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Nvidia Kepler

  1. Jul 30, 2012 #1
    I have a beefy budget to build a new gaming PC and I can't decide between the Radeon HD 7970 and the Nvidia GTX 680.

    I read that the GTX 680 uses only ~200W of power and is noticeably faster than the Radeon card, even though it has 3/4 the amount of transistors than the 7970.

    Should I wait until the 4GB 680's are released?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 30, 2012 #2
    Both are monster graphics cards that will max out any game on the market with the possible exception of Metro 2033, but the 7970 is better for gpu compute functions and has hardware acceleration for partially resident textures. That makes it better for doing physics number crunching and playing specific games like the upcoming Doom 4. Partially resident textures are not used that often in current video games, but that seems likely to change when the next generation consoles come out and if I were going to spend that kind of money on a video card I would want to at least have the extra vram on gtx680 to ensure it can render them well in software even if it doesn't have hardware acceleration.
  4. Jul 30, 2012 #3
    If you have the cash the 680 is king right now. 670 though is a good option for the price.
  5. Jul 30, 2012 #4
    For just video games Nvidia is definitely the best bang for your buck and the 670 is the sweet spot. My own recommendation this late in the year if you are more interested in bang-for-your-buck would be to wait for black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, which is the biggest sale day of the year.
  6. Jul 30, 2012 #5
    Two or three GTX 680's will run absolutely ANY PC game on it's absolute maximum graphical settings with ease.

    Having such massive GPU power is nice when you're using third-party graphics mods for games like GTA4 and Crysis for absolutely eye-popping graphical flair.

    In fact, the newest generation of GPU's were designed with future PC games in mind. Doom 4, Crysis 3, etc...

    Although it isn't necessary to have 3-way SLI/CF unless you have a 2560x1600 resolution monitor. My monitor is 1920x1080.

    Off-topic, but when do the 8-core Intel processors come out?
  7. Jul 31, 2012 #6
    For the next couple years no doubt! As said before, if money is not an issue there is no debate.

    Ivy Bridge-E has been delayed to summer 2013
  8. Jul 31, 2012 #7
    That the 680 will play games like Doom 4 goes without saying, but the only way to max out games like Doom 4 is to have a single video card with extra vram. The id tech 5 uses a rendering farm to pre-bake a lot of graphics effects right into the textures so you can stream them off your hard drive like a video. It doesn't require a lot of number crunching ability, but all those textures require extra vram all on one video card. Other new games are also coming out with higher resolution textures that require more vram and I wouldn't buy a 680 with less than 3-4gb of vram.
  9. Jul 31, 2012 #8
    Actually I was thinking of putting 3 of them in SLI.

    With a water-cooling circuit.
  10. Jul 31, 2012 #9
    Evidently you still don't understand what I'm saying. Games like Doom 4 don't need extra processing power and they can't use the vram on a second or third graphics card.

    It works like this. Textures make up 80% of the data in any game and are always streamed in some kind of compressed form to the cpu or a single video card which then has to "uncompress" or transcode them. To do that the video card has to use its own vram simply because its the fastest way to uncompress the data and store it. The whole computer including any additional video cards are waiting for that uncompressed data and it isn't a good idea to keep them waiting because they might have a million things they want to do with the raw uncompressed textures or simply a huge number of pixels to push at the display.

    That's the bottleneck is having to uncompress the textures on a single video card with a limited amount of vram. Besides uncompressing the textures that need to be displayed immediately the program tries to anticipate what you will need next and uncompress those as well. That way when you go around corners or whatever it doesn't freeze for a second trying to catch up. AMD's new hardware acceleration allows it to store extra textures it thinks you might need on system ram if necessary, but Nvidia's graphics cards don't have this ability yet. At any rate, it all boils down to if you want the highest possible textures and least stuttering in a game with you need extra vram. At least 3gb worth on a single video card and if I were to spend all that money on a 680 I'd go for 4gb just to be sure. For a long time standard vram requirements for video cards have been increasing every few years as displays and video games have become higher resolution and this is no different. One gb of vram has been standard for several years now, but it's quickly becoming too little for higher resolutions.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2012
  11. Jul 31, 2012 #10
    I have roughly over $7,500 to spend on a PC. I have been saving money for years to build a MONSTER gaming rig.

    What do you think of my setup?

