when videos don't stutter. It may suck to experience, but it sure makes you grateful for what you have.


I've spent the past 10 months living abroad in France and Italy and gaming every now and again at max 14fps on my low-end laptop. I can't tell you how excited I am to see 60 fps! In fact, I think it will be the first time I've ever seen 60fps in my life!
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June 29, 2013 4:10:58 AM

Yohannas said:
Jack Revenant said:
According to the recent AMA, they're expecting it to be available within the next month: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/asus-ama-toms-hardw...

Trust me, nothing makes you appreciate good hardware like bad hardware. I had to spend the first two years of my computer owning life gaming at >20 fps on minimum settings on a tiny laptop screen. Now, I never fail to be overcome with joy when I see a game at 60 fps and max settings. Hell, I get a warm, fuzzy feeling when videos don't stutter. It may suck to experience, but it sure makes you grateful for what you have.


I've spent the past 10 months living abroad in France and Italy and gaming every now and again at max 14fps on my low-end laptop. I can't tell you how excited I am to see 60 fps! In fact, I think it will be the first time I've ever seen 60fps in my life!


It's a truly beautiful thing, particularly if you have a good monitor. I saw 60+ fps for first time on an really high quality monitor, and frankly I nearly wept (granted, this was also because I was so relieved that my build worked properly). It also makes you realize how choppy 30 fps is. I couldn't enjoy my consoles after I got a decent machine. Fortunately for the console folks, this generation is taking things up to 60 fps, so they'll get a taste of what we've had for a while. :p 
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June 29, 2013 4:19:23 AM

Jack Revenant said:
Yohannas said:
Jack Revenant said:
According to the recent AMA, they're expecting it to be available within the next month: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/asus-ama-toms-hardw...

Trust me, nothing makes you appreciate good hardware like bad hardware. I had to spend the first two years of my computer owning life gaming at >20 fps on minimum settings on a tiny laptop screen. Now, I never fail to be overcome with joy when I see a game at 60 fps and max settings. Hell, I get a warm, fuzzy feeling when videos don't stutter. It may suck to experience, but it sure makes you grateful for what you have.


I've spent the past 10 months living abroad in France and Italy and gaming every now and again at max 14fps on my low-end laptop. I can't tell you how excited I am to see 60 fps! In fact, I think it will be the first time I've ever seen 60fps in my life!


It's a truly beautiful thing, particularly if you have a good monitor. I saw 60+ fps for first time on an really high quality monitor, and frankly I nearly wept (granted, this was also because I was so relieved that my build worked properly). It also makes you realize how choppy 30 fps is. I couldn't enjoy my consoles after I got a decent machine. Fortunately for the console folks, this generation is taking things up to 60 fps, so they'll get a taste of what we've had for a while. :p 


With a little luck I might be able to crank up the fps to even greater heights. On the review for the DirectCU II 780 on techpowerup, it lists Skyrim's fps on 1080p as over 100. I'm stupidly psyched for that!

EDIT: Correction, I was looking at the wrong card. But 85 fps is still very respectable, I'd say!
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June 29, 2013 4:28:55 AM

Yohannas said:
Jack Revenant said:

It's a truly beautiful thing, particularly if you have a good monitor. I saw 60+ fps for first time on an really high quality monitor, and frankly I nearly wept (granted, this was also because I was so relieved that my build worked properly). It also makes you realize how choppy 30 fps is. I couldn't enjoy my consoles after I got a decent machine. Fortunately for the console folks, this generation is taking things up to 60 fps, so they'll get a taste of what we've had for a while. :p 


With a little luck I might be able to crank up the fps to even greater heights. On the review for the DirectCU II 780 on techpowerup, it lists Skyrim's fps on 1080p as over 100. I'm stupidly psyched for that!


Yep. It'll only get better when you overclock, too. :) 

However, you'll want to make sure your monitor has a high enough refresh rate to let you enjoy those extra frames (my memory is bad enough that I can't remember what you were planning to use in your build thread).
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June 29, 2013 4:36:00 AM

I picked out the Asus VG248QE, 144Hz, 1ms response. So I think the refresh rate will be enough! I was specifically looking for a good monitor for 3D gaming, and this seemed like the most well-regarded one.
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June 29, 2013 4:42:30 AM

Yohannas said:
I picked out the Asus VG248QE, 144Hz, 1ms response. So I think the refresh rate will be enough! I was specifically looking for a good monitor for 3D gaming, and this seemed like the most well-regarded one.


Well, it's certainly my favorite. I'm reading this on one, and I must say that it's the best monitor I've ever had the pleasure of using. Haven't used it for 3D, I admit (I never really found 3D gaming that appealing), but I've yet to hear a poor review of this monitor.
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June 29, 2013 4:51:28 AM

Jack Revenant said:
Yohannas said:
I picked out the Asus VG248QE, 144Hz, 1ms response. So I think the refresh rate will be enough! I was specifically looking for a good monitor for 3D gaming, and this seemed like the most well-regarded one.


