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Upragrading my Videocards : GTX 480 SLI or Kepler/6TX 680

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April 25, 2012 7:38:04 PM

I currently have two EVGA GTX 460's in SLI (768 MB) and am debating on upgrading to GTX 480's in SLI or being patient for one of the new Kepler cards coming out (GTX 660, 670, 670Ti) or the current GTX 680. In games like Skyrim and Crysis 2 with high res textures, I am starting to see that lack of memory is having an impact on performance. I game on a 24 inch 1900X1200 monitor and in this instance don't care about power efficiancy or noise, heat, but strictly performance (fps). I have looked at some benchmarks 4 the 480 and right now theres places that have deals for GTX 480's for around 200 dollars. From what I've it's looking like the GTX 670 will be ~ equivalent to the the GTX 570/580 and will be around 300-350. With that being said I'm thinking for 200 dollars that the GTX 480 (essentially the GTX 570) is a pretty good deal. I already have a 1000w power supply with enough amps to run 480's in sli. Let's hope we have some price competition once the full Kepler lineup comes out, just like when the GTX 280 went from $650 all the way down to ~300. Ok now your thoughts.
April 25, 2012 7:50:03 PM

I would say if you are the person paying the electric bill every month, its more cost effective to go the Kepler route. Maybe a gtx 660 in SLI?
Sure 2 480s may be faster than a 680, but what does it matter at 1900*1200?
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April 25, 2012 7:52:02 PM

Even a single overclocked GTX480 will give you comparable performance to a GTX680. EXCEPT when playing games with high levels of Tessellation. What processor do you have?

edited for recon-uk
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April 25, 2012 8:05:09 PM

ryu750 said:
Even a single overclocked GTX480 will give you GTX680 performance. EXCEPT when playing games with high levels of Tessellation. What processor do you have?


I have a core i5 750 overclocked to 3040 Mhz and can push it and run it stable on 3.8 Ghz. I need to reapply some thermal grease to get it back to that point because I was having problems with it getting too hot. I do have a custom cooler, the Zalman 9500 and it's at max speed.
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April 25, 2012 8:09:45 PM

Quote:
That explains nothing.
The 680 is faster than a single 480.
End of discussion.


By no means did i mean that a 480 would be faster. Paying triple for a 680 when a 480 will give you almost the same performance, is just crazy in my mind. :ange: 
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April 25, 2012 8:16:43 PM

deathengine said:
I would say if you are the person paying the electric bill every month, its more cost effective to go the Kepler route. Maybe a gtx 660 in SLI?
Sure 2 480s may be faster than a 680, but what does it matter at 1900*1200?

I don't care about the electric bill, for now, lol. These are intended to be a stop gap until Kepler comes down in price, but I'm still undecided. I have found that while the high end cards are great, they loose SO MUCH value after a few years. Look at the GTX 480 it was $500 and has dropped to $ 200. I bought my GTX 460's at launch for $175 each (thank u bing cash back), and they have only lost about $50 on each. I have definiately thought about getting the gtx 660's, but rumour has it its going to be 768 Cuda cores and $ 200, so if I sli them I will be $ 100 cheaper than a Gtx 680. It just kind of stinks that I wouldnt get the extra performance by SLI'ing 2 midrange cards 672 Cuda cores with my GTX 460's vs the 480 cuda cores with the GTX 480. I got a great deal 2 years ago.
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April 25, 2012 8:20:44 PM

Quote:
480's in SLi will smack a 680 or 7970, then show them their inpending doom!

However what is your psu brand and what case?

That's what I thought. I have a antec true power quatro 1000w power supply and a sunbeam transformer case that I keep open. It does have 3 fans I can use but they are pretty loud.
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April 25, 2012 8:24:55 PM

Quote:
Matters alot.

List:
BF3
Metro 2033
ARMA II
Crysis/warhead/2
Future released games.

Yea i'm having problems with BF3, Crysis 2, Metro 2033, Arkham City, Skyrim all on high, and especially with high res textures. I'm finally starting to c the effects of having only 768 gb of memory. I kind of wish I wasn't so cheap and spent the $50 extra bucks to get the 1 gb 460's, although that still might not be enough
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April 25, 2012 8:27:03 PM

Quote:
Get your self a phenteks or a noctua.
With 480 SLi you need to optimise cooling to the best effort you can on air.

I do keep the cover off my case. The case has 3 fans but they are loud and it's just easier to keep the case off but I will check those out. Thanks
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April 25, 2012 8:37:26 PM

Quote:
What games do you intend to play?

