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GTX 660TI SLI upgrade from GTX 680?

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February 8, 2013 7:20:20 PM

Hi all :) 

So uh, I was considering an "upgrade", if you can call it that. So I'm planning on getting two 600TI's (which according to benchmarks does a pretty good job, and is great for the value), and selling my GTX 680. Someone is offering to pay me a whopping $450 for it, and I only paid like $515 (with shipping and tax). So that's a pretty good deal, pretty much get all my cash back. But is it worth it? About $700 for two 660TI's ($300 each, +tax and shipping is about $700). So a net loss of about $250, which isn't bad.

But I was just wondering, when is the 700 series for Nvidia coming out? Is it this spring, or is it September? And regardless of that, would it be more worth the value to grab two 660TI's and sell off my 680 while the offer stands, or hold out for the 700 series and grab just one of those cards?

Any suggestions would be great :) 

EDIT: Seems great controversy seems to be going on over my performance due to other factors (my system specs).

Here they are:
AMD FX-8350 @4.0GHz
Nvidia GTX 680
Mushkin 16GB DDR3 @1866MHz
Antec 1000W
ASUS Crosshair V Formula-Z

And yes, I do have a front intake fan, a top exhaust fan, and a back exhaust fan. The temps of my CPU and motherboard are great, so I don't think case cooling is the issue.. Motherboard and CPU usually are at around 30C on idle, not bad imo. Mobo gets up to 35C tops under full load, and CPU at like 50C.

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a b Î Nvidia
February 8, 2013 7:29:23 PM

There's no announced date for the 700 series or 8000 series from amd, some reports said only in the fourth quarter it will be released.
There's the geforce titan which is going to be out by the end of this month, rumors said it is better than a 690 gtx with just a single gpu on the pcb and that it will have a price tag of ~700-900$.
Nothing official, just rumors.
I don't see much the point in getting two 660 ti, when you have a 680 gtx, but two 660 ti in sli are better than a single 680 gtx.
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February 8, 2013 7:31:48 PM

The 660ti in SLI will perform about 25% better than a single 680. BUT.....from the 660ti in SLI you have basically hit the ceiling. If you stick with the 680 you can add another one down the road and be set for a few years.
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February 8, 2013 7:40:06 PM

Hm.. Well I have some time to think about it anyways. And I'm just wondering, what makes the 680 so much faster anyways than the 660TI? Pretty much everything about them is exactly the same, its just that the 680 has a slightly faster clock speed.

680: 1006MHz
660TI: 915MHz

680: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
660TI: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Does 100MHz really make that much of a difference performance wise? And then adding on a second for SLI should in theory make it relatively overkill? Just trying to understand :) 
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a b Î Nvidia
February 8, 2013 7:44:56 PM

The 680 gtx has more cuda cores, more rops, texture units, a higher bit bus(256 bits) and consequently a higher memory bandwidth.
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February 8, 2013 8:01:17 PM

Ah I see... So I would be better off in the long run grabbing another 680 rather than two 660TI's?

And also as a side-note, my current 680 (reference cooler) currently is getting throttled by the fact it tends to heat up (up to around 80C or so). Like I'll just random FPS drops and such. I pretty much blame it on the fact I didn't grab an aftermarket..

Anyways, I was to grab a decent 680 with an aftermarket cooler (like the one in the newegg link, copper heat pipes + dual fan) and put that as the primary card, and put the one with the reference cooler as my secondary, should this fix the throttling problem?

Cause even if it tends to heat up a bit, it's not doing the primary work (at least this is what I've been told).

Thanks for the help :) 
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February 8, 2013 8:03:42 PM

Two 660Ti's are better than a single 680 in the short term, but a second 680 would be a more logical upgrade. Also, I suggest getting two 670s if you're already willing to sell the 680. They'd have similar performance to two 680s, but you could save money since they're much cheaper than a 680. Oh, and I'd put two 660 Tis as more like 50% faster than a single 680 on average, not a mere 25%, granted I still don't recommend going for them.

