Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question
Solved

Advice on New GPU, $550 budget

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
Share
February 18, 2013 8:05:20 PM

Hello everyone, I am building a new gaming PC and require some help. I have scoured the forums here and elsewhere and at this point I am driving myself in circles on what GPU to get that will best suit my needs and budget. I would like for this GPU to last me through this coming generation (GTX 7XX, ATI 8XXX) and don't really want to wait for this coming generation because from what I have read Q4 is the best prediction with the exception of the most recent news on the Titan. Also, they will likely be outside my budget and I don't feel like the performance increase is worth the wait.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: End of February/Beginning of March 2013
BUDGET RANGE: $400-$600

USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, strictly gaming. Games that will be played:
GW2 (All setting Max, 40+ FPS in heavy WvW);
Skyrim, All setting high + TONS of mods.
Batman AC, Highest setting
Crisis 3, All Setting high
BF 3, Ultra setting
SC2, Highest settings
AC3, High settings

System to soon be bought & put together:
CPU: Intel Core i5 - 3570K
CPU Cooler: H80i
Motherboard: Asus Maximus V Gene Micro ATX LGA1155
Memory: G.Skill 2400 DDR3 Trident
Storage: Samsung 840 Pro Series 256GB SSD
Case: Thermaltake Armor Revo Gene (Mid Tower)
PSU: Seasonic X-850 or Thermaltake Toughpower Grand 850W


PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg, Amazon, any reputable US retailer. Microcenter is nearby in Duluth, GA as well.


OVERCLOCKING: Yes, basic overclocking(software) in the beginning and then I plan to learn more advanced overclocking to have some fun with in the future.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Currently I have 2 Asus VS238H-P LCD monitors
ASUS VS238H-P
Basically 1920x1080 resolution or 1080p, one monitor will be used for gaming and the other internet browsing. Though in the future I am thinking of purchasing a monitor capable of 2560x1440 since a few of the posts I have read on Tom's have been avid proponents of this resolution in gaming. Thus, may have a 3 monitor set up with the 2560x1440 being the main center monitor in the future if that is possible.

I also own a Panasonic 55" 3D 120Hz LED HDTV that on some days I may decide to attach to the PC for gaming just to try it out, though I currently have horrific visions of 1080p resolution on 55" so this may not happen haha.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I know that for my current set-up a 4GB card is beyond unnecessary and that Nvidia cards with the 256bit bandwidth are very limiting on the 4GB to complicate the matters but I can't help but have some skepticism that I may need 3GB+ in the future for Skyrim as well as next-gen games. I am open to thoughts on this matter though. I am also having a very difficult time deciding between a GTX 670/680 or HD7970. I lean towards Nvidia because they always have solid software and have features like Adaptive V-Sync, FXAA, TXAA, and Phys-X (which is used in some games I play and love). Though I have seen the recent benchmarks with the new drivers and the 7970's are just beasts, combined with the higher 384 bit interface, and great overclocking ability it is a difficult choice that apparently I cannot decide alone even with extensive hours into research now.

The cards I am considering:
Asus GTX 680DC2 4GB - New 2 slot design
Asus Matrix HD7970 P 3Gb
Lord of gamer help me that I can fit this beast on my motherboard but from my research into ROG's forums the V Gene can fit a 3 slot it just will be the only PCIe hardware you fit - which is fine with me.
MSI GTX 680 Twin Frozr 4 GB

AND if should you all very intelligent and well-to-know individual convince me that my needs both now and future do not require a 3 or 4 GB card and that even if they eventually did I could just SLI/CF and still run relatively max settings.
Asus GTX 670 DC2 2GB
MSI GTX 680 Lightning 2GB

Any help or insight would be appreciated, these forums are great and have been the best resource in helping me with my build decisions so far.

Cheers,
JT

More about : advice gpu 550 budget

a b U Graphics card
February 18, 2013 8:07:02 PM

I honestly wouldnt buy the 600 series knowing nvidia is going to push the 700s thats just me tho
m
0
l
February 18, 2013 8:12:57 PM

If you are looking for most bang for buck, theres no question.
7970 beats GTX 680 Hands down, in the fact that it's a lot cheaper and stronger!

