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7970 vs 6970? Should I wait?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 20, 2011 4:27:02 PM

Hey guys,

I am going to build a new rig for my little brother this weekend. He wants to maximize the setting on Skyrim, Battlefields, COD, and probably GTA V and Mass Effect 3 when they available next year.

I was set on this specs,
Motherboard : Asus P8Z68-V Pro/Gen3
Processor : i5 2500k
RAM : GSkill Sniper 2x4GB
HDD : SATA3 2TB (Haven't decided which one yet)
PSU : Seasonic 620W - 80 plus Bronze
Monitor : Dell U2412M
GPU : Gigabyte HD6970 2GB

Until I found out that the new "Tahiti GPU" will came out this 22nd or maybe next January 9th. So, my question are these:
1. Will there be significant performance difference between the new 7970 and 6970? Should I wait for it?

2. If I chose to wait, does this new Tahiti GPU will be compatible with the ASUS P8Z68V-V Pro/Gen3? I understand that I need Ivy Bridge to fully utilize the PCI-e 3.0, does Z68 and IB work well together?

Any kind of input will be greatly appreciated, including better distros that I should've chosen.
Everything seems to be complicated these days, with all of those graphic card distros. (The last game I've finished is GTA-VC with my an AGP Radeon. Pardon my "old age" :D )

More about : 7970 6970 wait

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a c 115 U Graphics card
December 20, 2011 4:43:03 PM

To answer your questions in order:

1. Yes there is a very significant performance difference between the 6970 and 7970. The latter one is showing 50-150% performance gains across the board in various benchmarks, without optimized drivers. It looks promising but it also looks to be rather expensive. By comparison, the 6970 can run all the games you mentioned at max settings at 1920x1080 and near max settings at 2560x1600. If money is not an issue I would wait for the new cards to arrive as it will futureproof the machine

2. In order to utilize PCI-E 3.0 you will need both a motherboard with PCI-E 3.0 and a CPU with PCI-E 3.0. The current Intel 6 series do not support PCI-E 3.0, the Intel 7 series does (although it remains uncertified due to there being no 3.0 boards to test it with). If you want to use PCI-E 3.0 you will need to get an Intel 7 series motherboard, but there's plenty of bandwidth left in PCI-E 2.0 so there's no real need and you will not see any performance increase.

Hope this helps
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a c 225 U Graphics card
December 20, 2011 5:05:29 PM

With the purported release date perhaps only 2 days away, (Dec 22 and January 9th both reported as potential release dates), no harm in waiting I guess. Tesselation performance, an area where the 6xxx series lagged the competition painfully, has reportedly been improved by 50-70% ..... Of course that doesn't mean fps has improved to that extent.
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December 20, 2011 5:50:12 PM

I would recommend at least waiting until the Dec 22nd, I doubt you will be able to get a 7970, but at least for sure you will know what you will be looking at for performance on AMD's next generation. From what I've been reading it appears to be ~%40 increase from a 6970 to a 7970. For a $550 price tag, it's a little borderline in my opinion.
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a c 88 U Graphics card
December 20, 2011 8:06:47 PM

Definately worth seeing the specs and performance benches of the new cards before you make your decision, either way you will get the faster or more affordable card as the 6970 should drop in price with the new arrivals.
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December 21, 2011 2:03:33 AM

Okay then, waiting it is. Thanks pinhedd, jack, jjtober1, and monsta. :D 

I think I will build the aforementioned PC minus the graphic card.

@Pinhedd
One quick follow-up question, if understand you correctly, there will be no performance difference of the HD7970 no matter which motherboard I use (PCI-e 3.0 or PCI-e 2.0 motherboard) because the bandwidth of the PCI-e 2.0 is not fully utilized yet with the HD7970, correct?
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December 21, 2011 2:04:40 AM

Best answer selected by kudbang.
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