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 Post subject: One video card vs two
PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 6:22 am 
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All my builds for the last 5 or 6 years have had 2 mid line video cards in them, primarily for folding. I'm no longer folding, which leaves me with a question. I want to replace my pair of GTX 560ti's. Would it be better to replace them with a pair of GTX660's or a single GTX680? I do want to stay with nVidia cards. I don't play a lot of the new cutting edge games. I mostly play flight sims and older FPS, but I do run a pair of 28" monitors, both in 1920x1200 resolution.

The rest of the system is
CPU 3770K OC to 4.3
850W Corsair P/S

Thanks,
atr


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 Post subject: Re: One video card vs two
PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 10:53 am 
Smithfield
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Honestly I find one graphics card better now over two. Even if you do get a better or similar price/performance ratio, you need more power to run them than a single card, you now have two sources of a lot of heat when running, two sources of loud noise if the fans ramp up, you have two graphics cards to deal with instead of one when upgrading, and the issue with microstuttering.

But if you're not too into PC gaming, I'd even recommend a single GTX 660Ti or GTX 670. At your monitor's resolution, either of those two cards will do just fine for a while.


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 Post subject: Re: One video card vs two
PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 12:43 pm 
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LatiosXT wrote:
Honestly I find one graphics card better now over two. Even if you do get a better or similar price/performance ratio, you need more power to run them than a single card, you now have two sources of a lot of heat when running, two sources of loud noise if the fans ramp up, you have two graphics cards to deal with instead of one when upgrading, and the issue with microstuttering.

But if you're not too into PC gaming, I'd even recommend a single GTX 660Ti or GTX 670. At your monitor's resolution, either of those two cards will do just fine for a while.


But would a GTX670 run 2 28" monitors, both in the 1920x1200 resolution? That's what I'm worried about. That's why I was thinking about the GTX680. I rarely run my GTX560ti's in SLI, and I mean VERY rarely, and I currently play no games where frame rate is an issue. Now that having been said, I only play FPS's on one of the two monitors. The only "gaming" I do on both monitors is flight simulators, and the second monitor is for panels. Cost isn't that much of an issue, up to about $550 or so at least (which kills my Titan idea :)), I just want to get the best overall performance from whichever I end up with.

Another use of this rig is occasional video encoding.

atr


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 Post subject: Re: One video card vs two
PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 12:51 pm 
Smithfield
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You can run 2D resolution on any modern GPU these days, even a pitiful Intel HD graphics. 3D graphics are more of an issue, but honestly I still don't see a problem if most of your games are limited to just the one monitor. If you're spanning two, you may have some framerate drop but I don't expect it to be that bad.

Also very few programs use GPU acceleration, and as far as I last checked, only for certain effects.


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 Post subject: Re: One video card vs two
PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 1:33 pm 
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OK, thanks for your help :)

atr


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 Post subject: Re: One video card vs two
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 6:35 pm 
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Same *basic* question, but with a couple of wrinkles:

1. I am not a gamer at all, so no interest in SLI.

I currently have a GTX680 driving 2 Dell U3011s at 2560 x 1600. I need to add 2 more monitors, and they will be 2 Dell U3014s.

NVIDIA says I can do this with my 680 using the HDMI & DisplayPort to connect the 2 additional monitors. The U3014s support both of those connections natively and directly.

I am a day trader, so a fair amount of graphics, but primitive compared to games. Heavy real time updating and activity, several (10+) windows updating constantly.

Is this the *best* solution? Or would I be happier adding a second card? A second 680? My current 680 is a 2GB card. Is that relevant?

Thanks for your insights!

The Gunny


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 Post subject: Re: One video card vs two
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 8:00 pm 
Smithfield
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I believe you can get a weaker card and Windows will be fine, and you'll get your monitor support.


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 Post subject: Re: One video card vs two
PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 10:44 pm 
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So what you are saying then, is that with my current card by itself, I won't be happy, so I'll at least need a second card, but that a card below the GTX680 would suffice. Correct?

I have an Ivy Bridge 3770K CPU on an ASUS MB. Would that do (in addition to the existing GTX680)?

Thanks for the inputs!

The Gunny


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 Post subject: Re: One video card vs two
PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2013 6:52 am 
Smithfield
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Aha, I should've looked this up before.

