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Looks like I may be going Red.

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#1
OK.....so , I got the last parts I needed today from newegg to finish my first ever build. Haven't been able to game in years , as I'm still playing around on an old AMD 4000+ , GTX260 ( was a 7800GTX ) , 2GB ram and ol' Windows XP. My new system is all brand new from the ground up and I started gathering parts for it about 6 months ago. I'm down to just the video card.....then she should be up and running.

Probably a couple weeks out before I'll be able to get a new card , and it's definitely going to be a 7970. I'm looking at a couple of the upper end 3GB and 6GB cards.

Question : I'm buying one for now , but sometime later this winter I'll be picking up another one ( even though it's overkill )....so I can CFX two of the exact same cards together. Should I get the 3GB version card or should I say Screw it and go for the 6GB card?

Now that i think about it....I may just get the 6GB card and be done with it. By the time I want to CFX these things....something new will be right around the corner I would want anyways....I think?

These are the two I was looking at getting.

SAPPHIRE Vapor-X 100351-6GVXSR Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 6GB 384-bit
SAPPHIRE Vapor-X 100351-6GVXSR Radeon HD 7970 GHz ...

XFX Double D FX797GTDFC Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB 384-bit
XFX Double D FX797GTDFC Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition...
 

[Ion]

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#2
The 6GB Sapphire would set you back a full $150 more than the 3GB XFX. I just can't see that as possibly a logical choice. 3GB is still a ton of VRAM for basically any resolution (I assume you have a 1080p or 1440p display)...hell, even the pair of GTX470s (1.25GB) in my main rig will blow basically anything out of the water.
 
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#3
I was using a 4200+ with a Radeon 4870 for the longest time and people were telling me I was bottlenecking my card quite a bit, so no doubt you were bottlenecking yours quite a bit as the two are comparable.
 

manofthem

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#4
Good idea on the 7970 and I'd say 3gb is plenty. Running 2560.1440 now and I've just barely touched 2gb. Go for the 3gb and save some money :roll:
 

Phusius

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#5
Yeah, I agree with ManofThem, just get a 7970 Ghz edition 3GB vram if you do not plan to OC it yourself. If you do plan to get OC get a cheaper regular 7970 3Gb.

Welcome to the red team, Nvidia fanboys need not apply. :)
 
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#6
Hey guys.....seems you swayed me away from the 6GB cards for sure. I've always dug the Sapphire cards and what I've read about them. So maybe I'll be looking at getting something like this....


SAPPHIRE Vapor-X 100351VXSR Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB 384-bit
SAPPHIRE Vapor-X 100351VXSR Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edi...


Ion : I was wanting something in the newer tech for sure. I didn't want to go back and pick something up like a couple 470's because I would already be at my 2 card limit of what I wanted to do. Besides.....them 4xx Nvidia cards are power hungry and run warm. I love Nvidia....but this time around I'm going AMD.

Reason why....was I read this morning about the new "AMD Catalyst 12.11 Performance Analysis" report......and them giving you 3 new free games and a 4th at 20% off....and you can sell them as well. It's $170.00 worth of games a person could sell if they wanted to. So that knocks a $470.00 card down to $300.00 if a person wanted to do it.....to me that is just to good of a deal to pass up.

Hence the reason why I would want to pick up a second 7970 before the end of the year......it would set me up in graphics power for a good couple years i think.
 

[Ion]

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#7
Hey guys.....seems you swayed me away from the 6GB cards for sure. I've always dug the Sapphire cards and what I've read about them. So maybe I'll be looking at getting something like this....


SAPPHIRE Vapor-X 100351VXSR Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB 384-bit
SAPPHIRE Vapor-X 100351VXSR Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edi...


Ion : I was wanting something in the newer tech for sure. I didn't want to go back and pick something up like a couple 470's because I would already be at my 2 card limit of what I wanted to do. Besides.....them 4xx Nvidia cards are power hungry and run warm. I love Nvidia....but this time around I'm going AMD.

Reason why....was I read this morning about the new "AMD Catalyst 12.11 Performance Analysis" report......and them giving you 3 new free games and a 4th at 20% off....and you can sell them as well. It's $170.00 worth of games a person could sell if they wanted to. So that knocks a $470.00 card down to $300.00 if a person wanted to do it.....to me that is just to good of a deal to pass up.

