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Help me choose a graphics card(7970 or 680)

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February 10, 2013 5:16:44 PM

Hello forum. There seems to be quite a lot of experts here so I wanna ask you which GPU should I get for my new PC. I'm kinda torn in between a 4GB gtx680 or a 7970GHz edition. Now obviously the 7970 has better value but I don't care about that. I have a fixed price tag and can buy both of these. What I simply wanna know is which one is better overall.
Some benchmarks show the 7970 being better at everything but then I see some other benchmarks where the 680 is outclassing the 7970 by like 30FPS. Please support your arguments with valid sources or experiences. Thanks.
February 10, 2013 7:11:09 PM

It all depends upon ur personal preference . If u want more performance per watt then go Nvidia , if power consuption is not a concern flr you go Amd . Nvidia Gtx 680 -195w , Hd 7970 ghz around 230 - 240 watts . Compare the prices in new egg buy that one which ever suits u. Personally i would get the Amd as i can save around 80-90 $ against nvidia use that money later when upgrading to a new card . Also Amd is now giving 6 games free with 2 radeon 7900 series cards which is around the value of 300$. if ur buying Amd card then buy the sapphire one as it gives crossfire cable free which may not be included by ur motherboard manufactuter.
February 10, 2013 8:08:15 PM

Diabowx said:
It all depends upon ur personal preference . If u want more performance per watt then go Nvidia , if power consuption is not a concern flr you go Amd . Nvidia Gtx 680 -195w , Hd 7970 ghz around 230 - 240 watts . Compare the prices in new egg buy that one which ever suits u. Personally i would get the Amd as i can save around 80-90 $ against nvidia use that money later when upgrading to a new card . Also Amd is now giving 6 games free with 2 radeon 7900 series cards which is around the value of 300$. if ur buying Amd card then buy the sapphire one as it gives crossfire cable free which may not be included by ur motherboard manufactuter.

the thing is I'm building a new rig and I did well on my exams so I get the GPU for free. The price is not important as long as it's not something like a 690. I like Skyrim so when I saw that the benchmarks displayed the 680 being like 200% better than the 7970 I got a bit worried. But those benchmarks seem old and probably aren't as valid anymore. And recent stats show the GHz edition of 7970 being much better: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...

I don't know which GHz edition they even mean cause there's so many. I was thinking of buying the sapphire vapor-x but it seems incredibly cheap to be THAT good so I just asked here. I am planing to overclock either card I get. And what I want is simply the best FPS I can get at the highest settings.
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a b U Graphics card
February 10, 2013 11:18:50 PM

whatever is cheaper!
a c 106 U Graphics card
February 10, 2013 11:22:05 PM

both wil have advantages and disadvantages in different situations. neither is entirely better than the other straight up. since price isnt an issue, pick either. How i would stand on this situation is if you dont want to mess around with overclocking, then any 680 and the 7970s with boost is fine. just note that not all 7970's have boost clocks.
a b U Graphics card
February 10, 2013 11:24:44 PM

The 7970 is cheaper, and AMD cards tend to overclock better as they have unlocked voltages.

As far as performance differences, the 7970 is *slightly* faster overall, but that doesn't make as much difference as which games you want to play.

Make a list of the games you want to play and examine the benchmarks for each card in those games. That will gve you a better idea of which card is best for you than any debate here.
February 10, 2013 11:25:06 PM

Just asked this same question about half an hour ago haha. Anyway the advice I got was to get a GTX 670 over the 680 and 7970 because it was cheaper and is just barely outperformed by them. So I would say since money isn't an issue go with the GTX680. Also I've heard alot that Nvidia has better drives/keeps them up to date better, and I've read that the 7970 chugs in scenes with heavy physxeffect on Borderlands 2 so if you plan on playing that then you probably wouldn't be very happy with the 7970

Here's a link showing a ton of benchmarks between the 680 and 7970 and at first the 7970 wins but after you scroll a bit, to me anyway it looks as if the 680 wins http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/508?vs=555
a b U Graphics card
February 10, 2013 11:28:01 PM

Power consumption really...?? This is a desktop guys who really cares about 50 watt difference?? Unless your rig is under full load 24/7 365 days a year then maybe you will mind paying the extra $65 a year!!!!!!!!
a b U Graphics card
February 10, 2013 11:29:33 PM

jayfox2990 said:
Just asked this same question about half an hour ago haha. Anyway the advice I got was to get a GTX 670 over the 680 and 7970 because it was cheaper and is just barely outperformed by them. So I would say since money isn't an issue go with the GTX680. Also I've heard alot that Nvidia has better drives/keeps them up to date better, and I've read that the 7970 chugs in scenes with heavy physxeffect on Borderlands 2 so if you plan on playing that then you probably wouldn't be very happy with the 7970


