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Best Video Card Under $160

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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June 3, 2012 3:40:39 PM

While building my PC (still haven't bought) I got stumped on the video card. I was originally going to buy a 6850 but then i realized the 7770 is newer and can overclock much more than the 6850 can. My budget is $160 with rebate. I was also looking at then GTX 560 and 6870. Which will give the best performance in future games the 6850, 6870, 7770, or the GTX 560. Thanks

Specs-
i5 3570k
500W power
8GB RAM
ASRock z77 mobo

More about : video card 160

a c 291 U Graphics card
June 3, 2012 3:56:32 PM

HD 6870 ~= GTX 560 > HD 7770 > HD 6850

Both HD 6870 and GTX 560 perform very similarly, so I'd go for whichever you find the cheapest.
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June 3, 2012 4:02:21 PM

Sunius said:
HD 6870 ~= GTX 560 > HD 7770 > HD 6850

Both HD 6870 and GTX 560 perform very similarly, so I'd go for whichever you find the cheapest.


Which will overclock better the 560 or 6870 and have better crossfire or sli
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a c 291 U Graphics card
June 3, 2012 4:13:03 PM

Personally I think that GTX 560 will overclock a little bit better. In dual GPU setups, crossfire HD 6870 is a bit faster than GTX 560 in SLI, however, I would not advice you to go crossfire/SLI with such cards.
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a c 87 U Graphics card
June 4, 2012 1:25:24 AM

The 7770 will overclock better than any of the other cards listed. The 7770 is also a great card for Crossfire. Some factory overclocked 7770s are on-par with the 6870 and GTX 560 cards even before you manually overclock them further.
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June 4, 2012 3:58:46 AM

blazorthon said:
The 7770 will overclock better than any of the other cards listed. The 7770 is also a great card for Crossfire. Some factory overclocked 7770s are on-par with the 6870 and GTX 560 cards even before you manually overclock them further.


What would be better the OC 7770 or OC 6870 and OC 6850. I will be gaming on a 19 inch 720p tv if it helps
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a c 141 U Graphics card
June 4, 2012 4:48:12 AM

If you're only gaming at 720p, the OC performance of these cards is really irrelevant. You won't be using the full capabilities of the 560 or 6870 at that resolution outside of the extremely demanding titles like Battlefield 3, Crysis 2, Metro 2033 and Witcher 2. I'd personally go for the 6870 or 560, they have much better stock performance out of the box.

The 7770 is actually inferior to the 6850 most of the time when operating at stock speeds, and can only make that up through overclocking. With the 7770 you might be able to eke out a little extra performance over the 560 and 6870, but it won't make any difference to you unless you plan on upgrading to a 1080p display in the near future.
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a c 291 U Graphics card
June 4, 2012 5:41:17 AM

Don't go for HD 7770, it isn't a good card.. HD 6870/GTX 560 is way better, and I don't know why blazorthon says otherwise.

And yes, the card you linked is a good one, but it's overpriced. You could go with something like this one:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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a c 87 U Graphics card
June 4, 2012 3:42:43 PM

I said otherwise because some of the factory overclocked 7770s are faster than the most highly factory overclocked 6850s and these 7770s can compete with 6870s at stock. All 7770s can overclock beyond what the 6870 can overclock to, but their memory bandwidth might become a bottleneck (probably not, but it might) in a few games.

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

That 7770 is almost 20% faster than a reference 7770. A reference 7770 is slightly behind the 6850. This factory overclocked 7770 can hang with the 6870 and GTX 560 in performance, although it will likely lose a little more often than it wins against them if you leave it at stock performance.

Two reference 7770s in CF are as good as or better than two 6870s in CF because they scale better. Two of the factory overclocked versions of the card I listed here would be even better. They would compete with the Radeon 7970 and GTX 670 and probably even the GTX 680 in performance.

For a 720p display, I'd recommend a 7770 over any of the other cards. Even a reference 7770 would be better than the others because it is not noticeably slower than the 6850 and with the newer drivers, it actually beats the 6850 in many games and is never far behind when it loses. The reference 7770 is a little faster than necessary at 720p, but it would improve future proofing compared to any slower card. If you want a slower card anyway, then the 6770 or 5770 would be the next best option for a non-overclocker and the 7750 would be the best option for an overclocker.

I'd only recommend the 7750 if you're an overclocker because at stock, it is not as fast as the stock, reference 6770/5770 cards and they are noticeably faster than the stock, reference 7750. When overclocked, the 7750 can be up to a little faster than a reference 7770 and 6850, but its overclocknig headroom is more limited because the 7750 does not have a PCIe power connecter. Some might, but I don't think any do and most certainly not reference 7750s.

