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Gtx 680 lightning or 680 direct cu2 top.Help pls.

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 11, 2012 2:02:53 AM

There are only 2 sites that reviewed both cards. At both TechPowerUp and Guru3D, the Asus card wins in every benchmark, except for temperatures. At Guru3D, the Asus card was 9c degrees hotter than the Msi one and at TechPowerUp it was 3c degrees hotter when both were overclocked. The Asus 680 top is around 550$ in Canada(the cheapest I could find), while the Msi one the cheapest I could find it was around 600$. The Msi one may or may not have unlocked voltage to push for even higher overclocks, but I think that that will come at the expense of heat and noise but I have no idea if it will benefit in real world use, like gaming. So, which one is the better buy? I will be using a 120hz monitor of 1920 by 1080 and Storm Trooper for maximum cooling with a Maximus V Formula, i-5 and 8gb memory. Thank you for your insight. PS: No i don't want the 670, i don't like amd and i want the best single card on the planet so its one of these 2.
a c 91 U Graphics card
a b Ĉ ASUS
July 11, 2012 2:36:55 AM

if you have any plans to SLI in the future, the lightning is by far the better buy.

as far as components go the lightning does have superior build quality, and lots of extra power phases for extreme overclocking. it's also a light 2 slotter that cools better than the ASUS card. and yes, it has completely unlocked voltage :)  of course use at your own risk. it's more for benchmarks rather than gaming

but if you're not planning on SLI in the future, the 3 slot ASUS card isn't bad for $50 less. but honestly for a 3 slotter it cools just as well or a bit worse than the lightning, which is a bit disappointing. but ultimately if you're looking for gaming performance, save the $50 and get the ASUS card. though the 680 lightning is without a doubt the fastest 680 in the world
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July 11, 2012 2:46:51 AM

vmem said:
if you have any plans to SLI in the future, the lightning is by far the better buy.

as far as components go the lightning does have superior build quality, and lots of extra power phases for extreme overclocking. it's also a light 2 slotter that cools better than the ASUS card. and yes, it has completely unlocked voltage :)  of course use at your own risk. it's more for benchmarks rather than gaming

but if you're not planning on SLI in the future, the 3 slot ASUS card isn't bad for $50 less. but honestly for a 3 slotter it cools just as well or a bit worse than the lightning, which is a bit disappointing. but ultimately if you're looking for gaming performance, save the $50 and get the ASUS card. though the 680 lightning is without a doubt the fastest 680 in the world


If it's so much better, why does it lose to the asus top in every benchmark except for temperature?Check the Guru3D review for both cards and see for yourself. Also, the asus overclocked higher. Thoughts?

Edit: I won't sli.
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a c 91 U Graphics card
a b Ĉ ASUS
July 11, 2012 3:09:16 AM

link pls... I only found separate reviews... and comparing those, yes, I see what you mean by the ASUS card performing slightly better in every benchmark...

guess I'm biased toward better cooling (which to me is more important than an extra 2fps in a top end card, but it could be just me).

let's see what others say :) 
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July 11, 2012 3:41:03 AM

vmem said:
link pls... I only found separate reviews... and comparing those, yes, I see what you mean by the ASUS card performing slightly better in every benchmark...

guess I'm biased toward better cooling (which to me is more important than an extra 2fps in a top end card, but it could be just me).

let's see what others say :) 



50$ less for more performance for the asus. Temperatures are a bit higher but those depend on the cooling solution as well and I'll be getting the Storm Stryker. Here is another review which compares the asus top to the 7970 lightning. I know it ain't the same graphic but the cooling on the amd card is the same as the gtx 680 one(twin frozr IV). The asus top was cooler and more efficient and beat the 7970 in the noise/temperature.

Link: http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/graphics/display/asus-... scroll forward 2 pages to see results for the lightning.

I need some more opinions :D 
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Best solution

a c 642 U Graphics card
a b Ĉ ASUS
July 11, 2012 3:52:25 AM

Pick the cheaper one. These are the two best video cards on the market right now, period. The Asus TOP card comes with a slightly higher base clock, which would account for the higher performance numbers at stock. Both cards come with nice custom components and are really top notch. I like the higher overclock that Guru3d got on the Asus, despite the Lightning being totally geared towards overclocking.

Having had both Asus and MSI RMA experiences, I would go with the Asus card. They replaced my defective video card with a new one. MSI replaced my defective motherboard with a used defective one.
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a c 91 U Graphics card
a b Ĉ ASUS
July 11, 2012 3:57:59 AM

17seconds said:
Pick the cheaper one. These are the two best video cards on the market right now, period. The Asus TOP card comes with a slightly higher base clock, which would account for the higher performance numbers at stock. Both cards come with nice custom components and are really top notch. I like the higher overclock that Guru3d got on the Asus, despite the Lightning being totally geared towards overclocking.

