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1920x1080/1920x1200 - VRAM?

Soldato
Joined
10 Aug 2006
Posts
5,160
Well, BF3 has been a true eye opener for a lot of people regarding VRAM usage. And also a lot of what people have been saying for months regarding 1GB of VRAM really not being ideal for upcoming games certainly seems to be more true than ever.

I wasn't too bothered about my 1GB limitation when I bought my 6870 in the January sales because I have a 1680x1050 screen and I have rarely seen any game require more than 1GB of VRAM. However due to the fact that I have plans for a new monitor on the horizon that will be using 1920x1080 or 1200 in resolution, it would seem my 1GB of VRAM will not be managing future games so well, as well as games released soon.

I have been somewhat happy with the performance of my 6870, it has served well but there a few things why I would like to change it despite my concerns for VRAM:

Default cooling fan sucks
Doesn't handle Crysis as well as I'd like (still can't appreciate that game graphically without excess heat from my card and it chugging along)
GTA IV unplayable due to stuttering (could be VRAM issue or ATI drivers unsure)
Metro 2033 doesn't handle tessellation very well and I really would like to use it.
Anti-aliasing always takes a hit performance wise with this being ATI - but again is it a VRAM limitation?!

There are a few more to be added but it has never been as impressive as my old 8800 GTX which I had before - that card handled everything right up to when I bought my 6870. I guess in that regard it was always going to take a lot to top that old card.

So after never quite being satisfied with my 6870, I wanted to use this opportunity to look for a better card for higher resolutions in gaming. I know I will need to upgrade my PSU and will decide on which is best in another thread if need be.

Edit: Budget around £370 but would prefer to spend less so I can use that towards my monitor budget. ;)

Another thing, I am not keen on crossfire or SLI - I'd prefer to have a single card to avoid problems!

Or do you think I am crazy and should wait until next year for next gen? Bear in mind my above points though.:o

thanks
 
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Associate
Joined
9 Sep 2011
Posts
910
You'll be waiting for another 5 months at the least for next gen cards, and that's not even including the delays that normally come with such releases.

My GTX 580 (OC'd to: 880/2100) is performing more than great at 1920x1080 with all set to ultra - the lowest FPS I've hit is 40 and even then that's more than playable. But bare in mind there are apparently large elements of video settings that have been limited in the Beta, so what we know as ultra now, may only be high for the final release.. who knows. As for the VRAM issues you've been having, the 580 is more than capable at handling a 1920x1080/1200 res - I've certainly had no problems.

My opinion, go with a 580 if you have the money for it :)

I know you said that you're not really interested with xfire/sli but for same price (roughly) as a 580 you could alternatively go with xfire 6950 if you wanted to stay with ATI cards.

Good luck choosing!
 
Soldato
OP
Joined
10 Aug 2006
Posts
5,160
I have been looking at the GTX 580 but the same issue arises with that regarding VRAM - is 1.5GB of VRAM enough for upcoming titles?

So I have been looking at the 2.5GB GTX 570 cards but are they really worth £300? I also looked at the 2GB GTX 560 but how much faster would this be over my 6870 to warrant the cost? The ATI 6950 unlocked to a 6970 is another attraction but I'm put off again with ATI issues which I have had with my current card - will it improve GTA IV for me or remain the same? It's a bit of a deal breaker for me with GTA IV as I love that game and I haven't been able to play it since having my 6870.
 
Associate
Joined
9 Sep 2011
Posts
910
If by upcoming titles you mean the obvious ones like bf3, rage, skyrim etc, the 1.5GB of VRAM will be more than enough on 1920x1080.

It really depends of course at what settings do you find acceptable to play at.

The 2.5GB 570 is near enough the same price as a 1.5GB 580 and although not hugely superior to it, it is definitely noticeably different. A buddy of mine has a 570 card, and I can notice the difference between mine and his when he tries to play metro on ultra. (http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/306?vs=305)

The 560 is marginally better than your 6870 so it really doesn't warrant the extra spend.(http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/330?vs=290)

If you are set on only the 2.5GB version of the 570 then I would advise you go with the 580 instead since they're roughly the same price, and the 580 will no doubt perform better with the upcoming titles, and eat everything GTA IV could possibly throw at it.

If you are put off ATI because of driver issues then thats fair enough, but I have a few friends with 6950s/70s and they've been playing the BF3 beta and metro no problem at 1920x1080, however at reduced video settings.
 
Soldato
OP
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Posts
5,160
Thing is, reason for me even looking at lesser cards than the GTX 580 is because it has jumped up in price by quite a bit. Cheapest one on OcUK is £367! and for about £300 I can get a 2.5gb GTX 570 and for a bit less I can get a 2GB 6970.

Re ATI:
Do any of your friends with 6950/70s have problems with GTA IV? It's seems so random with ATI and GTA IV. Some people with 6950/70s play it absolutely fine maxed out with no stuttering then others with those cards and 6870s like mine, have extremely bad stuttering no matter what driver or graphical settings we use. The only ATI cards I think that are guaranteed to perform well in GTA IV are the 5850/5870s since they can go back to earlier catalyst drivers before the suttering was introduced or so I am led to believe.

