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HD 7950 vs GTX 660 Ti

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Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 1, 2013 3:38:50 AM

I have most of my parts picked out for my upcoming build. However, I'm having trouble deciding on the GPU. It has come down to the HD 7950 and the GTX 660 Ti. I was hoping you guys could give me recommendations. I plan on playing games such as Skyrim (w/ lots of mods), Battlefield 3, Borderlands 2, GTA series, and many others.

Truly, the only thing that prevents me from settling with the 660 Ti is its small memory bus. It just seems so puny in comparison to the HD 7950 and I feel I'll run into limitations down the road. However, I do like the 660 Ti's bit smaller price tag and Physx support. Hopefully, there will be more price drops between now and February that will sway me in one direction or the other. I'd personally like to have the GTX 670.

Oh and do you any of you know how to improve Physx performance with an AMD card (without a dedicated Nvidia card)? I have seen quite a few rumors on the web that have claimed such.

Any information you guys could offer would be greatly appreciated. :) 

More about : 7950 gtx 660

a b U Graphics card
January 1, 2013 3:58:24 AM

When you use physx on an amd card, it uses the cpu. So if you get a stronger cpu, you would see a smaller performance hit. The 7950 is a little stronger in general, and the gap will probably widen as time goes on because of its horrible bus and smaller ram size. The bus is also a major bottleneck in the card.
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January 1, 2013 3:58:57 AM

Oh and I forgot to add that I plan on using Adobe for rendering and editing. I hear those programs highly favor CUDA cores.
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January 1, 2013 4:00:10 AM

lt_dan_zsu said:
When you use physx on an amd card, it uses the cpu. So if you get a stronger cpu, you would see a smaller performance hit. The 7950 is a little stronger in general, and the gap will probably widen as time goes on because of its horrible bus and smaller ram size. The bus is also a major bottleneck in the card.

Would the i5 3570k be able to handle PhysX?
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January 1, 2013 4:01:05 AM

Why not post your build and see if the people on the forums can tweak it to fit in a 670?
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a b U Graphics card
January 1, 2013 4:05:13 AM

If you can't get a 670 for below $330 or 340 it's not worth it, otherwise, you might as well get a 7970. A 3570k could handle physx, but you will see a large frame rate drop. Physx kinda sucks IMO.
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January 1, 2013 4:05:20 AM

gorz said:
Why not post your build and see if the people on the forums can tweak it to fit in a 670?

I have and it wasn't any better than my original plan. I would still be forced to splurge. I cheaped out on as many areas as I could within reason and still wasn't able to fit in a 670.

Here's my current build plans...

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($219.99 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock Z75 Pro3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($84.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Patriot Intel Extreme Master, Limited Ed 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($31.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB Video Card ($264.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $801.91
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-01 01:03 EST-0500)

I want to keep it in the $800-850 range because I want to buy a couple of 200mm fans and possibly a copy of Battlefield 3.
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a b U Graphics card
January 1, 2013 4:09:55 AM

Get a z77 board and a 7870 or 7950.
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January 1, 2013 4:20:04 AM

Quote:
Theres a few games that the non ti 660 beats the 7950. BF3 being one of those games.

Order your cpu and motherboard from microcenter.com. The 3570k is 169.99 and with a discount towards the ASRock PRO3 it is 54.99.

That's nice and all, but you have to live near a Microcenter in order to pick up on those deals. I, unfortunately, do not live near one.

Quote:
Get a z77 board and a 7870 or 7950.


I'm fairly set on the Z75 board. It has received much praise and will serve my needs well. I'm also going to need more convincing other than simply stating which to get. I need numbers, man. I've searched everywhere and the benchmarks are either outdated or biased.
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a b U Graphics card
January 1, 2013 4:22:39 AM

You may want to check out this article on Tech Spot which was published on November 26th.

http://www.techspot.com/review/603-best-graphics-cards/

It is one of the most comprehensive reviews I have seen and utilizes both the Catalyst 12.11 and GeForce 310.61 drivers in their tests. This seems like a good article if you are looking for current information. Skyrim, Battlefield 3, Borderlands 2, and others are included in the benchmarks.