Hence the reason why I would want to pick up a second 7970 before the end of the year......it would set me up in graphics power for a good couple years i think.
Oh, I'm absolutely not encouraging you to get a GTX4xx card. Given what exists now, that would be lunacy. I was just using them as an example to point out that even 3GB of VRAM was more than enough ;)

The Sapphire Vapor-X cards are very solid--I think you'd be happy with that for a long time to come :toast:
 
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#8
To save you some time, here's some quick things to think about.

-2560x1600 or lower resolution, 3Gb VRAM isn't necessary.
-If you want to game in Windowed mode, and plan to get another card later, then use Nvidia (Crossfire doesn't work in windowed mode).
-Special custom color profiles or settings for your monitor do not take affect in fullscreen. They do work in windowed, though as above, only SLI works in windowed.


This is why I went with the GTX680 this time around.
I wanted to get a single card solution for a while ( had 6970 crossfire previously, was concerned about heat, noise, future proof, etc.) - glad I did.
I knew I'd go multi card again in the future, and I really enjoy my color profiles and windowed mode for ease of access - which will require Nvidia.
 
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#9
I've always dug the Sapphire cards and what I've read about them. So maybe I'll be looking at getting something like this....


SAPPHIRE Vapor-X 100351VXSR Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB 384-bit
SAPPHIRE Vapor-X 100351VXSR Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edi...

Reason why....was I read this morning about the new "AMD Catalyst 12.11 Performance Analysis" report......and them giving you 3 new free games and a 4th at 20% off....and you can sell them as well. It's $170.00 worth of games a person could sell if they wanted to. So that knocks a $470.00 card down to $300.00 if a person wanted to do it.....to me that is just to good of a deal to pass up.

Hence the reason why I would want to pick up a second 7970 before the end of the year......it would set me up in graphics power for a good couple years i think.
Good decision. The game bundle is just awesome. Also what is your monitor resolution. For 1080p a single HD 7970 or HD 7950 is enough.

You should consider getting a HD 7950. unbeatable price perf. 270 bucks after mail in rebate. clock for clock HD 7950 is 3 - 5% slower than HD 7970. HD 7950 (1.1 Ghz) matches HD 7970 Ghz (1.05 Ghz)

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Sapphire/HD_7950_Vapor-X/31.html

SAPPHIRE 100352-2L Radeon HD 7950 3GB 384-bit GDDR...

If you want HD 7970 go for the Sapphire HD 7970 OC . excellent dual x cooler. you can easily hit 1.2 Ghz with voltage overclocking

SAPPHIRE 100351SR Radeon HD 7970 3GB 384-bit GDDR5...
 
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#10
Thanks for the input guys.

As far as gaming "out of Windows".....how does one do that? I've always just had an icon placed on my desk....I push it.....then play the game. Isn't that gaming in windows?

I wanted to take advantage of the deal AMD has going. I love the Nvidia cards , but right now with this bundle I don't think you can beat the AMD cards.

Weather it's a 7950 or 7970.....sooner or later they will be on water , so my quest searching for a card just got a little narrower. Which means I guess I need to stick with a "Reference design" card. I will be gaming in 1920 X 1080....it's what my Asus 27" monitor supports.

I know two cards is overkill for now.....I just wanted to make sure they were both the exact same card.....so later down the road I have a better chance of selling them as a set.

I really wanted one of the Sapphire card's , but since then I found out they were non-reference....and I wouldn't be able to get any water blocks for them. I "think" this XFX may be reference , but I'm not sure as of yet. >>> XFX Double D FX797GTDFC Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition...

If I go the AMD route .....I definitely want the Ghz Edition cards IF they are reference.....which I don't know if they are? and IF i am going to stick with a single card it still needs to be reference for the idea of putting it on water later.

Do any of you guys know if the XFX above is a reference card? I''ll also be looking into the 7950 cards as well....as a CFX set of those may be a good idea as well.

Edit : as far as 7950's go.....how does this one look...and is it reference? >>> XFX Double D FX-795A-TDJC Radeon HD 7950 3GB 384-b...
 
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#11
The 6GB Sapphire would set you back a full $150 more than the 3GB XFX. I just can't see that as possibly a logical choice. 3GB is still a ton of VRAM for basically any resolution (I assume you have a 1080p or 1440p display)...hell, even the pair of GTX470s (1.25GB) in my main rig will blow basically anything out of the water.
I wasn't aware that resolution was a VRAM issue. I figured VRAM had more to do with texture sizes, and other objects loaded into the memory.
 