Nvidia tends to have more stable drivers out of the gate, partly due to the fact that they have a mcuh larger market share, and more games go out of their way to support Nvidia chipsets. However, at the point in the card's lifecycles we are in, AMD's drivers are jsut as stable as Nvidia's. AMD has also managed to bump performance of their cards by quite a lot since launch - this is entirely why the 7970 is the fastest single-GPU card overall right now. The 7970 was considerably slower than the 680 when it launched

PhysX is a Nvidia exclusive feature. Physx is turned of automatically for systems with AMD cards in any game that uses it ,so a scene with Physx has no impact on an AMD card's performance.
a c 79 U Graphics card
February 10, 2013 11:33:38 PM

7970 for the win. cheaper and once overclocked is a ebast

a c 106 U Graphics card
February 10, 2013 11:36:46 PM

redeemer said:
Power consumption really...?? This is a desktop guys who really cares about 50 watt difference?? Unless your rig is under full load 24/7 365 days a year then maybe you will mind paying the extra $65 a year!!!!!!!!



and thats pretty overexagerated too. the amount of power consumptionon the desktop scene per year is smaller. if i were to believe teksyndicate and their i5-3570k @ 4.5ghz vs FX-8350 @ 5.0 ghz, with the computer being used on full load for 3 hours a day, bill would increase only about 10$ a year. and everyone knows the consumption difference between a 3570k and a 8350. the gap between the 7970 and 680 should be smaller.
a b U Graphics card
February 10, 2013 11:43:17 PM

dudewitbow said:
and thats pretty overexagerated too. the amount of power consumptionon the desktop scene per year is smaller. if i were to believe teksyndicate and their i5-3570k @ 4.5ghz vs FX-8350 @ 5.0 ghz, with the computer being used on full load for 3 hours a day, bill would increase only about 10$ a year. and everyone knows the consumption difference between a 3570k and a 8350. the gap between the 7970 and 680 should be smaller.



Of course it was an exaggeration but I was proving a point, so I guess my case is stronger now thanks!
a c 79 U Graphics card
February 10, 2013 11:47:38 PM

exactly.

a c 79 U Graphics card
February 10, 2013 11:49:08 PM

but 370$ versus 500$ the 7970 ftw

February 10, 2013 11:51:20 PM

I've been out of the game for quite a while so my list is a bit long, but these are the games I already have and will play them as soon as I get the PC:
Sleeping Dogs
Dishonored
Team Fortress 2(been playing it for years and I'm not planning on quiting it)
Battlefield 3
Skyrim
Fallout 3
Batman Arkham City(which uses PhysX so I'm kinda leaning towads the 680)
Boarderlans 2
Witcher 2
War Thunder
Games I will play in the future:
Crysis 3
Bioshock infinite
Watch dogs
Witcher 3

Overall not a big fan of racing games and strategies but other than that I play pretty much everything.
EDIT: And yes I will overclock both my CPU and GPU
a c 79 U Graphics card
February 11, 2013 12:18:01 AM

7970 for the win. unless u like spending 100$+ for same or less performance.

a c 106 U Graphics card
February 11, 2013 12:20:34 AM

iceclock said:
7970 for the win. unless u like spending 100$+ for same or less performance.



i would think its case to case basis, but i recommend the 7970 in this case, since OP's going to eventually buy Crysis 3 and bioshock infinite, who not get it for free since its under promotion at the moment. bigger savings.
February 11, 2013 12:21:04 AM

Basically, 7970 for the pure graphics power, or the 680 for the features + better performance in Nvidia favored games. The choice is really yours as both options are equally appealing.
February 11, 2013 12:21:36 AM

iceclock said:
7970 for the win. unless u like spending 100$+ for same or less performance.

as I said I'm getting the GPU for my rig for free so value doesn't really matter to me since I'm paying for everything else BUT the GPU. Even if it was 200$ more I wouldn't care. I just want the best possible performance.
a c 79 U Graphics card
February 11, 2013 12:22:32 AM

7970 overclocked can trump dat 680. also comes with 2 free games.

February 11, 2013 12:23:51 AM

Gapi182 said:
as I said I'm getting the GPU for my rig for free so value doesn't really matter to me since I'm paying for everything else BUT the GPU. Even if it was 200$ more I wouldn't care. I just want the best possible performance.



