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GTX 670 vs HD 7970

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July 11, 2012 8:39:13 PM

hey there people,

I recently had a build in mind and was pretty set on the GTX 670. but I heard from many places that even though it is a great bang for buck. it is not as good as the 7970 at Gaming.
I know it has like 3D stuff and all but I doubt Ill ever use that. If anyone has a 7970 or has experience with it. are there any downsides? I live in australia the cheapest 670 is 490$ and the avergae 7970 is 510$. so only a 20 dollar difference. this build is mostly for gaming but a little more than some editing will be done so I chose i7.

CPU: Intel i7 3770K
CASE: NZXT Phantom USB 3.0 White
HDD: 1TB Western Digital Caviar Black
MOTHERBOARD: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H
POWER SUPPLY: Silverstone Strider Plus 750w
RAM/MEMORY: G.skill Ares 1600Mhz (2x4GB)
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit OEM
Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO

If I get GTX 670 then I will get this
Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 OC 2GB

and for the HD 7970 I have three choices.
Saphire Radeon HD 7970 3GB

Gigabyte Radeon HD 7970 Overclocked 3GB

Saphire Radeon HD 7970 OC 3GB

Please help I'm in a bit of a pickle :cry: 

EDIT: IMO The 7970 looks Alot better of a deal in the long term. Besides GTX 670 is too mainstream, tell me what you think?

More about : gtx 670 7970

July 11, 2012 8:47:13 PM

7970 is a bit faster when over clocked but the 670 runs a bit faster in stock speeds. 670 is significantly cheaper (well not as much in your link) but it was priced around 400 last time i bought one. Overall, the 7970 is nice with a slight overclock BUT the cost and power efficiency is a negative. I have bought and used both cards and they are great for gaming.
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a c 266 U Graphics card
July 11, 2012 8:47:54 PM

From a benchmark point of view, they are the same. Only if you will be playing one game exclusively, would I make the choice based on benchmarks. In general, the user experience will be so close that there is no difference.

If your editing software can use CUDA capabilities, then you will want to go NVIDIA.

Other than that, my sense is that more users prefer the Nvidia drivers to the AMD drivers.
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July 11, 2012 8:51:30 PM

geofelt said:
From a benchmark point of view, they are the same. Only if you will be playing one game exclusively, would I make the choice based on benchmarks. In general, the user experience will be so close that there is no difference.

If your editing software can use CUDA capabilities, then you will want to go NVIDIA.

Other than that, my sense is that more users prefer the Nvidia drivers to the AMD drivers.

I have done some diting in the past but if you see my curretn build isnt exactly...... well lets just say ive made better use of my toilet. I will most likely use adobe after effects,photoshop, sony vegas, maybe some 3d editing software like 3ds max. and few others. I dont know if any of them use CUDA cores because im not exactly sure what CUDA cores are. could you explain what they are and what they do?
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a c 87 U Graphics card
July 11, 2012 9:02:37 PM

tuganu said:
I have done some diting in the past but if you see my curretn build isnt exactly...... well lets just say ive made better use of my toilet. I will most likely use adobe after effects,photoshop, sony vegas, maybe some 3d editing software like 3ds max. and few others. I dont know if any of them use CUDA cores because im not exactly sure what CUDA cores are. could you explain what they are and what they do?


The 670 has CUDA, but the 7970 using OpenCL or Direct 3D is far faster. It is a compute oriented card despite also being exceptionally fast in gaming like the 670 and 680 are, especially when overclocking is concerned. However, the 7970 uses somewhat more power as well, although for compute workloads, it is still more power efficient due to the huge difference in compute performance. Even the GTX 580 is far better than the 670/680 in compute and it doesn't come close to the 7970. Also, the cores in Nvidia's cards are CUDA cores. They do more than CUDA, such as game rendering, but that's what they're called. If GPU-accelerated editing and other such work is important to you, then a Kepler card is a fairly poor choice. Keep in mind that the 7970 can hang with and even beat many if not most professional Quadro cards in GPGPU performance in addition to it's huge gaming performance. It also isn't really more expensive than the 670 anymore.
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July 11, 2012 9:08:09 PM

