1. #1

    Several Computer Questions

    I've got a couple of computer questions and since I follow this site fairly often and it seems like most of the people here have valuable information I figured it'd be a good place to ask.

    Video Card? This upcoming summer I am looking to get a new video card, currently i have a HD 5570, so almost anything is an upgrade . Originally I planned to get a GTX 670, more specifically this one, "GIGABYTE GV-N670OC-2GD GeForce GTX 670 2GB" (from newegg, can't post links yet). But the closer summer gets, the more I read up on video cards, and the more I rethink that choice. Firstly, Nvidia or AMD. Currently I have a 1680x1050 monitor which I use for most of my gaming, and a 1080p HDTV which I occasionally use as a second monitor when I'm not watching TV (or really want to play a game in 1920x1080). This summer I plan to replace the 1680x1050 monitor with a 1920x1080(or higher) one (might just keep the 1680x1050 as a third monitor if I can't find some one that wants it). I don't plan to play any games across multiple monitors, just play a game on one screen with netflix or youtube running on the other. I mostly just play WoW and other MMO's or whatever game that Steam drops a good sale on (which come to think of it is more games than I realize). And from what I understand AMD video cards typically have a higher memory size/interface for equal price(but lower quality/clock speed), will going with an HD 7970 (or similar) yield me better results than a 670 or 680? Note: I have a 800 W or so power supply, so unless I SLI I shouldnt run into an issue there, but SLI isn't out of the question if the benefits are deemed to outweigh the cost. Also, I notice the range of cards with a specific GPU (gtx 670, 680, HD 7970, etc.) range quite a bit. For example it seems the majority of the cost difference between the 670 and 680 come from 2gb to 4gb, but looking at newegg's lists, it seems the 670 and 680 both can have 2gb or 4gb, will a higher end 670 outperform a lower end 680? I also heard from a friend, that he seems to have better performance at lower temperatures than slight overclocks(based on his personal experience), is it true that the temperature affects performance to a noticeable amount? Should I value a video card with 3 fans more than one with a slightly increased core clock? Lastly, I don't keep track of the next-gen video cards too much, but are either AMD or Nvidia close to releasing a new and improved GPU, and will it lower prices of the current ones, allowing me to snag a deal? Or is the "next big thing" going to blow all others out of the water and it will be worth the price/wait?

    Too long not going to read? Which GPU should I get, which differences between brands in same GPU's should I look for, and when is a good time to buy?

    FPS Issues: Recently when doing a Stormtstout Brewery Gold challenge mode, and having to make massive pulls of 50+ monkeys or bunny-things (forget their names) and kite them in circles I start getting low FPS. From my basic understanding of computers I had thought that this was an issue caused by Skada/Recount collect so much data that the CPU can't handle it. But with a i5 3570k at 4.3Ghz and 8gb of 1866 Ram, I didn't figure this should be a problem. And if you read the video card section I mentioned I have a HD 5570. So is the video card causing these issues, or am i overestimating the power of the 3570k?

    New monitor? This summer I am also looking to get a new monitor (preferable about 23" and atleast 1920x1080). Any suggestions on brands or models? Is it worth going to a 2560x1440 one or would a high quality IPS one be better? Typically I would go to BestBuy or Amazon for something like these, are these my best options, or is there better?

    Lastly, any news on anyone with plans to come out with the next big thing for computers? Should I start saving up to build a computer around a 32 core processor? (Obviously a little over-exaggerated, but you get the point)

    Thanks anyone ahead of time for any responses.

    P.S. I wrote this as a way to procrastinate from writing a essay paper, but reading back over it, it seems I wrote an essay anyways, sorry for the long winded-ness.

  2. #2
    Fluffy Kitten llDemonll's Avatar
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    I'd go with AMD just for the sole reason that Eyefinity handles multi-monitor setups better than Nvidia does, and if you plan on running 3 monitors this will be helpful

    Chances are the GPU can't keep up. 4.3ghz on a 3570K should be enough for WoW, but it could just be that many models on the screen. What are you graphics settings at? High shadows would kill framerates in situations like that

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  3. #3
    Bloodsail Admiral Killora's Avatar
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    -From my experience, MMO's, especially WoW, tends to favor Nvidia. AMD tends to handle multi-monitor set-ups better, though.

