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Galaxy GTX 680 4GB or EVGA GTX 680 FTW 4GB for WQHD gaming

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July 30, 2012 11:14:30 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Next two weeks

USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT:
  • 1. Gaming
  • 2. Adobe CS6 compatibility PS/AE/PR
  • 3. (Not related to GPU) Programming.

    CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: N/A - I'll be purchasing a 750W for future compatibility.

    OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS:
  • GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UP5 TH
  • Intel Core i7-3770K Ivy Bridge 3.5GHz

    PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg.com / Frys (In store) / Amazon

    PARTS PREFERENCES: nVidia

    OVERCLOCKING: Maybe, in the future.

    SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Yes, in a year or two. For now? No.

    MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1x 2560x1440 + 1x 1920x1080

    ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I'm going to be using a WQHD display, so I need 4GB of VRAM. If not for now (barely for now, if anything) but for the future. 4GB is a must.

    --------

    Now with that out of the way, I'm currently in the process of building a new PC. I'm upgrading from a seriously underpowered 2007 iMac with an Intel Core 2 Duo and an ATI Radeon 2600 HD 256MB GPU. I have a thread going in the New Build section called: $1,500 - $2k Gaming/Rendering Rig (Misc questions) 4GB VGA for WQHD? But I think I need some speciality advice from some of those who may be more educated when it comes to GPUs. (I know it says solved, but it's far from it)

    Because I'm going to be using a WQHD monitor, I need a 4GB graphics card. I'm pretty dead set on the GTX 680 and am torn between two cards, neither of which I can find any decent reviews on.

    The Galaxy GTX 680 4GB or the EVGA GTX 680 FTW 4GB

    I've never heard of Galaxy before, but the clock is higher on their card and two versus one fans seems as if it'd have better cooling.

    The EVGA FTW could always be overclocked and it uses EVGA's vapor chamber.

    I couldn't find any substantial review of either card. Only one on the Galaxy and they don't really mention my main concern, which is thermals.

  • All in all, I plan on getting a PCI cooler for my GPU and a Corsair T600 with four fans that I'm going to position around the graphics card, but which of these two 4GB cards are worth going for? And should I just shut up about the thermals?
  • Or perhaps buy neither and shell out the extra cash for the FTW+?
  • I've considered water cooling, but I'll end up ruining my warranty. Which I don't want to do.
  • What are my choices here?
  • Doesn't anyone have either card or seen any decent reviews of either?
  • Also, Galaxy, good brand or not?
    a b U Graphics card
    July 30, 2012 11:47:10 PM

    You don't need the 4GB. Just get the 2GB. You are paying unnecessary amount of money for no performance difference. It especially won't help if you are not going to use 3-way monitors. After that, find the cheaper or cooler one of the GTX 680s, or try the HD7970 Ghz Edition if it's cheaper.
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    July 31, 2012 12:27:09 AM

    reprotected said:
    You don't need the 4GB. Just get the 2GB. You are paying unnecessary amount of money for no performance difference. It especially won't help if you are not going to use 3-way monitors. After that, find the cheaper or cooler one of the GTX 680s, or try the HD7970 Ghz Edition if it's cheaper.

    I knew this was going to happen.

    I'm looking at the future.
    Some current generation games running at WQHD will come close to or exceed (barely) 2GB of VRAM. Of course, I'm also talking about Ultra graphics and full AA. (Or even mods) WQHD consists of about 1.6 million more pixels than 1080, so that's close to two 1080 monitors. I know I'd probably benefit more from an SLI than 4GB of VRAM, but I'm more or less exploring my options. I haven't decided on anything yet. Right now, I'm just looking for some more info on these two specific 4GB 680's.

    Concerning a 2GB variant, I was interested in the GIGABYTE GV-N680OC-2GD GeForce GTX 680 2GB.

    Now Tahiti, I'm not too enthusiastic about ATI's thermals. Kepler or bust.

    P.S. Adobe After Effects CS6 would fully utilize 4G of VRAM.
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    a b U Graphics card
    July 31, 2012 1:19:32 AM

    I also think the Galaxy will have better cooling and is clocked higher, so it seems like a good choice. I haven't heard anything bad about Galaxy ;) 
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    a b U Graphics card
    July 31, 2012 1:25:59 AM

    EVGA GTX 680 FTW...
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    Best solution

    a c 598 U Graphics card
    July 31, 2012 4:32:58 AM

    It looks like the FTW is basically a reference model with higher factory clocks.

    On the other hand, HardOCP seems to really like the Galaxy 680. It has an all custom PCB and cooling, and comes with a factory overclock as high as the FTW's boost clock.
    http://www.hardocp.com/article/2012/05/29/galaxy_geforc...

    Quotes:
    "GALAXY's custom cooler well more than keeps up with the speeds possible and keeps this GPU cool. The cooler allowed a 10 degree cooler idle temperature on the GPU, and allowed an 8 degree better full-load temperature. Even running at 1215MHz we never saw it get hotter than 75 degrees Celsius, and that's even in SLI! We can't say enough how well GALAXY's cooler works here and keeps these cards running cool even through overclocking up to 1284MHz."

