Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

7970 (ghz), 670, or 680

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
Share
February 4, 2013 5:05:09 PM

I am looking at cards in the $400 range but I am having trouble pulling the trigger. I initially decided on the 7970, but I keep reading about all the trouble AMD is having with the drivers right now. The 680 looks good, but it seems awfully pricey when compared to the 7970. Would the 670 be a significant upgrade to my 560 ti 448? Also I am not sure if my PSU could handle a 7970, but from what I have read a 680 is not quite as power hungry. So... 7970 (and PSU possibly), 670, or 680.

My current setup -
MB - Asus p8z68-v pro gen3
CPU - i5 2500K
GPU - Gigabyte 560 ti 448
PSU - OCZ modXstream pro 600w


This would be the first upgrade on my first build, so I have no experience with AMD and nothing to reference my Nvidia experience to. I also will likely upgrade to a 3 monitor setup in the future so SLI and Crossfire quality/capability are factors.

More about : 7970 ghz 670 680

a b U Graphics card
February 4, 2013 5:09:52 PM

Since you already have a pretty nice setup, you might as well wait for the next generation cards to come out..I heard they will be out this year, but who knows. Unless you have an issue where you must upgrade, I would wait.
a c 87 U Graphics card
February 4, 2013 5:13:29 PM

AMD isn't really having trouble with the drivers these days. People still having problems (perhaps with a few exceptions) are mostly having problems not caused by drivers or didn't update drivers properly. The same is true for Nvidia; they both have excellent drivers right now and have for some time (granted Nvidia had a strong head start at first).

The 680 is not worth considering over the 670 because it is considerably more expensive for little to no performance gain over the 670 and the 670 is a significant upgrade over a 560 Ti 448 core. The 7970 GHz Edition consumes significantly more power than the 670, but like with the 680 versus the 670, the 7970 GHz Edition is usually no really worth getting over a 7970 and if you overclock, even the 7950 is pretty much just as good while consuming a lot less power (only a hair over the 670).

Your PSU looks fine even if you had a 7970 GHz Edition anyway IMO, but I wouldn't trust it for having two 670s or two 79xx cards.

Choosing the 670 over a 7950 or 7970 is not really a huge decision because they're all similarly great cards overall. Each has a few advantages in a few areas, but what wins what changes rapidly lately due to both Nvidia and AMD cranking out driver updates so rapidly. If you have doubts on AMD, founded or unfounded, then simply getting a 670- should that put any doubts at ease- is not unreasonable at all. I prefer the 7950, but that's me. I like its MSAA advantage and superior overclocking headroom, but they've all got their advantages. For example, the 79xx cards don't natively support GPU PhysX acceleration and that is a disadvantage in the few games that support it, but they've got better MSAA scaling and far better support for some advnaced lighting features that rely on OpenCL and/or Direct Compute performance.

However, I agree with the above post in that unless you currently have good reason to upgrade, it's reasonable to wait until the next generation to upgrade. Unless what you have seems inadequate, you might be better off waiting a few months.
Related resources
a b U Graphics card
February 4, 2013 5:15:26 PM

Nackles said:
I am looking at cards in the $400 range but I am having trouble pulling the trigger. I initially decided on the 7970, but I keep reading about all the trouble AMD is having with the drivers right now. The 680 looks good, but it seems awfully pricey when compared to the 7970. Would the 670 be a significant upgrade to my 560 ti 448? Also I am not sure if my PSU could handle a 7970, but from what I have read a 680 is not quite as power hungry. So... 7970 (and PSU possibly), 670, or 680.

My current setup -
MB - Asus p8z68-v pro gen3
CPU - i5 2500K
GPU - Gigabyte 560 ti 448
PSU - OCZ modXstream pro 600w


This would be the first upgrade on my first build, so I have no experience with AMD and nothing to reference my Nvidia experience to. I also will likely upgrade to a 3 monitor setup in the future so SLI and Crossfire quality/capability are factors.

