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GTX680 4gb vs 2gb vs HD 7970 6gb vs 3gb

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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November 24, 2012 9:53:44 AM

Ok, to start off, here are my current specs

3 ASUS V236 monitors 1920x1080 60hz lcd in surround with occasional 1080p tv hookup for streaming shows (not when hardcore gaming)
haf x 942 cooler master case
850w silent pro cooler master
32gb 1600 ddr3 mushkin RAM/2 2x8GB dual channel kits (i know, complete overkill but it was on sale)
i7 2600k cpu
evga gtx 680 signature 2 2gb 256-bit
asus p8Z77-V PRO
corsair hydro series h100
2 samsung 830 128gb SSDs

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now, i plan on slowly upgrading to a new computer (i don't plan on selling but eventually just ending up with a 2nd mid-high range computer)

CASE/COOLING/MONITORS/PSU:
Now the only thing i'm sure about would be silverstone TJ11B-W case, a complete custom water cooled system, upgrading from 60hz monitors to 120hz 3D capable, and a 1500w PSU.

RAM:
I haven't decided much at all here but seeing as i do wish for this computer to be an ultimate top of the line computer, i will most likely go with corsair dominator platinum. maybe some suggestions for advantages of higher ram speed as well? :) 

CPU:
i'm still debating between which socket i want, (mainly between 2011, waiting for haswell, or sticking with 1155 and going ivy bridge) The only thing keeping me to stick with ivy bridge would be the utilization of PCIe 3.0. if someone could say something to make this obsolete that would be amazing to bring it down to 2 options.

MOTHERBOARD:
that being said, the motherboard is pretty much chosen for each of those sockets. 1155 would be asus maximus V extreme, etc (top of line for each)

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VIDEO CARD (MAIN QUESTION):

now i understand that i posted this in the graphics cards section which is where i get to my main discussion/question.

Which video card would be best in this situation. I've done research for weeks and i can't figure out what to go with.
I do not care if it is NVIDIA or AMD.
All I want is top of the line performance with some reliability that it will be able to play modern games for at least 2 years.
I have ruled out dual gpu video cards for many reasons.
As you can probably tell, i do not have a problem in price.
I have slightly narrowed it down to these 2 types of cards:

GTX 680 4gb classified 256bit
HD 7970 6gb GHz edition 384bit

Now to the discussion. (remember that this discussion is for my circumstances. triple monitor, 3D. water cooled)
will the memory bus on either of these cards bottle neck the VRAM?
Is this amount of VRAM even necessary even when considering future proofing?
Which card does SLI/Crossfire better?
Which can be overclocked to a higher extent?
What are the advantages of 6gb and 4gb over 3gb and 2gb versions?
Do the differences in Effective Memory Clock have a large impact in performance?

For whoever contributes, i thank you SO MUCH in advance.
ANYONE is free to answer and put their 2 cents in. No need to answer every question. even if just answering one, please post.

This has been bugging me for so long and i need to make a decision before it is too late and might as well wait for the next big thing. May the discussion/arguement begin!
a b U Graphics card
November 24, 2012 5:29:13 PM

I don't understand why you need to upgrade, you already have more than capable system. Purpose of upgrade? You want to build a new rig? Your CPU is comparable to current IBs, you have a nice motherboard, more than enough ram, a very capable GPU and even water cooling. You want to upgrade your monitor? Just do it, your system is ready for 3d. Why do you need a 1500w PSU? Can you please elaborate more on what you exactly need?
November 25, 2012 1:45:01 AM

technoholic said:
I don't understand why you need to upgrade, you already have more than capable system. Purpose of upgrade? You want to build a new rig? Your CPU is comparable to current IBs, you have a nice motherboard, more than enough ram, a very capable GPU and even water cooling. You want to upgrade your monitor? Just do it, your system is ready for 3d. Why do you need a 1500w PSU? Can you please elaborate more on what you exactly need?




As crazy as it may sound, if I play on high settings on a few of my games, it will be at an unplayable fps like 15-25. Remember that I am on surround 5760x1080. The 1500w PSU would be to power the water cooling system and to have room for 2 or even up to 4 way sli/crossfire. I also want plenty of breathing room for overclocking. Also, I am not currently on water cooling hut plan to upgrade to it. Only the CPU has a closed line water cooler.
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November 26, 2012 5:58:01 AM

Does anyone have any benchmarks of the 7970 6gb vs 680 4gb at 3 screen resolutions (surround/eyefinity)?

Also, some benchmarks of them in SLI/crossfire if possible.
November 26, 2012 11:59:44 AM

I upgraded my hardware from a 960 oc@4.2 to a 2700k oc@4.8
from 6gb triple channel to 8gb dual channel. Upgraded from gtx 480x2 sli to amd 7970x2 xfire. Upgraded my EVGA sli x3 to
a EVGA z70 and I chose the SB k series cpu over the IB because of the lower temp @ higher clocks (also non locked)

I chose the 7970's because of how easily they can overclock compared to the gtx 680 series. I updated the firmware right out the box to 1050 core and can easily push it higher if needed. I also saved a few hundred dollars streying from the 680 series.

I also read that 7970's scale better especially when going beyound x2. The 680 series do not perform well after x2

So my suggestion is to get a 4x sli board and pair it with the 7970's x2 x3 or even x4 down the road. I am hitting over 15k rather easily in 3d mark 2011
November 26, 2012 9:24:12 PM

what resolution are you running? From the research i've done, the resolution can change the performance of a card greatly. also, are the 7970's that you got the 3gb version or 6gb?
November 27, 2012 1:18:00 AM

I was running at 6002 x 1080p on 3 24" monitors (sli surround) 3 gtx 480's
Frame rates were suprisingly good when I lowered the AA which is a given at that resolution.

I would say you could run crysis 2 at 60 fps fairly easily at that resolution with AA turned down. 6 GB is overkill IMHO

I currently game on a 42"

Just remember some games are optimized and some are not but 3x7970's should do the job (2x faster then my old 3 gtx 480's)
!