SLI 480 Worth It? Or Should I Wait for Kepler or Beyond
Hey all,

Currently have an i7 920/single gtx480. I don't anticipate I'll have the money to do a new system build (meaning best single-card gpu at the time of build and best proc/mobo/etc. I can buy with money left over, using as many existing components as I can) until at least summer 2013 but I do have the money for another 480 right now. My question is basically is that a decent plan or am I only buying a few months of "future proofing," to the point where it isn't really worth it?

Thanks in advance!
Hey all,



Currently have an i7 920/single gtx480. I don't anticipate I'll have the money to do a new system build (meaning best single-card gpu at the time of build and best proc/mobo/etc. I can buy with money left over, using as many existing components as I can) until at least summer 2013 but I do have the money for another 480 right now. My question is basically is that a decent plan or am I only buying a few months of "future proofing," to the point where it isn't really worth it?



Thanks in advance!

#1
Posted 02/24/2012 04:48 AM   
[quote name='Jendrix' date='23 February 2012 - 08:48 PM' timestamp='1330058885' post='1374217']
Hey all,

Currently have an i7 920/single gtx480. I don't anticipate I'll have the money to do a new system build (meaning best single-card gpu at the time of build and best proc/mobo/etc. I can buy with money left over, using as many existing components as I can) until at least summer 2013 but I do have the money for another 480 right now. My question is basically is that a decent plan or am I only buying a few months of "future proofing," to the point where it isn't really worth it?

Thanks in advance!
[/quote]
keep in mind that Kepler cards will be using PCI-E 3.0 slots but they will work in the PCI-E 2.0 slot but you will have a performance loss so i would buy another 480, but please follow the sticky in sli basics on what is required to sli as the 2nd card has to be the same as your current card for sli to work. it's the very first sticky under sli basics of this forum is the one you want to read.
[quote name='Jendrix' date='23 February 2012 - 08:48 PM' timestamp='1330058885' post='1374217']

Hey all,



Currently have an i7 920/single gtx480. I don't anticipate I'll have the money to do a new system build (meaning best single-card gpu at the time of build and best proc/mobo/etc. I can buy with money left over, using as many existing components as I can) until at least summer 2013 but I do have the money for another 480 right now. My question is basically is that a decent plan or am I only buying a few months of "future proofing," to the point where it isn't really worth it?



Thanks in advance!



keep in mind that Kepler cards will be using PCI-E 3.0 slots but they will work in the PCI-E 2.0 slot but you will have a performance loss so i would buy another 480, but please follow the sticky in sli basics on what is required to sli as the 2nd card has to be the same as your current card for sli to work. it's the very first sticky under sli basics of this forum is the one you want to read.

Corsair C70 case, ASUS Sabertooth X58,Intel i7 970 6 core cpu, 24gigs Avant memory, PNY GTX 680 4GB, Corsair AX1200 psu with sleeved cables, Sound Blaster Z, 2 LG Blu-Ray, 2 Crucial M500 120GB SSD, 1 Seagate 500GB HDD, 1 Western Digital VelociRaptor 1TB HDD, Microsoft SideWinder X4 keyboard, Corsair M65 mouse, Xbox 360 controller, Logitech 5.1 speakers, LG 27" IPS LED monitor, 3 Noctua 120mm fans, 2 Noctua 140mm fans, 1 Noctua 92mm fan, Noctua NH-C12P SE14 140mm SSO cpu cooler. Windows 7 Pro 64 bit. GPU has a small overclock by me.

#2
Posted 02/24/2012 04:55 AM   
[quote name='JLH' date='23 February 2012 - 11:55 PM' timestamp='1330059336' post='1374222']
keep in mind that Kepler cards will be using PCI-E 3.0 slots but they will work in the PCI-E 2.0 slot but you will have a performance loss so i would buy another 480, but please follow the sticky in sli basics on what is required to sli as the 2nd card has to be the same as your current card for sli to work. it's the very first sticky under sli basics of this forum is the one you want to read.
[/quote]
Oh yeah should be fine there. I mean they only made the one version of the 480 right? No versions with different memory or anything like that. My current one has an out of the box oc but that doesn't matter, it will just downclock to the new card which is pure stock. At least that's my understanding but I'll double-check the sticky. Other requirements are met too - sli mobo, 1000watt 80+ cert PSU, have the SLI bridge, etc.

Good point on the PCIe 3.0...hadn't thought of that. Really would need a whole new build to take advantage of Kepler so 2x 480s is probably the best I can swing for the time being. Man I feel like my 1366/480gtx build did not last nearly as long as my 775/8800gtx but I guess I jumped in late.
[quote name='JLH' date='23 February 2012 - 11:55 PM' timestamp='1330059336' post='1374222']

keep in mind that Kepler cards will be using PCI-E 3.0 slots but they will work in the PCI-E 2.0 slot but you will have a performance loss so i would buy another 480, but please follow the sticky in sli basics on what is required to sli as the 2nd card has to be the same as your current card for sli to work. it's the very first sticky under sli basics of this forum is the one you want to read.



Oh yeah should be fine there. I mean they only made the one version of the 480 right? No versions with different memory or anything like that. My current one has an out of the box oc but that doesn't matter, it will just downclock to the new card which is pure stock. At least that's my understanding but I'll double-check the sticky. Other requirements are met too - sli mobo, 1000watt 80+ cert PSU, have the SLI bridge, etc.



