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Best performance for gaming and 3D rendering? gtx 690 or 670 sli?

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June 24, 2012 12:39:08 AM

Hi everyone, I am looking forward to build my first computer and really would like to know which of these combine together would give me the best performance.

I mainly want to build one for 3D rendering work and game making. (eg: Maya, Unreal, 3DS Max, PS, ZBrush etc)
However about 50% of the time I would be playing games on it as well, so I would like to get the best gaming performance out of it too if I am spending that much money.

The ratio would be 50:50 between gaming and 3d work, but performance for working would be more important to me.

Within my budget I could get

i7 3930k + 2x EVGA GTX 670 sli 4G Superclocked version

i7 2600k/2700k/3770k + 2x EVGA GTX 680 sli 2G Superclocked version

i7 2600k/2700k/3770k + EVGA GTX 690

Ideally I would like to run my computer with 3 monitors and play games in 5760 x 1080 resolution.

From my research on the internet and youtube review, many have said that 4 Gb cards would do a better job in 3D surround gaming.

Therefore the gtx 670 sli 4G seems to be ideal for me, however I am concerned about the fact that they have the least CUDA cores, which I worried that it would affect the 3D rendering performance.

Also there are some 3D software more likely to be CPU intensive then GPU intensive.

So would 3930k + GTX 670 sli suit me most?

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(680 sli would be the one i want to buy least from above, as it is still 2G, and budget give me no room to purchase a stronger cpu and differences between 670 and 680 are quite minimal, also 2 680 are pretty much exact same price as a 690 or even a little more expensive, and use more power and nosier.)

Please give me some advice, I am having a hard time to choose thanks.
a b U Graphics card
June 24, 2012 12:42:03 AM

ferris847 said:
Hi everyone, I am looking forward to build my first computer and really would like to know which of these combine together would give me the best performance.

I mainly want to build one for 3D rendering work and game making. (eg: Maya, Unreal, 3DS Max, PS, ZBrush etc)
However about 50% of the time I would be playing games on it as well, so I would like to get the best gaming performance out of it too if I am spending that much money.

The ratio would be 50:50 between gaming and 3d work, but performance for working would be more important to me.

Within my budget I could get

i7 3930k + 2x EVGA GTX 670 sli 4G Superclocked version

i7 2600k/2700k/3770k + 2x EVGA GTX 680 sli 2G Superclocked version

i7 2600k/2700k/3770k + EVGA GTX 690

Ideally I would like to run my computer with 3 monitors and play games in 5760 x 1080 resolution.

From my research on the internet and youtube review, many have said that 4 Gb cards would do a better job in 3D surround gaming.

Therefore the gtx 670 sli 4G seems to be ideal for me, however I am concerned about the fact that they have the least CUDA cores, which I worried that it would affect the 3D rendering performance.

Also there are some 3D software more likely to be CPU intensive then GPU intensive.

So would 3930k + GTX 670 sli suit me most?

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(680 sli would be the one i want to buy least from above, as it is still 2G, and budget give me no room to purchase a stronger cpu and differences between 670 and 680 are quite minimal, also 2 680 are pretty much exact same price as a 690 or even a little more expensive, and use more power and nosier.)

Please give me some advice, I am having a hard time to choose thanks.


I think an i7 3930k and gtx 670 4g SLI is a good option.

The BETTER option would be to buy a i7 3770k and overclock it, it would be cheaper and im sure you can OC it past a 3930k :D 
June 24, 2012 12:46:28 AM

The problem is that for 3D rendering tasks, consumer graphics cards are godawful. You're really going to have to choose between one or the other; the cards will get the job done, per se, but they're an order of magnitude slower than even an entry level professional card.
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June 24, 2012 12:53:12 AM

Thanks for your reply, but how much difference there would be between 670 sli and 690 on 3D rendering?

1,344 x2 cuda cores = 2,688 - gtx 670 sli
1,536 x 2 cuda cores = 3,072 gtx 680 sli
3,072 cuda cores - gtx 690

on the numbers, it seems to be quite a lot. Would a stronger cpu able to make up the differences? in term of rendering speed.

Oh, I have forgotten to mention I do plan to OC all those cpu too, not sure to what level, but i wouldn't go too far.

