680, is it worth it for this old system?

Hi all:

I'm in need of an upgrade. My system is about 3 years old and slowly dying. It seems my graphics card is acting up, its getting much hotter than it used to. I've checked the fan and heatsink, and reapplied thermal paste. Regardless of that it hardly keeps up with any of the newer games.

current system:
Intel Core i5-750 CPU || 4GB RAM || SAPPHIRE 4870 1GB || 650W OCZ PSU || ASUS P7P55D Mobo || 1920 x 1080 Monitor

I was considering getting a GTX 680, I connect my pc to both a 1920x1080 monitor and also a tv via HDMI to output video, so I'd like it to be able to do that. I'd also like it to be able to play newer games.

I was looking at these cards:


I also wasn't set on Nvidia over AMD whatever ends up being a better value, and performer.


So my question is is it even worth it to upgrade the graphics card or will my old cpu bottleneck the whole thing. Should I do a complete overhaul, and if so (if i wanted to do it part by part) should I upgrade cpu or gpu first.

Thanks for your help.
10 answers Last reply
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  1. It should not bottleneck. You should still pick up a CPU cooler to overclock for free extra performance in some games.

    GTX 680 should serve you well. Some people will say it's not worth your money - as it's only 10% faster than GTX 670, but is 25% more expensive. It may be the truth, but if you want the best performance - that's the only way :).

    I'd personally go for MSI Lightning version. I don't think extra $40 for the Asus is worth it.
  2. your cpu should do fine even with dual gpu such as GTX690 or HD7990. performance wise 680 and 7970 is about equal (stock setting vs stock setting) and as usual some games will prefer geforce and some other will prefer radeon. other than that the 7970 can be OC a lot though i like to remind you that OC is never a guarantee thing.

    about the monitor connection if i'm not mistaken you still need active DP for the radeon cards if you want to use 3 monitor at once. for 600 series geforce you can use any combination that available to the card and can power up to 4 display at once. i could be wrong about this though so if there is anyone can clarify this please make do :P
  3. You CPU is fine. My PC is a I5 760 (Lynnfield) + GTX 480. It runs absolutely every game out there on maximum settings @1920x1080. A friend of mine with a similar system upgraded to the ivy bridge I5 + GTX680 and his system is only 10-15% faster in games, and the upgrade cost him about 900$. In far cry 3 (1920x1080@high setting) I get about 40-45 fps and he gets 42-53 fps. Not enough to warrant a 900$ upgrade in my book.

    Just change your video card and you'll be fine. I picked up my Zotac GTX 480 AMP! second hand for less then 200$, and the performance difference is striking.
  4. The reality is, there is no CPU that doesn't bottleneck a 680 from time to time, unless you play at really high resolutions. Some games are CPU bound, others are GPU bound. Your goal is to find a reasonable balance between the two.

    Your CPU @ stock clocks, most definitely will bottleneck the card, but not all games, and maybe not most. If you OC it to at least 3.5Ghz or higher, it'll bottleneck far less often. The good news is the first gen i5 and i7's have tons of OC head room.
  5. Just get a 670 gtx, it's what it fits most to your setup, it's much cheaper and ~5% less than a 680 gtx (can reach the levels of a stock 680 gtx oc) and for your cpu, i wouldn't get anything much higher than that :

    660 ti (best value) : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125441

    Or if you have preference on amd cards :

  6. His GTX680 does score a lot better in benchmarks tough... so if you want the bragging rights, go for it.
  7. Thanks very much for your help. I am oc'd but I can't remember off the top of my head what I got upto. I water-cool with an corsair h80. I can't shake the feeling that I'd regret not getting a 680 over the 670, is there really a negligible difference? even if I oc'd the 680?
  8. The difference is around 10%. GTX 670 when overclocked can reach a stock GTX 680, but GTX 680 can be overclocked as well. There is a difference. You'll see it on some games and not so much on others.
  9. Still the 670 gtx is the best value in my opinion, and for most games not needed the extra "power" of the 680 gtx (it can overclock as well but the differences in performances stays less than 8%, the price is more 25%).
    And for that cpu although a good one, the 670 gtx will be the best balanced card for that build.
  10. Stock GTX 670 vs stock 680: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/598?vs=555

    Negligible performance difference at most games at most resolutions. If you have the cash the GTX 680 is obviously the better card just not that much better.

    EDIT: Your CPU will not bottleneck the GPU. Also if your in no rush Q1 2013 you should have a new gen of AMD card come out.
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