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Choosing between GTX 680 or a Radeon 7970 HD 3GB

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April 16, 2012 7:46:59 PM

I was planning on purchasing the GTX 680 however a sale did catch my eye with the Radeon 7970. Since they're both around the same price I wanted to ask for opinions on which I should look into getting. Monitor will support a max of 1920x1080

My last card was a Radeon x800 and it served me quite well. Check out the links below.

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

http://www.memoryexpress.com/Products/MX37298
April 16, 2012 7:56:06 PM

They're incredibly similar if you're willing to do some overclocking. Really comes down to which feature set that you like better. The 7970 is a better overclocker (and it needs to be, since the 680 is faster at stock), has a TON more GP compute power, and an extra gig of vram if you like that idea (though there is currently no noticeable performance advantage form it). The 680 has better stock performance, it uses a bit less power, and it has features like PhysX and Adaptive vsync.

If you don't like the idea of overclocking, get the 680 if you can find it in stock for ~$500. Also, the 7970 is supposedly gonna drop to $480 in the next couple days, so you should pick one up at that price instead of $500.
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April 16, 2012 8:05:43 PM

BigMack70 said:
They're incredibly similar if you're willing to do some overclocking. Really comes down to which feature set that you like better. The 7970 is a better overclocker (and it needs to be, since the 680 is faster at stock), has a TON more GP compute power, and an extra gig of vram if you like that idea (though there is currently no noticeable performance advantage form it). The 680 has better stock performance, it uses a bit less power, and it has features like PhysX and Adaptive vsync.

If you don't like the idea of overclocking, get the 680 if you can find it in stock for ~$500. Also, the 7970 is supposedly gonna drop to $480 in the next couple days, so you should pick one up at that price instead of $500.


Thanks for the feedback. Any thoughts on drivers? I've will admit that I have had driver issues in the past with ATI. Nothing major. Just nuisances.
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April 16, 2012 8:31:19 PM

I've had no issues with my 7970 drivers. Heard lots of bad things about 7970 crossfire driver support at launch, but even that I think has been mostly smoothed out.
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April 16, 2012 8:32:47 PM

Personally, i like AMD/ATI GPU's and I am going to upgrade soon. But, for the first time in my life, i am going to try out Nvidia and get the 680. Though the 7970 is a better overclocker, the 680 has stock clocks. If you are willing to overclock, and the price drops to $480 for the 7970, I would say take your pick. But, currently, the 680 is the fasts single GPU on the market now, and it is cheaper. Also, the difference between 3GB and 2GB is not noticable at all unless you are interested in Eyefinity. Other then that, no point in 3GB of Vram. Pretty much, the 680 is cheaper, better stock performance, uses less power, has PhysX and Adaptive vsync, which is a great idea, IMO. So go for the 680, unless you want to wait for prices to drop.
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April 16, 2012 8:35:07 PM

When overclocking the 7970 outperforms the GTX 680?
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April 16, 2012 8:35:49 PM

I am also a long time ATI/AMD user. I'm going over to Nvidia as well, I was before the 680 was released but its easily the better option in my eyes.

Mactronix :) 
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April 16, 2012 8:37:52 PM

mtycholaz said:
Thanks for the feedback. Any thoughts on drivers? I've will admit that I have had driver issues in the past with ATI. Nothing major. Just nuisances.


The Catalyst 12.2 drivers had tons and tons of problems. The 12.3 drivers are much better but there are still a few issues around. 12.4 is showing a very nice performance increase (it's not out yet) and will be the one to watch for
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April 16, 2012 8:39:13 PM

Delengowski said:
When overclocking the 7970 outperforms the GTX 680?


Yes it does. The 7970 was shipped with overly conservative clock speeds. It's pretty standard to take it from 925 to at least 1100 without any corresponding change in power cap
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April 16, 2012 8:42:42 PM

Wait for the 7900 series price drop, then pick up a 7970 its a no brainer. The gtx 680 is a good card but with less compute dedicated transistors it should have destroyed the 7970, just goes to show you that AMD this round has the superior architecture.
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April 16, 2012 8:49:33 PM

I think it's hard to claim that AMD has the superior architecture when the GTX 680 was originally designed as the midrange Kepler card...

That said, I do really like the 7970 (obviously). Overclocked, the 7970 beats a stock easily and will trade blows with an overclocked 680.
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April 16, 2012 9:06:12 PM

BigMack70 said:
I think it's hard to claim that AMD has the superior architecture when the GTX 680 was originally designed as the midrange Kepler card...

That said, I do really like the 7970 (obviously). Overclocked, the 7970 beats a stock easily and will trade blows with an overclocked 680.



AMD performs well both in compute and in games, even a 7870 can be overclocked and catch up to a 7970. So wheather or not the GK104 or gtx 680 was suppose to be a mid range doesnt matter. As I understand Nvidia could not get their GK110 to work, Nvidia they works very closely with game developers and still behind in some games . You are right both card trade blows but Tahiti architecture performs on all fronts.
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April 16, 2012 9:19:55 PM

redeemer said:
AMD performs well both in compute and in games, even a 7870 can be overclocked and catch up to a 7970. So wheather or not the GK104 or gtx 680 was suppose to be a mid range doesnt matter. As I understand Nvidia could not get their GK110 to work, Nvidia they works very closely with game developers and still behind in some games . You are right both card trade blows but Tahiti architecture performs on all fronts.



The 680 does what it was designed to do which is play games, the 7970 does what it was designed to do which was play games and do better at compute than the last gen.
As I think was said it depends on which feature set you prefer.
The fact that GK104 was actually designed the next generation GTX 560 Ti would only not matter to someone pro AMD and anti Nvidia :pfff: 

Mactronix :) 
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April 16, 2012 9:26:22 PM

The AMD offerings choke for some reason in BF3 during multi-explosion events where the nVidia cards don't (can't find the article right now). If you don't play BF3 then it's probably a wash unless you use compute.

I can't see any use for compute so I'm swayed toward nVidia at this point (as a BF3 player).
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April 16, 2012 10:21:39 PM

well simple the HD 7970 is supposed to be around $479.99 usd and the gtx 680 is $500usd save some bucks for the same and better perfomance when overclocked.
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April 16, 2012 10:39:52 PM

7970 isn't really faster overclocked. I had a huge thread on it going for a few weeks, and the general results is this: stock the 680 is faster, OCed they are pretty much identical. The 680 performs better at 1080p or lower resolution, and the 7970 catches up a little at 2560x1600, but is generally faster at 5760x1080.

IMO the 680 is the better card right now for gaming, but with the 7970 price drop comming it won't really matter much.
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