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GTX 680 4GB SLI vs. GTX 690 SLI need help!

WaldoeWaldoe Member UncommonPosts: 642

I am trying to decide which setup to go with here. I have a three 25 inch monitor setup that I want to run games with every single setting maxed out at 1920 x 1080 resolution on each monitor.

 

Disregard price. Disregard any other card but these two. 

 

Will 4 GPUs with 2GB of VRAM each (the SLI 690s) perform better than 2 GPUs with 4GB of VRAM each (the SLI 680s)?

 

I have seen a bunch of benchmarks for the cards, but none doing this comparison let alone this comparison across a 3 monitor setup. I am not sure which would be clearly better.

Comments

  • jdnewelljdnewell Member UncommonPosts: 2,237

    I dont have the hard facts, but I would go with the 680s in sli.

    The 690s would be overkill even for 3 monitors, not to mention the power and heat problems that come with 2 gpu on one card.

    Even if price was no issue I would still go with the 680s.

    I ran sli years ago, and I may remember wrong, but cant you only run one monitor in SLI?

  • ShakyMoShakyMo Member CommonPosts: 7,207
    The 690 is 2 680s in sli.

    It there for the extreme nutters / millionaires that want 4 cards in sli.
  • WaldoeWaldoe Member UncommonPosts: 642
    Originally posted by ShakyMo
    The 690 is 2 680s in sli.

    It there for the extreme nutters / millionaires that want 4 cards in sli.

    The 690 is 2 680 2GB cards not 2 680 4GB cards like I mentioned in the OP.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 23,218

    About the only way that either of those setups wouldn't be able to max everything is if some glitch makes them not perform properly, or if you pick up a game with graphical settings that can consume arbitrarily much GPU power, such as /renderscale in Champions Online.

    Really, though, if you're willing to drop $2000 on video cards (the price tag of two GTX 690s), then you should wait for Nvidia's upcoming GK110 cards.  I'm expecting performance in the ballpark of 50% faster than a GeForce GTX 680, though that's just my guesswork.  Recent rumors have the cards launching as soon as next month and costing $900 each.  And yes, that's $900 for a single-GPU card.

  • WaldoeWaldoe Member UncommonPosts: 642
    Originally posted by Quizzical

    About the only way that either of those setups wouldn't be able to max everything is if some glitch makes them not perform properly, or if you pick up a game with graphical settings that can consume arbitrarily much GPU power, such as /renderscale in Champions Online.

    Really, though, if you're willing to drop $2000 on video cards (the price tag of two GTX 690s), then you should wait for Nvidia's upcoming GK110 cards.  I'm expecting performance in the ballpark of 50% faster than a GeForce GTX 680, though that's just my guesswork.  Recent rumors have the cards launching as soon as next month and costing $900 each.  And yes, that's $900 for a single-GPU card.

    Well one 690 would still be better than the 'TITAN' card releasing next month, but I feel like all of that extra VRAM in the TITAN which is supposed ot be 6GB would be much better in SLI than SLI 690s. Thoughts?

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 23,218
    Originally posted by Waldoe
    Originally posted by Quizzical

    About the only way that either of those setups wouldn't be able to max everything is if some glitch makes them not perform properly, or if you pick up a game with graphical settings that can consume arbitrarily much GPU power, such as /renderscale in Champions Online.

    Really, though, if you're willing to drop $2000 on video cards (the price tag of two GTX 690s), then you should wait for Nvidia's upcoming GK110 cards.  I'm expecting performance in the ballpark of 50% faster than a GeForce GTX 680, though that's just my guesswork.  Recent rumors have the cards launching as soon as next month and costing $900 each.  And yes, that's $900 for a single-GPU card.

    Well one 690 would still be better than the 'TITAN' card releasing next month, but I feel like all of that extra VRAM in the TITAN which is supposed ot be 6GB would be much better in SLI than SLI 690s. Thoughts?

    You're assuming that quad SLI will work flawlessly, which isn't terribly likely.  And even if it does, that's a lot of latency if you're only getting 60 or so frames per second from 4 GPUs.

    On general principle, fewer, faster GPUs is better than more, slower GPUs.  Given the choice between two GK110 cards and four GK104 cards, I'd much rather have the former.

  • CleffyCleffy Member RarePosts: 6,344

    I would probably take the 680's over the 690's.  The main reason is the lack of support for multi-gpu setups, and the problems that come with putting 2 GPU on one card.

    With the 690 its easier to get SLI up and running, but in order to get the 2 GPU on one chip it comes with alot of sacrafices.  First are the clock rates, these are based on the fastest cards I can find.  Core Clock 993mhz vs 1137mhz.  Roughly a 10% difference.  Memory interface 256-bit vs 512-bit.  Memory 2GB vs 4GB.  Then there is extra power draw as the 690 exceeds the recommended power running through a PCI-e device.

    Now that would not seem like a problem because you have 2 GPUs instead of one, but the problem is lack of multi-gpu support.  With most games you will not get sli support meaning that 690 will only act as one gpu.  In some games sli support can cause problems; especially with older mmos like Mabinogi.  If its 1 GPU verse 1 GPU, the 680 is hands down better.

    When we are talking about going to quad sli, then we are talking about leaving all sense of support.  Only a handful of games scale beyond 2 gpus.  Also with Quad SLI you are looking at a CPU bottleneck running those GPU in parallel.  Expect to spend a nice amount of change on the CPU as a core i5 probably will not cut it.

