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7950 OC the best bang for the buck at ~$300?

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September 25, 2012 4:40:25 PM

I am just wanting opinions, I want a high-end graphics card that will last a long time and run current games maxed with ease. I was going to go with the 7970ghz but it seemed like overkill, because the 7950oc is comparable and costs $100 less. should I go with the 7950 OC or is there a better option for around $200? I like the idea of overclocking it with my CPU so I can run games like crysis3, assassins creed 3, and far cry 3, and the 3gb of RAM is nice.

it'll go with an i5-3570k, 8gb of ram, the z77x-d3h, and a big fractal gaming case so compatibility won't be an issue

More about : 7950 bang buck 300

September 25, 2012 5:38:00 PM

The 7950 is definitely the value sweet spot right now imo (I think I will be getting one in the next few days). At 1080p you should have no problems at all with the 7950 for current games at max.
a b U Graphics card
September 25, 2012 5:57:57 PM

I'd go for a Sapphire 7950 over any 660 Ti at this price point. For PhysX users, I'd even go as far as to recommend a Radeon 7870 with a low end Nvidia card that would be used to process PhysX instead of the recommending a GTX 660 Ti.
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a c 172 U Graphics card
September 25, 2012 6:51:56 PM

Forget about anything Nvidia has to offer at that price and below. 7950 with a good overclock should keep you happy for a few years. If physx becomes an issue then a cheap gt430 or 8800gt to go with your 7950 will do more than enough :) 
a c 185 U Graphics card
September 25, 2012 7:23:30 PM

I would say yes a 7950 is best bang for your buck at the $300 price point then again professional reliable legit reviews seem to not agree though so it's hard to say i find this is prob most truthful 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."
http://www.anandtech.com/show/6159/the-geforce-gtx-660-... "BTW THIS REVIEW IS A MONTH OLD AND THEY HAVE LOWERED THE PRICE RECENTLY QUITE A BIT."
September 25, 2012 8:13:56 PM

rocktober said:
The 7950 is definitely the value sweet spot right now imo (I think I will be getting one in the next few days). At 1080p you should have no problems at all with the 7950 for current games at max.

lol really?.Try maxing out sleeping dogs with extreme AA.
a b U Graphics card
September 25, 2012 8:19:08 PM

cooldudesubho said:
lol really?.Try maxing out sleeping dogs with extreme AA.


When people say max out in this context, they generally don't refer to AA; they usually refer to maxing out texture settings.
September 25, 2012 8:37:09 PM

I've been shopping this segment, 7850 ($178), 7870 ($228), 7950 ($280), and have been swayed by this chart:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...

which shows the 7870 and 7950 on the same tier, both a single tier above the 7850. Looking at the pricing I'm not seeing it being worth $102 to move up one tier, nor $52 to stay in the same tier. Now I know this Tom's metric is rather loose and shouldn't be treated as gospel. I also know Tom recommended all three cards at their earlier in the month higher price-tags.

I'd like to hijack your thread a bit and ask the audience what makes a 7870 worth $50 more than a 7850, and what makes a 7950 worth $52 more than a 7870. There's probably a reason, but I don't know it. I think the 7950 has 3GB, but I don't understand why I need 3GB. If I were forced to buy today, I expect I'd get the cheap 7850 for my 1920x1200 rig, but I would like to understand what I'm really giving up by being cheap. My current card is a max overclocked stable 5670 because my 5770 SOC went RMA.
a c 185 U Graphics card
September 25, 2012 8:42:48 PM

toscrawford said:
I've been shopping this segment, 7850 ($178), 7870 ($228), 7950 ($280), and have been swayed by this chart:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...

which shows the 7870 and 7950 on the same tier, both a single tier above the 7850. Looking at the pricing I'm not seeing it being worth $102 to move up one tier, nor $52 to stay in the same tier. Now I know this Tom's metric is rather loose and shouldn't be treated as gospel. I also know Tom recommended all three cards at their earlier in the month higher price-tags.

