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7970 or gtx670?

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cmdrdredd

Lifer
Dec 12, 2001
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What was the point of even posting? The 7970 has more memory & memory bandwidth. For games like Skyrim with HD packs and mods the VRAM gets hit hard. Not to mention more than a few of us do game higher than 1080p.

Throw into the mix that all 7970s OC to 1.1Gigs and there isn't much of a comparison. Get a model with a good cooler and you're doing 1.2+ easy.
That's not the same as saying "new games will be better on this card". How does anyone know that? Unless you are developing all the new games yourself lol.

Some people have bigger monitors ok fine, but as has been mentioned in other posts it depends quite a bit on the engine. Not every game is the same across the board. Maybe if one card was better in every game by the same amount at a specific resolution I'd buy your argument.
 

Dark Shroud

Golden Member
Mar 26, 2010
1,576
0
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That's not the same as saying "new games will be better on this card". How does anyone know that? Unless you are developing all the new games yourself lol.

Some people have bigger monitors ok fine, but as has been mentioned in other posts it depends quite a bit on the engine. Not every game is the same across the board. Maybe if one card was better in every game by the same amount at a specific resolution I'd buy your argument.
No, but after loading in high res packs and additional mods the VRAM use shoots through the roof on most games, especially if they're using older engines. See Skyrim as recent example.
 

cmdrdredd

Lifer
Dec 12, 2001
26,835
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No, but after loading in high res packs and additional mods the VRAM use shoots through the roof on most games, especially if they're using older engines. See Skyrim as recent example.
It depends on the resolution...when we are talking 2560x1600 anything less than 2 GPUs wouldn't cut it for me even without mods. That's my opinion anyway.

I'll admit I play at 1920x1200 so I really don't have much complaints about memory. I play Skyrim with mods and 2GB Vram but again resolution.
 

3DVagabond

Lifer
Aug 10, 2009
11,951
200
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So at the settings they used at 2560x1600, at the "max overclocks" they used, and looking at the averages:

BF3 - tie at 63.4fps
Arkham City - 7970 barely edges 680
Skyrim - 680 edges 7970
Deus Ex - 7970 easily beats 680

Minimums are all over the place and hard to compare due to HardOCP's testing methodology, which is not reproducible.

With better binning that's apparently occurring to launch the "GHZ Edition" 7970s, a GHZ Edition 7970's power usage may go down to something less objectionable at load, overvolted and oc'd (compared to 6xx). A 7970 already has a slightly lower idle wattage than a 680. But CF sucks, and no answer yet for NV's list of exclusives including PhysX, CUDA, NV Surround without adapters, GPU Boost, and AVsync. On the other hand the 7970 has +1 GB VRAM.
Not picking on you.:) You can see your bias, which we all have, with the way you narrated the feature list. You downplayed AMD positives while making it seem like nVidia's are more important. You also failed to mention price and availability, which both are in AMD's favor. You don't mention that nVidia surround is more limited and has driver issues with some games. The same type of issues that, to you, makes crossfire suck. PhysX and CUDA, but no mention of GK104's castrated compute capability. "On the other hand the 7970 has +1 GB VRAM." More important than PhysX and CUDA to most people.

With CUDA people used to like to bring up Photoshop as a reason to go nVidia, because it was likely the only CUDA app. that people use. Problem was Photoshop never actually used CUDA, Premier did and a couple of PS plugins did. Now Adobe has gone OCL across the board, CUDA's gone. GCN destroys Kepler in the OCL benchmarks I've seen. I haven't seen anyone mention this though. So, OCL is AMD's answer to CUDA. Just wanted to show the "glass half full" side of AMD features.

Besides, the 670 has all of the features that the 680 does for less money, easier to buy, and is almost as fast as the big guns. Fast enough that 99% of the time you couldn't see a difference between the three.
 

SolMiester

Diamond Member
Dec 19, 2004
5,331
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AMD has nice hardware 3D, no one is disputing that, however they have the worse drivers ever. Its a crap shoot everytime you install their driver, fix that, brake that, CF still on release driver FFS, and umpteen other issues...
I would buy AMD hardware if they had NV driver team any day!
 

blastingcap

Diamond Member
Sep 16, 2010
6,654
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Was this supposed to be a joke? I looked only at the performance in these few games, at these specific overclocks, at one specific resolution. I didn't even bother looking at the 670 vs 7950 comparisons as I own a 7970 and am not interested in downgrading right now. I am not comparing best bang for the buck, just curious about how performance varies across cards. The CUDA vs VRAM and everything else is arguable, but the graphs speak for themselves, subject to the caveats [H] and I listed.

