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Recommend a 7970

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August 7, 2012 6:59:10 PM

Can anyone please recommend a specific 7970 for me? Alternatively is there any other AMD card that is comparable in performance to this card right now or is it in a class by itself?

I'm working on a budget PC and Ideally I'd like to spend between $200-300 for my video card, but I've been told it is worth the extra money right now to get a 7970. I'm not going to build it today though so I'm also curious just how long I might be looking at waiting for the next generation of AMD cards to come out that will drop the 7970 in price.

Specifically the system will be used for gaming and almost exclusively for iRacing in a triple screen 5760x1080 resolution. The CPU will be an i5 3570k.

More about : recommend 7970

August 7, 2012 7:23:05 PM

That doesn't sound like a budget PC to me :D  anyway I think the direct cu ii top is a great choice, I have it on my gtx 680s and I love it! It gives you amazing cooling so even when the card might no be performing so well for the future games you can still overclock it a lot. It's about the top of the line for air cooling.
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a b U Graphics card
August 7, 2012 7:42:22 PM

As a general matter, I'd recommend getting any 7970 that (1) has a custom cooler but (2) is NOT the GHz edition. You'll pay more for the GHz edition, but as long as you're willing to OC the card yourself, there's no point in spending the extra money IMO (it does very little other than increase the clock).

So with that in mind, any of these is good:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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August 7, 2012 7:55:33 PM

17seconds said:
Here is a nice roundup of 7970's:
http://www.behardware.com/articles/853-1/roundup-the-ra...

At your price range, I know you want AMD, but the GTX 660 Ti coming out on August 16th is supposed to be $299 and faster than a 7950. It may shake up the price structure on AMD cards as well, provided there's any more room to drop prices at this point.
http://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/4869/nvidia_geforce_gt...


What the hell? You recommend the 660 ti to to people with budgets from $200 to $450, and before the "tweaktown" (shudder) announcement of it you similarly recommended the 670. I understand you love nvidia, but this guy asked for a 7970 recommendation.
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August 7, 2012 7:56:48 PM

17seconds said:
Here is a nice roundup of 7970's:
http://www.behardware.com/articles/853-1/roundup-the-ra...

At your price range, I know you want AMD, but the GTX 660 Ti coming out on August 16th is supposed to be $299 and faster than a 7950. It may shake up the price structure on AMD cards as well, provided there's any more room to drop prices at this point.
http://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/4869/nvidia_geforce_gt...


The problem I have with the NVidia cards is performance with iRacing. There's been one direct comparison between a 7970 and GTX 670 and the 7970 destroyed the NVidia card. The suspicion is that it is driver related. I believe iRacing is still using the DX9 engine. For that reason I'm planning to use an eyefinity card rather than an NVidia surround.

As for the budget PC I am at $545 without video card and without additional cooling. I've racked up a grand total of $113 in discounts on newegg with promos they've got going right now.

I think my big original question that I'm still hoping for some information on is does the 7970 provide any major advantages over the 7950 or 7870? AKA is it worth an extra $100?
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a b U Graphics card
August 7, 2012 7:58:23 PM

I'm not saying matto doesn't like nvidia, but to be fair, I think his post was suggesting that the 660 Ti might further sink prices on the 7970; he wasn't actually recommending the 660. If true, that's not bad advice, though I think it's probably not true: 7970 prices are unlikely to drop much further at this point, especially since the 660 Ti is really unlikely to compete with the 7970. (Pricing on the 7950 might change a little, though. But who knows?) I think it's more relevant advice for people looking at the 7850 and 7870.
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a b U Graphics card
August 7, 2012 8:01:00 PM

...and back to substance of the post, yes, the 7970 is a big edge over the 7870. It has 50% more of just about everything--shaders, VRAM, and RAM bus width. That translates to a substantial advantage in general, but it's biggest at high resolutions. Since you're planning for 3x 1080p, it's a no-brainer.

