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7950? 7970? or 680?

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Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 19, 2012 1:14:22 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: On or shortly after the 20th (Payday)

BUDGET RANGE: Probably no more than $550

USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming is the most taxing thing it'll see. Want to max SW:TOR, Skyrim, planning on picking up Diablo 3 and Guild Wars 2 but those seem minor compared to maxed Skyrim. Not a BF3 person, can't handle FPS games because of FOV. Photoshop when the need arises.

CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: Some Asus 9500GT with a Seasonic X 750W PSU

OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS: i5-2500k no OC yet, 12 GB RAM, ASRock Z68 Pro3-M Board in a Fractal Core 1000 with the default front case fan and a GELID PWM 92mm rear exhaust on a 3 pin because I only have one 4-pin for the CPU cooler :pfff:  . No side fan yet but will add if needed.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA

PARTS PREFERENCES: Reputable companies of course. Open to suggestions for specific cards.

OVERCLOCKING: Likely, it seems safer to do these things now days without literally holding a stack of money equating to ~value of card to an open flame.

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I was wondering if I really needed a 680 or if it was all the hype because of all the reading I've been doing and things that I honestly don't know about. I know that the games I play don't fall under the needs Phys X category and is TXAA the next best thing since sliced bread? Games are listed up there somewhere are what I'm planning on doing most of the time next to photoshop work. Now with the price drops on the 7900's, it seems a lot more reasonable to go with an AMD card if TXAA and Phys X aren't NEED to have things (Is there anything I'm missing thats major between the two?) I also read that 7950's can OC to 7970's with a 5% performance difference though I can afford to go 7970 for even more performance. With the shortage of 680 cards and patience of course, I felt that going with AMD would be a more than reasonable thing to do with price drops. I could even resell any bundled games to recoup some of the cost for the card.

Is there anything that is glaringly different between either or that warrants specifically purchasing one over the other? I just know that with the 680 I really don't plan on overclocking and I'm willing to OC the 7970 for more performance so long as I don't have it implode. Unless the 7950 is a better value. Hell, just hit me with anything I missed, beceause I'm really itching for a proper this gen card. Thanks!

More about : 7950 7970 680

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a b U Graphics card
April 19, 2012 8:38:41 AM

I would go for a HD 7950.
All of those cards seem tempting, but looks like you're not going in that much with really graphically intensive games like BF3, Crysis 2, Metro 2033.
All of them, Diablo 3, Skyrim, Guild wars 2 seem much less graphically demanding. So going for any of those three would be an overkill.
Here's a HD 7970 for $460 after mail in rebate.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And a HD 7950 for $400.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Review of a GTX 680 with benches included from HD 7970 and 7950.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-680-rev...
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a b U Graphics card
April 19, 2012 8:49:43 AM

for $550,go with 680.
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April 19, 2012 9:53:25 AM

My main concern was if PhysX, CUDA, and the TXAA was a big enough thing to warrant waiting for the new 600 cards though patience is pretty harsh when you're trying to play current titles with a 9500GT and shiny stuff on.

Also I came across a statement where a person may as well buy something that's just strong enough or a bit better and upgrade every 1-2 years rather than a $450-500 card every 3-4 since the $450-500+ cards tend to depreciate faster? Keeping that in mind, I was thinking maybe even a 7850 OC'd to 7870 speeds would be more affordable? The 7870 to 7950 speeds is harder to justify due to the $30-50 gap between the two. I'm really kind of partial to the Twin Frozr cooling from MSI as well from everything I've seen with other people.
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a c 175 U Graphics card
April 19, 2012 9:56:54 AM

The first choice would be EVGA GTX 680, but if you can find it on stock. Seeing 7950 on the $400 mark, it seem like a pretty good deal to me, you can go and get that too and save money, or even the 7870, which is $50 cheaper than 7950 but an only bit slower than the 7950. The 7970 is also good seeing it's $20 cheaper than 680, but if you can get the 680, there is no reason to get 7970, 7970 is just an alternative to the 680.
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April 19, 2012 10:03:20 AM

7950, since you won't be playing intensive games like bf3
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Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
April 19, 2012 11:09:21 AM

Get a good cool running 7950 i got one overclocked to 1200 mhz and whipes the floor of a gtx 680 stock.7950 ill keep pimping it on here and this is coming from someone with a 7970 also.
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April 19, 2012 7:52:52 PM

So I'm seeing that the 7950 with an OC is probably the best way to go right now. But I wanted to know, are the features from the Nvidia card things to care about or things that're only good to have if you can get your hands on one? I'm talking about PhysX, CUDA, and mainly the TXAA. PhysX and CUDA seem unnecessary with what I'm doing and the TXAA is probably the only thing worth thinking about, I think.