I have heard 3770k wouldn't go too well with OC as it is a IVB though, would it do better than a OC 3930k?
June 24, 2012 1:03:12 AM

dthesleepless said:
The problem is that for 3D rendering tasks, consumer graphics cards are godawful. You're really going to have to choose between one or the other; the cards will get the job done, per se, but they're an order of magnitude slower than even an entry level professional card.



Yes I agree, but professional card would cost me a fortune too :(  , and with much worse gaming performance.
I have heard the 600 series do have pretty good CUDA support, and seems doing not much worse than a professional card at the same price. Therefore i think i would only consider between these for now. :) 
a b U Graphics card
June 24, 2012 1:34:49 AM

dthesleepless said:
CUDA support is fine on the 500 series, too, but that's not relevant. Take a look at these numbers:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/5846/hp-z420-workstation-...

In almost every task the $150 Quadro 600 beats the tar out of the GTX 580. The 680 isn't going to fare much better than the 580 did.


Thats because the 580 does what it does best at and thats GAMING.

The quadro are terrible at gaming, each graphics card was designed for a task in mind, of course each one can play games and do 3D rendering but each one was designed specifically for a certain task. :whistle: 
June 24, 2012 1:41:38 AM

dthesleepless said:
CUDA support is fine on the 500 series, too, but that's not relevant. Take a look at these numbers:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/5846/hp-z420-workstation-...

In almost every task the $150 Quadro 600 beats the tar out of the GTX 580. The 680 isn't going to fare much better than the 580 did.


Wow thanks! That is something to seriously consider as well.

However that is 1 card vs 2 in here, I presume in the new 600 series and double the performance as I am planning to have sli, the difference would lower down a lot, I presume the performance of gtx on that would be around 30-40% slower than quadro on 3d rendering. But the difference on gaming might still make the gtx have more cons than neg.

Especially I have also heard that gtx card are quicker on

- video editing
- viewport rendering
- encoding and export

and my game engine which i mainly work with is more CPU intensive, so I wouldn't completely wipe out the chance of the gtx yet.

Because I do feel like it is more worthy spending money on top-end gaming card than entry/mid-range pro card and i can enjoy the games too :p 

I will consider quadro 4000 too, thanks :)  But i would still like to get more advice between those i have listed, incase I don't go for quadro at the end
June 24, 2012 1:43:10 AM

maxh22 said:
Thats because the 580 does what it does best at and thats GAMING.

The quadro are terrible at gaming, each graphics card was designed for a task in mind, of course each one can play games and do 3D rendering but each one was designed specifically for a certain task. :whistle: 



I think this was established already and he is proving that specific point.

Yes obviously from what you have read you already know. Geforce series graphics cards are for gaming and gaming only "per se"
Quadro series are for professional workstations that do that kind of professional stuff lol.

Are you really going to do 3D rendering that much? What is your main focus with this build?

These are the questions we need you to answer.

In all honesty if you are really doing heavy 3D rendering you should be able to afford two different builds. But what is it that you really want to do. If you aren't go with the gaming setup and leave that stuff in the back of your head. All up to you though.
June 24, 2012 1:56:17 AM

Razec69 said:
I think this was established already and he is proving that specific point.

Yes obviously from what you have read you already know. Geforce series graphics cards are for gaming and gaming only "per se"
Quadro series are for professional workstations that do that kind of professional stuff lol.

Are you really going to do 3D rendering that much? What is your main focus with this build?

These are the questions we need you to answer.

In all honesty if you are really doing heavy 3D rendering you should be able to afford two different builds. But what is it that you really want to do. If you aren't go with the gaming setup and leave that stuff in the back of your head. All up to you though.


I am not sure tbh, I am certainly going to work a lot with all those 3D programs, game engines, video editors, but certainly I really won't be doing heavy rendering daily, most of the time wouldn't be heavy rendering, just light designing etc. I can cope with the final rendering process to take a long time, but I would really want it to be lag-free whilst i am building. (Which in this case would be the viewport display, and I have heard gtx series does well in.)

At the same time, I would really like it to be able to run game at top settings as I am spending that much, and that i would spend 50% or more of my time on, so i have intention to buy the gtx. Just really want to know which of those combinations would give me the better 3D rendering performance.
June 24, 2012 1:59:19 AM

so i have more intention to buy the gtx*
June 24, 2012 2:07:27 AM

ferris847 said:
so i have more intention to buy the gtx*



My personal opinion go with the obvious GTX options and if you do well with this rendering then you can get your dedicated workstation for 3D rendering.

