GPU for 2560x1600 monitor

By Dawn1113 · 9 replies
Nov 5, 2012
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  1. What single GPU would you guys recommend for gaming on a 2560x1600@60Hz monitor?

    I have set aside some money to buy my brother a new graphics card for his gaming rig. His birthday is coming up and he's been wanting a new GPU for some time now. As he's been a remarkably good kid lately, I'm thinking I should get him something special. Given the resolution of his new monitor, I figure something with some extra VRAM would be good.

    I can spend around US$500, maybe a bit more, for the card. My brother currently has a GTX 580 running with an i5 2500K@4.5Ghz on an Asus P8Z68 Pro Gen 3 motherboard. He plays a wide variety of games -- BF3, Borderlands 2, WoW (I think), Civilization, some obscure titles, etc. I should mention that he's not inclined to go 580 SLI -- or any dual card set up, for that matter.

    I've got a few cards in mind. But I do not want to jump the gun (as is my habit), and since you guys know more about these things than I do, I would really appreciate your advice.

    Thanks in advance for your help.
  2. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Posts: 2,922   +630

    What exactly is your question, then? There aren't many cards better than the GTX580.

    It really seems silly to me to 'upgrade' to something like GTX680 (when it's past it's half-life) for a minimal gain, rather than get a cheap 580.

    a) What's his problem with dual-GPU?
    b) If he has that monitor, money isn't an issue. Get the GTX680.

    Edit: Techspot has some reviews on GTX680. You can compare it to the 580 and 6990 there.
  3. Dawn1113

    Dawn1113 TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 322   +65

    Thanks for the input. :)
  4. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,276   +461

    I would honestly say the 7970 GE if you really want only one card. Sure he'll lose PhysX but other than that I think he'll be better off.
  5. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    If you're spending $500 and looking to game at 25x16 with a single card/single GPU, there's pretty much only two options- the HD 7970, as LNCPapa suggested, and the GTX 680. Of the two, the 7970 is the better bet overall performance wise, although if he's a WoW addict the 680 would be the better option given that Radeon cards tend to fall off the cliff every time WoW gets updated.
    The other options are
    1. an OCéd 670, but that will depend on the availability. The Palit Jetstream I'm using at the moment is clocked to 680 perf (1006 core/ 1085 boost/ 6108 mem) out of the box, with 10-15% OC headroom. The card retails in the Oceania region for the same price as the 7950 Boost...but isn't listed at Newegg for example. Downside being triple slot (not a biggie if staying single card) and only a 2-year warranty, or
    2. an OCéd non-GHz edition 7970 (MSI Lightning, PowerColor PCS+ or similar). Most of the factory special cards would have basically already been through the binning process that later yielded the GHz Edition's.
  6. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,706   +172

    1.5GB of VRAM on the 580 will be cutting it very close at that resolution, add in the heat, power and driver considerations and I wouldn't go for 580 SLI either.

    I say just get a non-GE 7970 with a decent aftermarket cooler, the GE and non-GE overclock to similar levels anyway. The 7970 is quite a bit cheaper than the 680 and even more so when you take into account the very good free games. There's not a lot between an OC'd 7970 and an OC'd 680 and with a single card AMD's drivers are absolutely fine.
  7. Dawn1113

    Dawn1113 TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 322   +65

    The 7970 it is, then. I've read about this card and it looks quite impressive. I'll take a look at my options online now. There are some pretty good factory specials out there, it seems.

    Thank you very much, guys. Much appreciated, as always.
  8. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    [OT] Yes and no. SLI'd 580's play pretty much OK at 25x16 ( I was up until recently using 580 SLI @ 2560x1440). There are instances of maxing VRAM in games such as BF3, but the 580's deficiencies are more a product of ROP/TMU architecture, the inefficiencies of what amounts to a first generation GDDR5 memory controller and a relatively low core clock - which is all shown in comparison with cards that double the VRAM to 3GB. Drivers are always a mixed bag for multi GPU, although I'd say that frame render lag (microstutter) is more of an issue personally since disabling SLI is, at most, a 30 second operation if the game isn't supported in multi-GPU.
    Heat and noise? Yes and yes. Power usage probably only figures if the PSU is borderline, and that should have been the first consideration in any case, since any enthusiast would tend to start with the PSU as the keystone to any build/upgrade.[/OT]
  9. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,515   +974

    or you can go for a 680 4gb, but that is pretty pricey. amd drivers have been improving, also driver 12.11 will increase performance by 15% on cards like the 7970
  10. klepto12

    klepto12 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,115   +9

    7970 has my vote great card

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