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7970 GHZ edition.

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December 16, 2012 1:47:40 AM

Hey there everyone! First time posting here and I need some suggestions. A lot in fact but I will keep it to graphics mainly. I had someone suggest I get a 7970 GHZ edition graphics card for my new gaming machine. I would like to spend a total of 1500-2000, with 2000 being MAX with taxes and all. I found a nice 23" asus screen for 150. I am thinking of using a Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz processor, I hear it is the best for gaming as of now and i7 would be total utter overkill that I wouldn't even notice a difference with. So, anyways, I am willing to spend around 500 or so on a graphics card. I have some wiggle room but I want quality parts and an under 2k out the door price. The only thing I seen about the 7970 that I didn't like is it seems like it came out in the beginning of 2012 and the GHZ edition is simply an overclocked stock edition that came out 6 months ago. Is it worth it? Also with your graphics recommendations what would be your vendor recommendation. I have always gone with Asus for mobos and EVGA for graphics but I am willing to change things up a bit. I have been out of the loop since 2007 ish on building a gaming PC and a lot seems to have changed. Any advice will be greatly appreciated. So far this is what I'm looking at.


Case unsure on, recommendations welcome
PSU anything with good reviews, not sure on how much power I need or what brand. Recommendations welcome
CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz . I am willing to go i7 if it is something I will need in the next few years for gaming. If it is a total utter waste then I will stick to i5.
HD: 2TB drive for storage and games, a 128 GB SSD drive for OS and cache (not sure on how to do the cache on it, this is new to me, but it was advised.
Motherboard I am totally unsure about, there is this really rad look ASUS board with these dust free covers for 250, has very nice parts apparently but I don't know if its REALLY worth it.


Anything else is up for debate and I am all ears.

Thank you all in advance!


P.S. I think it goes without saying I want this guy to run any game that comes out at max settings for the next few years at least, I don't think that is too demanding with my budget but I could be wrong. My 8800 GTX lasted me a long long time before burning out and it ran great. Anyways, thanks!

More about : 7970 ghz edition

December 16, 2012 3:06:58 AM

Hiya there Chris, welcome to Tom's if you haven't been here before. I'm not necessarily "seasoned" as far as posting on here that often, but I do frequent the forums and all around on Tom's sites + other tech sites. I'd personally go with a 7970 myself if I was going for bang for the buck. You wouldn't necessarily need to go the ghz path, unless you really plan to O/C.

Did want to chime in as well on a couple of different things.

1st Question: What is the resolution of the monitor?

2nd Question: What games do you play/want to play with the card? This is some-what import due to the fact that Nvidia cards and AMD's will run differently on various games. Some favor more Nvidia and some more AMD, so sometimes this is a factor that determines the card to recommend. I can't recommend a card that where it is better is due to games that you do not play.

3rd Question: What kind of options do you want more-so? Are you looking for possible eyefinity in the future with one card? Example if you think you might add an extra two screens in the future? Also, are you that interested in PhyX? If that is your main concern then we'll know which way to lean.

Ok, that I think concludes my questions on the card.

As far as the processor, that is definitely a good one. It has good overall price/perf. Are you mainly concerned about gaming, or do you do any heavily intensive multi-threaded apps? The basic difference in the 3570 & 3770 is the hyper-thread vs. not.

2TB storage should be around $120-180? I'd prefer a Samsung or Western Digital (actually the longer the warranty the more preferred imo)

SSD you could swing with a Samsung 840 Series for around ~$120-140 for 120GB. Not sure exactly what you mean by cache'ing on it? Do you mean partitioning or something along those lines?

Motherboard, really depends what features you want more than anything. I got a Sabertooth z77 for ~$230 I believe and I have all the features I want and a 5 yr Warranty

PSU, I just always look for the gold rating PSU suppliers and see what's on sale. Your usual good ones are Seasonic, PC Power & Cooling, Corsair, and a few others that I'll think of at a later point.

I'd link some products from Newegg, but a little lazy atm. If you want some help with that let me know and I will. Anything else hit me up and when you answer the questions will be easier to pinpoint better suggestions.