Quote:
The new Catalyst 12.11 beta drivers delivered major performance gains in many popular games such as Battlefield 3, Borderlands 2, Civilization V, Skyrim, Sleeping Dogs and StarCraft II. While most titles ran around 10% faster depending on their settings, Battlefield 3 was 20 to 30% faster.

Around the same time, Nvidia released a new beta driver of its own (GeForce 310.33) which claimed modest gains for the GTX 680 and GTX 660 in several titles, and this driver has since been replaced by the GeForce 310.61 update, which made further performance enhancements. This is what we'll be testing today.

With updated pricing and performance across the board, we figured it would be worth revisiting both company's offerings to see where you should spend your hard-earned cash this holiday season and into early next year.
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a c 83 U Graphics card
January 1, 2013 4:49:56 AM

Z75 is fine. I am not sure about adobe/cuda, but the world is going to opengl and gpgpu compute, which nvidias current gen sucks at. They screwed themselves to get lower power 6 months too late and AMD still outperforms them.

The whole cuda thing wont matter soon, and physx has always been a barely used effect. It needs to go main stream to be accepted. Its too bad nvidia bought it and it wasn't open, but is just a marginal affect. It will be forgotten or replacEd
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January 1, 2013 4:57:15 AM

Hm, now after doing more reading, I'm beginning to lean more towards the HD 7950. Are these guys a trusted and valid source for benchmarks...

http://techreport.com/review/23981/radeon-hd-7950-vs-ge...

They seem biased. But then again, so does everyone else, lol.

And what of frame latency? Should I be worried about this in comparing these two GPUs?
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a c 83 U Graphics card
January 1, 2013 5:19:34 AM

I have honestly never heard of them, gone to them, and, pardon my French, it sounds like a load of crap. The comments from people who read them seem to question them too and contrast their previous reviews..... The accepted position is AMD wins .easily. Especially at higher res. they may have a point... But logic suggests a testing flaw. Its either that or a whole new way to look at gpus that needs explored. And if that's the case I hope we see that testing approach developed

Granted. I sound biased. But AMD has had the price/performance every.time I bought a card, except for my very first in 2003. that's what I care about. It been consistent. It nice. But if nvidia ever manages a decent product for the price they'll have my money
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a c 87 U Graphics card
January 1, 2013 5:24:48 AM

OpenGL is hardly used at all nowadays and is not a compute language. OpenCL is a compute language that is seeing greater and greater usage. Please don't confuse them.

Also, Adobe has been moving away from CUDA and towards OpenCL for some time now. AMD has far greater OpenCL performance than Nvidia.
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January 1, 2013 5:54:06 AM

Thanks, you guys have been a great help.

Can any of you guys recommend video editing/rendering software that would greatly utilize OpenCL? Does Adobe fully support this yet? Or is it still an effort in progress? I'm not very up to date on these sort of things. And if I were to research it for myself, I honestly don't know what to look for.
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a b U Graphics card
January 1, 2013 6:13:11 AM

DeusAres said:
Hm, now after doing more reading, I'm beginning to lean more towards the HD 7950. Are these guys a trusted and valid source for benchmarks...

http://techreport.com/review/23981/radeon-hd-7950-vs-ge...

They seem biased. But then again, so does everyone else, lol.

And what of latency frames? Should I be worried about this in comparing these two GPUs?
I read that 'Tech Report' article a few days ago and that was a real eye opener for me. I had never seen a site reference lag times on frame rates before the way this one did. I am not sure if it is valid or not but it had me researching tonight. I have not found any conclusive answers so far.

