Best card for 2650x1600?

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Best card for 2650x1600?

Postposted on Tue May 22, 2012 9:34 pm

Quick sys summary: Core i5 oc'ed, 8GB Ram, Asus GTX 570 oc'ed, SSD, ASUS P8P67, etc, etc

I recently purchased a Dell 27" U2711 monitor with 2560x1600 to use with my work Mac, but didn't fully think through the ramifications it would have when I switched it over to my gaming rig. I figured games would run OK, but everything is at a crawl now when I run at native res -- even SC2 is slow/stuttering. I'm stuck lowering the res, but it turns into a grainy mess.

I'm looking for some advice on what's best to upgrade. Obviously, a new vid card makes sense, but which one? Is a 670 enough or should I go 680? Are my other system specs OK? I want to have relatively smooth frame rates in games 40-60fps, but I can live with some drops here and there.

As some background, I play SC2, Civ5, ME2&3, Crysis 2, and Skyrim. Want to get Diablo 3, but holding off for now.

Thanks and any advice is appreciated
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Re: Best card for 2650x1600?

Postposted on Tue May 22, 2012 9:52 pm

Welcome to TR!

I'm running a 30" 2560x1600 panel, and recently popped in a GTX670- and I'd have to say that it's a damn fine card, and more than adequate for your monitor. Thing is, I originally had an EVGA GTX570 SC in, and I found it to be fairly decent at that resolution, as long as I kept settings in check- the most demanding game I played on it was Bad Company 2. Out of the games you listed, none of them should tax you system like BF:BC2 does, so I'm thinking your gaming problem is most likely a case of slightly-overzealous settings rather than a bottleneck with your system.

However, if you feel that your card simply isn't fast enough, or if it is somehow running into a VRAM limitation (which will make any card or cards slow), then an upgrade is in order. For that the GTX670 is a fine card and can't be recommended enough, but it's also overkill for your games- you'd be just as well served by a 2GB GTX560 Ti.

Try dialing back on settings that will cause your games' VRAM usage to bump up against your GTX570's 1280MB frame-buffer; particularly, things like MSAA, and large texture packs. If that doesn't solve the issue then you have something other than a GPU limitation!
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Re: Best card for 2650x1600?

Postposted on Tue May 22, 2012 10:33 pm

The UltraSharp U2711 has a native resolution of 2560x1440 (16:9 aspect ratio).

I game on an UltraSharp 3007WFP at 2560x1600 with a single Radeon HD6970 2GB. I'll echo what Airmantharp said. Your GeForce GTX570 should positively possess plentiful pixel-pushing prowess to perform perfectly at the prescribed 4 mega-pixel resolution. You've either cranked up your AA settings too high or you've run out of video memory for high-res textures. I'm going to guess the latter, since your GeForce GTX570 has only 1¼ GiB of memory.
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Re: Best card for 2650x1600?

Postposted on Tue May 22, 2012 11:38 pm

I have a U3011 with 2650x1600. See my sig for specs. For most games it's sufficient but GTA 4 still lagged like a dog. Don't know what the deal with that thing is.
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Re: Best card for 2650x1600?

Postposted on Wed May 23, 2012 12:25 am

JustAnEngineer wrote:...positively possess plentiful pixel-pushing prowess to perform perfectly at the prescribed 4 mega-pixel resolution.


Goodness!
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Re: Best card for 2650x1600?

Postposted on Wed May 23, 2012 7:03 am

DancinJack wrote:
JustAnEngineer wrote:...positively possess plentiful pixel-pushing prowess to perform perfectly at the prescribed 4 mega-pixel resolution.


Goodness!

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Re: Best card for 2650x1600?

Postposted on Wed May 23, 2012 9:40 am

JustAnEngineer wrote:The UltraSharp U2711 has a native resolution of 2560x1440 (16:9 aspect ratio).

I game on an UltraSharp 3007WFP at 2560x1600 with a single Radeon HD6970 2GB. I'll echo what Airmantharp said. Your GeForce GTX570 should positively possess plentiful pixel-pushing prowess to perform perfectly at the prescribed 4 mega-pixel resolution. You've either cranked up your AA settings too high or you've run out of video memory for high-res textures. I'm going to guess the latter, since your GeForce GTX570 has only 1¼ GiB of memory.


Thanks everyone. You are correct on the resolution, my bad.

I'm sure I'm hitting the VRAM limit. When I played Skyrim before (at 1920x1200) I had stutters every few seconds. I always assumed this was due to the memory on the card. Would a 670 w/2GB solve this type of problem? Also, I do like higher res textures and running MSAA and such, so I think a card with 2GB would be a good idea. Do you guys think a 670 would be enough or should I save up a bit more for a 680? (assuming i can find it for sale somewhere) :-?
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Re: Best card for 2650x1600?