Good point on the PCIe 3.0...hadn't thought of that. Really would need a whole new build to take advantage of Kepler so 2x 480s is probably the best I can swing for the time being. Man I feel like my 1366/480gtx build did not last nearly as long as my 775/8800gtx but I guess I jumped in late.

#3
Posted 02/24/2012 06:56 AM   
[quote name='JLH' date='24 February 2012 - 04:55 AM' timestamp='1330059336' post='1374222']
keep in mind that Kepler cards will be using PCI-E 3.0 slots but they will work in the PCI-E 2.0 slot but you will have a performance loss
[/quote]

There won't be any performance loss. Even if, as nVidia claim, Kepler will be twice as powerful as Fermi, PCIe x16 will still be plenty fast enough.
[quote name='JLH' date='24 February 2012 - 04:55 AM' timestamp='1330059336' post='1374222']

keep in mind that Kepler cards will be using PCI-E 3.0 slots but they will work in the PCI-E 2.0 slot but you will have a performance loss





There won't be any performance loss. Even if, as nVidia claim, Kepler will be twice as powerful as Fermi, PCIe x16 will still be plenty fast enough.

Core i5 4670K @ 4.3GHz with 4GHz uncore
Corsair H100 water cooler
8GB Patriot Viper DDR3 @ 2400MHz
Gigabyte Z87X-OC mobo
SLI eVGA GTX670 FTW (1227MHz boost 6800MHz VRAM)
Soundblaster Z with 5.1 speakers
112GB OCZ Vertex 3 SSD
240GB OCZ Vertex 4 SSD
Corsair Carbide 500R case (white)
Akasa PowerXtreme 1200W PSU
HP ZR2740W 2560 x 1440 27" IPS panel
Windows 7 Pro 64bit

#4
Posted 02/24/2012 10:21 AM   
[quote name='Jendrix' date='24 February 2012 - 06:56 AM' timestamp='1330066603' post='1374234']
My current one has an out of the box oc but that doesn't matter, it will just downclock to the new card which is pure stock
[/quote]

No, it won't. nVidia cards haven't done that in a long time. Both cards would run at their rated clock speeds.

I wouldn't buy another 480, myself. I know they're awesome cards. I have 470s (which are obviously slower than 480s) and one of them on its own can play any game maxed out at HD res. Of course, it can only manage 40fps, but that's still pretty impressive. And fast enough for smooth gaming. But you must know yourself how hot and noisy 480s can be. Now imagine sticking 2 of them next to each other.

Soon there will be a single card that is faster than two 480s. OK, your 480 will drop in value still further when Kepler releases. So will my 470s (which are already worth less than half what I paid for them), but at least you'll get something for it to help offset the cost of a new card.

As for the 920, that's still an awesomely powerful CPU and will continue to be good enough to support the new cards. The later generations of CPU may be more powerful in non-gaming situations, but they won't make games run any faster in systems like ours. In all games, our GPUs are either working flat out and are therefore the 'bottleneck' in the system or we have vsync enabled, so our framerates are pegged at 60fps. A more powerful CPU won't be any faster in either of these scenarios.

This is assuming that your 920 is running fast enough. It needs to be at 3.6GHz, or above, really, but that's a walk in the park for a 920. It'll probably do it at stock Voltage (or very nearly).
[quote name='Jendrix' date='24 February 2012 - 06:56 AM' timestamp='1330066603' post='1374234']

My current one has an out of the box oc but that doesn't matter, it will just downclock to the new card which is pure stock





No, it won't. nVidia cards haven't done that in a long time. Both cards would run at their rated clock speeds.



I wouldn't buy another 480, myself. I know they're awesome cards. I have 470s (which are obviously slower than 480s) and one of them on its own can play any game maxed out at HD res. Of course, it can only manage 40fps, but that's still pretty impressive. And fast enough for smooth gaming. But you must know yourself how hot and noisy 480s can be. Now imagine sticking 2 of them next to each other.



Soon there will be a single card that is faster than two 480s. OK, your 480 will drop in value still further when Kepler releases. So will my 470s (which are already worth less than half what I paid for them), but at least you'll get something for it to help offset the cost of a new card.



As for the 920, that's still an awesomely powerful CPU and will continue to be good enough to support the new cards. The later generations of CPU may be more powerful in non-gaming situations, but they won't make games run any faster in systems like ours. In all games, our GPUs are either working flat out and are therefore the 'bottleneck' in the system or we have vsync enabled, so our framerates are pegged at 60fps. A more powerful CPU won't be any faster in either of these scenarios.



This is assuming that your 920 is running fast enough. It needs to be at 3.6GHz, or above, really, but that's a walk in the park for a 920. It'll probably do it at stock Voltage (or very nearly).

Core i5 4670K @ 4.3GHz with 4GHz uncore
Corsair H100 water cooler
8GB Patriot Viper DDR3 @ 2400MHz
Gigabyte Z87X-OC mobo
SLI eVGA GTX670 FTW (1227MHz boost 6800MHz VRAM)
Soundblaster Z with 5.1 speakers
112GB OCZ Vertex 3 SSD
240GB OCZ Vertex 4 SSD
Corsair Carbide 500R case (white)
Akasa PowerXtreme 1200W PSU
HP ZR2740W 2560 x 1440 27" IPS panel
Windows 7 Pro 64bit

#5
Posted 02/24/2012 10:56 AM   
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