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Need help deciding between a Radeon HD 7870 or 7950

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Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 29, 2012 11:57:20 PM

Alrighty so ive been building up my pc and at the moment all thats missing is a GPU, now ive narrowed it down between a Gigabyte Radeon HD 7870 OC (going for $220 Canadian if i price match) or a Gigabyte HD 7950 OC ($290 Canadian). I know for a fact i will be using only a single monitor at 1080p for gaming.
Pc specs are:
CPU: Intel i5 3570K (stock)
PSU: Corsair 850W modular
Mobo: Asus P8Z77- LE PLUS
RAM: 8GB Patriot Viper Black Mamba

My real dilemma is if the extra $70 is really worth for the better card, i mean i would like to run games maxed out but if the 7870 can accomplish just as much as the 7950 at my res then no point really?
The most demanding games that i own is BF3 which i dont spend on 100% of the time, other times its games like Killing floor or WarZ which arent as demanding...
Thanks in advance!

More about : deciding radeon 7870 7950

a b U Graphics card
December 30, 2012 12:16:52 AM

DropTheBomb said:
Alrighty so ive been building up my pc and at the moment all thats missing is a GPU, now ive narrowed it down between a Gigabyte Radeon HD 7870 OC (going for $220 Canadian if i price match) or a Gigabyte HD 7950 OC ($290 Canadian). I know for a fact i will be using only a single monitor at 1080p for gaming.
Pc specs are:
CPU: Intel i5 3570K (stock)
PSU: Corsair 850W modular
Mobo: Asus P8Z77- LE PLUS
RAM: 8GB Patriot Viper Black Mamba

My real dilemma is if the extra $70 is really worth for the better card, i mean i would like to run games maxed out but if the 7870 can accomplish just as much as the 7950 at my res then no point really?
The most demanding games that i own is BF3 which i dont spend on 100% of the time, other times its games like Killing floor or WarZ which arent as demanding...
Thanks in advance!

Well the 7950 IS ~10% stronger, and it can overclock to a 7970 GHz. I can garuntee the 7870 cannot do that. Also with 3GB of ram, it will last a really long time. You could easily crossfire 2 in the future and ne stronger than the strongest single gpu for a couple years (Again with no memory bottlenecks). Last the 7950 comes with more games, so that is worth mentioning.

If all that I mentioned is worth $70, get it. If not, get the 7870...
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a b U Graphics card
December 30, 2012 12:17:49 AM

Per these benchmark results I would say...no, the extra $70 is not worth it.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-7870-revi...

At 1920 x 1080 the 7870 is only:
- 2 fraps slower than the 7950 in battlefield 3
- 3 fraps slower than the 7950 in Metro 2033
- 4 fraps slower than the 7950 in Mafia 2
- and actually 12 fraps faster in GTA 4

In some games their is a broader difference in performance such as batman where as the 7870 has 143 fraps vs 154 fraps for the 7950 however you are not going to notice any performance increases over 120 fraps anyhow.

Unless you are running multimonitors or XFIRE which could take advantage of an extra 1GB of ram I would say definitely go with the HD 7870. Especially since that Gigabyte card is over clocked.
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December 30, 2012 12:42:48 AM

So basically at 1080p the 7870 should be able to max games with ease? And the extra 70 for a 7950 would be more about future proofing really?
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December 30, 2012 12:56:47 AM

I was in your same spot with the decision about 7 months ago when in reality the 7870 was about 5% behind the 7950 with as much as $100 between them. I waited and found the 7950 on sale and haven't looked back. I bought the card so it would last me into the next 3-4 years. I knew with the 7870 that wasn't going to happen with out X-firing them.

And rwayne that chart is from March and in may AMD released a new set of drivers for the 7900 series that put it about another 10% beyond it.
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December 30, 2012 2:00:15 AM

7870 to 7950 is basically like 660Ti to 670. In terms of performance jump(the fact those two sets of cards are comparable is a complete coincidence, I swear).

