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Deciding which GPU...

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July 14, 2012 5:06:01 AM

Hello,

I'm looking upgrade from my HD5970 2GB soon, it's been a great card to me, but it's 2GB split has become extremely noticeable in more recent games. It's time for an upgrade, and while I won't say money is no issue, I would be willing to stretch for a 690 if needs be. However, I'm wary as that has 4GB split and I'm worried I'll have the same issue in a couple of years as I do now. Would I be better off getting a 3GB 7970 or a 4GB 680? They're all great I'm aware, I just don't want to end up buying a card that is not very future proofed! Thanks.

More about : deciding gpu

a c 91 U Graphics card
July 14, 2012 6:35:23 AM

The 7970 and 670 are more or less in par in performance, however the 670 4gb cost more. So I would just get the 7979

However, remember, you can try, but you can't futureproof
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a b U Graphics card
July 14, 2012 6:46:50 AM

Well, I might think about grabbing an additional 5970, assuming you can find one cheap enough.
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a c 91 U Graphics card
July 14, 2012 6:50:21 AM

Well, what resolution are you running OP? For single monitor I would just get a 670 and upgrade later
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a b U Graphics card
July 14, 2012 6:59:21 AM

vmem said:
The 7970 and 670 are more or less in par in performance, however the 670 4gb cost more. So I would just get the 7979

However, remember, you can try, but you can't futureproof

Oh wow, there's so much wrong with this post... To start, the 7970 with 12.7 outperforms the 670 and even the 680 in certain titles plus it has incredible GPGPU performance which every 6 series nvidia card is seriously lacking. Regardless, it might do you and the OP well to read these articles and look at the benchmarks for every game at the 1920x1080 resolution and up (cause seriously, if you're buying one or more of these cards you're not playing at 1680x1050...)
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-7970-ghz-...
and
http://www.anandtech.com/show/6025/radeon-hd-7970-ghz-e...

TL;DR: 670 gets killed by the 7970, 680 and 7970 trade blows on a lot of titles.

But I digress. OP, If you want a truly all around good setup (690 is overpriced and generally hard to find) buy two or three 7970's. Just make sure to get the cards with a factory overclock of at least 1000MHz as the GHz edition cards still aren't in the channel yet, for whatever reason.

As the GHz edition cards aren't out yet the specific samples I'd recommend are these two cards:
#1 @ $460: GIGABYTE GV-R797OC-3GD Radeon HD 7970 ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... )
#2 @ $530: MSI R7970 Lightning Radeon HD 7970 ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... )

The MSI card has a higher overclock than the Gigabyte card by 70MHz (1000MHz vs 1070MHz) but that's pretty insignificant considering the huge price discrepancy (literally an extra $70 for the 70 extra MHz). You would more than likely be able to overclock the Gigabyte 7970 to 1070 at least but most likely higher than that, probably into the 1100-1200MHz range from the overclocks that I have seen some of these cards do.
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a b U Graphics card
July 14, 2012 7:01:20 AM

mouse24 said:
Well, I might think about grabbing an additional 5970, assuming you can find one cheap enough.

That's not a bad idea but it's hard to find a 5970 for anything but outrageous prices.
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a b U Graphics card
July 14, 2012 7:17:07 AM

s3anister said:
Oh wow, there's so much wrong with this post... To start, the 7970 with 12.7 outperforms the 670 and even the 680 in certain titles plus it has incredible GPGPU performance which every 6 series nvidia card is seriously lacking. Regardless, it might do you and the OP well to read these articles and look at the benchmarks for every game at the 1920x1080 resolution and up (cause seriously, if you're buying one or more of these cards you're not playing at 1680x1050...)
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-7970-ghz-...
and
http://www.anandtech.com/show/6025/radeon-hd-7970-ghz-e...

TL;DR: 670 gets killed by the 7970, 680 and 7970 trade blows on a lot of titles.

But I digress. OP, If you want a truly all around good setup (690 is overpriced and generally hard to find) buy two or three 7970's. Just make sure to get the cards with a factory overclock of at least 1000MHz as the GHz edition cards still aren't in the channel yet, for whatever reason.

As the GHz edition cards aren't out yet the specific samples I'd recommend are these two cards:
#1 @ $460: GIGABYTE GV-R797OC-3GD Radeon HD 7970 ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... )
#2 @ $530: MSI R7970 Lightning Radeon HD 7970 ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... )

The MSI card has a higher overclock than the Gigabyte card by 70MHz (1000MHz vs 1070MHz) but that's pretty insignificant considering the huge price discrepancy (literally an extra $70 for the 70 extra MHz). You would more than likely be able to overclock the Gigabyte 7970 to 1070 at least but most likely higher than that, probably into the 1100-1200MHz range from the overclocks that I have seen some of these cards do.