I'd like to hijack your thread a bit and ask the audience what makes a 7870 worth $50 more than a 7850, and what makes a 7950 worth $52 more than a 7870. There's probably a reason, but I don't know it. I think the 7950 has 3GB, but I don't understand why I need 3GB. If I were forced to buy today, I expect I'd get the cheap 7850 for my 1920x1200 rig, but I would like to understand what I'm really giving up by being cheap. My current card is a max overclocked stable 5670 because my 5770 SOC went RMA.
Sorry but nobody can help without getting into trouble or banned it's against TH rules to do such things like bump posts and highjack others threads you can always open your own thread though ;) 
a b U Graphics card
September 25, 2012 8:47:29 PM

The 7870 has a roughly 15% performance advantage over the 7850 when running at the same GPU and memory clock frequencies and can generally clock around 10% higher than the 7850s with comparable cooling. Great 7870s are also often found only $10-20 more expensive (if that much) than many 7850s. The good 7950s have an even greater overclocking performance advantage over the 7870s and a roughly 15-20% performance advantage at stock (the new drivers helped 79xx a little more than 78xx and 77xx). The price difference between the 7870s and the 7950s is also generally larger than the price difference between the 7850 and the 7870, but as you go further into the high end, it's normal to have lower value and the 7950 actually has unusually good value considering its position in performance. For example, it can easily hang with the more expensive GTX 670 and Radeon 7970 in overclocking performance and is only around 10-15% behind the 7970 GHz Editions in overclocking headroom.

@bigcyco1
I don't think that we'll get in trouble for this. It's on-topic and is oriented towards ensuring that OP is given the best recommendations.
a c 185 U Graphics card
September 25, 2012 8:58:23 PM

Maybe your right i don't know for sure i don't really think it was on topic but maybe it is anyways i think if you do get into trouble it's being a bit petty on the mods part.
September 25, 2012 9:36:09 PM

It's completely on topic. It wasn't clear that xvsanx had considered the 7850 or 7870, but IMO should. He might choose the 7950 in the end, but at least he did with all the available information.

Thank you luciferano for your insight into the matter. I'll have to run some numbers to see exactly how much a 15% bump is worth to me.

To keep on topic, let's go back to the 7950. There's a wide range of prices for what looks to be basically the same card. What factors would encourage you to pick the more expensive card over a cheaper one?
a b U Graphics card
September 25, 2012 9:41:47 PM

toscrawford said:
It's completely on topic. It wasn't clear that xvsanx had considered the 7850 or 7870, but IMO should. He might choose the 7950 in the end, but at least he did with all the available information.

Thank you luciferano for your insight into the matter. I'll have to run some numbers to see exactly how much a 15% bump is worth to me.

To keep on topic, let's go back to the 7950. There's a wide range of prices for what looks to be basically the same card. What factors would encourage you to pick the more expensive card over a cheaper one?


They're not all the same card. The PCB, PCB quality, and cooler can vary as can the GPU and memory binning.

For example:
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/sapphire-video-card-100352...
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/sapphire-video-card-100352...

The second link has better build quality and a better cooler, and it has much more overclocking headroom, probably as a result of that. It also has a roughly $30 higher base price and if we account for shipping and MIRs, it is about $60 more expensive. Arguably, the better overclocking headroom and better cooler (lower temps and lower noise)b are worth the extra money.
a c 172 U Graphics card
September 25, 2012 9:53:07 PM

Don't bother with any particular models that use the standard ferrite shielded inductors due to the buzz and short issue. Asus, MSI, and sometimes Gigabyte are good choices but also keep in mind if there is no power vrm cooling it is not worth buying the card.
a b U Graphics card
September 25, 2012 9:57:11 PM

I thought that Sapphire was a good brand for AMD/Ati cards. Are you saying that they're not?
a c 172 U Graphics card
September 25, 2012 10:04:04 PM

luciferano said:
I thought that Sapphire was a good brand for AMD/Ati cards. Are you saying that they're not?


