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May be switching to Nvidia soon... need opinions/advice

XNine

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#1
Hello there,

I've been an ATI/AMD guy for a long time. Well, lemme preface this with, this isn't a thread about flaming anyone or anything, I just need some answers.

So, since it's hard to get any aftermarket waterblocks for AMD and the only waterblocks really being made are for the flagship AMD cards (7970), is it easier to match up waterblocks on the Nvidia side?

As far as I'm aware (and I could be wrong), Nvidia MFG's typically pump out reference-design cards. It seems that there's a bigger selection for blocks too. Assuming watercooling is the only reason I'd switch over, is it a smart move?

Thanks for any input you could provide.
 
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#2
waterblocks tend to have equal availability for each side. The only reason you'll see one have more available than the other is when nv/amd beats the other to market.

so assuming that's even, what's your reason for switching?

I can give you a few.

1. nv drivers tend to be more stable
2. nv tends to have more manufacturers who allow warranty service for overclocked cards
3. SLI still seems easier to set up than crossfire.

other than that it's down to individual cards and based on what I've seen the 7870 from AMD seems to hold the bang for your buck crown atm.
 

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#3
As far as I'm aware (and I could be wrong), Nvidia MFG's typically pump out reference-design cards. It seems that there's a bigger selection for blocks too. Assuming watercooling is the only reason I'd switch over, is it a smart move?
IMO, yes it is a smart move.

I wouldn't say that nVidia manufacturers typically stick to the reference design. However, it does seem to me like there is almost always a reference designed card available. You've got your high end manufacturers, like EVGA ASUS Gigabyte etc, that will pump out non-reference cards pretty happily. But you also have your manufacturers like Galaxy and Zotac that tend to stick to almost all reference designs. This means that throughout a product's lifecycle, there is generally always a reference design available for purchase, even if it is an "off" brand. The AMD side doesn't seem to to be that way, which obviously you know.

And with at least this generation, EVGA has been smart with their "non-reference" cards. Their high-end non-reference GTX670 cards actually use GTX680 reference PCBs. So if you want to water-cool them you just get reference GTX680 blocks. Pretty smart if you ask me.
 

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#4
No reason to switch sides really, when you want to buy a card just make sure to get something you can get a waterblock for. No need to pick a company to follow before hand.

Though, one thing that seems to be a pain for water coolers is that AMD puts out revisions for their cards sometimes that need their own waterblocks. Some of the OEMs use the same serial number for both revisions so when you order you don't know exactly what you're getting. Just something to watch out for, but as long as you don't buy the waterblock before you know what card you have you're be fine.

This was a big issue when I was trying to sell a bare 6970 a year ago. A lot of people only had the blocks for the Rv1 cards while I had an Rv2.
 
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#5
This was a big issue when I was trying to sell a bare 6970 a year ago. A lot of people only had the blocks for the Rv1 cards while I had an Rv2.
That's interesting, never heard that.

To the OP, I'm going to be doing a new build this winter, and thinking of switching to NVidia after a long line of ATI/AMD cards, going all the way back to the 9800np. Not for watercooling reasons though.
 
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#6
There is no need to pick a side. You and AMD/NV are not good friends by any means.

Go with what makes the best sense in your situation. Find a good waterblock and a card to match.
 

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#7
I have 6950 Xfire and love it but If i had to buy another video card right now I would do Nvidia. I would got 670 or 680 no doubt
 

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#8
For brand new high end cards as long as you shop of a reference card you can find a reference waterblock. They are easy enough to find. Nvidia does tend to pump out more reference cards than anything which makes it nice since I am enough generations behind people are more or less throwing away waterblocks and all I have to do is shop around.
 

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#9
Reference cards are available aplenty from both sides. However, I prefer nvidia cards, because of the control panel functionality (things like adaptive vsync and adaptive vsync half frame rate are really cool features, for example) and they seem to be a bit better supported in games.

They also seem to give a lot to owners too, in the form of things likeir www.geforce.com 3D Vision (works really well) and other things.

Oh and the stock coolers on nvidia sound a lot nicer and don't drive you round the bend with the noise. On the other hand, AMD still stick the same noisy impeller on their cards as first showed up on the HD2900 five years ago. I mean shit guys, can't you spend an extra penny and put in a quieter fan! :rolleyes: The noise advantage is a huge reason for me preferring nvidia, let alone anything else. I really value my sanity (well, what's left of it, anyway, lol).
 
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#10
Hello there,

I've been an ATI/AMD guy for a long time. Well, lemme preface this with, this isn't a thread about flaming anyone or anything, I just need some answers.

So, since it's hard to get any aftermarket waterblocks for AMD and the only waterblocks really being made are for the flagship AMD cards (7970), is it easier to match up waterblocks on the Nvidia side?

As far as I'm aware (and I could be wrong), Nvidia MFG's typically pump out reference-design cards. It seems that there's a bigger selection for blocks too. Assuming watercooling is the only reason I'd switch over, is it a smart move?

