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SLI GTX 560 tis or GTX 660 ti

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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a b U Graphics card
August 20, 2012 1:02:22 AM

Hi guys, I recently built a my first gaming pc and didnt go all out on it. I am wondering about upgrading a bit more for the new games coming (crysis 3, borderlands 2 etc). Current specs are.

Asrock Z77 extreme 4
i5 3570k
Corsair 750 watt PSU
8GB 1600 DDR3
MSI GTX 560 ti HAWK edition card

I am wondering what performance difference i would see between getting another 560 in SLI or getting one of the new 660s that everyones raving about. The price isnt too much more compared to other options.


APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Next month or so
BUDGET RANGE: $200-$300

USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, Bf, Crysis (not necessarily ultra graphic settings

CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: MSI GTX 560 ti Hawk running off Corsair 750 watt psu

OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS: (e.g., make/model of CPU, MoBo, memory - this can help us determine whether or not a given card is compatible with and makes sense for your system. For high-end cards, knowing your case/cooling setup may also be helpful)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Not fussed

PARTS PREFERENCES: NA

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080,

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: What do i need to keep in mind if SLI is the better option, regarding power and cooling.

Best solution

August 20, 2012 1:49:35 AM

I have benchmarked a 560ti setup as well as a Zotac 670 setup using Unigine Heaven 3.0. All other variables remained constant (CPU, HDD, RAM, etc).

Surprisingly the results were virtually the same, with a slight edge going to the 670 in terms of max FPS and score, but only by a few frames.

So based on that assessment I would expect the 560ti SLI setup to outperform a 660ti in terms of performance. However, benchmarks have shown only a marginal improvement of a 670 over a 660ti, kind of like the difference between a 670 and 680.

But keep in mind the that SLI will draw more power and generate more heat, so you must have sufficient case cooling. You are also elimiting the option to go with a 660ti SLI setup when the time comes to upgrade.

I would always prefer to have one card rather than two, but if I were to go SLI, i would much rather be with the new kepler series cards due to the lower power consumption and lower temps. Plus the 660ti comes with 2GB of memory so take that into account too!
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a b U Graphics card
August 20, 2012 2:01:56 AM

So basically it wont be too much difference, except for the heat and power draw. The main thing I need to think about is that I wont be able to upgrade from there, but if i go a 660 I can SLI down the track. Also what I have learnt from buying the hawk edition card is that its very tricky when trying to do things like watercooling, which is something else I am considering down the track. From what I have read finding blocks for cards that arent reference just doesnt happen. Would I encounter the same thing here?

Also will my Corsair 750watt PSU be able to handle either card in SLI? Besides the setup mentioned above I also have a WD 1TB HDD and a OCZ Agility 3 120gb SSD running off of it.
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a b U Graphics card
August 20, 2012 6:33:16 AM

So it looks like the 660 ti is going to cost a fair bit more in Australia, which is a real shame because i was leaning that way. Will my 750 watt psu handle the 560 ti's in SLI? and out of curiosity would it handle the 660 in sli incase i source one for less?
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a b U Graphics card
August 20, 2012 6:38:52 AM

SLI can be a big pain in regards to drivers. Personally, I'd pick up a 7970 if I had the cash, but a 7870 is sufficient too.
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a b U Graphics card
August 20, 2012 6:40:28 AM

Haha I was waiting for someone to through AMD into the mix, im not biased against them, I just have had no experience with them, and have no knowledge of which is what in their lineup.
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August 20, 2012 12:37:42 PM

I used a Corsair HX750 to power my 560ti setup. These were both reference cards but I did overclock them to 920mhz at 1.1v. I also had two HDDs, CD drive, i5-2500k hooked up. So based on that I would say you are OK. Corsair PSUs have always treated me well.

It is a great setup, but expect temps to stay around 80C at load. I do not know much about water cooling, much less for a GPU, so I cannot comment on that. I never ran into any driver issues, BTW.
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a b U Graphics card
August 21, 2012 2:05:24 AM

Yeah saw a review from Linus tech tips, he said the 660 ti in SLI will run fine on my exact PSU, I guess my best option is to just wait a bit, let prices sort themselves out and see if AMD adjusts their prices. Also wait to see whats needed for Crysis 3 and how the 660 benchmarks on boarderlands 2. It will also see what options come out for watercooling the 660.
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a b U Graphics card
August 21, 2012 2:51:47 AM

The 192-bit bus of the 660 will limit the amount of AF and texture settings you can use and pump up. You'll feel limited in Crysis 3. The 7950 has a fat pipe twice the size (384 bit) eliminating that bottleneck.
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a b U Graphics card
August 21, 2012 3:11:32 AM

Yeah that might be the way to go, it looks like theres more water cooling options about aswell. Ill wait to see if prices get adjusted. Any other thoughts or opinions are appreciated.
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a b U Graphics card
August 22, 2012 1:12:38 PM

Just want to update. I have recently started doing video editing. I want to do more and am running 2 and might go to 3 screens, probably all at 1080. Does this different application affect my choice?
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a c 172 U Graphics card
August 22, 2012 2:40:21 PM

Just stay with what you have and for extra monitors just dump in any old nvidia card in any of the extra slots for 2d use on the other monitors. People used to do it all the time.
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a b U Graphics card
August 23, 2012 12:12:45 AM

So i can run my main monitor from my 560 ti, and then the two others from my old gt 220? Does this dedicate all the power of the 560 to the main one where my games/video software is? I wasnt aware you could use two different cards, unless they were in SLI/xfire in which case they had to be the same
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August 26, 2012 2:55:06 AM

Burgies said:
So i can run my main monitor from my 560 ti, and then the two others from my old gt 220? Does this dedicate all the power of the 560 to the main one where my games/video software is? I wasnt aware you could use two different cards, unless they were in SLI/xfire in which case they had to be the same


You can hook up two monitors to your GT 220 but you only have one DVI, VGA, and HDMI port so keep that in mind. The 560ti has two DVI ports and one HDMI (or mini HDMI). Cards do not need to be in SLI in order to utilize both cards. For example some people use a second card as a dedicated Physx card.

You may also consider using the motherboard and the 3570K HD4000 graphics as a way to connect a display. There are many options to choose from...

You can run two displays using the 560ti and one with the GT220.
You can run two with the GT220 and one with the 560ti.
You can run one with the 560ti, one with the GT220, and one using the mobo.

No matter what you end up doing, it is important to calibrate the displays as best as possible, though it is nearly impossible to have each one be identical. I have two of the exact same LG 236v monitors and I cannot get them to look the same, and they are both connected to my 670 via DVI.
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a b U Graphics card
September 5, 2012 11:07:06 AM

Best answer selected by burgies.
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