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660ti, 7870 or 7950 and why?

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September 12, 2012 4:49:00 AM

http://pc.ncix.com/ncixpc/ncixpc_print.cfm?uuid=70A1A53...|1-33130|1-69230|1-58955|2-60883|1-52176|1-58746|1-49597|1-33602|1-33601|1-6024|1-7842|1

This is my new future build so far. I'll be getting all these parts but not graphics card I'll be using an older EVGA GTX 285 for now until I can save enough money for a new GPU.
Also, feel free to give input on my other specs like advice or recommendations..

So my question is which graphics card? Also, why is the 660ti so much cheaper than the 7870 and 7950 if it gets significantly better FPS in most benchmarks? I hear the 660 ti has a crappy memory interface or something so antialiasing wouldn't do too well on it but hey what do I know?


So, thoughts?

More about : 660ti 7870 7950

September 12, 2012 5:04:20 AM

so howcome in all benchmarks i see the 660ti beats the 7870 and in others its about equal to the 7950, and yet its like 40 dollars cheaper?

I'm fairly sold on the 7950 as an allround powerhouse card but I'm just confused on that one price issue.
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September 12, 2012 5:06:09 AM

Because, in most (if not all of those benchmarks) there's alot of bias that appears. There's also the fact that everyone of those benchmarks ran the HD 7950 at stock clocks. If you overclock the HD 7950, you're looking at speeds similar to that of a gtx 670 and possibly even a hd 7970.

In reality, the gtx 660 ti is around the level of a hd 7870...especially with it's limited 192 bit memory bus.
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September 12, 2012 5:12:21 AM

okay, I'm not too keen on depending on an overclocked video card.. but do you think my PSU could handle an OC 7950? I'd probably be getting the gigabyte one with 3 fans to be able to cool it properly.
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September 12, 2012 5:39:36 AM

I'm assuming you're talking about the Seasonic M12 PSU in the link you listed above...

If so, then that is a definite yes! It'll handle it no problem.
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September 12, 2012 5:56:43 AM

okay sick, thanks!
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September 12, 2012 6:06:18 AM

looks like i'll overclock it then..
so i think i'll probably get the XFX one
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
*I'm in canada btw

the stock clock is 800mhz so should i try to 900mhz or 1ghz? does that make a big difference? i honestly have no idea when OCing graphics cards
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a c 106 U Graphics card
September 12, 2012 6:08:54 AM

sharki9876 said:
looks like i'll overclock it then..
so i think i'll probably get the XFX one
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
*I'm in canada btw

the stock clock is 800mhz so should i try to 900mhz or 1ghz? does that make a big difference? i honestly have no idea when OCing graphics cards


900 mhz is the official standard of reference model 7950s post bios change now. the gcn architecture is very easy to overclock and can overclock pretty heavily without changing voltages.

here was an interesting video posted by a user earlier which compares a 7950, a reference 670, a normal 660ti and a msi 660ti power edition all overclocked which sheds some light on a more practical realtime post overclock performance

tl;dr if you dont feel like watching the video:

if you want a 660ti, the msi power edition is the only one you want, as it has unlocked voltages which helps dearly with performance gain(at the cost of heat). Its great in general games that dont use heavy Anti Aliasing(the video used skyrim as an example, Bf3 will also run nicely on a 660ti). though it shows its colors a bit with games like Crysis and Metro 2033, where the performance is neutered compared to higher bus width cards.


Essentially what the video is going at:

the MSI 660ti PE can be as good as a reference OC 670, except in games where the bus size really matters. the 7950 can be the same, except a bit more efficient in minimum fps through a larger number of titles as the only thing that can really hold it back is a game that was optimized for nvidia or uses more shaders(majority of the games) rather than tessellation.
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a c 185 U Graphics card
September 12, 2012 6:21:17 AM

