Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question
Closed

7970 OR 670 for Skyrim/Starcraft 2/General Gaming -- Upgrade from 4870

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
Share

What's my best option:

Total: 42 votes (19 blank votes)

  • XFX 7970 Black Edition Double D
  • 18 %
  • Powercolor PCS+ 7970
  • 27 %
  • EVGA Superclocked+ GTX 670 4GB
  • 35 %
  • Other (Please comment below)
  • 22 %
July 22, 2012 12:11:34 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within the next 2-3 weeks. I'm an American living in Japan, where high end video cards tend to run more expensive. I'd like to order it soon so I can pick it up during the first 2 weeks of August when I visit my family and friends in the states.

BUDGET RANGE: Around $500

USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT:
Gaming, primarily strategy games and RPGs. I play a lot of Starcraft 2 and Bethesda RPGs, though I also play Battlefield 3 and some other shooters from time to time.

CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY:
GPU: HIS HD 4870 1GB
PSU: CorsairCMPSU-750TX (750W)

OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS:
Case: Antec 900 II
MB: ASUS P6T Dx
CPU: Core i7-920
RAM: 20 GB Triple Channel DDR3 1600

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080

OVERCLOCKING: Some SLI/CROSSFIRE: No

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:
It's been almost 4 years since I bought my 4870 and I couldn't be happier with how it's performed, but I feel like it's time to retire it and find something a little more beefy. I play a ton of Starcraft 2 and quite a bit of Skyrim as well as variety of other games.

I've narrowed my choices down to 3 cards, but I'm still open to other suggestions. Right now I'm leaning toward the XFX Black Edition simply because of the warranty, though the Powercolor PCS+ has a better clock speed. I feel like the the AMD cards will be more future-proof because of the number of stream processors, but a lot of the benchmarks I've seen show the 670 outperforming the 7970 in both Skyrim and Starcraft 2 (even though the 7970 outperforms in a lot of shooters), and the extra gig of VRAM might come in handy for texture heavy Skyrim mods in the future. A GTX 680 is also not out of the question, but I think I'd rather have 4GB 670 over a 2GB 680 at the same price point (for the aforementioned reason).

The first part of my question is this: Would it be worth it to wait a little while for prices to go down? I know AMD just dropped the prices of their GPUs, but I'm wondering if the prices will drop any more over the next week or two as a result of that price drop or other factors.

The second part is: How much has the 7970's performance been increased by driver updates? I've heard there is a significant difference and I've also seen some benchmarks that could support that claim, but I also sometimes have a hard time finding specific driver information when I'm looking at benchmarks so I don't always know if the information I'm looking at reflects the current situation.

Finally, I want to know which of these three cards is the best given my situation, or if there is a much better option, what it would be.

Sorry for the volume of text, and thanks for taking the time to read it.

XFX 7970 Black Edition Double D
Powercolor PCS+ 7970
EVGA Superclocked+ GTX 670 4GB
a c 76 U Graphics card
July 22, 2012 12:44:53 PM

I would definitely get a 7970. With 3 free games, better overclocking, beating the 670 with the new drivers/Ghz editions, and GPGPU compute i dont see how a 670 makes sense unless you really like nvidia.
The xfx you're looking at is essentially a GHz edition so I don't see price dropping. something about xfx has always bothered me, but they are good and I'd take it over the Powecolor. You can probably clock the xfx up to 1100 anyway.

I prefer sapphire but their 1200MHz toxic card isn't available yet it seems.
a b U Graphics card
July 22, 2012 12:45:22 PM

I recommend a GTX 670. I have no words for this.
Related resources
a b U Graphics card
July 22, 2012 2:03:22 PM

My two EVGA GTX 670 2GB cards voted :) 

honestly 2GB or 4GB doesn't matter so I went with 2GB and will be running on a 2560x1440 resolution monitor soon :D 
a c 76 U Graphics card
July 22, 2012 5:24:16 PM

Deeks said:
GTX 670 is better value for its money!!
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-670-rev...
You can pick up a GTX 670 for around 400$ you will not find a 7970 for that price!!
Not to mention 670 will consume less power and can also be overclocked!


