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7850 CF vs GTX 670/680

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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June 9, 2012 5:03:54 PM

Hi everyone, looking to upgrade my rig sometime over the summer mostly for GW2 and a few other games I have (Witcher 2, Civ 5, etc). Im looking to spend between 4 and 500 bucks, and to me it looks like I have three options

7850 CF - around 500
680 - around 500
670 - around 400

The 7850 CF should get better framerates than the 680, the only thing stopping me from getting them is that people complain about CF issues such as drivers, games not using the 2nd card, etc. Is it really that big of a deal?

The 680 is also in extremely limited supply, still hard to find on newegg. Im up for waiting, auto-notify helps alot

The 670 is a better performer per dollar than the 680, so if I were going to go with a single card, I would consider this one as well.

My psu and case can easily handle the increased power and heat output of having two cards.

Thoughts?

EDIT: Just remembered my motherboard only has an x16 lane and an x4. Many different sources I find are conflicting with each other on whether or not the x4 lane will limit CF performance or not. If it will, then it looks like the GTX 670 would be the best choice.

More about : 7850 gtx 670 680

a b U Graphics card
June 9, 2012 5:18:18 PM

I would go with the 670 or 680 because the actual game play difference is going to be negligible and you won't have any future upgrade abilities. If you get a 670 or 680 you can SLI them later on which will last you a much longer time than 2 7850's now and a new card later on.
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a b U Graphics card
June 9, 2012 5:19:50 PM

for best bang for the buck, 670>680>CF.
of course 7850 CF is faster than a 670,but there are a lot of issues related to it.a few are-
more power consumption
more heat
more noise
driver issues
and the list goes on.
a 670 when overclocked beats a stock 680.
i would suggest going with a custom cooled 670 like MSi TF III or Asus DCII or Gigabyte windforce x3.they are quiet enough and have a lot of overclocking potential.
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Related resources
June 9, 2012 7:34:05 PM

Quote:
I say go with 670 if you overclock it it can even go further beyond 680


true, but at the same time I COULD overclock the 680 i would be getting
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a b U Graphics card
June 9, 2012 7:56:39 PM

You haven't even told us how many monitors or what resolution.
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a c 232 U Graphics card
June 9, 2012 8:12:19 PM

hellfire24 said:
of course 7850 is faster than a 670,


A 7850 (596 fps) is a long way from keeping up with a 670 (917 fps).

Guru3D uses the following games in their test suite: Hard Reset, COD-MW2, Far Cry 2, ANNO 1404, Metro 2033, ANNO 2070, BFBC2, BF3, Crysis 2, AvP, Lost Planet 2. Total fps (summing fps in each game @ 1920 x 1200) for the various options in parenthesis (single card / SL or CF) are tabulated below along with their cost in dollars per frame single card - CF or SLI:

Card - Cost ( Single / 2-way SLI /CF ) $ / Frame - $ / Frame SLI/CF
GTX 680 - $ 500 ( 989 / 1578 ) $ 0.51 - $ 0.63
680 DCII Cu TOP - $ 520 ( 1077 / NA ) $ 0.48 - ERR
GTX 670 - $ 400 ( 917 / 1539 ) $ 0.44 - $ 0.52
670 DCII Cu TOP - $ 430 ( 999 / 1679 ) $ 0.43 - $ 0.51
7970 - $ 480 ( 872 / NA ) $ 0.55 - ERR
7970 DCII Cu - $ 580 ( 924 / NA ) $ 0.63 - ERR
7950 - $ 400 ( 746 / NA ) $ 0.54 - ERR
7870 - $ 360 ( 701 / NA ) $ 0.51 - ERR
7850 - $ 260 ( 596 / NA ) $ 0.44 - ERR
7770 - $ 150 ( 375 / NA ) $ 0.40 - ERR
7750 - $ 110 ( 291 / NA ) $ 0.38 - ERR

In the table above for example, the Asus 670 Cu DCII TOP costs $420 each and gets 999 fps in single card configuration at a cost of $0.43 per frame and 1679 in SLI at a cost of $0.51 per frame. The AMD cards w/ NA did not complete all games in the test suite. This should be resolved in an upcoming driver fix. The nVidia card w/ NA was not yested in SLI.

In the above tests, the 7950 scaled 176% not counting the two games that wouldn't run in CF (Crysis 2 and COD-MW). Applying the same scaling, and ignoring the games that don't do CF, we'd expect 1049 fps or $0.50 per frame for twin 7850's.

So.....

One Asus 680 DCII TOP gets 1077 fps for $520 at a cost of $0.48 per frame
Two 7850's in CF gets 1049 fps for $520 at a cost of $0.50 per frame
One reference 680 gets 989 fps for $500 at a cost of $0.51 per frame
One Asus 670 DCII TOP gets 999 fps for $520 at a cost of $0.43 per frame
One reference 670 gets 917 fps for $400 at a cost of $0.44 per frame

The Asus 7850 DCII Cu TOP has been announced, it appears to be about 10% faster than the reference version outta the box, but I haven't seen it for sale as yet
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June 9, 2012 8:36:43 PM

geekapproved said:
You haven't even told us how many monitors or what resolution.