It's because to many on this forum sip red or green kool aid a bit to much the truth is here i finally found this out myself the other day and it's about as close to the truth you'll get imo Quote:
"As it stands, AMD’s position correctly reflects their performance; the GTX 660 Ti is a solid and relatively consistent 10-15% faster than the 7870, while the 7950 is anywhere between a bit faster to a bit slower depending on what benchmarks you favor. Of course when talking about the 7950 the “anything but equal” maxim still applies here, if not more so than with the GTX 670. The GTX 660 Ti is anywhere 50% ahead of the 7950 and 25% behind it, and everywhere in between. Coupled with the tight pricing between all of these cards, this makes it very hard to make any kind of meaningful recommendation here for potential buyers. Compared to the 7870 the GTX 660 Ti is a solid buy if you can spare the extra $20, though it’s not going to be a massive difference. The performance difference is going to be just enough that AMD is going to need to trim prices a bit more to secure the 7870’s position.On the other hand due to the constant flip-flopping of the GTX 660 Ti and 7950 on our benchmarks there is no sure-fire recommendation to hand down there. If we had to pick something, on a pure performance-per-dollar basis the 7950 looks good both now and in the future; in particular we suspect it’s going to weather newer games better than the GTX 660 Ti and its relatively narrow memory bus. But the moment efficiency and power consumption start being important the GTX 660 Ti is unrivaled, and this is a position that is only going to improve in the future when 7950B cards start replacing 7950 cards. For reasons like that there are a couple of niches one card or another serves particularly well, such as overclocking with the 7950, but ultimately unless you have a specific need either card will serve you well enough." Source: http://www.anandtech.com/show/6159/the-geforce-gtx-660-...
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September 12, 2012 6:27:25 AM

bigcyco1 said:
It's because to many on this forum sip red or green kool aid a bit to much the truth is here i finally found this out myself the other day and it's about as good as close to the truth you get imo Quote:
"As it stands, AMD’s position correctly reflects their performance; the GTX 660 Ti is a solid and relatively consistent 10-15% faster than the 7870, while the 7950 is anywhere between a bit faster to a bit slower depending on what benchmarks you favor. Of course when talking about the 7950 the “anything but equal” maxim still applies here, if not more so than with the GTX 670. The GTX 660 Ti is anywhere 50% ahead of the 7950 and 25% behind it, and everywhere in between. Coupled with the tight pricing between all of these cards, this makes it very hard to make any kind of meaningful recommendation here for potential buyers. Compared to the 7870 the GTX 660 Ti is a solid buy if you can spare the extra $20, though it’s not going to be a massive difference. The performance difference is going to be just enough that AMD is going to need to trim prices a bit more to secure the 7870’s position.On the other hand due to the constant flip-flopping of the GTX 660 Ti and 7950 on our benchmarks there is no sure-fire recommendation to hand down there. If we had to pick something, on a pure performance-per-dollar basis the 7950 looks good both now and in the future; in particular we suspect it’s going to weather newer games better than the GTX 660 Ti and its relatively narrow memory bus. But the moment efficiency and power consumption start being important the GTX 660 Ti is unrivaled, and this is a position that is only going to improve in the future when 7950B cards start replacing 7950 cards. For reasons like that there are a couple of niches one card or another serves particularly well, such as overclocking with the 7950, but ultimately unless you have a specific need either card will serve you well enough." Source: http://www.anandtech.com/show/6159/the-geforce-gtx-660-...



So, given that info, should I save ~$30 and go for a 660ti or get a 7950 which, according to your quote there, isnt even better most of the time?
I wanna play games like battlefield 3 on max settings in multiplayer so this is all quite important to me.
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a c 106 U Graphics card
September 12, 2012 6:30:36 AM

sharki9876 said:
So, given that info, should I save ~$30 and go for a 660ti or get a 7950 which, according to your quote there, isnt even better most of the time?
I wanna play games like battlefield 3 on max settings in multiplayer so this is all quite important to me.



essentially, if you want to focus on battlefield 3, have good performance past a 7950 like 30% of some of them(margins vary) the 660ti(preferably MSI PE) is enough. the only time where the 7950 loves to shine its colors is when a game is intensive tesselation wise(hence i mentioned Metro 2033(and its sequel later) as well as crysis to some extent, because the bus limits the speed heavily


toms memory interface test today shows the levels when the 660ti starts to fall off, Batman wise, its 4-8x MSAA(where in 8x msaa at 1920x1080, apparently they had a crossfire 7750 beat the 660ti).


