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MSI Frozer 7950 ($310) vs Gigabyte 670 ($399)

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 26, 2012 3:47:28 AM

At the time that I built this PC in Q4 of 2011, I landed a good deal on a pair of MSI GTX460 for $210. However, I graduated a few months ago, come into steady income and am now looking to get a SINGLE card upgrade to my current configuration. Not a fan of the heat, some microstuttering and some bottleneck with only 1 GB of VRAM. It's warm here in Florida even with good airflow in a Storm Sniper case.

I play at 1920x1080, do not anticipate multiple monitor gaming any time soon, mostly RPGs (Skyrim, Guild Wars, etc) and RTS but I do like to try my best to max out the eye candy.

$400 is about my ceiling but if I don't need to spend the full amount to fill my needs, a cheaper option is fine for me.

Intel Core i5-2500K
ASUS Maximus IV Gene-Z
2 x 4GB G.SKILL Sniper Low Voltage
Seasonic X750 Gold
a c 106 U Graphics card
July 26, 2012 4:30:43 AM

The 7950 is a better value especially with the 12.7 drivers. With those drivers it trades blows with the 670 rather than staying underneath it. Of course the problem with those drivers is that they are still in Beta which makes me wonder if the code that provides those nice speed boosts isn't a bit brittle, or if all the management mess at AMD is just delaying it which is why they weren't ready to spoil the GTX 670 launch.

Anyway since you're concerned about heat the 670 is probably the better option for you so if you can afford it then spring for it :D 
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a b U Graphics card
July 26, 2012 5:29:45 AM

In terms of raw performance, the GTX 670 will outperform, slightly, but still outperform the HD 7950. It will also use less power, not that with a Seasonic 750W PSU it's an issue.

However the thermals are about the same on the two cards, and the Radeon HD 7950 has much better value at $310, as it does trade blows with GTX 670 at 1920x1080 and actually outperforms it at higher resolutions (this is due to having a larger framebuffer and increased memory bandwidth when compared to the GTX 670). Also it has better overclocking potential if that's important to you.

I figured I'd mention this considering your mobo supports both SLI and Crossfire, Radeon HD 7950's in crossfire cost $620 total, compared to $800 for GTX 670's in SLI. In addition, it looks like Crossfire scales slightly better then SLI right now, as of Catalyst 12.7.
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a b U Graphics card
July 26, 2012 5:56:01 AM

Microstutter doesn't occur on every setup and it's far more likely to happen on GTX 460's then 7950s.
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a b U Graphics card
July 26, 2012 5:57:10 AM

exactly. But i still say the GTX 670 2GB (Just 1 card) is a good deal
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July 26, 2012 5:59:10 AM

the 670 is newer tech than the 7950 plus the 670 supports the latest version of directX which is 11.1. it would be the best card to go for if you are looking for something that is futureproof
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a b U Graphics card
July 26, 2012 6:01:59 AM

I agree, my friend Sean has one and it's a beast. But is it really worth $90 then a 7950?

I mean for that kind of money, the OP could get a 7970, I've seen Powercolor and HIS cards as low as $400. And a 7970 seems to outperform GTX 670 by a narrow margin. Although the GTX 670 is more efficient.

I'm in a similar situation myself. Although mine is more of a Dual 6970's vs 7950 vs 7970 vs GTX 670.
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July 26, 2012 6:03:52 AM

At $300 the 7950 twinfrozr offers better value here;

Catalyst 12.7 has given all Tahiti's significant performance boosts, the 7950 basically matches the 670 while the 7970's match up to the 680's

The other factor is that you may need to bios flash your card to get the new specs making it compatible with the Nvidia cards, the Vanilla Tahiti's were low clocked relative to Keplar so you may consider doing that. You will void warranty though.
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a b U Graphics card
July 26, 2012 6:14:41 AM

Quote:
The other factor is that you may need to bios flash your card to get the new specs making it compatible with the Nvidia cards, the Vanilla Tahiti's were low clocked relative to Keplar so you may consider doing that. You will void warranty though.


