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Help picking GPU around 350 or 400$

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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October 29, 2012 3:44:00 PM

I was looking at the EVGA 660gtx 3g with superclock:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I actually purchased one but it was misbehaving in conjunction with my monitor (an older Samsung 245t that I love, 1920x1200 res, hoping to keep it) and after talking with an EVGA tech guy on the phone, he suggested exchanging it. The problem was the card was not receiving refresh rate and resolution info from the monitor (was using HDMI), so it was defaulting to all the 16:9 aspect ratios instead of 16:10. The refresh rate was defaulting to 30mhz (ugh!) too, though I could change it to 60 manually.

So now I'm going to return the card today and wondering if I should stick with the same card, or perhaps go with a 670 or other model.

At the same time I'm moving from an old quad core/mobo to the i7 chip and chipset/mobo, along with a solid state drive.

I've got a 1000w PSU in the case because I was running a HD4870x2 with the old stuff, and while it did a good job, I didn't like how much heat it put out and figured I'd drop something new in while I had the case open. My understanding is the newer stuff runs considerably cooler.

So, anyone have suggestions?

Thanks!

More about : picking gpu 350 400

October 29, 2012 3:58:31 PM

I have been researching cards in this price range for a couple of weeks now.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
MSI GTX 670 PE - $359.99

It's voltage unlocked, so you can OC the crap out of it. It should easily OC faster than a stock gtx 680. It will also do this while staying very cool and quiet.

I have looked at 7970's as well, but choosing between the two really depends on the games you will be playing. Personally, I have had both nVidia and AMD/ATI cards in the past, and I have found the nVidia cards to be preferable.

I should also say, if you are interested in buying any of the games that are included with the 7900 series cards, that the deal offered with them adds a lot of value.

I'll still be sticking with the 670, however.
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October 29, 2012 4:11:57 PM

I don't really have an allegiance to ATI or NVIDIA either way, and have had cards of both in the past that I enjoyed, but it does seem like the drivers from ATI have been a little bit less reliable.

I probably won't be doing any overclocking, mostly out of laziness, though that does look like a nice card HMF. I wonder what the dust free technology is all about that they mention, probably just something that dust doesn't stick to as well (so it can stick to your motherboard or ram instead, ha ha.
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October 29, 2012 4:24:05 PM

A Sapphire vapor-x 7950 (which can overclock to performances past the stock 680s). They are also pretty easy to overclock. The nVidia cards usually charge too much for the performance they actually give.
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October 29, 2012 4:26:49 PM

cortright said:
I don't really have an allegiance to ATI or NVIDIA either way, and have had cards of both in the past that I enjoyed, but it does seem like the drivers from ATI have been a little bit less reliable.

I probably won't be doing any overclocking, mostly out of laziness, though that does look like a nice card HMF. I wonder what the dust free technology is all about that they mention, probably just something that dust doesn't stick to as well (so it can stick to your motherboard or ram instead, ha ha.


On bootup, the fans on the card spin in reverse at high speed for about 30 seconds. This basically blows all of the dust out of the card and fans. I doubt it will keep the card entirely dust free, but it will certainly help. :) 

The card is also very quiet, even at high speeds, and keeps the card very cool. I don't know if temps/noise are important to you, but they are to me. I have a MSI GTX 570 right now, and the cooler is similar to the one on this card. It has been fantastic, and I'll be happy to buy another MSI card.
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a b U Graphics card
October 29, 2012 4:31:50 PM

7950 vapor X it will overclock easily 1200mhz beating any geforce card regardless of clock
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October 29, 2012 4:35:07 PM

Oh yes, quiet is definitely good. I once had a video card (I believe it was ATI, this is over 5 years ago for sure) that would make this insanely annoying sound under load. It reminded me of the sound that dry ice makes if you put it on a metal surface. Kind of a high-pitched fingernails on a chalkboard type of thing. Anyway, that card didn't last long, heh.
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October 29, 2012 4:35:54 PM

redeemer said:
7950 vapor X it will overclock easily 1200mhz beating any geforce card regardless of clock

I know right. But some people don't know the beauty of overclock and what can actually be achieved with it.
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October 29, 2012 4:37:50 PM

Limerick said:
I know right. But some people don't know the beauty of overclock and what can actually be achieved with it.


