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GTX 680 2GB vs 4GB worth the wait? - Page 16

Poll Results: Should a PC builder wanting high-resolutions (2560x1440) refresh rates over 60FPS in high-VRAM applications (Battlefield 3) go with a GTX 680 2GB or wait for a 4GB?

 
  • 32% (66)
    2GB now
  • 61% (127)
    4GB, wait for it...
  • 5% (12)
    Other (Please specify)
205 Total Votes  
post #151 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by phantomphenom View Post

1) So theoretically having 2 x 4gb 680's in SLI mode will be able to play with the ultimate max settings including all AA types in the Nvidia control panel as well as the games options while maintaining a good amount of fps?
2) If i wasn't able to go ultra max on all graphics settings even with 1 4gb 680, if i had 2 of them, would that extra 4gb of memory allow me to take my settings higher than with only 1 card alone? How would this work? Would all of the data be split between the two 4gb cards?
3) Is the performance of 2 4gb 680s better than 3 2gb 680s?
I'm asking this question since I learn everything on this forum......so sorry for all the questions. Google search for these types of answers were kind of bias, so I trust your guys experience with graphics cards set ups ^.^'

1) Almost ... there would be certain games where you might struggle to max out the Transparency Anti-Aliasing slider in the NVCP, but that's cause TRSSAA is brutally difficult (however not that many games support it anyways). Other than that one setting, you could max out damn near anything, with maybe a small handful of games where you'd struggle to completely max them out at 5760x1080p or above but could get very close to maxed. Memory would obviously not be the limiting factor in those cases, it would be GPU power.
2) Memory doesn't add in SLi, the same data must be mirrored into the memory of all cards. What you get by going SLi is more gpu processing power, not more memory capacity.
3) The only time having more memory has ANY advantage is when you're running a game that REQUIRES more than you HAVE, and 2GB is still A LOT of vram. So the answer to this question 99.5% of the time would be NO it would not. Even as high as 5760x1200 the 2GB cards have enough vram to max nearly every game and put a little AA on top of that. The 4GB cards will buy you, like, maybe being able to run 8xAA instead of 4xAA in a small handful of games at extremely high resolution ... or perhaps being able to install more high-res texture mods on a game like Skyrim ... and that's about it at this point in time.
    
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post #152 of 168
Just an update - got my 4Gb 680 today and in BF3 at 2560x1440 with everything maxed out the total memory usage is around 1900Mb on the Gulf of Oman map. At full 1600p I would guess you'd be at the limit for a 2Gb Card - certainly validates my decision to get the 4Gb version. Wouldn't be surprised if Nvidia do it deliberately making sure you've got *just* enough memory for today's games but in 18 months you'll need to upgrade even though the GPU is still capable. Wasn't getting caught out again since my two 570s in SLI were perfectly fine in 3dmark, scoring 11000. My new 680 scores 10489. But I was out of memory at 1280Mb.

They could cope with AA/AF turned off (1517Mb usage) by swapping between system RAM and VRAM but once I put AA/AF into the mix it stuttered badly. Also noted that system ram usage has dropped accordingly when playing BF3
Edited by SkippyWatford - 6/29/12 at 1:49am
post #153 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkippyWatford View Post

Just an update - got my 4Gb 680 today and in BF3 at 2560x1440 with everything maxed out the total memory usage is around 1900Mb on the Gulf of Oman map. At full 1600p I would guess you'd be at the limit for a 2Gb Card - certainly validates my decision to get the 4Gb version. Wouldn't be surprised if Nvidia do it deliberately making sure you've got *just* enough memory for today's games but in 18 months you'll need to upgrade even though the GPU is still capable. Wasn't getting caught out again since my two 570s in SLI were perfectly fine in 3dmark, scoring 11000. My new 680 scores 10489. But I was out of memory at 1280Mb.
They could cope with AA/AF turned off (1517Mb usage) by swapping between system RAM and VRAM but once I put AA/AF into the mix it stuttered badly. Also noted that system ram usage has dropped accordingly when playing BF3

No offense, but none of your observations or deductions here really qualify as 'proof' of anything afa the actual benefit of the 4GB card goes wink.gif

To date I've seen not one review that shows the 4gb card being faster than the 2gb card in any test. I'm sure they'll eventually find an extreme enough situation where it 'matters' (and even then it will likely be only when in SLI, at Surround resolutions), but the evidence for it just yet ... doesn't exist out there on the web that I've been able to find. And I've looked every few days.

It's important to remember that what you think of as memory 'usage' ... is really not 'usage' in the true sense. It's just the memory allocation made by the driver for the game. Most modern games will cache textures intelligently, and take advantage of extra memory that's available. What is in your card's local memory at any given time is not 'what the card needs this very second', it's more like 'what the driver thinks is needed for the next X minutes of gameplay'. Having more vram means that X is a larger number, so what happens is that the *probability* of large amounts of texture fetching from the system ram goes down when you have more vram. However, there are a fair number of games where the caching systems are 'smart' enough that you could 'use' (according to AB) a LARGE amount over your vram allotment without any performance penalty whatsoever.

For example, my 470's in SLI ran Crysis 2 damn near identical to my 670. Once I got the 670, I discovered that the settings I was running 'used' 1800MB and up, around +45% of my local allotment on the 470's.