The 7950 is roughly 10% faster, and also have a 384-bit memory bus bandwidth, compared to 256-bit, this translates to much better performance with AA/AF turned on, better performance on high resolutions(1920x1080+) and better performance with multiple monitors.

Also the 7950 can overclock to stock 7970 speed level.
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December 30, 2012 2:08:12 AM

Yes i realize that the 7950 is better then the 7870 but my question is if the jump is worth the $70 gap?
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a c 85 U Graphics card
December 30, 2012 2:36:29 AM

DropTheBomb said:
Yes i realize that the 7950 is better then the 7870 but my question is if the jump is worth the $70 gap?


Its absolutely worth it IF you can still get the three free games and any of them interest you. Not sure if that included Canada or not

Edit: newegg has then on their Canadian site so I assume it does.
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December 30, 2012 2:56:28 AM

So if i cannot nab the newegg offer the extra 70$ isnt really worth it?
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a c 85 U Graphics card
December 30, 2012 4:29:33 AM

DropTheBomb said:
So if i cannot nab the newegg offer the extra 70$ isnt really worth it?


Its not newegg, AMD is doing the promotion but the retailer has to offer it I think. Newegg just happened to be the one Canadian site easy for me to check if it was offered in Canada at all. So may be others.

Looks like they took it down after midnight.

But the 7870 still has Farcry 3 free
www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150606

So yea, probably a 7870
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a b U Graphics card
December 30, 2012 5:32:33 AM

DropTheBomb said:
Yes i realize that the 7950 is better then the 7870 but my question is if the jump is worth the $70 gap?


Only you can decide that. Look at my previous post and decide. The performance jump IS decent. It can also use far more AA and in the future will handle higher resolutions better.

My personal opinion is that it is easily worth it. The performance difference is very noticeable (unlike the 680 vs 670), and the extra games (Which you can sell) make it easily worth it. If you can afford both, get the better one! You will get peace of mind.
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a b U Graphics card
December 30, 2012 12:16:00 PM

Per Tom's Hardware's Best Graphics Cards For The Money: December 2012

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...

Quote:
The Radeon HD 7870 sets a new standard for what we expect from a sub-$300 GPU. With performance kissing the heels of AMD's own Radeon HD 7950 and the GeForce GTX 660 Ti, this card represents one of the best enthusiast-oriented values we've seen. A recent price drop makes it hard to recommend those more expensive cards because the extra speed they offer is relatively minor compared to what you'd need to pay for them.


Also...

Per the Canadian Site (at the time of this post) Newegg is currently out of stock of the 4-in-1 game bundles.

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

Perhaps this offer will be replenished.

This leads me to believe the 7870 GHZ Edition is the better value at the moment as I am not seeing games bundled with either.


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a b U Graphics card
December 30, 2012 5:35:05 PM

Actually...You may want to consider the Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 for around $225 (Canadian). Right now it comes with Assassin’s Creed III which is a great game.

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

From what I am reading it is 4% faster than the 7870 on average and in some games like Star Craft II it will even beat out the 7950.

Quote:
As a result Starcraft II now favors NVIDIA’s cards even more so now than it did before, making this an easy win for the GTX 660. At 1920 the GTX 660 beats the 7870 by 37%, and once more even the 7950 falls behind.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/6276/nvidia-geforce-gtx-6...

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a b U Graphics card
December 30, 2012 9:35:30 PM

rwayne said:
Actually...You may want to consider the Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 for around $225 (Canadian). Right now it comes with Assassin’s Creed III which is a great game.

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

From what I am reading it is 4% faster than the 7870 on average and in some games like Star Craft II it will even beat out the 7950.