As to whether and how much better it is than the 7950--that is a little harder to say. The 7950 is a bit like the 6950 of last generation: its silicon is largely the same as the 7970, but it's clocked slower. For my money, OCing a 7950 is a better value than the 7970. But you have to be willing to OC.

edit: you can compare the descriptions of the specs on tom's reviews:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-7950-over... and http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-7870-revi...
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a c 185 U Graphics card
August 7, 2012 8:03:06 PM

I don't see anything wrong with recommending a different card i see AMD fanboys do it all the time when somebody is asking about a 670 or 680 so it's really no different IMO though i agree it's off topic.
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August 7, 2012 8:06:36 PM

motorneuron said:
...and back to substance of the post, yes, the 7970 is a big edge over the 7870. It has 50% more of just about everything--shaders, VRAM, and RAM bus width. That translates to a substantial advantage in general, but it's biggest at high resolutions. Since you're planning for 3x 1080p, it's a no-brainer.

As to whether and how much better it is than the 7950--that is a little harder to say. The 7950 is a bit like the 6950 of last generation: its silicon is largely the same as the 7970, but it's clocked slower. For my money, OCing a 7950 is a better value than the 7970. But you have to be willing to OC.


Most helpful reply in any of the inquiries I've posted today. Thanks.

Will the 7950 OC through the AMD Afterburner program or is it a bit more involved than that? If I OC a 7950 (i'm not planning on being too aggressive) would I need additional cooling in some manner?
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August 7, 2012 8:10:44 PM

I'm not going to deny I like amd cards, but I always recommend nvidia cards when applicable. This guy wants a card for a 5760x1080 resolution and Tahiti cards handle high resolutions a lot better than Kepler cards and that's basically general knowledge for regulars on TH.
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a b U Graphics card
August 7, 2012 8:12:12 PM

Yes, you can overclock using Catalyst Control Center or one of the third-party suites like MSI Afterburner or Sapphire Trixx. Should be easy.

You won't need additional cooling if you get a card that already has a good cooler. The thing about 7950s is that the card is externally basically the same as a 7970; it's only the inside (in the form of a slightly gimped GPU) that is different. So vendors often use the same cooler they would for a 7970. If it's basically the same hardware as the 7970 but running slower, that just means it's like an underclocked 7970, i.e. it produces less heat. Put the clock speed back up, and you're just back into normal 7970 operating temperatures--not hotter. But this all depends on getting a good non-reference cooler, not the reference AMD design.

edit: Although I would probably just look for whatever 7950 that has a good cooler is lowest in price, there are also some reviews, e.g. here: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-7950-revi...

second edit: for an idea of how the 7950 overclocked near 7970 speeds performs, check out this review, which includes an xfx 7950 double dissipation black edition clocked to very similar speeds to a base 7970: http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...
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a c 597 U Graphics card
August 7, 2012 8:22:21 PM

ncasolo said:

I'm not going to build it today though so I'm also curious just how long I might be looking at waiting for the next generation of AMD cards to come out that will drop the 7970 in price.


nacos said:
What the hell? You recommend the 660 ti to to people with budgets from $200 to $450, and before the "tweaktown" (shudder) announcement of it you similarly recommended the 670. I understand you love nvidia, but this guy asked for a 7970 recommendation.

It would be appreciated if you quit focusing on me, making personal statements, calling names, and instead answer the question posed by the OP, as I did.

Hypocrisy is when someone criticizes others for something they themselves do.
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/forum2.php?config=tom...
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a b U Graphics card
August 7, 2012 8:25:16 PM

One last thing, though--if you do consider a 7950, I would follow matto's advice and wait a week or two to see whether the 7950's pricing changes based on the 660 Ti. (I continue to believe that the 7970 is unlikely to change in price based on the 660 Ti's release.) Pricing on the 7950 has drifted up a little, with fewer aggressive rebates than a month ago; that could change back again, so who knows?
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a c 732 U Graphics card
August 7, 2012 8:26:40 PM

Knock of the insults.This is the last and only warning or a few bans will be handed out.
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a b U Graphics card
August 7, 2012 8:53:09 PM

17seconds said:
It would be appreciated if you quit focusing on me, making personal statements, calling names, and instead answer the question posed by the OP, as I did.

