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7970 GHZ Edition, 770 4GB or 780?

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July 25, 2013 3:58:01 AM

Hi,

Wanting to upgrade my Twin Frozr 6950 III and the 7970 GHZ Edition, 770 4GB or the 780 are under my radar. I don't want to be buying another card after this one for a few years so I want to have a good investment. Possibly could be gaming in 1440p in the future and using the Oculus Rift VR on it.

Not sure which work on my PSU (Corsair HX520W Modular Power Supply). It has 2 6 pin left but have been told I can use adapters.

My current specs:

Zalmon HD500 case.
Motherboard Giga Byte GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3
Intel i5 – 2500K 3.30GHz
Noctua NH-C12P SE 14 CPU Cooler
Western Digital WD20EARX 2TB Caviar Green Quiet
Corsair XMS3 – 4 X 4GB 1600Mhz 9-9-9-24 (CMX16GX3M4A1600C9)
Bluray Disc – Samsung 12x S-ata LightScribe BD-Rom/DVD Writer.
120mm Fans – Enermax Blue LED X 2
80MM Fans X2 – Sharkoon Silent Eagle
MSI Graphics Card Twin Frozrlll – R6950 Power Edition – 2048MB GDDR5.

Any advice would be great
a b U Graphics card
July 25, 2013 4:17:54 AM

IMO the 770 is the best option for a high end card ATM, 780 is obviously stronger( by about 10-15%) but is much more expensive.

problem is, minimum recommended wattage for both the 770 and the 780 is 600w, and for the 7970 ghz edition is 500watt.

so, unless you switch psu's i would go for the 7970ghz, and if you do switch, then the 770.( 770 is only about 4% stronger then the 7970 so getting the 7970 is still a very good option, and will be cheaper then getting a new psu + 770)


and yes you could use adapters.

just so i wont feel like i misinformed you, i want to say that infact you could probably run a 770 or a 780 with your current psu, but i would recommend not to try.
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July 25, 2013 4:27:49 AM

Thanks for the input. I'm a little confused though as according to this review > http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/geforce-gtx-770-gk104-rev... the 7970 ghz draws significantly more power than the 770 and more power than the 780?

DjDafiDak said:
IMO the 770 is the best option for a high end card ATM, 780 is obviously stronger( by about 10-15%) but is much more expensive.

problem is, minimum recommended wattage for both the 770 and the 780 is 600w, and for the 7970 ghz edition is 500watt.

so, unless you switch psu's i would go for the 7970ghz, and if you do switch, then the 770.( 770 is only about 4% stronger then the 7970 so getting the 7970 is still a very good option, and will be cheaper then getting a new psu + 770)


and yes you could use adapters.

just so i wont feel like i misinformed you, i want to say that infact you could probably run a 770 or a 780 with your current psu, but i would recommend not to try.

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a b U Graphics card
July 25, 2013 4:36:39 AM

i would not question what AMD wrote on their offical site, and what nvidia wrote on theres, as the " minimum recommended, seeing how that's what they are asking for their gpu's, and they know whats best.

and lets say you get a 780 with ur current psu, and something goes wrong, you will have no one to talk to, people will just tell you "ur psu is not strong enough".
here are the links:
http://www.geforce.com/hardware/desktop-gpus/geforce-gt...
http://www.amd.com/us/products/desktop/graphics/7000/79...

dont try to understand it from reveiws, honestly, just do what they tell you.
they set the rules for their gpu's, not tomshardware review, even if their rules are stupid and makes no sense, you better follow, because you will have to answer to them if something goes wrong.
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a b U Graphics card
July 25, 2013 4:41:27 AM

You don't need the 4GB on GTX 770 if you're gaming on one monitor. Also GTX 780 is way overpriced. Save the extra money and buy yourself an SSD. You'll benefit leaps and bounds more from that than the useless extra 2GB on the 770 or the minor speed improvement of the 780.
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a b U Graphics card
July 25, 2013 4:45:14 AM

ekseli said:
You don't need the 4GB on GTX 770 if you're gaming on one monitor. Also GTX 780 is way overpriced. Save the extra money and buy yourself an SSD. You'll benefit leaps and bounds more from that than the useless extra 2GB on the 770 or the minor speed improvement of the 780.


