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What, exactly, are the differences between the 280x and the 7970ghz E?

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Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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October 22, 2013 11:35:11 AM

I know everyone says that they are essentially the same card, which I can see pretty clearly. My question is if someone is being really critical, what things actually set the 280x apart from the 7970? I have a hard time believing AMD would just release the exact same card with a different name so I'm just curious. Is there any performance difference that can be noticed or otherwise perceived through bench-marking?
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October 22, 2013 12:08:35 PM

It's the exact same card with a new name. The only difference is tweaked clock speeds - there is no new technology in the 280X. Other than clocks, they are identical in every way. And you'll have to compare individual 280X/7970 models to figure out which has the better clock speeds.
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October 22, 2013 12:18:11 PM

BigMack70 said:
It's the exact same card with a new name. The only difference is tweaked clock speeds - there is no new technology in the 280X. Other than clocks, they are identical in every way. And you'll have to compare individual 280X/7970 models to figure out which has the better clock speeds.
Why did AMD do that? I don't know too terribly much about graphics cards but I can't seem to make any sense at all from this..

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October 22, 2013 12:38:06 PM

Masonisbetter said:
BigMack70 said:
It's the exact same card with a new name. The only difference is tweaked clock speeds - there is no new technology in the 280X. Other than clocks, they are identical in every way. And you'll have to compare individual 280X/7970 models to figure out which has the better clock speeds.
Why did AMD do that? I don't know too terribly much about graphics cards but I can't seem to make any sense at all from this..



They do this for marketing reasons, and rather than having 2 different lineups which would create more confusion. The high end cards from the R series (290, 290x) use new technology. New technology is always more expensive when it comes out, so to give middle and lower tier offering, they simply rename the high end cards from the previous generation. They've been producing the 7970's for nearly 2 years so the fabrication process has gotten cheaper and higher yielding (less bad chips). Since the 7970 is only marginally slower than the newer generation it makes since to continue its life, but rename it to be part of the newer generation since people always like new things.
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October 22, 2013 12:42:12 PM

AdioKIP said:
Masonisbetter said:
BigMack70 said:
It's the exact same card with a new name. The only difference is tweaked clock speeds - there is no new technology in the 280X. Other than clocks, they are identical in every way. And you'll have to compare individual 280X/7970 models to figure out which has the better clock speeds.
Why did AMD do that? I don't know too terribly much about graphics cards but I can't seem to make any sense at all from this..



They do this for marketing reasons, and rather than having 2 different lineups which would create more confusion. The high end cards from the R series (290, 290x) use new technology. New technology is always more expensive when it comes out, so to give middle and lower tier offering, they simply rename the high end cards from the previous generation. They've been producing the 7970's for nearly 2 years so the fabrication process has gotten cheaper and higher yielding (less bad chips). Since the 7970 is only marginally slower than the newer generation it makes since to continue its life, but rename it to be part of the newer generation since people always like new things.
That makes more sense than anything I've heard. So in your opinion would it be a better option to purchase an additional 7970 to crossfire with the one I have, purchase a 280x and crossfire it with my 7970, or sell my 7970 and crossfire two 280xs?

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October 22, 2013 12:51:59 PM

Masonisbetter said:
AdioKIP said:
Masonisbetter said:
BigMack70 said:
It's the exact same card with a new name. The only difference is tweaked clock speeds - there is no new technology in the 280X. Other than clocks, they are identical in every way. And you'll have to compare individual 280X/7970 models to figure out which has the better clock speeds.
Why did AMD do that? I don't know too terribly much about graphics cards but I can't seem to make any sense at all from this..



They do this for marketing reasons, and rather than having 2 different lineups which would create more confusion. The high end cards from the R series (290, 290x) use new technology. New technology is always more expensive when it comes out, so to give middle and lower tier offering, they simply rename the high end cards from the previous generation. They've been producing the 7970's for nearly 2 years so the fabrication process has gotten cheaper and higher yielding (less bad chips). Since the 7970 is only marginally slower than the newer generation it makes since to continue its life, but rename it to be part of the newer generation since people always like new things.
That makes more sense than anything I've heard. So in your opinion would it be a better option to purchase an additional 7970 to crossfire with the one I have, purchase a 280x and crossfire it with my 7970, or sell my 7970 and crossfire two 280xs?



If I were you, I would get a 280x and crossfire it with your current 7970.I say this because, right now I am seeing the 280x's selling cheaper than most 7970's. Even if you sold your 7970 to get 2x 280's, you will still take a loss selling your 7970 and gain nothing since crossfiring your current 7970 with a 280x will give you the same results as crossfiring 2x 280's.
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October 22, 2013 12:59:33 PM

AdioKIP said:
Masonisbetter said:
AdioKIP said:
Masonisbetter said:
BigMack70 said:
It's the exact same card with a new name. The only difference is tweaked clock speeds - there is no new technology in the 280X. Other than clocks, they are identical in every way. And you'll have to compare individual 280X/7970 models to figure out which has the better clock speeds.
Why did AMD do that? I don't know too terribly much about graphics cards but I can't seem to make any sense at all from this..



