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[LR] NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 Surround Gaming Tested - Page 2

post #11 of 155
I'm looking at a single Dell U3011 actually, no 3D. I've seen a lot of reviews where even at 1600p, the reference 680 beats the 7970 with only 2GB of Vram. However those tests usually don't use MSAA or have it very high, so I'm concerned if I turn up MSAA the 7970 will pull away with 3GB of Vram.

That said, I'm not sure how much of a difference 2 X MSAA vs 4 X MSAA is at 1600p on BF3, or if it's even necessary. I just don't want to get the 680 and start regretting when I can't turn MSAA up for better eye candy! Plus I've read up on how much Vram BF3 can use, so if I go SLI sometime in future wouldn't 3GB Vram be better insurance?
post #12 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by PoopaScoopa View Post

Depends on personal preference really. A reference 7970 hits 1250 easily. The Lightning is more for LN2 or super quiet air cooling. If you're at triple 1600p resolutions, Nvidia does fare better with each monitor on its own RAMDAC rather than everything running off the first card. Nvidia handles MSAA better than AMD with less of a performance hit. That's why 0xMSAA and FXAA comparisons see the 7xxx cards pull way ahead in tests but don't do so good when MSAA is on. 3D gaming is also better on Nvidia but you have to shell out additional money for their branded gear. Nvidia drivers tend to be much smoother and less buggy, as far as installing/changing settings.
Reference 680s can't overclock very much due to their low amount of VRMs and OCP that can't be disabled, so a reference 1250mhz 7950/7970 will easily beat it in single monitor comparisons without having to worry about killing VRMs. There's a couple non-ref models like the 1.2Ghz Zotac out though that let you overclock well and the 680 Lightning will be out in a couple months. You just have to choose what fits for your setup. Are you using triple 1600p monitors? Are you looking to do 3D gaming?

I'm not quite sure why you're quoting a 1250MHz 7970 as a great overclock, then in the same breath say that the 680s don't overclock well........ when mine eclipses 1300MHz pretty easily. Seems rather misinformed, they're both pretty good overclockers.
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post #13 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by hansen6 View Post

I'm looking at a single Dell U3011 actually, no 3D. I've seen a lot of reviews where even at 1600p, the reference 680 beats the 7970 with only 2GB of Vram. However those tests usually don't use MSAA or have it very high, so I'm concerned if I turn up MSAA the 7970 will pull away with 3GB of Vram.
That said, I'm not sure how much of a difference 2 X MSAA vs 4 X MSAA is at 1600p on BF3, or if it's even necessary. I just don't want to get the 680 and start regretting when I can't turn MSAA up for better eye candy! Plus I've read up on how much Vram BF3 can use, so if I go SLI sometime in future wouldn't 3GB Vram be better insurance?

Well, anything beyond 4xMSAA @ 1600P isn't discernible to the eye according to [H] and I haven't noticed any difference. With one 1600P monitor, 2GB will definitely be fine. Adding a second card doesn't make you use more VRAM per card. Windows Aero can use up to 500MB of VRAM so I'm not sure what reviews you've seen as to whether they had Aero on or not. Nvidia will actually handle MSAA better than AMD.. You don't even need it @ 1600P really though. FXAA is good enough by itself, especially at that res.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Celeras View Post

I'm not quite sure why you're quoting a 1250MHz 7970 as a great overclock, then in the same breath say that the 680s don't overclock well........ when mine eclipses 1300MHz pretty easily. Seems rather misinformed, they're both pretty good overclockers.
Because the 680 needs to go beyond 1300 to beat the average overclock of around 1250 to be competitive. Most 680s don't hit 1300 though if you look at the users who have them here and other overclocking sites. You got lucky with a good card. With a non-ref 680 though, 1300+ should be a lot more common.
This is with 4xMSAA where the 7970 takes a big performance hit:
7970-680-bf3.jpg.jpeg
Edited by PoopaScoopa - 4/3/12 at 7:49am
post #14 of 155
The fact that it's a landslide at stock clocks which evens out with OCs should tell you something... we call it a bottleneck.
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post #15 of 155
Holy balls what a biased review. It's either the "680 stomped on the 7970" or "the 7970 won but not by much". Boo.
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post #16 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by Celeras View Post

The fact that it's a landslide at stock clocks which evens out with OCs should tell you something... we call it a bottleneck.

