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Best graphics card brand? 2 or 4gb? And "Today only" sale?

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December 17, 2012 1:51:33 PM

I am soon going to be upgrading to a GTX 680 but I am unsure what brand to buy from. I noticed that EVGA are popular but just from looking at their cards they don’t appear to have any fans, are they set up just for water cooling or does it use some kind of heatsink system?

I was also looking at the 4GB version on forums and reviews and most seem to say that it is almost completely pointless and not worth the extra £70, but I was wondering if it would be useful for future proofing or if I’ll need a faster graphics card before I’ll need more vram than 2gb? The games I will be playing most after I upgrade will be Planetside 2 on ultra(I am slightly concerned that this could take up a lot of vram because you can only get it on ultra by editing the ini file), and a heavily modded Skyrim(I am also concerned with this because I have heard of people using up to 3gb of vram while using a large amount of mods on this game)

Once I have upgraded my specs will be:
Intel Core i5-2500K CPU @ 4.*GHz (I’m will overclock it but I don’t know how far yet) || 8GB RAM || NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 || 1200W PSU || Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3 Intel Z68 Motherboard

And I run games at 1920x1080 on 60 fps on full graphics.


I have just seen a sale at Scan.co.uk for "Today only" ( http://www.scan.co.uk/todayonly/index.aspx#5 ) where they have a 4gb 680 GTX which i would buy right now if it was from I brand I have heard of before. I usually don't like rushing into buy hardware but this seems like a really good deal, should i buy it or are there any hidden cons or is the price expected to go down after Christmas anyway?

Sorry I read it wrong, I mistook the VAT inc for a "Previous price" ^

More about : graphics card brand 4gb today sale

a b U Graphics card
December 17, 2012 1:57:11 PM

GTX 680 4GB will be good for Futureproofing. And even better if you think you'll increase your Resolution in near future (Getting Multi-Monitors)
December 17, 2012 3:08:17 PM

Bump

Sorry but i really need to know if that deal is worth rushing into ordering now. - "PLEASE NOTE: TodayOnly will next update on Tuesday 18th December at approximately 3pm."
Sorry I read it wrong, I mistook the VAT inc for a "Previous price"
a b U Graphics card
December 17, 2012 3:19:46 PM

I know this is a bit off subject but, what brand/model number is your current PSU? No reason to upgrade it if its a good brand, the GTX680 uses about the same power as the card you have now, and a 1200w PSU is way overkill unless you plan to do 4 way SLI...

according to Nvidia site the GTX 680 only requires a 550w PSU, and that is normally higher than what is actually needed.

http://www.geforce.com/hardware/desktop-gpus/geforce-gt...
a b U Graphics card
December 17, 2012 3:20:30 PM

what resolution do u play in?
and yeah a 1200W PSU?!!!!!
do u want a powerhouse or something?
a c 295 U Graphics card
December 17, 2012 3:32:42 PM

I happen to like EVGA as a brand. They have good customer support, and favor the dual slot direct exhaust coolers.
They use blower type fans.
Such coolers get the heat out of the case directly. Other oem coolers look good, and perform well in an open test bed, but they depend on good case cooling to get the heat out of the case. That heats up both the gpu and the cpu.

A GTX680 will be very happy with a 600w psu. If you will upgrade in the future, just sell the GTX680 and replace it with a GTX780 or whatever comes next.
Cards today are being built with lower power needs, so a 1200w psu is way overkill. Even sli GTX680 needs only 800W.

Yes, 4gb is pointless. Here is one study:
http://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/articles/Video-Card-Pe...
December 17, 2012 3:33:03 PM

Derza10 said:
I know this is a bit off subject but, what brand/model number is your current PSU? No reason to upgrade it if its a good brand, the GTX680 uses about the same power as the card you have now, and a 1200w PSU is way overkill unless you plan to do 4 way SLI...

GTX 680 only requires a 550w PSU, and that is normally higher than what is actually needed.

http://www.geforce.com/hardware/desktop-gpus/geforce-gt...

I currently use an OCZ PSU ( http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Power+Supplie... ) which I don't think are a very good brand, the brand im going to upgrade to is Corsair AX Series. A big part of the reason to upgrade so high was to "future proof" so that i wouldn't have to upgrade again for a long time, I'm also overclocking my CPU which i hear can drain a lot of power.
a c 295 U Graphics card
December 17, 2012 3:42:29 PM

Sam B said:
I currently use an OCZ PSU ( http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Power+Supplie... ) which I don't think are a very good brand, the brand im going to upgrade to is Corsair AX Series. A big part of the reason to upgrade so high was to "future proof" so that i wouldn't have to upgrade again for a long time, I'm also overclocking my CPU which i hear can drain a lot of power.


