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Gtx 680 vs 7970 ghz overclocking potential?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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May 12, 2013 10:17:39 PM

Des regarding all biased opinions and driver issues.

Which card has more STABLE overclocking potential? I hear that cooling is a major factor in how well you can overclock a card. So taking this all into account which card?

For amd the 7970 vaporx ghz edition

For nvidea the gtx 680 (not sure which one is best)
May 12, 2013 10:20:54 PM

Not sure about the GTX 680's myself, But i do know if u can cool a 7970 well you can do some pretty serious overclocks on them
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a b K Overclocking
May 12, 2013 10:35:56 PM

the hd 7970 will overclock really well.

the kepler chips on the nvidia don't overclock well at all (they're voltage locked)
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May 12, 2013 10:38:14 PM

kitsunestarwind said:
Not sure about the GTX 680's myself, But i do know if u can cool a 7970 well you can do some pretty serious overclocks on them


Ok,
So by cool them well would the vaporx be good enough?
As well as 3 120mm outtake fans and 1 200mm intake fan?


ingtar33 said:
the hd 7970 will overclock really well.

the kepler chips on the nvidia don't overclock well at all (they're voltage locked)


I know someone who OC their gtx 680 @ 1200mhz could I get better with the 7970 ghz edition?
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May 12, 2013 10:41:59 PM

Like all overclocks, The overclock is generally limited by your ability to cool them
I know people who have pushed their 7970's higher then mine on air cooling
Mine are normal 7970's with base clock of 925/1375 under water cooling I hit 1125/1575 with no effort or voltage mods at all, i'm sure i could go higher if i wanted.

But like all overclocks, you won't know till you try , depends on how good your chip is and how good a cooling you have.
VaporX cooling is good though and would be one of my choices for air cooling of a 7970
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a b K Overclocking
May 12, 2013 10:43:39 PM

The HD 7970 GHz has better OC potential. The difference is not really noticeable until higher resolution above 1080p.
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a b K Overclocking
May 12, 2013 10:48:43 PM

You do realize that the core clock doesn't really matter and isn't a telling sign of performance between cards that aren't exactly the same, right?

The vapor x is the best cooling solution out there right now, but is absolutely not worth $100 more than other solutions.

A 7970 will overclock higher than a 680, and is a better option, since the 680 is only 5% faster than a 670, but is 20% more expensive.
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May 12, 2013 10:52:20 PM

DarkSable said:
You do realize that the core clock doesn't really matter and isn't a telling sign of performance between cards that aren't exactly the same, right?

The vapor x is the best cooling solution out there right now, but is absolutely not worth $100 more than other solutions.

A 7970 will overclock higher than a 680, and is a better option, since the 680 is only 5% faster than a 670, but is 20% more expensive.


What does tell the performance of the card if not the core clock?
Sorry just so many differant clocks and speeds and cores on GPUs I don't know what makes it perform better, I assumed that since he was OC that, that was what made it perform better.
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a b K Overclocking
May 12, 2013 10:53:50 PM

sethwilliam said:
I know someone who OC their gtx 680 @ 1200mhz could I get better with the 7970 ghz edition?


core clocks mean nothing on different chip structures. you can overclock a 7870 to 1200mhz too, it won't come close to the performance of a 670 or 680 overclocked to that number. the kepler core =! a pitcairn core =! a tahiti core

just like a 4ghz fx8350 =! a 4ghz i5-3570k

different chip structures = different things = different overclocks = different performance.

the ghz of any one chip does NOT compare to the ghz of a different chip structure.

When i was talking about the 7970 overclocking better then the 680, i meant that the potential boost to the base performance of a stock 7970 when overclocking is far greater then the boost you can expect from overclocking a 680.

since the stock performance of the 680 is so close to the stock 7970 (within 5%) the 7970's huge potential boost from overclocking means it is the better chip while overclocked. in some cases the significantly better chip (as many benches at some silly huge resolutions can attest to).

now if you're gonna use these chips at 1080p you'll never tell the difference.
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a b K Overclocking
May 12, 2013 10:56:03 PM

sethwilliam said:
What does tell the performance of the card if not the core clock?
Sorry just so many differant clocks and speeds and cores on GPUs I don't know what makes it perform better, I assumed that since he was OC that, that was what made it perform better.


It's a whole bunch of factors; the core clock is just one of them. You also have to factor in memory clock, memory bandwidth, chip architecture...

Just like how a Phenom II x4 running at 4.0 GHz will still be slower than an i5-2500k at 3.5GHz, not all graphics cards are equal.

The only way to REALLY tell if one card is better than another is through benchmarking.


That being said, yes, overclocking both the core and the memory will make the card run better... but it sounds like you're doing this to have a bigger e-peen than he is, yes? Unless you have the exact same chip, you can't get an overclock of, say, 1250MHz and say that your card is unequivocally faster than his.
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May 12, 2013 11:05:12 PM

No only reason I want to make sure this card is better. Then his is because, I want to mod skyrim ALOT, he used his OCed gtx 680 and got around 30fps. So if I make sure my card is better then his OCed I will know that I will get more FPS and thus more "room" for extra mods. I don't want to show off or anything just able to play with lots of mods at a reasonable frame rate.
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a b K Overclocking
May 12, 2013 11:08:58 PM

In that case you don't want just an overclock, you want VRAM, which is probably why his 680 is slow with a lot of mods installed. Go with the 3GB of vram on the 7970, or possibly a 4GB 670. (Like I pointed out above, there's no reason to buy a 680 when the 670 pretty much matches it for $100 less.)
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May 12, 2013 11:13:27 PM

Yeah that's why I was looking at the 7970 because it has 3gbs of VRAM. I'm on a single monitor setup at 1080p so I think 3gb is enough + a OC.

