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HD 7950 vs HD 7970 GHz price to performance

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February 9, 2013 6:16:45 PM

I am looking to upgrade my graphics card from my HD 6770 and I am looking at either the HD 7950 or the HD 7970 GHz. I can get the HD 7950 for £220 or I can get the HD 7970 GHz for £320. So I am wondering is the performance of the HD 7970 GHz edition worth the extra £100 or not?
February 9, 2013 6:19:39 PM

what resolution are you playing on?
February 9, 2013 6:37:14 PM

1920 x 1080
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February 9, 2013 6:42:28 PM

ndslite said:
what resolution are you playing on?


1920 x 1080
a c 147 U Graphics card
February 9, 2013 7:21:06 PM

Worth it?
I guess that depends on what you're willing to pay for that boost. Here's some benchmarks to help (read them all as it varies by game):
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/AMD/HD_7970_GHz_Edit...

What CPU you own will also affect your decision. If your CPU is significantly less than an i5-3570 you'll start to get CPU bottlenecking (but it will vary by the game).

A stock (not overclocked) HD7950 will average 78% of the performance of the 7970 GHz, although that number will RISE the more your CPU bottlenecks things. With less than an i5-750 for example you might get an average of 90% of the performance.
a c 112 U Graphics card
February 9, 2013 7:22:38 PM

pacman4565 said:
I am looking to upgrade my graphics card from my HD 6770 and I am looking at either the HD 7950 or the HD 7970 GHz. I can get the HD 7950 for £220 or I can get the HD 7970 GHz for £320. So I am wondering is the performance of the HD 7970 GHz edition worth the extra £100 or not?


Hi - maybe this will help

I don't think it's worth £100 more. You might think differently.
The 7970 seems to be doing well here in the US

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/550?vs=508
February 9, 2013 7:41:46 PM

photonboy said:
Worth it?
I guess that depends on what you're willing to pay for that boost. Here's some benchmarks to help (read them all as it varies by game):
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/AMD/HD_7970_GHz_Edit...

What CPU you own will also affect your decision. If your CPU is significantly less than an i5-3570 you'll start to get CPU bottlenecking (but it will vary by the game).

A stock (not overclocked) HD7950 will average 78% of the performance of the 7970 GHz, although that number will RISE the more your CPU bottlenecks things. With less than an i5-750 for example you might get an average of 90% of the performance.


It's fine I have a i5-3570k @ 4.3 GHz
February 9, 2013 7:51:02 PM

pacman4565 said:
I am looking to upgrade my graphics card from my HD 6770 and I am looking at either the HD 7950 or the HD 7970 GHz. I can get the HD 7950 for £220 or I can get the HD 7970 GHz for £320. So I am wondering is the performance of the HD 7970 GHz edition worth the extra £100 or not?


I'd say the 7950. It ought to handle most anything currently available @ 1080p with ease. The 7970 GHz is significantly faster, but not so much faster that it'll buy you massive amounts of extra time before you feel you need to upgrade -- and when you do feel obligated to upgrade, you'll have an easier time justifying it, because you'll have saved that extra £100 now.

Typically the mid-range is the sweet spot for price/performance, unless you have really high standards (like, insisting on resolutions greater than 1080p). If you don't have really high standards, then really high-end cards force you pay a high premium for a performance gain that probably won't even apply to you in any practically useful way for a good long while.

Apart from that general point about mid-range cards, though, I haven't said anything that photonboy didn't already put better. :) 

Could answer the question better with a little more information. The cost savings on the 7950 might matter more if you need a new power supply to go along with it, for instance.

@toyftw:

To be fair, the GHz edition of the 7970 is a little faster than the 7970 listed in your Anandtech comparison.
February 9, 2013 8:00:58 PM


I'd say the 7950. It ought to handle most anything currently available @ 1080p with ease. The 7970 GHz is significantly faster, but not so much faster that it'll buy you massive amounts of extra time before you feel you need to upgrade -- and when you do feel obligated to upgrade, you'll have an easier time justifying it, because you'll have saved that extra £100 now.

