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View Poll Results: Best option for 1080P with a FX-8120
GTX 670 5 12.50%
GTX 660 Ti 7 17.50%
HD 7870 6 15.00%
HD 7950 22 55.00%
HD 6870 Crossfire 0 0%
Voters: 40. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-29-2012, 11:38 PM   #1
MentalIlness
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Default Next month GPU upgrade. Thoughts and opinions welcome

So it is about that time again when I decide to upgrade. Usually January time because of tax season. Money is usually spoken for the rest of the year.

Anyway, Right now I am running a HD 6870. I bought this card on Feb 3rd 2011 and it has been flawless ever since.

The upgrade will be going in the AMD 8120 rig below.

I game at 1920x1080p on a 40" Sharp Aquos.

I play "ALL" the newer games. The only type of games I do not play are MMO's and games like GTA. Shooters, RPG's, Strategy and so forth, I play and currently have a huge backlog on Steam.

Anyway, after a few days of researching, I am confused more than ever what to upgrade to. Here is what I have been looking at and considering thus far.

1- Adding another HD 6870 for Crossfire.
2- Getting a HD 7870. Can be almost as fast as a stock HD 7950 when oc'd.
3- Getting a HD 7950. Best price/performance ?
4- Getting a GTX 670. Would be EVGA / ASUS only.
5- Getting a GTX 660 Ti. Once oc'd, about runs with a GTX 670.

So...since a 660 Ti almost runs with a GTX 670 does that pretty much negate the need for a GTX 670 ?

Would the performance of a "stock" 7950 be worth the price over something like a OC'd 7870 ?

Would the FX-8120 bottleneck any of the cards I have mentioned here ? Yes I have read review after review, and I remain in the same position of not knowing what to decide on.

I know the consensus will probably be for the HD 7950. But are there any benefits at all for the other options I have outlined here ?

I could afford a HD 7970 as well. But how well would that play with a FX-8120 ? I will be purchasing a new GPU about the 3rd week of January. So I have a little time to decide.

Ill include a poll, but I pretty much already know what the outcome of that will be.
Any help is greatly appreciated.
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Old 12-29-2012, 11:48 PM   #2
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Go for the HD 7950 as once oc'd it will be comparable to a HD 7970 or even faster. And if your worried about a bottleneck just drop in a Fx 8320
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Old 12-29-2012, 11:53 PM   #3
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http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=7369704&sku=A455-7950%20GAME4

This is the HD 7950 I am considering. I have considered throwing a 8320 / 8350 in the board as well, but would I notice much difference in gaming ? Say from a 8120 to a 8350 ? The 8120 I currently have, it has ran at 4.6 Ghz, but it is stock right now. If I run it overclocked for a extended period of time, it is at 4.4 Ghz.

I guess I could sell the 8120 to recoup some costs if I needed to.

EDIT: The PC will also be getting a SSD upgrade as well.
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Old 12-30-2012, 12:04 AM   #4
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Depends on the Game but most yes you will get a nice performance boost

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/434?vs=697

http://www.anandtech.com/show/6396/t...x4300-tested/5


and i recommend this card as it has great overclocking headroom

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814127667
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:10 AM   #5
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Ordering the GPU on the 19th. Still trying to decide if the 7950 is right for me.

I am considering a GTX 670 4GB. Any advantage to this car with the extra memory ?

If AMD ? I want Asus only.
If Nvidia ? EVGA all the way.
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:25 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MentalIlness View Post
Ordering the GPU on the 19th. Still trying to decide if the 7950 is right for me.

I am considering a GTX 670 4GB. Any advantage to this car with the extra memory ?

If AMD ? I want Asus only.
If Nvidia ? EVGA all the way.
If gaming at 1920x1080 the extra ram will be hard to use. You would have to play a game like Skyrim and really load it up hard with texture mods etc. I have the EVGA 670 FTW (2 in SLI) and the 2gb of ram has been more than enough at 1080p and the cards are some of the best i've ever owned.
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:32 AM   #7
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You really need to set some kind of budget. The choices you set out are vastly different in terms of price, ranging from $100 for a used 6870 to $380 for a new 670. The obvious budget choice is getting another 6870. If you have a lot more money on hand, then I'd go for the 660Ti or 7950. Do you overclock your GPUs? If yes, get the 7950, if no, get the 660Ti.

And no, an OC'd 660Ti doesn't "negate the need" for a 670, as every card can be overclocked, although the 7950 has the most headroom of all your choices.

I also agree that Asus makes the best AMD cards, but I'd also look at their Nvidia cards. EVGA is another winner, due to service more than innovation.