    So I would say save $1000, get the 2 GTX680 and enjoy a better performing system.  At this point it might be a better idea to wait as its first quarter 2013.

  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,231

    Well, for one thing, the GPU clock on the 690 is 915-1019Mhz. The 680 has a stock clock of 1006 to 1058Mhz. So you get faster stock clocks on the 680. There is also more heat sink area dedicated to each GPU and power supply circuitry, which would lead to much improved overclock/boost ability on the 680.

    The question on this budget shouldn't be Dual 690 vs dual 680, because that isn't a really valid comparison. It should be dual 690 vs tri-680.

    HardOCP Tri-SLI/CFX Review, 3x680 vs 3x7970

    One 690 is already going to be thermally constrained, just by virtue of having 2 GPU's on the same card. 2 of them compounds the problem. The only reason you should even consider 2 of them is because you can't SLI 4 680's together (680's are limited to 3-way SLI), and because 3 680's isn't quite powerful enough. I cannot think of a single gaming situation where that would be the case: the only reason I could think of would be using CUDA-optimized applications (such as scientific programs or render farms) - and even then you'd be better off going to something like Tesla rather than GeForce.

    Also, looking closely at the HardOCP review linked above, you can see that more VRAM doesn't necessarily add to your gaming experience. There are cases where you can stretch the stock 2G on a 680, but it's not common. Adding an additional 2G on the 680's won't make them magically perform a heap better (other than in these few isolated cases). So your question really should have little to do with the amount of VRAM on the cards.

    If your current computer can't support 3-way SLI, then you certainly have a big enough budget to fix that, buy 3 680's, and still come out about on par with the price of 2 690's.

  • WaldoeWaldoe Member UncommonPosts: 642
    Originally posted by Ridelynn

    Well, for one thing, the GPU clock on the 690 is 915-1019Mhz. The 680 has a stock clock of 1006 to 1058Mhz. So you get faster stock clocks on the 680. There is also more heat sink area dedicated to each GPU and power supply circuitry, which would lead to much improved overclock/boost ability on the 680.

    The question on this budget shouldn't be Dual 690 vs dual 680, because that isn't a really valid comparison. It should be dual 690 vs tri-680.

    HardOCP Tri-SLI/CFX Review, 3x680 vs 3x7970

    One 690 is already going to be thermally constrained, just by virtue of having 2 GPU's on the same card. 2 of them compounds the problem. The only reason you should even consider 2 of them is because you can't SLI 4 680's together (680's are limited to 3-way SLI), and because 3 680's isn't quite powerful enough. I cannot think of a single gaming situation where that would be the case: the only reason I could think of would be using CUDA-optimized applications (such as scientific programs or render farms) - and even then you'd be better off going to something like Tesla rather than GeForce.

    Also, looking closely at the HardOCP review linked above, you can see that more VRAM doesn't necessarily add to your gaming experience. There are cases where you can stretch the stock 2G on a 680, but it's not common. Adding an additional 2G on the 680's won't make them magically perform a heap better (other than in these few isolated cases). So your question really should have little to do with the amount of VRAM on the cards.

    If your current computer can't support 3-way SLI, then you certainly have a big enough budget to fix that, buy 3 680's, and still come out about on par with the price of 2 690's.

    VRAM is not important because it will improve performance, but it will prevent performance slumps if you run into a game that wants to use more than 2GB of VRAM (Skyrim and BF3 are 2 easy examples).

     

    I have decided to go with two http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121705

     

    UNLESS

     

    The Nvidia 7xx cards that come out in February/March blow those 680s out of the water.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 23,218
    Originally posted by Waldoe

    The Nvidia 7xx cards that come out in February/March blow those 680s out of the water.

    GK110-based cards should beat those handily.  It's 15 SMXes versus 8, and 6 memory channels versus 4.  The former will probably be clocked lower, but a lot of how it performs will just depend on how much power Nvidia is willing to burn.  Do they try to stay inside a 300 W TDP, or do they throw on two 8-pin PCI-E connectors and let it have 375 W in a three-slot cooler?  My guess is that they do the former but officially call it a 250 W TDP.

  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,231

    Yeah GK110 could launch "any day now" - it's already out in the Tesla line, and they have shipped products with it already (ORNL Titan Supercomputer, to start with).

    The Tesla products ship with 15 and 14 SMX's active, already giving us a 780/770 product-style lineup should nVidia decide to do that, and then just rebrand the existing 680/670 as something like the 760Ti/760. There's also a strong rumor that they will just call the product the GeForce Titan (to draw parallels to the ORNL Titan supercomputer, which is setting speed records).

    Anandtech: nVidia Tesla

    Tesla isn't aimed at doing graphics though, it's aimed at highly parallel specialized instruction execution, so those aren't video cards: they just happen to be based on the same GK110 die.

    Looking at that, with a TDP of 235W at a core clock speed of 732Mhz... I don't know how that will equate to a GeForce style product once they tack Turbo clocking on there, but at that speed your already well over the computational max of a 680GTX, and getting close to a 690 (even with just 1 GPU and at lower clock speed). I wouldn't be surprised if we see the card listed as a 240W~ish TDP, with some form of Turbo, but nVidia's poor TDP envelope scheme having real-world examples possibly pushing 300+ in some situations.

    But my point is: the silicon is out in the wild, we just don't have it in the GeForce/Quadro brands yet. But that could come at any time. Is it worth waiting on? Well, if your about to dump $1200+ into video cards, perhaps - GK110 will be a big improvement, but it won't make those 680GTX's any slower by virtue of it having released.

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