AMD still a good choice?

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AMD still a good choice?

Postposted on Fri Feb 01, 2013 4:45 pm

Im in the market for a new graphics card and wondering if i should still consider looking at the red team what with all the driver issues they have been having. They always seem to be behind the curve when it comes the support for games as well. What do you guys think.

Budget is around 200 +/- 20. System is the XPS in my sig. Main games i play right now are Skyrim, Star Wars: TOR, and Arkham City on a 23" monitor @ 1080p.
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Re: AMD still a good choice?

Postposted on Fri Feb 01, 2013 5:35 pm

For $200 or a bit more, you're looking at going with a HD 7850 or HD 7870 from AMD or a GTX 660 from Nvidia. I think most would concur that the HD 7870 offers a bit more performance than a GTX 660, especially if you are gaming at 1080p or higher. If you can find a HD 7870 to fit your budget (ie, $220 or less), I'd probably go with that over the GTX 660.

Don't worry about the driver kerfuffle regarding frame time latency on this site. For all we know, it was specific to the HD 7950... Plus, the whole thing was overblown insofar as perceptible effect on gaming, at least in most games, scenarios, etc.

Edit: This is what I would get. It's a HD 7870, but it has a crippled Tahiti GPU (same is hd 7950/70). This thing should be pretty close to a GTX 660 Ti in most games, if not even a bit quicker in a few. $215 after MIR from NCIX.

Here's a review

Edit 2: Just noticed that your system PSU may be a bit on the anemic side at 460W for the HD 7870 with the Tahiti LE core. You may be limited to a single 6-pin PCIe power connection (if the Dell even supplies that). In that case, you may be limited to an HD 7850 or GTX 660. I'd probably go with the GTX 660.
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Re: AMD still a good choice?

Postposted on Fri Feb 01, 2013 6:10 pm

Yeah, I'd say a 7870 you can get for pretty cheap. You can get 'guaranteed' performance with a Nvidia card, but AMD is supposedly fixing the issues that were reported with their cards, so it shouldn't be long before they're back up to snuff. Honestly though the 8xxx series is supposed to come out this spring so you might be better off waiting a few months. If you don't want to buy the newest gen it'll still drop prices on the current gen a lot.
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Re: AMD still a good choice?

Postposted on Fri Feb 01, 2013 7:37 pm

cynan wrote:Edit 2: Just noticed that your system PSU may be a bit on the anemic side at 460W for the HD 7870 with the Tahiti LE core. You may be limited to a single 6-pin PCIe power connection (if the Dell even supplies that). In that case, you may be limited to an HD 7850 or GTX 660. I'd probably go with the GTX 660.


The 460W PSU on the XPS8500 should come with 2 6-pin connectors, which are what the 7870 Myst Edition needs. I'd say the PSU should be enough for that GPU, which is a pretty decent buy for the price. Just don't expect to overclock the 7870 by 50% and assume the PSU will be unruffled.
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Re: AMD still a good choice?

Postposted on Fri Feb 01, 2013 7:56 pm

greenmystik wrote:Im in the market for a new graphics card and wondering if i should still consider looking at the red team what with all the driver issues they have been having. They always seem to be behind the curve when it comes the support for games as well. What do you guys think.

Budget is around 200 +/- 20. System is the XPS in my sig. Main games i play right now are Skyrim, Star Wars: TOR, and Arkham City on a 23" monitor @ 1080p.


As others have said they can still offer a great value, so depending on your budget an AMD card might be a good choice. That said I'd personally pay a little more and go Nvidia this generation (which I just did, upgrading from an AMD). It's not even that AMD's drivers are bad, they're quite decent, and the frame latency problems will surely be fixed over the coming months. For me it's more that Nvidia's driver work has been exceptional this generation, with regular updates pushing very substantial performance improvements. The Kepler architecture is more power efficient too. I have a GTX670 (EVGA FTW edition which is built off a 680's PCB and oc'd), plays every game with perfect fluidity completely maxed out, and I can never hear the thing running--best piece of hardware I've ever owned, couldn't be happier.
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Re: AMD still a good choice?

Postposted on Fri Feb 01, 2013 7:57 pm

Voldenuit wrote:The 460W PSU on the XPS8500 should come with 2 6-pin connectors, which are what the 7870 Myst Edition needs. I'd say the PSU should be enough for that GPU, which is a pretty decent buy for the price. Just don't expect to overclock the 7870 by 50% and assume the PSU will be unruffled.