What software would you recommend for overclocking? Msi afterburner or through the bios? My motherboard has a uefi bios so I can OC from there I believe.

Edit: how did that cobra5000 guy elect the best answer when it was my question/thread?
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a b K Overclocking
May 12, 2013 11:15:50 PM

@sethwilliam: If you still don't get it, then maybe this will help: an AMD Phenom II X4 965 will require more clock cycles to perform the same task as a Intel Core i5-2500K. So while their clock speeds are the same, they do not execute the same task at the same rate. Another way to think about it is: if we (you and I) have to both sum up all consecutive numbers between 1 and 100. I use a clever trick and I'm done in 10 seconds. You decide to add it one at a time and it'll take you 3 mins. Assuming we work at the same speed, you took 1800% more time or clock cycles.
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a b K Overclocking
May 13, 2013 12:19:12 AM

A lot of posters get mixed up with their terms of overhead versus scaling when discussing overclocking. Kepler cards have a lot of overhead, but Tahiti cards tend to scale slightly better. It's not accurate to say that a 7970 overclocks better or that a GTX 680 does not overclock well. They both have a lot of headroom and can both hit over 1200 MHz on a good day.

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Point_Of_View/GeForc...
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/HIS/HD_7970_X_Turbo/...
Using the "overclocking" section from TechPowerUp's GTX 680 (7 cards represented) and 7970 reviews (6 cards represented), we get the following data:
1)
The range of core overclocks for the GTX 680 is: 1130 - 1240 MHz.
The range of core overclocks for the 7970 is: 1155 - 1265 MHz.
2) Looking at the Turbo Boost clocks of the GTX 680, you get a range of: 1195 - 1306 MHz, significantly higher than the high-end 7970's.


By the way, if you are wanting to play Skyrim, only the GTX 680 will allow you to force Ambient Occlusion, which fundamentally affects the look of nearly everything in the game. Skyrim on AMD cards looks like the "AO: Off" image.


http://www.geforce.com/optimize/guides/the-elder-scroll...
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a b K Overclocking
May 13, 2013 12:49:13 AM

Matto: Holy cow that's convincing. I knew AO made things pretty; I didn't know it made things THAT pretty.
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May 13, 2013 2:07:22 AM

Hold on. Are you saying that the 7970 can't generate shadows for undergrowth/overgrowth objects? Because that's what it looks like on your screenshots. I'm having a hard time believing that.
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a b K Overclocking
May 13, 2013 2:27:43 AM

Mahisse said:
Hold on. Are you saying that the 7970 can't generate shadows for undergrowth/overgrowth objects? Because that's what it looks like on your screenshots. I'm having a hard time believing that.


Skyrim does not have an option for ambient occlusion. Nvidia has the option of forcing it on; amd doesn't.
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a b K Overclocking
May 13, 2013 5:00:49 AM

yeah... skyrim is sorta a rarity (like Civ5), in that there is DEFINATELY an advantage to certain hardware when running it. In the case of skyrim you definitely get an advantage when playing with an nvidia gpu and an intel cpu, as the game is specially coded to work better with them.

that's sorta why i look at any amd/intel or amd/nvidia benching suit which includes skyrim with a great deal of skepticism. It's not that it works better with one company because that company is so much better... it's that it's literally been designed to work for those two companies specifically.

That said, i've seen skyrim on an a10 mobile apu, and the game definately WAS displaying complex shadows... so that gif is misleading. If an a10 with a 7660m on chip gpu can display complex shadows, a 7970 can as well. so while there might be truth to the fact the game will play better on an nvidia or even look better, i have a great deal of trouble believing the 7970 can't display shadows like that illustration claims.
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May 13, 2013 7:26:07 AM

ingtar33 said:
yeah... skyrim is sorta a rarity (like Civ5), in that there is DEFINATELY an advantage to certain hardware when running it. In the case of skyrim you definitely get an advantage when playing with an nvidia gpu and an intel cpu, as the game is specially coded to work better with them.

that's sorta why i look at any amd/intel or amd/nvidia benching suit which includes skyrim with a great deal of skepticism. It's not that it works better with one company because that company is so much better... it's that it's literally been designed to work for those two companies specifically.

That said, i've seen skyrim on an a10 mobile apu, and the game definately WAS displaying complex shadows... so that gif is misleading. If an a10 with a 7660m on chip gpu can display complex shadows, a 7970 can as well. so while there might be truth to the fact the game will play better on an nvidia or even look better, i have a great deal of trouble believing the 7970 can't display shadows like that illustration claims.


Exactly what I was thinking.
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May 13, 2013 7:29:10 AM

In that case I should get the gtx 680??
I was only looking at the 7970 because it was supposed to be a beast of a gpu but if its not much better then a gtx 680...
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a b K Overclocking
May 13, 2013 7:39:04 AM

Uh... the HD 7970 is inferior to the GTX 680 by about 5%. But the HD 7970 is cheaper and the GTX 680 just isn't worth its premium.
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May 13, 2013 9:10:47 AM

K then guess ill get a nvidea card, NOTE: I am getting a gpu based solely on how well it can run skyrim with a bunch of mods at a decent frame rate. I was told the gtx 680 isn't amazing at that which is why I started looking into the 7970
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a b K Overclocking
May 13, 2013 9:35:53 AM

Aim for a 4GB card for all the mods. A GTX 670 4GB will do very well if you wanted to save money.
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May 13, 2013 9:54:31 AM

Think ill stick with the 7970 GE vapor x.
Thanks all for the help
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!