he is using a 1440P monitor, the extra VRAM might come handy in future games.
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a b U Graphics card
July 25, 2013 6:02:59 AM

DjDafiDak said:
ekseli said:
You don't need the 4GB on GTX 770 if you're gaming on one monitor. Also GTX 780 is way overpriced. Save the extra money and buy yourself an SSD. You'll benefit leaps and bounds more from that than the useless extra 2GB on the 770 or the minor speed improvement of the 780.


he is using a 1440P monitor, the extra VRAM might come handy in future games.


According to tests and quite a few people on these forums, by the time the GTX 770 needs more than 2GB of VRAM to run any game on a single monitor it's going to be too slow anyway. Also the GTX 770 doesn't have enough memory bandwidth to properly use more than 2GB of VRAM. The consensus seems to be that the 4GB on GTX 770 is only going to be of use with triple-monitor resolutions.

In other words, by the time the GTX 770 is going suffer from not having more than 2GB of VRAM, you're going to be due for a GPU upgrade anyway.

Mind you, I have no first hand knowledge of the matter, just repeating what's been said on these and other forums in the past.
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July 25, 2013 6:13:37 AM

ekseli said:
You don't need the 4GB on GTX 770 if you're gaming on one monitor. Also GTX 780 is way overpriced. Save the extra money and buy yourself an SSD. You'll benefit leaps and bounds more from that than the useless extra 2GB on the 770 or the minor speed improvement of the 780.


The 2gb is not useless on a 770. I had a 2gb 770 on a 1080p single monitor and playing Crisis 3 and Skyrim I hit the FPS wall hard and changed it out for a 4gb version, problems solved. And the texture memory needed by future games is only going to get worse (Better?). Anything less than 3 is an upgrade waiting to happen in the next year and half, and he specifically stated he didn't want to upgrade for a few years.

As for the 256bit bus, all the tests I have seen with the GK104 show the FPS on the 2gb version is SLIGHTLY higher in games that use over about 1.5 - 2.00 GB of texture memory (About 0 - 1%) BUT if you run into the out of memory wall? It is a drop of about 90%. Get the extra RAM. All this talk of how its useless unless you are playing on multiple monitors is either very old news from games that came out 2 years ago, or a complete fallacy from theory calculations on a 670 or 680. The 770's faster clocked ram almost negates the performance hit of 0-1% anyway.
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a b U Graphics card
July 25, 2013 7:37:38 AM

VXBlade said:
ekseli said:
You don't need the 4GB on GTX 770 if you're gaming on one monitor. Also GTX 780 is way overpriced. Save the extra money and buy yourself an SSD. You'll benefit leaps and bounds more from that than the useless extra 2GB on the 770 or the minor speed improvement of the 780.


The 2gb is not useless on a 770. I had a 2gb 770 on a 1080p single monitor and playing Crisis 3 and Skyrim I hit the FPS wall hard and changed it out for a 4gb version, problems solved.


Out of curiosity, what was your fps before and after?

Did you go from unplayable to suddenly playable fps? Or did you just go from high fps to even higher fps?

The point being that once the "fps wall" of 2GB of VRAM on the 770 starts to make things unplayable, it seems highly unlikely that the 770 would be fast enough to make the game playable even with 4GB of VRAM.

I grant you I could be wrong here, but I did research the matter quite thoroughly when I was buying the GTX 770 myself, just for this exact issue. But that's why I'm also curious to know about your experience with the practical fps difference going from 2GB to 4GB (assuming all else remained the same).
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July 25, 2013 8:14:12 AM

ekseli said:
You don't need the 4GB on GTX 770 if you're gaming on one monitor. Also GTX 780 is way overpriced. Save the extra money and buy yourself an SSD. You'll benefit leaps and bounds more from that than the useless extra 2GB on the 770 or the minor speed improvement of the 780.


