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Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 vs. 7950 - Worth a difference of $100?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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November 5, 2013 8:06:54 PM

Well, first off, let me explain the "$100" - I live in Brazil, and prices for computer components here are bananas.
I'm going to pay roughly the equivalent of $320 in a 7870, and the 7950 goes for roughly $420.

So, I was thinking if the price really pays off the difference. I was enticed by the promise of a 384-bit card, so a more "future-proofed" one.
But the 7870 seems to perform well in most circumstances, almost on par with the 7950 in a few benchmarks (found about... 3 extensive benchmarks, wasn't wooed by the difference between the two).

What do you guys think?
I have my eye on a 215mm version of the 7870 (this one: [11199-19-20G] http://www.sapphiretech.com/presentation/product/?cid=1...), should fit well in my case (a Cooler Master 334 (Nvidia edition btw, but don't tell anyone I use ATI cards))

But since I've seen a 7950, I've been really on the fence about which one I should buy. (The 7950 I saw is this one: [11196-19-20G] http://www.sapphiretech.com/presentation/product/?cid=1...)

The 7950 is a bit bigger, but should fit through the HDD slot, since I'm not using every one of them!
So size is not that big of a deal, I don't think it'll be so big that it'll be a problem.

Thanks in advance!
a b U Graphics card
November 5, 2013 8:10:21 PM

Grab the 7950.
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a b U Graphics card
November 5, 2013 8:12:17 PM



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November 5, 2013 8:27:03 PM

I don't know if this is just me being a college student, but I can't justify such a small frame rate change for 100 dollars
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November 6, 2013 1:43:52 AM

But more than the small frame rate difference in today's games, I worry that the 7950 will be more suited to playing future games!
Future-proofing is more important than a teeny higher fps today, but I don't know if it will make that much of a difference in games to come.

In that battlefield benchmark, it got a difference of only 2 fps!
Do you guys think that, apart from today's results, that the 7950 will be more suited than the 7870 in future games, even if a few?
If it keeps me from buying a new one, like, a year extra than the 7870, I think it could be worth it.

(And superfreestyleer: You got it... I'm also a college student! hahaha.)
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November 6, 2013 10:10:01 AM

I can't see it making a huge difference in future games. If the performance is already comparable then I wouldn't think the gap would widen much. I remember making a similar decision when I was choosing between my gtx 260 and the gtx 280. I have no regrets going for the cheaper option because the difference never truly was even noticeable and I've still never really run into a game at 1920x1080 that is too much for it to handle reasonably
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November 6, 2013 10:10:19 AM

I can't see it making a huge difference in future games. If the performance is already comparable then I wouldn't think the gap would widen much. I remember making a similar decision when I was choosing between my gtx 260 and the gtx 280. I have no regrets going for the cheaper option because the difference never truly was even noticeable and I've still never really run into a game at 1920x1080 that is too much for it to handle reasonably
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a b U Graphics card
November 6, 2013 10:32:14 AM

I would consider the 7950 if you are considering overclocking. That card OCs very well and will extend the gaming life.
Also the extra Vram will not hurt.
But, as a straight comparison, I am not sure the 7950 is worth $100 more. The 7870 plays well at 1080p.
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November 6, 2013 3:56:20 PM

superfreestyleer: But wouldn't games that use more power, in the future, be limited by the weakest card? I mean... Today, it is comparable because, let's say, games use [x] power. The 7870 gives off [2x] power, and the 7950 [3x] power. When games get to [2.5x] power, wouldn't the 7950 keep it going, while the 7870 is already cut off?
I don't know if this logic works with VGAs :p , just wondering.

Embra: I don't consider overclocking, what I'm really worried is keeping the 7950 for a longer time than what I'd get with the 7870...
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a b U Graphics card
November 6, 2013 6:13:34 PM

How much more would a 7970 or R9 280x be to a 7950?

Also ....are you playing at 1080p?
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November 7, 2013 3:39:27 AM

Embra said:
How much more would a 7970 or R9 280x be to a 7950?

Also ....are you playing at 1080p?


Approximations in USD:
7870: 325 dollars
7950: 420 dollars
7970: 590 dollars
R9 280x: 520 dollars
That is if I pay cash, upfront.

I'm play mostly at 1680x1050, because I quite like my 16:10 monitor, but I will play occasionally on my TV, and that will be 1080p.
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a b U Graphics card
November 7, 2013 3:47:56 AM

A 7870 will be more than enough at 1050p for a while, It's going to 1080p, which the 7870 does very well at, in the futrue you may see fps begin to dip as games become more intense.

Hard for me to recommend the 7950 and 7970 at those price points.

The best card in the bunch is th R9 280x, and it is cheaper than the 7970. It is basically a refreshed 7970, which perform better.

Prices mat go down a bit with prices wars between nvida and amd, and the holiday deals.
Wait a bit if you can.
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November 7, 2013 3:56:58 AM

I am not familiar with these R cards, what are they?

Maybe I'll wait a bit, yeah... I'm almost set on the 7950 if the price goes down a little.
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a b U Graphics card
November 7, 2013 4:08:28 AM

They are the new generation AMD cards just coming out. They are taking the place of the 7xxx series. They have some performance impovements.
The 280x is a good card.
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November 7, 2013 4:13:28 AM

Ah, ok! Didn't know that.
But the 280x is too expensive as well, another 100 dollars over the 7950... Well, if I keep saving up, sometime I'll be able to buy it.
So the 280x trumps every other card mentioned here? (7870, 7950, 7970)
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a b U Graphics card
November 7, 2013 4:16:45 AM

Yes.

I am amazed how expensive GPUUs for for you. :( 


If you really want one, the 7870 will play great at 1050p and 180p... it's just not as future proof.

Good luck!
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November 7, 2013 4:26:59 AM

I recommend you get the 7870 reason being that $100.00 you saved is $100.00 already saved for the next GPU you will need in 3 years (even if you buy the 7950 you will still need to upgrade in 3 years).

It can run all games on max so what more do you need?
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November 7, 2013 4:52:15 AM

Thanks everyone! I'll consider everything you said.
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