[Ion]

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#12
I wasn't aware that resolution was a VRAM issue. I figured VRAM had more to do with texture sizes, and other objects loaded into the memory.
Texture sizes and objects certainly do have a tangible impact. However, if you have a 2560x1600 display, that's 4.096 million pixels of information that has to be stored. If your display is 1920x1080 that's 2.07 million. Or if you have a shitty laptop display, 1366x768, then there are 1.0498 million pixels. Consequently, the higher resolution, the more "stuff" the graphics card has to be able to store. This is why the 768MB GTX460 is fine for lower resolutions, but changing nothing else other than upping the resolution to 1080p works better on the 1GB card (or 512mb vs 1GB on the HD4870).
 

manofthem

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#13
Thanks for the input guys.

As far as gaming "out of Windows".....how does one do that? I've always just had an icon placed on my desk....I push it.....then play the game. Isn't that gaming in windows?

I wanted to take advantage of the deal AMD has going. I love the Nvidia cards , but right now with this bundle I don't think you can beat the AMD cards.

Weather it's a 7950 or 7970.....sooner or later they will be on water , so my quest searching for a card just got a little narrower. Which means I guess I need to stick with a "Reference design" card. I will be gaming in 1920 X 1080....it's what my Asus 27" monitor supports.

I know two cards is overkill for now.....I just wanted to make sure they were both the exact same card.....so later down the road I have a better chance of selling them as a set.

I really wanted one of the Sapphire card's , but since then I found out they were non-reference....and I wouldn't be able to get any water blocks for them. I "think" this XFX may be reference , but I'm not sure as of yet. >>> XFX Double D FX797GTDFC Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition...

If I go the AMD route .....I definitely want the Ghz Edition cards IF they are reference.....which I don't know if they are? and IF i am going to stick with a single card it still needs to be reference for the idea of putting it on water later.

Do any of you guys know if the XFX above is a reference card? I''ll also be looking into the 7950 cards as well....as a CFX set of those may be a good idea as well.

Edit : as far as 7950's go.....how does this one look...and is it reference? >>> XFX Double D FX-795A-TDJC Radeon HD 7950 3GB 384-b...
If youre comfortable with overclocking, I'd say there's not much difference in going with the ghz edition since the reference 7970 will overclock well. I'm running 2 7970s which are reference and watercooled, and they run very well, used to play at 1920.1080 but now at 2560.1440, no complaints. If you can find a cheap used reference, that would be a great choice too.

And with the crossfire and window mode thing, if you're running a game in windowed mode (not full screen), crossfire doesn't work. Normally you always play full screen so it shouldn't affect you much. I'm not sure why you would want to do that anyway, maybe for some special purpose or other.
 
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#14
Thanks for the input guys.

Weather it's a 7950 or 7970.....sooner or later they will be on water , so my quest searching for a card just got a little narrower. Which means I guess I need to stick with a "Reference design" card. I will be gaming in 1920 X 1080....it's what my Asus 27" monitor supports.

I know two cards is overkill for now.....I just wanted to make sure they were both the exact same card.....so later down the road I have a better chance of selling them as a set.

If I go the AMD route .....I definitely want the Ghz Edition cards IF they are reference.....which I don't know if they are? and IF i am going to stick with a single card it still needs to be reference for the idea of putting it on water later.
For 1080p monitor going HD 7950 CF is a waste of money. HD 7950 with overclocking will max almost every game out there and run at 60+ fps.

http://www.hardocp.com/article/2012/08/23/galaxy_gtx_660_ti_gc_oc_vs_670_hd_7950/3

the above review is without 12.11 beta drivers. with the 12.11b drivers the performance has improved even more.
 
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#15
If youre comfortable with overclocking, I'd say there's not much difference in going with the ghz edition since the reference 7970 will overclock well. I'm running 2 7970s which are reference and watercooled, and they run very well, used to play at 1920.1080 but now at 2560.1440, no complaints. If you can find a cheap used reference, that would be a great choice too.

And with the crossfire and window mode thing, if you're running a game in windowed mode (not full screen), crossfire doesn't work. Normally you always play full screen so it shouldn't affect you much. I'm not sure why you would want to do that anyway, maybe for some special purpose or other.

Well....Overclocking is definitely something I want to learn and i am planning on doing it with whatever card(s) I plan on getting.

Since I'm a little ( not a little...a lot! ) out of the loop on pretty much everything when it comes to computers......with the AMD cards , do the "Ghz Edition " cards OC better than the reference cards......or are the Ghz cards just pre-overclocked reference cards from the factory? Is the hardware the same?