Do you happen to have any links to any recent reviews of an overclocked 7950 vapor-x? I have heard that it overclocks higher than a GTX 680 from several people, but have yet to see any kind of evidence of such.

Not trying to be rude, just curious. I can't seem to find anything.
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October 29, 2012 4:40:48 PM

Save yourself $100 and get a 7950 now. Wait a few more months when prices come down and pick up a second 7950 to crossfire.
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October 29, 2012 4:44:15 PM

How are the drivers for the 7950?
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a c 185 U Graphics card
October 29, 2012 4:46:38 PM

HMF said:
Do you happen to have any links to any recent reviews of an overclocked 7950 vapor-x? I have heard that it overclocks higher than a GTX 680 from several people, but have yet to see any kind of evidence of such.

Not trying to be rude, just curious. I can't seem to find anything.
here is a review http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Sapphire/HD_7950_Vap...
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a c 185 U Graphics card
October 29, 2012 4:52:24 PM

HMF said:
I have been researching cards in this price range for a couple of weeks now.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
MSI GTX 670 PE - $359.99

It's voltage unlocked, so you can OC the crap out of it. It should easily OC faster than a stock gtx 680. It will also do this while staying very cool and quiet.

I have looked at 7970's as well, but choosing between the two really depends on the games you will be playing. Personally, I have had both nVidia and AMD/ATI cards in the past, and I have found the nVidia cards to be preferable.

I should also say, if you are interested in buying any of the games that are included with the 7900 series cards, that the deal offered with them adds a lot of value.

I'll still be sticking with the 670, however.
That's a great card as well i have two ;) 
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October 29, 2012 4:56:43 PM

cortright said:
How are the drivers for the 7950?


New Catalyst drivers look to be great. They added huge performance increases over the previous ones.

Honestly you can't go wrong either way.

If you get a 7950, grab the Vapor-X. If you get a GTX 670, get the MSI Power Edition. Both great cards that you will be happy with, I'm sure.

Also, thanks for the link bigcyco1. Interesting review.
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October 29, 2012 5:00:31 PM

Drivers for 7950 are very nice. They just released beta drivers last week that bumped performance up by 15% across the board. In BF3 it jumped over 30%. I run one now and I'm very pleased. Oh and amd is giving away 3 awesome games for free as part of the "Never Settle" promotion. It's too good to even consider nvidia right now. I wasn't even looking for an upgrade as I already had a 6950, but I got a 7950 anyway.
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October 29, 2012 5:06:53 PM

Interesting. I should add that I am -hoping- (but not set on) buying the card in a Brick-and-Mortar Microcenter (www.microcenter.com) that happens to be near my house. I'd do newegg too but I am literally without a PC currently (at least one with a video card) so being able to pick it up TONIGHT and install it would be ideal.

Anyone know if the retail boxes for AMD cards would include the game deal, or is that just a newegg thing?

Is the 7970 an upgrade over the 7950 across the board, or is this Vapor configuration that Sapphire has on the 7950 basically just automatic? I'm browsing the cards on the Microcenter website and they have a pretty limited selection, it would seem. No idea how it compares to what they actually have in-stock at the store in my hood.
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October 29, 2012 5:26:08 PM

They should all come with the free game promotion. You might have to ask for it, but it should come right in the box. Make sure you get it, because the deal is worth $170. It comes with Farcry 3, Sleeping Dogs, the latest Hitman, and a discount for the latest Medal of Honor. 7970 is indeed a little faster across the board because it has about 2000 shaders vs a little under 1800 for the 7950. 7970 is a great card, but 7950 is a little better value as it is $100 cheaper. I don't think the brand matters much as far as performance as long at they are the higher clocked ones (925 mhz vs the earlier released 800 mhz ones). I have a sapphire card and am very pleased with the construction materials. It is very silent. It is not the Vapor one though. It is the plain vanilla 7950 925 mhz
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October 29, 2012 6:04:28 PM

I just called over to the store and they are aware of the 3 game promotion but they don't have those boxes in yet (ugh!).