It would be better to get a non-reference card than to get an aftermarket cooler. Many card warranties get voided by aftermarket coolers and it's more hassle than it's worth when you can simply get a card with a decent non-reference cooler instead.
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February 8, 2013 8:08:15 PM

blazorthon said:

It would be better to get a non-reference card than to get an aftermarket cooler. Many card warranties get voided by aftermarket coolers and it's more hassle than it's worth when you can simply get a card with a decent non-reference cooler instead.


Sorry ahah I'm getting my terminology mixed up. As in the sense yes, a non-reference card with like an aftermarket cooler already on it. Like the ASUS one or whatever.. I thought it was considered an aftermarket cooler, but I guess it just counts as a non-reference card.. :p 

ANYWAYS, a GTX 670 is about $80 more than a 660TI. So about $160 + tax --> $180 more than two 660TI's. Yet for $300 I could get another 680. So I'm not sure if its really worth it to grab two 670's..
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a b Î Nvidia
February 8, 2013 8:10:20 PM

Since you have a 680 gtx, it's not worth it, but if you want two 680 gtx, get a non reference like you said, like the gigabyte with windforce cooling, the asus dcii or msi with the twinfrozr cooling.
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a b Î Nvidia
February 8, 2013 8:10:38 PM

1 680 is fine and more than enought like dj said.

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February 8, 2013 8:12:04 PM

djangoringo said:
Since you have a 680 gtx, it's not worth it, but if you want two 680 gtx, get a non reference like you said, like the gigabyte with windforce cooling, the asus dcii or msi with the twinfrozr cooling.


Thanks :) 
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February 8, 2013 8:12:28 PM

nadim615 said:
Sorry ahah I'm getting my terminology mixed up. As in the sense yes, a non-reference card with like an aftermarket cooler already on it. Like the ASUS one or whatever.. I thought it was considered an aftermarket cooler, but I guess it just counts as a non-reference card.. :p 

ANYWAYS, a GTX 670 is about $80 more than a 660TI. So about $160 + tax --> $180 more than two 660TI's. Yet for $300 I could get another 680. So I'm not sure if its really worth it to grab two 670's..


Actually, 670s often get discounted down to the low $300s each. Where are you getting a 680 for only $300?

Also, I'm kinda with icecock on that are you sure that you want to upgrade right now? Even a single GTX 680 is a beast of a card.
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a b Î Nvidia
February 8, 2013 8:21:33 PM

Do you really need a second card ?
What's the resolution you're using ? 1440p?
But that's a good card, the msi 680 gtx twinfrozr.
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February 8, 2013 8:21:45 PM

I can't complain about cheaper, but it's my understanding that the WindForce x3 cooler is a little better than the TwinFrozr cooler.
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February 8, 2013 8:24:15 PM

djangoringo said:
Do you really need a second card ?
What's the resolution you're using ? 1440p?
But that's a good card, the msi 680 gtx twinfrozr.


I'm using 1080p. But I keep getting goddam FPS drops.. :/  Like i.e. BF3 max ---> 60fps w/adaptive v/sync, but I get drops going down to 45ish all day. Annoying as hell.

Doubt its my CPU, I have an AMD FX-8350. And that things really doing its bang for its buck.. 16GB of RAM, 1000W PSU, so I don't really think its any of the other parts of my PC.. Thus I think its gotta be my GPU bottlenecking.
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February 8, 2013 8:25:37 PM

blazorthon said:
I can't complain about cheaper, but it's my understanding that the WindForce x3 cooler is a little better than the TwinFrozr cooler.

Meh even if it is, 22C taken off from reference (that's what it says on the MSI one) is good enough for me :)  And its also 10.2DB quieter than the reference, meaning I'll never hear it ahah. 3 fans is bound to get a bit noisy.
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February 8, 2013 8:27:13 PM

nadim615 said:
Meh even if it is, 22C taken off from reference (that's what it says on the MSI one) is good enough for me :)  And its also 10.2DB quieter than the reference, meaning I'll never hear it ahah. 3 fans is bound to get a bit noisy.