The 7770 still is the best option here because it offers some performance headroom at stock for new games and can be overclocked better than any other card in its performance range should its stock performance become a problem in the future. It is also the most power efficient card in its performance range, so it will save some money in the power bill. However, since these are all low end cards that don't use a ton of power, it is not a lot of money saved, but after a few years (most people only upgrade every few years, so I'm assuming that You'll keep the card for at least two years) it should save at least $30 in the electric bill. Its not a lot of money over several years, but considering the price of the card, getting a $30 off from the next upgrade isn't a bad deal at all compared to buying the 6850. Considering that reference 7770s are already cheaper than the 6850, its an even bigger bonus because you can also factor in the money saved from the lower up-front price.

prices at newegg.com:
7770s http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

6850s http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

Cheapest 6850 without rebates: $149.99, free shipping, and free $49.99 copy of Dirt 3.
Cheapest 7770 without rebates: $129.99, free shipping, and free $59.99 copy of Dirt Showdown.

With rebates: 6850's price comes down to $134.99.
With rebates: 7770's price comes down to $127.97
Including rebates brings the two a little closer, but with the game counted, there's still an $17.02 difference and you'll save more as time goes on through the power bill. Even fully overclocked, a 7770 will beat a fully overclocked 6870, yet still use less power. Overclocking increases the difference in power rather than decreasing it because how much more money is spent on power usage between the two cards increases due to the difference measured in wattage increasing.

Also, if overclocking to get some serious performance later on is important to avoid replacing your graphics card (be it a 7770, 6800, or 560) too soon, then maybe a card with 2GB of VRAM would be important to you because even at 720p, some games might break 1GB in the future. Here are the prices for the cheapest 2GB models of each card:

7770 $167.57 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
has Dirt Showdown (a $59.99 value), the great overclocking capability of the 7770, and a good Asus cooler along with low power usage.

6850 all 6850 2GBs are out of stock and since they are an older card, there probably won't be any more.

6870 $189.99 with MIR http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Has Dirt 3 (a $49.99 value), higher stock performance (the above Asus is hardly any better than a reference 7770 at stock performance unless the 1GB VRAM capacity barrier is broken), and a good XFX cooler.

GTX 560 $192.65 with MIR http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
This has no free game (a huge disadvantage in value) and huge power usage for its performance (an even greater disadvantage), but it does have a good EVGA cooler. The 1GB GTX 560s aren't much better because they have the same disadvantages, so I didn't mention them earlier.

@Jordan2323

Of course, you can do what the others suggested and it would make sense to do so because there are more people against what I said than for it, but I stand by what I have said here and I've said why the 7770s are the better choices.
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June 5, 2012 12:50:30 AM

blazorthon said:
I said otherwise because some of the factory overclocked 7770s are faster than the most highly factory overclocked 6850s and these 7770s can compete with 6870s at stock. All 7770s can overclock beyond what the 6870 can overclock to, but their memory bandwidth might become a bottleneck (probably not, but it might) in a few games.

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

That 7770 is almost 20% faster than a reference 7770. A reference 7770 is slightly behind the 6850. This factory overclocked 7770 can hang with the 6870 and GTX 560 in performance, although it will likely lose a little more often than it wins against them if you leave it at stock performance.

Two reference 7770s in CF are as good as or better than two 6870s in CF because they scale better. Two of the factory overclocked versions of the card I listed here would be even better. They would compete with the Radeon 7970 and GTX 670 and probably even the GTX 680 in performance.

For a 720p display, I'd recommend a 7770 over any of the other cards. Even a reference 7770 would be better than the others because it is not noticeably slower than the 6850 and with the newer drivers, it actually beats the 6850 in many games and is never far behind when it loses. The reference 7770 is a little faster than necessary at 720p, but it would improve future proofing compared to any slower card. If you want a slower card anyway, then the 6770 or 5770 would be the next best option for a non-overclocker and the 7750 would be the best option for an overclocker.

I'd only recommend the 7750 if you're an overclocker because at stock, it is not as fast as the stock, reference 6770/5770 cards and they are noticeably faster than the stock, reference 7750. When overclocked, the 7750 can be up to a little faster than a reference 7770 and 6850, but its overclocknig headroom is more limited because the 7750 does not have a PCIe power connecter. Some might, but I don't think any do and most certainly not reference 7750s.

The 7770 still is the best option here because it offers some performance headroom at stock for new games and can be overclocked better than any other card in its performance range should its stock performance become a problem in the future. It is also the most power efficient card in its performance range, so it will save some money in the power bill. However, since these are all low end cards that don't use a ton of power, it is not a lot of money saved, but after a few years (most people only upgrade every few years, so I'm assuming that You'll keep the card for at least two years) it should save at least $30 in the electric bill. Its not a lot of money over several years, but considering the price of the card, getting a $30 off from the next upgrade isn't a bad deal at all compared to buying the 6850. Considering that reference 7770s are already cheaper than the 6850, its an even bigger bonus because you can also factor in the money saved from the lower up-front price.

prices at newegg.com:
7770s http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

6850s http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

Cheapest 6850 without rebates: $149.99, free shipping, and free $49.99 copy of Dirt 3.
Cheapest 7770 without rebates: $129.99, free shipping, and free $59.99 copy of Dirt Showdown.