Sometimes it doesn't matter about brand, Sapphire does on occasion make some of the best AMD cards that money can buy but these past few years everyone including Nvdia is using low quality inductors that don't last for very long. I would get this card based on warranty ect but it is one thing to keep in mind.
September 25, 2012 11:06:47 PM

Quotes:
PCB, PCB quality, and cooler can vary as can the GPU and memory binning.
Don't bother with any particular models that use the standard ferrite shielded inductors
if there is no power vrm cooling it is not worth buying the card.
Avoid voltage locked boards

These sound like the right questions, but when comparing cards, how do I find out the answers? None of that information is listed in the description.
September 25, 2012 11:23:27 PM

I'm happy to consider/hear about any card that might be a better purchase for me, thankyou for adding the 7850 it'll be worth it to me to do some google research on it

I was interested in the 7950oc because I was thinking it'd run everything out now at 1080p on my HDTV with all textures and AA settings turned high to max, is this true or is this impossible to do at this price range?

if there's a comparable card in the $200s I'd like to hear about it as well, I haven't heard much about the 7850s but the 660ti didn't seem like it would offer nearly as much power with the OC version, but tests say its as good as the 7950oc for way less?
a b U Graphics card
September 25, 2012 11:44:07 PM

nforce4max said:
Sometimes it doesn't matter about brand, Sapphire does on occasion make some of the best AMD cards that money can buy but these past few years everyone including Nvdia is using low quality inductors that don't last for very long. I would get this card based on warranty ect but it is one thing to keep in mind.


Everytime i see your post you hating on nvidia..Really?
a c 172 U Graphics card
September 25, 2012 11:51:20 PM

determinologyz said:
Everytime i see your post you hating on nvidia..Really?


Because their quality is sinking and they still keep their prices sky high while certain areas of compute performance suffer. Also lacking in openGL support which hurts some users enough to not upgrade.
a c 185 U Graphics card
September 25, 2012 11:56:51 PM

determinologyz said:
Everytime i see your post you hating on nvidia..Really?
You half to ignore fan boy talk whenever somebody says bad things about either company. I try to ignore it.As i know better both company's make solid cards.Different strokes for different folks.
a c 172 U Graphics card
September 26, 2012 12:02:29 AM

toscrawford said:
Quotes:
PCB, PCB quality, and cooler can vary as can the GPU and memory binning.
Don't bother with any particular models that use the standard ferrite shielded inductors
if there is no power vrm cooling it is not worth buying the card.
Avoid voltage locked boards

These sound like the right questions, but when comparing cards, how do I find out the answers? None of that information is listed in the description.


The quickest way is to look through pictures and reviews. Always look at customer reviews and if there is a wall of complaints then one needs to consider looking for something else.

http://www.modding.fr/?p=2953 Take a look at the picks of the bare card and look at the end of the card where all the caps ect are. Look at the gray boxes, those are the inductors and they are ferrite shielded. They don't provide long lasting performance and life but for the space they take up they can for short periods of time offer a lot of current. For sustained loads and heavy overclocking they degrade very quickly. They also buzz which drives some nuts only to weaken later on before shorting out. Some have tried a few things to band-aid the problem such as painting them over with nail polish but that doesn't work. Inside they are only a simple wire coil and sometimes also with a resistor but the problem is always the same. The wire has only a thin coat of protective varnish that doesn't like heat and doesn't hold up long to mechanical loads such as vibration. Overtime as the coil goes through heating and cooling cycles as well mechanical loads the insulation breaks down allowing some of he current to leak out into the ferrite core and shield. When that happens it gets weak and acts like a little heater wasting power until the wire shorts out. When it shorts out it break the circuit so nothing from the vrm phase reaches the gpu or memory. That problem caused a lot of problems for GTX260/280 owners as well 295, 570, and 580 owners. When it comes to AMD cards their lower power consumption buys time but how much depends on how long the card is used and if it is overclocked while under load. Once they go bad the card can get bricked until the coil is replaced or they become less stable even to where at stock they have to be downclocked.
September 26, 2012 12:20:22 AM

my friend bought the 7950oc, i think the msi twin frozr edition, and had some problem with the pcb
a c 185 U Graphics card
September 26, 2012 12:26:41 AM