Three fans means that each fan can spin more slowly than they'd need to if it was two fans to get a given amount of air flow. They should only get more noisy if you force them to spin closer to max RPM and there's no need for that in any game even if you overclock that card significantly since it's locked voltage stops you from overclocking too far.
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a b Î Nvidia
February 8, 2013 8:29:24 PM

A 680 gtx is suffice for 1080p, it gives 60 fps on BF3, maybe it's the throttling when it reaches certain temperature, did you try to setup a custom fan profile and raise if possible the fan level to more %.
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February 8, 2013 8:31:14 PM

djangoringo said:
A 680 gtx is suffice for 1080p, it gives 60 fps on BF3, maybe it's the throttling when it reaches certain temperature, did you try to setup a custom fan profile and raise if possible the fan level to more %.


Starts throttling around 70C, but problem is that the only way to keep the temp down is to turn the fans up to like 90% speed. And its LOUD as hell. I cant even hear myself think, and well my dad pisses himself cause he doesn't wanna be listening to that all night ahahah
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a b Î Nvidia
February 8, 2013 8:32:38 PM

Well then sell the card, and get a new 680 gtx like the msi twinfrozr or gigabyte windforce, you can't go wrong with neither of those two.
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February 8, 2013 8:35:14 PM

djangoringo said:
Well then sell the card, and get a new 680 gtx like the msi twinfrozr or gigabyte windforce, you can't go wrong with neither of those two.


Ah ok so I'd be better off taking my losses for that mistake, and grabbing a new card?
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a b Î Nvidia
February 8, 2013 8:36:43 PM

If you can sell it at 450$, then yes, it's worth, getting a new card, since it's about that price, you won't lose anything.
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February 8, 2013 8:39:37 PM

djangoringo said:
If you can sell it at 450$, then yes, it's worth, getting a new card, since it's about that price, you won't lose anything.

Well technically I'd lose about $65 (got the card for $515 with tax and shipping), and I guess you can really count the extra for getting a sexy cooler.
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a b Î Nvidia
February 8, 2013 8:41:00 PM

Yes, but if you really have that problem with the card, then get another one, it's worth.
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February 8, 2013 8:43:40 PM

Ok thanks :) 
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February 8, 2013 8:44:06 PM

You could get a 670 with proper cooling (nearly identical performance to a 680 and in some cases, better than a reference 680) and actually make money on that sale if you want to.
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a b Î Nvidia
February 8, 2013 8:52:29 PM

My 2 cents:

- I have GTX680. the ONLY game I'm not running at full, or near full quality at 60FPS (VSYNC'd) is Far Cry 3 and I've put that game on hold hoping they'll solve some graphical issues

- SLI will introduce microstutter (with two cards) so your frame rate will improve but you'll get effects that will REDUCE your gaming experience (the fast stuttering at times and also a sluggishness at times depending on the scenario).

- The best advice can't be given without knowing your basic specs (CPU, RAM, motherboard, PSU).

- dual-cards will also add a lot of heat and noise.

Conclusion:
- Tweak your games to hit 60FPS if needed.
- Wait and get a single GTX780, 880 or equivalent AMD card as an upgrade.
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February 8, 2013 8:54:55 PM

Micro-stutter is rarely an issue with very high end Kepler and GCN cards, even in dual-GPU solutions. Saying that OP will get it is like saying that every day of winter in the USA is cold enough to get frostbite in a few minutes. Sure, maybe it'll happen, but it's not likely and to say that it will happen is misleading, especially since it usually doesn't.
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a b Î Nvidia
February 8, 2013 9:03:48 PM

Update:
I read everything again:
- I don't know what "throttling" issue you have but getting at least 45FPS in BF3 with that CPU is normal (assuming high settings)

- *TWEAK your BF3 game quality to raise the frame rate.

- in BF3, also DISABLE "deferred AA" as it creates a horrible muddiness, especially noticeable in dark areas

- if you play Batman AC, disable both DX11 and PHYSX.

- NVidia's new "Geforce Experience" software is not recommended for many by me. The quality settings are all chosen so people hit 40FPS in a game. I prefer to tweak slightly and maintain 60FPS with VSYNC.

Summary:
You've got a nice gaming rig. There will always be a new game that taxes your rig. Try to tweak the quality to achieve 60FPS VSYNC'd rather than just raising the quality bar on the game. If you keep hitting 45FPS in BF3, then drop a few settings in Shadows, AA or whatever gives you the best balance of quality to achieve 60FPS.