    -a high end 670 vs low end 680, a properly overclocked 670 can match a stock 680. I've never found the the 680 to be enough of a gain to justify the price but that's just me.

    -Don't bother with 4gb vram. 2gb will be just fine unless you intend to run with rediculous resolutions (like with eyefinity)

    -Temperature does effect performance but usually it's only when it starts getting on the hotter side of things (85c+) Though it does effect overclock stability.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by llDemonll View Post
    I'd go with AMD just for the sole reason that Eyefinity handles multi-monitor setups better than Nvidia does, and if you plan on running 3 monitors this will be helpful

    Chances are the GPU can't keep up. 4.3ghz on a 3570K should be enough for WoW, but it could just be that many models on the screen. What are you graphics settings at? High shadows would kill framerates in situations like that
    Ya, the AMD being better at high resolutions is what I've typically heard, but most of the benchmarks seem to use a game being played across all 2 or 3, but if I'm just playing a game on 1 monitor and watch a twitch stream, for example, on the 2nd, would it still technically fall under the category of being Eyefinity?

    And my graphics are set to the fair preset, but it also my FPS seemed to go back to normal when I hide nameplates, so I'm guessing its probably GPU then?

    I have no experience with overclock, so would the 3 fan gigabyte 670 be better than a EVGA FTW edition with a higher core clock because the lower temperatures will allow a higher range of overclocking? Or will the FTW one still be better because it can add an equal amount of overclocking than the gigabyte one can do to a higher starting clock, in turn still having a higher clock? And I know that comparing clocks and memory size between AMD and Nvidia is not typically advised due to the difference in the way they are made, but when comparing a 670 vs 680 can I compare the core clocks accurately or are they made different enough to make those numbers slightly askew? Like it seems some "Superclocked+" 670's have the same core clock as some 680's, but for $30 cheaper, is the 680 still better (even if not $30 worth of difference)?

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Killora View Post
    -Temperature does effect performance but usually it's only when it starts getting on the hotter side of things (85c+) Though it does effect overclock stability.
    While this is true in most cases it is a bit different when it comes to Kepler based cards (Nvidia 600 series).
    The Kepler boost throttles the overclock at 4 different levels when it comes to temperature, 70c, 80c, 85c and 95c. For each step the Kepler boost throttles the core clock with 13MHz as illustrated here:


    So yes, a better cooler on a card can provide better performance than a slightly higher clocked card if it would get hot enough.
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  6. #6
    Bloodsail Admiral Killora's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by n0cturnal View Post
    While this is true in most cases it is a bit different when it comes to Kepler based cards (Nvidia 600 series).
    The Kepler boost throttles the overclock at 4 different levels when it comes to temperature, 70c, 80c, 85c and 95c. For each step the Kepler boost throttles the core clock with 13MHz as illustrated here:
    image

    So yes, a better cooler on a card can provide better performance than a slightly higher clocked card if it would get hot enough.
    Good point, but when overclocking kepler cards, isn't boost usually turned off? or is it likened to overclocking a CPU via increasing the turbo boost multiplier rather than the base multiplier? I can't say i've ever had a kepler card to tweak around with in that respect.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Gnarff View Post
    I have no experience with overclock, so would the 3 fan gigabyte 670 be better than a EVGA FTW edition with a higher core clock because the lower temperatures will allow a higher range of overclocking? Or will the FTW one still be better because it can add an equal amount of overclocking than the gigabyte one can do to a higher starting clock, in turn still having a higher clock? And I know that comparing clocks and memory size between AMD and Nvidia is not typically advised due to the difference in the way they are made, but when comparing a 670 vs 680 can I compare the core clocks accurately or are they made different enough to make those numbers slightly askew? Like it seems some "Superclocked+" 670's have the same core clock as some 680's, but for $30 cheaper, is the 680 still better (even if not $30 worth of difference)?
    When it comes to overclocking a GPU it comes down to silicon lottery. There is no way one could say that one chip will clock higher than another without actually trying them both. Some graphic cards might have a better chance due to a better cooler or perhaps a possibility of voltage modifications but there is still no guarantee that it will clock higher than another card.