Agree that 2 GB 770 will be fine for the OP.

However, I disagree w/ you completely on telling him to get an SSD with the savings. The OP sounds like someone who games a lot. For a gamer, an SSD is a waste of money IMO. All it does is get you into the next map faster before others on the game server. It has no effect whatsoever on improving one's gameplay. I have had an Intel SSD for 3-4 years now.

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a b U Graphics card
July 25, 2013 8:35:50 AM

bbtennis1 said:
ekseli said:
You don't need the 4GB on GTX 770 if you're gaming on one monitor. Also GTX 780 is way overpriced. Save the extra money and buy yourself an SSD. You'll benefit leaps and bounds more from that than the useless extra 2GB on the 770 or the minor speed improvement of the 780.


Agree that 2 GB 770 will be fine for the OP.

However, I disagree w/ you completely on telling him to get an SSD with the savings. The OP sounds like someone who games a lot. For a gamer, an SSD is a waste of money IMO. All it does is get you into the next map faster before others on the game server. It has no effect whatsoever on improving one's gameplay. I have had an Intel SSD for 3-4 years now, and it was a waste of money for me.



Do you only think in terms of fps? SSD will vastly improve loading times for the OS, games and all other programs, as well as speed up loading times of levels in games. You can't measure it in fps, but it means spending less time looking at the loading screen, waiting for the system to boot, or for the game to start. Not to mention it makes using the system pagefile far more unnoticeable than when it is on an HDD. Sure, in multiplayer games you'd still have to wait for other players to load, but that doesn't apply to single player games. Any game that has you waiting for another level to load will break your immersion that much less on an SSD, and there are a lot of those games from first-person shooters to the Total War series.

That said, the biggest benefit from an SSD is outside of gaming. I would never voluntarily go back to having my OS and programs on HDD instead of SSD.
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July 25, 2013 9:40:37 AM

ekseli said:
bbtennis1 said:
ekseli said:
You don't need the 4GB on GTX 770 if you're gaming on one monitor. Also GTX 780 is way overpriced. Save the extra money and buy yourself an SSD. You'll benefit leaps and bounds more from that than the useless extra 2GB on the 770 or the minor speed improvement of the 780.


Agree that 2 GB 770 will be fine for the OP.

However, I disagree w/ you completely on telling him to get an SSD with the savings. The OP sounds like someone who games a lot. For a gamer, an SSD is a waste of money IMO. All it does is get you into the next map faster before others on the game server. It has no effect whatsoever on improving one's gameplay. I have had an Intel SSD for 3-4 years now, and it was a waste of money for me.



Do you only think in terms of fps? SSD will vastly improve loading times for the OS, games and all other programs, as well as speed up loading times of levels in games. You can't measure it in fps, but it means spending less time looking at the loading screen, waiting for the system to boot, or for the game to start. Not to mention it makes using the system pagefile far more unnoticeable than when it is on an HDD. Sure, in multiplayer games you'd still have to wait for other players to load, but that doesn't apply to single player games. Any game that has you waiting for another level to load will break your immersion that much less on an SSD, and there are a lot of those games from first-person shooters to the Total War series.

That said, the biggest benefit from an SSD is outside of gaming. I would never voluntarily go back to having my OS and programs on HDD instead of SSD.


Once again, the OP is a GAMER... SSD is a WASTE of money for HIM... This is not about you.

Asked and answered.

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July 25, 2013 9:42:50 AM

ekseli said:
VXBlade said:
ekseli said:
You don't need the 4GB on GTX 770 if you're gaming on one monitor. Also GTX 780 is way overpriced. Save the extra money and buy yourself an SSD. You'll benefit leaps and bounds more from that than the useless extra 2GB on the 770 or the minor speed improvement of the 780.


