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GTX 660 Ti vs HD 7870 vs GTX 670 for Mid-level gaming

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a b U Graphics card
November 8, 2012 12:16:37 AM

Hi to all,

I am building a new mid-level gaming PC over the next few weeks and I'm looking for some advice as my brain is so messed up now from looking at reviews and benchmarks :pt1cable: 
I'm hoping that someone that has actually got one of these cards and plays the same games could let me know what settings and FPS you get and how you find it, or could someone offer some advice please.

Right, it's main usage would be games such as Skyrim (With some graphic mods), Assassins Creed 3 and DayZ (standalone). Also playing full HD movies, and the usual surfing etc..... No video editing.
I'm in the UK and can buy from any UK site.
My budget is around £250.
I would like to play these games on ultra or close as possible to it, on a 1080p monitor and keep the FPS above 50.
CPU will be an Ivy-Bridge i5 3570k.

GTX 670 2GB is around £300 (Over budget but I could leave getting an SSD if I needed an 670).
GTX 660Ti 2GB is around £220.
HD 7870 2GB is around £200.

I was going for the GTX 670 but then I read that the 660 Ti or the 7870 would be just as good for these games and would be more than enough for 60fps on ultra. Yes of course the 670 is a better card but as the other 2 cards could play them on ultra at 50/60fps I wouldn't gain much from the 670, only an extra 5/10fps.

Thanks so much
a b U Graphics card
November 8, 2012 1:14:15 AM

All of them are amazing cards. And I can vouch for the 660 Ti as I have one with a 3570k and run 2 monitors in 1080p and get 70+ on all the high end games such as BF3, Skyrim, DayZ.

The 660 Ti is actually in the mid range for the 600 series cards for nvidia. But actually. Getting a 670 wouldnt be worth it. The difference in performance is about 10% and the 660 Ti is pretty much a 670 as the only difference is the bandwidth. The 660 Ti has 192-bit and the 670 has 256-bit. And a SSD really helps the PC, so I would personally go with the 660 Ti.

To compare the 670 and 660 Ti to the 7870 here are some benchmarks:

660 Ti beats the 7870:

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/548?vs=647

670 beats the 7870:

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/548?vs=598

And here is the benchmark between the 670 and 660 Ti:

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/647?vs=598

Hope I helped.
a b U Graphics card
November 8, 2012 1:14:33 AM

I would go for the 7870 personally due to the price/performance. For the most part it can be overclocked and match a 7950 in most situations. If you want physx (how few games there are) I would go for the 660ti. Most games will need nothing more than these two cards currently at 1080p.

EDIT: also in response to the above poster, those were taken before the most recent Radeon driver which boosted BF3 and other games considerably on the 7xxx series. The 7870 and 660ti are pretty close most of the time with the most recent drivers. Like I said before though, both are excellent cards and will perform as you wish.
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a c 85 U Graphics card
a b 4 Gaming
November 8, 2012 1:22:58 AM

Buy a low level card that will play games on low settings for $40.

Wait three months.

Buy a cheaper card that's way more powerful when the 8K and 700 series cards are released.
a b U Graphics card
November 8, 2012 1:28:44 AM

DarkSable said:
Buy a low level card that will play games on low settings for $40.

Wait three months.

Buy a cheaper card that's way more powerful when the 8K and 700 series cards are released.


I actually agree with this, however I would spend 80-100 personally to have a decent experience with a 7750/7770.

The next 8xxx/7xx won't be too far assuming you don't mind waiting, and from reports the 8xxx series (haven't heard anything about the 7xx) seem to be quite a leap from the 7xxx and I would assume no less from the 7xx series.
a b U Graphics card
November 8, 2012 10:50:59 PM

abCasPeRR said:
All of them are amazing cards. And I can vouch for the 660 Ti as I have one with a 3570k and run 2 monitors in 1080p and get 70+ on all the high end games such as BF3, Skyrim, DayZ.