With rebates: 6850's price comes down to $134.99.
With rebates: 7770's price comes down to $127.97
Including rebates brings the two a little closer, but with the game counted, there's still an $17.02 difference and you'll save more as time goes on through the power bill. Even fully overclocked, a 7770 will beat a fully overclocked 6870, yet still use less power. Overclocking increases the difference in power rather than decreasing it because how much more money is spent on power usage between the two cards increases due to the difference measured in wattage increasing.

Also, if overclocking to get some serious performance later on is important to avoid replacing your graphics card (be it a 7770, 6800, or 560) too soon, then maybe a card with 2GB of VRAM would be important to you because even at 720p, some games might break 1GB in the future. Here are the prices for the cheapest 2GB models of each card:

7770 $167.57 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
has Dirt Showdown (a $59.99 value), the great overclocking capability of the 7770, and a good Asus cooler along with low power usage.

6850 all 6850 2GBs are out of stock and since they are an older card, there probably won't be any more.

6870 $189.99 with MIR http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Has Dirt 3 (a $49.99 value), higher stock performance (the above Asus is hardly any better than a reference 7770 at stock performance unless the 1GB VRAM capacity barrier is broken), and a good XFX cooler.

GTX 560 $192.65 with MIR http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
This has no free game (a huge disadvantage in value) and huge power usage for its performance (an even greater disadvantage), but it does have a good EVGA cooler. The 1GB GTX 560s aren't much better because they have the same disadvantages, so I didn't mention them earlier.

@Jordan2323

Of course, you can do what the others suggested and it would make sense to do so because there are more people against what I said than for it, but I stand by what I have said here and I've said why the 7770s are the better choices.


you sir are amazing. So max overclocked 7770 will beat a max overclocked 6870?
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a c 87 U Graphics card
June 5, 2012 4:15:40 AM

jordan2323 said:
you sir are amazing. So max overclocked 7770 will beat a max overclocked 6870?


Absolutely, except maybe for a few crap 7770s, but crap versions of any card are best avoided regardless of what model number the card has. The 7770's Cape Verde GPU is an excellent overclocker and the memory can be pushed pretty far too, although the 128 bit interface might not always beat the 6870 in very memory intensive situations when it has a huge overclock (however, it would never lose noticeably because these cards still aren't so fast that a 128 bit interface with a very high clock frequency is too bad).

Overall, the 7770 is a better card than the 6850 and the most highly factory overclocked 7770s are better overall than the 6870. When you add your own manual overclocks, you see just how ridiculously far these cards can overclock. The Radeon 7000 cards are simply amazing for overclocking because they have such great headroom.

When high overclocking is being considered, the power that the 7770 would save compared to the other cards in its performance range is very considerable too, as I said previously. I think that it should be hard to ignore the power usage savings. Even if the 7770s were a little slower for their prices, the money saved in their power usage alone would still be enough to compare them to cheaper cards instead of cards in their price range because given a year (or even less), they can easily drop down multiple pricing tiers through the power savings. However, in this case they have both performance when overclocked and power efficiency on their side, so they win all-around.
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June 6, 2012 4:03:10 AM

blazorthon said:
Absolutely, except maybe for a few crap 7770s, but crap versions of any card are best avoided regardless of what model number the card has. The 7770's Cape Verde GPU is an excellent overclocker and the memory can be pushed pretty far too, although the 128 bit interface might not always beat the 6870 in very memory intensive situations when it has a huge overclock (however, it would never lose noticeably because these cards still aren't so fast that a 128 bit interface with a very high clock frequency is too bad).

Overall, the 7770 is a better card than the 6850 and the most highly factory overclocked 7770s are better overall than the 6870. When you add your own manual overclocks, you see just how ridiculously far these cards can overclock. The Radeon 7000 cards are simply amazing for overclocking because they have such great headroom.

When high overclocking is being considered, the power that the 7770 would save compared to the other cards in its performance range is very considerable too, as I said previously. I think that it should be hard to ignore the power usage savings. Even if the 7770s were a little slower for their prices, the money saved in their power usage alone would still be enough to compare them to cheaper cards instead of cards in their price range because given a year (or even less), they can easily drop down multiple pricing tiers through the power savings. However, in this case they have both performance when overclocked and power efficiency on their side, so they win all-around.


Which power supply would be the best?