Considering he linked/is asking about an xfx 7970 with lifetime warranty, custom cooler, and factory overclock that's only $430.... Um. Yes you will find them for $400. And the 670 he's asking about is much more expensive.

You can't use ancient benchmarks, never mind those benchmarks are with a stock card. A 7970 will beat a 670 at stock now, and has a ton of other advantages. Lower price for custom cards, more memory, better at high res, gpgpu compute, better overclocking, free games.

You really need to look at current Data, not the launch PR. your old benchmark shows they.were.neck and neck even then.
a b U Graphics card
July 22, 2012 5:47:08 PM

If you have had good experiences with AMD than stick with the, the 7970 is a monster and a better all round performer. New drivers have been increasing performance significantly latey. Do not forget that once you start overclocking the 7970 is will surpass every other cards out there. Kepler already has autoboost but still doesnt the kind of overclocking performance you get with the 7000 series.
July 22, 2012 5:54:24 PM

Out dated benchmarks ?? 2 months old is far from Acient there my friend. Quoting for another 7970 vs 670 post
" JackNaylorPE

Gotta do an apples and apples comparison. Comparing a specially binned OC'd 7970 model against a reference 670 card isn't even apples and oranges, it's apples and grapes.

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

Putting the specially binned 7970 Ghz against the specially binned Asus 670 TOP.....its 999 fps at $0.42 per frame for the 670 TOP and 952 for the 7970 Ghz at $0.53 per frame.....that's 26% more $ per frame for the 7970 Ghz.....not to mention more noise and more power draw on the 7970.

TechPoweUp gives the 7970 Ghz Edition an 8.5 rating
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews [...] on/33.html

TechPoweUp gives the 670 TOP an 10.0 rating, the only 10.0 rating ever
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews [...] II/33.html "

If you read above he is not only asking about those cards but i quote
" I've narrowed my choices down to 3 cards, but I'm still open to other suggestions ". I am not trying to fill anyone here with false information all i am doing is answering his question to the best of my abilities.
a b U Graphics card
July 22, 2012 6:00:23 PM

Deeks said:
Out dated benchmarks ?? 2 months old is far from Acient there my friend. Quoting for another 7970 vs 670 post
" JackNaylorPE

Gotta do an apples and apples comparison. Comparing a specially binned OC'd 7970 model against a reference 670 card isn't even apples and oranges, it's apples and grapes.

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

Putting the specially binned 7970 Ghz against the specially binned Asus 670 TOP.....its 999 fps at $0.42 per frame for the 670 TOP and 952 for the 7970 Ghz at $0.53 per frame.....that's 26% more $ per frame for the 7970 Ghz.....not to mention more noise and more power draw on the 7970.

TechPoweUp gives the 7970 Ghz Edition an 8.5 rating
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews [...] on/33.html

TechPoweUp gives the 670 TOP an 10.0 rating, the only 10.0 rating ever
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews [...] II/33.html "

If you read above he is not only asking about those cards but i quote
" I've narrowed my choices down to 3 cards, but I'm still open to other suggestions ". I am not trying to fill anyone here with false information all i am doing is answering his question to the best of my abilities.



Yes the GTX 670 offers exceptional Value but with the 7970 @ $429.99 right now I dont see it being better.

http://vr-zone.com/articles/asus-gtx-680-2gb-overclocki...


QUOTE

In the second section, when we overclocked the Radeon HD 7970 the high overclock we achieved with that video card put it in the spot to take the performance lead. Even the GTX 670 overclocked was no matched for the overclocked HD 7970. The overclocked GTX 680 is clearly the competition for it, when you put high levels of overclocking into the mix.
a b U Graphics card
July 22, 2012 6:17:57 PM

I would say hard overclocking might decrease the lifespan of the card very quickly.
a c 76 U Graphics card
July 22, 2012 6:41:37 PM

xtreme5 said:
I would say hard overclocking might decrease the lifespan of the card very quickly.