If you want to play Skyrim fully modded, get the 6gb Vaporiser.
Im an extreme skyrim graphical enthusiast and my gtx 680 4gb is easly maxing 4gb with medium settings. Thats running 5760x1080.
(Cant wait to get the new relase Titan in with 6gb in slisetup. I'm sure skyrim will max out 6gb on each of the cards :p 

I did not buy the 7970 becuse i also have a nvidia vision 2 monitor, and it dosn't go well with amd. If it wasnt for that i would have gone with 2 7970 vaporisers in sli.

Note to others who's looking to buy a GPU:
Dont buy GPU's with 2gb! Get 3 or 4 for singel monitor gaming, 6 for surround, eyefinity and 3d.
m
0
l
Related resources
February 18, 2013 8:42:29 PM

jtTRI said:

PSU: Seasonic X-850 or Thermaltake Toughpower Grand 850W

Waaaay overkill, even 650w would be fine
m
0
l
February 18, 2013 8:46:23 PM

Opaz1ka said:
Waaaay overkill, even 650w would be fine


Not if he wants SLI or CrossFire
m
0
l
February 18, 2013 8:48:53 PM

Aleksander you don't feel that by purchasing an ATI the loss of PhysX, Adaptive V-Sync, and the anti-aliasing modes offered by Nvidia would change the experience of multi-monitor Mod intensive Skyrim gameplay? From the benchmarks and reviews I have read it always seemed that of any of the games Skyrim definitely favored Nvidia cards in performance...

Am I wrong in thinking games like Skyrim, Batman AC, GW 2, etc would benefit in cloth texture, particle effect, etc from Nvidia's extra features? Or once you get to the higher end ATI cards like the 7970's does the benefits of those features become nullified?

Also Deteriminology - I may be mistaken but it appears that the earliest 700 series to be released is speculated to be between $900-1500. I understand where you are coming from in that Nvidia is definitely going to push their new generation but little is known besides speculation on the release date of these GPU's and their price. Perhaps though you know something I have not yet come across on either of those bits of information. :) 
m
0
l
February 18, 2013 8:52:51 PM

Opaz1ka said:
Waaaay overkill, even 650w would be fine


Aleksander is correct, I realize a 650w would be fine for 1 card but I plan for the possibility that I may purchase a 2nd GPU for SLI or Crossfire.
m
0
l
February 18, 2013 8:55:12 PM

Buy a 7970 and a 3rd Monitor
Enjoy for days.
m
0
l
February 18, 2013 8:59:07 PM

aleksanderdev said:
If you are looking for most bang for buck, theres no question.
7970 beats GTX 680 Hands down, in the fact that it's a lot cheaper and stronger!

If you want to play Skyrim fully modded, get the 6gb Vaporiser.
Im an extreme skyrim graphical enthusiast and my gtx 680 4gb is easly maxing 4gb with medium settings. Thats running 5760x1080.
(Cant wait to get the new relase Titan in with 6gb in slisetup. I'm sure skyrim will max out 6gb on each of the cards :p 

I did not buy the 7970 becuse i also have a nvidia vision 2 monitor, and it dosn't go well with amd. If it wasnt for that i would have gone with 2 7970 vaporisers in sli.

Note to others who's looking to buy a GPU:
Dont buy GPU's with 2gb! Get 3 or 4 for singel monitor gaming, 6 for surround, eyefinity and 3d.


Off Topic question

Since your resolution is extremely high compared to mine, i was wondering if i could run Skyrim maxed out ultra with the mods your running without lag on a 1900x1080 resolution with these specs -> gtx 670 4gb vram i5 3570k and 8 gb 1600ghz?
m
0
l
February 18, 2013 9:23:29 PM

Just get two of these in Crossfire: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Will max out every game mentioned (or almost, maybe even Crysis 3). By the way, the next generation of GPU's aren't coming out until quarter 2 at the earliest. Even then, the price markup will not make them good buys until later in the year.
m
0
l

Best solution

February 18, 2013 9:57:02 PM

jtTRI said:
Aleksander you don't feel that by purchasing an ATI the loss of PhysX, Adaptive V-Sync, and the anti-aliasing modes offered by Nvidia would change the experience of multi-monitor Mod intensive Skyrim gameplay? From the benchmarks and reviews I have read it always seemed that of any of the games Skyrim definitely favored Nvidia cards in performance...

Am I wrong in thinking games like Skyrim, Batman AC, GW 2, etc would benefit in cloth texture, particle effect, etc from Nvidia's extra features? Or once you get to the higher end ATI cards like the 7970's does the benefits of those features become nullified?

