It is currently Thu Nov 27, 2014 12:07 pm

All times are UTC - 8 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 8 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Asus, MSI, Gigabyte - Advice and experiences?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 8:14 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2004 5:25 am
Posts: 52
Location: East and West
I'm planning an upgrade/new system for gaming and could use some advice on the graphics card. The factors I'm keeping in mind for this are: reliability, noise level and cost. Looking around I think what I want is a GTX 660 or 660 Ti, and have narrowed it down to Asus and MSI. Gigabyte was a contender till I went through the links below...

TechPowerUp did a bunch of reviews of some of these cards, and though I don't know how realistic their noise measurements are, the good thing is they should all be done under the same conditions. There's a slight issue in that all the manufacturers have multiple versions of the cards with different overclocks. Asus for example has 3 660 Ti cards, and lists 5. Two of the cards are Borderlands 2 bundled versions of the others. Comparing specs, and ranking the cards in terms of noise *I think* gives:

1) Asus GTX660 TI-DC2T-2GD5, Asus GTX660-DC2T-2GD5
2) MSI N660 TF 2GD5/OC
3) MSI N660Ti PE 2GD5/OC
4) Gigabyte GV-N660OC-2GD

From most quiet to loudest.

Because our local prices are much higher than overseas, I'm thinking of buying and shipping one in. That would mean I have to forgo the warranty though. So I was wondering if anyone had experience with the actual noise levels of these cards and the reliability of cards nowadays.



Oh and one thing I realised looking though the product pages, is that MSI uses Twin Frozr III on its 660 and IV on its 660 Ti...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Asus, MSI, Gigabyte - Advice and experiences?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 9:09 am 
Offline
Moderator

Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 4:36 am
Posts: 4737
Location: Monterey Bay, CA
Here's the review compilation threads I did for the GTX 660 and 660 Ti. Some sites are better than others for noise measurement. Take a look at the HT4U reviews.

I like the Asus and MSI cards. MSI sorta swaps back and forth on Twin Frozr III and IV, usually the Power Editions get the IV. For the 660 Ti, I like the MSI PE the best for the backplate support and very lower VRM temps. Yeah, it's louder than the Asus, but Afterburner should fix that.

_________________
1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, MSI Z87-G45, MSI GTX 760 2GB Gaming, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung Evo 250GB, Crucial MX100 256GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic X-560. 35-40W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 200-230W Rift, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)

Support SPCR through these links: NCIX, Amazon and Newegg


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Asus, MSI, Gigabyte - Advice and experiences?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:54 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2012 9:50 am
Posts: 1
I decided on a 660 Ti.

My first choice was the ASUS TOP model (GTX660 TI-DC2T-2GD5). They weren't available when the other manufacturers' 660 Ti cards were launched, but a note from an ASUS rep encouraged me to wait a week or two. I waited for several weeks, and the card has finally started to appear on a few web sites, but none of them have any stock on hand. One vendor's site says these cards are being drop shipped from the manufacturer. I guess ASUS isn't receiving very many chips that work well at TOP speeds. I would have purchased on backorder and waited for mine to arrive, none of the vendors that list this model have a good return policy.

http://www.google.com/search?q=asus+gtx ... shop&gbv=1

That might be just as well. The ASUS card does look impressive (and quiet) on paper, but browsing the forums regarding their 670 TOP model revealed that a lot of folks had stability problems with that one. I'd hate to get stuck with a card that started overheating after I could no longer return it to the vendor. The RMA process has a reputation for being slow and painful.

The next step down in the ASUS line (GTX660 TI-DC2O-2GD5), which is overclocked a bit less than the TOP, would have been my second choice. I decided against it because (a) the vendor with the best return policy doesn't include the Borderlands 2 coupon with this model, and (b) I think it's safe to assume that this model is built with the second-best GF104 chips that ASUS gets, since they would naturally save the best for their more expensive TOP model. Some might argue that this would only matter for overclockers and that each DC2O card would be tested to work just fine at its stock base clock rate, but keep in mind that this GPU does automatic clock boosting and throttling depending on temperature, meaning that one chip might test as perfectly stable but still not perform as well as another chip with the same base clock. I think I'm much more likely to get a card that does well at its full range of stock clock rates if I don't choose one from a manufacturer who reserves the best chips for a more expensive model.