Not picking on you.:) You can see your bias, which we all have, with the way you narrated the feature list. You downplayed AMD positives while making it seem like nVidia's are more important. You also failed to mention price and availability, which both are in AMD's favor. You don't mention that nVidia surround is more limited and has driver issues with some games. The same type of issues that, to you, makes crossfire suck. PhysX and CUDA, but no mention of GK104's castrated compute capability. "On the other hand the 7970 has +1 GB VRAM." More important than PhysX and CUDA to most people.

With CUDA people used to like to bring up Photoshop as a reason to go nVidia, because it was likely the only CUDA app. that people use. Problem was Photoshop never actually used CUDA, Premier did and a couple of PS plugins did. Now Adobe has gone OCL across the board, CUDA's gone. GCN destroys Kepler in the OCL benchmarks I've seen. I haven't seen anyone mention this though. So, OCL is AMD's answer to CUDA. Just wanted to show the "glass half full" side of AMD features.

Besides, the 670 has all of the features that the 680 does for less money, easier to buy, and is almost as fast as the big guns. Fast enough that 99% of the time you couldn't see a difference between the three.
 

Dark Shroud

Golden Member
Mar 26, 2010
1,576
0
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It depends on the resolution...when we are talking 2560x1600 anything less than 2 GPUs wouldn't cut it for me even without mods. That's my opinion anyway.

I'll admit I play at 1920x1200 so I really don't have much complaints about memory. I play Skyrim with mods and 2GB Vram but again resolution.
I use a 2048x1152 native res monitor. It maintains a 16:9 aspect ratio so I don't get an distortion with content that is locked to 16:9.

So it has more pixels than 16:10 so I'm limited to how far I can push my 6970 while still maintaining a decent frame-rate. The 2GB I've been using has really helped out even when everyone said the GTX 580's 1.5GB was enough.

I hear this crap every generation and it's been happening for years now. Since AMD has better memory controllers.
 

Dark Shroud

Golden Member
Mar 26, 2010
1,576
0
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AMD has nice hardware 3D, no one is disputing that, however they have the worse drivers ever. Its a crap shoot everytime you install their driver, fix that, brake that, CF still on release driver FFS, and umpteen other issues...
I would buy AMD hardware if they had NV driver team any day!
As opposed to Nvidia having no drivers for Vista despite a years time to prepare that resulted in 60% of all Vista's crashes. Sorry but I remember the poor people who had NForce mother boards trying different combinations of beta drivers.

How about the software scanning people's computers and locking out GPU PhysX from the few games that support it if any AMD card/IGP is detected in the system.

Then not once buy twice in a years time releasing drivers that burned out cards.

Should I also bring up the various times Nvidia tried using fake cards at presentations/demos until called out on it?
 

cmdrdredd

Lifer
Dec 12, 2001
26,835
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I use a 2048x1152 native res monitor. It maintains a 16:9 aspect ratio so I don't get an distortion with content that is locked to 16:9.

So it has more pixels than 16:10 so I'm limited to how far I can push my 6970 while still maintaining a decent frame-rate. The 2GB I've been using has really helped out even when everyone said the GTX 580's 1.5GB was enough.

I hear this crap every generation and it's been happening for years now. Since AMD has better memory controllers.
Um...what?

You're all over the place. You've said before that 3GB vram helps at high res yet say 2GB is fine. Which is it? Also the 6970 at that resolution? A single card? I wouldn't do it, I couldn't do it. Not with modern game engines.

How is 2048x1152 higher than 2500x1600? Pushing more pixels where? Maybe you were saying that the monitor you use is higher rez than mine? Yeah I get that, but what about the 1.5GB vs 2GB Argument? my GTX 670 has 2GB and my HD6950 also has 2GB so...

Help me out here.

Lastly memory controller and bandwidth means zero to me. I care about how the games run and a large part of that depends on driver support out the gate. How long did I have to wait for RAGE to be fixed with the AMD drivers? I couldn't play the game for like 3 months after I bought it because of missing textures, flashing textures etc. This was the one time where I could really say AMD driver support sucked. Mostly because they fixed it, then a later driver revision broke it again but fixed other things. Crazy.
 
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SickBeast

Lifer
Jul 21, 2000
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With these cards being so easily matched it really comes down to whichever is cheaper, which makes the GTX 670 a better buy IMO.
 

Dark Shroud

Golden Member
Mar 26, 2010
1,576
0
0
Um...what?

