1. What does SSTB mean? See our glossary of acronyms.

N3RD TYME! Help me pick GPU (s).

Discussion in 'The Vapor Lounge' started by Caligula, Mar 14, 2014.

  1. Caligula

    Caligula *results not typical.

    Messages:
    6,449
    Location:
    So Cal
    I know some of you are into techie stuff (@herbivore21) so I figure id throw this out there...

    Its come time to retire my SLI GTX 480 graphics cards. They have had an awesome run, but its time to upgrade (aka tax return season).

    Now I've narrowed my choices down to these options:

    1x Nvidia GTX 780ti
    2x Nvidia GTX 780 (SLI)
    1x AMD R290X
    2x AMD R290 (X-Fire)

    At this point, I should also note that the rest of the PC won't be a bottleneck, so thats a non-issue. Also, I dont have the patience to wait 5-6 months for the desktop 800 series GPUs to drop from Nvidia.

    Furthermore, I am well aware any of these options will be more than enough for my daily gaming activities since I only run at 1080P, however I like to futureproof (e.g. be able to maintain maximum settings and a 60FPS frame rate on all the latest and greatest AAA game titles) as much as possible, within reason.

    All that being said, any and all suggestions are welcome!
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2014
    Silver420Surfer likes this.
  2. herbivore21

    herbivore21 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    967
    I'm doing sound guy duties at a punk festival in town today so I'll have to get back to this one later mate :)
    Silver420Surfer and Caligula like this.
  3. Silver420Surfer

    Silver420Surfer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,271
    Location:
    FL
    I'm an Nvidia guy myself. My vote is for the 780ti. If you are gonna chew thru GPUs, get the 780ti so you can justify the upgrade again when the 800 series rolls around.

    No consideration for the GeForce GTX 690?
    Good luck!
    Caligula likes this.
  4. Caligula

    Caligula *results not typical.

    Messages:
    6,449
    Location:
    So Cal
    Ive been in the Nvidia camp since the 7800GT was new, however Im not so blind as to discount AMD "just because".

    Also i'm not going to upgrade for a while after this unless its to SLI/X-Fire a single card. I do a major GPU purchase every few years (note Im still running 480s).

    As for the 690, Im not a fan of buying old tech or dual gpu single card solutions. Can you even find a new unit anyway?
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2014
    Silver420Surfer likes this.
  5. Silver420Surfer

    Silver420Surfer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,271
    Location:
    FL
    Yea, Amazon has them still. They aren't cheap, but the performance is off the charts(Toms Hardware).

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-card-review,3107-8.html
    This linkk may offer some other insight as well.


    I've had driver/sofware issues when I ventured into AMD land once. I know Nvidia has had issues as well, but, until I end up with a bad experience, they will still get my business. I dropped out of pc gaming for awhile but got back in a few years ago. I am still running a GTX 660ti. Still in the upper tier of cards, imo. But will probably hold off upgrading until a little after the 800 series drops(if they are worth it). I am a low-upper end purchaser. I definitely stay away from top shelf GPU, because I don't feel you get the most bang for the buck. Price per performance is how I find my sweet spot. To me, cutting edge is great, when I get to play with someone else's money(relating to GPUs). And I very rarely buy when the new series first drops. I usually wait till 2nd round of the series hits, when they drop the GTX or some other turbo-clocked, slightly less than the top line model.

    Based on the chart I linked to above, I would be looking somewhere between the 770 and 780 models as far as price per performance. 300-something to 500-something(really closer to 6ish) is the $ range between the 2. I just don't know if the 780 could pull another 200 mre from my stingy GPU budget. IMO, I'd rather be top 5 consistently,spend less but upgrade more, than spend big $$ once, and stretch that card till it hurts, due to my paying so much for it. Now, if you can by top 3 GPU whenver you so desire, then by all means grab the best sli $$ can buy. But as a VAS/GAS sufferer(plus $$ to get something to use in my vapes/glass), I don't have unlimited pc funds. I think my wife has caught on to something "breaking" every so often when I try to implement a gaming upgrade.