Well, its not really a surprise that the 7970 performs better than the 670 (as its amds top line compared to nvidias 2nd to the top) and its also not a surprise it beats out the 680 in some games. Some games are just poorly optimized or payed off to simply work better with certain cards. Take a look at shoguns benchmark, what happened there.

Regardless I say get whatevers cheapest in your area. One thing I did find a bit funny was that OC'ed a 7970 GHZ edition was using as much power as a 690.

I will say this, 5 fps isn't much, though every little bit does help. I personally wouldn't spend more than 20-30 bucks to get an extra 5 fps worth of performance.
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a b U Graphics card
July 14, 2012 7:20:18 AM

I dont think its time to upgrade yet.The HD 5970 still holds its own.It trades blows with the HD 7970 and the GTX 670.Even if you upgrade you arent going to see a noticable gain in performance.The HD 5970 is made of 2 5870 which are close in performance to two 6950's.Wherever i look i cant seem to find a benchmark in which the 6950 1GB loses to the 6950 2GB by a significant amount.

If you still wish to upgrade save a bit more cash and buy two HD 7950's like those.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It would be better if the top one is reference design though,
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a c 185 U Graphics card
July 14, 2012 7:33:11 AM

mouse24 said:
Well, I might think about grabbing an additional 5970, assuming you can find one cheap enough.
+1 to this idea ;) 
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a b U Graphics card
July 14, 2012 8:03:04 AM

mouse24 said:
Well, its not really a surprise that the 7970 performs better than the 670 (as its amds top line compared to nvidias 2nd to the top) and its also not a surprise it beats out the 680 in some games. Some games are just poorly optimized or payed off to simply work better with certain cards. Take a look at shoguns benchmark, what happened there.

Regardless I say get whatevers cheapest in your area. One thing I did find a bit funny was that OC'ed a 7970 GHZ edition was using as much power as a 690.

I will say this, 5 fps isn't much, though every little bit does help. I personally wouldn't spend more than 20-30 bucks to get an extra 5 fps worth of performance.

Yeah I thought it very interesting that on Anand's test bench for total system power the 680 pulls 362W, 7970GE 429W, and the 690 only 473W in Metro 2033. The 690 is a really cool card (I'd love to know how they got the power use down so low), the only thing that disappoints me about it is how nvidia (for whatever reason) left out their signature GPU compute power.

As for power consumption in general, I live in an area where all of the grid energy is hydroelectric or nuclear (very cheap kWh) so I sometimes forget that power might be a deciding factor for others.
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July 14, 2012 1:09:03 PM

Thanks for the replies, guys.

As far as sticking another 5970 in, that wouldn't help really would it? The VRAM would still be split and I'd have the same issues as before, I think. That and the the fact that 5970's are so, so expensive for an older card, it seems I may as well just go and get a new card altogether.

What are your thoughts regarding the 680 4GB vs the 690?
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a b U Graphics card
July 14, 2012 1:30:12 PM

Sketchkun said:
Thanks for the replies, guys.

As far as sticking another 5970 in, that wouldn't help really would it? The VRAM would still be split and I'd have the same issues as before, I think. That and the the fact that 5970's are so, so expensive for an older card, it seems I may as well just go and get a new card altogether.

What are your thoughts regarding the 680 4GB vs the 690?


Go with the 7970, the cheapest one iv'e seen is around $430, $70 less than a reference gtx 680 and they trade blows with each other!

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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July 14, 2012 1:45:32 PM

Argh too many choices! The 7970 is on the radar, I just worry it's not enough of an improvement over the 5970 to warrant the purchase...
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a c 185 U Graphics card
July 14, 2012 1:52:42 PM

Sketchkun said:
Argh too many choices! The 7970 is on the radar, I just worry it's not enough of an improvement over the 5970 to warrant the purchase...
would get a 690 if you can afford it :D 
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July 14, 2012 2:48:05 PM

I think I'm going to get a 7970, then possibly another 3-4 months down the line. Sounds like a good idea?
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a b U Graphics card
July 14, 2012 3:00:13 PM

Sketchkun said:
I think I'm going to get a 7970, then possibly another 3-4 months down the line. Sounds like a good idea?


Ye it sounds good, one 7970=5970 without the micro stuttering, heat, and power consumption.

And another 7970 will give you great performance!
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a c 91 U Graphics card
July 14, 2012 3:11:09 PM

a pair of 7970s would definitely give you a HUGE boost in performance.

is VRAM is a huge concern for you, you can wait a week or two and get a pair of these babies:
http://www.tweaktown.com/articles/4836/sapphire_radeon_...