The 660 Ti is actually in the mid range for the 600 series cards for nvidia. But actually. Getting a 670 wouldnt be worth it. The difference in performance is about 10% and the 660 Ti is pretty much a 670 as the only difference is the bandwidth. The 660 Ti has 192-bit and the 670 has 256-bit. And a SSD really helps the PC, so I would personally go with the 660 Ti.

To compare the 670 and 660 Ti to the 7870 here are some benchmarks:

660 Ti beats the 7870:

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/548?vs=647

670 beats the 7870:

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/548?vs=598

And here is the benchmark between the 670 and 660 Ti:

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/647?vs=598

Hope I helped.


70+fps Wow thats good to know thank you so much for that info. I am definitely dropping the idea of the GTX 670 as I realised my new monitor is only gonna be 60/70Hz so even if the 670 would take my FPS upto 80/90 or even 100 I won't get any benefit from it with that monitor.
One card I'm now really considering now though is one I didn't list actually but I read a few posts on here where people asked about the GTX 660 Ti and a hell of a lot of the replies suggested the HD 7950 over the 660 Ti as it's about £10 cheaper and is apparently a slightly better card. Hmmm decisions decisions...... what to do now...... :pt1cable: 

omega21xx said:
I actually agree with this, however I would spend 80-100 personally to have a decent experience with a 7750/7770.

The next 8xxx/7xx won't be too far assuming you don't mind waiting, and from reports the 8xxx series (haven't heard anything about the 7xx) seem to be quite a leap from the 7xxx and I would assume no less from the 7xx series.


Oow thats very interesting, I hadn't thought of looking into when the new gen cards were coming out. It's a really good point, but I need to have this rig done and dusted by the end of this month as I'm moving just before christmas. And, well as much as it would piss me off to see a GPU I just paid £200+ for drop to £150 or even less just a month or two after, I can't really wait unfortunately.
I'm now thinking of the HD 7950 because as I commented above I read a lot of recommendations for it over the 660 Ti and it's slightly cheaper, plus if they do drop by a decent amount in a few months I don't mind buying another one in July/August next year at a reduced price to CrossFire them.

Thank you for pointing that out though, I will be glued to my screen now to see then the 700 and 8000 series are being released =)
Cheers mate
a b U Graphics card
November 8, 2012 11:20:14 PM

I actually have a 7950 myself, I don't know if they are still running the same deal right now, but the free games to come with the 7900 series makes it more than worth it. With a good overclock the 7950 can surpass the 7970 and match the 680 in some cases, overall a really nice high end card and a great value IMO.

If the one you get comes with the free games, Sleeping Dogs is usually bundled with the card, I highly suggest trying it out. Very fun game. :) 
a b U Graphics card
November 8, 2012 11:34:43 PM

omega21xx said:
I actually have a 7950 myself, I don't know if they are still running the same deal right now, but the free games to come with the 7900 series makes it more than worth it. With a good overclock the 7950 can surpass the 7970 and match the 680 in some cases, overall a really nice high end card and a great value IMO.

If the one you get comes with the free games, Sleeping Dogs is usually bundled with the card, I highly suggest trying it out. Very fun game. :) 


LOL yeah I have a few friends playing Sleeping Dogs and they said it was good fun =)

Yeah the more I look at the 7950 now, the more I'm liking it, and if OC'ing it could bring it up to a 7970, Well damn I like the sound of that! =D
Although I am a complete n00b at OC'ing, I've only just started looking at how to OC a CPU, I wouldn't know where to begin with OC'ing a GPU :-\ I guess it's fairly similar to how you OC a CPU, but hey I might just give it a go, I mean whats the worst that can happen...... Right! :o  hehehe