You will obviously do some cool things with rendering down the line, but you want to game first and foremost.

I myself would love to do programming, video editing, and database modeling and the such but game above everything. This is my personal preference.

I could go with a Mac system for my photoshop needs and such but prefer my great PC.

So again go with the GTX you won't be let down. Believe me you would much rather lag in 3D rendering than Battlefield 3 when it really matters lol.

If you don't play BF3 or The Witcher 2 don't waste your time or money getting a really high end card, but obviously this is more of a future proofing ideal machine.

If you are looking for new games to play hit me up, I can give you some really good recommendations. I've actually taken the first steps in setting up a personal database for myself listing all my games and if I've completed them or not. It's still in its infancy as a Excel workbook, but after I talk to my Professor I'll get more hands on with in and get it set up, been having some issues with Oracle and SQL developer anyways.

But hopefully you enjoy your stuff, and look forward to seeing your build. Please do some good cable management lol.
a b U Graphics card
June 24, 2012 2:09:59 AM

Why not one of each?
Two cards in a system do not have to be SLI. They can be hooked to two seperate monitors .Run your games on one and your programs on the other.
Best of both worlds. and no sacrifices in either.
June 24, 2012 2:17:24 AM

As far as your system goes, go for the faster GPU solution for a few reasons:

1) the 3930k is a 6-core processor and at the moment, most games and programs will not utilize all 6 cores and you will see no real upgrades in gaming when going from a 2600k to even a 3930k, though a 3770k would be a good compromise

2) as far as gaming, the 4gb 670 SLI'Ed, because of the 4gb of VRAM, will get you much more of a performance boost as far as gaming goes with multiple monitors. A 680 shows no improvements big enough to justify the 120$ extra vs the 670, so a 670 will save you money, get more VRAM, and stay at about the same gaming performance.

3) I'd say take money off your CPU, get a 2700k, and put more money towards things like SSDS for storage of applications, to speed up your performance and inest more in secure cooling solutions because you will be stressing out your system quite a bit, look into water coolling a bit more. A 2700k and 670s SLI'ed, should perform admirably, although I do think adding a 3rd 670 will definitely secure gaming performance.

Between a 3770k and a 3930k there are two more cores added to the latter, but that doesn't necessary translate too better performance, the 3770k Oced will performance JUST a bit under a 3930k but dude, either way, the differences won't justify you paying an extra 200$.

June 24, 2012 2:21:38 AM

Razec69 said:
My personal opinion go with the obvious GTX options and if you do well with this rendering then you can get your dedicated workstation for 3D rendering.

You will obviously do some cool things with rendering down the line, but you want to game first and foremost.

I myself would love to do programming, video editing, and database modeling and the such but game above everything. This is my personal preference.

I could go with a Mac system for my photoshop needs and such but prefer my great PC.

So again go with the GTX you won't be let down. Believe me you would much rather lag in 3D rendering than Battlefield 3 when it really matters lol.

If you don't play BF3 or The Witcher 2 don't waste your time or money getting a really high end card, but obviously this is more of a future proofing ideal machine.

If you are looking for new games to play hit me up, I can give you some really good recommendations. I've actually taken the first steps in setting up a personal database for myself listing all my games and if I've completed them or not. It's still in its infancy as a Excel workbook, but after I talk to my Professor I'll get more hands on with in and get it set up, been having some issues with Oracle and SQL developer anyways.

But hopefully you enjoy your stuff, and look forward to seeing your build. Please do some good cable management lol.



Ye, to be fair i am sure i definitely won't be disappointed with the GTX, at least I can play games if it is even that terrible with 3d works, and I presume 2 gaming GPU should be enough for my 3D works, if not well then just suffer a bit from lagging lol.

BF3 is not like my favourite, and a game that is a Must for me, but with such computer, i will definately play it, especially in 3D surround, don't think anything can beat that :D 

And nice, with your "gamer workbook" ;) 

Anyway, I am still wanting to know which combination would perform better :) 
a b U Graphics card
June 24, 2012 2:25:52 AM

Have you considered GTX 680 SLI??

It definitely offers better performance than a 690 and costs about the same.
June 24, 2012 2:27:09 AM

Unolocogringo said:
Why not one of each?
Two cards in a system do not have to be SLI. They can be hooked to two seperate monitors .Run your games on one and your programs on the other.
Best of both worlds. and no sacrifices in either.


