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From a pure graphics perspective...

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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August 16, 2010 6:56:05 PM

Okay, so I've done numerous threads delving into detail about the GTX400 series gpu's and which one(s) to purchase in a $500 [or less] budget.

The general consensus is that the GTX460 in SLI will give the best performance (in fps) for the buck. Woohoo for faster game play! :bounce: 

My only remaining concern is this: I have spent hours (because I'm a loser) pouring over internet videos to see the GTX400's in actual game play. One thing that seems to stand out to me is the visual differences, on-screen, between the GTX480 and 2 GTX460's in SLI. While the 460 setup seems to generate more fps, the 480 videos always seem to look a little better from a pure graphics perspective. The textures are a little smoother, the lighting is a little more dramatic, the edges are a pinch softer, etc.

Am I nuts? Is it the extra stream processors and/or higher memory interface? Are the people using the 460's just playing on a crappier monitor or a poor video uploading system?

Eye candy is just as important to me as performance. I will likely be using a 1920x1080 monitor (between 24-27"), and I want my visuals to be as sexy as possible.

Is this one area where the GTX480 is superior to the 460's for the dollar? Again, visuals are as important to me as performance.
a c 216 U Graphics card
August 16, 2010 7:12:12 PM

CF/SLI setups do occationally suffer from glitches not experienced with a single card. It will depend on the game of course. Some games don't have any issues, some games have minor issues, and I turn off CF for a couple games due to more major glitches. Some games will just ignore the CF/SLI'ed card.

This is why I'd recommend a single more powerful card over a CF/SLI setup.
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a c 216 U Graphics card
August 16, 2010 7:17:39 PM

Just so you don't get the wrong idea. Most games will fall under the catagory of minor to no glitches. Fewer fall under the major glitches (i.e. Elven Legacy water would flicker on and off on the edges of the screen).
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August 16, 2010 7:29:02 PM

bystander said:
Just so you don't get the wrong idea. Most games will fall under the catagory of minor to no glitches. Fewer fall under the major glitches (i.e. Elven Legacy water would flicker on and off on the edges of the screen).


That's good to know. Thanks for the info!

In case you are wondering where I'm getting my information, there are a lot of Unigine Heaven videos, as well as Crysis videos with both gpu setups. You'll see the fps performance increase with the SLI 460's, but the game seems to look more like a movie on the 480.

Again, any additional eyes on this to confirm or deny what I see would be helpful.
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August 16, 2010 7:32:53 PM

It's very hard to tell from videos since recording methods vary from person to person.

Honestly, i can't imagine any huge visual differences other than FPS.
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a c 216 U Graphics card
August 16, 2010 7:34:45 PM

I've thought it about it in a psychological perspective.

You obviously want the top performance of 460's in SLI. Perhaps it's the first SLI setup you've done, and it sounds intreging as well. You are starting to realize that it isn't perfect, and are wanting to hear how it's just the videos you've seen and not reality.

If you were to pick a single 470 or 480, you will always wonder if you made the right choice. "You might have had higher FPS with 460's in SLI."

If you picked the 460 in SLI, you will always know you had the higher FPS option, and you will know if you are experiencing glitches or not. If it's smooth, you know you made the right choice. With the 470 choice, you'll always wonder, even if it was the better option.

And to possibly throw one more idea not brought up yet. If the FPS of both setups are over 60, the end result is the same, as your monitor is likely limited to 60 Hz. Higher fps only matters when you are below 60. So the reality is, the 460's in SLI won't have a meaningful advantage most the time.

Despite all that, due to the grass is greener psycology behind all this. I'm going to recommend you to STOP GOING ON AND ON about this choice and pick the 460's now. If there was a disadvantage to it, you'll know it immediately and you can hopefully exchange them. The 470/480 option will always leave you wondering.

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a c 216 U Graphics card
August 16, 2010 7:42:54 PM

You've been flipping and flopping on this topic for too long.

From what I've read, you'll never be happy with a 480 or 470 unless you've seen the draw backs of the 460 SLI option first hand.