Thanks again for your help and advice, really appreciate it.
a b U Graphics card
November 8, 2012 11:42:11 PM

euphoria4949 said:
70+fps Wow thats good to know thank you so much for that info. I am definitely dropping the idea of the GTX 670 as I realised my new monitor is only gonna be 60/70Hz so even if the 670 would take my FPS upto 80/90 or even 100 I won't get any benefit from it with that monitor.
One card I'm now really considering now though is one I didn't list actually but I read a few posts on here where people asked about the GTX 660 Ti and a hell of a lot of the replies suggested the HD 7950 over the 660 Ti as it's about £10 cheaper and is apparently a slightly better card. Hmmm decisions decisions...... what to do now...... :pt1cable: 



Oow thats very interesting, I hadn't thought of looking into when the new gen cards were coming out. It's a really good point, but I need to have this rig done and dusted by the end of this month as I'm moving just before christmas. And, well as much as it would piss me off to see a GPU I just paid £200+ for drop to £150 or even less just a month or two after, I can't really wait unfortunately.
I'm now thinking of the HD 7950 because as I commented above I read a lot of recommendations for it over the 660 Ti and it's slightly cheaper, plus if they do drop by a decent amount in a few months I don't mind buying another one in July/August next year at a reduced price to CrossFire them.

Thank you for pointing that out though, I will be glued to my screen now to see then the 700 and 8000 series are being released =)
Cheers mate


Well yes you are correct, your monitor cant display more FPS then what its refresh rate is, and thats the reason for vsync. Which locks your FPS at your monitors refresh rate. As for I dont use vsync as it actually adds screen tearing and I never knew why. But the more fps the better, with any of these cards your going to get more fps then what your monitor can show. Unless you use vsync.
a b U Graphics card
November 8, 2012 11:43:03 PM

euphoria4949 said:
LOL yeah I have a few friends playing Sleeping Dogs and they said it was good fun =)

Yeah the more I look at the 7950 now, the more I'm liking it, and if OC'ing it could bring it up to a 7970, Well damn I like the sound of that! =D
Although I am a complete n00b at OC'ing, I've only just started looking at how to OC a CPU, I wouldn't know where to begin with OC'ing a GPU :-\ I guess it's fairly similar to how you OC a CPU, but hey I might just give it a go, I mean whats the worst that can happen...... Right! :o  hehehe

Thanks again for your help and advice, really appreciate it.


With the 7000 series, they were VERY conservative with clocks, most cards you can just dial it up to the max in Catalyst Control and turn up the power to 20% to allow it to use more power for those clocks. You'll want to keep an eye on heat, and stress test with games and OCCT/Furmark. If it locks up, turn the dials down and keep testing. Your mileage will vary, but a clock of 1000mhz is very easy pretty much a guarantee and you may get lucky with something as high as 1200mhz (or more with voltage tweaks which will make it risky, I usually suggest not overvolting the gpu just to be safe.)

EDIT:
Here is a link that you may find useful for OC'ing GPUs and showing what a decent OC on a 7950 can do.

http://www.guru3d.com/articles_pages/radeon_hd_7950_ove...

This link is sort of old so there isn't a comparison to the 600 series and does not have the new 12.11 drivers that boosted performance quite a bit, but it gives you an idea.
a b U Graphics card
November 8, 2012 11:44:14 PM

euphoria4949 said:
LOL yeah I have a few friends playing Sleeping Dogs and they said it was good fun =)

Yeah the more I look at the 7950 now, the more I'm liking it, and if OC'ing it could bring it up to a 7970, Well damn I like the sound of that! =D
Although I am a complete n00b at OC'ing, I've only just started looking at how to OC a CPU, I wouldn't know where to begin with OC'ing a GPU :-\ I guess it's fairly similar to how you OC a CPU, but hey I might just give it a go, I mean whats the worst that can happen...... Right! :o  hehehe

Thanks again for your help and advice, really appreciate it.


