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August 20, 2012 4:09:39 PM

Ok so i have 3 cards i can get... the 3rd i will have to save up a little bit more...

1)hd 7870ghz edittion
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

2)GTX 660ti
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

3)hd 7950
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

this purchase will be made in about 1 month and I was wondering whether there is a better card or i should buy one of the 3 and which one :/ 

Thanks! :D 

More about : stumped

a b U Graphics card
August 20, 2012 4:11:32 PM

The 7950 would be pretty good for Overclocking, I hear its a very nice card and matches performance when overclocked to the 7970. If you can wait I would keep that one as a backup and watch prices of the Nvidia 670's.
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a c 196 U Graphics card
August 20, 2012 5:19:45 PM

Well, those are all good cards. If you are looking to do GPU intensive work of any kind, like video rendering and such, the 7950 would be the way to go.

But with strictly gaming, I might say go for the 660Ti, just because it comes with the free Borderlands 2, and Borderlands 2 looks awesome on Nvidia cards:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWFkDrKvBRU

Personally, I'd have the 660Ti, just because it comes with Borderlands. But if you dont plan on playing Borderlands, then maybe the 7950 is the right choice.
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August 20, 2012 5:23:50 PM

I have tried several AMD/ATI GPUs over the years and have ALWAYS found the drivers to be buggy. Others on this board will tell you the same. Others will tell you that everybody has buggy drivers at times and they are correct. The difference is that Nvidia corrects theirs and AMD doesn't always. They always seem to have chronic problems that don't get solved.
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a c 145 U Graphics card
August 20, 2012 5:35:03 PM

what is your gaming resolution? if you play 1080p and below 7870 or GTX660 Ti should be enough for you unless you were using software that have strong need in gpu compute performance.
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a b U Graphics card
August 20, 2012 5:46:50 PM

The 7870 should be somewhat cheaper than a 660ti.
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a c 145 U Graphics card
August 20, 2012 5:52:14 PM

monu_08 said:
well here is the review amd upgrade
http://www.tomshardware.com/news/HD7950-GTX660_Ti-Radeo...


TPU comes out with the review as soon as the BIOS is available to the public. to some the BIOS update might be nice but as the test done by TPU the increase of 20% of power consumption does not really justify the 5% increase in performance. on average gaming session the card will consume more power than 670 but in most of the bench done by TPU 670 still beat the 'updated' 7950. for those who used to overclocked their card manually the stock BIOS will do just fine. some user even said that this new BIOS was slower than the stock BIOS

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August 20, 2012 7:00:46 PM

monu_08 said:
i would say grab a 7970 in a month if extend ur budget upto 410 u get a great card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I was thinking about that but i think im going to wait until AMD comes out with there next generation to spend over 400... just it takes a while for me to save up so 400 is pusing it
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August 20, 2012 7:07:44 PM

sorry for the late reply i got distracted...
Renz496-
My gaming resolution is 1080(single) but im kinda of a nut job when it comes to ultra quality :p  so how long would you suppose a 660ti or 7870 would last?

selayan-
it is only about 10-15$ cheaper which i can deal with... really its just which ones have the best performance

Ram1009-
I understand that AMD somtimes does not fix there issues right away but they dont just leave a critical proplem unfixed if they can fix it... though i may be wrong

Update, I render videos but just for youtube somtimes(not often)

My main concern would be gaming
the games i play are mostly open world(gta IV,BF3,Fallout,Skyrim, etc etc)

Thanks again for all of your help I really appreciate it!:na: 
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a b U Graphics card
August 20, 2012 7:11:05 PM

Well then if you want one now 7950 is good, its roughly less than 660ti. They are pretty much equal when overclocked, actually 7950 overclocked is better.

But looking at the games you play, then I saw go nvidia since it plays better.
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August 20, 2012 7:12:07 PM

selayan said:
Well then if you want one now 7950 is good, its roughly less than 660ti. They are pretty much equal when overclocked, actually 7950 overclocked is better.

