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Looking for a replacement graphics card. Gigabyte vs XFX HD 7970

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  • Gigabyte
  • Computers
  • Graphics Cards
  • Build
  • HD
  • Graphics
Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 8, 2013 7:12:20 AM

In two days I am ordering the parts for my new computer build.

This is my current build

The problem is that yesterday NewEgg Sold out of the SAPPHIRE Vapor-X Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB. I looked online and it seems that no matter where I look for this card is ends up costing a lot more, or the shipping time would be longer then the other parts. ( amazon saying 3 to 5 weeks before it ships )

So I am stuck between two other cards of the same type if newegg doesn't restock in time. Myself I am looking for a good strong card, that has good cooling and lasts a while. That is why I went with sapphire. I have used them a lot in the past, and never had a problem.

The two cards I am looking at is the

XFX Double D Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition

and the

GIGABYTE Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition

While I have never used GIGABYTE for one of my cards. I have used it in the past for my younger brother's machine. So far he has never complained about problems, and it seems to have held up well for the past two years ( I need to replace his card soon too. ) Plus it has survived my brother's cat. So Gigabyte is high on the list for me.

But at the same time I have heard good things about XFX. I know for a fact they use quality products for their PSU ( SeaSonics PSUs ) and XFX is claiming that it is built with high quality parts. Plus the cooling solution looks good to me too. So XFX is also a high contender for me, and it has more ports for screens, I like the idea of having two DVI ports without having to get an adapter ( which the gigabyte doesn't have in the box I don't think. ) but I have heard that they are Volt Locked. That would make it harder to over clock if I wanted too.

I am stuck right now. I have two choices that fit with what I was looking to do with this build. I think I am leaning more to Gigabyte, but I am not sure. One other thing I need to keep in mind is that I WILL be getting a second card in a month or two for CrossFire.

So I was wondering. does anyone have any experience with both brands, or even these cards?

Also which one would you pick, and why?



More about : replacement graphics card gigabyte xfx 7970

April 8, 2013 7:21:24 AM

Well, after some reviews the gigabyte cooler looks better in temperatures. Although you can't really go wrong with any of them.
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April 8, 2013 7:49:53 AM

Xfx has good cooling, but not quite as good as sapphire this isnt something i would worry about, both will stay cool. However i would go with the xfx, lifetime warranty, high quality parts, and smaller footprint could be a plus. Either way you really cant go wrong
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a b U Graphics card
April 8, 2013 7:54:39 AM

I can't really give you a recommendation even though I have owned both brands because your parts list is beyond confusing and far from what I would call good. I'm mainly confused on why you would buy a mid to high end motherboard. Then max the ram and buy a really expensive mediocre heatsink and still get a 8350. With the money you are spending on all the parts I have no clue as to why you are not getting at least an i5 or an i7. So confusing.

But my input would be the gigabytes going to be much loader then the xfx in my experience but the xfx has reliability problems with their 7970s(replaced mine with a sapphire last week. You were too slow lol) and their Newegg rating shows that.
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a c 186 U Graphics card
April 8, 2013 8:20:36 AM

Neither imo both are not very good the GIGABYTE is voltage locked and the xfx has reliability and cooling issues.I recommend you look at Asus or Sapphire.
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a b U Graphics card
April 8, 2013 8:31:37 AM

bigcyco1 said:
Neither imo both are not very good the GIGABYTE is voltage locked and the xfx has reliability and cooling issues.I recommend you look at Asus or Sapphire.


sapphire is voltage locked essentially. you can only raise it from 1.256v to 1.3v which has helped me none.
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a c 186 U Graphics card
April 8, 2013 8:48:34 AM

cbrunnem said:
bigcyco1 said:
Neither imo both are not very good the GIGABYTE is voltage locked and the xfx has reliability and cooling issues.I recommend you look at Asus or Sapphire.


sapphire is voltage locked essentially. you can only raise it from 1.256v to 1.3v which has helped me none.
Wow maybe all companies have them locked now :(  dam shame thanks for the info.

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a b U Graphics card
April 8, 2013 9:07:37 AM

bigcyco1 said:
cbrunnem said:
bigcyco1 said:
Neither imo both are not very good the GIGABYTE is voltage locked and the xfx has reliability and cooling issues.I recommend you look at Asus or Sapphire.


sapphire is voltage locked essentially. you can only raise it from 1.256v to 1.3v which has helped me none.
Wow maybe all companies have them locked now :(  dam shame thanks for the info.



