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Advice Choosing GPU. Radeon HD 7970 Ghz vs. MSI GTX 780 vs. The Upcoming MSI GTX 780 Gaming

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Sapphire Vapor-X 7970GHz Edition vs. MSI LIGHTNING 7970 GHz Edition vs. MSI GTX 780 vs. MSI GTX 780 Gaming Edition

Total: 24 votes (1 blank vote)

  • Sapphire Vapor-X 7970GHz Edition
  • 17 %
  • MSI LIGHTNING 7970 GHz Edition
  • 17 %
  • MSI GTX 780 Gaming Edition
  • 50 %
  • MSI GTX 780
  • 17 %
June 21, 2013 9:17:18 AM

Hi everyone! I'm planning a PC build this summer and request some help, thoughts, opinions, suggestions etc on choosing the right GPU. I'm following the "How to ask for advice" format below. Thanks

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Before August preferably. I'm flexible and not in a rush to buy. However Since it's summer and I'm not taking as many classes as I will in the fall, the longer I wait the more precious gaming time i'll lose. ;) 
BUDGET RANGE:Well, I dont mean to be unclear or difficult. Basically I'm trying to keep my build under $2000 so I've chosen everything so far except the GPU. This gives me about $600 leftover to choose a GPU (give or take $50 which is why I'm considering the GTX 780)
USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming for now, That's It. As for the games I'll play most often: BF3 and BF4 when it comes out. Crysis 3, Batman Arkham City, The new C&C when it comes out if its any good. There's plenty of others but BF4, Crysis 3 and Batman pretty much cover it for high end graphics.

CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: None! Currently just have a 5 year old laptop...yes, its time for an update.

OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS: I will list what I have chosen for my build.
MOBO & CPU: Haswell i5 4670k and MSI Z87-G45
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.1352786
CPU Cooling: Xigmatek Dark Night II
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835233029
Memory & OS: Windows 7 64bit and Corsair vengeance pro 16GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.1224789.20-233-536
Case & Power Supply: NZXT Switch 810 and Hale 90 V2 850W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.1346802
SSD & HDD:
SAMSUNG 840 Series 120GB SSD
Western Digital Black 7200RPM 500GB HDD
Bling Bling: A bit of razzle dazzle here and there, not important to list
No need for peripherals as of now, I mostly got that covered.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg, possibly microcenter for the CPU and MOBO as it is less expensive.
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: U.S.

PARTS PREFERENCES: None really. Both the 7970GHz and the GTX 780 have their benefits, but none that I prefer over the other. See the additional comments.

OVERCLOCKING: Yes. As I'm sure some of you can tell already, this will be my first PC build. Let me assure you I have extensively read a plethora of information, articles, tuts, guides, on proper OC so I dont fry my hardware. I also have a few friends who are very familiar and can help me if I require, but since the MSI Z87-G45 has the easy BIOS and OC Genie, I dont think it will be an issue for me at all :) 
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: When It comes to gaming, I'm a graphics junkie like many others. I want to play games on Ultra settings. FPS will not matter between the GTX780 and AMD 7970GHz, obviously there is a big difference between the two but both will satisfy my FPS needs. I was hoping for a little advice from you experts. Basically, the GTX 780 performs better than the 7970GHz from what I've seen in all benchmarks and charts, graphs, videos etc.. I'm just unsure If I really need to spend an extra $200 for the GTX 780. One of my goals for this build is to make a system that will require the least amount of upgrades for the next several years. So for example, if I get the 7970 I don't want to have to get a new graphics card in 1 or 2 years just to keep my graphics on ultra settings with good FPS for new and better games that will come in the future (i.e. spend the extra $200 for a GTX 780 that would keep up with upcoming games for the next several years)

I've read the article here on Toms Hardware regarding the 7970 as being the recommended GPU in the $400 range. That's what initially sold me on the 7970, and since my budget allowed I was thinking about the Vapor-X GHz edition or MSI Lightening Edition. Another perk is the bundled games are all games that I enjoy to play. So when it comes down to price/performance, the 7970 seems the way to go.