OC'ing a GPU is the easiest, there are programs like EVGA Precision and MSI Afterburner. All you do is just move a slider to increase the Core and memory clock and thats it. I would research online what other safe OC's people have gotten with the card of your choice.
a b U Graphics card
November 9, 2012 1:00:40 AM

omega21xx said:
With the 7000 series, they were VERY conservative with clocks, most cards you can just dial it up to the max in Catalyst Control and turn up the power to 20% to allow it to use more power for those clocks. You'll want to keep an eye on heat, and stress test with games and OCCT/Furmark. If it locks up, turn the dials down and keep testing. Your mileage will vary, but a clock of 1000mhz is very easy pretty much a guarantee and you may get lucky with something as high as 1200mhz (or more with voltage tweaks which will make it risky, I usually suggest not overvolting the gpu just to be safe.)

EDIT:
Here is a link that you may find useful for OC'ing GPUs and showing what a decent OC on a 7950 can do.

http://www.guru3d.com/articles_pages/radeon_hd_7950_ove...

This link is sort of old so there isn't a comparison to the 600 series and does not have the new 12.11 drivers that boosted performance quite a bit, but it gives you an idea.


abCasPeRR said:
OC'ing a GPU is the easiest, there are programs like EVGA Precision and MSI Afterburner. All you do is just move a slider to increase the Core and memory clock and thats it. I would research online what other safe OC's people have gotten with the card of your choice.


Well I think from what you have said and the benchmarks and reviews, plus the OC'ing sounds very good and pretty easy..ish, I think I'm gonna go for the 7950 :)  Time to start choosing a brand. The Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB Vapor-X looks pretty good at about £225 or even the standard Sapphire 7950 for £15 less, both seem to have really good reviews on performance, temp and noise.

So I've got my CPU, CPU-HSF, GPU, RAM, MoBo, SSD & HDD and Case all sorted, now I just need to finalise my PSU and monitor and I'm good to go =) I'll have a scout around for a few days to choose them and maybe post on here if I get stuck.

Well, again I just wanna say a big thanks for all you help and advice I REALLY appreciate it :) 
November 9, 2012 1:08:38 AM

I had a 7950 and hated it. I would honestly skip over it and wait or if you got the cash go for the GTX 670. I think some people are expecting the 8xxx and 7xx cards a bit soon. Sure there are rumors and what not but I think AMD and Nvidia would want to milk there current offerings a tad longer. I think May or July we will see the new 8xxx and 7xx cards I don't buy this 3 months window at all. I had to really push my XFX double d 7950 to come close to matching what I get with my stock MSI GTX 670 PE. I Had to change it from 800mhz to 1100MHZ and from 1250 to 1450MHZ to get the same default results I am now getting with my 670 PE. On the plus side those clocks did run stable however driver issues drove me crazy to no end. Good luck with whatever you go for.
a b U Graphics card
November 9, 2012 1:17:58 AM

Boardjames said:
I had a 7950 and hated it. I would honestly skip over it and wait or if you got the cash go for the GTX 670. I think some people are expecting the 8xxx and 7xx cards a bit soon. Sure there are rumors and what not but I think AMD and Nvidia would want to milk there current ofeerings a tad longer. I think May or July we will see the new 8xxx and 7xx cards I don't buy this 3 months window at all.


Why exactly did you hate it? You may have had a technical issue or something, video cards work or they don't. The only things I can see as a problem would be noise, heat, OC headroom, and all those things vary and can be affected by problems. Read reviews, know you card before you buy.

EDIT: I see it wasn't performing the way it should have, when you overclock, if you don't increase the power to 20% it will throttle. That's one idea, but it could have been many other problems, loads of benchmarks show the 7950 and 670 when both overclocked run about the same.

EDIT2: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-7950-revi...

I highly stress that your bad experience was obviously with something like a faulty card or user error. Benchmark after benchmark show flying colors for the 7950, and I can attest to it myself.

euphoria4949 said:

Well I think from what you have said and the benchmarks and reviews, plus the OC'ing sounds very good and pretty easy..ish, I think I'm gonna go for the 7950 :)  Time to start choosing a brand. The Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB Vapor-X looks pretty good at about £225 or even the standard Sapphire 7950 for £15 less, both seem to have really good reviews on performance, temp and noise.