Typically the mid-range is the sweet spot for price/performance, unless you have [i said:
really high standards (like, insisting on resolutions greater than 1080p). If you don't have really high standards, then really high-end cards force you pay a high premium for a performance gain that probably won't even apply to you in any practically useful way for a good long while.

Apart from that general point about mid-range cards, though, I haven't said anything that photonboy didn't already put better. :) 

Could answer the question better with a little more information. The cost savings on the 7950 might matter more if you need a new power supply to go along with it, for instance.

@toyftw:

To be fair, the GHz edition of the 7970 is a little faster than the 7970 listed in your Anandtech comparison.]
I'd say the 7950. It ought to handle most anything currently available @ 1080p with ease. The 7970 GHz is significantly faster, but not so much faster that it'll buy you massive amounts of extra time before you feel you need to upgrade -- and when you do feel obligated to upgrade, you'll have an easier time justifying it, because you'll have saved that extra £100 now.

Typically the mid-range is the sweet spot for price/performance, unless you have really high standards (like, insisting on resolutions greater than 1080p). If you don't have really high standards, then really high-end cards force you pay a high premium for a performance gain that probably won't even apply to you in any practically useful way for a good long while.

Apart from that general point about mid-range cards, though, I haven't said anything that photonboy didn't already put better. :) 

Could answer the question better with a little more information. The cost savings on the 7950 might matter more if you need a new power supply to go along with it, for instance.

@toyftw:

To be fair, the GHz edition of the 7970 is a little faster than the 7970 listed in your Anandtech comparison.
[/i]

Yeah I will need to buy a new power supply as mine is only 450w and doesn't have two 6 pin connectors.
a c 112 U Graphics card
February 9, 2013 8:03:27 PM

Fulgurant said:
I'd say the 7950. It ought to handle most anything currently available @ 1080p with ease. The 7970 GHz is significantly faster, but not so much faster that it'll buy you massive amounts of extra time before you feel you need to upgrade -- and when you do feel obligated to upgrade, you'll have an easier time justifying it, because you'll have saved that extra £100 now.

Typically the mid-range is the sweet spot for price/performance, unless you have really high standards (like, insisting on resolutions greater than 1080p). If you don't have really high standards, then really high-end cards force you pay a high premium for a performance gain that probably won't even apply to you in any practically useful way for a good long while.

Apart from that general point about mid-range cards, though, I haven't said anything that photonboy didn't already put better. :) 

Could answer the question better with a little more information. The cost savings on the 7950 might matter more if you need a new power supply to go along with it, for instance.

@toyftw:

To be fair, the GHz edition of the 7970 is a little faster than the 7970 listed in your Anandtech comparison.


Ah- yes it is, thanx for the catch, & ghz comparison was avail, didn't realize I clicked wrong 7970 line.

here is what i should have linked: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/550?vs=618

February 9, 2013 10:00:37 PM

pacman4565 said:
Yeah I will need to buy a new power supply as mine is only 450w and doesn't have two 6 pin connectors.


Well there you go. :) 

It's also worth noting that the 7950 consumes considerably less power under load than the 7970 GHz, which could save you money on the initial PSU purchase, and on your power bill, over time. (All current-gen AMD cards sip power at idle, so how much money you're likely to save on the power bill will depend greatly on how often or how much you stress them.)

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/AMD/HD_7970_GHz_Edit...
a b U Graphics card
February 9, 2013 10:03:07 PM

7950 is the best price/performance card there is or ever was!
a c 147 U Graphics card
February 11, 2013 3:42:59 AM

http://www.asus.com/Graphics_Cards/HD7950DC23GD5V2/

Advantages:
- Quietest card (massive heat sink)
- overclocking potential

Disadvantage: Size

I have the 680 version with a backplate and mine's far quieter than similar 2-slot cards. You may wish to keep an eye on SAG though. I have minimal sag but I don't know if that's due to the backplate (this has none).

