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GTX 590 with Water Block vs. GTX 680 4gb

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 1, 2014 5:30:48 PM

Well guys, my deal offering $200 for a 770 fell through, I knew it was too good to be true :( 

So I'm buying a gpu and these are about the same price. I plan on playing heavily modded skyrim, bf4, so the ample vram is nice. Mostly I will play single monitor, 1080p, crysis 3, dayz, skyrim, bf4, gta v when it hits, ghosts, emulators, etc. And I like to Record my gameplay for youtube.

I have a custom loop, and a capable psu, so that's no difference here

So my question is, should I get the 590 with a waterblock and add it to my custom loop, (I hear it doesn't overclock well though), or should I grab the 680 with reference cooler that has the ability to do ShadowPlay, great for my purposes, and get a block at a later date? I see the 590 beats out the 680 in most benchmarks, but the 680 seems to be more overclockable..... hmmm....


Thanks guys!

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January 1, 2014 5:34:54 PM

The 590 should beat the 680 is most games, BUT the 590 technically counts as 2 cards, and will have some of the problems that are common with sli such as a slight amount of stutter in some cases. Also the 590 will not be able use both gpu's in all games (some just arent optimized for it).

Basically the 770 IS a 680, and the 4gb variant is only good if you want to sli, as you will run out of gpu power before you pass the 2gb mark. If you can find a 780 for the same price as your 590, go with that instead
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January 1, 2014 5:36:33 PM

590 is more comparable to a 780 if anything, its around that sort of speed. But the fact that it is SLI and only has 1.5GB of VRAM is a bit of a catch. I'd go with the 680, wouldn't bother with the 4GB version at 1080p and considering you aren't SLIing it (games running at settings high enough to use more than 2GB would produce an unplayable framerate on a single 680).

Whats your budget? There are better cards than the 680.
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January 1, 2014 5:41:26 PM

I would advise against the 680 specifically, as it is roughly the same price as the 770, and the 770 has a much better reference cooler, and also comes with a game bundle in most areas
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January 1, 2014 5:41:58 PM

well the offer for the 590 on water is $260, and the 680 is $250. I thought the 590 had 3gb of usable vram though? I have passed 3gb in skyrim before, and I plan on upgrading in the future to additional monitors.

Budget is about $250-$275, I've seen deals for new 770's for like $260, 2gb variants, should I just get one of those? Please recommend what better cards there are! I'm coming off of a sapphire 7950 sold during the mining boom.
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January 1, 2014 5:44:04 PM

The 590 has 3gb total, but only 1.5gb effective due to how sli works Yes, for your budget, the best card you can get is the 770 2gb variant (would say 280x but right now it is very expensive in most places)
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January 1, 2014 5:46:00 PM

You'd have to screenshot passing 3gb in skyrim, as even my fully modded, enb, textures n the works modded skyrim does not use over 2.5 gb on max settings across 3 1080 screens. It sounds like you either have way too many mods, or you some really unoptimized ones.
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January 1, 2014 5:48:10 PM

Me too. I always read about people saying Skyrim takes a butttonne of VRAM, so just to see what would happen I downscaled 4K and poured on the AA, plenty of mods, VRAM usage was less than Crysis 3 at the same res.
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January 1, 2014 5:53:33 PM

well maybe it was just allocated then idk! No screenshots possible, whole reason I'm asking this question is to pick out a gpu for my new rig, hence it isnt built yet :) 
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January 1, 2014 5:54:09 PM

ok, thanks guys. I'll look for a 770 2gb cheap and if not I'll settle for the 680!
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January 1, 2014 5:59:40 PM

Well they are literally the same chip (770 is essentially just a rebranded 680 with a new cooler). Get whichever is cheaper if you don't care about the game bundle that comes with the 770
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January 1, 2014 6:02:11 PM

The 680 has built in H264 encoder hardware for streaming video - 700 series removed this feature - my understanding. So if streaming is important 680 may be better for you. There was a thread a few days ago where the poster was having cpu maxing out while streaming - he had a GTX 780.
-Bruce
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January 1, 2014 6:05:47 PM

As I understand it anything 600 series and on (that isn't a crappy low end rebadged Fermi) has a H264 encoder, which is why the 600 and 700 series cards can do Shadowplay and the 500 series cannot. I think the guy streaming must have not been using the Nvidia software or something.
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January 1, 2014 6:08:00 PM

Yeah the 700 series still has the encoder, no clue what that guy was having problems with. My 780 lets me stream, capture with shadowplay n all that other stuff with no problem
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January 1, 2014 6:53:22 PM

Thanks everyone, this is a lot of helpful info! I'll be on the lookout for either a 680 or 770 now!
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