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ATI 7970 or GTX 670 ?

Discussion in 'Videocards - AMD Radeon' started by asimriz, Jan 14, 2013.

  1. asimriz

    asimriz Member Guru

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    I'm finally planning on upgrading my current rig. There are soooo many graphic cards now & after A LOT of online research it boils down to 2 cards based on my budget:

    1) NVIDIA GTX 670 or
    2) ATI/AMD Radeon 7970

    I will be using only 1 monitor & running in 1080p. I might try higher resolutions but the main resolution I will be using in games will be 1080p.

    So which card should I get ? CHEERS !!!!!!
     
  2. Portuogral

    Portuogral Master Guru

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    If you're not interested in the CUDA and/or PhysX stuff from nVIDIA, I would suggest the HD7970 reference with an aftermarket cooler - a good one -, so you can flash the HD7970 new GHZ Edition BIOS without any problems. A little overclock and the result would be pretty much a reference GTX680. Not bad for ~400€ ;)


    PS. Of course the games you play should have some weight in your decision. But, for overall gaming, I think the AMD card would suit you better
     
  3. sikvdila

    sikvdila Member Guru

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  4. Deathchild

    Deathchild Ancient Guru

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    Reference GTX680?

    The result would be not a reference GTX680, but the result would be that it beats the GTX680.

    It is already a fact that the 7970GHz with 12.11s is superior.

    But yes, Portuogral is right, either get a good bios on it or OC and make it a GHz ed yourself, very easy. :) We're here to help you with that, if it is needed.

    Anyway here's a stable 24/7 1200/1700 OC on my card just to give you an example of the 7900 series OC capability: http://www.3dmark.com/3dm11/5566075 (graphics score).

    GTX 670 doesn't compete with 7970, it competes with 7950.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2013

  5. Remedy

    Remedy Member

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  6. asimriz

    asimriz Member Guru

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    THANK YOU EVERYONE !!!!!! Hmmm, I've never OC'ed a graphic card before... With my present system, I've only OC'ed the processor.... Is it worth OC'ing the graphic card for that lil bit extra ? And thanks for ALL the support guys especially those offering it :)

    Last question plz: What brand shud I go with ? Gigabyte Windforce, MSI, Sapphire, XFX etc ? I've not owned an ATI card before as I'm an NVIDIA guy which is why I'm not sure... CHEERS :D
     
  7. Deathchild

    Deathchild Ancient Guru

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    MSI Lightning, Gigabyte, Sapphire or XFX. They're all good. :)

    We will help with overclocking, it's really easy!
     
  8. Lowki

    Lowki Master Guru

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    I got my xfx 7970 core edition not long after launch and ive been very happy with it. Cant find this card anymore though dont know why maybe they stopped making them to produce ghz editions?
     
  9. yasamoka

    yasamoka Ancient Guru

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    XFX is voltage-locked.

    New revisions of Gigabyte Windforce 7970s are all voltage-locked (I think v3.0 and upwards).

    MSI and Sapphire have good reference cards. The Sapphire has an extra memory power phase, and as such Sapphires have the highest memory OCs out of the 7970s generally. MSI 7970 Lightnings are excellent, but they are non-reference, although that isn't a problem for cooler compatibility, as the Arctic Accelero air coolers and others can fit on those with a copper shim or if you remove the bracket surrounding the 7970's rotated GPU, and the VRMs and memory chips just get the normal small heatsinks, and they also have waterblocks made especially for them (those can't be reused on other 7970s or future cards for that matter). The Lightnings also have only a single-link DVI port, which means that if you wanted to connect a 1080p 120Hz monitor and run it at 120Hz, or wanted to connect a 2560x1440 or 2560x1600 monitor @ 60Hz (some cannot run @50Hz anyways), you will have to purchase an active DisplayPort to dual-link DVI adapter, and that costs around $50 if I'm not mistaken.

    An added bonus is that the MSI Lightning's VRMs do not make any coil noise as I have heard. All reference models do, at least to an extent. Both my cards do.

    The coil noise can probably be lowered if you leave certain loads running for long enough on the card, but that's an extra to think of in case you were considering the Lightning.
     
  10. Deathchild

    Deathchild Ancient Guru

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    I would say go with the Lightning.
     

  11. BlackZero

    BlackZero Ancient Guru

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    I would agree with the last few posters, the MSI Lightning is the 7970 model of choice for many. However, it can be expensive at £400+ and you could get similar performance and voltage based overclocking ability by grabbing other MSI models based on reference design, and then adding custom air cooling or a custom water block. MSI are generally lenient in regards to removing the stock cooler, as long as you are careful and don't damage anything in the process.

    As you don't seem to be interested in more extreme overclocking, this would net you similar overall performance and also save you some cash for a nice meal out or a couple of games.
     
