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Eyefinity 7970 3GB vs Vapor X 6GB

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October 30, 2012 4:48:45 AM

I am exploring the possibilty of 3 monitor gaming. Currently looking at a Sapphire 7970 3GB OC edition - http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

Another card I am looking at is the Sapphire 7970 6GB Vapor X GHZ edition - http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

After reading some reviews and doing some research it seems that the extra 3GB does not make a whole lot of difference even for a 5760*1080 res? Is this true?

Ive also noticed on some benchmarks ( http://www.overclockersclub.com/reviews/sapphire_hd7970... ) that an OCd 7950 is not that worse off compared to the 6GB vapor x edition at 5760*1080 resolutions. I find it hard to believe but if this is true does it make more sense to go for a 7950 and possibly crossfire it with another in the future for multimonitor
gaming? (Is microstutter still an issue with crossfire and sli?)

*I have a 650W corsair CX PSU which I preferably dont want to replace just to crossfire. Although I believe a 650W psu should suffice for xfiring 2 7950s??

Also is there a nvidia alternate I could get for similar price as the 7950 which would give similar performance at 5760*1080. If i go nvidia I could use hdmi to connect my 3rd screen where as with an ATI card I'd have to buy a miniDP to DVI active adapter which costs quite a bit here in AUS (~50 AUD).

Also I will be buying 3 screens as well, which one do you recommend between these 2 monitors -
LG IPS Panel - http://www.lg.com/au/it-monitors/lg-IPS234V-led-lcd-mon...
LG non IPS - http://www.lg.com/hk/it-product/monitor/LG-home-E2351VR...
a c 185 U Graphics card
October 30, 2012 5:04:57 AM

For three monitors i would go for the 7970GHz
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October 30, 2012 5:06:30 AM

Which one though, the 1st 2 i listed are both 7970s. One is a 3gb OC version of the normal 7970 and the other is the vapor x 6gb version of the ghz edition. I do want to go for the 7970 instead of an nvidia solution but im not sure if getting the 6gb vapor x version would give me a tangible benefit over the 3gb OC version.
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a c 185 U Graphics card
October 30, 2012 5:14:26 AM

Sapphire's HD 7970 Toxic is like a Lamborghini. It's expensive, not very efficient, and noisy. Unfortunately, noisy computer components don't impress people nearly as much as noisy cars, and a fast graphics card doesn't get you girls either.
Thanks to a massive overclock out of the box, the HD 7970 Toxic delivers outstanding performance results for a HD 7970. In our testing, the card ends up 11% faster than the HD 7970 reference design, 3% faster than the HD 7970 GHz Edition and 4% faster than GTX 680. If that's not enough for you, you can use the card's dual-BIOS feature to switch to an extreme BIOS called "Lethal Boost", increasing clocks and voltages even further. The Lethal Boost BIOS provides an extra 5% performance boost on top of the card's already very good performance, making the card faster than any single-GPU card we ever tested.
Sapphire has equipped their card with 6 GB of GDDR5 memory. This might look nice on paper, but we don't see any performance advantage as a result of 6 GB of memory in all of our testing. We recently tested a 4 GB GTX 680 and did some memory consumption testing, which showed that, even on a triple-30" monitor setup, the maximum memory usage does not exceed 3 GB, so buying a card with 6 GB of memory seems unnecessary.
All the extra performance comes at the price of massively increased power consumption because Sapphire not only cranked up the clocks, but also the voltages to keep the card stable. During typical gaming, we see the HD 7970 Toxic, similar to the HD 7970 GHz Edition, use 203 W of power, whereas the original HD 7970 only used 163 Watts. Once you switch the card into Lethal Boost mode, this number increases by 10% to 222 W for a 5% performance gain. When looking at performance per Watt, the card does 10% worse than the HD 7970, but a little bit better than AMD's HD 7970 GHz Edition. NVIDIA's Kepler based cards are around 20-30% more efficient.
All power that a graphics card consumes is turned into heat that has to go somewhere. The massive dual-fan cooler certainly keeps the card cool, but can only do so at high RPMs and with quite a bit of noise. While fan noise is lower than the HD 7970 with the normal BIOS, fan noise ends up higher than the HD 7970 GHz Edition once you use Lethal Boost. NVIDIA Kepler based cards offer much better low noise capabilities. It also doesn't help fan noise that Sapphire apparently favorers low temperatures over low fan noise; a more balanced approach would have been better and could have been integrated with the dual BIOS feature.
Overclocking the card worked well thanks to the increased GPU voltage. With a maximum clock of 1275 MHz, the card reaches the highest clock speeds of all HD 7970 cards we ever tested by quite a large margin. Memory overclocking works well and reaches 1885 MHz, which is the second highest we've seen.
Sapphire is asking $700 for their card, which seems very expensive when looking at performance per Dollar. The GTX 680 and HD 7970 GHz offer 35% more performance per Dollar and the GTX 670 even offers 56% more performance for your money. You could build a dual GTX 670 SLI rig with those 700 Dollars. Sapphire does include a useful bundle with the card that includes an active single-link DP to DVI adapter, making running three 1080p monitors in EyeFinity possible without any additional purchases.
If you want the absolute fastest single-GPU card, have the money and can stand the noise, you should definitely consider the Sapphire HD 7970 Toxic; other users should probably look at a GTX 680 or 670. Source: http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Sapphire/HD_7970_Tox...
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a c 185 U Graphics card
October 30, 2012 5:31:48 AM

