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Sapphire 7950 OC vs 7970. Worth the difference?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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May 5, 2012 5:02:57 AM

I'm at an impasse on which GPU to purchase. I'm just about due for an upgrade, with games starting to use DX10 as a standard and textures requiring more GPU memory.

From what I've been able to pull out of the internet, Sapphire seems to be on top with the 7000 series non-reference cooling designs.

I want to be able to run BF3 at all Ultra settings with all possible AA turned on at 60 fps. I play at 1920x1080, and don't see myself getting a 2560x1600 monitor for some time. (Until they're around 300$ at least. So, a good ways off)

My system specs are as follows:

Azza Solano-1000 Case

Corsair HX1000 PSU

Core i5 2500k @ 4.0 GHZ (Cooled with Hyper 212 EVO Push/Pull)

8GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1600mhz

MSI Z68A-G45 (B3) Mobo

XFX HD 6870 Black Edition

With this, and no AA or Post AA at all, I get around 40-60 FPS. (60 in smaller areas, Norshar Canals for example) Not terrible, it's playable, but I like to keep my games 60 and above.

These are the two cards I'm looking at:

7970: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

7950: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

A 55$ price difference. Doesn't seem like much, but on my budget it very well could be. I've looked around at benchmarks, but now I want to ask the opinion of the community.
May 5, 2012 1:46:33 PM

Hmm, do you want to do Crossfire thing on the future?
1. If you prefer a single card then you really want to get that HD7970. Keep your 6870 as a spare.
2. 2x7950 are faster than single 7970. Keep 6870 as spare.
3. Sell your 6870 and get dual 7970 for maximum performance. :) 
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May 5, 2012 2:31:18 PM

I would say 7970 because if needed you can overclock it for when you get a 2560x1600 moniter. The 7950 is good too but the 7970 is better :D 
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May 5, 2012 3:00:19 PM

As long as you can afford a HD 7970, go for it. If you are on a constrained budget then I would be happy to say that the HD 7950 is the best GPU in the HD 7000 series with overclocking potentiality, when overclocked to a certain level, it surpasses the HD 7970 and be very close to GTX 680.
http://www.guru3d.com/article/radeon-hd-7950-overclock-...
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May 5, 2012 5:22:55 PM

Since there's no official benches, we can't depend on this. Like we believed the rumored specs sheet and it was totally wrong.

What makes me unbelievable to this benches is that GTX 670 is very close to HD 6990 in most games, how could this be true?
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May 5, 2012 5:30:00 PM

SLI, Crossfire and micro-stutter:

The new NVidia Kepler series (GTX680 and upcoming cards) are the ONLY cards that have a hardware solution to solve the micro-stutter with multiple cards.

You get micro-stutter due to the difference in the time to draw a frame on one card compared to the other card. Kepler has now solved this by forcing (in hardware, not software) the cards to synchronize the time they take to draw a frame so it's equal.

The GTX680 has other advantages:
- Adaptive VSYNC
- PhysX
- NVENC (hardware encoding video AVC codec)
- GPU Boost
- TXAA (new anti-aliasing method, optimized in upcoming games like the UNREAL 4 engine)

The HD7970 is still a great card.

SUMMARY:
If you can wait, I highly recommend a GTX680. If you can't wait, I recommend an HD7970 with a good non-reference cooler.
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May 6, 2012 5:39:51 AM

Best answer selected by metalfingers.
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May 6, 2012 5:52:11 AM

Thanks everyone, and thanks to you BigMack.

I'm overall concerned with future titles. BF3 doesn't run terribly on my 6870, there's just that extra eyecandy and smoothness that could be desired.
After considering everything, I may wait a bit longer. With Diablo 3 coming out soon and Torchlight II, I'll be pretty occupied with those titles for a bit and I have no concern about those running smoothly.

I just ordered myself a Razer Naga and Nostromo, and Vespula mouse pad. Pretty excited about those.

Back to the main point at hand, I think I'll just wait until the 6870 just absolutely can't handle the games I want to play.
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