An older card I had sagged and I simply rigged up something in the case to push up on the end of the card to take the load off and keep it straight.
a c 147 U Graphics card
February 11, 2013 5:30:00 AM

raheel167 said:
At 1080p there is no need to go beyond 7950. Take a look at the benchmarks 7950 can easily max any game at this resolution.

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/AMD/Catalyst_12.11_P...


MOST games. Not "any" game.
I just noticed this HD7970 1GHz but I don't have time to research further:
http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=67547&vpn=GV%2DR797OC%...

Notes:
- HD7970 Ghz
- $400
- free shipping
- Free games: Bioshock Infinite and Tomb Raider

If we deduct $120 for those games and $15 for shipping then this card costs about $265!!

My concern with HD7970 GHz though is with NOISE. Many seem to have issues. This card at stock speed is much faster than the HD7950 Asus I linked above, however that 3-slot card is incredibly quiet and could easily be overclocked while still being fairly cool and quiet.

Pros and Cons.
February 11, 2013 6:56:18 AM

photonboy said:
MOST games. Not "any" game.


Yeah, there will always be exceptions. As a general rule, though, the 7950 ought to run most any game with max or near-max settings at 1080p. There will be cases in which a given setting in a given game is just an unabashed resource hog; for example, I've heard that the Witcher 2's ubersampling is borderline unworkable on anything less than the highest-of-high-end hardware -- but on the upside, disabling ubersampling doesn't seem to diminish image quality all that much.

The way I look at it is that those exceptional cases are poorly coded/implemented -- or if you prefer, simply so resource-inefficient that they're not worth considering in a discussion like this one. I have no idea how much better (in practical terms) the 7970 GHz would handle Witcher 2's ubersampling, for instance, so it'd be pretty silly of me to recommend that card over the 7950 on the basis of that one feature, even if the OP had explicitly listed the Witcher 2 as his primary game. As I understand it, ubersampling is just a heavy-duty brute-force AA technique anyway, so if you can force AA through your graphics' driver, you'd probably end up with a large portion of ubersampling's benefit at a fraction of the performance cost.

Anyway, the TL;DR version of all of that rambling is that yes, occasionally you might have to lower or turn off a setting or two. Max settings, for our purposes, doesn't literally mean that every possible feature in every single game available -- running every conceivable game-patch revision, on every driver AMD might release -- will run butter-smooth on a 7950. That would be a ludicrous claim even for the 7970 GHz, or hell, even for the $1000 GTX 690.

Your games will look damn good at very good frame rates on a 7950. That might be a better way of phrasing it.

photonboy said:
I just noticed this HD7970 1GHz but I don't have time to research further:
http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=67547&vpn=GV%2DR797OC%...

Notes:
- HD7970 Ghz
- $400
- free shipping
- Free games: Bioshock Infinite and Tomb Raider

If we deduct $120 for those games and $15 for shipping then this card costs about $265!!

My concern with HD7970 GHz though is with NOISE. Many seem to have issues. This card at stock speed is much faster than the HD7950 Asus I linked above, however that 3-slot card is incredibly quiet and could easily be overclocked while still being fairly cool and quiet.


Nice find. Of course, the games are only worth their retail value if you were intending to buy them anyway. If you were, then you might as well buy the 7970 GHz. If you weren't, then the card is overkill, IMO.
February 11, 2013 9:01:38 AM

Fulgurant said:
Yeah, there will always be exceptions. As a general rule, though, the 7950 ought to run most any game with max or near-max settings at 1080p. There will be cases in which a given setting in a given game is just an unabashed resource hog; for example, I've heard that the Witcher 2's ubersampling is borderline unworkable on anything less than the highest-of-high-end hardware -- but on the upside, disabling ubersampling doesn't seem to diminish image quality all that much.

