I'm going to be choosing most likely the 670 or 680 in my upcoming build, however I am having a tough time deciding. My build is primarily focused on admiring the amazing visuals of games like crysis 2/3 on max settings, and some light editing and beginners programming here and there.
The thing is, 680 is only roughly a 5% increase in performance from the 670. Is that really it, are there any major differences between the two other than the small increase in performance? Or should I say, more importantly, is there any noticable differences in-game other than the FPS increase?
Also, what about AMD cards? Don't really know anything about them, I've heard the AMD Radeon HD 7970 has this new version that puts it ahead of the GTX 680, however apparently a lot of the AMD Radeon HD 7970 and AMD cards for that matter have really bad driver update etc support and result in errors and problems with the cards making nvidea more reliable(is that true)?
As for the 690, considering I'm only going to be spending $2,000, I doubt I could fit it into a build, but I'm thinking it's better to get the 670 then upgrade to the 690 than get a 680 and SLI because apparently 680 sli'd aren't as good as a single 690.
there are no major differences between the 670 and the 680. the 670 is a slightly crippled 680 chip. but due to the fact that it has a disabled core, the other cores can often overclock higher to compensate, allowing it to reach within 5% of the performance of the gtx 680.
on the otherhand, AMD drivers have gotten a lot better, most of the people complaining are beginners who don't know what they're doing and didn't uninstall their old drivers correctly. I'm running a 7970 myself overclocked to match or exceed stock 680 performance without any problems. but if you just want a simple build without playing with clock speed etc too much and are not a benchmark junkie, Nvidia would get my recommendation in the high-end bracket of video cards.
the 690 is almost PURELY for bragging rights, and people who want to quad-SLI 680s anyway, as the formfactor of the 690 allows for a safe quad-SLI without water-cooling. if you don't plan on getting a second 690 to begin with, regular SLI 670 is your most economical and sensible choice