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660 ti vs 7870

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August 18, 2012 5:23:02 PM

I can get a reference designed 660 ti for about the same amount as a Gibabyte OC 7870, and really just wondering which is the best buy :)  Any thoughs or comment?

More about : 660 7870

August 18, 2012 5:33:59 PM

Might mention that its an EVGA 660 ti. Not sure if its a reference gfx card.
August 18, 2012 5:39:37 PM

In the articles I've read, the 660-Ti trades blows with the 7950 in most cases, but they didn't take overclocking into account. Hard to say. The memory bandwidth is killing it though; aside from a disabled memory controller it's the same as a 670. Which brings another oddity with the 660-Ti: 2GB of memory. It should have 1.5GB of memory due to the disabled memory controller, but NVidia opted to load one controller with extra memory to compensate, which makes the the memory controllers no longer synchronous.
Personally, I'd prefer the 7870, but I run Linux, and also the occasional compute application.
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August 18, 2012 6:11:12 PM

So I should probably buy the 7870 and perhaps do some overclocking? Ive heard that the performance of an overclocked 7870 can easily outperform a stock 7950. What about Nvidia drivers? Which is best of the two?
August 18, 2012 7:18:32 PM

Kongzvik said:
So I should probably buy the 7870 and perhaps do some overclocking? Ive heard that the performance of an overclocked 7870 can easily outperform a stock 7950. What about Nvidia drivers? Which is best of the two?

I don't put much weight into drivers because they always change. To be honest, you can't really go wrong with either. Figure out which games you are going to playing with most and then do some research. Some games may not care about memory bandwidth and favor the kelper architecture, but some other games can pronounce the lack of memory bandwidth of the 660-Ti, which makes the 660-Ti less attractive. It's a battle that can shift either way, depending on game, and other purposes as well. In the same performance class, no GPU is universally better than the other.

Deeks said:
I personally would say go for the 660 ti as it out performs a 7870.http://www.techspot.com/review/565-nvidia-geforce-gtx-6...

Yeah, but the 7870 OC wasn't taken into account. Bear in mind the 7870 is phenomenal overclocker. Getting 1200MHz+ is pretty easy. Also, that review pulled the 7870 results before the 12.7 driver updates, which really increased performance as well. The results are the exact same from their initial 7870 review (12.7 updates my ass...)
a b U Graphics card
August 18, 2012 7:34:30 PM

Kongzvik said:
I can get a reference designed 660 ti for about the same amount as a Gibabyte OC 7870, and really just wondering which is the best buy :)  Any thoughs or comment?


Are you unable to read the benchmarks??
August 18, 2012 7:40:03 PM

geekapproved said:
Are you unable to read the benchmarks??


Quote:
Yeah, but the 7870 OC wasn't taken into account. Bear in mind the 7870 is phenomenal overclocker. Getting 1200MHz+ is pretty easy. Also, that review pulled the 7870 results before the 12.7 driver updates, which really increased performance as well. The results are the exact same from their initial 7870 review (12.7 updates my ass...)


Benchmarks aren't 100% accurate. Also, benchmarks don't tell you the best way to use the card, reveal all their protentials, strengths, weaknesses, nor do they reveal the latest performance enhancements from the latest drivers. Also, they not every game is benchmarked with every conceivable hardware configuration. Don't get me wrong, benchmarks are phenomenal tools, but only a fool would look at benchmark and make purchasing decision based solely on a benchmark.
August 18, 2012 7:45:39 PM

Thanks for the relpies! So I cant really go wrong with either of them? If I were to overclock the 7870 to 1200mhz, would the 660 ti still outperform it?
geekapproved: According to bencmark, the 660 ti does outperform the 7870 to an extent, but as jerm1027 said, the memory bandwidth limit the performance in some games. Also, they're not 100% accurate when it comes to the actual gaming performance. Please correct me if im wrong :) 
Anonymous
a c 117 U Graphics card
August 18, 2012 8:01:16 PM

jerm1027 said:
Quote:
Yeah, but the 7870 OC wasn't taken into account. Bear in mind the 7870 is phenomenal overclocker. Getting 1200MHz+ is pretty easy. Also, that review pulled the 7870 results before the 12.7 driver updates, which really increased performance as well. The results are the exact same from their initial 7870 review (12.7 updates my ass...)


Benchmarks aren't 100% accurate. Also, benchmarks don't tell you the best way to use the card, reveal all their protentials, strengths, weaknesses, nor do they reveal the latest performance enhancements from the latest drivers. Also, they not every game is benchmarked with every conceivable hardware configuration. Don't get me wrong, benchmarks are phenomenal tools, but only a fool would look at benchmark and make purchasing decision based solely on a benchmark.

better to be quite and thought of as a fool then to say something and be known as a fool . . .

first, not all cards will over clock the same. a reference card will not overclock nearly as well as a non reference design. and if you bothered reading the test ups from the reviews you would see they used the latest drivers for both cards.

at face value benchmarks can be deceiving. thats why it behooves the reading to understand what is being used as a benchmark and to understand how it reflects the potential performance of the card(s) being benchmarked. (as an example: looking at the test system specs) yes, data can be skewed to say most anything; but going to reputable sites that can be trusted in testing components properly does give a potential buyer a reliable source of information.

or what? rely on intuition? :lol: 
"get the red one because everyone knows that red is faster than green!"

edit: OP the biggest flaw the 192 bit memory bus is when using a multi monitor set up and some of that can be compensated for by overclocking the memory.
August 18, 2012 8:15:08 PM

Kongzvik said:
Thanks for the relpies! So I cant really go wrong with either of them? If I were to overclock the 7870 to 1200mhz, would the 660 ti still outperform it?
geekapproved: According to bencmark, the 660 ti does outperform the 7870 to an extent, but as jerm1027 said, the memory bandwidth limit the performance in some games. Also, they're not 100% accurate when it comes to the actual gaming performance. Please correct me if im wrong :) 


It is possible, especially if said 660-Ti is overclocked as well, which is why I say to list the games you will be playing most. Some games favor one architecture over the other. On average, on stock settings, the 660-Ti is between the 7870 and 7950, swaying closer to the 7950. But the 7870 has been praised to nip on the heels of the 7950 and rival the 7950 when overclocked.

Like I said, I also run the occasional compute application and run Linux as well. Kepler can't compete with AMD's GCN in compute applications, and the AMD Open Source driver under Linux is better than NVIDIA's non-existent ones. Though, there are people working on a open source driver for nvidia cards, but needless to say, they aren't endorsed by nvidia in any way. So, personally, I'd pick the 7870, which is actually on my wishlist to upgrade my 5830. Had a 560-Ti before that, but that died, MSI sent a 570 as a replacement, and that died (the model the sent was notorious for vRAM failure), which forced me to revert to my older 5830 and it's showing it's age now.

If you can afford it, I'd wait a bit longer. Because the stock performance of the 660-Ti is better than the stock of the 7870 and rivals 7950 stock performance, it might force AMD to lower prices on the 7870. But if you don't mind getting your hands dirty with some overclocking, you can't go wrong with either.
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