I really don't think 6GB is something anyone need, but well, to each their own
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July 14, 2012 3:18:47 PM

maxh22 said:
Ye it sounds good, one 7970=5970 without the micro stuttering, heat, and power consumption.

And another 7970 will give you great performance!


Awesome, sounds like that'll be the way to go!


vmem said:
a pair of 7970s would definitely give you a HUGE boost in performance.

is VRAM is a huge concern for you, you can wait a week or two and get a pair of these babies:
http://www.tweaktown.com/articles/4836/sapphire_radeon_...

I really don't think 6GB is something anyone need, but well, to each their own


Realistically, what sort of price is that going to be?
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a c 185 U Graphics card
July 14, 2012 3:22:26 PM

Sketchkun said:
I think I'm going to get a 7970, then possibly another 3-4 months down the line. Sounds like a good idea?
yes it sounds like a great idea :) 
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a c 91 U Graphics card
July 14, 2012 3:23:14 PM

my guess would be $600-$650. premium pricing I know, but an extra 3GB of VRAM cost money
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July 14, 2012 4:01:40 PM

Hmm, 6GB seems to be way too much to be honest, can't see a game needing that for years...

I think I'll go with the 3GB one :) 
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a c 230 U Graphics card
July 14, 2012 4:12:17 PM

I don't see 2 GB as an issue unless your resolution is above 1920 x 1200. If that's the case, look at the numbers and decide for yaself

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
7970 Ghz - $ 500 ( 952 / NA ) $ 0.53 - ERR

In the table above for example, the Asus 670 Cu DCII TOP costs $430 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 tested in SLI.

At $0.43 per frame, to my mind, the 670 TOP is an easy choice. It tops the 7970 Ghz model by 8% while being 16% cheaper. Cost per frame is 23% higher on the 7970 Ghz.

Might wanna read these....

Asus GTX 670 DCII Cu TOP 10.0 rating
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/ASUS/GeForce_GTX_670...

AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3 GB 8.5 rating
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/AMD/HD_7970_GHz_Edit...

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a c 91 U Graphics card
July 14, 2012 5:07:54 PM

JackNaylorPE said:
I don't see 2 GB as an issue unless your resolution is above 1920 x 1200. If that's the case, look at the numbers and decide for yaself

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
7970 Ghz - $ 500 ( 952 / NA ) $ 0.53 - ERR

In the table above for example, the Asus 670 Cu DCII TOP costs $430 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 tested in SLI.

At $0.43 per frame, to my mind, the 670 TOP is an easy choice. It tops the 7970 Ghz model by 8% while being 16% cheaper. Cost per frame is 23% higher on the 7970 Ghz.

Might wanna read these....

Asus GTX 670 DCII Cu TOP 10.0 rating
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/ASUS/GeForce_GTX_670...

AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3 GB 8.5 rating
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/AMD/HD_7970_GHz_Edit...


dude, prices and performance has changed... the 7970ghz is a terrible buy at that price. buy any regular 7970 with a manufacturer's cooler can match that performance at $460, which makes the 7970 and 670 much more even. though I agree that for most single monitor uses, the 670 is the better deal
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a c 230 U Graphics card
July 14, 2012 5:26:57 PM

mouse24 said:
Well, its not really a surprise that the 7970 performs better than the 670 (as its amds top line compared to nvidias 2nd to the top) and its also not a surprise it beats out the 680 in some games. Some games are just poorly optimized or payed off to simply work better with certain cards. Take a look at shoguns benchmark, what happened there.


It would be a surprise to Guru 3D and many other review sites who tested both. Of course, it may vary by what games are selected for the test suite and some sets of games may produce a different winner. But at worst, the 670 is easily the equal of the 7970.....at least at 1920 x 1200.

For example, 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:

GTX 670 costs $ 400 and gets 917 fps in the 2011 Test Suite for a cost of $ 0.44 frame
GTX 680 costs $ 500 and gets 989 fps in the 2011 Test Suite for a cost of $ 0.51 frame
Radeon 7970 costs $ 460 and gets 872 fps in the 2011 Test Suite for a cost of $ 0.53 frame

* costs are lowest "major brand" on newegg on (i.e. Asus, Gigabyte, EVGA, MSI)

That's a 5% performance advantage, a 15% cost advantage and 20% "bang for the buck" advantage for the 670
That's a 13% performance advantage, a 9% cost disadvantage and 4% "bang for the buck" advantage for the 680

Looking at the non reference versions....