You're all over the place. You've said before that 3GB vram helps at high res yet say 2GB is fine. Which is it? Also the 6970 at that resolution? A single card? I wouldn't do it, I couldn't do it. Not with modern game engines.
Ok, first I always feel that more memory is better with video cards. I was making a comparison between the current generation of Nvidia 2GB / AMD 3GB high end cards to last gen's Nvidia 1.5GB / AMD 2GB cards.

How is 2048x1152 higher than 2500x1600? Pushing more pixels where? Maybe you were saying that the monitor you use is higher rez than mine? Yeah I get that, but what about the 1.5GB vs 2GB Argument? my GTX 670 has 2GB and my HD6950 also has 2GB so...

Help me out here.
I was comparing my monitor's resolution to yours that is running at the standard 16:10 resolution.

Again at the high end I always feel that more memory is better with 2GB being the care minimum. I like AMD's current design better because it allows more bandwidth with 384bit controller at 3GB.

I feel that Nvidia cheaped out yet again, such as how long it took them to move to GDR5 ram. With a 256bit controller it let them move from 1.5GB to 2GB instead of jumping to 3GB.
 

cmdrdredd

Lifer
Dec 12, 2001
26,835
278
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Ok, first I always feel that more memory is better with video cards. I was making a comparison between the current generation of Nvidia 2GB / AMD 3GB high end cards to last gen's Nvidia 1.5GB / AMD 2GB cards.



I was comparing my monitor's resolution to yours that is running at the standard 16:10 resolution.

Again at the high end I always feel that more memory is better with 2GB being the care minimum. I like AMD's current design better because it allows more bandwidth with 384bit controller at 3GB.

I feel that Nvidia cheaped out yet again, such as how long it took them to move to GDR5 ram. With a 256bit controller it let them move from 1.5GB to 2GB instead of jumping to 3GB.
Cheaped out maybe but again we have to look at performance numbers in games. There is very few instances where the higher bandwidth makes any difference that can be directly attributed. The higher memory count yeah I can see with texture mods and the like.

Again, I'm not interested in synthetics. I want performance in games and support from the driver team on new releases. Only one time AMD has failed and that was with RAGE. Albeit a poor game, but one that I paid for and was excited to see because it was highly anticipated.

That said I do understand your point of view and I see where the case could be made for your side of the argument. I won't nitpick the numbers and all that because you are right. Just...I don't see the benefit in the real world. I blame game developers for that one. Very few times is there an engine that works out the latest GPUs.
 

RussianSensation

Elite Member
Sep 5, 2003
19,458
744
126
I feel that Nvidia cheaped out yet again, such as how long it took them to move to GDR5 ram. With a 256bit controller it let them move from 1.5GB to 2GB instead of jumping to 3GB.
NV didn't cheap out. It used a mid-range GK104 chip to go head-to-head against AMD's 7970. The fact that a 294mm^2 256-bit bus NV chip trades blows with AMD's 384-bit bus chip is incredible. This wasn't actually planned. If anything it shows 2 things:

1) AMD sacrificed a great deal of transistor efficiency by incorporating GPGPU features;
2) AMD's HD7900 series is not very well balanced (possibly pixel fillrate limited) for games. This is more evident when comparing it to Pitcairn.

Also, while GK104 has 2GB of VRAM, it has stronger tessellation and texture performance. Both of those factors imo will show up in future games before 3GB of VRAM becomes a factor. Any next generation game that will actually need 3GB of VRAM will send HD7900/GTX680 series on vacation. At this current state for games Kepler has no real weaknesses. GTX670/680 have weaknesses but nothing that can't be addressed with more SPs and larger memory bus. GCN on the other hand is 1 generation behind as an architecture for games since a mid-range Kepler chip can easily go against AMD's 365mm^2 chip. AMD has had the performance/watt and performance/transistor locked in for a long time. Not anymore. That's bad news for their engineers. If NV manages to manufacture a large die Kepler chip, it's lights out for GCN 1.0.

In pretty much all the modern games from SKYRIM, BF3, Crysis 2, Dirt 3 to Batman AC, NV's Kepler does great. That puts HD7900 series in worse position since hardly anyone is making games on Crysis 1 / Warhead or Metro 2033 game engines. For 2560x1600 and above a single HD7970 isn't fast enough for games that actually need the extra performance (Metro 2033, Witcher 2).

Crytek is already working on adding dynamic tessellation into Crysis 3. Even more tessellation is bad news for AMD since they are lagging behind in this area. Dirt 3 performance should also translate into better Kepler performance in future games from Codemasters. BF3 has 2 more expansions coming this year. In all of those games GTX680 should continue to hold an advantage over 7970 and GTX670 will simply crush 7950 series.