Your OCZ ZS is one of the better models, it is a tier 2 unit on this list:
http://www.eggxpert.com/forums/thread/323050.aspx
It is plenty for a GTX680, and I see no need to change it out.

"future proofing" is futile.
Buy what you need for today today. The future will bring faster cheaper parts and your future needs are unknowable.
Spending more now is likely to be wasted in the future.

Buying a stronger psu than you need and a sli capable motherboard will likely be wasted when a gpu that is twice the capability of a GTX680 shows up sometime in the future.
Just plan on selling old parts and replacing them when they no longer do the job.

If, for example, you bought a GTX580, the top card of two years ago, how good would you feel trying to buy a second card today for sli?

I might buy a 2560 X 1440 monitor and consider it future proof along with a nice case and perhaps a psu.
a b U Graphics card
December 17, 2012 3:44:07 PM

Overclocking will indeed increase power consumption, but not to 1200 watts :-) As for 2GB vs 4GB, I'd say you're fine with 2GB if your main concern is maxing settings and seeing the games as the developer intended them, and will keep you gaming on high settings for a long time. If you're into installing fan-built super high-res texture packs on your games, the 4GB could come in handy. £70 seems a bit steep just for that though. I'd actually step down to a GTX670 to be honest, there's only ~6% performance difference across the board, so not enough that you'd even tell the difference. However it would save quite a bit. +1 to the EVGA recommendation.
a b U Graphics card
December 17, 2012 3:52:30 PM

Sam B said:
I currently use an OCZ PSU ( http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Power+Supplie... ) which I don't think are a very good brand, the brand im going to upgrade to is Corsair AX Series. A big part of the reason to upgrade so high was to "future proof" so that i wouldn't have to upgrade again for a long time, I'm also overclocking my CPU which i hear can drain a lot of power.


Overclocking will not stress your current PSU... The max watts a 680 can use is 195w and your CPU overclocked will use well under 200w(more likely in the 100-125w range) add another 30w-50w for all other components. So at max load you will only be using about 50-60%(350w) of your 650w PSU.

That being said, your current 650w will most likely last you many many years as the new tech is decreasing the power needed for all components, not increasing it.
a b U Graphics card
December 17, 2012 3:59:57 PM

^ Says the guy with the 850 watt PSU. I have that PSU too :-)
December 17, 2012 4:03:19 PM

:S I did not realize just much less power I will need. I am still going to upgrade my PSU but only to an 850W.
a b U Graphics card
December 17, 2012 4:10:40 PM

sam_p_lay said:
^ Says the guy with the 850 watt PSU. I have that PSU too :-)


Yes i got the 850w PSU back when i was planning to SLI 570's, that didn't happend, i sold my 570 and got a 680 :) 
a b U Graphics card
December 17, 2012 4:13:33 PM

Sam B said:
:S I did not realize just much less power I will need. I am still going to upgrade my PSU but only to an 850W.


It's your money... I wouldn't upgrade it, you have absolutely no reason to spend money on a new PSU (getting a 850w psu will put your computer at daily loads around 25-30% PSU load and on the low end of the efficiency curve), Just wait... IF you need a new one in a few years get one then, but i doubt you will. PSUs are most efficient in the 40-60% load range, making the 650w a perfect amount for you.
a b U Graphics card
December 17, 2012 5:20:44 PM

yeah a 650W is enough 4GB is useless unless u do multimonitor in 1600p
dont upgrade your PSU it may seem futureproof, but it is not.
and right now people are talking about how 2GB is more futureproof!!
and by the time u will need 4GB maybe even the 680 will be outdated!!
look at how long the 1GB cards lasted.
so this is wat i had to say based on some FACTS
but if u want to buy 850W and 4GB it is just your decision, which according to me could be spent on something better
a c 91 U Graphics card
December 17, 2012 5:57:39 PM

Just, uhm, throwing this out there...

Why are you getting the 680? A 680 is only 5% better than a 670, for $100 more. That's not worth it, to me.