Performance wise: 7950=670, 7970=680, 7970 ghz has no equal

I upgraded amd drivers from 13.1 to the new 13.2 beta. NO PROBLEMS. Amd drivers are fine. That is very old news.
a b U Graphics card
February 4, 2013 5:22:34 PM

larrym said:
Since you already have a pretty nice setup, you might as well wait for the next generation cards to come out..I heard they will be out this year, but who knows. Unless you have an issue where you must upgrade, I would wait.

In all honesty this is probably the best plan. However I do agree with the other guy that a good 7950 ( vapor-x is awesome and only $320) is easily the best price/performance wise.
February 4, 2013 5:38:03 PM

CaptainTom said:
Performance wise: 7950=670, 7970=680, 7970 ghz has no equal

I upgraded amd drivers from 13.1 to the new 13.2 beta. NO PROBLEMS. Amd drivers are fine. That is very old news.


7970 ghz has no equal - correct me if I am wrong, but a ghz is just an overclocked 7970 right? and for that matter, is the 680 a good overclock card?

I'm glad to see there hasn't been driver issues lately, there is so much info (and fanboyism) on the forums it is hard to keep up with some things!
a c 87 U Graphics card
February 4, 2013 5:44:09 PM

Nackles said:
7970 ghz has no equal - correct me if I am wrong, but a ghz is just an overclocked 7970 right? and for that matter, is the 680 a good overclock card?

I'm glad to see there hasn't been driver issues lately, there is so much info (and fanboyism) on the forums it is hard to keep up with some things!


The 7970 GHz Edition is a 7970 with better binned parts and a different BIOS. It overclocks a little better than the average 7950 and 7970, but it's not really worth a price premium over the 7970 if you overclock and it consumes considerably more power than the 7970 too.

The 680s are good for overclocking (granted not really any better than the 670 and thus generally not worth buying), but generally not as good as AMD's 79xx cards for overclocking.
a b U Graphics card
February 4, 2013 5:51:15 PM

larrym said:
Since you already have a pretty nice setup, you might as well wait for the next generation cards to come out..I heard they will be out this year, but who knows. Unless you have an issue where you must upgrade, I would wait.


This is a good plan unless you're currently playing something that you really want to run at max settings but can't.

The 680 is out, IMO. The Windforce 3X 670 is easy to OC and regularly performs as well as the reference 680s.
a c 90 U Graphics card
February 4, 2013 6:08:12 PM

Yep, the 680 is a fool's choice now.

It's only 5% faster than a 670 (2-3% after both cards are overclocked), but it costs 25-30% more. When you then consider that both cards max out almost all games at 1080p and 60fps, why in the world would you spend another $1-200?
February 4, 2013 6:08:29 PM

eightdrunkengods said:
This is a good plan unless you're currently playing something that you really want to run at max settings but can't.

The 680 is out, IMO. The Windforce 3X 670 is easy to OC and regularly performs as well as the reference 680s.


I want to max EVERYTHING out!! :D  just kidding, but I do have Far Cry 3 (which is having more problems than just not being able to max out) and I want Crysis 3 which I am sure will make my card feel inadequate and is another reason I am considering 79xx over 670.

My current 560 ti 448 gigabyte card has a locked voltage. Is that not normal for gigabyte cards?

a b U Graphics card
February 4, 2013 6:09:59 PM

blazorthon said:
The 7970 GHz Edition is a 7970 with better binned parts and a different BIOS. It overclocks a little better than the average 7950 and 7970, but it's not really worth a price premium over the 7970 if you overclock and it consumes considerably more power than the 7970 too.

The 680s are good for overclocking (granted not really any better than the 670 and thus generally not worth buying), but generally not as good as AMD's 79xx cards for overclocking.


Yeah this is correct. You can expect a 7970 to get to 1150/1500-1250/1700 clocks. However a 7970 GHz always gets to 1200/1600 and I have seen some get to 1400/1850+. This means on average a GHz edition is 5-10% stronger than a normal one.