The 2gb is not useless on a 770. I had a 2gb 770 on a 1080p single monitor and playing Crisis 3 and Skyrim I hit the FPS wall hard and changed it out for a 4gb version, problems solved.


Out of curiosity, what was your fps before and after?

Did you go from unplayable to suddenly playable fps? Or did you just go from high fps to even higher fps?

The point being that once the "fps wall" of 2GB of VRAM on the 770 starts to make things unplayable, it seems highly unlikely that the 770 would be fast enough to make the game playable even with 4GB of VRAM.

I grant you I could be wrong here, but I did research the matter quite thoroughly when I was buying the GTX 770 myself, just for this exact issue. But that's why I'm also curious to know about your experience with the practical fps difference going from 2GB to 4GB (assuming all else remained the same).


I don't run FRAPS all the time, I know they both went from playable, smooth as silk, to 10 FPS or under. Swapping out for a 4gb card fixed it.

I don't understand your next statement, the 770 can handle 4gb just fine with no issues. I'm not sure where this whole thing came from were it can't "handle" the RAM. It's a pool of data, that fills and empties. The 256bit bus makes very little difference in real world gaming, but if you run out of room for data, that hurts you. The 770's processing speed is irrelevant to my points about the RAM size. There is a tested real world speed drop in games of about 0 - 1% or so from the card dealing with the extra bits it has to store data in.

The point is, games are going to start using more than 2gb of ram very shortly with release titles and first year xbox one and PS4 titles. Not all, but the trend is moving towards more, not less or staying the same. I wouldn't recommend to anyone 2gb at this stage especially for someone who stated they don't want to upgrade for a few years.
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a b U Graphics card
July 25, 2013 10:06:17 AM

bbtennis1 said:
ekseli said:
bbtennis1 said:
ekseli said:
You don't need the 4GB on GTX 770 if you're gaming on one monitor. Also GTX 780 is way overpriced. Save the extra money and buy yourself an SSD. You'll benefit leaps and bounds more from that than the useless extra 2GB on the 770 or the minor speed improvement of the 780.


Agree that 2 GB 770 will be fine for the OP.

However, I disagree w/ you completely on telling him to get an SSD with the savings. The OP sounds like someone who games a lot. For a gamer, an SSD is a waste of money IMO. All it does is get you into the next map faster before others on the game server. It has no effect whatsoever on improving one's gameplay. I have had an Intel SSD for 3-4 years now, and it was a waste of money for me.



Do you only think in terms of fps? SSD will vastly improve loading times for the OS, games and all other programs, as well as speed up loading times of levels in games. You can't measure it in fps, but it means spending less time looking at the loading screen, waiting for the system to boot, or for the game to start. Not to mention it makes using the system pagefile far more unnoticeable than when it is on an HDD. Sure, in multiplayer games you'd still have to wait for other players to load, but that doesn't apply to single player games. Any game that has you waiting for another level to load will break your immersion that much less on an SSD, and there are a lot of those games from first-person shooters to the Total War series.

That said, the biggest benefit from an SSD is outside of gaming. I would never voluntarily go back to having my OS and programs on HDD instead of SSD.


Once again, the OP is a GAMER... SSD is a WASTE of money for HIM... This is not about you.

Asked and answered.



Did you understand what I wrote? I would recommend an SSD to anyone who uses a PC, gamer or not, without exception. Gamers benefit from it just as much as the non-gamer, only with the added bonus it gives in games that have significant loading times. An SSD is certainly much better use for one's money than buying a GTX 780 over a GTX 770. And yes, that applies even to a hardcore gamer.

That's my opinion and you and the OP are both free to disagree. Advice was asked so advice is given.
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July 25, 2013 10:15:38 AM

ekseli said:
bbtennis1 said:
ekseli said:
bbtennis1 said:
ekseli said:
You don't need the 4GB on GTX 770 if you're gaming on one monitor. Also GTX 780 is way overpriced. Save the extra money and buy yourself an SSD. You'll benefit leaps and bounds more from that than the useless extra 2GB on the 770 or the minor speed improvement of the 780.