So just get the 460's already! You'll either dislike it, or love it, but you'll know if you picked the right choice at least.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
August 16, 2010 7:44:40 PM

Quote:
completely depends upon the amount of compression which was used to reduce video file size before upload.

^+1
The videos you are seeing online are nothing like the actual experience of seeing it at a proper resolution. There are occasionally (quite rare) glitches due to multi-card setups as was pointed out earlier but what are saying about textures/lighting/edges is all due to the compression of the video or placebo effect as they are the same architecture running the same code.
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August 16, 2010 7:45:02 PM

I would choose the dual 460's over the 480 if it were me. Cheaper, more efficient, and more powerful.

How can you go wrong!?
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August 16, 2010 8:08:49 PM

bystander said:
I've thought it about it in a psychological perspective.

You obviously want the top performance of 460's in SLI. Perhaps it's the first SLI setup you've done, and it sounds intreging as well. You are starting to realize that it isn't perfect, and are wanting to hear how it's just the videos you've seen and not reality.

If you were to pick a single 470 or 480, you will always wonder if you made the right choice. "You might have had higher FPS with 460's in SLI."

If you picked the 460 in SLI, you will always know you had the higher FPS option, and you will know if you are experiencing glitches or not. If it's smooth, you know you made the right choice. With the 470 choice, you'll always wonder, even if it was the better option.

And to possibly throw one more idea not brought up yet. If the FPS of both setups are over 60, the end result is the same, as your monitor is likely limited to 60 Hz. Higher fps only matters when you are below 60. So the reality is, the 460's in SLI won't have a meaningful advantage most the time.

Despite all that, due to the grass is greener psycology behind all this. I'm going to recommend you to STOP GOING ON AND ON about this choice and pick the 460's now. If there was a disadvantage to it, you'll know it immediately and you can hopefully exchange them. The 470/480 option will always leave you wondering.


That's great, except I never follow a pattern which can be accurately analyzed psychologically. Why? Because I've taken those classes for years and realized it's all about GETTING people to think a certain way, or making them believe they don't have a choice in their thought process; not understanding WHY they think a certain way. My last psychology professor quit teaching after I had a few private chats with him.

Maybe it's the cynic (or narcissist) in me :sarcastic: , but I basically like to watch the people go back and forth over the whole thing, especially if it escalates, and I'm really not fretting too much about it. I'll be fine with whichever decision I make, because I made the decision. There's no asking one thing while hoping another, and wondering if the decision was right or wrong. It's hardware. Computer hardware. It's material and will be irrelevant in 2 years.

That doesn't mean I don't thoroughly research my major purchases - as you are obviously aware - but I like to have fun with the armchair experts on the interwebs. Your frustrated attempt to analyze my "psychological dilemma" is just one satisfactory example of that.

Again, I appreciate the input, folks. And I'll be sure to think it through carefully.

@jyjjy and Trueno07: Thanks for the input. You have confirmed what I expected.
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August 16, 2010 8:21:31 PM

Emm, If you spend 500$ now, it wont become irrelevant in 2 years. 8600GT ( 150$? ) from 2007 lasted me for 3 years.. Its still alive ( ofcourse, i had to turn down some graphics :(  )
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a c 216 U Graphics card
August 16, 2010 8:32:56 PM

doogansquest said:
That doesn't mean I don't thoroughly research my major purchases - as you are obviously aware - but I like to have fun with the armchair experts on the interwebs. Your frustrated attempt to analyze my "psychological dilemma" is just one satisfactory example of that.


Frustrated attempt? No, I just realize that if you pick the 480, you'd always wonder, even though you'll likely have a better experience most it's life. There is nothing to wonder about if you pick the 460's. It's clearly what you wanted from the start. You only haven't picked it because a few of us have noted there are definately draw backs.
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August 16, 2010 8:52:35 PM

If you don't own a 120Hz monitor, I'd say get the 480 now. With two 460 you are pretty much in a dead-end when it comes to upgrading, because you can't do tri-SLI. The only upgrade option is to get rid of both. Going with a single 480 now, you will have multiple SLI options in the future...
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