Upgrade thoughts on GPU

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Upgrade thoughts on GPU

Postposted on Tue Jul 09, 2013 8:40 am

Hello once again :wink:

I would like any opinion from users how have experience in SLI configurations to have some background and to take a good decision about my next upgrade.

So I have a GTX 560 Ti 1Gb, so has a friend of mine who bought a similar PC a little later than me. We have been talking about an upgrade. I don't have a PSU capable of SLI, but he as. Now, I haven't decided which card I will buy (probably a 700 series from Nvidia or the upcoming AMD series) so I'm waiting a little longer for this upgrade. But I'm preparing for it :wink:

For those how have a SLI rig with GTX 560Ti or something similar, and game at 1080p, what is your experience with it? Good or bad? Is the 1Gb VRAM a problem? Can my friend push all current games at full detail (except for the antialising, which taxes VRAM hard)

So I think this is a good way to us both upgrade for a more capable machine without spending lots of money.

Can you help me and my friend here?

Thanks
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Re: Upgrade thoughts on GPU

Postposted on Tue Jul 09, 2013 9:25 am

I'll state I don't run SLI. However, adding another card does not double the VRAM, unfortunately. While SLI would net you more GPU power, I don't think you'd be able to take advantage of it with only 1GB of memory going forward. I wouldn't suggest investing in SLI with that card.
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Re: Upgrade thoughts on GPU

Postposted on Tue Jul 09, 2013 9:27 am

Losergamer04 wrote:I'll state I don't run SLI. However, adding another card does not double the VRAM, unfortunately. While SLI would net you more GPU power, I don't think you'd be able to take advantage of it with only 1GB of memory going forward. I wouldn't suggest investing in SLI with that card.


Yes, I wouldn't invest, that's not the case here. We already have 2 cards, in different machines. The purpose is to upgrade both machines with only buying a new card, and improving both PC in GPU power. What I'm asking is what I should expect in terms of performance.
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Re: Upgrade thoughts on GPU

Postposted on Tue Jul 09, 2013 9:38 am

It's pretty subjective. In some games the scaling is almost perfect (2x performace) and there's almost no microstutter (uneven frame latency). In other games you barely get any improvement at all, sometimes even a minor loss of performance.
Microstuttering aside, you can usually expect 1.8x the reported framerate but in terms of fluidity it's VERY VERY different to a single card giving you the same framerate because even a good SLI game can suffer with uneven frames, and your perception only identifies the longer frames. TR's articles on microstuttering are pretty good at explaining this in more detail than I can.

My understanding (more a kind of gut-feeling) from personal experience is that SLI will work very very well where you need more shader/texture fill rate and the cards handle the games and the effects well at high resolutions and details levels, but perhaps not as well as you like. In these instances, the second card adds a decent enough improvement to make SLI or Crossfire a great addition.

Some games are bandwidth limited though. These are the games that run well at lower resolutions but the performance really drops off as you enable AA, AF, or increase resolution. In this case, dual-GPU solutions with smaller amounts of VRAM will really suffer because you're using a 1GB frame buffer to render something that really needs more. Modern games are increasingly bandwidth hungry, so SLI or Crossfire is only really worth doing if you're getting the same amount of VRAM as a single more powerful card. The 560Ti's will not scale as well in these games and you'd be much better off with a single option like a 2GB 660Ti instead.

Essentially the top cards today come with 2GB or 3GB of VRAM. If you SLI a couple of 1GB cards, you may have better "on-paper" fillrate and texturing numbers but your problem is that your're still stuck to 1GB of VRAM meaning you need to run lower resolutions and lower details.
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Re: Upgrade thoughts on GPU

Postposted on Tue Jul 09, 2013 9:54 am

Chrispy_ wrote:Essentially the top cards today come with 2GB or 3GB of VRAM. If you SLI a couple of 1GB cards, you may have better "on-paper" fillrate and texturing numbers but your problem is that your're still stuck to 1GB of VRAM meaning you need to run lower resolutions and lower details.


