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MSI Lightning GTX 680 2GB vs SAPPHIRE Vapor-X 7970 GHz Edition 3GB

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 29, 2013 10:22:28 AM

Ok. I realize the posts of the 7970 vs the 680 has been covered a billion times. The two cards listed in the title seem to be the best over clockers out there. As I searched and read the opinions, forums, benchmarks, there is still no solid answer. Even the bench marks, being ran by two different people seem to get different results, using the same programs.

So the question is: Which one has better over clocking potential. Both overclocked on air, which has better potential. Which is faster in stock form? From what I have seen, and amateurally concluded, the MSI Lightning GTX 680 is faster in stock form and much faster overclocked - could be wrong.

Price: MSI Lightning GTX 680 2GB = $500
Price: SAPPHIRE Vapor-X 7970 GHz Edition 3GB = $430

I'm a casual gamer, using one monitor, who plans to over clock my i7 3770K paired with the Asrock Extreme4.


a b U Graphics card
January 29, 2013 10:33:57 AM

If you're intending on gaming at stock speed, it's really a waste to get a GTX680 Lightning.

Sapphire 7970 Vapor-X gets my vote. It's $70 cheaper in this case but doesn't perform much worse than a 680. Heck, I'd say it's faster in most cases.
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a c 185 U Graphics card
January 29, 2013 10:35:11 AM

EzioAs said:
If you're intending on gaming at stock speed, it's really a waste to get a GTX680 Lightning.

Sapphire 7970 Vapor-X gets my vote. It's $70 cheaper in this case but doesn't perform much worse than a 680. Heck, I'd say it's faster in most cases.
+1
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January 29, 2013 10:56:13 AM

Anyone have bench marks for reputable sources?
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January 29, 2013 10:57:34 AM

I was able to overclock my Lightning to 1333MHz on stock LN2 voltage and I got it to 1411MHz with +93 in afterburner and I'm sure its got more in it.
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January 29, 2013 11:06:45 AM

After looking through the lightning overclockers thread and the sapphire vapor x owners overclocker thread.... it appears the MSI Lightning is the clear winner, by far.
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January 29, 2013 12:40:35 PM

You won't go wrong with either one but personally I would go with a 7950 and overclock it to the maximum it can go. That way you save more than a hundred bucks and get performance exceeding a stock 7970/680.
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a c 225 U Graphics card
January 29, 2013 2:15:24 PM

I'd do a 670 myself .... but if ya wanna compare.....this is the widest series of tests I have seen (and by that I mean various settings and resolutions) here:

http://uk.hardware.info/reviews/2725/8/nvidia-geforce-g...

Using these games .... AvP High 4AA, Batman AC Very High 4AA, BF3 Ultra High 4AA, Crysis 2 Ultra High Edge AA, Dirt 3 Ultra 4AA, Hard Reset Ultra 4AA, Metro 2033 Very High, Skyrim High 4AA and Shogun 2 Ultra 4AA, we see:

The 670 gets 650.2 fps total in those games at a cost of $0.54 per frame
The 7950 gets 530.4 fps total in those games at a cost of $0.57 per frame
The 7970 gets 629.8 fps total in those games at a cost of $0.64 per frame
The 7970 GHz gets 732.2 fps total in those games at a cost of $0.61 per frame
The 680 gets 711.2 fps total in those games at a cost of $0.66 per frame

Costs are based on lowest price from major vendor (EVGA, Asus, Gigabyte, XFX)

The 7970 is great buy with the current $30 rebate from XFX which knocks the above cost per frame down a bit ... you'll have to weigh that against the Boredlands 2 coupon that comes with the MSI 680's

However, at newegg's current price of $420 for the 7970 Ghz, you'd have to put that high on the list. The Ghz is already highly overclocked so you might want to compare it with some factory overclocked cards from nVidia.

At Techpowerup .....(Alan Wake, AvP, Batman Arkham City, BF3, BattleForge, COD4, Civilization 5, Crysis. Crysis 2, Dirt 3, Dragon Age II, Hard Reset, Metro 2033, Stalker CoP, Starcraft 2, Shogun 2, Skyrim, WoW,)....