Quote:
As a result Starcraft II now favors NVIDIA’s cards even more so now than it did before, making this an easy win for the GTX 660. At 1920 the GTX 660 beats the 7870 by 37%, and once more even the 7950 falls behind.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/6276/nvidia-geforce-gtx-6...

http://images.anandtech.com/graphs/graph6276/49752.png


Nice cherry picked benchmark lol. Any benchmark where the 660 beats the 7950 AND the 660Ti is completely unreliable. I could find a benchmark where the 7870 beats a 680, but that's kinda unfair isn't it? The 660 is about 5-10% weaker stock, and 10-15% weaker when they are both overclocked. He is deciding if a stronger card is worth the extra money, not if he should downgrade even more...
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December 31, 2012 9:07:26 PM

Unfortunately I think only you can answer this question. If you really need to play games maxed out, than I say save for the 7950/7970 since they can play a greater selection of games maxed out with things like AA/AF on. However, depending on the games you do play, 7870 is more than fine to play most games at ultra settings at 1080p.
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a b U Graphics card
December 31, 2012 9:23:04 PM

Theredmagus said:
Unfortunately I think only you can answer this question. If you really need to play games maxed out, than I say save for the 7950/7970 since they can play a greater selection of games maxed out with things like AA/AF on. However, depending on the games you do play, 7870 is more than fine to play most games at ultra settings at 1080p.



Exactly. I would just get the best I can afford so there is no looking back. The 7950 is worth the extra money if you want the power and future proofing (Ram size and great CF). Otherwise the 7870 is a price/performance king.
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January 1, 2013 1:49:47 AM

CaptainTom said:
Nice cherry picked benchmark lol. Any benchmark where the 660 beats the 7950 AND the 660Ti is completely unreliable. I could find a benchmark where the 7870 beats a 680, but that's kinda unfair isn't it? The 660 is about 5-10% weaker stock, and 10-15% weaker when they are both overclocked. He is deciding if a stronger card is worth the extra money, not if he should downgrade even more...
I will admit when I am wrong and I definitely was. That was a bad post on my part Captain. Not that I meant to do wrong but I saw a benchmark, was amazed at the results then posted it with out researching thoroughly. It was careless and I should not had done that. I am glad you called me out as it may have mislead the OP otherwise.

The article states that Blizzard's release of patch 1.5 turned the Star Craft 2 testing benchmark on its head. Nvidia's cards were relatively unscathed by the change however most of the AMD GCN cards (aka 7000 series) took a performance hit.

To me this indicates that an AMD Driver update will address the issue if it has not ready done so.

No different when Shogun Total War 2 had an update this past summer which cut performance nearly in half for Nvidia cards and was addressed relatively soon after in a driver release.

My apologies. You are right.
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January 1, 2013 1:52:04 AM

If your overclocking 7950 For sure! not overclocking meh get the 7870
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a c 186 U Graphics card
January 1, 2013 1:54:26 AM

If you can afford the 7950 get it.No point in buying a slower card if you can afford the faster one.
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January 3, 2013 2:50:42 PM

rwayne said:
I will admit when I am wrong and I definitely was. That was a bad post on my part Captain. Not that I meant to do wrong but I saw a benchmark, was amazed at the results then posted it with out researching thoroughly. It was careless and I should not had done that. I am glad you called me out as it may have mislead the OP otherwise.

The article states that Blizzard's release of patch 1.5 turned the Star Craft 2 testing benchmark on its head. Nvidia's cards were relatively unscathed by the change however most of the AMD GCN cards (aka 7000 series) took a performance hit.

To me this indicates that an AMD Driver update will address the issue if it has not ready done so.

No different when Shogun Total War 2 had an update this past summer which cut performance nearly in half for Nvidia cards and was addressed relatively soon after in a driver release.

My apologies. You are right.


Dude no problem! And a patch that cuts performance in half?! WTF?!
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November 25, 2013 3:13:57 PM

I have the same dilemma, no real answer here.
I guess I will go with the 7870OC, here it comes with 2 free games.. the 7950 is more expensive and not that much better than the 7870OC, and no games.
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