If you are willing to spend $200 more, you could just crossfire 2 7950's for around $600. This setup should max out Crysis 3 when it comes out as a single GPU probably will not cut it. Additionally, this setup will outperform the 7970 Ghz edition and the 680.
February 11, 2013 12:27:36 AM

plasmaj12345 said:
If you are willing to spend $200 more, you could just crossfire 2 7950's for around $600. This setup should max out Crysis 3 when it comes out as a single GPU probably will not cut it. Additionally, this setup will outperform the 7970 Ghz edition and the 680.

I don't really trust SLI of crossfire since it's not perfected yet. If I do SLI I might do it in a year with the card I buy now.
February 11, 2013 12:35:35 AM

Gapi182 said:
I don't really trust SLI of crossfire since it's not perfected yet. If I do SLI I might do it in a year with the card I buy now.


Thats fine, as 2 7970 GHz editions or 2 680s are absolute beasts. Crossfire or SLI are the only way to get the most performance past overclocking a single GPU to its limits. A single GPU at the present is still a good buy.
February 11, 2013 12:51:47 AM

Honestly what I'd like would be the 4GB asus GTX 680 because I quite like PhysX and Skyrim, which seems to favour Nvidia cards. But I don't want to find out a few months later that I made the wrong choice :/ .
February 11, 2013 1:00:55 AM

Gapi182 said:
Honestly what I'd like would be the 4GB asus GTX 680 because I quite like PhysX and Skyrim, which seems to favour Nvidia cards. But I don't want to find out a few months later that I made the wrong choice :/ .


There is no wrong choice here, but since you play nvidia favored games and use Physx, the 680 is probably the better choice here. Get the 680. You'll be satisfied with the GPU. When performance starts to decline, just add another 680 for SLI.
a b U Graphics card
February 11, 2013 1:01:01 AM

Gapi182 said:
Honestly what I'd like would be the 4GB asus GTX 680 because I quite like PhysX and Skyrim, which seems to favour Nvidia cards. But I don't want to find out a few months later that I made the wrong choice :/ .



TBH a 2 GB GTX 680 will be fine however if its in your budget than go with 4GB variant. I know gamers that run Skyrim with ultra + heavy .ini tweaks + official HD pack + many more 2K HD textures + other mods + 4xAA @ 1920x1080 and only use around 1.3GB vram.
a c 79 U Graphics card
February 11, 2013 1:02:47 AM

go 680 if u want. but u wont get better performance overall. maybe skyrim an exception but even than i wouldnt buy a card just based off one game.

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

if ur gonna get a 680 get a beast one. such as the above. but i personally think 7970 is good enought

February 11, 2013 1:14:01 AM

plasmaj12345 said:
There is no wrong choice here, but since you play nvidia favored games and use Physx, the 680 is probably the better choice here. Get the 680. You'll be satisfied with the GPU. When performance starts to decline, just add another 680 for SLI.

yeah but then again if not having PhysX means having a better performance in most games I wouldn't mind.
a c 79 U Graphics card
February 11, 2013 2:29:06 AM

physx is only supported in a few games. its not a determining factor when buying a gpu.

February 11, 2013 11:23:41 AM

if we ignore all features, which card is the best when it comes to pure performance and FPS? And if that is the 7970, how much will I lose by taking the 4GB 680 and vice-versa.
I'm quite the fan of PhysX so I wouldn't mind losing some FPS to that, as long as it's not a noticable amount of FPS. I just wanna know approximately how much FPS would I lose/gain.
Money, value, power usage isn't an issue. I'm just wondering about pure performance in gaming.
a b U Graphics card
February 11, 2013 3:02:33 PM

Once again, you'll be better served making a list of the games you want to play and checking benchmarks to see which card comes out on top for those games.
a c 79 U Graphics card
February 11, 2013 4:19:26 PM

if you want physx the 680 would be the one i recommand as ati doesnt support this feature as its nvidia patented

February 11, 2013 4:46:01 PM

iceclock said:
if you want physx the 680 would be the one i recommand as ati doesnt support this feature as its nvidia patented

will i lose a lot of fps in games like crysis 3, dishonored, battlefield 3?
a b U Graphics card
February 11, 2013 5:05:59 PM

Gapi182 said:
will i lose a lot of fps in games like crysis 3, dishonored, battlefield 3?

Nvidia tends to do a bit better in BF3, but with the release of the 13.2 drivers from AMD, it's not really a huge gap anymore like it used to be.

Besides that, just look at benchmarks for the games you want to play. Try to find the newest benchmarks, as driver releases increase performance in games and give you a more realistic picture of what to expect.
February 11, 2013 5:41:26 PM

trogdor796 said:
Nvidia tends to do a bit better in BF3, but with the release of the 13.2 drivers from AMD, it's not really a huge gap anymore like it used to be.

