Originally Posted by Arizonian
No doubt about it that the 670 is the best price performance video card out this year.
However there's not much difference between the 690 & 680 that comes within 2% to 6% range of performance.
Heaven 3.0 Benchmark Scores
Top SLI 680 = 115.2
Top 690 = 112.5
Top SLI 670 = 109.3
The benefits of a dual GPU over single GPUs is why one would settle for less performance at the same price of the 680's in SLI.
Less heat, less power consumption, one single slot, dual GPU running @ PCIe 3.0 x16 as opposed to two 680's running at PCIe 3.0 x8, fan noise much lower, & the one benifit no other cards in SLI have which is frame metering.
'Frame metering' is on a hardware level that syncs both GPU's on a single PCB that practically eliminates micro stuttering. In fact no more micro stutter than a single card.
Have some info on Frame Metering in the club thread.
So a bit less performance in place of a high quality build the 690 has with other perks you don't get from an SLI configuration. Definitely worth its value for some people who prefer the other benefits gained over the slight performance lost.
The 680 reference $499 come with four power phases per card and the 690 come with five power phases each side. Hence why it comes closer to its SLI cousin in performance than any other dual GPU before it. In fact it's the first dual GPU of this caliber without as much compromise as before.
Had to clarify the difference with the 690 & 680. The 670 is the best bang for price / performance ratio this year, no denying that.
That may be the case, but both the 7970 and Nvidia's SLI brethren are very close in regards to their MS and Frame time results, at least on the limited number of sites that have done a proper study on the matter.
What I'm saying is, I wouldn't go Quad SLI with a 690 since you basically committing yourself to those 2GB per GPU for a significant amount of time. Unless you don't plan on turning around and selling the 690s after hitting a VRAM wall in a game, you're stuck with them for a while. I've already got 4GB 680s on Backorder to replace my 2GB 680s, but I may switch that to 670 4GB editions instead.
The latest iterations of GPUs from both camps have more than enough power to hit the VRAM wall before fps comes into consideration, and once you take SLI into consideration, you'll hit the VRAM limit in any future titles or at high res, before you start chugging because of lack of GPU computing power.
I just think Nvidia could've afforded to add the 4GB to the 680 upon release, given its price tag. The fact that the 670 released with 2GB as well and was nearly as powerful, was just a slap in the face to early 680 adopters like myself. After going from 3 7970s with 3GB, I didn't think I'd be using more than 2GB @ 2560x1440, but I was wrong. There are frequent occurrences in BF3 at Ultra 1440p that I get VRAM stutter, and when you're sitting on a $5K rig, it's a severe letdown.
If Nvidia hadn't released 4GB models of their cards, many people would've had no choice like myself but to switch to AMD or wait for a vendor to do it on their own. I just think it's laziness on their part or the need to pinch a penny or two. This would be understandable on a 660 level card, but not on the best they have. The GTX 690 is another example of this mistake. People are paying $1000 to $1200USD for a 690, and they're stuck with 2GB per GPU? It's laughable.