Thanks for any input you could provide.
I know how you feel man. I was an ATI/AMD guy for years. I made the jump to NVIDIA a few months ago and I don't regret it at all. Shes been real good to me. Do it for if nothing else but to try something new. I think youll enjoy it. :toast:
 
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#11
I've made the jump back and forth over the years. Really comes down to what is the best for the money. ATI i'd say has been ahead of NV in implementing newer tech over the years, but NV has caught up and gotten better.

I'd support the claim about the drivers but mostly because ATI/AMD drivers have felt bloaty since Catalyst launched a long time ago. They have never been able to refine it. NV control panel is very straightforward and very simple in design. For a time years back NV was having driver problems too. But then ATI has had the same issues another time.

Hardware wise, I'd tend to lean to AMD just because NV has had more trouble with hardware issues in the last few years. Mostly laptops but I've seen some desktop cases too. But I went back to NV with my last purchase being my 460. It was on my mind that I might get a problematic design but I gave it a shot and have been very happy with my 460s. Same thought crossed my mind for my laptop but I went with NV again. But that was mostly cause I got tired of waiting for the APU crossfire systems to launch.

It also is kinda nice to try something different. I'm not opposed to buying AMD again. If AMD has the price and performance down with good boost in the dual GPU setup then I'd go back.
 
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#12
My question is, are you wanting GPU water cooling because you're used to hot AMD cards with loud blower fans? Have you even tried using a thermally efficient GPU with a fairly quiet non reference air cooler? The 600 series Nvidia cards run pretty cool to begin with, and many come with pretty quiet and thermally efficient non reference air coolers.

Among the best are, ASUS with their DCU II cooler, Gigabyte with their Windforce cooler, MSI with their Twin Frozr cooler, and EVGA just released a bunch of 600 series cards with their new non reference air cooler, which is said to drop temps by 20%.

People are already reporting temps of 60c load with the EVGA coolers (680 model). They just came out a couple days ago and EVGA said they're sending out review samples. I'd say it's worth a short wait to read the feedback on them. I held off on a MIR deal on the MSI 660 Ti PE OC (fasted 660 Ti tested so far) just to see reviews on EVGA's new non ref cooled OCed 660 Ti. It happens to have the same MIR deal thru Oct anyway.

You really need to be a gung ho gadget enthusiast to want to use custom loop water cooling. By the time you get a system set up that offers significant temp drops you've spent quite a bit and they still have some fan noise if you use fans that have decent static pressure, UNLESS you use very expensive fans like the Scythe Gentle Typhoons.

Then their's water loop maintenance, and it's even trickier to clean dust out of WC systems. Just the fact that you need to unscrew a dangling, awkward fan/rad assembly and the rad fins are so delicate makes them a bit of a pain to remove dust from.

When you look at the higher model GPUs that can be bought for what you spend on water cooling a lower model one, it doesn't make much sense really, esp as thermally efficient as Nvidia 600 series cards are and the great low noise, low temp non reference coolers you can get them equipped with.
 
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#13
Do it for if nothing else but to try something new. I think youll enjoy it
MM has a point! I always run a last gen NV card in the wife's rig. Nice to have the control panel functionality that qubit speaks of + keeps me on top of Nv's drivers
 

XNine

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#14
The biggest reason for the move is for compatibility of Waterblocks. Since there's only one block that's out for my 7870 (An EK block, and I don't like the crop-circle design) I'm kind of SOL on having my entire rig cooled.

The Plan, for my next build, is a GPU block, in addition to my CPU block and Aquaero 5 Pro waterblock I already have on the loop.

It just seems that the last two generations of AMD GPUs have had limited availability of blocks, and even when there is one, it's luck of the draw as far as it fitting (reference/non-ref). If you don't jump on their flagship reference cards out of the gate, you're kinda screwed.
 
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#15
This is best watercooling NVIDIA option.
Easy + good warranty without hide anything.
Excellent Performanse, best loook.



Or with EVGA cards you can later change cooler and thermal paste, they offer everything under warranty.
Other try to find way how to avoid warranty. If can find one they will use that.
 

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#16
I would save some money and buy a EVGA GTX 680 and a nice water block (non-EK since you do not like the "crop circles") instead of the one they offer
for a price premium. I have heard in the past of people having issues with leaking and poorly assembled blocks.
 
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#17
If you do buy a 6xx card try and source a custom PCB that doesn't have the fugly connectors. A nice single slot i/o would be nice too. I'm sure the 670 windforce uses a ref 680 PCB with non stacked power pins. But I could be wrong. The 680 looks bad with a nice slim block and monstrous carbuncle of the stacked connectors.
 

qubit

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#18
If you do buy a 6xx card try and source a custom PCB that doesn't have the fugly connectors. A nice single slot i/o would be nice too. I'm sure the 670 windforce uses a ref 680 PCB with non stacked power pins. But I could be wrong. The 680 looks bad with a nice slim block and monstrous carbuncle of the stacked connectors.
I'll second that. It's surprising just how annoying little things like that can be.
 

STCNE

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#19
But if he's going the water-cooling route wouldn't be not want a custom PCB...

I guess I'd kind of have to agree with XNine. If you do go with a NVIDIA card you won't have to worry about getting a card that won't have a waterblock. For the peace of mind alone it seems like a good move.