You really don't have any major issues.
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a b Î Nvidia
February 8, 2013 9:11:28 PM

blazorthon said:
Micro-stutter is rarely an issue with very high end Kepler and GCN cards, even in dual-GPU solutions. Saying that OP will get it is like saying that every day of winter in the USA is cold enough to get frostbite in a few minutes. Sure, maybe it'll happen, but it's not likely and to say that it will happen is misleading, especially since it usually doesn't.


This is the best guide:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-geforce-stut...

BF3 and micro-stuttering:
http://rigadvice.blogspot.ca/2012/09/microstutter-expos...
"Ultimately, as Scott Wasson has shown irregularity of frametime delivery is something none of us can escape. However, the best way to mitigate it, is by investing in single fast GPU, rather than two mid range cards - both setups might achieve 60fps, but it will only feel and look like 60fps on one."

Kepler:
NVidia's rep talked about microstutter and Kepler's "Frame Rate Metering"; he admitted it SLIGHTLY improved the situation but microstutter was still an ongoing issue.
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February 8, 2013 9:35:16 PM

photonboy said:
This is the best guide:
http://www.tomshardware.com/review [...] ,2995.html

BF3 and micro-stuttering:
http://rigadvice.blogspot.ca/2012/ [...] nside.html
"Ultimately, as Scott Wasson has shown irregularity of frametime delivery is something none of us can escape. However, the best way to mitigate it, is by investing in single fast GPU, rather than two mid range cards - both setups might achieve 60fps, but it will only feel and look like 60fps on one."


The first link is a pretty useless link considering that it has nothing to do with current graphics cards and drivers. Modern graphics cards usually don't have issues about micro-stutter these days. I'm not saying that it never happens, but it's usually just not an issue with cards such as two 680s or 670s. I'm not saying that I wouldn't prefer a single GPU solution, but there is no viable single GPU solution that's much better than a 680 at this time and the soonest that there will be, at best, is the upcoming Nvidia Titan and at worst, the next generation which is probably delayed almost until the end of the year, if not even longer for Nvidia. Considering the option of Titan now, that would probably be better than two 680s- I concede that much.

Still, this is all ignoring the more likely scenario where OP's problems were caused by throttling, not insufficient performance.
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a b Î Nvidia
February 8, 2013 9:40:58 PM

blazorthon said:
That's a pretty useless link considering that it has nothing to do with current graphics cards and drivers. Modern graphics cards usually don't have issues about micro-stutter these days. I'm not saying that it never happens, but it's usually just not an issue with cards such as two 680s or 670s. I'm not saying that I wouldn't prefer a single GPU solution, but there is no viable single GPU solution that's much better than a 680 at this time and the soonest that there will be, at best, is the upcoming Nvidia Titan and at worst, the next generation which is probably delayed almost until the end of the year, if not even longer for Nvidia.

Still, this is all ignoring the more likely scenario where OP's problems were caused by throttling, not insufficient performance.


Let's just agree to disagree.

Throttling?
He claims he's being throttled due to TEMPERATURE (possible). Then how exactly will adding ANOTHER card help?

We may need to look closer at his COOLING instead, or determine if he's really being throttled. By throttling, I mean dropping to basically a SAFE frequency.

Maintaining at least 45FPS in BF3 means he's not dropping to the safe frequency to protect the GPU. GPU Boost only gives about a 5% boost if the temperature is low enough too.

Summary:
- is there even an issue here?
- better cooling?
- How does ANOTHER card help with temperature issues?
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February 8, 2013 9:43:33 PM

photonboy said:
Let's just agree to disagree.

Throttling?
I read the entire post, but I'm not convinced he has any throttling issue. I assume he means that the graphics card is stuck at the IDLE frequency. However, if he's getting a minimum of 45FPS in BF3 (I assume HIGH quality settings) I find the throttling scenario unlikely.

It's possible to MONITOR the GPU frequency to determine if this is happening:
1. Start monitoring the GPU frequency
2. Play BF3
3. Close BF3
4. Look at the HISTORY of the graph (should toggle between Base and Boost clock such as between 1000 and 1050 or whatever).

Some people have made the mistake of ALT-TAB'ing a game which basically idles the game then observing that the GPU frequency was low. No. You need to look at it's graph history.