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

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

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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a c 87 U Graphics card
June 6, 2012 4:06:43 AM

I like that third one better than the other two.
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a c 87 U Graphics card
June 7, 2012 12:52:26 AM

You might want to raise your budget for the SSD. There's a reason that those ones are that cheap. A non-Sandforce drive is usually a better option than a SandForce drive because other than Intel's drives, the SandForce drives are all less reliable and in any workload that involves data that isn't highly compressible, their performance drops sharply.

I'd get a Samsung 830, Vertex 4, Corsair Neutron, Crucial M4, or a Plextor drive. These all have non-SandForce drives that don'y rely on compression to get high performance and you can then enable NTFS compression on them, getting them the advantage of having compression to improve their performance and capacity usage all while also not even needing it, so best of both worlds. However, they are a little more expensive. Your choice, but I'd say that it's worth it. I have a Vertex 4 and I'd never trade it for the Vertex 3 that it replaced (which happened to be my second Vertex 3 because the first one failed and this second one was also on the fritz, implying that it might fail soon).

Sure, not everyone had a problem with their drives, but there were far more people having problems with SandForce drivers than the other drives that I mentioned above. In fact, those are regarded as the most reliable drives around.
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a c 291 U Graphics card
June 7, 2012 8:53:48 AM

I'd recommend this SSD:

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

And out of three power supplies you linked, I'd recommend Antec one, because it's a better brand.

Lastly, I would not agree that HD 7770 is faster than HD 6870/GTX 560. That's not true and all the benchmarks show that.

Even when overclocked it's still slightly slower than GTX 560/HD 6870:

After overclock, it gets 3966 score at 3d mark11, while GTX 560 gets 4241 score before overclocking:
http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/radeon-hd-7770-7750-bench...
http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/radeon-hd-7770-7750-bench...

In battlefield 3, overclocked HD 7770 gets 52.17 fps, while GTX 560 gets 53.44 BEFORE an overclock.
http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/radeon-hd-7770-7750-bench...

In crysis 2, overclocked HD 7770 gets 34 fps, while GTX 560 gets 54.60 fps BEFORE overclock.

As you can see, there's no way it will beat GTX 560. And since HD 6870 offers very similar performance, it will not beat it either. Look at facts, not opinions :) .
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a c 87 U Graphics card
June 7, 2012 12:46:03 PM

Sunius said:
I'd recommend this SSD:

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

And out of three power supplies you linked, I'd recommend Antec one, because it's a better brand.

Lastly, I would not agree that HD 7770 is faster than HD 6870/GTX 560. That's not true and all the benchmarks show that.

Even when overclocked it's still slightly slower than GTX 560/HD 6870:

After overclock, it gets 3966 score at 3d mark11, while GTX 560 gets 4241 score before overclocking:
http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/radeon-hd-7770-7750-bench...
http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/radeon-hd-7770-7750-bench...

In battlefield 3, overclocked HD 7770 gets 52.17 fps, while GTX 560 gets 53.44 BEFORE an overclock.
http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/radeon-hd-7770-7750-bench...

In crysis 2, overclocked HD 7770 gets 34 fps, while GTX 560 gets 54.60 fps BEFORE overclock.

As you can see, there's no way it will beat GTX 560. And since HD 6870 offers very similar performance, it will not beat it either. Look at facts, not opinions :) .


Those benches are four months old and these cards weren't overclocked a lot... Don't tell me that a 7770 can't overclock past the 6870 and 560. I've built several machines with each of these graphics cards. I have personal experience with them and I know their capabilities. All it takes is a 7770 with a good cooler and you can hit well over 1.25GHz to 1.35GHz with a little extra voltage. The memory has some good headroom too.
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June 7, 2012 12:50:02 PM

http://www.amazon.com/EVGA-Superclocked-Mini-HDMI-Graph...

Amazon, I know...
$10 more than the budget, but I saw you linked a card up there somewhere with lower stock clock speeds, and for more money. I'd like to pounce on this thing personally, but I'm a tiny bit too broke atm.

Technically you can count the rebate as putting it under 160 ;P
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a c 87 U Graphics card
June 7, 2012 12:52:19 PM

You're also ignoring the fact that the GTX 560 uses between two and over three times more power than the 7770. That adds up to a noticeable increase in the electric bill every year compared to the 7770. Even the 6850 and 6870 are better about power consumption than the GTX 460 and 560.

Also, this, strait from your article link:

Quote:
At its highest overclock, the R7770 Black Edition is nearly able to match a GeForce GTX 560. We’ll have to see what sort of premium XFX charges for its most highly-tuned card. But there’s not much room above AMD’s £125 price before bumping into the £140 - £150 most GTX 560s currently sell for.


Now think about how good a 7770 with a top cooler can do. FYI, that is not a 7770 with such a cooler in that article.
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a c 291 U Graphics card
June 7, 2012 5:03:55 PM

Do you really think OP is such pro overclocker that he'll be able to overclock over what Tom's Hardware professional crew was able to? That's naive at best to think that. Furthermore, GTX 560/HD6870 can be overclocked as well. It's just wrong to plan buying a card expecting it will overclock as if it was in the best scenario. Hate to break it for you, but overclocking isn't 100% probability. You might even get a card which you cannot overclock at all - what would you do then?

