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GTX 580 SLI 1440p upgrade to HD 7970 GHz

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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February 16, 2013 2:40:41 AM

Current system:

Asrock P67 Extreme4
i5 2500k @ 4.6GHz
2x GTX 580 1.5VRAM @ 935/1870

Currently playing at 1440p 60Hz. The main reason for an upgrade would be to obtain better frames in BF3.

I've been looking online, and I've read a lot of positive feedback about the HD 7970 GHz performance at 1440p. BF3 runs pretty well with the current setup, but I do have to bring the settings down a bit and regularly drop into the 40s on larger maps when things start getting crazy.

How would the 7970 GHz stand up to my current setup? I've seen both arguments made online, with some claiming the 7970 outperforms my setup at 1440p, while others say it's about 20% slower. Most benchmarks seem to put the average at around 60fps, but I'm more concerned about min FPS than average.

There are a lot of positives to selling my cards and going with a single 7970 (power consumption, noise, heat) but I'm worried I would take a hit in performance, which is what I ultimately care the most about.

Thanks!
a c 143 U Graphics card
February 16, 2013 2:52:10 AM

Stepping from GTX 580 SLI to HD 7970 is a STEPPING DOWN, both nVidia and AMD optimized their drivers for BF3 to gain a huge improvement in the performance.

Dropping to 40s is normal, BF3 Multiplayer is very CPU intensive and said to be bringing top end CPUs to their knees due to the larger maps and environmental effects. 40 FPS is very smooth to play at no need for an upgrade.
February 16, 2013 4:11:23 AM

I would've thought this was a step down, but poking around online had me questioning whether this was the case or not at 1440p. Seems a lot of people tend to recommend getting a 7970 instead of adding a second 580 in sli when the resolution is that high, especially when dealing with the 1.5gig version of the card. In addition, the praise I've seen thrown at the GHz edition of the 7970, as well as some of the BF3 benchmarks I've seen, had me thinking the performance might be about the same.

I recognize that dropping into the 40s is normal and that BF3 is CPU intensive. However, I notice when I drop in frames and was just curious to get a second opinion about the performance of the 7970, especially since it seems the 700 and 8000 series are now so far out. I don't need an upgrade, but lower power bills, lower heat and free Bioshock is pretty enticing if the performance is equivalent, especially since selling my 580s would cover the cost.
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February 16, 2013 4:18:24 AM

Well the dips into the 40s is the CPU most of the time. As mentioned earlier. To confirm this, look at your GPU usage during these FPS drops. My cousin has two 580s and they run 1440p without a hick, but he has a i7 3770k at 4.6GHz

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a c 216 U Graphics card
February 16, 2013 4:18:55 AM
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Unless the game doesn't like SLI or a VRAM hog, it would be a step down.

A lot of people don't recommend adding a 2nd 580, not because it isn't fast, but because they feel it is throwing money at an older tech that may eventually become obsolete. You already have them, so you are looking for an upgrade. A single 7970 is not an upgrade the majority of the time.

The only time 1.5Gb of vram might not be enough, is if you like to use high levels of AA on games that are VRAM hogs or you use a ton of mods on games like Skyrim. With a 1440p monitor, you shouldn't need high levels of AA.
February 16, 2013 4:36:53 AM

ndslite said:
Well the dips into the 40s is the CPU most of the time. As mentioned earlier. To confirm this, look at your GPU usage during these FPS drops. My cousin has two 580s and they run 1440p without a hick, but he has a i7 3770k at 4.6GHz


I monitor usage with MSI Afterburner, and dips seem to occur when GPU usage spikes to 100%.

Ok, so the replies pretty much confirm what I thought: the 7970 would be a downgrade from my current setup. I'll stick to my original plan and ride my 580s until the 700 series releases, at which point I'll consider upgrading.

Thanks for the replies.
February 16, 2013 4:37:36 AM

Best answer selected by grandpamasaki.
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