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GTX 680 reference or ATI 7970 lightning

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 11, 2012 5:29:30 PM

Hey guys. After walking two hours in the most important tech mall in my city I realised that getting a gtx 680 (any) is going to be impossible at least for the rest two weeks. I'm not saying I can't wait but, I was thinking about if the standard version of the gtx 680 could be matched or even outperformed by a lightning 7970. I read Tom's review and I know a 7970 (with stock clocks) is no match for a 680, but what about one 7970 OC to 1200? Right now I can get a 7970 for $540 and the lightning version for around $650.

Since the very beginning I've been an nvidia fan, help me chose please!

Thank you
a b U Graphics card
April 11, 2012 8:13:11 PM

If the lightning was the same price as the 680 I'd say getting it now instead of in a few weeks would be a good deal, its ahead on some benchmarks, behind on others compared to the 680. But for $150 it wouldn't be worth it IMO, you'd be getting a comparable card for so much more.

I've been an ati fan, but I've been using 460s for 2 years now, and looking at a new nvidia card with the 680 when more are in stock.
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April 11, 2012 8:29:33 PM

i agree 7970 are great, but for the price i'd just wait tell the 680 actually is available.

but if you'd rather get something sooner then later then there's nothing wrong getting a 7970 but i wouldn't spend that much on a mod card
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April 11, 2012 8:34:14 PM

If you dont absolutely need the upgrade right now, wait for the "big kepler" gk 110. It should come out in fall 2012. However, it is all rumors right, but the 256 bit memory bus on GTX 680 does not looks pretty.
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April 11, 2012 8:34:50 PM

Well I understand you say at stock the 7970 will be outperformed. Think of it this way. If you are overclocking a 7970 to match or slightly out perform and 680 at stock, could you not just over clock a 680 that you get to be better then the OCed 7970?

My vote goes to the 680
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Best solution

April 11, 2012 8:38:38 PM

Wait for the GTX 680. You won't kick yourself like I did with my buying a AMD 6970 because I could not wait for the GTX 580.
Me, I am just such a NVidia fan after I got my GTX 580. Stable, great drivers, no BS stuff loaded with the driver (here's looking at YOU, LOTR), and a profitable company. Also, folks are starting to push the stock GTX 680 on air into unreachable territories for ANY form of 7970 to reach.
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April 12, 2012 1:03:51 AM

Thank you all! Well I most admit that I tought about the 7970 for mainly 2 reasons, 1st dissapointing from the 680 avaliability and second because the lightning itself it's a beauty. I remember I had once a roommate that had the 5990 (damn beast) and it was just awesome, way beyond any other card at the moment but I also remember him having some stupid driver problems. I think I'll just wait until the gtx 680 is on stock again and maybe a littl further to see any non reference versions; gk110 for me is just too long and to uncertain.

Thanks again!
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a b U Graphics card
April 12, 2012 1:27:12 AM

When overclocked the 680 and 7970 tend to perform roughly the same, each card performs better in a few titles. They are built on the same process and now that the architectures are much more similar, they hit clock speed walls at similar frequencies. AMD's GCN will tend to perform better on titles that have lots of simultaneous compute operations in flight due to the hardware scheduler and other compute features. NVidia will perform better on the rest. Also don't discount the effects of drivers on the comparison. This is AMD's first hardware scheduled non-VLIW architecture.
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April 12, 2012 1:31:15 AM

I think I'd wait for stock on the 680 to fill up. There should be some price changing then, and both cards may drop in price. The ATI card should for sure.
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a b U Graphics card
April 12, 2012 1:33:51 AM

Ah right, I forgot about price. Right now the 7970 is overpriced (in general) against the 680. The prices for the 7970 should settle at or just below the 680.
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a b U Graphics card
April 12, 2012 1:42:24 AM

NVIDIA fan? Wait my friend. trust me they will get this "Stock Shortage" straight eventually. "Good things come to those who wait"
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a c 92 U Graphics card
April 12, 2012 1:44:04 AM

I'd wait as well. Price cuts to the 7970 should be coming when availability of the 680 goes up.

If you really can't wait, then the 7970 with a decent cooler can be had for much less than the lightning and you can easily OC just as high as the lightning, its just pretty much a flashy card with a factory OC that is easily reachable doing it yourself.
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a c 88 U Graphics card
April 12, 2012 2:37:48 AM

I would wait too , and see what 680 aftermarket cards show up with higher clocks out of the box.
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a c 217 U Graphics card
April 12, 2012 3:07:43 AM

The only fear is that the 680 prices might make a large jump in the near future. Like the 5870's did.
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a c 92 U Graphics card
April 12, 2012 3:09:09 AM

maybe AMD knows something like that would happen and is why they don't lower the 7970's price.
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a b U Graphics card
April 12, 2012 3:22:01 AM

680 all the way!!wait for MSi twinfrozer if you can.
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April 12, 2012 3:36:30 AM

I just hope the gtx 680 keeps it's price as it is now. About AMD yeah it is weird that they have not lowered the 7970 rpice yet, although since theey are old fellas (yeah right) with nvidia they should have foreseen the lack of avaliability of the gtx 680 in the first month, who knows.
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April 13, 2012 2:41:25 AM

Best answer selected by Davemaster84.
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