By the way, a stock 8120 will bottleneck all of the cards you listed, including a 7870, so definitely overclock it back to 4.4 if you're going to invest in a new GPU.
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:16 AM   #8
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The 6870 would be the cheapest option. The GTX 670 and ^ would be the most expensive option.

Im basically trying to find the balance to match the CPU. I will be on 1080p for a few more years at least.
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:17 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Termie View Post

By the way, a stock 8120 will bottleneck all of the cards you listed, including a 7870, so definitely overclock it back to 4.4 if you're going to invest in a new GPU.
I do plan on sticking a 8350 in here. Would that make a difference ?

EDIT: No, I do not plan to overclock. I am sure the stock speed will be adequate for what I want it to do.

EDIT: I dont want "too" much of a GPU, and it sitting there going to waste. I basically want, the best card I can get that a FX-8350 will not bottleneck in the most intense game currently on the market.
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:39 AM   #10
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7950/7970 easy. They are also more CPU friendly than nvidia GPUs (at least this benchmark says that Link)
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:59 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MentalIlness View Post
I do plan on sticking a 8350 in here. Would that make a difference ?

EDIT: No, I do not plan to overclock. I am sure the stock speed will be adequate for what I want it to do.

EDIT: I dont want "too" much of a GPU, and it sitting there going to waste. I basically want, the best card I can get that a FX-8350 will not bottleneck in the most intense game currently on the market.
Here's what a stock 8350 looks like using a 7950:
Skyrim: http://techreport.com/review/23750/a...sor-reviewed/5
Batman: http://techreport.com/review/23750/a...sor-reviewed/6
BF3 singleplayer: http://techreport.com/review/23750/a...sor-reviewed/7
Crysis 2: http://techreport.com/review/23750/a...sor-reviewed/8

It's a significant bottleneck in Skyrim and Batman, and barely a bottleneck in BF3 singleplayer or Crysis 2.

My advice - get the 660Ti. It doesn't sound like you're interested in overclocking, and the 660Ti is great performance per dollar at stock settings. Here it is for $267AR/shipping: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814127711
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:02 PM   #12
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the sapphire cards with dual x cooler and Gigabyte cards with windforce3x cooler are the best HD 7950 cards.

http://www.superbiiz.com/detail.php?name=AT-7950BST

http://www.superbiiz.com/detail.php?name=GA-795WF3G

the asus HD 7950 direct cu II cards are voltage locked. even the top cards need a BIOS flash to unlock voltage.

the sapphire hd 7950 boost (925 mhz) with stock voltage of 1.25v easily overclocks to 1100 - 1150 mhz . gigabyte hd 7950 oc (900 mhz) is also a good overclocker. at the same clocks HD 7950 is 3 - 5% slower than HD 7970. a HD 7950 at 1200 Mhz will be faster than a GTX 670 at 1300 Mhz.

a FX-8350 with a 4.5+ ghz clock will not bottleneck a HD 7950. also when you max out the graphics the latest games are GPU limited entirely except for skyrim.
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:03 PM   #13
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Do you notice microstutter and to what extent?
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:33 PM   #14
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Read somewhere recently (and I can't find the article) that AMD GPUs tend to run a little faster with less capable CPUs. An HD 7870 is all you need with your current CPU, but an HD 7950 might make more sense if you go a good bit of time between upgrades (and do plan on getting a better CPU down the road).
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:54 PM   #15
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Wait a month or two and get a better GPU when they are released, unless you absolutely NEED one now. If you do, get either the 7950 or 670, which-ever is cheaper.
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Old 01-04-2013, 01:23 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrightCandle View Post
Do you notice microstutter and to what extent?
Since I have never seen it in person, I cant say for sure if I would notice it. But in video's, when micro stuttering is going on, I barely notice it. I guess I am trying to say, I don't care about it.

No, I only overclock CPU's. I used to OC gpu's, but I stopped doing that when I had a X800 Pro. I just dont see the point for what I need the card for. I may sometimes bench one card against another for fun to see what the upgrade difference is, but for competing, or to see how high I can get the clocks, I have no interest in OC'ing a GPU.

Oh, I don't care about power consumption either.

Like I said...I just want to run the latest games at 1080p, with AA and AF with no bottle neck.