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December 16, 2012 3:22:51 AM

PSU-Silencer Mk II 750/600 Silver Certified, if you want to go cheaper, the CX750/GS series are good.
GPU-If you plan to multi monitor(3+) or high resolution(2560x1440+) 7970, if not, GTX680.

You cant cache and store on the same SSD, its one or the other, a good caching SSD is the Larsen Creek, but for the same price you can easily just get a real SSD to store your intensive stuff on(games), good ones are the OCZ Vertex 4, 520 Cherryville, and Corsair Force series.

3570k is fine for gaming, anything more is overkill.
For a cooler get a high end air cooler, like a Noctua NH-D14 for 80 bucks or if you don't want to OC as much the Hyper Evo 212/212+. Don't get a closed loop water cooler, anything below a custom loop will be outperformed in terms of price by air coolers(If you use a 3 pin mounting system for the fan the Thermaltake Frio is decent too).

Good luck!
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a c 85 U Graphics card
December 16, 2012 3:34:18 AM
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a b U Graphics card
December 16, 2012 3:50:33 AM

Hi, Chris and welcome to the forums.

Sounds to me like you have a pretty decent handle on what makes a good gaming computer.

Regarding the 7970 vz the 7970 GHz edition there are two main differences. The first is obviously that the Ghz editions are clocked higher and therefore perform a little better. The second difference is that the Ghz edition has a boost capability that allows it to overclock itself a bit when it hs enough thermal headroom. However that only seems to work when it is running at the default clocks. Have a read of the following article for more info on that: AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition Review: Give Me Back That Crown!. Whether or not that is worth the extra money is up to you, but considering the recent price drops on the regular 7970's, it's probably better to save a bit of cash and pass on the GHz edition. Especially if you plan to get a couple of cards to run crossfire. On the other hand, if you won't stand for anything but the best then the GHz Edition is the cream of the crop with the ASUS MATRIX Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition being right at the top of the heap.
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December 16, 2012 4:20:45 AM

either should be fine, just OC it. and trust me, you would have to seriously wasteful to spend all 2 grand on a comp

for comparison:

500r corsair carbide
asrock z77 extreme 4
i5 3570k
16gb ram
hd 7850
crucial 128gb m4
spinpoint f3
corsair hx750
a few spare fans
win 7 x64 pro

i got all of that for approximately $650. monitor, keyboard, mouse, controller, headphones not included.

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a c 85 U Graphics card
December 16, 2012 4:25:57 AM

well your system isnt future proof as much as his, yes your parts are good except, the 680 will be more sufficient down the road, and depends on ur needs.

its all about what you want and ur goals.

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December 16, 2012 5:46:14 AM

Warsaw said:
Hiya there Chris, welcome to Tom's if you haven't been here before. I'm not necessarily "seasoned" as far as posting on here that often, but I do frequent the forums and all around on Tom's sites + other tech sites. I'd personally go with a 7970 myself if I was going for bang for the buck. You wouldn't necessarily need to go the ghz path, unless you really plan to O/C.

Did want to chime in as well on a couple of different things.

1st Question: What is the resolution of the monitor?

2nd Question: What games do you play/want to play with the card? This is some-what import due to the fact that Nvidia cards and AMD's will run differently on various games. Some favor more Nvidia and some more AMD, so sometimes this is a factor that determines the card to recommend. I can't recommend a card that where it is better is due to games that you do not play.

3rd Question: What kind of options do you want more-so? Are you looking for possible eyefinity in the future with one card? Example if you think you might add an extra two screens in the future? Also, are you that interested in PhyX? If that is your main concern then we'll know which way to lean.

Ok, that I think concludes my questions on the card.

As far as the processor, that is definitely a good one. It has good overall price/perf. Are you mainly concerned about gaming, or do you do any heavily intensive multi-threaded apps? The basic difference in the 3570 & 3770 is the hyper-thread vs. not.

2TB storage should be around $120-180? I'd prefer a Samsung or Western Digital (actually the longer the warranty the more preferred imo)

SSD you could swing with a Samsung 840 Series for around ~$120-140 for 120GB. Not sure exactly what you mean by cache'ing on it? Do you mean partitioning or something along those lines?