GTX 670 DCII TOP costs $ 430 and gets 999 fps in the 2011 Test Suite for a cost of $ 0.43 frame
GTX 680 DCII TOP costs $ 520 and gets 1077 fps in the 2011 Test Suite for a cost of $ 0.48 frame
Radeon 7970 DCII costs $ 580 and gets 924 fps in the 2011 Test Suite for a cost of $ 0.63 frame

That's a 8% performance advantage, a 35% cost advantage and 47% "bang for the buck" advantage for the 670
That's a 17% performance advantage, a 12% cost disadvantage and 31% "bang for the buck" advantage for the 680

To provide another perspective I looked at Techpowerup and compared the "best of the best" ....looking at the 670 TOP versus the 7970 Ghz .... both used specially "binned" versions of the GPU's.

GTX 670 DCII TOP costs $ 430 and gets 1770.8 fps in TechPowerUp'stest suite for a cost of $ 0.24 frame
Radeon 7970GHz costs $ 500 and gets 1763.2 fps in TechPowerUp'stest suite for a cost of $ 0.28 frame

As for potential ..... after it's outta the box and OC'd.....

With the 670 TOP, Guru3D managed a 13% increase on boost clock, and 16% on memory
With the Radeon 7970GHz, Guru3D managed a 14% increase on boost clock, and 8% on memory

Again, at worst, I'd call that a performance "tie" but the 17% advantage in cost per frame, to my mind makes the 670 TOP the a much better buy than the 7970 Ghz
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a c 230 U Graphics card
July 14, 2012 5:29:42 PM

vmem said:
dude, prices and performance has changed... the 7970ghz is a terrible buy at that price. buy any regular 7970 with a manufacturer's cooler can match that performance at $460, which makes the 7970 and 670 much more even. though I agree that for most single monitor uses, the 670 is the better deal


Prices are as of this morning on newegg ... MSI Gigabyte, Asus, Gigabyte ..... yes, you can find cheaper versions for both but same "rule" was applied to both sides.

And I can't agree that any reference card can match the OC of a non-reference card where the manufacturer has actually done design improvements and not simply slapped a "Superclocked" label on it.....

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/ASUS/GeForce_GTX_670...

Quote:
The card does so without massive power consumption increase thanks to an efficient VRM design and low temperatures. ASUS has done away with NVIDIA's cheap voltage regulation circuitry and put a much better CHiL controller on the card, which also supports voltage control and monitoring.....

The ASUS DC II cooler is a revelation ......

Manual overclocking works well too, especially memory, which is not overclocked out of the box, performs exceedingly well. We see well over 100 MHz extra memory overclocking potential compared to the NVIDIA reference design, thanks to the revamped PCB design. In the end the card reaches 1890 MHz memory, which is just 5 MHz shy of the highest memory clock ever recorded in a TPU review.

Overall the ASUS GTX 670 Direct CU II is the best card I ever tested. I simply can't find anything wrong with it. ASUS has sucessfully addressed all the shortcomings of NVIDIA's reference design, yet asks only a moderate $20 price premium for their card.


The 7970 non-reference DCII OC'd hit a 3D Mark 11 of 9680
The 7970 reference card OC'd hit a 3D Mark 11 of 8570

that's quite a difference.....

http://www.guru3d.com/article/asus-radeon-hd-7970-direc...
http://www.guru3d.com/article/amd-radeon-hd-7970-review...
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a c 91 U Graphics card
July 14, 2012 6:22:51 PM

I'm not trying to say that a reference card can hit the OC of non-reference designs. I'm saying any non-reference design with a decent cooler, ASUS, MSI, Sapphire, HIS, you name it, can easily overclock to 1ghz. hell, even reference designed 7970 can do it for the most part. thus I'm saying the main performance improvement of a 7970 is in the 12.7 drivers, not the fact that the 7970 ghz edition is special

therefore, I'm saying that the $500 for a 7970 ghz is a terrible buy, but the cheaper non-reference 7970s are just as capable if not better, and stand a much better chance against a 670. your analysis used old 7970 data from older drivers, and does not include the performance boost AMD's latest drivers offer to the 7970
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a c 91 U Graphics card
July 14, 2012 6:26:19 PM

if you will take a look at this review here, specially the BF3 benchmarks:
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/AMD/HD_7970_GHz_Edit...

you see that the regular 7970 catches up to the 670 and eventually surpasses it going from lower to high resolution. this is the regular 7970 on the latest drivers, not the 7970 ghz edition. BF3 is also a heavily Nvidia favored game at the moment. on games like metro 2033, the advantages of a 7970 to the 670 widens. This is why I'm saying the two cards are well matched, with the 670 possibly being a slightly better buy. I believe your table needs to be updated to reflect these differences as the gap is currently too large and unrealistic
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a b U Graphics card
July 14, 2012 7:15:26 PM