It doesn't matter if it comes with the connectors, with two six-pin connectors the card's drawing around ~225W of power by itself. That's okay if he had a good PSU, but an OEM one, better off with a GTX 660 due to the lower power-draw.
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Re: AMD still a good choice?

Postposted on Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:10 pm

It seems like both companies have solid products in this range. I think the deciding factor is the driver issue. nvidia wins this generation of GPU for me, only by a smidgen. Now onto picking which one of the 660's goes into my machine. Think ill save that for a separate thread. :D
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Re: AMD still a good choice?

Postposted on Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:13 pm

They are both pretty good in terms of high performance and image quality right now, but AMD is currently having driver issues related to stuttering and whatnot. They are fast tracking the fix, though. Still, I doubt you want to buy a product that will be fixed months from now. If you're alright with that, AMD is the faster choice.
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Re: AMD still a good choice?

Postposted on Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:16 pm

I would go with XFX HD7870. You get lifetime warranty and free Bioshock Infinite and Tomb Raider. If you don't want those games, you can sell the coupon, further dropping down the price of the card.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6814150605

Alternatively, Sapphire HD7950 V2 (925mhz) goes for $280 with Crysis 3 and Bioshock Infinite. I bet you can sell that coupon for $50-60 (or $25-30 per each game), bringing that card to just $220-230, very close to your budget.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6814202006

In Skyrim with mods, HD7950 V2 is trading blows with the GTX680:
http://www.computerbase.de/artikel/graf ... iti-le/20/

AMD's stuttering issues in that game have also been resolved with Catalyst 13.2 betas.
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Re: AMD still a good choice?

Postposted on Sat Feb 02, 2013 1:07 am

It has little to do with drivers when you are comparing the 7870 Myst edition (with the Tahiti LE GPU) with a GTX 660. Even if Nvidia drivers were unanimously better, the raw power of the Tahiti GPU will pretty much blow away a GTX 660 in all cases. The sale price of $215 after MIR puts the Tahiti LE (7870 Myst Edition) in the same price range as the 660. No contest performance wise. AMD all the way.

However, if you are dealing with a 460W no name PSU, you might be pushing things power requirement wise with the 7870 Myst. Hard to say for sure without knowing more about the specific PSU in the Dell, but it's definitely a system stability risk (when you start pushing the graphics card in games - otherwise will be fine). If you want to play it safe power wise, then it comes down to an HD 7850 vs GTX 660. In this scenario, the GTX 660, especially if worried about AMD drivers, wins.
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Re: AMD still a good choice?

Postposted on Sat Feb 02, 2013 1:18 am

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Last edited by clone on Wed Jan 15, 2014 2:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: AMD still a good choice?

Postposted on Sat Feb 02, 2013 7:00 am

I'm not too sure about that. The Tahiti in the 7970 is easily the most powerful GPU of the current generation, but in certain configurations its let down by poor support from AMD.

Case in point, ASUS's shiny new Ares II getting rolled in Arkham City, Assassin's Creed, Skyrim and WoW (see: http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/ASUS/ARES_II/). These games are very popular, and they've been out for months, if not years. Nvidia will usually have SLI support right from the word go, if not shortly after.
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Re: AMD still a good choice?

Postposted on Sat Feb 02, 2013 7:29 am

Nvidia all the way. If you dig you can even find a 670 on sale in the 2s. AMD has too many problems as a company.
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Re: AMD still a good choice?

Postposted on Sat Feb 02, 2013 8:31 am

In your price range, Radeon HD7870 2GB is the best performer. Whatever you may think of the competitive issues that AMD faces in their CPU business, they're still producing GPUs that provide good value for your money.

$190 HIS Radeon HD7850 2GB H785F2G2M
$235 -20MIR XFX Radeon HD7870 2GB FX-787A-CDFC
$230 EVGA GeForce GTX660 2GB 02G-P4-2662-KR
$300 -20MIR Sapphire Radeon HD7950 3GB 100352-2L
$304 -10MIR EVGA GeForce GTX660Ti 2GB 02G-P4-3662-KR
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Re: AMD still a good choice?