So all in all, its judgment on the % of heavy anti aliasing games you play that will guide your decision. do you want the card that does extremely well at most games, and slightly underaverage at others, or would you pick one which is more rounded in linear performance(sometimes better, sometimes worse, but doesnt drop down to 660ti's low point level) at the same settings through all resolutions.
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a c 185 U Graphics card
September 12, 2012 6:30:59 AM

sharki9876 said:
So, given that info, should I save ~$30 and go for a 660ti or get a 7950 which, according to your quote there, isnt even better most of the time?
I wanna play games like battlefield 3 on max settings in multiplayer so this is all quite important to me.
read ths thread had all kinds of points as to which to get http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/369131-33-660ti-7950#
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September 12, 2012 6:36:30 AM

SOMEONE MAKE A DECISION FOR ME
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a c 106 U Graphics card
September 12, 2012 6:38:16 AM

no one can really ask which card you want, both do fine in different situations. you choice. I'm just saying, if you want a 660ti, get the MSI power edition as the only choice if you ever want to push it a bit.
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a c 185 U Graphics card
September 12, 2012 6:40:47 AM

sharki9876 said:
SOMEONE MAKE A DECISION FOR ME
I will if you want doesn't mean i am making right one though just i think i am it's up to you ;) 
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a c 106 U Graphics card
September 12, 2012 6:41:05 AM

bigcyco1 said:
I will if you want doesn't mean i am making right one though just i think i am it's up to you ;) 


the right choice is the Riva TNT of course -3-
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September 12, 2012 6:41:27 AM

clearly one card is better than the other. right?

which card is better at stock clocks (atleast 90% of the time?)
and
which card is better when you overclock it a fair amount (atleast 90% of the time)

also maybe which has better bang for buck value
i can also get borderlands 2 free with a 660ti so should that sway my decision?
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a c 185 U Graphics card
September 12, 2012 6:47:17 AM

dudewitbow said:
the right choice is the Riva TNT of course -3-
The right choice is for him to list all games he plays then his monitor res and i we will help him pick what's best for him screw the red team green team bs :D 
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a c 106 U Graphics card
September 12, 2012 6:49:05 AM

sharki9876 said:
clearly one card is better than the other. right?

which card is better at stock clocks (atleast 90% of the time?)
and
which card is better when you overclock it a fair amount (atleast 90% of the time)

also maybe which has better bang for buck value
i can also get borderlands 2 free with a 660ti so should that sway my decision?



neither is overall better.

thats the point where were getting at. the 660ti wins in games that are nvidia sponsored(usually, except ones with alot of Anti Aliasing going on). which is a good majority of the game, but does pretty terribly for its price on the games that stress the memory bus. the 7950 is overall more consistent(min fps), but doesnt push past the max fps of the 660ti on shading based games rather than tesselation. At stock, the 660ti is better in my opinion, the GCN(amds 7k series design) is worthless if you do not overclock it at all. they all are heavily underclocked for reasons of OEMS trying to make an extra buck by selling OC varients.





As the question of "better for the buck," that question can only be answered by listing EVERY game you plan to play. any ratio for bang to buck is biased on the fact of game choice. For instance, if you wanted to play Skyrim and Bf3, the 660ti will win(except for maybe modded skyrim, then it would probably lose). If you add Metro 2033(its sequel and most likely crysis' sequel as well) to the question, then the curve starts to shift in favor of the 7950.
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a c 185 U Graphics card
September 12, 2012 6:49:19 AM

Don't rush things the best way to help you is for you to tell us more info it's not a matter of which card is faster it's a matter of your needs There are a few issues: 1) People make claims without backing it up with proof, 2) People make blanket statements, when the reality is that certain games favor certain hardware, 3) People make a few FPS advantage seem like a "win", when it usually falls within the margin of error and makes no difference in terms of performance.Let's not sip on the red or green kool aid to hard mate and pick what best for you.;) P.S. Video cards are so much more than just FPS. It is a larger construct of value proposition based upon your desired level of gaming.


1. What is the best playable experience I can get with current games with THIS card?
2. What is the power draw for THIS card?
3. How is the driver support for THIS card?
4. How loud is THIS card?
5. How much does THIS card cost?
6. How is the vendor support/warranty for THIS card?
those are some of the basic things you should ask when looking to buy a card.
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September 12, 2012 6:50:55 AM

7950? 7950?

7950!

