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New graphic card - 660Ti / 670 / 7950?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 29, 2012 11:14:11 AM

Hi Folks,

Time for a new graphics card, my 5770 is wheezing when I play Far Cry 3.

My spec:

Case
ANTEC NINE HUNDRED TWO - UK, The Ultimate Gaming Case, Evolved
Processor (CPU)
Intel® Core™i7 Quad Core Processor i7-950 (3.06GHz) 4.8GTs/8MB Cache
Motherboard
ASUS® P6X58D-E: DDR3, USB 3.0, SATA 6.0GB/s, 3-Way SLI
Memory (RAM)
6GB KINGSTON HYPER-X TRI-DDR3 1600MHz, X.M.P (3 x 2GB KIT)
Graphics Card
1GB ATI RADEON™ HD 5770 PCI EXPRESS - DirectX® 11
Hard Disk
640GB WD CAVIAR BLACK WD6402AAEX, SATA 6 Gb/s, 64MB CACHE (7200rpm)
Power Supply
CORSAIR 650W TX SERIES (TX650) 80+ ULTRA QUIET PSU

I would like to understand if my above rig is fully compatible with:

Geforce GTX 660 Ti
Geforce GTX 670
Radeon 7950

Will I have any performance issues?
Where will the performance bottle-neck be if I get one of these cards?
Do I have sufficient power to run them?
Can I run them without extra cooling requirements?
Which of the above three cards is "best"?
Is there any practical difference between Asus / PNY / EVGA / etc etc, and if so which should I go for?
Is there anything I haven't asked/considered that I should have done?

Thank you all very much!

A.
a b U Graphics card
December 29, 2012 11:30:40 AM

That's a nice CPU! PSU is quality too - neither will be an issue, no bottleneck or lack of power. Stock coolers are absolutely fine on them and I'd take the GTX670 without a doubt. As for the brand, differences are potentially different clock speeds (a minor difference if you're not overclocking, irrelevant if you do OC), coolers (only relevant if you OC) and warranty. Warranties vary by country. What country are you in?
December 29, 2012 11:35:04 AM

Thanks for the swift reply, Sam.

I was reading/researching while waiting for replies, and I'm really not liking what I'm reading about Radeon at the moment. Think I will definitely go the GeForce route.

I'm in the UK. Where's the best place to buy these things? Amazon?

Looking purely at 670s, there's 16 different GeForce 670s on Amazon under £350. How do I know which one to go for?

Is there anything to be wary of in moving from a Radeon to a GeForce regarding install/uninstall issues?

Will the 670 run the PhysX on Borderlands 2? Might have to play that again if so...

Cheers :) 

ETA: no intention of overlocking or tinkering.
Related resources
December 29, 2012 11:35:20 AM

I just went through a similar upgrade. and was trying to decide between the same 3 cards.

In the end, I ended up going for a Sapphire HD 7950 with dual fan and boost.

Link to my 7950 - SAPPHIRE 100352-2L Radeon HD 7950 3GB 384-bit GDDR5

The card overclocks effortlessly to 1100 with temps 33 at idle, 60-65 a full load. I prob could OC more but i'm getting all the performance i need.

Relevant System specs -
2500K oc'd 4Ghz
HD 7950
8GB Kingston HyperX DDR3
Corsair HX620 Watt

I play at 1080p

Battlefield 3 Multiplayer - Ultra 4xAA 55 - 80 fps
Farcry 3.....not checked my fps but seems very smooth at full settings.
Skyrim.....very smooth with extra texture mods.
Sleeping Dogs....again very smooth on max settings



a b U Graphics card
December 29, 2012 11:41:39 AM

Altissimus said:
Thanks for the swift reply, Sam.

I was reading/researching while waiting for replies, and I'm really not liking what I'm reading about Radeon at the moment. Think I will definitely go the GeForce route.

I'm in the UK. Where's the best place to buy these things? Amazon?

Looking purely at 670s, there's 16 different GeForce 670s on Amazon under £350. How do I know which one to go for?

Is there anything to be wary of in moving from a Radeon to a GeForce regarding install/uninstall issues?

Will the 670 run the PhysX on Borderlands 2? Might have to play that again if so...

Cheers :) 

ETA: no intention of overlocking or tinkering.


Yeah I don't mess with overclocking either :-) I experimented with it years ago, but the performance gain was minor - wasn't worth shortening the life of my components. As for retailers:

scan.co.uk
dabs.com
aria.co.uk
ebuyer.com
novatech.co.uk

Amazon have an occasional decent deal on hardware, but it's not their strong suit. These are generally much better prices. In your position, I'd grab an EVGA because they offer five or ten years warranty here in Britain if you register your details within 30 days of purchase. Nobody else is doing that. Your card could die in 8 years and EVGA would replace it with its 2021 equivalent! And yeah, here's PhysX on Borderlands 2:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAfzjTAhpBk&feature=play...

