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7970 or 670 (comparing non-reference only)

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September 3, 2012 3:11:12 AM

Assuming I can get all these cards at roughly the same pricing, which would be better going into the future. CFX 7970 or SLI gtx 670's.

I heard microstutter is worse in 7970's than in Nvidia solutions and I'm quite sensitive to microstutter.

But I heard 7970's perform better at higher resolutions, and I'm planning on playing at 1440p at 120hz.

I'm finding a hard time picking between Asus directcu II 7970, gigabyte windforce 7970, MSI lightning 7970, directcu II 670, gigabyte windforce 670.

What I want from my card is good acoustic performance, and decent cooling.

The only thing stopping me from outright choosing the 7970's is the possibility of microstutter.

Thanks for your help!

Edit: forgot to ask, is it worth paying for a GHZ edition, if you're going to be overclocking the cards anyways? (Besides the possibility of better binning)
September 3, 2012 3:47:37 AM

Can you also answer my question of which 7970 is quietest, and whether is it worth getting the GHZ edition of non reference 7970's. Also, is microstutter a real issue?

Also, the benchmarks you're showing me are only of bf3. :( 
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September 3, 2012 3:52:14 AM

At 1440p the 7970 is the easy choice. You will have microstutter if you go multi-GPU either AMD or Nvidia. Rather or not you notice it or not, or even how bad it will be, is not predictable, but it will be there.

The Lightning is not a quiet card, so if noise is a concern, I'd steer clear of it. The DCUII is probably the quietest but it's not a good card for crossfire - I'd recommend the Gigabyte Windforce 7970 out of that list.
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a b U Graphics card
September 3, 2012 3:56:46 AM

theLiminator said:
Can you also answer my question of which 7970 is quietest, and whether is it worth getting the GHZ edition of non reference 7970's. Also, is microstutter a real issue?

Also, the benchmarks you're showing me are only of bf3. :( 

your suppose to flip through them all :p 

yes the GHz edition it worth the money as it outperforms a GTX 680 and offers great performance for less and no micro-stuttering is not an issue if you look at the benches you can see how much more performance you get with the GHz edition

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
September 3, 2012 4:14:30 AM

Microstutter won't be noticeable with either setup if you keep your framerate up. I don't notice it at > 50 fps with my crossfire setup, but I try to keep minimum 60fps just for smoothness and to account for the occasional fps dip.

2x 7970s have more video ram for larger resolutions (and more GPU compute power, if you need that), but 2x 670s will use less power. 2GB is probably enough, but it may not be at 1440p with AA in some games -- I can't say for sure, only that 1GB is enough for every game I own at 1920x1200 except BF3. If it was me choosing, I'd probably just go on price.

An option you may want to consider is 2x 7870s. You'd have to check benchmarks, but I bet they're powerful enough to max out every game on the market, and you'd save a good $250-$300 total for a pair of cards.
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September 3, 2012 4:45:55 AM

gamerkila57 said:
your suppose to flip through them all :p 

yes the GHz edition it worth the money as it outperforms a GTX 680 and offers great performance for less and no micro-stuttering is not an issue if you look at the benches you can see how much more performance you get with the GHz edition

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



But i've heard that oc'd non-reference is basically the same as GHZ edition? So wouldn't that mean the GHZ edition is not worth it unless I want to OC?
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a b U Graphics card
September 3, 2012 4:53:03 AM

the GHz and oc are fairly different and not true its still worth while as it already has a clock of 1000MHz-1100MHz
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September 3, 2012 5:03:44 AM

How are they different? As far as I know, the PCB and VRM are the same. The only difference is in the BIOS. (In the non-reference versions) Maybe the binning?
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a b U Graphics card
September 3, 2012 5:23:19 AM

The GHZ edition cards are binned better which means that they can be overclocked higher.
If you want a good card for high resolution gaming and you want it to be silent as well the Sapphire Vapor-X 7970 sure is the way to go.
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September 3, 2012 6:37:54 AM

The 7970 is better than the 670, however at 1080p the 680 usually beats the 7970, only at higher resolutions the 7970 will show a major advantage. If you want to stay with nvidia and you'll most likely play that resolution then a 680 is your choice, only at 3 monitors or 27 inch (2500 res) the 680 would lose terrain to the ati. I'd recommend the 680 lightning from MSI. Regards
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a c 185 U Graphics card
September 3, 2012 7:50:58 AM

Here my logic behind it MSI's GTX 670 Power Edition is another formidable custom-design GTX 670 implementation. Thanks to its overclock out of the box, it matches performance of NVIDIA's much more expensive GTX 680 spot on. Compared to the stock GTX 670, the performance increase is 7% averaged over all our benchmarks. Source: http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/MSI/GTX_670_Power_Ed...

