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GPU for new build: AMD Vs. Nvidia conundrum

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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August 27, 2012 1:08:49 AM

I pretty much have everything all ready for the new build but the graphics card is just something I cannot decide if my life depended on it.
I know there are fanboys on all sides, and I see points that would make each side great but i'm still confused.

I'm going to be playing on a 24" 1080P display, but I want everything on max details, full AF and AA. I want it all. I also wanted to at least TRY this for newer games coming out later this year and whatever next year will bring.

Nvidia has all those features that seem interesting but 2GBs of memory and the shorter memory bus width kinda..make it seem less future proof? After all some benchmarks claim that Nvidia's limited nature held it back in the most demanding games when AA was brought to maximum (extreme) and AMD went ahead. This was noticed on Sleeping Dogs, one of the newest games out.

ATI has more memory and that bus width...and the latest GHz edition seems like it would be a game changer with all the AA put to max even at 1080P, the difference is still noticeable on the charts.

I know it depends what games i'm playing as well but Guild Wars 2 is a big priority for me. I may pick up Skyrim too, and other open world titles and some people still say Nvidia favors it while newer benchmarks favor GHz, so i'm totally confused.
Mainly I just want a great card that will feel like it's still a warrior even 1 2 or 3 years at work.

Edit: I Just noticed that Nvidia's Geforce website is showing GW2 in the background and such. Does this hint that they work better for it than AMD? If anyone has experience on this game lemme know.
a b U Graphics card
August 27, 2012 1:50:58 AM

Well you got two options the 670 and the 7970 for 1080p all options gaming, I would go for the 7970Ghz since its only a few $ more than the 670. The 7970 is more future proof in my view more vram larger bus and higher OC potential.




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a b U Graphics card
August 27, 2012 2:06:19 AM

your budget?

some games are optimized for Nvidia cards as you've noticed, though at a res beyond 1080p, the gap tends to lessen by a small margin, with AMD sometimes surpassing Nvidia.

note as well that the more recent Nvidia cards lacks the compute function, in case that feature is important to you. and while my knowledge of the subject is fairly outdated, so take this one with a grain of salt, but i believe Nvidia cards runs better in SLI, with many recommendations for 670's in a 2-way SLI being evident of that.

so do you plan to run with 3 x 1080p monitors? do you plan to run the cards in SLI/CF? and is compute important to you?
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August 27, 2012 4:57:24 AM

Sorry more details I should have included, but budget...no more than $500 I would say.
Also I just noticed the HIS 7970 GHz on Newegg for $609. Any idea why it's so much more expensive?

I don't plan to do SLI/Crossfire but I plan to actually get a single 1080P 120Hz monitor. But to be honest I do kind of need help with choosing a great monitor too between $300-$400 max.
Then there is 3D.... Nvidia is the only company supporting 3D gaming correct?

Thanks for the feedback, both of you, I really appreciate it.
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a c 191 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
August 27, 2012 5:28:00 AM

Uh oh...
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August 27, 2012 5:32:46 AM

Deemo13 said:
Uh oh...


Can you help me?
;) 
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a c 191 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
August 27, 2012 5:38:58 AM

Lol sure I will, its just when there's a "ATi vs Nvidia" post, it can get messy.

Here's my contribution. If you plan to do ANY video work, such as rendering and whatever else entails video stuff, the HD7xxx cards are going to be much much better. I have no bias, as I was running a Radeon HD6950 before my GTX460. So I've had both and love both.

So in terms of video, I would recommend the Radeons.
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a b U Graphics card
August 27, 2012 5:53:48 AM

I like the Geforce cards because of all the technology they bring to the table: 3D, PhysX, TXAA, Adaptive-Vsync. Even though some of these aren't widely used, I think that they are starting to be adapted with future games.
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a c 106 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
August 27, 2012 6:07:49 AM

Ironslice said:
I like the Geforce cards because of all the technology they bring to the table: 3D, PhysX, TXAA, Adaptive-Vsync. Even though some of these aren't widely used, I think that they are starting to be adapted with future games.


the only problem about adaptive vsync in general is that a good handful of players leave fps uncapped. and even if its capped, the cards in question generally score more than 60fps in these games, making the adaptive vsync moot on 60 hz monitors. its only relavant if you have a higher hz monitor, which not as many people do.

and iirc, amd is starting to get into the 3d business, but its extremely young and shouldnt be used atm, so 3d is not a one sided thing later on.

heres the data on toms new gw2 test as well

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a b U Graphics card
August 27, 2012 6:27:55 AM

Malkeor said:
Sorry more details I should have included, but budget...no more than $500 I would say.
Also I just noticed the HIS 7970 GHz on Newegg for $609. Any idea why it's so much more expensive?

I don't plan to do SLI/Crossfire but I plan to actually get a single 1080P 120Hz monitor. But to be honest I do kind of need help with choosing a great monitor too between $300-$400 max.
Then there is 3D.... Nvidia is the only company supporting 3D gaming correct?