@OP: If you can afford it, get either HD 6870 or GTX 560. Otherwise, HD 7770 is your best option.
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a c 87 U Graphics card
June 7, 2012 5:07:40 PM

Sunius said:
Do you really think OP is such pro overclocker that he'll be able to overclock over what Tom's Hardware professional crew was able to? That's naive at best to think that. Furthermore, GTX 560/HD6870 can be overclocked as well. It's just wrong to plan buying a card expecting it will overclock as if it was in the best scenario. Hate to break it for you, but overclocking isn't 100% probability. You might even get a card which you cannot overclock at all - what would you do then?


The Tom's article wasn't even close to a best case scenario and overclocking a video card can be as easy as moving a few sliders in CCC or an overclocking utility. If OP really had trouble with it, then I could help OP and so could many others. Besides that, the 6870 can't overclock as far as the 7770 if you know what you're doing with the 7770. Since this is a technical site that includes plenty of people who have experience with the 7770s and many other cards, OP could just ask for help to do it.

What if OP gets a bad card? Well, that could happen with the 6870 too, so it's not very relevant for being against the 7770 in particular. Besides that, if it is that bad, then OP might be able to return it. If a 7770 can't overclock at all even if it is only at or near reference clocks, then it is likely faulty and could fail soon anyway, meaning an RMA should probably be done.

Also, the 7770 is also getting more and more driver improvements every few months. As its drivers get optimized, the 6870's won't see much improvement because they are already optimized. It might not see any improvement at all. OP asked for info on how these cards will perform in future games and with the 7770 having a distinct advantage overall right now if you overclock properly and for the money, is the better value too... Well, its advantage will only grow as time goes on, especially if games that are heavy in tessellation and such get even more common. If CF becomes important for OP in the future, then the 7770s would steamroll the 6870s because the 7770 has far better scaling.
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June 9, 2012 3:50:42 AM

blazorthon said:
The Tom's article wasn't even close to a best case scenario and overclocking a video card can be as easy as moving a few sliders in CCC or an overclocking utility. If OP really had trouble with it, then I could help OP and so could many others. Besides that, the 6870 can't overclock as far as the 7770 if you know what you're doing with the 7770. Since this is a technical site that includes plenty of people who have experience with the 7770s and many other cards, OP could just ask for help to do it.

What if OP gets a bad card? Well, that could happen with the 6870 too, so it's not very relevant for being against the 7770 in particular. Besides that, if it is that bad, then OP might be able to return it. If a 7770 can't overclock at all even if it is only at or near reference clocks, then it is likely faulty and could fail soon anyway, meaning an RMA should probably be done.

Also, the 7770 is also getting more and more driver improvements every few months. As its drivers get optimized, the 6870's won't see much improvement because they are already optimized. It might not see any improvement at all. OP asked for info on how these cards will perform in future games and with the 7770 having a distinct advantage overall right now if you overclock properly and for the money, is the better value too... Well, its advantage will only grow as time goes on, especially if games that are heavy in tessellation and such get even more common. If CF becomes important for OP in the future, then the 7770s would steamroll the 6870s because the 7770 has far better scaling.



do you think i should get a 7770 now or save up and get the 560 ti later?
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a c 87 U Graphics card
June 9, 2012 4:05:10 AM

I'd recommend getting the 7770 now. Not only would it mean that you don't have to wait, but by the time that you could have gotten a 560 TI, you could instead get a second 7770 and that would be far better than a single 560 TI. The power efficiency of the 7770s would let even the two 7770s that outperform the single 560 TI use less power than the single 560 TI, so once you buy that second 7770, you're even saving a little money in the electric bill that you would have otherwise spent because of the slower 560 TI.

@harsh60

Some 7770s can overclock better than the 560 can and two highly overclocked 7770s would beat two highly overclocked 560s greatly due to the 7770's considerably superior multi-GPU scaling. The 7770s also come with a free game, further mitigating their cost compared to the 560. Heck, you could get a 7770 2GB CF setup and it'd be cheaper and faster than a 560 1GB SLI setup while using less power, meaning that the power bill would slowly increase the price difference over time even further in the 7770's favor.

