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Triple monitor gaming - best card for £300 or lower

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August 19, 2013 5:14:32 PM

I currently have an i7 950 (thats right, 1st gen), 6gb Ram, a 700w PSU, and an nvidia gtx 570.
I play sim racing games (rfactor, iRacing), and FPS (battlefield 3, CS GO)

i need a new card to power 3 monitors (1920x1080 each).

my budget is £200-£350, and i want to spend the least amount possible. I'm not fussed about maxed out graphics, but I certainly want to run everything in medium as the minimum.

what are my best options?
a 760? a 770? 2x 760's? 2x 670's? What about vRam?
ive read that i need more vRam to power 3 monitors.
so do i need a 4gb 760? would a 2gb 770 be better then that?

there are so many combinations, i just do not know what is going to give me the best Bang per buck.

yes im willing to spend up to £350, but if I can get something for £250 that results in 20 fps lower, but can still run battlefield 3 in high, in 5760x1080, then I'd rather spend £100 less......
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August 19, 2013 5:24:49 PM

i don't know how prices work over there but if youre talking 3 monitor gaming the cheapest gpu you probably want to consider is a 7970Ghz Ed. You'll need the 3gb of vram as 2 won't cut it; if you can't afford a 770 with more vram then 2gb then get a 7970.

anything slower then a 7970ge/770/680 won't do.
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August 19, 2013 5:26:06 PM

Yes you are going to want to have more VRAM to power those monitors
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August 19, 2013 5:28:21 PM

I'd get a GTX 770. You won't have enough GPU power to use more than 2GB of ram. That means, by the time you set the AA and eye candy high enough so you are using more than 2GB of ram, you will be down to 20FPS or so, an unusable speed. The GTX770 is a far better solution than the AMD 7970's that you may be able to overclock to dangerous levels to be nearly as fast. For if you compare the reviews in newegg of 7970's and GTX 770's you will see a huge difference in speed, reliability, noise, and operating temps, all favoring GTX 770's. Which should be expcted, coming a year later.
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August 19, 2013 5:33:53 PM

babernet_1 said:
I'd get a GTX 770. You won't have enough GPU power to use more than 2GB of ram. That means, by the time you set the AA and eye candy high enough so you are using more than 2GB of ram, you will be down to 20FPS or so, an unusable speed. The GTX770 is a far better solution than the AMD 7970's that you may be able to overclock to dangerous levels to be nearly as fast. For if you compare the reviews in newegg of 7970's and GTX 770's you will see a huge difference in speed, reliability, noise, and operating temps, all favoring GTX 770's. Which should be expcted, coming a year later.


But a 4GB 770 is far too much money
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August 19, 2013 5:40:15 PM

patrick47018 said:
babernet_1 said:
I'd get a GTX 770. You won't have enough GPU power to use more than 2GB of ram. That means, by the time you set the AA and eye candy high enough so you are using more than 2GB of ram, you will be down to 20FPS or so, an unusable speed. The GTX770 is a far better solution than the AMD 7970's that you may be able to overclock to dangerous levels to be nearly as fast. For if you compare the reviews in newegg of 7970's and GTX 770's you will see a huge difference in speed, reliability, noise, and operating temps, all favoring GTX 770's. Which should be expcted, coming a year later.


But a 4GB 770 is far too much money


:??: 

did you even read my post?
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August 19, 2013 6:04:21 PM

well i found this
http://uk.hardware.info/reviews/4525/12/nvidia-geforce-...

and their benchmark system is an Intel Core i7 3960X (Sandy Bridge-E), 16 GB Corsair DDR3-1600 RAM, compare that to mine.

if they can only get 50fps with the 760.

i mean....i got no chance surely? if they are getting 50fps with a 760 + 3rd gen i7 + 16gb,
surely i wont reach even 30fps with a 760 + 1st gen i7 + 6gb RAM.

looks like i need a whole new system?
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August 19, 2013 6:08:54 PM

babernet_1 said:
I'd get a GTX 770. You won't have enough GPU power to use more than 2GB of ram. That means, by the time you set the AA and eye candy high enough so you are using more than 2GB of ram, you will be down to 20FPS or so, an unusable speed. The GTX770 is a far better solution than the AMD 7970's that you may be able to overclock to dangerous levels to be nearly as fast. For if you compare the reviews in newegg of 7970's and GTX 770's you will see a huge difference in speed, reliability, noise, and operating temps, all favoring GTX 770's. Which should be expcted, coming a year later.


I won't claim to be an expert on this one, and you may very well be right. The problem is I've seen some pretty convincing arguments to the contrary which i'll try to sum up.

the 7970GE is approximately 5%-10% faster then the 770. The problem reviewers have been having with the 770, as i've convincingly had demonstrated to me recently, is the turbo boost II on the 7xx lineup is screwing with the benching results. see the adaptive turbo on the 7xx gpus basically automatically overclocks the card up to its thermal limits automatically. The result is in every bench, the 770 is operating close to it's absolute overclocking limits on it's cpu clocks (there is ground to be made overclocking the ram manually as it's not touched by the turbo).

There is no such turbo boost on the 7970. No matter how reviewers test it they generally will bench them at stock vs eachother, the 770 will walk away with variably faster results depending mostly on the ambient temp in the room the testers are using (which is why none of the review sites can even agree how much faster the 770 is over the 7970).

