1. Welcome to TechPowerUp Forums, Guest! Please check out our forum guidelines for info related to our community.

The 7970 thread.

Discussion in 'AMD / ATI' started by the54thvoid, Apr 14, 2012.

  1. 20mmrain

    20mmrain

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2009
    Messages:
    2,768 (1.57/day)
    Thanks Received:
    825
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    Let me tell you the truth bud.... I have owned both 2 x HD7970's and 2 x GTX 680's. I can tell you for a 100% fact that the GTX 680 is not the killer they claim it is. Yes the GTX 680 is a great powerful card..... but it does not destroy the HD 7970. Especially when you factor in overclocking.

    The GTX 680 is a card that is overclocked from the get go. When I say this I am referring to the Offset style of clocks it has. While Nvidia's guaranteed minimum clock is 1006 base 1056 Boost, some cards will actually ship with a 1006 base and a 1124 boost. This is even a reference card I am referring too. You see the GTX 680 will continue to clock up by 13% as long as the performance is needed and the thermals are below Nvidia's spec.
    So that is the good news about the GTX680.... the other good news is that it is a good overclocker as long as the allowed voltage will allow it.
    That's where the bad news comes in.... The GTX 680's voltage is only able to raised up to 1.21 per Hardware monitor 1.175 per software monitor. This will allow the GTX 680 to get up to speeds of about 1250Mhz or so. (very few up to 1300Mhz) Which is not a bad overclock but it is no where near the speeds we have seen the HD7970 be able to reach.
    The other bad part of this is.... these clocks are Boost clock speeds. Meaning that if you are on air and pass the Nvidia allowed thermal the clocks will automatically down clock. (Which can happen often especially since the Max fans speed is 85%) Also since these are boost clocks if you do not need the performance the cards can choose to down clock a little on their own.
    So you see when running these speeds .... you are not always running these speeds officially like you would with standard video card overclocking techniques. (Even with Power Limit turned all the way up.... it helps but it is not a full proof fix.) If Nvidia's Distributors allow a higher voltage the GTX 680 might turn out to be a better overclocker in the future but right now.... that is where it is held back.

    Now with the HD 7970 1st off want to start off saying... I had no Crossfire issues like people said. I also have a few friends who own a couple HD 7970's in Crossfire and they also have no issues either.
    Stock for stock the HD 7970 will often loose (By a small real world margin) to the GTX 680. Almost every time.
    The Drivers also hinder the card from being stronger..... Better driver support from AMD and the cards wouldn't be close.
    Overclocking the GTX 680 vs the HD 7970 up through about 1200Mhz is pretty even. But that is where the strength of the HD 7970 comes in.... after that. Anything above 1200Mhz is where the GTX 680 starts to get beaten.... why???? It can't keep up because of it's handy caps.
    You see because of the HD 7970's standard style of overclocking it keeps it's speeds steady at what ever clock you set it at. It also has the capabilities of bypassing the 1300 Mhz Mark without hardware mods. When the GTX 680 starts to run out of space @ 1220 to 1250Mhz the HD 7970 can keep going and usually about 50 to 200 Mhz past it. This is also because the ability to set the voltage higher. 1300mv

    So you see both cards have their ups and downs. In the end they do break even. If you are going for a benchmark record at your local forum and don't want to hardware mod.... I would suggest a HD 7970 because you won't get the GTX 680 to beat those scores. But if you want a card that will give you the power of an overclocked card without any fuss.... go with the GTX 680 because it will beat the HD 7970 stock for stock and even up through the 1200Mhz range.

    So you see there is no reason to even have to defend the HD 7970.... it is just as good as it's Nvidia counter part. I would even argue better in some areas if not over all.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2012
    the54thvoid and adulaamin say thanks.
  2. erocker

    erocker Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2006
    Messages:
    39,536 (13.47/day)
    Thanks Received:
    13,936
    With Uber Sampling on. If you want to use such a setting you are better off enabling super sampling in CCC.
  3. eidairaman1

    eidairaman1

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    Messages:
    12,078 (4.67/day)
    Thanks Received:
    1,376
    I think what AMD needs to do is have a different Driver specific to the 7970 since its GCN, where the 7770 and 7870 are pretty much refined versions of the 5/6 series Radeons. I mean this is the first time AMD is using a literal odd bus for the cards, where they used to use 128 or 256bit for the memory

  4. the54thvoid

    the54thvoid

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Messages:
    3,223 (1.91/day)
    Thanks Received:
    1,450
    Location:
    Glasgow - home of formal profanity
    Generational Clock Increases versus Performance

    I was up early and have been thinking about the initial huffing and puffing that neither the 7970 or the 680 are 'that much better' than the last generation. I took one of W1zz's recent reviews and broke down the fps increases from a range of games and compared the % increases to the % increase in core clocks of the 580 -->680 and the 6970-->7970.

