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Steve Dra

GTX 660 to 970 or 980 running P3d? Help me choose please

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Hey guys,


I put this question in another post but not sure how often folks dig back into them, so I'm starting a new one since I searched the forum and didn't see any direct matches to my question.  :wink:


 


What about a jump from a 660 to a 970/980?  I'm running with a 4790k and 8gb of 1600 memory.


Running both P3d 2.5 and FSX:SE.


 


Want to pull the trigger, but drowning in all the number games.....one would logically "assume" that a 6xx was weaker than a 7xx, which would be weaker than a 9xx.


But reading up on the technology...apparently the middle number is VERY significant, as it "seems" that a 780 could be more powerful than a 960/70?  


My thinks the unsuspecting "typical" consumer would be quickly duped into normal, linear thinking, and that may be the defacto marketing strategy, but its pretty annoying for users who just want to know that a 9 series is better than ANY 7 or 6 series, but sadly we don't seem to live in that world. (I guess you can apply that logic to the automobile world as well, where a 2015 Camry is not at valuable as a 2014 Lexus LS460i, hehe)


 


Opinions on if I need to jump to the Maxwell chip (I guess that means a 9 series?) if I'm going to push ahead with P3d?


 


Budget is a significant issue here guys, so while I'd love to have quad Titan X's in my rig, even the 980 is out of reach at the moment unless anyone can convince me I'd be better of with one NOW (not into 4k yet), vs years down the road when we're all on 4k, and a 4gb video card is the minimum, and a used Titan X is going for $200.  :ph34r:  I'm all for futureproofing, but within reason...especially when you see how peripherals double in performance and half in price every few years. :Applause:    We happily paid $300 for a GT9800 several years ago...with a whopping 512mb of ram! LoL


 


Read all about the 970 3.5gb ram issue, and not sure if I stay away from this card, or if its a good performer even though its neutered 500mb of its ram?


 


Guess I'm saying I need compelling reasons to jump to a 980 or Titan, or else a 780/970 (or 960 unless I hear a "Don't go there", hehe) is where I'm leaning.


 


Help me spend my money wisely guys!


 


Thanks



Regards,

Steve Dra

Download my paints here at Avsim by clicking here

9Slp0L.jpg 

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Firstly since you are requesting advice specifically about a replacement GPU I will assume that your CPU is overclocked and that you are happy that his key component is performing optimally since this is where your attention should first lay.

 

With regards to your GPU I would suggest downloading something like MSI Afterburner and checking out the logging facilities for GPU and VRAM usage to record max and average figures for your typical sim session. This will give you an idea if whether your current settings are stretching your current graphics card. You could then try amending your graphics settings to what you would like to achieve and run the same logging sessions to see how much more demand is being put on your GPU vs your CPU.

 

My own findings were that if I ran default FSX in DX10 mode with Steve's fixer my GTX680 was more than capable, however throw into the mix some REX weather scenarios with high res clouds then it was not up to the job. Because I really liked the visuals that REX added I decided that an upgrade was worthwhile and am happy with the results (see my 680 to 780Ti thread in this section).

 

If decide you want to upgrade your graphics card then get the best you can afford, don't discount B Grade cards from resellers or 2nd hand cards from trusted sources.

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Firstly since you are requesting advice specifically about a replacement GPU I will assume that your CPU is overclocked and that you are happy that his key component is performing optimally since this is where your attention should first lay.
 
With regards to your GPU I would suggest downloading something like MSI Afterburner and checking out the logging facilities for GPU and VRAM usage to record max and average figures for your typical sim session. This will give you an idea if whether your current settings are stretching your current graphics card. You could then try amending your graphics settings to what you would like to achieve and run the same logging sessions to see how much more demand is being put on your GPU vs your CPU.
 