Also Deteriminology - I may be mistaken but it appears that the earliest 700 series to be released is speculated to be between $900-1500. I understand where you are coming from in that Nvidia is definitely going to push their new generation but little is known besides speculation on the release date of these GPU's and their price. Perhaps though you know something I have not yet come across on either of those bits of information. :) 


PhysX is worthless, exactly 20 games use it and 4 are maybe ones you've heard about, 7 more are in development.
Adaptive V-Sync-You can get the exact same results with Radeon Pro.
TXAA/FXAA-I can't really speak for these, since I've never seen them, but again, only about 20 games, you've heard of maybe 4.

However in terms of raw speed the 7970GHz destroys any Nvidia single GPU(Excluding Titan) and is roughly equivalent to a GTX590 and can overclock even farther, also it's 384-bit bus makes it's 3GB actually usable(4GB on an nvidia card is useless because your programs will turn into a laggy mess far before 4GB is utilized, because of the restrictive 256-bit bus), additionally, AMD is the best for non 3D multimonitor with Eyefinity.

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

way cheaper than a GTX680 also.

alternatively you can crossfire 2 7950, that's faster than a single 7970GHz but it'll create lots of heat and there's always the games that don't support multi card configs.
Share
February 18, 2013 11:07:55 PM

FXAA TXAA is a major failur simply put.
So not gonna miss those, as with PhysX I am not sure, but Darkspartenwarrior seems to be so if he's right than no loss there ither.
Also what Dark said about the slow bit rate cusing a laggy mess is very true as i experienced this today on Farcry 3.
I had good fps, but still the game was lagging with good fps. Very weird:p 

So the 7970 Best choice. Start with 1 than get 1 more if you want to crank up to 3 monitors or max out the most demanding games.
(Skyrim is a terrible power consuming game, that requires a lot more gpu cpu power than it should compared to other games)

Nvidia released a paper version today, meaning all the big benchmark testers out there will get a copy to test the new Geforce Titan.
Now the Titan card is not a new 7 series. But a consumer gamer version of the super expensive Tesla Cards that nvidia has that are based on the GK 110.


I havent been able to test how much Vram skyrim will utilize if it had no limit i cant tell 4 shure.

I'm hoping that with the new 6gb Titan card, skyengine wont reach the 6gbVram, though I think it will and without a problem.

Yes your gtx 670 can run skyrim with hige quality settings and texture packs on 1920x1080 but it depends on your texture packs.
Iv got every singel 4k texture pack out there. As many of theme contains the same textures i have compared and handpicked what i found best.
Now if you get most of the 4k reso packs aswell i think you will have to lower the AA as it takes a huge toll on the Vram.
Problem is that once skyrim hits 4gb vram, you got about 1-2 min before the game crashes. So just do as I, lower the settings starting with AA until you reach a max Vram of 3,5gb.

Im running skyrim on 3 monitors with all the texture packs but with low-medium ini settings on a singel 6804gb so, most definitly playable on a 670 on a singel monitor.
m
0
l
February 19, 2013 1:17:58 AM

darkspartenwarrior said:
PhysX is worthless, exactly 20 games use it and 4 are maybe ones you've heard about, 7 more are in development.
Adaptive V-Sync-You can get the exact same results with Radeon Pro.
TXAA/FXAA-I can't really speak for these, since I've never seen them, but again, only about 20 games, you've heard of maybe 4.

However in terms of raw speed the 7970GHz destroys any Nvidia single GPU(Excluding Titan) and is roughly equivalent to a GTX590 and can overclock even farther, also it's 384-bit bus makes it's 3GB actually usable(4GB on an nvidia card is useless because your programs will turn into a laggy mess far before 4GB is utilized, because of the restrictive 256-bit bus), additionally, AMD is the best for non 3D multimonitor with Eyefinity.

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

way cheaper than a GTX680 also.

alternatively you can crossfire 2 7950, that's faster than a single 7970GHz but it'll create lots of heat and there's always the games that don't support multi card configs.


I have read your posts before Darkspartenwarrior and you always offer good advice so I am tremendously thankful for your input. The last post I recall you responded to a GTX 680 Classified where you also brought up the restrictive 256-bit bus but conceded the 680 Classified was a nice card, albeit more expensive than the equally if not better performance 7970 GHz cards. As much as I would prefer to purchase an Nvidia card it seems hard to deny the consensus so far that the 7970's are just better in the raw numbers plus the issue of the less restrictive 384-bit bus.

