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Windows 7: Found a $300 GTX 580 - Is it worth skipping 600 series?

21 Dec 2012   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Found a $300 GTX 580 - Is it worth skipping 600 series?

I am currently using a Zotac GTX 580 @ 1.5GB
I am looking to upgrade. I tend to play open world games with high-res textures modded in. For this reason I was looking for cards with more VRAM.

I found:
EVGA 670 @ 2GB for $365
EVGA 670 @ 4GB for $399
EVGA 680 @ 2GB for $435

The plan was to SLI one of these three choices as the only 580 I could find at the time was $399.

I had to consider though that 1.5GB has been giving me texture pop-ins and stuttering with Skyrim and GTA. I do not believe even 2GB will be enough for my needs either. I'm using only half the maximum values for texture qualities, AA samples, shadow quality, etc and it still pushes the full 1.5GB of VRAM. I use very high-res texture mods and insist on quality, so if I'm going to drop over $700 I insist that I can use things like 8xMSAA on top of 4xSS and still maintain full FPS with no stuttering. Thus I was considering dropping $800 on a 670 4GB setup.

However I have now found a new 580 (also Zotac) for $299. Saving $500 would be nice and I'm thinking I'll probably need to to get rid of my Z68 mobo and 2600k CPU by this time next year when the Haswell chips are out and priced a little nicer around Christmas.

What do you guys recommend? Do you think the market will make it worth it in a years time to save the money now and use it for better GPU/CPU/mobo this time next year?
What do you think about VRAM in regards to open-world games at maxed out settings filled with high quality texture mods? Am I right to assume these things if I'm already showing 1.5GB in GPU-Z with settings/textures not maxed out?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Dec 2012   #2

Win 7 Pro 64-bit 7601

Umh, since you seem to know very well that you need more GPU dedicated ram I'd say:
"buy a card with more ram". And I'd add
"sell the old one on Ebay" as used GTX 580 routinely sell for around 200-ish euros, and in the US for around 225$.

That would be a significant boost for a new card isn't it?

Another option is looking for a GTX 580 with 3 GB, if you find one that is cheaper than a 670 with 4 GB anyway.

Afaik, SLI increases GPU processing power as two cards number-crunch in tandem, but the SLI cards work on the same raw data stored in their respective ram, hence two/three/four/a hundred 1.5 GB cards = 1.5 GB total video memory in SLI.
The same applies for dual-GPU cards like the GTX 590. The 3 GB are actually 1.5 per GPU.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Dec 2012   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Yeah I know about the VRAM not doubling or what not.

In regards to the 580 I was saying: Should I deal with using lower quality textures and just double up on 580s until new parts come out? As it's been 9 months now since these parts are out (6xx/7xxx).

Now however I'm planning on selling the 580 and getting a 7970, possible a second later on. Only $389 and will beat out a 680 as often as not, + extra VRAM.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

23 Dec 2012   #4

Win 7 Pro 64-bit 7601

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by MarkC0 View Post
In regards to the 580 I was saying: Should I deal with using lower quality textures and just double up on 580s until new parts come out? As it's been 9 months now since these parts are out (6xx/7xxx).
Sorry, it wasn't so clear in the OP.

Gtx 580s are still relatively close to 680 and 7970 as far as number-crunching power goes (around 20/30% increase at most), so upgrading or making a SLI won't make a lot of difference unless you plan to do something that increases GPU load (increasing monitors/resolution/refresh rate) as well. Assuming that the issue was actually mainly low VRAM anyway.

If you can withstand lowering graphic quality a bit (mainly texture quality, anyway the ones that do have an impact on VRAM), I think waiting for the next series (gtx 7xx and hd 8xxx) without buying anything is a better choice (also because even low-end ones of that series will have 3 GB of VRAM). They will come out next year so it's not a so long wait. And since they again claim around 20-30% increase in processing power from this year ones, they are actually around twice as powerful as a gtx 580.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Found a $300 GTX 580 - Is it worth skipping 600 series?

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