HOWEVER, if you turn off the turbo, the 770 will operate pretty much identically to a 680. Very little difference, which shouldn't be surprising as they're nearly identical cards. AND if you manually overclock the 7970 you'll see the difference in performance vanish. On average you can overclock a 7970 up to and even slightly faster then the 770. when you overclock the 770, all you're really doing is eliminating the headroom for the turbo boost to kick up the clock speed and locking in a higher base clock. In general there is almost no performance gain to be had.

some reviewers will show you a gain with an overclock, almost universally they've turned off the turbo boost II to achieve those results.
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August 19, 2013 6:56:02 PM

moschum said:

my budget is £200-£350, and i want to spend the least amount possible.


Although the Palit GTX 770 4GB is £365.88, it is not that much over your budget and you get free shipping. If it's really is too much money, then consider just staying home for one weekend instead of hanging out with friends. Personally that can save me anywhere from $75 - $125 on average.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Palit-Jetstream-Graphics-Archit...

Or cutback somewhere else. Skip breakfast or something... I dunno...

Otherwise, just buy the GTX 760 and call it a day. Spending more now can save you money in the future because if you can really live with medium quality graphics, then buying the GTX 770 now means you can enjoy high quality graphics now then turn it down as games become more demanding. You can probably postpone buying a new graphics card for two years compared to buying the GTX 760.

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August 19, 2013 7:48:55 PM

jaguarskx said:
moschum said:

my budget is £200-£350, and i want to spend the least amount possible.


Although the Palit GTX 770 4GB is £365.88, it is not that much over your budget and you get free shipping. If it's really is too much money, then consider just staying home for one weekend instead of hanging out with friends. Personally that can save me anywhere from $75 - $125 on average.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Palit-Jetstream-Graphics-Archit...

Or cutback somewhere else. Skip breakfast or something... I dunno...

Otherwise, just buy the GTX 760 and call it a day. Spending more now can save you money in the future because if you can really live with medium quality graphics, then buying the GTX 770 now means you can enjoy high quality graphics now then turn it down as games become more demanding. You can probably postpone buying a new graphics card for two years compared to buying the GTX 760.



yeh i agree with the philosophy of spending upfront now to save for the future. but i also dont want to spend £100 more for the sake of a 10fps frame rate improvement or something, if i can have a card/system that can manage 50-60gps on the games i play in high graphics but with low AA or something, that'd be fine.

but having looked at some of the benchmarks, im worried that just upgrading my GPU won't be enough to power 3 monitors - im not sure how gpu dependent it all is, as ive said in my previous post, the test systems are running 3rd gen or 4th gen intel's and im still on 1st gen.

So that graphics card you posted - that 4gb GTX 770 - do you think if i coupled that to my current system, the i7 950, 6gb RAM, it'll be good enough to power 5760x1080, in BF3, in 'high' settings and low AA?
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August 19, 2013 8:07:55 PM

In my opinion the i7-950 and the GTX 770 should be capable of playing most games on "high" and low AA. Setting AA above 4x sampling can really make a performance, I think the same thing can be said about anisotropic filtering, but the performance hit is not as high compared to AA.

Now there are a few demanding games where you are simply going to have to drop down to "medium" to get even decent performance. I am specifically talking about Crysis 3, but you can also toss in Far Cry 3. Maxing out Crysis 3 even with an OC'ed i7-4770k and a GTX 770.



I suggest you look though the entire review from where the above chart came from if you have not done so already. However, the reviewed card only has 2GB of RAM, not 4GB. I do not know how much performance will improve since I never really looked into a 3 monitor setup for games. Rough guess, probably around a 15% improvement.

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Zotac/GeForce_GTX_77...
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August 19, 2013 9:50:02 PM

jaguarskx said:


I suggest you look though the entire review from where the above chart came from if you have not done so already. However, the reviewed card only has 2GB of RAM, not 4GB. I do not know how much performance will improve since I never really looked into a 3 monitor setup for games. Rough guess, probably around a 15% improvement.

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Zotac/GeForce_GTX_77...


well.....ive found an excellent response to this, which was already on the forum, by BigMack70.
http://www.tomshardware.com/answers/id-1727958/gtx-760-...

looks like 4gb ram is not worth it.
Im just going to buy 1x gtx 770 for now and 2 extra monitors, (total price = £680)
if its not good enough........i'll have to buy another gtx 770 and potentially upgrade my whole system.

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August 20, 2013 7:55:47 AM

byogamingpc said:
The Sapphire HD 7970 OC w/ Boost http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009B6Y01Y/ref=as_li_q... is by far the best card in that price range.


i'll be honest, i lost my faith in ATI after buying a HD 5850 years ago and discovering that it was not capable of running multiple displays, as it would do this annoying 'black flash' of the screen every time a video was started (it wasn't an isolated case, well known bug with it).

so since then i switched back to Nvidia and have never had issues. Also, i haven't researched it so i could be wrong, but i would think that nvidias multi monitor solutions are better than ati's, just from my past experience with ATi and regarding things like how Nvidia's Optimus system on laptops is better than Ati's, for switching between onboard and dedicated.

i trust nvidia's engineering skills more.
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