Asus is not locked (yet) as far as I know.
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a b U Graphics card
April 8, 2013 10:46:52 AM

I know for a fact that xfx has locked theirs as well cause I have had a xfx 7970 as well as having a sapphire 7970.
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a b U Graphics card
April 8, 2013 10:46:52 AM

I know for a fact that xfx has locked theirs as well cause I have had a xfx 7970 as well as having a sapphire 7970.
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a b U Graphics card
April 8, 2013 10:59:41 AM

You can unlock the voltage control on any 7970 card by flashing into an older version of BIOS. TechPowerUp has an expansive database of current and previous graphics card ROM files.

That said from what I've heard, the XFX cards use reference circuits and don't have as great cooling as, say Sapphire or even Gigabyte do. The recent fad in voltage locking is probably a direct result of irresponsible overclockers burning their cards or sending them back just because they didn't go as high as they wanted to.

All the regular cards should also be compatible with the GHz Ed. BIOSes as long as they're the same model. Also flashing the BIOS might technically render your warranty void if the card breaks at some point and you have no means to restore the old one. Although some cards do come with a 'switch' that will toggle between your regular BIOS and a backup if you're scared of screwing something up that way.
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a c 186 U Graphics card
April 8, 2013 11:20:54 AM

Lol!That is more trouble then it's worth to a person who doesn't know what their doing.I am quite shocked AMD is doing this it's one of the main reasons people prefer their cards hopefully they won't lose to many customers over this i mean i can understand why they do it i get sick of irresponsible overclockers burning their cards or sending them back just because they didn't go as high as they wanted to as well.
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April 8, 2013 5:39:41 PM

cbrunnem said:
I can't really give you a recommendation even though I have owned both brands because your parts list is beyond confusing and far from what I would call good. I'm mainly confused on why you would buy a mid to high end motherboard. Then max the ram and buy a really expensive mediocre heatsink and still get a 8350. With the money you are spending on all the parts I have no clue as to why you are not getting at least an i5 or an i7. So confusing.

But my input would be the gigabytes going to be much loader then the xfx in my experience but the xfx has reliability problems with their 7970s(replaced mine with a sapphire last week. You were too slow lol) and their Newegg rating shows that.


Well to answer you're question about my build. it is kind of all over the place. But I also see that the build I posted is not the current revision. I guess I forgot to update some of the parts in it.

For one I went with the sabortooth 990FX Gen3 for PCI-e 3.0. It is the first AMD board with 3.0 on it. Plus it seems to be a well build board, and a good choice for AMD.

Why did I do 32GBs of ram.. two reasons.. 1. I like the idea of maxing around a build. kind of something I have always wanted to do, and 2. I got like 70 dollars off of the 32GBs. when 16GBs goes for like 100 dollars and you can get another for 30 dollars. why not. Plus I already have the ram sitting on my desk, so I guess it is to late to change that now.

The heat sink didn't seem to bad. I have thought about replacing it, but I have heard good reviews on the heat sink, and plus it doesn't put pressure on my board like a HUGE air cooled heat sink, and I won't have to worry if my ram will fit. ( which the ram I got for a good deal did have a good size heat sink. so that put my Evo 212 out of the question )

As for AMD vs Intel i7 / i5. I have used both AMD, and Intel. So it is not a case of AMD Fanboi or INTEL Fanboi.. I personally feel that the 8350 gives me a good value for the price. it can be over clocked. It does have a good amount of cores for multitasking, and I feel it will be good for what I am looking to do with this computer. ( Streaming, Gaming, Editing, ect. ) But I feel like I didn't need to go out of my way and drop more money for a full on i7 rendering computer.
From the bench marks, reviews, and comparing the different CPUs. While the i7 and even higher end i5s some times beat this CPU. a lot of times they are very close to each other, and I feel that it wasn't worth the extra money to get just a little bit faster speeds. Maybe I am wrong, and making a big mistake, but I am willing to take the chance.


Oh yeah.. also good news. NewEgg restocked with my Sapphire. I might go ahead and order right now.
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