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Thread: 680 or 7970?

  1. #1
    Joined
    Feb 2013
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    5

    680 or 7970?

    Well, I was dead set on NVidia GeForce 680 (or possibly the 670 FTW edition, however I think I can fork over another $50 for the more recent card). However, after the great Crysis stream last night I'm torn now between the 7970 or the 680.

    I mostly do MMORPG's & Skyrim...but I wouldn't mind playing some more recent games at Max settings. I've never had the luxury of doing that, as my computer has never been able to handle Max settings. I've had to settle for mid to mid-high settings in games, but I built a computer last week that I think can handle it. (i7 3820) I really want to see the games the way they were meant to be seen.

    During the broadcast, Robert (AMD) said that the 7970 is a much faster card, but when I Google benchmarks they all seem to favor the 680. I am still new to PC hardware building/troubleshooting. What's the most trusted benchmark out there, and why are the numbers always so different on every site?

    Also, which company that manufactures the AMD cards is good? I'm pretty happy with EVGA's NVidia cards, as I currently have a 9800 GT (I know, pretty old...time to upgrade)...but I'm not sure on the AMD Product Line.

    What card should I get?

  2. #2
    Joined
    Sep 2002
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    5,278

    Re: 680 or 7970?

    Go either way, you'll be happy either way. Both are extremely good, high-end cards with their (actually quite minor) pros and cons
    and in the end are quite evenly matched. Most of the reviews around the net are already old and outdated due to performance improvements in both cards drivers.

  3. #3
    Joined
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    10,734

    Re: 680 or 7970?

    With the most recent driver updates, the 7970 and the 680 are pretty evenly matched. http://www.anandtech.com/show/6393/a...211-new-bundle. Between the two its really quite a toss-up. I wouldn't say the 7970 is a "much faster card", that sounds like standard marketing hyperbole. The truth is that they trade blows. I'm pretty happy with my 7970 and I personally think it offers a good value right now, better than the 680 from a cost standpoint. Coming from nvidia, I have no complaints about the drivers, which is something the more die-hard nvidia users like to say is a problem

    The reason the numbers favor the 680 is (as Pehu said), most of those are GTX 680 launch articles with older drivers. The other thing is that many sites have different benchmarking protocols and systems that can cause the values to shift quite a bit.


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  4. #4
    Joined
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    421

    Re: 680 or 7970?

    I went with a pair of 2GB 7850's for my system, and I came from a pair of 2 generation old GTX 460's. One of the things that prompted me to come back to ATI, was that the latest drivers for the GTX 460's caused the MMO Forsaken World to crash quite often.

    I would say either card, just make sure you use the latest drivers for either card. I have noticed when ever there is a review, the sites might not be using the latest driver available at the time and depending on the testing methodology the numbers can be skewed in favor of a particular card. I've seen this quite often over the past few years.

  5. #5
    Joined
    Feb 2013
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    5

    Re: 680 or 7970?

    Thank you guys so much. Based on that, I guess I don't have to worry about making a bad decision.

  6. #6
    Joined
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    367

    Re: 680 or 7970?

    Yeah, both cards are good. I like that the HD 7970 has 3GB of memory and that the non-GHz edition can be easily overclocked to that level (and you save around $50). You get PhysX support with the NVIDIA card. Both have issues with their drivers, but they are pretty limited in terms of causing real world issues. I guess you just need to really take a look at what you play and if you could use such features like PhysX support or a larger framebuffer for higher resolutions.
    PCPer writer and podcaster
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  7. #7
    Joined
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    453

    Re: 680 or 7970?

    I have 7970CF and GTX680 SLi.

    For single cards, I'd say it's pretty much a toss-up on performance with NVIDIA having the edge on features. (PhysX, 3d Vision, Adaptive vsynch)

    As you mention the Skyrim texture pack, a 4GB 680 can be had at newegg for $514, but a 6GB 7970 is $599 and comes with Crysis 3 and Bioshock Infinite. Skyrim texture pack uses a lot of memoryso the 6GB could be an advantage depending on your resolution. For anything else my guess is you won't exceed 4GB at usable settings on your monitor.

    Between CrossfireX and SLi, SLi is much better should you ever want to add a second card.

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