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  1. #1

    Buying a new PC -- is a GTX 690 worth it?

    I'm shopping around for a new custom build PC at the moment and can't decide whether to go for a GTX 680 or 690.

    At the moment, a 690 would be overkill because I'll only ever be using one monitor and most likely 1900 x 1080 for 3d Vision...maybe higher res later on. But I don't plan on updating my system for another 4-5 yrs, so was thinking of the 690 as future proofing as far as possible (i.e. no idea what the next gen consoles specs might offer), for when a 680 can no longer cut it.

    So...is it worth going for the 690 while I can afford one, or is it a waste of money/resources?

    Any thoughts appreciated...

  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sakkura's Avatar
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    If you want something better than a 680, get two 670s in SLI. And honestly, the 680 doesn't compare too well with a single 670 either; slightly better performance, much more expensive.

  3. #3
    Lesser Hivemind Node Feldspar's Avatar
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    You're right, it probably would be overkill, but largely its a personal choice.

    Personally I'd buy something mid-range (but adequate for your needs) now, and then do the same in 2-3 yrs when you think your system is chugging a bit and can get something that will knock the socks off a GTX690 at half the price (or possibly less). To me, updating your graphics card is hardly changing anything in your system, possibly one of the easiest upgrades and makes a big difference to both your system and how your perceive it.

  4. #4
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sketch's Avatar
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    I was in your boat, I was strongly considering getting a 690, but to be honest the 2GB on each GPU put me off. I had trouble with my 5970, in newer games with texture packs or whatever the card itself was fast enough, but I'd reach the VRAM limit and it'd chug because it can't share the VRAM across two GPUs well/at all. If you're really an Nvidia guy, you wouldn't go wrong with a 670 or 80, but another option would be to get the 3GB 7970. Single GPU card, a LOT cheaper, nails all current games and definitely room to Crossfire another one if you need it down the line.

  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kadayi's Avatar
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    I'd say you're better off going for a middle range card 660Ti and then in a couple of years buying a better one rather than paying through the nose for a top end card now that will be superseded in a years time when the inevitable 7 series come out. Woulndedbum is right about things like the onboard ram. With future cards we're going to start seeing more of that bundled in so it's pointless to go 690 with 2GB when in a few years that will seem antiquated. Plus GPUs aren't exactly hard to upgrade.
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  6. #6
    Network Hub slick_101's Avatar
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    They have just released a 4 gig 680 from EVGA, I just saw some YouTube reviews and they say it's a top card. Only down side is that I'm not sure if it's released in the UK yet. Though when/if they do released it won't be cheap. However it does do Quad SLI. And no. I'm not joking.
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  7. #7
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    I have two 6950s and honestly, multi-GPU solutions (be they fused cards like the 690 or SLI/CFX) suck. Driver and game support is terrible, scaling is very hit and miss, you get more issues than the average setup, and it costs quite a bit.

    Buy a single good card like the 680 and upgrade later down the line. You can't "future-proof"; even a dual GPU setup now will get outclassed in a few years at best.

  8. #8
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Grizzly's Avatar
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    Chances are that you won't be even able to find the 690 or the 680 as they are being produces for a niche, the 670 however is a neat choice.

    I'd go for the 670 on basis of it being the best bang-for-your-buck card in the high end range.

  9. #9
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sakkura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grizzly View Post
    Chances are that you won't be even able to find the 690 or the 680 as they are being produces for a niche, the 670 however is a neat choice.

    I'd go for the 670 on basis of it being the best bang-for-your-buck card in the high end range.
    The GTX 680 and 690 used to be tough to find, but that's fixed by now. I still agree that the 670 is a better deal though.

  10. #10
    Wow -- thanks everyone for the info. I was pretty much 80% going to go for the 690, but what you're saying about the vram issue, driver support etc, has given me a lot to think about. Much appreciated!

  11. #11
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    Which nvidia card has the ability to throttle its power consumption? Is that out yet.
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  12. #12
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sakkura's Avatar
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    Hmm? They all manage their power consumption as best they can. Nvidia's 600-series uses a bit less power under load than AMD's HD 7000-series, but when idle the AMD cards use less power. AMD's also more frugal with Crossfire than Nvidia SLI, because the extra cards power down completely whenever they're not needed. So typing away in Word means one card stays awake, the rest are asleep with the fan off.

