7970 or 680?

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7970 or 680?

Postposted on Fri Dec 07, 2012 2:57 pm

I am currently in the process of selling my current 7970 with the prospect of getting a more quiet and equally performing card. I understand I could put an aftermarket cooler on it, but do not want to void my Warranty so this is the easiest way (and ends up being just about the same price overall). So, initially I was going to just get another 7970, as I've been with the Red team since my x1950 Pro. However, lately I have been having my doubts about if they will really be able to hold their own in this department anymore. So much of their staff has been let go that I have my concerns moving forward, not only about cards but driver development and game adoption. An example would be how long Windows 8 has taken for the Red team to sort out.

In this regard, do you think the money would be better invested back into a 7970 or should I go Green and get a 680? I really have almost no experience with Nvidia products, and don't know the validity of their drivers being better claim. Thanks!
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Re: 7970 or 680?

Postposted on Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:06 pm

StuG wrote:I am currently in the process of selling my current 7970 with the prospect of getting a more quiet and equally performing card. I understand I could put an aftermarket cooler on it, but do not want to void my Warranty so this is the easiest way (and ends up being just about the same price overall). So, initially I was going to just get another 7970, as I've been with the Red team since my x1950 Pro. However, lately I have been having my doubts about if they will really be able to hold their own in this department anymore. So much of their staff has been let go that I have my concerns moving forward, not only about cards but driver development and game adoption. An example would be how long Windows 8 has taken for the Red team to sort out.

In this regard, do you think the money would be better invested back into a 7970 or should I go Green and get a 680? I really have almost no experience with Nvidia products, and don't know the validity of their drivers being better claim. Thanks!


I would seriously just buy an aftermarket cooler. How would they know if it's been tampered with? You can always put the original back on, at least that's been the case for me despite never having to RMA anything.
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Re: 7970 or 680?

Postposted on Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:12 pm

steelcity_ballin wrote:
StuG wrote:I am currently in the process of selling my current 7970 with the prospect of getting a more quiet and equally performing card. I understand I could put an aftermarket cooler on it, but do not want to void my Warranty so this is the easiest way (and ends up being just about the same price overall). So, initially I was going to just get another 7970, as I've been with the Red team since my x1950 Pro. However, lately I have been having my doubts about if they will really be able to hold their own in this department anymore. So much of their staff has been let go that I have my concerns moving forward, not only about cards but driver development and game adoption. An example would be how long Windows 8 has taken for the Red team to sort out.

In this regard, do you think the money would be better invested back into a 7970 or should I go Green and get a 680? I really have almost no experience with Nvidia products, and don't know the validity of their drivers being better claim. Thanks!


I would seriously just buy an aftermarket cooler. How would they know if it's been tampered with? You can always put the original back on, at least that's been the case for me despite never having to RMA anything.


We can leave it as a matter of personal taste if you would like. I've tried it once, had to RMA and got burned from it. I will not do it again, thank you for the suggestion though.
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Re: 7970 or 680?

Postposted on Fri Dec 07, 2012 5:17 pm

What's the exact 7970 model you've got right now that's too loud?
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Re: 7970 or 680?

Postposted on Fri Dec 07, 2012 5:52 pm

DPete27 wrote:What's the exact 7970 model you've got right now that's too loud?


7970 Reference. It's too loud for my tastes at idle, load you aren't gonna be able to do anything really about the noise.
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Re: 7970 or 680?

Postposted on Fri Dec 07, 2012 6:39 pm

StuG wrote:
DPete27 wrote:What's the exact 7970 model you've got right now that's too loud?


7970 Reference. It's too loud for my tastes at idle, load you aren't gonna be able to do anything really about the noise.


With respect to single card performance and driver inconsistencies on Windows 8, Nvidia has the clear lead- for now. The field is wide open, and AMD's architecture seems to have longer legs this generation.

That said, the reference cooler (blower) on the GTX680's is the best Nvidia's made aside from what they stuck on the GTX690. That said, I use a single GTX670 FTW 2GB (EVGA) on a 1600p monitor; it uses the reference GTX680 PCB and cooler, and is a bargain for performance, price and quality.
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Re: 7970 or 680?

Postposted on Fri Dec 07, 2012 7:48 pm

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Re: 7970 or 680?