So I've got my CPU, CPU-HSF, GPU, RAM, MoBo, SSD & HDD and Case all sorted, now I just need to finalise my PSU and monitor and I'm good to go =) I'll have a scout around for a few days to choose them and maybe post on here if I get stuck.

Well, again I just wanna say a big thanks for all you help and advice I REALLY appreciate it :) 


I actually have the vapor-x 7950, never heard it ramp up, always stays nice and cool. My CPU fan is actually louder than my GPU fan which is saying a lot since my CPU fan is pretty quiet as is.

If you look at posts by people with the vapor-x, you'll see plenty of people with good feedback and OC results. :) 
a b U Graphics card
November 9, 2012 1:22:20 AM

Boardjames said:
I had a 7950 and hated it. I would honestly skip over it and wait or if you got the cash go for the GTX 670. I think some people are expecting the 8xxx and 7xx cards a bit soon. Sure there are rumors and what not but I think AMD and Nvidia would want to milk there current offerings a tad longer. I think May or July we will see the new 8xxx and 7xx cards I don't buy this 3 months window at all. I had to really push my XFX double d 7950 to come close to matching what I get with my stock MSI GTX 670 PE. I Had to change it from 800mhz to 1100MHZ and from 1250 to 1450MHZ to get the same default results I am now getting with my 670 PE. On the plus side those clocks did run stable however driver issues drove me crazy to no end. Good luck with whatever you go for.


Well that just burst my bubble :cry:  LOL Thank you for your advice though :) 

Curiosity..... any reason you think your 7950 lagged behind a 670, most benchmarks and reviews I've read say they are very equal in performance???
a b U Graphics card
November 9, 2012 1:29:45 AM

omega21xx said:
Why exactly did you hate it? You may have had a technical issue or something, video cards work or they don't. The only things I can see as a problem would be noise, heat, OC headroom, and all those things vary and can be affected by problems. Read reviews, know you card before you buy.

EDIT: I see it wasn't performing the way it should have, when you overclock, if you don't increase the power to 20% it will throttle. That's one idea, but it could have been many other problems, loads of benchmarks show the 7950 and 670 when both overclocked run about the same.



I actually have the vapor-x 7950, never heard it ramp up, always stays nice and cool. My CPU fan is actually louder than my GPU fan which is saying a lot since my CPU fan is pretty quiet as is.

If you look at posts by people with the vapor-x, you'll see plenty of people with good feedback and OC results. :) 


Oh nice one, that's good to hear. Just to be really nosy where did you get yours from, and if I'm not overstepping the mark how much did you pay for it???
a b U Graphics card
November 9, 2012 1:56:32 AM

euphoria4949 said:
Oh nice one, that's good to hear. Just to be really nosy where did you get yours from, and if I'm not overstepping the mark how much did you pay for it???


I live in US so I bought from newegg, they don't seem to have the one I got anymore

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

but this one is similar and has the 3 games

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I've found plenty on amazon in your price range that could work for you though.

I paid $330 for mine but they tend to run around 200-250 in Europe.

EDIT:

I didn't search much but this is a good selection in Europe

http://www.dabs.com/category/components-and-storage,gra...
November 9, 2012 3:15:48 AM

euphoria4949 said:
Well that just burst my bubble :cry:  LOL Thank you for your advice though :) 

Curiosity..... any reason you think your 7950 lagged behind a 670, most benchmarks and reviews I've read say they are very equal in performance???


