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Downsampling conundrum!

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hey all! This is my first thread/post, so hello to you all! smile.gif

I just have a situation I'm to figure out. And it involves downsampling. Over the past year or so, downsampling has become increasingly popular in gaming, to the point that it's hard to ignore. I own a Dell U2711 monitor and cannot downsample at all unfortunately. So this leaves me in a predicament. I *really* want to start downsampling. I take pictures a lot in many games, and the image quality downsampling produces is something I really want to see.

So...I am considering quite heavily, buying a GTX 690 or a HD 7990 gpu, to replace my less-than-a-year-owned- GTX 680 Classified. And either before or after, buying the QX2710 that I've heard so much about, especially since it's overclocking abilities are generally great. Is this a good thing to do? I've been recommended quite a few times to get a 780, but since HD 7990 is still the king of them all, and it's cheaper than a 780 TI or something like that, and still a lot more powerful, why not get that?

I also had a question about downsampling on a 1440p monitor. If I'm downsampling to say, 2160p...and having that downsample to my 1440p monitor, it would be quite a bit more taxing than if it was 2160p downsampled to a 1080p resolution...right?

Any help would be much appreciated!

Thanks! smile.gif
post #2 of 9
Well firstly i am wondering why your current screen cannot downsample. I have ran into a few screens that couldn't downsample but it was rare. Have you been in the downsampling forums and gotten help? Ever find out why it wouldn't downsample?

Anyway i will say that a 680 classified would likely be enough for 1440p downsampling but that is likely the end of the line for it. Any 4K and above would be choking it and you will be sacrificing FPS for resolution at that point. The 690 and 7990 are both good choices. The 7990 would be a better bang for you buck however downsampling with AMD cards is a pain compared to nvidia(like trying to eat with a fork glued to your wrist). The times i have downsampled with AMD i ended up troubleshooting more than gaming due to every driver update breaking something and it requiring a separate utility to enter downsampled resolutions.

Nvidia has not seemed to have this problem. Enter a custom resolution with downsample friendly settings and go. Update your drivers and all your settings are still there. No fuss, no issues it just works. The GTX690 may be superior in this respect. I also have seen the 690 do better at extreme resolutions. This article shows a good comparison between the two cards: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-7990-geforce-gtx-690-frame-pacing,3599-8.html But this is a bit game to game.

To give you some insight i have two GTX770s in SLI and a Qnix. I run my Qnix not only at 1440p@120hz but also 4K@55hz downsampled. My GTX770s are plenty to play in 4K and maintain 55FPS. The 780 with the extra memory may be enough to game at the very high resolutions but i think a regular 780 will be pushing it. A 780Ti may be a different story as the performance isn't way off from 770s in SLI(which bothers me LOL). So for Nvidia the 780ti or the 690 would be your best single card solutions. The 7990 is AMDs top offer hands down due to price vs performance.

The few people who also have tried downsampling with the Qnix have at least gotten as far as i have with the timings that i and another member(Lehdro) found. Many have gotten 4K@60hz and some as higher as 4K@65hz(Lehdro). Also downsampling essentially runs that resolution as far as the GPU is concerned so running 2160p is running 2160p regardless of your origin resolution. The 1440p > 2160p will look better than the 1080p > 2160p. More real pixels will always beat more fake or aliased pixels. Bottom line the GPU load should be the same. I will go grab my LG E2211 tonight and try a resource comparison between 1080p and 1440p downsampled to 4k. I will also make them both 55hz to keep everything equal.

If you do get the Qnix or any 1440p monitor a good test you can do is see if you can run 1440p and keep around 120FPS. This is because 2160p@60hz is only 9% higher in terms of rendering than 1440p@120hz. So i you keep around 120FPS at 1440p than it is likely 2160p won't be too far off.

I will let you know my comparison results for 1080p and 1440p > 2160p and hope this info helped thumb.gif
Edited by Spartan F8 - 11/10/13 at 12:35pm
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Spartan, thank you so much for such a detailed and thorough post.

To answer your question, I have no idea why it's like that. I have searched so many times to find out ways to get it working, but apparently the U2711 and U3011 are weirdly unable to go not even one pixel above 1440p. It's very annoying, since I haven't even really had this monitor for that long either.

So do you game etc at 2160p constantly? That's insane, and awesome at the same time. For some reason I always thought I'd just be downsampling in games only. But if I understand you correctly, you're always running at 2160...that sounds absolutely fantastic. It's such a shame that the AMD method of downsampling is a pain in the ass. I *really* wanted the 7990, but the 690 is no joke either. Thank you for the link btw, it makes me happy to know that if I get the 690, it would rock at such insane resolutions. smile.gif

I think the first thing to do will be to get the monitor and then see what happens with it all next. Performance etc will determine whether I get the 690 or not.

Thanks again mate! I look forward to your comparison! smile.gif
post #4 of 9
I did some searching and yeah it looks like those models are just completely downsampling challenged. I do not run 2160p constantly, i run it in certain games that more resolution or screen real estate beats out FPS or refresh. For games that require fast reaction time (mainly first person shooters) i use 1440p@120hz due to the response time.