Well, it's certainly my favorite. I'm reading this on one, and I must say that it's the best monitor I've ever had the pleasure of using. Haven't used it for 3D, I admit (I never really found 3D gaming that appealing), but I've yet to hear a poor review of this monitor.


That's absolutely great news! If you chose the monitor too then I know I've made the right choice. I was unsure if 24" would be too small, but I decided to go with the general consensus that a 1080p monitor above 24" might start to deteriorate in picture quality. I hope I made the right call on that one!
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June 29, 2013 5:01:58 AM

Yohannas said:
Jack Revenant said:
Yohannas said:
I picked out the Asus VG248QE, 144Hz, 1ms response. So I think the refresh rate will be enough! I was specifically looking for a good monitor for 3D gaming, and this seemed like the most well-regarded one.


Well, it's certainly my favorite. I'm reading this on one, and I must say that it's the best monitor I've ever had the pleasure of using. Haven't used it for 3D, I admit (I never really found 3D gaming that appealing), but I've yet to hear a poor review of this monitor.


That's absolutely great news! If you chose the monitor too then I know I've made the right choice. I was unsure if 24" would be too small, but I decided to go with the general consensus that a 1080p monitor above 24" might start to deteriorate in picture quality. I hope I made the right call on that one!


Don't give me too much credit, there. :p  I probably picked it due to the same information that made you choose it.

As to size, I've never found it too large. 24" seems a pretty optimal size, at least for the distance I prefer between myself and my monitor. It's large enough to be immersive, but small enough that you can see things at the edges of the screen, like elements of the HUD. I've heard from 27+" monitor users that they tend to find fullscreen a bit too big for that very reason, though they may be in the minority.

One of the really excellent (and often overlooked) elements of the VG248QE is the brightness. You don't realize how dark most monitors are until you get a properly lit one, but let me tell you, I'm spoiled at this point. I'm actually planning to upgrade my auxiliary monitors to match the main one simply because it's so much more pleasant to look at.
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June 29, 2013 5:07:12 AM

Jack Revenant said:

Don't give me too much credit, there. :p  I probably picked it due to the same information that made you choose it.

As to size, I've never found it too large. 24" seems a pretty optimal size, at least for the distance I prefer between myself and my monitor. It's large enough to be immersive, but small enough that you can see things at the edges of the screen, like elements of the HUD. I've heard from 27+" monitor users that they tend to find fullscreen a bit too big for that very reason, though they may be in the minority.

One of the really excellent (and often overlooked) elements of the VG248QE is the brightness. You don't realize how dark most monitors are until you get a properly lit one, but let me tell you, I'm spoiled at this point. I'm actually planning to upgrade my auxiliary monitors to match the main one simply because it's so much more pleasant to look at.


I'm very excited to see it now. The laptop I'm currently typing on is not even 720p, so I think I'm going to notice a massive difference. The only worry is that I'll never want to look at an inferior screen again !

Thanks again for all the information! I'll keep you updated on how everything pans out, once the Direct CU II 780 releases.
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June 29, 2013 5:15:28 AM

Yohannas said:
Jack Revenant said:

Don't give me too much credit, there. :p  I probably picked it due to the same information that made you choose it.

As to size, I've never found it too large. 24" seems a pretty optimal size, at least for the distance I prefer between myself and my monitor. It's large enough to be immersive, but small enough that you can see things at the edges of the screen, like elements of the HUD. I've heard from 27+" monitor users that they tend to find fullscreen a bit too big for that very reason, though they may be in the minority.

One of the really excellent (and often overlooked) elements of the VG248QE is the brightness. You don't realize how dark most monitors are until you get a properly lit one, but let me tell you, I'm spoiled at this point. I'm actually planning to upgrade my auxiliary monitors to match the main one simply because it's so much more pleasant to look at.


I'm very excited to see it now. The laptop I'm currently typing on is not even 720p, so I think I'm going to notice a massive difference. The only worry is that I'll never want to look at an inferior screen again !

Thanks again for all the information! I'll keep you updated on how everything pans out, once the Direct CU II 780 releases.


Having made that exact jump, I can attest that the difference was huge. Particularly going from laptop to desktop, as laptop screens tend to be really terrible. You will definitely acquire a huge case of screen elitism, however, which can actually be quite annoying when you need to use a different computer.

I'm always happy to help. Good luck with the wait, I hope it's not too rough!
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a b Ĉ ASUS
a c 639 U Graphics card
a c 431 Î Nvidia
June 29, 2013 10:57:02 AM

I totally agree with the Asus DirectCU choice, that's what I would be buying right now as well.