I may just decide to get one 7970 and put a water block on that if they are performing that well. I will be playing everything at the regular 1920 X 1080 ( for now )......but I think I may end up picking up a couple extra monitors and take advantage of the eyefinity stuff. That was another reason why I was thinking of getting two cards. Just looking to the future a little bit with this build.
 
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#16
If your planning on several monitors, then amd is a great choice, i reckon 384 bus and 3 gb mem don't hurt at all, keeps it kinda future proof sorta.
 

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#17
Well....Overclocking is definitely something I want to learn and i am planning on doing it with whatever card(s) I plan on getting.

Since I'm a little ( not a little...a lot! ) out of the loop on pretty much everything when it comes to computers......with the AMD cards , do the "Ghz Edition " cards OC better than the reference cards......or are the Ghz cards just pre-overclocked reference cards from the factory? Is the hardware the same?

I may just decide to get one 7970 and put a water block on that if they are performing that well. I will be playing everything at the regular 1920 X 1080 ( for now )......but I think I may end up picking up a couple extra monitors and take advantage of the eyefinity stuff. That was another reason why I was thinking of getting two cards. Just looking to the future a little bit with this build.
The following is taken from leditreviews:
At first glance the AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition (XT2) video card looks identical to the Radeon HD 7970 (XT1), but fear not it is pretty much the same card. AMD has basically just tweaked what is under the hood a bit and is releasing a new card. Most of the changes have been done in the vBIOS, but there are also a few minor component changes as well. AMD did not want to discuss what component changes were done, but assured us 100% that there were physical changes done and not just all software changes.
So there may have been some physical changes, but even W1zz says it doesn't look any different, even the pcb.

Since I haven't seen any 7970 NOT overclock to the GHz clocks and beyond, I'd say it's not really that big of a deal. However, it does come factory overclocked so you don't have to mention that. My cards overclock to 1100 core without voltage adjustment, so I'd say they're fine.

I would suggest a 7970 and watercool it, since that's what many of us have here, and it's been great thus far! It'll be perfect for 1920x1080 :p
 
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Phusius

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#18
Join the red team and you will be rewarded with immortality. Here is what my $269.99 after rebates got me.

Just did some benches, 1200 core, 1400 mem, 1.218v

http://www.3dmark.com/3dm11/4748579

100% stable didnt break 67 celsius.

lmao. :love: amd.
 
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#19
The following is taken from leditreviews:

So there may have been some physical changes, but even W1zz says it doesn't look any different, even the pcb.

Since I haven't seen any 7970 overclock to the GHz clocks and beyond, I'd say it's not really that big of a deal. However, it does come factory overclocked so you don't have to mention that. My cards overclock to 1100 core without voltage adjustment, so I'd say they're fine.

I would suggest a 7970 and watercool it, since that's what many of us have here, and it's been great thus far! It'll be perfect for 1920x1080 :p
Thanks for all your input man....it's really appreciated. I think I may just take your advice and get a good 7970 and water cool it when the time comes. I think it will do me just fine for a while , and when the time comes when I need more graphics power.....i'll just pick up another 7970 or get whatever new generation card is out.

Do you have any preference on what brands I should be looking at?


Phusius.....Thanks for the info man...and great score! I think? Since I haven't bench tested anything in years....I'm not sure how good that really is.
 

Phusius

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#20
Thanks for all your input man....it's really appreciated. I think I may just take your advice and get a good 7970 and water cool it when the time comes. I think it will do me just fine for a while , and when the time comes when I need more graphics power.....i'll just pick up another 7970 or get whatever new generation card is out.

Do you have any preference on what brands I should be looking at?


Phusius.....Thanks for the info man...and great score! I think? Since I haven't bench tested anything in years....I'm not sure how good that really is.
Only 56 other people have scored that high with a 7950... so yes, its very good. ;)
 

manofthem

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#21
Thanks for all your input man....it's really appreciated. I think I may just take your advice and get a good 7970 and water cool it when the time comes. I think it will do me just fine for a while , and when the time comes when I need more graphics power.....i'll just pick up another 7970 or get whatever new generation card is out.

Do you have any preference on what brands I should be looking at?


Phusius.....Thanks for the info man...and great score! I think? Since I haven't bench tested anything in years....I'm not sure how good that really is.
I did edit my post with bold, i meant to say that I had not seen a 7970 unable to overclock to the ghz clocks and beyond, meaning that they all do. I sort of goofed that up, sorry.

