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GPU for 2560x1440 resolution?

post #1 of 28
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I am looking to pick up an Asus PB278Q, but I am a little concerned that my current system with a Palit GTX 580 will not be able to run games in 1440p as well as it currently does in 1080p. I can pretty much max out any game in 1080p and play it smoothly at 60fps, and I really don't want that to change when I upgrade to 1440p.

To that end, I am looking to upgrade my graphics card, but... I am a bit stumped.

First of all, this pretty much sums up my current setup:

  • Cooler Master CM 690 II
  • 850W PSU (can't remember the brand off the top of my head)
  • Asus P67 Sabertooth Rev.3
  • Intel Core i7-2700k @3,5Ghz (running at stock)
  • 16Gb Kingston DDR3 @ 1333Mhz
  • Palit GeForce GTX 580 1536Mb
  • Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit

I should mention that I did not build this PC myself. I handpicked the parts and had it assembled by a company that specialises in that sort of stuff. I am quite comfortable replacing individual parts, but I have never actually built an entire PC from scratch.

In any case, I am looking to replace my graphics card. I have no budget constraints, what's more important is hitting that 60fps target in 1440p. I play with adaptive v-sync on pretty much all the time.

To clarify, I don't generally play the really demanding games like Crysis, BF3, The Witcher, Metro 2033 etc. I play stuff like XCOM, Dishonored, Skyrim, Torchlight 2, and indie games like Legend of Grimrock. Skyrim is probably the most demanding game in my library. If I can run that at 60fps in 1440p I am happy, and everything else should work just as well. I am not too fussed about maxing out everything, i.e. I am fine with the 'high' preset instead of 'ultra' in Skyrim, for instance.

I have been looking at the MSI N680GTX Lightning, but I am not quite sure if that on its own will do the job. It does have excellent cooling and as someone who does not want to dabble in watercooling, that sounds very pleasing.

Another card I am really liking is the MSI N680GTX Twin Frozr 4GD5/OC. The 4Gb of VRAM is probably going to help a great deal at 1440p, but the card itself is not quite as fast as the Lightning model, so there is a bit of a tradeoff there.

I guess you could say I am quite keen on MSI cards because their cooling is just so damn good! That said, I am looking for some sensible advice based on user experience, so please feel free to chime in. Thank you in advance for your help!
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post #2 of 28
I would go for the lighting ! thumb.gif
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post #3 of 28
Hi Rensje,

First off welcome to OCN! Hope you like it here. thumb.gif

To your question(s), I would recommend that you wait for your monitor to get in and test the GTX 580 on it to determine if it is indeed lacking in the power to display games at 60fps on 2560 res. (wow. that sentence <-- had really weird grammar... )

In other words, get your monitor first, then play some stuff to see if the single 580 can handle it. I can guarantee that there WILL be a few people who post after me or ninja me that will say that a Radeon 7970 is a better choice because of the 3GB of VRAM and the 384bit memory bus. While this is true and does matter significantly at 5760x1080 resolution (multi-monitor), it has been shown in some benchmarks that it makes little difference. In others, it has been shown to make a HUGE difference, with AMD's best card beating the GTX 680 by 20% or more.

I think that the 4GB 680 is an excellent card and you will certainly not be disappointed. I also think that the 2GB version is plenty for 2560 resolution unless you go crazy with Skyrim texture mods. That is the only circumstance that I can think of where the 680 might begin to offer sub-par performance.

Bottom line: Get your monitor, test it out with a single 580, and if you need something more than that 580, sell it and get a 680 or 7970. Whatever suits you, they're both excellent cards. Some things to consider about the 680 and 7970:
680 offers lower power consumption
7970, with the newest drivers, offers better raw framerate performance in some titles (This is inconclusive but seems to be the case
680 produces less heat
7970's multi monitor support is generally better
680 has less fan noise
680 offers GPU boost, a temporary "turbo" mode where it overclocks itself to boost performance
680 has CUDA, and architecture useful in editing and CAD work.
7970 has a really nice bundle of free games if you buy it soon.

Hope that helps! biggrin.gif
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post #4 of 28
Thread Starter 
Hey coachmark2, I am definitely liking it here so far! Thanks!

