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About to buy 7970s, Need some quick advice

Discussion in 'AMD / ATI' started by FierceRed, Apr 5, 2013.

  1. FierceRed

    FierceRed

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    Greetings all, it's been a while since I last posted (think it was before Christmas, excluding BF3 platoon question) and I hope everyone is well.

    I have a quick two questions regarding 7970 purchasing as I intend to buy a pair in the next ~3 weeks and could use some guidance.

    One: What is the current prevailing wisdom regarding 7970 versus 7970 Ghz Editions? The price difference between the two is $40 a card, so an additional ~$100 after taxes; and that's with a sale price, with the normal difference being $20 a card.

    I'm fine with purchasing a pair of either, I'm just curious what the better value proposition would be.

    Two: How exactly does the Reloaded Bundle work??? I've tried putting a pair of 7970s in my cart on Newegg, both GEs and non-GEs, and the pre-linked bundled coupon continues to say I'll just be getting Crysis 3 and BioInfinite only. The only indication that it might be working is that the inclusion of 2 coupons brings the waived coupon price up to $340, which might trigger my getting emailed codes for 6 games instead of 2 somewhere down the line.

    Has anyone had any first hand experience with this purchase situation? Do I need to do something specific or special beyond adding 2 GPUs to my cart in order to ensure I get qualified for all 6 games?

    Extra:

    Just in case anybody is wondering, I'm willing to put my wallet's faith in a pair of AMD cards for now given nVidia's current pricing bullshittery (680, Titan) and even in their upcoming July driver that supposedly fixes GCN memory management and stuttering performance vis a vis GeForces. Even if the driver fails, I'll just disable Crossfire and have satisfying single card performance. I was set to buy a pair of 670s or even 680s if their price dipped but too many pricing shenanegans have turned me off to the idea. nVidia should really reap what they sow sometimes when it comes to asking for a thousand bucks, so AMD will get my hard earned this round.

    I'm also fully aware I'm not running a >24" monitor setup, nor using a power supply that could power 2 x 7970 GEs reliably. As the excellent BenQ V2400Ws are EOL, I'll probably get a pair of 27" 16:9 (may you RIP 16:10, or at least rise from your coma soon) monitors and a fully modular 1000W PSU either with this order, or shortly thereafter. SSDs and the CPU/Mobo/RAM trifecta are for later with Haswell. Hell, I might even try Windows 8.

    Any suggestions you may have regarding a relevant monitor or PSU as mentioned would also be appreciated.

    Thanks for your time everybody. Cheers!
    -FR
     
  2. EarthDog

    EarthDog

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    1. Id get the cheaper cards personally... You can overclock to Ghz and boost speeds with the regular ones anyway.
    2. You get a card with the key(s) on it I think?

    A quality 750W PSU will be plenty for an overclocked Haswell and 7970s. Corsair 750TXv2 comes to mind or V2M if you want modular.
     
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  3. Random Murderer

    Random Murderer The Anti-Midas

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    One: Don't bother with the GHz edition. You can overclock your 7970s to those speeds, or just simply flash the GHz edition BIOS to your cards and essentially upgrade them for free.

    Two: Never dealt with that. When I bought my cards, they were still doing the Deus Ex, Dirt Showdown, and Nexuiz bundle. They sent a card with a code for each in the same box as my GPU.

    Extra: Don't feel bad about having all that GPU power and not running a high res. Look at my specs, I'm on 2x 7970s and still running 1680x1050 res. Just know that you have the graphical horsepower for a higher res when you get around to getting a higher res monitor(s). Oh, and screw Windows 8.
     
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  4. cadaveca

    cadaveca My name is Dave

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    ONE: Gigabyte 7970's...GHz version avg 1150-1180 MHz @ 1.25 V. If you can get original non GHz cards (not likely from Newegg), that average goes up a bit, to 1170-1280 MHz @ 1.25 V.

    TWO: Reloaded bundle gives you a code you enter at a website, long with your email. After that, the website you entered those details into emails you the product keys.


    THREE: I am 95% confident AMD will fix Crossfire shortly, and before July 29th. Why that day? Simply because it's my birthday, and if they haven't by then, I'm buying myself two of the most pricey Nvidia GPUs, and then I will enjoy the literal 30+ games I have right now that need Crossfire performance in Eyefinity that currently do not work right.

    BTW, a system with dual GHZ 7970's should pull <600W while gaming with no OC. I'd not go with Corsair PSUs, myself. Seasonic makes some really good platinum units though.
     
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  5. EarthDog

    EarthDog

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    I pulled 535W from the wall in 3d11 and Unigine Heaven (90% efficient PSU w/ 3770K @ 4GHz 1.2v GPUs at 1180/1600 - stock for HIS 7970 Turbo X) and around 550W gaming.