PC will be getting a 8350 upgrade as well. I will also be adding a SSD for the OS.
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Old 01-04-2013, 01:26 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeauCharles View Post
Read somewhere recently (and I can't find the article) that AMD GPUs tend to run a little faster with less capable CPUs. An HD 7870 is all you need with your current CPU, but an HD 7950 might make more sense if you go a good bit of time between upgrades (and do plan on getting a better CPU down the road).
I have this FX 8120 because it was $80 at Microcenter when I bought the Sabertooth 990FX. And since I have that board, no need to go to Intel yet. But if I were to do that, it would be a 3570k. But no need to. Maybe the next complete rebuild I will.

I usually go 3-4 years before going to a higher resolution. Been on 1080p just over a year now. So a while to go. And I upgrade GPU's every two years.

And I think, you were referring to this review.

http://uk.hardware.info/reviews/3714...pus-conclusion
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Old 01-04-2013, 01:28 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raghu78 View Post
the sapphire cards with dual x cooler and Gigabyte cards with windforce3x cooler are the best HD 7950 cards.

http://www.superbiiz.com/detail.php?name=AT-7950BST

http://www.superbiiz.com/detail.php?name=GA-795WF3G

the asus HD 7950 direct cu II cards are voltage locked. even the top cards need a BIOS flash to unlock voltage.

the sapphire hd 7950 boost (925 mhz) with stock voltage of 1.25v easily overclocks to 1100 - 1150 mhz . gigabyte hd 7950 oc (900 mhz) is also a good overclocker. at the same clocks HD 7950 is 3 - 5% slower than HD 7970. a HD 7950 at 1200 Mhz will be faster than a GTX 670 at 1300 Mhz.

a FX-8350 with a 4.5+ ghz clock will not bottleneck a HD 7950. also when you max out the graphics the latest games are GPU limited entirely except for skyrim.
I do not overclock GPU's. A card with locked/unlocked voltage means nothing to me.

But I am not opposed to buying a card overclocked out of the box. Which I probably will.

EDIT: I don't plan on waiting till the next generation of cards either. It has been two years on the HD 6870, and I am ready to upgrade.
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Old 01-04-2013, 01:41 PM   #19
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I'm throwing a wildcard in there:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814131484

A Tahiti based 7870, almost as fast a 7950 and only $240 after rebate.
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Old 01-04-2013, 01:43 PM   #20
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Then I concur with the others 7950 is probably the best solution.
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Old 01-04-2013, 01:48 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MentalIlness View Post
I do not overclock GPU's. A card with locked/unlocked voltage means nothing to me.

But I am not opposed to buying a card overclocked out of the box. Which I probably will.

EDIT: I don't plan on waiting till the next generation of cards either. It has been two years on the HD 6870, and I am ready to upgrade.
Overclocking at stock voltage is very simple. in AMD CCC just max out power control to +20%. push clocks up by 100 mhz. those are very easy to achieve overclocks on almost every card.

you could also get a Gigabyte HD 7970 OC (1 Ghz) if you want better out of the box performance.

http://www.superbiiz.com/detail.php?name=GA-797OC3G
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Old 01-04-2013, 01:52 PM   #22
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Yeah there's the technical, difficult overclocking, where you find the absolute limits of your card, and there's the easy peasy overclocking where you just add 100mhz or so. No trouble, no hassle, no risk.
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Old 01-04-2013, 02:47 PM   #23
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Do you play a lot of DirectX 9 games? If so, you might want to consider avoiding the 7xxx ATIs at the moment. There's some pretty significant artifacting/flickering issues with a lot of popular DX9 games that they haven't been able to fix yet. It's almost definitely a driver-side issue from all the information out there about it, but who knows if and when they'll actually fix it.

That's not to say Nvidia doesnt have their own set of issues this generation, but frankly i'm seriously disappointed with my 7950 due to the flicker issue being persistent in almost every one of my frequently played games (Skyrim, Guild wars 2, etc).
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:01 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dstoop View Post
Do you play a lot of DirectX 9 games? If so, you might want to consider avoiding the 7xxx ATIs at the moment. There's some pretty significant artifacting/flickering issues with a lot of popular DX9 games that they haven't been able to fix yet. It's almost definitely a driver-side issue from all the information out there about it, but who knows if and when they'll actually fix it.

That's not to say Nvidia doesnt have their own set of issues this generation, but frankly i'm seriously disappointed with my 7950 due to the flicker issue being persistent in almost every one of my frequently played games (Skyrim, Guild wars 2, etc).
I had white dot problems in Arma 2 and I remember a few flickering issues as well.
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:31 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willomz View Post
I'm throwing a wildcard in there:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814131484

A Tahiti based 7870, almost as fast a 7950 and only $240 after rebate.
Is Powercolor the only company making that card ?
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