BF3, Crysis 2, Metro 2033, Arkham City, Skyrim, Rage, Arma 2, etc Alan Wake , all on high and use the high rez textures (crysis 2, Skyrim, Rage)
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a c 164 U Graphics card
April 25, 2012 8:40:04 PM

GTX680
(though as a single card the GTX480 is still awesome for the price.. I saw one on sale for $200 and that can run many games at max settings so it depends on the games you play and the rest of your system as well)

It's a lot more complicated than simply looking at raw benchmark values especially if one is SLI since gameplay isn't necessarily as smooth at the same frame rate as a single card.
- heat/noise
- tessellation, PhysX v3 hardware, newer AA etc all means that FUTURE games are going to be more efficient with the newer GTX680 hardware
- 25% overclock on GTX680 with custom cooling is easy. Not so for the GTX480 (maybe 10%)


Plus, the site "hwcompare" referenced above is completely stupid. They keep comparing different cards based on theoretical values and are often WAY OFF. Use real benchmarks.

CALCULATIONS:
If we compare a 25% overclocked GTX680 to a 10% overclocked GTX480 (that's fair since the 680 overclocks so well with custom cooling) we get this AVERAGE result:

GTX680 (25% OC) is 1.85X faster than a single GTX480 (10% OC)

Take all this for what it's worth but my advise is either get a single GTX480 (on sale for $200) or go for the GTX680 (custom cooling OC), but I just can't recommend a 2xGTX480 setup.
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a c 164 U Graphics card
April 25, 2012 8:56:05 PM

Quote:
480 can do 800mhz on stock cooling with no increase in voltages.


Sure, and there are custom GTX480's that have hit as high as 20% over stock and custom GTX680's that have unofficially hit 45% over stock but I looked around and was trying to compare what was actually available.

I saw a 700MHz model for $200 which is a great deal. You might get a stable 10% overclock out of that.

Overclocked models would either be too expensive or aren't even available.

So the bottom line is that you CAN buy a GTX680 (when available) which can easily overclock to 25% over stock so my numbers seem fair to me.
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April 25, 2012 9:04:44 PM

Quote:
I am running custom coolers on my 480's so i cannot recommend my clocks.

You can do 800mhz easy with no added voltage.
This will bring you to GTX 580 speeds.

yea i won't be doing any types of voltages tweaks, i'm too scared to dare to do that and probably not worth the extra 50 mhz or whatever it is.
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April 25, 2012 9:11:53 PM

photonboy said:
Sure, and there are custom GTX480's that have hit as high as 20% over stock and custom GTX680's that have unofficially hit 45% over stock but I looked around and was trying to compare what was actually available.

I saw a 700MHz model for $200 which is a great deal. You might get a stable 10% overclock out of that.

Overclocked models would either be too expensive or aren't even available.

So the bottom line is that you CAN buy a GTX680 (when available) which can easily overclock to 25% over stock so my numbers seem fair to me.

i plan on buying a gtx 680 at some point but $500 is alot to pay for a highend card especially when they loose their resell value (when upgrade I ebay my stuff). Gtx480 $500 to 200, but my Gtx 460's i have had 4 almost 2 years went from $175 to now around $130 or so. Again I am hoping for another price war like when the gtx 280 went from $650 to around 300. I bought a gtx 275 for $240 brand new.
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a c 164 U Graphics card
April 27, 2012 1:09:02 AM

mic00n64 said:
i plan on buying a gtx 680 at some point but $500 is alot to pay for a highend card especially when they loose their resell value (when upgrade I ebay my stuff). Gtx480 $500 to 200, but my Gtx 460's i have had 4 almost 2 years went from $175 to now around $130 or so. Again I am hoping for another price war like when the gtx 280 went from $650 to around 300. I bought a gtx 275 for $240 brand new.


Sure it's a lot of money.
But you appear to have all the facts so it's basically a personal decision for you now.
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May 4, 2012 5:39:44 PM

Here is a link to a thread showing 480 sli vs 680.

Seems like they are almost even.....and trade blows in a variety of situations/games.

But since the power consumption is much better with the 680, it is a better all round choice.
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a c 619 U Graphics card
May 4, 2012 5:50:31 PM

... and a look at the noise levels:

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a c 164 U Graphics card
May 5, 2012 12:33:45 AM

Micro-stutter:
Micro-stutter appears to have been solved with KEPLER but exists for SLI and Crossfire of all AMD and all previous NVidia cards (before GTX600 series).

In SLI/Crossfire each card alternates drawing the frames (for two cards, one draws the even frames and one draws the odd frames). However the slight differences in processing times cause a micro-stutter issue which can be very obvious at times though it varies significantly on the game and which cards are used.

KEPLER solves this issue by using a hardware approach to properly synch the time of each frame generation so they are equal.

This is NOT the same as Adaptive VSYNC.

(I am uncertain if micro-stutter exists if you achieve VSYNC. If it doesn't then it's a double-whammy for pre-KEPLER as you'd have not only micro-stutter but ALSO the sudden STUTTER and drop to 30FPS that Adaptive VSYNC fixes.)
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May 10, 2012 7:10:49 PM

GTX670 has my vote. As an owner of two GTX480s (Bought when they launched), they are loud and hot. Under load the GTX480 hits average of 85-90c while a GTX680 will barely breach 70c. The GTX680 being a more cooler and power efficient model means less money spent on a PSU, less power consumed, lower fan speed resulting in lower noise production. Less heat resulting in cooler room temperatures (My room tends to bake).

