Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

GTX 580 brand, and the 7970

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
Share
February 27, 2012 9:22:39 PM

Hey guys!

I'm planning an upgrade for my graphics card, i'm currently aiming for a GTX 580 and to be more specific this card http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-r... (GTX 580 Gigabyte Super Overclock edition).

So i'm wondering what are your takes on manufacturers of the GTX 580 ? because as far as i know this is the fastest GTX 580 card (with no user made overclock) out on the market.

I have an alternative which is the HD7970 but since i was sticking to Nvidia for the past 10 years it's hard to switch to ATI, now i know that it's faster then the GTX 580 but will i actually feel a diffrence is it worth switching to ATI?
What are your thoughts ?

More about : gtx 580 brand 7970

a b U Graphics card
a b K Overclocking
February 27, 2012 9:36:28 PM

7970 is overpriced right now. Unless you just have to have the best of the best, I don't think it's worth it.

As far as that particular GTX 580, I can't really help. Sorry.
February 27, 2012 9:44:23 PM

If you want to buy nvidia right now, only consider their midrange cards - the 560ti and the 560ti 448 core. The GTX 580 is a waste of money since the 7950 outperforms even the 3GB versions of the card, is cheaper, and overclocks insanely well even on its reference cooler. My 7970 with its overclock beats a GTX 580 by about 50-70% depending on the game/test.

If you want a high end Nvidia card that is worth the money, you should wait for Kepler. I really don't see any value in Nvidia's portfolio for the dollar right now other than the 560ti and 560ti 448 which are both in great positions especially with the rebates available on them.

If you really want Nvidia high end right now, then you should get a pair of either the 560ti or the 560ti 448 core version and put them in SLI. The former will trade blows with an HD 7970 in performance, the latter will get you better performance than any single GPU can offer right now.
Related resources
February 27, 2012 9:59:48 PM

I'd have to agree with bigmack70 with the caveat that whether you choose to go with AMD or Nvidia, you should wait out the 6 weeks until Kepler launches on April 12th as it will push both the prices of AMD's 7xxx cards and Nvidia's GTX5xx cards down (possibly by a good amount on the high end of the series) or you might just get a TON more bang for your buck buying the GTX6xx card in the same price range.
a c 261 U Graphics card
a c 121 K Overclocking
February 27, 2012 10:09:42 PM

fustrun said:
Hey guys!

I'm planning an upgrade for my graphics card, i'm currently aiming for a GTX 580 and to be more specific this card http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-r... (GTX 580 Gigabyte Super Overclock edition).

So i'm wondering what are your takes on manufacturers of the GTX 580 ? because as far as i know this is the fastest GTX 580 card (with no user made overclock) out on the market.

I have an alternative which is the HD7970 but since i was sticking to Nvidia for the past 10 years it's hard to switch to ATI, now i know that it's faster then the GTX 580 but will i actually feel a diffrence is it worth switching to ATI?
What are your thoughts ?


As far as I know, the EVGA GTX580 classified is the highest clocked card around.
http://www.amazon.com/EVGA-CLASSIFIED-Dual-DualLink-Gra...

EVGA is a good nvidia supplier, the the classified has even more headroom if you want to push it more.


That said, I think I would wait a month or two for kepler. Nvidia must be busting their buns to get out their competitor to the 7970.
February 27, 2012 10:34:20 PM

fustrun said:
Hey guys!

I'm planning an upgrade for my graphics card, i'm currently aiming for a GTX 580 and to be more specific this card http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-r... (GTX 580 Gigabyte Super Overclock edition).

So i'm wondering what are your takes on manufacturers of the GTX 580 ? because as far as i know this is the fastest GTX 580 card (with no user made overclock) out on the market.

I have an alternative which is the HD7970 but since i was sticking to Nvidia for the past 10 years it's hard to switch to ATI, now i know that it's faster then the GTX 580 but will i actually feel a diffrence is it worth switching to ATI?
What are your thoughts ?


I currently have that exact card and it is an amazing GPU. The Overclocking headroom is quite impressive, i was able to bump it up to 935MHz on the core until i started seeing a few errors within games. If you're in the market for a new card, i would definitely wait until Kepler is released to see the power increase or so that the prices of the GTX580 are driven down a little.
a c 76 U Graphics card
a b K Overclocking
February 27, 2012 10:37:15 PM

willard said:
7970 is overpriced right now. Unless you just have to have the best of the best, I don't think it's worth it.

