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Two 2gb 670 Vs. One 4gb 670? Please help!

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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February 27, 2013 9:06:32 PM

Hello All,

Im currently trying to get the best bang for my buck and i'm getting stuck on which graphics card to go with. So my question is, should I go with the SLI build with Two 2gb 670's or should I go with One 4gb EVGA 670? Also note that I'm willing to go cheap on other parts to be able to get a better form of a GPU.


Currently I have the following setup:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($229.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Corsair H100 92.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($104.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD4H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($164.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($52.98 @ Amazon)
Storage: OCZ Vertex 4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($109.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($73.52 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card (2-Way SLI) ($369.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card (2-Way SLI) ($369.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Corsair Obsidian Series 800D ATX Full Tower Case ($259.92 @ Mac Connection)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB DVD/CD Writer ($15.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Monitor: HP ZR2440w 60Hz 24.0" Monitor ($379.99 @ Mac Mall) NOTE: I already have one of the same monitor!
Haven't decided on a PSU yet
Total: $2222.32
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-27 18:04 EST-0500)

More about : 2gb 670 4gb 670

February 27, 2013 9:10:16 PM

The 2 670's will be more powerful. But im not sure if their ram will combine or not?
Related resources
February 27, 2013 9:10:27 PM

AZN could you explain that to me?

Its coming out to be the same VRAM (4gb) ... is there something i'm missing?
February 27, 2013 9:10:39 PM

If this helps, the VRAM is not cumulative. So the 2 2GB 670 only effectively have 2GBs.

IN RE the 4GB card: You really only see the value of a lot of VRAM when you get into higher resolution multi-display sort of setups. Even with 2 monitors at high resolution, 2 GB will likely be enough. I can't really quantify it myself, but there have been articles here in the past.
a c 92 U Graphics card
February 27, 2013 9:10:56 PM

4GB 670s is useless and a marketing gimmick. It will give you exactly the same performance as a 2GB card.
February 27, 2013 9:12:25 PM

So the 1 4gb card will have 4gbs?

Furthermore should I keep the gigabyte ones or go with EVGA?
a c 92 U Graphics card
February 27, 2013 9:13:46 PM

yes. But it doesn't do anything.
February 27, 2013 9:17:50 PM

Thanks for the replies guys! And thank you for explaining. So it seems like its a go for a 2 way SLI with 2gb 670s. Now I just need to decide which ones to go with as far as the company (Gigabyte, EVGA,etc..)
a b U Graphics card
February 27, 2013 9:18:34 PM

phx08 said:
So the 1 4gb card will have 4gbs?

Furthermore should I keep the gigabyte ones or go with EVGA?

If you buy 1x 4GB card you get 4GB's of usable memory. If you buy two 2GB cards you get 2GB of usable memory.
a b U Graphics card
February 27, 2013 9:22:04 PM

Well looks like your going to be doing dual monitors @3840x1200 so he going for so while you should be ok with 2Gig but you could be reaching the limit. Next at that resolution once the new games come out for the new console and they get ported you may start seeing issues with only having 2gig vs 4.
February 27, 2013 9:25:42 PM

Throwing a wrench into this moving train here....what about considering the PowerColor's HD7870 PCS+ Myst Edition? They are cheaper and the performance seems to match. Thoughts?
a c 92 U Graphics card
February 27, 2013 9:26:52 PM

ikaz said:
Well looks like your going to be doing dual monitors @3840x1200 so he going for so while you should be ok with 2Gig but you could be reaching the limit. Next at that resolution once the new games come out for the new systems you may start seeing issues that a 4gig card won't.

non standard 4GB cards don't always work well and don't always use the ram due to driver issues. Even with multimonitor gaming, the performance differences at max settings don't differ much. Even if the 2gb is bottleneck, the 4 gb may or may not be useful.
a b U Graphics card
February 27, 2013 9:35:26 PM

phx08 said:
Throwing a wrench into this moving train here....what about considering the PowerColor's HD7870 PCS+ Myst Edition? They are cheaper and the performance seems to match. Thoughts?