    No other architectural changes are considered, however it does show who got the best out of a new chip and who got the best out of a fast clock.

    Basically, the 7970 gives a 42% increase on last gen with a 5% clock increase.
    Conversely, the GK104 gives a 29% increase on last gen with a massive 37% clock increase.

    I'll add nothing else except that we all know the GK104 is the 680 that was never meant to be. GK104 gave NV breathing space to work on the full fat Kepler chip because Tahiti was released with clocks that were far too conservative for the process it was released on.

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2012
    purecain says thanks.
  5. zargana

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2012
    Messages:
    49 (0.06/day)
    Thanks Received:
    5
    Welcome to red hq :p

    I would say please watch a HD video with your card you will enjoy it more.:D
  6. EarthDog

    EarthDog

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2009
    Messages:
    3,155 (1.88/day)
    Thanks Received:
    628
    The 7770 and 7870 are also GCN architecture and are completely different than the VLIW/VLIW4 architecture used in the 5/6 series cards.

    They also do have a specific driver(s) for the 7 series cards. Older ones may work but not nearly as well. Making specific drivers for specific cards is a waste in efficiency and only serves to confuse consumers anyway IMO.



    EDIT @ 20mmrain: The better driver thing is also getting a little long in the tooth. How long has the 7970 been out and how many driver versions have been released since it came out? 3, possibly more including betas. How long has the 680 been out and how many driver releases for that? 1. maybe 2 with betas. So in that light, wouldnt one think that the AMD drivers should already be in better shape? If you think drivers will improve things, which they do, then Nvidia has a ways to go as well, dont you think?
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2012
  7. diceman2037 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2012
    Messages:
    2 (0.00/day)
    Thanks Received:
    0
    this is some wrong information

    the GTX 680 has 9 (10 on some non reference designs) clock steps for the full powered 3D clocks, with the first being the 1006 as base.

    4 steps above this is 1058, which happens to be the average boost rate as quoted by nvidia

    4 more above this is the 1100 max boost rate.

    Vendors are supposed to be advertising the AVERAGE boost clock, and may add the max boost as well.

    However i have seen stores advertising the max boost clock instead of the average on some parts.
  8. robal

    robal

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2008
    Messages:
    485 (0.22/day)
    Thanks Received:
    111
    Location:
    Hampshire, UK
    OK. This thread is asking for a flameboy wars...

    My small observation:
    "On paper" the 680 seems to be a bit better, but current prices in UK for it are insane. (well.. more insane than 7970). It's not worth this money, comparing to 7970.
    It's probably because yield problems and resulting stock shortage.
  9. the54thvoid

    the54thvoid

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Messages:
    3,223 (1.91/day)
    Thanks Received:
    1,450
    Location:
    Glasgow - home of formal profanity
    It actually makes comparisons between the two cards very hard. The Kepler architecture is very nice at handling workload. It's base clock and it's offset create a very variable playing field.
    When the 7970 is clocked at 680 levels (1070 for the Lightning) the results in W1zzards test suite at 1200p are:
    Nvidia wins 5 titles with a % win (in fps) of: 7.7, 8.11, 15.17, 18.4 and 18.9 (68.28 total % pts)
    AMD wins 5 titles with a % win (in fps) of: 7.76, 21.63, 22.65, 23.43, and 26.21 (101.68 total % pts)
    There are 9 games within a 5% margin (4 to AMD with 13.09% pts) and (6 to NV with 14.32% pts)
    Across a wide gaming suite (only W1zzard does so many varied games :toast:) the 'sponsored' titles from both camps even out. The 7970 clocked into the 680's range wins overall when you look at 1200p res or above. Below 1200p you don't really need either card unless 3D gaming.

    It's unfortunate the shine was removed from AMD's product by a more efficient performer but what I find a bit irksome is that the 680 is called the king, when it's clearly not. When the 7970 wins, it wins with much higher margins than the 680.

    It's just a shame the 'real' Kepler has been held back, presumably for the 7xx series. So many rumours abound but it seems quite likely it wasn't quite 'there'. So although I've just basically said the 7970 is better than the 680, it's an uneven fight.
    The 7950 is the 680's spiritual combatant, if not the 7870.

    GF100 made the 480, 470 and 465. GF 104 made the mainstream models.
    GF110 made the 580, 570 and 560. GF 114 made the mainstream models.
    GK100 is missing.......................... GK 104 is out of line with schedule.

