GTX690 SLI vs GTX680 4GB SLI

Thats the million dollar question.
I know that there is hardly (if at all) any good benchmark that has both the 690 and 680 4GB in it.
Or atleast not in the way i mean.
In terms of vram the gtx680 4GB wins. No argument as it simply has more active vram.
Atm you will hardly notic and the gtx690 will be the better choice.

But.....
Is it futureproof?

In a year or so maybe a little more 2GB vram will probably take a nosedive vs the 4GB of the 680. But as for the speed and other factors i don't know.
It may have less vram but it seems to me that the 690 is faster than the 680.

So the question.
In the long run what would be better. Two gtx690 sli or 2-3way sli gtx680 4GB?
And i mean like speed, cooling you name it. Cause the vram is obvious.
22 answers Last reply
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  1. No such thing as future proofing.

    There really isn't a need for more than 2GB of VRAM.

    Of course the 690 is faster than the 680, it's two 680's that are downclocked on one PCB.

    3 way 680 would be the most optimal because the 4th GPU doens't scale very well.
  2. but in a year or 2,3 won't the 4gb vram become handy?
    and i also saw that about the 4th gpu, but a 2way sli gtx690 has 4 gpu cores in only 2 slots.
    Like you said 1 690 will kill the 680.
    but will 2 690's also kill a 3-way 680 4GB thats my whole question.
  3. The 4GB advertised on 690's is misleading. There is a total of 4GB yes, but each GPU only has 2GB to it. In an SLI config (which a 690 is, its just two 680 GPU's in SLI on the same board), the VRAM doesn't stack with more GPU's.
    So for all intents and purposes, you only have 2GB of VRAM. 680's only have 2GB as well unless you get some high tier EVGA models.

    Unless you are talking a very high resolution monitor or multiple monitors, extra VRAM doesnt help in performance. For single screen 1080p gaming, 1.5GB is about the most you will need. And in both these circumstances, you should be looking toward AMD cards, which typically perform better at higher resolutions.

    Agree with amuffin that over a 3yr timespan, you simply cant future proof a machine.
    Watch this, it'l explain some things.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FK4ip08auGg
  4. i already knew about the vram issue.
    what i don't know is speed.
    2way gtx690 v 3way gtx680 4GB... what will be better and why.

    I've always used AMD cards. And with every card i"ve had about the same problems.
    i'm done with AMD untill they fix it. and Nvidia is mre reliable so i'm going for a nvidia card this time.

    Also the gtx690 looks to have a nice build-in cooling system witch seems to work nicely i hear.
  5. Never had a problem with AMD. Nvidia being "more reliable" is a myth.

    2 gpus in SLI/crossfire are always better than a single card SLI/crossfire solution. The 4th gpu never adds much for gaming so 2 690's are a waste. Also at 1080p a single card is fine. The sane thing to.do is get a 670 or 7970 and crossfire/SLI in a year
  6. Two 690's are better for single screen gaming (Well, vastly overkill. A single 670 is more than enough). Quite simply because its four GPU's versus three, and the 2GB of VRAM isnt a bottleneck.

    If you are looking for multi-monitor performance (so three or six monitors), 4GB 680's would be the better option, as the extra VRAM will be more important than the extra GPU.

    What is this problem you are having with AMD cards? And how are you claiming that Nvidia are more reliable if you have only used AMD before?
  7. i've had serveral problems with AMD but this isn't an AMD vs Nvidia topic
    a 670 is no option as a 680 4gb is much better. only downside is that its not avaliable yet in stores here.
    "the 4th core never adds much" i know this to but is it not different as the 690 basicly uses 2 slots on the mobo.
    if not then the 4th core of the 690 will indeed be a waste.
    my question still is, witch is faster looking at both current games and what kind of games a programs we'll have in 3 years or so.
  8. some friends of mine use only nvidia and never had problems.
    I had cards arriving DOA, bios getting messed up, drivers that make things only worse and worse instead of fixing things. and the Radeon HD4870x2 i use now has serious age issues.
    also had problems with the fan dieing or the bearing (if thats the right word) breaking.

    but like i said.. this is not a amd vs nvidia topic
  9. so on the 2 monitors i have now a gtx690 2way sli will be faster.
    but when i get more monitors the 3way 680 will take lead as the more monitors i use the more important the vram will become.

    If i keep it at 2 monitors with highest res. how long do you think 2GB will be enough. As in...in 2 years time a 2way 690 will only be able to play games on medium res.
  10. You can take a look at what Tom's Hardware said in their review GeForce GTX 690 Review: Testing Nvidia's Sexiest Graphics Card
    Quote :

    Benchmarking Nvidia’s new GeForce GTX 690 almost wasn’t even necessary. The company gave us a great idea of what to expect when it told us that its new Death Star would be fully operational, featuring two uncut GK104s. A slightly lower base clock suggested average performance just a smidge below two GeForce GTX 680s—but certainly not enough to be noticeable while you’re gaming.

