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Old 07-25-2012, 06:27 PM   #1
Annisman*
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Default GTX 670 4GB TRI SLI Review. "Wasting my money so you don't have to!"

Specs:

Core i7 3930K (4.4Ghz)
EVGA Superclocked GTX 670 4GB TRI SLI
Gigabyte Assasin 2 X79
16GB G. Skill Ripjaw @ 2133Mhz
256GB Samsung 830 SSD (OS)
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3X Asus VG236 120Hz monitors in Surround
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SteelSeries Siberia V2 (Best headphones on Earth)










3DMARK11 Performance Preset SLI : P16206, 18091 Graphics
3DMARK11 Performance Preset TRI SLI: P19228, 23331 Graphics

18.5% increase


Heaven Benchmark (1920x1080, everything maxxed, 8XAA)

SLI: 2239, 29.7 Min, 227.2 Max, 88.9 Avg.
TRI SLI: 3159, 42.8 Min, 327.3 Max, 125.4 Avg.

41% increase


Far Cry 2 Ranch Small Benchmark (Ultra Preset, 8XAA, 6000X1080)

SLI: 67.92 Min, 136.65 Max, 92.74 Avg.
TRI SLI: 30.10 Min, 156.37 Max, 112.72 Avg.
Maximum Memory usage: 2053 mb

21.5% increase in Avg, 14.4% increase in Max, Min decreases by 55%

Metro 2033 Frontline Benchmark (Ultra, Physx off, 4xAA, 6000X1080)

SLI: 6.08 Min, 284.09 Max, 21.50 Avg.
TRI SLI: 5.71 Min, 196.12 Max, 29.5 Avg.
Maximum Memory usage: 2700 mb

37% increase in Avg, 31% decrease Max, slight Min. decrease.


Mafia 2 Benchmark (Highest settings, Phyx Off, 6000X1080)

SLI: 94.6 Avg
TRI SLI: 112.2 Avg.
Maximum Memory usage: 981mb

18.6% increase in Avg.


HAWX Benchmark (Highest settings, 6000X1080)

SLI: 155 Avg, 477 Max.
TRI SLI: 168 Avg, 384 Max.
Maximum Memory usage: 1200 mb

8.38% increase in Avg. 19% decrease in Max.


BF3 Single Player Fraps recorded (Ultra, 4xAA, 6000X1080)

SLI: 40 Min, 73 Max, 51.5 Avg.
TRI SLI: 41 Min, 90 Max, 59.2 Avg.
Maximum Memory usage: 2700 mb

14.9% increase in Avg, 23% increase Max, no Min. change.


STALKER COP MISERY MOD Fraps recorded (Highest settings, 6000X1080)

SLI: 5 Min, 62 Max, 48 Avg.
TRI SLI: 5 Min, 105 Max, 65.7 Avg.
Maximum Memory usage: 1930 mb

36.8% increae in Avg, 69% increase Max, same Min.


Crysis 2 Fraps Recorded (HD Textures, Motion Blur off, 6000X1080, Ultra)

SLI: 28 Min, 56 Max, 38 Avg.
TRI SLI: 36 Min, 73 Max, 50 Avg.
maximum Memory usage: 2650 mb

31.5% increase in Avg, 30% increase Max, 28.5% increase Min.


Skyrim Fraps Record (HD Textures Pack, Tweaked .ini, Ultra, 6000X1080)

SLI: 36 Min, 123 Max, 62 Avg.
TRI SLI: 39 Min, 124 Max, 61 Avg.
Maximum Memory usage: 2400mb

No real gains or losses.


The random losses of Minimum/Maximum fps in games was frustrating to witness, I have no idea what could be causing this, perhaps too much GPU overhead at times ?

In general, avg FPS increased. 5 of the 8 games used to bench saw memory usage go past the standard 2048mb limit of the stock GTX 670, even though only 4XAA was used in these titles.

A note on each game:

(I benched primarily in Surround resolution to try and shift the load to the GPU's, I do not however game primarily in Surround as I am an FPS freak so this is a disclaimer, 'unplayable' for me could be anywhere below 70-80 fps, as my eyes are apparently way too sensitive to fps fluctuation/low fps in games. Grats to you if 30 fps is smooth for your gaming needs, it's not for me!)

Crysis 2 was NOT playable in SLI, it was however decently playable in TRI SLI, though I would personally play through it at 1080.

STALKER COP MISERY, the results of this test saved me from throwing my 1500$ worth of graphics cards into my neighbor's backyard for the dogs to chew on.

I LOVE STALKER, and I am glad to witness first hand the playability factor of this game (and demanding mod) increase to a suitable level with the addition of the third GTX 670. Though it plays excellent in Surround (even for my eyes) the HUD is completely whacked on it in triple monitor so I will not be going that route.