You are right, it's probably a good idea to grab the monitor first and give it a spin to see if I really need the extra performance. Thing is, looking at some older benchmarks for the GeForce GTX 580, I am not quite so confident it will pull through unscathed. Of course, it might do just fine in the sort of games that I like to play, but there is that lowly 1536Mb of VRAM to consider, and I am quite prepared to replace it with something a bit more 'future-proof'.

I have no interest in a multi-monitor setup. I can see why people like it, but at the same time I think it's little more than a very fancy gimmick. A 1440p resolution is going to give me all the screen real estate I need on a single monitor, and I'm hoping that my games will shine on it.

From what I understand you would vouch for the 4GB GTX 680? It is definitely the card I am leaning towards for several reasons. Temperature is quite important to me and from what I understand this card runs really cool, which is a huge plus for me. It's also going to fit very comfortably in my case, which is nice. And the VRAM is going to help out later down the line, I think. I can picture myself grabbing some more Skyrim texture mods at some point so I suppose I should probably play it safe.

I have seen others mention the 7970 before and I can't argue it's great pricing and excellent performance, but as a personal preference I would rather stick with an Nvidia card. I've owned a number of their cards, from a lowly GT220 to my mighty GTX580, and I loved them all. By contrast, the one ATI card I've ever owned, a Radeon HD 5850, died on me within a few months. I know it was probably just an isolated case of bad luck, but still. I don't easily forget stuff like that.

So yeah.. the power consumption, the heat, the fan noise.. they are great selling points for me, personally. I love the CUDA architecture too, as I have been known to dabble in video editing and the hardware acceleration definitely helps.

I think I would prefer the Twin Frozr 4GD5/OC over the Lightning, even if that one is technically a little bit faster. The Twin Frozr seems like a pretty solid investment for at least a year or two.
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post #5 of 28
For the games you mention just check with the GTX 580. If you don't get the required fps go for the upgrade. the HD 7970 Ghz is the fastest GPU. period. At your 1440p resolution its not even a contest. In games like Skyrim the difference is significant.

http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-reviews/57413-amd-12-11-never-settle-driver-performance-14.html
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/AMD/Catalyst_12.11_Performance/19.html

http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-reviews/57413-amd-12-11-never-settle-driver-performance-17.html

"The 12.11 drivers represent a new beginning for the HD 7970 GHz Edition and while we haven’t tested the rest of AMD’s lineup, we’re sure the situation above will repeat itself throughout their product stack. This is not a selective performance bump in a few AMD-friendly titles either. Rather, the 12.11s offer an across-the-board performance increase that pushes the HD 7970 GHz Edition right past the GTX 680. From a price / performance standpoint, there are actually very few reasons to recommend the GTX 680 at this point and at higher detail settings there’s just no competition"

The ASUS HD 7970 Ghz MATRIX PLATINUM is the best HD 7970 Ghz out there. with a fantastic game bundle worth 170 bucks.

http://www.hardocp.com/article/2012/10/16/asus_matrix_hd_7970_platinum_video_card_review/10

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121671

If you only want Nvidia get the GTX 680 Lightning.
Edited by raghu78 - 10/27/12 at 8:47pm
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post #6 of 28
I am using two 670 FTW's. I did it on one, and worked well, but the SLI 670's is just beast.
post #7 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by raghu78 View Post

For the games you mention just check with the GTX 580. If you don't get the required fps go for the upgrade. the HD 7970 Ghz is the fastest GPU. period. At your 1440p resolution its not even a contest. In games like Skyrim the difference is significant.
http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-reviews/57413-amd-12-11-never-settle-driver-performance-14.html
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/AMD/Catalyst_12.11_Performance/19.html
http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-reviews/57413-amd-12-11-never-settle-driver-performance-17.html
"The 12.11 drivers represent a new beginning for the HD 7970 GHz Edition and while we haven’t tested the rest of AMD’s lineup, we’re sure the situation above will repeat itself throughout their product stack. This is not a selective performance bump in a few AMD-friendly titles either. Rather, the 12.11s offer an across-the-board performance increase that pushes the HD 7970 GHz Edition right past the GTX 680. From a price / performance standpoint, there are actually very few reasons to recommend the GTX 680 at this point and at higher detail settings there’s just no competition"
The ASUS HD 7970 Ghz MATRIX PLATINUM is the best HD 7970 Ghz out there. with a fantastic game bundle worth 170 bucks.
http://www.hardocp.com/article/2012/10/16/asus_matrix_hd_7970_platinum_video_card_review/10
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121671
If you only want Nvidia get the GTX 680 Lightning.