    If you consider $500 for GeForce GTX 680 to be a fair price, then $1000 for GeForce GTX 690 is comparably reasonable. But is it any better? Or should you just stick to a pair of Nvidia’s fastest single-GPU cards?

    That’s going to depend on your priorities.

    Practically, two GeForce GTX 680s facilitate slightly better performance and they exhaust all of their heat out into the surrounding environment. They’re also scalable at a more granular level. That is to say, if you buy two GeForce GTX 680s today, you could add a third tomorrow and be out-of-pocket for $1500. For most enthusiasts with the right motherboard slot configuration, that’s the smarter play.

    ...And so we come full circle. Nvidia’s new flagship is a lot like an expensive sports car: attractive, exclusive, and not necessarily practical. But if you’re in line for one, there’s a fair chance you already know that and probably don’t care.


    In short, the two GTX 680's are better in performance. But, the 690's are less in heat.
  11. DOA cards and fan bearings arent AMD's fault, that's on the manufacturers side.
    You are using mid-range cards from three (near four) generations ago, did you expect them max out games after this much time?
    Meh, both sides release bad drivers. Think Nvidia release one a while ago that killed peoples cards because it stopped the fans from spinning.

    On two monitors its equivalent to only one. Unless you are gaming across these monitors, multi-monitor performance isnt a consideration. If all it does is extend your desktop then it doesnt use any GPU resources (or a negligibly small amount).

    We cant answer your questions on how long it will last. All I can say is that you cant future proof over this kind of time frame. Top end components are equivalent to mid range hardware in three years (Core 2 Duo Extreme something, $1000+ CPU in 2008, is equivalent in performance to a $200 2500k in released in 2011). So don't expect Uber settings and massive resolutions from your hardware in three years. Case in point, your HD4870's.
  12. i see.. but i either way, it doesn't matter witch i choose now as they are both overkill.
    But in a year or more when games get bigger and better will a 2way SLI 690 win from a 3way sli 680.
    if i get more monitors the vram will kick the 690. if i don't then i doe have 4 cores over 3 and even though the 4th cores doesn't really do anything in gaming, will it win from the 680 in speed and rendering power?
  13. http://techreport.com/articles.x/22890/7 check the full review to see the other benchmarks
  14. If your trying to future proof forget about it no such thing
  15. very true.
    so my answer:
    no matter what i pick it wont last forever as true futureproofing doesn't exist.
    but at the end of these cards life if i don't get more monitors) the gtx690 2way will probably win in speed over the 680 and if not it will be online but a little tiny bit slower witch will not be notable.

    right?
  16. bigcyco1 said:
    http://techreport.com/articles.x/22890/7 check the full review to see the other benchmarks


    but these are benchmarks with the normal 680. and i"m talking about the 680 classified (4GB)
  17. The amount of VRAM doesnt impact performance until you run out of it. A 2GB 680 and a 4GB 680 will perform the same if that 2GB isnt being fully used.

    Just get whatever you want, we cant seem to convince you do anything else. Either option is extremely overkill, just one of them is $500 more expensive.
  18. ASarc said:
    very true.
    so my answer:
    no matter what i pick it wont last forever as true futureproofing doesn't exist.
    but at the end of these cards life if i don't get more monitors) the gtx690 2way will probably win in speed over the 680 and if not it will be online but a little tiny bit slower witch will not be notable.

    right?


    If you don't get more monitors, get a single GTX 690 or 2 GTX 680 2GB for 2 way SLI and put the rest of the money into something else. Anything beyond 2 Way SLI (3 or 4 way SLI) scales extremely bad in 9 out of 10 modern games out there. Metro is the only game so far that scales well beyond 2 way SLI. The rest of the games you either get about 10%-20% improvement in fps if you are lucky for 3 way SLI vs 2 way SLI. 4 way SLI scales even worse so forget about it.

    Regarding memory buffer, again, 2 GB is enough for all games out there for 1 monitor up to 2560-1600 resolution with max AA/AF. It's the memory bandwidth that is the limiting factor for Nvida card at high resolution, not memory buffer capacity. AMD card has higher fps in higher resolution is due to the higher memory bandwidth (384 bit memory that run at 6 ghz frequency for AMD card as compared to the 256 bit memory that run at 6 Ghz frequency for nvidia).

    If you want to sink your money, I suggest you put it in a 30'' 2560 1600 resolution monitor that costs around 1200 dollars but will give you stunning graphics instead of spending a grand on 3-4 way SLI and get max 10% increase in fps.
  19. ASarc said:
    very true.
    so my answer:
    no matter what i pick it wont last forever as true futureproofing doesn't exist.
    but at the end of these cards life if i don't get more monitors) the gtx690 2way will probably win in speed over the 680 and if not it will be online but a little tiny bit slower witch will not be notable.

    right?
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  20. i've got my answer
    i'm gonna call the store and ask when there getting the Classified.
    Thank you guys for all your help.
  21. Your very welcome enjoy!
  22. Hard to say how long 2GB vram will be viable, no one has had a chance to benchmark UE4 yet, if you want to be safe just try get your hands on two 4GB 680GTX.
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