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Get GTX 560 Ti now or wait for GTX 660

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 9, 2012 1:18:22 PM

I need to upgrade from my pair of gtx 460's 1 GB SLI to some 2 GB cards to properly support 2D Nvidia Surround on intense graphics games.

I can get 2 x GTX 560 Ti's 2GB now for about $250 each and overclock to get near 570 performance or I can wait maybe a few more weeks for the new GTX 660 which is supposed to be GTX 570 performance and standard with 2GB. The rumoured launch price is $329 each and money is important.

My question is should I wait for the GTX 660 (Is it worth the extra money) or is it better better value with no real "practical" performance penalty to grab what hopefully will be clear out GTX 560 Ti's. I've tried to research the GTX 660 and while it seems it will be an upgrade on the 560 type, not sure when pixels hit the screen I will see much advantage, maybe runs cooler and less power draw but I handle dual 460's just fine now. Newer may be better but will I notice?

I've an Asus x58 Sabretooth mobo so I think I 'm stuck with Nvidia SLI based Surround (????). If this is not true, is there an AMD solution (Crossfire/Eyefinity) that will better meet my needs? I've been Nvidia for quite a while but looking for bang for the buck.

Thanls

More about : gtx 560 wait gtx 660

March 9, 2012 1:21:14 PM

i would say to wait since kepler is around corner in a month unless you really need GPU then i would say 2x hd 7850 since they have good overclock potential and draw less power.
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a b U Graphics card
March 9, 2012 1:22:51 PM

Difficult one. My personal preference would be to wait for the 660 and you can always add another at a later date. In terms of how the games will run you probably won't see much difference. If you have GTX460 in SLi you still must have decent performance for you to hold out until the 660 is launched.
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March 9, 2012 4:25:51 PM

My issue is higher graphics demand games crash on higher resolutions like 5780 x 1080 when I run out of VRAM on my 1 gb cards. So I have to stick with say 3840 x 1050 and reduced settings. 460's in SLI are great and still give good single screen 1920 x 1080 performance most of the time. With Nvidia I have to have 2 cards in SLI for Surround unlike Eyefintity where one card will do it but vram is an issue with AMD as well and 2 - 2gb cards in xfire is better for Eyefinity.

No rush I suppose but with the new generation of Nvidia coming out, stock in 500 series cards will start to run out so should I grab now at reduced prices while I can? Or pay full boat for a pair of 660's not knowing quite what advantage I will get for the xtra bucks.
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a b U Graphics card
March 9, 2012 4:33:40 PM

running 3 screens you should stick with ATI, or wait for the 600 series. The 400 and 500 series were not really designed for tripple-head gaming, while the ATI 6900's and the 7000 series are really made for it.
Either way, there ought to be a little price war after the 600's come out, and it will force the prices down on the 570's and 580's that can tripple-head OK (well, in SLi anyways) if you want to go that route..
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a c 166 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
March 9, 2012 6:45:14 PM

I'm not a fan of SLI or Crossfire due to micro-stutter, and some other issues. Micro-stutter varies significantly and some may not even notice but it is present in every setup.

So I STRONGLY suggest you get a single high-end card.

Other points:
1) The HD7950 OC from Sapphire Tech is currently my top recommend for a high-end card. Review: http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1862/15/

2) Unreal 4, coming soon, has been built and optimized for the new Kepler cards. The new cards are named either GTX6xx or GTX7xx series (there's a rumour NVidia may skip GTX6xx to avoid naming confusion with AMD).

3) Benchmarks. Keep in mind that the new AMD and NVidia cards both have changes, such as Tessellation, that will significantly improve their benchmark standings once games start to optimize their code for them. Some estimates predict up to 50% improvement compared to other cards in certain scenarios (extra VRAM, tessellation, improved AA, etc.)

4) The AMD7xxx and NVidia GTX6xx (7xx?) use the new 28nm process which translates to roughly HALF the power consumption per card. This means less heat, less noise, and some people won't need to upgrade their existing Power Supply (calculate overall PC wattage, including the game card, and ALSO make sure the AMPS required by the card can be provided by the PSU for the +12V rail, or combined rails. The AMPS part is very important.)

Summary:
My general recommendation is to get a single GTX6xx (or GTX7xx) card that has roughly double the performance (at first) of a GTX560Ti. I'm guessing that the card I might buy is the GTX670 or GTX680 with 2GB of VRAM.

I should add that NOISE is important to me. I bought the HD5870 with its awesome Vapor Cooling (Sapphire Tech) and their HD7950 OC is the best card in its class. It was even overclocked, in software, by 45% (don't go above 25% IMO).

Never pay too much extra for an "OC" version, but usually it's worth an extra 10% or so to not only ensure better cooling, but likely a few other superior components such as better capacitors. In a well built gaming PC, the graphics card adds most to the noise.
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March 10, 2012 4:18:45 PM

Not quite sure what micro stutter is. My understanding is that the screen renders serially across and down the screen to update prior data so as long as its refreshed fast enough, we see an uninterrupted and consistent picture.

So isn't it simply a fast stutter in normal operation and if it misses the odd pixel the first time it refreshes very quickly if at reasonable FPS... so why would tiny delays (if that's what a micro stutter is) impact on the visual experience.
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a c 166 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
March 10, 2012 10:21:34 PM

micro-stutter:
Card#1 draws a frame, then Card#2 draws the next frame.

The problem is that there is a small difference in the time to process the frames that can become quite noticeable such as when you are scanning right to left. Instead of being perfectly smooth the screen jumps. If it wasn't noticeable at all it wouldn't be an issue, but it is. The worst micro-stuttering occurs with two, lower-end cards.

Other SLI/Crossfire issues include occasional, sudden dips in the frame rate. The bottom line is that a dual card setup can appear to be a good deal based on average frame rates, but the actual experience isn't always that good.
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April 30, 2012 3:59:54 PM

BUMP. I am building a new Sandy/Ivy system in less than a month, and I as well am wondering about the GTX 660 (or whatever the final name is). I am going with a single, upper-mid range card. I have been looking at the GTX 560/560 Ti. The advantage I see with Kepler is you get Adaptive VSync, TXAA, better tessellation + TDP.

I currently have a VisionTek ATi 3870, which has served me well for four years, but is quite long in the tooth (and doesn't seem to like Splinter Cell: Conviction). I don't have a preference for nV or AMD, both have served me well in the past. However, I would like to play around with the CUDA extensions that I see in some of the TWIMTBP titles. Plus, I'm just really impressed with Kepler.
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a c 166 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
May 5, 2012 12:13:27 AM

SLI and Kepler:
The Micro-stutter issue now appears to have been mostly solved with the Kepler architecture. Not so with the previous GTX500 series or before.

In SLI or Crossfire each card alternates drawing an entire frame but you get micro-stutter due to the difference in time it takes.

The new KEPLER adds in special hardware to properly SYNCHRONIZE this so the times allowed are the same, thus eliminating this micro-stutter.

(this is not the same as the sudden big stutter caused by dropping below the VSYNC threshold which is solved using Adaptive VSYNC)

*If you get a GTX560Ti and add a second card for SLI you WILL get micro-stutter.
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