Mafia 2 uses all three gpus fully, which was nice to see, at least in the benchmark. Though the increase in fps was less than 20%.

BF3: Most people would be charmed to play this game on my PC in Surround, unfortunately it is just choppy enough for it to be unplayable for me personally, however I still consider the modest gains a decent success. Surround just isn't an option unless IQ settings are turned down, which I refuse to do.

Skyrim: Huge dissapointment here. The fabled Skyrim CPU bottleneck was supposed to be banished with the addition of two 1080 screens, HD textures, Ultra settings and tweaked .ini settings. However, as far as I can tell, the gpus are still not the dependent piece of hardware for this game, even at 6000X1080.

With that being said, this game is completely playable in Surround, though the Menus and HUD are too big. I feel like someone could get away with just one or two GTX 670s to get the same fps I did in this title.


A word on memory usage:

Like I said, 5 of the eight games I tested exceeded the 2048 mb VRAM limit of the stock GTX 670, however, memory 'used' is not always memory 'required' I have heard argued. You can make your own judgement on that concept. Either way, I am glad to know a memory limitation on my system will be an impossibility for the near future.

A word on temperatures: I was worried at first that making a sandwich of three GTX 670s would be an issue, I was even more worried when I realized the EVGA backplates added even more thickness to the cards and gave them barely any room to suck in air through the cooler. I was however quite relieved to see that while noisy, they are only a few degrees higher on avg. Nvidia really did good work on thermals this round.

There are some other games people have been asking me to test, I will do my best to get to them, unfortunately I have run into some software side issues with a couple of them (Witcher 2, Crysis) and have not finished downloading Max Payne 3 yet, because it's fricking huge.

Overall, there is no doubt this was a massive waste of money. But better me than you !
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Last edited by Annisman*; 07-25-2012 at 06:56 PM.
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Old 07-25-2012, 06:33 PM   #2
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what is your refresh rate?

Let's not quote the very large post when you're the first reply, please
-ViRGE

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Old 07-25-2012, 06:33 PM   #3
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Annisman: Thank you for all of your effort. You have an incredible rig. If it won't run well on your rig, I say It simply won't run!
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Old 07-25-2012, 06:34 PM   #4
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120Hz
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Old 07-25-2012, 06:34 PM   #5
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it's 120hz monitors.
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Old 07-25-2012, 06:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guskline View Post
Annisman: Thank you for all of your effort. You have an incredible rig. If it won't run well on your rig, I say It simply won't run!
Haha ! You're awesome dude !
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Old 07-25-2012, 06:36 PM   #7
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Your name wouldn't have been "Don" in a previous life would it??

/duck
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Old 07-25-2012, 06:39 PM   #8
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PCI-E 3.0, or 2.0?
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Old 07-25-2012, 06:41 PM   #9
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Quote:
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PCI-E 3.0, or 2.0?
3.0
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Old 07-25-2012, 06:46 PM   #10
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Good way to waste money, is what it is

Thanks for the review
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Old 07-25-2012, 06:49 PM   #11
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On a note of the endless VRAM discussion:

You need to sue Process Explorer and not MSI AB. MSI AB only shows allocated memory, not used.

Process Explorer can show you commited and dedicated for the GPU.

Example with running Furmark at 640*320:
MSI AB shows 172MB, while Process Explorer shows 60MB dedicated. nVidia PerfHUD might also show the real usage.

Another example:

MSI AB shows 548, real usage....alot lower.
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Old 07-25-2012, 06:53 PM   #12
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Wowzers. Thats some interesting info. Thanks.
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Old 07-25-2012, 06:54 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShintaiDK View Post
On a note of the endless VRAM discussion:

You need to sue Process Explorer and not MSI AB. MSI AB only shows allocated memory, not used.

Process Explorer can show you commited and dedicated for the GPU.

Example with running Furmark at 640*320:
MSI AB shows 172MB, while Process Explorer shows 60MB dedicated. nVidia PerfHUD might also show the real usage.

Another example:

MSI AB shows 548, real usage....alot lower.

I used Precision for all my readings, any different than AB in how they get their info ?
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Old 07-25-2012, 06:56 PM   #14
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Precision reads correct, at least for BF3 it seems. My 570's showed 1200mb being used, and turning textures to ultra pushed it over the edge and I got skipps, so it not like the game was "actually" using a lot less. It used what was shown. Other games, I don't know.
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Old 07-25-2012, 06:57 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zardnok View Post
Your name wouldn't have been "Don" in a previous life would it??

