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XFX HD 7870 DD vs Gigabyte GTX 660 OC

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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October 19, 2012 12:39:15 AM

Hi,

I would love to hear feedback from those who own either of these exact cards, or at least similar cards. Information about the functioning and durability of these coolers is what matters most to me, although I'm curious if anybody thinks that the 7870 will be better in future games to come, or in the kinds of games I prefer to play.

I have two deals available to me:

an XFX radeon hd 7870 DD non-OC version, for 195 dollars (CAD) including shipping

and

a Gigabyte GTX 660 OC for 200 dollars (CAD) including shipping

Both are expired deals which, for various reasons, the two respective retailers have left still available to me.

I currently have a case with not the best airflow and ambient temperatures (a PC-V351, with a cpu running at custom power settings at about 105 watts).

If you don't want to read the whole post, you can stop here and just tell me why you think one is better than the other. I will not be overclocking except maybe to the extent that the warranty allows for it.

The XFX's stock clocked 7870 DD produces slightly less heat. I would love to know if is quieter than Gigabyte's GTX 660. In theory, the GTX 660 should be quieter, especially if you modify its fan control settings. I know that Gigabyte's card runs at temperatures which are roughly 12 degrees lower under load. I suppose that even though it creates a little more heat, that it's superior cooling power would make it more likely to still function properly at a reasonable noise level within a hot running case compared to XFX's card.

If I am forced to run either card without the sides of my case on, then the XFX card might be quieter at default settings simply because it's programmed to be less aggressive with keeping the gpu cool.

My favourite games are open world games which blend action and rpg elements, especially fallout 3 and New Vegas, or games like Deus Ex: Human revolution. I have noticed that Skyrim is one of the few games that the radeon 7870 will beat even an overclocked gtx 660. Are open world games generally going to run better on a radeon 7870? What about the future, will the 7870 pull ahead in games over the next few years? On paper, the 7870 seems better, but I've seen a lot of benchmarks, and an overclocked gtx 660 seems to pull ahead.

XFX's lifetime warranty is definitely an advantage, and I know it would fit less awkwardly into my case. It produces less heat due to it's slightly lower power consumption. It is faster in my favourite game, but slower in most others, sometimes by a pretty significant margin, than an overclocked gtx 660.

I might even have to modify my case a little to make room for the power plug on the Gigabyte card, but I can live with that. I'm more concerned over its fans, 1 are they going to be reliable? 2, is it going to be easy to change how fast they spin, and will it significantly quieter than the XFX's double D cooler?

If anyone has any other dirt on either of these cards, that would also be good to know.

Thanks.
October 19, 2012 12:42:04 AM

My CPU is a stock speed, undervolted Phenom ii 965, for those who are interested. I believe it is fast enough that it won't really bottleneck these cards, but correct me if I'm wrong.
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a b U Graphics card
October 19, 2012 12:45:27 AM

Game software companies either optimize for Nvidia or AMD as they get help from one or the other. Nvidia has more of a presence though. I would specifically look at benchmarks for the games you play and then make your decision. Your cpu may bottle neck those cards at stock speeds. I have my 965 at 4ghz and that was fairly easy to do. That would most likely clear up any bottlenecks.
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a b U Graphics card
October 19, 2012 12:46:33 AM

i had a 7850 which is one step down from a 7870 and when i overclocked it i could get about 35fps in bf3 all maxed out in 1080p so the 7870 i would expect it to get ~45fps
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October 19, 2012 12:48:00 AM

Yeah, if bottlenecking becomes an issue, I may look into overclocking my cpu. That would have to wait until I got a better HSF and maybe a case with better airflow.
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October 19, 2012 1:00:34 AM

