GTX 580 or GTX 670 for Cycles?

Hey Blenderheads,

Currently building a new computer and I don’t feel solid in my understanding of what cards work best with Cycles. I’d like to get one that performs well, and it seems at the moment that the GTX580 is performing better even with less CUDA cores than the 670/680/690 or 6 series cards in general that are sporting thousands of CUDA cores.

Would it be wise to get a GTX580 now? Is it a future proof investment?

Or will the 6 series NVIDIA cards work better in the long run? e.g not a lot of CUDA 3.0 support now, but there may be some improvements in the next few months that “unlock” the full capability of these cards?

I’m a little confused about it all.

I tried reading the “best hardware for cycles” forum, it was hard to get a solid understanding of what’s best at this point in time (October 2012) with all the CUDA 3.0 support coming out.

580 is still the best but nothing is “future proof”. It is also somewhat unknown (due to the closed development nature of Nvidia) how much software updates can improve the compute performance on the 6 series. However, from my understanding of the available information, it appears to be a hardware limitation of the 6 series architecture and thus not likely to improve too much.

I have numerous 5 and 6 series cards. My favorite is still my EVGA GTX 580 Classified (3GB). However, if you are doing larger scenes then perhaps it may be better to sacrifice ~10-15% performance for the 4GB RAM on the 670/680 FTW editions.

Cheers, and hope that helps

Here is a list of render times posted by users.


Jonothewright -

Thank you for your genuine and informative response.

GCharb - Thank you for taking the time to post the render times as well.

It looks like the GTX 580 x2 is the best option at the moment. Thank you both!

Yes the 500 series was much stronger.

Question number two, probably seems foolish but after searching around some say it can be done, most say it cannot.

Currently doing a new build. 3930k i7 over clocked to around 4.6GHz, 32gb ram. And wanting to do a dual 580 setup.

Problem is I already bought a Corsair 750hx PSU and it’s on the way from Amazon. Is it even probable to think I can do a dual GTX 580 3GB with a (very sturdy) 750 watt PSU?

You may want to revisit your power supply research. From what I’ve read, a GTX-580 will draw ~500 watts when it’s hard at it; two of them: ~1000. Then you’ve got an overclocked CPU (150 to 200 watts) and 32 gb RAM (I’m unsure what this will draw). I know this type of set-up is possible, but I’ve never seen a power supply rated higher than 1200 watts, so I’m not sure where that leaves you.

Check out some of the hardcore hardware-oriented sites and ask questions there. Those guys live and breath builds and the gurus who frequent those sites, if they aren’t engineers, are the next best thing. They sleep with multimeters under their pillows.

A PSU calculator to help You!

Also, a 3730K runs at 3.2 GHZ, 3.8 GHZ in turbo, do You plan on running it on water cooling?

If not, I think You may have problem at that frequency even on a high end heatsink!


I am amazed at how genuine and informative the Blender community is. Maybe it’s due to the open source nature of the software. Definitely glad I’ve switched from Maya to this software/community. The user base is so helpful and open. I’m sure more people will be switching as Blender grows, not only for the technical reasons which are growing amazingly fast, but for the community as well.


1200 watts is quite high, I’m sure there has to be some way? I’ve seen a few Quad SLI (not that cycles recognizes SLI) setups, maybe they were possibly using two PSU’s? It sounds like I might be getting in over my head.


The cooling system I just received is the Corsair H100 water CPU cooling unit. According to this build that I am copying (aside from me trying out a DUAL GTX580 setup), the cooling system should work fine…?

Another option is to stick with a single GTX 580 and wait for the 7 series cards that have been rumored to address the speed issues with rendering. However I get the feeling they will leave folks like us in the dust forcing us to buy Quadro or Tesla cards for rendering purposes. It makes sense from a business standpoint I guess… :stuck_out_tongue:

EDIT: This PSU calculator is awesome, thank you!

EDIT: Looks like it will be pulling about 150 watts more than 750 at 90% load with 2x GTX 580’s, overlocked CPU and all. I’ll go single for now and upgrade later. Thank you all so much!