Even if the 7770 wasn't an option, then saving up for the 6950 would be the best option here for superior long-term performance superiority due to the 6950 beating all other cards except for the 28nm card in multi-GPU scaling, so two 6950s would beat two of anything from Nvidia in the same price range. Heck, two 6950s are on-par with two 570s because of their better scaling.
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a c 87 U Graphics card
June 9, 2012 4:32:45 AM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
7770 1GB that I'd recommend. $149.99 starting price
With MIR and shipping, it's down to $142.55
Also has two free games, one $59.99 game and one $49.99 game, so that's $110 in free games... It's incredible since it leaves the card only costing a little over $30. It'll be hard to top that value unless you get a card at least as fast for free considering that this is one of the best, if not the best, 7770s for overclocking.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
This is the only 7770 2GB. $159.99 starting price.
With shipping, that's brought up to $167.55
It also has one free game, one $59.99 game, so that's $59.99 in free games. It's not too bad since that leaves the card only costing a little over $105 and like the above 7770, this is one of the best 7770s for overclocking. Sure, it's much more expensive, but it's still better than a GTX 560 and it does improve the future-proofing substantially to have that extra 1GB of VRAM per GPU.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
This is the absolute cheapest 560 if you include its MIR. $164.99 starting price.
With MIR and free shipping, that's brought down to $149.99
Unlike the 7770s, this has no free game, so it has nothing to drop it's costs down. Remember, even if you don't play a free game, you can sell it, so they can be very valuable as incentives. Also remember how the 560 uses far more power than the 7770s, so it would not only cost more at first, but the price difference would slowly increase even further in the 7770's favor in the power bill. This probably doesn't make a huge difference with these cards until you compare CF/SLI power usage, but it is at least considerable.
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a c 87 U Graphics card
June 9, 2012 4:50:41 AM

Quote:
No a 560 Can overclock better then 7770
7700 is not known for overclocking it known for it's quiteness and coolness
7800 and 7900 is known they are beast when it comen to overclocking.


Known? I have built several computers with 7770s, especially that exact XFX 7770 1GB model. I know what they're capable of. At stock, some highly factory overclocked 7770s nip at the heals of the reference 560. Manually overclocking them can take them even further. One advantage of this 7770 is that it can take much greater than stock voltage on stock cooling, so it can get huge overclocks with safe voltage increases. Beyond that, 7770s scale in CF better than 560s scale in SLI anyway. Reference 560 SLI fights the GTX 580 whilst reference 7770 CF fights the reference Radeon 7970. Factory overclocked 7770 CF fights with the GTX 680. GTX 560 SLI doesn't even come close. Manually overclocking both configurations simply increases the 7770s' lead.
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a c 87 U Graphics card
June 9, 2012 5:13:51 AM

Quote:
7770 Crossfire fights with the GTX 680.
Are You Kidding?
7770 Not Even in the picture with 680
and you are saying fights.
This Comedy show is great.


Ahh... You're a little inexperienced in this, aren't you? Here, I'll explain it.

The reference Radeon 7770 has a GPU clock of 1GHz and a memory clock of 1.125GHz. With the newest drivers, that put's it on-par with the Radeon 6850 in a single GPU comparison. However, due to the greatly improved multi-GPU scaling of the 7770 over the 6850, the reference 7770 CF is almost exactly twice as fast as a single reference 7770 whereas the 6850 is well behind twice as fast. This puts the reference 7770 CF as about on-par with 6870 CF at a little above the GTX 580, roughly on-par with the Radeon 7950. Two highly facotory overclocked models such as those below are about on-par with the 560 and 6870 even at stock, so they do even better in CF. These cards in CF are about on-par with the 7970. Manually overclocking a 7770 such as the XFX or Asus cards that I listed above, they can go wel beyond these factory overclocked models. They can, in CF, perform on-par with the reference GTX 680. Not only that, but that can do so at a much lower price point, as is typical of AMD's lower end CF-friendly setups.

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

This is a common thing. Multiple low end cards generally have greater performance for the money than a single high end card, granted raw performance isn't always the only thing to consider. However, GCN Radeon 7000 has minimal multi-GPU problems (same goes for Kepler GTX 600) and this makes low end CF setups very interesting. Even more interesting is how AMD's DX11 low end cards can almost all do up to quad Crossfire, yet Nvidia limits their low end cards to only dual GPU SLI, if that.
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a c 87 U Graphics card
June 9, 2012 5:37:19 AM

With 7770 CF overclocked, it won't beat the 680. I never said that it would. However, it will meet it if you give those 7770s a large overclock. Beating the reference 680 seems like a practically unobtainable goal and I never mean to imply that two 7770s could beat the 680. Even if they could, then you could overclock the 680. Overclocked, the 680 would beat the overclocked 7770s anyway. There's no way that two 7770s (even really good ones) could be pushed farther than a good 680, at least no reasonable way that I'm aware of. A good 680 should be able to be pushed at least moderately farther than two good 7770s. Two 7770s can meet a 680 given a large overclock, but beating the 680 is a pipe dream.
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a c 87 U Graphics card
June 9, 2012 5:42:31 AM

Quote:
5770 CFX= 5870 back in the day.
460 SLi is a little faster than a single 480.