But looking at the games you play, then I saw go nvidia since it plays better.

Actually i was talking about the 7870 not the 7950 the 7950 is 30$ more than the 660ti the 7870 is less(also this purchase will be in a month so the prices will hopefully drop a little bit)

yeah that is way i keep hearing(that nvidia plays open map games better)
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a b U Graphics card
August 20, 2012 7:16:47 PM

Stick to card better for the games you will play. So in a month the prices may drop.
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August 20, 2012 7:24:44 PM

Are there any new AMD cards coming out with in the next month because that would definitly bring down the prices
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a b U Graphics card
August 20, 2012 7:36:38 PM

I don't think so not for a while. The 7990 is suppose to be out by November maybe, not sure though.
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a b U Graphics card
August 20, 2012 7:54:44 PM

ok the 7870 280 after 20 rebate, free shipping but both 660ti(310) and 7950(330 after 20
rebate) cost about 7.50 extra with shipping. Seems to me that borderland is kind of
across between the games you listed. Supposed to be a 60 dollar value included with the
660ti but I guess I am used to new pc games being 50 or less and getting them even
cheaper after they have been on the market a little while. since borderlands is online tho
the crowd can change for better of worse in time.

At one point recently you could get a 7870 for 250 after rebate free shipping but now they
are up. the 7950 could be had for 210 after rebate free shipping but now they're up too.

as far as overclocking headroom the 7870 probably has the least, the 7950 likely has the
most with the 660ti in the middle. gives you some idea of how much you can push them
to make them run close to/same as or better than products higher in the stack. the ones
you linked are all already overclocked out of the box so they may be able to go higher or
may be stuck where they are.
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a c 145 U Graphics card
August 20, 2012 7:55:05 PM

Quote:
y gaming resolution is 1080(single) but im kinda of a nut job when it comes to ultra quality :p  so how long would you suppose a 660ti or 7870 would last?


that one still remain to be seen :) . so far most people are concerned with the width bus of GTX660 Ti. as long as you don't push too hard on AA GTX660Ti should be fine for for quite sometime at 1080p.

selayan said:
I don't think so not for a while. The 7990 is suppose to be out by November maybe, not sure though.


last i heard the card will comes out at the end of august. they said the lack of PCI-E 3.0 chips needed for card caused the delay. if you ask me i just said that they got caught off guard with nvidia GTX690. if they want to roll it out around november then they should just forget about releasing it at all. around that time AMD should be already to unleash their latest series to the market
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a b U Graphics card
August 20, 2012 8:01:57 PM

renz496 said:
Quote:
y gaming resolution is 1080(single) but im kinda of a nut job when it comes to ultra quality :p  so how long would you suppose a 660ti or 7870 would last?


that one still remain to be seen :) . so far most people are concerned with the width bus of GTX660 Ti. as long as you don't push too hard on AA GTX660Ti should be fine for for quite sometime at 1080p.



last i heard the card will comes out at the end of august. they said the lack of PCI-E 3.0 chips needed for card caused the delay. if you ask me i just said that they got caught off guard with nvidia GTX690. if they want to roll it out around november then they should just forget about releasing it at all. around that time AMD should be already to unleash their latest series to the market



Sometime around Q3, maybe end of september. They are probably going to try and fix the driver issues too.
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August 20, 2012 8:20:12 PM

renz496 said:
that one still remain to be seen :) . so far most people are concerned with the width bus of GTX660 Ti. as long as you don't push too hard on AA GTX660Ti should be fine for for quite sometime at 1080p.

do you mean the fact that it does not have a 256 memory bandwith? because that kinda is pushing me away as well seems like it will cripppled by that fact
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August 20, 2012 8:21:02 PM

jtenorj said:
ok the 7870 280 after 20 rebate, free shipping but both 660ti(310) and 7950(330 after 20
rebate) cost about 7.50 extra with shipping. Seems to me that borderland is kind of
across between the games you listed. Supposed to be a 60 dollar value included with the
660ti but I guess I am used to new pc games being 50 or less and getting them even
cheaper after they have been on the market a little while. since borderlands is online tho
the crowd can change for better of worse in time.

