Gtx 680 confusion and need to buy.

Hello everyone this is my first post and i am happy i joined this website. Anyway i bought the MSI GTX680 twin frozr iii a week ago for $450. It said its core clock is 1056mhz but when i bring up the control center its max i can slide it to is 920mhz... I still have a chance to return it to Frys. If i do what should i get with a $500 budget? Is the EVGA gtx680 better or msi gtx680 lighting, or 7970 msi better? I need the best because i run the most high end games. Thank you to everyone who helps.
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  1. What "control center" are you talking about?

    Did you download and run TechPowerUp's GPU-Z, place the GPU under load and then check the GPU Clocks?

    Did you download and install the latest NVIDIA GeForce driver from NVIDIA's website?
  2. Yes i downloaded Nvidias lastest drivers and by control center i meant the msi app were i can increase core clock, V memory, amd voltage which is set at lowest setting and i can not move the slider for that. And no i have not downloaded GPU-Z yet. Is my graphic card the worst of the 680s? Should i get another one?
  3. So are you're using the latest MSI Afterburner v2.3.0 (Release Date: 2012-11-20) ?

    It's available from MSI here:
  4. What does it go o when under a load? You can use furmark to put it under load.
  5. Ok i used GPU-Z and played Shogun total war 2 at max settings and saw it does go to not 1056mhz but 1156mhz. Thank you for those links. But my last and final question is.. Is this video card worth it? Or are there other GTX680s/7970s that are better for under $500?
  6. Any factory overclocked Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition cards and any factory overclocked GeForce GTX 680 cards with a base core clock over 1058 MHz will be faster than your current card out of the box.
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