Only get the GHz edition if you want the absolute best single GPU (Again especially the Vapor-x version).
a b U Graphics card
February 4, 2013 8:50:48 PM

Nackles said:
I want to max EVERYTHING out!! :D  just kidding, but I do have Far Cry 3 (which is having more problems than just not being able to max out) and I want Crysis 3 which I am sure will make my card feel inadequate and is another reason I am considering 79xx over 670.

My current 560 ti 448 gigabyte card has a locked voltage. Is that not normal for gigabyte cards?


I believe almost all 6xx series cards have locked voltages, and most 7xxx don't (I may be wrong). However I do know that sapphire cards tend to be unlocked, but check user reviews on newegg first to make sure
a c 134 U Graphics card
February 4, 2013 9:10:53 PM

Nvidia has taken a heavy stance on overclocking and locking there cards up so that people don't do silly things to there cards and break them. So yes I would say you are correct in all cases except for the cards that have triple overvolting from MSI you wouldn't be able to.

At this point based on what you play and what you intend on playing it would make more sense to get the 7970. Similar price point to the 670 in most cases and you get 2 games one you mentioned you intend on playing one you may find at least bit interesting.

I also agree with what blaze was saying that both companies seem to be doing fine with drivers I have seen a few hickups on the forums with people needing to revert to a older driver for one reason or another but I would say for the most part things are just fine. Also, AMD is starting to work on there latency issues in comparison to Nvidia so I would expect over time for the AMD solution to get stronger and stronger. The only thing that deters me from AMD at the moment is there financial woes and not knowing how they will be affected long term but for right now you can not go wrong with the 7970. If I didn't play games with physx I would run straight for a 7970 in a heartbeat and probably the Vapor-X as blaze mentioned.
a b U Graphics card
February 4, 2013 9:41:19 PM

bigshootr8 said:
Nvidia has taken a heavy stance on overclocking and locking there cards up so that people don't do silly things to there cards and break them. So yes I would say you are correct in all cases except for the cards that have triple overvolting from MSI you wouldn't be able to.

At this point based on what you play and what you intend on playing it would make more sense to get the 7970. Similar price point to the 670 in most cases and you get 2 games one you mentioned you intend on playing one you may find at least bit interesting.

I also agree with what blaze was saying that both companies seem to be doing fine with drivers I have seen a few hickups on the forums with people needing to revert to a older driver for one reason or another but I would say for the most part things are just fine. Also, AMD is starting to work on there latency issues in comparison to Nvidia so I would expect over time for the AMD solution to get stronger and stronger. The only thing that deters me from AMD at the moment is there financial woes and not knowing how they will be affected long term but for right now you can not go wrong with the 7970. If I didn't play games with physx I would run straight for a 7970 in a heartbeat and probably the Vapor-X as blaze mentioned.


The thing is, I have seen several Nvidia cards break after heavy overclocking (With high Voltages). However no matter what I do to AMD cards, they never break! If they get to hot they turn off, and if they get unstable then you just have to settle for a lower overclock. But they never break!

What I am saying is it might have been a good idea to lock voltages on their cards since they tend to prefer specific settings to run well. But AMD's cards seem to be much more rugged, and as such don't need the extra protection. It's not that AMD doesn't care.
a c 134 U Graphics card
February 4, 2013 9:47:16 PM

Agreed AMD as a company has been one of those overclocker pushers. Most of the CPU records fall underneath AMD as well so I will agree with that. I'm sure you can overclock a Nvidia card but you would be limited most definitely. And I partially blame Nvidia for this because if they wanted to be in that market they could be.
February 5, 2013 2:22:35 AM

Thanks to everyone for a lot of good discussion points. After taking most of this into consideration with the factors I already had in mind, I am probably going to go for a 7970 or 7970 ghz.
a b U Graphics card
February 5, 2013 2:44:59 AM

Nackles said:
Thanks to everyone for a lot of good discussion points. After taking most of this into consideration with the factors I already had in mind, I am probably going to go for a 7970 or 7970 ghz.


