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Gerbil In Training
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Best graphics card for 3+ years on IVY

Tue Aug 28, 2012 10:19 pm


I would like to know which would be a better GFX option, considering (In order of preferences listed):
3+ Years (High settings - no ultra - @ 1080p)
Smoothness in frames (i.e. no stray frames below 20 fps)
Price as listed
Cooler temperature
Both System1 & System2
Preference to nVidia
Not considering power
Not considering extra OC

540$: HD 7970 (not GHZ edition) GV-R797OC-3GD - Core Clock OC to 1000MHz
490$: Gigabyte Nvidia GeForce GTX 670 2GB Graphic Card
410$: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7950 3GB Graphic Card (GV-R795WF3-3GD : not the B version, can I convert this model?)

I know prices are high but these are the best which are available here.

I am inclined towards 670 but 7950 is promising too, I just don't have any ideas about its future proofness vs 670.


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System 2
i5 3570 @ 3.7
Hyper 212 Evo
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Corsair Vengeance 2x4GB 1600Mhz - Heat spreader
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Seagate 1 TB
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Re: Best graphics card for 3+ years on IVY

Tue Aug 28, 2012 10:55 pm

I for one would go with the 7970 ghz say your not going to overclock but you can in the future. AMDs newer driver's have unlocked a good bit more performance from the 7970s. They have great frame time latency. And trades blows with the gtx 680 now with the mature drivers. As of which card is faster it depends on the games you are playing.

I picked the 7970 since you want it for 3 years also:)

If you happen to watch 720p or 1080p videos MKVs etc i think AMD has the better picture quality. I use Mad VR decoder with MPC-HC and my AMD cards always seem to give me a better picture. I have Nvidia and 2 AMD cards myself and AMD always looks nicer to me.
I have setup MPC-HC for many friends and it always seems AMD is cleaner and more vibrant with better skin tones etc.
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Gerbil In Training
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Re: Best graphics card for 3+ years on IVY

Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:32 am

Thanks a lot. I didn't know that Green and Red offers different viewing feelings for HD video. I watch them a lot, for that, now I am little inclined toward 7950. (reason being that 7970 GHz edition is not available and the one that is available is way too much expensive than it should have been).

Another thing; can this model be flashed to Boost bios. I was reading that it applies to reference cards only and i dont know which type of card is the gigabyte one.
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Re: Best graphics card for 3+ years on IVY

Wed Aug 29, 2012 6:35 am

Only reference cards are boost-bios flashable for definite, but you will get better performance if you overclock it yourself anyway.

As for the 7970 vs GTX680 argument, it looks like you're already sold on the right choice, but I thought I'd add in the fact that the 7970 has plenty of OpenCL compute power whilst the GTX680 is poor in this regard.
Games don't use compute power right now, but I expect this to change in the future - It's perfect for AI and Physics calculations. Havok have already toyed with OpenCL physics, and they're probably the most popular physics toolkit used in games.
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Re: Best graphics card for 3+ years on IVY

Wed Aug 29, 2012 7:37 am

Hmm, that's a tough choice. You basically get what you pay for right now when it comes to graphics cards. The price difference between the cards is pretty similar to the performance difference between them (at least at 1080p). The 670 has a significant advantage over a 7950 in some games, and the 7970 has a significant advantage over the 670 in some games (to a slightly lesser extent though). I think any of the cards will be fine 3 years from now though. They are still going to be very fast cards even compared to the new consoles that will probably be out by then.

As for the video quality, you'll only potentially notice a difference if you use a GPU decoder like MadVR. If you are just using a software decoder there will be absolutely no difference since it will be your CPU doing the decoding. Whether you use a Nvidia or AMD GPU, MadVR will provide better picture quality than a software decoder. I've never actually seen a comparison between the 2 though, just between MadVR and software.
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Re: Best graphics card for 3+ years on IVY

Thu Aug 30, 2012 9:05 am

First off this article covers performance of 7870, 660Ti, 7950, 670 Amp while this article covers 7950, 670 Amp, 680, and 7970GHz so you can get an idea of where each card falls.

Talking strictly gaming, you're really looking at two different performance categories with the GTX 670 and 7970 in one category and the 7950 in the other. A vanilla GTX 670 and the 7970 (non-GHz) are roughly at the same performance level at stock clocks with the 670 being slighty ahead. So that narrows you down to the 7950 or a 670. If you look closely, the 7950 only gives up about 3-5fps to a 670 in the games tested depending on the video quality settings you choose. (make sure you look closely at the video settings they're using.) The 7950 is equal to a 660Ti which is slightly cheaper on average at the moment here in the states. Both the 7950 and the 660Ti can do 1080p at Ultra settings while churning out ~50fps in todays most demanding games.

PS. In non-gaming situations, the 7950 has better GPU compute capabilites...if that's something you use.

PPS. According to this you can do a BIOS flash of a 7950a to "Boost BIOS."
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Re: Best graphics card for 3+ years on IVY

Thu Aug 30, 2012 9:30 am

I've been running at high to ultra settings in games with my GTX 460 for a couple years...all of those cards would probably get you ultra for 3 years, high for some time after that.

I would seriously keep an eye out for those GHz or FTW versions of cards, though. They seem to squeeze out extra performance without jacking the cost up too much. I would definitely say the value is good on those cards.

And lastly, 660 Ti and higher Nvidia cards are coming with Borderlands 2...granted, I am anticipating this game, but if it's something you're interested in as well, it could easily add $60 worth of value into your card investment. Just keep it in mind. AMD cards look like they have some game promos as well, but those are mostly brand dependent and vary. I think I saw several Deus Ex, Sleeping Dogs, or Dirt.
On second thought, let's not go to TechReport. Tis a silly place.

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