The 7970 GHz gets 1763.2 fps total in those games at a cost of $0.24 per frame ($420)
The 670 DCII gets 1770.8 fps total in those games at a cost of $0.25 per frame ($440)

All in all, Id say it's hard to go wrong with either one though what each card does in its hardest challenges may be worth looking at. there are other things to look at such as frame latency and CPU loading effects

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/fx-8350-core-i7-377...

Quote:
Our benchmark results have long shown that ATI's graphics architectures are more dependent on a strong processor than Nvidia's.


You have a strong CPU so I wouldn't worry about this issue.

As far as frame latency, if one card wins 150 fps to 120 fps do you care ? On the other hand, what if both cards average 50 fps in their biggest challenge but one sometimes drops to 25 and the other drops to 35 at times ?

Ya may want to investigate how this issue might effect the higher end cards. I haven't seen anything as of yet. The article below is one of the few to addresses frame latency but as it compares the 7950 and 660Ti, hard to say how it scales up to the top end cards.

http://techreport.com/review/23981/radeon-hd-7950-vs-ge...
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a b U Graphics card
January 29, 2013 2:41:07 PM

MSI Afterburner is great overclocking software if you were going with them and MSI's twin Frozr cooling system is one of the best on graphics cards to date
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January 29, 2013 5:34:35 PM

680 for sure.
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January 29, 2013 5:57:25 PM

HD 7970 ghz is better
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January 30, 2013 12:31:50 PM

I ended up canceling my order for the GTX 680 MSI Lightning which was $499.99 shipped... and ended up getting a 7970 Sapphire Vapor X for 399.99 shipped. It seemed like a no brainer. Hopefully overclocks well with my Asrock Extreme 4 and 3770k.
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January 31, 2013 4:50:45 AM

I have MSI 680 GTX Twin Frozr 4GB (x2) and the Sapphire Vapor-X sitting in a room here with me. I'm going to test both to see which is the clear winner and I'll report back!
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January 31, 2013 6:18:22 AM

most of the gpu benchmarks give the lead to the radion... besides Sapphire is prolly the most reilable brand as i have a old sapphire 3850 that is still runing in my office for the last 4 years.
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February 26, 2013 1:10:41 PM

hey there was just wonder if you got the results on witch was the better card... :) 
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February 27, 2013 11:16:03 AM

The 7970 with the newest drivers, overclocked really is slightly better than a GTX 680 overclocked. Bottom line you will not notice a difference. Go for whatever is cheaper. I got my 7970 vapor x shipped for $400. See details below:

- i7 3770k Overclocked @ 4.5. Temps remain under 74C & Core Voltage under 1.28 under full load.
- Kingston HyperX Blu 8GB (2x4GB) 1600 Overlclocked @ 1800.
- 7970 Sapphire Vapor X Overclocked @ 1210 / 1700 with very minor volt increase for stability. Temps remain under 55C.
- Asrock Extreme4 Z77
- Samsung 840 Pro SSD 128 GB
- OCZ ModXStream Pro 700W
- COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO (Using ARtic 5)
- COOLER MASTER HAF 922 Case

3D Marks Results - http://www.3dmark.com/3dm11/5994398
Unigine Heaven Basic Results - See First Picture
Unigine Heaven Extreme Results - See Second Picture





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February 27, 2013 12:51:14 PM

The_Assassin said:
I was able to overclock my Lightning to 1333MHz on stock LN2 voltage and I got it to 1411MHz with +93 in afterburner and I'm sure its got more in it.



which BIOS are u using on lightening ?
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February 27, 2013 12:53:15 PM

I am also using MSI 680 PE but I rather get Radeon 7970 and save some money, Also RADEON had more to offer then nVIDIA with similar performance 2GB vs 3GB rams.
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February 27, 2013 2:01:55 PM

My overclock on the 7970 was basically maxxed without adding voltage. I simply added a tiny bit of voltage to ensure stability. Adding voltage and overclocking it more would not return huge performance gains so I left it alone. My card definately has much more in it.
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