    *ASUS Rampage IV Extreme E-ATX X79 motherboard
    *Core i7 3960x with liquid cooling
    *24GB DDR3 Corsair Vengeance memory
    *3-way SLI GTX 680 in water-cooling circuit
    *Silverstone 1,500W power supply
    *3 512GB SATA III SSD's
    *Coolermaster HAF-X case
    *Blu-Ray drive
    *Windows 8 (when it is released)
    *2560x1600 resolution 32" monitor
    *Will I have room to put a sound card?

    I might wait until the 4GB GTX 680's are released because future games will take advantage of the extra VRAM. Plus, running games at 2560x1600 requires TONS of GPU power and video memory.

    Off-topic, but will I encounter electrical problems if I plug a 1,500W power supply into my wall outlet? Doesn't 1,500W exceed the maximum output of typical 120V wall sockets? Do I have to have a 1,500W for this setup or can I get away with a 1,200W? Will I blow circuit breakers?
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2012
  12. Aug 1, 2012 #11

    I really recommend you take this to the Steam hardware forums. They have great moderators who keep people there honest and amazing expertise in building gaming rigs. About all I can say off the top of my head is your setup is extreme overkill for gaming. You could have a rig almost every bit as good for gaming for half the price. Also, my personal preference would not be to raid SSDs. Trim won't work with raid and if you want a faster SSD then I'd recommend buying an OCZ Revodrive and getting a really big case to shove all that stuff in including a sound card.

    As for watts if you intend to build a monster rig you'd best also be prepared to buy a serious UPS surge protector. Again, check out the steam forums if you want details.
  13. Aug 1, 2012 #12

    Do you think this case might be better than the CM HAF-X? It is designed specifically for water-cooling and it is one of the largest full tower cases I could find.

  14. Aug 1, 2012 #13
    Yeah, the Obsidian is huge. There are even a few larger ones on the market, but that's about the right size for what you want.
  15. Aug 1, 2012 #14
    According to benchmarks I've read, having more than two GPU's in SLI/CFX only comes in handy if you're using multiple monitors and/or you want to run games at 2560x1600 (1600p) resolution.

    I'm definitely waiting for the 4GB GTX 680's to be released.
  16. Aug 1, 2012 #15
    It's pretty true. Triple sli is all but completely useless for gaming, while more vram is definitely useful.

    In my opinion all you really need is just an i5 2500k, two 4gb 680s, 12gb ram, 850w psu, and 240gb or better SSD. Anything more is absolute overkill and will make such a minor difference in performance you might as well throw your money out the window. With a good UPS backup and a few minor parts that's maybe $2,500.oo tops.

    However, if you want to build a small desktop supercomputer it's certainly possible. Just a very different animal that compromises a modest amount of gaming capacity for excelling at other things.
  17. Aug 2, 2012 #16
    What about third-party graphics mods for games like GTA4, Crysis, and a few others that fully utilize 3 and 4-way SLI systems. The newest photorealistic mod for GTA4 requires BRUTE FORCE in order to run smoothly. And I mean that you need absolute MAXIMUM power because these mods will make even the fastest hardware fire on all cylinders, and then some!
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2012
  18. Aug 2, 2012 #17
    Two 680s will almost completely max out Metro 2033 which makes even a fully modded version of Crysis look like a child's toy. There simply are no more demanding games on the market and the number of such graphically demanding games is dwindling to almost nothing in recent years. You can add a third gpu or even buy a $4,000.oo gpu the professionals use to create these games in the first place, but it simply is not cost effective.

    To keep it in perspective, sometime within the next five years you'll have to almost completely replace your current rig to keep up with the technology and that's why cost effectiveness matters so much. Next generation PCs will have 1Tb/s ram speeds and other features that will provide the raw bandwidth to feed these over powered graphics cards more efficiently. That's what you will require as video games incorporate things like partially resident textures and ray cast geometry that go beyond rasterization. Unless you really want to do something more than just play games or money has no meaning for you it just doesn't make sense to spend thousands more for marginal benefits that will be outdated in a few years.
  19. Aug 2, 2012 #18
    I own Metro 2033 and I get an error message every time I try to boot it up.

    I reinstalled it several times and I still get the same error. I don't remember exactly what it said but apparently the game is impossible to play for that reason.

    I am out $60.
  20. Aug 2, 2012 #19
    I suggest using Google to troubleshoot the problem. It really is your friend.
  21. Aug 3, 2012 #20
    I've been reading that the Unreal Engine 4 is going to be the new benchmark for the newest and next-gen hardware!

    ^ This video was made with real-time rendering! ^

    Also, the Nvidia "Maxwell" cards are said to use DX12.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
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