Also i did a bit more research and the 780ti would be almost identical in performance to my 770s in SLI with a moderate overclock(which bothers me mad.gif ). Also the performance would be very similar to the 690 and would likely beat a 690 with a small overclock via this article: http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/NVIDIA/GeForce_GTX_780_Ti/

Seeing that a 780ti is $699 and a 690 is still almost $1000 most places i think the 780ti would be your winner unless you go with AMD and deal with the downsampling driver defects.

EDIT: After finding this info for you i think i might sell me 770s and grab me a 780ti wink.gif
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Ah I see, either way it's awesome. The monitor I had before this one, I had to use a long method overriding drivers etc...I think it was called OGSSAA back when I was trying it. It took a while, and required multiple programs. But the tiny sample I saw of it all, was great. Then downsampling blew up and here we are. smile.gif

Haha! Oh noes! Well at least something good will come out of it all now. smile.gif Is overclocking a GPU quite easy? It'd be good to do that once I get the monitor and potentially get the 780 ti. See, one of my problems originally with the 780 ti is the 3gb of VRAM. Since my card has 4gb, and gaming at such crazy resolutions requires such a big amount of vram to run smoothly, I thought the drop to 3gb would be bad for the future...but it'll be okay won't it? I could get another in time to come?
post #6 of 9
Overclocking a GPU is quite easy. Using MSI afterburner makes it a cake walk to slowly find your cards max. It simply just takes quite a bit of time running benchmarks over and over looking for artifacts. Any of the popular video card threads generally have a ton of people who walk through each step and have tons of data regarding the cards general potential(even though every card is different).

3GB of VRAM is 1GB more than i have and i have no problems running 4K@55hz with maintaining 55FPS. Now this is most games and there is still a couple that will max the VRAM with certain texture mods and what not. Given you will have a whole 1GB more you should be fine unless you start going higher than 4K or compounding aliasing methods with texture mods. Like with skyrim, i can run 4K and with the 55FPS stable with the texture mods but if i start injecting SMAA, running object high res mods, or even running standard AA there starts to be problems.

With 3GB you should be able to run 4K ok even with high res textures. This is going to be with most games as well since Skyrim(which was my example) is no slouch at all. The only time you may need more than 3GB is greater than 4K or when using multiple AA methods together. Also getting a second GTX780ti would help the data rate with the VRAM you have but it would not compound it. When cards are in SLI or xfire the VRAM is in a sense raid'd thus close to doubling the read speed. You will NOT have a total of 6GB. There are many UHD reviews on newer cards that can demonstrate the viability of memory size per resolution. Here is a few directly related to your situation:

http://www.guru3d.com/articles_pages/geforce_gtx_780_ti_review,17.html
http://www.guru3d.com/articles_pages/radeon_hd_7990_review,26.html
http://www.guru3d.com/articles_pages/geforce_gtx_770_sli_review,22.html

The 3x1080p surround setups will be good examples and comparable to the requirements for 4K.
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Interesting! So it sounds like overall, a 780 ti would be the best option. I came across a GTX 690 that was bidding for 450 and has gone up to just over £500, which is pretty good considering it's official price is over £6-700, and more. Do you think if I could bid for it it would be a good price to go for? I'll be honest, I really want the HD 7990. The 6gb version has it all, but after reading about the downsampling stuff and the possibility that it won't work with all games, it really throws me off.

Is the 780 TI the most future proof do you think Spartan?
post #8 of 9
Well with your application the level of future proof is going to be relative to the monitor. Depends how far you can downsample with the monitor you get. Overall i definitely think it is the best choice for you. This is due to the way it can handle 4k and that is currently the highest resolution out. So even on top of being able to handle 4k, later you could get a second and handle even higher resolutions. Lastly the downsampling friendliness of nvidia drivers(for me at least) is worth paying for.

The 7990 can be found at deal prices and could be the best bang for your buck factor. It may be even the better deal overall. But the 780ti does fit the bill a bit better in my opinion. It is true that downsampling won't work in some games and this is true for both cards but you will have more issues with AMD drivers. With a good deal of work and troubleshooting i will say you can get AMD downsampling as much as nvidia BUT there is a good deal of time that goes into it(i know).

Bottom line if your focus is the best card you can get and downsampling is your primary focus(whatever native and sampled resolution that might be) then the 780ti is your card. If you want best bang for your buck and don't mind getting a natively ultra res display then i would go with the 7990. I would also not even consider the 690 unless you could get it for under 500 at least and even then it would be hard to pass up a 780ti.

I don't want to sound bias towards nvidia but the fact is that downsampling is easily supported on nvidia period. If downsampling wasn't a factor i would go with the 7990.
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hm, you're right. The 780 TI is kind've hard to ignore in this situation. I'll get one of those then.

Once again mate, thank you so much for your assistance and advice. I have given you a bunch of rep in return. smile.gif
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