1 GTX 680 vs GTX 470 SLI: planned upgrade question

By Dawn1113
May 19, 2012
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  1. Hi. Need some advice from those who'd know better.

    Would I see any real-world performance increase upgrading from two GTX 470s to a GTX 6xx series GPU if I am limited to using a single 22" monitor setup?

    A hereditary eye condition limits me to using a 22-inch monitor at customized 1680x1050@75Hz resolutions. Anything bigger and I get skull-splitting headaches and nausea. Unfortunately, a multi-monitor set up is out of the question, as well, as pretty much the same thing happens.

    I presently have two GTX 470s hooked up to an old Samsung monitor that can be forced to do 1680x1050@75Hz (77Hz maximum). The Fermis are holding up surprisingly well with it. I can still play all my games at the highest quality and -- for the most part, get a solid 75 FPS -- provided I stay away from problematic drivers.

    I'm nonetheless considering an upgrade to a single GTX 680 GPU. Would this be a sensible move or a rookie mistake? A friend has told me that -- given the limitations of my eyesight, and since the 470s are working out so well for me -- I'm better off waiting another year before I upgrade. He told me the price of 6xx series cards would be somewhat lower by then.

    So am I be better off planning other upgrade paths for now?

    Thanks in advance for your advice and opinion.
  2. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Posts: 2,278

    A GTX 680 would be a decent upgrade from a two 470's. You might not see too much of a difference in terms of graphics quality and performance in some older games, but the 680 is newer, more efficient and more powerful by comparison when scaled with the 470's. The 680 shouldn't break a sweat running that resolution and highest quality settings, but if you're pair of 470's are running things fine you might want to hold off.

    It's ultimately up to you though, and your friend gave you good advice, it's really just a matter of personal preference and how badly you want the latest tech.
  3. Cinders

    Cinders TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,313   +12

    Just keep your pair of 470's until they can't play the games you wanna play anymore. They are DX 11 cards, and you already get greater than 60 fps, so you won't gain anything important by upgrading.
  4. Marnomancer

    Marnomancer TechSpot Booster Posts: 808   +51

    IMHO, there's no point in upgrading, as Cinders and EXCellR8 made clear. It's quite good performance you already have, and as long as it can handle something like Crysis at the highest possible settings, I personally wouldn't bother to upgrade for a year or two.
  5. fimbles

    fimbles TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 1,229   +119

    2x 470s will give you very similar or better performance than a single 680.

    Dont waste your cash.
  6. Dawn1113

    Dawn1113 TechSpot Booster Topic Starter Posts: 375   +64

    Thank you very much for the advice, gentlemen. It seems clear that the wiser move would be to hold off for now. The 470s are doing rather well, actually. And, now, after reading your comments, I'm even more pleased with them.

    I never had a card die on me -- at least I have never owned one that did not get replaced two years or so after purchase. So I have no clue as to just how long they can run without giving you problems. It seems that these things are actually built to last, after all.

    Again, thanks, guys, for allowing me the benefit of your aptitude and experience.
  7. JC713

    JC713 TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 6,689   +871

    Personally, I agree with all the comments above. If you are too upgrade, buy a 770 or 870 in the future and sli em. Just wait for reviews and then decide. The 680 isnt that different from a 670, mainly higher clock speeds and more cuda cores.
  8. aspleme

    aspleme TechSpot Member Posts: 51

    I'm going to make a point that doesn't seem to be commented on yet.
    I can understand an eye condition that requires you to use a higher hertz monitor, or limits you on size, but I don't follow the resolution requirement. However, if there is some reason that you cannot use a higher resolution setting, there is never any reason for you to have a top of the line graphics card, unless you are using its compute functions (in which case, a Geforce of this generation is NOT something you want to buy). If you ever have a problem that requires you to upgrade, or just want to take advantage of certain improvements in a new architecture, something along the lines of a single X60 Ti or in extreme cases an X70 (where X is whatever the current generation is) should be more than enough to handle any game at 1680x1050 resolution. Given your visual sensitivity, it might be best to avoid SLI because of the variation that can occur in frame draw times, though if you don't have a problem with your current setup, perhaps it might not be enough to trigger your problem.

    Good luck with your future builds.
  9. Dawn1113

    Dawn1113 TechSpot Booster Topic Starter Posts: 375   +64

    The resolution is not a requirement per se -- or at least I don't think it is. But it is the best I can get with my 22" inch monitor. I've sort of gotten used to it, and is the most comfortable for me. I've stuck with it simply because it allows me to sit before a monitor for extended amounts of time without having to worry about getting huge headaches. I've had time to experiment with other set ups, but I have to admit I have become sort of wary now as, during the course of those experiments, I've spent money on monitors that I could not use, in the end. I guess that, and the daylong headaches that inevitably came after every failed attempt, were enough to dissuade me from further experimentation. (The headaches were so bad I missed days at work, actually.)

    I do know what you mean about the variation in draw times, as I have had to avoid certain games precisely for this reason. That's why I was thinking about a single card upgrade. However, if I do get one, I want one that would allow a more or less pronounced improvement over what I get from my current set up. The newer cards are quite expensive. I want to be absolutely sure that the investment is worthwhile. (I read a thread about benchmarks somewhere which seemed to indicate that two 470s will hold up pretty well against a single GTX 670.)

    I have to admit, too, that there is also something rather gratifying about knowing that you have the muscle of an SLI set up powering your game. And so, yeah, I want two 680s -- just like everybody else. :D All I need is an excuse I can live with. :D

    Anyways, thanks for the input, aspleme. And welcome to Techspot!
  10. Dawn1113

    Dawn1113 TechSpot Booster Topic Starter Posts: 375   +64

    It just occurred to me that maybe what I should start considering first is one of those 22" 120Hz monitors. That would certainly bring out the performance advantage of the new Keplers, and I'm pretty confident the higher refresh rates won't cause me any problems.

    There's my excuse right there. :D
  11. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,271   +257

    I'll tell you now Dawn... two 680s is a bit overkill. I never thought I'd actually write that down, but there... I did it. If anything I'd go with a pair of 670s at most, but with your current rig and your stated needs I wouldn't even bother upgrading from your pair of 470s. At one point I even considered raising my setup to 3 * 680s after I swap my mobo, but now I think I'm gonna pass on that plan.
    Dawn1113 likes this.
     
  12. Dawn1113

    Dawn1113 TechSpot Booster Topic Starter Posts: 375   +64

    Thanks for the advice, LNCPapa. I seem to remember you warned me that this hobby can get expensive. And of course you were right. That is why I do try to be sensible about these things.

    Yeah, I'll be sure to pace myself and not jump the gun on this one. It's that or my brother and I will be eating nothing but cornflakes soon enough. :D

    Thanks.
  13. Razer

    Razer TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 131   +11

    this is chart of nvidia lineup performance
    [​IMG]

    I suggest you should stick with your current GPUs until nvidia release 7xx series.. if you want 680 SLI, consider this, based on reviews, nvidia 690 spec (and performance) are almost identical with 2x 680 SLI but stacked in one card..
  14. Marnomancer

    Marnomancer TechSpot Booster Posts: 808   +51

    Not much to add to what LNCPapa already said, other than 'don't go on a spending spree', 'latest isn't greatest' and all that.
    Guess that makes it a point for anyone asking about an upgrade.


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