    The other guy you referenced above probably has better advice than me anyway lol.

    :mmmm: <I like to think I know what I am talking about, but come off more like the yellow guy to the left<

    TL;DR: Blah, blah, PC, blah, blah, nothing to see here folks, keep moving.
    z9 and Caligula like this.
  6. herbivore21

    herbivore21 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    967
    Hey man, basically there's several considerations.

    You are playing at 1080p. You want sweet graphics. You want something future proof.

    However, you do not need SLI/XFire to max the graphics in games at 1080p. First of all, SLI and Xfire scaling is not such that 2 x gpus is twice as fast. In fact, the Titan and 780ti outperform most dual gpu cards (including the 690, depending on the given title being tested). However, SLI/Xfire is going to kill your energy bills, with no benefit for your application. My single GTX680 is maxing the graphics on every game I have ever played (including stuff like Metro Last Light and other ridiculous DX11 titles). It is an inefficient way to play games, you lose performance, there can be issues with syncing of multiple gpus that can lead to weird graphics artifacts in titles that are not coded to account for this, you often have to disable the second gpu just to play incompatible games.

    I would heartily recommend the 780ti if you want something future proofed. It is the best single GPU card you can get at the moment for gaming (Titan/AMD's current gen of cards are better for compute). Better antialiasing and tessellation performance than the AMD cards, also better overall performance than the AMD cards at your chosen resolution. TXAA is also a very nice plus in many games these days! :)

    Gsync is something else to look into, fancy graphics are nothing if you have screen tearing happening every which-a-way you look!

    I know the current lot of AMD GPU's are leagues better than their last few generations, but their power usage is still an issue. You will pay discernably more for energy usage with an AMD card vs an Nvidia card if you game a lot.

    Hope this is all helpful, I'm pretty frazzled after doing sound in the bucketing rain all day. Will come back tomorrow and review :)
    Caligula likes this.
  7. tuk

    tuk Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    398
    The current spec/$ sweet spot is probably the GTX670-680, generally once you go beyond this you are paying more $ for less spec as a direct ratio.

    A stock GTX670 will allow you to play: BF4 - Ultra@1920x1080 which equates to 60-150fps depending on what is being rendered on screen, the card will be running at 65-95% capacity to achieve this...iow very stable.

    I doubt EA will be upscaling the BF graphics engine any time soon, so the GTX670 will suffice for at least 2-3 years.

    This means it would be better to go with a GTX670/680 now, bank the money saved then upgrade in 2-3 years time. Considering the march sprint of PC tech, unless your planning on going higher than 1920x1080 you're kinda wasting money with anything more than a single GTX670/680 ...put simply, by the time your maxing out a GTX690(3-4 years time) the card will be an antique so you will need to upgrade anyway, except you will have paid 3x as much over a GTX670 ...I will leave you to do the math here.

    ^^all the above is based on hard function tho, if you don't mind paying a lot more for a modest increase in performance so you can have the very best available then that is a different mindset entirely.
    Caligula likes this.
  8. Caligula

    Caligula *results not typical.

    Messages:
    6,449
    Location:
    So Cal
    Thanks for all the replies so far guys!

    Not sure about all this 600 series love. Sure its a good bang for the buck but at a great cost IMO.

    The 680 only has 1.5gb of VRAM. Not going to cut it. Limited memory is one of the major reasons I'm jumping off the SLI 480 boat (also @ 1.5g ).

    On top of that, there is a ~30% performance difference between a 680 and 780. The performance difference between a 780 and 780ti is about 20%.

    This means if I go with a 680 id have a card thats half as fast and has half the memory of a 780ti.

    No bueno.

    Also ive been SLi-ing cards for the past 4 years or so. Ive yet to experience any real issues with the setup. And as someone who is running multiple 480s I scoff at power consumption and heat output. I could literally light and heat a village with the energy these things use and output.