    Curious why you wouldnt go with Corsair units as they all test just fine through reputable sites, including TPU. It, like Seasonic is about the only brand I would trust their entire line. If you can/want to afford the great Seasonics or the Corsair AX series, go for it, but that isnt needed and is only wasting money IMO. If you WANT it, thats fine, but its note remotely needed to get the best of the best... One doesnt need the greatest to work...just something quality by an approved reviewer (here, JG, [H], and overclockers.com) just trying to save the guy a bit of cash. ;)
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2013
  6. cadaveca

    cadaveca My name is Dave

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    The old HX line-up left a bitter taste in my mouth. Corsair tech telling a certain user that there was 4 SATA plugs on the cable, but you weren't ever meant to use all four, says it all, but if you want, we can add in the 24-pin connector that didn't fit into a motherboard socket because it was too small, or we can reference that review units of the Corsair 850i and 1200i are different, and built with different parts, than retail units.

    I don't want to see even a different coloured capacitor in retail vs review units. 100% exactly the same, or that PSU will always get recommendations that users stay away from it, from me. That's just how I roll. :laugh:
     
  7. EarthDog

    EarthDog

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    LOL, wow. I have never seen a link on that.. Did Cmaris find that here with his samples?
     
  8. cadaveca

    cadaveca My name is Dave

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    Corsair switched from Chemi-Con in review units, to TAICON in retail. I am pretty sure that CRMARIS reviewed his unit long before retail units showed this.

    http://www.techpowerup.com/forums/showthread.php?t=174779



    It could mean nothing, but Corsair has a history, with me, of review products not being the same as retail when it comes to PSUs. It could simply be a supply issue ,but that HX line-up seeing so many RMA'd units for sale was the start for me, and then things went downhill from there.


    Don't get me wrong, I love Corsair as a company, and I think they make fantastic ram and cases and they also make very reasonably priced coolers, too. I did present an opportunity for them to show me different by offering the chance for them to supply my review rig PSUs, but they declined, and Seasonic stepped up.

    So now, I recommend Seasonic, since I have their PSUs in my house, and use them daily.

    And yes, my memory is like a titanium trap that nothing escapes. :p
     
  9. EarthDog

    EarthDog

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    Thanks for the link... Im personally not worried. There isnt a solid reason to be.

    Whats funny, as I'm sure you know, Seasonic makes some of the Corsair PSUs anyway, including some of the 'old HX' series (Flextronics, IIRC, makes the new AXi series you are talking about...). Shouldnt that disdain include Seasonic and Flextronics since the difference is only a sticker)? :p
     
  10. cadaveca

    cadaveca My name is Dave

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    Nope, because companies like Corsair take the Seasonic units as a platform only, and typically customize the design to suit their needs.

    And yes, I am sure that the new caps in those units are fine, but it just bugs me, you know? That's all. I need 1000% confidence in what I recommend. The HX units reviewed really well too, that's why they were so popular. And then 12 months later, the forums were flooded with units fresh from RMA for sale.

    On the other hand, Corsair has proven themselves to be one of the very best when it comes to warranty service, so while I might worry about a PSU lasting, I know they'll take care of it should problems occur.
     
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  11. Kaynar

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    My answer to first part: The old 7970 is the same with the newer GHz and BOOST editions in terms of quality. They just have different BIOS. ANY edition with stock PCB has the same potential for core clocks BUT the memory may not reach 1500mhz on the old versions without a voltage increase (eg. for my 1rst batch XFX 7970BEDD running 1125/1450 without voltage increase but cant get more on the memory without having artifacts). At the end of the day, the standard edition is the best bang of buck.

    Two: I dont exactly remember but my flatmate recently got a 7950 and 5 minutes after installing the card in his PC he was already downloading the games from Steam. It's just that you need to make sure that the card you buy HAS a bundle and which games are included in that.

    As for the corsair stuff discussed above: my HX850W was always perfect but indeed my newer AX860 was problematic, spent £36 to send it back to Corsair in The Netherlands (I live in the UK) and the second unit I received IS NOTICEABLY DIFFERENT, even the cables included are not the same (I got double-header PCI-E 6+2 cables in the new one (meaning I can use ONE cable to power my 8 + 6 pin 7970 now) as well as normal ones). However the new one works without the rediculous coil whine and is currently found at £140 in amazon uk.

    I currently highly doubt that it is worth going Xfire on AMD, there might be (small) fps gains in some games but it has been proven by PCPER that the frame inconsitency is so high that in fact the perceived amount of frames makes this a simply waste of money (though there is absolutely no issues in single GPU system). nVidia might has overpriced cards but if you want 2 or more cards, really, do yourself the favor and buy nVidia.
     
