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680 or xfire 7950s?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 3, 2012 5:17:35 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE ASAP the 7870 is being returned due to fan failure

BUDGET RANGE £350-450

USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Guild wars 2 - planetside 2 - battlefield 3 - Dirt 3 an showdown - sleeping dogs - most C&C games - Hitman - assassins creed - i may get into a little level designing on games

CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY 7870 - crossair HX750

OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS: Asus sabertooth 990FX - FX8100 (cough stock speed as no water as yet - hangs head in shame - getting cpu watercooler closed loop for xmas from the mrs woop) - crossair vengance 2133 8gig (2x4gig) -


PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS has to be overclockers uk as getting credited for the 7870

PARTS PREFERENCES: want best frame rate without having to drop res - willing to try an ~OC on single card but xfire or sli seems like need a new full tower for the cooling


MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680x1050 for my main - have a smaller 1080p screen but have it set at same rez as the main (isp monitior coming when they drop in price)

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: want the smoothest experiance and found that the 7870 was alittle sluggish in places

Thanks for reading and any replies in advance

More about : 680 xfire 7950s

December 3, 2012 5:46:08 PM

I would suggest a 670. They are 90-95% of the performance of a 680 for 70-75% of the price (at least in the US). If you get one with a decent factory OC or OC one yourself they will rival a stock 680. I have a 670 and I run 50+ FPS in GW2 with everything maxed and AA on and Battlefield 3 MP I have most settings on ultra with a few tweaks and run 60-120 depending on map. Not sure about my FPS in PS2 but I know I have everything maxed and its smooth, likewise with AC3 - not 100% sure but I think I'm 80+ fps with everything maxed/AA eneabled. I run at 1920x1080 as well, so you should see higher frame rates running at 1680x1050.
December 3, 2012 5:55:58 PM

Well there are a few things to look at. I have been doing quite a bit of research on GPU's the past few months and decided to go with a GTX 680 after being a long time AMD fan. And I couldn't be more happy. so my advice....

Drop the 7950's CF and don't ever think about them again lol. If you intend to use the GPU/s for mainly gaming, keep in mind that not all games support CF. When you run into a game that doesnt support CF then you will be stuck using a single GPU that may not perform as well as you like at max settings with a smooth FPS.

It should be more of a toss up between the 7970 and 680. A few pros and cons for you: Radeon cards are usually better for Much higher resolutions and multi monitor gaming, would also be better for most graphic design, including 3D rendering. The GTX 680 is the powerhouse that should be behind every gamers machine. It outperforms the 7970 at lower resolutions, by a nice chunk and is also amzingly awesome for 3D gaming if thats something you would want to get into (GW2 is much more fun in 3D). However you will spend more money on the GTX 680, if you have the extra cash take the GTX 680, if you need to save a bit take the 7970. The in game performance difference you will notice with either card is minimal. More monitors and higher resolutions is when you will see a decent difference between the cards.
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December 3, 2012 6:11:02 PM

Yea likewise, the 670 was my first non-AMD vid card since my Nvidia Geforce 2 MX400. Actually, I take that back, I did have a VooDoo FX 3 for a while. Anyways, I must say I have been more than happy with the 670.
December 3, 2012 6:14:04 PM

I do agree with Friar, the GTX 670 is a far more economical choice with great performance for the money. But again, if you are willing to spend the extra cash, I would pick up the 680.

I did upgrade from a Radeon 6870 2GB, which is a decent card but not a max quality smooth FPS card so the 7970, 670, or 680 is a massive upgrade either way.
December 3, 2012 6:47:30 PM

Firstly thank you both for your input - xfire off the menu then as yea stuck with 1 gpu will stop me playing that game out of princible that it aint using what i paid the extra for - does that apply to SLI aswel?
Yes prolly will go or the 3D gaming when they get the screens alittle better as seems to get a decent screen seems bit over priced yet specally if decide that want the 3 screen set up n the future

so sees my choices are down to
KFA2 GeForce GTX 680 EX OC 4096MB GDDR5
EVGA GeForce GTX 680 FTW 2048MB GDDR5 PCI-Express Graphics Card
HIS HD 7970 X GHZ Edition 3072MB GDDR5 PCI-Express Graphics Card
all roughly the same cost
or if wat to save some pennies
Sapphire HD 7970 VAPOR-X GHZ 3072MB GDDR5 PCI-Express Graphics Card
HIS HD 7970 IceQ X² 3072MB GDDR5 PCI-Express Graphics Card
EVGA GeForce GTX 680 2048MB GDDR5
MSI GeForce GTX 680 2048MB GDDR5 PCI-Express Graphics Card

now am thinking that 4gig o ram on the card will that help or not? the 6gig version bit outta my price range
a c 185 U Graphics card
December 3, 2012 6:50:22 PM