Based on the coolers available, I'm leaning towards the Sapphire. Would this be one of the better choices on the 7950s?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

There's still another day to see what happens with the 680 but I think we're all pretty sure that it's not going to go "Suprise! We're back in stock". I'm planning on buying a card at this point and forgetting about it for two years or so. Yes, I'm leaving a 680 stock if I can get it but will probably OC the AMD card because there seems to be much more headroom.
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a c 217 U Graphics card
April 19, 2012 8:15:58 PM

No one knows what TXAA will bring. It going to be a developer implemented AA form that looks as good or better than 8x MSAA. Because it's developer implemented, there is a good chance it'll work on AMD cards too. Look at FXAA as an example. Nvidia owners can turn it on for any game, but when the developer puts it in game, both AMD and Nvidia can use it. The same could hold true for TXAA, but we don't know until it is used for the first time.
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a c 671 U Graphics card
April 19, 2012 8:45:14 PM

This is actually a pretty clear decision to make, since you have the budget to buy a GTX 680.

Skyrim massively favors the GTX 680. Not to mention that the 7900 series is well known to have driver problems and graphical glitches in Skyrim. The GTX 680 will also allow you to enable Ambient Occlusion and Transparency Supersampling in Skyrim, options which are not available with AMD cards.
http://forums.guru3d.com/showthread.php?t=360935
http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1671095


Quote: "In this graph we have 8X MSAA turned on in the game plus NVIDIA's 8X TR SSAA and AMD's Adaptive SSAA. This graph just blows our minds, something is severely bottlenecking the Radeon HD 7970 and we don't know what. The Radeon HD 7970 has 3GB of RAM and a very high memory bandwidth compared to the GTX 680. Yet, the GTX 680 is 208% faster! Whatever the cause is, its clear the GTX 680 allows a better experience right now by allowing 8X MSAA + 8X TR SSAA to be enabled in this game and deliver above 60 FPS average performance with phenomenal image quality."
http://www.hardocp.com/article/2012/03/22/nvidia_kepler...








You have mentioned some features of the 680, but haven't mentioned FXAA and Adaptive VSync, which actually is a nice breakthrough.
http://www.hardocp.com/article/2012/04/16/nvidia_adapti...


Of course, the GTX 680 also overclocks extremely well and uses its own Turbo Boost feature on top of that.


http://www.hardocp.com/article/2012/04/04/nvidia_kepler...
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a b U Graphics card
April 19, 2012 8:56:17 PM

you CANT buy a 680GTX, they are all out of stock for right now and we probably will not see anymore till may, even than it will be limited numbers. You can dream about a 680gtx, or you can buy a 7970/7950.
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April 19, 2012 9:11:26 PM

wasn't the warranty from evga usually like life time limited warranty? is it the same for 680's?

I do not want to buy any 680's on the market currently, and the reason for this is that these are the reference models.


When do the non reference models for 680 release, I want to see better cooling, the temps on reference models is meh, a problem for over clocking.
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a c 217 U Graphics card
April 19, 2012 9:40:16 PM

17seconds said:
This is actually a pretty clear decision to make, since you have the budget to buy a GTX 680.

Skyrim massively favors the GTX 680. Not to mention that the 7900 series is well known to have driver problems and graphical glitches in Skyrim. The GTX 680 will also allow you to enable Ambient Occlusion and Transparency Supersampling in Skyrim, options which are not available with AMD cards.
http://forums.guru3d.com/showthread.php?t=360935
http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1671095

http://www.hardocp.com/images/articles/1332370311kfvezRMQlH_6_4.gif
Quote: "In this graph we have 8X MSAA turned on in the game plus NVIDIA's 8X TR SSAA and AMD's Adaptive SSAA. This graph just blows our minds, something is severely bottlenecking the Radeon HD 7970 and we don't know what. The Radeon HD 7970 has 3GB of RAM and a very high memory bandwidth compared to the GTX 680. Yet, the GTX 680 is 208% faster! Whatever the cause is, its clear the GTX 680 allows a better experience right now by allowing 8X MSAA + 8X TR SSAA to be enabled in this game and deliver above 60 FPS average performance with phenomenal image quality."
http://www.hardocp.com/article/2012/03/22/nvidia_kepler...


