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New Build - Working on GPU

bLiZzGuY

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#1
I've decided now is a good time to put a new PC build together and am looking for some input on the video card. I don't have much purchased yet, but this is what I'm looking at so far:

GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UD5H
Intel Core i5-3570K
Antec HCG-750 PSU
Mushkin Enhanced Redline 8GB DDR3

Mostly what I am playing right now is Guild Wars 2 (would like to play on full ultra settings). Would also like a little headroom since I don't really plan on upgrading for couple of years.

Been looking at these two cards:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814202006

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150596

And then there is the 660 Ti... can't seem to make a decision here! I don't want to go much higher than the $300 price range, but will get a lower end card if I don't need it.

Thanks!
 

RCoon

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#2
I am hugely biased towards XFX DD's, and a 7970 is as good as it gets amd-wise. I'd totally roll with that. If you want to save your money (for merely playing GW2 on ultra) then the sapphire is perfectly capable, but as you said, 7970 for the headroom!
 

bLiZzGuY

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#3
Yeah I'm kind of leaning that way, especially with the current price at $330 with rebate isn't much more than the Saphire at $290-$300 with shipping.

Am I going to see much of a difference in performance compared to the other XFX 7970 cards I am seeing around the $450-$500 price point? Just curious about the huge cost difference.
 

RCoon

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#4
Also take note of the 3 free games you recieve with the amd cards, which you could sell and make a substantial amount of money back, (i got 16 games free with my two cards, almost paid for them both).
If you're looking at keeping base clocks and dont want to overclock the card, look at the cards with higher premiums as they come factory clocked higher, but if you want to go for the cheaper card, roll with a Double D or similarly the gigabyte windforce x3 and cards like asus dc2 for the epic cooling, and you can overclock those puppies above 1ghz with ease. In the end you're paying for the different names and coolers and factory overclocks, the cards are essentially identical in terms of graphics chip, same amount of processors, all have 3gb of memory which is ideal for 1080p, though sapphire have their 6gb for multi monitors.
 

bLiZzGuY

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#5
I probably wouldn't overclock now since it isn't needed, but definitely down the road! Sounds like the extra $$ for factory OC wouldn't really benefit me then anyway.
 

RCoon

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#6
the xfx has a decent factory overclock, and the gigabyte has a factory clock of 1ghz, depends on whether you feel you can justify spending $40 on something you could do yourself. I usually recommend the cheaper card with capable cooling and then clocking yourself, not to mention the noise cards can make once clocked :D i know from first hand a windforce x3 can get noisy if you ever have a custom profile running at 100% near higher temperatures due to clocks. I know the Asus DC2 however offers extremely quiet cooling, at a much much higher price.
For GW2 on ultra, that Double D 7970 will handle everything at it's current clocks. Fine tweaking and fan profiles is not difficult with the help of Trixx, its a very reasonable price.
I would also ask around TPU, there's always somebody selling something :)
 
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#7
7950, don't look back.
 
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#8
Get a Nvidea 670GTX
 
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#10
I'd choose between the 7970 and the GTX670 here:

GIGABYTE GV-N670OC-2GD GeForce GTX 670 2GB 256-bit...

Same price, out of the box the 670 is faster. Depending on what games do you like both have bundled games, Nvidia has Borderlands 2 and AC III while AMD has Far Cry 3 and Hitman plus Sleeping Dogs and 20% off MOH Warfighter. The 7970 offers better performance increase with high overclock.
 

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#12
I'd choose between the 7970 and the GTX670 here:

GIGABYTE GV-N670OC-2GD GeForce GTX 670 2GB 256-bit...

Same price, out of the box the 670 is faster. Depending on what games do you like both have bundled games, Nvidia has Borderlands 2 and AC III while AMD has Far Cry 3 and Hitman plus Sleeping Dogs and 20% off MOH Warfighter. The 7970 offers better performance increase with high overclock.
With the latest drivers the 7970 beats the GTX670 and with overclocking or even just a ghz edition card.

 
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#13
With the latest drivers the 7970 beats the GTX670 and with overclocking or even just a ghz edition card.

http://tpucdn.com/reviews/AMD/Catalyst_12.11_Performance/images/perfrel.gif
Nvidia has some beta drivers out since Cat 12.11 so we don't know how things are right now.
But regardless it's OP's choice, that Gigabyte I suggested is overclocked out of the box so it is faster than a standard 7970 but of course that XFX has a better overclocking room (as I mentioned) than the 670 (both have the same price listed on newegg). Apart from possible comparisons regarding power consumption and specific features (if OP is interested in this) decision should take into consideration also the bundled games.
 
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#15
Those are the same two cards I've been looking at recently, and I too am most tempted by that $330 XFX 7970.

I was able to find one particular site review by Kitguru on the original 925MHz XFX 7970, which gave it very high scores. I say original because they tweaked the design slightly to include a second DVI port. Everything else is the same. http://www.kitguru.net/components/g...7970-double-dissipation-graphics-card-review/

What worries me is the Kitguru review is the only one showing a 1200MHz core OC result, or anywhere near it for that matter. So I tend to wonder if the GPU binning itself was better on that card since it was probably specially selected by XFX from a first run batch to be sent out as a review sample. Then again, that was before the latest driver tweaks from AMD too.

Temp wise I see quite a range of reports from 50c to 77c load. Hard to say whether that's mostly differences in cases used, or again, differences in GPU binning. I called XFX today to ask them about rare compat problems, like that which I had with the MSI 660 Ti PE OC not detecting my Panny TV as HDCP capable, even though it in fact is, and the HD Audio device not showing as plugged in. I basically wanted to know if they'd work with me or say it's just my bad luck.

All he said was they can't compat test everything and it probably wouldn't be considered their fault, even though he acknowledged a TV that IS HDCP capable should be detected as such by the GPU. Then again, when I asked him if the HIS audio enabling DVI to HDMI adapter would work with this card as a backup in case I have any problem with HDMI, he said he was getting audio over DVI via a mere DVI cable he was using between his GPU and monitor. Then I found out he was actually using headphones via an analog audio port. DOH, huge tech noob error there.

So at this point I can't say I'm too confident in XFX's tech knowledge or general support, but at least Newegg seems to consistently maintain that such problems are allowable under their full refund policy. From what I've read, about 1135MHz core and 70c load is pretty much what to expect on this 925MHz XCFX 7970, which isn't bad for $330, but again, I'm more worried about whether digital audio and HDCP detection will work.

The XFX tech did agree with me that the fact that the MSI card has a custom voltage unlocked BIOS may have very well contributed to the TV compat problem, but while he did offer some reassurance that their cards not being BIOS tweaked might be less likely to exhibit such problems, he left me feeling like I would be abandoned support wise were I to have such problems with their product.
 
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#16
I too agree with the XFX DD. Also I had a really great experince with xfx's tech support on a 5770 I had. They are #1 in my book.