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7870 vs 7950

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October 21, 2012 6:56:59 PM

My budget can be stretched to a 7950 but I'm not sure it's worth it. I only run a single 1080p monitor atm, upgrade to 2 monitors is possible, but I'd probably not game on 2. The price of higher resolution monitors just isn't worth it for me. The 7950 is just under $300, while the 7870 is approaching $200. I think the AMD cards beat the Nvidia at each price point even though I wanted to go Nvidia.

My biggest concern has been poor reviews of driver, heat and crashing issues with the 7850/7870 models. I don't know if they effect the 7950. Have these issues been resolved or are they just a minority of people that received defective cards?

More about : 7870 7950

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October 21, 2012 7:06:55 PM

o.k. first of all the 7870 will not max out all games @1080p now some might try and argue this hopefully not but if so i will prove it both cards can overclock beast usually however there is no guarantee overclock unless it's a factory one as long as your not planing on buying a reference model i would say if your going to get a card you should get the best you can afford anytime your upgrading i don't see any point to sell yourself sort of the better over all card
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October 21, 2012 7:35:40 PM

Look here different games favor different hardware since you mentioned you did want a NV

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October 21, 2012 7:37:57 PM

I've had my 7870 since March and I haven't had any problems with it regarding driver issues, heat. The only times I've had crashing issues is when I have a overclock fail but that's expected other than that it works great.

As far as picking which one to buy, if I had waited and could do it all over again I would of bought a 7950 specially since now for the amount I paid for my 7870 ($370) I can buy a 7950 and have some money left over. Also I agree with Bigcyco the 7870 can't max out all games at 1080p It's funny to see review on Newegg with people stating there maxing out certain games with 60+FPS at all times, I'm running 1650x1050 and I can't max out BF3 and stay at 60FPS consistently.
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October 21, 2012 7:55:10 PM

HD 7950 is the way to go..
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October 21, 2012 8:04:57 PM

The 7870 can max out many games at 1080p though and will run pretty much all games on high. Its a fast card and a great value. Sure the 7950 is faster, but not necessarily as good of a value. You should consider Nvidia too though as both companies trade blows in various games. You are limiting yourself by not looking at both (I actually use both companies cards). In the end I always say buy the fastest card you can fit into your budget.
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October 21, 2012 8:39:30 PM

NVIDIA:
I just recently (two days ago) spent a lot of time looking at benchmarks for someone considering the GTX660 or a similarly priced HD7000 card.

It went back and forth in the benchmarks with no clear winner. It totally depended on the game. If you increased Anti-Aliasing to 8xAA things tended to favor the HD7000 card but then you'd likely stay with 4xAA at this level anyway.

In other words, if you would like to go with NVidia then do so.
(there are other advantages such as PHYSX, Adaptive VSYNC, FXAA for future games as UNREAL 4 uses it, and driver support which IMO is better. Also AMD is laying off people so that may affect future support quality.)

Re: PHYSX
Chances are PHYSX is pointless for most games as it is so demanding it's usually best to NOT use it unless you can do so without compromising game quality and frame rate. I don't even use PHYSX for Mafia 2 with my GTX680. It's still a TICK in the NVidia column though as you might use it.

This was the card we finally chose for $240:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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October 21, 2012 8:55:22 PM

Batman Arkham City:
*If you plan to play this game or do so now, I recommend you PRINT this out and use it as a reference.

I just want to point this out since there's a good chance you'd play this game with this new card.

*Disable DX11 and PHYSX. It totally stutters even on my GTX680. I tweaked for a long time. It's really noticeable when moving quickly while gliding or grappling. You'll get a big STUTTER or a bunch of small ones with huge frame rate drops. It's worse with BOTH enabled but you get major stuttering at certain times with either one.

Eventually when you get to the open city you'll wish to re-calibrate your settings. Leave VSYNC OFF and FRAPS running. Your aim is to get your quality high enough to achieve 60FPS. So tweak things so you RARELY dip below this (say 65 to 70FPS most of the time).

Finally, enable ADAPTIVE VSYNC in your NVidia Control Panel. This forces 60FPS when possible (no screen tearing) and disables VSYNC when you drop below 60FPS. You get screen tearing when below 60FPS now, but you don't get the sudden STUTTER as VSYNC tries to re-synch at 30FPS instead of 60FPS (and again when you cross above the 60FPS line).