im not buying that card(manufacturer) just because of the borderlands deal but instead because it has a very nice heat sink and looks like it can stay very cool... now that said im open to any other manufacturers of the card i dont know of any good ones that can keep there cards as cool besides his(and there not doing to 660ti)
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a c 145 U Graphics card
August 20, 2012 8:25:02 PM

PanicMaster85 said:
do you mean the fact that it does not have a 256 memory bandwith? because that kinda is pushing me away as well seems like it will cripppled by that fact


IMO they purposely crippled the card so they can sell it in sub 300 segment :D  .
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August 20, 2012 8:28:42 PM

renz496 said:
IMO they purposely crippled the card so they can sell it in sub 300 segment :D  .

:)  well do you think that i should still keep that as an option? because i usually like to run at at least 8aa
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a b U Graphics card
August 20, 2012 8:52:52 PM

You should be able to run 8aa with the 660ti. At the 1080p resolution. And renz is right, they locked it to 192 bit memory because the chip was good enough to be expanded, but why when you already have the 670 out and 680. Let people spend their money and price 660ti at $300 lol
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a c 145 U Graphics card
August 20, 2012 8:55:17 PM

it depends on you. if you insisted on using 8x AA then you know which card to pick.

on another matter i want to look on more benchmark on how lower width bus on GTX660 Ti going to hurt it when heavy AA being used. honestly i was less picky in regards to AA. most of the time i will choose FXAA over MSAA because of the performance impact.
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a c 271 U Graphics card
August 20, 2012 9:07:22 PM

selayan said:
You should be able to run 8aa with the 660ti. At the 1080p resolution. And renz is right, they locked it to 192 bit memory because the chip was good enough to be expanded, but why when you already have the 670 out and 680. Let people spend their money and price 660ti at $300 lol

That makes no sense, the chips were more likely cut down to 192 bit because they didn't make the grade which would suggest that they were not good enough to be "expanded". :pfff: 
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August 20, 2012 9:41:51 PM

Mousemonkey said:
That makes no sense, the chips were more likely cut down to 192 bit because they didn't make the grade which would suggest that they were not good enough to be "expanded". :pfff: 

im lost
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a b U Graphics card
August 20, 2012 10:09:20 PM

The chips in 660ti weren't good enough to handle 256 bit memory bus. Yet they focused on other improvements that gave the card the $300 "budget" mark most people speak of.

Edit: Just take your budget, you already picked three cards you are interested in. They are all decent cards. The 7850 ghz edition is decent, the 660ti costs more because its newer and it has the same chip type as the higher 6 series cards. The 7950 can be compared more to the 660ti and possible the 670 in some cases. Hence its price is inbetween.

First go with your budget and and seeing as you don't seem to care about maxing every single setting out, any of these will offer you what you want. Only other factors are if you plan to change resolutions later, get bored and crank up settings..or upgrade again in near future like next year or so.
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a b U Graphics card
August 20, 2012 10:38:44 PM

7950 everyday of the week and 2x Sunday...the 66ti is overpriced imo and I'd bet that it will not age well compared to a 7950.
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August 20, 2012 10:52:21 PM

loops said:
7950 everyday of the week and 2x Sunday...the 66ti is overpriced imo and I'd bet that it will not age well compared to a 7950.

why would you say that it does not age well? anything would be good
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a b U Graphics card
August 20, 2012 10:52:41 PM

The 7950 has more overclocking room. When amd releases newer drivers its performance should be increased too.
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a b U Graphics card
August 21, 2012 12:04:29 AM

actually the 7950 the op was looking at is already oc to 900 versus upcoming
bios. not sure it would work with that card anyway(think it has to have reference
pcb to work properly). you loose boost to 925. big deal. the new bios throw the
cards power usage out of whack and probably makes a higher overclock worse.
however, since 7950 started life at 800 and tahiti has been seen to hit 1200, 1300,
even 1400 in the wild you might be able to do great things with that cooler. the part
is binned but why? core functionality? max clock speed? market segmentation?
I'm guessing not by speed since the board partner is confident to put a decent oc
on the card to start.

