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GTX 680 vs 560 Ti SLI

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May 7, 2012 12:44:09 PM

Hi Im building a system for gaming on 3 monitors (1920*1080), which would give better performance: gtx 560 ti SLi or a single GTX 680? and which is more futureprooF?

I have PCi 3.0 mobo, but apparently, the 680 doesnt fully utilise this

Also, I have

i5 2500k
asrock extreme 3 gen 3
haf 922
hyper 212 evo
8tgb DDR3 1600mhz

Cheers guys :bounce:  :bounce: 

More about : gtx 680 560 sli

a b B Homebuilt system
May 7, 2012 1:13:28 PM

Some points:
- SLI will give you micro-stutter which varies from almost unnoticeable to annoying. Many people claim it's not a big deal but it really is.

- the GTX680 runs far cooler due to its lower die size and more efficient architecture, thus much less noisy

- the GTX680 has several new features, some of which will make the card perform even better once newer gaming engines optimize for them. For example, the UNREAL 4 engine is optimized for TXAA anti-aliasing. Tessellation is another feature which will be increasingly important.

- Most 560Ti's only have 1GB of VRAM. SLI does not ADD the video memory, it is cloned so you still get an effective 1GB.

1GB is now considered a MINIMUM for high-end gaming on a single monitor and definitely not recommended for three monitors.

- a single GTX680 can run few games at full quality and still get 60FPS on triple monitors. Unfortunately it's the fastest single-GPU card and SLI or Crossfire adds micro-stutter so there's no perfect solution.

Probably your best bet for triple monitor if you wish to avoid microstutter is to carefully adjust the quality settings and synch at 30FPS for games like Diablo 3 or 50FPS if your monitors support that refresh rate, rather than 60FPS.

I'm not a big fan of triple-monitor overall, but I love my single 27" 2560x1440 screen. Rumours indicate that prices may plummet for this size/resolution and we might see $500 screens by the end of 2012. That would be my advice. (though I'd eventually love an OLED monitor that is physically 11520x2160, so no bezels, is warped or angled properly, supports 3D, and can be physically set as three independent, 3840x2160 screens. Sigh. Drool.

Anyway, I strongly suggest you read the following and join the rest of us in waiting for a GTX680:
http://www.geforce.com/whats-new/articles/introducing-t...

GTX690:
I was all hot to get this and it seemed perfect for triple-monitors because it has a "frame rate metering" mechanism to reduce micro-stutter. However it's been tested and while it DOES reduce micro-stutter it only does so when the scenerey doesn't change quickly. Unfortunately this also means that rather than constant micro-stutter with the 2xGTX680 you'll have a scenario where micro-stutter is ALMOST eliminated then suddenly appears which might be worse than constant micro-stutter.

Just FYI.

About me:
I'm a computer technician who has built many gaming rigs. I spend many hours doing research, have conducted many benchmarks and test, and thoroughly understand the hardware, bottlenecks, and what generally constitutes the best gaming experience.

What card am I buying?
I'll be buying a GTX680 with the best cooling solution, mainly for noise reduction. A good cooling solution can reduce load noise from 75dB to lower than 65dB. That may not seem a huge deal, but perceived noise doubles every 10dB so the 75dB setup is 2x as loud.

Since availability is essentially non-existent I haven't come to a conclusion yet, but I won't buy the reference design as that cooling solution is too noisy.
a b B Homebuilt system
May 7, 2012 1:18:19 PM

I should add the HD7970 is another option. It's a great card, it's available, but the GTX680 is IMO a better card and worth the wait. If AMD had Adaptive VSYNC it would be a big step forward (luckily it can be added in software to the drivers).

The deal breaker to me is the TXAA, Adaptive VSYNC, PhysX support and NVidia's general trend at better optimizing for games.
Related resources
May 7, 2012 1:20:30 PM

Sad... Waiting list for the GTX 680

How about you buy a 7970 for $479.99, get three games and continue to watch the paper launch of the GTX 680. Then you can actually enjoy gaming right away. Like I have since the first week of Jan.
a b B Homebuilt system
May 7, 2012 1:26:06 PM

zloginet said:
Sad... Waiting list for the GTX 680

How about you buy a 7970 for $479.99, get three games and continue to watch the paper launch of the GTX 680. Then you can actually enjoy gaming right away. Like I have since the first week of Jan.


The HD7970 is a fine card, but to me the GTX680 is a better card. In practice most people would never notice the difference since if you can hit 60FPS with maximum quality these cards are essentially the same.

However, the GTX680 is a slightly better card overall and since I update my graphics card every three years roughly I don't mind waiting a little while longer.

Also, my current card can run Diablo 3 at full quality and that game arrives on May 15th and I'll be spending my gaming time mostly on it for the next two months after that.
a b B Homebuilt system
May 7, 2012 1:52:14 PM

photonboy said:
The HD7970 is a fine card, but to me the GTX680 is a better card. In practice most people would never notice the difference since if you can hit 60FPS with maximum quality these cards are essentially the same.


Yes, but a 7970 is better than no GTX680, as there are none.

If you're looking at a dual card config, I'd recommend 7850 CrossFire over 560 Ti SLI.
May 7, 2012 2:28:08 PM

2GB of VRAM is simply too little for 5760x1080 seeing as newer games started to use over 1GB at 1080p, so you'd be better off with 7970 if you want futureproofing (this only gets more obvious in multicard setups since the VRAM doesn't add up, but it merely mirrors between the cards).

http://i1161.photobucket.com/albums/q508/swolern/BF3vra...

Edit: And at 680 being better than 7970 remark, that only holds truth at stock speeds. 7970 overclocks alot better than 680 (usual gains are ~15% for 7970 and ~10% for 680), is cheaper, easier to find and you get 3 games bundled with it.

http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1887/4/
Note that the cards in this review are at stock speed so keep bigger overclocking potential of 7970 in mind.
a b B Homebuilt system
May 7, 2012 7:04:22 PM

Worth reading:
http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-r...

Micro-stutter:
A major problem with micro-stutter of SLI/Crossfire is the PERCEIVED frame rate. Frame rates feel lower and when you get severe micro-stutter, and it's common and unavoidable, it's a pain.

The GTX690 has a hardware chip dedicated to helping reduce micro stutter by "frame rate metering" but it's still not perfect. It is however the best solution to minimize micro-stutter and maybe better drivers in combination with this hardware method will further reduce the issue.

I've extensively built many, many gaming PC's and made it a point to examine this issue. It exists in every single game, but it varies quite a lot.

So if you are gaming on a TRIPLE MONITOR setup, a single GTX680 is generally not adequate and I'm strongly recommending the GTX690.
a b B Homebuilt system
May 7, 2012 7:05:45 PM

GTX690 and micro-stutter metering:

I'll just post the NVidia statement from the GTX690 site:

"Improved Frame rate Metering

Kepler introduces hardware based frame rate metering, a technology that helps to minimize stuttering. In SLI mode, two GPUs share the workload by operating on successive frames; one GPU works on the current frame while the other GPU works on the next frame. But because the workload of each frame is different, the two GPUs will complete their frames at different times. Sending the frames to the monitor at varying intervals can result in perceived stuttering.

The GeForce GTX 690 features a metering mechanism (similar to a traffic meter for a freeway entrance) to regulate the flow of frames. By monitoring and smoothing out any disparities in how frames are issued to the monitor, frame rates feel smoother and more consistent. "

*The wording is confusing. You don't get this feature with 2xGTX680, only on this card.
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