Postposted on Fri Dec 07, 2012 9:08 pm

clone wrote:update: just heard that HD 7xxx's have horrid DX 9 support and their is a chance they won't get it..... for me that's inexcusable and I can't recommend any companies product that fails at it.


Heard from where? Every console port is DX 9. I'd have to see something in a mainstream website that can quantify that. If I followed every "heard that" out there... well, I'd probably be in a cabin/bunker/compound somewhere.
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Re: 7970 or 680?

Postposted on Fri Dec 07, 2012 9:44 pm

TheEmrys wrote:
clone wrote:update: just heard that HD 7xxx's have horrid DX 9 support and their is a chance they won't get it..... for me that's inexcusable and I can't recommend any companies product that fails at it.


Heard from where? Every console port is DX 9. I'd have to see something in a mainstream website that can quantify that. If I followed every "heard that" out there... well, I'd probably be in a cabin/bunker/compound somewhere.


I already have the 7970 and there is no truth to this claim. If for some reason that was true, than my choice wouldn't be so up in the air. :P
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Re: 7970 or 680?

Postposted on Sat Dec 08, 2012 12:49 pm

I'd just stick with the 7970 as it's cheaper and downgrade to windows 7 :D
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Re: 7970 or 680?

Postposted on Sat Dec 08, 2012 12:57 pm

yogibbear wrote:I'd just stick with the 7970 as it's cheaper and downgrade to windows 7 :D


Never really planned on using Windows 8, was just giving an example of how their Driver team has fallen behind lately. Thanks for the input though, I am probably leaning in this direction. Only thing that is keeping me from finalizing the decision is weighing an AMD bug in my head where I know Nvidia would fix it. I wish the game dev would just work with AMD to get it fixed though. :/
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Re: 7970 or 680?

Postposted on Sat Dec 08, 2012 1:33 pm

StuG wrote:
yogibbear wrote:I'd just stick with the 7970 as it's cheaper and downgrade to windows 7 :D


Never really planned on using Windows 8, was just giving an example of how their Driver team has fallen behind lately. Thanks for the input though, I am probably leaning in this direction. Only thing that is keeping me from finalizing the decision is weighing an AMD bug in my head where I know Nvidia would fix it. I wish the game dev would just work with AMD to get it fixed though. :/


That's not really a great example of their driver team falling behind for your purposes. Do you have complaints on the card? It seems like no, since you are cosidering going to another non-reference 7970. Why not just play with fan controls? Set idle to where it is an acceptable temperature and RPM and see how it goes from there? You may also need to take it out to give it a good blow out of air. You may be having a combination of dust and higher reving fan that is giving you grief.

Or, you could be like me... I had my GTX 460 and it just seemed to run hot. So, I figured I'd blow it out. Lo and behold, I hadn't taken off a clear plastic sealing cover over part of it. Removed it, blew it out, and it was amazing how much better it ran.
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Re: 7970 or 680?

Postposted on Sat Dec 08, 2012 2:50 pm

TheEmrys wrote:
StuG wrote:
yogibbear wrote:I'd just stick with the 7970 as it's cheaper and downgrade to windows 7 :D


Never really planned on using Windows 8, was just giving an example of how their Driver team has fallen behind lately. Thanks for the input though, I am probably leaning in this direction. Only thing that is keeping me from finalizing the decision is weighing an AMD bug in my head where I know Nvidia would fix it. I wish the game dev would just work with AMD to get it fixed though. :/


That's not really a great example of their driver team falling behind for your purposes. Do you have complaints on the card? It seems like no, since you are cosidering going to another non-reference 7970. Why not just play with fan controls? Set idle to where it is an acceptable temperature and RPM and see how it goes from there? You may also need to take it out to give it a good blow out of air. You may be having a combination of dust and higher reving fan that is giving you grief.

Or, you could be like me... I had my GTX 460 and it just seemed to run hot. So, I figured I'd blow it out. Lo and behold, I hadn't taken off a clear plastic sealing cover over part of it. Removed it, blew it out, and it was amazing how much better it ran.