    "The factory boosted clock speed had real advantages in games, and there is potential for faster performance. GALAXY has outdone itself with the GALAXY GTX 680 GC video cards. These are sleek, run cool, and are the fastest thing on the planet right now."
    http://www.hardocp.com/article/2012/05/29/galaxy_geforc...
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    a b U Graphics card
    July 31, 2012 11:16:11 AM

    I'm just not a Galaxy fan... :/ 
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    a c 598 U Graphics card
    July 31, 2012 3:12:58 PM

    verbalizer said:
    I'm just not a Galaxy fan... :/ 

    They sure are sold just about everywhere, although I've never owned one. Their KFA2 brand sold only in Europe produces some high-end custom models that really push the envelope in terms of design and factory overclocks.
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    July 31, 2012 7:48:11 PM

    pezonator said:
    I also think the Galaxy will have better cooling and is clocked higher, so it seems like a good choice. I haven't heard anything bad about Galaxy ;) 


    Exactly, but I've only seen one decent review, but it lacks thermals.

    Well, that was until matto17secs post below.

    verbalizer said:
    EVGA GTX 680 FTW...


    Find any benchmarks? I looked at a EVGA 670 FTW benchmark and it's an improvement over the nVidia Reference design, it runs a bit warm. (er)

    17seconds said:
    It looks like the FTW is basically a reference model with higher factory clocks.

    On the other hand, HardOCP seems to really like the Galaxy 680. It has an all custom PCB and cooling, and comes with a factory overclock as high as the FTW's boost clock.
    http://www.hardocp.com/article/2012/05/29/galaxy_geforc...

    Quotes:
    "GALAXY's custom cooler well more than keeps up with the speeds possible and keeps this GPU cool. The cooler allowed a 10 degree cooler idle temperature on the GPU, and allowed an 8 degree better full-load temperature. Even running at 1215MHz we never saw it get hotter than 75 degrees Celsius, and that's even in SLI! We can't say enough how well GALAXY's cooler works here and keeps these cards running cool even through overclocking up to 1284MHz."

    "The factory boosted clock speed had real advantages in games, and there is potential for faster performance. GALAXY has outdone itself with the GALAXY GTX 680 GC video cards. These are sleek, run cool, and are the fastest thing on the planet right now."
    http://www.hardocp.com/article/2012/05/29/galaxy_geforc...


    YESSSSS!!!!!! This is exactly what I was looking for.

    Those thermals are great!



    Almost 10*C cooler than the reference design in an SLI!? Oh man.
    The 2GB Gigabyte Windforce still comes in at a cooler temperature, but Galaxy seems to have the best thermal design of any 4GB card.

    I'm still not 100% sure that I'm going to need a 4GB card, but it's a ~$100 investment that may be worth it in the long run.
    Thanks everyone!
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    July 31, 2012 7:49:26 PM

    Best answer selected by B3RL1N.
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    July 31, 2012 10:58:11 PM

    17seconds said:
    The KFA2 GTX 670 EX OC is the exact same card, so look for those reviews as well.
    http://www.guru3d.com/article/kfa2-geforce-gtx-670-ex-o...
    - Check the conclusion, and beware of coil noise if you hear it.

    Look familiar?

    http://www.guru3d.com/imageview.php?image=40316


    Hmm, I figure a squealing noise will probably be a luck of the draw. They most likely wound up with a defective unit. Although I did do a search and Zotac 680's seem to be the worst offenders when it comes to coiling whining, the Galaxy takes second and then I saw a few people complaining about EVGA's 680.

    I found this thread concerning coil whining and it's a bit inconclusive with only 19 votes, nor is it concerning 680s.

    Either way, the Galaxy looks like a nice card in my book. Now if only Frys Electronics had the 4GB model, I could just waltz on in there and purchase and make an exchange if need be.
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    August 10, 2012 5:09:23 AM

    Go with the galaxy. 4gb one too. No point in holding back at this price range,especially running Aftereffects.
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    September 30, 2012 1:58:19 PM

    You can't really future proof with graphics card at the moment unless you go for gtx690 . Even then its not really going to work.

    if you want to game at eye infinity and at WQHD display, the next generation of cards will do it. That is only 1 or 2 years at the most. The current single GPUs can't even handle the current stuff. I get sore eyes. I have a couple of Pals with single GPU setups and you can't have all the settings at full on the titles reviewed.

    The only card that could be a future proof at all is the GTX 690.

    If you want to game at 1080p just see tom's graphics review articles. Then everything is almost ok. But in a 2 years everyone is going to be gaming at WQHD and you will be at major disadvantage.

    Most folk i know go for 1080p min 60fps. That is it. Anything that can pull that is good enough.

    Shame they have not got stuff cheaper yet for the mass market.
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