Best 7970 for the money:

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

Unfortunately the 7970 Vapor-x is out of stock. I would consider waiting for the Sapphire cards to get back in stock...
a c 134 U Graphics card
February 5, 2013 2:59:02 AM

Yea I wish It would show by searching but they have the habit of doing that now when the card is no longer in stock. Must be a hot item.
February 5, 2013 4:06:11 AM

What about the HIS 7970 Ghz? Is that any good?

Man, that Crysis and Bioshock deal is awweeesome.
February 5, 2013 5:04:51 AM

Damn it! It's out of stock, too!

Just out of curiousity, how does the Vapor X compare to the GTX 680/670?
a c 134 U Graphics card
February 5, 2013 6:16:42 AM

Also keep in mind that tomorrow is new release Tuesday so there are chances for items to come in stock in the middle of the week. I checked pcpartpicker the first time and you can continue to check it to. Nothing is worse then impulse buying something :) 
February 5, 2013 12:49:11 PM

CaptainTom said:
Best 7970 for the money:

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

Unfortunately the 7970 Vapor-x is out of stock. I would consider waiting for the Sapphire cards to get back in stock...


This is my exact plan at the moment. I have heard so much about the sapphire vapor x, my plan is to get that. If not i will probably go for the gigabyte, the price is nice and I have had 0 problems with my 560 (except for the locked voltage :(  ) I'm not in a big hurry either, so I can afford to wait if I want too.
a b U Graphics card
February 5, 2013 2:30:57 PM

ice-note said:
Damn it! It's out of stock, too!

Just out of curiousity, how does the Vapor X compare to the GTX 680/670?


Well my overclocked 7970 benchmarks 40% higher than a stock 670. So I can guess that an overclocked Vapor-x at ~1300/1800 would be 20% stronger than an overclocked 670 and 10-15% stronger than an overclocked 680. At ultra high resolutions or triple monitor gaming the Vapor-x will run circles around both of those cards.
February 5, 2013 3:45:11 PM

larrym said:
Since you already have a pretty nice setup, you might as well wait for the next generation cards to come out..I heard they will be out this year, but who knows. Unless you have an issue where you must upgrade, I would wait.


Anyone have a better idea of when the next generation will come out?
a c 87 U Graphics card
February 5, 2013 4:16:38 PM

AMD will probably have them out by mid spring to early summer this year or a little earlier if they can get rid of enough stock of Radeon 7000 cards. IDK about Nvidia.
a b U Graphics card
February 5, 2013 4:36:30 PM

That's what I heard as well. When one comes out, I sure the other will be soon to follow, but I have no concrete proof.
a c 663 U Graphics card
February 5, 2013 4:51:18 PM

Nackles said:
This is my exact plan at the moment. I have heard so much about the sapphire vapor x, my plan is to get that. If not i will probably go for the gigabyte, the price is nice and I have had 0 problems with my 560 (except for the locked voltage :(  ) I'm not in a big hurry either, so I can afford to wait if I want too.

Your GTX 560 Ti should NOT have locked voltage. That was not implemented into Kepler cards. Make sure you use MSI Afterburner if you want to test it out and be sure to enable the "unlock voltage" setting first.
a b U Graphics card
February 5, 2013 5:39:07 PM

you could be right.

and yes, there are lots of overclocking guides for the fermi cards including the 560 ti and it's voltage..but I don't know if any particular 560 ti was ever locked or not
a b U Graphics card
February 5, 2013 5:46:07 PM

17seconds said:
Your GTX 560 Ti should NOT have locked voltage. That was not implemented into Kepler cards. Make sure you use MSI Afterburner if you want to test it out and be sure to enable the "unlock voltage" setting first.


Yeah in all honesty my brother's 560 Ti was a great overclocker. He got a 20% performance increase which is quite substantial. Just be careful because they overheat VERY easily if voltage is changed to much...
a c 134 U Graphics card
February 5, 2013 6:44:40 PM

Next gen cards are reported to be delayed for q4. And I'll have you know that a 500 series card is a Fermi card not a Kepler.