Damn! Why does everything have to be so complicated! :(:p
 
Soldato
Joined
12 Aug 2005
Posts
3,331
Location
Orpington.
If BF3 is your concern.....I have been running it at 1080p all high (not ultra) and no AA and it's beautiful. Can't tell the diif. between the two. 1 GB of Vram on my cards/

5970 + 5870.
 
Associate
Joined
20 Oct 2010
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1,564
Location
Scotland, My home.
using 1.5gb of vram here, temps on my 570gtx sit at 70C. FPS im around the 35 to 70FPS. I want to get a 2nd card so i can try 3d vision surround but i need a new powersupply. I suspect ill run out of v ram then. Im using the evga 2560mb. Running at 1920x1080 with everything maxed


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Associate
Joined
9 Sep 2011
Posts
910
Granted that 580 is a bit more expensive, but if you are interested in the upcoming titles it might be well worth the extra £67, you're decision of course :)

I do actually have a mate who avidly plays GTA IV on his 6950, as for having any problems whilst playing I don't know, I can ask him now for you.

UPDATE: Friend of mine doesn't have any problems.
 
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Soldato
OP
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5,160
Ok, it is down to 3 cards:

AMD 6970 2GB - £280ish
Nvidia GTX 570 2.5GB - £280-300
Nvidia GTX 580 1.5GB - £350+

What will definitely help my decision is the comparison of these cards in 1920x1080 in BF3 in Ultra. I have been reading the 6970's have actually been doing better in some ways than the GTX 580 simply because of VRAM. I can't find very much info about the GTX 570 2.5gb performance however, other than in this thread.

It's gonna take a lot of persuasion I think to justify the cost of the GTX 580 1.5GB, unless the performance really is quite a bit better.
 
Caporegime
Joined
8 Nov 2008
Posts
28,460
If I was in your shoes, I'd be seriously considering the 570 2.5gb, 560 2gb or a 2gb 6900 series card from AMD. I'd buy sooner than later, who knows how long you could be waiting? Even if something does hit the shelves in a few months rather than the currently 'projected' six months for high end models, it wouldn't make one the above cards a poor second best. :)
 
Soldato
OP
Joined
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Posts
5,160
If I was in your shoes, I'd be seriously considering the 570 2.5gb, 560 2gb or a 2gb 6900 series card from AMD. I'd buy sooner than later, who knows how long you could be waiting? Even if something does hit the shelves in a few months rather than the currently 'projected' six months for high end models, it wouldn't make one the above cards a poor second best. :)

Then it would have to be either:

570 2.5GB £280-300
6970 2GB £280-95

I can't be bothered with trying the unlocking with the 6950 for less and the lottery of getting one to work, plus I don't trust myself.:p

According to some review sites the 6970 looks better in some things but again could that be attributed to the fact the 570 they were comparing it against had VRAM limitation with its 1.3GB memory? It would be interesting to know how a 2.5GB version would compare...:(

EDIT:

This is an interesting review of a 570 2.5GB (from a German review site), it's overclocked to 810mhz though but still provides a good comparison:

http://www.hardwareluxx.de/index.php/artikel/hardware/grafikkarten/19292.html

Seems like the 6970 is still faster than the 570 in a few things. Hmm.
 
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Associate
Joined
29 Sep 2009
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195
Location
cheshire
out of interest, does anybody know what the vram on screen display will show if it goes over the amount of vram the graphics card has got?? (using msi afterburner)

ive always wanted to know that as my 1.5gb gtx 580 is showing just over 1400mb on afterburner whilst playing the beta on ultra @ 1920x1080
 
Permabanned
Joined
12 May 2011
Posts
1,119
I have been looking at the GTX 580 but the same issue arises with that regarding VRAM - is 1.5GB of VRAM enough for upcoming titles?

If you want to max out the graphics settings including AA, then 1.5GB has been "insufficient" for 1920x1080 for a while:

http://forums.totalwar.com/showthread.php/17730-Holy-VRAM-

There were also other games that can eat more than 1.5GB under 1920x1080, such like Civilization V, GTA 4 with ENB mod, and some other games with mods etc.

You know why I returned my first pair of GTX580 1.5GB? Because after measuring several games I could easily tell that the same fate of the HD5970 awaits for 1.5GB vram.
 
Associate
Joined
29 Sep 2009
Posts
195
Location
cheshire
out of interest, does anybody know what the vram on screen display will show if it goes over the amount of vram the graphics card has got?? (using msi afterburner)

ive always wanted to know that as my 1.5gb gtx 580 is showing just over 1400mb on afterburner whilst playing the beta on ultra @ 1920x1080

anyone??
 
Soldato
OP
Joined
10 Aug 2006
Posts
5,160
Given how next gen cards are coming out next year and will no doubt be even better for the latest games, I think I might settle on something cheaper like this. I should be able to easily overclock that to 900Mhz and beyond to match GTX 570/6970 speeds in theory.

Or do you think I should just spend the more money and just go for the best?

My only dilemma with going for the best right now and how steep some of the prices are for top cards, is that I am wasting money, as its value will have decreased a lot by next year and I will have lost a considerable amount if I decided to sell it on for a next gen card.

I am still very undecided though, but that MSI card seems a safe bet so far.
 
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