blazorthon said:
The 670 has CUDA, but the 7970 using OpenCL or Direct 3D is far faster. It is a compute oriented card despite also being exceptionally fast in gaming like the 670 and 680 are, especially when overclocking is concerned. However, the 7970 uses somewhat more power as well, although for compute workloads, it is still more power efficient due to the huge difference in compute performance. Even the GTX 580 is far better than the 670/680 in compute and it doesn't come close to the 7970. Also, the cores in Nvidia's cards are CUDA cores. They do more than CUDA, such as game rendering, but that's what they're called. If GPU-accelerated editing and other such work is important to you, then a Kepler card is a fairly poor choice. Keep in mind that the 7970 can hang with and even beat many if not most professional Quadro cards in GPGPU performance in addition to it's huge gaming performance. It also isn't really more expensive than the 670 anymore.

so I will do some editing here and there but not enough to want extreme stuff. I think that a HD 7970 is a good choice for me. but the question is. which one?
Im sorry if im wasting your time or bothering you but you seem to be helping me out alot. if you were getting a 7970 and wanted it to be 500-540$ which one would you choose out of these
Which one out of these Cards?
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July 11, 2012 9:16:35 PM

blazorthon said:
The 670 has CUDA, but the 7970 using OpenCL or Direct 3D is far faster. It is a compute oriented card despite also being exceptionally fast in gaming like the 670 and 680 are, especially when overclocking is concerned. However, the 7970 uses somewhat more power as well, although for compute workloads, it is still more power efficient due to the huge difference in compute performance. Even the GTX 580 is far better than the 670/680 in compute and it doesn't come close to the 7970. Also, the cores in Nvidia's cards are CUDA cores. They do more than CUDA, such as game rendering, but that's what they're called. If GPU-accelerated editing and other such work is important to you, then a Kepler card is a fairly poor choice. Keep in mind that the 7970 can hang with and even beat many if not most professional Quadro cards in GPGPU performance in addition to it's huge gaming performance. It also isn't really more expensive than the 670 anymore.

then again apparently the 670 has better drivers and and less problems. man it is hard to decide. a 7970 is good but I think a 670 is the better choice since it has less problems. do you believe the gigabyte GTX 670 overclocked is good or any others out of the listed?
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPa...
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July 11, 2012 10:38:12 PM

tuganu said:
then again apparently the 670 has better drivers and and less problems. man it is hard to decide. a 7970 is good but I think a 670 is the better choice since it has less problems. do you believe the gigabyte GTX 670 overclocked is good or any others out of the listed?
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPa...


The better drivers thing is actually not really true anymore and even then, the 670 had driver problems up until a little after the 7970's driver problems were solved. They both now have excellent drivers. Using the latest drivers for either card, there shouldn't be problems. Also, the Gigabyte 670 is good as far as I'm aware of, but I think that one of the Asus models, the Asus GTX 670 DirectCU II, is supposedly better.
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July 11, 2012 10:39:45 PM

tuganu said:
so I will do some editing here and there but not enough to want extreme stuff. I think that a HD 7970 is a good choice for me. but the question is. which one?
Im sorry if im wasting your time or bothering you but you seem to be helping me out alot. if you were getting a 7970 and wanted it to be 500-540$ which one would you choose out of these
Which one out of these Cards?


