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3 monitor 5760 x 1200: Single GTX 670 4GB VRAM vs SLI GTX 670 2GB VRAM

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July 17, 2012 2:33:07 PM

Hi guys,

As per the title I am about to build (with help from a techy friend) a new desktop PC to run 3 1920 x 1200 monitors. Usage will be gaming such on BF3 and photography with Photoshop and Lightroom 4 with some video editing later down the line. The computer itself will be based around an overclocked ivybridge i7 3770k.

I can't really afford in my budget right now to SLI but will save for it if necessary.

Will I get away with a single card and get decent frame rates on BF3 and do I need the 4GB VRAM when running 3 monitors?

Any helpful advice will be much appreciated!

Thank you! :o )
July 17, 2012 3:56:43 PM

Do you already have the 3 monitors you plan on using?
July 17, 2012 4:15:04 PM

No not yet. Was going to buy it all as soon as I'd ironed out all the components and any compatability issues. Was looking at Asus P238Q or Dell U2412 but am of course open to suggestions. The P238Q is great for clolour reproduction which would come in handy for the photography as it will accurately render colours pre-print. I have heard great things about the Dells too.
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a b U Graphics card
July 17, 2012 5:16:12 PM

I think it would be better to grab the single GTX 670 4GB. The extra VRAM will help if running 3 monitors. You can always buy another one later on.

Have you considered using AMD Radeon cards instead? A overclocked 7970 beats a GTX 680, and eyefinity is a much better solution for multiple monitors.

They have them as low as $399 after rebate on Newegg (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...) and overclocked it kills everything out there.
July 17, 2012 5:55:22 PM

stant1rm said:
I think it would be better to grab the single GTX 670 4GB. The extra VRAM will help if running 3 monitors. You can always buy another one later on.

Have you considered using AMD Radeon cards instead? A overclocked 7970 beats a GTX 680, and eyefinity is a much better solution for multiple monitors.

They have them as low as $399 after rebate on Newegg (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...) and overclocked it kills everything out there.

Hi srant1rm! Thanks for the reply. I had initially looked at Radeon but have read a few dodgy things about them and eyefinity. Tbh I'm not quite sure what to believe as there seems to be 2 camps always bagging each others products! I did see a benchmark where the Nvidia card was clearly shown to be better for BF3 however. Does the radeon have enough VRAM?
a b U Graphics card
July 17, 2012 6:14:22 PM

The Radeon has 3GB which is more then enough. It also has a much larger memory bandwidth which helps quite a bit. And eyefinity is a much better solution then nvidas surround. I'm not an AMD or nVidia fanboy, I've used and enjoyed both (Geforce 7900GS, 9800GTX+, GTX 460, Radeon 4850X2, 6970, etc...). However just looking at most benchmarks the 7970 is probably the best single GPU card right now. Less power consumption, less heat, better hi res performance, lower cost, and the best overclocking potential. Plus eyefinity is really good, like really good.
a b U Graphics card
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July 17, 2012 7:36:07 PM

I think you will get good frames. I have a much slower cpu and 2 gtx470s. I am solid at 60 fps running on high settings with aa 2 and af 2 at 5670x1080. Your new CPU is like twice as fast as mine and according to nvidia the 670 is twice as fast a 470.

a b U Graphics card
July 17, 2012 7:50:15 PM

I'd also +1 the suggestion of AMD cards for this particular use. You might also consider a crossfired 7950 setup. The 7950 and 7970 have identical amounts of VRAM (3GB).
a b U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
July 17, 2012 8:06:43 PM

The 7970 and gtx670 go blow for blow on 5760x1200 resolution. However, the gtx670 2GB wins on BF3. I think eyefinity is a little smoother though and would suggest that route.
July 17, 2012 8:07:34 PM

My bro run BF3 on ultra +4MSAA on 3monitor (but only 5000x1200) with this set-up

i5-2500k
670gtx vanilla (so the 400$ card with only 2gb)
16gb ram 1333hz kingstone (he us 16gb because of its architech programmes)

Nothing is overclocked and everything is fluid always on any mission.

So for a 5670x1200p I guess that a single 670gtx + i5-3570k would be fine. So a tipical 1000-1200$ build.