You would say that but it doesn't make it true. Almost all 7970 overclocks are done at stock voltage, which has no impact on card life. And modest voltage bumps cause no problems either. over clocking 101. And the 7970 has no "hard overclock".

And yes deeks. Benchmarks from the launch are outdated and don't consider driver updates. And they were a match then from your own Data. I don't see how adding a REALLY outdated cost analysis helps your point either. Again, looking at your numbers the 670 and 7970 cards are identical if you run with todays prices.

Power data is irrelevant. They are both good. Amds is higher because the card does more. No on said you were trying to provide false Data, but looking at badly outdated Data is the same thing
July 22, 2012 7:07:41 PM

Thanks for all the feedback. I should have also mentioned that the 3 free games mean nothing to me since I already I own Deus Ex and I'm not particularly interested in the other 2.

Sapphire's Toxic card looks awesome, but it's probably not going to be worth the price they'll ask (at the resolutions I'll be playing at, anyway). I read that the MSRP would be $680, which is pretty steep--especially considering that it's still just a 7970.


Deeks said:

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

This is very useful information, but as Redeemer mentioned, the prices of 7970s are now quite a bit lower so that should even the cost/frame up quite a bit

The prices of the 3 of the cards I'm strongly considering are only about $30 apart, so let's assume, for the sake of argument, that they cost the same. In that situation what would you choose? At the moment I'm really hoping that ATI's price cuts will cause the prices to go down a little more in the next week, but I have no idea if that will actually pan out.
July 22, 2012 7:16:09 PM

Tooki said:
APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within the next 2-3 weeks. I'm an American living in Japan, where high end video cards tend to run more expensive. I'd like to order it soon so I can pick it up during the first 2 weeks of August when I visit my family and friends in the states.

BUDGET RANGE: Around $500

USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT:
Gaming, primarily strategy games and RPGs. I play a lot of Starcraft 2 and Bethesda RPGs, though I also play Battlefield 3 and some other shooters from time to time.

CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY:
GPU: HIS HD 4870 1GB
PSU: CorsairCMPSU-750TX (750W)

OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS:
Case: Antec 900 II
MB: ASUS P6T Dx
CPU: Core i7-920
RAM: 20 GB Triple Channel DDR3 1600

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080

OVERCLOCKING: Some SLI/CROSSFIRE: No

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:
It's been almost 4 years since I bought my 4870 and I couldn't be happier with how it's performed, but I feel like it's time to retire it and find something a little more beefy. I play a ton of Starcraft 2 and quite a bit of Skyrim as well as variety of other games.

I've narrowed my choices down to 3 cards, but I'm still open to other suggestions. Right now I'm leaning toward the XFX Black Edition simply because of the warranty, though the Powercolor PCS+ has a better clock speed. I feel like the the AMD cards will be more future-proof because of the number of stream processors, but a lot of the benchmarks I've seen show the 670 outperforming the 7970 in both Skyrim and Starcraft 2 (even though the 7970 outperforms in a lot of shooters), and the extra gig of VRAM might come in handy for texture heavy Skyrim mods in the future. A GTX 680 is also not out of the question, but I think I'd rather have 4GB 670 over a 2GB 680 at the same price point (for the aforementioned reason).

The first part of my question is this: Would it be worth it to wait a little while for prices to go down? I know AMD just dropped the prices of their GPUs, but I'm wondering if the prices will drop any more over the next week or two as a result of that price drop or other factors.

The second part is: How much has the 7970's performance been increased by driver updates? I've heard there is a significant difference and I've also seen some benchmarks that could support that claim, but I also sometimes have a hard time finding specific driver information when I'm looking at benchmarks so I don't always know if the information I'm looking at reflects the current situation.

Finally, I want to know which of these three cards is the best given my situation, or if there is a much better option, what it would be.