I'm talking about 1080p. Even in this resolution? My single GTX 560 Ti even today can crack most of games with high detail. Maybe you are referring to higher resolutions?
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Re: Upgrade thoughts on GPU

Postposted on Tue Jul 09, 2013 12:13 pm

I'll agree with Chripsy_ 100%. You'll still be able to get more GPU power if you do SLI. However, it will only have an impact if 1) you are not bandwidth limited or 2) memory limited. It comes down to the game.
1) you can OC video memory, but only so much
2) you can measure VRAM usage with a number of tools. Try this and see what you are using now. My research showed some people reporting 1.5GB usage in some forums at 1080P.

You will likely be limited in both with "next-gen" titiles coming out with the PS4 and the One. That is the "benchmark" for game makers because console games make more money. But it shouldn't hurt (if it does, it shouldn't be much if you have a good enough CPU, as Chripsy_ said), if that's what you're asking.
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Re: Upgrade thoughts on GPU

Postposted on Tue Jul 09, 2013 12:25 pm

i dont see why every one is making such a fuss about the 1gb vram it will run anything today just fine aslong as anti aliaising is not turned up and your gaming at 1080p if in case u r running out of vram just turn down the texture settings one notch down that will solve the problem ;)
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Re: Upgrade thoughts on GPU

Postposted on Tue Jul 09, 2013 12:29 pm

killadark wrote:i dont see why every one is making such a fuss about the 1gb vram it will run anything today just fine aslong as anti aliaising is not turned up and your gaming at 1080p if in case u r running out of vram just turn down the texture settings one notch down that will solve the problem ;)


True. The main issue is memory and if you lower the ammount needed, then, well, there ye go.
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Re: Upgrade thoughts on GPU

Postposted on Tue Jul 09, 2013 7:15 pm

Jon1984 wrote:I'm talking about 1080p. Even in this resolution? My single GTX 560 Ti even today can crack most of games with high detail. Maybe you are referring to higher resolutions?

I'm talking about 1080p too. Turns out Bioshock Inifinte needs about 1.3GB for 1080p on full detail; It's a pretty game, but it's hardly a modern engine (UnrealEngine) - Newer engines with fancier effects like Crysis3 or BF3 can bring 1GB cards to their knees.

As others have said, just turn down the details and/or resolution and things will be fine; but it's hardly an upgrade if you have to keep reducing details for decent performance.
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Re: Upgrade thoughts on GPU

Postposted on Wed Jul 10, 2013 4:06 am

Chrispy_ wrote:
Jon1984 wrote:I'm talking about 1080p. Even in this resolution? My single GTX 560 Ti even today can crack most of games with high detail. Maybe you are referring to higher resolutions?

I'm talking about 1080p too. Turns out Bioshock Inifinte needs about 1.3GB for 1080p on full detail; It's a pretty game, but it's hardly a modern engine (UnrealEngine) - Newer engines with fancier effects like Crysis3 or BF3 can bring 1GB cards to their knees.

As others have said, just turn down the details and/or resolution and things will be fine; but it's hardly an upgrade if you have to keep reducing details for decent performance.


like i said before it wont be a huge impact on the visuals u just have to turn down texture setting from ultra to high, textures take up a chunk from memory if it still is still effecting performance turn down environment quality
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Re: Upgrade thoughts on GPU

Postposted on Wed Jul 10, 2013 5:04 am

killadark wrote:like i said before it wont be a huge impact on the visuals u just have to turn down texture setting from ultra to high, textures take up a chunk from memory if it still is still effecting performance turn down environment quality
cheers :)


But if you have to turn down texture quality and other graphics settings, it's not really an upgrade - especially since the 2GB card that costs less than two 1GB cards handles those higher settings much better.
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Re: Upgrade thoughts on GPU

Postposted on Wed Jul 10, 2013 5:10 am

Chrispy_ wrote:
killadark wrote:like i said before it wont be a huge impact on the visuals u just have to turn down texture setting from ultra to high, textures take up a chunk from memory if it still is still effecting performance turn down environment quality
cheers :)