Motherboard, really depends what features you want more than anything. I got a Sabertooth z77 for ~$230 I believe and I have all the features I want and a 5 yr Warranty

PSU, I just always look for the gold rating PSU suppliers and see what's on sale. Your usual good ones are Seasonic, PC Power & Cooling, Corsair, and a few others that I'll think of at a later point.

I'd link some products from Newegg, but a little lazy atm. If you want some help with that let me know and I will. Anything else hit me up and when you answer the questions will be easier to pinpoint better suggestions.


Alright, here we go. Resolution I would be playing in would be 1080p/1920 x 1080. Second question is harder. One Thing I can almost guarantee is I won't be playing BF3 or any call of duty games as frankly they just aren't for me. I love skyrim, fallout, xcom, driver, a lot of games. I can't pinpoint just one type so it would need to be all around good. Third, I am not horribly familiar with either eyefinity or Physx but reading over both briefly eyefinity is nothing I would care to use, it seems excessive and ridiculous IMO of course. Physx sounds much more promising as it seems to claim much more lifelike game detail. I could be confused as to the benefits of Physx so if anyone wants to enlighten me go for it =).

I'll sum it up. I have very very sensitive eyes. Years back I noticed frustrations when using 60 hz crt monitors, so I bought one that went way above 60 and was happy, I notice tearing very very easily if Vsync is off and I notice when a game is lagging even by a tiny increment. I am very particular about how I play. I want to play things maxed out in all details and I want them to be as smooth as butter. I do not feel I need to purchase a 1,000 card to achieve this but if I do please speak up.

Thank you Icelock for the excellent list. I am definitely taking notes. I will be buying this next month so not all of the prices will be the same I'm sure but either way. I am leaning towards the Asus Sabretooth motherboard. I'm not sure it is the best performer but I've always had a soft spot for Asus and I like 5 yr warranties. I could always change my mind though after doing more research. The hard drive thing. Someone said run a 2 TB drive for storage, split the 128 GB SSD into one partition for OS and one for caching the 2 TB. I have no idea, like stated before, what that means but it is what was advised. Keep the recommendations coming =). I will put together a wish list in the next day and post it on this and maybe people can pick out where I could have done better and such =). Thanks so far!


EDIT: Making a wishlist right now, noticing my board can support 1866 memory, so is there any reason I would go with the 1600?
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December 16, 2012 8:19:27 AM

Hopefully this link works.

http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx...

This is a very rough, toss it in the cart type wish list. I can be persuaded to change some stuff for sure. I keep debating between the 680 and the 7970 but keep coming back to it. I think I will tweak the SSD and HD I get for sure as I would like to keep those prices lower. Not too concerned about those as much as I am mobo, cpu , and gpu. I am pretty solid on the case and PSU. I LOVE modular PSUs and that one looks nice.
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a b U Graphics card
December 16, 2012 9:33:51 AM

Just a couple of points... firstly, your v-sync sensitivity. nVidia has an option here called adaptive v-sync. Basically, it caps framerates at your refresh rate (same as standard v-sync), but then disables itself as soon as you drop below 60 (or whatever your refresh rate is) to prevent any lag.

You can read about it in detail at http://www.hardocp.com/article/201 [...] y_review/3.

"With Adaptive VSync turned on, the feeling of the game felt smoother compared to regular VSync turned on. The performance felt much like the game felt with VSync turned off. This is the kind of technology we like to see which has improved the innate nature of the gameplay experience. If all you need is 60 FPS in a game for it to be playable, then why not just go ahead and cap the game there so it doesn't exceed your refresh rate. Then, if the game has to fall below that, allow the game to perform at its real-time actual framerate, and Adaptive VSync allows that. It really is the best of all worlds, with no drawbacks. We didn't find any negatives to using Adaptive VSync, and we tried it out in a handful of games."

Secondly, +1 to your EVGA preference (and I had an 8800GTX too by the way - awesome card :-)) but be aware EVGA are exclusively nVidia. If you with with a Radeon, your best option is probably one of the mobo big three.