You can always count on Matto17sec to find the most ridiculous comparisons. Seriously, they are comparing adaptive SSAA to Nvidia's TR SSAA? Adaptive MSAA is a much more comparable setting on AMD's side. AMD's true SSAA is just retardedly demanding. Adaptive MSAA on AMD is pretty much the same thing as Nvidia's TF SSAA and far less demanding, much like Nvidia's version.

As to their wondering, the bottleneck on the AMD comparison was the use of SSAA. It's not like Nvidia's TR version which just works on textures within an object, it does it to the whole screen at once. Adpative MSAA was what they should have used, which does SSAA on the textures and MSAA around the edges. However, SSAA would produce better results in many cases with very playable FPS too.
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April 19, 2012 11:08:43 PM

EVGA releases an few of each type of 680 almost everyday at around 10am and 3pm PST. You just have to keep F5ing it around those times. I got mine today around 3:40pm PST, so they don't always release them at the same time. My friend has one and in my opinion it is totally worth it. I have a 7950 and it totally wipes it out the way
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a c 671 U Graphics card
April 19, 2012 11:48:16 PM

bystander said:
You can always count on Matto17sec to find the most ridiculous comparisons. Seriously, they are comparing adaptive SSAA to Nvidia's TR SSAA? Adaptive MSAA is a much more comparable setting on AMD's side. AMD's true SSAA is just retardedly demanding. Adaptive MSAA on AMD is pretty much the same thing as Nvidia's TF SSAA and far less demanding, much like Nvidia's version.

As to their wondering, the bottleneck on the AMD comparison was the use of SSAA. It's not like Nvidia's TR version which just works on textures within an object, it does it to the whole screen at once. Adpative MSAA was what they should have used, which does SSAA on the textures and MSAA around the edges. However, SSAA would produce better results in many cases with very playable FPS too.

They are referring to Adaptive Antialiasing, not the regular full-scene SSAA. For the record, there is no such thing called Adaptive MSAA or Adaptive SSAA. AAA uses both, so the confusion is understandable. HardOCP is not so ignorant as to make the type of "ridiculous comparison" that you are implying.

Bottom line, if you're looking to play Skyrim, the GTX 680 or even GTX 580 is going to have better image quality and better overall performance than the best that AMD has to offer.
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a c 217 U Graphics card
April 20, 2012 12:05:39 AM

17seconds said:
They are referring to Adaptive Antialiasing, not the regular full-scene SSAA. For the record, there is no such thing called Adaptive MSAA or Adaptive SSAA. AAA uses both, so the confusion is understandable. HardOCP is not so ignorant as to make the type of "ridiculous comparison" that you are implying.

Bottom line, if you're looking to play Skyrim, the GTX 680 or even GTX 580 is going to have better image quality and better overall performance than the best that AMD has to offer.


You probably have never used an AMD card in the past few years, but they have had an Adaptive MSAA mode for a few years now. It basically is MSAA + the SSAA transparencies that Nvdia has. It is a real mode. HardOCP, however, most often does their benchmarks from a different view point than any other reviewer. They do not compare apples to apples, instead, they use the best settings they can use from one card and compare it to the best settings usable on the other card. You often are seeing apples and oranges.

Btw, I don't dislike the GTX 680. I have one and it runs great. I just hate to see people be mislead. In other games the 7970 does out pace my GTX 680. It is not one sided.
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April 20, 2012 12:14:50 AM

I like my GTX 680, I get about 10,500 performance score on 3dmark 11 with an i7-2600. The 690 is coming out in May. Wait for the 690 and for prices to drop a little more, I don't think you will be disappointed. I think that the software Nvidia ships with there chips, like adaptive vsync and FXAA and TXAA are what draw me in. Without those the 680 and 7970 are really close. Nvidia and AMD are both great companies, I like Nvidia a little more.

