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2x 680 vs. 690

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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February 25, 2013 7:02:32 PM

Hi Guys,

I'm doing a new build and am trying to choose between 2x 680 and 1 x 690. I'm going to go with EVGA as the mfg. I know the relative difference in power. My questions are:

1) Is the 690 overclockable? As much as 680's?


2) Can anyone explain the relative difference between all the 680 models shown here? http://www.evga.com/Products/ProductList.aspx?type=0&fa...

Is there any reason to get the more expensive models, other than the increased memory?



Thanks!

More about : 680 690

a b U Graphics card
February 25, 2013 7:12:29 PM

For starters, what is your monitor resolution and how many of them? Motherboard? Power supply? Etc.
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February 25, 2013 7:15:08 PM

I'm going from scratch so haven't decided on motherboard (actually not great with choosing MOBO's either) . One monitor, but perhaps higher resolutions at some point. PSU will be as high as it needs to be.
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a c 261 U Graphics card
February 25, 2013 7:31:30 PM

With just one 1080P monitor, you probably will get diminishing returns from a second GTX680 or GTX690.

Overclocking add a bit more graphics power at the expense of heat and noise.

I would not base much of the decision on that factor.

Of all the cards, there are slight differences in coolers and amount of factory overclock. You will mostly get what you paid for.

I would exclude those cards which have liquid cooling blocks attached.

There seems to be little value in more than 2gb of vram. Read this report:
http://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/articles/Video-Card-Pe...

I think I would look at one of the factory overclocked cards with a nice direct exhaust cooler.
Perhaps this one: http://www.evga.com/Products/Product.aspx?pn=02G-P4-268...
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a b U Graphics card
February 25, 2013 7:40:26 PM

Why are you leaning towards Nvidia cards that are more expensive and can be outdone with cheaper AMD cards? I suggest you get AMD R7970 and OC it. You can get a reference clocked card with awesome cooling by Sapphire for really cheap compared to GTX 680. They can OC like crazy too. Mine have 2 8 pin conectors and I easily reached 1200MHz stable yesterday without a hiccup. I decided to lower them to 1100 MHz for longevity and are super quiet. So again, why are you planning on buying something that can be easily outdone by a cheaper alternative
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a b U Graphics card
February 25, 2013 7:43:38 PM

hero1 said:
Why are you leaning towards Nvidia cards that are more expensive and can be outdone with cheaper AMD cards? I suggest you get AMD R7970 and OC it. You can get a reference clocked card with awesome cooling by Sapphire for really cheap compared to GTX 680. They can OC like crazy too. Mine have 2 8 pin conectors and I easily reached 1200MHz stable yesterday without a hiccup. I decided to lower them to 1100 MHz for longevity and are super quiet. So again, why are you planning on buying something that can be easily outdone by a cheaper alternative



Because Nvidia has better multi-gpu support usually, though AMD has been outdoing Nvidia as of late in terms of software!
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February 25, 2013 7:44:31 PM

hero1, I know the 7970 is quite nice. I've done both AMD and Nvidia, and I'm sticking with Nvidia purely for the superior driver support. Also I have a 3D screen that works exclusively with Nvidia cards.
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a b U Graphics card
February 25, 2013 7:53:11 PM

yes the driver support has been nice recently. I think 4 gigs is only needed if you are going to be pushing some high rez packs for games like skyrim. although most of the newer cards are getting the 4 gig treatment so that is kind of telling for what is to come from game makers. They always seem to use whatever graphics power is out there. The premium you are paying for the 690 probably is not worth it for right now as you are only using one monitor. If you want to upgrade later to a second 680 I would make sure to have 4 gigs as it puts you in a better place for future gaming maybe a year or so down the road. Other than that I would make sure you get the one with the best cooling because if you do add a second card ever degree you save now will mean twice as much when you add the second card
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a b U Graphics card
February 25, 2013 8:00:10 PM

redeemer said:
Because Nvidia has better multi-gpu support usually, though AMD has been outdoing Nvidia as of late in terms of software!


