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GTX 560 Ti SLI OC vs HD7870 OC

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 16, 2012 7:50:07 AM

Just a quick question guys, what would give better performance for the dollar, a pair of GTX 560 Tis in SLI (overclocked by me), or a single HD7870 factory overclocked? This is for a future build, not an upgrade. I'd be playing games such as BF3, BC2, ARMA II, L4D2 DiRT 3 and COD: Black Ops at 1920x1080 with no plans for a multi monitor set up.

$203.50 Asus nVidia GTX560 Ti 1GB
$395.00 SAPPHIRE RADEON 7870 2GB GHZ OC Edition

I plan on using an OCZ Technology ZS Series 650W Power Supply.


Thanks in advance for your help.

More about : gtx 560 sli hd7870

a c 169 U Graphics card
April 16, 2012 8:09:47 AM

2 GTX 560 Ti's are faster than 1 7870.(but the difference isn't much),so I vote for 1 7870.It runs cooler/quieter and has less power consumption too
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a c 87 U Graphics card
April 16, 2012 8:10:28 AM

1GB is not enough VRAM these days, so the 7870 wins by a landslide. However, you might want to get a cheaper 7870 and overclock it yourself instead of buying a factory overclocked version. The 7870 should also use less power than a single 560 TI, so it's no competition in cost over time.
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a b U Graphics card
April 16, 2012 8:22:38 AM

i suggest buy 7950 OC,it's 3GB VRAM :D 
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a c 87 U Graphics card
April 16, 2012 8:26:42 AM

2GB versus 3GB at 1080p is worthless and the 7950 has very similar performance to the 7870 despite the large difference in price (the difference in price only being worth it to overclockers due to the 7950 overclocking far more than the 7870).

1GB versus 2GB at 1080p can provide a bottleneck in performance in some games with some settings.2GB can not bottleneck any current games at 1080p and shouldn't bottleneck any games at 1080p for several years to come, at the earliest. Going to the 7950 is a pointless waste of money for this.
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April 16, 2012 8:42:40 AM

Thanks for your input. So something like this SAPPHIRE RADEON 7870 2GB GHZ Edition would be good, once overclocked? What are AMD's drivers like? I've always heard that they don't work as well as nVidia's, but that was a while ago and is probably just a myth.
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a c 87 U Graphics card
April 16, 2012 8:47:15 AM

sam_fisher said:
Thanks for your input. So something like this SAPPHIRE RADEON 7870 2GB GHZ Edition would be good, once overclocked? What are AMD's drivers like? I've always heard that they don't work as well as nVidia's, but that was a while ago and is probably just a myth.


The Radeon drivers for the Radeon 7000 cards need some improvement, but the drivers for the other AMD/Ati cards are great. The problems with the Radeon 7000 cards are mostly limited to Crossfire configurations and their hardware encoding/transcoding accelerator. There was a very minor picture quality problem (so minor it took taking a screen shot and blowing it up significantly jsut to start to see it), but it has been fixed. SAPPHIRE is a great manufacturer, especially for overclocking.
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April 16, 2012 9:03:48 AM

I guess that's expected though from a new card, and Crossfire won't be an option for quite a while if I get the 7870. I'll probably hang out and wait to see what else nVidia release from their 600 series, but if nothing there is appealing I'll go with the 7870.
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April 16, 2012 9:18:00 AM

2 560ti cards in SLI will be faster than a 7870...

560ti SLI OC will trade blows with a 7970 (mildly OC'd as well) in terms of performance

That said, there *might* be issues with the 1 GB vram in the future, but right now at 1080p nothing is really choked by it.

edit - If you were to ask me what I recommend, I recommend the 7870 - I would want the option to crossfire in the future, and I don't like the idea of doing new builds/upgrades around 1 GB vram even though it doesn't cause many issues at the moment.
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a b U Graphics card
April 16, 2012 9:44:03 AM

i'd get the 7870, though it's slower than the 560ti sli, but you won't notice it by much, and it's much better for future-proofing.... if you feel the performance started to get lacking, just slap another 7870 (at much lower acquisition cost than today, of course)

Also the higher ram is nice....
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a c 130 U Graphics card
April 16, 2012 9:51:16 AM

Just to be clear on this, 2x 1GB 560 Ti's will be faster than a 7870 but for your usage the 7870 would be the better bet as it has more Vram. The SLI cards will still only add up to 1 GB usable Vram. Just saying so everyone is clear on that :) 
At this stage 2GB is going to give you a safety net should games start using more than 1GB routinely.

Mactronix :) 
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a c 87 U Graphics card
April 18, 2012 3:14:28 PM

Also, if you want some numbers on the speed difference between the 560 TI SLI and the 7870, the 560 TI should never exceed 10% to 20% faster than the 7870, at least not by much and if it does, only in a few games. Most of the Nvidia optimized games do very well on the GCN Radeons, so the number of Nvidia favoring games seems to have shrunk significantly. This is making AMD a more universal player in the performance numbers with these latest Radeons.
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