AMD card had problems that's just IMPOSSIBLE!Your friend is lying ahaha just kidding!
a c 172 U Graphics card
September 26, 2012 12:32:21 AM

xvsanx said:
my friend bought the 7950oc, i think the msi twin frozr edition, and had some problem with the pcb


Another basic rule when shopping for graphics cards is making sure there is something to cool the mosfets in the power vrm. Some cards get away without having any cooling in that area but a lot do not. Also if you can't fix it don't buy it ;) 
a b U Graphics card
September 26, 2012 12:39:28 AM

xvsanx said:
my friend bought the 7950oc, i think the msi twin frozr edition, and had some problem with the pcb


I've known some problematic cards from both companies. It's nothing new, although it'd almost always a disappointment to get one.
September 26, 2012 1:57:57 AM

alright I'm 80% sure I'm going with the 7950, now to decide between the msi 7950oc or the sapphire 7950 vapor-x?

will be ordering the card and cpu together on thursday or friday, so if anyone knows any deals i'd appreciate it, going to shop around on pcpartpicker amazon and newegg trying to find the best rebates or discounts, do more googling on the 7950s 7850s and 660 TI's, and then order :) 

thankyou all for the very helpful responses so far, this and the other 7950 thread on the first page were really informative
a b U Graphics card
September 26, 2012 2:02:01 AM

Sapphire Vapor-X 7950 and if you want to spend more, the Vapor-X 7970 GHz Edition both get my vote over the MSI 7970. The Vapor-X 7950 can probably overclock better than the MSI 7970 while being more quiet in this example anyway.

You're welcome.
a b U Graphics card
September 26, 2012 2:35:50 AM

The 7950 is much closer to a 670 with current drivers and the 7970 is generally a little ahead of the 670 with current drivers too. The 7950 also generally has a performance advantage over the 670 when both are overclocked and also comes with a free game or two IIRC. That 670 is also a very good deal, but it's not better overall IMO.
a c 185 U Graphics card
September 26, 2012 2:38:36 AM

luciferano said:
The 7950 is much closer to a 670 with current drivers and the 7970 is generally a little ahead of the 670 with current drivers too. The 7950 also generally has a performance advantage over the 670 when both are overclocked and also comes with a free game or two IIRC. That 670 is also a very good deal, but it's not better overall IMO.
7950 is not on par with 670 sorry it would half to be overclocked to even preform as well as stock 670 even then on 1920 res 670 beats it.
a c 243 U Graphics card
September 26, 2012 2:43:46 AM

bigcyco1 said:
Nice find i am temped but really want the Asus 670 Top i just can't find it dam it



I know. I am tempted myself. I have had 5 EVGA cards in a row and love their warranty. Only company that covers overclocking, overvolting and aftermarket coolers. I just can't blow $300 right now as I had to replace my laptop recently. If it will stay on sale a few weeks I wll jump on it.
a b U Graphics card
September 26, 2012 2:44:14 AM

bigcyco1 said:
7950 is not on par with 670 sorry it would half to be overclocked to even preform as well as stock 670


Im guessing the memory clock being at 5gbps effective on the 7950 correct?
a c 539 U Graphics card
September 26, 2012 2:49:46 AM

luciferano said:
The 7950 is much closer to a 670 with current drivers and the 7970 is generally a little ahead of the 670 with current drivers too. The 7950 also generally has a performance advantage over the 670 when both are overclocked and also comes with a free game or two IIRC. That 670 is also a very good deal, but it's not better overall IMO.

This should help clear up a few things. To summarize, the GTX 660 Ti is slightly faster than a 7950. The GTX 670 runs about 7970 speed at stock, and is considerably faster than an overclocked 7950 Vapor-X using its Boost Bios.


http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Sapphire/HD_7950_Vap...