The maths do add up, but with these new GPU's being so different from ever before, things are hard to calculate...


Two 6770's are generally regarded as on-par with the 6970, so I'd think that two 5770s are at least a little above the 5870, at least with current drivers. I don't remember how close they would be with older drivers anymore. But yes, this is the point that I was making. Two lower end cards generally meet or beat some single higher end cards and this is shown time and time again.
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June 9, 2012 5:46:12 PM

should i get a 1 GB or 2GB model of the 7770?
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a c 87 U Graphics card
June 9, 2012 6:16:27 PM

Agreed. It won't help at first, but you said that you wanted this to be a long-term purchase and 2GB would most definitely help there.
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a c 291 U Graphics card
June 9, 2012 7:07:52 PM

If you can afford it, you may get 2 GB version. Though I doubt you need more than 1 GB with resolution up to 1920x1200.
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a c 87 U Graphics card
June 9, 2012 7:22:35 PM

2GB won't help a single 7770 in current games, but 7770 CF is being considered in the future and that could utilize more than 1GB of VRAM with ease in current games, let alone future games. Also, even 1080p breaks past 1GB in several games at settings representative of a 7850's to GTX 570's performance. 1920x1200 breaks 1GB in many games in even more common situations. Radeon 7770 CF is way faster than all of these cards.
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a c 291 U Graphics card
June 9, 2012 7:26:31 PM

just because it has the potential to break the VRAM limit doesn't mean it will degrade performance. More than 1 GB of VRAM is unneeded in a card of HD 7770 speed.
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a c 87 U Graphics card
June 9, 2012 7:28:21 PM

Sunius said:
just because it has the potential to break the VRAM limit doesn't mean it will degrade performance. More than 1 GB of VRAM is unneeded in a card of HD 7770 speed.


I never said that it is. I said that more than 1GB is needed for 7770 CF. CF doesn't combine all of the VRAM capcity in a CF configuration, each GPU is still limited to it's own VRAM and 7770 CF would need more than 1GB in any game with a resolution and settings that actually makes use of it's huge performance. Having a 2GB card would improve future-proofing and the OP has already stated that this must have high future-proofing. Also, yes, it does have the potential to degrade performance. 1GB can be limiting at 1080p and 1920x1200 in many situations. It wouldn't make it unplayable in every situation, but it does hurt and in some situations, it can make it unplayable without relieving VRAM usage by lowering AA and such, even if only slightly.
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June 9, 2012 7:31:41 PM

blazorthon said:
I never said that it is. I said that more than 1GB is needed for 7770 CF. CF doesn't combine all of the VRAM capcity in a CD configuration, each GPU is still limited to it's own VRAM and 7770 CF would need more than 1GB in any game with a resolution and settings that actually makes use of it's huge performance. Having a 2GB card would improve future-proofing and the OP has already stated that this must have high future-proofing. Also, yes, it does have the potential to degrade performance. 1GB can be limiting at 1080p and 1920x1200 in many situations. It wouldn't make it unplayable in every situation, but it does hurt.


how many year do you think the 7770 will last me and what are the max overclocked setting the 7770 can handle?
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a c 291 U Graphics card
June 9, 2012 7:35:07 PM

It will last as long as you will use it. Better question would be what do you call 'lasting'?
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a c 87 U Graphics card
June 9, 2012 7:35:48 PM

How high a card can overclock depends on the model. I've gotten those XFX 7770's past 1.25GHz and sometimes even 1.3GHz, but I have yet to investigate the Asus 7770 2GB's overclocking potential. It also depends on the individual card too because sometimes, the GPU is a poorly binned sample or a greatly binned sample. How long it will last, like the overclocking, would be mere guesswork, even if educated guesswork. I'd say that with CF in mind, two 7770 2GBs should last you several years. 4 to 6 years could be an easy goal for very enjoyable gaming, although they probably wouldn't support the newest APIs at that time. That doesn't stop some of the 4 or so years old Radeon 4000 cards from being decent cards for low/mid-end gaming even today, so I wouldn't worry about it. Basically, what Sunius just said is the most important answer to this question.
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June 9, 2012 7:41:22 PM

Sunius said:
It will last as long as you will use it. Better question would be what do you call 'lasting'?


lasting as in able to play games at medium or high setting with 30-40+ fps so it wont lag
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a c 87 U Graphics card
June 9, 2012 7:43:52 PM

jordan2323 said:
lasting as in able to play games at medium or high setting with 30-40+ fps so it wont lag


That depends on the game, resolution, settings, etc. etc.