If your going AMD you might as well go for the 7950. Its not that much more expensive and will run faster, and you get an extra 1GB of VRAM.
a c 123 U Graphics card
February 28, 2013 1:22:11 AM

Some points:
1) *Never use a dual-GPU setup. It causes micro-stutter. Many people incorrectly think it's a minor issue. Here's a review of the new Titan:
http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-r...

In particular:
"For example, the GTX 690 exhibits many of the issues normally associated with dual GPU cards like minor stuttering and outright frame hesitation, a situation the TITAN deftly avoids by virtue of being a single core solution."

*Get the BEST single-GPU card you can on your budget. In general the performance goes like this in order of LEAST to BEST for the best single-GPU setup:
- HD7970
- GTX680
- HD7970 GHz
- Geforce Titan ($1000 but poor value)

There are exceptions, and you also want to make sure the card you choose is quality and has a relatively quiet cooling solution.

*My choice would be THIS CARD:
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=68755&vpn=HD7970-DC2-...
- it's a 3-slot card, however the large heatsink makes it far quieter than similar cards
- base clock is 92.5% of 1GHz
- price is $440 which is good
- two free games
(this card probably sits between the GTX680 and HD7970 Ghz for many games, however none of the GHz versions have adequate cooling to run anywhere near as quiet as this Asus card. Additionally, the Asus card could likely be overclocked a bit and get near GHz performance anyway while being quieter.)

2) I'm not sure on your gaming MONITOR setup. For example, you game with either ONE or THREE monitors, not two because the bezel split in two monitors is right in the center which is horrible to play on.

Personally, I love the 27" 2560x1440 screens. Dell has a $700 model that is just awesome with an incredible Warranty. I'd strongly recommend getting ONE graphics card and game on this monitor rather than getting TWO graphics cards and gaming on two screens. (I mostly game at 1920x1080 as well since there's a huge performance hit going to 2560x1440 with little visual benefit. Exceptions include Diablo 3, Starcraft 2 due to the small text, and any game I can hit 60FPS with max quality.

3) CPU:
(was going to recommend i5-3570K but then saw the DEAL. I guess you realize it's pick-up only. Hope it's still on sale. Awesome deal!)

4) Corsair H110:
There's a newer cooler which is slightly more expensive but worth it. Personally I'd get a cheaper high-end air cooler but that's a personal preference.

5) Case:
There are some great Corsair cases that are compatible with the H110 as well that cost at least $100 less.

6) Windows:
Get Windows 8 64-bit OEM, plus Stardock's Start8.
*Windows 8 has several advantages over Windows 7 (more secure, more reliable, faster bootup, better SSD support, better memory management, improved Windows Explorer etc.).

Windows 8 with Start8 works essentially like Windows 7 but many of the core features are improved. Compatibility issues are very, very few.

7) PSU:
This will depend on whether you get one or two graphics cards. If in doubt, get an Antec High Power but shop around. NCIX sometimes has great deals. With a single graphics card get at least a 650W PSU.

8) Hard Drive:
It costs very little extra to get a 2TB drive instead of a 1TB drive.

SUMMARY:
The most important issue I think is the choice of MONITOR (monitors?) and the graphics card. Personally, there are lots of games that I think run BEST on a single, 27" 2560x1440 screen. Two screens sucks and I think a three-screen setup is more hassle than it's worth.
February 28, 2013 1:45:50 AM

Thanks for the advice! ... yes I realized it was in store pick-up, the store is a 15 minute drive from where I am and I've already paid and picking up in store this weekend since its almost $100 cheaper than elsewhere!

a c 123 U Graphics card
February 28, 2013 3:07:56 AM

cookybiscuit said:
If your going AMD you might as well go for the 7950. Its not that much more expensive and will run faster, and you get an extra 1GB of VRAM.


