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Need Advice: Is More VRAM Worthwhile In My Situation?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 12, 2012 8:26:47 AM

I'm doing a build as a gift for a friend who's about to start her graduate studies; I'm currently deciding between the 2GB VRAM version and the 4GB version of Galaxy's GTX 680 GC model but I'm not sure if the 2GB difference is worthwhile for the $80 or so difference I'd be paying. Is the 680 even worthwhile? I've had a few friends suggest that a 670 might be sufficient but they weren't exactly sure either; the 670 also comes in 2GB or 4GB versions. (Using that Galaxy design as it matches our planned colour scheme for the build, FYI)

As for what the card's being used for, I know for certain that my friend will be doing a lot of 3D modelling, simulations, using OpenGL apps, working with CUDA programming (hence Nvidia), etc. She'd also be doing some side-tasks like livestreaming/recording conferences/meetings for uploading and archiving immediately afterwards. Just to clarify, her academic uses are the most important factors in deciding what card to get.

As for multi-monitor setups, she's quite content with her dual-monitor config she's using at the moment; I don't know what resolution she's running but I believe that her 2 monitors only natively support 1920x1080 each.

Aside, she's also a avid gamer and often records and edits gameplay footage but, as I mentioned before, the academic purposes are the most important factors.

Being futureproof is a slightly moderate factor; I suppose that she might SLI in the future if she ever wanted a more fancy setup which is why I'm currently planning on getting her a Corsair AX860/860i PSU which should suffice dual SLI if she ever chooses to do so. I've currently chosen the i7-3770k, the ASUS P8Z77-V Pro, and 16GB of Intel Extreme Masters RAM of to accompany whichever card I end up picking.

Any advice would be very helpful; thanks!

P.S. Everything is being overclocked if it wasn't inherent. Also, not changing on CPU choice; it's actually a gift from my other friend and I and they got the 3770k for basically $100 from the Intel Retail Edge Program so we're sticking to LGA1155 as opposed to LGA2011 - we would've gone that route if we had the money but unfortunately not at the moment. With that noted, the motherboard and RAM are also chosen for matching colour schemes (blue/grey/white) so they're unlikely to change unless someone comes up with a much better suggestion; the PSU is being modded to a blue scheme.
a b U Graphics card
December 12, 2012 5:48:55 PM

first of, your friends were correct, a gtx670 would be more than enough for her needs just get one with factory OC like the EVGA ftw or the Asus direct cu II which would actually perform as good as the galaxy gtx680 if not better in some instances. The extra money for the gtx680 wouldn't be worth it.

Now as far as I know, both the gtx670 and gtx680 have limited about of memory bandwidth and 256bits. So they would have hard time utilising their 2gb of vram even with multimonitor set ups. Anything above 2gb is simply a waste and in all occasions, we have seen the 2gb models of those gpus did better than the 4gb models even during tripple monitor gaming.

So, my advice would be- get a high end gtx670 2gb model like the Asus dcu II or EVGA FTW or even the MSI power edition. If you are really concerned about multimonitor gaming- then you can also consider the hd7970ghz edition as those cards aren't limited in memory bandwidth.

Goodluck
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December 12, 2012 6:03:23 PM

shamsmu said:
first of, your friends were correct, a gtx670 would be more than enough for her needs just get one with factory OC like the EVGA ftw or the Asus direct cu II which would actually perform as good as the galaxy gtx680 if not better in some instances. The extra money for the gtx680 wouldn't be worth it.

Now as far as I know, both the gtx670 and gtx680 have limited about of memory bandwidth and 256bits. So they would have hard time utilising their 2gb of vram even with multimonitor set ups. Anything above 2gb is simply a waste and in all occasions, we have seen the 2gb models of those gpus did better than the 4gb models even during tripple monitor gaming.

So, my advice would be- get a high end gtx670 2gb model like the Asus dcu II or EVGA FTW or even the MSI power edition. If you are really concerned about multimonitor gaming- then you can also consider the hd7970ghz edition as those cards aren't limited in memory bandwidth.

Goodluck



Thanks for the response; any comments on what I said about the main uses of the card though? As I've mentioned, gaming is negligible in importance compared to what she'd really be using it for. Also, can't really go AMD since she has to work with CUDA as far as I know.
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a b U Graphics card
December 12, 2012 6:11:43 PM

yeah well my comment stands, I still believe 2gb is more than enough for her needs. I render heaps of 3d stuff as well on my gtx670. the gtx680 does have more cuda cores but I dont think its worth the money
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a c 85 U Graphics card
December 12, 2012 6:14:06 PM

Yep. I second the comment for a 2GB 670. There's really not much reason to spend more money, and the extra VRAM won't really make a difference - it only helps if there isn't already enough, and 2GB will be plenty.
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a b U Graphics card
December 12, 2012 6:37:47 PM

And from what I could see I did not see you mention gaming yet alone high end gaming so I see no reason to spend the money on a super overclock GPU. For what your friend is going to do a standard clock GTX 670 will be more than enough for his needs. The components you have picked so seem very good but normally it is not a good idea to pick your parts for a particular color scheme. If it were not for CUDA programming I would have suggested you get a Sapphire HD 7950 as I feel they are better gaming GPU's right now but with your friend's Cuda needs that would be out.

From everything you have in your post he is going to use his PC for I really do not see the need for any OC'ing to be truthful. He will be able to achieve every thing he whats with out the need for any overclocking and the add heat and possible extra fan noise that comes with it. But that is just me I am not against overclocking but I just do not see the need to OC unless there is going to be real benefit from doing it. And at least from what you have in your post he is not going to see any real word benefit from it. But as I said that is just me and I really do not know a whole lot about intel as I have not used them for a long time so maybe it is needed with that CPU.
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December 12, 2012 7:11:49 PM

bryonhowley said:
And from what I could see I did not see you mention gaming yet alone high end gaming so I see no reason to spend the money on a super overclock GPU. For what your friend is going to do a standard clock GTX 670 will be more than enough for his needs. The components you have picked so seem very good but normally it is not a good idea to pick your parts for a particular color scheme. If it were not for CUDA programming I would have suggested you get a Sapphire HD 7950 as I feel they are better gaming GPU's right now but with your friend's Cuda needs that would be out.

From everything you have in your post he is going to use his PC for I really do not see the need for any OC'ing to be truthful. He will be able to achieve every thing he whats with out the need for any overclocking and the add heat and possible extra fan noise that comes with it. But that is just me I am not against overclocking but I just do not see the need to OC unless there is going to be real benefit from doing it. And at least from what you have in your post he is not going to see any real word benefit from it. But as I said that is just me and I really do not know a whole lot about intel as I have not used them for a long time so maybe it is needed with that CPU.



The colour scheme was incidental; I chose the motherboard and RAM based on what they had to offer - plus I've had good experiences with ASUS and Patriot in the past so that was a factor; I was pretty much checking pcpartpicker for quite some time and they were the best choice when I bought them on sale. Colour scheme just happened to be something we decided on later which coincidentally worked out with the already chosen motherboard and RAM.

As for overclocking...well the K series of Intel's processors have unlocked multipliers so it's sort of wasteful not to do at least some overclocking. We're not doing anything extreme however and we'd adjust anything if needed when we finally do assemble and test the build.
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