/duck
Unless you mean Jaun Don....I have no comment.
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Old 07-25-2012, 07:04 PM   #16
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So GTX 670 2GB in SLI is not good enough for playing BF3 on HIGH with no MSAA at 5760x1080? Cause I am planning to get these http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814130787 to replace GTX 560ti SLI.
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Old 07-25-2012, 07:05 PM   #17
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Thanks for the benchmarks Annisman!

Looks like the 3rd GTX670 is adding around 20-35% performance increase, definitely not worth it from a price/performance point of view. You should have tested Mafia 2 with PhysX on At least your testing seems consistent with Xbitlabs Tri-SLI 670 review where they also concluded the 3rd GPU wasn't worth it. I guess this makes Quad-GTX690 SLI a total waste of $ (e-peen only in synthetic benchmarks). Notably your minimums didn't improve that much. Somewhat disappointing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nine_dragon View Post
So GTX 670 2GB in SLI is not good enough for playing BF3 on HIGH with no MSAA at 5760x1080? Cause I am planning to get these http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814130787 to replace GTX 560ti SLI.
It may be fine if you are less sensitive to needing 70-80 FPS as the OP. On Ultra + MSAA though it hammers a GTX690 without a problem at 5760x1200:

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Old 07-25-2012, 07:06 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moonbogg View Post
Precision reads correct, at least for BF3 it seems. My 570's showed 1200mb being used, and turning textures to ultra pushed it over the edge and I got skipps, so it not like the game was "actually" using a lot less. It used what was shown. Other games, I don't know.
Precision is also wrong.

But there can be several reasons to hit the limit. For example alot of flash websites in the background uses GPU memory too. So your game might run flawless with everything closed. Maybe even Areo turned off can save you another 100MB if you play in Windowed. Also another reason why Areo is dead in Windows 8.

Fullscreen tends to be better tho in terms of releasing the memory for the game.
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Old 07-25-2012, 07:15 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nine_dragon View Post
So GTX 670 2GB in SLI is not good enough for playing BF3 on HIGH with no MSAA at 5760x1080? Cause I am planning to get these http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814130787 to replace GTX 560ti SLI.
I bet you could do it just fine, here are some tips: disable aero like others have said (in triple monitor it can save a couple hundred mb of vram), use low levels or no aa, and/or lower the textures a notch.

That should guarantee your Vram doesn't run out, and if you want to play on 'high' or less, your fps will probably be good enough, though not for me I just can't have less than 80fps in an online shooter.
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Old 07-25-2012, 07:26 PM   #20
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I would be interested to see you increase the clock on that i7 and see if it has an effect.
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Old 07-25-2012, 07:36 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Annisman* View Post
I bet you could do it just fine, here are some tips: disable aero like others have said (in triple monitor it can save a couple hundred mb of vram), use low levels or no aa, and/or lower the textures a notch.

That should guarantee your Vram doesn't run out, and if you want to play on 'high' or less, your fps will probably be good enough, though not for me I just can't have less than 80fps in an online shooter.
Thank you, cause I was worried that the GTX 670 SLI is not enough to drive 3 60hz monitors.
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Old 07-25-2012, 07:48 PM   #22
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This is interesting, and makes me think two things...

The 7970 is currently the perfect mix of memory bandwidth and size even for triple monitors (you never used more than 3GB).

It sounds like two well overclocked GTX680s may be better in every way compared to three GTX670s. Cheaper, easier to setup, less power, more space for cooling (and OC), most likely higher minimum frame rates (if the overhead of three is causing rates to drop).

Makes me wan't to ask you to get a pair and compare them for us
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Old 07-25-2012, 07:52 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EliteRetard View Post
This is interesting, and makes me think two things...

The 7970 is currently the perfect mix of memory bandwidth and size even for triple monitors (you never used more than 3GB).

It sounds like two well overclocked GTX680s may be better in every way compared to three GTX670s. Cheaper, easier to setup, less power, more space for cooling (and OC), most likely higher minimum frame rates (if the overhead of three is causing rates to drop).

Makes me wan't to ask you to get a pair and compare them for us
There's so little difference between the 680 and 670 once O/C'd. Just get 2x670 and save ~$200.
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Old 07-25-2012, 07:56 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zardnok View Post
Your name wouldn't have been "Don" in a previous life would it??

/duck
"Don" isn't into cable management. Annisman* is far to neat.
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Old 07-25-2012, 08:12 PM   #25
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You should give Crysis/Warhead a bench run. I found it is one of the better scaling games when I ran tri-sli. Although that was on Fermi cards and Kepler performs pretty poorly in Crysis/Warhead.


Still worth a go if you want to see some decent scaling in a game rather than a benchmark. I only found a few games to scale well with tri, Crysis and Metro being the most notable.
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