Thanks for the feedback, both of you, I really appreciate it.


first off as a note; 6870 owner here, and potential future 7870 owner. if you want 3D, for that budget, best i can recommend you is the GTX 670. while i don't doubt AMD's ability to do 3D, Nvidia seems to have a better advantage in this case. otherwise the 7970 ghz edition should perform closely if not better. both should handle 1080p just fine in most cases though going 3D may affect the frame rate greatly.

also check out the performance analysis for GW2 that just got posted

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/guild-wars-2-perfor...

so now the only problem is how important 3D is to you. going Nvidia will give you a better 3D experience but the vRAM and shorter memory bus may be a problem for future games. going AMD may help against it but may not give you the best 3D experience. you could opt out for a 4GB GTX680, but then you're going over budget.
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a c 106 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
August 27, 2012 6:33:33 AM

the 600$ his one is overpriced. its sole benefit that i can see is that it can run 6 monitors off one card and comes with the display>dvi adapter so that one can use a basic 3 screen eyefinity(albeit, theres only one dvi port, so you will need another if you using dvi monitors)
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a c 216 U Graphics card
a c 80 Î Nvidia
August 27, 2012 6:46:42 AM

dudewitbow said:
the only problem about adaptive vsync in general is that a good handful of players leave fps uncapped. and even if its capped, the cards in question generally score more than 60fps in these games, making the adaptive vsync moot on 60 hz monitors. its only relavant if you have a higher hz monitor, which not as many people do.

and iirc, amd is starting to get into the 3d business, but its extremely young and shouldnt be used atm, so 3d is not a one sided thing later on.

heres the data on toms new gw2 test as well

http://media.bestofmicro.com/J/D/348025/original/appearance%201920.png


As far as the adaptive v-sync goes, that example you just showed is exactly what it is designed for. It has average FPS over 60, but has minimums under 60. Adaptive v-sync will mean that it'll have v-sync on when the FPS are at 60 or higher, but when it dips down to 49 FPS, and anywhere between it's min and 59, it'll turn off v-sync to give you the most FPS possible.

I personally don't like it, but then again, I have a 120hz monitor, which contrary to your thought, it's not very good for 120hz monitors. With such high refresh rate, v-sync doesn't hurt FPS much.
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August 27, 2012 1:29:20 PM

I don't really think the higher memory on an AMD card is going to matter with regards to your display. Now, if you plan to add some more 24" monitors in the future, I would say AMD.

At that resolution and with Guild Wars 2, I would recomment based on your price range, either a 680 or SLI something else.

As mentioned before though, if you plan to do some other types of things with your cards, other than gaming, then AMD has the better overall perfromance. Though performance wise in games I don't really see what the fuss is about. The 7970Ghz Edition and the GTX 680 both rock at gaming performance.

I do think Guild Wars 2 might run better off nVidia over AMD, so, there would be a start I guess.
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a c 175 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
August 27, 2012 1:57:50 PM

GW2 may run better on nvidia card, but in tom's hardware article, this doesn't like it is the case. Look here



7970 is a bit faster than the 670, so I am guessing that the 7970 GHz performs the same as a 680.

So, if you're playing GW2 mostly, you can take both options :) .

As for the 3D stuff. I don't like those stuff haha. But if you're interested, I'd go with the nvidia card because it support nvidia 3D vision which is better than HD3D (?).

But personally, I would suggest this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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a c 227 U Graphics card
a c 75 Î Nvidia
August 27, 2012 3:16:15 PM

Historically, I'd recommend nVidia in the $200 and up segment and the MAD cards below $200. Last generation, that rule of thumb held with the 560 outselling all AMD cards from the 6870 and above combined.

This generation, the dollar amount shifts to $300. Whikle they tarde wins from game to game, when ya total all the scores, the 600 Ti ekes out a win over the more expensive 7950. If ya go at $300 budget, the MSI appears to be the one to get.

With your budget, the 670 is an easy choice. I have been using the Asus 670 TOP exclusively tho it can be damned hard to get ya hands on one (Amazon had last night, this morning gone)

http://www.amazon.com/ASUS-GeForce-GTX-670-DC2T-2GD5-GT...

Asus 670 TOP - 10.0 rating
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/ASUS/GeForce_GTX_670...

AMD 7970 Ghz Edition - 8.5 rating
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/AMD/HD_7970_GHz_Edit...

MSI 660 Ti - 9.7 rating
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/MSI/GTX_660_Ti_Power...
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August 27, 2012 8:18:25 PM

I wish I could pick more than 1 best answer.
I guess i'm lucky the GW2 benchmarks were posted, though I wish they included data from the highest end cards on both ends.

One more question or two, and I should be done here!

Even if i'm not getting 120 FPS from a 120Hz monitor will it still make a difference? Should I even consider SLI/Xfire for 120hz?
And also I hear alot about IPS panels and i'm looking at a few with 5 ms response. Do IPS really show a great difference in gaming picture quality, like deeper blacks and vibrant colors? I might end up getting that if 5ms won't make a big difference in MMOs and non-shooters.
Sorry i'm straying from my original post but hey this is related somehow right? :p 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
or
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
These are ones i've been comparing but one is IPS, the other is T/N.
Also I just discovered a VA panel monitor? 4ms response time
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
This is enticing as well...supposed to have deepest blacks and color and all that jazz. Anyone know about this?