My own findings were that if I ran default FSX in DX10 mode with Steve's fixer my GTX680 was more than capable, however throw into the mix some REX weather scenarios with high res clouds then it was not up to the job. Because I really liked the visuals that REX added I decided that an upgrade was worthwhile and am happy with the results (see my 680 to 780Ti thread in this section).
 
If decide you want to upgrade your graphics card then get the best you can afford, don't discount B Grade cards from resellers or 2nd hand cards from trusted sources

 

Hey PieEater (hope that's your real name because that'd be really cool), thanks for the feedback.

Hehe, I did read your post and in fact replied to it with this same info, as I saw your quest to upgrade was "similar" to mine.  Some of the diffs were the cards involved, and the fact I'm further on the P3d side now than FSX may be relevant as a variance.

 

CPU OC'd to my comfort level, memory as well.

And as if you were reading my mind, I did recently download Afterburner and looking at 60-80% GPU utilization.  Still tweaking that and other things...but I fear that the 660 may not be up to par, especially when I'm wanting to have heavy weather (Rex and ASN) and enough cloud layers to add to the realism.

I think most of us agree that this is the real choke point, and even with 512 clouds selected, I would like a smooth experience when I need to stick a knife out the window to cut through the clouds.  :Just Kidding:

 

Add to that, and as I recently discovered, your x8x series will trounce my x6x series all day long, hence my initial confusion and trepidation about moving ahead. With a 660 vs a 680, etc, I know I'm lagging way behind the GPU curve with a 4790k sitting between clock cycles waiting for the 660 to do its job, hehe.

 

Speaking of 2nd had cards from trusted sources....I'm mulling over Rich Sennett's Titan....omg that is sooooo tempting!  :Shocked:


Regards,

Steve Dra

Download my paints here at Avsim by clicking here

9Slp0L.jpg 

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In a nutshell Nvidias naming conventions generally have the generation as the first number and the performance level as the second. x6x cards being mainstream, x7x cards being performance, x8x being enthusiast and x9x being twin GPU. So a 960 is the current mainstream model but its performance is roughly on par with the 680 enthusiast card from 2 generations ago (they skipped 8xx for some reason),

 

If you are on a budget my advice would still be to consider a 780Ti if you can find a good one, performance wise they offer as much as a Titan and considerably more than a 970, they just loose out on VRAM which I'm guessing is not an issue for you either with FSX or P3D.

 

I've looked a little further into the DX12 argument, i.e 970 is DX12 ready 780Ti is not and this is rubbish. DX12 is primarily about utilising untapped CPU resources to boost graphics performance and NVidia have confirmed that the Kepler chip used by the 780Ti is fully compliant with the DX12 API. DX12 relies on Windows 10 and neither have been finalised so in fact no-one can state categorically what either will bring to the table or how one card will compete against the other. If the 970 has any additional hardware to produce graphical enhancements it is more than likely that the 780Ti will be able to replicate these through software emulation and due to the cards extra grunt not suffer in the performance tables.

 

That's my take anyhow.

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I just upgraded from a 680 to a 980 and did a fresh install of P3D. Intel 4790K @ 4MHz with 32Gb memory at 2133. The stock P3D Baron flying around CYTZ was showing around 100 fps using the out-of-box values set by Lockheed Martin. This is across three monitors (3 x 1920 x 1200).

 

I hear from that the performance step from the 970 to the 980 isn't all that much, so if money is an issue, the 970 is probably a good choice.


Cheers!

David Haynes

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I just upgraded from a 680 to a 980 .... The stock P3D Baron flying around CYTZ was showing around 100 fps using the out-of-box values set by Lockheed Martin...

 

Knowing what FPS you were getting under the same circumstances with the 680 would add a lot to the value of your post.

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Knowing what FPS you were getting under the same circumstances with the 680 would add a lot to the value of your post.

 

Hard to say since I don't have the 'as installed' numbers for P3D 2.5. With 2.4 and third party scenery installed, I was getting around 24 fps. That is for clear days. With the 980, third party scenery and things like ASN active, I am seeing around 35-40 fps in the same area but I have moved all my sliders much further to the right.