Agree that 2 GB 770 will be fine for the OP.

However, I disagree w/ you completely on telling him to get an SSD with the savings. The OP sounds like someone who games a lot. For a gamer, an SSD is a waste of money IMO. All it does is get you into the next map faster before others on the game server. It has no effect whatsoever on improving one's gameplay. I have had an Intel SSD for 3-4 years now, and it was a waste of money for me.



Do you only think in terms of fps? SSD will vastly improve loading times for the OS, games and all other programs, as well as speed up loading times of levels in games. You can't measure it in fps, but it means spending less time looking at the loading screen, waiting for the system to boot, or for the game to start. Not to mention it makes using the system pagefile far more unnoticeable than when it is on an HDD. Sure, in multiplayer games you'd still have to wait for other players to load, but that doesn't apply to single player games. Any game that has you waiting for another level to load will break your immersion that much less on an SSD, and there are a lot of those games from first-person shooters to the Total War series.

That said, the biggest benefit from an SSD is outside of gaming. I would never voluntarily go back to having my OS and programs on HDD instead of SSD.


Once again, the OP is a GAMER... SSD is a WASTE of money for HIM... This is not about you.

Asked and answered.



Did you understand what I wrote? I would recommend an SSD to anyone who uses a PC, gamer or not, without exception. Gamers benefit from it just as much as the non-gamer, only with the added bonus it gives in games that have significant loading times. An SSD is certainly much better use for one's money than buying a GTX 780 over a GTX 770. And yes, that applies even to a hardcore gamer.

That's my opinion and you and the OP are both free to disagree. Advice was asked so advice is given.


SSD's speed the whole PC up, and for gamers in particular, it speeds up loading levels quite a bit. The WORST case scenario game, SWTOR with it's ungodly load times between zones, I think my SSD sped that up from about 1 minute to 30 seconds. Still long as hell, but that speed up was across the board for all games.
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July 25, 2013 10:16:50 AM

In my opinion on the matter of GPU would be to do this:

IF YOU PLAN TO OVERCLOCK:

Get a 7970 (non Ghz edition), and at least a 600w psu. Going away from the Ghz will cut the cost, and since you will be doing the overclocking yourself it is pointless to get. Saves you money there and an overclocked 7970 will outperform a gtx 770 (assuming that you can boost the core to at least 1100, and do some mem overclocking.) It is risky though, because it is all about silicon lottery there.

IF YOU DON'T PLAN TO OVERCLOCK:
Gtx 770 and power supply.
Gtx 770 performs faster than stock 7970/7970 ghz. It is essentially a faster clocked gtx 680 (so practically a Gtx 680 1.15 Ghz edition) haha. Very good card for non-overclockers.


And then obviously, if you want near Titan performance for $300 cheaper then Gtx 780 is the only single gpu that will get you there.

Hope this helps!
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July 25, 2013 12:02:05 PM

VXBlade said:
ekseli said:
bbtennis1 said:
ekseli said:
bbtennis1 said:
ekseli said:
You don't need the 4GB on GTX 770 if you're gaming on one monitor. Also GTX 780 is way overpriced. Save the extra money and buy yourself an SSD. You'll benefit leaps and bounds more from that than the useless extra 2GB on the 770 or the minor speed improvement of the 780.


Agree that 2 GB 770 will be fine for the OP.

However, I disagree w/ you completely on telling him to get an SSD with the savings. The OP sounds like someone who games a lot. For a gamer, an SSD is a waste of money IMO. All it does is get you into the next map faster before others on the game server. It has no effect whatsoever on improving one's gameplay. I have had an Intel SSD for 3-4 years now, and it was a waste of money for me.



Do you only think in terms of fps? SSD will vastly improve loading times for the OS, games and all other programs, as well as speed up loading times of levels in games. You can't measure it in fps, but it means spending less time looking at the loading screen, waiting for the system to boot, or for the game to start. Not to mention it makes using the system pagefile far more unnoticeable than when it is on an HDD. Sure, in multiplayer games you'd still have to wait for other players to load, but that doesn't apply to single player games. Any game that has you waiting for another level to load will break your immersion that much less on an SSD, and there are a lot of those games from first-person shooters to the Total War series.

