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Msi 7970 Lightning vs MSI 670 PE

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a b U Graphics card
September 13, 2012 9:03:43 AM

Hey guys, pretty much narrowed it down to these two cards.

The 670 PE 2GB is available for $500 at a shop in AUS, while the 7970 Lightning 3GB is available for $550.

I'm happy to pay the extra 50, if its worth it. I am currently playing at 1080p, but at December when I plan to purchase it, I'll also be getting a 1440p monitor.

I really want to get the 7970, but somehow the PhysX and Cuda stuff I see draws me in, but since I'll be playing at 1440p the 3GB on the 7970 draws me in as well.

I will be planning to overclock, but is the Lightning version worth it for the Ocing? (Are all 7970's voltage unlocked?). Also, which 7970 is the best one? The DCUII TOP 7970 is $530, but is clocked much lower than the 7970.

Please give me your opinions.

Many Thanks

~JJ1217
September 13, 2012 10:24:52 AM

The 7970 lightning if you want to overclock, otherwise just get a 7970 ghz edition something like a Sapphire HD 7970 Ghz Edition VaporX version will do nicely.

If you want to game at Ultra detail but limited AA and AF as well as other eyecandies, then the GTX 670, anything 4XMSAA upward your choice is simple a Radeon.
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September 13, 2012 10:48:04 AM

Asus sadly are overpriced for the relevant performance, it is a very nice card, remember testing one...very silent.
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a c 185 U Graphics card
September 13, 2012 10:59:41 AM

^ Yeah the reason why i was thinking it's maybe better is because one of my friends him and his brother have 7970 and 670 PE the one brother has Sapphire HD 7970 Ghz Edition VaporX and the other has MSI GTX 670 Power Edition Twin Frozr IV in the tests they ran against each other the cards traded blows no clear winner they both were pissed neither of their cards spanked the other lol
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a b U Graphics card
September 13, 2012 11:09:01 AM

Is the Asus 7970 Voltage unlocked? I'm looking for a cool, silent build, I'm pairing it with my NZXT Phantom.
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a b U Graphics card
September 13, 2012 11:16:11 AM

The 3GB is only really need for 3 monitors. The 670 should have faster frame rates. I saw a benchmarkof power edition beating reference 680. I am currently considering the 670 and am in Aus. Where did you find that price?
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a c 185 U Graphics card
September 13, 2012 11:30:16 AM

JJ1217 said:
Is the Asus 7970 Voltage unlocked? I'm looking for a cool, silent build, I'm pairing it with my NZXT Phantom.
I am not sure i am just going by what professional reliable review sites claim i never try the card or seen it in action before sorry.
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a b U Graphics card
September 13, 2012 11:32:54 AM

The Power Edition is $500 at PCCG, and the 7970 which I'm most likely to get, is $550 at Skycomp. happy shopping. The problem is I doubt 2GB is going to be enough at 1440P maxed out, and 3GB is alot more future proof with a higher memory bandwidth as well. Its cooler and more efficient, and I'd love to get the DCII 7970, but I've heard its voltages are locked for some reason, which completely defeats the fact of getting such a good cooler.
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a c 185 U Graphics card
September 13, 2012 11:41:13 AM

Yeah on that res 7970 is the way to go imo.
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a c 185 U Graphics card
September 13, 2012 1:42:04 PM

BigMack70 said:
At a $50 premium over a 670, the Lightning is worth it for 1440p gaming.

It's a good overclocker, but what you really pay for is the longevity of the card - the better components/power circuitry means less chance of a VRM blowing up in a year or two if you overclock (compared to like the ASUS DCUII).

The Lightning also has the best all around cooling solution available, since it has great cooling not only on the GPU chip itself but also the memory and VRMs. I think only the Sapphire Vapor-X cooler comes close to it. The DCUII is a great cooler on the chip but not as much on the VRMs and memory.

Downsides of the lightning:
-Unlikely to OC any higher than cheaper custom 7970s. ~1200 MHz seems to be the threshold for custom 7970s.
-It's kinda loud when overvolted and overclocked. If you're planning on OC'ing this thing to the limit, I hope you game with headphones.
-Power draw is absolutely freaking insane... this thing can suck down 350W of juice when overclocked.

If you were gaming at 1080p, I'd say that it's a pick-em between the 670 PE OC and the 7970 Lightning at those price points, but since you're going 1440p, the Lightning is a great choice. 3GB vram will help at 1440p.

CUDA is meaningless for gaming and PhysX is only used in like 2 games. If you know you're only going to be playing something like Batman:AC and Borderlands 2, go ahead and get Nvidia, but otherwise PhysX is nothing but a marketing gimmick.
lol there more than two games your drinking to much red kool aid today bud :lol:  but yes at that res i recommend the 7970 as well OP he owns the card so he knows what it can do :) 
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a b U Graphics card
September 13, 2012 2:05:44 PM

Sweet, someone who actually has the card I'm looking for. Benchmark wise, how does this card perform compared to the 670? Comprehensively, or barely? The GTX 680 Lightning is also available for $600, and again I wouldn't mind paying $50 more since I can overclock that card again. But since the lightning doesn't get especially special overclocks, would I be better off getting another cheaper card, or a GTX 680 lightning?

Thanks.
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September 13, 2012 2:43:50 PM

I am a two horse man at the moment, MSI Twin Frozr and Sapphire VaporX, and obviously Radeon :) 

Yup Physx and adaptive vsync. I will take my direct compute any day.

One thing that seems very small yet very big is Zero Core technology.
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a b U Graphics card
September 13, 2012 8:23:58 PM

Whats the best 7970 though? I really appreciate your help, but you saying that it overclocks no higher than other card really makes it seem pointless to buy that particular card. Since I'm going for a quiet/silent and cool build, would it be better to buy like a Gigabyte 7970 for $480 Ghz which is already overclocked at 1100 Core and 6000 memory, it seems too good to pass up on.

EDIT: When should we roughly expect the HD 8*** series? Any chance of it coming early next year? I feel like I am really only upgrading for Crysis 3, in which case I'm happy to wait until February to hear some news about it. I game right now on a 7850 from Sapphire, and that is currently more than enough, but when I get to 1440p I really doubt its going to do well.

Thanks.
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a b U Graphics card
September 13, 2012 9:24:33 PM

How about the Sapphire 3GB Vapor X version? Looks good, is the cooler any good?
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a c 185 U Graphics card
September 14, 2012 3:30:28 AM

BigMack70 said:
If you're only upgrading for Crysis 3, wait for it to come out and then upgrade to a new series card that handles it better - we should be seeing the next gen of cards around then (HD 8k / GTX 7xx series).

I myself am thinking of upgrading to a GTX 780 sometime next year.

Can't comment about AUS because I don't know the pricing structure of 7970s there, but the best 7970 right now in the US is the Sapphire 7970 Vapor-X GHz edition (it's available at $450, the Lightning is $480). The 7970 Lightning is definitely the best of the original 7970s, but a couple of the GHz edition cards are nicer.
+1 i would wait for next series only card that has impressed me was the Asus 670 Top which can't be found anywhere and would not game well on that high a res your best bet is waiting it out till next series or getting the Vapor-X ;) 
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a b U Graphics card
September 14, 2012 5:51:13 AM

Ok thanks. I'll probably wait and pick up an 8970 which I've been hearing is rumoured for Q1 2013. Many thanks
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a b U Graphics card
September 14, 2012 8:42:55 AM

Best answer selected by JJ1217.
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