I looked at the two cards you suggested, though I am not a huge Gigabyte fan but not entirely opposed to getting a card from them if it is simply exceptional. I've also never heard of HIS except in a few posts here on Tom's, but the card you linked as well as the HIS X H797QMG3G upgrade to it seemed very nice - sadly no reviews yet on the latter. Do you know of any other 7970 GHz edition cards that are high quality and overlock well? Bonus if they are some variant of red/black color scheme though not entirely necessary ;)  .

Thank you for the insight into FXAA and TXAA and the personal experience with 256-bit 4GB being a laggy mess as well Aleksanderdev.
m
0
l
February 19, 2013 12:18:53 PM

Asus got there 7970 Direct CUII.
I got the gtx 680 Direct CUII and I am very happy with it, good performance good cooling system aswell as it is Black & red :) 
m
0
l
a b U Graphics card
February 19, 2013 1:13:32 PM

Let's see here.

First I'd decide if you are going to be playing in 1080p or 1440p as this will make a huge difference in your budget. It's pointless to get a 2560x1440p monitor and then try to run games off of a single GPU, you'd either have to lower your settings or suffer in terms of FPS in most modern games. You should also consider the VRAM here; 2Gb Nvidia cards and 3Gb AMD. For 1080, 2Gb should be plenty. For 1440p however, it's just barely enough at the moment. You will not need above 4Gb VRAM for ANYTHING at these resolutions, 3Gb is enough and then a bit more.

If you decide to go for 2560x1440 resolution, get 2x Radeon HD 7970 Crossfire. Mind you that even without a $600 1440p monitor, they are going to cost you well over your budget. So I would advise you to stick to 1080p or dramatically increase your budget.
m
0
l
February 19, 2013 2:07:50 PM

hizodge said:
Let's see here.

First I'd decide if you are going to be playing in 1080p or 1440p as this will make a huge difference in your budget. It's pointless to get a 2560x1440p monitor and then try to run games off of a single GPU, you'd either have to lower your settings or suffer in terms of FPS in most modern games. You should also consider the VRAM here; 2Gb Nvidia cards and 3Gb AMD. For 1080, 2Gb should be plenty. For 1440p however, it's just barely enough at the moment. You will not need above 4Gb VRAM for ANYTHING at these resolutions, 3Gb is enough and then a bit more.

If you decide to go for 2560x1440 resolution, get 2x Radeon HD 7970 Crossfire. Mind you that even without a $600 1440p monitor, they are going to cost you well over your budget. So I would advise you to stick to 1080p or dramatically increase your budget.


I agree that I will need a 2nd card to either Crossfire or SLI when I move up to a 1440p monitor. Though the 1440p monitor will not be purchased for at least 6 months and will be included in my next purchase that will probably include a 2nd GPU, the 1440p monitor, and a new mobo if my current one will not fit the 2nd GPU. Which if fine I am getting the Maximus Gene to have fun with some overclocking and eventually use it in a miniPC - but that is down the line quite a ways. My current goal and 600$ budget is to just get an excellent single GPU. Thank you Hizodge for helping to confirm my thought process that somewhere down the line if I move up to 1440p or 3 monitors I will HAVE to get a 2nd GPU :) .

Aleksander your thought process and build seems similar to what I want mine to be haha, I appreciate the recommendations. I was thinking about the Asus DCUII 7970 but I wasn't certain what the opinion of those who own it as far as overclocking it some or of it over their Matrix 7970 (can't find the Platinum anywhere, though overlockers.com didn't think very highly of it anyways). The nice aspect of the Gigabyte card that Darkspartanwarrior linked was the 1100 MHz core clock out of the box! But if I plan to fiddle with the GPU some anyways I doubt it matters besides quality components and sufficient cooling.
m
0
l
a b U Graphics card
February 19, 2013 3:39:31 PM

Another thing to note is that while the Motherboard you've chosen is technically Crossfire/SLI capable, I wouldn't personally recommend it to be used with 2 graphics cards. See how the PCI-E lanes are placed so that there's one left in between? That would mean that your GPU #1 would have it's fan intake pretty efficiently blocked by the incredibly hot second card. This would be hardly the ideal configuration as your first card would have to compensate by increasing fan speed. A burning hot GPU hardly leaves any room for overclocking and is unbearably loud to boot.

