Hey all, long time reader first time poster.
I'm in the process of a new build and am tossed on what to do for graphics despite reading every article ever written on GPU's authored in the last 6 months. I've officially gone nuts trying to make a decision, which has not been helped by things like "Inside the Second."
So I'm turning my noob self over to the better advice of others!
What I really want is a rig that can run every
current game at absolutely max'd out settings, single 1080p screen only. I'm talking Metro, BF3, Crysis + High res/DX11, and the upcoming Arkham City totally max'd without a single thing lowered one iota. And I want flawless silky smooth gameplay. I'd like to accomplish this with the least power consumption, heat, and noise possible. At the cheapest price would be nice too.
Because I enjoy graphics more than gameplay (I'm a terrible person, I know), I've basically ruled out AMD as I want PhysX. I'm actually willing to pay more money to see glass shatter and cloth ripples in all of three game titles. I have massive OCD attention to detail.
I know that general wisdom is that with a single 1080p screen dual gpu's is wasted, but benchmark evidence suggests otherwise. It seems rather that memory is wasted, e.g. non-reference 3gb 580 SLI at 1080p would be overkill. From all that I've read it seems that a single GPU solution can't deliver on what I described above. Even a superclocked 580 in Metro is getting FPS in the 30-something range, which isn't too hot. There's a small chance I might go 3D in the next year if the price of those screens come down, in which case the performance hit would, I think, destroy any chance of a single gpu option working.
It seems to me that a GTX 590 is the best solution. It can do all of the above, with less heat/power/noise than two 570's or 580's. Granted 570/580's can be OC'd, but I don't care about FPS bragging rights. To me, either a system can deliver acceptable performance (max'd out, smooth), or it can't. Having 80fps instead of 70fps doesn't interest me.
I am however worried that I'm weighing FPS to heavily. Perhaps 35 fps in Metro on a 580 feels smoother than 55fps on a 590 given the issues of microstuttering, but from reading "Inside the Second", looking at every chart, and reading accounts of people who own the card, there doesn't seem to be enough jitter to cause any noticeable stuttering. Future more taxing games that bring it's fps down into the 30-40 range might change that, but by that time it might be reasonable to upgrade to Kepler or Haswell.
Whatever card I get I plan on coupling with a 2500k on an Asus gen 3 board, probably upgrading to ivy bridge and/or kepler in 1-2 years.
So am I being a wasteful idiot here leaning 590 over 580? And on a sidenote, does anyone know how much a 590 can be OC'd (if at all) now that overvolting has been disabled? Have I over thought all of this massively?