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GTX 660 or 7870

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November 23, 2012 10:02:06 PM

So I am building a build and looking to either get a GTX 660 or a AMD 7870.

I plan to play at 1920x1080 at the max settings if I can.

I do plan to go SLI/Crossfire next month, I head the 7870 is not great in crossfire because of problems, but the gtx 660 in sli looking at becnhmarks looks great.

I don't plan to get a gtx 680 or anything because the stupid prices of those cards.

More about : gtx 660 7870

a b U Graphics card
November 23, 2012 10:23:29 PM

I'd take the GTX660 in a heartbeat. You're right that Crossfire can cause issues, but SLI can too... unfortunately, it still isn't something that works perfectly in every game, and often driver updates/profiles are required to get a game running properly with multi-card setups. Rage was particularly bad for multi-card setups, and that's coming from id Software! I figure if even they can't get it right, then maybe it's not yet time to do it. My only dual-GPU experience was a single Radeon with dual-GPUs. Wasn't a good experience though.
November 23, 2012 10:27:08 PM

sam_p_lay said:
I'd take the GTX660 in a heartbeat. You're right that Crossfire can cause issues, but SLI can too... unfortunately, it still isn't something that works perfectly in every game, and often driver updates/profiles are required to get a game running properly with multi-card setups. Rage was particularly bad for multi-card setups, and that's coming from id Software! I figure if even they can't get it right, then maybe it's not yet time to do it. My only dual-GPU experience was a single Radeon with dual-GPUs. Wasn't a good experience though.


I think Nvidia are starting to bring SLI to most modern games now, I know Battlefield support it along with metro 2033 ect ect.... when I looked at benchmarks for GTX 660 in SLI the FPS on Battlefield 3 everything maxed out on 1920x1080 was around 70-90fps which I think is great for that price. I was thinking maybe the GTX 660Ti but not sure.
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a b U Graphics card
November 23, 2012 10:32:46 PM

Don't get me wrong - lots of games will work great with SLI, just not all. I'd personally not want to be in a situation where I was getting issues with even a single game just because I spent double the money on graphics hardware. It's not just performance issues I'm talking about though - rendering glitches too. Dead Space 2 was an absolute mess on the card because of lack of driver support in Catalyst for dual-GPUs on Dead Space 2. Took AMD 4 months to fix that, and the game was unplayable (multicoloured lines/polygons all over the show).

The original Borderlands was a mess too - foliage smeared all across the screen and flickering/stretching all over the place. Those are extreme examples though, and they could be down to Catalyst being inferior to nVidia drivers (or the fact that nVidia get more involved with game developers to make sure games run well on their hardware). Other games like Black Ops it was more minor issues like trees in the distance flickering on/off. At least with two single-GPU cards you can always disable SLI and maybe remove the bridge if you have issues with a certain game. With my dual-GPU card, I never had the option to just use one GPU when I had issues.
a b U Graphics card
November 23, 2012 10:34:34 PM

Oh and interms of the GTX660 Ti, it's not a bad buy, but barely 10% faster than the GTX660 on average. I personally wouldn't pay the extra for that. If you want more muscle than the GTX660 can provide, I'd skip straight to the GTX670 and get something properly top-end. GTX660 still offers best bang for the buck though.
November 23, 2012 10:36:55 PM

sam_p_lay said:
Don't get me wrong - lots of games will work great with SLI, just not all. I'd personally not want to be in a situation where I was getting issues with even a single game just because I spent double the money on graphics hardware. It's not just performance issues I'm talking about though - rendering glitches too. Dead Space 2 was an absolute mess on the card because of lack of driver support in Catalyst for dual-GPUs on Dead Space 2. Took AMD 4 months to fix that, and the game was unplayable (multicoloured lines/polygons all over the show).

The original Borderlands was a mess too - foliage smeared all across the screen and flickering/stretching all over the place. Those are extreme examples though, and they could be down to Catalyst being inferior to nVidia drivers (or the fact that nVidia get more involved with game developers to make sure games run well on their hardware). Other games like Black Ops it was more minor issues like trees in the distance flickering on/off. At least with two single-GPU cards you can always disable SLI and maybe remove the bridge if you have issues with a certain game. With my dual-GPU card, I never had the option to just use one GPU when I had issues.