Having had both Asus and MSI RMA experiences, I would go with the Asus card. They replaced my defective video card with a new one. MSI replaced my defective motherboard with a used defective one.


wow, didn't know that about MSI's RMA... when did this happen? I've heard more about ASUS issues for the past couple of months than MSI. but yes, I've had good experiences with ASUS in the past (not within the past year)
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a c 642 U Graphics card
a b Ĉ ASUS
July 11, 2012 3:58:17 AM

If you want to compare the cooling performance, this is an extensive review including infrared heat photography, noise levels, overclocking, etc. for the 7970 versions of the cards. It should give you a good idea of how those coolers will work on the GTX 680's.
http://www.behardware.com/articles/853-1/roundup-the-ra...
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a c 642 U Graphics card
a b Ĉ ASUS
July 11, 2012 4:03:12 AM

vmem said:
wow, didn't know that about MSI's RMA... when did this happen? I've heard more about ASUS issues for the past couple of months than MSI. but yes, I've had good experiences with ASUS in the past (not within the past year)

Just over a year ago. I live near the Asus RMA warehouse, so I drove over with my defective GTX 480. I went back a day or two later to pick up the replacement, new and in the box.

With MSI, I had to ship the motherboard at my expense ~$30. Waited over a week or so, maybe more, then got the board and instantly knew something was up. The box did not come with the usual accessories, the tape holding it closed was wrinkled and out of place. The antistatic bag was lacking that crisp new look to it. When I installed the board, it was DOA. I ended up buying an all new board rather than go through that again.
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July 11, 2012 4:06:29 AM

17seconds said:
Pick the cheaper one. These are the two best video cards on the market right now, period. The Asus TOP card comes with a slightly higher base clock, which would account for the higher performance numbers at stock. Both cards come with nice custom components and are really top notch. I like the higher overclock that Guru3d got on the Asus, despite the Lightning being totally geared towards overclocking.

Having had both Asus and MSI RMA experiences, I would go with the Asus card. They replaced my defective video card with a new one. MSI replaced my defective motherboard with a used defective one.


Yikes. Bad Msi :pfff:  :non:  . And now they have the nerve to print on the lightning box features that won't be available for another month since the guy that will do AB 2.2.3 will leave in vacation since he's sick of waiting for a card from Msi to do the damn AB update to enable over voltage. Pure fail in my book. I guess I shall have 4 things from Asus:mobo, gpu, dvd writer and monitor. Awesome news with their customer support.

PS: There is another thing I can't wrap my head around. Why is the Asus top 40$ cheaper than the non top 680 asus? Will the non-top version achieve higher overclocks or what? Checked prices at ncix.com and canadacomputers.com. :o 
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July 11, 2012 4:36:53 AM

17seconds said:
If you want to compare the cooling performance, this is an extensive review including infrared heat photography, noise levels, overclocking, etc. for the 7970 versions of the cards. It should give you a good idea of how those coolers will work on the GTX 680's.
http://www.behardware.com/articles/853-1/roundup-the-ra...



I've looked over those tables and from what I can gather the lightning is a wee beet cooler at the cost of noise, while the asus top performs better at fps and has better noise/performance for a slight increase in temperature. Also, the asus top increases the temp of other components a bit more compared to the lightning. Finally, it needs less voltage to achieve the same clocks as the lightning. All in all, it looks like the asus top is better when cooling with air. So now, knowing that I will get a Storm Stryker case and Phanteks cpu cooler(the big one, black:D ), I need some extra fans for the case for better cooling and I need to plan my airflow in the case. Shall I use the top and back as exhaust, or use them as intakes? Oh and i need the fans to match the colors, which will be black, white and red.
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a c 642 U Graphics card
a b Ĉ ASUS
July 11, 2012 6:06:31 AM

Top and back as exhaust, heat rises.
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July 11, 2012 6:12:45 AM

17seconds said:
Top and back as exhaust, heat rises.



What do you mean. If i use them as exhaust, temp will be higher than if they are intake and i exhaust on the side and front?
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a b U Graphics card
July 11, 2012 6:23:15 AM

The best setup I use is intake from the side and front and exhaust from the top and rear. What is the tower that you have?