Also, given the limits to what you can do with a nvidia card because of the rules they have in place I would say if you were going to overclock at all that AMD would be more of the company to do it with.
a c 87 U Graphics card
February 5, 2013 6:56:57 PM

bigshootr8 said:
Next gen cards are reported to be delayed for q4. And I'll have you know that a 500 series card is a Fermi card not a Kepler.

Also, given the limits to what you can do with a nvidia card because of the rules they have in place I would say if you were going to overclock at all that AMD would be more of the company to do it with.


Do you have links for these reports? It's the first that I've heard of them.
a c 87 U Graphics card
February 5, 2013 7:48:18 PM



Hmm. That's inconvenient if true. I'll wait at least until official reports before passing judgement, but it doesn't seem impossible. It'd be out of the usual graphics refresh cycle timing, but that it may coincide better with the next console refresh and slowing of desktop sales aren't to be disregarded as possible causes for such a delay.
a c 134 U Graphics card
February 5, 2013 7:50:06 PM

It would pretty crazy if it ends up this way because if so I would expect really good current gen sales to happen around the summer/fall and that would most definitely hurt sales for the next gen cards. Just my opinion.
February 5, 2013 9:45:14 PM

Could someone explain the difference between these two?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

and

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

I had my heart set on a Sapphire Vapor X 7970 but those sold out within hours of stocking, and I don't feel like paying the premium for the 6gb model (unless you convince me it is worth it) and HIS seems to be getting favourable reviews.

One more thing : I plan on getting a 1440p monitor sometimes in the future. Will a 6gb be better for it, or is 3gb still enough?

Thanks! I am trying to buy it TONIGHT before it gets sold out gain!
a c 134 U Graphics card
February 5, 2013 9:50:02 PM

One is a ghz edition and one is not. The ghz edition
Quote:
The 7970 GHz Edition is a 7970 with better binned parts and a different BIOS. It overclocks a little better than the average 7950 and 7970, but it's not really worth a price premium over the 7970 if you overclock and it consumes considerably more power than the 7970 too.


I would say its the ram that would hold you back on a 7970 ghz or non ghz it would be the architecture people who run higher resolutions tend to run multiple cards. However my advise would be get the 7970 ghz and the monitor and then if you need more horsepower get the same card in crossfire :) 

Also I have a recommendation for your monitor you can find it probably anywhere.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.overclock3d.net/reviews/gpu_displays/asus_pb...
a b U Graphics card
February 5, 2013 10:38:52 PM

ice-note said:
Could someone explain the difference between these two?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

and

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

I had my heart set on a Sapphire Vapor X 7970 but those sold out within hours of stocking, and I don't feel like paying the premium for the 6gb model (unless you convince me it is worth it) and HIS seems to be getting favourable reviews.

One more thing : I plan on getting a 1440p monitor sometimes in the future. Will a 6gb be better for it, or is 3gb still enough?

Thanks! I am trying to buy it TONIGHT before it gets sold out gain!


Honestly 3GB will be good for the next 2-3 years. Most high end games use 1.5 GB in 1080p (Currently), in 1440p I imagine you would use 2 GB at most. Also they found that after 3-4 GB, the 7970 Toxic slowed down a ton anyways. It is meant ti use 3 GB, so anything over that and the card as trouble reading all of it.

In fact I saw a review where they did triple 2560x1600 gaming on a 7970 GHz Toxic. The thing still only used a little over 4 GB in Metro: 2033. You're fine with 3GB!
February 6, 2013 1:40:26 AM

17seconds said:
Your GTX 560 Ti should NOT have locked voltage. That was not implemented into Kepler cards. Make sure you use MSI Afterburner if you want to test it out and be sure to enable the "unlock voltage" setting first.


That's strange. I tried MSI Afterburner (among many others) with no luck. I suppose I am missing some step somewhere. Any links to a guide for noobs? I researched forever and everything just said to enable it in settings, but even with that I cannot change the voltage.