They do this for marketing reasons, and rather than having 2 different lineups which would create more confusion. The high end cards from the R series (290, 290x) use new technology. New technology is always more expensive when it comes out, so to give middle and lower tier offering, they simply rename the high end cards from the previous generation. They've been producing the 7970's for nearly 2 years so the fabrication process has gotten cheaper and higher yielding (less bad chips). Since the 7970 is only marginally slower than the newer generation it makes since to continue its life, but rename it to be part of the newer generation since people always like new things.
That makes more sense than anything I've heard. So in your opinion would it be a better option to purchase an additional 7970 to crossfire with the one I have, purchase a 280x and crossfire it with my 7970, or sell my 7970 and crossfire two 280xs?



If I were you, I would get a 280x and crossfire it with your current 7970.I say this because, right now I am seeing the 280x's selling cheaper than most 7970's. Even if you sold your 7970 to get 2x 280's, you will still take a loss selling your 7970 and gain nothing since crossfiring your current 7970 with a 280x will give you the same results as crossfiring 2x 280's.
Very cool, I appreciate the help! If you don't mind me bombarding you with a few more questions as you seem very knowledgeable on the subject I'd like to ask a few more. Would there be any sort of performance related benefit to putting the 280x in the primary PCI as opposed to just tossing it in the second one and going? I figure I'll do it anyways because I want to get an ASUS 280x and it's likely to have a better cooler than my sapphire 7970 but I thought I'd ask. Also, is there any truth to the statement that if the cards are clocked differently, the faster card will clock down to match the slower card or is this just a myth? If so, will it clock to the core clock, the boost clock, or change it's core and boost to match those of the lower card? I know this might be a little unclear so feel free to ask for clarification, thanks again!
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October 22, 2013 1:07:06 PM

Masonisbetter said:


So if I am reading these results correctly, the 7970 performs better, costs less, and, in some cases, is slightly less aesthetically pleasing when compared with the 280x? How does that make any sense whatsoever??


I read that the only difference between the two is that the 280x has lower power consumption because of lower stock clock speeds.
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October 22, 2013 2:18:06 PM

Masonisbetter said:
AdioKIP said:
Masonisbetter said:
AdioKIP said:
Masonisbetter said:
BigMack70 said:
It's the exact same card with a new name. The only difference is tweaked clock speeds - there is no new technology in the 280X. Other than clocks, they are identical in every way. And you'll have to compare individual 280X/7970 models to figure out which has the better clock speeds.
Why did AMD do that? I don't know too terribly much about graphics cards but I can't seem to make any sense at all from this..



They do this for marketing reasons, and rather than having 2 different lineups which would create more confusion. The high end cards from the R series (290, 290x) use new technology. New technology is always more expensive when it comes out, so to give middle and lower tier offering, they simply rename the high end cards from the previous generation. They've been producing the 7970's for nearly 2 years so the fabrication process has gotten cheaper and higher yielding (less bad chips). Since the 7970 is only marginally slower than the newer generation it makes since to continue its life, but rename it to be part of the newer generation since people always like new things.
That makes more sense than anything I've heard. So in your opinion would it be a better option to purchase an additional 7970 to crossfire with the one I have, purchase a 280x and crossfire it with my 7970, or sell my 7970 and crossfire two 280xs?



If I were you, I would get a 280x and crossfire it with your current 7970.I say this because, right now I am seeing the 280x's selling cheaper than most 7970's. Even if you sold your 7970 to get 2x 280's, you will still take a loss selling your 7970 and gain nothing since crossfiring your current 7970 with a 280x will give you the same results as crossfiring 2x 280's.
Very cool, I appreciate the help! If you don't mind me bombarding you with a few more questions as you seem very knowledgeable on the subject I'd like to ask a few more. Would there be any sort of performance related benefit to putting the 280x in the primary PCI as opposed to just tossing it in the second one and going? I figure I'll do it anyways because I want to get an ASUS 280x and it's likely to have a better cooler than my sapphire 7970 but I thought I'd ask. Also, is there any truth to the statement that if the cards are clocked differently, the faster card will clock down to match the slower card or is this just a myth? If so, will it clock to the core clock, the boost clock, or change it's core and boost to match those of the lower card? I know this might be a little unclear so feel free to ask for clarification, thanks again!


Which card is primary should make no difference, but I would put the 280x as primary. Its supposed to be slightly more power efficient than the 7970 I believe and in crossfire, except for when gaming, the second card gets shut all the way down (AMD's 0 power state), so why not have the more power hungry card shut down.

It used to be that in crossfire, if you have cards that are clocked differently, the faster card drops to the speed of the slower card. This is for the primary core, I believe boost is disabled during crossfire but I could be mistaken. I think AMD changed this though, I've noticed that during crossfire, my 7950's clocks do not match so I think this only applies to either older cards or drivers. As long as you have 2 good cards it shouldn't matter, the lower clock speed will make little difference and can easily be overcome by overclocking the cards. When I need an extra boost I just load a profile that clocks both of my 7950's up to the same clock speed as a stock 7970ghz edition.
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