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July 11, 2012 6:27:44 AM

I will get a Cooler Master Storm Stryker with a Phanteks PH-TC14PE_BL as my CPU cooler.
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a b U Graphics card
July 11, 2012 6:33:40 AM

Not a bad choice for the case and cooler, but that cooler is huge, lol

Since you said you do not want a 670, I was going to suggest this being only about 2-3 FPS slower than the Lightning in Battlefield 3 as the EVGA GTX 670 FTW beats the reference GTX 680 out the box in most games.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Here is the review and IMO, buying a GTX 680 is kinda foolish being that a 670 is right behind it and even surpasses it easily with a mild OC, of course the 680 is going to OC a bit more, but for $400 after rebate, that's a steal for the performance price ratio of the EVGA GTX 670 FTW.

http://hexus.net/tech/reviews/graphics/40613-evga-gefor...
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July 11, 2012 6:43:02 AM

El Tigre said:
Not a bad choice for the case and cooler, but that cooler is huge, lol

Since you said you do not want a 670, I was going to suggest this being only about 2-3 FPS slower than the Lightning in Battlefield 3 as the EVGA GTX 670 FTW beats the reference GTX 680 out the box in most games.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Here is the review and IMO, buying a GTX 680 is kinda foolish being that a 670 is right behind it and even surpasses it easily with a mild OC, of course the 680 is going to OC a bit more, but for $400 after rebate, that's a steal for the performance price ratio of the EVGA GTX 670 FTW.

http://hexus.net/tech/reviews/graphics/40613-evga-gefor...


I'd rather get the 680 top(silent performance and good looks plus goes with my red, black white theme) and sleep better at night then get a 670 and have a bad feeling and voice "I told you so". It just does not make any sense why Nvidia would release a card 100$ cheaper that has same performance as a 680. I think that after more drivers, 680 will have an 15-20% advantage and to me that's worth 100$.
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a b U Graphics card
July 11, 2012 6:49:00 AM

That's what I don't understand either, even in Tom's review of the GTX 670, it's only about 3-4% slower than a 680, it's crazy, to me the 680 is almost a waste, if it was 15%+ fatser, than I would go with a 680, but even 5% does not justify me buying one when I could have similar performance for cheaper, the choice is yours, just giving my advice, both cards a badass too :) 

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-670-rev...
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a c 91 U Graphics card
a b Ĉ ASUS
July 11, 2012 4:08:16 PM

LonelyMan said:
I'd rather get the 680 top(silent performance and good looks plus goes with my red, black white theme) and sleep better at night then get a 670 and have a bad feeling and voice "I told you so". It just does not make any sense why Nvidia would release a card 100$ cheaper that has same performance as a 680. I think that after more drivers, 680 will have an 15-20% advantage and to me that's worth 100$.


"sleep better at night" is irrelevant. make a good fan profile and your fans will probably be spinning below 50% while you sleep, doubt you'll hear it. though I do agree that the 680 top is a better choice.

as for performance difference, Nvidia didn't mess up. the 28nm is a new process and they had yield issues for months after the 680 was out. I think most of those cripple 680 chips became 670s, but they are really just 680s that has a broken shader or two or something like that. Nvidia needed to unload all the chips that didn't make the cut as a full 680. I doubt there will ever be a 15-20% advantage between the 680 and the 670 as any driver that improves the 680 would improve the 670 as well, they're made according to the same design. so yes, the difference will stay at 5%
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July 12, 2012 1:34:46 AM

vmem said:
"sleep better at night" is irrelevant. make a good fan profile and your fans will probably be spinning below 50% while you sleep, doubt you'll hear it. though I do agree that the 680 top is a better choice.

as for performance difference, Nvidia didn't mess up. the 28nm is a new process and they had yield issues for months after the 680 was out. I think most of those cripple 680 chips became 670s, but they are really just 680s that has a broken shader or two or something like that. Nvidia needed to unload all the chips that didn't make the cut as a full 680. I doubt there will ever be a 15-20% advantage between the 680 and the 670 as any driver that improves the 680 would improve the 670 as well, they're made according to the same design. so yes, the difference will stay at 5%


Ok I did some calculations. These were made using Guru3D reviews for each video card.

Msi gtx 670 power edition/oc: 881fps/costs 440$=0.50$/frame and when overclocked 130fps(crysis 2 and AVP performance)=3.38$/frame
Asus gtx 670 top: 879fps/costs 440$= 0.50$/frame and when overclocked 129fps=3.41$/frame
Msi gtx 680 lightning: 930fps/costs 610$= 0.655$/frame and when overclocked 136fps=4.485$/frame
Asus gtx 680 top: 954fps/costs 565$=0.59$/frame and when overclocked 138fps=4.09$/frame

From a price/performance view, I will either go for the Asus 670 top(only if the problems have been sorted out, I've seen lots of bad reviews from users on these) or Msi 670 power edition. I need to sleep on it and I will decide in the following days if the 680 top is worth it or not.
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a c 91 U Graphics card
a b Ĉ ASUS
July 12, 2012 1:39:23 AM

great plan. and I can understand the desire for having the "top card" even if it's by a small margin
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July 13, 2012 6:15:38 PM

I've decided on the 680 top. Thank you all for the suggestions and help.
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July 13, 2012 6:17:09 PM

Best answer selected by LonelyMan.
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