Sorry for the volume of text, and thanks for taking the time to read it.

XFX 7970 Black Edition Double D
Powercolor PCS+ 7970
EVGA Superclocked+ GTX 670 4GB



I just upgraded from your video card's little brother the ATI 4850 to a 7850. There is a huge difference and the difference for you will be even larger. No matter what card you get be it a 670 or a 7970, this will be such a leap for you that you're going to be thrilled once the new card is installed. Enjoy!
July 22, 2012 7:55:32 PM

Quote:
prices are going to come down from both parties nVidia and HD Radeon.


Yes, the question is when.

Also, if you look at this, getting the 7970 seems like the better choice for the majority of games, although unfortunately not for the 2 games I play the most (Starcraft 2 and Skyrim).

If the choice were simply between the 7970 cards, do you think the XFX's lifetime warranty puts it above the Powercolor with its higher clock speed.
July 22, 2012 8:17:53 PM

Quote:
but yet you fail to realize that nVidia has better drivers and better releases.
but as for the GPU's themselves soon nVidia will release a modded version of the GTX 670/680 that's faster than the HD competitor
and they still have the GTX 685 to come.
so this sudden rush to buy the HD 7970 will be over soon.

the same thing applies to nVidia when they release the NEXT FASTEST card.

it's a cycle, get in where you fit in...


Actually, I understand that completely. I just have reason to think that the prices will continue to fall within the very near future because of AMD's recent price drop announcement.
a c 106 U Graphics card
July 22, 2012 8:22:12 PM

lets use the relevant skyrim one after 12.7 drivers


Source
so as of now the skyrim is more 7970 favored, as for starcraft shrugs
a b U Graphics card
July 22, 2012 8:25:58 PM

Quote:
but yet you fail to realize that nVidia has better drivers and better releases.
but as for the GPU's themselves soon nVidia will release a modded version of the GTX 670/680 that's faster than the HD competitor
and they still have the GTX 685 to come.
so this sudden rush to buy the HD 7970 will be over soon.

the same thing applies to nVidia when they release the NEXT FASTEST card.

it's a cycle, get in where you fit in...



That is ridiculous, this generations Nvidia has had by far the worst drivers up until now. The vsync bug along with the 120hz refresh rate bug was shameful. Kepler is just a more efficient Fermi evolved architecture, really doubt that there will be significant future performance increases. The GTX 685 is pure speculation at this point and is invalid in this topic. What is fact is that Sea Island will be coming out in some months. The bottom line is AMD is better right now at this time, sure Nvidia will do something they have to in order to competethats the way this market goes.
a c 106 U Graphics card
July 22, 2012 8:36:42 PM

Quote:
that's your opinion, just like I have mine... :/ 

cheers.



to be honest, nvidia is sorta on a driver slump, as recently, some people have reported problems with their 670's and occasionally a 680 on this forum. Albeit AMD has problems with their drivers too, their recent driver allows the series to jump a significant jump in fps(like the skyrim comparison above) which pretty much renders old tests partially obsolete unless tested again.


Just a partially recent example
a b U Graphics card
July 22, 2012 9:11:22 PM

Quote:
that's your opinion, just like I have mine... :/ 

cheers.



Dude that is just fact I have a GTX 680 SLI setup, what you sporting? Its seems you have a lot of opinion and not too many facts!
a b U Graphics card
July 22, 2012 9:14:22 PM

Quote:
I've only done a few builds with the new GTX 6 series, 2 680's and 2 SLi 670 set-ups.
I personally run the GTX 5 series still and not upgrading yet.

so the limited experience I have with the Kepler is driver installs and windows configurations, stress test.
no gaming.
I do not like the 301.42 drivers, I will admit that.

edit:
redeemer - you sound like marketing for AMD or fanboism .
it's cool redeemer, let the past go m8...
:lol: 