I would go for SAPPHIRE Vapor-X Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB
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October 30, 2012 5:56:44 AM

Also is there any difference between a vanilla 7970 and the GHZ edition except the clock speed? I mean any difference in architecture of the card or just clock speed diff?
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a c 185 U Graphics card
October 30, 2012 6:04:51 AM

mo said:
Also is there any difference between a vanilla 7970 and the GHZ edition except the clock speed? I mean any difference in architecture of the card or just clock speed diff?
No nothing GHz are highly factory overclocked
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a c 185 U Graphics card
October 30, 2012 6:08:41 AM

mo said:
That was my initial choice but sadly its not in stock at any of the local stores near my place and since I live in AUS where we dont have newegg I dont have much of a choice. I guess ill be going for http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...
oh that sucks well that one shouldn't be to bad i don't know much bout it but it's a reliable brand name ;)  Check to see if it's known for issues like coil whine i noticed allot have that issue
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October 30, 2012 6:09:57 AM

Well.... I was going to suggest the asus matrix platinum 7970... But I see it's 630$ on the site you want to buy from.... Lol

http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

(It's THE best gpu cooler out right now, but I would NEVER buy it for that price.)


Second suggestion will be the directcuII cooler from asus. It usually exceeds the performance of other gpu coolers on the market, huge 3 slot card.
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

Edit: Also, don't pay more for the GHZ edition cards. Both the stock clock and the GHZ edition cards will overclock to the same frequencies, I wouldn't get a GHZ edition unless I was setting up a watercooling loop (And even then, it's a toss if you would even get a better overclock than another non-ghz edition card.)
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a c 185 U Graphics card
October 30, 2012 6:15:19 AM

bawchicawawa said:
Well.... I was going to suggest the asus matrix platinum 7970... But I see it's 630$ on the site you want to buy from.... Lol

http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

(It's THE best gpu cooler out right now, but I would NEVER buy it for that price.)


Second suggestion will be the directcuII cooler from asus. It usually exceeds the performance of other gpu coolers on the market, huge 3 slot card.
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

Edit: Also, don't pay more for the GHZ edition cards. Both the stock clock and the GHZ edition cards will overclock to the same frequencies, I wouldn't get a GHZ edition unless I was setting up a watercooling loop (And even then, it's a toss if you would even get a better overclock than another non-ghz edition card.)
:lol:  i was going to suggest the same thing but $630 is a rip off
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a c 147 U Graphics card
October 30, 2012 4:01:52 PM

Points:
Three monitor gaming is a big hassle:
- 2xCrossfire/SLI causes micro-stutter
- 3xCrossfire/SLI eliminates most micro-stutter but this is expensive, noisy and uses all your slots (no room for nice audio card so get a good Gigabyte Sniper 3 or similar board with Creative audio onboard)

I personally have a 27" U2711 (2560x1440) and I prefer it to three 22" screens. I really don't like 3-monitor gaming anyway due to the BEZELS. Maybe if it was a single large, curved screen...

My advice is get the U2711 or similar monitor and stick with a single high-end GTX680 or HD7970.

I normally recommend the GTX680, however there are many HD7970's that come with THREE free games right now. Make sure the card you choose has these games.
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a c 87 U Graphics card
October 31, 2012 12:01:34 AM

http://pcpartpicker.com/au/part/gigabyte-video-card-gvr...

I usually recommend the Sapphire Vapor-X Radeon 7970 GHz Edition over the Gigabyte WindForce Radeon 7970 GHz Edition, but it's still a good card and is probably at least a little faster than any competing card available to you. The lowest price available in Aus just happens to be the from the store that you want to buy from, so you may be in luck if you like the price.
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a c 185 U Graphics card
October 31, 2012 12:50:00 AM

^ Thanks!
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a c 87 U Graphics card
October 31, 2012 12:31:24 PM

Anytime.
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November 8, 2012 5:40:55 AM

Best answer selected by mo.
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!