As far as that particular GTX 580, I can't really help. Sorry.


wait what? you wanna run that by me again? the fastest single GPU which outperforms his choice and is CHEAPER is OVERPRICED?!?!
February 27, 2012 11:41:45 PM

Ok guys first i live in russia and we don't have ebay here and EVGA cards are not imported here.
Now you say i should wait for kepler to see a price drop on the GTX 580? or you guys actualy mean to save up for a kepler ? because i'm pretty sure it would cost sky-high.
So if the waiting is only to get the GTX580 cheaper i would rather just buy it now.
And even if the 7970 is abit overpriced atm it's not a big deal i'm just wondering how much of a change i'm gonna feel between the too because i don't like the idea of switching to ATI unless its really worth it.
And i wanted to buy the 580 and SLI it in the future so is buying a pair of 560i is really a good way to go ?
Basically i wouldn't want to wait with the purchase, unless i can get a gtx 6xx card but i guess the prices would be crazy when it will be released so i would have to wait past april to buy it, btw no one has mentioned the GTX590 . . i see it's not a popular card.
February 27, 2012 11:55:25 PM

Bottom line: no matter what country you're in, the GTX 580 is flat out a bad purchase right now, unless the Radeon 7xxx series cards are simply unavailable. Unless the pricing structure is completely different than it is in the US, the 7950 is a superior card for less money, and the 7970 is a FAR better card for roughly the same price.

The GTX 590 is overpriced... an overclocked 7970 will come very close to it in most games and is far cheaper.

I just can't in good conscience recommend the GTX 580... SLI 560 TIs would be cheaper and give much better performance. The 580 was a good buy 6-12 months ago but right now it just isn't. If you are dedicated to nvidia, wait for Kepler to be released - worst case scenario the 580 will at least get cheaper.
a b U Graphics card
a b K Overclocking
February 28, 2012 12:08:12 AM

Bigmack is right, Right now is the...worst time to buy a video card, as its unclear what NVIDIA's next most popular card is gonna be and perform and for biggest inerest (Cost). I think if you were to get one now, the GTX 580, then if you seriously are gonna SLI later, another GTX 580. but if you can't SLI, get a GTX 560 ti and SLI that, because a GTX 560 ti, is probably what?, about 250 in russia? get two of those and its around 500?, so you get 75% performance overhead a GTX 580. comparing it to a GTX 580 sli setup your about 25 to 30 percent from the performance comparison. all in all. ALso depends on the rest of your gaming setup. you don't wanna bottle neck your computer either
February 28, 2012 12:22:56 AM

You want to tell me that the next nvidia gtx 6xx card can be priced around the same price of the gtx 580 ?
I'm not "locked" on the GTX 580 and i guess i could SLI a pair of them later but of course i wouldn't know when because it's alot of money as it is.
About the 560i the best one i have in a place near me is the 'GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 560Ti" which i guess i could buy 2, and the price is 300$ a piece.
What 560's would you recommend for a SLI setup?
And my rig:
Asus SABERTOOTH P67 motherboard
I7 Sandybridge 2600 3.4ghz
16gb Corsair Vengance
750wat corsair powersupply
Raven RV-01 case
GTS 250 1gb

And about the 7970 they are available, they actualy got it about a week ago, so i could go for the 7970 if thats a better option then the 560ti x2 or the GTX 580.
I'm just worried if i wait i would have to spend the money on something else so i want to waste it with no turning back :p 

Man i never thought it would be so difficult . . open the catalog -> sort by price -> buy the card that costs the most :p 
February 28, 2012 12:27:43 AM

And about the recommindations for the 560 ti's no EVGA or PNY we don't have them in russia, we have Asus, Gigabyte, Zotac, MSI and Palit i think thats it though im not sure.
February 28, 2012 12:33:40 AM

560ti SLI will trade blows performance wise with a 7970. If you want to buy nvidia at the moment, it's a good option.

The GTX 680 isn't likely to be much more expensive than the 580... they will probably want to force AMD to drop the price of their 7970. Honestly, though, nobody knows enough about Kepler to say for sure.

All we can say right now is that you are making a bad purchase for the money if you buy a GTX 580 over any similarly priced HD 7950/7970. The 7970 is actually worth about 20% more than the 580, since a stock 7970 will beat a stock 580 by around that amount.