But if you have to turn down texture quality and other graphics settings, it's not really an upgrade - especially since the 2GB card that costs less than two 1GB cards handles those higher settings much better.


i see your point there but with two cards in sli he can turn up all the other setting like DOF and Effects HBAO BLOOM.... which might not be possible with one card and he has said that his friend gets the second 560 after he upgrades so its the cheapest upgrade path for both
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Re: Upgrade thoughts on GPU

Postposted on Wed Jul 10, 2013 8:33 am

Chrispy_ wrote:But if you have to turn down texture quality and other graphics settings, it's not really an upgrade - especially since the 2GB card that costs less than two 1GB cards handles those higher settings much better.


As I said above, no one is buying a 1GB card, that we wouldn't do. The thing is we are trying to achieve similar levels of performance (2x 560TI in SLI in one PC and a 760 in the other, for instance) without spending to much money. I was only asking what experience with SLI you guys have :wink:
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Re: Upgrade thoughts on GPU

Postposted on Wed Jul 10, 2013 1:37 pm

Yeah, I don't know if there's something I'm not communicating well, but the performance of 1GB cards will nosedive at 1080p as games get more graphically complex. The usefulness of that second card will decrease as each new game comes out, most likely.

Hypothetically, he may have to run a pair of 1GB 560Ti's at 720p once the next-gen console games start to hit PC's because they use much more VRAM than current games do. Hypothetically the same games are more likely to run absolutely fine at 1080p on even a 2GB 560Ti. I don't have a crystal ball, I'm just saying that 1GB is already a bottleneck at 1080p and it's only going to get worse with time.
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Re: Upgrade thoughts on GPU

Postposted on Wed Jul 10, 2013 3:08 pm

Sell existing 560 for whatever scratch it will fetch and buy a GTX 760
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Re: Upgrade thoughts on GPU

Postposted on Thu Jul 11, 2013 12:12 pm

Jon1984 wrote:
Chrispy_ wrote:But if you have to turn down texture quality and other graphics settings, it's not really an upgrade - especially since the 2GB card that costs less than two 1GB cards handles those higher settings much better.


As I said above, no one is buying a 1GB card, that we wouldn't do. The thing is we are trying to achieve similar levels of performance (2x 560TI in SLI in one PC and a 760 in the other, for instance) without spending to much money. I was only asking what experience with SLI you guys have :wink:


For a little while earlier this year I ran a GTX 295, which is basically two GeForce 275's in a single-card SLI solution. On paper it looked really nice - 1736 MB RAM, awesome fillrate, very fast - but on closer examination there were a number of problems. In order for both cards to work on any given frame, contents of memory between both cards must match, which means that you're effectively knocked down to 896 MB RAM. Synchronizing between the two cards also incurred some overhead, and in some demanding scenarios I could notice a very small amount of microstutter between them. Finally - and this is not to be underestimated - it ran HOT, at something like a 265 watt TDP, and it was LOUD. I'd expect a physical two card setup to run even hotter due to the lack of shared resources, and if you allow for sufficient space between cards it will take up a lot of expansion slots in your system.

I sold it and used part of the proceeds to grab a GTX 660, which is perceptibly faster and uses about half as much power (and a smaller fraction of the noise). Grab a 760 for yourself, then encourage your friend to save some cash, sell the 560, and buy at least a 660 for himself. A 560 Ti SLI solution is probably not going to age well if you're trying to think about the future.
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Re: Upgrade thoughts on GPU

Postposted on Mon Jul 15, 2013 2:39 pm

Concupiscence wrote:For a little while earlier this year I ran a GTX 295, which is basically two GeForce 275's in a single-card SLI solution. On paper it looked really nice - 1736 MB RAM, awesome fillrate, very fast - but on closer examination there were a number of problems. In order for both cards to work on any given frame, contents of memory between both cards must match, which means that you're effectively knocked down to 896 MB RAM. Synchronizing between the two cards also incurred some overhead, and in some demanding scenarios I could notice a very small amount of microstutter between them. Finally - and this is not to be underestimated - it ran HOT, at something like a 265 watt TDP, and it was LOUD. I'd expect a physical two card setup to run even hotter due to the lack of shared resources, and if you allow for sufficient space between cards it will take up a lot of expansion slots in your system.