At better example would be what happened with Rage, or a current issue I have been having with World of Tanks. One 2 of the maps, there is a glitch with the Water that sends Radeon cards (even my 7970) down to about 10 fps. The Game Developers have been pretty vocal that they did everything they could, and that it's up to the driver team at the hardware company. This has been happening in that game for at least 2 months now, and still no fix with the latest drivers. Granted, it's only 2 maps and it's fairly avoidable (look away from the water) but still....a prime example.
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Re: 7970 or 680?

Postposted on Sat Dec 08, 2012 4:57 pm

i've been running my 7970 lightning with windows 8 on a 2560x1600 resolution monitor. so far, there's been no issues.
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Re: 7970 or 680?

Postposted on Sat Dec 08, 2012 5:21 pm

If you are just a gamer, the GTX680 seems like the king of the hill; Sometimes a 7970 is faster, but Nvidia is ahead of the red team with respect to Windows8 readiness, and my hunch (as well as some industry experience) says that Nvidia's historical investment in the TWIMTPB programme means that more developers are still Geforce friendly, hinting at a smoother experience for at least a couple more years.

Whilst I'd normally be recommending the AMD solution over the Nvidia solution for value reasons, the fly in this ointment is the recent 7950 vs 660Ti comparison Scott did, but there were several variables changed, notably the games, drivers, and operating system. My own experience with a 7950 doesn't match up with the TR article, and I'm running practically the same setup, W8 excepted.

If you do any kind of OpenCL stuff, either compiling, encoding or productivity stuff, the AMD cards are the absolute winners - Kepler is so far behind even their own Fermi that it's not even funny. In some situations, a GTX470 can run better than a GTX680. This is the price Nvidia paid by dropping compute in favour of gaming, which is why there's no consumer GK100 this time around. By contrast, AMD's compute abilities took a huge generational leap forward with GCN and at the moment, they're untouchable.
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Re: 7970 or 680?

Postposted on Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:54 pm

Chrispy_ wrote:If you are just a gamer, the GTX680 seems like the king of the hill; Sometimes a 7970 is faster, but Nvidia is ahead of the red team with respect to Windows8 readiness, and my hunch (as well as some industry experience) says that Nvidia's historical investment in the TWIMTPB programme means that more developers are still Geforce friendly, hinting at a smoother experience for at least a couple more years.

Whilst I'd normally be recommending the AMD solution over the Nvidia solution for value reasons, the fly in this ointment is the recent 7950 vs 660Ti comparison Scott did, but there were several variables changed, notably the games, drivers, and operating system. My own experience with a 7950 doesn't match up with the TR article, and I'm running practically the same setup, W8 excepted.

If you do any kind of OpenCL stuff, either compiling, encoding or productivity stuff, the AMD cards are the absolute winners - Kepler is so far behind even their own Fermi that it's not even funny. In some situations, a GTX470 can run better than a GTX680. This is the price Nvidia paid by dropping compute in favour of gaming, which is why there's no consumer GK100 this time around. By contrast, AMD's compute abilities took a huge generational leap forward with GCN and at the moment, they're untouchable.


OP doesn't have Windows 8... they just used it in their OP to confuse us all.... 7950/7970 both awesome cards and OP should grab either one.
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Re: 7970 or 680?

Postposted on Sat Dec 08, 2012 8:53 pm

yogibbear wrote:
Chrispy_ wrote:If you are just a gamer, the GTX680 seems like the king of the hill; Sometimes a 7970 is faster, but Nvidia is ahead of the red team with respect to Windows8 readiness, and my hunch (as well as some industry experience) says that Nvidia's historical investment in the TWIMTPB programme means that more developers are still Geforce friendly, hinting at a smoother experience for at least a couple more years.

Whilst I'd normally be recommending the AMD solution over the Nvidia solution for value reasons, the fly in this ointment is the recent 7950 vs 660Ti comparison Scott did, but there were several variables changed, notably the games, drivers, and operating system. My own experience with a 7950 doesn't match up with the TR article, and I'm running practically the same setup, W8 excepted.

If you do any kind of OpenCL stuff, either compiling, encoding or productivity stuff, the AMD cards are the absolute winners - Kepler is so far behind even their own Fermi that it's not even funny. In some situations, a GTX470 can run better than a GTX680. This is the price Nvidia paid by dropping compute in favour of gaming, which is why there's no consumer GK100 this time around. By contrast, AMD's compute abilities took a huge generational leap forward with GCN and at the moment, they're untouchable.