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  12. MxPhenom 216

    MxPhenom 216 Corsair Fanboy

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    Honestly, I would buy one 7970 now, then when AMD fixes the crossfire issues going on right now then get a 2nd one if you really need it. Otherwise your spending a whole lot of money for nothing.
     
  13. radrok

    radrok

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    We both know what a faulty PSU can do not only to itself but to our precious hardware :V
     
  14. Widjaja

    Widjaja

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    Avoid reference fan models.
    I had the chance to buy an ASUS HD7970 reference model today.

    Was I glad I tried before I buyed plus my Brother was curious in performance comparison between the 7970 and my 7870 Directcu ii.

    First of all I have to say the performance in games compared to my HD 7870 was not enough to say wow it is definitely better and worth the purchase.
    It is not such a big step up that you would have thought it was the flag ship model.

    It's very noisy.
    My HD7870 Directcu ii has had mention of it being unexpectedly noisy in reviews, I can say from personal experience it is nothing compared to the sound coming from the cooler of the reference HD7970.
    Once it gets into the mid 70s margin it is loud.
    Running Sleeping Dogs, the card started to sssshhhh at me.

    It makes a great heater on cold winter nights.
    Every time it started to sshhhhhh at me, I felt a nice warm breeze on my hand.

    If you are sensitive to high pitched frequencies, the occasional coil whine may be upsetting to the ears.
    I personally did hear the coil whine now and then in 3DMark 2013 but not once while gaming which could be due to the fan drowning out the sound.
     
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  15. radrok

    radrok

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    To be honest you generally buy reference only if you don't want to wait at release or you want to straight watercool the card.

    Aftermarket is a must if you keep your card on air especially with the 7970, that thing pulls a lot of W when brought at GHz or beyond levels.

    My rule is, does it consume more than 200ish watts? Then go aftermarket air or water.
     
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  16. FierceRed

    FierceRed

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    Thanks to all for their replies and advice. A few clarifications:

    I intended to get this Silverstone PSU as I'd read good things about it in the past and it has the necessary 8pin x 2 and 6pin x 2 connections that a pair of 7970s would need, but a quick bit of research shows my Antec Signature Series has those cables too. So I guess you guys are saying my 850W is fine? I'll try it with the 7970s first before replacing it; just wanted to go fully modular since I figured open-air aftermarket cooled 7970s will need the breezy case airflow.

    Well, I basically want the AMD cards for the games bundle. So you guys can do value proposition comparisons from that, but essentially if I'm going to be spending the same amount of money whether I go 7970GEs or (presumably) 680s, the current performance metrics of a 680 pair vs 7970GE pair clearly shows I'll be getting more performance from the 7970GEs @ 2560x1440 (The BF3 page was incidental, look at whatever game in the review you wish). I'm using 5850s now and while I've noticed minor stuttering in the past, it was never enough to annoy me to the degree it does other people. I mean, low FOV angles in console ports annoy me far more than stuttering frames. I dunno, I'm a freak like that.

    But yeah, AMD game bundle versus nVidia bundle isn't even a contest. If I'm going to pay a grand for something regardless, I'd trade possible crossfire issues for $300+ worth of free and good games than to have rare SLI issues in exchange for less overall performance + bullshit F2P credit.

    Okay, so assuming I were to forgo 7970GEs in lieu of 7970s, where can I purchase and how can I identify these "old", "original" and "standard" 7970s? Are you referring to reference models with blower cooling solutions, because if so I'm trying to keep the noise on my build down so abandoning non-reference models with open air aftermarket coolers (a la the Gigabyte tri-force) are pretty much a red line I will not cross.

    If you're saying buy reference models and replace the blowers manually with aftermarket, while I've done that in the past, I'm willing to forgo any potential overclocking headroom due to the way videogames are being designed these days. A pair of non-overclocked 7970s should be more than enough @ 27" for things like BioInfinite or Crysis 3, as well as upcoming blockbusters like Metro Last Light, Company of Heroes 2 and Witcher 3. I'm an enthusiast at heart or I wouldn't be here, but sometimes its nice to just plug and play right? :laugh:

    I guess what I'm asking is [1]where/how can I purchase these high OC originals if I wanted them, [2]is the 1150-1180 vs. 1170-1280 OC average difference enough to be noticable, and [3]are the Gigabyte 7970 non-GEs that I intend to purchase BIOS-flashing compatible for creating 7970 GEs? I seem to recall discrepancies in the 6900 generation between early model and later model flash success rates. [3b]Are those still a concern this generation?