Pretty cool eh? ;-) GTA670 is near enough the most powerful GPU out - GTX680 only has a 6% lead over it on average. It will handle anything you can throw at it at 1080 HD.
a b U Graphics card
December 29, 2012 11:45:01 AM

Oh and as for drivers, uninstall Catalyst completely, then shut down, switch off PSU, ground yourself on the case and unplug PSU, disconnect and remove current card, install new card and hook up power, fire it up and install nVidia drivers. That's it :-) I'll be doing the same myself in a few months when the new GeForces launch - I'm suffering with a knackered old Radeon 4870 currently since my Radeon 5970 died on me a few months ago (and good riddance to it, to be honest).

For Catalyst uninstall, it's just control panel, uninstall a program (or add / remove programs) then select AMD Catalyst, 'change' button at the top, and choose complete software removal in the uninstall wizard.
December 29, 2012 12:04:23 PM

I recently had to make the same choice, went with a EVGA 670FTW Signature 2.
December 29, 2012 12:18:30 PM

Bellular said:
I recently had to make the same choice, went with a EVGA 670FTW Signature 2.


And how is it going?

December 29, 2012 12:44:11 PM

From reviews, the EVGA GTx 680 appears to run hot compared to other cards. The Signature and the Signature 2 have different fan configurations, with the S2 having more, but still seems to run far hotter than, say, the Asus DirectCU II Top, or the stock nvidia. Don't want heat problems.

Not convinced by EVGA...

...any other thoughts, for or against?
a b U Graphics card
December 29, 2012 12:49:03 PM

sam_p_lay said:
Yeah I don't mess with overclocking either :-) I experimented with it years ago, but the performance gain was minor - wasn't worth shortening the life of my components. As for retailers:

scan.co.uk
dabs.com
aria.co.uk
ebuyer.com
novatech.co.uk

Amazon have an occasional decent deal on hardware, but it's not their strong suit. These are generally much better prices. In your position, I'd grab an EVGA because they offer five or ten years warranty here in Britain if you register your details within 30 days of purchase. Nobody else is doing that. Your card could die in 8 years and EVGA would replace it with its 2021 equivalent! And yeah, here's PhysX on Borderlands 2:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAfzjTAhpBk&feature=play...

Pretty cool eh? ;-) GTA670 is near enough the most powerful GPU out - GTX680 only has a 6% lead over it on average. It will handle anything you can throw at it at 1080 HD.


Overclocking a 5770 provides minimal gains I topped mine out at 1000MHz core no voltage increase and it does almost nothing OC a 7950 or 670 on the other hand
a b U Graphics card
December 29, 2012 12:50:49 PM

EVGA aren't about coolers - they're chosen for best customer service and warranties. Coolers are only important for overclocking though. If you want somebody else, I'd take an MSI. Their Twin Frozr coolers are excellent. Like I say though, not needed unless you overclock.
December 29, 2012 12:59:51 PM

i would never use evga or asus agone bad costomer servics i would go with msi 2 cuz i have 2 MSI N680GTX Twin Frozr 4GD5/OC i use to be with the hole amd radeon stuff till there drivers started to be *** i would go with nvidia over radeon anyday never go back 2 amd anything agone intel and nvidia for life
December 29, 2012 1:01:38 PM

Sam, your help and advice much appreciated.

I have instead gone with the Gigabyte OC with windforce, which I think suits my requirements better - it'll stay cool at least!

I'll let you know how it goes :) 

Thanks all,
A.
a b U Graphics card
December 29, 2012 1:42:08 PM

Good choice :-) Gigabyte make top quality boards at generally very reasonable prices. Only complaints I've ever seen with them is coil whine, but wait and see how it goes.
December 29, 2012 2:02:54 PM

All this 670 talk really makes me want to get rid of my 560's and get a single 670....
a b U Graphics card
December 29, 2012 2:38:40 PM

Well you wouldn't get a significant average framerate boost from the GTX670 over dual GTX560s, just more consistent performance. Except of course where you're RAM-limited, assuming your GTX560s are 1GB models. I'm tempted by the GTX670 too (and need an upgrade!) but I'm gonna hold out for GTX770. I'll play some non-demanding games in the meantime.
a b U Graphics card
December 29, 2012 2:55:05 PM

EVGA FTW
December 29, 2012 2:59:43 PM

sam_p_lay said:
Well you wouldn't get a significant average framerate boost from the GTX670 over dual GTX560s, just more consistent performance. Except of course where you're RAM-limited, assuming your GTX560s are 1GB models. I'm tempted by the GTX670 too (and need an upgrade!) but I'm gonna hold out for GTX770. I'll play some non-demanding games in the meantime.



They are 2 gig models, I know it wouldn't be a big boost. I just want the latest and greatest... it's a disease!! I am going to hold strong and wait for the 700nseries also. Get a bit more mileage outa these bad boys....
a b U Graphics card
December 29, 2012 9:20:24 PM

Lokordd said:
They are 2 gig models, I know it wouldn't be a big boost. I just want the latest and greatest... it's a disease!! I am going to hold strong and wait for the 700nseries also. Get a bit more mileage outa these bad boys....


Haha I have that disease too! Dual 2GB GTX560s is a genuinely capable setup though - I'd stick with it. I'm estimating GTX770 will outperform GTX670 by ~30% (based on historical gains in the GTX#70 GPUs). I think that's worth waiting a few months for.
!