Are those prices not in USD? They all look very high for USD prices and I'm in the USA, so USD is what I usually work with.
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a b U Graphics card
July 11, 2012 10:51:37 PM

The 7970 is a better all around card, the question do you game at higher resolutions than 1920x1080? In any case the 7970 Overclocks better in my experience anyway combined with the 12.7 drivers it pulls ahead of everything right now.
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July 11, 2012 11:05:58 PM

blazorthon said:
Are those prices not in USD? They all look very high for USD prices and I'm in the USA, so USD is what I usually work with.

yeah those are australian but hey. I have to deal with it :( 
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July 11, 2012 11:08:04 PM

blazorthon said:
The better drivers thing is actually not really true anymore and even then, the 670 had driver problems up until a little after the 7970's driver problems were solved. They both now have excellent drivers. Using the latest drivers for either card, there shouldn't be problems. Also, the Gigabyte 670 is good as far as I'm aware of, but I think that one of the Asus models, the Asus GTX 670 DirectCU II, is supposedly better.

You mean this one?
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a c 87 U Graphics card
July 11, 2012 11:13:37 PM

tuganu said:
yeah those are australian but hey. I have to deal with it :( 


Sorry to hear about that. I've seen some Australian prices before and they never impress. However, I must say that they aren't all nearly as bad as some other Australian prices that I've seen.

http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

Of those cards, this Gigabyte 7970 kinda stands out. Higher stock frequency (not too important, but hey), 3 year warranty instead of 2 years, one of the lowest prices of the 7970s in that list, and what looks to be one of the best coolers from that list, especially for the money. It's only about 20% to 25% more than what would be paid in the USA, so although it's a poor price, it's not horrible.

It might be cheaper to try buying from an internationally shipping USA site or some other country. China or Japan sometimes have sites that ship internationally, have decent prices, and work with many different currencies and some USA sites are known to do similar. If you know anyone in different countries, maybe you can work something out that way too. Just a few thoughts.
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July 11, 2012 11:16:26 PM

blazorthon said:
Sorry to hear about that. I've seen some Australian prices before and they never impress. However, I must say that they aren't nearly as bad as some other Australian prices that I've seen.

http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

Of those cards, this Gigabyte 7970 kinda stands out. Higher stock frequency (not too important, but hey), 3 year warranty instead of 2 years, one of the lowest prices of the 7970s in that list, and what looks to be one of the best coolers from that list, especially for the money. It's only about 20% to 25% more than what would be paid in the USA, so although it's a poor price, it's really not too bad.

I've seen some Australian prices jump up to over 40% more than USA prices on similar cards previously and I thought that was pretty horrible. Heck, it might be cheaper to try buying from an internationally shipping USA site or some other country. China or Japan sometimes have sites that ship internationally, have decent prices, and work with many different currencies and some USA sites are known to do similar. If you know anyone in different countries, maybe you can work something out that way too. Just a few thoughts.

yeah but unfortunatly I dont know many people in other countries and its not worth the hassle. so if you think I should go with the 7970 instead of 670 then I will. but also how would you overclock a GPU? any tutorials or programs that might help?
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July 11, 2012 11:18:07 PM

tuganu said:
yeah but unfortunatly I dont know many people in other countries and its not worth the hassle. so if you think I should go with the 7970 instead of 670 then I will. but also how would you overclock a GPU? any tutorials or programs that might help?


There are many program tools that are used for overclocking. I like trixx, but there are many others. There are plenty of tutorials that can be found through simple Google searches or even at least a few here on Tom's, but if you want, I can give you some basics to keep in mind.
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July 11, 2012 11:21:45 PM

blazorthon said:
There are many program tools that are used for overclocking. I like trixx, but there are many others. There are plenty of tutorials that can be found through simple Google searches or even at least a few here on Tom's, but if you want, I can give you some basics to keep in mind.

I dont want to ask too much of you since youve done so much already but if you can then some pointers would help(also does gpu OC void your warranty like the CPU OC?)
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a c 87 U Graphics card
July 11, 2012 11:33:07 PM

tuganu said:
I dont want to ask too much of you since youve done so much already but if you can then some pointers would help(also does gpu OC void your warranty like the CPU OC?)