I may end up having to newegg afterall. I'd play all 3 of those games, not about to pass that up.
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October 29, 2012 6:05:50 PM

The card from the store should come with the promotion. The 7950 would actually be better value, but if you're willing to spend that much money get the 7970 sapphire vapor-x, if they have them, because of the cooler on it. And then do some overclocking and voila: a beastly setup that destroys everything you throw at it.
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a b U Graphics card
October 29, 2012 6:17:18 PM

7970 is better than a gtx680 now with catalyst 12.11. even scores better in games like bf3 which used to favor nvidia.

7970 overclocks better and is cheaper too.

no brainer imo
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October 29, 2012 10:18:01 PM

neon neophyte said:
7970 is better than a gtx680 now with catalyst 12.11. even scores better in games like bf3 which used to favor nvidia.

7970 overclocks better and is cheaper too.

no brainer imo


Sapphire 7970 vapor-x --->
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

... is the one I want, right? I see it's gigahertz edition, I also see 400mhz for RAMDAC. I want to make sure before I click buy if anyone can help, hah!
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a c 185 U Graphics card
October 29, 2012 11:34:04 PM

cortright said:
Sapphire 7970 vapor-x --->
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

... is the one I want, right? I see it's gigahertz edition, I also see 400mhz for RAMDAC. I want to make sure before I click buy if anyone can help, hah!
To late says out of stock :( 
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October 30, 2012 12:16:11 AM

i hit order before it went out of stock, mine may have been the last one (hopefully I'm not stuck in some kind of backorder wasteland, yikes)
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a c 185 U Graphics card
October 30, 2012 12:20:37 AM

cortright said:
i hit order before it went out of stock, mine may have been the last one (hopefully I'm not stuck in some kind of backorder wasteland, yikes)
Cool hopefully you'll receive it soon :D 
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a b U Graphics card
October 30, 2012 12:31:01 AM

Not sure if the reviews are accurate but the 7950 Vapor X appears to be voltage locked which would hamper nice overclocks if that's an aspect you would be interested in. I would go for a 7970 at that price range.
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October 30, 2012 4:03:44 AM

Never Settle !! The 7970 is clearly the best possible buy at this price point. 3GB VRAM and the new drivers. I really can't believe some people are recommending GTX 670, that makes no sense unless u want to be all fluffy and say its because u prefer the nVidia control panel or it "feels" better. nVidia fan boys really sickening at times. GNC is the better architecture. NEVER SETTLE !!
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a c 185 U Graphics card
October 30, 2012 4:07:31 AM

ohyouknow said:
Not sure if the reviews are accurate but the 7950 Vapor X appears to be voltage locked which would hamper nice overclocks if that's an aspect you would be interested in. I would go for a 7970 at that price range.
I bought my son that card Sapphire's HD 7950 Vapor-X comes with a large dual-fan cooler that uses the company's famous vapor-chamber technology. On the Vapor-X you will also find a "Lethal Boost" button which switches to a second BIOS with higher clock speeds. With this BIOS, clocks are increased to 950 MHz GPU and 1250 MHz memory.If he ends up with a locked one there is a bios he can flash it to that will unlock it

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Anonymous
a c 117 U Graphics card
October 30, 2012 4:13:00 AM

Maximus_Delta said:
Never Settle !! The 7970 is clearly the best possible buy at this price point. 3GB VRAM and the new drivers. I really can't believe some people are recommending GTX 670, that makes no sense unless u want to be all fluffy and say its because u prefer the nVidia control panel or it "feels" better. nVidia fan boys really sickening at times. GNC is the better architecture. NEVER SETTLE !!


so is spamming the boards with mostly unrelated postings.
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/350329-33-graphics-ca...
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/375623-33-video-card-...
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/375759-33-tomshardwar...
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/375809-33-tomshardwar...
:pfff: 
someone need a vacation?
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October 30, 2012 4:41:41 AM

The truth is out looniam and bigcyco1. AMD 7000 series are amazing with the new drivers and won this round with a late sprint to the post. See u both went with nVidia !!