  12. VladM

    VladM Member

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    You could buy a Sapphire Dual-X. It's unlocked and has a pretty good heatsink. Also it's cheaper than a Lightning. If you're lucky you could get a good sample for air OC. ASIC on the Lightning is generally lower because the card is designed for LN2. My 7970 Lightning has 71% ASIC and I can't OC over 1230 Mhz on air.
     
  13. Deathchild

    Deathchild Ancient Guru

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    Over 1230?

    My 7950 does 1250MHz @ 1.287v, 59.6% ASIC quality lol. http://www.3dmark.com/3dm11/5566480 11.4k graphics score, better than GTX 670s. =) Better than some GTX 680s, but beastly OC'ed 680s get about 12k or something.

    By "voltage locked" it means that the voltage is locked by the bios, not the card itself. That can easily be fixed just by switching to an older bios (very easy) where voltage tweaking is allowed/enabled.

    So by all means, you can get a Windforce card as well as the cooler on them is VERY good, just make sure you have some airflow in the case. Just flash to an older bios, if something fails then you always have the backup bios on the 2nd bios switch. And the first one can then be fixed again.

    I can help you out with this, if necessary, to be honest lots of us here can, so no worries. :)

    What store are you buying the cards from? I'll take a look.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2013
  14. yasamoka

    yasamoka Ancient Guru

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    Be careful about power consumption for the Lightning. And the single link DVI which would force you to buy a Dual link DVI to DisplayPort adapter in case you have a 1080p @120Hz or a 2560 x 1440 / 1600 @60Hz. Other than that, very nice card. But expensive.

    @VladM: My Gigabyte 7970 has 60% ASIC. MSI 7970 reference, 64.4%. BlackZero's MSI 7970 reference, 75% (as I remember). A friend's 7970, 78%.

    A friend's MSI 7950s: 90% and 88.4% (or 88.6%).

    Obviously, it's a lottery with reference cards. But you can get lower ASICs with reference than the Lightnings as well.

    I do agree that the Lightnings would not have high ASIC, as that would make them hit a wall in OC pretty fast both on air and water, but they would be power-efficient on the flip side.
     
  15. yasamoka

    yasamoka Ancient Guru

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    Wow! Amazing OC! That ASIC has really been a huge benefit to you.

    About the Gigabyte cards: If they have that CHiL voltage control chip, then they would support voltage unlocking with a BIOS flash. If not, then no BIOS flash would unlock voltage.
     

  16. Gizmo

    Gizmo Member Guru

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    Ive just jump from a 570 to a 7970 and while the hardware is fantastic i feel i have to raise the fact that AMD's drivers for the 7970 are (still) far from great.

    I get some very nasty glitches in many of the games ive try'ed since installing the 7970
    these show either as checker board sections of the display of black flashing patches on textures/meshes (Stock or OC'ed mem/core with temps on both always under 65) the worst games sofar for this are Skyrim,Batman AC & Portal II (im sure its not a coincidence those games all show up in benchmarking/reviews i guess AMD is pushing things a little to hard driver optimization wise to get a few more FPS)

    This is running cat 12.11beta cap 2,I can lessen it in skyrim by using the cat 12.8 or 12.10 expanded d3d .dll's but its still there

    Doing some research after the fact has shown many many other ppl have the same issues (so i know its not hardware related) just youtube "7970 glitch"

    Again this doesn't effect all games ive played (just started & finished Transformers FOC without somuch as a glitch)but be aware there are problems.

    AMD know about this but it seems they'll have to re-coded things for the Memory controller of there GCN architecture to fix it....as with anything AMD/ATI drivers wise it might take a while.
     
  17. VladM

    VladM Member

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    I saw reference card that hit 1300 Mhz. My lightning OC's up to 1230, the sample reviewed @techpowerup goes up to 1210 and the sample tested by matose@lab501 goes up to 1250. That's why I think the Lightnings are better optimized for LN2 where high leakeage is better for higher clocks.
     
  18. Deathchild

    Deathchild Ancient Guru

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    I have noticed it as well but it's so trivial that I don't pay attention to it.


    And lebanon, thanks! :D Btw, you sure about the voltage thingy? That they need to have this CHiL Voltage regulator to be able to support voltage tweaking even if bios has been switched?

    Btw, to the OP, you can get the Gigabyte 7970 GHz edition because it has a stock voltage of 1.25v which is more than enough.

    My card has a stock voltage of 1.093v for example, and I need 1.25v to run 1200/1700 speeds. So it being voltage locked may not be such a bad thing.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2013
  19. VladM

    VladM Member

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    That's corect!
     
  20. Deathchild

    Deathchild Ancient Guru

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    Quoting from http://www.overclock.net/t/1323565/how-to-unlock-gigabyte-hd-7970-oc-voltage
    If it is indeed that the voltage cannot be tweaked, then instead you can flash to the GHz edition bios which has a stock voltage of 1.25v and OC that way, easy. :) +Set some +20% Power Limit in MSI AB and you get even more OC.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2013

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