I'd say that it should be an excellent setup for mid-ranged gaming even 4-6 years from now if you add in a second 7770 2GB later on.
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a c 291 U Graphics card
June 9, 2012 7:45:56 PM

I'd say it would take around 3 years for games to start popping up that HD 7770 cannot play on medium settings. I think it's rather optimal guess, because 4 years ago I bought a graphics card for my old PC for a similar price and it could not run latest games on medium settings last year. Same thing happened to the card which was bought even earlier (similar price range again).
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a c 87 U Graphics card
June 9, 2012 7:48:23 PM

2-3 years on a single 7770 does seem very reasonable. Thankfully, a second 7770 for CF is an excellent option for extending that period.
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June 9, 2012 8:25:20 PM

blazorthon said:
2-3 years on a single 7770 does seem very reasonable. Thankfully, a second 7770 for CF is an excellent option for extending that period.


since the 7770 has good scaling can it beat to 560 ti in sli? how about the 6950? I heard the 6950 has poor OC capability but it might be able to unlock to the 6970
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a c 87 U Graphics card
June 9, 2012 8:31:30 PM

jordan2323 said:
since the 7770 has good scaling can it beat to 560 ti in sli? how about the 6950? I heard the 6950 has poor OC capability but it might be able to unlock to the 6970


Beat 560 TI SLI? I don't think so. It could match it with the factory overclocked cards, but 560 TIs are excellent cards for overclocking and although the 7770s should be able to catch the 560 TIs when you manually overclock the 7770s, I don't think that the 7770s could beat them. The 6950 scales about as well as 7770s and 7770 CF doesn't have a chance of beating 6950 CF, let alone even matching it. Even stock 6950CF is about as good as highly overclocked 7770s can get. Some 6950s are also excellent overclockers. I don't' know about all of them, but I do know that some are. For example, there was a Sapphire Toxic 6950 2GB that was better at overclocking than a reference 6970 and GTX 570, despite being cheaper than the 6970 and 570.
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a c 291 U Graphics card
June 9, 2012 8:32:47 PM

There's no way it will match 560 Ti SLI. GTX 560 Ti is in entirely different league.
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a c 87 U Graphics card
June 9, 2012 8:36:07 PM

Sunius said:
There's no way it will match 560 Ti SLI. GTX 560 Ti is in entirely different league.


Think about this. The most highly factory overclocked 7770s (1.15GHz GPU clock 5GHz effective memory clock) can just about match a 560. GTX 560 TIs scale much worse than the 7770s. Manually overclocking the 7770s could let them beat reference 560 TI SLI, but overclocking the 560 TIs would let the 560 TIs pull ahead due to the 560 TI being an excellent overclocking card. However, it would not be a huge lead. About 20% to 25% at the most. It's a win and a noticeable win at that, but it's not a whole other league. 6950 CF is whole other league.

FYI, I owned a 560 TI 1GB before I got my Radeon 7850.
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June 9, 2012 8:40:26 PM

blazorthon said:
Think about this. The most highly factory overclocked 7770s (1.15GHz GPU clock 5GHz effective memory clock) can just about match a 560. GTX 560 TIs scale much worse than the 7770s. Manually overclocking the 7770s could let them beat reference 560 TI SLI, but overclocking the 560 TIs would let the 560 TIs pull ahead due to the 560 TI being an excellent overclocking card. However, it would not be a huge lead. About 20% to 25% at the most. It's a win and a noticeable win at that, but it's not a whole other league. 6950 CF is whole other league.

FYI, I owned a 560 TI 1GB before my 7850.


is the 6950 worth the extra $70 will it be such a noticeable difference?
or should i save up and get the 7850
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a c 87 U Graphics card
June 9, 2012 9:03:01 PM

jordan2323 said:
is the 6950 worth the extra $70 will it be such a noticeable difference?
or should i save up and get the 7850


The 7850's value is in its free games, power usage, and unbeatable overclocking. For the money, 7770 2GB CF is superior. Outright performance, 7850 CF would win. The 6950 is not something that I recommend at this time because although compared to the 560 TI and such, it is more power efficient, the 7770 and 7850 are far more power efficient. Two 7770s would use less power than one 6950 while outperforming the one 6950. If I were you, I'd get the 7770 2GB and upgrade to 7770 2GB CF when you feel that it's necessary. The 7770's price/ overclocked performance, mem capacity, and power usage seems fairly unbeatable.
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a c 87 U Graphics card
June 9, 2012 10:47:50 PM

Quote:
6950 is definitly not a good purchase... 480 and 7850 are at that price point...


I know that we've all had our arguments over the card, but... Yeah, even I'd take the 480 over the 6950 1GB and even the 6950 2GB. The 6950 1GB is just not ideal at it's price point anymore and although the 2GB can be a considerable option for CF versus 480 SLI, even then, only if the price is right... Unfortunately for the 6950, the price usually isn't right anymore. They are a good example of paying more for less and the 6950 1GBs are even worse purchases than the 6950 2GBs. It's funny because they used to be among the top value cards, but everything price dropped around them and they hardly budged in price, getting left in the dust of both older and newer cards.
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