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GPU: Completely Stuck Between Three Options

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November 17, 2012 1:05:45 PM

This will be my first time building a computer for myself. Currently I have all the components that I believe will not depend on the graphics card choices:

Intel Core i5-3570K Quad-Core Processor 3.4 GHz
Corsair Vengeance 16GB (2x8GB) DDR3 1600 MHz
ASUS SABERTOOTH Z77
Cooler Master V8 - CPU Cooler
2tb Storage Drive
64g Boot Drive
Asus Bluray reader
Corsair 600t Graphite Case
Windows 7 Home Premium

The power supply will ultimately depend on my choice of graphics card(s).
Currently I am stuck between 3 choices: the GTX 660, the GTX 670, GTX 680
I have sort of an odd setup of my monitors. I am using an older 27inch Lcd panel (1366x768) and a 19 inch (its about 3 years old). I want to be able to play (some games) with the ability to say surf the internet on the 19 while playing on the 26. I also might also upgrade considerably soon to a 27 inch Asus LED monitor (1920x1080) and would like to keep that as a factor.
Also I would like the temps to be pretty low. I am switching over to a PC from PS3 and I would just like to considerable better quality on the pc (I know I will at least see some), but that doesn't mean I have to have the best such as a gt x 690. (I Could not afford it anyway.)
I was first looking at a Sig Evga Gtx 680 or a MSi Twin Frozr (680) for $469.00 then I started wondering about a Gtx 670 and how much cheaper it is. Any of the GTX 670's look good. THEN I started looking at the 660's and thought well if I don't like the quality of picture I can always buy another and sli fairly easy for about the same price as a gtx 680. Also will the 2gb/4gb factor into my setup. Keeping in mind that with the gtx 680 and an 850watt power supply the PC cost just over $1800. Its within budget but I just want to know if I can get a little less (picture quality) for a substantialy lower price. So GTX 680, 670, 660 or 660 sli and how will whatever choice should affect my psu choice. Thanks, Avery :) 
Some Games I want to Play:
ARMA 2 on Ultra (DayZ and the main game)
ARMA 3 When it is Released
BF3
Strategy games- City XL 2012/Sims 3/ Crusader Kings 2
a b U Graphics card
November 17, 2012 1:27:23 PM

You have a nice rig there. I say go for the 660GTX. Check the benchmarks of your games. If you feel like its not enough, go with the 670. The 680 is a terrible value. 2GB of memory is plenty for the GPU, especially at the resolutions you are running at (and it will run fine at 1080p). As for a power supply, I would go with this one http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Its modular, has plenty of wattage for your rig and is a pretty good deal from a great company. Its not enough to go SLI, but I never recommend that anyway. If, by chance you do (again, I wouldn't), go for a 750w unit from the same company.
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a b U Graphics card
November 17, 2012 1:28:51 PM

your monitor is ancient for any gaming build. So you should consider this build with at least a 1080p monitor. Now personally, I like all 3 of those gpus. tho If I had to pick one, I would pick the gtx670. The reason is, while the gtx 670 is about $100 cheaper than the gtx680, it actually delivers about the same performance in fact the EVGA gtx670 FTW/ Asus direct cu II top/msi power edition models actually beat most of the overclocked gtx680s. Frankly put, the extra money isnt worth it for the gtx680, you can buy a psu with that money. Now the gtx660 is pretty impressive as well specially for its price. The only thing I find concerning about that gpu is its low memory bit rates 184bit doesnt give me the vibe of a solid gpu even tho it performs pretty well. The fps rate of that gpu is pretty unstable because of its unusual build quality. Now you can always sli and eradicate that problem. But imho its always better and safer to have a single gpu solution. You will have to go through the hassle of waiting for sli profile support for future games, something you should try to avoid. Overall, gtx670 offers a well balance of reliability, performance and price and hence thats what I would recommend. Good luck

As for psu, a corsair cx500 should be enough for the gtx670. But you might wanna get a 650w for the sake of headroom or even a 750w for future sli possibilities.
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November 17, 2012 1:42:02 PM

Thank you two for responding:)  I will eventually upgrade too a Asus LED (1080x1920) monitor early next year when more money comes my way but will still use the (1366x768) as a internet browser . So basically both of you say the gtx 680 is just wasted money right? and a 600-700 watt supply is more than efficient to run a gtx 660 or a gtx 670 in sli? So a 660 would be sufficient but a gtx 670 would provide more opportunity if I upgrade to the Asus monitor? I have another question can do either of you suggest a certain model of a gtx 660 or 670? Thanks again, AveryFair
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a b U Graphics card
November 18, 2012 6:05:28 AM

Asus gtx670 direct cu II top- what I personally have at the moment, great gpu but pretty hard to find right now.

