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

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KompuKare

Senior member
Jul 28, 2009
685
217
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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).
You sure about the Direct CU II? I was able to play with one of those Asus 7950 Direct CU II last week and when under full load I was able to hear a slight whine. I first noticed something and then with the case's side door open I was sure it was from near the VRM end of the card. Nothing too loud but it definitely was there. Guess it was luck of the draw (ASIC was only 60% too so that was two points against that particular Asus 7950).
 

RussianSensation

Elite Member
Sep 5, 2003
19,458
746
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The Asus DirectCUII shouldn't have coil whine in theory since it uses solid core chokes. If it did, sounds like Asus is using false advertising for their Super Alloy chokes, or you just got an unlucky sample. Regarding overclocking, since launch, the entire Asus DirectCUII 7950/7970 line has been a huge hit and miss this round. I cannot recommend any Asus DirectCUII 7950/7970 cards for this reason. I am sure some are good but it doesn't have a good track record for overclocking among users. Sometimes the PSU makes coil whine with a new videocard due to wave frequency of the chokes on the card and the chokes on the PSU I've read. The details on this are vague.
 

mango123

Senior member
Sep 1, 2012
214
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So, If someone was going to jump on a 7970... what would one want to get? I cannot spend more than 400 btw really... and I don't want to have coil whine either.

I notice that you have a 7970, do you have coil whine?
 

RussianSensation

Elite Member
Sep 5, 2003
19,458
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does that gigabyte windforce you mentioned have the 7970 PCB???
No, it's a custom Gigabyte PCB with 6+6 pin connectors. The downside to this card is it has fully exposed MOSFETs. They are not cooled by any heatsink.




Maybe the newer versions fixed this.

The higher the ASIC, the better a chance for overclocking higher on air, the lower the ASIC, the better the card is for overclocking on water/LN2.
 

RussianSensation

Elite Member
Sep 5, 2003
19,458
746
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So, If someone was going to jump on a 7970... what would one want to get? I cannot spend more than 400 btw really... and I don't want to have coil whine either.
You cannot get an HD7970 with after-market chokes for less than $400 unless it's Asus DirectCUII but those are a huge PITA in terms of driver/black screen of death issues. I think the same applies for GTX670 line too. Any card you buy that doesn't specifically have upgraded solid core chokes, you are playing the coil whine lottery, NV or AMD, it doesn't matter.

I notice that you have a 7970, do you have coil whine?
I have it slightly in AvP, during Windows Experience Index update screen, MSI Kombuster "Triangle of Death" GPU Burn-in synthetic test when the GPU gets > 1300 fps on a 2D still screen (!!), but not in any other 3D game. The coil whine tends to come out in situations where there is a "still 2D screen" and GPU goes nuts to 500-1,000 fps. However, I cannot guarantee you won't get coil whine on a 7970 Dual-X like mine, it could be completely non-existent, similar or worse.

I am telling you it has nothing to do with AMD vs. NV. You can buy a flagship $500 GTX680 and it will have it:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TdaI65gauTQ

It sounds like a mechanical grinding/whistling noise. The ONLY way to guarantee you don't have it is to spend extra for after-market solid core chokes, or if the card specifically says it has them.

Sapphire Vapor-X 7950:


MSI Lightning 7970:


You might be good with MSI TF3 7950 as it still has Military Class III components:

Military Class III Components
- Hi-C CAP for GPU provides more precise voltage.
- SSC (Solid State Choke) has higher current for better overclocking ability.
- All Solid CAPs have longer lifespan.
http://www.msi.com/product/vga/R7950-Twin-Frozr-3GD5-OC.html#?div=Overview

However, the actual MSI TF3 7950 6+6 pin version has the standard R22 chokes, so it sounds like marketing to me on MSI's part:


Mango123, I haven't heard any complaints about TF3 7950 exhibiting coil whine. Why don't you drop a line in the MSI TF3 7950 Owner's thread and ask if anyone had coil whine on this card?
http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=2259333
 
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sze5003

Lifer
Aug 18, 2012
13,522
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The coil whine thing definately was a headache for me. I mean even dealing with support and all and if it had not been for Newegg I would have not even had that card back by now. It would be in China lol.

So I decided I may for for the 7970Ghz Vapor X but still waiting for that refund to clear since it was issued Monday.
 

RussianSensation

Elite Member
Sep 5, 2003
19,458
746
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Ya, it's really sad that AIBs save $3-4 on these components and then release special versions and charge $50-60 extra for them. I bet a lot of people have coil whine but they don't hear it since mild coil whine is virtually inaudible in a blower fan card as the blower fan is louder than the coil whine. Once you go to after-market cards, they tend to be a lot quieter and suddenly you start hearing coil whine. Actually, if you notice from anecdotal evidence, it's usually the quieter cards that exhibit coil whine since their fans are much quieter than the reference blower designs.
 

sze5003

Lifer
Aug 18, 2012
13,522
359
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Ya, it's really sad that AIBs save $3-4 on these components and then release special versions and charge $50-60 extra for them. I bet a lot of people have coil whine but they don't hear it since mild coil whine is virtually inaudible in a blower fan card as the blower fan is louder than the coil whine. Once you go to after-market cards, they tend to be a lot quieter and suddenly you start hearing coil whine. Actually, if you notice from anecdotal evidence, it's usually the quieter cards that exhibit coil whine since their fans are much quieter than the reference blower designs.
Yeh you're right and the HIS 7970 IceQ was really quiet fan wise. Plus I have 3 large fans going on highest fan controller setting and I still did not hear anything loud until the card began to squeel. Maybe others can just write it off but I was trying to do that playing my games I just couldn't take it. Its like a dog whistle almost lol.
 