I'm most interested in information about the coolers on these cards.
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a b U Graphics card
October 19, 2012 1:03:55 AM

xfx cooler is better
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October 19, 2012 1:10:29 AM

why is xfx's cooler better? Gigabyte's certainly seems to get much lower temperatures based on the reviews I've read, and it's a larger cooler which just looks like it would work better. However, I wonder about the quality of the fans, especially given the XFX card has a better warranty.
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a b U Graphics card
October 19, 2012 1:14:14 AM

i just think it's better because the gigabyte 660 WF2 cooler shows the pcb and i can't stand that but it's my opinion
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October 19, 2012 1:20:01 AM

devilofdeaths said:
i just think it's better because the gigabyte 660 WF2 cooler shows the pcb and i can't stand that but it's my opinion


That's fair. The XFX card looks nice, but functionality is more important to me than looks, so it's a moot issue for me.
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October 26, 2012 3:09:16 AM

Well, I guess there just aren't that many people who even own a Gigabyte GTX 660 OC yet, as it is what, less than 2 months on the market? That would explain why there weren't many people offering feedback on it.

The XFX HD 7870 DD (non-overclocked) has been very popular judging by the sheer quantity of reviews on Newegg, and the average ratings are also very high (over 4.5 stars out of five on average I believe).

I ended up buying the Gigabyte GTX 660 OC.

Both cards seemed very good, especially at about 200 dollars including shipping for each of them (in Oct. 2012).

Both cards are apparently quiet, which is important. I can vouch personally that the Gigabyte card is pretty quiet, but apparently most GTX 660's are very quiet.

I got the Gigabyte card because it had better cooling, and because the larger fans combined with the superior heatsink should mean that the card can run quieter. My current case has much less than ideal ventillation, as it is a cramped mATX case with less than optimal fan setup, so superior cooling seemed like the most important difference.

Performance wise, they are close, but with each pulling ahead by up to about 12% in various games. The 7870 pulls ahead a tiny bit (about 3% on average) in 2560x1600 resolutions or multi-monitor displays. The XFX card isn't stock overclocked, whereas the Gigabyte card is, so the XFX card has more overclocking headroom actually. The card seems exactly the same as a slightly older overclocked model, so it should be capable of a roughly 20% overlcock. The Gigabyte card can only be overclocked about 10% more. However, keep in mind that the XFX card will run WAY hotter than the Gigabyte card, and will require better case cooling in order to pull that off.

The XFX card has a better warranty, as it is lifetime (although some of their other cards are only a basic 2 years). I believe that XFX also allows users to install custom GPU coolers without voiding the warranty (even though there are stickers on the card that say otherwise). This is only available in the USA and CAnada however. I've read this on hardware review sites, but check for yourself to be sure.

Gigabyte's warranty is 2 years, plus another year of parts only limited warranty, and unlike XFX, doesn't require registration, so it is still a good warranty, and the no registration requirement might actually be better for some people.

I'm sure I would have been happier with either card, but I'm happy with my choice so far.

These two cards, and their chipsets, are very comparable, but they still have a bunch of other differences. The biggest differences are in professional applications, where AMD pulls way ahead in some tasks and Nvidia pulls way ahead in others. There is some good info out there from the better review websites.

FYI The Gigabyte card fits into a Lian Li PC-V351 Case (with virtually no room to spare). The dimensions of the card that were given by Gigabyte measure the width of the videocard at the bracket, which is NOT a useful measurement, as the bracket is a standard sized piece which will fit in any computer case. Many GTX 660's and many other video cards out there have big stupid unnecessarily prominant heatsinks which will not fit in some cases like the PC-V351. Asus's card for example, will not fit in a PC-V351 (I'm pretty sure).

I hope this info helps someone out there.
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January 30, 2013 11:13:37 PM

maestro0428 said:
Game software companies either optimize for Nvidia or AMD as they get help from one or the other. Nvidia has more of a presence though. I would specifically look at benchmarks for the games you play and then make your decision. Your cpu may bottle neck those cards at stock speeds. I have my 965 at 4ghz and that was fairly easy to do. That would most likely clear up any bottlenecks.



The game I'm playing atm is Aces High2 found at Hightechcreations.com

I have the XFX780cdfc and am having some artifcact/framerate issues still.


Could you direct me toward finding benchmarks for AH2?

Thanks.
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