Sorry about that, I'm at one monitor, 1920x1080. Later in the year im looking to upgrade to a 2560x1440 or do a 3240x1920 triple display (3 1920 x 1080 in portrait mode).
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June 9, 2012 8:42:51 PM

JackNaylorPE said:
A 7850 (596 fps) is a long way from keeping up with a 670 (917 fps).

Guru3D uses the following games in their test suite: Hard Reset, COD-MW2, Far Cry 2, ANNO 1404, Metro 2033, ANNO 2070, BFBC2, BF3, Crysis 2, AvP, Lost Planet 2. Total fps (summing fps in each game @ 1920 x 1200) for the various options in parenthesis (single card / SL or CF) are tabulated below along with their cost in dollars per frame single card - CF or SLI:

Card - Cost ( Single / 2-way SLI /CF ) $ / Frame - $ / Frame SLI/CF
GTX 680 - $ 500 ( 989 / 1578 ) $ 0.51 - $ 0.63
680 DCII Cu TOP - $ 520 ( 1077 / NA ) $ 0.48 - ERR
GTX 670 - $ 400 ( 917 / 1539 ) $ 0.44 - $ 0.52
670 DCII Cu TOP - $ 430 ( 999 / 1679 ) $ 0.43 - $ 0.51
7970 - $ 480 ( 872 / NA ) $ 0.55 - ERR
7970 DCII Cu - $ 580 ( 924 / NA ) $ 0.63 - ERR
7950 - $ 400 ( 746 / NA ) $ 0.54 - ERR
7870 - $ 360 ( 701 / NA ) $ 0.51 - ERR
7850 - $ 260 ( 596 / NA ) $ 0.44 - ERR
7770 - $ 150 ( 375 / NA ) $ 0.40 - ERR
7750 - $ 110 ( 291 / NA ) $ 0.38 - ERR

In the table above for example, the Asus 670 Cu DCII TOP costs $420 each and gets 999 fps in single card configuration at a cost of $0.43 per frame and 1679 in SLI at a cost of $0.51 per frame. The AMD cards w/ NA did not complete all games in the test suite. This should be resolved in an upcoming driver fix. The nVidia card w/ NA was not yested in SLI.

In the above tests, the 7950 scaled 176% not counting the two games that wouldn't run in CF (Crysis 2 and COD-MW). Applying the same scaling, and ignoring the games that don't do CF, we'd expect 1049 fps or $0.50 per frame for twin 7850's.

So.....

One Asus 680 DCII TOP gets 1077 fps for $520 at a cost of $0.48 per frame
Two 7850's in CF gets 1049 fps for $520 at a cost of $0.50 per frame
One reference 680 gets 989 fps for $500 at a cost of $0.51 per frame
One Asus 670 DCII TOP gets 999 fps for $520 at a cost of $0.43 per frame
One reference 670 gets 917 fps for $400 at a cost of $0.44 per frame

The Asus 7850 DCII Cu TOP has been announced, it appears to be about 10% faster than the reference version outta the box, but I haven't seen it for sale as yet


did anyone actually read that?
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a c 87 U Graphics card
June 9, 2012 8:59:47 PM

samwelaye said:
Sorry about that, I'm at one monitor, 1920x1080. Later in the year im looking to upgrade to a 2560x1440 or do a 3240x1920 triple display (3 1920 x 1080 in portrait mode).


I'd be worried about 2GB of VRAM being enough at Eyefinity. Although Radeon 7850 CF is faster than the GTX 680 (7850s can also overclock better than the 680 can, so overclocking both setups would only increase the 7850 CF's win), there probably aren't any 4GB 7850s and as others have stated, that would hurt upgrading potential that doesn't involve complete replacement of the graphics. However, the power usage difference would be negligible and the driver issues are non-existent with the latest driver, Cata 12.6. Heat issues would also be negligible, but noise could be considerably higher if you overclock the heck out of those 7850s, in which case you'd want to get two 7850s with very good coolers.

However, other things to consider in the value of either setup... The 7850s would be more consistent because they wouldn't have a memory bandwidth bottle-neck that hurts performance in memory limited games and if you know what you're doing, a single 7850 can be overclocked about as far as the performance of a 7950 to a 7970. That in CF would most definitely be very noticeably superior to the GTX 680 no matter how far you overclock it. 7850s also come with one or two free games that you can play or sell, adding to their value. 7850 CF has greater value than a single 680. However, there's the inferior upgrading potential and memory capacity bottle-neck to consider unless you find 4GB 7850s, in which case the only actual problem would be inferior upgrading potential. Either setup would be great, but unless we find 7850 4GB cards, I recommend the GTX 670 4GB above all other options, except maybe a 7950... In Eyefinity resolutions, the 7950 can beat the 670 often because the 7950's overclocking performance is on-par with that of a 7970 with the same cooler and PCB.