You mean flash the Radeon cards? I've never heard of this. Interesting. Do you have a link to an article on this?
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July 26, 2012 6:17:17 AM

there is also the possibility there may be problems when switching from an NVIDIA card to a ATI because it is possible there still may be traces of the drivers even after installing it causing conflicts after installing the new ATI drivers. but i think a program like drivesweeper/driver fusion could take care of that
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a b U Graphics card
July 26, 2012 6:22:04 AM

Quote:
there is also the possibility there may be problems when switching from an NVIDIA card to a ATI because it is possible there still may be traces of the drivers even after installing it causing conflicts after installing the new ATI drivers. but i think a program like drivesweeper/driver fusion could take care of that


Very good point :bounce: 
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a c 106 U Graphics card
July 26, 2012 6:24:40 AM

captaincharisma said:
the 670 is newer tech than the 7950 plus the 670 supports the latest version of directX which is 11.1. it would be the best card to go for if you are looking for something that is futureproof



my 7850 can use directx 11.1, if the 7850 can, i will assume the 7950 can as well
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July 26, 2012 6:31:09 AM

stant1rm said:
Quote:
The other factor is that you may need to bios flash your card to get the new specs making it compatible with the Nvidia cards, the Vanilla Tahiti's were low clocked relative to Keplar so you may consider doing that. You will void warranty though.


You mean flash the Radeon cards? I've never heard of this. Interesting. Do you have a link to an article on this?



Most Radeons and I am sure your 6970 has a dual bios, you can flash to unlock shaders, you can flash the 7950 to 7970 specs particularly the new Ghz edition core cards, but as before your warranty is void thereinafter. I did that with a 6950 flashing it to a 6970.
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a b U Graphics card
July 26, 2012 6:35:54 AM

Would there be any advantage to flashing my 6970? I assume not, just curious.

Also, flashing the 7950's to run like 7970's sounds great, but there's usually a reason they where binned at 7950s right?
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July 26, 2012 6:51:46 AM

stant1rm said:
Would there be any advantage to flashing my 6970? I assume not, just curious.

Also, flashing the 7950's to run like 7970's sounds great, but there's usually a reason they where binned at 7950s right?


Not real advantage, I tried using a 7870 bios on my 6970's, its red screens as the performance differential is to far outside the Caymans overclock headroom, you may be able to flash to 7850 but there is no reason to as they are identical.

yes there is a reason they are binned, even unlocking the shaders you get like performance but not the same build quality as the highest end card, again you also lose warranty doing that. I have flashed a 7950 vanilla to a 7950 ghz edition spec and with the catalyst drivers the performance is substantially better than the vanilla card, but AMD with the initial releases held the true potential of the tahitis back a lot, they are significantly lower clocked than the Keplars so the updated version do offer requiste performance to the nvidia contemporaries.

My gut feeling on Nvidia/AMD is that if you don't ever want to clock, then Nvidia is the way to go. The performance is high end and the power numbers are spectacular. If you are a enthusiast clocker like I would regard my hobby as then the Tahiti's are better cards for pushing high numbers.
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a b U Graphics card
July 26, 2012 12:51:35 PM

I don't think DX11.1 is that big of a selling point. My Radeon HD 4850X2 had DX10.1. Ask me if it was useful? It wasn't.

A lot this decision is going to come down to personal preference. Do you prefer the more power efficient design of the GTX 670, or the overclocking headroom of the 7950? Would you rather run multiple monitors easily (Eyefinity), or have access to nVidia's 3D technology? Is PhysX important to you? Do you envision yourself every using another multi-GPU setup at some point?
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a b U Graphics card
July 26, 2012 2:20:58 PM

sarinaide said:
Most Radeons and I am sure your 6970 has a dual bios, you can flash to unlock shaders, you can flash the 7950 to 7970 specs particularly the new Ghz edition core cards, but as before your warranty is void thereinafter. I did that with a 6950 flashing it to a 6970.


i don't think you can flash a 7950 to a 7970 because they laser cut it so you wouldn't unlock any shaders.

But I do think you can flash a 7950 to a 7950 Ghz edition because the Ghz edition just has higher clocks so It's like an overclocked 7950 :bounce: 
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July 27, 2012 12:05:29 PM

I went ahead and got the MSI 7950 for $310. A lot of the larger advantages in FPS referred to new games I have no real intention of playing like BF3.
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July 27, 2012 12:07:02 PM

Best answer selected by roninmedia.
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July 27, 2012 12:32:35 PM

maxh22 said:
i don't think you can flash a 7950 to a 7970 because they laser cut it so you wouldn't unlock any shaders.

But I do think you can flash a 7950 to a 7950 Ghz edition because the Ghz edition just has higher clocks so It's like an overclocked 7950 :bounce: 


That is correct, you can flash to later specs which are faster by a long margin.
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a c 271 U Graphics card
July 27, 2012 3:07:05 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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