Problem is gpus like gtx 660ti only runs BF3 everything on max at 1920x1080 at 65fps, with the price you would suspect loads more.. that reason why I am so leaning towards gtx 660s in SLI because you get really double the performance at a great price. As far as I know all modern games that people play so support SLI, so I think it get more and more interesting.
a b U Graphics card
November 23, 2012 10:40:33 PM

Well one of the awesome things about SLI/Crossfire is that you don't have to buy both cards immediately - you could get one now at the current price and then pick up a second in a few months or a year when the price has dropped down. You're right that multi-card setups work better than they used to, but I'd consider Rage a modern game (think it's only a year old?) and that certainly had issues. Your call obviously, GTX660 is a great card to do it with and will deliver miles more performance than a single GTX680.
November 23, 2012 10:44:13 PM

sam_p_lay said:
Well one of the awesome things about SLI/Crossfire is that you don't have to buy both cards immediately - you could get one now at the current price and then pick up a second in a few months or a year when the price has dropped down. You're right that multi-card setups work better than they used to, but I'd consider Rage a modern game (think it's only a year old?) and that certainly had issues. Your call obviously, GTX660 is a great card to do it with and will deliver miles more performance than a single GTX680.



I'm going to go with SLI GTX 660 MSI OC ones, looking at the benchmarks and beating the GTX 680 reference for the price it's to hard to go for another card, I'm hoping I don't regret it.

Now I just need to find a good motherboard which has sata3 and supports SLI. Any ideas?
a b U Graphics card
November 23, 2012 10:47:28 PM

Well most important thing is to make sure there's at least two slots separating the PCI-E slots you'll be putting the cards in. A lot of boards leave a single other slot between them, meaning a pair of dual-slot cards like the GTX660 would be touching each other - not good for cooling. Are you going to be keeping your current CPU? The current gen Intel stuff uses chipsets with SATA3 as standard (AMD boards also fine with recent chipsets).
November 23, 2012 10:48:52 PM

sam_p_lay said:
Well most important thing is to make sure there's at least two slots separating the PCI-E slots you'll be putting the cards in. A lot of boards leave a single other slot between them, meaning a pair of dual-slot cards like the GTX660 would be touching each other - not good for cooling. Are you going to be keeping your current CPU? The current gen Intel stuff uses chipsets with SATA3 as standard (AMD boards also fine with recent chipsets).


Sorry should of included more details

I'll be getting a Intel i5 3570k and plan to overclock around 4.0Ghz.
a b U Graphics card
November 23, 2012 10:51:03 PM

In that case, most Z77 boards will be a safe bet - I'd recommend picking up a Gigabyte board, and remember to check the spacing on those slots :-) Are you in the States or UK or elsewhere? Worth checking on the warranties offered by various manufacturers in your country - no reason to use somebody only covering you for a year if you can get three years for a similar/same price.
November 23, 2012 11:00:04 PM

sam_p_lay said:
In that case, most Z77 boards will be a safe bet - I'd recommend picking up a Gigabyte board, and remember to check the spacing on those slots :-) Are you in the States or UK or elsewhere? Worth checking on the warranties offered by various manufacturers in your country - no reason to use somebody only covering you for a year if you can get three years for a similar/same price.


Yes I live in the United Kingdom, could you post any that are recommend with the details you said?
a b U Graphics card
November 24, 2012 8:40:53 AM

I'd recommend looking on scan.co.uk, aria.co.uk, novatech.co.uk, ebuyer.com and dabs.com. Refine the selection by chipset (Z77) and then sort by price. Work down from the top and get the cheapest board with SLI support and two slots separating the two you'll use for graphics card. Finally, do a quick Google for reviews on the board just to make sure there are no issues. If you go with Gigabyte, it's very unlikely there will be problems. MSI and Asus are also safe bets, but check reviews just to be sure. You shouldn't need to put more than £100 on your board.
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