AMD 7970 or GTX 670?

Jonathan Wong

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Right now im set on the AMD 7970 3gb Vapor-x edition from sapphire because im a huge AMD fanboy. However, I read that the GTX 670 has a 4gb version which is only a bit more expensive, is it worth it or should i stick with the 7970?

Im building a new rig and the current planned specs are:
i5-3570k
ASRock Z77 Extreme 4
8gb or 16gb Corsair Vengeance
etc

Money is an issue but im worried more about the performance as im probably not going to have the money or chance to upgrade in atleast 2-3 years.

I will mostly game on my machine as well as some video editing since i took a media related course for university.
 
What's your monitor resolution and refresh rate? That'll answer your question.

The trouble with the 7970 is that it has some frame latency issues - if you're playing on a 120Hz screen or are prone to noticing such things, it will irritate you. That being said, if you're just on a 1080p, 60Hz screen, a 2GB 670 will max out games just fine - no point in paying more for more VRAM.

Finally, just a note, don't waste your money on 16GB of RAM - 8 is enough to simultaneously run photoshop, battlefield 3, AND 30 tabs in chrome.
 

fixer762

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I'd say go with the AMD 7970. I like my 7950 vapor x so far. And I'd just get the 16gb of Ram it is expensive right now and only going to be more expensive later. And be sure its the low profile ram so you don't have to deal with cpu cooler fitment issues.
 

Jonathan Wong

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Just been told by my parents that my budget has been cut a little. Is there a huge difference between 3gb VRAM and 2gb VRAM? Im mostly going to play games like bf3, far cry and i want those games settings to be pretty high (not maxed out completely). I will go for 8gb of ram right now since its a bit cheaper and the Z77 board has 4 slots anyway so i can upgrade in the future. However, since my budget has been cut, should i go for a i5 3570 and a H77 (or similar) mobo instead? Will the cost be significantly cheaper than a 3570k and a Z77 mobo. I want to save as much money as possible and invest that into a better GPU, without bottlenecking it at the same time.

EDIT: My current monitor is a 1080p 60hz monitor, but it has a dead pixel and im planning to switch to a 120hz monitor with better colors.
 

iyzik

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I will have to vote for the 7970, it is a better overclocker, more powerful in the first place, runs cooler (atleast mine do), and more VRAM.

As for your quesion, no there is not a huge difference between 3 and 2 gigs, but there might be a slight diff with games like Skyrim.
4gb on the other hand is definitely not necessary. I have CF 2x 7970s and the highest I have ever seen VRAM usage in Skyrim is 4600mb. So /2 cause that is combined on both cards so 2.3GB is the highest VRAM usage I have ever seen on any game (and that's with a crapload of mods).

EDIT: Also I can give a few numbers for the 7970. I recently disabled crossfire just and overclocked one of my (non ghz) 7970s to 1125/1575 and it played BF3 on ultra @ 1080p without dipping below 50fps. Except when a helo explodes in your face.
 

gevo12321

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Unless ur running at some huge resolution u dont need 4gb vram. the 3bg on the 7970 is already overkill.
 


If you haven't switched yet, I hope you're going to upgrade to a BenQ XL 2420T. By far the best TN panel out there, aside from a select few rare (and $600+) korean imports / iiyamas.

That being said, the rig in my signature used to use a 7950. I ended up having to return it because at 120Hz, frame latency that's normally not a big deal becomes highly jarring. I love AMD, and think they make extremely good cards, especially for high resolutions, but for 120fps or 3d, nvidia's been working on it much, much longer, and thus is considerably better at it.

(Also, iyzik, you made me laugh when you said that AMD runs cooler... So backwards it's not even funny; that's the biggest downside for AMD for me - if you're in a tight space constraint, they're not an option, because they produce so much heat; both their cards and their chips.)
 

Jonathan Wong

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Thanks everyone for the replies, i think im gonna stick with the 7970, and since im getting the vapor-x edition i dont think temperature would be much of a problem. Whats the difference different editions of a Z77 mobo? Ive never really paid any attention to mobos as long as they work fine, but since im getting the 3570k i will eventually try overclocking.

As for the BenQ XL 2420T, holy crap its expensive. Im not really into 3D all that much as it causes eye strain quite easily for me (watching Avatar in 3D was a painful experience), though the other features all seem good for gaming.