Batman Benchmark:
I observed that this benchmark displayed TWICE my actual in-game city average and THREE TIMES what I periodically dipped too. So when I showed 120FPS in the benchmark I got 60FPS average with 30FPS dips. Just FYI. (and again, DX11 and/or PHYSX stutters no matter what on most systems.)

Have fun.
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October 21, 2012 9:06:48 PM

I love PhysX and do not have an issue.
yes I sacrifice a few FPS but the 'eye-candy' to me is worth it, that's on the single GTX 580 unit.

so now I have stronger PhysX unit and I play 'balls out' with no loss.
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October 21, 2012 9:43:03 PM

Physx is really just another way of marketing their products. There are only a few games that use it effectively. Sure, if you like Batman or Borderlands 2 a lot, I say go Nvidia for sure, BUT, like I said before, review as many benchmarks as you can for the games you like and choose the company that comes out on top.
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October 21, 2012 11:01:32 PM

he does sound a little bitter..
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October 21, 2012 11:41:53 PM

While there are a few games with a slight lead for nvidia, one of the major advantages to AMD is Civ 5 that I like. I'm not sure why a game that old would have that big an issue with Nvidia. The 660 vs is 7870 is very close, but the 7950 seems closer to the 670 than the 660ti for the same price as the 660ti. If the 660ti was $250ish I'd grab one.

Is FXAA a big improvement? I've heard a little about it. Is this something that can be patched in via drivers or is it a hardware change? I do prefer Nvidia driver support. I'm probably fretting about this much more than I need to but it's a substantial purchase for me.
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October 22, 2012 6:32:13 AM

silvermink said:
While there are a few games with a slight lead for nvidia, one of the major advantages to AMD is Civ 5 that I like. I'm not sure why a game that old would have that big an issue with Nvidia. The 660 vs is 7870 is very close, but the 7950 seems closer to the 670 than the 660ti for the same price as the 660ti. If the 660ti was $250ish I'd grab one.

Is FXAA a big improvement? I've heard a little about it. Is this something that can be patched in via drivers or is it a hardware change? I do prefer Nvidia driver support. I'm probably fretting about this much more than I need to but it's a substantial purchase for me.


CIV5:
I'm not sure what "advantage" you speak of.
I just now tested CIV5 by turning off VSYNC and got 120FPS average using my GTX680. I'm on the MAX settings with 2560x1440 and 2xAA. I've NEVER seen any issues with this game.

So basically, even a GTX660 is going to be well above 60FPS (use VSYNC to synch at 60FPS) at any resolution using the MAX settings.

FXAA:
This is a NEW anti-aliasing method used by the upcoming UNREAL 4 engine. It's supported by Kepler only right now. So when Unreal 4 games start appearing, any Kepler will have an advantage due to the efficient anti-aliasing algorithm. AMD cards would use a different, less efficient method.

Support starts at the HARDWARE level so now HD7970 will ever decode FXAA (at least not as efficiently).
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October 22, 2012 10:58:35 PM

Now with the Catalyst 12.11 drivers out, AMD is looking like a much better idea than Nvidia. Ignore the graph in the 4th post, I saw that a long time ago and it is very outdated and does not reflect the newest drivers for either AMD or Nvidia.

@photonboy:

"CIV5" 2xAA isn't very taxing to anything. Using something like 8xAA is going to show the biggest difference, as your GTX 680 will be choked on its 256-bit 2GB memory compared to a 7950's 384-bit 3GB.

"FXAA" works fine on AMD products using the FXAA Injector program, and honestly FXAA isn't all that it is hyped up to be. In my experience with it, everything looks slightly blurred on the screen. It can be extremely distracting in some games, but not all.
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October 22, 2012 11:02:07 PM

I think you are favoring towards amd so you should get that or maybe i am assuming wrongly here not sure.
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October 22, 2012 11:25:12 PM

While I'm still waffling on the AMD/Nvidia choice, that wasn't the main question I asked. I am wondering if the extra $70-90 is worth spending to get the 7950/660ti over the 7870/660. I'm currently running a 4850 1g. I use a single 1080p monitor. I don't mind high, not ultra settings, although that'd be nice. I don't demand constant 60fps, I'm perfectly happy at 45-50 dips with a 55+ average. I'm thinking the 7950 might be a little more future proof, but wanting to keep it's high performance might make that mute.
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October 22, 2012 11:31:32 PM

