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$300 GTX 580: better option than SLIing 670s or 680s?

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Last response: in Graphics Cards
December 21, 2012 11:55:27 AM

Hello,
I am currently using a Zotac GTX 580 @ 1.5GB
I am looking to upgrade. I tend to play open world games with high-res textures modded in. For this reason I was looking for cards with more VRAM.

I found:
EVGA 670 @ 2GB for $365
EVGA 670 @ 4GB for $399
EVGA 680 @ 2GB for $435

The plan was to SLI one of these three choices as the only 580 I could find at the time was $399.

I had to consider though that 1.5GB has been giving me texture pop-ins and stuttering with Skyrim and GTA. I do not believe even 2GB will be enough for my needs either. I'm using only half the maximum values for texture qualities, AA samples, shadow quality, etc and it still pushes the full 1.5GB of VRAM. Thus I was considering dropping $800 on a 670 4GB setup.

However I have now found a new 580 (also Zotac) for $299. Saving $500 would be nice and I'm thinking I'll probably need to to get rid of my Z68 mobo and 2600k CPU by this time next year when the Haswell chips are out and priced a little nicer around Christmas.

What do you guys recommend? Do you think the market will make it worth it in a years time to save the money now and use it for better GPU/CPU/mobo this time next year?

Cheers.

More about : 300 gtx 580 option sliing 670s 680s

December 21, 2012 12:08:31 PM

I would say to get either the 2GB or the 4GB 670. By adding the second 580 you will still only have 1.5 GB of VRAM. The extra cash for the 680 isn't worth it IMO.
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December 21, 2012 12:11:45 PM

Well depending on your resolution, I don't see why 2 580's wouldn't be more than enough to run even texture modded games so long as the resolution you are gaming in does not exceed the frame buffer (in your case 1.5GB), of the textures being used.

For example, I have a 590 which is basically two slightly faster 570s (mine is tweaked) or two slightly slower 580's in SLI. at 1920x1080 I can run the high res expansion pack for Skyrim with no problems. If I switch to full resolution on my three screens of 5760x1080, it don't get stuttering but there is a lag when loading between doors, sometimes texture pops and the game runs a bit slower. In some areas it does pretty good and looks great and overall it really works. I use some custom armor and the only reason I turned off the high res pack was that it screwed up the armor textures and turned them black, otherwise I would have kept the pack and kept running at high res.
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a b U Graphics card
December 21, 2012 12:19:16 PM

You know the second GTX580 won't mean you effectively have 3GB memory right? Also, there are people on here that say that there are games that will utilise however much VRAM you can throw at them, but it doesn't mean they require more, simply they'll make use of all they're given. I don't know about the technical side of that, but I'm sure somebody could explain it. That said, I'd still be inclined (like you) to get more VRAM. A pair of 2GB GTX670s should be ample.

Looking ahead to next year, Radeon 8000s can be expected to drop the prices on 2012 models, and the GTX700s (probably March-May) will drop prices on the Radeon 8000s. A month of two of price wars will drop GTX700 prices. Depends how long you want to wait.
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a b U Graphics card
December 21, 2012 12:23:34 PM

I don't see why 2 580's wouldn't be enough either. I have 2 570's and I haven't had a single issue w/ them. I play BF3 and Borderlands 2 now mostly. Though u won't have the amount of RAM u want, the SLI setup should yield ~80% better performance.
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December 21, 2012 12:27:42 PM

sam_p_lay said:
You know the second GTX580 won't mean you effectively have 3GB memory right? Also, there are people on here that say that there are games that will utilise however much VRAM you can throw at them, but it doesn't mean they require more, simply they'll make use of all they're given. I don't know about the technical side of that, but I'm sure somebody could explain it. That said, I'd still be inclined (like you) to get more VRAM. A pair of 2GB GTX670s should be ample.

Looking ahead to next year, Radeon 8000s can be expected to drop the prices on 2012 models, and the GTX700s (probably March-May) will drop prices on the Radeon 8000s. A month of two of price wars will drop GTX700 prices. Depends how long you want to wait.


That's correct even though he may get 2 580's or I may have essentially 2 580's in SLI in a single 590, the frame buffer is still 1.5GB total as far as the games are concerned. The bottleneck should be in how much bandwidth the larger textures will cause to the VRAM. In which case faster VRAM and a larger memory bus would go a good way to relieve that. An increase in memory size to 2GB or 3GB will just hold more compressed textures for higher resolutions but when the game goes to read those textures it still has to go through the bus at the speed of the vram.
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December 21, 2012 12:31:35 PM

I think that getting the second 580 is the way to go. I think that saving $500 and getting very similar performance makes more sense.

Also, if you are speaking from a pure gaming perspective, you won't "NEED" to upgrade your Sandy i7 for quite some time. There isn't a game or video card setup out there that your setup can't crush, so if you really want to save some money, buy the 580 and start putting aside funds for a super computer with the generation that comes out after Haswell, maybe even the generation after that one.

Alternatively, you might look at getting a full loop water cooling setup so that you can push everything you already have even harder. That kind of investment would trickle over into your next setup, would just need to buy new blocks and you would be good to go.

OH THE POSSIBILITIES! Good luck!
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December 21, 2012 2:10:49 PM

Thanks for the replies guys.

@ ajl - Yeah I know, I'm basically saying I'm willing to sacrifice the texture quality for now if it means saving that much money. Lack of VRAM is not the only reason I'm upgrading, albeit an important one.

@ Bolivious - Well Skyrim is eating 82% at times so I'm scared, haha. I'm also an amateur video editor and sometimes while editing I get stuttering, look at my CPU usage, and it's at 94%. I'm overclocked @ 4.45ghz

@ warezme - Anyway you could expand on this? So you're saying the speed of the VRAM should be considered as much as the sheer amount... how does the VRAM on the 670 vs 7950 vs 580 compare to one another?

----------------------------------------------

There might be a new plan.

Someone from a different site proposed I:
- Sell my 580 for $200
- Combine that with the $300 I'd spend on the new 580
- Add in an extra $100 and purchase 2x7950 3GB
- Overclock the crap out of them, which will result in performance more similar to 2x670 than 2x580

Thoughts?
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December 21, 2012 7:56:01 PM

The new plan sounds great.
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