I sold it and used part of the proceeds to grab a GTX 660, which is perceptibly faster and uses about half as much power (and a smaller fraction of the noise). Grab a 760 for yourself, then encourage your friend to save some cash, sell the 560, and buy at least a 660 for himself. A 560 Ti SLI solution is probably not going to age well if you're trying to think about the future.


Well, GTX560 Ti isn't really comparable to a GTX 275, although I get your point :wink:
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Re: Upgrade thoughts on GPU

Postposted on Mon Jul 15, 2013 2:40 pm

Prestige Worldwide wrote:Sell existing 560 for whatever scratch it will fetch and buy a GTX 760


That's the problem, selling ain't that easy :(
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Re: Upgrade thoughts on GPU

Postposted on Mon Jul 15, 2013 3:03 pm

This is not exactly 100% on topic, but I recently went against my own advice and upgraded to SLI. I nearly instantly regretted my decision. Just more anecdotal advice to consider/reject before making a purchase...

I originally had a single nVidia GTX 670 and added another GTX 670 of the same brand/model. The heat in my room and case both increased noticeably. My case, a Corsair 550D, has only average airflow, therefore noise became a big issue (both video card blowers would ramp to high-speed when playing games due to their mutual proximity). Despite a clean install of Windows and nVidia drivers, my performance in Crysis 2 was about 25% lower than identical benchmarks, with apparent stutter even at 60+ FPS. I had to disable SLI completely in Bioshock 2 because the game kept freezing. The heat, noise, and other issues just were not worth any performance boost. As a result, I'm looking to sell both GTX 670s and replace them with a single GTX 780. Although this will be a performance downgrade, I view it as a net gain.

If your friend already has a 560ti and you're willing to sell him your 560ti for cheap, it could be a worthwhile upgrade. I used to run a 560ti 1GB card at 1920x1200 (which is close to 1080p) and agree that most current games should run acceptably with dual 560ti cards, assuming SLI actually works. However, there is some baggage to consider.
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Re: Upgrade thoughts on GPU

Postposted on Mon Jul 15, 2013 6:54 pm

Spyder22446688 wrote:This is not exactly 100% on topic, but I recently went against my own advice and upgraded to SLI. I nearly instantly regretted my decision. Just more anecdotal advice to consider/reject before making a purchase...

I originally had a single nVidia GTX 670 and added another GTX 670 of the same brand/model. The heat in my room and case both increased noticeably. My case, a Corsair 550D, has only average airflow, therefore noise became a big issue (both video card blowers would ramp to high-speed when playing games due to their mutual proximity). Despite a clean install of Windows and nVidia drivers, my performance in Crysis 2 was about 25% lower than identical benchmarks, with apparent stutter even at 60+ FPS. I had to disable SLI completely in Bioshock 2 because the game kept freezing. The heat, noise, and other issues just were not worth any performance boost. As a result, I'm looking to sell both GTX 670s and replace them with a single GTX 780. Although this will be a performance downgrade, I view it as a net gain.


Probably a CPU bottleneck from my experience with and i5 750 and GTX 670 SLI. When I dropped a second GTX 670 into my machine and at stock and a minor OC, I was getting worse performance with SLI enabled than when it was disabled.

In BF3 i was getting ~50 FPS with SLI on, and 60+ with it off at ultra about 6 months ago. Overclocking from 2.67 to 4.0 GHz helped a lot, and upgrading to an i7 3820 made it smooth as butter. I average well over 100 FPS, dropping into the 80s at times but also going well over 120FPS.

What CPU / chipset are you running?
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Re: Upgrade thoughts on GPU

Postposted on Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:22 pm

Prestige Worldwide wrote:Probably a CPU bottleneck from my experience with and i5 750 and GTX 670 SLI.


