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What to do with my GPU; Titan, 690, 680 sli or 670 sli, or wait...

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February 22, 2013 3:25:14 PM

Hi,

I upgraded my whole system in December 12, and after a 3 month battle to get a refund for my faulty Gtx 680 I now have my money back, but am stuck running my old Gtx 480 for now. I was waiting for the predicted 700 series Kepler refresh, which now seems is not going to happen. From speaking to a few retailers in the UK the consensus seems to be that as AMD apparently announced the 7000 series would maintain through-out 2013, then Nvidia will also not be releasing a full Kepler refresh, and may well move to Maxwell later this year... according to one retailer they thought that the 700 series would arrive late summer or Q3 2013. Obviously we have no evidence of this, but the Titan seems to suggest that there will be no 700 series in March, and as Maxwell was predicted for 2014 they would be mad to release a full kepler refresh line later this year...

I have a pile of games such as Far Cry 3, Metro 2033 (And Metro Last Light in March), Crysis 2 and Crysis 3 - all of which I have not yet played becuase the current card is not up to the job. When I play graphic intensive games I like them to be at their 'best' I am also very keen to have a system that can handle Rome II Total War at Max settings when it comes out, and have the potential to run the game modded with extra unit sizes etc. For the time being I have just been idling along in Guild Wars 2, which runs fine on the 480, but I would like to get my pc "finished" so to speak.

As the title says, I am stuck between the choices listed; the Titan seems to be overpriced for what it is, Scan in the UK are doing them for £839.00, but considering it comes up short against the 690 which I can get from them for £798.00. In additon to this OCUK offered me a deal price on two EVGA Superclocked 4gb 670's for £699 including shipping.

The Geek in me is saying, just buy two Titans and think about the cost later.... :pt1cable:  but I would be mental to do it. The sensible part of me is torn between getting an EVGA 690 or the two EVGA 4gb 670's for £99.00 less, but with 2Gb more Ram. The EVGA 4gb 680's are still £500+ so two would go over £1000 and just does not seem worth the extra £300.00 on the 670's

My main concern is the Vram... is the effective 2gb on the 690 enough in a card to last for the next 2-4 years, or is 4gb but slightly less performance a safer bet?

BUDGET: Max £1000, but ideally less.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Before March 16th; I have some time off booked, and after the faulty 680 ruined my xmas holiday gaming plans I would like to use some time to do some hard gaming.

USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, internet. I do not use the pc for movies, much music, or much else. It is essentially a big and very expensive game console....

CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: GTX 480 and Corsair AX850 Gold

OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS: In my Sig.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Scan or OCUK as I am in the UK.

PARTS PREFERENCES: My last 3 cards were Gigabyte, but after the last one being faulty, and the fuss with getting it sorted I would like to go EVGA for their warranty. I would rather go Nvidia.

OVERCLOCKING: Yes, if needed later, but I have no xp with oc gpu's, only cpu's.

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1200
February 22, 2013 3:34:04 PM

670 SLI seems like the best bet/value for gaming at 1920x1200. I think the 670 is only about 4% behind the 680 on average, and that doesn't really seem worth the increase in price.
February 22, 2013 3:38:36 PM

Take the 2 EVGA 670. 4GB are not necessary but it is a cheaper combination that performs just as well. They might even perform better in higher resolutions because of the more VRAM.
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a c 264 U Graphics card
February 22, 2013 3:38:44 PM

I think you have analyzed things properly.

On a single monitor, any of your solutions will do the job, and then some.
Your psu will handle any of the options.

My take would be for the two GTX670 card option.

On the issue of vram, it may not be worthwhile to pay a big price premium for 4k units.
Read this:
http://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/articles/Video-Card-Pe...

February 22, 2013 3:40:37 PM

If you're just running 1 monitor, i think a single 670 or 680 should be able to handle those games. I dont think games are really going to become much more demanding until the new consoles are readily available, which probably wont be until late feb or early march, if it's at all like PS3 launch. By that time Maxwells should be nearing.
February 22, 2013 5:45:59 PM

maustin325 said:
If you're just running 1 monitor, i think a single 670 or 680 should be able to handle those games. I dont think games are really going to become much more demanding until the new consoles are readily available, which probably wont be until late feb or early march, if it's at all like PS3 launch. By that time Maxwells should be nearing.


So you think that we may see Maxwell this side of summer 2013?