But, I was checking overclockers.co.uk to see if they had the Asus DCuII in stock, which they don't, but I saw that they had this:

Inno3D GeForce GTX 780 HerculeZ X3
Core: 1006MHz, Memory: 3072MB 6212MHz GDDR5
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=GX...

That is truly the beast of the bunch when it comes to GTX 780's. We don't get Inno3d in the U.S., but I have always been intrigued by their "HurculeZ" series. It comes with, by far, the highest factory overclock and the beefiest cooler you can find. It's probably more expensive than the Asus DCuII, but I thought I would point it out in case you didn't want to wait a month, and, well, because I get excited about things like this.
http://uk.hardware.info/reviews/4460/2/inno3d-ichill-ge...!-herculez-x3-ultra-cooler


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June 29, 2013 11:41:59 AM

17seconds said:
I totally agree with the Asus DirectCU choice, that's what I would be buying right now as well.

But, I was checking overclockers.co.uk to see if they had the Asus DCuII in stock, which they don't, but I saw that they had this:

Inno3D GeForce GTX 780 HerculeZ X3
Core: 1006MHz, Memory: 3072MB 6212MHz GDDR5
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=GX...

That is truly the beast of the bunch when it comes to GTX 780's. We don't get Inno3d in the U.S., but I have always been intrigued by their "HurculeZ" series. It comes with, by far, the highest factory overclock and the beefiest cooler you can find. It's probably more expensive than the Asus DCuII, but I thought I would point it out in case you didn't want to wait a month, and, well, because I get excited about things like this.
http://uk.hardware.info/reviews/4460/2/inno3d-ichill-ge...!-herculez-x3-ultra-cooler




Wow, that thing looks crazy. I hadn't even heard of this before your post, and it looks like I have a lot of research still to do! I've googled it a few times but the results aren't very useful: it looks like none of the usual tech sites have reviewed this one yet (a techpowerup review would have been ideal). Do you think this will be a better choice than the DirectCU II ?
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a b Ĉ ASUS
a c 639 U Graphics card
a c 431 Î Nvidia
June 29, 2013 12:08:05 PM

Yohannas said:
17seconds said:

Inno3D GeForce GTX 780 HerculeZ X3
Core: 1006MHz, Memory: 3072MB 6212MHz GDDR5
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=GX...
http://uk.hardware.info/reviews/4460/2/inno3d-ichill-ge...!-herculez-x3-ultra-cooler


Wow, that thing looks crazy. I hadn't even heard of this before your post, and it looks like I have a lot of research still to do! I've googled it a few times but the results aren't very useful: it looks like none of the usual tech sites have reviewed this one yet (a techpowerup review would have been ideal). Do you think this will be a better choice than the DirectCU II ?

Do you plan to overclock? I saw that guru3d got the Asus up to 1034 mhz, but the Inno3d card comes factory overclocked at 1006 mhz, right out of the box almost at the maximum level of the Asus.

With that, one thing did catch my eye in the few reports available on the HerculeZ, which is that it is based on the reference design PCB. The Asus is a custom PCB with custom components and an enhanced power phase system. The HerculeZ is all about that awesome cooler, but the Asus is great as well. The HerculeZ is probably more expensive, so I would think it's not worth it. Out of the box, it will be considerably faster than the Asus, but with overclocking they should even out. It's a hard call, due to the lack of reviews on the HerculeZ (which was just released this month), but I think I would go for the Asus.
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a b Ĉ ASUS
a c 639 U Graphics card
a c 431 Î Nvidia
June 29, 2013 12:17:34 PM

From Guru3d:
The GTX 780 DC 2 is built with 8+2 phase power delivery, ensuring ample room for experimental performance tuning. The reference cards have a 6+2 Phase design.

The DIGI+ VRM digital voltage regulation design augments precision overclocking capabilities, which are further supported by the use of hardened Super Alloy Power components. The Super Alloy Power technology on ASUS graphics cards use a special alloy formula which is highly-magnetic, heat-resistant and anti-corrosive. It delivers a more stable and quieter operation compared to the reference design. DIGI+ VRM, unlike traditional analog design, is embedded with digital settings to adjust voltage according to different overclocking scenarios.
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June 30, 2013 2:59:13 AM

Wow, that's all very technical. The factors that are most important to me are temperature and noise. Performance is a difficult one because I've never overclocked anything before, and I'm not sure I'd like to start on such an expensive graphics card. So out-of-the-box performance will, at least initially, be very important too. That being said the Asus does look better, and there is a plethora of information about it. I think I will continue to wait for the DirectCU II, and in the meantime perhaps techpowerup or another review site will have a look at the HerculeZ, and pricing might become more competitive. Thanks for the information, I'll keep both eyes open!
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