Msi gtx670 power edition goes on par with the Asus dcu II top model but apparently it has some overvoltage issues according to Tom's review.

and EVGA gtx670 ftw edition comes with reference design cooler but performs superb. Cheaper than the other models too.
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a b U Graphics card
November 18, 2012 6:21:49 AM

It's always best using 1 GPU.

Remember this: 2 GPUs doesn't give you 2 times the performance, but it does use 2 times the power and produces 2 times the heat.

If you get a GTX 660 right now, then you won't be dissapointed. It maxes out almost everything you throw at it and that is in 1080p.

So I would suggest you go with a new monitor with 1080p res and a GTX 660.

Battlefield 3 is running at smooth 50 fps in average and at lowest 44 fps. (That is with fraps on, so it might be different without)

I almost got the same build as you, so I can assure you, that it will run like a dime. :) 
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November 19, 2012 12:57:53 AM

I was looking at some of the reviews for the evga model gtx 670's and it seems several claim that they have quality control problems and charge you shipping if you have to RMA, but this is about the same for MSI, Asus, and several others. So I would like a pretty reliable card that will live longer than a year and one that will come WORKING when I buy it. That being said I am still considering EVGA an the others betting that the angry ones review more often than the pleased ones which puts the ratio to about 15 happy to 1 or 2 angry. Is that just the norm for all cards - there being a couple lemons out of every 10 or 15 ?

Also what are your opinions on this card: PNY GeForce GTX 670 Graphics Card VCGGTX670XPB. I havent really heard much about PNY but on amazon the gtx 670 card is only $340.00 with rebate which sounds like a pretty good deal. I have heard about the voltage problems on the msi and decided to steer clear of that. So currently I am looking along the line of EVGA's (and the PNY).

PS. I am still considering the 660's but I feel with my new monitor in January the gtx 670 will give me more breathing room and Arma 2 is not very optimized so it runs significantly lower than BF3 on a gtx 660; however I am not sure about fps rates and what is the lowest I can tolerate because this is my first gaming computer.

Also I have another question about power supply. Does the Gold Silver Bronze thing really matter or is it more of a gimmick because the corsair golds are basically 40-100 more expensive than the bronze and both appear pretty good. Thanks again, AveryFair :) 
EDIT: Found a better deal on New gg for the PNY Wow $319 after rebate (but it is out of stock.) BTW I am not really considering sli and I understand that it doesn't give you twice the performance. I was just referring to it as a last resort if I bought a Gtx 660 and was not happy with the performance which now I am strongly leaning towards a single GTX 670.
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a b U Graphics card
November 19, 2012 6:58:26 AM

tbh any gpu from any brand can have problems it all depends on your luck. There's always a 1% probability of dud gpu failure even with the most reliable products.. I have seen more customers satisfied with their EVGA products than not. I don't know much about PNY personally never had one but for $340, I wouldn't mind getting one of their gtx670s. But like I said before, it ultimately comes down to your luck.
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November 19, 2012 7:29:10 AM

I think u should go for the GTX 660 if u want to save some money for a new Display i have an Gigabyte over clocked edition and the games runs perfect with it and i'm playing at max settings, it also gives me like 45 c temp during load and it only needs a 450 w PSU and there is a plenty of good cooled cards which comes also overclocked i'd recommend u The Hawk MSI Edition or the GIGABYTE Windforce x2 or the Asus Direct Cu II they are all Great
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a b U Graphics card
November 19, 2012 10:23:33 AM

I'd say go for GTX 670. It will be good for future use too.
But GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 660 Ti Windforce 2X OC 2GB is also a awesome card, check its review.
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November 26, 2012 9:21:27 PM

Best answer selected by AveryFair.
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November 26, 2012 9:25:16 PM

shamsmu said:
tbh any gpu from any brand can have problems it all depends on your luck. There's always a 1% probability of dud gpu failure even with the most reliable products.. I have seen more customers satisfied with their EVGA products than not. I don't know much about PNY personally never had one but for $340, I wouldn't mind getting one of their gtx670s. But like I said before, it ultimately comes down to your luck.

Thanks for helping me with you're thorough answers. I will save quite a bit of money and will also be able to upgrade to 1080p monitor soon. I will let everyone know how it goes. Thanks again, AveryFair :D 
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