Really? Sorry I am really new to the building a computer thing, if this is the case I would really spend some extra money to get an entry-level pro card if the performance of the gtx for 3d rendering is too poor.

And would i need to do this by having and choosing 2 Bios when I start the computer?
June 24, 2012 2:31:11 AM

In reality doing any 6xx series config will be about the same depending which card you get.

They can all perform at about equal specs regardless of OCing or not.

Like I said before if you are going to do gaming any GTX will serve you well. 3D rendering Quadro series.

For about $430 each you can get over clocked GTX670 that run better than reference/stock 680 cards. Now obviously the same goes with the 680's.

So it all really depends on what you want to do. You can go with the best processor you can afford and get 2x 670's OC'd with non reference/stock cooling. Or try to do custom water cooling and do an OC yourself.
June 24, 2012 2:38:24 AM

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/551?vs=552

Here are benchmarks for the 3770k and the 3930k, if you see the 3d modeling benchmark courtesy of sysmark, you'll see that the 3930k doesn't exhibit much gains over a 3770k -- the exception being present in multi-threaded apps, where the 3930k wins headily. most likely due to the 3930ks 12 threads with SMT vs the 3770k 8 threads. with SMT. But for the most part, the differences are negligible, you are paying for 2 more cores.
June 24, 2012 2:40:50 AM

bctande1 said:
As far as your system goes, go for the faster GPU solution for a few reasons:

1) the 3930k is a 6-core processor and at the moment, most games and programs will not utilize all 6 cores and you will see no real upgrades in gaming when going from a 2600k to even a 3930k, though a 3770k would be a good compromise

2) as far as gaming, the 4gb 670 SLI'Ed, because of the 4gb of VRAM, will get you much more of a performance boost as far as gaming goes with multiple monitors. A 680 shows no improvements big enough to justify the 120$ extra vs the 670, so a 670 will save you money, get more VRAM, and stay at about the same gaming performance.

3) I'd say take money off your CPU, get a 2700k, and put more money towards things like SSDS for storage of applications, to speed up your performance and inest more in secure cooling solutions because you will be stressing out your system quite a bit, look into water coolling a bit more. A 2700k and 670s SLI'ed, should perform admirably, although I do think adding a 3rd 670 will definitely secure gaming performance.

Between a 3770k and a 3930k there are two more cores added to the latter, but that doesn't necessary translate too better performance, the 3770k Oced will performance JUST a bit under a 3930k but dude, either way, the differences won't justify you paying an extra 200$.



Thanks this really help! There are a few questions.

1) Although I know no one could possibly tell how the future will go, but will 6-core show much more significant upgrade than 4 after years? Especially with this 3930k, or it will remain the same difference in performance ?

2) How about the differences on 3D rendering? (670sli - 2,688 cuda vs 680sli/690 - 3,072 cuda) Does anyone know whether it is a huge difference or minor?

3) Thanks, how about 2700k or 3770k? they are about the same price, would it be worthy to get the 3770k? for 2700k i will be looking to OC to 4.5ghz, and 3770k perhaps 4.2 ghz, and from my research 2700k seems to be a better one?
June 24, 2012 2:44:05 AM

Ironslice said:
Have you considered GTX 680 SLI??

It definitely offers better performance than a 690 and costs about the same.


I have, however i don't seem to be able to find a 4gb version, and the difference between 680 and 670 is so minor which make it seems to be less worthy, although I don't know about the difference on 3d rendering performance yet, anyone?
June 24, 2012 2:57:50 AM

Razec69 said:
In reality doing any 6xx series config will be about the same depending which card you get.

They can all perform at about equal specs regardless of OCing or not.

Like I said before if you are going to do gaming any GTX will serve you well. 3D rendering Quadro series.

For about $430 each you can get over clocked GTX670 that run better than reference/stock 680 cards. Now obviously the same goes with the 680's.

So it all really depends on what you want to do. You can go with the best processor you can afford and get 2x 670's OC'd with non reference/stock cooling. Or try to do custom water cooling and do an OC yourself.