So I am marketing for AMD because you are Nvidia biased and take offense to my comments. Why do you actually go out and buy a 7000 series or 600 series and then comeback and comment. Funny how I own both setups and still biased, its clear who than fanboy is.
a b U Graphics card
July 22, 2012 9:58:43 PM

Quote:
anyways, moving along...



ah thats a shame I will keep both my 680's and 7970's thanks

Next time post real factual information so I can take you more serioulsy the nextime. I understand you have no need for such setups however other people do, see we need to post relevant information. Calling someone a fanboy only shows how uptight and insecure you are.
a b U Graphics card
July 22, 2012 10:18:10 PM

redeemer said:
ah thats a shame I will keep both my 680's and 7970's thanks

Next time post real factual information so I can take you more serioulsy the nextime. I understand you have no need for such setups however other people do, see we need to post relevant information. Calling someone a fanboy only shows how uptight and insecure you are.


Who cares, my octo-690s said nn QQ
a b U Graphics card
July 22, 2012 10:59:17 PM

akamrcrack said:
Who cares, my octo-690s said nn QQ



pics?
a c 106 U Graphics card
July 22, 2012 11:05:52 PM

redeemer said:
pics?


I think its more or less a joke because no PSU would ever have enough cords to supply that easily, and im trying to picture a motherboard with 8 pci slots(unless octo meant 8 gpu cores/4 cards instead of 8 690's) spread wide enough to be able to hold such immense cards.
a b U Graphics card
July 22, 2012 11:59:21 PM

redeemer said:
pics?


I sent it to the will it blend guy to do a video

google : Octo 690 will it blend?
July 23, 2012 5:27:08 AM

Wow, this is getting intense. Going by the pole numbers alone, the cards GPUs are neck and neck (7 combined for the 7970 vs 7 for the 670). If I had to go on experience alone for this decision I would choose the 7970. My 4870 was a fantastic card, as was my 9800Pro before it, and the only Nvidia card I've had was the ill-fated 8600M GT. I know that I shouldn't judge all Nvidia cards based on that one experience, but nonetheless I find myself leaning toward the 7970 (the number of stream processors also factor into that).

Maybe it would be better to ask which ATI card and which Nvidia card is best at my budget so that I could compare the best 2 cards rather than comparing a myriad of different ones.
a c 106 U Graphics card
July 23, 2012 5:31:39 AM

Tooki said:
Wow, this is getting intense. Going by the pole numbers alone, the cards GPUs are neck and neck (7 combined for the 7970 vs 7 for the 670). If I had to go on experience alone for this decision I would choose the 7970. My 4870 was a fantastic card, as was my 9800Pro before it, and the only Nvidia card I've had was the ill-fated 8600M GT. I know that I shouldn't judge all Nvidia cards based on that one experience, but nonetheless I find myself leaning toward the 7970 (the number of stream processors also factor into that).

Maybe it would be better to ask which ATI card and which Nvidia card is best at my budget so that I could compare the best 2 cards rather than comparing a myriad of different ones.



IMO whatever is cheaper and fits the absolute need. both are solid cards on what they do. the other minor thing that may possibly play into account is if you do any demanding non gaming task like using editing programs or such.
a b U Graphics card
July 23, 2012 5:41:42 AM

If you are budget minded, I would go for this card, it's faster than a GTX 680 reference out the box and will be either neck to neck or beat the 7970 in most games. It's a monster at OC too with it's 8 phase VRM.

It's only $400 too, best bang for your buck in this price range IMO.


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
a c 106 U Graphics card
July 23, 2012 5:48:05 AM

El Tigre said:
If you are budget minded, I would go for this card, it's faster than a GTX 680 reference out the box and will be either neck to neck or beat the 7970 in most games. It's a monster at OC too with it's 8 phase VRM.

It's only $400 too, best bang for your buck in this price range IMO.


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



the 670 reference shouldn't be faster than a 680 reference, only a modified 670 could beat it possibly.

recinding statment, realized the ftw is on sale.
a b U Graphics card
July 23, 2012 8:45:41 AM

just get the 670 it is much better card.
!