    When it comes to GTX 670 vs GTX 680, the 680 has more CUDA cores which provides some extra performance, you can negate the gap in CUDA cores in some situations by overclocking the GTX 670 but it is hard to have it truly match the 680 when both are overclocked.

    Personally I wouldn't pay the extra $100 for a GTX 680.

    ---------- Post added 2013-02-14 at 12:31 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Killora View Post
    Good point, but when overclocking kepler cards, isn't boost usually turned off? or is it likened to overclocking a CPU via increasing the turbo boost multiplier rather than the base multiplier? I can't say i've ever had a kepler card to tweak around with in that respect.
    The Kepler boost is always active, you can't change it in anyway other than controlling the temperature of the card in question, the boost also varies from card to card. If you want to read more about it you can take a look here http://www.overclock.net/t/1265110/t...#post_17391119
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  8. #8
    Alright, so the GIGABYTE GV-N670OC-2GD GeForce GTX 670 2GB (Item# N82E16814125423, I can't post links yet but if you go to newegg and search that it should come up) is starting to look like my best choice.

    But then as far as "future-proofing" goes, what kind of resolution would cause 2gb of vram to become a bottleneck. Let's say I buy two monitors and decide to do Eyefinity across them, would 2gb still be enough? Or would it take up to 3 monitors in Eyefinity to cause 4gb to become needed? Basically, would (Item# N82E16814130824) be worth increase in price so I won't run into issues in a year or two?
    Also, I don't really follow how often new video cards come out, will a new card come out in the next year that makes all others seem like they're made from stone and drive 690 prices down to $300? (Possibly slightly exaggerated)

  9. #9
    Eyefinity is done with AMD cards, also you don't play games on 2 monitors since you would get the bezel in the middle of the picture.
    2GB of vRAM is still enough for most games at 2560x1440, some games you will have to run at a lower AA but that doesn't matter much when you play at such high resolution anyway.

    Well we have Titan coming out in a week and it is said to be around 50-60% more powerful than a GTX 680, however it will also cost $899. At the end of the year the 700 series is supposed to be released and it will bring a performance increase, nothing that will make the 670 and 680 irrelevant though.
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  10. #10
    Bloodsail Admiral Killora's Avatar
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    Correct me if i'm wrong, but i don't think the 256 bit bus on the 670/680 can utilize 4gb effectively enough. By the time you actually use near that much you're already capped on memory bandwidth.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by n0cturnal View Post
    Eyefinity is done with AMD cards, also you don't play games on 2 monitors since you would get the bezel in the middle of the picture.
    2GB of vRAM is still enough for most games at 2560x1440, some games you will have to run at a lower AA but that doesn't matter much when you play at such high resolution anyway.
    Ok, that makes sense, and I just sorta said Eyefinity because I couldn't think of what Nvidia called it when I wrote that(It's just called 3d or something right?). And ya, I guess I didn't think that 2 monitors thru, either way, looks like I'll be going for the Gigabyte 670 then.

    Each time someone answers a question another one seems to pop into my head, lol. Just one more I swear, how much benefit does SLI'ing give, I've heard its not a direct double in everything, but will getting a second 670 beat out a 690, or if I happen to come into some extra money should I just sell 670 and get a 690? More of a hypothetical, just curious.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Gnarff View Post
    Ok, that makes sense, and I just sorta said Eyefinity because I couldn't think of what Nvidia called it when I wrote that(It's just called 3d or something right?). And ya, I guess I didn't think that 2 monitors thru, either way, looks like I'll be going for the Gigabyte 670 then.

    Each time someone answers a question another one seems to pop into my head, lol. Just one more I swear, how much benefit does SLI'ing give, I've heard its not a direct double in everything, but will getting a second 670 beat out a 690, or if I happen to come into some extra money should I just sell 670 and get a 690? More of a hypothetical, just curious.
    I think the term Nvidia use is Surround.

    The 690 is SLI but on the same PCB, you will run into the same scaling issues and driver issues as you would with 670 SLI.
    SLI scaling varies from game to game, in the best case scenarios you get something like 85% scaling and in worse case you get negative scaling due to driver issues.
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