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Help me decide on a videocard - specific questions

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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June 17, 2012 1:52:41 AM

Hi!
I need some help choosing a videocard between HD 7970 and GTX 670.

First of all, I have two specific questions, so please, please, please - don't make it Nvidia vs AMD fanboy talk. Second, I did read tons of reviews, so I know all good points of both, and how their performance, power consumption and features compare. My questions are about possible bad points of both, rather than goods ones :) 

I previously had very bad exprerience with Nvidia cards in mutli-monitors setups. Specifically, when there are two monitors with different resolutions, and I wanted to make spanned desktop. There were all kinds of problems - unable to make set native resolutions for both (Nvidia driver wanted me to make same resolution for both) plus when playing video on secondary monitor, not all programs were able to do that. On the other hand, ATI never ever had such problems. Another big point - 2D image quality. ATI cards were always on top - don't know, was it due to hardware or drivers.

Now, since the release of GTX 670, it looks way better overall than HD 7970 (less price/power for about the same performance, CUDA/PhysX etc). So I almost pushed the button to buy it, but at the lasst moment decided to read some forums, and they made me think :( 

So, I'm asking for the actual information or review that specifically answers the above two questions:
1. Was the driver issues with Nvidia (like those that I pointed above) resolved?
2. What about 2D image quality? I spend 95+% time in 2D (work), so it is way more important than 3D for me.

And oh, yes, I'm going SLI/CF for 2 cards :)  I know, it is waaaay overkill for anything I do, but I want to do that just because I can :) , so no question about that :pt1cable: 
a b U Graphics card
June 17, 2012 2:26:34 AM

"And oh, yes, I'm going SLI/CF for 2 cards :)  I know, it is waaaay overkill for anything I do"
But what exactly is it you want to do??? If you do things that compute power makes you apps run faster - easy decision.
-Bruce
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June 17, 2012 3:02:33 AM

Well, all apps I write are CPU bound, and don't use GPU compute power at all (although it would be nice in some VERY, VERY distant future to add that, but I don't count on it at all).
Also I do tiny bit of CAD work (no, not AutoCAD - in house flavor OpenGL-based), and about 5% of my time goes to games - nothing in particular, just whatever I feel myself up to. And the reason for powerful cards is that I want to put everything on absolute max settings, and still see absolutely any current game fly at fps > 40-50. Resolution is 2560×1600, so if I go with GTX 670, I'll take 4Gb versions :) 
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a c 87 U Graphics card
June 17, 2012 3:22:21 AM

The 7970 doesn't throw out that much heat... Even the GTX 570 is worse than the 7970 at that, let alone the GTX 580, then 480, and then dual-GPU cards such as the 590, 690, 6990, and more. The 7970 is far better than the GTX 670 and 680 at compute. You might place some value in that at some point. For DP compute, the 7970 is between 5 and 6 times faster than the 680 and for SP, about 50% faster than the 680. The 670 is even slower.
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a c 599 U Graphics card
June 17, 2012 3:31:33 AM

If you're looking at 2D image quality, I actually saw a review where they stringently tested and compared the two vendors and concluded that there was no difference.
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a c 87 U Graphics card
June 17, 2012 3:37:03 AM

Yes, image quality is not something to be concerned with between the venders, just other factors.
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June 17, 2012 5:05:42 AM

huh, I found this comparison:
http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1694755&page=1

So it seems like 2D image quality should be no problem, this is one question less :) 

Now, what about drivers? I didn't have any problems with ATI/AMD before, don't know situation with Nvidia these days. There were quite a few cries all over the net for Nvidia driver issues till about 6 months ago, and basically silence since than. Does it mean they got cured and GTX 670 is a safe bet now?
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a c 87 U Graphics card
June 17, 2012 5:09:24 AM

Nvidia is actually having worse driver problems than AMD since AMD released Cata 12.6, but not everyone is having the same problems or even any problems at all. They are kinda hit or miss for the Nvidia cards.
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