Postposted on Sat Feb 02, 2013 11:00 am

That XFX 7870 looks like a solid deal. The only sticking point now is my PSU. Is there a risk of frying it if it overdraws. I have no clue when it comes to power supplies.
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Re: AMD still a good choice?

Postposted on Sat Feb 02, 2013 11:29 am

Damn, was just looking at some more prices when I saw this : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125443

Those fans look like they do some serious cooling, and should lower the noise level as well.

Between this and the XFX 7870. Which would you choose?
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Re: AMD still a good choice?

Postposted on Sat Feb 02, 2013 12:22 pm

jihadjoe wrote:Case in point, ASUS's shiny new Ares II getting rolled in Arkham City, Assassin's Creed, Skyrim and WoW (see: http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/ASUS/ARES_II/). These games are very popular, and they've been out for months, if not years. Nvidia will usually have SLI support right from the word go, if not shortly after.


What does the performance of a $1600 dual-GPU card have anything to do with single GPU performance in those games or SLI vs. CF support have to do with the thread? Nothing. Also, one can just as well point cherry-pick games where HD7870/7870LE(Myst)/7950 would beat NV's respective price competitors in games like Sleeping Dogs, Dirt Showdown, Witcher 2, Arma II, Anno 2070, Alan Wake, Crysis 1/Warhead, Metro 2033, etc. There is no need to do that, which is why we either look at the games OP intends to play or look at averages.

If you are going to cherry-pick specific games, you should also show benchmarks for Skyrim with ENB mods because that's how most people might actually play it. Skyrim with ENB mods is where HD7870/7870LE are trading blows with a GTX670 and HD7950 V2 is trading blows with the GTX680:
http://www.computerbase.de/artikel/graf ... iti-le/20/
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Re: AMD still a good choice?

Postposted on Sat Feb 02, 2013 1:46 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:In your price range, Radeon HD7870 2GB is the best performer.


No, The HD 7870 Myst Edition is the best performer. It's the same price as the regular 7870 you listed (with Pitcairn GPU), but has a Tahiti GPU. But yes, as it's a Tahiti and not a Pitcairn, it will draw more power. If you have a decent 500W+ PSU, the 7870 Myst is unbeatable at that price, especially if you overclock it a bit.
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Re: AMD still a good choice?

Postposted on Sat Feb 02, 2013 2:00 pm

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Re: AMD still a good choice?

Postposted on Sat Feb 02, 2013 2:01 pm

clone wrote:
Im in the market for a new graphics card and wondering if i should still consider looking at the red team what with all the driver issues they have been having. They always seem to be behind the curve when it comes the support for games as well. What do you guys think.
the major difference between AMD and Nvidia driver issues is that AMD's get openly published vs mum on Nvidia's although in the case of the much discussed overblown stuttering it was nice to see it mentioned and fixed rapidly.

TR did all AMD owners a service on that one by getting AMD to fix it quickly./quote]

It's uh, not fixed yet. Three games were fixed by basically changing the configuration of internal buffers and whatnot.
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Re: AMD still a good choice?

Postposted on Sat Feb 02, 2013 2:14 pm

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Re: AMD still a good choice?

Postposted on Sat Feb 02, 2013 3:46 pm

greenmystik wrote:Damn, was just looking at some more prices when I saw this : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125443

Those fans look like they do some serious cooling, and should lower the noise level as well.

Between this and the XFX 7870. Which would you choose?


All things being even, between the Gigabyte GTX 660 ($209 after MIR) and the XFX 7870 ($215 after MIR) , I'd pick the Gigabyte GTX 660.

Between the Gigabyte GTX 660 and the Powercolor 7870 Myst Edition ($215 after MIR), I'd pick the Powercolor.

However, if power is a concern, I'd pick the Gigabyte GTX 660 or Zotac GTX 660 ($195 after MIR) over the 7870 Myst Edition. A good 20-30W less power under load than the stock 7870, and probably more compared to the Myst Edition. But I'm fairly certain that your 460W PSU will be able to handle the Myst Edition, as there are several people online who've reported success with a stock 7870 on their 8500, and anecdotal reports that Dell said the PSU can handle 225W over the PCIE lines.

I went with the Zotac GTX660 this round because of the price, and because I use a lot of adobe photo and video editing software (although adobe recently added OpenCL acceleration to Photoshop CS6, I believe that Premiere only supports CUDA , except on Mac). But the Myst Edition is pretty tempting.