Sorry for the off topic
February 6, 2013 1:59:23 AM

I would not be so sure about AMD drivers. This is coming from someone who had 2 7970ghz cards before RMAing them due to issues that had to be due to the drivers. It was my second set and i had ruled out all other reasonable possibilities however I still experienced ridiculously pathetic levels of crossfire scaling micro stutter and all around instability that is unacceptable. keep in mind amd cards are "faster" right now but fluctuate much more resulting in less smooth gameplay. Would you rather have a card that has an avg fps of 80 but goes from 80 to 40 fairly often or a card that gave you a steady 50? Easy choice. Try amd if drivers work for you then stay amd. If not get a 670 or better yet wait for the next gen.
a c 87 U Graphics card
February 6, 2013 2:32:16 AM

Actually, Nvidia is usually the one with wider ranges between average, maximum, and minimum frame rates. Stutter, poor scaling, and more are also extremely rare with both companies in multiple GPU solutions with high end cards such as the Tahiti cards and the GK104 cards. What driver version were you using with those 7970s?
a b U Graphics card
February 6, 2013 2:35:16 AM

mike88931 said:
I would not be so sure about AMD drivers. This is coming from someone who had 2 7970ghz cards before RMAing them due to issues that had to be due to the drivers. It was my second set and i had ruled out all other reasonable possibilities however I still experienced ridiculously pathetic levels of crossfire scaling micro stutter and all around instability that is unacceptable. keep in mind amd cards are "faster" right now but fluctuate much more resulting in less smooth gameplay. Would you rather have a card that has an avg fps of 80 but goes from 80 to 40 fairly often or a card that gave you a steady 50? Easy choice. Try amd if drivers work for you then stay amd. If not get a 670 or better yet wait for the next gen.


you need to lock your fps down

I generally use radeon pro or the in game tools to either vsync or limit my fps to 60
a c 663 U Graphics card
February 6, 2013 5:54:46 PM

mike88931 said:
I would not be so sure about AMD drivers. This is coming from someone who had 2 7970ghz cards before RMAing them due to issues that had to be due to the drivers. It was my second set and i had ruled out all other reasonable possibilities however I still experienced ridiculously pathetic levels of crossfire scaling micro stutter and all around instability that is unacceptable. keep in mind amd cards are "faster" right now but fluctuate much more resulting in less smooth gameplay. Would you rather have a card that has an avg fps of 80 but goes from 80 to 40 fairly often or a card that gave you a steady 50? Easy choice. Try amd if drivers work for you then stay amd. If not get a 670 or better yet wait for the next gen.

TechReport seems to agree with you in this recent article:

"Instead, the Radeon's performance was hampered by delays in frame delivery across a number of games" ".........The 99th percentile frame time, though, captures the impact of the Radeon's frame latency issues and suggests the GTX 660 Ti is easily the superior performer."
http://techreport.com/review/23981/radeon-hd-7950-vs-ge...
a b U Graphics card
February 6, 2013 6:07:42 PM

17seconds said:
TechReport seems to agree with you in this recent article:

"Instead, the Radeon's performance was hampered by delays in frame delivery across a number of games" ".........The 99th percentile frame time, though, captures the impact of the Radeon's frame latency issues and suggests the GTX 660 Ti is easily the superior performer."
http://techreport.com/review/23981/radeon-hd-7950-vs-ge...


The only thing I am going to say is that I never had studdering problems on either AMD or Nvidia cards, and IMO Techreport is pretty Nvidia biased. I can never reproduce there weak AMD results or there over the top Nvidia results. Tomshardware on the other hand has always been spot on.
a c 87 U Graphics card
February 6, 2013 6:08:24 PM

That was more than ten driver versions ago and only tests four games. That's hardly a comprehensive and up to date test. I do like the testing methods because they're so much more accurate than mere FPS alone, but only testing a handful of games and now being far out of date with driver versions doesn't let it add much weight to this discussion.
!