Tough choice: Which 580 should I get?

By Ziad · 12 replies
Mar 4, 2012
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  1. Hi guys,

    Currently, I have the gigabyte 470 SOC on an X58 Foxconn Mobo with a XFX 850 watts Black Edition PSU & 6GB of RAM "Triple Channel", well cooled case 4 intake fans & 3 out. Intel I7 950 CPU at stock speeds with an average after market cooler

    No overclocking is done except that the rams are on the XMP "DDR3 1600", & the EIST is turned off so the CPU is always at 3.2Ghz. Except the GPU which runs at 800Mhz

    I'm upgrading the Graphics card & seriously CONFUSED between the Gigabyte GTX 580 SOC which is reviewed here: and the standard Gigabyte GTX 580 with the 3 gigs of video RAM:

    On the first hand we have the 580 SOC is made of High qaulity components that aren't in the standard 580 3GB "e.g. Dual BIOS, 14-phase PWM, etc..."
    On the other hand we have the standard 580 at stock speeds, good cooler but the SOC is better. However, it has twice the amount of VRAM!!!

    What confused me is that maybe the extra RAMS on the 3 gigs edition might help with games like Mafia 2, Batman "games that use physics"
    So which one do you think I should go for???

    PS I only use 1 Full-HD screen, don't plan on going with the surround thingy. So when playing any game it will be on 1920x1080 or 1920x1200
  2. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,706   +172

    You don't need 3GB of VRAM for a single 1080p/1200p monitor. The GTX 580 will eat games like Mafia 2 and Batman at that resolution, but if you're concerned about VRAM usage from Physx you can always get a cheap dedicated Physx card.

    If I were you I would wait for Nvidia's next gen Kepler cards to come out (hopefully in a month or 2) and you will be able to get a much better card for that price. Your GTX 470 will run those games anyway.
  3. Ziad

    Ziad TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 20

    My 470 runs the games. However, you can feel that it's a bit out of it's league sometimes. For example, when I run Crysis 2 with DX11 & High Res. texture pack it does get choppy.
    Maybe, I will be able to use my 470 as a phsyx card, when I get the new one "if it can be done from a technical point of view"??? or I have a 9800GT maybe I can use that already.
    As for the Kepler cards, I don't know if I should get a new tech while it may have defects. I learned my lesson with the 200 series. Hence, I prefer to get a tested card.
    So your advice is to get the 580 SOC???
  4. herpaderp

    herpaderp TS Booster Posts: 154

    I really don't believe the GTX580 is a big enough upgrade from a 470 to warrant spending the money on it now that the HD 7000 series is out, and with the new Nvidia 600 series just around the corner, even less so. If you simply want the performance level around a 580, consider the HD 7950. If you want to stay Nvidia because of PhysX, then you should wait for the new 600 series cards so you can either get one of those, or grab a 580 for a lower price.
  5. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,484   +45

    I'll agree with the above post. The performance upgrade from a 470 to 480 isn't worth the purchase
  6. dividebyzero

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

    As everyone else has mentioned, best to wait for the GTX 680. If scuttlebutt is to be believed, you only have a couple of weeks before it drops. 23rd March seems to be the date bandied around, although Charlie D, the misfiring doyen of all things anti-Nvidia is picking next week (unlikely as no one seems to have cards yet, and no one seems to be under NDA).

    Kyle Bennett has hinted at a 40-50% improvement over GTX 580 in "canned benchmarks" (read synthetics- 3DMark11, Vantage, Stone Giant, TessMark etc.), which probably still means a handy performance boost in gaming. The single card surround ability may also be a feature that the OP may wish to take note of for future reference.
    Worst case scenario is that the price of GTX 580's drops substantially in the wake of the 680 (or possibly 670Ti's) launch, and I don't think we're too far away from seeing what the new architecture brings if detailed pics are showing up on the net...
  7. Ziad

    Ziad TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 20

  8. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,706   +172

    The GTX 580 will be a step up, but it's probably not worth a $500+ upgrade. Depending which games you play, your GTX 470 gets close to 60fps in most of them (except for games like Crysis 2, which wasn't very good anyway). Bear in mind that if your monitor is only 60Hz, you won't notice any difference above 60fps.

    It's definitely worth waiting for the 600 series to come out, it's not like you're in desperate need of a faster graphics card right now.
  9. dividebyzero

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

    Sounds as though W1zz over at TPU has his card(s)- so it sounds as though reviews aren't too far away.
    Main points of interest seem to be:

    Dynamic over/underclocking to maintain framerate in 3D applications where thermal/power limits allow (overclock), and to reduce power consumption (underclock) where framerates are excessive and non-productive (menu screens, older DX9/OpenGL titles ?). Sounds similar in theory to Turbo and power saving/downclocking measures already implemented in CPU tech.

    Nominal stock clocks of 705MHz core, 1411MHz shader, 6008MHz memory (effective). Not beyond the realms of possibility that the shaders can run 1:1 with core as a power saving measure if the application does not warrant the higher hotclock.

    GK104 die size ~300mm² ( Tahiti @ 365mm², Pitcairn @ 245mm² and GF110 (Fermi) @ 520mm² as reference)

    2 x 6pin PCI-E power connection

    According to Chinese forums GTX 670Ti (presumeably a lower clocked salvage part) is "7% slower than the HD 7970" (at what, and at what resolution and power usage is anyones guess).

    While the GTX 680...

    ...scores ~300 points higher than HD 7970 (3DMark11 X-preset) with current 295.xx drivers, and ~500 points higher with 300.xx drivers @ 195 watt power.
  10. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,272   +456

    Great - now I'm not going to be able to sleep tonight DBZ. I've got my money saved up for a pair of 680s if they impress me more than the 7970 and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it for the last couple of weeks.
  11. dividebyzero

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

    AMD have, in the past held graphics prices in check - playing the value-for-money card. Rory Read's revolution seems to have done away with the policy. I'm hoping that Nvidia, as well as going with the small die strategy, adopt the value pricing aspect also...though I'm not holding my breath.
    Scuttlebutt seems to be that GK110 (GTX 690 / 780 ?) is shaping up as a latter day G80 (i.e. a game changer in the way the 8800GTX was)- so if Nvidia foresaw the GTX670/680 as a second-tier card they may well have some wiggle room on pricing once stocks fill up the channel.
  12. klepto12

    klepto12 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,115   +9

    you know if you overclock that gtx 470 you can get some serious power out of it like almost gtx 480 speeds. Look at my clocks on my card i run mine at 800 MHZ core and it is a beast.
  13. Ziad

    Ziad TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 20

    I have it overclocked at the same speeds you are using. Actually thats what got me confused as to which 580 to buy initially "before folks convinced me to wait". That specific line of Gigabyte has a 14 PWM, & triple performance fans that are barely audible & it overclocks nicely & stable.

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