EDIT: PS Since I noticed that one of the games you play is Arkham City, it's worth mentioning that one of the motivators for me to go green this time was to see what I was missing out on with Physx. After playing with Arkham City and Physx on my GTX 660, I have only these words to say: it's not worth it. Physx is highly overrated and woefully underutilized in the games that support it, and it should not be used as a deciding factor when choosing between the two camps. Good luck!
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Re: AMD still a good choice?

Postposted on Sat Feb 02, 2013 4:34 pm

clone wrote:
It's uh, not fixed yet. Three games were fixed by basically changing the configuration of internal buffers and whatnot.
why would you mention how the issues were fixed and then claim they aren't fixed?

said it before, will say it again..... no such thing as a perfect driver, AMD, Nvidia, have driver issues.... that doesn't mean that either company makes a bad product, both AMD and Nvidia make fantastic products as a matter of fact.

my heavens, politics, religion and apparently PC gfx.... ='s red state/blue state.


*sigh* No, there was stuttering shown by TR in more than just those three games. AMD acknowledged it, and is working on a fix(Basically they were in the process of re-writing how they handle memory in the driver for GCN parts, and found out that it will fix most of the stuttering issues in most games, so they are fast tracking that. It'll still be at least April before it comes out though).

It's definitely not a case of red state/blue state political nonsense. this is documented fact. AMD employees have acknowledged the issue, and publicly said they are working on the fix for it.
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Re: AMD still a good choice?

Postposted on Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:19 am

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Re: AMD still a good choice?

Postposted on Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:49 am

The 7870s can come wth some pretty meaty rebates too if you're into that sort of thing. As others said I'd recommend upgrading your PSU, you can find pretty good cheap ones on Newegg. Corsair and OCZ make pretty good ones.
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Re: AMD still a good choice?

Postposted on Sun Feb 03, 2013 5:05 am

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Re: AMD still a good choice?

Postposted on Sun Feb 03, 2013 8:44 am

I'm willing to spend a few of the OP's dollars to get a graphics card with at least 2 GiB of memory. :wink:

I game at 2560x1600 so I need room for a larger frame buffer than most folks. I really like the high-resolution texture packs available for many recent games (e.g.: Skyrim, Dragon's Age 2, etc.). I don't like having to have to play with the puny console versions of the game's textures when there are PC-specific larger textures that look noticeably better.

P.S.: The game bundles from AMD aren't bad.
http://techreport.com/news/24306/new-am ... omb-raider
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Re: AMD still a good choice?

Postposted on Sun Feb 03, 2013 8:58 am

I just bought a GTX 660 for a pretty nice price, which in the end was the deciding factor for me. The GTX 660 sits pretty much right in between the 7850 and 7870 in terms of FPS in a wide variety of games. For me the GTX 660 offered the best price/performance ratio but it may be different for you depending on the offers available. The lower power use and possibility of smoother playback were also contributing factors for me and should be for you too.

One note, I'd personally go for a 2GB card while memory appears to be so cheap, when prices go back up so will the cost of 2GB cards. It's also nice running games at the highest texture detail level.
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Re: AMD still a good choice?

Postposted on Sun Feb 03, 2013 12:53 pm

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Re: AMD still a good choice?

Postposted on Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:12 pm

clone wrote:the performance difference between the 2 cards is typically less than 10% and both are equally playable at 1080p while 1 only needs the lone 6pin PCIe connector, I guess it depends on what resolution you'll be focusing on because I can't find a solid reason why you'd want to pay more than 25% more for the HD 7870... yes it does come with an extra gb of ram and a little more of everything but in real world use the difference at 1080p resolution is hardly significant being typically within 5fps for 2 cards running well above the average frames required.


The performance difference between the 7870 and 7850 (at stock speeds and both with 2 GB VRAM) is typically ~18-20%*. Expect the 1 GB 7850 to be even slower.

7850 is a great card at $150, but the 660 and 7870 are great cards at ~$200. The 7870 Myst Edition is a steal at $215.

* see :
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/graphics/display/radeon-hd-7870-7850-7770_12.html#sect5
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/549?vs=548
http://techreport.com/review/23527/review-nvidia-geforce-gtx-660-graphics-card/11
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