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Amd radeon hd7670 M 1GB vs nvidia gt630 M 2 GB

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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September 9, 2012 2:30:01 PM

Hello, i got two brands of laptops to choose from, both have same specs but different GPUs

1 has: AMD Radeon HD7670M 1GB
2 has: Nvidia GT630M 2GB

I do understand that the HD7670M does outperform the GT630M by a bit on the benchmarks. But the thing is this GT630M has 2GB while the HD7670M has only 1GB...

If both had 2GB, i would have obviously gone for the HD7670M. Unfortunately thats not the case in my situation.

Thus the dilemma..

Btw how does the number of unified shaders make a difference? The HD7670M has 480 shaders, while the GT630M has 96 shaders, but the HD7670M's shader speed is at 600mhz and the GT630M's is at 1344mhz ....

Help me decide
a b U Graphics card
September 9, 2012 2:58:11 PM

THe 2GB isn't going to do you any good in those kinds of cards.

The VRAM determines what resolutions and AA settings you can run, but since both of those cards only have 8 rops and I think about 20 texture mapping units, you will run out of pixel and texture pushing power long before you can fill all that VRAM to make use of it. Shaders do not determine (generally) the usefulness of VRAM.

Higher amounts of VRAM on low end cards are marketing gimmicks, don't fall for it. 1GB is plenty, especially if it is GDDR5 (avoid DDR3 generation ram on lower ends cards like the plaque).
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September 9, 2012 2:59:13 PM

AMD wins on this one ;)  ..
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September 9, 2012 8:51:20 PM

Damn, sadly both of the GPU's vram is ddr3, whats the difference when it comes to gddr5?
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September 9, 2012 9:00:46 PM

But both GPUs are nearly the same... when comparing with benchmarks. Theres only a few frames per second differences.

Enlighten me more about the number of unified shaders. Does it have to do with the quality/details/depth of the graphics?
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a b U Graphics card
September 9, 2012 9:40:28 PM

I'm guessing you are about to buy a laptop ? There is two 77xxM series with GDDR5 and 640/650M with GDDR5 on mid range laptops.
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a b U Graphics card
September 9, 2012 9:42:17 PM

rossrosh007 said:
But both GPUs are nearly the same... when comparing with benchmarks. Theres only a few frames per second differences.

Enlighten me more about the number of unified shaders. Does it have to do with the quality/details/depth of the graphics?


GDDR5 has 4 data transfers per clock, whereas DDR3 has 2. Lower cost GPUs usually have small silicon die surface areas, so with a limited surface area, the most important things are ROPS, Shaders and TMUs. Memory controller is usually cut in half from their bigger counterparts to 128 bits, and making up for this loss in memory bandwidth is higher speed ram, thus GDDR5. GDDR5 at 4-5 effective Ghz can feed 8-16 ROPS and 20-40 TMUs.

As far as shaders are concerned, they are somewhat generalized computational units that can apply any number of non-fixed (newer) or fixed (older) effects onto existing pixels. For example, realistic reflections is not part of texture maps, so it is best produced by targeting pixels which are part of the reflective surface, and have their colour values changed by a reflection algorithm (that depends on the angle of view, the supposed angle of light, the local texture content, and the properties of the virtual reflective surface) that computes the final value of the pixel. Water for example, is rendered this way. Basically, a pixel has a colour value, and the texture mapper adds any number of textures in a continuous range of transparent-translucent-opaque fashion to the pixel depending on the geometry underlying the pixel, and then any other alterations to the pixel is done by the shaders. That's what shaders do (when doing pixel shading).

So in games, you have settings which can, for example simulate water flowing down a wall, goo on the ground, realistic shadows, reflections, different types of metallic surfaces, etc, etc. All of those are typically done with shaders. When something isn't important to do a live-shading, simpler methods are used to approximate the end result, so you can have static models too.

Shaders can also manipulate vertices (geometry). So in the old says you used to have vertex shaders, which are now part of the generalized shaders. The idea is simple, you allow geometry to change, based on any number of things, so that you can deform surfaces, generate surfaces which have a complex geometry, etc, etc...

Now days, all of this general manipulation of pixel values, both geometry and colour value are done on generalized shaders.