Finally, if you decide to go with a GeForce, I'd advise the GTX670. It's ~6% slower than the GTX680 (so no difference you could possibly notice without a framerate counter) and trades blows with the 7970, yet a fair bit cheaper. For the price premium on the GTX680, I'd find it hard to justify the cost for such a minor gain.
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a b U Graphics card
December 16, 2012 9:35:49 AM

Oh and with regards to your SSD, the Samsung 830 is an absolutely exceptional drive for the money - near enough the best and very well-priced. If you want the absolute best, Samsung 840 Pro is the way to go, though it is a bit pricier. And with a 128GB drive, don't worry about caching - simply use it as your system drive. You'd use a little 30-60GB for caching when money is too tight to get one large enough to use as a system drive (and 128GB is ample for a system drive).
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a c 186 U Graphics card
December 16, 2012 10:21:48 AM

Dam you guys all writing books these days or what lol! jk.
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a b U Graphics card
December 16, 2012 10:32:21 AM

bigcyco1 said:
Dam you guys all writing books these days or what lol! jk.


Detailed opening post deserves a detailed response (or five) ;-)
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a c 85 U Graphics card
December 16, 2012 2:12:09 PM

yeah thanks guys, but yeah ssd is useful as i said as a system drive so freaking fast and 1tb or 2tb drives for storage, def the system i pointed out will help u rock it out for the years to come with quality and fast parts

i just pointed thr 1600mhz memory since not all boards support 1866 mhz ddr3 ram, heres a good kit ive used myself in 1600mhz

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

cheers and yeah asus makes good boards and the sabertooth is def a solid choice

also in regards to that monitor i personally own it and is very easy on the eyes, great quality, good size for gaming, typing word, watching movies :) 

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December 16, 2012 4:18:23 PM

chrisdku said:
Alright, here we go. Resolution I would be playing in would be 1080p/1920 x 1080. Second question is harder. One Thing I can almost guarantee is I won't be playing BF3 or any call of duty games as frankly they just aren't for me. I love skyrim, fallout, xcom, driver, a lot of games. I can't pinpoint just one type so it would need to be all around good. Third, I am not horribly familiar with either eyefinity or Physx but reading over both briefly eyefinity is nothing I would care to use, it seems excessive and ridiculous IMO of course. Physx sounds much more promising as it seems to claim much more lifelike game detail. I could be confused as to the benefits of Physx so if anyone wants to enlighten me go for it =).

I'll sum it up. I have very very sensitive eyes. Years back I noticed frustrations when using 60 hz crt monitors, so I bought one that went way above 60 and was happy, I notice tearing very very easily if Vsync is off and I notice when a game is lagging even by a tiny increment. I am very particular about how I play. I want to play things maxed out in all details and I want them to be as smooth as butter. I do not feel I need to purchase a 1,000 card to achieve this but if I do please speak up.

Thank you Icelock for the excellent list. I am definitely taking notes. I will be buying this next month so not all of the prices will be the same I'm sure but either way. I am leaning towards the Asus Sabretooth motherboard. I'm not sure it is the best performer but I've always had a soft spot for Asus and I like 5 yr warranties. I could always change my mind though after doing more research. The hard drive thing. Someone said run a 2 TB drive for storage, split the 128 GB SSD into one partition for OS and one for caching the 2 TB. I have no idea, like stated before, what that means but it is what was advised. Keep the recommendations coming =). I will put together a wish list in the next day and post it on this and maybe people can pick out where I could have done better and such =). Thanks so far!


EDIT: Making a wishlist right now, noticing my board can support 1866 memory, so is there any reason I would go with the 1600?


Since you've been talking about smoothness, I can't help but comment on this one. To me, the BIGGEST difference that I've received in feeling "smoothness" in a game has been due to finally stepping up to 120hz monitors (I actually run 3 in eyefinity, yes it's excessive but HD3D with 3 screens *drools*). Think about a long time ago when you had CRT monitors and could pick the resolution and hertz range without worrying about native, when you picked a high refresh rate (such as 75hz or higher) you noticed a difference. Well, same thing applies, but 120hz to me feels much more perfect as how a game should be. Now some others might have different feelings on this, but I think this is by FAR the biggest difference to me since I am also very sensitive to slow-downs, tearing, etc.