Quote:
Granted. I sound biased. But AMD has had the price/performance every.time I bought a card, except for my very first in 2003. that's what I care about. It been consistent. It nice. But if nvidia ever manages a decent product for the price they'll have my money
I will give one credit to Nvidia. I was very impressed that they undersold AMD by $50 upon release of the GTX680 which at the time was a higher preformer than the 7970. Nvidia could had easily charged $50 more than AMD at launch however instead they sold for $50 less even though they had the better product at the time.

On another note...
The link I posted from TechSpot (not to be confused with TechReport) was kinda surprising. It seemed like AMD was leading in most benchmarks with their new drivers. To me this seemed to be an unbiased review as they recommended both AMD and Nvidia cards on the final page.

They only flaw I see is that they reviewed the Base and Boost AMD models however they did not show Super Clocked and FTW versions of Nvidia cards because Nvidia really doesn't have an offical designation due their partners having their own names for their over clocked models.

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a c 87 U Graphics card
January 1, 2013 6:18:24 AM

rwayne said:
I read that 'Tech Report' article a few days ago and that was a real eye opener for me. I had never seen a site reference lag times on frame rates before the way this one did. I am not sure if it is valid or not but it had me researching tonight. I have not found any conclusive answers so far.

Quote:
Granted. I sound biased. But AMD has had the price/performance every.time I bought a card, except for my very first in 2003. that's what I care about. It been consistent. It nice. But if nvidia ever manages a decent product for the price they'll have my money
I will give one credit to Nvidia. I was very impressed that they undersold AMD by $50 upon release of the GTX680 which at the time was a higher preformer than the 7970. Nvidia could had easily charged $50 more than AMD at launch however instead they sold for $50 less even though they had the better product at the time.

On another note...
The link I posted from TechSpot (not to be confused with TechReport) was kinda surprising. It seemed like AMD was leading in most benchmarks with their new drivers. To me this seemed to be an unbiased review as they recommended both AMD and Nvidia cards on the final page.

They only flaw I see is that they reviewed the Base and Boost AMD models however they did not show Super Clocked and FTW versions of Nvidia cards because Nvidia really doesn't have an offical designation due their partners having their own names for their over clocked models.


Boost models aren't overclocked, so I disagree with you on that. They are simply models that support a Boost feature like Nvidia already has on their high end cards.

Nvidia has sold their x80 card at $500 every generation since GTX 200 IIRC. They were merely keeping with tradition, not that that depreciates from their forcing AMD to drop pricing.

There is merit to the measurement of frame latency instead of FPS. FPS hides things such as various forms of stutter and sub-second variable frame rates whereas measuring various frame latencies does not hide them. However, Tech Report did only use Catalyst 12.11 beta (there are seven releases since it that I'm aware of) and the results didn't include overclocking, something that AMD has significant advantage in, as well as had only a small game selection and minimal information on the settings used in each game. It is definitely worth looking into as a replacement for testing FPS, but that review alone needs more work before I'd base things on it. I've even stepped down from my previous stance on their findings with Intel's Pentium and Celeron CPUs due to this issue of not enough testing.
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a b U Graphics card
January 1, 2013 6:26:54 AM

blazorthon said:
Boost models aren't overclocked, so I disagree with you on that. They are simply models that support a Boost feature like Nvidia already has on their high end cards.


You are right. I totally forgot that. Boost is a standard Nvidia feature on their enthusiast grade cards. Glad that you corrected me on that.
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a c 83 U Graphics card
January 1, 2013 2:38:19 PM

blazorthon said:
OpenGL is hardly used at all nowadays and is not a compute language. OpenCL is a compute language that is seeing greater and greater usage. Please don't confuse them.

Also, Adobe has been moving away from CUDA and towards OpenCL for some time now. AMD has far greater OpenCL performance than Nvidia.


OpenGL is used for Linux and seeing wider adoption. I said AMD was crushing GPGPU compute... ie
OpenCL. Wasn't sure on adobe, but since everyone is going there good to know.