I think you pretty much know the answer you don't sound like a noob to me so i guess what your looking for is reassurance maybe?
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October 22, 2012 11:32:53 PM

if you can wait i think the new 8000 series AMD cards come out december/january(dont quote me on that)
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October 23, 2012 6:33:38 PM

Newegg has a special on a 7950 for $270 so I bought that :) 
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October 23, 2012 6:35:58 PM

Good Deal. Enjoy the new card :) 
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October 23, 2012 10:11:50 PM

Cool enjoy!
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October 23, 2012 11:37:01 PM

silvermink said:
While I'm still waffling on the AMD/Nvidia choice, that wasn't the main question I asked. I am wondering if the extra $70-90 is worth spending to get the 7950/660ti over the 7870/660. I'm currently running a 4850 1g. I use a single 1080p monitor. I don't mind high, not ultra settings, although that'd be nice. I don't demand constant 60fps, I'm perfectly happy at 45-50 dips with a 55+ average. I'm thinking the 7950 might be a little more future proof, but wanting to keep it's high performance might make that mute.


I went from 2x 4850 512mb cards, yep the first generation of them to come out, to a single 7950 and couldn't be happier. BF3 I was running lower to mid range graphics settings to now ultra on almost everything and sitting above 60 fps with very few drops below. I also play Civ V, MoP, LoL, minecraft(tekkit), Torchlight 2, Diablo 3, and along with a handful of others.
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October 24, 2012 4:58:37 AM

I just bought a 7950 like 4 days ago... Very happy with my purchase... especially since i got it for $300 after taxes and Rebates.

Also I am qualified for the "never settle" 3 free game bundle.
.. not the games I would buy... but Free $170 value why not...

On Battle field 3 with ultra 1080p and MSAA 4x I am getting stable 60-70s FPS... and the occasional drop to 50s. IF i look at the sky or ground it jumps to like 120+...

I'm happy getting those FPS on stock speed so I am not overclocking my card at the moment.


I debated very long between the 7870 and 7950, but i went with 7950.



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October 24, 2012 9:10:50 AM

i would have gone with 7870 because it gains 10% performance due to 12.11 drivers while the 7950 gains 7% which closes the gap between the two even more making the 7870 the ultimate mid range card. better value than 7950 especially with $100 difference between the two
a bit sad that 7700 series only gains 4% performance
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October 24, 2012 10:38:47 AM

meneedhelp said:
I just bought a 7950 like 4 days ago... Very happy with my purchase... especially since i got it for $300 after taxes and Rebates.

Also I am qualified for the "never settle" 3 free game bundle.
.. not the games I would buy... but Free $170 value why not...


I'l take Far Cry 3 of your hands if you'd like. :D 
I have a bad feeling that the Never Settle deals wont make it to Australia... :cry: 
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October 24, 2012 1:23:52 PM

mohit9206 said:
i would have gone with 7870 because it gains 10% performance due to 12.11 drivers while the 7950 gains 7% which closes the gap between the two even more making the 7870 the ultimate mid range card. better value than 7950 especially with $100 difference between the two
a bit sad that 7700 series only gains 4% performance


If the difference had been $100 I would of gone with the 7870 but it was $60.
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October 24, 2012 3:00:40 PM

Well i think you made a good choice fact of the matter is a 7870 is less powerful
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October 25, 2012 9:12:35 PM

MWisBest said:
Now with the Catalyst 12.11 drivers out, AMD is looking like a much better idea than Nvidia. Ignore the graph in the 4th post, I saw that a long time ago and it is very outdated and does not reflect the newest drivers for either AMD or Nvidia.

@photonboy:

"CIV5" 2xAA isn't very taxing to anything. Using something like 8xAA is going to show the biggest difference, as your GTX 680 will be choked on its 256-bit 2GB memory compared to a 7950's 384-bit 3GB.

"FXAA" works fine on AMD products using the FXAA Injector program, and honestly FXAA isn't all that it is hyped up to be. In my experience with it, everything looks slightly blurred on the screen. It can be extremely distracting in some games, but not all.


Well, he got the HD7950 but I thought I'd reply to you anyway if I'm allowed:

CIV5:
That response was simply to someone who said there were "issues" with Civ5 and GTX600 cards. I'm just saying I observed none even at the highest settings (I can get far over 60FPS with 16xAA at 1920x1080).

"GTX 680 will be choked on its 256-bit 2gb memory":
I don't know what you base that on. There are NO benchmarks that show this. You're probably referring to the GTX660 (possibly the GTX660Ti as well). Benchmarks did show the memory bus became a bottleneck at 8xAA. Again, the GTX670 and GTX680 simply aren't bottlenecked in this way and it's easy to find benchmarks that prove this.