If you're in the market for a high end GPU setup, you should be considering either:
2x midrange GPUs (e.g., 560ti SLI)
Radeon HD 7950/7970
Wait for Kepler

You're not gonna go wrong with any of those options. How much is a Radeon 7950 and 7970 for you?
February 28, 2012 12:47:34 AM

First of all big thanks to all you guys for the help !
Ok i understood about the GTX580, if everyone keeps saying it's a bad idea then it propably is :) 

7950 is about 500$
7970 is about 628$

So what do you think ?
February 28, 2012 12:51:23 AM

Oh and one another small thing, i thought about buying a 3d monitor for gaming in the future and i know 3d vision is nvidia's patent and i haven't seen anything similar by AMD what is their take on 3d gaming ?
February 28, 2012 12:53:23 AM

I'd say grab the 7950 at $500... $628 is pretty steep for a 7970. If you overclock the 7950, it will probably pretty easily beat the stock 7970. It's not uncommon to be able to overclock a 7950 by 30-40%.

IF you can get a nice custom overclocked GTX 580 3GB for $450, then go ahead and get one of those at that price. My guess is that you're into the $500 at least with a nice 580, and the 7950 will beat it at stock and smack it around once overclocked.
a c 261 U Graphics card
a c 121 K Overclocking
February 28, 2012 1:03:40 AM

fustrun said:
Ok guys first i live in russia and we don't have ebay here and EVGA cards are not imported here.
Now you say i should wait for kepler to see a price drop on the GTX 580? or you guys actualy mean to save up for a kepler ? because i'm pretty sure it would cost sky-high.
So if the waiting is only to get the GTX580 cheaper i would rather just buy it now.
And even if the 7970 is abit overpriced atm it's not a big deal i'm just wondering how much of a change i'm gonna feel between the too because i don't like the idea of switching to ATI unless its really worth it.
And i wanted to buy the 580 and SLI it in the future so is buying a pair of 560i is really a good way to go ?
Basically i wouldn't want to wait with the purchase, unless i can get a gtx 6xx card but i guess the prices would be crazy when it will be released so i would have to wait past april to buy it, btw no one has mentioned the GTX590 . . i see it's not a popular card.


Too bad you can't get EVGA or some other brands.

The graphics card market is very competitive at every price point. Only when there is no competition, like the 7970 situation can vendors charge more.
When kepler launches, I do not think GTX580 prices will have any steep decline. If kepler is similar to 7970 performance, you can expect more competitive pricing.
If it is demonastably superior, then you can expect it to be priced accordingly.

In the end, buy today, what you need today, and you will get a fair deal. Your rig can drive any graphics configuration to it's max.
The question is, just how good do you need to be? If you are a professional gamer, or have no budget, that is one thing.
But, If you are gaming on a single monitor of 1920 or less, then a GTX580 is about as good as it gets. A 7970 is probably overkill for a single monitor anyway.

If you are looking at triple monitor gaming, that is another thing, and cf/sli will come into play.

The GTX590 was expensive for Nvidia to produce, and it is priced accordingly. In effect is is sli GTX570 on a single card. Still overkill for a single monitor.

Buy the best card you feel comfortable paying for. Don't chase ultimate overclocks. While you can measure differences with synthetic benchmarks, I don't think you can actually feel the differences while playing.

February 28, 2012 1:06:43 AM

geofelt said:
But, If you are gaming on a single monitor of 1920 or less, then a GTX580 is about as good as it gets. A 7970 is probably overkill for a single monitor anyway.


Buy the best card you feel comfortable paying for. Don't chase ultimate overclocks.


lolwut? :heink: 

The 7950 costs less than the GTX 580, performs better than the GTX 580 (at stock!), has more overclocking potential then the 580, uses less power, etc...