  13. #13
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    Im a bit cynical i love geforce but AMD always does it for me on price and quality!!! i will stick with my 7970!

  14. #14
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus mashakos's Avatar
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    Personally, I would not buy any video card just yet. Next-gen consoles might be announced this christmas, which is the usual queue for amd and nvidia to announce an entirely new generation of GPU's with triple the performance of th ecurrent gen.
    Don't be like that guy who bought an nvidia 7900 GX2 3 months before the 8800GTX was released!

    I have a gtx580, and honestly don't see the point of buying anything else for now. Everything runs perfectly, why bother? I really mean everything: you know that GTA IV icenhancer mod? 60 fps outdoor performance with occasional dips to 50fps.
    A used one goes for $240 - $270, that's a real deal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Woundedbum View Post
    If you're really an Nvidia guy, you wouldn't go wrong with a 670 or 80, but another option would be to get the 3GB 7970. Single GPU card, a LOT cheaper, nails all current games and definitely room to Crossfire another one if you need it down the line.
    With the caveat that AMD's Catalyst is literally the worst driver package on the windows platform at the moment. I've seen no-brand usb hubs with better drivers...

    Case in point: catalyst drivers crash Steam Big Picture on Windows 8
    Last edited by mashakos; 13-09-2012 at 09:39 PM.
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  15. #15
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sakkura's Avatar
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    New consoles won't suddenly make new GPU architectures available on the PC. They might ramp up their efforts a little bit, but I wouldn't bet on it. Besides, both of the newest GPU families are solid upgrades over their predecessors. Progress was actually slower a few years ago.

    AMDs Catalyst is usually fine by the way. Usually. Big Picture itself is in beta anyway, which is where problems like this are supposed to crop up so they can be fixed.

  16. #16
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus mashakos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sakkura View Post
    New consoles won't suddenly make new GPU architectures available on the PC. They might ramp up their efforts a little bit, but I wouldn't bet on it.
    That statement is either naive or just made from a lack of knowledge. Do this for me:
    1- If you can, try to find an nvidia 7900 GX2 or an ATI X1900XTX.
    2- Found one of these? Great. Now go and find an nvidia 8800GTX.
    3- Now set them up, install Crysis, set everything to High and start playing.
    4- Oh and use DX10.

    What happened? Those cards don't support DX10? Well whaddya know!

    Ok then, no worries, set it back to DX9. Any revelations you can share with us about similiar performance? Oh right, you will say that Crysis is unoptimised ;)

    Ok then, how about Battlefield 3? Pretty optimised for PC right? Get back to me with those performance results.

    EDIT: The 8800GTX was part of nvidia's next-gen unified shader architecture based platform. In other words, this was the "next-gen" for PC gaming. If you didn't know, PC graphics also go through generation cycles, and we are at the very end of the current one. Nvidia and Ati obviously would like to extend the current one as long as possible because it keeps their R&D costs down, but if next-gen consoles are released with graphics comparable to a gtx680 or gtx690, I can bet hard money that they ill immediately release their actual "next-gen" cards. Could be 2 teraflop cards or maybe something related to "cinematic" graphics effects (hair, particle simulation similiar to what was shown in the UE4 tech demos or square's last one). Whatever it is, it will definitely be released a very short time after MS and Sony's next-gen machines ship.
    Last edited by mashakos; 14-09-2012 at 12:36 AM.
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  17. #17
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus mashakos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sakkura View Post
    AMDs Catalyst is usually fine by the way. Usually. Big Picture itself is in beta anyway, which is where problems like this are supposed to crop up so they can be fixed.
    I've faced a few issues outside of gaming (HD Video, upscaling lower resolutions on 2K monitors, lack of CUDA for Adobe applications) that have turned me off ATI permanently. Used to be a big fan of their cards in the ati 9 series era, but no anymore.

    Here's m experience with pretty much every nvidia card since the 8800gtx: Plug it in, install drivers, it works!