There are a couple titles the 7950 pulls ahead in but at stock clocks I honestly gotta say it is roughly %5 faster and %5 slower then the GTX 660TI due to the TI's small memory bus it can stumble. One thing to remember is I have a overclocked GTX 670 and it seems to boost to 1228MHZ most of the time during use. The stock Clocked GTX 670's if you can find any are a better value over the 7950. I think if you factor in the better support with drivers and title support you got a winning combo. One thing to take note of however is Beta driver 12.11 has mad a huge impact in most games for the 7xxx cards, My friends 7950 with 12.11 is somewhat close in performance to my GTX 670 but he seems to be suffering from a whole new set of driver issues. I still see on most titles 10FPS to 15FPS more over my friends 7950 that is with his overclock of 1075-1300.
a b U Graphics card
November 10, 2012 2:17:01 AM

omega21xx said:
I live in US so I bought from newegg, they don't seem to have the one I got anymore

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

but this one is similar and has the 3 games

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I've found plenty on amazon in your price range that could work for you though.

I paid $330 for mine but they tend to run around 200-250 in Europe.

EDIT:

I didn't search much but this is a good selection in Europe

http://www.dabs.com/category/components-and-storage,gra...


That's wicked thank you for finding that :) 

Can I be cheeky and ask one last really important question. The standard 7950's all seem to be powered by either 2x 6pins, or 1x 6pin and 1x 8pin, but all the sites I've checked say that the Sapphire 7950 Vapor-X needs 2x 8pins! Can you tell me what yours uses to power it please because it will determined which PSU I need to get.
Thanks again
a b U Graphics card
November 10, 2012 4:49:09 AM

euphoria4949 said:
That's wicked thank you for finding that :) 

Can I be cheeky and ask one last really important question. The standard 7950's all seem to be powered by either 2x 6pins, or 1x 6pin and 1x 8pin, but all the sites I've checked say that the Sapphire 7950 Vapor-X needs 2x 8pins! Can you tell me what yours uses to power it please because it will determined which PSU I need to get.
Thanks again


I would shoot for 8 pin anyway, but even if you don't, it comes with Molex adapters to fit with whatever PSU you get, as long as it can supply the power.

I'm pretty confident it uses a 6+8, but I'm not home to open my computer case and check.
a b U Graphics card
November 10, 2012 9:09:08 PM

omega21xx said:
I would shoot for 8 pin anyway, but even if you don't, it comes with Molex adapters to fit with whatever PSU you get, as long as it can supply the power.

I'm pretty confident it uses a 6+8, but I'm not home to open my computer case and check.


1x6 and 1x8-pin.... Hmmm interesting! I'm actually in a hot debate in another thread about this Gfx card lol =) Nobody seems to know for sure whether it's 2x8 or 1x6 and 1x8, it's bugging the hell out of us :??: 
If you're at home over the next few days and have a few minutes, if you could take a look at your 7950 Vapor to see what power plugs it's using, myself and a dozen other guys would be very grateful if you could settle it =)
Thanks again for your help
a b U Graphics card
November 10, 2012 9:13:55 PM

Get a 7950, over clock it, then enjoy!
a b U Graphics card
November 10, 2012 9:16:41 PM

zpwslayer said:
Get a 7950, over clock it, then enjoy!


=) That's my plan, but I need to find out first how many pins it requires so I get the right PSU.
November 10, 2012 11:02:58 PM

Sounds like you are set on getting a 7950. As long as you don't expect GTX 670 performance and expect slightly better then 660TI performance then you should be fine. This is a great PSU http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... The insides of the XFX PSU are made by Seasonic so you can't go wrong.
a b U Graphics card
November 11, 2012 12:39:52 PM

Get a 660 Ti. The MSI Power Edition is stock overclocked that nears reference 670 performance - it has the best overclocking of a 660 Ti card too, and it can surpass the 670. Then, later on down the line you can add another if desired to increase the performance
November 12, 2012 9:49:46 PM

calumconroy said:
Get a 660 Ti. The MSI Power Edition is stock overclocked that nears reference 670 performance - it has the best overclocking of a 660 Ti card too, and it can surpass the 670. Then, later on down the line you can add another if desired to increase the performance


Not so sure about beating a GTX 670 unless super overclocked to the Max which you can't expect with every card. :non: 
!