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Graphics card advice - Buy now or later?

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  • Graphics Cards
  • Graphics
Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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February 7, 2013 5:17:36 PM

Right, I have imo a not too shabby rig with a GTX 470. But its getting to the stage with the latest games, I'm having to lower virtually every graphic setting to medium. For example on ProjectCARS alpha build 397, I get about 10fps with everything on high (not ultra) and 2xAA in the rain and the card overclocked almost 100mhz above stock!


Right, I have decided between the two near top-end core models from Team Red and Team Green. The GTX 680 or HD 7970. I play at 1920x1080 resolution on one monitor.

Budget isn't really a concern apart from not wanting to go for the Dual GPU solutions as that would mean also changing my power supply.

This is my PC rig in full:

[Case] Antec 1100
[Power Supply] Antec Earthwatts 650w (http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...)
[Mainboard] Asus P8P67 Revision 3 ATX
[CPU] Intel i5 2500k overclocked to 4.6ghz and cooled with Thermalright Venomous X
[RAM] Kingston Hyper X Genesis Grey Sandy Bridge Edition (2x4gb)
[GPU] Inno3D GTX 470 Hawk Edition 1280mb GDDR5
[Soundcard] Asus Xonar DS PCI
[HDD's] 1x Spinpoint F3 1TB, 1x Caviar Black 1TB, 1x Caviar Black 500gb
[SSD] Samsung 830 Series 256GB
[Peripherals] Razer Lycosa, Deathadder Respawn, Bose Companion 3 Series II, LG E2750, Lamptron FC5 V2 Black
[OS] Windows 8 64bit

Question 1.) GTX 680, HD 7970 or wait for the GTX 7xx or HD8xxx's to come along?
Question 2.) Which manufacturer/edition should I go for (Sapphire, MSI etc...)? Please provide a UK link to your recommendation.
Question 3.) Will my power supply be alright, or would you recommend me to change it?

Thanks!

More about : graphics card advice buy

February 7, 2013 5:33:55 PM

1. with the 700 series they are rumoured to be released spring? not too sure and some amd 8000 series are already out/ready for release if i'm correct

http://www.amd.com/uk/products/desktop/graphics/8000/Pa...
(not recommendation)

it's up to you if you want to game now or later once they are out the price change will mostly depend on how groundbreaking the new series is, which probably won't be much i'm guessing. also depends on if you are playing games which use features that come with nvidia cards eg physx if you are going for a 680 you probably have alot of money? (just assuming)

Most people say to go for msi's twin frozr for the extra cooling ability, but that's only if you plan to overclock. an overclocked 7950 canget to the power of a stock 7970 and maybe exceed it. not too sure about 680 i think the 670 is about 5% slower on games than the 680 so it might not even be worth it

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=GX...

this is a good card maybe abit too pricey but something like this would be better than stock, again if you plan to oc anyways


i think your power supply looks good, theres a tool online to calculate your power consumption sorry i can't help more
a b U Graphics card
February 7, 2013 5:43:15 PM

If you can wait I would wait and see what the new models later this year will have to offer. As to AMD vrs nVidia I think both are good. That said I think usually AMD has good performance and is cheaper then nVidia, however I think nVidia has very good drivers and usually has a smoother game experience. I don't think you can go wrong either way. For AMD Sapphire, ASUS, XFX, MSI, and Power Color are popular models. XFX is trying to get more market share and may offer some great deals. For nVidia EVGA, Asus, Gigabyte, MSI and Zotec. MSI has some very good cooling solutions for both lines and their cards are usually rated pretty high.
a b U Graphics card
February 7, 2013 5:52:01 PM

There will always be something new around the corner. I have the same question though and I have decided to wait and see what happens. AMD cards are faster and cheaper as a whole, but if you need CUDA, say for software that can use it, Nvidia is good too. If your card is still working okay, I say wait, just remember those new cards are gonna be pricey when they do hit the street.
February 7, 2013 6:10:06 PM

Thanks for your replies so far. I don't really have a preference AMD or Nvidia. I did have a HD 4850 a long time ago, which I liked but at the time ATI where having a few driver issues stopping me from playing a lot of my games. My Nvidia 470 is even better. I've had no issues up until now where I'm having to lower graphics settings a fair bit and also I play a modded GTA IV with some High resolution textures which for some reason I seem to run out of video memory and textures and objects start disappearing and turning into boxes after about 20-30 minutes. As long as I don't get this with my new card I don't mind! :) 

But I've been reading reviews of both the 7970 and 680 for ages and they seem too evenly matched. AMD has always been better at performance for the money, but Nvidia have been a fair bit faster in the past.

I don't mind going for either as long as it sees me out for about 2 - 2.5 years and being able to at least run games down the line. I've had this 470 since August 2010! and the HD 4850 I had from December 2007, so the time really is to update my 470 I feel. I think I could get between £70 and £110 for my 470 so this can come off the price.

I like the MSI Lightning cards, but the GTX 680 Lightning is horrendously priced and the HD 7970 Lightning doesn't have HDMI!

I've read some impressive reviews on the HIS Turbo-X something or other HD7970 but this doesn't seem to be available in the UK.