I'd say that you should be choosing between a 7950 and GTX 670 4GB, not a 670 and 7850CF. Of those two, the 670 4GB is probably the better option.
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June 9, 2012 9:09:29 PM

mogen1000 said:
did anyone actually read that?


Yeah, I did. It was actually VERY helpful as it basically shows that the 7850 and gtx 670, while having a $150 price difference, pretty much hold the same value (.44/frame vs .43/frame)

Thanks a bunch JackNaylor
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June 9, 2012 9:12:20 PM

JackNaylorPE said:
A 7850 (596 fps) is a long way from keeping up with a 670 (917 fps).

He probably meant CF HD 7850, not just a single one.

Also, you really like to copy/paste a lot of text from external sources, huh? It would be easier to just link it.
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a c 87 U Graphics card
June 9, 2012 9:20:07 PM

samwelaye said:
Yeah, I did. It was actually VERY helpful as it basically shows that the 7850 and gtx 670, while having a $150 price difference, pretty much hold the same value (.44/frame vs .43/frame)

Thanks a bunch JackNaylor


Keep in mind that JackNayler's info uses both old drivers and old prices that have changed since then. Take it as more of a guideline to measure against than as a rule because of that. Also, keep in mind that 7850s overclock better than the 680/670. I still don't recommend them, but I would like info being given to you to at least be more updated and more complete.
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a c 87 U Graphics card
June 9, 2012 9:26:23 PM

Quote:
+1^^

7850's will never reach a 670 or 680 (performance wise).
Max clocks mean nothing if there is nothing to be gained from it.


A single 7850 won't reach a single 670 or 680 reasonably without serious modding (in which case overclocking the 670 or 680 could still bring it substantially past the single modded 7850 and the 670/680 shouldn't need to be modded to do it either), but two of them can go past a single 670 or 680 with ease. Heck, even at stock reference frequencies, they are on-par. Then the problem of inferior upgrading potential, only 2GB of VRAM, being louder and sucking more power (not a problem at stock, but the 7850, like any other card that can be overclocked very far, will suck a lot of power when overclocked, even though it's still quite power efficient).
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a b U Graphics card
June 10, 2012 4:22:00 AM

hey that was a typo,i meant 7850 CF>670 :( 
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August 31, 2012 7:42:01 AM

Regarding the power consumptions of the card after being overclocked to 1050mhz, its just 30w over stock. Also, the link below highlights the FPS in BF3 after you crossfire 2 7850 overclocked. GCN scales very well when overclocked, the performance gains are nearly 1:1. The 7850 just received a price cut from AMD so the pricing will be around $209 for reference models and $10 to $20 more for custom cooled models. When crossfired, the total price is around $438 bringing it close to the 670 whilst providing performance over the 680.
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August 31, 2012 7:50:13 AM

HD 7970 Ghz Edition, its in between a GTX 680 and 670 pricing and is faster. HD 7850 is not worth crossfiring, on low cost budget and a overclock to 1050mhz you get GTX between 580 and 670 performance, stock performance is a bit meh mostly due to a rediculously low clock speed, probably behind a 6970 and 570 then.
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August 31, 2012 8:01:26 AM

A 7850 can be overclocked pass the limits of 1050mhz. Its known to overclock to 1.2 - 1.3 ghz. At those clocks, it's between a 7950 and the 7970 in some games and a stock 7950 in other games. What's better is that the power draw is under 300w when crossfired and overclocked to 1.2ghz.
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August 31, 2012 8:02:13 AM

Plus a 7970 ghz sells for $450 whilst you can crossfire 7850s for around the same price but for more performance.
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a c 87 U Graphics card
August 31, 2012 8:54:14 AM

7970 GHz Edition is more expandable and can also overclock pretty far on its own (although, yes, not as far as two 7850s). However, that's not to say that I can't recommend 7850 CF for people who keep in mind the limited expanding capability.
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August 31, 2012 10:23:32 AM

Two 7850's (stock) CF is probably only just at 7970/680 level notwithstanding the troubles of getting the CF sweetspot and endless troubles. HD 7970 will still be faster when you get to overclocks.
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August 31, 2012 2:54:37 PM

get the two 7850crossfire with the price drop u can get them for $210/220
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a c 87 U Graphics card
August 31, 2012 6:25:45 PM

sarinaide said:
Two 7850's (stock) CF is probably only just at 7970/680 level notwithstanding the troubles of getting the CF sweetspot and endless troubles. HD 7970 will still be faster when you get to overclocks.


Radeon 7850 CF overclocks better than a single Radeon 7970 GHz Edition does. It has a lot more headroom. Whether or not it is worth sacrificing the 7970's more expandable upgrade path, far greater compute performance (not to say that Radeon 7800 doesn't have a lot of that anyway), and more is up to the buyer.
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