The MSI card (N660 Ti PE 2GD5/OC) was my next choice, until I learned about its "dust removal technology". Apparently, when it first powers up, it runs its fans in reverse at 100% (which is quite loud) for at least 30 seconds. I thought at first that I would be okay with this, but when I considered that my current card (an EVGA 8800 GTS 512) spins its fan loudly for just 3-5 seconds at every boot and that it sometimes irritates me, I figured 30 seconds of that might be too much for me. Then I read a report that the MSI card actually does this continuously until the operating system is fully booted and the driver has fully loaded, meaning that any time spent on a filesystem check or a dual-boot screen is also time during which the fans are quite loud. That made me sure that I didn't want the MSI. Even if more than 30 seconds of noise turned out to be a rare experience, I'm sure it would remind me every time that I paid $300 for a needlessly irritating device. I'd rather my money go to a company that designs with humans in mind.

Giving up on ASUS and MSI was a little disappointing, since both their coolers look quite sturdy and both have some kind of anti-dust system in place. I got over it when I considered that I don't really need either. Nobody is swinging hammers around inside my computer, and I have filters in place to keep most of the dust out of there even in my dusty home.

I finally settled on the Gigabyte GV-N66TOC-2GD. It was in stock at amazon for the same price as most non-overclocked 660 Ti cards. The return policy there is quite good. It came with the Borderlands 2 download coupon. It performed quite well in the most thorough review of these cards that I've read*, in some cases even beating the MSI and the ASUS TOP (which is overclocked higher) on both frame rate and temperature. Also, it's quiet. That same review measured it as slightly quieter than the ASUS TOP at idle (which is when quiet is most important to me) and only a little louder at full load.

Best of all, I'm not still sitting around waiting for an ASUS card to arrive. I have my card now, it's doing well in my tests so far, and the cooler is among the quietest I've ever encountered. (Possibly the quietest at idle.) I think I made the right choice.

*The review I mentioned is at hardwarecanucks.com. Page 21 is especially interesting, as it shows a possible explanation for the ASUS TOP being outperformed by cards with lower clock rates. It's worth noting that ASUS released new firmware since that review, but I haven't seen any measurements comparing clock behavior between the old and new firmware, so I don't know if it's any more stable.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Asus, MSI, Gigabyte - Advice and experiences?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 1:23 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2004 5:25 am
Posts: 52
Location: East and West
foresto wrote:
The MSI card (N660 Ti PE 2GD5/OC) was my next choice, until I learned about its "dust removal technology". Apparently, when it first powers up, it runs its fans in reverse at 100% (which is quite loud) for at least 30 seconds. I thought at first that I would be okay with this, but when I considered that my current card (an EVGA 8800 GTS 512) spins its fan loudly for just 3-5 seconds at every boot and that it sometimes irritates me, I figured 30 seconds of that might be too much for me. Then I read a report that the MSI card actually does this continuously until the operating system is fully booted and the driver has fully loaded, meaning that any time spent on a filesystem check or a dual-boot screen is also time during which the fans are quite loud. That made me sure that I didn't want the MSI. Even if more than 30 seconds of noise turned out to be a rare experience, I'm sure it would remind me every time that I paid $300 for a needlessly irritating device. I'd rather my money go to a company that designs with humans in mind.


Hmmm, that's interesting. I wondered how that worked, and it might be marginally useful. Even with the filters and positive pressure on my Antec Solo there is some dust build up after a year or so. And I have a SSD that cuts down on boot time, but the noise would still be a bother.

CA_Steve wrote:
I like the Asus and MSI cards. MSI sorta swaps back and forth on Twin Frozr III and IV, usually the Power Editions get the IV. For the 660 Ti, I like the MSI PE the best for the backplate support and very lower VRM temps. Yeah, it's louder than the Asus, but Afterburner should fix that.


Been looking closer at the cards, Asus and MSI. Both companies have pretty plain GTX 660 cards. No VRM heatsinks back/front plates on either brand. Stepping up to the 660 Ti, MSI's 660 Ti comes with a plate covering the "front" of the card. Possibly a stiffener and heatspreader in one. Asus puts heatsinks on it's VRMs, and I think a stiffener along the edge.