Also for the same reason you can forget about the Asus 7970 DCUII if you're planning to run Crossfire in the future as it's a whopping 3-slot card and therefore doesn't really function very well in 2-card setups even with most E-ATX boards.
m
0
l
February 19, 2013 9:29:51 PM

hizodge said:
Another thing to note is that while the Motherboard you've chosen is technically Crossfire/SLI capable, I wouldn't personally recommend it to be used with 2 graphics cards. See how the PCI-E lanes are placed so that there's one left in between? That would mean that your GPU #1 would have it's fan intake pretty efficiently blocked by the incredibly hot second card. This would be hardly the ideal configuration as your first card would have to compensate by increasing fan speed. A burning hot GPU hardly leaves any room for overclocking and is unbearably loud to boot.

Also for the same reason you can forget about the Asus 7970 DCUII if you're planning to run Crossfire in the future as it's a whopping 3-slot card and therefore doesn't really function very well in 2-card setups even with most E-ATX boards.


I did see that the Asus Maximus V Gene is not really SLI/CrossFire compatible(even though it can do those) because of spacing as far as heating can go, especially for the 2 or 3 slot cards - 2 slots being a tight fit and 3 slots being impossible. My motherboard choice was mostly because I intend to only run 1 GPU with it and have some fun playing around with overclocking and after reading through several posts over at the ROG forums I have come to really like the community and support there. In the future, when I was to get a 2nd GPU I realize I would have to invest in a motherboard. :)  Unfortunately I can't really make the jump to the Asus Maximus V formula or extreme right now...wish I could though lol. I was considering the Asus Z877V-Pro but decided I preferred the features on the ROG boards. Perhaps I should reconsider my plan /sigh.

I wasn't as aware of the problem that most E-ATX boards are having spacing issues with two 3 slot cards, that is good to know especially considering the Asus 7970 DCUII is a 3 slot.
m
0
l
February 19, 2013 10:38:54 PM

jtTRI said:
I have read your posts before Darkspartenwarrior and you always offer good advice so I am tremendously thankful for your input. The last post I recall you responded to a GTX 680 Classified where you also brought up the restrictive 256-bit bus but conceded the 680 Classified was a nice card, albeit more expensive than the equally if not better performance 7970 GHz cards. As much as I would prefer to purchase an Nvidia card it seems hard to deny the consensus so far that the 7970's are just better in the raw numbers plus the issue of the less restrictive 384-bit bus.

I looked at the two cards you suggested, though I am not a huge Gigabyte fan but not entirely opposed to getting a card from them if it is simply exceptional. I've also never heard of HIS except in a few posts here on Tom's, but the card you linked as well as the HIS X H797QMG3G upgrade to it seemed very nice - sadly no reviews yet on the latter. Do you know of any other 7970 GHz edition cards that are high quality and overlock well? Bonus if they are some variant of red/black color scheme though not entirely necessary ;)  .

Thank you for the insight into FXAA and TXAA and the personal experience with 256-bit 4GB being a laggy mess as well Aleksanderdev.


The HIS has better overclocking with the custom PCB and extra power input and has a dual BIOS, along with a very good cooling solution.

The Gigabyte also has a custom PCB and 3 fans, rather than 2.

If you don't like those you can always go with the 7970 Lightning, it's not technically a 7970GHz chip but it performs on par with one, it has a factory overclock, custom PCB, and twin frozr IV.
m
0
l
February 19, 2013 10:56:17 PM

darkspartenwarrior said:
The HIS has better overclocking with the custom PCB and extra power input and has a dual BIOS, along with a very good cooling solution.

The Gigabyte also has a custom PCB and 3 fans, rather than 2.

If you don't like those you can always go with the 7970 Lightning, it's not technically a 7970GHz chip but it performs on par with one, it has a factory overclock, custom PCB, and twin frozr IV.