670 or 7970 gets my vote.
December 3, 2012 7:07:29 PM

What I just learned recently is that higher VRAM is better for multi monitor gaming. So if you plan on doing multi monitor and are considering GTX, I would suggest a GPU with 4GB such as http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... or http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... And again, the 7970 is better for multi monitor which of course results in higher resolutions and where the 7970 excels. Also I wouldn't recommend 3D gaming with a multi monitor setup, 3D is a bit straining on the eyes for the first few weeks or so of using it, and a triple monitor 3D gaming experience might be a bit much to first start out. Now I know you don't intend to use NewEgg but Im comfortable with the site and things are easy to find. I would recommend http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... if you are going with the 7970, its a great bang for the buck with the best OC in the price range and closest comparable speeds to the more expensive 680.
December 3, 2012 7:15:23 PM

And to answer the CF/SLI.. AMD seems to get the better performance boost from CF while the SLI from Nvidia is a bit more stable but usually falls closely behind. But to be honest you don't need to CF 7970's or 680's at this point in the gaming industry (except with 3 or more monitors), it would be overkill..... by a lot. If you plan on doing a LOT of graphic design and 3D rendering then I would recommend CF/SLI. CF/SLI would also be great with multi monitor, but I would just buy one card now, wait and see if you still want multi monitor and if you do, then buy a second card when you get the extra monitors.

I have 3 23" ASUS 60Hz Monitors now using a single 680 and I still hit 40-60 FPS in high to max settings.
December 3, 2012 7:41:43 PM

The 670 is great if you are on a strict budget, otherwise its worth getting the 7970 or 680.

Your 7970 is a nice choice, and keep in mine too you can OC it to surpass the 680 by a large margin.

Keep us updated and let us know how it works for you... plus you get 4 free games, a nice bonus.
December 3, 2012 7:54:03 PM

think 7970 wins the vote tbh think its the jet on the box and certificate you get too :)  the old 7870 getting picked up in the morning so soon as they have it i will order that card unless a complelling argument for the nvida is made


again thank you all for advice and will post my 1st 3d mark score for it here
December 3, 2012 8:12:44 PM

Well if I'm reading that list correctly, it appears that most of the single Radeon 7970's are not OC'd at all, in fact some are very low stock speeds. The higher benched 7970's they are running 3 and 4 7970's, so you wont actually achieve a bench anywhere close to them. I havent used a 7970 yet, but I know with my 6870, OCing was as easy as opening catalyst and sliding 2 bars to the right til I reached my desired clock speeds. Hoever that is super simple OCing and isnt the best way to do it, but its great for a novice.
December 3, 2012 8:13:20 PM

NVIDIA Adaptive Vertical Sync adjusts VSync to current frame rates for maximum playability
- NVIDIA 3D Vision® Surround multi-monitor gaming on a single GPU (three gaming monitors plus one accessory display) - for the first time ever

seems found a good point for the nvidia
December 3, 2012 8:17:49 PM

i clicked the GPU into the single only section - seems they running the 7970s at 1700mhz


)GPU NameAMD Radeon HD 7970GPU VendorMicro-Star International Co ., Ltd.# of Cards1GPU Memory3072 MBGPU Core clock1770 MHzGPU Memory clock2000 MHzGPU Driver8.980.0.0


yet the 680s are running stock i think

GPU NameNVIDIA GeForce GTX 680GPU VendorEVGA Corporation# of Cards1GPU Memory4096 MBGPU Core clock705 MHzGPU Memory clock3798 MHzGPU Driver9.18.13.623
December 3, 2012 8:27:53 PM

Im not sure if I would trust too many of those benches I'm seeing a lot of unusually underclocked cards with processors reading 0MHZ or really low speeds yet with high bench scores. However, as stated before, the GTX 680 does out perform the 7970 but not by a lot. Also the benches show more than just the GPU, the CPU is also a huge factor, and most of the CPU's there are pretty high end intel CPU's. You wont see benches like that regardless of your card because once you get either the GTX 680 or Radeon 7970, your crappy (no offense) FX-8100 will bottleneck your PC and gaming performance.
December 3, 2012 8:43:33 PM

okies is that bottleneck thing (gunna research tomorrow as off o bed now) down to it being stock speed and not taken to its top end (hoping to get atleast 4.5-5mhz once the water cooler arrives) erm think that little of topic so will ask in more detail in the cpu section tomorrow -but the point being if the cpuis gunna hold the card back is there a point in gettng such a card if what your saying is that i need new board and chip to handle it

again cheers muchly for your time, effort and care in this matter

December 3, 2012 8:45:45 PM

oh is FX8120 not the flat 8100 (if that makes any diff at all)
December 3, 2012 8:54:22 PM

Both those cards will still perform at their maximum capability with their current stock settings. When it comes down to the games that are more CPU intensive vs GPU intensive that is where your CPU will bottleneck you. You don't need a new board, but for $325 USD you could get a board and CPU that will dominate your current in every situation. Visit http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/434?vs=701 closest Bench comparison you can get is with the FX-8150, the best budget CPU out there right now for gaming is the i5 3570k or the slightly less performer 2500k, both of which are absolutely amazing and easily overclockable.
December 4, 2012 11:21:17 AM

thanks again for input

what my intentions are now
1. just get a 7950
2. dont bother anymore with this cpu an leave it stock with its stock cooler
3. wait for 2013 Q2 for the next gen of boards an chips from intel
4. hope the wife doesnt kill me when i tell her that nee another grand to spend on parts next year
!