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3GB GTX 580 or 1.5GB sufficient on U3011 2560x1600 maxxing AA whenever possible?

post #1 of 102
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I've been reading up some on VRAM usage and AA levels pertaining to the latest games. One of my upcoming planned upgrades is a Dell U3011 30" monitor running at 2560x1600 (for those who don't know about this awesome monitor )

I'm not looking to go multi-monitor, so this thread is pertaining to driving one 30" at this resolution.

My question is, when running the U3011 at native 2560x1600 using a reference pair of GTX 580s, does the 1.5GB in the GTX 580s hamper performance if you play say Metro 2033 at 2560x1600 all maxed with 4x MSAA ?

I'm currently running at 1920x1080 on my EVGA GTX 570 SC, and my VRAM usage when running Metro at everything maxed at 1920x1080 (but AAA, not 4xMSAA) - MSI Afterburner says ~1200MB used (so the RAM on my card is just about used up).

When I go big with this monitor, I want to be able to drive that 30 inch with all might and fury and not have to dial down the AA (unless it gets to the overzealous point of diminishing returns, for example 32xAA).

If I were to go for this decision within the next couple months, I want to know if going for a Palit/Gainward GTX 580 3GB is a no brainer decision to go for, or whether it's overkill when I pick up my U3011.

In reference to Vega using the 3GB 580s for his 4800x2560 - It makes me think it might be overkill, then I just might settle for the 1.5GB reference cards. But then again, my MSI Afterburner tells me of such bad news at 1080p resolution.

Any contribution appreciated!
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post #2 of 102
Get 3GB. AA and high res will use a lot of Video Ram.
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post #3 of 102
I recently went back and forth many times before deciding going for a non-3 gb card. I rather prioritize the mounted cooler, as when 99% games start requiring more than 1.5 gigs I probably will have bought a new card
    
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post #4 of 102
A buddy of mine has the 3008 model. i7 940 w/ a 5870 2gb radeon.

He is insane with AA/AS settings and yes even with 2gb you WILL drop fps. You need an insane amount of video ram to game at that resolution.

For my help, instead of rep just drop ship me one of those 30"ers I'm an poor father of 2 and realized at some point there was a decision made.

Feeding my kids or a 30" DELL .. Damn kids eat too much ahhaha

Anyways, check out the 590 limited edition. 3gb mmmmm
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post #5 of 102
You are in the same exact spot I was one month ago.
I, as well wondered about vRAM issues and wheter 2x GTX 580 would have been enough to max out my 30", but after pages and pages of reading (some supporting the 3GB is the minimum and others supporting the 1.5GB is more than enough) I opted for 2x GTX 580 SLI (1.5 GB) and found out that with such setup you can max everything at 2560x1600 in 99% of games, apart from Dragon Age 2 which has a bug in the current drivers which pushes FPS down to 30 even with my setup, vRAM though is not an issue, since even the buggy DA2 can't max my 1.5 GB out.

I also believe that, everything more than that is pure overkill (3GB becomes truly useful if you intend to game on 3x 30" Monitors, which you stated you are not interested into). Also, a single GTX 580 (1.5 or 3 GB) won't cut it on a 30", if you want to max out everything you need to go SLI. Hope I was of any help in your issues.
Edited by Mafia2020 - 4/19/11 at 10:09am
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post #6 of 102
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mafia2020 View Post
You are in the same exact spot I was one month ago.
I, as well wondered about vRAM issues and wheter 2x GTX 580 would have been enough to max out my 30", but after pages and pages of reading (some supporting the 3GB is the minimum and others supporting the 1.5GB is more than enough) I opted for 2x GTX 580 SLI (1.5 GB) and found out that with such setup you can max everything at 2560x1600 in 99% of games, apart from Dragon Age 2 which has a bug in the current drivers which pushes FPS down to 30 even with my setup, vRAM though is not an issue, since even the buggy DA2 can't max my 1.5 GB out.

I also believe that, everything more than that is pure overkill (3GB becomes truly useful if you intend to game on 3x 30" Monitors, which you stated you are not interested into). Also, a single GTX 580 (1.5 or 3 GB) won't cut it on a 30", if you want to max out everything you need to go SLI. Hope I was of any help in your issues.
Thanks for that info. Not to disregard your proof/experience, but the vram usage of metro on my gtx 570 1280mb raised my concerns on this. I mean, like you said the 3GB per card will definitely be useful in the multi monitor (i.e. 3x 30inch) setups, but that fact remains that the vram usage which I've seen running metro at 1080p already reached 1.1GB.

Thanks for the contributions everyone! I'm sure by accumulating more user experiences, it might help me and those within the same dilemma.

And Mafia, I'm not disregarding your post, its just like my Dad taught me = The two quickest ways to failure are (i) Taking one persons advice ; (ii) Taking everybody's advice....... so i'm trying to find somewhere in between haha!
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post #7 of 102
It's all right Viper, I am far from being a PC Authority, I just reported my experience since you seem to have the same needs I have, and since when I posted the same question on this forum I hoped someone with the same setup I have would have shared his experience.

Metro 2033 is probably the most graphic heavy game around, so you might as well be right about that. Unfortunately I don't have the game so I can't test it out for you, what I can do though is test other games I have if you are interested. For instance I can report that playing at 2560x1600 all maxed out on a SLI setup gives me:

Quote:
- 60+ FPS on Battlefield Bad Company 2
- 60+ FPS on Civilization V
- 30 FPS on Dragon Age 2 (due to the mentioned driver bug)
Also, you should consider that certain games when vRAM is not sufficient, tend to 'turbocache' it to regular RAM (if you have in excess) and while it's not optimal it helps surviving the vRAM cap.
Edited by Mafia2020 - 4/19/11 at 10:25am
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post #8 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mafia2020 View Post
... apart from Dragon Age 2 which has a bug in the current drivers which pushes FPS down to 30 even with my setup, vRAM though is not an issue, since even the buggy DA2 can't max my 1.5 GB out.
Isnt that fixed in the latest 270.61 whql drivers?

Edit: Also, Arma 2 actually fills up the entire video ram at any time, at least with my previous gtx570 and present gtx580.
Edited by Chris Ihao - 4/19/11 at 10:26am
    
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post #9 of 102
1.5 GB, ROPs are defining for AA and resolution for VRAM.
The 3GB is definately better if you go 3x 30'
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post #10 of 102
@Chris Ihao: Unfortunately it isn't fixed in the latest drivers and it's still an open issue.
@Versa: Viper stated clearly he doesn't intend to multi-monitor. Anyways, out of curiosity, wasn't a single GTX 580 enough to max out your 24"?
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