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Choosing between Gigabyte 670 and Sapphire 7950's

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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August 28, 2012 10:55:05 AM

With the current prices/bundles, I've been looking at the Gigabyte 670, the Sapphire OC 7950, and the new Vapor-X 7950. All of these cards seem to be great cards for gaming at 1080p or 1200p and should provide me with several years of good gaming performance, but I still have some concerns.

The main concern to me is the rigidity of these cards; I can tell they all have bands running along the portion that's unsupported, but is that really enough over time given the weight of these? Second, I'd like something with low fan noise while gaming as well as a low temperature (would rather not have a card be a mini space heater). I know the Tahiti's consume a bit more power which generally means higher temps whereas the Keplers are a bit better in that regard, though I'm not sure if this really matters.

Build quality of the Gigabyte as well as the great quiet cooling it has are definite pluses for me, but I still have a few itching questions that sway me. I like the Gigabyte a lot, but I'm not sure if the 2GB of vram should concern me down the line with 1080p/1200p compared to the 3GB and better memory bandwidth on the 7950's. Also the price is about $63 dollars more than the two 7950's considering the shipping costs of those. I'd probably play Borderlands 2 or Sleeping Dogs so those are both great to me.

Between the two Sapphire 7950's I couldn't really see the big differences other than the Boost feature which doesn't appear to be very useful or efficient. From what I've read it overvolts the card for a short period and the card boosts for a few seconds then it undervolts and underclocks itself causing unnecessary power consumption for very little fps. The Vapor-X also seems to have the superior cooling design versus the 950 Mhz model.

I couldn't find any real information on the 950Mhz model as far as max temps/acoustics/power consumption just from reading user reviews. I'd definitely pull the trigger on one of these two cards if I knew they were about as well-cooled and quiet as the Gigabyte 670.

I'm not against either brands, I'm just looking for a quiet, well-cooled and decent power efficiency. I'd prefer objective advice about these three cards and those concerns rather than what brand is better since I'm merely looking for the best performance : dollar. If there's anybody with these cards, it'd be cool to hear the pros and cons of them. Thanks for reading this and advice is greatly appreciated in advance.
a b U Graphics card
August 28, 2012 12:25:15 PM

Quote:
The main concern to me is the rigidity of these cards; I can tell they all have bands running along the portion that's unsupported, but is that really enough over time given the weight of these?


Nothing to worry about the weight of them, if you have a good CASE the screws will hold the gpu very tight in the place, nothing to worry about unless you add extra weight on it.

Quote:
Second, I'd like something with low fan noise while gaming as well as a low temperature (would rather not have a card be a mini space heater). I know the Tahiti's consume a bit more power which generally means higher temps whereas the Keplers are a bit better in that regard, though I'm not sure if this really matters.


This will depend on the brand you are buying, normally the reference gpus (default ones):
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
are more louder and the cooler don't let them so cool, but if you go with a better brand with a non-reference cooler you will get a much quieter solution with a better cooling:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Quote:
Build quality of the Gigabyte as well as the great quiet cooling it has are definite pluses for me, but I still have a few itching questions that sway me. I like the Gigabyte a lot, but I'm not sure if the 2GB of vram should concern me down the line with 1080p/1200p compared to the 3GB and better memory bandwidth on the 7950's. Also the price is about $63 dollars more than the two 7950's considering the shipping costs of those. I'd probably play Borderlands 2 or Sleeping Dogs so those are both great to me.


personally i would go with the 670, what i can tell you about the Vram, unless you use triple monitor settings, 2 gb is more than enough, Nvidia now is betting on new antialiasing solutions like FXAA and TXAA and by using those and lowering or removing the old full geometric solutions like MSAA the memory use of the gpu lowers a lot, so the memory is not the big concern unless you are with triple monitor or more. and even with triple monitors if you remove antialiasing and use fxaa the performance will be ok in most of the games.


All the 3 options are good, but like i have said already, i would take the 670, Physx, CUDA, 3D Vision, TXAA are the features that bend me to nvidia.

If you are looking for good brands here are a few links:
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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a b U Graphics card
August 28, 2012 1:40:39 PM

I'd go for the OC edition. The Vapor-X looks great too! Go for whatever you think looks good haha.
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August 28, 2012 1:56:15 PM

Yeah, I've been looking at the Vapor-X a lot more now, but the boost feature seems dumb when it boosts the voltage to 1.25v constantly. Is this something that's able to be turned off?
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a b U Graphics card
August 28, 2012 2:02:48 PM

Yes you can probably toggle that off using Trixx or something :) 
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August 28, 2012 2:07:10 PM

670s include Borderlands 2 now. So that's a $60 bonus. My favorites are probably the MSI, Gigabyte, or ASUS (in that order) that cold breeze linked.
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