Postposted on Wed May 23, 2012 3:43 pm

A GTX670 is more than enough, really. Especially since your most demanding game is Skyrim, which besides the massive texture sizes in the mods, really isn't that demanding at all.
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Re: Best card for 2650x1600?

Postposted on Wed May 23, 2012 3:59 pm

Using MSAA at those kinds of resolutions without massive amounts of VRAM will end in tears heh.
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Re: Best card for 2650x1600?

Postposted on Wed May 23, 2012 4:00 pm

morphine wrote:Using MSAA at those kinds of resolutions without massive amounts of VRAM will end in tears heh.


Yup- it's a good thing Nvidia made the GTX600-series extremely memory efficient. 2GB on those cards is good for up to 6MP with normal settings (3x1080p).
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Re: Best card for 2650x1600?

Postposted on Wed May 23, 2012 4:50 pm

so have you made up your mind yet?
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Re: Best card for 2650x1600?

Postposted on Wed May 23, 2012 10:52 pm

Thanks again.

I'm leaning towards picking up the GTX 670 -- probably the msi since newegg has those in stock. However, I heard the fans are noisy. I wonder how bad that really is...
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Re: Best card for 2650x1600?

Postposted on Wed May 23, 2012 11:30 pm

before I forget wrote:Thanks again.

I'm leaning towards picking up the GTX 670 -- probably the msi since newegg has those in stock. However, I heard the fans are noisy. I wonder how bad that really is...


The EVGAs are reviewed to be quiet (the Superclocked versions and higher), if you can find them in stock. Otherwise the Gigabyte card seems to get a lot of recommendations at the [H] for low noise.
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Re: Best card for 2650x1600?

Postposted on Thu May 24, 2012 6:38 am

Is your asus board the plain jane,deluxe,pro?
Do you have a friend you can borrow another 570 from and try SLI?

Even if you have the plain asus board with its second PCI-e16 slot at 4x slot, at your resolution i think you just might be able to get away with running SLI.If you have 2 8x slots thats even better.
As long as the games you play have SLI profiles you just might be able to find a used 570 for very cheap.I run 2 560tis in SLI and frame time is horrible in the TR reviews for the 560ti but It feels very smooth to me.
Worth trying if you have the PSU for it.More so if you can borrow a 570 from someone and try it for yourself.Perhaps a fellow TR forum member lives very close to you:)
You should have no problems with diablo 3 with your current card at max settings....it will run on pretty much anything.My 2.4ghz G530 celeron and a 6570 with ddr3 plays 1080p plenty smooth.So your single 570 will be fine at max settings.
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Re: Best card for 2650x1600?

Postposted on Fri May 25, 2012 12:24 pm

I think an HD 7970 could be a good option. It is faster than the GTX 670 at 2560 x 1440 (at most games). And, at least where I am, I can find an HD 7970 for as low as $430 right now. The MSI GTX 670 is $410 at Newegg. I think that at 4MP and above, and given the still moderately tight supply of the GTX 670, the HD 7970 is a decent alternative, but not if you have to pay more than $450 for one.
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Re: Best card for 2650x1600?

Postposted on Tue Jul 03, 2012 7:09 am

woow you guys have greater pc specs :), I'm so jealous. Maybe in the future I'll upgrade my pc to be the best specs :)
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Re: Best card for 2650x1600?

Postposted on Tue Jul 03, 2012 7:24 am

Airmantharp wrote:Out of the games you listed, none of them should tax you system like BF:BC2 does, so I'm thinking your gaming problem is most likely a case of slightly-overzealous settings rather than a bottleneck with your system.


Huh?

Crysis 2 + High Res Texture Pack + DX11 Ultra Upgrade = more demanding than BF3 at Ultra, nevermind BC2.
Skyrim with mods will also surpass BF3 at Ultra.

These will choke my HD 7850, which is OCed to 1GHz core / 5GHz memory at only 1600*900 with FXAA or 2x MSAA, nevermind 2560*1600 with any degree of antialiasing.

The OP is going to need at least two HD 7970s in Crossfire.
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Re: Best card for 2650x1600?

Postposted on Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:29 pm

You're right, but you're taking my comments somewhat out of context. Skyrim for all it's beauty, without mods, isn't terribly demanding especially on lower settings, which I clarify further in the thread. Most enthusiasts consider Crysis/Warhead/2 to be wretchedly coded crap that while good at stressing a system and decent as independent benchmarks, are not good indications of system performance due to inconsistent performance scaling with hardware.

I stand by my assessment that the primary issue appears to be the OPs game settings and not their hardware. And BF:BC2 in multi-player on a full server with similar settings will be more demanding on a system than Skyrim, sans mods.
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Re: Best card for 2650x1600?