Should I sell my 680 and get a 690? I have the money for a 690, would anyone pay $450 for a month old 680 with a high flow bracket and backplate, transferable warranty.
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a b U Graphics card
April 20, 2012 3:44:56 AM

i think MSi twinfrozer is best custom cooler.twwinfrozer iii cards have beefier VRMs which makes them overclockers' dream.
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Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
April 20, 2012 3:49:46 AM

Cory23 said:
EVGA releases an few of each type of 680 almost everyday at around 10am and 3pm PST. You just have to keep F5ing it around those times. I got mine today around 3:40pm PST, so they don't always release them at the same time. My friend has one and in my opinion it is totally worth it. I have a 7950 and it totally wipes it out the way

Unless you overclck the 7950.the 7950 is not to special at stock but when overclocked you will not beat the price/performance anywhere.I got my 7950 beating stock gtx 680's pretty easily in most games ive benched and synthetic benches
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a b U Graphics card
April 20, 2012 4:09:56 AM

but gtx 480 with a reference cooler is a nightmare of silent lovers.
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a c 217 U Graphics card
April 20, 2012 4:18:30 AM

Quote:
It does not get any hotter than any other high end card out there (75-80c).
Noise, depends what your resilliance level is.
The 480 is a shockingly good performer that was given very bad press, due to immature drivers and a much needed bios revision.
The 480's underwent a bios revision, giving the card cooler temps by making the fan speed up before it gets too hot, resulting in the temperatures that i have typed above.


You do have to add that you also have aftermarket coolers on it as well. At stock, they are loud or hot, often both. At least my 470's were.
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a c 217 U Graphics card
April 20, 2012 4:22:15 AM

What's the noise level of it with that aggressive of a fan profile?
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a c 217 U Graphics card
April 20, 2012 4:27:14 AM

I came from reference 470's in SLI (stock with 2 full slots open between them). It seemed like a leaf blower when they were at load, and I have a pretty exceptionally quiet and cool case. Of course I may be more sensitive to noise than you are. That is one nice thing about the 680, even at load, it is barely recognizable. Or should I say, it seems completely silent until I shut the game off, then I can barely hear it get smidge quieter.
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April 20, 2012 4:51:16 AM

Quote:
Unless you overclck the 7950.the 7950 is not to special at stock but when overclocked you will not beat the price/performance anywhere.I got my 7950 beating stock gtx 680's pretty easily in most games ive benched and synthetic benches


At what levels of OC? I'm leaning towards the Sapphire 7950 OC Version since in a week or in a month they may or may not have stock of the 680 still and it seems that the new technology in it is only as good as the developers behind the game right?

Quote:
GTX 480 beats all cards for price/performance currently.
But the 7950 is a better buy than a 7970 or GTX 680.



Better buy based on? I'm just trying to further justify the "I want it NOW".
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April 20, 2012 5:13:08 AM

Quote:
Based on performance for your buck.
$229 for a gpu that is slightly faster than a GTX 570, it is hard to pass up.


Oh, it's $400 USD for the 7970 OC version, and then 450-500 for a 7970 depending what you buy. Same ratios? I know that overseas the AMD cards tend to be a much better buy.
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April 20, 2012 5:24:30 AM



Oh I get it. I was talking about the 7950 over 7970. Based on conversion there's like an $80 USD difference between your linked 7970 and the same 7950 OC I'm looking at, which would be the same on this end unless I went for the cheapest 7970. Nonetheless thanks, same rates.

http://www.scan.co.uk/products/3gb-sapphire-radeon-hd-7...
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Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
April 20, 2012 5:44:16 AM

Quote:
GTX 480 beats all cards for price/performance currently.
But the 7950 is a better buy than a 7970 or GTX 680.


I meant more for highend gtx 480 really isnt considered high end anymore.And id bet money the 7950 overclocked to 1200 mhz can keep with gtx 480 sli for what 100$ cheaper?
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Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
April 20, 2012 5:48:35 AM

My 7950 overclocked to 1200 mhz is faster then the gtx 680 and have benches to prove it
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Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
April 20, 2012 5:57:57 AM

alterleaf said:
At what levels of OC? I'm leaning towards the Sapphire 7950 OC Version since in a week or in a month they may or may not have stock of the 680 still and it seems that the new technology in it is only as good as the developers behind the game right?