"FXAA":
The point here is that the Kepler cards (GTX600) can do it more efficiently because the hardware has been designed with this in mind. AMD's HD7000 cards might be able to do it but not as efficiently. It's not a huge deal since UNREAL 4 isn't even out yet, it was simply another tick in the NVidia box.
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November 27, 2012 9:47:35 PM

Well, I just thought I'd point out that, having owned a 7870 ( and then sent back for a 7950 2 weeks after) there is a substantial difference. In "Operation Swordbreaker" at the very beginning, at 1080p on Ultra I was achieving 35fps with the 7870 (XFX Double D). Upon receiving the 7950 (Gigabyte) my fps jumped 20-25fps during that opening section and now sits at 55-60fps. I can't speak for other games (because I only wrote down fps in BF3 before exchanging cards) I think it represents a significant difference in performance between the two cards.
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November 28, 2012 1:00:10 AM

Barotrauma said:
Well, I just thought I'd point out that, having owned a 7870 ( and then sent back for a 7950 2 weeks after) there is a substantial difference. In "Operation Swordbreaker" at the very beginning, at 1080p on Ultra I was achieving 35fps with the 7870 (XFX Double D). Upon receiving the 7950 (Gigabyte) my fps jumped 20-25fps during that opening section and now sits at 55-60fps. I can't speak for other games (because I only wrote down fps in BF3 before exchanging cards) I think it represents a significant difference in performance between the two cards.


Good point.

In fact they've discovered that many people will buy a $250 card thinking it's "good enough" but then get another $250 card just two years later which roughly DOUBLES the performance.

What's interesting is that they could have simply spent about $500 right away and had the same performance the entire four years.
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November 28, 2012 7:06:00 AM

Theres really no heat problems on 7950s and 7870s. If you want to Overclock the 7950 is a great card, if you want the best stock performance, the 7870 is the better bang for the buck.
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November 28, 2012 7:44:08 AM

esrever said:
Theres really no heat problems on 7950s and 7870s. If you want to Overclock the 7950 is a great card, if you want the best stock performance, the 7870 is the better bang for the buck.


He bought his HD7950 a while ago. Time to CLOSE THIS THREAD.
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December 23, 2012 1:33:13 AM

even if u got a 7950 would work for 4 years in high settings, and when overclocked the 7870 can equal and beat a stock 7950,. so 100$ makes all the difference.

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December 24, 2012 12:45:45 AM

iceclock said:
even if u got a 7950 would work for 4 years in high settings, and when overclocked the 7870 can equal and beat a stock 7950,. so 100$ makes all the difference.


Read the post a bit. He bought his card a long time ago.
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December 24, 2012 4:01:56 AM

k, good for him, moving on

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March 21, 2013 4:16:38 PM

i dont know much about PCs as im jusst starting out with PC gaming but if your playing BF3 alot the 7950 is realy fast like 60+FPS ultra fast sometimes but crossfire scales grate in BF3 too so if u ever added a nother card u could get 50%-100% scaling in BF3 and some other games
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May 28, 2013 12:23:44 PM

This thread went completely off topic the point is 7870 vs 7950?
Also do you want to stretch for more performance?
Here is the correct answer yes always stretch for the performance of 7950 it may not be so close to price perfomance ratio but you should always pick the more powerful component if you can stretch to the price.
If you cant you can't end of story get the best card for your price range.
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May 28, 2013 2:08:43 PM

Orlean said:
I've had my 7870 since March and I haven't had any problems with it regarding driver issues, heat. The only times I've had crashing issues is when I have a overclock fail but that's expected other than that it works great.

As far as picking which one to buy, if I had waited and could do it all over again I would of bought a 7950 specially since now for the amount I paid for my 7870 ($370) I can buy a 7950 and have some money left over. Also I agree with Bigcyco the 7870 can't max out all games at 1080p It's funny to see review on Newegg with people stating there maxing out certain games with 60+FPS at all times, I'm running 1650x1050 and I can't max out BF3 and stay at 60FPS consistently.


Just wondering, why can't you max out bf3? I have a 7870 hawk and can get 60 fps v synced on 1080p with 4x msaa with eq and edge detect. The only time I get a bottleneck is when I try to run the game at supersampling, which we all know is very strenuous.
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