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Would a single GTX 680 outperform two older ATI cards?

  1. Oct 7, 2012 #1
    I initially wanted to buy two GTX 670's but someone told me this isn't necessary because I have a 1920x1080 resolution monitor @75Hz, and that the framerate with one GTX 670 on that resolution would never drop below 75.

    So I was considering upgrading my two Radeon HD 5870's (1GB) to a single GeForce GTX 680, or the fastest single GPU on the market.

    Would one flagship Nvidia card be faster than two antiquated ATI Radeon cards? The Nvidia GK104 "Kepler" card is a fire-breathing beast and takes the throne as the fastest graphics card on the market.

    My ATI cards only have 1GB of memory each, which limits performance on high resolutions and with anti-aliasing enabled.

    The Nvidia cards come with 2 or 4GB of memory, which should give me a noticeable improvement in many situations. Future games like GTA5 and Crysis 3 will make use of more VRAM.

    I was curious if a single GTX 680 would outperform my two Radeon cards in crossfire setup.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 8, 2012 #2
    You'd have to look up benchmarks to be sure but if you're comparing the top of the line card in Corssfire/SLI mode from one generation ago vs the latest card now, my first inclination would be no. The single card maybe close but i think the dual cards would edge it out.
  4. Oct 8, 2012 #3
    In general it is best to buy the single best video card you can afford now and add a second one later when the price drops if your system supports crossfire/sli. There are occasionally sales that making buying a crossfire/sli setup more tempting, but usually if cost is your concern it's best to stick with buying one at a time.
  5. Oct 8, 2012 #4
    In a crossfire configuration, the two ati cards may come close in certain areas but I feel power consumption might factor in if I were posed the same problem.
  6. Oct 9, 2012 #5
    Having one current-gen flagship GPU might outperform two older GPU's from 3 generations ago in crossfire config.

    Plus, one card will consume less energy and produce less heat than having two.

    The max power consumption of a single GTX 680 is ~230W while each HD 5870 uses ~250 at full load.
  7. Oct 9, 2012 #6
    I know this isnt completely the same but i have two GTX275's running SLI in a CrossFire board using HyperSLI for those wondering how thats even possible, Your right in terms of going for a newer single card will use less power then your current rig, i am in the same boat, both of my cards alone use 300-350wtt at full load each. i ran a few tests to find out how much power my computer uses, its close to 1000w basically if i plug in too many usb devices im sure my power supply will fail haha.

    The power usages of the newer generation graphics cards is astonishing compared to the older gen cards, i am looking to upgrade as well and have been looking at the 670's mainly due to them being at good cost effective prices at the moment. I am holding off though as stated in your previous thread by another user high def monitors are about to flood the market, graphics cards at the moment are designed for 1080p and nothing more or less, this is why im holding off as the frame rate drops off when going above and beyond 1440p i might not wait as long as 8k Tv's but its all in the not to distant future, personally i would say "super HD" will be commercially available half way through next year if not christmas this year. or they will do the same as they did with HD then 3d then true 3d, they may also turn to 3d without glasses or the multiple view with two glasses sigh.. getting a lot off track here sorry haha, i currently game on a 1080p 37" samsung series 6 LCD TV, im looking at upgrading in the distant future but currently i can play everything without lag, you might just be bottle necked by your ram?
  8. Oct 10, 2012 #7
    Yeah, the slowdowns I'm experiencing in games are probably the result of not having enough VRAM. If you want to play games smoothly at 1080p, it is recommended that you have at least 2GB of VRAM on your video card(s). 1GB of VRAM will cause serious lag.

    The GTX 680 has between 2GB and 4GB of texutre memory. But it isn't necessary to have more than 2GB unless you're using multiple monitors and/or have an ultra-high resolution monitor such as 2560x1600.

    The GTX 680 is known for power efficiency. It uses approximately 230W at full load, which is much less than the other high-end GPU's on the market. Plus having one card instead of two will be easier on my power supply. Also, my inside of my case won't be a jumble of wires and hopefully reduce case temperatures.

    I'm still hoping that one GTX 680 will put out more overall performance than two antiquated Radeon cards from three generations ago.
  9. Oct 10, 2012 #8
    When you run task manager, do you have to expand it or scroll to see the entire list?

    How many icons are in your systray?

    Even the best system will become bogged down with too much stuff running in the background that isn't needed.
  10. Oct 10, 2012 #9
    I have 7 desktop icons and a normal amount of background tasks running.
  11. Oct 11, 2012 #10
    I think howler may be onto something, if you haven't serviced your computer in a while its worth a quick clean up.

    Attached is a guide i created eariler this year as a simple guide to service your computer,

    you may also change the shortcut for any game to increase performance via disabling desktop composition, to do this, right click on the shortcut and go to compatability and tick "disable desktop composition" this will disable aero type windows graphics giving your computer access to more Vram as windows no longer uses it while the application is open.

    The guide has been written for end users without much experience with computers, its not in its final state but should be easy to follow.

    Attached Files:

  12. Oct 11, 2012 #11
    The amount of desktop icons has nothing to do with your performance.

    I currently have 144 desktop icons.

    The amount of icons in your systray (next to your clock) has much more affect on system performance.

    Hit control/alt/delete and then click the "performance" tab.

    Mine sits at 0% cpu usage and I get exceptional performance with a pathetic video card in all but the most graphically intense brand new games but I see friends with 10X the machine I have who can't run the same games without stutters.

    All the processing power in the world is useless if you have too many things running.
  13. Oct 11, 2012 #12
    I have approximately 65 processes running in the background with a CPU usage of 2%
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