the op said they are a little nutty about running all games ultra and 8xaa to boot.
that said, the 7950 is likely the most future proof with the 3GB framebuffer, 33% more
rops and about 100GB/s greater memory bandwidth compared to the 660ti. bandwidth
is important with many large textures and high levels of multi sample or super sample
aa and the rops for running aa. it seems that while older games make use of traditional
aa and likely run great on these cards with it applied, newer games seem to be going
toward shader based aa(fxaa or equivalent) that takes some burden off bandwidth
and frame buffer and switches it to a cards shader cores.

either way, among the 3 original cards you were contemplating, the 7950 would
appear to be the route you'll want to take.
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August 21, 2012 12:17:51 AM

jtenorj said:
Jtenorj(sorry a bit to long to quote :p )

first off thanks for the longs thought out reply :D 

I think that the 7950 is the best thing for me to do as well... are you sure that the 3gb are the best thing to do? also i was hoping to one day get 2 or 3 monitors and if i still have this card can it run the games(lets say i got 3 monitors today) on ultra? or would i only be able to play it on a even higher card?

http://www.hwcompare.com/12191/radeon-hd-7870-vs-radeon...
here it says that the 7870 would be able to handle the higher resolutions better(would that be true?)

http://www.hwcompare.com/12190/radeon-hd-7870-vs-radeon...
as well as here D:
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a b U Graphics card
August 21, 2012 12:33:02 AM

sorry, you said drivers and i saw bios(specifically the "boost" bios for 7950s with the
amd reference pcb direct from amd, tho partners with custom boards should be
coming out with similar update downloads for their cards soon). I guess the most
recent whql driver for amd cards is 12.8, which is just the official version of the
12.7 beta that accompanied the preview of 7970 ghz ed. end of june. many sites
determined that the work of the amd driver team likely had a lot more to do with
the observed performance increase than the clock bumps of 925 to 1ghz(1050 boost)
core and 1375 to 1500 (5.5 to 6 giga transfers) vram. While there aren't as many
reviews of less new 7000 series cards with the updated bios, what data there is
seems to show significant performance increases for all GCN architecture cards.
That means they will perform much better now than when they were compared to
similarly priced previous gen amd and nvidia cards originally.
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a b U Graphics card
August 21, 2012 12:42:36 AM

well, when hardocp reviewed the 7970 just before Christmas Eve, they determined twas
the 1st single gpu card capable of running the latest games at high settings(maybe not all
ultra, but in some games the difference in performance can be huge versus a tiny bump
in quality you will likely not notice while actually gaming) on 3 1080p panels. since the
7950 you're contemplating may well be able to overclock to 7970 performance levels(or
higher,even) and you have that sweet 12.8 driver( or 12.7 beta if the 12.8 gives you any
issues) you should be golden for a while.
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a b U Graphics card
August 21, 2012 12:46:42 AM

Yeh you will be fine with 7950 on multiple monitors. Plus you will have ability to pretty much almost set all your games to max or highest settings. Good thing you decided I'm still in limbo lol
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a b U Graphics card
August 21, 2012 1:17:15 AM

sorry, managed not to read your entire last post before posting my last one

based on the page you linked, the 7950 has far more bandwidth(240GB/s vs
153.6 on 7870), more texture fill and the 7870 wins in pixel fill. now i don't see
texture fill rate being an issue. while textures are getting bigger, they are generally
in a single layer on any given object on the screen. multi texture was a big deal with
the release of direct x 6 (before Y2K) and the majority of nvidia and ati( designer of
radeon chips before amd added them in 2006) dx7 and dx8 cards had 2x the texture
units as fixed function units(hardware transform and lighting added w/dx7)and shader
pipes(primitive shader capability added w/dx8). then with dx9(geforce fx bombed, ati
9500-9800 rocked) we saw a move to 1 to 1 ratio texture/shader since more games
were using shaders for multiple effects vs. using multiple layered textures, taking
advantage of the newer cards extra shader grunt and saving frame buffer and band-
width for the likes of bigger/better textures and other things like aa. this trend has only
continued as the number of both texture units and rops stays the same and shader
count continues to mushroom. actually nvidia uses less rops now than previous gen
(gtx580 had 48, gtx 680 has 32) since even aa is being moved over to shaders.