    Oh and itll be safe to assume ill get a 4k monitor sometime this or next year.
    herbivore21 and tuk like this.
  9. equatorgringo

    equatorgringo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    343
    Location:
    Panama
    Wish I could help you Caligula! Been a long time since I've followed and set up a gaming rig. My last one was Xfired 5870's and Eyefinity w/ 3 monitors. Sold the whole set up 6 months ago for like a 1/8th of what I spent on it hah.
    Caligula likes this.
  10. z9

    z9 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    701
    I generally shoot for the best price/performance in the enthusiast category and Nvidia usually takes the cake. Someone like me will gladly take a performance hit in exchange for silence which is why I tend to go mid/low end enthusiast cards and then pay for the best cooling solutions. I try so hard to go with AMD but I haven't been able to justify it since the 5xxx series. Was going to buy a 280x until their "shortage" fucked the pricing.

    I downgraded my water cooled 670's to a single 760 late last year when I decided to get out of water cooling; I hate any fan noise and the reference PNY cooler is god awful so I couldn't stand to keep even one. The 760 is sufficient for the little bit of gaming I do now but I still cringe whenever I see frame rate drops. Luckily this card has kept up with a single 670 once overclocked to the limit that all these cards have - 1293mhz core and 6500mhz ram. The MSI cooler keeps its cool and quite even under extended load, I couldn't ask for more from an entry level enthusiasts card.

    I was limited by VRAM on my 670's and its obviously the same way with my single 760 now. If you have plans to go beyond 1080p and want to future proof then get all the VRAM you can because I can assure you the 670 won't handle higher resolutions and settings well. Well not all the VRAM you can get... only suckers buy those 6gb r9 280x's, 4gb 760's, etc. :mental:

    Get something with at least 3gb of ram if you plan to have dual cards and use high resolutions.

    Only you can decide whether your money is worth some extra frames.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2014
    Caligula likes this.
  11. Caligula

    Caligula *results not typical.

    Messages:
    6,449
    Location:
    So Cal
    Ah fan noise. Have any of you had the chance to hear SLI 480s at full tilt? Lol jet engine. I need to get a video of that...

    They also run at about 85°C (gaming not benchmarking).
    herbivore21 likes this.
  12. Osn Dosn

    Osn Dosn Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    124
    Location:
    Merkel land
    Vote for the AMD r9

    Got the same chip in my notebook, the first AMD I really love, endless power and pretty stable, no thermal issues
    Caligula likes this.
  13. tuk

    tuk Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    398
    Marketing benchmarks aside, you won't be able to tell the difference in-game( BF@Ultra@1920x1080) between a GTX670 & >>insert any more powerful gfx card here<< ..the only difference might be you paid 3x as much for the second option.

    In that case, wait until you go 4K then buy a high-end gfx card, by which time the price will have dropped, why pay premium now for non-observable benefits?

    Imo, 4k is not ready yet, maybe in 2-3 years time it will make sense to shift, if you really want a new card now and say going 4k in 12 months time, buy a GTX670 & sell when you go 4k, by which time the premium cards will have dropped further in price ...either that or your overpriced Gcard will be 1 year old when you go 4k which is a reasonably long time in PC hardware years.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2014
  14. Caligula

    Caligula *results not typical.

    Messages:
    6,449
    Location:
    So Cal
    After some deliberation I am leaning towards an EVGA (Classified?) 780-Ti and one of these (releases Q2 of this year): http://techreport.com/news/25859/asus-pb287q-serves-up-4k-panel-for-799

    GPu is good to run the single 4k monitor, and leaves the option to SLi later or to use EVGA's upgrade program to get an 800 series if they are released within the allotted upgrade timeframe (3 mos fom date of purchase, IIRC).
    herbivore21 likes this.

Support FC, visit our trusted friends and sponsors