*I recommend printing/copying my "other" comments at the bottom*
Agreed.
The bottleneck in this gaming PC is the graphics card. Considering how much money you are spending you should get an HD7970 for about $400.

The HD7870 that you mention is based on an HD7950 GPU. It's an interesting design and it essentially toggles between HD7870 and HD7950 performance depending on which game is using it. However, it's still below optimal considering how much money your spending on the rest of your system.

Here's the card again that I recommended:
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=68755&vpn=HD7970-DC2-...

*Review:
http://www.guru3d.com/articles_pages/asus_radeon_hd_797...

Spend some time reading this review. Important points for graphics cards:
- performance (compared to other cards)
- overclocking capability
- noise
- quality
- Video RAM (this has 3GB. Never get less than 2GB)

**Note: the review is for the card clocked at 1000MHz. I'm not sure why it's shipping at 925MHz. It can be pushed to 1100MHz without overvolting however I strongly recommend overclocking to 1000MHz (and the VRAM by the same proportion which is 8%.) This gives you HD7970 GHz performance for less money and it is still quieter than the 2-slot GHz cards.

Other tips:
- to properly tweak, run a game with VSYNC disabled and FRAPS running. Then adjust the quality settings so that it rarely drops below 60FPS. Finally, turn VSYNC back on and disable FRAPS. (don't just crank up the quality to maximum and run at lower frame rates)
- if you ever get a 2560x1440 monitor then run most games at 1920x1080 (exceptions are games like Diablo 3 that has small text or games that you can maintain 60FPS at the highest settings anyway).
- when buying games on STEAM be aware that you can often find great deals. In general, never buy a game when it just came out. By waiting a year or more the game may drop to 50% or less, be bundled with other DLC and have been patched several times to fix things. (Mass Effect #1 was $60. I waited and bought it on sale at Steam for $5).
- Install STEAM to the hard drive and use the SSD only for Windows/programs.
- For games that benefit from an SSD you can use a second SSD dedicated as your 2nd Steam folder. You can actually BACKUP a Steam game in the hard drive, then delete it (delete local content) then RESTORE that backup to the SSD. In this way you can get a fairly small SSD just to play a couple games on. To save space, simply do the reverse and put the games back on your 2TB Hard Drive! (Skyrim plays better on an SSD due mainly to the faster load times when jumping locations or entering a building, Diablo 3 doesn't stutter as much on my machine anyway, any game will benefit if only slightly but for most games the difference isn't that obvious. Still, it's so easy with the STEAM method that any game I'm currently playing is transferred to the Steam SSD).
- get RadeonPro

RadeonPro:
- can force Anti-Aliasing in titles that don't have native support (i.e.Mass Effect 1; in this case use SuperSampling)

- can force VSYNC on in games that don't have native support (i.e. "the Witcher Enhance" aka Witcher 1)

- can run a different frame rate such as 50FPS if your monitor supports it (for example, in BF3 you can likely run at 1920x1080 and use 50FPS instead of 60FPS which allows you to increase the quality slightly.)
February 28, 2013 3:44:33 AM

Hey photon, the link to the graphics card you recommended isn't working. Could you repost or which card is it? Thanks!

Edit. It's working now
February 28, 2013 8:08:37 PM

Hey photon, i'm leaning more and more towards the 7970 from gigabyte (the only advantage that I see is the noise level between ASUS and Gigabyte).


Gigabyte GV-R797OC-3GD ($399.99 Newegg)

Any thoughts?
a c 123 U Graphics card
March 1, 2013 7:15:22 AM

phx08 said:
Hey photon, i'm leaning more and more towards the 7970 from gigabyte (the only advantage that I see is the noise level between ASUS and Gigabyte).


Gigabyte GV-R797OC-3GD ($399.99 Newegg)

Any thoughts?


Well, I gave you my opinion. I can tell you that Gigabyte is far louder than the Asus:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-7970-over...

"both the Gigabyte and VisionTek cards generate more noise than we'd like, even as the rest of the pack is significantly quieter."

!