It's really not possible make definitive proclamations of performance differences with different memory amounts unless you take two cards that are otherwise identical and bench them in the same system, using a variety of games and settings. Any other method you might use (like looking at memory allocations and extrapolating) is entirely unscientific wink.gif
    
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post #154 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by brettjv View Post

No offense, but none of your observations or deductions here really qualify as 'proof' of anything afa the actual benefit of the 4GB card goes wink.gif
To date I've seen not one review that shows the 4gb card being faster than the 2gb card in any test. I'm sure they'll eventually find an extreme enough situation where it 'matters' (and even then it will likely be only when in SLI, at Surround resolutions), but the evidence for it just yet ... doesn't exist out there on the web that I've been able to find. And I've looked every few days.
It's important to remember that what you think of as memory 'usage' ... is really not 'usage' in the true sense. It's just the memory allocation made by the driver for the game. Most modern games will cache textures intelligently, and take advantage of extra memory that's available. What is in your card's local memory at any given time is not 'what the card needs this very second', it's more like 'what the driver thinks is needed for the next X minutes of gameplay'. Having more vram means that X is a larger number, so what happens is that the *probability* of large amounts of texture fetching from the system ram goes down when you have more vram. However, there are a fair number of games where the caching systems are 'smart' enough that you could 'use' (according to AB) a LARGE amount over your vram allotment without any performance penalty whatsoever.
For example, my 470's in SLI ran Crysis 2 damn near identical to my 670. Once I got the 670, I discovered that the settings I was running 'used' 1800MB and up, around +45% of my local allotment on the 470's.
It's really not possible make definitive proclamations of performance differences with different memory amounts unless you take two cards that are otherwise identical and bench them in the same system, using a variety of games and settings. Any other method you might use (like looking at memory allocations and extrapolating) is entirely unscientific wink.gif

I never claimed that current games would benefit from the extra memory - even my post said that the current games appeared to be within the 2Gb limit. However BF3 at Ultra with AA/AF turned off would run at around 80 FPS on my old system. The second I added 2xMSAA into the mix it would stutter and jerk badly, even though my cards were scoring 11000 in 3dmark11. Certainly some games can handle swapping textures better than others - perhaps Crysis 2 is one of them. However BF3 was, without any shadow of a doubt, needing more than 1280MB. Had I bought the 2560MB version I would not have needed to upgrade again so soon. It's my firm belief that the 680 GPU is fantastic and will last a lot longer than the 2GB of RAM. Certainly if you're getting 2 in SLI and intending to play at 1440/1600p the GPUs would still be good in 3 years IMHO - but the 2Gb RAM would have let you down.

My main point is this, if you're out of memory you're stuffed. If you're struggling with the GPU you can just go SLI and two 680s will be faster than a 780 (My two 570s were faster than my new 680). You can't fix a memory problem, but you can fix a lack of GPU power by adding cards.
post #155 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkippyWatford View Post

Just an update - got my 4Gb 680 today and in BF3 at 2560x1440 with everything maxed out the total memory usage is around 1900Mb on the Gulf of Oman map. At full 1600p I would guess you'd be at the limit for a 2Gb Card - certainly validates my decision to get the 4Gb version. Wouldn't be surprised if Nvidia do it deliberately making sure you've got *just* enough memory for today's games but in 18 months you'll need to upgrade even though the GPU is still capable. Wasn't getting caught out again since my two 570s in SLI were perfectly fine in 3dmark, scoring 11000. My new 680 scores 10489. But I was out of memory at 1280Mb.

They could cope with AA/AF turned off (1517Mb usage) by swapping between system RAM and VRAM but once I put AA/AF into the mix it stuttered badly. Also noted that system ram usage has dropped accordingly when playing BF3

Makes sense...when BF3 is maxed out at 2560x1600, just a bit more pixels it does max out 2gb and oftentimes the stuttering you noted with your 570s appears. You made a good call with the 4gb version, especially looking forward. I wish I had smile.gif
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post #156 of 168
In BF3 with 3x1 screens, all maxed out i hit 3.6 vram
post #157 of 168
Having more Vram won't necessary give you more FPS as shown in online reviews. More VRAM improves the overall framebuffer throughput allowing higher-resolution high-speed color graphics.

Am I the only one that noticed when the BF3 beta first came out that at max settings it would use all 1536MB then shutter, FPS dropped and crash, after a patch it was fine.
If a game allows more vram than what your card has your game will shutter and the FPS drops. Most games detect your vram, BF3 does when I played at max settings with the 480's 1.5GB vram it never went over 1480-1500MB at max AA settings supersample x4 running at 2560x1600, now with the 680's in BF3 it uses up to 2500MB and notice the game runs smoother. Is it due to better graphics cards or more Vram...

I guess we will see as more demanding games come along.
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post #158 of 168
Hi. I'm planning to buy Palit Gtx 680 jetstream this month.

I'm confused with the memory. What can you recommend 2gb or 4gb?

I only have one monitor. Samsung 40" inches 1080p FullHD monitor.. max res. at (1920 x 1080)

Samsung 40" inches 1080p (1920x1080)
post #159 of 168
The last two games I've been playing - The Secret World and Borderlands 2 both don't use more than 800mb of VRAM at 1080p maxed out. Not once since buying 680s have I ever even slightly wished I'd bought 4GB cards
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post #160 of 168
I am content enough with 2GB that I'll be grabbing another.

That being said, I almost never use in game AA as I don't see any/much gain from it over the approx AA provided by the card... which with BF3 on Ultra at 1600p I maxed just under 1.6GB. I also am not much of a gamer, so I guess take my advice with a grain of salt.
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