Please stop copy and pasting this on every thread that concerns the matter of the GTX 680 and the Radeon 7970. It's getting really old.

EDIT: From the Canucks article:

"Unfortunately, drivers can’t placate the HD 7970 GHz Edition’s ravenous craving for power, nor can it quiet down the reference heatsink’s banshee-like screaming." Yes, I cherry picked that line out of the whole review. But power consumption and quietness are very important to the OP in this circumstance.
Edited by coachmark2 - 10/27/12 at 9:26pm
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post #8 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rensje View Post

From what I understand you would vouch for the 4GB GTX 680? It is definitely the card I am leaning towards for several reasons. Temperature is quite important to me and from what I understand this card runs really cool, which is a huge plus for me. It's also going to fit very comfortably in my case, which is nice. And the VRAM is going to help out later down the line, I think. I can picture myself grabbing some more Skyrim texture mods at some point so I suppose I should probably play it safe.

Yes, I would vouch for the Twin Frozr 4GB model. Even though the core clocks are a tad slower, a quick and harmless bump in MSI Afterburner will fix that. thumb.gif And MSI makes (personal opinion) the best stock coolers on the market.
Quote:
So yeah.. the power consumption, the heat, the fan noise.. they are great selling points for me, personally. I love the CUDA architecture too, as I have been known to dabble in video editing and the hardware acceleration definitely helps.
I think I would prefer the Twin Frozr 4GD5/OC over the Lightning, even if that one is technically a little bit faster. The Twin Frozr seems like a pretty solid investment for at least a year or two.

yessir.gif Also I forgot to mention the 680 has PhysX which just looks STUNNING in Borderlands 2. biggrin.gif And if you like CUDA, then the 680 is your man for sure. I'd get the 4GB Edition, bump the clocks if you think you need to, and enjoy! biggrin.gif it's a SUPER card.
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post #9 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by coachmark2 View Post

Please stop copy and pasting this on every thread that concerns the matter of the GTX 680 and the Radeon 7970. It's getting really old.

If i say that HD 7970 Ghz is faster you will immediately contest it. thats why the reviews. if the OP does not want HD 7970 Ghz thats fine. but let him atleast read the reviews and then make a choice rolleyes.gif
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post #10 of 28
1440p right now is 7950/70's domain with their 3GB Vram and 384 bit Bus, don't worry about the extra heat as AMD's reference cooler is not very good, but you can get Custom Cooled models that run them cool and quiet, Gtx680 might run 70C instead of 7970's 77C but Nvidia Kepler cards would thermal throttle past 70C so the temp difference don't matter performance wise(as both card can stand upper 90C anyway).

Here is the difference is Power consumption



Here is the difference in Performance for 1600p, Do remember that stock GTX 670/680 runs with a 10% factory Overclock due to what nividia calls "Dynamic Overclock" as these cards would run at a clockrate of 1050-1100 out of the Box versus their 915Mhz/1006Mhz Stock clock. The only AMD card with a similar boost is 7970Ghz which runs at a 13% factory Overclock(1050Mhz from stock of 925Mhz), Stock 7950/7970 runs with 0% factory Overclock, when both OCed to the Max AMD card's would pull ahead 7-9% due to Nivida Voltage locking their cards.


Edited by sherlock - 10/27/12 at 9:43pm
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7-6700K  ASUS Maximus VIII Ranger EVGA 1080 FTW TridentZ DDR4-3000 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Samsung SM951 128GB Samsung 840 Pro 256 GB Muskin Reactor 1TB Seagate Baracuda 2TB ST2000DM001 HDD 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Seagate Baracuda 2TB ST2000DM001 HDD Corsair H110i GT Windows 10 Pro  Acer XB321HK 32" 4K G-sync 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Corsair K70 Rapid Fire EVGA SuperNova 650 P2 NZXT H440 Black Logitech G900  
Mouse PadOther
Razer Vespula CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD - PFC Sinewave UPS Syst... 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7-7700HQ 2.8Ghz(3.8Ghz Turbo) Dell XPS 15-9560 Nvidia GTX 1050 8GB DDR4-2400 
Hard DriveOSMonitor
256GB PCIE SSD Windows 10 Pro 15.6" 1080p 
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