Just get a PSU powerfull enough to allow 670gtx sli for the future (I think you need a 700w for that but I might be wrong).

at this moment 4gb won,t do anything over 2gb for a 5670x1200p resolution in any game released yet. Maybe the futur game might requier it but not today. I've seen poeple running BF3 in 7680x1440p with the 680gtx sli 2gb so.
a b U Graphics card
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July 17, 2012 8:07:45 PM

I can vouche for the Dell monitor - it's pretty solid and looks great too
a b U Graphics card
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July 17, 2012 8:13:34 PM

Eyefinity is a lot better than surround, AMD builds cards around multi panel. The 7970 384 bit bus and 3GB is a no brainer for this.
July 17, 2012 8:18:37 PM

Southy78 said:
Dell U2412 but am of course open to suggestions. The P238Q is great for clolour reproduction which would come in handy for the photography as it will accurately render colours pre-print. .


get these instead: http://www.overclock.net/t/1225919/yamakasi-catleap-mon...

27" IPS panel 2560x1440p for the same price and well bether quality.

These koran monitor use the LG IPS panel, Actualy it use the same as the Dell ones selling at 700$. Every panel have a grade the A+ are shipped to dell,asus and other brand that make 600-700$ profesional monitor and that korean compagny buy the A- grade.

The color and brightness quality beat my old Asus by a mile.

I'd never cosider a 24" Dell monitor at 350$ when I can get that beast for a little cheaper. Their is a reason why this monitor have a fanclub on overclocker.net

I can't wait to receive the two other I've ordered :-)
July 17, 2012 8:19:33 PM

redeemer said:
Eyefinity is a lot better than surround, AMD builds cards around multi panel. The 7970 384 bit bus and 3GB is a no brainer for this.


Thats old mentality previous the 600 series.
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July 17, 2012 8:51:07 PM

venur said:
Thats old mentality previous the 600 series.



Sorry to burst your bubble , I have both builds 7970's and 680's and lets just say Eyefinity is years a head. I just have one 1080p 120hz for my 680 setup. The only reason you would want Nvidia for multi panel is if you want 3D. 7970'a offer more performance anyway in 5670x1080 anyways
a b U Graphics card
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July 17, 2012 8:58:03 PM

redeemer said:
Sorry to burst your bubble , I have both builds 7970's and 680's and lets just say Eyefinity is years a head. I just have one 1080p 120hz for my 680 setup. The only reason you would want Nvidia for multi panel is if you want 3D. 7970'a offer more performance anyway in 5670x1080 anyways

Hey does AMD offer anything in the way of a "widescreen fixer" to compensate for games like CODmw3 that dont have the correct aspect ration for ultra wide screen? When I play that game i have to run a fix i found on the web, or i have to live with everyone being short and fat.
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July 17, 2012 9:01:02 PM

The answer to your question is that the SLI GTX 670's 2GB are not only recommended, but pretty much mandatory if you want acceptable framerates in BF3 on your setup (vs any single card regardless of VRAM).

a b U Graphics card
July 17, 2012 9:30:04 PM

Your chart is misleading, it doesn't show the benchmarks for 2 7970's in crossfire. If the 7970 single card outperforms the GTX 670 single, the it would stand to reason that 2 in crossfire would be even better.
a b U Graphics card
July 17, 2012 9:30:15 PM

17seconds said:
The answer to your question is that the SLI GTX 670's 2GB are not only recommended, but pretty much mandatory if you want acceptable framerates in BF3 on your setup (vs any single card regardless of VRAM).

http://tpucdn.com/reviews/NVIDIA/GeForce_GTX_670_SLI/images/bf3_5760_1080.gif


I agree that if you're actually hoping to game at high settings on a two- or three-monitor setup, you won't be able to use a single card. I disagree, though, that dual 670s are the only way to go. Dual 7950s (or even 7970s, given the price drops), are also a viable choice. The extra VRAM is most helpful at those resolutions, and many people seem to prefer eyefinity.

Right now my problem is that I can't find a benchmark on the most current set of drivers (most of the 7950 and 7970 crossfire reviews are from right when they came out, but drivers have improved BF3 performance since then). The best I can do is Anandtech, which has 7970s in crossfire breaking 60 FPS on 5760*1200 (note the 680 SLI for comparison, which outperforms them by more than 10% in BF3 even at that resolution): http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/588?vs=585 But I don't know what driver versions those are.
July 17, 2012 9:44:20 PM

I currently have a single gtx 670 ftw and a 2500k running my triple monitor setup. It runs bf3 great at 5760x1080. I do have to turn my settings down to medium in order to get about 60 fps, however. The thing about bf3 is that I can't tell a huge difference in graphics settings unless I am paying attention. The only setting I ever notice while playing is AA, but having a multi monitor setup easily compensates for that. If you decide that you want higher settings in the future, just throw in another 670. If you are sure you will do a SLI setup at some point you may want to get a 4 GB 670. If you are running a single card, just get an OC'd 670 as the extra VRAM will make very little difference.
July 17, 2012 10:32:08 PM