I think what you meant to say is "the HD 7950 is about as good as it gets"
February 28, 2012 1:12:58 AM

Ok found a AMD Radeon HD 7950 Sapphire 3072Mb for 527$
The GTX 580 is about 550$
But it has some really nice stats -
http://www.pcper.com/reviews/Graphics-Cards/Gigabyte-Ge...
It runs on 855mhz and people overclocked it to above 90mhz . .
And what about the 3d issue (scroll up if you haven;t seen it)
but if you would have to spend all the 650$ your choice would be the 7970? (no waiting on nvidia's new card) or dual 560's ?
February 28, 2012 1:17:35 AM

I just want a card that will last me for a few years, as my GTS 250 did for some time . . and i allways want to keep my options open such as gaming in 3d and adding more monitors.
I have 650$ and i have no problem spending them.
I'm just looking for my best choice
a c 599 U Graphics card
a b K Overclocking
February 28, 2012 2:12:20 AM

You will be very happy with a Gigabyte GTX 580 SOC. They are fast, silent, and will allow you to max out any and all games now and into the future.

If you are having a tough time deciding, all I have to say is the problem with drivers and AMD cards is real. If you have been running with Nvidia for a while then you know that the drivers are always solid, dependable, and easy to use.
http://www.hardocp.com/article/2012/01/17/amd_crossfire...
February 28, 2012 2:24:40 AM

I smell a bunch of nvidia fanboys coming out of the woodwork as this thread develops.

There is literally no reason to buy that GTX 580 over the cheaper 7950 (which will outperform it). No reason, that is, unless you just want to buy Nvidia. Nvidia's drivers are better, but AMD's driver problems pretty much only crop up in multi-GPU situations; their single card drivers have been fine for well over a month.

Let's get some benchies in here for the OP, shall we?
http://www.hardwareheaven.com/reviews/1392/pg1/sapphire...

Granted, that 7950 is an overclocked version, but the overclock is extremely mild and could easily be applied to any 7950. Notice how it consistently beats the Gigabyte SOC 580? Yeah... that's because the 7950 is a better card for less money.
a c 261 U Graphics card
a c 121 K Overclocking
February 28, 2012 4:31:54 AM

BigMack70 said:
lolwut? :heink: 

The 7950 costs less than the GTX 580, performs better than the GTX 580 (at stock!), has more overclocking potential then the 580, uses less power, etc...

I think what you meant to say is "the HD 7950 is about as good as it gets"


No, I meant today, the 7970 is about as good as it gets, from a performance point of view. (barring the possible exception of the dual gpu GTX590 and 6990).
How good the value is a different issue. For those with the funds, you can't buy a better single gpu card today.
Reports from users who actually own the card are very high on it, at least from a fps performance point of view. They say it handles everything they can throw at it when using a single monitor. That's great
There are the usual doa's which I would expect from a new product. Best to buy from a source that gives you good support.

In the US, 7970 is $550-$600.
7950 $450-$500
GTX580 $450-$500
It seems that since the GTX580 and 7950 are close in performance, the market should value them equally, and that appears to be so.
February 28, 2012 10:46:14 AM

Thank you all guys for the feedback and info!
Being an Nvida loyalist for 10 years makes it hard to switch to ATI but when ultimatly when the competition is better, it won't make me stick to something familiar if it performes worst.
Anyway if i'm going for an ITA i have to know what is their take on 3D gaming ?
Because i know Nvidia has 3D Vision with shutter glasses technology so what's AMD's solution for this ?
a c 599 U Graphics card
a b K Overclocking
February 28, 2012 3:23:33 PM

Nvidia has a better 3D Vision 2 system as it certifies all the hardware and supplies the software itself. AMD has a more fragmented system that relies upon 3rd party software and does not certify hardware vendors. More games support Nvidia 3D Vision properly, but both systems have their positives and negatives.

Quote:
"Inconsistent game compatibility is still a potential issue. In our experience, Nvidia is far and away the winner on that front, but judging by the frame time spikes we measured and the need to tweak settings in Deus Ex, even the best solution on the market isn't perfect. AMD, meanwhile, suffers from a fragmented hardware ecosystem and patchy support for even major titles. Battlefield 3 still has visual bugs with the latest driver release, and Arkham City lacks proper support of any kind right now. More worryingly, we encountered a rendering bug in Portal 2, a game that's been out for over nine months and really ought to work without issues at this point."
http://techreport.com/articles.x/22350
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/tridef-stereoscopic...
a c 216 U Graphics card
a b K Overclocking
February 28, 2012 3:33:41 PM

I have used both HD3D and 3d vision. I can't see a lot of difference as I do have SLI. In all the games I play in 3D, both games support it with about the same performance on a single card. I however have SLI, which makes Nvidia 3D vision perform better, until I use Virtual mode, which case HD3D does very good on a single card. That said, AMD has finally released crossfire support for HD3D, so it seems pretty even now with Nvidia being quicker to support games, and HD3D having more performance with 3d virtual mode (but has slight halo effect in virtual mode).