    I'm quite sure the GK100 if released would have made AMD cry. I really don't see how AMD will counter the real deal if it does get here.
  10. diceman2037 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2012
    Messages:
    2 (0.00/day)
    Thanks Received:
    0
    In everything i play, the 680 will be the better performer, because lets face it, AMD just can't keep skyrim working on the 7900 cards from driver to driver.
  11. the54thvoid

    the54thvoid

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Messages:
    3,223 (1.91/day)
    Thanks Received:
    1,450
    Location:
    Glasgow - home of formal profanity
    Played Skyrim on my old GTX 580. Completed it twice (161 hours of gameplay) so I'll not be playing it anytime soon. But, that said, I had texture corruptions (thankfully rarely) and frequent frame rate drops to unplayable levels. Drivers can be sucky for both.
  12. Zubasa

    Zubasa

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2006
    Messages:
    3,980 (1.39/day)
    Thanks Received:
    457
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    I still don't get whats the point in this thread...:rolleyes:
    Why does the 7970 even need defending? It is selling quite well for a top end card.
  13. eidairaman1

    eidairaman1

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    Messages:
    12,078 (4.67/day)
    Thanks Received:
    1,376
    true. perhaps this thread has gone far enough and needs to be shut down because i dont think the op is posting anymore
  14. erocker

    erocker Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2006
    Messages:
    39,536 (13.47/day)
    Thanks Received:
    13,936
    We don't just shut down threads. Title changed.

    Skyrim has worked fine for me with every driver. Well.. not at first, but it wasn't a driver issue it was an issue with the game. They patched it and I'm pegged at a constant 60fps. Saying the 680 is a better performer is obvious, isn't it?
    eidairaman1 says thanks.
  15. the54thvoid

    the54thvoid

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Messages:
    3,223 (1.91/day)
    Thanks Received:
    1,450
    Location:
    Glasgow - home of formal profanity
    lol, I posted two posts before you :laugh:

    The thread is here to remind people that the 7970 is a damn good card against the onslaught of 680 mania. That's why I post figures from a performance perspective.

    Also, thanks to erocker for the thread title change, it's more sensible now.
  16. eidairaman1

    eidairaman1

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    Messages:
    12,078 (4.67/day)
    Thanks Received:
    1,376
    Makes more sense now heh, but ya Im wondering if drivers are limiting the the card because of the 384bit memory bus it uses and the drivers are soley for the 256bit bus parts because in a sense 384 isnt as even as 128-256. I think they should release a driver for the 7800 and below and then a specific driver for the 7900 series that are in 2 separate packages per se.
  17. crazyeyesreaper

    crazyeyesreaper Chief Broken Rig

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Messages:
    8,131 (4.16/day)
    Thanks Received:
    2,745
    Location:
    04578
    im gonna say 7970 is still ROP limited

    7770:
    640 Shaders
    128 Bit Bus
    16 ROPs
    40 TMUs

    7870:
    1280 Shaders
    256 Bit Bus
    32 ROPs
    80 TMUs

    7970:
    2048 Shaders
    384 bit bus
    32 ROPs
    128 TMUs

    if the 7970 was to follow the previous 2 gpus specs in terms of increase it should have been
    what the 7970 probably should have been:
    7970:
    1920 Shaders
    384 Bit Bus
    48 ROPs
    120 TMUs

    the above which would have made sense didnt happen thus i have the feeling the 7970 got rushed out the gate to get a high end GPU out the door and claim victory, the 7870 was going to be the sweet spot anyway and if we look at its performance especially when overclocked it kinda proves that point,

    That said the 7970 is a good card i love mine, but its just not a well balanced GPU
  18. eidairaman1

    eidairaman1

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    Messages:
    12,078 (4.67/day)
    Thanks Received:
    1,376
    IF Amd Refreshes the Line Up and Releases a 7980/7975 and 7955/7960 they may very well increase the ROP and TMU count or double it for that matter.

    Ya I was thinking of a 7770 or 7870 for my Machine.

    Its Just Quite amazing that the 9700 Pro which literally caught NV off guard is still capable of running Windows Vista/7 Desktop easily and even run video off of youtube nowadays perfectly
  19. 20mmrain

    20mmrain

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2009
    Messages:
    2,768 (1.57/day)
    Thanks Received:
    825
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    1124Mhz is not the max Boost.... that is not how I meant it to come out. What I meant to translate and I did not do it very well.... is that the Boost clock on the reference GTX 680 is listed to be 1058. But that is not the top Boost clock for all reference cards. If the card can handle it the GTX 680 will continue to boost it's self by around 13Mhz. Mine has run all the way up to 1124Mhz while at default speeds.
    So this is what I was trying to relay.... it does overclock it's self out of the box. I have noticed this happening on cards I have tested at work. Also I have noticed on some friends cards. At the same time though.... I have also noticed some reference cards not to go any higher then 1058.

    So what I said is not wrong! If stores are deciding not to list the correct clocks.... that is there problem.

    As far as everything else I comparing the GTX 680 to the HD 7970....it is all correct too. I have owned both sets of cards.

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guest)

Share This Page