Last question, what else can i downgrade to accomodate the budget cut but at the same time not sacrificing much performance compared to my original plan?
 
You don't buy a 3d monitor for the 3d, you buy it for the color and the 120Hz refresh rate. It is expensive, but it makes other 120Hz monitors look unworthy - I'd just go with a normal 1080p, 60Hz screen in your case.

I think you mean the differences between 1155 socket motherboards. The differences between them are the chipsets, and you want a z77 chipset if you want to overclock.
 

edogawa

Splendid
@DarkSable

-What do you mean color? TN panels don't have great colours. You buy IPS for colours.
-You can buy a monitor for 3D too?
-If you're not buying a 120/144hz monitor IPS all the way I say unless your low budget though...heh.
-If he wants a 120/144hz monitor he should get the ASUS VG248QE, it's cheaper, and very nice.


Maybe I took your comment to serious.

 
- 120Hz monitors tend to use nicer TN panels than normal monitors do, and thus have better color. But yes, if you need the good color, IPS is the way to go.

- Generally if you're doing any sort of competitive gaming, 3d is very underwhelming. And even if you aren't, it has a tendency to be headache inducing in many people.

- And exactly how much does that 120 Hz IPS monitor cost? ;P

- I disagree with that; the BenQ has better features and better color than the Asus.
 

edogawa

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The Asus one is 100 dollars cheaper, for the price, it's a very nice pure gaming monitor.

Wouldn't ever pay 100 dollars more for a TN panel that's a little better, but that's me...

3D is an awesome experience for single player though, as long as you don't get headaches. :p I'm not sure why people hate 3D so much, it looks more realistic and just cool...

 
I never really got into 3d that much... but my limited experience with it is on a friends' surround 3d setup, and I am one of those who gets headaches, sadly.

As for the price difference, some of us would argue that it's more than a little better, but, well... it's all subjective. (For example, I don't understand the people who pay $600 for a 60Hz IPS panel.)
 

Jonathan Wong

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3d is fine for a gimmick if it comes with monitor for free, like compared to other models of the same price point then sure. But if im paying a lot more for 3d then no thanks, id like to experience 3d gaming for the fun of it only, since playing for a long time with 3d is going to give me headaches and eye strain. It also depends on the game, if the game is locked to 60fps, ill start to feel dizzy after a while, combined with 3d i might even vomit lol.

I am low on budget right now so im considering saving up more for a better monitor that can display the full potential of the 7970, no point getting such a powerful card if i can only look at stale colors.

Best 120hz monitor for around $400? No glossy screen please because i own a macbook for school work and fingerprints/dust irritates me.

I feel like i should create a new thread lol....
 

edogawa

Splendid


There are a lot of nice IPS monitors for way under 600 dollars, they are in the range of 200-1200 range.
 

edogawa

Splendid
@John W:

I think you would want a nice IPS monitor then, or even pay for a high resolution one, they should start becoming more mainstream soon. Screen tearing never bothered me much personally on 60hz, but 120hz is very nice.

I only ever thought 120hz was good for shooters anyway, for anything else IPS is better to get in my opinion(maybe 120hz for racing games, but I never play those).

Asus has a new monitor I've been interested in checking out for myself called the "ASUS PA248Q" that you may be interested in too, it comes pre - calibrated also which is a big plus. Asus has a "ASUS RAPID REPLACEMENT 2 WAY FREE SHIPPING" too so if there are any issues no large shipping fees.

Good deal on it right now too on newegg:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824236287
 
edogawa, I was referring to people who DO buy the $600+ ones; I know there are much cheaper ones. :p

I personally absolutely love playing at 120Hz; everything feels buttery smooth. That being said, IPS monitors are also extremely sexy in their own right. I recommend the OP does a little research into which he thinks he might prefer.
 

iyzik

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My 7970s have never passed 52 Celcius at full load and they are right next to eachother... with fans on auto

Im guessing it all depends on who makes the card, my old reference 6970s were ridiculous, like 85C
 

edogawa

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Haha, I agree he should research which one he would prefer. :D
 

Jonathan Wong

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LOL is there a IPS monitor with 120hz that can produce the same smoothness of a regular 120hz monitor? Or would that be crazy expensive?

Oh and im getting the antec one computer case, cooling should be fine with large fans
 

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