MSAA > FXAA anyday
try ultra and 4xmsaa with 2gb vram
pick 3gb or above
a b U Graphics card
July 17, 2012 10:47:17 PM

It seems clear to me from the last few posts, which are very helpful, that 2GB of VRAM is fine for BF3 at pretty high settings on 5760*1200, though it might be a mild problem for intense AA or high settings. And it's definitely true that an SLI 670 2GB setup is much preferable to a single 670 at 4GB. Even if you have some mild RAM bottlenecks, having double the processing power is way more important. It also seems clear to me that dual 7970s or even 7950s will give comparable but probably not quite as good performance in BF3--though they'd be good at other things, and arguably a little more future-proof for that particular high-res setup.

So in sum, I guess I still think that the 3GB of VRAM is important if you're committing to a triple-monitor setup, and if I were buying, I'd go for a crossfire AMD configuration. But if you're buying for playing BF3 right now, then yes, the dual 670 is probably your best option.
a b U Graphics card
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July 17, 2012 11:12:08 PM

we_san said:
MSAA > FXAA anyday
try ultra and 4xmsaa with 2gb vram
pick 3gb or above



At those settings Matto wouldn't have posted that graph
a c 535 U Graphics card
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July 18, 2012 12:24:09 AM

According to Legit Reviews: "To our knowledge the MSI R7970 Lighting is the fastest clocked AMD Radeon HD 7970 offered by any company".
http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1886/17/

So the highest overclocked 7970 3GB versus a stock GTX 680 2GB will win by 1.4 FPS in BF3 at 5760 x 1080. I guess the choice is clear then.
a b U Graphics card
July 18, 2012 12:34:37 AM

There is one thing that is missing in our discussion here. You need to find an AMD 7970 with an active Displayport adapter included and should take that into account. A minor gripe but it is important to keep in mind as you will be paying a bit more if it doesn't have it as you need displayport to run on a single card eyefinity. Surround does not.

As of right now 7970's did get a new driver so their performance is up from their previous benchmarks. So OP you should datamine for that and compare if you can.

On original post, 670 4gb. Good Luck.

July 18, 2012 3:27:41 AM

17seconds said:
According to Legit Reviews: "To our knowledge the MSI R7970 Lighting is the fastest clocked AMD Radeon HD 7970 offered by any company".
http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1886/17/

So the highest overclocked 7970 3GB versus a stock GTX 680 2GB will win by 1.4 FPS in BF3 at 5760 x 1080. I guess the choice is clear then.


12.7 > 12.3 ?
July 18, 2012 3:29:25 AM

ohyouknow said:
There is one thing that is missing in our discussion here. You need to find an AMD 7970 with an active Displayport adapter included and should take that into account. A minor gripe but it is important to keep in mind as you will be paying a bit more if it doesn't have it as you need displayport to run on a single card eyefinity. Surround does not.

As of right now 7970's did get a new driver so their performance is up from their previous benchmarks. So OP you should datamine for that and compare if you can.

On original post, 670 4gb. Good Luck.


+1
3gb or above
a c 99 U Graphics card
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July 18, 2012 3:36:09 AM

I'd grab the 3GB or 4GB video cards. If you are playing a graphic intensive especially at anything above high settings with multi-monitors is a necessity. In my opinon, Eyefinity has better support for multi-monitor use. 3D gaming for Nvidia is more developed.
a b U Graphics card
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July 18, 2012 10:19:09 AM

17seconds said:
According to Legit Reviews: "To our knowledge the MSI R7970 Lighting is the fastest clocked AMD Radeon HD 7970 offered by any company".
http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1886/17/

So the highest overclocked 7970 3GB versus a stock GTX 680 2GB will win by 1.4 FPS in BF3 at 5760 x 1080. I guess the choice is clear then.



Yes well the clocks about the 7970 are true you failed to mention that the 600 series has turbo boost in this case the GTX 680 jumps to 1200 mhz.

These benches are old mind you
a b U Graphics card
July 19, 2012 2:10:30 PM

I easy OC'd my phen II 955 to 3.6ghz and i have a gigabyte windforce 2gb 670. I run 5760x1080 on medium and get 30-60 fps. When I run low settings i usually stay around 50-60 but, I would range the FPS from 45-70. The game runs great. I even played L4D2 with all 3 monitors on high settings. I would have loved to buy 4gb, but I do not care for a radial fan and the extra VRAM, costing 85 dollars more would help the textures across 3 screens.
August 17, 2012 12:57:50 AM

Southy78 said:
Hi guys,

As per the title I am about to build (with help from a techy friend) a new desktop PC to run 3 1920 x 1200 monitors. Usage will be gaming such on BF3 and photography with Photoshop and Lightroom 4 with some video editing later down the line. The computer itself will be based around an overclocked ivybridge i7 3770k.