Better buy based on? I'm just trying to further justify the "I want it NOW".


just by judging from what i get with 1200 mhz i think 1150 mhz will net you gtx 680 speeds,atleast from the benches and some of the games i ran.1150 is pretty easy to hit to
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Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
April 20, 2012 5:59:58 AM

Quote:
You mean here:
http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/forum2.php?config=t...

You may be right in unigene.
480's will be slightly faster in none synthetic benchies due to more raw performance.
I still liked your score it is impressive.
EDIT:
Your AF was at x4 with no AA....
I had 4xAA and 16xAF.


If you can think of any tests that would more accuratley measure the difference let me know we can compare if ya want
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Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
April 20, 2012 6:11:14 AM

k gimme a min
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Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
April 20, 2012 6:59:39 AM

Ill give it a go tommorow there were only 2 servers playing that map both had zero players one was a 16 player and the other a 24 player server.The only way to properly figure this out i think is 1 gtx 480 against 1 7950.the price difference is 60.4% is a 7950 60.4% faster then a gtx 480?I would imagine even if not the overclocking of a 7950 is way higher then what you would get on a gtx 480.Ive owned a 480,470 and a 460 loved them all.Ill try to run the tests tommorow or saturday when there are more online.also the one server was in japan i doubt id run very well on that one anyways
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Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
April 20, 2012 9:11:09 AM

Quote:
Not to be rude mate the 7950 is a fantastic card, but i think you are out of your depth putting it up against 2 GTX 480's both clocked at 850mhz with BF3 performance topping the 6990 and 590, and touching 580 SLi.

Im sure i am but i wanted to see comparisons reguarding what the best bang for the buck is and i DONT think its the gtx 480 not to mention there power hogs.I know the power they have im not blind but you havent owned a 7950 to see what its like at 1200 mhz.Would you have even expected it to keep with 2 gtx 480's in sli in heaven?I bet not.I get 40%+ performance increase in everything i run over stock.Ive owned 480's like i said i am quite aware what they can do.I know they are faster then a 7950 but not by much.You mentioned the 480 being best bang for the buck lets compare card for card and see if i get the 60% faster runs then you.We have to find a benchmark that cant be faked.i could look at a wall and get minimum 100 fps its way to hard to compare benches in a game like bf 3 way to many variables.2 gtx 480's would beat my 7950 but id guess by less then 10% and considering sli doesnt work in all games the comparison is kind of a wash.
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Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
April 20, 2012 9:14:43 AM

believe it or not im actually going to trade my 7970 for 2 gtx 480's.I am building another PC and want to sli them so its not like im hating on them.One card im getting is a reference evga and the other galaxy with aftermarket cooling on them.Ill beable to do the comparisons myself lol
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Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
April 20, 2012 9:18:27 AM

I do think the 7970 is way overpriced atleast initially.i regret spending $600 on it
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Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
April 20, 2012 9:29:56 AM

Quote:
Corrected, saw your last post.



what was your score again?I got 86.9 with 4x aa and 16x af that was with toms settings
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Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
April 20, 2012 9:43:37 AM

Ok then i bow down to the gtx 480's lol.I cant wait to get 2 on saturday i like to move around with cards alot lol.Im keeping the 7950 because i can get more out of it stable then my 7970 and plus it just looks cooler lol.I love the look of the his iceQ 7950 its so ugly its cool lol.I had 480 sli before I think i ran them on an 1100 watt but now only have 1000 watt one that runs 933 watts constant.Im assuming i got enough juice to overclock both and run them in sli?I think i seen quad sli 480's running like 1100 watts peak cant remember
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April 20, 2012 9:52:55 AM

Well anyway, out of opinion, which of the coolers on the 7950's on Newegg are best?
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Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
April 20, 2012 10:02:29 AM




extreme tes really takes a hit
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Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
April 20, 2012 10:07:54 AM

how am i suppose to hit 60 fps with shaders on high?:)  ill rerun tommorow thought we were going by toms presets and tes high anyways official poster the saphire and might i also reccomend the his iceQ i got it to 1100 mhz with no voltage jump and it stays under 60 celcius http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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April 20, 2012 7:26:23 PM

Best answer selected by alterleaf.
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a c 273 U Graphics card
April 20, 2012 8:28:21 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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