As far as keeping up with max settings (I prefer looks over fps in some games, especially RPGs), so later down the road you will not be able to have very smooth fps, but at the same time will still be able to max settings. But you could always SLI or Crossfire at a later point. I do enjoy smoothness and everything, but my top priority has always been to max settings and have the best looking game possible, so I'm definitely on the same page with you.

PhysX, so with this one it's a mixed bag. Is it good when it's implemented in a game? Hell yeah it's nice to have, but in my mind I think eventually it's going to be more based on open-ended physics types in games, especially since our CPUs are getting so powerful, they'll easily be able to help out in that department. But at the same time, Nvidia really has it locked down, and it is nice when it's in games that use it (I just prefer open standards).

Memory, you'd want to go with the higher freq. memory due to getting more bandwidth. I know the Sabertooth does 2133mhz since I use that currently, and if you O/C I think you can go all the way to 2800mhz?

SSD, I really like my Samsung 830 raid so I can recommend those or the 840. As far as cache'ing, like someone explained earlier don't worry about that (now I know what you mean by it), you can always buy a cheap 30gb or 60gb SSD for that.

So as far as price/perf the winner overall IMO will be 7970, if you're really concerned about PhysX then Nvidia is your route (GTX 680). Remember though, if I can give you any piece of advice the biggest investment is what you view your games on, which is your monitor. I really can never go back to 60hz monitors, I enjoy the 120hz goodness way too much.

As far as the wishlists you came up with a good one Chris. If you went for the 120hz monitor it'd probably be another $100.

Hope this all helps =).
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December 16, 2012 7:12:35 PM

Warsaw said:
Since you've been talking about smoothness, I can't help but comment on this one. To me, the BIGGEST difference that I've received in feeling "smoothness" in a game has been due to finally stepping up to 120hz monitors (I actually run 3 in eyefinity, yes it's excessive but HD3D with 3 screens *drools*). Think about a long time ago when you had CRT monitors and could pick the resolution and hertz range without worrying about native, when you picked a high refresh rate (such as 75hz or higher) you noticed a difference. Well, same thing applies, but 120hz to me feels much more perfect as how a game should be. Now some others might have different feelings on this, but I think this is by FAR the biggest difference to me since I am also very sensitive to slow-downs, tearing, etc.

As far as keeping up with max settings (I prefer looks over fps in some games, especially RPGs), so later down the road you will not be able to have very smooth fps, but at the same time will still be able to max settings. But you could always SLI or Crossfire at a later point. I do enjoy smoothness and everything, but my top priority has always been to max settings and have the best looking game possible, so I'm definitely on the same page with you.

PhysX, so with this one it's a mixed bag. Is it good when it's implemented in a game? Hell yeah it's nice to have, but in my mind I think eventually it's going to be more based on open-ended physics types in games, especially since our CPUs are getting so powerful, they'll easily be able to help out in that department. But at the same time, Nvidia really has it locked down, and it is nice when it's in games that use it (I just prefer open standards).

Memory, you'd want to go with the higher freq. memory due to getting more bandwidth. I know the Sabertooth does 2133mhz since I use that currently, and if you O/C I think you can go all the way to 2800mhz?

SSD, I really like my Samsung 830 raid so I can recommend those or the 840. As far as cache'ing, like someone explained earlier don't worry about that (now I know what you mean by it), you can always buy a cheap 30gb or 60gb SSD for that.

So as far as price/perf the winner overall IMO will be 7970, if you're really concerned about PhysX then Nvidia is your route (GTX 680). Remember though, if I can give you any piece of advice the biggest investment is what you view your games on, which is your monitor. I really can never go back to 60hz monitors, I enjoy the 120hz goodness way too much.

As far as the wishlists you came up with a good one Chris. If you went for the 120hz monitor it'd probably be another $100.

Hope this all helps =).