-BUT-

Keeping my options open, and since my budget also allows me to choose a better GPU, I've been eyeing the GTX 780 especially since it always seems to show up as a much better performer against the 7970GHz. Two major question I need advice on: a) should I wait for the GTX 780 Gaming edition from MSI when its released? and b) Will the GTX 780 be a better purchase in the long run, allowing me to keep up with hi-res graphics? Or do you think that the 7970 will be able to keep up just the same? I believe it was just mentioned yesterday that MSI will be coming out with a GTX 780 Gaming edition so I am excited to see what it will feature over the one they have out now. I know it's probably a bit early to ask such questions since not much info has been released on the gaming edition, but if it were you, would you wait for the gaming edition? What features might be beneficial with the gaming edition? Or is it mostly just an aesthetic thing, having a matching GPU and MOBO (which I dont care about). In general, is there any reason to wait for the Gaming edition and what might you expect the price and release date to be?

To sum up, price/performance = 7970GHz (unless otherwise recommended by you guys)

performance/price = GTX 780 (unless otherwise recommended)

Links to the GPU's:
Vapor-X 7970 GHz Edition http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814202001

MSI Lightening 7970GHz Edition
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127736

MSI GTX 780
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127740

MSI GTX 780 Gaming Edition
http://www.tomshardware.com/news/MSI-GTX-780-Gaming-Nvidia,23162.html

Thanks for your time.

p.s. my apologies for the long post, just trying to be as thorough as possible.
June 21, 2013 10:20:59 AM

If you do need it.now get the 770 4gb. If you can hold.out get the gamer ed of the 780

The 7970 GHz is a great card. Its whaaay to hot though. Stick with gtx on this one, unless you got yourself a nitrogen cooler.
June 21, 2013 3:55:57 PM

Is the twin fozr the only difference really? I will have every fan slot filled with high quality static fans plus another 6channel fan controller full on static fans, i.e. airflow and cooling of the GPU will be optimal without going overboard and buying a VGA specific cooler at extra expense. That being said, if the twin fozr cooling is the only real benefit in waiting for the 780 gaming, then I'd rather not wait. What else is so special about the gaming edition?
Related resources
June 21, 2013 4:10:10 PM

Get the MSI Lightning, gaming edition is just a cheaper and smaller version of lightning. They have the same cooler, both 2 different custom PCB's.

this is the 770 version, the 780 is possibly the same.
June 21, 2013 8:02:47 PM

really? GTX 770 over the 7970GHz?

I wasn't even considering the 770 because of it having 1GB less VRAM, the lower overclock potential, and the locked down voltage. are not all GTX 770's like that?


EDIT: I would even consider any sli/xfire suggestions (although single cards seem to come highly recommended). something like http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814202008 in xfire

I've heard plenty about issues with crossfire though so I don't think it would be the best idea. But yeah, I'm open to suggestions.
June 22, 2013 12:54:04 AM

MSI 780 Gaming edition coming soon.

Or wait for 8xxx series from AMD.
June 22, 2013 11:05:26 AM

Yeah. sounds like i'll just have to be patient and wait for the new GTX 780 models to come out. It's an amazing card and will murder most all games to come, including BF4 which i'll play most often.
June 22, 2013 11:09:32 AM

FYI the Sapphire AMD 7970 is $299 @ NewEgg.com right now.

The GTX 780 ($650) is in it's own league by comparison to that card. And it's more than is really needed for 1920x1080 gaming. But if you can afford it it'll last you a good while.
June 22, 2013 11:19:28 AM

jerreece said:
FYI the Sapphire AMD 7970 is $299 @ NewEgg.com right now.

The GTX 780 ($650) is in it's own league by comparison to that card. And it's more than is really needed for 1920x1080 gaming. But if you can afford it it'll last you a good while.


Thanks. I did notice that and was also considering (since within my budget) to get two 7970 and crossfire. I'd be interested to hear how problematic crossfire really is now from users who use crossfire. From what I read around, it seems that crossfire is only a problem depending on what drivers you use. Really the only concern I would have using two GPU's is how hot they will get. I'm positive that crossfire 7970's will smoke anything within my budget, really only in league with GTX 670 SLI perhaps? Anyways, I thought the GTX 780 was more in league with the 7970GHz. The 7970 has great overclocking potential and can be overclocked to match performance of a GTX 780. But overall, isn't the GTX 780 better? I always see it higher on benchmarks and always up there competing with the titan.