The best way to explain to you what changing settings related to shaders do in games visually is to remember what Quake 3, Half Life, DeusEx 1, UT99, etc looked back in the days of <DX8 and earlier revisions of OpenGL. THey tend to have a more obviously "game" type of graphics to them that looks more angular, more uniform, and less dynamic and varied type of visual, that is obviously (visually) non-realistic (although the games themselves can be very good). Compare that with modern games, most of what shaders can do have been used to bring more pseudo-realism to games by enhancing visual effects by effectively approximating reality (reflections, etc, etc).
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September 10, 2012 5:25:29 AM

maxx_power thanks for broadening my mind on that. Yup about to buy one, any idea which laptop sports an i5 2.5ghz and one of those GPUs you mentioned (hopefully under $600), hate investing a lot in laptops these days, gets old real fast
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a b U Graphics card
September 10, 2012 2:10:38 PM

rossrosh007 said:
maxx_power thanks for broadening my mind on that. Yup about to buy one, any idea which laptop sports an i5 2.5ghz and one of those GPUs you mentioned (hopefully under $600), hate investing a lot in laptops these days, gets old real fast



I know what you mean that these things get outdated fast.

This one is on sale this week in Canada, where are you located ?

http://www.futureshop.ca/en-CA/product/samsung-samsung-...

Here is one from the US with a 630m, slower than the 640m....

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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September 11, 2012 3:48:12 AM

I'm currently in Thailand. The deal im getting here for a $600 samsung is crap compared to that one in futureshop. this one over here is 14", i5-3210, 4gb 1600mhz, 750gb, hd7670m 1gb, with the worst wireless card (atheros ar9485wb-eg) and the worst quality webcam for a notebook for this generation a 0.3mp! also not to mention no OS.

Oh how i miss futureshop. Thanks again for the find maxx_power

what you recon of the acer v3-471g series? 14" i5-3210, 4gb, 750gb, gt630m 2 gb, atheros wb222 wireless card, 1.3mp hd webcam
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a b U Graphics card
September 11, 2012 2:32:06 PM

rossrosh007 said:
I'm currently in Thailand. The deal im getting here for a $600 samsung is crap compared to that one in futureshop. this one over here is 14", i5-3210, 4gb 1600mhz, 750gb, hd7670m 1gb, with the worst wireless card (atheros ar9485wb-eg) and the worst quality webcam for a notebook for this generation a 0.3mp! also not to mention no OS.

Oh how i miss futureshop. Thanks again for the find maxx_power

what you recon of the acer v3-471g series? 14" i5-3210, 4gb, 750gb, gt630m 2 gb, atheros wb222 wireless card, 1.3mp hd webcam


The Acer looks fine specs wise. I prefer Acer to HP and Dell actually. Is it a good deal ?
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September 11, 2012 3:37:24 PM

Yea HP has a lot of heat issues. Dell is pretty good but for the same price of the HP/Acer the specs are low
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a b U Graphics card
September 11, 2012 6:48:37 PM

rossrosh007 said:
Yea HP has a lot of heat issues. Dell is pretty good but for the same price of the HP/Acer the specs are low


I just serviced an HP g60 laptop recently and it turns out the horrible heatsink design combined with a single bottom air intake allowed the temperatures around the fan to rise so much that the fan cooked it self (bearing wise).

The heatsink had a heatpipe, but unlike other laptop designs, this heatpipe goes directly in the center of the heatsink, fully in the center of the air flow path. Over usage, a lot of dust/fibers are clogged at this heatpipe/heatsink junction because the air pushes anything it carries directly at this heatpipe (where as in most other laptops, the heatpipe is underneath or above the heatsink fins, to ensure a good air flow path). To make matters worse, the single intake is directly underneath the fan. This means if you use your laptop literally, on a lap, or say a non-desk surface, it'll pick up a lot of dust and fibers that have accumulated on clothes, beds, etc, compounding the issue.

And oh yes, the overall design is overly plastic, many small pieces of individual mouldings all hodge-podged together to make it look okay.

Anyways, try the Acer, I guess.
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September 11, 2012 7:11:28 PM

Appreciate it maxx_powers, thanks for all ur help. 1st time for an acer, Here I GO!
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a b U Graphics card
September 11, 2012 7:47:30 PM

rossrosh007 said:
Appreciate it maxx_powers, thanks for all ur help. 1st time for an acer, Here I GO!


Best of luck to you! Cheers!
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September 19, 2012 5:20:30 PM

Maxx_Power said:
Best of luck to you! Cheers!

Hey Maxx_power, any idea which games would utilize more than 1GB of graphics ram?

So far playing on the Acer v3-471G with 2GB, i only seen battlefield and modern warfare 3 use up to about 800MB...