Yeah true about multi GPU support. Let's hope that AMD improves even further this year on that front seeing that most developer will have to deal with their stuff first before they turn attention to Nvidia. I guess the game is changing big time. But I haven't seen any issues with my GPUs so far they scale so nice and are seeeexxxxyyyyy lol!
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February 25, 2013 8:00:36 PM

Thanks for the input everyone

I've also been looking at SLI 670's. Best bang for buck.. however I usually go for the flashier options :p 
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a b U Graphics card
February 25, 2013 8:01:43 PM

You need to take this step by step. The importance for a gaming machine is as follows:

Monitor

GPU

CPU

Motherboard

Memory/Storage

Power Supply


As of now the sweet spot for monitors is 1920X1080. Good prices.

Also consider a 1920X1200, the extra height is really nice. I have one at home. Great for many things, but at greater cost.

Then you have your 2560X1440 and even 2560X1600's. Great monitors that will really add to your gaming experience, but will drain your wallet too. Also, to get some decent rates you will need a 690 or 7990 or SLI/CF graphics cards.

Finally, you have triple monitors. This puts you at the bleeding edge of graphics goodness and hardware demand.

For graphics, to absolutely kill any game you need about a 690/680SLIX2 or 7990/7970CFX2 for a 1920X1080 or 1200 display. For the 2560X1440 or 1600, you will need triple SLI/CF or, better, SLIX2 Titan. For triple displays, you will need three Titans and good bank robbing skills.

Of course, this is for games like Far Cry 3, Crisis 3, and Metro 2033. The toughest games at the highest levels.

2GB video ram is enough for up to 1920X1200, 3GB is enough for 2560X1600, 4GB for triple displays.

The word is the I5-3570K is the best value for gaming. I think the AMD 8350 is okay too, once you download some hotfixes to optimize Windows for AMD.


Be sure to get an aftermarket cooler for the processor, Cooler Master 212 EVO is the present performance2price winner.

Motherboards, there are way too many choices. Just make sure it is a Z77 board for Intel, I'm not sure what the equivalent is for AMD.

8GB ram is good, 16GB is some cheap overkill for the future. I'd get 1600 MHz speed and NO heat spreaders so it will fit cleanly under the CPU cooler. With Intel, anything faster than 1600MHz doesn't help since the memory management and cache system is so good. Faster RAM is expensive and helps AMD.

SSD are a nice luxury. Get at least 120GB, 240GB if you can, and put everything on it. Just have a HDD of 0.5TB or larger for music & videos/music and games not active.

PS, make sure it is a quality one with a good 20% or more capacity beyond what is needed. Use PCPARTPICKER.COM to enter your build and see what the power required is. I'd go for a gold or platinum rated one and semi/fully modular to decrease case clutter of unused cables.
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a b U Graphics card
February 25, 2013 8:02:56 PM

jk47 said:
hero1, I know the 7970 is quite nice. I've done both AMD and Nvidia, and I'm sticking with Nvidia purely for the superior driver support. Also I have a 3D screen that works exclusively with Nvidia cards.


3D gaming is def in Nvidia ballpark but I like how AMD is coming along. The more competition there's in terms of shear power and computing ability and less power draw the better it is for our pockets. I think it's time Nvidia drop their prices on their cards seeing how well the 7970 can do against GTX 680, then we'll all be happy and dancing like crazy!
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a b U Graphics card
February 25, 2013 8:07:27 PM

jk47 said:
Thanks for the input everyone

I've also been looking at SLI 670's. Best bang for buck.. however I usually go for the flashier options :p 


Same here but lately I've become more concerned about p/p and overall return to save some money lol!
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a c 228 U Graphics card
February 25, 2013 8:43:14 PM

jk47 said:
hero1, I know the 7970 is quite nice. I've done both AMD and Nvidia, and I'm sticking with Nvidia purely for the superior driver support. Also I have a 3D screen that works exclusively with Nvidia cards.


I'd recommend twin 670's .... My son has twin cards in SLI on a 120Hz screen and its simply amazing. I wouldn't put much faith in the "new driver buzz" as these comparisons almost always involve one team's new driver versus another's old driver. Then the other team's new driver comes out and what we are left with is optimized drivers for gaming benchmarks that if ya run a different section in game, these optimizations disappear.