7950.
besides, i can't see myself in a world without antialiasing. thats the whole point of me getting this upgrade.
also, i still can't help but see the 660 as a bit of a baby card, probably cuz of the size

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September 12, 2012 6:53:10 AM

also, my friend switched over to nvidia from his old 5670. he said he chose not to go with ATi anymore because they had crappy drivers and the catalyst control center is hard to use or something.
is this true?
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a c 185 U Graphics card
September 12, 2012 6:53:48 AM

sharki9876 said:
7950? 7950?

7950!

7950.
besides, i can't see myself in a world without antialiasing. thats the whole point of me getting this upgrade.
also, i still can't help but see the 660 as a bit of a baby card, probably cuz of the size
Prove it first then we will worry about it otherwise blanket statements :whistle: 
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a c 106 U Graphics card
September 12, 2012 6:56:45 AM

sharki9876 said:
7950? 7950?

7950!

7950.
besides, i can't see myself in a world without antialiasing. thats the whole point of me getting this upgrade.
also, i still can't help but see the 660 as a bit of a baby card, probably cuz of the size



kepler cards tend to be more power effecient. The only thing I didnt like about how nvidia did their cards is that its more or less so far, a gk 104, cut down twice, instead of designing a new model(sorta like a transition that amd uses from tahiti(7900 series) to Picairn(7800 series) where since its a different card, amd doesnt really need to set it back. The 660ti is how it is only because if it were any better, buying a 670 or 680 would be pointless, hence why the only choice nvidia had was to cut the memory bus.



as for the driver question, ive heard it both ways. Most people suffer Nvidia to AMD card driver problems because its a more common route many people take.(as most people start out with an nvidia card first because they were recommended it by the majority). But there have been several times an AMD user who switched had nvidia driver problems as well. This generation of cards, both sides have been plagued by random encounters of bad drivers.
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a c 185 U Graphics card
September 12, 2012 6:58:58 AM

I am going to be putting a stop to the fanboy non sense s o both teams should know ahead a time ain't going to happen on my watch tired of your bs both make top notch cards.
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a c 106 U Graphics card
September 12, 2012 7:01:04 AM

bigcyco1 said:
I am going to be putting a stop to the fanboy non sense s o both teams should know ahead a time ain't going to happen on my watch tired of your bs both make top notch cards.



if a person only presents facts from one side only, thats already a red flag that the information should be taken less seriously.
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a c 185 U Graphics card
September 12, 2012 7:01:34 AM

dudewitbow said:
if a person only presents facts from one side only, thats already a red flag that the information should be taken less seriously.
I never thought of it that way but i actually agree with you :) 
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a c 185 U Graphics card
September 12, 2012 7:09:48 AM

This is what i would do if your gaming on 1920 nothing higher get the card dudewitbow mentioned if your planing gaming on his res monitor or doing anything else like use OpenCL applications, transcoding, WPA/WEP Cracking, RAR Cracking, Bitcoin Mining etc than it really better to get (7950).
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September 12, 2012 7:18:47 AM

well i dont know what 80% of that is but maybe I can translate that into the 7950 being a better allround dependable graphics processing unit and not just something that can max out bf3.. It's clearly a more beefy card anyway.
also, idunno if you guys checked out the link i originally posted but do you think the 7950 will run well with a stock clock 3570 i5? no bottlenecks or nuthin?
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September 12, 2012 7:24:09 AM

yeah both the 7870 and 7950 are on my radar but if i can spare the extra bucks i know what to get.
I was actually going to get an FX 8150 8 core but so many people advised against that so I caved and decided I'll be getting an ivy bridge 3570.
lets hope its as much of an improvement as everybody raves about
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a c 106 U Graphics card
September 12, 2012 7:25:18 AM

if a i3/965 be can use a 7970 to some extent, any sandybridge/ivy bridge i5 can do better.
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a c 185 U Graphics card
September 12, 2012 7:32:38 AM

sharki9876 said:
yeah both the 7870 and 7950 are on my radar but if i can spare the extra bucks i know what to get.
I was actually going to get an FX 8150 8 core but so many people advised against that so I caved and decided I'll be getting an ivy bridge 3570.
lets hope its as much of an improvement as everybody raves about
it is not much better than a i5-2500k some say it's 15% better but it's not stock vs stock more like 7% roughly 10% lol i wouldn't buy it over i5-2500k but since you don't plan to overclock it's best for you i guess ;) 
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September 12, 2012 7:34:26 AM