EDIT: The 670 can be overclocked to match that of the 680(770). Also runs much cooler than the 7970's which will definitely get very hot. That being said, one would think that GTX 670 SLI would be better in the long run vs. 7970 xfire (feel free to disagree please)

However, the 7970 is faster, higher bandwidth, more VRAM. such a tough choice! So much to choose from!
June 22, 2013 11:35:34 AM

The GTX 780 is, as I will quote someone else saying, "a castrated Titan". The GTX 780 is based on the same chipset the Titan uses.

The GTX 770 IS a GTX 680 with faster memory and faster clock speeds (plus Boost 2.0).

The 7970 GHz Edition is to the 7970 what the GTX 770 is to the GTX 680 really.

The GTX 780 is a powerhouse. But for the same money you could run two 7970's in Crossfire. There are pros and cons to SLI and Crossfire. Some games work very well with 2x cards. Some games benefit almost nothing (I attribute this to poor engine design personally).
June 22, 2013 11:44:17 AM

Yeah I had a 5970 (dual 5850/5870 effectively) and in Rage, you'd actually get smoother gameplay with a GTX550 Ti! Simply that Rage was absolutely hopeless with Crossfire, and that's coming from id Software! True programming legends, but even id's latest was useless with Crossfire (much slower infact than a single 5850/5870 would have been). Developers are still years away from consistently good scaling in all games, which is why I'd stick to a single GPU unless you won't be bothered by disappointing performance in some games.
June 22, 2013 11:56:01 AM

jerreece said:
The GTX 780 is, as I will quote someone else saying, "a castrated Titan". The GTX 780 is based on the same chipset the Titan uses.

The GTX 770 IS a GTX 680 with faster memory and faster clock speeds (plus Boost 2.0).

The 7970 GHz Edition is to the 7970 what the GTX 770 is to the GTX 680 really.

The GTX 780 is a powerhouse. But for the same money you could run two 7970's in Crossfire. There are pros and cons to SLI and Crossfire. Some games work very well with 2x cards. Some games benefit almost nothing (I attribute this to poor engine design personally).


Well said, and thanks for the links. It seems that SLI/Xfire is somewhat pointless at 1920x1080 and like you said, some games do not support multi GPU's... Which leads me back to the 780 being a very good choice for single GPU. The more I learn about SLI/XFIRE the more I am turned away from it


But for future reference, more VRAM and/or SLI would be better for multi-monitor setup, correct?
June 22, 2013 3:01:58 PM

[gamegpu.ru] HD7970 GHz, GTX 680, 770, 780 & Titan. all OCed.
http://gamegpu.ru/test-video-cards/geforce-gtx-770-gtx-...

translated:
http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=auto&tl=...

Quote:
Radeon HD 7970GE tested at frequencies of runoff and overclocking Radeon HD 7970GE OC - 1160 MHz on the core and 7160 MHz memory
GeForce GTX 680 was tested at frequencies of runoff and overclocking GeForce GTX 680 OC - by the kernel of ~ 1150 MHz and 7000 MHz for the memory
GeForce GTX 770 was tested at frequencies of runoff and overclocking GeForce GTX 770 OC - on the core 1200 ~ 1300 MHz and 7500 MHz memory
GeForce GTX 780 was tested at frequencies of runoff and overclocking GeForce GTX 780 OC - by the kernel of ~ 1150 MHz and 7000 MHz for the memory
GEFORCE GTX TITAN tested at frequencies of runoff and the crackdown GEFORCE GTX TITAN OC - on the core 1080 ~ 1180 MHz and 6700 MHz memory

The test was performed on one of the most powerful to date gaming configurations based on Intel Core i7-3970X with its overclocked to 4.9 GHz, 16 GB of DDR3 memory with a frequency of 2133 MHz and a hard disk SSD OCZ Vertex 3.



Quote:
GEFORCE GTX 680 - at present a reasonable approach to the purchase of this decision is questionable. With a market value that is greater than the GEFORCE GTX 770, few enthusiasts will look towards the purchase of a video card.