I will soon be upgrading my 2x 480s to 2x 670s. Nearly twice the power, but less noise, heat, and power consumption.

I strongly believe anything 60+ in a game is considered headroom. So with either route you'll have plenty of headroom. If you want to 3D game later, 680 will be the pick. If you want to further assist in 'future proofing' your machine a 680 is the route. It will be more cost effective to buy one GPU at $400-500 and buy another when you can at a marginally smaller cost, than to buy two at $400 which then would have to be discarded to upgrade from that.

Save yourself stress and do the 680 or rather get a 670 since they are near equal and still provide plenty of headroom at $100 cheaper cost. I was going to purchase two 680s but when I saw 670 results compared to the 680s... there is definitely not $100 of performance in-between the two. So I say no actually to both the 680 and 2x 480 and get a 470 and the SLI upgrade even sooner with those over 680s to get super performance over 2x 480s.
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May 10, 2012 8:02:26 PM

Thanks 4 your reply. I knew that the 670 was coming out, but like everyone else, did not know what the performance would be. I am very surprised at the performance being so close to the 680. The 680 is definately not worth the 100 dollars extra. The only dissapointment with the 670 is its ability to overclock. it sees to have mixed reviews. I am hoping that the gtx 660 is close to the performance as the 670 and overclocks well. Rumour has it that will be around 250 dollars.I think that's the ultimate route I will be taking once they come out and SLI them. As long as I can play at 60 fps I'm happy. Right now my GTX 460's play most games at 60 FPS except, Battlefield 3, Arkham City, Skyrim, and Crysis 2. Furthurmore, I have found high end cards loose much of their resell value on ebay much more than mid-range cards. Unfortunately, I bought 2 EVGA Superclocked GTX 480's for $349 total on ebay. I will just use them to hold me over until the GTX 660's come out or there are price drops on the 670. I'll just sell the 480's on ebay and if I'm lucky, should be able to get most of the money back
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May 10, 2012 8:05:55 PM

photonboy said:
Micro-stutter:
Micro-stutter appears to have been solved with KEPLER but exists for SLI and Crossfire of all AMD and all previous NVidia cards (before GTX600 series).

In SLI/Crossfire each card alternates drawing the frames (for two cards, one draws the even frames and one draws the odd frames). However the slight differences in processing times cause a micro-stutter issue which can be very obvious at times though it varies significantly on the game and which cards are used.

KEPLER solves this issue by using a hardware approach to properly synch the time of each frame generation so they are equal.

This is NOT the same as Adaptive VSYNC.

(I am uncertain if micro-stutter exists if you achieve VSYNC. If it doesn't then it's a double-whammy for pre-KEPLER as you'd have not only micro-stutter but ALSO the sudden STUTTER and drop to 30FPS that Adaptive VSYNC fixes.)

I know about those cool new features in Kepler. To be honest, I've never notice the microstutter with my 460's, unless I was oblivious. there is some lag now with the new games tlike barkham city and Oblivion, but I just thought it was lack of VRAM and its ability to load the textures quick enough.
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a c 164 U Graphics card
May 11, 2012 12:17:49 AM

microstutter update:
I watched the 1 hours LIVE presentation of the GTX690 between the NVidia guy and PC Perspective (pcper.com).

The NVidia guy obviously didn't want to talk about microstutter. It came up and he said "I'll talk about that later" and then he didn't. Finally it came up in the Q&A at the end.

So basically the GTX690 has a hardware solution but it still hasn't completely fixed the problem. It was pretty funny watching him try to avoid talking about the issue though.

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a c 164 U Graphics card
May 11, 2012 12:31:59 AM

mic00n64 said:
I know about those cool new features in Kepler. To be honest, I've never notice the microstutter with my 460's, unless I was oblivious. there is some lag now with the new games tlike barkham city and Oblivion, but I just thought it was lack of VRAM and its ability to load the textures quick enough.


There are different forms of stutter.
Much of the stutter in Batman Arkham City is the GPU not being fast enough. Most people tweak their settings based on the beginning of the game, but later on when you are flying around the frame rate plummets because the speed at which the scenery changes is so much faster.

I tweaked Batman Arkham City to achieve 60FPS at the beginning and had to go back and drop the quality because my frame rate would drop below 20FPS regularly when flying around (HD5870 graphics card).

Microstutter:
Microstutter has to do with how SLI and Crossfire work. Multiple graphics cards need to use a technique called AFR (Alternate Frame Rendering). So the first card does FRAME#1, then the second card does FRAME#2 and so on.

The PROBLEM is that they aren't synchronized properly so that the frames are NOT being created at equal intervals. So instead of PANNING from right-to-left and it being really smooth, there's a "stuttering" effect which is actually hard to describe. It's not a sudden delay from the frame rate plummets. It's kind of like having a track-ball mouse (old style) with dirt on it and the cursor is jumping around making it impossible to move around slowly.

Cheers.

(FYI, I just ordered my GTX680 DirectCU II from ASUS. It's three slots. What a monster!! It's backordered though.)
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