    As always, thanks for your guidance. :toast:
     
  17. cadaveca

    cadaveca My name is Dave

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    It should be pretty simple to figure out. If you want high-OC model, buy a used, pre-tested card.

    Many new GPUs at stores now are GHz models. There should be indicators in the product name that that is what you are getting. "Boost edition" or "GHz edition".

    Is it kind of similar to 6950's changing over time? YES, seems newer cards also don't offer voltage controls, or do not respond to voltage changes.


    GHz 7970 and 7950 are 1.25V stock.


    Older chips are 1.1V for 7970(1.170 for dual monitor) and 0.950V for 7950(1.0 V dual monitor).


    So in the worst case, you can tell by the voltage the chip uses, as the difference between them is pretty obvious, I think. Of course, there are "ranges" that these cards get, some get a bit more voltage, some a bit less, but it's basically 1.1V "old" cards or 1.2V GHz cards.
     
  18. FierceRed

    FierceRed

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    Thanks cadaveca. So you mentioned that it was unlikely I would be able to get an "old" from newegg. Did you have a retailer/e-tailer where this model might be more likely to be found? Is the average mhz headroom difference noticeable in game performance? At the end of the day, it seems on the surface to be a <100 Mhz difference. Finally, might you know about the flash-ability of the Gigabyte model I intend on purchasing?

    I know how to tell a GHz Edition from a non-GHz Edition :roll: , it was more about how to tell if I were getting an older PCB or a newer PCB resistant to OC/flashing, which you answered so thanks.
     
  19. cadaveca

    cadaveca My name is Dave

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    Yeah, it's the GHz Edition cards that are less likely to work.


    However, flashing BIOS, on any card, so far, is no problem.

    I've had no issues flashing Gigabyte cards, Gigabyte has a BIOS flashing utility on their downloads page for their AMD cards. ;)
     
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  20. FierceRed

    FierceRed

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    Awesome, looks like I've found a winner: Non-GE 7970s from Gigabyte, flashed to a GHz Edition using their failsafe BIOS switch and their own flashing utility. Should be able to reach GHz Edition speeds at bare minimum, but also more likely to have an "old" PCB and therefore OC higher than a GHz Edition PCB.

    Now I just have to figure out how this coupon business works as I really want the 6 games properly and don't want to get quagmired into paying a grand for GPUs and only getting 2 copies of 2 games.

    I'll have to hunt around retail for a pair as well since apparently the cards sold via Newegg and NCIX are indeed voltage locked. Not risking any other e-tailers as they don't even mention the bundled deal whatsoever.

    Again, if anyone has any first hand experience with purchasing this 6 game bundle, please let me know. Cheers.
     
  21. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

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    Don't bother going CrossFire due to all the runt and dropped frames really killing performance and hence smoothness.

    Check this out: http://www.pcper.com/reviews/Graphi...ils-Capture-based-Graphics-Performance-Tes-12

    and see if you still want them. I wrote a summary of it here, as the original is rather in depth.

    AMD are aware of this problem and are promising a fix in several months. Don't be a mug by waiting for it. Let AMD step up to the plate instead.

    No wonder nvidia can afford to play these pricing games. :shadedshu
     
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  22. radrok

    radrok

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    Main reason I went nVidia this time even though I've always liked ATI more... :(
     
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  23. FierceRed

    FierceRed

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    Uhhh, thanks(?) guys, but please read the OP. I'm fully aware of the issues and thanks for informing me in case I hadn't, but I'm getting the AMD cards for two indisputable reasons.

    The first is that $1000 to AMD gets me 2 GPUs and 6 games. Hopefully. $1000 to nVidia gets me 2 GPUs and 0 games. Just F2P credit. Which I could buy. For less than the cost of 6 games. The F2P credit not even value matching the Reloaded bundle is a pretty major misstep for those who can add and subtract like you and I can.

    The second is that $1000 of AMD GPU gets me more performance than $1000 of nVidia GPU. Link posting and subjective anecdotes will probably begin now, and that's fine, but two GEs > two 680s as of the latest Anandtech review (also linked in posts above).

    So yeah, until both of the above change, AMD will get the hard earned. "Stuttering" be damned.
     
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  24. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

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    Ok, so that's what you meant by stuttering performance. I wasn't sure and it might help others that read this thread, anyway. :)

    I see you're going AMD more as a protest vote at NVIDIA and from a value perspective and I can see where you're coming from. I don't think there's any right or wrong here, just how you feel about it.

    If I was willing to spend that kind of money, then I'd get a 690 over a Titan, since it costs less and is faster. (There's not many issues with SLI before people start pointing this out to me.)
     
  25. Cotton_Cup

    Cotton_Cup

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    lol July 29 is also my bday


    ot:
    go with dual 7970 and sell your extra codes... profit
     

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