Besides that, just look at benchmarks for the games you want to play. Try to find the newest benchmarks, as driver releases increase performance in games and give you a more realistic picture of what to expect.
so if I go for the 680 for the PhysX I won't be missing out on much right?
a c 79 U Graphics card
February 11, 2013 7:37:03 PM

no u wont, but tbh the best price to performance ratio is ther 7970.

no u wont, either way ull do good, but 7970 is a better dealĂ 
a c 106 U Graphics card
February 11, 2013 10:15:30 PM

the most one would get out of physx is Borderlands(which uses it the most, but can be activated with cpu based phsyx at the cost of performance on amd systems), Batman and Mafia II. all other games tend to only have minor or distracting(i'm looking at you hawken) physx effects.
February 11, 2013 10:22:24 PM

dudewitbow said:
the most one would get out of physx is Borderlands(which uses it the most, but can be activated with cpu based phsyx at the cost of performance on amd systems), Batman and Mafia II. all other games tend to only have minor or distracting(i'm looking at you hawken) physx effects.

true but what a bout upcoming games? A lot of things about the Unreal Engine 4 are based on PhysX
a c 79 U Graphics card
February 11, 2013 10:42:46 PM

check it if u got the cash get 680. but if u want no physx and similar performance for less get 7970 not a brain teaser.

February 11, 2013 11:01:15 PM

iceclock said:
check it if u got the cash get 680. but if u want no physx and similar performance for less get 7970 not a brain teaser.

as said I'm getting the GPU for my rig for free and I buy all the rest so cost doesn't matter. It's just so hard. the 7970 seems to be better in most games but the 608 isn't far behind.
a c 79 U Graphics card
February 11, 2013 11:08:56 PM

to be honest there both good. but if u want physx get nvidia if u dont care 7970 i recommand

February 11, 2013 11:11:10 PM

PhysX is a CPU technology, all Nvidia did was move it to the GPU.

CPU PhysX is used by hundreds of games, Nvidia's is used by exactly 27, maybe, 5 of which are ones you've heard about.

Adaptive Vsync is directly countered by RadeonPro, basically with RadeonPro you make a profile for each game with max fps, render rate, etc....Same performance as Adaptive V-sync.

AMD Cards scale significantly better with Crossfire, http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/crossfire-sli-scali...
And are also better with multimonitor configurations and high AA/AF due to more bus(384 vs 256)

Also, they have higher speed out of the gate, the 7970GHz is roughly equivalent to a GTX590, or 2x GTX580 in SLI, not to mention the 7970GHz can routinely achieve 1200/1300MHz+ Engine clocks are 1700MHz+ Memory overclocks.

Also, the 7970GHz is cheaper than a 4GB GTX680, it is around 450 dollars for the 7970GHz, and well over 500 for a 4GB GTX680.

And to drivers, Nvidia's drivers are really only superior close to release time and for certain Nvidia endorsed games, AMD has more or less caught up and even exceeded with Catalyst 13.2.
a c 79 U Graphics card
February 11, 2013 11:12:06 PM

meh. hes getting a free card. 680 i guess. but usually i recommand the cheaper but just as good 7970

a c 79 U Graphics card
February 11, 2013 11:35:11 PM

eh depends when. also has adaptive vsync and physx

February 11, 2013 11:40:48 PM

CPU PhysX is used by hundreds of games, Nvidia's is used by exactly 27, maybe, 5 of which are ones you've heard about.

Adaptive Vsync is directly countered by RadeonPro, basically with RadeonPro you make a profile for each game with max fps, render rate, etc....Same performance as Adaptive V-sync.
a c 79 U Graphics card
February 11, 2013 11:42:21 PM

yes i know, radeonpro is not an official ati product, and is beta you cannot compare it to nvidia engineered adaptive vsync.

really not in the same category ive tried radeonpro useful for tweaking stuff but fake adaptive vsync i think not.

February 12, 2013 12:34:30 AM

The decision will probably have to be made tomorrow, cause I'll probably order everything tomorrow... god dammit. Well I think I've heard enough. I'll probably go for the Sapphire vapor-x 7970 GHz edition. I hope I don't run into some problems with it, cause some people had some stuttering issues on this site. Hopefully it's the best 7970. Now off to other section to ask for a good MoBo :D .
a b U Graphics card
February 12, 2013 1:04:19 AM

I think its clear that the 7970ghz is the way to go.
happy gaming
!