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7870 or 7950

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February 12, 2013 3:11:22 AM

I am in the market for a new graphics, I was having trouble deciding between the HIS ice q 7870 and HIS ice q 7950, i was wondering if its worth the extra $70 for the 7950, I am running an AMD phenom II X6 1045t, I want to get the most for my money and some longevity out of the card. I am hoping to run games like BF3 at close to ultra, skyrim, Borderland 2 with high physx, and such, my monitor resolution is 1920x1200.

More about : 7870 7950

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a b U Graphics card
February 12, 2013 3:31:17 AM

Get the 7870XT for $20 more than the 7870, its a great price/perf buy and performs really close to the 7950 for $35 less

Overall price look
http://pcpartpicker.com/parts/video-card/#c=82,110,124,...

The cards
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/sapphire-video-card-100354...
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/powercolor-video-card-ax78...





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a b U Graphics card
February 12, 2013 3:44:02 AM

^Good idea.
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February 12, 2013 3:44:12 AM

Would the 7950 be a better card for longevity with the 3gb of vram, or that doesnt really matter? Also is power color a good brand? It just sounds kinda bootleg lol
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a b U Graphics card
February 12, 2013 3:48:46 AM

If you have the money to spring for the 7950 then do it, but as far as price to performance, the 7870 is the best.
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a b U Graphics card
February 12, 2013 3:50:47 AM

Unless you plan to play at higher than 1080p there is no need for more than 2GB

The 7950 cannot really use up the 3gb before its too slow but the 3gb will be useful for future crossfire/multi-screen (as you basically need crossfire or the top end cards (7970/680/670) to play well on multi screens at decent settings)
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February 12, 2013 3:52:49 AM

7950 has a huge memory bandwidth of 240 gbps which makes it much faster...
cost of evga 7950 is about 310$
while 7870 costs 250$
i think that the extra 50$ is worth it....
go for the 7950....
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February 12, 2013 4:05:58 AM

Will cooling be an issue with any of the cards? The reason I was looking at the HIS card is cause they vent out of the case, I have a cheap case with mediocre air circulation at best.
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a b U Graphics card
February 12, 2013 4:22:41 AM

Most cards with the stock cooler will vent all air out and be fine while ones with aftermarket coolers will cool adequately even in poorly ventilated cases

The extra bandwidth is not needed as the gpu craps out before all the memory bandwidth is needed for AMD cards (unlike nvidias cards as you can see they drop off dramatically as more AA [which requries mroe bandwidth] is applied
To quote: It’s plain to see that the smaller memory interface doesn’t really impact performance.

Full review
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/tahiti-le-7870-7930...





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a b U Graphics card
February 12, 2013 4:25:25 AM

If you want physx in BL2, shouldn't you consider something like a gtx660ti?
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a b U Graphics card
February 12, 2013 4:30:18 AM

^ a good cpu like the i5 3570k or i7 3770k or FX8350 should be able to tank phsyx
I regret to say I missed the PhysX part in the original post
recompiled price list
http://pcpartpicker.com/parts/video-card/#c=113,124,71&...
An decent cpu should let you have PhysX on low/medium without issue

keep in mind this review is before the massive performance enhancing 12.11 drivers from AMD
also the cpu is a 3960x :p 
The 680 with Physx on high performs the same as the 7970 with PhysX high


And here is CPU vs GPU handling the PhysX (the 580 has about same phsyX perf as the 660ti

Stock 2600k
average situation

worst case scenario

Built in benchmark


EDIT: pics not working so here is the full review
http://physxinfo.com/news/9425/borderlands-2-is-cpu-cap...

Another review, not sure what cpu
Old AMD drivers






Review here
http://www.pcper.com/reviews/Graphics-Cards/Borderlands...
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a b U Graphics card
February 12, 2013 4:54:16 AM

As far as VRAM goes, it all depends on what game you're playing and how you're playing it. Skyrim can use way more than 2 GB even at 1080p if you mod it.
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a b U Graphics card
February 12, 2013 5:23:17 AM

the minimun fps on the hd7970 looks pretty bad. I know skyrim can push past 1GB @1080p w/mods, but hast thou proof of 2GB being insufficient?

Edit: OP did say they want physx on high. hd7970 w/12 fps min is not good.
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a b U Graphics card
February 12, 2013 5:29:39 AM

^yeah it does guess the 660ti it is

Cheapest 660ti
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/msi-video-card-n660tipe2gd...

Best price/perf
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/galaxy-video-card-66nph7dv...

Best overall IMO
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/asus-video-card-gtx660tidc...

With 3GB VRAM
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/gigabyte-video-card-gvn66t...

You will likely suffer memory bottleneck issues though if you're actually using 2+gb of VRAM on the 660ti's 192bit mem bus
In order to get rid of them you will need to bump to 670 and spend extra $120 over the 660ti and even the 670 will take a hit

You can see a sharp dive in Nvidia cards as 4x MSAA is applied, and the difference between the 660 and 660ti narrow a lot even at 2xMSAA due to memory bottleneck issues




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February 19, 2013 1:01:09 AM

Best answer selected by facypher.
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