I can't really afford in my budget right now to SLI but will save for it if necessary.

Will I get away with a single card and get decent frame rates on BF3 and do I need the 4GB VRAM when running 3 monitors?

Any helpful advice will be much appreciated!

Thank you! :o )


So what kind of setup did you end up getting? I think I would have went a little cheaper on the CPU and overclocked it to compensate and spent the savings on better graphics. Now that the 660ti is out that would be fantastic for SLI. Two of them for 600 US dollars kills a single GTX680 by a long shot.
September 1, 2012 12:52:09 PM

roadkill922 said:
I currently have a single gtx 670 ftw and a 2500k running my triple monitor setup. It runs bf3 great at 5760x1080. I do have to turn my settings down to medium in order to get about 60 fps, however. The thing about bf3 is that I can't tell a huge difference in graphics settings unless I am paying attention. The only setting I ever notice while playing is AA, but having a multi monitor setup easily compensates for that. If you decide that you want higher settings in the future, just throw in another 670. If you are sure you will do a SLI setup at some point you may want to get a 4 GB 670. If you are running a single card, just get an OC'd 670 as the extra VRAM will make very little difference.



G'day Road Kill

How did you get three screens to run on your GTX 670 ? if you don't sharing

I have the Saberttooth Z77 MB, i7, win7 pro, 8G memory, 900watt power supply and a single iChill card the GTX 670, I have one HMDI and two DVI plugged in, two 24inch Acer G245H screens and the third is a 24 inch ASUS VE248H

This is all new to me first time in setting up..

cheers TT
a c 216 U Graphics card
a c 122 C Monitor
September 1, 2012 2:04:45 PM

redeemer said:
Eyefinity is a lot better than surround, AMD builds cards around multi panel. The 7970 384 bit bus and 3GB is a no brainer for this.


I'm curious as to how eyefinity is better in any way than 2d Surround. Would you mind explaining the differences? From everything I've seen, there are a lot more problems with eyefinity, such as the DP to DVI converter which apparently faulters a lot (from my experience and from a lot of reviews), and having 2 types of connections due to not having 3 dp's or dvi connections causes sync problems and tearing on the screen. I'm unaware of any draw backs of 2D surround atm.
a b U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
September 1, 2012 3:38:16 PM

tommytomato said:
... two 24inch Acer G245H screens and the third is a 24 inch ASUS VE248H...

I think this is the problem... jamming 3 separate monitors to be used as a single instead of having a monitor "system" that is designed to be used as a single from the beginning... this is what I'm talking about
http://www.samsung.com/ca/consumer/office/monitors/lcd/...

this is connected by a single DP connection to your video card, and is daisy chained from the monitor in the center to either no the side, then to the other side - power is daisy chained as well. This system runs much smoother because of its inherent design
September 3, 2012 2:30:21 AM

I got all three running at 1920 x 1080 Display Resolution, I had to download and install the latest drivers

Are you saying running three screens that are the same model and make so it out puts as one.

cheers TT
September 4, 2012 12:15:03 AM

Cheers for that


I see every one has a different point a view on what to get and what to buy, I pose it comes down to what one can afford
how ever that link does look good, cost a bit too hey

I ordered another two ASUS screens because I cant get hold of the Acer ones, so the Acers will be up for sale in the next couple of weeks

I'll get another GTX 670 in the next couple of weeks then start using the SLI side of things, right now the settings seem to work OK, but I still don't have a game here that will support triple's all my games are super OLD, LOL

cheers TT
September 4, 2012 12:50:50 PM

Southy78 said:
Hi srant1rm! Thanks for the reply. I had initially looked at Radeon but have read a few dodgy things about them and eyefinity. Tbh I'm not quite sure what to believe as there seems to be 2 camps always bagging each others products! I did see a benchmark where the Nvidia card was clearly shown to be better for BF3 however. Does the radeon have enough VRAM?


I don't buy into the camp crap, you shouldn't either.

I usually say, if it is for gaming, the best option is nVidia, but what makes me think AMD is when you said 3 monitors, you just can't top eyefinity. Second, when you mentioned Photoshop, and editing. 7900 series has amazing compute performance, nVidia didn't give their current gen cards that option because they wanted to emphasize games, meaning buy their Quadro card for that stuff.

I would say with your gaming, editing, monitors, that AMD would be the best OVERALL option.
!