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4 GTX 680 vs 2 GTX 690?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Okay, I'm just wondering if GTX 680 Quad SLI (4 Cards) is better than GTX 690 Quad SLI (2 Cards)? Which one is better when it comes to the majority of the current and the upcoming games?

Last question, would it possible to sling 4 GTX 690 cards together? Since each GTX 690 is a dual gpu, 4 GTX 690 will be 8 gpus! How is that possible? If it is impossible today, how bout in the future?
post #2 of 21
You can only have 4 gpus in a system. That means 2 dual gpu cards or 4 single gpu cards. As for future developments, I don't see that happening. Most people only have one card and few actually have all 4 slots filled so I don't see it becoming a need.

As for 2 690 vs 4 680, I would recommend 2 690s for better temps ( more room for gous to breathe) and lower power draw (iirc).
post #3 of 21
In SLI or Crossfire a maximum of 4 GPU's is possible. I had 4x 680's and it was a absolute waste of money since no game even remotely needs more than 2 powerful GPU's. Sure it's great for benchies but not much else, it's just not needed unless your running ungodly high resolutions and even then the 690 and 680's memory interface is a bottleneck in larger vram enviroments.

I jumped to AMD and i'm glad i did. At least with this generation AMD is the smarter move.

I've had quad sli many times over the years and it's great at first seeing the massive scores you accomplish in benchmarks. But after a month or so you'll start wondering why you bothered when you see how games run in such a system. It's poor, the best gaming experience you can have is from 2 GPU's.

If all you care about is benchmarks then you can't go wrong, but for gaming don't bother.
Edited by Mhill2029 - 1/19/13 at 4:44pm
 
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post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys. That helps me a lot. Cheers. thumb.gif
post #5 of 21
I have 2 GTX 580's in sli and my games don't seem too run any better then when I had just 1 GTX 580 but thats just me maybe. don't get me wrong my games run very good and I have no complaints but I don't think I really needed a 2nd gpu and I run a i7 970 6core and 24 gigs of ram.
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post #6 of 21
Go quad 4gb 680's or 670's to save cash

With Dual 690's you run out of Vram before you run out of GPU power
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post #7 of 21
There are more problems with multi GPU systems then I can care for, and believe me, I was once a believer.

Two 4890's, Two 5850's, and Two 570's are some of the configs i've tried.

Here's why:

Drivers:

Computer hardware is powerful in it's raw form, but in order to take advantage of that requires some very long winded drivers and game coding. In short, most of your GPU power is probrably used up just translating APi's.

This is how consoles achieve so much on so little. They have fast memory bandwidths and a closed system with a proprietary APi, it's a lot easier to make a game run smoothly on this than a computer, especially after a few years.

Bandwidth:

Having more than two cards creates a bottleneck at the bus. You'd need PCI 2.0 at x8 across all 4 slots to likely have enough bandwidth to truly take the cards somewhere, even then, software will bottleneck you a long time before. I'm not aware of any board out there that can do this natively.

The way they work:

SLi and CFX use alternate frame rendering to make the gains, that basically means, each card renders one frame each in sequence and then sends that frame to the primary card for output. This is bad by design, it takes all these cards a certain amount of time to render these frames, and then a little more to send them to the output, they never quite do it the same, one card will always be slower/faster than the next, and that basically creates micro stops or pulses in the framerate, which at least to me is completely game breaking, 60fps feels like 20. It's varies from game to game to unplayable, to barely noticeable. Either way, I'll never be using it again. It's called Microstutter and its awful.

Throw 4 cards doing this, and there's going to be a problem. Another inherent downside to SLi and CFX is, sure, you got high maximum FPS, but they don't seem to improve minimum FPS very well at all, and that's where it counts. SLi benchmarks quite often throw out minimums like 10 and 20 fps, even if it was for a second, but high averages and maximums.

Scaling:

They never scale perfectly, this again is driver and game related. The more cards the worse it gets. At 4, the last card probrably adds less than 5% on average. Sometimes you need to be playing at extreme resolutions to really take advantage of the extra power.

On the whole, I avoid SLi like the plague, unless I wanted to game at 2560 x 1600 or something, then you have to consider it if you want the eye candy.

One thing I'd always tell someone is: Always buy the single fastest card you can afford, NEVER buy two cards unless you're at the top.

If I had to tell you though, The 690's by far, less heat, less power, less space, less cash.
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post #8 of 21
680's especially if you go with 4GB versions.
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post #9 of 21
For gaming at 5760x1080 or higher stop at 3-way SLI with this current gen and its 256 bit memory interface. 95% of games will not utilize the 4th GPU at all due to a CPU bottleneck, drivers, or software design restraints. You need a very powerful CPU also to rid of the CPU bottlenecks. I have the 3930k @ 5ghz.
I will be selling my 4th GPU soon as it is just an expensive PhysX card right now.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TomSG View Post

Having more than two cards creates a bottleneck at the bus. You'd need PCI 2.0 at x8 across all 4 slots to likely have enough bandwidth to truly take the cards somewhere, even then, software will bottleneck you a long time before. I'm not aware of any board out there that can do this natively.
There a few boards that do PCI-E 2.0 x8 natively. ASUS Maximus V EXTREME, RIVE, a few by EVGA, the Gigabyte G1 Sniper, & my board the Asrock Extreme 11 actually does PCI 3.0 x16 to all 4 GPUs(last 2 are with PLX chips)
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post #10 of 21
Like someone else said, the only reason for that much GPU processing power is a big resolution, in which case you need a lot of VRAM, so you should use the 4GB 680s.
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