I agree with vmem and jack, though at current prices I would go with a 670(400), its 30-60 dollars cheaper than a 7970(430-460) (depending on which one you buy) and performs very similar. If you want to go with a bit more expensive option you could spend 500-520 on a 680. (though you wouldn't catch me spending that much extra for such a minute amount of additional frames over a cheaper option)

This question hasn't been asked but I think it should be, why do you think you need to upgrade? Is it some games aren't performing where you want them to? etc
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a c 91 U Graphics card
July 14, 2012 7:22:49 PM

mouse24 said:

This question hasn't been asked but I think it should be, why do you think you need to upgrade? Is it some games aren't performing where you want them to? etc


this is just speculation, but with 2GB of memory split between 2 cores, I can see 1GB of effective VRAM being a bottleneck for say 2560x1600 resolution gameplay
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a c 620 U Graphics card
July 14, 2012 7:36:15 PM

What games do you intend to play? Anandtech got it right when they wrote this in the conclusion to their 7970 Ghz Edition review:

Quote:
"Our advice then for prospective buyers is to first look at benchmarks for the games they intend to play. If you’re going to be focused on only a couple of games for the near future then there’s a very good chance one card or the other is going to be the best fit. Otherwise for gamers facing a wide selection of games or looking at future games where their performance is unknown, then the 7970GE and GTX 680 are in fact tied, and from a performance perspective you couldn’t go wrong with either one."
http://www.anandtech.com/show/6025/radeon-hd-7970-ghz-e...

(By the way, you should definitely read their conclusion before deciding to get a 7970 Ghz Edition.)
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July 14, 2012 8:50:34 PM

I play a pretty wide variety, BF3, Serious Sam, modded Skyrim included. Get's really, really choppy at 1920x1080 and upwards, plus my 5970 is making some pretty bad fan noises, so I think it's time. Don't really want another dual GPU card either.
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a b U Graphics card
July 14, 2012 9:15:31 PM

vmem said:
this is just speculation, but with 2GB of memory split between 2 cores, I can see 1GB of effective VRAM being a bottleneck for say 2560x1600 resolution gameplay


17seconds said:
What games do you intend to play? Anandtech got it right when they wrote this in the conclusion to their 7970 Ghz Edition review:

Quote:
"Our advice then for prospective buyers is to first look at benchmarks for the games they intend to play. If you’re going to be focused on only a couple of games for the near future then there’s a very good chance one card or the other is going to be the best fit. Otherwise for gamers facing a wide selection of games or looking at future games where their performance is unknown, then the 7970GE and GTX 680 are in fact tied, and from a performance perspective you couldn’t go wrong with either one."
http://www.anandtech.com/show/6025/radeon-hd-7970-ghz-e...

(By the way, you should definitely read their conclusion before deciding to get a 7970 Ghz Edition.)

Basically what matto said. If you're trying to get something future-resistant than I wouldn't buy anything other than the highest card from either manufacturer.

As for VRAM, let me explain the basics. In general, each card is designed for the exact amount of memory soldered onto the board, no more and no less; in select cases the extra memory (3GB vs 6GB, for example) does allow for performance, however, typically every GPU on the market will run out of processing power long before its able to make use of the extra double RAM. Even if RAM is a concern buy two 3GB AMD 7970s or two 2GB GTX 680s, there is simply no need to bleed money for extra memory that the GPU can't really use.

On a somewhat related topic, I don't know if you do anything like bitcoin mining or have uses for GPGPU but I personally would buy the 7970 because I use GPGPU already and there are only going to be more programs that come out this year and next that will make use of GPU accelerated processing.
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a c 620 U Graphics card
July 14, 2012 11:33:00 PM

Sketchkun said:
I play a pretty wide variety, BF3, Serious Sam, modded Skyrim included. Get's really, really choppy at 1920x1080 and upwards, plus my 5970 is making some pretty bad fan noises, so I think it's time. Don't really want another dual GPU card either.

You should look at BF3 and Skyrim benchmarks then. I know that an Nvidia card allows you to enable Ambient Occlusion and Transparency Supersampling in Skyrim, which you can't do on an AMD card.
http://www.geforce.com/Optimize/Guides/the-elder-scroll...


http://www.anandtech.com/show/6025/radeon-hd-7970-ghz-e...


http://www.anandtech.com/show/6025/radeon-hd-7970-ghz-e...
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