The way I look at it is that those exceptional cases are poorly coded/implemented -- or if you prefer, simply so resource-inefficient that they're not worth considering in a discussion like this one. I have no idea how much better (in practical terms) the 7970 GHz would handle Witcher 2's ubersampling, for instance, so it'd be pretty silly of me to recommend that card over the 7950 on the basis of that one feature, even if the OP had explicitly listed the Witcher 2 as his primary game. As I understand it, ubersampling is just a heavy-duty brute-force AA technique anyway, so if you can force AA through your graphics' driver, you'd probably end up with a large portion of ubersampling's benefit at a fraction of the performance cost.

Anyway, the TL;DR version of all of that rambling is that yes, occasionally you might have to lower or turn off a setting or two. Max settings, for our purposes, doesn't literally mean that every possible feature in every single game available -- running every conceivable game-patch revision, on every driver AMD might release -- will run butter-smooth on a 7950. That would be a ludicrous claim even for the 7970 GHz, or hell, even for the $1000 GTX 690.

Your games will look damn good at very good frame rates on a 7950. That might be a better way of phrasing it.



Nice find. Of course, the games are only worth their retail value if you were intending to buy them anyway. If you were, then you might as well buy the 7970 GHz. If you weren't, then the card is overkill, IMO.


I am getting the XFX HD 7950 Double D Black edition for £245 or ~ $380 and it comes with Crysis 3 and Bioshock Infinite.

http://www.scan.co.uk/products/3gb-xfx-radeon-hd-7950-d...

This is by far the best deal I can find, I also plan to overclock the card anyway.
a b U Graphics card
February 11, 2013 12:40:57 PM

Good choice. I run 2 7950's in crossfire and can easily overclock them past the stock speed of a 7970 ghz edition.
a c 147 U Graphics card
February 12, 2013 4:26:12 AM

pacman4565 said:
I am getting the XFX HD 7950 Double D Black edition for £245 or ~ $380 and it comes with Crysis 3 and Bioshock Infinite.

http://www.scan.co.uk/products/3gb-xfx-radeon-hd-7950-d...

This is by far the best deal I can find, I also plan to overclock the card anyway.


*The Asus 3-slot card:
- runs quieter
- overclocks higher
- has better reviews

http://www.scan.co.uk/products/3gb-asus-radeon-hd-7950-...

The reason it's so good is the extra large heatsink. I don't have any sag, but I also have a backplate. If you think that's an issue when installing it then simply rig up something under the end of the card to keep the pressure off and the card straight.

Unless your certain you are going to buy another HD7950 and require all your slots, I can't think of a good reason not to get this Asus model. I have the GTX680 version with this cooling and managed to overclock it to 1400MHz, though I did drop back to stock 1201MHz to keep the noise down for most games (I overclock for Far Cry 3 only).
a c 147 U Graphics card
February 12, 2013 4:37:40 AM

(couldn't edit above post)

Here's a comment regarding NOISE of the Asus 3-slot:

"Throughout the testing, the card ran absolutely silent with no more than a faint whirr of the fans. Even stressing it with FurMark didn’t seem to faze it at all, this time the temperatures remain in check."

I get the impression that the max overclock is about 1000MHz to be stable. That would still be fairly quiet under load with this card but 2-slot cards would be far noisier when overclocked and under load.
March 12, 2013 9:09:46 AM

Go for the Sapphire HD 7950 vapor x, is a dual slot card, runs extremely quiet and dosent exceed 60 C even after overclocking. And it overclocks like...., u can recieve up to 40% improved performance if u overclock.
March 19, 2013 11:37:47 AM

If it helps, I was trying to decide the same thing and after alot of thought I went with the 7950. I game at 1920x1080.
I figure by the time the 7950 Boost doesn't work for me I'll want a new card and the extra money for the 7970 would just be added loss down the road that I wouldn't recoup. I don't expect the 7970 to have significantly more longevity to off-set the exta money.

My HIS IceQ HD 7950 boost should be here tomorrow! :) 
!