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Which nVidia graphics card to buy for heavy gaming?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 7, 2012 11:11:42 PM

Hello - I am in the air of buying expensive computer parts for my Christmas build and need a second opinion: I was about to buy the EVGA 680 4GB ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ) but second guessed myself and came here. So, what is the best nVidia graphics card I can get that isn't a 690? I am able to spend $500-550 on this, but I am trying to stay close to the price of the listed EVGA card. Thank you for the advice!

-Brennan Riddell
a b U Graphics card
December 7, 2012 11:28:55 PM

The GTX 680 has dropped in price you can get it for under $500 now.
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a b Î Nvidia
a c 275 U Graphics card
December 7, 2012 11:34:13 PM

I think you picked a fine card, but 4gb of vram does not seem to make much difference compared to the normal 2gb.
Here is one study:
http://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/articles/Video-Card-Pe...

I might suggest this cheaper card with 2gb, and actually a higher boost clock(1163 vs. 1150)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Some will tell you that a GTX680 is not worth it and to buy a GTX670 instead because it is almost as fast. They are probably right, but worth is something only YOU can determine. If you have the budget, go ahead with a GTX680 or you will always wonder if you should have.
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a b Î Nvidia
a b U Graphics card
December 7, 2012 11:48:01 PM

You need to tell us the resolution of your monitors and how many of them? The 2GB version will be fine for all but the triple monitor setups, and even then, 4GB is a slight help at best.

http://games.on.net/2012/10/hardware-review-gigabyte-gt...

As you can see in that review, the 4GB basically helps not at all, and only a couple percent with a triple monitor setup. As they say, if you plan to use the board for the next four plus years, it may pay, otherwise, stick with 2GB.
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December 7, 2012 11:52:18 PM

How good is the Zotac AMP 680 4GB? I will be using multiple monitors, so the 4GB, in my mind, seems worth it. And why not?
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a b Î Nvidia
a c 275 U Graphics card
December 8, 2012 12:05:10 AM

briddell said:
How good is the Zotac AMP 680 4GB? I will be using multiple monitors, so the 4GB, in my mind, seems worth it. And why not?


If you will be gaming on triple monitors, that is one thing, and 4gb might help, but not really that much.
More likely you will be looking at some sort of sli configuration, or better yet, go whole hog with a GTX690.

If you will be gaming on a single monitor, and will be attaching some side monitors, then 2gb is fine, and a GTX680 is plenty.
I do that on a 2560 x 1600 monitor, and have a second 2560 x 1600 attached.
I am pleased, but perhaps I don't know better.

Ultimately, all GTX680 cards will perform so much the same that it would take a synthetic benchmark to detect any differences.
Pick a vendor you trust with good support. Hopefully you will never need it.
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a b Î Nvidia
a b U Graphics card
December 8, 2012 12:08:10 AM

briddell said:
How good is the Zotac AMP 680 4GB? I will be using multiple monitors, so the 4GB, in my mind, seems worth it. And why not?


With multiple monitors, 4GB makes sense. However, the Zotac AMP is a reference design, which means it just has the single blower fan the dumps the air out of the edge. Nice to keep the inside of your computer cool, but bad in that the card will run hotter and not able to overclock as well and be noisier. I'd recommend a custom cooler solution like Gigabyte's.

GIGABYTE GV-N680OC-4GD GeForce GTX 680 4GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

Free 2 games w/ purc

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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a b Î Nvidia
a c 186 U Graphics card
December 8, 2012 12:11:04 AM

Simple, GTX 680 DirectCU II was born TOP, a video card generous in every respect. With high performance and the heat sink slot DirectCU II to the top of the range 3 ASUS is set to make inroads into the hearts of hardcore overclockers thanks to a generous factory overclock and quality components designed to increase the frequency.Although not part of the series "ROG" the GTX 680 DirectCU II Top trace the line between video cards ASUS Classic those belonging to the elite end, it encloses, in an evening gown, the muscles of a ROG without but resume particulars identifying video cards Matrix.This 680 is the shot caller slaps the other 680's around makes them bow down! I would be all over that Asus TOP for its high factory overclock, cool temps, and really, really quiet fans,heavily modified PCB, with an efficient VRM design to produce low temperatures, improved voltage regulation circuitry, much better Chil controller , specially binned chip and voltage control and monitoring support that you won't find on most other non-reference cards.The card is a straight beast!I http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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a b Î Nvidia
a b U Graphics card
December 8, 2012 12:16:57 AM

bigcyco1 said:
Simple, GTX 680 DirectCU II was born TOP, a video card generous in every respect. With high performance and the heat sink slot DirectCU II to the top of the range 3 ASUS is set to make inroads into the hearts of hardcore overclockers thanks to a generous factory overclock and quality components designed to increase the frequency.Although not part of the series "ROG" the GTX 680 DirectCU II Top trace the line between video cards ASUS Classic those belonging to the elite end, it encloses, in an evening gown, the muscles of a ROG without but resume particulars identifying video cards Matrix.This 680 is the shot caller slaps the other 680's around makes them bow down! I would be all over that Asus TOP for its high factory overclock, cool temps, and really, really quiet fans,heavily modified PCB, with an efficient VRM design to produce low temperatures, improved voltage regulation circuitry, much better Chil controller , specially binned chip and voltage control and monitoring support that you won't find on most other non-reference cards.The card is a straight beast!I http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


YIKES! Keep in mind this is a TRIPLE SLOT MONSTER!. Children should run for the hills!

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a b Î Nvidia
a c 186 U Graphics card
December 8, 2012 12:18:37 AM

babernet_1 said:
YIKES! Keep in mind this is a TRIPLE SLOT MONSTER!. Children should run for the hills!
Very true it's not a card for little kids ;) 
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December 8, 2012 12:41:27 AM

Okay, so I really like the ASUS 680 that you have posted. However, I am still set on 4GB - this computer is a huge investment, and I want it to last as long as possible. So, when will this 4GB version be released? Their website says it will be, and even has an unboxing, but when? http://rog.asus.com/188632012/graphics-cards-2/asus-gef...
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a b Î Nvidia
a c 186 U Graphics card
December 8, 2012 12:42:41 AM

No idea
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a b Î Nvidia
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December 8, 2012 12:48:36 AM

briddell said:
I found it - forget what I said earlier. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
But it doesn't come with 2 free games... grr....
Not the same card so don't bother with it get a different one.That's non top which doesn't use specially binned chip ;) 
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a b Î Nvidia
a b U Graphics card
December 8, 2012 12:49:24 AM

briddell said:
I found it - forget what I said earlier. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
But it doesn't come with 2 free games... grr....


Yeah, but this card is safe for women and children, it is "only" two slots wide, doesn't have the unlicensed nuclear cooling system :( 
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