I would politely disagree than a single 670 or 680 can handle those games, i have seen benches that put even a single 680 at lower than 30fps in metro 2033 - i would like to be able to run these sorts of games at 60fps on max. We are looking at 45 fps in far cry 3 with a single 680 atm.

geofelt said:
I think you have analyzed things properly.

On a single monitor, any of your solutions will do the job, and then some.
Your psu will handle any of the options.

My take would be for the two GTX670 card option.

On the issue of vram, it may not be worthwhile to pay a big price premium for 4k units.
Read this:
http://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/articles/Video-Card-Pe...


Reading that has confused me even more... my reasoning for going for the 4gb was in part future proofing; when Napoleon TW came out i had a GTX290 and whilst in could run the game fine fps wise, the lack of vram caused the game to auto scale its's textures down to lower settings when a threshold was reached. This was game engine feature, but none-the less- i am keen to avoid this situation again - i ended up buying a 480 just to play that game as the extra vram really helped and solved the issue, despite there being no real perf difference between the two.

What we see in this article though is that the 4gb seems to be inferior in almost all cases, except at extreme res, which I am never going to use. I can honestly never see me buying 3 monitors as the cost/enjoyment ratio would just not seem worth it for me. I would rather spend on having a top notch single display solution. If this is the case then I do wonder if the 690 might be better... but then again looking at the 2gb 670's I could get it even cheaper;

Scan currently have the FTW EVGA 670 2gb on offer at £299.00 so 2 of them would only be £598.00 which is pretty amazin when you think that the 4gb 680 FTW is around £540.00 in some places.

So with this in mind I am now torn between the 690 for £798 or 2x 670 2Gb for £598.00, £200.00 is a big diff, and I cannot see there being a massive difference tbh, but maybe I am wrong? am I likely to get more micro stutter with 2x 670 than one 690?
February 22, 2013 6:24:35 PM

I'm just saying i think right now is a bad time to make a huge investment in GPU. I mean I like games to look good too, i have a GTX 680 and love it. Also i'm talking 2014, and i think maxwell would be late 2014 if i had to guess. By that time the consoles have had a chance to penetrate the market and you'll see true developement for next gen games. You have to remember that we're still going to see developers cater to PS3 and Xbox360 for a while because most will not instantly switch to PS4/new Xbox and that is a mature market. That is just my opinion though, i dont have any inside info or anything.
a b U Graphics card
February 22, 2013 7:01:39 PM

If you have enough money to buy 690 than just go for it..
Since dual 670s dont stand a chance against it
February 22, 2013 8:57:48 PM

maustin325 said:
I'm just saying i think right now is a bad time to make a huge investment in GPU. I mean I like games to look good too, i have a GTX 680 and love it. Also i'm talking 2014, and i think maxwell would be late 2014 if i had to guess. By that time the consoles have had a chance to penetrate the market and you'll see true development for next gen games. You have to remember that we're still going to see developers cater to PS3 and Xbox360 for a while because most will not instantly switch to PS4/new Xbox and that is a mature market. That is just my opinion though, i dont have any inside info or anything.


On the one hand I would agree, making a huge investment is always iffy, but if Maxwell is not out till 2014 then it looks like nvidia will tide over on the current cards till then... i mean the Titan is only 35% average faster than the 680, so if they brought out a 780 or 770 etc it would need to be sufficiently lower than the Titan, or all the owners would do a nut and explode in a torrent of flames at nvidia. that could only place a 780/770 at 10% faster than a 680 or the titan owners would feel done over, and of that was the case a 780/770 would not be worth buying. This sort of logic suggests that there will be no kepler refresh, and if so, those of us stuck on 400 series cards either have to upgrade now or face a long ass wait. I would have to say that buying a single 670 or 680 seems not worth it as they will not allow me to play the high end games at max settings, so I would be better off not upgrading at all, or going for the more expensive option.

sanilmahambre said:
If you have enough money to buy 690 than just go for it..
Since dual 670s dont stand a chance against it


From what I have seen two 680's in sli are superior to one 690, and two 670's are pretty much on par with two 680's, maybe 2-5 fps less and in some cases equal, so the 670 sli should be only slightly slower in game than a 690, certainly close. The question would be if there is any real advantage of having the dual gpu on one pcb rather than having two cards in sli. (other than power/heat etc) and if that would be worth an extra £200.00 for the 690....
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