Postposted on Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:44 am

I also joined the 4MP (3.7 actually) screen club last week and my 1GB 6850 is struggling with the upgrade from 1920x1200. A lot of games aren't exposing AA and texture options like they used to, which means that I don't really know whether the graphics card is being taxed for VRAM or not.

I've been re-reading a few reviews but nobody really tested the 6850 at 2560 resolutions, which means I don't have enough information to justify an upgrade.

At 1080p (the only resolution I can find 6850 vs the 7870/670/7950) the newer cards are a little underwhelming as an upgrade prospect; I'll be spending the equivalent of $350+ for perhaps 50-75% better performance. If you just use leyman extrapolations, that makes a 'not-particularly-smooth' 25fps into a 'still-not-great' 40fps. The 6850 was hitting 60fps quite happily at 1920x1200 and 25fps seems like a bigger hit than expected from the increased resolution alone.

I can pick up a 2GB 6950 for a much more reasonable price (sub-$200) but at 1080p it's a fairly small (40%) incrimental upgrade over the 6850 with the exception of double the VRAM. Is this a good idea?

edit:
I ought to clarify that I *hate* motion blur, excessive post-processing, even AA, to some extent - in that I'd rather jaggies at a good framerate, than smooth edges with lower framerates. I rarely, if ever, run games on Ultra/Max/Extreme settings.
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Re: Best card for 2650x1600?

Postposted on Thu Jul 05, 2012 3:02 pm

I'll sell you an XFX 2GB 6950 of the unlockable variant and stock (very quiet) blower; it's been in a filtered case and thus is pristine, never overclocked, and will come in the retail box with all accessories, send a PM if you're interested.

When CFX wasn't working, the HD6950 was enough at 2560x1600 for almost anything, if you didn't kill it's fill-rate with high shader settings. It is slightly slower than the GTX570 that it replaced, but that card at 1.25GB definitely didn't have the VRAM for 4MP.
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Re: Best card for 2650x1600?

Postposted on Thu Jul 05, 2012 6:54 pm

Meh, thanks but I'm converting to USD for your benefit.

Shipping alone from you to me is probably most of the value of the card ;)
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Re: Best card for 2650x1600?

Postposted on Thu Jul 05, 2012 7:40 pm

2 GTX 690s in SLI is currently the BEST and it should only raise your overall system cost by as little as 200%!

Seriously though I've been contemplating a new 2560x1600 monitor myself and I think a GTX 670 OC'd with a decent PSU to allow for a second later on is the probably the best bet.
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Re: Best card for 2650x1600?

Postposted on Sun Jul 08, 2012 12:49 pm

Hello all,

I too am thinking about an approptiate card for a newly acquired 2650x1600 monitor. I'd like some help in thinking through the issues. I've got a 6870 that is fine for my current 1920x1200 monitor. I'd like to use both monitors and add another 1920x1200 (I work as a translator using many documents at once). The 6870 has one gig of memory and, for example, a 670 has 2 gigs. I notice some 7970's have 3 gigs. For the all important down-time activity of gaming, clearly a 670 or 7970 (for instance) would be fine to drive a 30" monitor. For my day to day working environment, would I be well served to retain the 6870 to drive one or both 1920x1200 monitors? I don't really understand the issues here. My Mobo is an ASUS z68-V gen 3. I've got a corsair 650 PSU, big case with good ventilation and an H100 at the top of the case blowing out a whole lot of air. Your collective thoughts will be appreciated.

--Thanks
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Re: Best card for 2650x1600?

Postposted on Sun Jul 08, 2012 8:12 pm

cp24 wrote:Hello all,

I too am thinking about an approptiate card for a newly acquired 2650x1600 monitor. I'd like some help in thinking through the issues. I've got a 6870 that is fine for my current 1920x1200 monitor. I'd like to use both monitors and add another 1920x1200 (I work as a translator using many documents at once). The 6870 has one gig of memory and, for example, a 670 has 2 gigs. I notice some 7970's have 3 gigs. For the all important down-time activity of gaming, clearly a 670 or 7970 (for instance) would be fine to drive a 30" monitor. For my day to day working environment, would I be well served to retain the 6870 to drive one or both 1920x1200 monitors? I don't really understand the issues here. My Mobo is an ASUS z68-V gen 3. I've got a corsair 650 PSU, big case with good ventilation and an H100 at the top of the case blowing out a whole lot of air. Your collective thoughts will be appreciated.

--Thanks


For either GPU, if one of your three monitors supports DisplayPort, then you're fine- if none of them do, then you'll need an active single-link DP adapter for one of the 1920x1200 monitors.
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Re: Best card for 2650x1600?

Postposted on Mon Jul 09, 2012 1:40 pm

When my 2GB 6950 turns up, I'll let you know how that runs compared to my old 6850.

