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AMD 7970 Brand/model advice?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
November 13, 2012 3:25:30 PM

Seeking advice from the community on what GPU to buy for my 2560x1440 monitor and gaming computer.

The rig I currently have is:
ASUS Sabertooth X58
Intel Core i7-950 Bloomfield 3.06GHz (OCed about 15-20%)
6Gb (soon to be 12) of Coursair DDR3 PC3-12800 RAM
Soon to be a Samsung 840 240Gb SSD
2x EVGA nvidia 460 Superclocked EE in SLI
650W Power supply

I am looking to upgrade to a newer graphics card and I'm leaning heavily toward the 7970 (although feel free to try and convince me otherwise). This would be my first AMD card and I am pretty much not familiar with the AMD side of graphics, I've done Nvidia all my life.

So my question is, what brands are good and what specific models are good?

- My purchase time frame is very close, in the next week or so.
- I am moderately interested in overclocking the GPU. I would definatly prefer buying a lower clocked model and doing it myself then paying the company $25 to bump the clock up 100 mz
- Budget is up to $400 or a little over, but would prefer somewhere in the $350-400 range
- I like warranties, that is what drew me to the EVGA cards
- I don't particularly like the closed box, single fan setup that my current EVGA cards have.
- Preferred sites to order from would be Amazon, Newegg, Tigerdirect. Although if there is some insane deal I'll go elsewhere.

Erm... yeah, ask any questions you want.
November 13, 2012 3:52:20 PM

I would go XFX.
Related resources
November 13, 2012 3:59:57 PM

Arreo said:
Like the XFX Double D FX-797A-TDFC Radeon HD 7970 3GB ? That looks pretty damn sweet, especially with an additional 10% off promo code brings it to $357 after a $30 MIR.

Yep, that looks good, wish I had it myself... :( 

EDIT: You could try the GHz edition, I would go XFX rather than Gigabyte, but that's only my opinion :) 
November 13, 2012 5:31:50 PM

If they $400 is your highest price point, then you can go with whichever one you want. The Vapor X, Lightning, and Matrix are usually are great overclockers with fantastic cooling, but are over the $400.
a b U Graphics card
November 13, 2012 5:59:12 PM

The XFX is a great choice and a great warranty too but they do get the hottest. The fans where made to work as quiet as possible so its a good card unless you want to overclock.

My personal choice would be the Gigabyte 7970 or a HIS IceQ X². Both have great cooling and good headroom for overclocking.

The HIS IceQ X² Looks better than the Gigabyte (in my opinion) but has basically the same temperatures under load.

The Gigabyte and the HIS sit right in the 400$ budget.

Cheers :) 


a c 214 U Graphics card
November 13, 2012 6:28:09 PM

What is the make/model of your PSU?

Do you think you would crossfire?

I would suggest going for the XFX 7970.They have great customer support,imo, and they offer a lifetime warranty.The cooler on them is also quite good but i'm not sure how well they O.C. compared to the Asus Direct CU/TOP and the MSI Power edition/Hawk/Frozer.

GTX460 SLI vs 7970 comparison(if your interested)

7970 Roundup(no XFX cards but still a general idea of whats out there)

@2560x1440, As long as you have 1GB of VRAM you won't see much of a performance increase with more VRAM.The main thing about 2560x1440 is that it requires a very fast the 7970 is something you really should consider to get the most out of it at that res.
November 13, 2012 6:39:46 PM

I've owned several ATI cards. I usually go with HIS. They're generally a little less expensive and they make a great product. If you can afford the extra, XFX is probably a little better.

I applaude your choice of EVGA on the nvidia side of things. They used to have stellar warranties for average prices. You have to be careful now-a-days, though. Most of their products only carry a 3 year warranty.
November 13, 2012 6:50:50 PM

purple stank said:
What is the make/model of your PSU?

Do you think you would crossfire?

650 Watt, 80 Plus Gold, modular and I honestly can't remember the maker. It was one of the big ones, Corsair or Thermaltake stick in my mind.

As for crossfire, yes eventually. My plan is to put the new SSD, some more RAM and this new graphics card into my existing computer. And use that for a while longer until it gets obsolete/too slow. Then I'll take it out, get a new CPU/Motherboard/power supply and perhaps a second of whatever graphics card I decide to go for. Sort of a modular upgrade plan...
a c 214 U Graphics card
November 13, 2012 10:27:36 PM

Well if it's gold then it's probably no worries.

I was going to suggest a 7870 crossfire but I can't seem to find any benchmarks.And in the end if your planning on upgrading at a later date to a 7970 crossfire would last you much longer.Just stick with the lifetime warranty is what I'd do.One of my GPU's warranty just ended.Now I'm all scared something will happen to it. :cry: 

Were you planning on going for Haswell or waiting longer?
November 13, 2012 10:38:59 PM

purple stank said:

Were you planning on going for Haswell or waiting longer?

I'd say most likely Haswell, though it is possible I might wait until Broadwell.

Also, I pulled the trigger on the XFX 7970 for $360, and because of some kind of insane lower price guarantee wrangling on my credit card that might drop to $330 or even lower. :D 

Thank you everyone for your advice, you guys rock!
a c 214 U Graphics card
November 13, 2012 10:41:56 PM

That's a wise choice.Going to notice quite a speed bump.

I haven't read past Haswell.Haven't to see what it's like I guess.