GEFORCE GTX TITAN - it is still the fastest single-chip solution for the market today, with a huge amount of video memory, and of course, the exorbitant price. But for today's games optimality buy this card after GEFORCE GTX 780 is questionable ...

GEFORCE GTX 770 - the perfect solution in its category to replace GEFORCE GTX 680, which has good performance, cooling, acceleration and can compete on equal terms with the Radeon HD 7970 GE.

GEFORCE GTX 780 - paradoxically enough, but it's competitor GEFORCE GTX TITAN, which is in addition to $ 350 cheaper than the older solution and disperse its performance is comparable with the overclocked version of TITAN. Three gigabytes of memory is enough for all the latest games and for any quality settings. Definitely this is one of the top solutions that really worth the money.

Radeon HD 7970 GE - this card is still very popular PC gamers. At the moment, its performance is comparable to the GEFORCE GTX 770. Of course, the graphics are much noisier and hotter than her new rival, but it has a small bonus - three gigabytes of memory on board.

It is worth noting that for all the latest games for FullHD for maximum quality settings will suffice GEFORCE GTX 770/Radeon HD 7970 GE and pay a large sum for the video card does not make sense.

GEFORCE GTX 780 / TITAN enough in almost all games at 2560x1600, but optimal for the permits they are not. For such high resolutions require the configuration of a graphics chip, the test which we will acquaint you in our next review ...


I vote GTX 780..
June 22, 2013 3:16:34 PM

Thanks, kid-mid. Thats all great info and leads me back to the 780. I'm now positive I will get the GTX 780, and since the "gaming" editions don't seem to have any real benefit over the standard editions, there's really no point in waiting another month or whenever it hits retail. Thanks
June 22, 2013 3:18:41 PM

High Voltage said:
Thanks, kid-mid. Thats all great info and leads me back to the 780. I'm now positive I will get the GTX 780, and since the "gaming" editions don't seem to have any real benefit over the standard editions, there's really no point in waiting another month or whenever it hits retail. Thanks

your welcome brother.
enjoy, I have a WF3 GTX 780 and I love it.

July 25, 2013 3:31:18 PM

If you are still choosing, I would say 7970. In most benchmarks, the highest FPS gain from the 780 vs 7970 is about 20 FPS tops. Do you really want to pay an extra $200 ish dollars, for 20 more FPS (max) that beyond 60, you won't even see? (assuming you don't have a $400 120 hz monitor).
July 25, 2013 5:59:20 PM

GMPoisoN said:
If you are still choosing, I would say 7970. In most benchmarks, the highest FPS gain from the 780 vs 7970 is about 20 FPS tops. Do you really want to pay an extra $200 ish dollars, for 20 more FPS (max) that beyond 60, you won't even see? (assuming you don't have a $400 120 hz monitor).

I do have a 144Hz monitor and it cost $250 and yes the 780 is that much better. I am also playing with the 3D vision kit so it was all well worth it. Price did not really matter anyhow. The 780 will long live the 7970 I think. Could be wrong but whatever. I have no regrets getting the 780 and would highly recommend it to those who can afford it and don't need a 6GB titan etc...
July 25, 2013 8:18:05 PM

byogamingpc said:
+1 for the MSI GTX 780 TF http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DIH8OOQ/ref=as_li_q...


Out of stock on Amazon, but I do think in his case with a really nice monitor, the 780 is the best choice. Also, if he wants another one any time soon, two 780s is as high end as you get. If I had no budget, two 780s would be my choice over any other card.

July 25, 2013 9:13:21 PM

GMPoisoN said:
byogamingpc said:
+1 for the MSI GTX 780 TF http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DIH8OOQ/ref=as_li_q...


Out of stock on Amazon, but I do think in his case with a really nice monitor, the 780 is the best choice. Also, if he wants another one any time soon, two 780s is as high end as you get. If I had no budget, two 780s would be my choice over any other card.



I bought mine on newegg and I got one of their last ones, they might have restocked but I havnt checked in a while. I do plan on a multi monitor setup with SLI 780's in the future, but not anytime soon. Need to make some more money ;) 
!