So for additional cooling looks like the 660 Ti is the way to go. My hope is that with that additional cooling the card would be less likely to fail. For that same reason I'd probably go for a stock unit and not an overclocked version. That brings ups the question on whether all Ti cards get the additional heatsinks/spreaders, or only the overclocked ones which is what I've seen reviewed.

The other thing is, is the Ti worth the $70 premium and additional heat load? I plan to order from Amazon, but they've stopped the Borderlands 2 offer. :(


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Asus, MSI, Gigabyte - Advice and experiences?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 8:13 am 
Offline
Moderator

Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 4:36 am
Posts: 4737
Location: Monterey Bay, CA
Lucien wrote:
The other thing is, is the Ti worth the $70 premium and additional heat load? I plan to order from Amazon, but they've stopped the Borderlands 2 offer. :(

That's something only you can decide by looking at the reviews and the fps for various games you play at the required resolution. Techreport.com does an excellent job analyzing frame times, so you can see what's behind the differences in min and average fps for a given game at a given resolution/quality level. My generic take-away message is the 660 is fine for 1080p gaming, the 660 Ti is great for 1080p when you want to maximize picture quality and want a little more headroom.

Something else to ponder: Some games come with frame rate limiting. In GW2 I can set the max frame rate to 60Hz so a fast graphics card wouldn't be running at 100+ fps...I don't have a fast gpu at the moment, so I can't try it out. But, in theory, if you frame rate limit the gpu, you are effectively lowering it's power consumption. Hmm, time for a new thread for this :D

_________________
1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, MSI Z87-G45, MSI GTX 760 2GB Gaming, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung Evo 250GB, Crucial MX100 256GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic X-560. 35-40W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 200-230W Rift, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)

Support SPCR through these links: NCIX, Amazon and Newegg


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Asus, MSI, Gigabyte - Advice and experiences?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 6:50 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2003 9:01 am
Posts: 43
Location: Vaasa, Finland
foresto wrote:
I finally settled on the Gigabyte GV-N66TOC-2GD. It was in stock at amazon for the same price as most non-overclocked 660 Ti cards. The return policy there is quite good. It came with the Borderlands 2 download coupon. It performed quite well in the most thorough review of these cards that I've read*, in some cases even beating the MSI and the ASUS TOP (which is overclocked higher) on both frame rate and temperature. Also, it's quiet. That same review measured it as slightly quieter than the ASUS TOP at idle (which is when quiet is most important to me) and only a little louder at full load.

Idle may be quiet but I don't want it to be loud as hell in load either.

http://hexus.net/tech/reviews/graphics/ ... d/?page=12

That review says that it's one of the loudest at full load.

I'm pretty lost here. I need powerful NVIDIA video card which is quiet as possible. Any recommendations or links to good noise tests?

_________________
SK-7 with 80mm Panaflo L1A, 120mm Panaflo FBK-12G12LH @ 5V, Nexus NX-4090, Seagate Barracuda IV 80GB with rubber-patent, Samsung 160GB SATA + ZM-2HC2


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Asus, MSI, Gigabyte - Advice and experiences?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:06 am 
Offline
Moderator

Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 4:36 am
Posts: 4737
Location: Monterey Bay, CA
tonalt wrote:
I'm pretty lost here. I need powerful NVIDIA video card which is quiet as possible. Any recommendations or links to good noise tests?

viewtopic.php?p=565648#p565648

_________________
1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, MSI Z87-G45, MSI GTX 760 2GB Gaming, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung Evo 250GB, Crucial MX100 256GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic X-560. 35-40W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 200-230W Rift, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)

Support SPCR through these links: NCIX, Amazon and Newegg


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Asus, MSI, Gigabyte - Advice and experiences?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 7:47 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2012 8:58 pm
Posts: 38
i actually own the msi 660 tf660 2gd5/oc

the dust removal is actually quiet, its not actually 100%, and you can permanently lock the card into idle speeds without any temperature issues

card is silent


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 8 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 8 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group