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7950 vs. ALL sub 600$ GPU *Advice please*

mango123

Senior member
Sep 1, 2012
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System Specifications:

I. Processor/CPU:

i5 3570k with 212 evo, stock voltage at 4.0 ghz

II. Current Graphics Card:
Sapphire Toxic 6950 unlocked to 6970. stock oced clock.

III. Display Resolution:
1920 x 1080 single monitor

IV. Power Supply Unit Specification (Brand, Wattage, Ampage, Age). If possible, please provide a link to a website containing the power supply specifications:
Corsair GS700

V. Case Specifications(N/A, Model, Length, Low Profile, Cooling, HTPC, Water, Silent):
NA--- all air, push pull? one fan on cpu, one exhausting out
(I know i need a better case and more fans, shhh)

Purchase Details:

I. Budget? Please be sure to include currency (If not USD), retailer preferences & specify whether rebates are a viable option.
400 dollars maximum give or take. 300 is my sweet spot.

II. Any particular preferences (Manufacturer[nV or AMD], Brand[XFX, Sapphire, EVGA, etc], Cooling Solutions)?
No preferences. My Sapphire served me very well for a year and a half.
Right now I am slightly biased for AMD

III. Do you plan to have any Multi-GPU solutions such as Crossfire or SLI?
The z77 board I bought will do x8/x8... I bought this with the future in mind.
Thought process being buying something in the mid range low high end single GPU sweet spot, and buying a second one when they come way down in price.

IV. Have you previously looked at a product(s) which you feel would fit your needs?
MSI TwinFrozr with the 7970 PCB, and the Sapphire Rival card.

V. What are your needs for this GPU? Which games(If any)do you intend to play? If you have this information at hand, what are the desired detail levels?
All newest shooters, BF3, Farcry 3, anything and everything.
ARMA II, DAYZ, the new dayz.
I play all the games, and like playing them at 1920x1080 at the highest possible settings that my computer can tolerate.
I absolutely cannot deal with turning settings down. Medium or Low does not compute with me.
VI. Do you plan on overclocking the card you intend to purchase?
I am open to overclocking, am comfortable doing research, but I do not feel like going to water personally. So anything that will not totally kill my card on air I am down for.



My question:

I have heard a lot of good stuff about the 7950s and their OCing ability rivaling the perf or a 680.

I have heard bad stuff about the twinfrozr MSI version of the 7950,
and I have seen contradictory threads about this card being the way to go.
I have also seen people pumping the Sapphire versions...

Please guys and gals, advise me on where to throw my money???????


THANKS!
 

mango123

Senior member
Sep 1, 2012
214
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So what are the advantages of spending the extra 60-80 dollars to get the 7970 when the 7950 is apparently the same thing?
The ones printed on the 7970 PCB anyways, that is.
 

The Alias

Senior member
Aug 22, 2012
647
57
91
So what are the advantages of spending the extra 60-80 dollars to get the 7970 when the 7950 is apparently the same thing?
The ones printed on the 7970 PCB anyways, that is.
the 7970 features 2048 stream processors whereas the 7950 has 1792 thus enabling higher performance at the same clocks
 

paperfist

Diamond Member
Nov 30, 2000
6,504
275
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www.the-teh.com
So what are the advantages of spending the extra 60-80 dollars to get the 7970 when the 7950 is apparently the same thing?
The ones printed on the 7970 PCB anyways, that is.
The 7970 Vapor-X is like $470 vrs the 7950 Vapor-X at $330 so that's a good $140 difference.

The non-Vapor-X Sapphires don't have a 2nd DVI and according to what I've read don't run as cool/quiet. Those are in the $370 range.
 

mango123

Senior member
Sep 1, 2012
214
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Yeah well 470 is way out of my range. WAY WAY out of there.

This whole escapade began with a 300$ budget... 350 upgrade to 3570k, plus 200$ LCD for 1920, plus now I want a vid card to go with it. :p

So i mean, if the 17-- to 20-- stream processors is that huge of a difference, Why are the 7950s so freakin popular?
 

ZimZum

Golden Member
Aug 2, 2001
1,281
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So what are the advantages of spending the extra 60-80 dollars to get the 7970 when the 7950 is apparently the same thing?
The ones printed on the 7970 PCB anyways, that is.
If your overclocking there wont be many. The 7970 is faster clock for clock, faster out of the box and will be faster when both are overclocked. But aside from that its hard to beat the value of a 7950. Especially when you can get one for $279 after MIR which comes with Sleeping Dogs.

http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=2261626
 

The Alias

Senior member
Aug 22, 2012
647
57
91
Yeah well 470 is way out of my range. WAY WAY out of there.

This whole escapade began with a 300$ budget... 350 upgrade to 3570k, plus 200$ LCD for 1920, plus now I want a vid card to go with it. :p

So i mean, if the 17-- to 20-- stream processors is that huge of a difference, Why are the 7950s so freakin popular?
because the price to performance when it is overclocked is unmatched atm it's best to go for the highest quality aib and overclock the hell out of the 7950
 

mango123

Senior member
Sep 1, 2012
214
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Yeah the more and more I'm looking at these...
the twinfrozr is looking good.
so, it's like 270 for the Sapphire vs. 330 for the Twinfrozr.