Hypocrisy is when someone criticizes others for something they themselves do.
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/forum2.php?config=tom...




Jesus Matto the 7950 beats out a 670, it takes an overlcoked 670 @1300 to beat a 7950 @ 1200. The 7950 even matches a stock 7970 680 with just a small overclock 1.1Ghz.

I recommend a Gigabyte Windforce 7970Ghz Edition
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a c 597 U Graphics card
August 7, 2012 9:08:28 PM

redeemer said:
Jesus Matto the 7950 beats out a 670, it takes an overlcoked 670 @1300 to beat a 7950 @ 1200. The 7950 even matches a stock 7970 680 with just a small overclock 1.1Ghz.

I recommend a Gigabyte Windforce 7970Ghz Edition

That would be great to see. Do you have a chart to show? That would make your argument much more compelling. I'm trying to help you out here.

But why are you trying to make a point about a 7950 vs. a 670? This thread is about 7970's, which is better, and if the price may be coming down. Really, the best answer so far is to check out the link I posted to the roundup review on BeHardare.com. They focus on everything about the card's construction, the heat it produces, how much it heats up the other components inside the case, noise, overclocking, etc.

As always, it's much better for someone starting a thread to check out the reviews, while incorporating feedback from the thread posters, keeping in mind that they will occasionally receive misleading information. Take a look at the big picture and make up your own mind using all the feedback and data available. That's the best way to make sure your hard earned money is well spent.
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a b U Graphics card
August 7, 2012 9:39:32 PM

Yes, the second one--that XFX--is a good one to target. It's got a good cooler, but it's not a factory overclock (so you are not paying for something you can do yourself). XFX also has a good warranty (lifetime) and that card is pretty cheap--$320 post-rebate. I think it's a good choice all around. By contrast, the first one's cooler seems pretty lousy (might be reference).
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a c 732 U Graphics card
August 7, 2012 9:54:35 PM

The only piece I have left is to find an aftermarket cooler for the CPU < cooler master hyper 212 evo.
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August 7, 2012 9:55:10 PM

motorneuron said:
Yes, the second one--that XFX--is a good one to target. It's got a good cooler, but it's not a factory overclock (so you are not paying for something you can do yourself). XFX also has a good warranty (lifetime) and that card is pretty cheap--$320 post-rebate. I think it's a good choice all around. By contrast, the first one's cooler seems pretty lousy (might be reference).


Thanks. The only piece I have left is to find an aftermarket cooler for the CPU. After that I'll post the full build specs in the system builder thread.

Do you think a 520W PS is sufficient for that card + i5 3570K + 1 SSD + Optical Drive + nothing else.
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a b U Graphics card
August 7, 2012 9:59:49 PM

If you're overclocking the GPU, you could easily reach 230W. The CPU is going to be around 100W or a bit more. But the RAM, fans, drives, etc. are not huge contributors to your power usage--certainly they won't get you near 200 additional W--so you should be safe. If you plan to crossfire down the line, though--and given that you're on triple monitors and seem like you are interested in spending, that's not a bad thing to plan for--you should get more than 520W now. A good 650 or 700W supply would work for crossfired 7950s, even if you OC.
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August 7, 2012 10:09:02 PM

Well here's another thing unique to my build. iRacing offers CRAP performance increases for Crossfire or SLI configurations. Like 10-15%. With that in mind I'd be more likely to part out and upgrade.
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a b U Graphics card
August 7, 2012 10:14:06 PM

Haha, I guess I had failed to appreciate how exclusive your usage would be. I don't know anything about iracing, so I can't comment. I do know that driver support or software support often helps crossfire/SLI performance. But yeah, if you're not going to upgrade any time soon, 520 should be cool. In fact, you should try to look up iracing benchmarks (which I can't find on a quick search), because maybe this whole discussion is moot--a game that's four years old may not need even a 7950 on 3x 1080p. (or for that matter a 3570k.)
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August 7, 2012 10:40:10 PM

motorneuron said:
Haha, I guess I had failed to appreciate how exclusive your usage would be. I don't know anything about iracing, so I can't comment. I do know that driver support or software support often helps crossfire/SLI performance. But yeah, if you're not going to upgrade any time soon, 520 should be cool. In fact, you should try to look up iracing benchmarks (which I can't find on a quick search), because maybe this whole discussion is moot--a game that's four years old may not need even a 7950 on 3x 1080p. (or for that matter a 3570k.)