    Here is my experience with the amd 5870: plug it in, install drivers. Wait, what? Pixellated 1920x1200 resolution on a 30" monitor? No gpu acceleration for 1080p mkv?? Registry corruption after latest beta driver??? Have to manually remove 3,802 entries from registry???? Slower than gtx280 in GTA IV with mods?????

    Yeah, usually fine.
    Last edited by mashakos; 14-09-2012 at 12:43 AM.
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  18. #18
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sakkura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mashakos View Post
    That statement is either naive or just made from a lack of knowledge. Do this for me: 1- If you can, try to find an nvidia 7900 GX2 or an ATI X1900XTX. 2- Found one of these? Great. Now go and find an nvidia 8800GTX. 3- Now set them up, install Crysis, set everything to High and start playing. 4- Oh and use DX10. What happened? Those cards don't support DX10? Well whaddya know! Ok then, no worries, set it back to DX9. Any revelations you can share with us about similiar performance? Oh right, you will say that Crysis is unoptimised ;) Ok then, how about Battlefield 3? Pretty optimised for PC right? Get back to me with those performance results. EDIT: The 8800GTX was part of nvidia's next-gen unified shader architecture based platform. In other words, this was the "next-gen" for PC gaming. If you didn't know, PC graphics also go through generation cycles, and we are at the very end of the current one. Nvidia and Ati obviously would like to extend the current one as long as possible because it keeps their R&D costs down, but if next-gen consoles are released with graphics comparable to a gtx680 or gtx690, I can bet hard money that they ill immediately release their actual "next-gen" cards. Could be 2 teraflop cards or maybe something related to "cinematic" graphics effects (hair, particle simulation similiar to what was shown in the UE4 tech demos or square's last one). Whatever it is, it will definitely be released a very short time after MS and Sony's next-gen machines ship.
    Who says the gap the 8800 GTX had over its predecessors is due to consoles though? Also, you don't seem to know what you're talking about. How long ago was it that AMD introduced their GCN? Where did you get the bright idea that new consoles will have graphics comparable to a GTX 680 or 690? There have been rumors that the PS4 and Xbox 720 will use GPUs based on the Radeon HD 7670/6670. That's hardware inferior to what I replaced with my current HD 6850. Which a 7850 runs circles around, while hoping no GTX 670 shows up and takes its lunch money.
    Quote Originally Posted by mashakos View Post
    I've faced a few issues outside of gaming (HD Video, upscaling lower resolutions on 2K monitors, lack of CUDA for Adobe applications) that have turned me off ATI permanently. Used to be a big fan of their cards in the ati 9 series era, but no anymore. Here's m experience with pretty much every nvidia card since the 8800gtx: Plug it in, install drivers, it works! Here is my experience with the amd 5870: plug it in, install drivers. Wait, what? Pixellated 1920x1200 resolution on a 30" monitor? No gpu acceleration for 1080p mkv?? Registry corruption after latest beta driver??? Have to manually remove 3,802 entries from registry???? Slower than gtx280 in GTA IV with mods????? Yeah, usually fine.
    I've had to downgrade Geforce drivers twice due to unresolvable issues. I have had to do that zero times with Catalyst. YMMV applies, you know. This is the PC we're talking about.
    Last edited by Sakkura; 14-09-2012 at 12:57 AM.

  19. #19
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus mashakos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sakkura View Post
    Who says the gap the 8800 GTX had over its predecessors is due to consoles though?
    Wow, this is just... so, you can't argue that the performance gap between th nvidia 7/ATI x19xx series and the nvidia 8800GTX was GIGANTIC right? Yeah, you have no credibility with your ridiculous remarks:

    Quote Originally Posted by Sakkura View Post
    They might ramp up their efforts a little bit, but I wouldn't bet on it.

    Discussion over.
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  20. #20
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sakkura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mashakos View Post
    Wow, this is just... so, you can't argue that the performance gap between th nvidia 7/ATI x19xx series and the nvidia 8800GTX was GIGANTIC right?
    You still haven't shown us how that gap had anything to do with the consoles. You also still haven't shown us why the new consoles would have graphics comparable to the GTX 680 or 690, when most people are talking about chips derived from the old Radeon HD 5670.

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