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Advantage gtx660 or gtx650ti-2gig ?

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Last response: in Linux/Free BSD
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February 22, 2013 2:44:30 PM

Gents:

Having saved pennies to continue building-out my **non-gaming**, Ubuntu_OS, Xeon/MSI-z77a.gd55 system ... I may now upgrade the 11-yo monitor and legacy vidcard. Looking for robust high_value product not for cheapest or fastest. I expect the card to push a 27" 2560x1440 monitor.

The gtx_660 is about 1.5 times faster than the (also two-gig) gtx650ti, but sucks another 30-watts & costs about $50 more at NewEgg. Do I have any choice between them, or another better choice of vidcard to make? Any comments appreciated.
a b C Monitor
February 22, 2013 2:51:15 PM

Purely from a value standpoint it's tough to turn down a 50% performance gain for what it's costing... except you're not gaming. So why bother with either of these? With what the GTX660 is costing (very much a mid-range price) it's easy to forget it's comparable to a GTX580 in performance, and those were the top-end crazy expensive monster GPUs only one generation ago. So that being said, I'd be inclined to recommend the GTX650 or even less.
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a b C Monitor
February 22, 2013 2:51:24 PM

If it's not for gaming, save your money and go for a more modest card. It'll be cheaper, quieter, more efficient and work just as well for normal applications. TBH, the graphics chipset built in to the processor would probably do the job.

If you do go for a separate graphics card, Nvidia is definitely the right choice for Linux IMO.
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a b C Monitor
February 22, 2013 2:54:35 PM

I'd also recommend the integrated if his CPU had integrated graphics. So that should give some idea of the kind of graphics hardware to throw at a non-gaming system :-) Obviously if you're making use of any other software that could benefit than that may be a different story. But for general use, it's just not needed.
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a b C Monitor
February 22, 2013 3:04:23 PM

Oops - I missed the Xeon bit. Personally I'd go for an i7 as the only real advantage of the Xeon is ECC memory support. I don't think that motherboard supports ECC RAM, does it?
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February 22, 2013 9:18:05 PM

Yes, you summarize the value-prop for gtx650 video very well. I agree, & yet wonder if future software improvements are likely to make CUDA behavior of NVidea card **automagic** for floating.point scientific calculation? That possibility bends-the-reed a bit toward the gtx660!

sam_p_lay said:
Purely from a value standpoint it's tough to turn down a 50% performance gain for what it's costing... except you're not gaming. So why bother with either of these? With what the GTX660 is costing (very much a mid-range price) it's easy to forget it's comparable to a GTX580 in performance, and those were the top-end crazy expensive monster GPUs only one generation ago. So that being said, I'd be inclined to recommend the GTX650 or even less.

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February 22, 2013 9:27:47 PM

Yes, the Xeon 1240.v2 performs **no** graphics function and the MSI board indeed does **not** support ECC RAM. But, for my wallet the price of such RAM is astronomical. I purchased the CPU/MOBO combo seeing it as a max-value proposition for a general purpose home workstation. Months ago (sale) the 3.4 gig/8-thread Xeon CPU was about $260 ... and the mobo $155; hard to beat prices.

Yes yes I must admit ( back of my mind) ... my bro hectors me about joining in WOW guild expeditions, but so far I have resisted.

Ijack said:
Oops - I missed the Xeon bit. Personally I'd go for an i7 as the only real advantage of the Xeon is ECC memory support. I don't think that motherboard supports ECC RAM, does it?

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a b C Monitor
February 23, 2013 5:36:55 AM

The i7 3770 is about $20 more, is essentially identical to the 1240 (apart from its onboard graphics) and is marginally faster than the Xeon. If I was spending that much I would go for the i7 (and, unless I was gaming, at least try the onboard graphics to see how they performed for my needs). The Xeon would be the better workstation choice with a more expensive motherboard and ECC memory.

(Disclaimer - the i7 3770 is what I did go for - but I chose a graphics card as I play some demanding games. Its perfomance in Linux is breathtaking; I no longer have time to make a coffee when recompiling the kernel.)
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a b C Monitor
February 23, 2013 11:13:13 AM

Well the GTX660 is incredible performance for your money so if you feel you'll be doing anything graphically-intensive to make use of it, it's a really excellent choice. If you're likely to give in to your curiosity and get into World of Warcraft with your brother and you want to see the game at its best with all the bells and whistles (ultra preset, 4x AA, 8x AF, native res) then the GTX660 is the way to go.

Seems a little excessive just to play one game though... on more modest (but still good) settings, a GTX650 Ti would be ample. Obviously it's gonna come down to the extent to which you're likely to make use of that graphics muscle, so your answer will have depend on your best guess there :-)
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February 23, 2013 3:19:42 PM

Yes I did note (from reviews) a small perform penalty in the Xeon compared to the i7 ... but I was guessing on a **better bin(?)** effect long-term for the "server" chip. I expect that Xeon system will be my production box ( exchanging out the legacy 250G HDD) starting this fall and for years afterward.

Good to hear that the INTEL products shine on Linux ... as I'm pretty much resigned to a 5-year sentence on U_12.04.x LTS. Will just **hang on** with current U_10.04 production box (AMD965) after April until new system hardware decisions have been acted on.


Ijack said:
The i7 3770 is about $20 more, is essentially identical to the 1240 (apart from its onboard graphics) and is marginally faster than the Xeon. If I was spending that much I would go for the i7 (and, unless I was gaming, at least try the onboard graphics to see how they performed for my needs). The Xeon would be the better workstation choice with a more expensive motherboard and ECC memory.

(Disclaimer - the i7 3770 is what I did go for - but I chose a graphics card as I play some demanding games. Its perfomance in Linux is breathtaking; I no longer have time to make a coffee when recompiling the kernel.)

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February 23, 2013 3:27:17 PM

SPL:

It's quite a migration for me, exchanging all the working parts of a system built-up over three years of trial/error/clever-advisors/luck and tucking them into novel HW and uncertain GUI. Your favor of the gtx650ti seems the most prudent upgrade path. I imagine my favoring the 2560x1440 27" monitor is not excessive ($400 if lucky?).

Thanks to you and to all for prudent, experienced advice.

sam_p_lay said:
Well the GTX660 is incredible performance for your money so if you feel you'll be doing anything graphically-intensive to make use of it, it's a really excellent choice. If you're likely to give in to your curiosity and get into World of Warcraft with your brother and you want to see the game at its best with all the bells and whistles (ultra preset, 4x AA, 8x AF, native res) then the GTX660 is the way to go.

Seems a little excessive just to play one game though... on more modest (but still good) settings, a GTX650 Ti would be ample. Obviously it's gonna come down to the extent to which you're likely to make use of that graphics muscle, so your answer will have depend on your best guess there :-)

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February 23, 2013 3:27:45 PM

Best answer selected by nss000.
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a b C Monitor
February 23, 2013 3:34:39 PM

No worries, hope it's a smooth upgrade :-)
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