so texture fill non issue. texture sample as well. ever since the x1000 series, radeons
have had high quality texture filtering even with only 16unit on top GPUs of the time
and only updated it so that the af testing software sites use shows clean circles in
the tunnel when amd launched the terascale 2 architecture on hd5800 series with
72 to 80 texture units. nvidia has had excellent af quality since the geforce 8 series.
even bottom level crappy cards can run high quality aa with no little to no loss in
performance.

the rop fill rate does have a bearing on how high a level of aa a card can run and
is largely a function of rop count times clockspeed. both 7870 and 7950 have 32 rops
and 660ti has 24. they all more or less run at 1ghz but the 7950 has more headroom
and way more bandwidth than the other two to help with both textures and aa.

the page you linked shows fill rate with stock clock of 800 on 7950 and 1ghz on 7870.
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August 21, 2012 1:59:47 AM

jtenorj said:
the page you linked shows fill rate with stock clock of 800 on 7950 and 1ghz on 7870.

OK but on other videos that i was watching the 7870 gets 60+ fps on bf3 and the 7950 get 40-60 :/  I dont understand... shouldnt the 7950 play games at a higher fps?
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a b U Graphics card
August 21, 2012 2:04:50 AM

Was the clock on the 7870 higher? Maybe overclocked? Maybe that was why it had higher fps.
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a b U Graphics card
August 21, 2012 3:05:38 AM

a overclocked 7870 can certainly outperform a reference clocked 7950 in a number of
titles, but it does depend on settings. especially with traditional multi sample or super
sample aa. it is possible that even a reference clocked 7870 might be able to beat a
reference 7950 on certain games with high levels of msaa. for the same number of rops
it does have a 25% clock speed advantage.

the thing about the 7870 and 7950 is that the 7950 has stronger shading capabilites
stock for stock or oc to oc compared to 7870 and that seems to be where aa in future
games is headed. actually, once they are both overclocked heavliy to similar clocks the
7950 should perform better because it has gobs more bandwidth too( and and larger
frame buffer as well). actually , thinking about my last post, bandwidth is probably less
of a factor for high res textures. The bigger frame buffer does help there though.

I guess as far as traditionl aa goes a reference 7870 might be faster than a reference
7950, but if you raise the res the 7870's framebuffer and 256bit ram will bottleneck.
when both overclocked the 7950 is faster. for future more shader bound games the
7950 will be faster, just like generally all newer wider cards over the past 7 years vs
older, narrower cards(shader wise).
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August 21, 2012 3:57:27 AM

my god this is so hard to pick... on one hand i have a fast cheaper card and on the other i have a more expensive less powerful(stock) but thought to be more future proof D: i dont know what to pick!
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a b U Graphics card
August 21, 2012 4:04:12 AM

PanicMaster85 said:
why would you say that it does not age well? anything would be good



Reviews of the 660ti....some of the punch lines: good now, but bandwith may not keep up.
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a b U Graphics card
August 21, 2012 4:29:50 AM

what do you mean one overclock and 1 stock? all three of the cards in you original post
have overclocked cores out of the box(no OC on their vrams though).