You're trying to say the VRAM is bottlenecking the 680? Not at that res. It's 925Mhz vs 1006Mhz. Don't assume that both GPUs scale the same percentage wise as you overclock them. +300 Mhz to Kepler won't give the same boost as +300Mhz to Tahiti. OCP is also likely kicking in on the 680 in that chart; again, a problem with 680 reference models. Turn off MSAA at stock and the difference isn't so big since AMD doesn't handle MSAA as well as Nvidia.
Edited by PoopaScoopa - 4/3/12 at 7:45am
post #17 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by PoopaScoopa View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Celeras View Post

The fact that it's a landslide at stock clocks which evens out with OCs should tell you something... we call it a bottleneck.

You're trying to say the VRAM is bottlenecking the 680? Not that as that res. It's 925Mhz vs 1006Mhz. Don't assume that both GPUs scale the same percentage wise as you overclock them. +300 Mhz to Kepler won't give the same boost as +300Mhz to Tahiti. OCP is also likely kicking in on the 680 in that chart; again, a problem with 680 reference models. Turn off MSAA at stock though and the difference isn't so big anymore since AMD doesn't do as good with MSAA.



The 680 scales more than the 7970 so long as you remember to OC it's memory.

post #18 of 155

So bottom line is single 7970 is behind, has far less features, costs more in the USA, has questionable drivers in comparison, and only in half or less of the games at extreme resolutions with unplayable frame rates does it produce anything that can possibly objectively be called frame rate equality, and that at unstable overclocks nearly no one is really going to keep cranked while playing...

 

There's really not much more to say about the matter.

I cannot see a single real 7970 advantage except amd made it and nvidia did not, which is a huge emotional advantage for more than are willing acknowledge that.

 

Trying to prove nvidia doesn't know how much ram a certain potency of core at max resolutions is in need of has proven a futile and humiliating exercise with such a large urban legend lore backing it, no doubt more experiments will be spoken of even if the data is somehow ephemeral and phantom like or somewhere off in some non existent future..

 

I read again, all over, "the game may materialize in the future that takes advantage of such a thing" - this right in reviews that solidly conclude at 2G (or 3G) ram limitations frame rates are already toast for playing before hitting any wall - but they of course have to say it - like last time, and the time before, and the time before, and before and before.

 

If someone shows one or two games where they can achieve the dreaded and completely absent scenario more power to them, they will have the achieved the equivalence of the one or two games PhysX is put down for, only less so, and unplayable to boot, a defeat in any objective view.

 

 

post #19 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeanA View Post

I cannot see a single real 7970 advantage except amd made it and nvidia did not, which is a huge emotional advantage for more than are willing acknowledge that.

It has some advantages. Max 6 screens vs 4 screens, +1 Gb of RAM AND higher memory bandwidth (while nVidia is doing just fine at 6 MP with 1920x1080 screens going 2560x1440 or x1600 will push the resolution to 12MP where 2 Gb might not be enough, then again AMD will hit the wall as well with extreme setups with very high probability vRAM wise, for example doing 5x or 6x 2560x1440 @ 20 or 24 MP will castrate it as soon as it even thinks of putting some AA on).

But on everyday scenarios I think nVidia is better value atm. Most people dont go for 5 or 6 screens and with these cheap 2560x1440 screens from eBay ... well - lets just say that if I would start getting my screens today then in the light of these eBay ones the decision is no longer as straightforward as it was a bit over a year ago where it was very clearly AMD + 1920x1080 screens.
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post #20 of 155


Ok , for anyone wielding 6 screens and the additional adapters and likely the special expensive version of the card and the insane screen$, or the DP hud + cables - or the extra card(s) - LOL - ok, I apologize for my absent minded irresponsibility in my former statement.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniflex View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by SeanA View Post

I cannot see a single real 7970 advantage except amd made it and nvidia did not, which is a huge emotional advantage for more than are willing acknowledge that.

It has some advantages. Max 6 screens vs 4 screens, +1 Gb of RAM AND higher memory bandwidth (while nVidia is doing just fine at 6 MP with 1920x1080 screens going 2560x1440 or x1600 will push the resolution to 12MP where 2 Gb might not be enough, then again AMD will hit the wall as well with extreme setups with very high probability vRAM wise, for example doing 5x or 6x 2560x1440 @ 20 or 24 MP will castrate it as soon as it even thinks of putting some AA on).

But on everyday scenarios I think nVidia is better value atm. Most people dont go for 5 or 6 screens and with these cheap 2560x1440 screens from eBay ... well - lets just say that if I would start getting my screens today then in the light of these eBay ones the decision is no longer as straightforward as it was a bit over a year ago where it was very clearly AMD + 1920x1080 screens.


 

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