My advice is correct !! Never Settle. I just corrected some poor soul on PCI 2.0 vs 3.0 and what I wrote on this thread is bang on. I won't be silenced just because u 2 are feeling frustrated.
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a c 185 U Graphics card
October 30, 2012 4:50:22 AM

Maximus_Delta said:
The truth is out looniam and bigcyco1. AMD 7000 series are amazing with the new drivers and won this round with a late sprint to the post. See u both went with nVidia !!

My advice is correct !! Never Settle. I just corrected some poor soul on PCI 2.0 vs 3.0 and what I wrote on this thread is bang on. I won't be silenced just because u 2 are feeling frustrated.
Look fanboy i have two 670 i can max out all games i am not worried about it
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October 30, 2012 5:03:17 AM

bigcyco1 said:
Look fanboy i have two 670 i can max out all games i am not worried about it


Now u listen here. I want to be able to play future games not just current console ports. I run at 2560x1600. I am going to be sitting pretty at that res longer than you will be on your half length cards with only 2GB of VRAM. I overclock too. 670/680s are cheaply made profit maximzing cards for nVidia frankly inferior to the 7000 series. Don't tell me you think ur GPU boost actually means something... yeah great it runs faster clocks looking at this wall. Serioulsy, do ur homework before u drop ur money next time.
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a c 185 U Graphics card
October 30, 2012 6:02:34 AM

Maximus_Delta said:
Now u listen here. I want to be able to play future games not just current console ports. I run at 2560x1600. I am going to be sitting pretty at that res longer than you will be on your half length cards with only 2GB of VRAM. I overclock too. 670/680s are cheaply made profit maximzing cards for nVidia frankly inferior to the 7000 series. Don't tell me you think ur GPU boost actually means something... yeah great it runs faster clocks looking at this wall. Serioulsy, do ur homework before u drop ur money next time.
Look i get it your mad i bought 670's get over it i am happy with my choice i can do anything with them i do not think you're getting it i did my homework and it paid off take your own advice maybe ;)  running your mouth just looks childish why don't you find something better to do then spamming the forum and trying to belittle people.If you think your remark has any effect on anybody your seriously mistaken.


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October 30, 2012 3:51:18 PM

This was a helpful thread until Maximus_Delta showed up in the trollmobile. I thank everyone (except him) for responding.
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October 30, 2012 3:51:38 PM

Best answer selected by cortright.
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a b U Graphics card
October 30, 2012 5:21:15 PM

thats your best answer? you know other people read these threads right?

you just highlighted the trolling and certainly didnt pick the best answer
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Anonymous
a c 117 U Graphics card
October 30, 2012 5:31:52 PM

neon neophyte said:
thats your best answer? you know other people read these threads right?

you just highlighted the trolling and certainly didnt pick the best answer

first of all its the OPs question and up to them in deciding which answer helped them the most.

second, it shows that trolling doesn't help resolve a question.

third, it covers the bases, ask for advice but do not let someone else do your homework for you.

fourth, don't like it, too bad; refer to first point.
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a b U Graphics card
October 30, 2012 5:35:39 PM

thanks captain obvious. im still allowed to state my opinion
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October 30, 2012 5:37:28 PM

Limerick said:
I know right. But some people don't know the beauty of overclock and what can actually be achieved with it.



Overclocking video cards actually does not yield huge gains, unless u take a card with 3 fans/water cooling and reference clock. Then overclock is significant and has gains....
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October 30, 2012 5:43:17 PM

Ahh come on guys, let's be nice to each other. I see your point Neon, but there were a number of answers that could easily qualify as the best, it just depends what you are looking for.

In the end I went ahead and got a card outside of my initially stated price range because it seemed to be a sweet deal (with the game pack that you and others recommended).
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Anonymous
a c 117 U Graphics card
October 30, 2012 5:45:15 PM

neon neophyte said:
thanks captain obvious. im still allowed to state my opinion

you're welcome :) 
as obvious as it may be, it seems you needed it pointed out to you.
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