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a c 185 U Graphics card
September 3, 2012 8:05:42 AM

If you are looking for the best bang for the buck 670/7950. MSI's new card is based on a customized design of the AMD Radeon HD 7950. MSI has slapped their TwinFrozr III cooler on the card - a thermal design that we have seen before on other cards based on both NVIDIA and ATI.

In addition to a new cooling solution, MSI also changed some minor aspects of the PCB and increased the clock speed of the HD 7950 TwinFrozr III to 880 MHz GPU. Memory remains unchanged at the AMD default of 1250 MHz.

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September 3, 2012 8:11:44 AM

The thing is, I'm gaming at 2560 x 1440 @ 120hz, that's why i want a dual card config, so that I can hit 100+ fps. I'm also concerned about micro stutter, that article linked up there only looks into the last gen cards, but i heard microstutter was reduced in this generation. The only reason I'm slightly hesitant about getting cfx 7970's is because I'm not sure they're as quiet as gtx 670's and microstutter.
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a c 185 U Graphics card
September 3, 2012 8:16:37 AM

theLiminator said:
The thing is, I'm gaming at 2560 x 1440 @ 120hz, that's why i want a dual card config, so that I can hit 100+ fps. I'm also concerned about micro stutter, that article linked up there only looks into the last gen cards, but i heard microstutter was reduced in this generation. The only reason I'm slightly hesitant about getting cfx 7970's is because I'm not sure they're as quiet as gtx 670's and microstutter.
awe o.k. my bad so it's not the main important thing getting best bang for buck sorry i should of payed better attention :( 
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a c 185 U Graphics card
September 3, 2012 8:28:30 AM

From nvidia side what I understand, with this series, they've addressed this in the form of adaptive V-sync. Not sure of real world results, but it's supposed to be fixed. I'm sure some owners with first hand experience will advise further.AMD i am not sure i only recently became a fan of them since they are providing good driver support these days i like them now back in the day i considered their cards garbage but the past two years i really grown to love amd.
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September 3, 2012 10:38:57 AM

Doesn't vsync give you input lag though? I really hate input lag lol.
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a b U Graphics card
September 3, 2012 10:56:43 AM

- Regular Vsync does input lag, Nvidia adaptive vsync don't as far as I know.

- If you want to play 1440p@120hz, neither 7970 or GTX 670 will make it possible. You will need to Crossfire/SLI them. If you need to use dual GPU go with Nvidia, usually microstuttering is less pronounced.
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a c 185 U Graphics card
September 3, 2012 12:06:38 PM

theLiminator said:
Doesn't vsync give you input lag though? I really hate input lag lol.
input lag good one :na: 
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a b U Graphics card
September 3, 2012 1:13:49 PM

theLiminator said:
The thing is, I'm gaming at 2560 x 1440 @ 120hz, that's why i want a dual card config, so that I can hit 100+ fps. I'm also concerned about micro stutter, that article linked up there only looks into the last gen cards, but i heard microstutter was reduced in this generation. The only reason I'm slightly hesitant about getting cfx 7970's is because I'm not sure they're as quiet as gtx 670's and microstutter.

micro-stutter is only visible in mid-range cards especially since the drivers

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/ASUS/HD_7970_CrossFi...
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a c 595 U Graphics card
September 3, 2012 5:16:48 PM

theLiminator said:
Assuming I can get all these cards at roughly the same pricing, which would be better going into the future. CFX 7970 or SLI gtx 670's.

I heard microstutter is worse in 7970's than in Nvidia solutions and I'm quite sensitive to microstutter.
The only thing stopping me from outright choosing the 7970's is the possibility of microstutter.

HardOCP addressed the issue of Crossfire "smoothness" when gaming (1/2 way down the page):
http://hardocp.com/article/2012/03/28/nvidia_kepler_gef...

They have also written about the well-documented issues with Crossfire drivers:
http://www.hardocp.com/article/2012/01/17/amd_crossfire...

They also reviewed Adaptive VSync:
http://www.hardocp.com/article/2012/04/16/nvidia_adapti...

Cue damage control:
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a b U Graphics card
September 3, 2012 8:20:01 PM

You guys are missing the point. It's not a Nvidia vs AMD thing. It's not a mid-range vs high-end thing. It's a framerate thing.