Quotes:
"The card's Vapor-Chamber cooler does a great job keeping the card cool and improves noise levels greatly compared to the AMD reference design. I still see some headroom for improvement, which would come in handy against competing low-noise GTX 670 / 660 Ti cards like the ASUS DC II, one of the best choices for low-noise high-end gaming on the market.

In terms of pricing, Sapphire is asking a not unreasonable $330, which is $30 higher than the currently cheapest HD 7950 card available; the GTX 660 Ti does offer a better price/performance ratio though."
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Sapphire/HD_7950_Vap...
a b U Graphics card
September 26, 2012 2:54:26 AM

If you overclock, then the 7950 has a significant advantage over the 660 Ti and the Sapphire Vapor-X has an above-average advantage compared to most other 7950s.
September 26, 2012 3:02:33 AM

ohh man that is a great find, if it's general consensus that the evga 670 beats the 7950 vapor-x then I will definitely be getting that one, I've been interested in nvidia's physx but the price/performance of the amd cards swayed me
a c 539 U Graphics card
September 26, 2012 3:08:42 AM

xvsanx said:
ohh man that is a great find, if it's general consensus that the evga 670 beats the 7950 vapor-x then I will definitely be getting that one, I've been interested in nvidia's physx but the price/performance of the amd cards swayed me

It's sometimes nice to be able to refer to an actual performance chart. EVGA is great, and it seems everyone's been talking about the amazing PhysX effects in the new Borderlands 2, which I think comes free with the card.
http://www.geforce.com/whats-new/articles/borderlands-2...
a b U Graphics card
September 26, 2012 3:09:07 AM

PhysX is a gimmick except in few games such as Batman:AC that use it properly.

No EVGA 670 has a significant advantage over the Sapphire Vapor-X 7950 at stock and none of them have an advantage if you overclock. That'd take something such as an Asus DCII TOP (discontinued) or a comparably performing model such as MSI's best 670.
a b U Graphics card
September 26, 2012 3:20:18 AM

AMD has competing DirectC/OpenCL features against PhysX and if it matters to you, then you'd be better off with a Radeon 7850 or 7870 and a cheap Nvidia card such as an 8800 GT or maybe a little better up to the GTX 280 that Newegg has for $80 after MIR (it's refurb, but that's generally not a problem for graphics cards) to process PhysX for the AMD card. You should still have enough money left over to buy Borderlands 2 without going over the 660 Ti's price range and would have superior gaming performance with PysX set to the max.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

However, EVGA is great, but not for their card performance, just for their customer service. AFAIK, they have unparalleled customer service and warranty.
a c 539 U Graphics card
September 26, 2012 3:23:46 AM

luciferano said:
AMD has competing DirectC/OpenCL features against PhysX and if it matters to you, then you'd be better off with a Radeon 7850 or 7870 and a cheap Nvidia card such as an 8800 GT or maybe a little better up to the GTX 280 that Newegg has for $80 after MIR (it's refurb, but that's generally not a problem for graphics cards) to process PhysX for the AMD card.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

However, EVGA is great, but not for their card performance, just for their customer service. AFAIK, they have unparalleled customer service and warranty.

So you're recommending he gets two cards to do what one Nvidia card can do? I take it you're partial to AMD products.
a c 185 U Graphics card
September 26, 2012 3:24:19 AM

luciferano said:
PhysX is a gimmick except in few games such as Batman:AC that use it properly.

No EVGA 670 has a significant advantage over the Sapphire Vapor-X 7950 at stock and none of them have an advantage if you overclock. That'd take something such as an Asus DCII TOP (discontinued) or a comparably performing model such as MSI's best 670.
What are you carrying on about it for doesn't make sense.The price for the 670 linked is a great deal the 7950 would only be a better buy if OP does anything else like use OpenCL applications, transcoding, WPA/WEP Cracking, RAR Cracking, Bitcoin Mining etc than it really better to get (7950). If not the 670 linked is a better buy
a b U Graphics card
September 26, 2012 3:25:13 AM

17seconds said:
So you're recommending he gets two cards to do what one Nvidia card can do? I take it you're partial to AMD products.


