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Thread: Which GPU? GTX 970 4Gb, or GTX 780Ti 3Gb?

  1. #1
    Super Duper Member kopperdrake's Avatar
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    Which GPU? GTX 970 4Gb, or GTX 780Ti 3Gb?

    My aging 560Ti 2Gb is getting long in the tooth, and I'm torn between the two cards above, both around the same price in the UK.

    I run two 24" displays, at 2560 x 1440 each. I use Turbulence HD, which can make use of the 2,880 CUDA cores that the 780Ti has, compared to the 1,664 CUDA cores the 970 has. I only have After Effects 5.5, which I believe doesn't make use of CUDA cores, but if I did upgrade to Adobe CC (which I've said I won't, but in reality, if my clients upgrade, then I have to), then AE CC6 can make use of the cores.

    However, the only thing making me hesitate with the 780Ti is the 3Gb of memory, and that it's older technology. I assume LW makes use of the GPU memory when displaying texture maps, and in that case 4Gb would be more useful I imagine - a recent arch viz project used a hell of a lot of high res textures - the libraries seem to be going that way.

    So before I plump for one or the other, I thought I'd ask the forum family here what they'd go for, and why?

    Thanks for any opinions!
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  2. #2
    Super Member spherical's Avatar
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    From what I understand about the new technology, CUDA core numbers in Maxwell and earlier architectures are an apples/oranges comparison. There are optimizations and new instructions available in Maxwell that allow the same or better performance on fewer cores.
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  3. #3
    Engineer/Entrepreneur Sekhar's Avatar
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    You might want to first check to see if you really need the upgrade and if 970 will give you any improvement over 560Ti. I suggest checking with GPU-Z (awesome little tool, for those of you who don't know about it) to see if your current GPU is hitting any limit, especially the memory you mentioned. E.g., I recently got the GTX980 because I plan to do a lot of UHD edits that do take up video memory.

  4. #4
    Super Duper Member kopperdrake's Avatar
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    Thanks guys - I actually use CPU-Z, I didn't realise they made a GPU specific version! I'll install it and load my monster scene, to see what happens. In reality, I'd like a faster card as my machine struggles with a particular flight sim, and I'm sure the card is holding it back, as opposed to the CPU.

    Cheers - I'll give that a go
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  5. #5
    pass:sword OFF's Avatar
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    I would advise you to look for such an option as nvidia quadro k600 (k620):
    http://www.nvidia.com/content/PDF/da...3_NV_US_lr.pdf

    If you work with two monitors, the K600 allows you to save on electricity, despite the fact that its performance
    is in the field of 3D modeling is much higher than that of the gaming graphics (and much more quiet!).

    http://www.nvidia.co.uk/object/quadr...p-gpus-uk.html

    In order to use the card as computing power, take the average gaming video card or use your old 560ti.

  6. #6
    Go with 4Gb or more RAM GPU if you use lot of textures it'll come in handy (esp if you work in Pshop, AE and othe rprograms in paralel). I had 2GB for years and when usign hi res textures it come sin showrt and than openGL is staggering, slowign down. Then i went for a 4GB GPU and much better situation. Also if oyu plan to go for GPU renderign in future extra RAM and more CUDa cores will come in handy (Quadro K600 is old stuff and very slow GPU comparing to nowdays gaming GPUs. It might come in handy in some Proffesional CAD programs like CATIA/Solidworks due Optimized Quadro drivers but it won't help you in LWMmodeler/Layout and it's older chip and slower than any 7xx or 9xx series of Nvidia)
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  7. #7
    pass:sword OFF's Avatar
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    Something about pro video cards vs gaming cards:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    And Lightwave:

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    Yes, professional cards are usually inferior to the GPU performance. But they are purchased not for this, and to work in a comfortable environment (in this regard, I was struck by the difference in the transition from a good gaming graphics card for the most simple Quadro graphics card - despite the fact that she had less memory and memory speed was less etc .). But as the GPU rendering are buying game cards, which in this case is much more productive.
    Now I use quadro 4000, and the old quadro 600 want to put on a second workstation. At the same time I have as a GPU support a gaming card that is used in the GPU rendering in Sony Vegas, etc.

  8. #8
    I know the benefits of Quadro and other pro GPUs (I've even owned 3DLABs Wildcat while they were kind of the hill back in the days but after 1 year wen Nvidia released 5950Ultra GPU it was half of the price of my Wildcat and 2x faster) but point is that for LightWave (and posssible GPU rendering) they aren't worth the money comparing to gaming cards usuallly 3-4-5x cheaper for smae chp and packed wiht more RAM and fact that LW ustilizes verry litte of those PRO GPUs, Oyu still won't be able to edit 1 million polys mesh in modeler with acceptable Framerate evne if oyu go with K6000 and pay it as mid ranged CAR simply 'coz LW dont' utilize those drivers properly and the fact that LWM openGL is not the issue but mesh system which is outdated/slow.
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  9. #9
    Super Duper Member kopperdrake's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input chaps. I tested my card with a recent heavy scene, and sure enough I max the 2Gb out. With the scene it was eventually all boundimg boxes, to keep memory use low. I've looked into the pro cards in the past, but whilst I could justify it in some ways, I do also use my rig for the flight sim, which won't benefit from the extra money spent on the high-end card. The CUDA cores are reasonably important to me, in that I've seen the difference they make when using Turbulence FD, so a compromise to me seems like the 970 would be best bet. More memory than the 780Ti, less CUDA cores but a more modern architecture, so hopefully the difference in cores won't be that great (and both will be a decent step up from the number of cores I currently have), and I won't break the bank on a pro-card. If I used other software on this PC then I might think differently, but it's LightWave, Adobe stuff and that's about it. The CAD machine is another rig, so it might be that's the one that deserves a pro card.