Theoretically, the 6950 would be only a small upgrade over the 6850 but since they're on clearance here in the UK, I'll potentially break even if someone is dumb enough to buy my old 6850 on eBay.

Anyway, the 6850 was more than fine at 1080p, yet practically worthless at 2560x1440. I'm going to see if it's the RAM that makes a difference, or whether I actually need to spend $400 on a shiny, new, wallet-emptying graphics card.
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Re: Best card for 2650x1600?

Postposted on Mon Jul 09, 2012 6:56 pm

Chrispy_ wrote:When my 2GB 6950 turns up, I'll let you know how that runs compared to my old 6850.

Theoretically, the 6950 would be only a small upgrade over the 6850 but since they're on clearance here in the UK, I'll potentially break even if someone is dumb enough to buy my old 6850 on eBay.

Anyway, the 6850 was more than fine at 1080p, yet practically worthless at 2560x1440. I'm going to see if it's the RAM that makes a difference, or whether I actually need to spend $400 on a shiny, new, wallet-emptying graphics card.


You know that I'm betting it was the VRAM- but I'm wondering if lowering the settings to reduce VRAM usage while tracking in GPU-Z might help you verify. While waiting on my first HD6950, I popped in an HD4870 1GB, and was still able to play BF:BC2 at 2560x1600 with lowered settings. Granted that this was with a 4.8GHz 2500k backing it up, but I was pleasantly surprised.
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Re: Best card for 2650x1600?

Postposted on Mon Jul 09, 2012 7:51 pm

Yeah, reducing texture detail helps a whole lot, but then it looks like ass and I might as well be playing it on the xbox in the other room....

Didn't buy the 2560 screen for textures that look like ass ;)

Thursday, aparently, I will find out for sure. You are convincing/reassuring me that it's a VRAM issue though.
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Re: Best card for 2650x1600?

Postposted on Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:46 pm

I have also owned a 6850 and while it's a great performer by itself at 1080p, it doesn't handle the 2560p very well on high settings. I tried Crossfire for a bit, but it turned out that my motherboard and CPU (an overclocked QX6700 @3.4 GHz) could not keep up.

I am looking at the GeForce 680 or Radeon 7950 as a bare minimum, as evidenced by the following reviews:

Radeon 7950
http://techreport.com/articles.x/22384/6

GTX 680
http://techreport.com/articles.x/22653/10

Both give mimimum ~30 fps in BF3 at 2560p on Ultra, as well as reasonable idle / load power consumption. The 680 is a bit pricier at $450+, whereas the 7950 can be had for $350 range as of right now.
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Re: Best card for 2650x1600?

Postposted on Mon Jul 09, 2012 9:28 pm

My GTX670 handles BF3 well in MP, but not on Ultra. I'm not sure which specific settings I lowered, but that game is hell on the GPU, especially when trying to stay very close to 60FPS at 4MP/1600P. The only real option to max that game out is a minimum of GTX670 SLi (GCN CFX and Fermi SLI isn't recommended due to inconsistent performance with that game).

That said, the main thing I'd gain with a second GTX670, which I considered, would be Ultra with MSAA in BF3- and to me that just isn't worth another $400. Every other game plays great as benchmarks would have you believe.

*Edit: I could give a rats about BF3 SP benchmarks. They only loosely show whether or not a particular setup will be able to handle the game, not how well it will run in MP in either a large 64-man map or the new CQ maps with higher detail and much greater possible destruction. One of the few sites that has striven to represent BF3 MP performance has been the [H], who also make subjective observations of how well particular setups handle this game in MP. They report that HD7970/GCN CFX is not terribly smooth, while Kepler SLi seems to be much closer to a single-GPU experience.

Edit edit@JdL: My Q9550 at 3.4GHz really wasn't fast enough for BF3 either; there's just too much going on. That's why I upgraded to my current 2500k, with the lack of SLi support on P4x being a close second.
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Re: Best card for 2650x1600?

Postposted on Tue Jul 17, 2012 12:33 pm

Just an update since I said I would:

The 6950 I bought supercheap does not unlock, so it's the 1408 shaders, but it clocks to 880/5.5GHz quite comfortably, so I'm running it at those speeds.

At 1080p, the 2GB 6950 is about 50% quicker than the 1GB 6850, as expected.
At 4MP, the 2GB 6950 is about 100% quicker than the 1GB 6850, which confims that at my preferred settings (high/max world & texture detail, low AA and postprocessing) the VRAM is a definite issue.

For this reason, I'd personally favour the 3GB 7900 series over a GTX 670/680: At low resolutions that class of card is overkill. At high resolutions, running out of VRAM is easy to do, and 3GB > 2GB.
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