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Which 7950 card?

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  • Build
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Last response: in Graphics Cards
November 5, 2012 1:48:15 AM

Hello, I think I've decided on a 7950 as the best card for my upcoming build.. W
280-330 is my budget and this seemed to fit the build. My system will be for photo and video editing as the first priority but I want the power to do some gaming.

The 7950 will be paired up with:
I-3770k (have already)
P8z77-v deluxe (or gigabyte ga-z77x-ud5h) mobo
Seasonic X750 Gold (have already from that newegg deal for 99 bucks)
All in a CM 690II case

My question is.. Which version of the card should I get? I'm not sure I understand all of the differences.

I saw this recommended in another thread: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Free games aside, is this my best bet? What's the difference between this and the vapor-x and oc 900 MHz editions which appear to be discontinued at least on newegg. Is the link I shared a stock speed, is that the difference? Would I be better off with a msi card (twin frozr)?

Thanks all!

More about : 7950 card

a b U Graphics card
November 5, 2012 2:03:29 AM

i would reccomend either the sapphire 7950 Vapor-X or an asus 7950
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a b U Graphics card
November 5, 2012 2:08:06 AM

What size, resolution, and quantity of monitors do you have for your setup?

The 7950 in general is a great overclocker and the entire 7000 series runs very cool. The only debate is if all of the GHZ edition cards further binned-out the bunch. For the money, you're not going to be able to tell the difference in paying the extra amount for the special editions especially if as you put it, "the power to do some gaming". It's a great card for the money and the fan setup should make it run fairly cool. Sapphire is the biggest AMD card partner and they generally make good products. For the price (almost bit on the $270 price-tag last week), you cannot go wrong.
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November 5, 2012 1:36:35 PM

I haven't settled on the what I am going to do as far as monitors, but I don't want the video card to be a bottleneck. For example, if I choose to run two 27" monitors at 2560x1444 (maxed out) I want to make sure the video card can handle it. I have photos to process that have a resolution of 7,360×4,912....

I've got most of the parts for my build, but the GPU has been a headache since there seem to be so many variations. I'm having my local Microcenter complete the build for me (getting half of the parts there).. I have no idea how to OC a GPU (yet), although I may ask them to do it for me...

So is the card I linked to the "stock" version (reference?) of the card? NewEgg has the Vapor-x edition discontinued (as opposed to just out of stock).

If it is only $30 or so to get one of these modified cards, then I figure why not..... but which one to get? Some say Vapor-x, others say 950ghz version.. some say Gigabyte version with the 3 fans..

So many choices for a GPU newbie :) 

Thanks for your help all....
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a b U Graphics card
November 5, 2012 8:37:53 PM

Well the link you posted is now out of stock. It was a very good deal and I'm surprised it lasted as long as it did. It is indeed the "stock" version as you put it. AMD has released BIOS updates though that has technically made the speed on this card the "old" stock specs as they've been clocked a bit higher now. If you run two monitors of that size and resolution, you'll definitely use the 3 gigs of vRAM on the 7950 down the road. Most cards are going to be of the same caliber, just because one has a VaporX, ICEQ, Windforce, FTW, etc. label on it doesn't really mean it is better. For the most part they are all the exact same card with usually a manufacture-specific cooler on the card, so some run cooler and/or quieter that others and that's about it aside from warranty, customer service, etc. Some however do bin their cards even further to seek the highest-binning cards for the top of the class, MSI comes to mind as one that does this on their flagship line like the Lightning series. You pay for it though and you'll usually spot these types of cards when sorting them by price descending in a list as they're going to be towards the top. Keep in mind though, if you get this card or something like a VaporX, there's a good chance they will overclock rather close to one another. The price you pay is to have a company overclock it for you and have a different "class" cooler on the card, but chances are you'll max out on voltage before you run in to temperature problems with the Radeon 7000 series - they just run that cool. If dealing with picture resolutions that high, at LEAST 8 gigs of RAM for that system (you've probably already selected equal to or more), to deal with files of that size. Bottom line though, pick what's the best deal and the one with the best warranty and customer reputation. It's hard to go wrong with any of them unless you stumble over a model and people are complaining about fan bearing noise, fan loudness, or fan failure - these are generally going to be THE main problems you'll find aside from DOA rate from manufacture to manufacturer.

I guess the other part of the answer lies with whether or not you plan to overclock the card or do you not even want to mess with this aspect?
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November 7, 2012 12:54:49 AM

Thanks, really appreciate the response! In answer to your one comment, yes I am planning on 16gb of RAM but have not yet decided on which one (that is the other item holding up my build..).

So I've been doing some additional reading and research... and I think I am going to bite the bullet and just go for a Sapphire 7970 Vapor X. It's factory overclocked and I doubt I'll do any overclocking of my own (at least not initially, maybe when I learn more I will want to).. so this may be a good plug and play solution with a good deal of headroom (and perhaps some longevity, relatively speaking). Yes, it's significantly more expensive then what I was looking at, but frankly, it increases my overall system cost by 6-7% which isn't a huge deal in the scheme of things. Plus, I'm less likely to then wish I had done it 4-5 months from now...

My only question is.. is the Seasonix x750 PSU sufficient? I hope so. Looks like it fits in my case based on the dimensions as well (CM 690II). And I'm sure it'll be fine with my selected mobo.

Thoughts..?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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a b U Graphics card
November 7, 2012 1:07:54 AM

totally fine up to 2 beefy cards, or even 3 midrange
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November 7, 2012 1:36:02 AM

perfect... so think i should pull the trigger on the 7970 vapor x? $439.99 after rebate + 3 (or is it 4) free games ... seems like a good deal. $100 premium over the 7950 but seems worth it. And yes, I am looking for someone to qualify my decision ;) 
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a b U Graphics card
November 7, 2012 1:37:55 AM

Vexashon said:
perfect... so think i should pull the trigger on the 7970 vapor x? $439.99 after rebate + 3 (or is it 4) free games ... seems like a good deal. $100 premium over the 7950 but seems worth it. And yes, I am looking for someone to qualify my decision ;) 

it's 3 games but 20% off medal of honor:warfighter which makes it $48 if i'm not mistaken
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a b U Graphics card
November 7, 2012 2:41:42 AM

Do it.
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