3GB VRAM VS 4GB VRAM/Best 7970 Manufacturer

roguecatfish

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I've been contemplating on whether to get the GTX 680 or the 7970 for a very very long time, and finally when I have my mind made up that I'm going with the 7970 someone tells me that I need 4GB of VRAM. I think that this is a bit of a bogus claim but I thought that it wouldn't hurt to ask. At the moment, no games even push 2GB of VRAM to the best of my knowledge so I think that by the time that games use over 3GB that it will be time for a GPU upgrade anyways. What is you guys's opinion on which I should get? Because I want the 7970 because it is $200 and it comes with 3 of the best games on the market. Which brings me to my next question, if I were to get a 7970, which brand should I go with. Most people have been telling me that Sapphire and ASUS are the best brands and not to go with Gigabyte. Gigabyte looks pretty good if you ask me because it has a triple fan design which will keep it cool and quiet. Which card is the best in price to performance ratio? The Sapphire 7970 is closer to $500 where as the Gigabyte is less than $400 so is the extra $100 worth it to get the Sapphire? Thanks.

PS: Please do not choose your answer off of personal preference over a company (EX: Saying to choose GTX 680 just because you like NVIDIA or saying to choose ASUS just because you like ASUS, please give reasons on why they are actually superior cards)
 
Well I would say it truly all depends on what you are doing for the 3 vs 4 argument. I'll paint a scenario for you.

1. Are you going 3D.
A. Yes (nvidia)
B. No (Okay back to comparing)

2. Are you going to use higher Resolution displays
A. Yes (AMD) Mainly because the bandwidth of the memory plus the base memory of 3 gigabytes provides sufficient memory and speed for your display.
B. No (using just a 1080p screen) Then maybe nvidia can be a option for you

In the end the decision if yours on what to get I don't feel you need 4 gigabytes + unless you are doing something pretty demanding.

For me personally I would go with one of the following 7970's

From top to bottom top being best card

Sapphire 7970ghz Vapor-x
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814202001
Sapphire 7970 non ghz
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814202008
Gigabyte 7970
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125413
 
G

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Unless your gaming over 1080p res 3-4gb of video ram is useless to you. 2Gb is plenty for a long time to come. If you ever decide to go multi display or 2560 x 1600 like myself then you will need to look at the higher Vram cards.
 

i8myhippo

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This.

Also, I'm running 2560x1440 (which is 90% of 2560x1600), and 2 GB is fine in most games. Crysis utilizes all of it, but I am not getting performance lower than I expect. I definitely wouldn't say that it is limiting me... yet...
 
I agree however that being said you would be better prepared at that resolution with a 7970 because of the memory bandwidth and the extra gig of ram is a extra plus. I think of it as your memory ceiling is a bit higher in case games start pushing at it.
 

RedJaron

Splendid
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Cranking the AA will tax VRAM on a single display. And Redeemer hit on the point that a thicker memory pipe can make a smaller amount of VRAM act bigger since you can get stuff in and out of RAM faster.

And I also agree that Sapphire's Vapor-X cooler is one of the best in the industry.
 

roguecatfish

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Could you give me a list of reasons that each card is good? I was planning on getting the Gigabyte version but if the Sapphire version is a lot better I'll pay the extra $20.

 
The Vapor-X card has superior components to the normal 7970 card it also comes with a cooler that is part heatpipe/air cooled and part vapor champer cooled which means your card is going to run at a very good temperature without making a ton of noise. The Gigabyte card is also good you could also find the ghz edition that gigabyte makes however when it comes to the ghz edition I would recommend going with the best with the Vapor-x card since you really only get one shot at buying a card normally and most people don't end up buying 2. They are all fairly quiet cards the only real thing that I would say is for AMD Sapphire is where its at for quality and sure the other oems are great but that's why I would invest a bit more in Sapphire then the others.
 

RedJaron

Splendid
Moderator
I don't know about Sapphire getting better silicone than other vendors, but their Vapor-X cooler is definitely great. It keeps the card cool and does so quieter than most coolers on the market. Been running a 6870 Vapor for two years now and I have zero complaints.
 

RedJaron

Splendid
Moderator
Yes, all GHz edition cards have superior binned dies regardless of manufacturer. Thought you meant Sapphire got top picks on the regular 7970 compared to other partner boards. I gotcha now.
 
Well I just meant that the PCB's the VRM's, the Mosfets, the chokes and all that jazz are probably the best with the Vapor-X cooler since its there Premium card. Which basically means that your power delivery to the card will be stronger as well as the cooling and perhaps overclocking potential
 
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