I'm running an AMD 955 BE @ 3.5ghz with a 5870 1GB card right now and I'm getting some performance hits in a few spots at some tracks with most graphics on. I'm hoping to turn the graphics up all the way. Some of the tracks they have have a lot involved. You'd be surprised just how little it takes to run it at 60fps but to keep it smooth and over 100fps on 3 screens at 5760x1080 I'm wanting to get everything I can as far as performance goes.

I still can't believe what I've pieced together for basically exactly $1000.
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a b U Graphics card
August 7, 2012 10:46:45 PM

17seconds said:
That would be great to see. Do you have a chart to show? That would make your argument much more compelling. I'm trying to help you out here.

But why are you trying to make a point about a 7950 vs. a 670? This thread is about 7970's, which is better, and if the price may be coming down. Really, the best answer so far is to check out the link I posted to the roundup review on BeHardare.com. They focus on everything about the card's construction, the heat it produces, how much it heats up the other components inside the case, noise, overclocking, etc.

As always, it's much better for someone starting a thread to check out the reviews, while incorporating feedback from the thread posters, keeping in mind that they will occasionally receive misleading information. Take a look at the big picture and make up your own mind using all the feedback and data available. That's the best way to make sure your hard earned money is well spent.



gtx 670 1200 core

amd 7950 1160 core











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August 8, 2012 8:18:29 AM

17seconds said:
That would be great to see. Do you have a chart to show? That would make your argument much more compelling. I'm trying to help you out here.

But why are you trying to make a point about a 7950 vs. a 670? This thread is about 7970's, which is better, and if the price may be coming down. Really, the best answer so far is to check out the link I posted to the roundup review on BeHardare.com. They focus on everything about the card's construction, the heat it produces, how much it heats up the other components inside the case, noise, overclocking, etc.

As always, it's much better for someone starting a thread to check out the reviews, while incorporating feedback from the thread posters, keeping in mind that they will occasionally receive misleading information. Take a look at the big picture and make up your own mind using all the feedback and data available. That's the best way to make sure your hard earned money is well spent.


Speaking of misleading :
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/362410-33-radeon-6970...
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a c 185 U Graphics card
August 8, 2012 8:39:52 AM

Alright enough already didn't you read what the mod wrote is it really worth it to get banned over petty differences?Just chill out already let it go move on.
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a b U Graphics card
August 8, 2012 12:13:52 PM

ncasolo said:
I'm running an AMD 955 BE @ 3.5ghz with a 5870 1GB card right now and I'm getting some performance hits in a few spots at some tracks with most graphics on. I'm hoping to turn the graphics up all the way. Some of the tracks they have have a lot involved. You'd be surprised just how little it takes to run it at 60fps but to keep it smooth and over 100fps on 3 screens at 5760x1080 I'm wanting to get everything I can as far as performance goes.

I still can't believe what I've pieced together for basically exactly $1000.


Well, without being able to find benchmarks on the game, it's hard for me to say--you might try game-specific forums. But I can't imagine that a 7950 won't max out a four-year-old game even on 5760x1080. The 3570k seems less important to me, but on the other hand, you can't possibly go wrong with that processor, so why not?
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August 8, 2012 1:18:04 PM

I can give you a more specific idea. The Long Beach Grand Prix which is in Long Beach CA is downtown. When iRacing scans a track they laser scan the track and that includes every single object around the track which then gets rendered individually. They scanned Long Beach 3 or 4 years ago. The only reason they've never released the track is because it would be too taxing for almost everyone's system without turning their graphics way down.

I can't imagine what Bathurst is going to be like when it is released.
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