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Recommended Gaming Card

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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October 22, 2012 11:16:38 PM

So i'm piecing together parts for a gaming rig that I plan on having done by X-mas (Hopefully).

Theres a few cards that i'm looking into with a budget around $400. I plan on SLI/Xfire and Water OC.

I've been looking at the GTX 660ti, 670, 7950, and 7970.

I play games like Skyrim, Borderlands 2, Starcraft 2, Diablo 3, Minecraft, etc.

I know about diminishing returns when it comes to more expensive video cards, but what do you all suggest when it comes to 'best bang for your buck'?


Edit: Forgot to mention going to be gaming 1920x1080 most likely
a b U Graphics card
October 22, 2012 11:29:45 PM

whats ur specs
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a b U Graphics card
October 22, 2012 11:46:28 PM

ur good for a hd 7970
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a c 144 U Graphics card
a b 4 Gaming
October 22, 2012 11:54:27 PM

since you're not going to multi gpu setup in one go then my suggestion is go for 670
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a b U Graphics card
October 23, 2012 12:04:40 AM

i vote for the 7970 for the overclocking
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a b U Graphics card
a b 4 Gaming
October 23, 2012 12:10:22 AM

When looking at similarly priced/specced cards you have to take into account each manufacturers bells and whistles. such as Nvidias Physx and adaptive Vsync or the ability to run 5-6 displays off one card from AMD etc.

You need to ask yourself whats more important to you and go with that. the 670 when overclocked gets close to 680/7970 speeds though the 7970 GHz edition pulls out in the end. I find borderlands 2 to be a bit lacking without physx but thats just me and its still a great game even without it.
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a b U Graphics card
October 23, 2012 12:11:45 AM

7970 is faster than 670 especially after the latest AMD driver 12.11,and it overclock well,and it has 3gb vram which it help you maxout settings in cross fire mode in the future.
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October 23, 2012 12:14:38 AM

is the 7970 and ghz edition basically the same card but the ghz is overclocked out of the box?
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a b U Graphics card
October 23, 2012 12:17:18 AM

robbversion1 said:
is the 7970 and ghz edition basically the same card but the ghz is overclocked out of the box?

yes except i think there is another think inside the card but i forgot :lol: 
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October 23, 2012 12:22:24 AM

they got different bios anf if i'm not mistaken they were using somehow a bit better chip found in regular 7970 which is dubbed as tahiti xt 2 or something like that. if cost are not the concern i suggest for you to get a single 670 for now. this is after considering of the game you list above and going for multi gpu setup in the future
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a b U Graphics card
October 23, 2012 12:23:59 AM

robbversion1 said:
is the 7970 and ghz edition basically the same card but the ghz is overclocked out of the box?

7970 and 7970 ghz use different bios but you can update its bios to ghz because both of them have dual bios (if you know how to do it) or you can simply overclock it using AMD overdrive,so i think 7970 GHZ edition doesn't deserve the extra money.
7970 isn't just my opinion it is also tom's hardware opinion http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...
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October 23, 2012 12:40:58 AM

Firstly, I do want to point out that there is a difference between vanilla 7970 and 7970 ghz: the latter is binned and cherry picked by AMD, meaning you will without a doubt achieve better overclocks by virtue of the better silicon.

Secondly, I advise you to read this: http://www.anandtech.com/show/6393/amds-holiday-plans-c...

CAT 12.11 is an absolute game changer, and if you interested in any of the games in AMD's bundle it will give you a very good value proposition.

Also according to the bench, the vanilla 7970 is mighty close to the 680 even in BF3, which suggests that the 7970 ghz edition will even outperform the 680!!
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October 23, 2012 12:45:25 AM

^ you know what is the best thing? they release new bios for called it ghz edtion and charged more for it. then they also release boost bios for 7950 but they didn't charge penny for it. :lol: 

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October 23, 2012 12:48:38 AM

renz496 said:
^ you know what is the best thing? they release new bios for called it ghz edtion and charged more for it. then they also release boost bios for 7950 but they didn't charge penny for it. :lol: 


Ummm, not meaning to disrespect, but as per my post, it is not as simple as a new BIOS... the silicon is better in 7970 ghz edition. About the 7950, yes thats just a BIOS difference. You have to know that the 7950 are actually GPUs that dont meet the 7970 requirement. It is a way AMD and Nvidia (680/670) improves yields.
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a b U Graphics card
October 23, 2012 12:55:10 AM

Quote from this article http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-7970-ghz-...
(Physically, this is the Radeon HD 7970 you already know. Put AMD’s reference GHz Edition card next to the one launched six months ago and you can’t tell them apart. What few differences there are all materialize under the card’s 11”-long fan shroud.
Most obvious is a higher core clock rate. Officially, AMD lists it at 1000 MHz—a bump up from the original version’s 925 MHz frequency. But it also enables a higher 1050 MHz P-state that the GPU favors when thermal headroom allows. AMD is marketing this combination of clock rates as PowerTune with Boost.)
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October 23, 2012 12:58:58 AM

^ i know that. read my previous post. to me its just amd that are not willing to sell it for the same price they did with regular 7970. the real problem is people are not seeing it as interesting because even the regular 7970 able to oc just fine. some people see it as amd being greedy on their part just like when they price 7970 at 550 when they take the lead from 580. obviously it does not paint good PR for amd
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a b U Graphics card
October 23, 2012 1:03:48 AM

@renz496 ,i just wanted to prove your previous post and mine as well.
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a c 144 U Graphics card
a b 4 Gaming
October 23, 2012 1:12:16 AM

lol sorry. i was meant to reply to dyc4ha.
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a c 144 U Graphics card
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October 23, 2012 1:44:50 AM

it depends on people. to me i can understand if amd want to charge more because of better binning. but some people does not understand that because they see all regular 7970 overclock just fine for 1100 and above all over the internet and forums. often this people does not understand that oc is never guaranteed on every card and when theirs cant oc as high as they see or friends they will take it as faulty and rma the card :p 
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October 23, 2012 4:20:10 AM

Thanks @mouse24, that was the point of my post. @oxford373, it is very likely that they got lucky in the silicon draw, others may not be as lucky. Some people (including myself) are willing to pay extra to eliminate the random chance of getting a silicon that doesnt overclock as well.

Either way, OP: I am finding it really hard to recommend nvidia because of CAT 12.11 for this generation, especially the performance gains and game bundles (if you were getting those games anyways). Having said that, I would go for the 7970 if it fits your budget
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October 23, 2012 4:31:10 AM

Thanks everyone for their posts. I was leaning towards the 7970 but i might hold out until xmas hoping that amd might announce something regarding the 8900series
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!