Also, like other people have said, don't get the 4GB card - it's NOT more future proof, as by the time a game on a single monitor takes more than that, the card will be horribly outdated. (And remember: more VRAM doesn't make the card faster unless you don't have enough of it, and 2GB is MORE than enough of it.)

EDIT:

Also, except for the EVGA classified, which is set up for watercooling, every one of their cards has fans... a lot of them are blower style, which sends air out the back of the case, and a few are normal heatsinks, but they don't just throw a card out there without adequate cooling.

(But seriously, a GTX 670 can max basically anything out there at 1080p and 60fps... and what it can't won't be helped that much by a very very slight increase in power, as what it can't max are the games that are very badly coded / optimized.)
a b U Graphics card
December 17, 2012 6:43:04 PM

Derza10 said:
Yes i got the 850w PSU back when i was planning to SLI 570's, that didn't happend, i sold my 570 and got a 680 :) 


Mine was also for Crossfire plans, which never happened :-) I'm probably drawing around 370 watts total now... ah well!
a b U Graphics card
December 17, 2012 6:52:24 PM

sam_p_lay said:
Mine was also for Crossfire plans, which never happened :-) I'm probably drawing around 370 watts total now... ah well!


Yea, what is your system? I expect i'm only using 350w-400w Max in my system aswell. An 850w is even an overkill for SLI 680's now(580's can use 244w while 680's only use 195w). And i suspect i will end up selling my 680 and getting another single card solution down the road so my 850w will always be to much :( 
December 17, 2012 7:52:35 PM

Ok so I just opened my case up to look at something completely unrelated and it turns out I have a 750W power supply. This came as a massive surprise as I felt so certain I had a 650W. Anyway I guess it would be kind of pointless to upgrade to a 850W from a 750W. But I am still a little concerned about the power an overclocked CPU could draw, I intend to overclock to 4.8 from 3.3, how much more power do you think that will draw?
a b U Graphics card
December 17, 2012 8:03:30 PM

Not that much more, I'm pretty sure the max amount for our CPU is 95w but I could be wrong.

I have my CPU OC'd to 4.8Ghz and the program i use (Open Hardware Monitor) never shows the CPU using more than 90w, My GTX 680 is OC'd to 1280Mhz and won't use more than 195w. So even with these overclocks that i have my System will use somewhere around 350w on full load... You really have nothing to worry about and you could safely run 680's in SLI on a 750w PSU. There are serveral benchamarks out there showing a full system load with 670 in sli using 430w. add another 40w for 680's in sli... So even if you SLI'd 680's you would only be getting right around 470w on FULL 100% load on CPU and GPU.
a b U Graphics card
December 17, 2012 8:22:10 PM

Derza10 said:
Yea, what is your system? I expect i'm only using 350w-400w Max in my system aswell. An 850w is even an overkill for SLI 680's now(580's can use 244w while 680's only use 195w). And i suspect i will end up selling my 680 and getting another single card solution down the road so my 850w will always be to much :( 


i7 920 and a 4870. It was a 5970 before, and I was planning on adding another 5970 in Crossfire (hence the 850 watt PSU) :-)

OP, just a couple of points... firstly, Derza10 is right that your PSU is ample. These cards are delivering awesome performance at relatively very little power consumption. Other thing is just to point out that there's no guarantees your CPU can hit that speed - these chips vary so just be aware that your's might not go that high. Even at 4.5GHz though that's still a considerable increase, worth having.
a c 295 U Graphics card
December 17, 2012 9:38:59 PM

Sam B said:
Ok so I just opened my case up to look at something completely unrelated and it turns out I have a 750W power supply. This came as a massive surprise as I felt so certain I had a 650W. Anyway I guess it would be kind of pointless to upgrade to a 850W from a 750W. But I am still a little concerned about the power an overclocked CPU could draw, I intend to overclock to 4.8 from 3.3, how much more power do you think that will draw?


Overclocking takes a trivial amount extra. A 2500K has a max tdp of 95w. In actuality, it will run at somewhat less.
Overclocking up to the 95w limit from a nominal (65w??) is just not a significant increase.
December 18, 2012 12:39:34 PM

buy evga 670 4gb ftw or other factory overclocked card version if you want futureproofing 680 is waste of money and 670 factory oc will equal 680 anyway

i have evga 660 ftw signature 2 3gb and even in heavily modded and enb and high textured skyrim i get on 1080 1976mb vram usage

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