In the last few months, AMD has made great strides to catch up.
February 28, 2012 4:39:52 PM

But which glasses do you use ? Nvidia's shutter glass or regular 3d glasses like you would get in an Imax theater ?
And waht about passive 3d monitors ?
BTW i think i'm gonna go with the ASUS 7970 . . my main wory is the 3D because so far i heared nothing but positive feedback on this card.
February 28, 2012 4:48:17 PM

Why are we talking about 3D vision? OP mentioned nothing about a 120Hz monitor.

unksol said:
wait what? you wanna run that by me again? the fastest single GPU which outperforms his choice and is CHEAPER is OVERPRICED?!?!

Since when is the 7970 cheaper?
February 28, 2012 4:53:50 PM

He was wrong that the 7970 is cheaper (at least in USD), but the card he's comparing against is the Gigabyte SOC 580, which is $540... just $10 cheaper than the 7970 which beats it by ~20%.

In other words, even though he might have missed on the particulars, he was correct to point out that given the current GPU market, the 7970 is not even close to being overpriced at $550.
February 28, 2012 4:56:16 PM

I agree with him too in that the 7970 isn't overpriced; I was just wondering how it was cheaper. :p 
a c 216 U Graphics card
a b K Overclocking
February 28, 2012 4:59:17 PM

I believe he was thinking about the 7950.
February 28, 2012 5:53:18 PM

So can anyone answer the 3D answer ?
February 28, 2012 5:53:34 PM

"But which glasses do you use ? Nvidia's shutter glass or regular 3d glasses like you would get in an Imax theater ?
And waht about passive 3d monitors ?
BTW i think i'm gonna go with the ASUS 7970 . . my main wory is the 3D because so far i heared nothing but positive feedback on this card. "
a c 216 U Graphics card
a b K Overclocking
February 28, 2012 5:54:58 PM

For me, I used 3D vision glasses, due to my monitor supporting both. However, I'd recommend getting a Samsung 750 or 950 series monitor with AMD, and look for Nvidia 3D vision 2 for Nvidia.

Read this too: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-3d-vision-h...

Since that article, AMD is now supporting crossfire in either their newest drivers or in beta.
a c 599 U Graphics card
a b K Overclocking
February 28, 2012 7:06:17 PM

fustrun said:
BTW i think i'm gonna go with the ASUS 7970 . . my main wory is the 3D because so far i heared nothing but positive feedback on this card. "

Be careful if you are looking at the DirectCU II version. The 7950 DirectCU II has been plagued with defects:
http://www.behardware.com/news/12153/asus-hd-7950-direc...
a b U Graphics card
a b K Overclocking
February 28, 2012 7:08:48 PM

Quote:
If you are having a tough time deciding, all I have to say is the problem with drivers and AMD cards is real.


A quick google search https://www.google.com/search?sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&... shows nVidia has it's own plague of driver problems... Last I checked nVidia are the ones that released drivers that melted cards. http://www.tomshardware.com/news/Nvidia-196.75-drivers-...

So, lay off the driver thing... I have a quad setup and I don't seem to have a problem... The 7900 series is in infancy; the drivers will mature.

It would be asinine to buy a GTX 580 right now.

February 28, 2012 7:16:17 PM

So AMD cards support nvidia vision glasses and the reason they are so diffrent in each game is the way the chip-makers programmed them to work with the glasses? i mean AMD and Nvidia's card programming.
February 28, 2012 7:20:31 PM

And thanks for all your help guys, i've chosen not to wait for the new nvidia card and if the 3D between AMD and Nvidia isn't that diffrent so i'm going with a GIGABYTE Radeon HD 7970.
a c 599 U Graphics card
a b K Overclocking
February 28, 2012 7:30:38 PM

AMD cards do not support Nvidia 3D Vision glasses. The drivers are part of the Nvidia driver package and can only be installed on Nvidia hardware. AMD HD3D, on the other hand, can be used with Nvidia cards since the drivers and hardware are not proprietary to AMD.
February 28, 2012 7:40:48 PM

so what glasses would i need to use for an AMD HD3D setup?
a c 216 U Graphics card
a b K Overclocking
February 28, 2012 8:35:30 PM

17seconds said:
AMD cards do not support Nvidia 3D Vision glasses. The drivers are part of the Nvidia driver package and can only be installed on Nvidia hardware. AMD HD3D, on the other hand, can be used with Nvidia cards since the drivers and hardware are not proprietary to AMD.