OP doesn't have Windows 8... they just used it in their OP to confuse us all.... 7950/7970 both awesome cards and OP should grab either one.



Right, I did it intentionally to confuse you. :roll:
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Re: 7970 or 680?

Postposted on Sun Dec 09, 2012 7:24 am

YOU BAD MAN!
:)

Seriously though, stick with a 7970 unless you are interested in moving to W8 before these driver/testing/W8 issues highlighed in the recent 660Ti vs 7950 article are resolved.

If you don't want to go aftermarket, the Asus DirectCUII, triple-slot 7970 is extremely quiet. The overall quality of the card and cooler is top-notch, right down to the backplate, assuming you have the space to fit it in your case.

As for specific game issues, you need to consider how much that one specific game affects the relative performance of the card. nVidia drivers have their own quirks in other games and applications. Neither side is perfect....
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Re: 7970 or 680?

Postposted on Sun Dec 09, 2012 9:57 am

Go buy a HiS 7970. They make very quiet coolers.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161412
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Re: 7970 or 680?

Postposted on Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:44 am

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Re: 7970 or 680?

Postposted on Sun Dec 09, 2012 12:14 pm

Airmantharp wrote:
StuG wrote:
DPete27 wrote:What's the exact 7970 model you've got right now that's too loud?


7970 Reference. It's too loud for my tastes at idle, load you aren't gonna be able to do anything really about the noise.


With respect to single card performance and driver inconsistencies on Windows 8, Nvidia has the clear lead- for now. The field is wide open, and AMD's architecture seems to have longer legs this generation.

That said, the reference cooler (blower) on the GTX680's is the best Nvidia's made aside from what they stuck on the GTX690. That said, I use a single GTX670 FTW 2GB (EVGA) on a 1600p monitor; it uses the reference GTX680 PCB and cooler, and is a bargain for performance, price and quality.


+1 on the 670 FTW. The card is pretty quiet, and it OC's like a beast. Right now PrecisionX dynamically overclocks / underclocks the card according to load... up to 1200mhz while playing demanding games (BF3, BFBC2), and lower than the regular clock in less demanding ones (COD4 promod, FEAR MP).

I wanted to go with AMD this generation but the 670 FTW was just calling my name. I'm hoping the HD 8000's are nice.
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Re: 7970 or 680?

Postposted on Sun Dec 09, 2012 12:49 pm

Depending on your situation, incidentals might make the difference. I have had more problems with drivers on my 6970 crossfire rig than I ever had with any other, but then it's also my first multi-card config experience since the voodoo 2. I'd say that nvidia has an edge now in drivers since AMD discontinued its monthly driver updates, but opinions will probably vary.

You might actually look at the value of any game bundle you might get as part of your decision; if you want those games it could be a significant uh, game changer. Although not a huge deal, physx gpu support is nice. When in multiplayer Borderlands 2, with medium physx my framerates drop into the teens regularly (I switched to low and that helped quite a bit).

OTOH, the Radeon is the devil you know :evil:
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Re: 7970 or 680?

Postposted on Sun Dec 09, 2012 3:03 pm

I recently bought a 7950 and I understand your frustration. Many manufacturers make at least 3-4 different models and noise/cooling differs a lot. It took me *hours* searching web sites and tech specs to make sure that the EXACT model I'm buying has good cooler performance. That being said, as a general rule, the ASUS DC2 (not the turbo) and the sapphire non-overclocked/non-boosted/non-GHz/non-reference versions are very silent and have good thermals. I never had a problem with AMD drivers so if both cards are relatively quiet, the choice (for me) comes down to perf and perf/$. In the end, carefully compare specific *models* of 7970 and 680 cards to see what you're getting at the same price point.
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Re: 7970 or 680?

Postposted on Wed Jan 02, 2013 1:24 am

Chrispy_ wrote:...If you do any kind of OpenCL stuff, either compiling, encoding or productivity stuff, the AMD cards are the absolute winners...


except if you're working with Premiere Pro CS5 or CS 5.5. In that case stick with the green team because you'll want the performance enhancements the Mercury Playback Engine provides, which is mostly about GPU acceleration via CUDA processing.

For CS6 Adobe ported most (or maybe all) of the capabilities of the MPE to OpenCL so there's no more "penalty" for using an AMD card.
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