The one Nvidia card wouldn't do it as good as an AMD card with a Nvidia card. If I was partial to AMD, I'd simply dismiss Nvidia and PhysX completely, something that is easily done given that only two or three modern games utilize PhysX properly.

Even a GTX 660 plus a lower end Nvidia card is better than the 660 Ti when PhysX is used well.
a b U Graphics card
September 26, 2012 3:25:29 AM

bigcyco1 said:
What are you carrying on about the price for the 670 linked is a great deal the 7950 would only be a better buy if OP does anything else like use OpenCL applications, transcoding, WPA/WEP Cracking, RAR Cracking, Bitcoin Mining etc than it really better to get (7950). If not the 670 linked is a better buy


You forget overclocking where the 7950 is superior even for gaming, especially with heavy MSAA. Also, IIRC, the Kepler cards are better for transcoding than anything except maybe for Intel Quick Sync and can easily beat any AMD card at it.
a c 185 U Graphics card
September 26, 2012 3:33:14 AM

luciferano said:
You forget overclocking where the 7950 is superior even for gaming, especially with heavy MSAA. Also, IIRC, the Kepler cards are better for transcoding than anything except maybe for Intel Quick Sync and can easily beat any AMD card at it.
Overclocking you can't be serious there is no such thing as a guarantee higher OC unless it's factory overclocked otherwise it's possible but noway guaranteed :pfff: 
a b U Graphics card
September 26, 2012 3:39:45 AM

bigcyco1 said:
Overclocking you can't be serious there is no such thing as a guarantee higher OC it's possible but noway guaranteed :pfff: 


It doesn't need to be a guarantee. The best 7950s have been shown to generally beat the best 670s in overclocking performance (the same is true for worst to worst comparisons). HardOCP had a particularly interesting review of a GTCX 660 Ti where even a poor-quality XFX 7950 beat a decent 670 in most tests (although not always very noticeably). The 7950 is the better bet even if it's not a guarantee.
a c 185 U Graphics card
September 26, 2012 3:46:46 AM

luciferano said:
It doesn't need to be a guarantee. The best 7950s have been shown to generally beat the best 670s in overclocking performance (the same is true for worst to worst comparisons). HardOCP had a particularly interesting review of a GTCX 660 Ti where even a poor-quality XFX 7950 beat a decent 670 in most tests (although not always very noticeably). The 7950 is the better bet even if it's not a guarantee.
Well your entitled to your opinion so no point in arguing i don't share your opinion so we'll just half to agree to disagree :p 
a b U Graphics card
September 26, 2012 3:51:54 AM

Alright then.
September 26, 2012 4:24:38 AM

physx definitely looks beautiful but the only games with it are border2 and arkham city and i'm not interested in playin those really, hopefully it's on more games in the near future

I'm having difficulties finding 7950 OC/Vapor-X vs EVGA GTX 670 charts and comparisons, I'm just worried if the 7950's overclocking puts it on par or ahead of the 670 because i don't think that 670 is overclockable?
a c 243 U Graphics card
September 26, 2012 5:01:42 AM

The GTX 670 is the better card at that low a price. Here is a great article with overclocking included.

http://www.hardocp.com/article/2012/05/14/geforce_680_6...

The HD 7950 pulls ahead in one game when overclocking. Deus Ex a game optimized for AMD cards out of the box. The HD 7950 pulls ahead by 2 FPS. And the minimum FPS is still higher with the 670.

That GTX 670 will overclock just fine. Maybe not quite as high as a specialized overclocking card but you pay a premium for them. I have to say at 1920 x 1080 my single GTX 460 1GB let me max Deus Ex.

I'm more of an EVGA fan than Nvidia or AMD. Like I said if I had the spare cash right now I would jump on it. I generally upgrade graphics cards every 2 years and it's about time.
!