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GTX 680 2GB vs 4GB worth the wait? - Page 10

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 #91 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkippyWatford View Post

Exactly - If I had to buy new graphics cards today with no possibility of waiting, I would actually buy a 7970 (probably 2 for CF). Sure you'll lose out a little today with games that don't need more than 2Gb, but not by anything significant. But in 2 years time those with 2Gb 680s in SLI will be hitting a brick wall and you'd be laughing at them. Maybe less than 2 years, even.

What do you mean hitting a brick wall? I personally feel that ATI has a history of being slow to the punch releasing driver updates and having driver bugs. I really do think that the expression 'Way its meant to be played' is so true for Nvidia cards. My two cents.
    
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post #92 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkippyWatford View Post

Exactly - If I had to buy new graphics cards today with no possibility of waiting, I would actually buy a 7970 (probably 2 for CF). Sure you'll lose out a little today with games that don't need more than 2Gb, but not by anything significant. But in 2 years time those with 2Gb 680s in SLI will be hitting a brick wall and you'd be laughing at them. Maybe less than 2 years, even.

In a perfect world, you could ideally compare video cards linearly on a 1:1 basis. However, the reality of it is it is much more complicated than that. VRAM capacity, while important (for large resolutions, with high levels of AA, and third party HD texture packs/mods), is but one facet of a video card purchasing decision.

Looking at [H]ardOCP's real world testing, the GTX 680 SLI setup, even with its smaller 2GB of VRAM, came out on top for the most part over the larger 7970 CFX setup:

http://hardocp.com/article/2012/03/28/nvidia_kepler_geforce_gtx_680_sli_video_card_review/

And this is with the stigma that Eyefinity/Surround resolutions absolutely "require" the highest amount of VRAM possible. Not to mention these are release drivers at that, compared to the supposedly mature AMD drivers. biggrin.gif

Having played with, and still constantly playing with, a variety of monitor configurations (single 1200p monitor, triple 1200p Surround, single 1440p monitor), I can tell you that the VRAM "concern" is a little overstated. wink.gif Yes, I sometimes do have to compromise a few settings to maintain 60 fps with my 1.5GB 580's in Surround (particularly AA and SSAO/HBAO with more recent games), but even on a single 1440p monitor 2X-4X AA (assuming I need to lower it at all) is perfectly acceptable with all other settings maxed, which is more than 1.5 times as many pixels as 1080p. This is besides the fact that there seems to be negligible differences between my 1.5GB 580 and the 3GB flavor:

http://www.behardware.com/articles/844-1/geforce-gtx-580-3gb-vs-1-5gb-test-sli-and-surround.html

The Fermi's are more likely to run out of raw processing power, well before a VRAM "brick wall" is reached. In my experience, I noticed a healthy performance increase when I used to have Tri-SLI 580's a few months ago, even though it is still only 1.5GB of VRAM at my Surround resolution of 5760x1200 or 3600x1920, which reaffirms my thoughts.

Besides, reducing a couple of settings for the occasional system intensive game in a large resolution environment is nothing game-breaking, which I think a lot of the times the message is conveyed as such - "either go all out or bust". For a single 1080p monitor, not everyone can afford the sort of overkill in VRAM, and certainly not everyone will even notice the difference.

For what it's worth, those who need the power (aka. Eyefinity/Surround users) are unlikely to keep their 2GB 680's for much longer than the next flagship release; not necessarily because of the VRAM, but because of the need for more raw power. Thus, by the time the games actually do *require* more VRAM, they will have already upgraded in anticipation of it. Those who don't need the power (and especially the extra VRAM), will not miss a single thing unless they intentionally tried with third party texture packs/mods and/or upgraded monitors. wink.gif
     
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post #93 of 168
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post #94 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkippyWatford View Post

Exactly - If I had to buy new graphics cards today with no possibility of waiting, I would actually buy a 7970 (probably 2 for CF). Sure you'll lose out a little today with games that don't need more than 2Gb, but not by anything significant. But in 2 years time those with 2Gb 680s in SLI will be hitting a brick wall and you'd be laughing at them. Maybe less than 2 years, even.

Umm in 2 years, those with 680s will be up to 780s or even better architecture, which will more than enough support the games at that time. Ever stop to think about that?
post #95 of 168
There is no debate... There is the truth, and then there are the people who say 2gb is plenty.
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post #96 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acefire View Post

There is no debate... There is the truth, and then there are the people who say 2gb is plenty.

And there is the people who are ignorant to the actual evidence presented. But that is another story, not everyone in this world can comprehend certain things. rolleyes.gif
post #97 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by bgtrance View Post

Umm in 2 years, those with 680s will be up to 780s or even better architecture, which will more than enough support the games at that time. Ever stop to think about that?

Not everyone can keep shoveling $500+ for a card. 2gb is still quite low for a flagship model. If I'm spending that much money, it will have to last me at least 2 generations of cards. Meaning, I won't be upgrading until probably after Maxwell comes out. If you can afford to keep shoving $500+ every time someone releases a new flagship, it's a different story. Some of us buy one big upgrade and it has to last.

Also, instead of upgrading when that happens, a cheaper alternative will be to SLI, as the 680 price will be a lot lower come that time. The problem with that, is the lack of memory, again. By that time, it will be like me adding another 470. The gpu power is there, but the memory creates a bottleneck.
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post #98 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by bgtrance View Post

Umm in 2 years, those with 680s will be up to 780s or even better architecture, which will more than enough support the games at that time. Ever stop to think about that?

Um....well yes, but I'd really rather not splurge another £450 in two years time or 900 if I'm getting SLI. That's kind of the point. The guy with two 7970s, in my opinion, will still be OK with those cards and won't have to spend the money.
post #99 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by bgtrance View Post

And there is the people who are ignorant to the actual evidence presented. But that is another story, not everyone in this world can comprehend certain things. rolleyes.gif

comprehend this....Current games are right on the limit of a 1.5Gb 580 if they're being run at 2560x1440/1600. Yes I absolutely agree that there's no game out today that needs more than 2Gb of RAM, but do you really think that in 2 years time games will only be using an extra 512Mb??? I highly doubt it. If you get two 680s in SLI you'll be scoring 18000/19000 in 3DMARK11 - that SHOULD be enough for the next 3 years in my opinion. But not with 2Gb of RAM.
post #100 of 168
another point to make is that even if you're having trouble with the GPUs in 2 years you can always add an extra card to go SLI or 3-way SLI. By then the 680s will be dirt cheap. But if you've ran out of memory there's nothing you can do, and you'll have to buy brand new cards. Simple when you look at it that way.

As I said earlier I have 2 MSI 570s in SLI. I'm scoring 10900 in 3DMARK11, which is higher than a (single) 680....but I can't max out BF3 with AA/AF...adding another 570 will make no difference as it's the memory that's killing me. I'm not making that mistake again.
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