Thanks for your reply, there is just one question because I am so new to build a computer. Will I be able to use water cooling on a evga SC card? or i must get a normal one and OC myself?
June 24, 2012 3:09:42 AM

bctande1 said:
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/551?vs=552

Here are benchmarks for the 3770k and the 3930k, if you see the 3d modeling benchmark courtesy of sysmark, you'll see that the 3930k doesn't exhibit much gains over a 3770k -- the exception being present in multi-threaded apps, where the 3930k wins headily. most likely due to the 3930ks 12 threads with SMT vs the 3770k 8 threads. with SMT. But for the most part, the differences are negligible, you are paying for 2 more cores.



thanks ! I am sure I won't consider 3930k then, it is really a lot more expensive then 3770k :)  i will consider between 3770 and 2700k
June 24, 2012 3:46:07 AM

1) Although I know no one could possibly tell how the future will go, but will 6-core show much more significant upgrade than 4 after years? Especially with this 3930k, or it will remain the same difference in performance ?
You know what, this is a tough area. There's no doubt that a few years down the line programs will be coded for 6 cores and you will definitely see an improvement with the 3930k over the 3770k. How much of an improvement? Nonody knows for sure, but by this you will have to be the judge, do you believe in complete future proofing and spending the extra money even though you will not see individual results or just opting for cheaper and still top of the line performance, until 6 cores are supported more.

2) How about the differences on 3D rendering? (670sli - 2,688 cuda vs 680sli/690 - 3,072 cuda) Does anyone know whether it is a huge difference or minor?
To be honest, I don't think the extra cuda cores will make that big of a difference if your 3d renderer is mainly CPU intensive. Not all of the cores will be used up in that respect, so I can't imagine the 680 would be that much better than a 670.

3) Thanks, how about 2700k or 3770k? they are about the same price, would it be worthy to get the 3770k? for 2700k i will be looking to OC to 4.5ghz, and 3770k perhaps 4.2 ghz, and from my research 2700k seems to be a better one?

3770k are made with a new manufacturing process and in a nutshell, the 3xxx series should overclock cooler -- on paper that is. But benchmarks have showed the the 3xxx series GPUs so heat up quite a bit even under their new architecture. Though, their temps will be just abou the same as 2xxx series CPUs. So just go for 3770k, it has intel hd graphics 4000, to help boost video rendering. The 2770k doesn't have hd 4000
June 24, 2012 4:09:15 AM

Solution: 3770k with triple sli 670's.
June 24, 2012 11:00:23 AM

bctande1 said:
1) Although I know no one could possibly tell how the future will go, but will 6-core show much more significant upgrade than 4 after years? Especially with this 3930k, or it will remain the same difference in performance ?
You know what, this is a tough area. There's no doubt that a few years down the line programs will be coded for 6 cores and you will definitely see an improvement with the 3930k over the 3770k. How much of an improvement? Nonody knows for sure, but by this you will have to be the judge, do you believe in complete future proofing and spending the extra money even though you will not see individual results or just opting for cheaper and still top of the line performance, until 6 cores are supported more.

2) How about the differences on 3D rendering? (670sli - 2,688 cuda vs 680sli/690 - 3,072 cuda) Does anyone know whether it is a huge difference or minor?
To be honest, I don't think the extra cuda cores will make that big of a difference if your 3d renderer is mainly CPU intensive. Not all of the cores will be used up in that respect, so I can't imagine the 680 would be that much better than a 670.

3) Thanks, how about 2700k or 3770k? they are about the same price, would it be worthy to get the 3770k? for 2700k i will be looking to OC to 4.5ghz, and 3770k perhaps 4.2 ghz, and from my research 2700k seems to be a better one?

3770k are made with a new manufacturing process and in a nutshell, the 3xxx series should overclock cooler -- on paper that is. But benchmarks have showed the the 3xxx series GPUs so heat up quite a bit even under their new architecture. Though, their temps will be just abou the same as 2xxx series CPUs. So just go for 3770k, it has intel hd graphics 4000, to help boost video rendering. The 2770k doesn't have hd 4000




bawchicawawa said:
Solution: 3770k with triple sli 670's.



Thanks for all you guys' advises. I think I will go for 3770k then :) 

However I'm still a bit unsure about the graphic card. Is there a necessary of getting 3 670? I mean compare to 2 670, will I actual get any improve performance? or simply just getting a over kill? Is 2 670 enough for 3D surround in max settings?

I am not liking the idea of having 3 cards though, unless in years time where I would like an upgrade. With 3 cards I presume it will use a lot of power, get very noisy and hot.

Anyway, thanks for you all, I think I will go for 3770k + 2x 670 4gb.
September 3, 2012 5:50:36 AM

The 3 way sli wouldnt be too bad if your mobo placed the pci ports far enough apart.
!