I seem to remember reading that you could unlock a HD 5950 to a HD 5970 via a firmware flash, is it possible to do this on a HD 7950 > HD 7970 by any chance?

a b U Graphics card
February 7, 2013 6:13:16 PM

902 said:
1. with the 700 series they are rumoured to be released spring? not too sure and some amd 8000 series are already out/ready for release if i'm correct

http://www.amd.com/uk/products/desktop/graphics/8000/Pa...
(not recommendation)

it's up to you if you want to game now or later once they are out the price change will mostly depend on how groundbreaking the new series is, which probably won't be much i'm guessing. also depends on if you are playing games which use features that come with nvidia cards eg physx if you are going for a 680 you probably have alot of money? (just assuming)

Most people say to go for msi's twin frozr for the extra cooling ability, but that's only if you plan to overclock. an overclocked 7950 canget to the power of a stock 7970 and maybe exceed it. not too sure about 680 i think the 670 is about 5% slower on games than the 680 so it might not even be worth it

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=GX...

this is a good card maybe abit too pricey but something like this would be better than stock, again if you plan to oc anyways


i think your power supply looks good, theres a tool online to calculate your power consumption sorry i can't help more

Last i heard the 700 series and 8000 series where pushed back to a Q4 release. The 8000 series that are coming out soon are for mobile devices or the "M" versions.
a c 205 U Graphics card
February 7, 2013 6:36:52 PM

As Derza says, I think some of the releases have been pushed back.
If benchmarks show the games you want to play run well on a particular card (e.g. a HD7970), then go for it; new cards aren't going to make it suddenly slow down.
Personally, I don't think I'd ever go for a GTX680 with the GTX670 so close in performance but a lot cheaper. Either HD7970 or GTX670 would be my choice, based on whether or not benchmarks indicate that one architecture is notably favored in your games. Consider also any compute applications you use; nVidia tends to be better at Folding, but AMD is the only way to go for Bitcoin mining. A lot of the Kepler reviews have shown very poor performance for nVidia at a lot of compute tasks, but not all; and it may not matter to you. From what I have read, average frame time favors nVidia (leading to smoother play at any framerate), but I have not tested this personally yet. Both companies have released good and poor drivers. I'm running all AMD right now, and I think GCN may still have some unrealized potential, but I'm also seeing more driver-related glitches. In your place, I'd want to see how the GTX670 does compared to the AMD cards I've been running, but you may feel the exact opposite. Which one you pick might need to come down to benchmarks, including frame-time (if you can find it).
a b U Graphics card
February 7, 2013 6:40:44 PM

Sapphire HD 7970 with Tahiti core
=> High end
=> Cheaper as compared to GTX680
=> Matchless performance
=> Seamless Overclock-ability
=> non vaporX or VaporX both are good
=> Enables you to play every game maxed out
a b U Graphics card
February 7, 2013 7:16:13 PM

v12vantage said:
Right, I have imo a not too shabby rig with a GTX 470. But its getting to the stage with the latest games, I'm having to lower virtually every graphic setting to medium. For example on ProjectCARS alpha build 397, I get about 10fps with everything on high (not ultra) and 2xAA in the rain and the card overclocked almost 100mhz above stock!


Right, I have decided between the two near top-end core models from Team Red and Team Green. The GTX 680 or HD 7970. I play at 1920x1080 resolution on one monitor.

Budget isn't really a concern apart from not wanting to go for the Dual GPU solutions as that would mean also changing my power supply.

This is my PC rig in full:

[Case] Antec 1100
[Power Supply] Antec Earthwatts 650w (http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...)
[Mainboard] Asus P8P67 Revision 3 ATX
[CPU] Intel i5 2500k overclocked to 4.6ghz and cooled with Thermalright Venomous X
[RAM] Kingston Hyper X Genesis Grey Sandy Bridge Edition (2x4gb)
[GPU] Inno3D GTX 470 Hawk Edition 1280mb GDDR5
[Soundcard] Asus Xonar DS PCI
[HDD's] 1x Spinpoint F3 1TB, 1x Caviar Black 1TB, 1x Caviar Black 500gb
[SSD] Samsung 830 Series 256GB
[Peripherals] Razer Lycosa, Deathadder Respawn, Bose Companion 3 Series II, LG E2750, Lamptron FC5 V2 Black
[OS] Windows 8 64bit

Question 1.) GTX 680, HD 7970 or wait for the GTX 7xx or HD8xxx's to come along?
Question 2.) Which manufacturer/edition should I go for (Sapphire, MSI etc...)? Please provide a UK link to your recommendation.
Question 3.) Will my power supply be alright, or would you recommend me to change it?

Thanks!



http://www.overclock.net/t/1358209/wccf-amd-confirms-ra... t

AMD has confirmed but NVIDIA hasnt so u could still wait if u wanted
February 7, 2013 8:13:35 PM

Are the Gigabyte Windforce 3X cards any good?

Ebuyer.com is usually where I buy my PC parts and they have the Gigabyte Windforce 3x cooler on 3 cards:

HD 7950 Windforce 3x 3072mb - £271.00
GTX 670 Windforce 3x 2048mb - £299.99
HD 7970 Windforce 3x 3072mb - £327.67

The only 3D I do beside gaming is the odd medium poly 3D for games using Blender/3DS Max. And I think AMD or Nvidia cards should cope with that.

I'm starting to favor team red for a change. I could O/C the HD 7970 (or the 7950) so it becomes slightly closer to the GTX 680 PLUS, the extra 1GB of memory on the 7970 could prove handy for my modded GTA IV and other GPU intensive games later down the line.

How things have changed, since it didn't seem long ago since pretty much everyone said you won't need more than 1GB of VRAM for quite some time yet and here we are just beginning 2013 and I already have 3 or 4 games which are using all 1280MB of the Video RAM on the 470!

My main question IS the HD 7970 worth the extra 50 notes over the HD 7950?
!