AMD drivers will use what ever glasses come with your monitor. I have run HD3D with an 3D Vision ready monitor (the one in my signature) with the Nvidia glasses, and it works. AMD's system is not picky about what glasses or parts you use as long as the connection is HDMI 1.4a or Displayport (which is the hardest part of their system).

The reason you believed that to be the case is because most Nvidia 3D vision ready monitors do not have the right connection types and visa versa.
February 29, 2012 6:40:44 AM

What about nvidia physx ?
I know AMD cards lack it, can you really tell the diffrence?
Just doing a small pros/cons between AMD and Nvidia, what are your thoughts?
a b U Graphics card
February 29, 2012 7:04:16 AM

choose the gigabyte overclock serials~likes 7970 OC/GTX 580 SOC :lol: 
a c 216 U Graphics card
a b K Overclocking
February 29, 2012 2:26:04 PM

fustrun said:
What about nvidia physx ?
I know AMD cards lack it, can you really tell the diffrence?
Just doing a small pros/cons between AMD and Nvidia, what are your thoughts?


Only if you play these games: http://www.geforce.com/Hardware/Technologies/physx/game...

And not in all of them, those are just the only games that support GPU accelerated PhysX.
a c 599 U Graphics card
a b K Overclocking
February 29, 2012 3:44:19 PM

Of course if you play any of the Batman: Arkham Asylum or Arkham City games then the Nvidia card with PhysX is essential. Mafia 2 also has a lot of PhysX effects that really change the visuals. The sequel to Metro 2033 will feature PhysX, as does the original.

PhysX often goes unmentioned in these discussions, but if you play a game that uses it well, you wouldn't want to play without. For me, I actually still fire up an occasional game of Unreal Tournament 3, which I used to play without PhysX prior to my upgrade. I would never play the game without PhysX enabled now that I know the difference.

February 29, 2012 4:43:24 PM

Ok i'm just having a hard time to go for a redaon . . so you guys say two 560 ti can perform as a 7970?
What about stutter issues in SLI? can the two cards be overclocked ?
And what is the best 560 ti card to use with SLI? no EVGA and PLY.
I just feel that nvidia is ahead of radeon and the use of physix and 3d vision and cloud rendering (i'm a flight sim fan)
Are just better then redaon from what i hear . . i'm so torn because the 7970 is such a beast of a card and i can actually afford it.
So if still decide to go with nvidia i understand that the GTX 580 is a waste of money so what's the best SLI setup with 560's ?
February 29, 2012 5:01:05 PM

Yes 2 560ti cards in SLI will trade blows with a 7970 in terms of performance.

If the pricing structure for you is similar to what it is in the US, you could spend the same $$ you'd spend on a 7970 but get 2 560ti 448 core cards and put them in SLI - that will give you substantially better performance than a single 7970 for about the same price. I haven't heard of many driver issues with that type of SLI setup, so I wouldn't expect any stuttering issues.

Dunno for sure what model is best... my bet is you'd be fine with either the MSI Twin Frozr model or the Gigabyte model.

MSI - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Gigabyte - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

As long as you have plenty of airflow in your case, you should be able to overclock those cards just fine in SLI.
a c 216 U Graphics card
a b K Overclocking
February 29, 2012 5:51:52 PM

From personal experience, I haven't played a game with PhysX was worth it, and I do play with Nvidia cards. Sacred 2 is the only one that is borderline for me. It's not bad, and while some of the affects are good, some effects are bad and it causes a little performance hickups. Metro 2033 adds pretty much 0 improvements with PhysX.

I wouldn't go Nvidia for PhysX unless you play Batman AA or something that you know you really want PhysX for, I wouldn't go Nvidia for that reason.

I'd be more tempted to go Nvidia for 3D vision. I have two systems, one with Radeons and this one with Nvidia. If it wasn't for 3D vision, I'd be using the Radeons. Part of the reason I went that way is that my monitor doesn't have displayport. Perhaps my opinion would change if I had a displayport 3D monitor.
!