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7950 issues and want a different gpu

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a c 91 U Graphics card
March 16, 2012 1:50:07 AM

currently have a crashing 7950 that I'd like to replace

Purchase Date: ASAP, before 23rd as that's my amazon return deadline and I"m not sure if I want to be calling up sapphire
usage: skyrim, civ5, starcraft 2, bf3, also needs autodesk maya for work
system: i5 2500k at 4.6ghz, thermaltake 1050w PSU, nzxt phantom case with all fans except the 200mm side fan
shopping places: amazon, newegg, microcenter
overclocking: I don't like to raise the stoke voltage, other than that, I like to OC as much as I can
monitors: two 1920x1080 monitors, will get a third. currently gaming on only 1 as I don't like eyefinity with 2 all that much. but I'll definately game on all 3 once I get a third one

other comments: I've tried a sapphire 7950 OC edition and refrence. the OC edition crashed like mad right after I got it, so I RMAed it and went back to a reference 7950. I've tried driversweep/reinstall catalyst, changing PCIe slots, even changed my PSU, nothing worked... maybe AMD's driver for 7950s just doesn't like my system... anyway, I'm mainly wondering if I should get a gtx580, if so 1.5gb or 3gb? otherwise maybe a 7970? it has insane OCability and to me that makes up for it lagging behind the leaked gtx680 a bit on the newest TH "news" article.

More about : 7950 issues gpu

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a b U Graphics card
March 16, 2012 2:23:27 AM

A 7970 will have the same drivers as a 7950 (and thus the same issues). What is it crashing in? My 7970 does crash now and then, but mostly in older games (which none of these newer cards are particularly good at).

The 580 can't do 3 monitors, can it? Kepler might, but that's not out yet. *Rumor* puts the release date right on your deadline.

What is the price difference between the 1.5G 580 and the 3G? The only times I could see the need for 3G would be high res/multi-monitor or Skyrim Texture mods (possibly).

Have you (or can you) try a full Windows reinstall just to see if old drivers (or some other software problem) is causing this issue? Maybe using a spare Hard drive or partition so you don't wipe out your current Windows.

Also, both 7950's were at stock, correct?
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a c 91 U Graphics card
March 16, 2012 2:42:25 AM

the OC edition 7950 that I RMAed crashes everygame I have, so it was definately bad... the reference 7950 that I'm using crashes once every day or two in skyrim (could just be the buggy game lol), rarely in starcraft 2, and once today in SWTOR (which prompted this post). my reference 7950 may not necessarily be bad, but I hear sapphire bin their cards, and I can just barely make 900-925mhz on stock voltage which is way under what I hear most 7950s can do. all in all, I guess I'm a bit unhappy with having a "bottom bin" top end card

I just did some research, I guess 580 can only do 3 monitors in SLI... I guess that means the 3G version would be pointless (might as well SLI two 1.5Gs since I run 1080p). I am a HUGE fan of Bethesda RPGs and mods (including texture) which is why I originally got the 7950.

hmm, a full windows reinstall may be worth trying... somehow it didn't occur to me to use a spare harddrive/partition. will do during the weekend!

and I've tried all kinds of clocks (including stock) on my 7950s, it doesn't seem to change the crash frequency (except with bad OCs)
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a b U Graphics card
March 16, 2012 2:53:22 AM

I haven't tried Skyrim yet unfortunately. I have the game, but right now I am still finishing up playing Oblivion with an epic total conversion mod (Nehrim). That crashes fairly consistently (once, or twice at max, a day), but it did that on my 5850 and GTX470 (so it is the game). I might give Skyrim a quick look this weekend.

I also have a Sapphire card, a 7970 reference card. Haven't tried OCing (for 1920x1080 it is already more than enough).

I think for most games 1.5G is enough. The only possible exceptions I can think of are perhaps Witcher 2 and the biggest Skyrim Texture mods. Still, if the 3G cards cost significantly more than the 1.5G cards, I would probably go with the 1.5G cards. With the 580 prices in seeming freefall right now, they certainly are tempting (despite no *official* Kepler news)
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a c 91 U Graphics card
March 16, 2012 2:58:43 AM

hmm, it sounds like Bethesda games aside, the 79** series have occasional crashes, probably just due to driver issues like everyone's complaining about...

good to know that you have a sapphire 7970. as far as I know sapphire don't have a factory OCed 7970, so they can't bin them right? maybe I'll just get their 7970 and be done with it. I do like their package of adapters very much :) 

thanks for the insight on gpu memory. I honestly have no clue how much is enough.

FYI, skyrim will take a little getting used to if you're playing oblivion atm, but that's for a whole other board haha. but bethesda games have even crashed my xbox/ps3 in ways I didn't even know was possible so yeah... they're super buggy. but can't resist the amazing story/action
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a b U Graphics card
March 16, 2012 3:14:26 AM

Well, I'll let you know if I try my 7970 in Skyrim soon. My problem is that if a game has mods, I usually use them. Then if it crashes I can't be sure if it was the fault of the game, mod, or even hardware. So I generally have to settle for a crash now and then.
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a c 171 U Graphics card
March 16, 2012 9:58:48 AM

If your board and PSU supports SLI don't forget about the GTX560TI. You should be able to get two for around $450 and it will be as fast if not faster then the GTX580/7970. It will also support 3 monitor gaming. You'll have the usual SLI issues but most overlook them.

Do you have the newest drivers? I think AMD just released the first official 79xx drivers not to far back.
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a c 91 U Graphics card
March 16, 2012 1:12:04 PM

good point! I did forget about the GTX560ti ever since I wrote it off in favor of the 7950 lol. I have been updating my AMD drivers, I think it's my particular combination of hardware/software that's just not sitting well with the new 79** drivers, which will probably end up being fixed at some point. but yeah, those 2GB 560ti cards look mighty tempting, especially on very mature drivers
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a b U Graphics card
March 16, 2012 1:46:37 PM

SLI/CF is something you want to be able to do down the road, buying 2 mid range cards is cutting all upgrade possibilities and makes no sence to me. 7950 is a fantastic card (especially the dual fan version you first had) and I have no idea why you can't get it to work properly. I know 7870 / GTX 680 will be out in a few days so you might want to check them out. I would really try a clean install of Windows first, though.
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a c 91 U Graphics card
March 16, 2012 3:04:02 PM

done with the clean windows install. my refrence 7950 works fine, no crashes so far with 3dmark vantage or any of my games (except skyrim... damn you bethesda!!! when will this love/hate relationship end???)

Diec4st, I agree with you and all things considered, I'll stick to the 7950 for now. I'll have funds etc to upgrade around summer next year and either get another 7950 or one of them sea islands cards or the Nvidia card.

As for the dual fan 7950s, I know they're great, it's why I went through the trouble of buying one when I own a reference version already. but I think I just got a defective card, and it crashes once it goes above 80% load no matter what it's doing. so meh, it's my bad luck and I accept it

as far as the reference goes, any advice on maybe a custom cooler? I think the only one out-there currently is the accelero xtreme

Update:

nvm the cooler. found a sapphire OC edition for 7970 on newegg with their awesome dual fan cooler :) 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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a c 91 U Graphics card
March 16, 2012 4:45:58 PM

Best answer selected by vmem.
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