I doubt it. I'm running an i5 2500K and a Z68 chipset. During my troubleshooting I overclocked my CPU up to 4.4GHz, still w/o any substantial improvement.
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Re: Upgrade thoughts on GPU

Postposted on Tue Jul 16, 2013 8:26 am

Definitely not, then! SLI isn't a perfect solution, I've been pretty lucky with it working flawlessly on my latest build.

I've also been pondering selling 1 670 and putting the other in a secondary PC and upgrading my main rig to a 780, but I think I would rather wait until Maxwell since the latest word on the street is that it's coming out 1H 2014. Unless, of course, AMD drops a bombshell on us this fall, in which case I might consider going back to the red team, but not before thorough frametime analysis from TR. I've been rooting for them since the 4870 days but that was the last card I felt confident enough to buy from them.
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Re: Upgrade thoughts on GPU

Postposted on Tue Jul 16, 2013 8:29 am

I am running 2 EVGA Superclocked 1GB 560TI's in SLI for over 2 years now at 1080p.

They are still working awesome nvidia's latest drivers 320.18 made the SLI performance so much smoother then I can ever remember, hardly if any tearing while gaming. The only time i can really notice any tearing is during cutscenes. They scale very well from 1 to 2 cards averaging about 60% to up to 95% improvement in performance. I play all the latest games you just cannot run a lot of AA with the latest games like metro last light or crysis 3, but with no aa i can run at very high /ultra settings and get 60fps easy if i drop to medium settings 80+ fps is no problem at all. As for microstuttering whatever nvidia did with the last couple driver releases I really do not notice any.
They are paired up with a 2600k that i run at 4.5ghz in the summer and up to 5ghz in the winter when i use my outside cold air intake duct.

I have been running my 560 tis at 965 core and 2400 memory 24/7 for over 2 years. In 3dmark 11 they just break 10,000 points with my CPU running at 4.6ghz. That is right up there with almost any high end single card solution running at stock speeds that is:)

So if you can get another 560ti for SLI on the cheap I would highly rec you do it. You say you PSU cannot handle another 560ti ? What is the PSU you are using ? EDIT: I see it is a earthwatts 500 watt psu. I think I would get a 650 watt psu to run 2 overclocked 560s and a overclocked 3570k. I am running a corsair TX850 ....I know it was more then i needed but the price difference between the 750 watt and 850watt was negligible, Plus i feel the less a PSU has to work hard the longer it will last. Plus it was not too much overkill in my eyes. Now if I would have gotten a 1KW PSU it would have been super overkill but with my 850 watt PSU I feel it is running stress free :)
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Re: Upgrade thoughts on GPU

Postposted on Tue Jul 16, 2013 1:25 pm

vargis14 wrote:I think I would get a 650 watt psu to run 2 overclocked 560s


Cost of even a cheap 80+ 650W psu is $70, right - and a decent one is more like $100.

Just sayin' that you can pick up 2GB 7870's for $175 and that seems like a way better place to invest money than a beefy PSU when the future is single cards with large VRAM quantities (PS4, XBOne ports)
Selling a 560Ti must be worth something too? eBay seems to be a reliable way to get face value for things in Europe, not sure how well it fares in the US with your vast distances and mad shipping costs.
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Re: Upgrade thoughts on GPU

Postposted on Tue Jul 16, 2013 6:13 pm

Maybe the OP will give his 560ti to his friend if he has a good enough psu and he can get the 7870:)
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Re: Upgrade thoughts on GPU

Postposted on Thu Jul 18, 2013 5:20 am

vargis14 wrote:Maybe the OP will give his 560ti to his friend if he has a good enough psu and he can get the 7870:)


Yes sir! You got the point :D My friend as a good Corsair 750W unit (can't remember the model, but it's a 80+ silver I believe). Now, with you being a owner of a SLI rig exactly like what I'm thinking of doing, I'm going to propose this deal to my buddy, he has a 2500K, in the process I'll OC his CPU also. I'll problably sell him the card by around 100€, which with more 150€ I'll be able to do a very nice upgrade to my GPU department :wink:
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