I use a lotta these for the low temops and great overclockability

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...|14-121-637^14-121-637-TS%2C14-121-707^14-121-707-04%23%2C14-121-659^14-121-659-TS
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a b U Graphics card
February 25, 2013 9:45:09 PM

hero1 said:
Yeah true about multi GPU support. Let's hope that AMD improves even further this year on that front seeing that most developer will have to deal with their stuff first before they turn attention to Nvidia. I guess the game is changing big time. But I haven't seen any issues with my GPUs so far they scale so nice and are seeeexxxxyyyyy lol!



You're absolutely right about that AMD is in the best position in terms of developer relations. Now with AMD running all the consoles you can expect optimization heaven! Results are already showing especially with Crysis 3 where the FX 8350 beats out the i7 3770k.
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a b U Graphics card
February 25, 2013 9:45:47 PM

jk47 said:
hero1, I know the 7970 is quite nice. I've done both AMD and Nvidia, and I'm sticking with Nvidia purely for the superior driver support. Also I have a 3D screen that works exclusively with Nvidia cards.



Clearly superior driver support LOL!
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a b U Graphics card
February 25, 2013 10:07:10 PM

I'd wait for to see if the new AMD gpu can come in at a lower price point.

7990 anyone?
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a c 216 U Graphics card
February 25, 2013 10:09:53 PM

He clearly mentioned is has a 3D Vision monitor. That means Nvidia unless he doesn't plan to use the 3D part of his monitor.
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February 25, 2013 10:13:55 PM

1. AMD sucks for 3D
2. AMD Cards scale better but they tend to be buggier in multi GPU configs.

2x GTX680 are faster and will give you more memory(possibly, you can SLI 2x 4GB for 4GB memory but the GTX690 is 2x2 so it's 2GB effective),

but it's more expensive, especially for the 4GB versions, and additionally 2x cards will create much more heat and noise compared to a single GTX690, and you need to win the silicon lottery twice, if you have one really good chip, and one bad one, you go as far as the bad one can go.
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February 25, 2013 10:55:48 PM

Very good info in here. Thanks for all your inputs.

Im leaning towards the 690 (if I can find one locally) anyone have a preferred or recommended motherboard for a 690 & i5-3570k
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a c 216 U Graphics card
February 25, 2013 11:19:08 PM

darkspartenwarrior said:
1. AMD sucks for 3D
2. AMD Cards scale better but they tend to be buggier in multi GPU configs.

2x GTX680 are faster and will give you more memory(possibly, you can SLI 2x 4GB for 4GB memory but the GTX690 is 2x2 so it's 2GB effective),

but it's more expensive, especially for the 4GB versions, and additionally 2x cards will create much more heat and noise compared to a single GTX690, and you need to win the silicon lottery twice, if you have one really good chip, and one bad one, you go as far as the bad one can go.


Just a couple points here. The 690 also has to get lucky with 2 good chips for good OCing, it too has 2 GPU's on its board.
And due to having a single HSF on the card, the 690 does not cool the GPU's as well, so it doesn't OC as well, but it does keep the noise down to be lower than the 680 SLI option as a result. The good news is the 680 SLI option isn't all that loud compared to most SLI/CF setups.

They both have pros and cons.
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a b U Graphics card
February 26, 2013 12:01:29 AM

bystander said:
Just a couple points here. The 690 also has to get lucky with 2 good chips for good OCing, it too has 2 GPU's on its board.
And due to having a single HSF on the card, the 690 does not cool the GPU's as well, so it doesn't OC as well, but it does keep the noise down to be lower than the 680 SLI option as a result. The good news is the 680 SLI option isn't all that loud compared to most SLI/CF setups.

They both have pros and cons.



The 690 sucks in Overclocking for the most part!
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February 26, 2013 3:16:05 AM

Best answer selected by jk47.
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a c 169 U Graphics card
February 26, 2013 9:27:32 AM

This topic has been closed by Maziar
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