Microstutter is only going to be apparent at low framerates. So the solution is to keep your fps up. High fps = no noticeable microstutter. It's really that simple.

And don't use vsync. It's ok for a single card setup, but not for dual cards, because it will make microstutter worse by lowering your framerate. If your framerate is too high and you're getting screen tearing (which I don't think will be an issue on a 120Hz monitor), you have three good options --

1) Run the game in a full screen window to disable crossfire / sli.
2) Use the game engine to put a cap on fps.
3) Use a program like MSI afterburner to put a cap on fps.

I use option 3 since it's the easiest. My refresh rate is 60Hz, so I have afterburner set to cap fps at 90. You want it higher than your refresh rate to account for dips, but lower than where you start to notice screen tearing.
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September 3, 2012 8:28:00 PM

If you're going to talk about microstutter, you should actually reference reviews that deal with it, of which there are very few.

@matto the HardOCP stuff is worthless because they don't quantify anything. Their complaints are substanceless.

Techreport took a look at this and found 7970 CF to be not much worse than a 690/680 SLI, as per this review (and the following pages):
http://techreport.com/review/22890/nvidia-geforce-gtx-6...

Microstutter is inherent in any multi-GPU setup, but it doesn't seem to be too bad with 7970s or 670s or 680s. It's not necessarily a midrange or high end thing, as both the 590 and 6990 were terrible offenders even though they were the highest end cards out there.
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a b U Graphics card
September 3, 2012 8:39:34 PM

Let's look at what microstutter is. You have two cards displaying alternate frames but they're not synced perfectly. Let's say the frames come out like this --

1 .. 2 ..... 1 .. 2 ..... 1 .. 2 .....

At low fps, you will notice those gaps -- frame, short pause, frame, long pause, etc -- it looks jerky, not quite right. At high fps, the phenomenon doesn't go away, but you won't perceive it anymore.

Arguing about which one is better or worse is inconsequential. Yes the microstutter will show up if you map it, but if you're getting a new frame every time your monitor refreshes, you're not going to notice any micro-stutter. If you learn how to choose your game settings, it's a non-issue.
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September 6, 2012 12:18:26 AM

Hmm, still kinda undecided. But i'm leaning towards an ATI solution now. Is there a difference between the Gigahertz edition non-reference cards vs the normal non-reference cards for 7970? No one has confirmed it yet, are there any hardware difference? From what I know (i'm not sure if i'm right), the only difference is the bios (increased voltage and clock speed). Also is the gigabyte, msi, or asus version the quietest?
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September 6, 2012 12:27:22 AM

AMD is the only logical choice at that resolution. If a bit of microstutter is annoys you a lot then I would consider a tri-fire because three cards generally eliminates all microstutter. If you only have two pci-e slots then wait for the official release of the Radeon HD 7990 and add a 7970 to it for a tri-fire.
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September 6, 2012 6:13:00 AM

Can anyone answer my questions here:


Hmm, still kinda undecided. But i'm leaning towards an ATI solution now. Is there a difference between the Gigahertz edition non-reference cards vs the normal non-reference cards for 7970? No one has confirmed it yet, are there any hardware difference? From what I know (i'm not sure if i'm right), the only difference is the bios (increased voltage and clock speed). Also is the gigabyte, msi, or asus version the quietest?
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a c 185 U Graphics card
September 6, 2012 6:50:59 AM

theLiminator said:
Can anyone answer my questions here:


Hmm, still kinda undecided. But i'm leaning towards an ATI solution now. Is there a difference between the No one has confirmed it yet, are there any hardware difference? From what I know (i'm not sure if i'm right), the only difference is the bios (increased voltage and clock speed). Also is the gigabyte, msi, or asus version the quietest?
Yes the non-reference is highly factory overclocked and built better runs quieter as well as cooler also are you reading all the reply's Quote: "BigMack70
already mentioned The Lightning is not a quiet card, so if noise is a concern, I'd steer clear of it. The DCUII is probably the quietest but it's not a good card for crossfire - I'd recommend the Gigabyte Windforce 7970 out of that list". Anyway get one of these:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAPPHIRE beast Vapor-X ^

http://www.techpowerup.com/159003/ASUS-Radeon-HD-7970-D...

asus monster direct cu II ^

http://www.techpowerup.com/158987/Gigabyte-s-Custom-Coo...

or the gigabyte tri fan ^





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September 6, 2012 6:13:28 PM

What's the difference between non-ref ghz edition and non ref normal?
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a c 185 U Graphics card
September 7, 2012 3:07:26 AM

Runs cooler and quieter as far i know
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