    Thanks again for the input - it's always good to discuss these things

    On the plus side, a few weeks after I upgrade, the LightWave group will announce that they've totally revamped Modeler and Layout to take full advantage of the high end cards...Murphy's law in action
    Last edited by kopperdrake; 01-05-2015 at 04:34 AM.
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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by kopperdrake View Post
    On the plus side, a few weeks after I upgrade, the LightWave group will announce that they've totally revamped Modeler and Layout to take full advantage of the high end cards...Murphy's law in action
    Hmm so you plan to wait till 2020 with that upgrade ?
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  11. #11
    Lighthearted Kaptive's Avatar
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    I've got a GTX 970, and for what you're wanting (i.e. Flight sim and Lightwave) then to be honest it does rock. I'm sure you could spend a few pennies more on something mega-fancy but as you have already said, Lightwave just doesn't use it. So I've been very happy on this end. I went for this one... http://www.amazon.co.uk/MSI-GTX-970-...NVIDIA+GTX+970 after a fair bit of research. Seemed to get best reviews all round. I did look into the 980, but quite frankly it seemed way too much more for very little gain... though the CUDAs are higher. But in terms of value for money, the 970 is tops. It's also excellent on energy consumption, so you'll save money on your electric bill too

    re: Gaming... I've got Elite Dangerous (not that I've got time to play it much ) but using the Nvidia Surround function, it runs it on full graphics settings across 3 monitors at some silly res like 5000somethingx1080 without breaking a sweat. Proper epic. Shouldn't dissapoint on that front!
    Last edited by Kaptive; 01-05-2015 at 05:27 AM.

  12. #12
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    I got also the 970 but from ASUS (STRIX-GTX970-DC2OC-4GD5), it's very fast in LW and Substance Painter. Also a nice fact is that when not used heavily, the cooler fan is idle / not moving and it requires only one eight pin power cable (where the 770 required both a six and an eight pin power cord).

  13. #13
    Engineer/Entrepreneur Sekhar's Avatar
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    If you're looking for performance, do take a long look at 980. It's probably the best of the gaming cards for now for performance and power/temps. I got it recently and the temps are real low, the fan never seems to kick in (I have the eVGA), and it's a beast in performance.

    WRT pro (Quadro) cards, the ONLY material benefit IMO is that you can drive 10 bit monitors (all nVidia gaming cards only do 8 bit on OpenGL). Quadros are supposed to be more reliable and have lower power consumption and temps, but so do 970/980. The benchmarks are all over the place, many actually favoring gaming cards.

  14. #14
    Super Duper Member kopperdrake's Avatar
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    Cheers Kris, that's exactly the one I was looking at - from OverclockersUK. Interesting that you'er driving three monitors with it - tempting! Elite Dangerous looks great - but like you, time is so limited and I'm quite involved with these chaps www.aircombatgroup.co.uk - so they come first with any spare time I have. There are so many games I'd love to play, maybe when I retire, but then my senses will have dulled, and I'd just be cannon fodder for young upstarts

    Sekhar - I'd like to justify it, but it's £550 compared to £300 - the gap's just too much to justify it over here - that's the equivalent in US dollars of the 970 being $456 and the 980 being $837. Looking at your prices over there on Amazon the 970 is $420 (not a crazy difference to the UK price) but the 980 is only $560! If I lived in the US I'd go for the 980, definitely!

    Lewis - I knew that'd get you going I'm really hoping, especially after Rob's recent statement of their awareness of Modeler's shortcomings, that we'll see Modeler love sometime in the next two years - so maybe 2017
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  15. #15
    Lighthearted Kaptive's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kopperdrake View Post
    Cheers Kris, that's exactly the one I was looking at - from OverclockersUK. Interesting that you'er driving three monitors with it - tempting! Elite Dangerous looks great - but like you, time is so limited and I'm quite involved with these chaps www.aircombatgroup.co.uk - so they come first with any spare time I have. There are so many games I'd love to play, maybe when I retire, but then my senses will have dulled, and I'd just be cannon fodder for young upstarts
    lol yeah. Also, so many games are now online that if you wait too long they'll either no longer work or be a barren desert. Never enough time, period. aircombatgroup looks like fun... I bought IL2 ages ago, but my PC struggled at the time. Must give it another try, cus the graphics look great actually.

    Regarding the 970, this video is what made my final decision. It shows a frame rate comparrison between a 780 a 970 and a 980 playing Crysis. The 970 is so close to the 980 that it barely makes a difference. But it is much more capable than the 780, which is still about the same price more or less and uses more power.


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