I don't see where I said openGL was openCL
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a c 83 U Graphics card
January 1, 2013 2:51:01 PM

rwayne said:
I will give one credit to Nvidia. I was very impressed that they undersold AMD by $50 upon release of the GTX680 which at the time was a higher preformer than the 7970. Nvidia could had easily charged $50 more than AMD at launch however instead they sold for $50 less even though they had the better product at the time.


I honestly don't think they has a choice. AMD was priced high because they had a three month lead. The 680 was late. And looked good. When you could find one. But competition would not support those prices, and AMD prices were in a temporary monopoly. They immediately dropped their price.

This generation and next well be interesting. Know AMD is about to release. Just curious if nvidia will be way behind and drag out their release for 6 months again. Or if their phantom card all the fan boys were on about last year will pop up.

And the whole latency testing bit may develop
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a c 87 U Graphics card
January 1, 2013 2:58:58 PM

unksol said:
OpenGL is used for Linux and seeing wider adoption. I said AMD was crushing GPGPU compute... ie
OpenCL. Wasn't sure on adobe, but since everyone is going there good to know.

I don't see where I said openGL was openCL


Sorry, it seemed like that was the implication. Maybe I misread your post.

I'm not really seeing OpenGL getting wider adoption. Maybe I'm missing something, but I'm just not seeing it. Yes, it is used in Linux, but other than Steam, I don't see any major companies or organizations jumping ship from Windows with Direct 3D. OpenGL has been declining for a long time and although that decline has just about halted, I jsut don't see much recovery right now. Like I said, maybe I'm missing something, but still.

That's not to say that I don't want OpenGL to succeed. Opensource APIs are usually easier to work with due to being able to be more familiar with them and it is much more multi-platform compatible with less work whereas DirectX takes a lot more work to get ported over in any way.
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a b U Graphics card
January 1, 2013 3:16:48 PM

I saw that Microcenter deal in my email today, sweet sweet deal, that is a TON of bang for the buck computing right there, I'd jump on that OP, that would free up the extra cash you need to step up your GPU.

As far as choosing between those 2 cards, I have an Nvidia card, and I had an AMD card. Both have their ups and downs, but the mem bus on those 660s irked me as well. The data I've seen tends to say that it doesn't effect performance right now, cuz the 660 is a great performer, but it may have an effect on things down the line.. IDK, but I'd lean towards the 7950 if you stay in that price range, if you step up, AMD seems to have the upper hand on drivers, but any of the current cards in the top price range are gonna give you the performance you r looking for IMO.

Nice thread btw, looking at the title I thought we'd have another fanboy war going on lol, it's nice to see people trading ideas and discussing things constructively :-)

Good Day and Happy New Year to you all!
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a c 87 U Graphics card
January 1, 2013 3:27:46 PM

The memory bus is a huge impact on the 660's performance. The only thing stopping the GTX 660 Ti from performing like a GTX 670 is its 25% memory bandwidth and ROP disadvantage. It's otherwise exactly identical to the GTX 670. A GTX 660 isn't far behind the GTTX 660 Ti either. Heck, even the GTX 650 Ti would be able to give the GTX 680 a run for the money if it had a 256 bit bus at 1.5GHz/6GHz effective. All of the GTX 600 cards except maybe the GTX 650 are severely memory bandwidth-bottle-necked.

This is shown to an extreme in AMD's high resolution advantage, high MSAA advantage, and high quality settings advantage. These are all features that increase the load on the memory as they increase the long on the GPU and that hurts Nvidia's performance more than it hurts AMD's performance as shown in most benchmarks even before AMD had great drivers.

However, I do agree that the high end Nvidia cards can give good experiences nonetheless.
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January 1, 2013 5:43:43 PM

Quote:
No, the discount is online orders and micro center ships. You just have to add the 3570k and a Z77 board to your cart to see the discount.

I don't see the option to ship to my address, but I'll keep searching. Thanks for the tip.
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January 1, 2013 5:44:11 PM

Best answer selected by DeusAres.
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