7870 OCed to 1100mhz, up from 1ghz reference

660ti OCed to 1006(1058 boost), up from 915(980 boost) reference

7950 OCed to 900, up from 800 reference

per the product pages on the egg from your original post and the page on wikipedia titled:

Comparison of Nvidia graphics processing units

I know the HD7000 series reference clocks by heart.
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August 21, 2012 4:41:09 AM

I understand that the memory and shadowing is a lot better on the 7950 and if they were both same performce(games) I would get the 7950 in a heart beat... but that it is 200mhz less(stock) then the 7870(stock) well that just does not seem worth the extra money... also i dont like to oc my stuff(I dont know how)
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a b U Graphics card
August 21, 2012 5:01:23 AM

i would like to partially take back that last sentence.

I know the clocks for southern island based cards by heart(tahiti, pitcairn, cape verde).
The other cards in the series are just rebrands of northern island and evergreen GPUs.
I know a few of the clocks(mostly core, less so vram) but can rattle off the specs for
higher end cards from those two previous generations and even many of the specs
for cards going back to the dx9 9500-9800. I know a lot about nvidia cards too but it
is hard to keep up with all the rebranding on the low end(both companies are guilty
of it, but nvidia is far worse in this regard). and another thing...

what is the deal with boost clocks and max clocks anyway? I mean, when nvidia had
a separate clock for shaders compared to the rest of the core, it wasn't so bad. usually
a simple ratio like 2 to 1 shaders to core(400 and 500 series) and 2.5 to 1 (geforce 9
series and the non G80 based geforce 8s except 8500gt which was 2 to 1) except
for g80 and the gt200(b) gtx 200 series and even then there weren't too many different products in those lines so it's not that hard to remember. I guess the geforce 7 series
ran the vertex shaders( remember when they were separate?) in a different clock domain
(like 30 to 50 mhz faster than the rest of the core) but who cares? Games then were far
more shader limited and even games that had more geometry(rts) were still limited by
the shader performance of cards at the time( why x1900 was so forward looking...
xbox 360 gpu as well) then nvidia has to go and have turbo clock that your card might
work at if running a certain game doesn't violate the card's tdp. People say " Yay, free
overclocks all around" but not like you get from a factory overclock(some of which can
be iffy) or overclocking and testing yourself to get a guaranteed performance boost.
Now it seems amd is pulling the same stunt and to make matters worse nvidia even
has a max turbo clock on top of the normal turbo, and all three clocks change when you
buy a factory overclocked card or do it yourself.

AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!

end rant

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a b U Graphics card
August 21, 2012 5:32:04 AM

sorry, went on a bit of a tangent(tirade) but i am back and calmed down.

Furmark is program that will push your gpu much harder than any game ever will.

Download and install and maybe do 15-20 min without OC to see what kind of noise,
temp and power usage you are getting.

keep in mind you can adjust fan speed,trading off cooling and noise you can tolerate.

starting with the core, overclock 25 mhz and retest. repeat til you get errors or temps
go beyond your liking and back it off 25mhz. this should be a stable core overclock.
next reset you core to factory and do the same process with the memory. gddr5 has
error correction, so if your vram becomes unstable because of too high an overclock,
you wont get errors but you performance will start to drop. when that happens, back
off 25mhz and that is a stable vram oc. now do both. most games respond better to
to a core oc than a vram overclock, so start by setting you core to your max stable
oc and then start your ram at the bottom again and push till you start loosing fps
again. back it off 25mhz and this is the max card overclock with factory voltage.

if ur not satisfied with this oc and temp is ok you can try giving your voltage a nudge
and do the process again starting at your previous max card overclocks. try not to go
over a voltage that is 10% higher than your starting voltage. all this may require you
to alter your tdp cap in the driver controls, but i don't think they will let you exceed
the combined amount of power your pcie x16 slot and pci 6pin connectors can supply.
on all these card that total is 225w(75w from slot and 75 from each 6pin connector.

if anyone thinks i am missing something in regards to the overclocking of modern
graphics cards( or if i am completely wrong) please chime in.
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a b U Graphics card
August 21, 2012 5:35:38 AM

PS

a few hours of effort should safely afford you a nice, stable overclock as well as saving
you money( nowadays a non overclocked gpu is performance sitting on the table) and
you will feel a sense of pride and accomplishment from getting the most out of your dollar.
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