Excellent, ty. You bring up a very interesting point. I'm sure I'll have to end up figuring it out in a store though. I recall going into a big box store awhile back and seeing the new 120 hz tvs along with others, this was quite awhile back. I recall feeling very weird about something with those screens. I don't know if it was the 120 hz or if it was the led tvs or the gloss on them but something felt too smooth. Almost totally unreal, not an attractive thing for me. Is that the gloss on those TVs or the HZ? I don't know if anyone else has felt this way, it just seems tooooo smooth, like overly polished. Hard to explain, hopefully I did it alright =P.
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a c 85 U Graphics card
December 16, 2012 8:19:32 PM

60hz is quite good, 120hz is also more expensive and made for 3d
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December 16, 2012 10:04:36 PM

chrisdku said:
Excellent, ty. You bring up a very interesting point. I'm sure I'll have to end up figuring it out in a store though. I recall going into a big box store awhile back and seeing the new 120 hz tvs along with others, this was quite awhile back. I recall feeling very weird about something with those screens. I don't know if it was the 120 hz or if it was the led tvs or the gloss on them but something felt too smooth. Almost totally unreal, not an attractive thing for me. Is that the gloss on those TVs or the HZ? I don't know if anyone else has felt this way, it just seems tooooo smooth, like overly polished. Hard to explain, hopefully I did it alright =P.


Heh, that's exactly what I think but about TVs. Most TVs employ the Auto Motion or Smooth Engine I believe it's called, that smooths out the frames and adds if necessary. I actually really do not like the way TVs implement it (feels artificial to me), but on monitors it's TRUE 120hz. You more-so have to see it to experience the difference, and I mean on the monitor not a TV.
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a c 85 U Graphics card
December 16, 2012 10:06:03 PM

eh 120hz is used for fast moving images, i dont think its necessery i like it on pc monitor but on tv kind of weird, also its too pricey at the moment in the future if it goes down in price ill give in to it if they improve it a bit but atm 60hz is fine for me.

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December 18, 2012 12:57:10 AM

Last question before I close this thread and choose best answer. I am reading that the HD 8000 series will be out Jan 13', I doubt I would be able to get any of the new cards for less than $600 but I figure this will drop the price on the 7900 series a decent amount. Anyone know if they have an exact date on the HD 8000. I won't get the money until the 11th of Jan to start on this project but if I have to wait till Feb to get a deal in prices then I will. Someone chime in on this =).
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a c 85 U Graphics card
December 18, 2012 1:05:12 AM

no i dont but a 7970 is more than enought for ur needs.

no need for 8000 series.

cheers
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December 18, 2012 2:11:16 AM

chrisdku said:
Last question before I close this thread and choose best answer. I am reading that the HD 8000 series will be out Jan 13', I doubt I would be able to get any of the new cards for less than $600 but I figure this will drop the price on the 7900 series a decent amount. Anyone know if they have an exact date on the HD 8000. I won't get the money until the 11th of Jan to start on this project but if I have to wait till Feb to get a deal in prices then I will. Someone chime in on this =).


I was actually waiting for the 8000 series until I made the plunge myself for the 7970 ghz, I just couldn't wait any longer. I'd say though that since info is slim and nothing is really leaked that much I'd be looking for an earliest February release (probably March though). There is no exact date atm, the usual for AMD is roughly 12-14 month cycle. We are currently nearing the end of that, so it should be anytime. It's just harder to say it'll be next month due to not a lot of info surrounding the new line.
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a c 85 U Graphics card
December 18, 2012 2:24:20 AM

well like any new release the prices will be high at first, and a 7970 is more than enought juice for a while unless u like gaming on 3 monitors or need extreme image quality with all the settings on some games, but theres no game that the 7970 cant max out atm ;) 

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December 18, 2012 2:32:35 AM

Best answer selected by chrisdku.
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December 18, 2012 2:34:43 AM

Thanks guys. I will be going with the Hd 7970. It had been years since I have owned an ATI/AMD. My last was a 9800 radeon all in wonder. Loved that little guy. I love the idea of physx but haven't been convinced to go with it. So I will be going with 7970 GHZ. Not sure what 3rd party vendor yet, thinking about the triple fan Gigabyte one =). It will be a month or so before I have it all up and going but I will come back here and update ya on how happy I am.

EDIT: Like to say all of the answers were very helpful, but Iceclock's post kind of helped me form my entire set up. =).
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a c 85 U Graphics card
December 18, 2012 2:34:54 AM

thanks dude :) 

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