That 60$ difference is the PCB as I understand it? Which means... better OC's correct?
 

paperfist

Diamond Member
Nov 30, 2000
6,504
275
126
www.the-teh.com
Yeah well 470 is way out of my range. WAY WAY out of there.

This whole escapade began with a 300$ budget... 350 upgrade to 3570k, plus 200$ LCD for 1920, plus now I want a vid card to go with it. :p

So i mean, if the 17-- to 20-- stream processors is that huge of a difference, Why are the 7950s so freakin popular?
Welcome to my boat! Would really like to snag the Shapphire 7950 Vapor-X though. Since that's not available I've been looking at the same thing as you, going another $70 for a 7970 or even looking at the nVidia 660Ti cards.
 

zaydq

Senior member
Jul 8, 2012
782
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The Sapphire is currently on sale, usually you'd see the TFIII and the Vapor-X both around the same price. The TFIII was $270.00 a week ago, and when I purchased was $309. Its a shame the Sapphires on sale and the TFIII isn't. You could wait as the prices on the TFIII's have been fluctuating down and back to $329 but even at $329 i think you'll be satisfied.
 

zaydq

Senior member
Jul 8, 2012
782
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Welcome to my boat! Would really like to snag the Shapphire 7950 Vapor-X though. Since that's not available I've been looking at the same thing as you, going another $70 for a 7970 or even looking at the nVidia 660Ti cards.
If you're considering a 7950, and you can't find one you want to buy. I'd round up to a 7970/gtx 670. Avoid the 660ti altogether as you won't really be getting your $300s worth. Prices on the 660tis are expected to decrease in the next couple of weeks, so i'd wait to press the buy button on one until then.
 

zaydq

Senior member
Jul 8, 2012
782
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Coil whine seems to be an issue i've been hearing with Sapphire. It doesn't hinder card performance, but does let out a noise that isn't quite enjoyable. I believe the 7970s made by sapphire would probably have similar instances of coil whine.
 

mango123

Senior member
Sep 1, 2012
214
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Yeah, I'm pretty sure that I am about to bite the bullet and get the twinfrozr.

I just noticed your speeds in your sig.

IS YOUR CARD ON AIR???

HOLY &*%$
 

paperfist

Diamond Member
Nov 30, 2000
6,504
275
126
www.the-teh.com
Coil whine seems to be an issue i've been hearing with Sapphire. It doesn't hinder card performance, but does let out a noise that isn't quite enjoyable. I believe the 7970s made by sapphire would probably have similar instances of coil whine.
A little confusing: http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=2269398&highlight=coil+whine

Says the Vapor-X doesn't suffer from coil whine, but later in the discussion they are attributing coil whine to the PSU...

The MSI looks good, but the 7970 version is $$$ :(
 

mango123

Senior member
Sep 1, 2012
214
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Yeah, I don't think I am willing to risk the annoyance. Especially not for 400+ dollars.

the twinfrozr just seems too good to pass up.
 

RussianSensation

Elite Member
Sep 5, 2003
19,458
759
126
Any card that does not have solid core chokes, whether NV or AMD, can exhibit coil whine. It's basically luck of the draw and anecdotal feedback from owners, unless you spend extra for a card with after-market chokes. For example Asus has branded theirs Super Metal Alloy. That's just a marketing name for what essentially means a solid core choke, much like Black Diamond chokes on the Sapphire Vapor-X cards, or Military Class III on MSI Lightning.


The Vapor-X cards such as 7950 all have Black Diamond solid core chokes that guarantee no coil whine. The same is true for MSI Lightning cards, Asus Direct CUII cards, and some MSI TF versions (Power Edition).

MSI TF3 7950 is a solid overclockers as well, but does not have any solid core chokes. Although this version isn't known to have coil whine issues. The main negatives here is the cooler starts to becomes audible above 70% fan speed, but the MSI TF3 7950 does overclock very well.

Both of those are excellent choices especially for ARMA II games that run much faster on HD7000 series:
http://www.computerbase.de/artikel/grafikkarten/2012/test-amd-radeon-hd-7950-mit-925-mhz/17/

If you can stretch it the Sapphire Dual-X HD7970 for $380 is going to be a fast card for Arma II. IF you want a good overclocking 7950 card and after-market chokes, Sapphire Vapor-X. Although I don't think for $330+$8 shipping it's a great deal to be honest. At that point I would just step up to the Sapphire Dual-X 7970 OC.
 
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RussianSensation

Elite Member
Sep 5, 2003
19,458
759
126
The Dual-X has standard chokes, so it can have coil whine.

Here is MSI TF3 7950 for $300 after coupon code Crunch15 and MIR. Still comes with Sleeping Dogs. I think that's a good deal.
 

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