Far Cry 3 is a great game and I play it quite a bit even after having already finished it twice. It’s a great open world to explore. I decided, recently, to upgrade my NVIDIA GTX 460 SLI setup and went about researching new video cards. A little background, when I was buying the 460s everyone was saying they were a fantastic price (under $200) for their performance, so I picked up one and a little later picked up another for SLI. They turned out great so I have a good feeling about this segment of the NVIDIA line up.
As I was researching, I found out the 700-Series was the latest NVIDIA offerings and the 600-Series was getting a little old so I was looking for a 760. I read a lot of reviews and read a lot of benchmarks. The 760 is nice but compare it to a 660 and there’s not that much performance difference but I noticed a $30-$50 price premium on the 760.
I also came to realize that the framerates in reviews seemed low to me because even the newest cards didn’t seem to outperform my 460 SLI setup. It turns out the difference is anti-aliasing (which I never enable because it kills performance). But I did notice single 660s were beating 460s by about 40% in framerates.
So, I went for an SLI standard 660 setup. I went standard because the tweaked models, like the Ti, just didn’t offer that much more for how much more you were paying. Specifically, I went for the Gigabyte GTX 660 OC 2GB (GV-N660OC-2GD) model. Hovering around $220, this is the sweet spot for an SLI setup. Do you really want to pay more than $500 for SLI? Not me.
I tried out anti-aliasing again and it absolutely kills performance. Something like 2x AA 15%, 4x AA 30%, 8x AA 50% decreases in framerates (just my subjective judgement using fraps). So, I still have that disabled but I’m getting Ultra detail level minimum framerates of 55-60fps and usually up around 70-80fps. The box is an Intel i7 2600k.
PS. Word to the wise, in the NVIDIA Control Panel, try configuring the SLI setup to put PhysX on your CPU if you have a strong CPU. I tried it on the 460 SLI setup and it really seemed to allow me to increase my detail levels quite a bit more, not all the way but a nice notch up.
PPS. I’m an EVGA fan but Gigabyte had a better price and the cards seem very decent and actually much quieter than my 460s.