That said, the biggest benefit from an SSD is outside of gaming. I would never voluntarily go back to having my OS and programs on HDD instead of SSD.


Once again, the OP is a GAMER... SSD is a WASTE of money for HIM... This is not about you.

Asked and answered.



Did you understand what I wrote? I would recommend an SSD to anyone who uses a PC, gamer or not, without exception. Gamers benefit from it just as much as the non-gamer, only with the added bonus it gives in games that have significant loading times. An SSD is certainly much better use for one's money than buying a GTX 780 over a GTX 770. And yes, that applies even to a hardcore gamer.

That's my opinion and you and the OP are both free to disagree. Advice was asked so advice is given.


SSD's speed the whole PC up, and for gamers in particular, it speeds up loading levels quite a bit. The WORST case scenario game, SWTOR with it's ungodly load times between zones, I think my SSD sped that up from about 1 minute to 30 seconds. Still long as hell, but that speed up was across the board for all games.


I understand what you guys are saying.

I was an 'early-adopter' of an Intel SSD when the price was crazy-high. I regret it, and it's really showing up now... lol.

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a b U Graphics card
July 25, 2013 9:07:43 PM

bbtennis1 said:
I understand what you guys are saying.

I was an 'early-adopter' of an Intel SSD when the price was crazy-high. I regret it, and it's really showing up now... lol.



Do you really regret the speed it gives you every-day use or just the price you paid for it? I can understand the price hurting a bit, and especially the early-adopter price not matching the hype.

However, with the SSD prices these days I think it's a no-brainer to get one. It just makes the whole PC experience that much smoother, and helps quite a lot of games as well. With the price difference of GTX 780 and GTX 770 you can afford an SSD large enough to fit your OS, all of your programs and most of your games in it, and still have money left over to treat yourself to a couple of new games.

I guarantee the benefit of an SSD is far more noticeable than the benefit of GTX 780 over GTX 770. Hence the advice, even though it's not strictly related to gaming.
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a b U Graphics card
July 26, 2013 3:19:27 AM

sh!t did you just quote me something i didnt say?

iam trippin.
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a b U Graphics card
July 26, 2013 4:06:04 AM

DjDafiDak said:
sh!t did you just quote me something i didnt say?

iam trippin.


My bad. Meant to quote bbtennis1. Corrected the mistake.
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July 26, 2013 10:35:50 AM

bbtennis1 said:
byogamingpc said:
+1 for the EVGA GTX 780 SC w/ ACX http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CUIVSNS/ref=as_li_q... if you can afford it.


$660. >Ouch, too much money. Get the 770 and OC it to within @ 10-15% of the 780.... I think one could do that reasonably...



Overclock a GTX 770? Good luck... They are pretty much pushed to their max stock. My friend got an MSI Lightning and could only push the core clock up by 13 Mhz stably..
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a b U Graphics card
July 26, 2013 10:32:16 PM

bbtennis1 said:
byogamingpc said:
+1 for the EVGA GTX 780 SC w/ ACX http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CUIVSNS/ref=as_li_q... if you can afford it.


$660. >Ouch, too much money. Get the 770 *snip*


I agree, the 780 is not good value for money. It's only 10-20% faster than the 770 yet costs more than 60% more. You would save $200 by buying the GTX 770 4GB instead - money which you could use for an upgrade a couple of years from now. By the time the 770 is not fast enough for the newest games, you would get much more than 10-20% more speed over the 770 for that same $200. In the meantime you're unlikely to notice the difference.

If you have money to waste and you absolutely don't want to upgrade in 4-5 years, get the 780. In any other case, get the 770 and save yourself $200 (or $250 if you get the 2GB model). Is 10% increase in fps really worth $200?
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