RussianSensation

Elite Member
Sep 5, 2003
19,458
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Ya it does to some extent since Vsync drops the load on the videocard components since the videocard doesn't have to work as hard. However, some cards may have really terrible coil whine even in 2D, in a browser.....that's really bad and it has happened before.
 

mango123

Senior member
Sep 1, 2012
214
0
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And that is I guess what I'm trying to avoid.
So... Pass on the 7970 in other words right?
 

sze5003

Lifer
Aug 18, 2012
13,522
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And that is I guess what I'm trying to avoid.
So... Pass on the 7970 in other words right?
Not necessarily. The after market cooled 670's will also have coil whine but like its been said before, if the it has a reference blower fan its most likely will not be heard. If you want a 7970 the Asus DcII, Saphire vapor X ghz, or Powercooler PCS+ Vortex II use premium components. Those cards are highly not going to have any whine. The MSI lightning included too although I've heard one or two people with that card still had whine. Its a bit pricey though.
 

zaydq

Senior member
Jul 8, 2012
782
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Yes my oc is on air on the stock TFIII cooler. Also, 0 coil whine here under load. Only downfall on the TFIII is the fans are annoying past 65%, which you will hit at any oc past 1100core clock.
 

mango123

Senior member
Sep 1, 2012
214
0
0
I'm looking to pull the trigger soon... As my 6950 auction is about to end ans i would be out a vie card. As far as what's in stock what options do I have?
 

sze5003

Lifer
Aug 18, 2012
13,522
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What is your budget for the GPU? You could try the card zaydq has. If not, then step up to a 7970 Ghz from Saphire Vapor X. Or if you want to stay with the regular 7970 Asus DCII, MSI Lightning, PowerCooler PCS+ Vortex II.

For the 7950 without whine I would pick up an MSI version.
 

RussianSensation

Elite Member
Sep 5, 2003
19,458
746
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If you are not going to get the HD7950 Vapor-X (it seems to be out of stock on Newegg), grab the MSI TF3 7950 or Gigabyte Windforce 3x 7950. That's what I'd do. The MSI TF3 7950 is $300 at Superbiiz. Sounds like a good value to me.
 

Fire&Blood

Platinum Member
Jan 13, 2009
2,331
16
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You sure about an aftermarket card in your case? Trust me, you do not want to get/OC a card that expels heat inside a small cramped case with only 2 case fans.

IMO, you should get a 7970 and a fan or two. Considering how much emphasis you put on maxing out settings, only 7970 will do. The price will drop again in about 4 months when the next lineup comes out. If at that point a more demanding title comes out, (Crysis 3?) you'll have the option of going crossfire.
You do need to invest in cooling, no matter what you choose. Your PSU can get loud, hope it's bottom mounted.
 

Fire&Blood

Platinum Member
Jan 13, 2009
2,331
16
81
will there even be room for me to do a crossfire with the size of these puppies?
The cards themselves are fine, they will fit, it's the adjacent slots that will likely have to be vacated. Run crossfire on 8 out of 10 mobo's out there and you can kiss your sound card goodbye. I shudder to think if you have other, even pricier pcie goodies.

Noise and heat will ruin your experience if you keep things the way they are.
I have a small cramped case with a top mounted PSU, which I suspect you suffer from as well. I just got a HAF X and I could hide this case and a SFF one inside it. Won't bother transferring matx (single pcie slot) to HAF X, it just looks weird o_O and a waste of a good case.

Our thermal situation is similar if yours isn't worse. I run the core at 1100 24/7, I have a very good 7950 chip on the upgraded PCB, 2 extra fans cooling the card, minimal voltage bump and I still peak at 77C on a hot day. Even with 2 extra fans for the card, one of my vrm's hits 97C.

Alternatively, consider watercooling a used card on forums. I think I saw few ready here or on [H].

The latest engines run on dev boxes with 680's so with one card you are golden for the time being. I have no idea how 8970/780 will perform come January but picking up a 2nd one later on should beat any single GPU throughout 2013.
First cold day after the summer today, mining bitcoins to heat the room. It takes a low ambient temp for fans to drop below 60%.
 
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mango123

Senior member
Sep 1, 2012
214
0
0
Guys, I think I am gonna pull the trigger on the 7970 dual X.
I crunched some numbers and I can do the extra 65 bucks it is to go to the 70.
what y'all think?
 

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