Whether or not the warranty is voided by overclocking would depend on the individual warranty, but the fact that there is no way of knowing whether or not you overclocked your card means that it doesn't matter much unless you tell people about it or post information about it publicly and not anonymously.

A few pointers, sure. Don't bother with over-volting just yet. Most cards, especially the 7970, can be pushed quite far without increasing the voltage. Increasing the clock frequency is not really dangerous at all. Increasing the voltage is where it can be more risky, especially if you don't have much experience with it.You're frequency will probably top out between 1100MHz and 1225MHz at stock voltage. That'd be your GPU frequency. You also have a memory frequency that you can increase and I'd expect somewhere between 1500MHz and a little over 1700MHz on that (GDDR5, so between 6GHz effective and almost 7GHz effective)

Since overclocking is being considered, there is one other thing worth mentioning. When overclocking is considered, you'd probably be interested in knowing that the 7950 and the 7970 are fairly equal cards. The 7970 is simply more expensive and has a higher stock frequency, both of which aren't problems for overclocking. So, you could save some more money while getting roughly the same performance. The 7950 can actually have slightly higher performance when overclocked than the 7970 because of how AMD chose to differentiate the two cards. So, since you're considering overclocking, I'd recommend getting a 7950 instead of the 7970. It's better to save money while getting a about the same or even slightly more for that smaller amount of money.

With overclcoking, all you do is install the program that you want to use and move a few sliders around. There's a slider for GPU frequency, memory frequency, and voltage. There can be other sliders as well, but these are generally the main three sliders to consider. Like I said, you should avoid the voltage for now, but the GPU frequency and memory frequency are free game.
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July 11, 2012 11:41:06 PM

blazorthon said:
Whether or not the warranty is voided by overclocking would depend on the individual warranty, but the fact that there is no way of knowing whether or not you overclocked your card means that it doesn't matter much unless you tell people about it or post information about it publicly and not anonymously.

A few pointers, sure. Don't bother with over-volting just yet. Most cards, especially the 7970, can be pushed quite far without increasing the voltage. Increasing the clock frequency is not really dangerous at all. Increasing the voltage is where it can be more risky, especially if you don't have much experience with it.You're frequency will probably top out between 1100MHz and 1225MHz at stock voltage. That'd be your GPU frequency. You also have a memory frequency that you can increase and I'd expect somewhere between 1500MHz and a little over 1700MHz on that (GDDR5, so between 6GHz effective and almost 7GHz effective)

Since overclocking is being considered, there is one other thing worth mentioning. When overclocking is considered, you'd probably be interested in knowing that the 7950 and the 7970 are fairly equal cards. The 7970 is simply more expensive and has a higher stock frequency, both of which aren't problems for overclocking. So, you could save some more money while getting roughly the same performance. The 7950 can actually have slightly higher performance when overclocked than the 7970 because of how AMD chose to differentiate the two cards. So, since you're considering overclocking, I'd recommend getting a 7950 instead of the 7970. It's better to save money while getting a about the same or even slightly more for that smaller amount of money.

With overclcoking, all you do is install the program that you want to use and move a few sliders around. There's a slider for GPU frequency, memory frequency, and voltage. There can be other sliders as well, but these are generally the main three sliders to consider. Like I said, you should avoid the voltage for now, but the GPU frequency and memory frequency are free game.

ok so I shouldnt increase the voltage untill im more familiar with what im doing. and also overclocking is after the warranty runs out. 3 years I will have it running on stock unless im sure nothing will go wrong with the card. so 7970 seems like a good option and anyhow the next Pc I get will be at least 8 years(not including upgrading here and there) so I think that the extra 60-80$ why not? and anyways I think you have earned Best answer and i thank you for helping me out :hello: 
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July 11, 2012 11:41:25 PM

Best answer selected by tuganu.
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a c 272 U Graphics card
July 12, 2012 1:24:24 AM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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