Does the amount of graphics ram affect performance in relation to playing on a big screen such as a large hdmi lcd tv?
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a b U Graphics card
September 19, 2012 6:37:30 PM

rossrosh007 said:
Hey Maxx_power, any idea which games would utilize more than 1GB of graphics ram?

So far playing on the Acer v3-471G with 2GB, i only seen battlefield and modern warfare 3 use up to about 800MB...

Does the amount of graphics ram affect performance in relation to playing on a big screen such as a large hdmi lcd tv?


The amount of VRAM used depends on the game (textures mostly) and the resolution you play at plus the VRAM dependent quality settings, mostly anti-aliasing. So playing on a TV, it depends on the TV's resolution, and not the physical size (diagonal size). Most TV's have either 1080p or 720p compatible resolutions, which means that the most frequently used TV resolutions are 1920x1080 and 1280x720. The VRAM usage of the TV in either case is identical to when you use a monitor and use those same resolutions. The VRAM usage (as well as other portions of the GPU), depends on the resolution (when the game is fixed) and not at all what interface (DVI, VGA, HDMI, etc) you use.

To be able to use all that VRAM (2GB), you must be able to use that information stored in the VRAm quickly (say, textures). So if you are sampling a large amount of textures for anti-aliasing, and the texture that needs to be stored in the VRAM doubles, so suppose that you are using 1GB originally, but with AA, you are now using 2GB, the capacity is not a problem, since you have 2GB, but whether or not you are able to use that capacity at a quick speed determines your frame rates. Doing AA requires a lot of render back end operations (usually NOT related to shaders) like ROPs and TMUs, if you have only so many ROPs and TMUs (particularly limited in the case of lower end cards), then you can only sample those stored textures in VRAM so fast. So although you HAVE 2GB of vram to store those textures, you CAN'T make use of them fast enough because the GPU haven't enough BASIC rendering resources (not shading).

The same thing happens when the VRAM is particularly slow. In that case, the GPU is fast because it has a lot of functional units, but can't get access to information stored in the VRAM fast enough, due to the slow speed of the VRAM relative to the GPU processing speed.

BOTH of these happens (most of the time) when you see something like a 76xx, 66xx, even 77xx (or equivalently, the <660 Nvidia models) series of cards coupled with >1GB of VRAM. Since in most cases, the vendors increase the amount of VRAm, but reduce the speed, which usually means changing from GDDR5 (quad data rate) to DDR3 (double data rate), and dropping speeds some what, meaning you usually have <1/2 the memory bandwidth of a 1GB card with GDDR5. It is a marketing attempt to lure people to larger numbers.

Lastly, any game that can use >512MB of VRAM has the POTENTIAL to make use of >1GB of VRAM, if you really turn up the texture resolutions (if you have that setting), and/or turn up the AA. BUT, as I have said above, whether or not that extra VRAM is beneficial to you, depends on the resolution, the speed of the VRAM, the number of render back ends in the GPU (usually ROPs+TMUs), the way the game makes use of the GPU (balance of shader and render back end operations).

Vendors usually get away with using DDR3 VRAm where GDDR5 should be used for optimal performance in laptops (and portables, all-in-ones) because:

A) The resolution of the panels are LOW in consumer laptops (~720p/ most common), so the VRAM speed drop is not as noticeable (as resolution is low).

B) Slower speed VRAM uses less power, even if the capacity is twice that of the faster VRAM. DDR3 and GDDR5 at the same base frequency has a power consumption that is higher with GDDR5 (they operate at similar voltage ranges).

C) It is just plain cheaper, and most won't notice until....
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September 19, 2012 10:08:51 PM

Both should have similar Performance.

I can overclock my 7670M to 780Mhz Core and 1170 Memory without much crashing and can push 3Dmark11 to 1500.

http://www.3dmark.com/compare/3dm11/4372220/3dm11/44206...

The 3d Graphics performance will be similar between 7670M and GT630M, however, GT630M paired with intel cpu will have superior physics performance.

The translation of these bench results to gaming is up for debate.

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September 20, 2012 4:28:38 AM

Best answer selected by rossrosh007.
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September 20, 2012 4:49:31 PM

Thanks again Maxx_power for the well detailed explanation.

Fellas I read that the gt630m is a repackaged/re-branded version of a previous model, any idea which one?
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a c 271 U Graphics card
a b À AMD
a c 171 Î Nvidia
September 20, 2012 6:06:29 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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