yeah well i don't want to use a little bit i dont want any kind of bottlenecks
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September 12, 2012 7:39:33 AM

wait slow down maybe i will overclock.. :o 
but will an overclocked 2500k be a lot better than a stock clock 3570?
is that then worth the price?
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a c 106 U Graphics card
September 12, 2012 7:39:56 AM

if you take overclocking to account, the 2500k is almost exactally like the 3570k, as the 3570k is faster, but has a less max clock due to its heating curve. the advantage though of having an ivy bridge processor is native support for pci-e 3.0(which is only relavent in crossfire/sli situations) and a better memory controller.
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a c 185 U Graphics card
September 12, 2012 7:41:29 AM

dudewitbow said:
if you take overclocking to account, the 2500k is almost exactally like the 3570k, as the 3570k is faster, but has a less max clock due to its heating curve. the advantage though of having an ivy bridge processor is native support for pci-e 3.0(which is only relavent in crossfire/sli situations) and a better memory controller.
+1 he explained it perfect and correctly my god there is hope for this forum ;) 
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September 12, 2012 7:59:41 AM

so as a future prospect maybe i should get a 3570k because i might overclock a bit while taking advantage of the pci3 like you said as well as the ivy bridge.
its bedtime for me man goodnight. i guess i'll meditate on it or whatever
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a c 185 U Graphics card
September 12, 2012 8:01:10 AM

Good night
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September 12, 2012 8:04:30 AM

HD 7950 its a high end chip operating with purposely reduced clock. Get HD 7950 blindly move the slider to 1Ghz and power to +20 then you got a 7970/670 card
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a c 185 U Graphics card
September 12, 2012 8:12:51 AM

he doesn't even know how to overclock yet and with oc there no guarantee of that it is possible to oc to stock 670/7970 level but no guarantees in no way whatsoever can a 7950 best a 7970 or gtx 670 plus hes trying to get up enough money to get a intel cpu so i recommend he just get's the 7870 Hawk it's not as good as a 660 ti or 7950 but it's still a great card and you can max all current games on a single 1920 monitor.
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September 12, 2012 2:39:17 PM

lol thanks for understanding me so well. also, can you help explain or show me a good video that tells me the basics of overclocking GPUs and such?
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September 12, 2012 9:43:38 PM

Just in case you're still considering the 660ti, this quote came from tom's recent article on the different ones available...

"So, where does all of this leave Nvidia's GeForce GTX 660 Ti with its 192-bit memory interface? Definitely behind AMD's Radeon HD 7950, which is just a better-balanced offering all around. Depending on how much the game you're running stresses the GPU, and if anti-aliasing is enabled, even the less expensive Radeon HD 7870 could be a better choice. This is mostly the case for poorly-optimized console ports lacking DirectX 11 support."
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-660-ti-...

Check out the rest of the article if you want. It makes for a good read.
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September 12, 2012 10:24:06 PM

I have a question. I guess this refers to videocard overclocking but when someone says theyre running their 7950 at 950/1350, what does that mean? What are each of those respective numbers and how are they important?
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a c 106 U Graphics card
September 13, 2012 12:23:46 AM

sharki9876 said:
I have a question. I guess this refers to videocard overclocking but when someone says theyre running their 7950 at 950/1350, what does that mean? What are each of those respective numbers and how are they important?

the smaller number is core clock, the bigger number is memory clock. Coreclock is the graphical processing speed. the memory clock is like speed in which data is then transferred somewhere else.
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September 13, 2012 2:43:29 AM

okay and how is each feature important to gaming or overall performance?
is memory good for high resolutions or something or are they both for the same general thing
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September 13, 2012 3:00:25 AM

sharki9876 said:
okay and how is each feature important to gaming or overall performance?
is memory good for high resolutions or something or are they both for the same general thing


Well, for example, we very well know the 660ti has a limited memory bus. So it fails at antialiasing heavy games. By increasing the memory clock, you can help alleviate the problem by making the memory faster. A core clock increase generally increases performance but the performance will be wasted if the memory can't keep up with the core. So it is best to overclock both. I think I have my facts right.
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