Thanks again guys!
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a c 216 U Graphics card
a c 80 Î Nvidia
August 27, 2012 9:11:26 PM

Malkeor said:
I wish I could pick more than 1 best answer.
I guess i'm lucky the GW2 benchmarks were posted, though I wish they included data from the highest end cards on both ends.

One more question or two, and I should be done here!

Even if i'm not getting 120 FPS from a 120Hz monitor will it still make a difference? Should I even consider SLI/Xfire for 120hz?
And also I hear alot about IPS panels and i'm looking at a few with 5 ms response. Do IPS really show a great difference in gaming picture quality, like deeper blacks and vibrant colors? I might end up getting that if 5ms won't make a big difference in MMOs and non-shooters.
Sorry i'm straying from my original post but hey this is related somehow right? :p 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
or
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
These are ones i've been comparing but one is IPS, the other is T/N.
Also I just discovered a VA panel monitor? 4ms response time
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
This is enticing as well...supposed to have deepest blacks and color and all that jazz. Anyone know about this?

Thanks again guys!


120hz monitors help mostly by making game play smoother, plus you gain access to 3D Vision or HD3D, which until you experience it, you don't know what you are missing. For many of us, 120hz allows for more displayed FPS, which reduces motion/simulator sickness.

Of the choices you listed, the first one is the one I would choose. It is 120hz and offers 3D vision, something you have to experience to understand how awesome it is. That would also lead me to recommend the GTX 670 over the 7970.

This is assuming gaming is your focus.
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August 27, 2012 9:28:16 PM

bystander said:
120hz monitors help mostly by making game play smoother, plus you gain access to 3D Vision or HD3D, which until you experience it, you don't know what you are missing. For many of us, 120hz allows for more displayed FPS, which reduces motion/simulator sickness.

Of the choices you listed, the first one is the one I would choose. It is 120hz and offers 3D vision, something you have to experience to understand how awesome it is. That would also lead me to recommend the GTX 670 over the 7970.

This is assuming gaming is your focus.


Sounds like i'm certainly missing greatness, thanks for that! You got me psyched.

So why would you pick the T/N over the IPS panel? You think the 5ms would cause noticeable ghosting and such?
Oh and yes gaming is indeed my focus, Guild Wars 2, Borderlands 2, possibly Skyrim, and Witcher 2. Not many competitive FPS games i'm crazy about if that helps.
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a c 216 U Graphics card
a c 80 Î Nvidia
August 27, 2012 9:32:20 PM

Malkeor said:
Sounds like i'm certainly missing greatness, thanks for that! You got me psyched.

So why would you pick the T/N over the IPS panel? You think the 5ms would cause noticeable ghosting and such?
Oh and yes gaming is indeed my focus, Guild Wars 2, Borderlands 2, possibly Skyrim, and Witcher 2. Not many competitive FPS games i'm crazy about if that helps.


TN has the 120hz. This also includes lower response times, both of which reduce latency between your mouse movement and how fast it gets displayed, which I believe is the main reason for my simulator sickness issues, and this generally makes a game feel smoother and more responsive.
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a c 216 U Graphics card
a c 80 Î Nvidia
August 27, 2012 9:57:38 PM

One last thing. If you chose a 120hz monitor, be sure to have a decent gaming mouse. If it has a low polling rate, it'll kill the fluidity.
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August 27, 2012 10:24:29 PM

bystander said:
One last thing. If you chose a 120hz monitor, be sure to have a decent gaming mouse. If it has a low polling rate, it'll kill the fluidity.


Mistakenly assumed the IPS was 120hz, well i'm glad that takes care of that!

So what what do you mean polling rate?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
or
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I was thinking one of these. Hopefully they will be fine for the polling rate? Is this related to DPI?
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a c 216 U Graphics card
a c 80 Î Nvidia
August 27, 2012 10:48:47 PM

Malkeor said:
Mistakenly assumed the IPS was 120hz, well i'm glad that takes care of that!

So what what do you mean polling rate?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
or
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I was thinking one of these. Hopefully they will be fine for the polling rate? Is this related to DPI?


Polling rate of both of those are 1000hz, which is 1ms polls.

What that means is 1000 times per second, the USB checks to see where the mouse is, and updates it. 1000/s is very good.

I'm personally using one with only 500hz polling. Which means it may induce up to 2ms of latency instead of 1ms. I do this because I like the layout enough to live with that slight bit of latency, but I can tell a difference between this MS Sidewinder x8 and my logitech G400. Besides the superior thumb button layout, it doesn't have a thick wire, which causes the mouse to move when I let go of it. It's wireless, with a magnetic charger that has a super thin wire. If only the Logitech mice used such a thin wire, I'd be using a different Logitech mouse, perhaps the G700.


I found that info under the details tab:
Responsiveness
USB data format: 16 bits/axis
USB report rate: Up to 1000 reports/second
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