Dark when you refer to the HIS card above, is that the one you linked or the HIS X H797QMG3G? That Gigabyte card is a nice card... right now I am considering either of the HIS cards or it. Even though I am fond of ASUS it seems their three 7970 cards are 3 slot - so they are out.
m
0
l
a b U Graphics card
February 19, 2013 11:41:09 PM

You could get this motherboard instead for the same price:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It's also designed for overclocking purposes and I must say it would look pretty dashing with a pair of MSI GTX 680 Lightning or MSI HD 7970 Lightning cards. To top it I believe these 2 are still the best overclocking cards out there. To be honest even I would be a little bit jealous.
m
0
l
February 20, 2013 12:25:32 AM

hizodge said:
You could get this motherboard instead for the same price:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It's also designed for overclocking purposes and I must say it would look pretty dashing with a pair of MSI GTX 680 Lightning or MSI HD 7970 Lightning cards. To top it I believe these 2 are still the best overclocking cards out there. To be honest even I would be a little bit jealous.


Funny that you link that board Hizodge, outside of ASUS it and the Gigabyte Z77X UD5H were in heavy contention as a choice. Admittedly it would look very dashing with a pair of MSI Lightning cards, even if I am not particular towards yellow it pairs well with blue(other favorite color). Eventually I went towards ASUS ROG because as I said I liked the forum community, just as I do Toms. Hizodge just as I think I have the motherboard nailed down you come from left field and get me pondering again...Lol.

Just looked for the MSI HD7970 and couldn't find it anywhere to purchase...damn. The MSI GTX 680 Lightning is still available but the consensus here has been very strongly towards the HD7970 cards for very good reasons. Even if I eventually SLI the GTX680 you won't have 4GB of usable memory as both cards must load the same data into vRAM to share graphics processing duties right?
m
0
l
a b U Graphics card
February 20, 2013 12:48:02 AM

That's right. So better make up that mind of yours whether you want that 1440p or not. Because like I said;

2 Gb = More than enough for 1080/1200p, OK for 1440p for all current non-modded games, but not likely not very futureproof.
3 Gb = More than enough for 1440/1600p still with lots of unused VRAM to toss around.

The 4Gb and 6Gb RAM cards are in my opinion overkill unless you're playing across several monitors, something like 5760x1080, 7680x1600 or even something more absurd and modding your games on top of that. In fact, I'm pretty sure that the Nvidia's 4-gig cards performed worse than their 2-gig counterparts in review benchmarks by about 5-10%. Not sure why, maybe something to do with the bandwidth? In any case, even if you're going 1440p you should probably steer clear of them unless you really want Nvidia for your system. But mark my words;

The 3 Gb VRAM will not be a limit!
m
0
l
February 20, 2013 1:16:17 AM

hizodge said:
That's right. So better make up that mind of yours whether you want that 1440p or not. Because like I said;

2 Gb = More than enough for 1080/1200p, OK for 1440p for all current non-modded games, but not likely not very futureproof.
3 Gb = More than enough for 1440/1600p still with lots of unused VRAM to toss around.

The 4Gb and 6Gb RAM cards are in my opinion overkill unless you're playing across several monitors, something like 5760x1080, 7680x1600 or even something more absurd and modding your games on top of that. In fact, I'm pretty sure that the Nvidia's 4-gig cards performed worse than their 2-gig counterparts in review benchmarks by about 5-10%. Not sure why, maybe something to do with the bandwidth? In any case, even if you're going 1440p you should probably steer clear of them unless you really want Nvidia for your system. But mark my words;

The 3 Gb VRAM will not be a limit!


I have made up my mind, I know I will eventually have 1440p perhaps not right out of the gate with my coming build but not far down the line. Additionally I want this to be somewhat "futureproof" if there is such a thing. Thus, I am set on a 7970 Ghz GPU variant of some kind. The two cards Dark linked are exceptional and the HIS X card I linked is just custom deliciousness. Shame I am having trouble finding the MSI Lightning 7970 online.

I love the green team but I have seen the review benchmarks you speak of and between what I have read and what you as well as Dark have said I think the 5-10% degradation in performance in the 4GB cards are due to the 256-Bit bandwidth.

Your words have been marked Hizodge.
m
0
l
February 21, 2013 2:47:15 PM

Best answer selected by jtTRI.
m
0
l
February 21, 2013 2:50:36 PM

Thank you to Hizodge, Aleksanderdev, and Darkspatanwarrior for your thoughtful responses and excellent advice! I have decided to go with the Gigabyte 7970 Ghz card and cleared room in my budget for the Asus Maximus V Formula. :bounce:  :D 
m
0
l
!