The GTX 680 can support three monitors in either two DVI + 1 HDMI or two DVI + 1 DisplayPort. If your monitor doesn't HDMI or DisplayPort, you can get a converter. Anyway, more info at http://www.geforce.com/whats-new/articl ... -gtx-680#1


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 Post subject: Re: One video card vs two
PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2013 7:58 am 
8086
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The NVIDIA folk say that the 680, with latest firmware, can actually support *4* monitors, with the DisplayPort *and* the HDMI port being active concurrently. I'm just unsure of the suitability (bandwidth) of the card to handle this kind of load at 2560 x 1600.

That's where my question of the advisability of adding a second card (or the on board Intel graphics of the Ivy Bridge 3770K) enters the picture.

The Gunny


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 Post subject: Re: One video card vs two
PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2013 11:04 am 
Smithfield
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2D applications are a joke for these cards. Seriously. Intel's latest and greatest graphics chips can handle 3 1920x1200 outputs now and they're considered trash tier for enthusiasts. It's 3D applications where you need to start worrying.


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 Post subject: Re: One video card vs two
PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2013 12:39 pm 
8086
8086

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Location: USA
Got it!

Thanks!

The Gunny


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 Post subject: Re: One video card vs two
PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2013 5:14 am 
8086
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OK, got them all connected to my single GTX680: 2 Dell U3011s, + 2 Dell 3014s. The two 3014s are both connected DVI, the 3011s are connected 1 - DisplayPort, 1 - HDMI.

The HDMI connect is only running at 1920, not 2560 like the other 3.

Plus, the config is 2 on top of 2, like so:

3011 - 3011
3014 - 3014

I can't move my cursor from the leftmost 3014 directly up to the leftmost 3011. I have to do a 'laying u' move i.e., left 3014 to right 3014 to right 3011 to left 3011. Is this normal?

Is there a way to 'renumber the monitors in the Nvidia config screen?

Lots of questions, but I feel like I'm close.... Just not quite there yet.

Thanks!

The Gunny


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 Post subject: Re: One video card vs two
PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:35 am 
Smithfield
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It's under Display->Set up Multiple Monitors. You can also do this in Windows under Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Display\Screen Resolution


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 Post subject: Re: One video card vs two
PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:42 am 
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Here's what I get:
Only shows 1920 as max for that specific display
(can't post Snagit screen capture....)


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 Post subject: Re: One video card vs two
PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:55 am 
Smithfield
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If this is the DVI connected monitors, you need a dual-link DVI cable to go beyond 1920x1200. A dual-link cable has all the pins on the connector, otherwise a single link only has two distinct groups. I know HDMI can go beyond it, but it has to be HDMI<->HDMI and I don't think HDMI<->DVI cables are dual link.


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 Post subject: Re: One video card vs two
PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2013 10:04 am 
8086
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This one is the HDMI to HDMI connect. The DVI connects and the DP connect are all functional at 2560.


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 Post subject: Re: One video card vs two
PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:23 am 
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It's the HDMI.

I switched the cables between the 2 3011s (one was DP, 1 was HDMI) and the resolution traveled with the cable. The other monitor became 1920, and the original became 2560.

Now, how do I get the HDMI feed to 2560?

Thanks again!

The Gunny


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 Post subject: Re: One video card vs two
PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2013 12:29 pm 
Smithfield
Smithfield

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So we have an issue here and I don't know where it's coming from. It could be one of the following.

  • The GTX 680 you have doesn't actually support HDMI 1.3 which is needed for resolutions beyond 1920x1200
  • The cable isn't certified for HDMI 1.3 or higher
  • The monitor doesn't support HDMI 1.3

So instead of pussyfooting around, you could get a DisplayPort cable.


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 Post subject: Re: One video card vs two
PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2013 12:59 pm 
8086
8086

Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2005 8:37 pm
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Location: USA
I'm afraid I don't have the choice for just getting a DP cable.

The 680 driving the monitors has 2 DVI ports, 1 DP port, 1 HDMI port. The 2 DVI ports are driving the 2 3014 monitors. The DisplayPort port is driving one of the 3011s. The sole remaining port on the 680, an HDMI port, is the problem.

Further research - the user guide for this monitor says highest resolution for HDMI is 1920 (Preset).

So that's the problem. But can the monitor be set for a 'custom HDMI resolution of 2560?

I'm off to check the max resolution of HDMI in the 3014s. If that's also 1920, the I can't do what I need with the 680 card. Bummer.

I'll let you know what I find.

The Gunny


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