OP said that temps were getting dangerously high. That can cause the GPU to throttle to avoid damage.
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a b Î Nvidia
February 8, 2013 9:47:25 PM

blazorthon said:
OP said that temps were getting dangerously high. That can cause the GPU to throttle to avoid damage.


Sorry.
Was changing my post as I missed that. Read above.
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February 8, 2013 9:49:27 PM

photonboy said:
Let's just agree to disagree.

Throttling?
He claims he's being throttled due to TEMPERATURE (possible). Then how exactly will adding ANOTHER card help?

We may need to look closer at his COOLING instead, or determine if he's really being throttled. By throttling, I mean dropping to basically a SAFE frequency.

Maintaining at least 45FPS in BF3 means he's not dropping to the safe frequency to protect the GPU. GPU Boost only gives about a 5% boost if the temperature is low enough too.

Summary:
- is there even an issue here?
- better cooling?
- How does ANOTHER card help with temperature issues?


I never claimed that adding a card would help temps. OP was first talking about an upgrade to SLI and I specifically ended my previous post by saying that since OP's issues were probably throttling (caused by temps getting out of control), not insufficient performance, it was now a waste of time to discuss upgrades such as going up to a second card for SLI.
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a b Î Nvidia
February 8, 2013 10:00:13 PM

blazorthon said:
I never claimed that adding a card would help temps. OP was first talking about an upgrade to SLI and I specifically ended my previous post by saying that since OP's issues were probably throttling (caused by temps getting out of control), not insufficient performance, it was now a waste of time to discuss upgrades such as going up to a second card for SLI.


Okay. I agree.

I don't think his GPU is actually throttling to safe mode, however I think the first step should be to look at his case cooling.

Does he have a FRONT case fan? etc.

(Also, I wasn't implying that YOU told him to get a second card; I was pointing this out to HIM.)
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a b Î Nvidia
February 9, 2013 2:13:19 AM

sell it and get a decent cooling system card.

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February 9, 2013 2:49:45 AM

Thread updated. System specs now posted for reference.
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a b Î Nvidia
February 9, 2013 3:31:19 AM

nice specs. just ordered a 8350 :) 

680 for the win. u dont need sli not for a while anyways

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a b Î Nvidia
February 9, 2013 5:02:23 AM

nadim615 said:
Thread updated. System specs now posted for reference.


If you're really unhappy with that card, then sell it for $450 and pay a little more to get this one:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This card (Asus GTX 680 DC2T) is probably the best 680. It's great. It's up to 13% faster than a stock 680 and is very quiet due to its 3-slot cooling solution (large heatsinks make a big difference under load).

This is an older review but still relevant:
http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-r...
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a b Î Nvidia
February 9, 2013 6:48:34 AM

Does your case have a side fan on it? A fan blowing right on your 680? You may try running it without the side panel on, maybe with some sort of fan on it, see if it helps. Your main problem seems to be simply an overheating 680 card.
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February 9, 2013 11:19:40 AM

Yea my case comes with a glass window and a mesh panel, I tried switching out the glass window for the mesh and sticking a fan on there, it didn't really help my temps much. Maybe 2-3C.. :\
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a b Î Nvidia
February 9, 2013 12:30:50 PM

if your having temp issues. id bring it back. and choose another model.

maybe a 4 gig evga 670 :) . or something like a 7970 :) 

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a b Î Nvidia
February 9, 2013 3:47:57 PM

nadim615 said:
Yea my case comes with a glass window and a mesh panel, I tried switching out the glass window for the mesh and sticking a fan on there, it didn't really help my temps much. Maybe 2-3C.. :\


Okay, did you try the boards one at a time? Could you borrow someone's SLI cable?
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February 9, 2013 7:06:16 PM

Yea I cant really bring it back now, might be just a little past that return date.. And uh, yea the mesh and glass are two separate inserts. And what would borrowing an SLI cable do? xD
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a b Î Nvidia
February 9, 2013 7:47:43 PM

nadim615 said:
Yea I cant really bring it back now, might be just a little past that return date.. And uh, yea the mesh and glass are two separate inserts. And what would borrowing an SLI cable do? xD

Sorry, I think I am answering the wrong thread.
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