I have ASUS and Sapphire, and they both work fine. Just ran a 3DMark 11 of P16166. I had to RMA my Sapphire once, and they replaced it in no time, new card returned to me in like 11-12 calender days, wihoo :D

I've had several in the past: XFX, Gigabyte, Sapphire, ASUS - no real issues. Some say to stay away from Visiontek and Diamond, possibly for customer service reason, but as I've never had them, I can't comment on them.

I'd say go for wherever the deal is! All reference cards are basically the same anyway, shop for the best deal!

Only 56 other people have scored that high with a 7950... so yes, its very good. ;)
All Hail Phusius, he is our master!!! :respect: :respect: :respect:
:p
 
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#23
Thanks for the input guys.

As far as gaming "out of Windows".....how does one do that? I've always just had an icon placed on my desk....I push it.....then play the game. Isn't that gaming in windows?
Are you referring to full screen vs windowed? If so, I am speaking about what's called windowed mode. In most games the graphics options allow you to use full screen, full screen window, or windowed mode. Windowed mode makes the program drag-able (like say your Explorer window). It also means that you can move the mouse cursor outside of the window to do things simultaneously in the background, like browse the internet.

Have you ever accidentally hit ALT+ENTER on the keyboard and your game does a resizing? You just put it into windowed mode. Some programs allow the ALT+ENTER as a shortcut to windowed mode.
When in full screen, you have to ALT+TAB to get back to the desktop, and often that can crash or degrade the programs performance(shouldn't, but it does). So windowed mode is a better alternative and as I said before, it means you keep your color profiling. Unfortunately Crossfire doesn't work in window mode, so you lose one card's performance entirely.


I wanted to take advantage of the deal AMD has going. I love the Nvidia cards , but right now with this bundle I don't think you can beat the AMD cards.
I do not see the 'bundle' you are referring to(if you're talking about a games bundle, don't make me laugh!!)?
What is it that makes you think the AMD cards cannot be beat?

Weather it's a 7950 or 7970.....sooner or later they will be on water , so my quest searching for a card just got a little narrower. Which means I guess I need to stick with a "Reference design" card. I will be gaming in 1920 X 1080....it's what my Asus 27" monitor supports.
I always advise reference cards, yet why does that matter in relation to liquid cooling - you mean you don't need to spend the extra money on upgraded fan versions?

I know two cards is overkill for now.....I just wanted to make sure they were both the exact same card.....so later down the road I have a better chance of selling them as a set.
In some cases one 7970 is overkill let alone two.
They don't need to be the same exact cards to Crossfire, and historically cards sell better as singles, not as a set.

Do any of you guys know if the XFX above is a reference card? I''ll also be looking into the 7950 cards as well....as a CFX set of those may be a good idea as well.
In your case, 1x 7970 > 2x 7950.

Let's look at some average pricing :

7970 $400
7950 $289
waterblock $100 (blocks for each model are the same in cost)

Without any liquid cooling, a 7970 saves you almost $200
With the liquid cooling, a 7970 saves you almost $300


I'm strongly suggesting that you go with a GTX 670, leave it on air and consider your options come next year.
You may find you do not need another card and/or an upgrade to cooling.

GIGABYTE GV-N670OC-2GD GeForce GTX 670 2GB 256-bit...
Nice cooler, good board. $359

If you absolutely must go with AMD, and you don't care about windowed mode or color profiles, then get a 7970.
 
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qubit

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#24
@Clubber_Lang

I'm curious why you're dead set on going AMD for your graphics card and not even considering nvidia? Is it a particular feature that you want, such as EyeFinity, perhaps?

For the record before anyone misunderstands my question, I do have an nvidia card and prefer nvidia to AMD for various reasons, but I'm not trying to start a flame war - I simply want to know. :toast:
 
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#25
@Clubber_Lang

I'm curious why you're dead set on going AMD for your graphics card and not even considering nvidia? Is it a particular feature that you want, such as EyeFinity, perhaps?

For the record before anyone misunderstands my question, I do have an nvidia card and prefer nvidia to AMD for various reasons, but I'm not trying to start a flame war - I simply want to know. :toast:
The fact you dropped a disclaimer in there makes you look guilty. Don't ever be a witness in a court trial.

From what we can tell he's using one monitor at 1080p. What's even more curious is that he currently( I assume by the thread title ) already has Nvidia...