Cheers!

David Haynes

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Thanks, that would seem to correlate with my 40% improvement from going from a 680 to 780Ti, your reported improvements appear to be a little stronger which is not surprising given that the 980 is a better card.

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Thanks for the info guys!

My next challenge is to find a 780Ti if you guys think that would be a better buy than a 970?

They are still demanding a premium price (more than 970s can be had for)....next question is it worth more than the newer 970?


Regards,

Steve Dra

Download my paints here at Avsim by clicking here

9Slp0L.jpg 

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I wouldn't pay much more for a 780Ti than a 970, check suppliers for B Grade stock. Here in the UK overclockers.co.uk have got a bunch of reference cards that they are selling as new with 2 years warranty for £249 which is just under what a basic 970 goes for, My B-Grade 780Ti was £199, at those prices it's a no brainer. If you've got access to a hardware forum that has a members market that would be a good place to look, the new Titan X means folks are selling off high grade cards for reasonable money to fund their latest purchases. If you're looking at paying the same price for a reference 780Ti as you are for a factory overclocked 970 with a high end cooler then things get less clear cut.

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For what it is worth, I was having the same issue 2 weeks ago after I decided to upgrade from my 660sc (after switching to P3D).  I went with the GTX 970 and I'm happy with P3D at the moment.  I wasn't convinced the 980 was going to be worth the extra $200. Maybe it is, I don't know but considering I'm running a i7-4770 3.9 I figured that's probably the best match for my processor.  I did upgrade my power supply as well to a 650w. I saw a big jump in FPS and smoothness mostly with dense cloud situations. I was noticing the 660 was at 100% most of the time and getting stutters and now I'm under 50% stutter-free  .I'm still running some scenarios and tests as I am tweaking some other things but I think at this point it was a worthwhile upgrade.  Good luck!

 

Eric


Eric

P3D v5 & MSFS   i7-6700k @ 4.4 GHz, Nvidia GTX 1080ti, 32GB ddr4 RAM, 1TB EVO 850 SSD, Samsung CRG90 49", Win 10

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The 970 can be OC'd to 980 specs fairly easily.


David Graham, Network+, Cisco CSE, Cisco Unity Support Specialist, A+, CCNA

 

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Thanks Eric (Flic1) and Pie.

Heavily leaning to the 970 unless I can find those outstanding deals for a 780, 980, or....gulp Titan. :ph34r:

I'm not in a HUGE hurry, but I see you jumped to a 650W Eric.  I've been reading the 970 can run on a good quality 500 (which I think mine is)...What do the experts say: should I just try it and see if I run into issues, or not take any chances?


Regards,

Steve Dra

Download my paints here at Avsim by clicking here

9Slp0L.jpg 

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Recommended PSU for 970 is 500w with 28 Amps on the 12v rail.

Recommended PSU for 780Ti is 600w with 42Amps on the 12v rail. 

 

If you have to factor in a new PSU in order to get a 780Ti then this may make your decision that much easier ^_^

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Thanks Eric (Flic1) and Pie.

Heavily leaning to the 970 unless I can find those outstanding deals for a 780, 980, or....gulp Titan. :ph34r:

I'm not in a HUGE hurry, but I see you jumped to a 650W Eric.  I've been reading the 970 can run on a good quality 500 (which I think mine is)...What do the experts say: should I just try it and see if I run into issues, or not take any chances?

 

As PieEater mentioned above, you would be fine with the 500w.  I had a 460w which was borderline (I had read some people were using the 460w successfully with the 970) but I decided to play it safe! Figured I was saving so much not getting the 980 I could throw $80 at a new PSU! :lol:


Eric

P3D v5 & MSFS   i7-6700k @ 4.4 GHz, Nvidia GTX 1080ti, 32GB ddr4 RAM, 1TB EVO 850 SSD, Samsung CRG90 49", Win 10

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