AMD better hope GK110 is 12 months away and TSMC continues having capacity issues for another 6 months. If capacity picks up in the next 2 months and GTX670 starts dropping to $350 with rebates, it would be game over for HD7870/7950 and 7970.

Not sure how accurate or if a marketing stunt, but Tim Sweeney has stated that only Kepler is fast enough to run Unreal Engine 4 games. Based on all of this, I can't see how HD7970 is more future proof.
 
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blastingcap

Diamond Member
Sep 16, 2010
6,654
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RS you usually make sense but come on, tessellation used in games in a meaningful way that makes much of a visual impact? Examples are few and far between. We both know why. Consolification. Better tessellation in 6xx is not a reason to buy 6xx; certainly no more than 3GB VRAM would be, and possibly less.

NV didn't cheap out. It used a mid-range GK104 chip to go head-to-head against AMD's 7970. The fact that a 294mm^2 256-bit bus NV chip trades blows with AMD's best chip is incredible. This wasn't actually planned.

Also, while GK104 has 2GB of VRAM, it has stronger tessellation and texture performance. Both of those factors imo will show up in future games before 3GB of VRAM becomes a factor. Any next generation game that will actually need 3GB of VRAM will send HD7900/GTX680 series on vacation.

In pretty much all the modern games from SKYRIM, BF3, Crysis 2, Dirt 3 and Batman AC, NV's Kepler does great. That puts HD7900 series in worse position since hardly anyone is making games on Crysis 1 / Warhead or Metro 2033 game engines.

You can bet Crysis 3 will dial in even more tessellation and there will be even more games from Codemasters. BF3 has 2 more expansions coming this year. In all of those games GTX680 will have an advantage over 7970 and GTX670 will crush 7950 series.
 

RussianSensation

Elite Member
Sep 5, 2003
19,458
744
126
RS you usually make sense but come on, tessellation used in games in a meaningful way that makes much of a visual impact? Examples are few and far between. We both know why. Consolification. Better tessellation in 6xx is not a reason to buy 6xx; certainly no more than 3GB VRAM would be, and possibly less.
I am not saying better tessellation is a reason to buy GTX6xx series. I am saying the future proofing argument for 7970 ignores that next gen games will prob. use more tessellation. From that perspective GTX680 should pull away in games such as Crysis 3.

You should watch the Crytek 3.4 SKD and tell me that adaptive tessellation isn't impressive. I think tessellation is hands down the most killer feature of DX11. Right now it's too demanding on GPUs like HDR was when it first debuted. But in the future I feel it's going to be a standard feature in games.

We'll just have to revisit when Crysis 3 is released next year and also see how GTX680 does against 7970 in upcoming games. Thus far, HD7970 does well in older games like Metro 2033, Crysis 1/Warhead and AvP.

Max Payne 3 is next.

AMD should just release 1.25ghz 7970 with 1.4ghz overclocking headroom and finish it. Alternatively, NV should unlock voltages on GTX670/680 cards. Either of these moves would end the debate. :D
 

SolMiester

Diamond Member
Dec 19, 2004
5,331
17
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As opposed to Nvidia having no drivers for Vista despite a years time to prepare that resulted in 60% of all Vista's crashes. Sorry but I remember the poor people who had NForce mother boards trying different combinations of beta drivers.

Your complaining that the only GPU out for Vista was NV and it had issues on the crap code that was Vista? Are you serious?

How about the software scanning people's computers and locking out GPU PhysX from the few games that support it if any AMD card/IGP is detected in the system.

I personally have no problem with NV locking out on IP....


Then not once buy twice in a years time releasing drivers that burned out cards.

Oh yes, thats right, ALL the burnt out cards?....LOL, where?, only ones I heard of had their cards replaced, and the drivers were down within hours.


Should I also bring up the various times Nvidia tried using fake cards at presentations/demos until called out on it?

Ah yes, there are still people who want to look at that as a fake announcement, do yourself a favour and read the full story on it...

I dont need to tell you AMD is shite at drivers, this forum is full of such info, even Ryan posted as much in his recent article and we even have current thread about them....
 

blastingcap

Diamond Member
Sep 16, 2010
6,654
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future proofing
is folly when it comes to gpus. doesn't stop some from trying. but it never lasts more than a couple years tops so both 680 and 7970 will be obsoleted regardless of vram or tessellation come 2014 or 2015 tops. Unless consolification really does get that bad.
 

3DVagabond

Lifer
Aug 10, 2009
11,951
200
106
Was this supposed to be a joke? I looked only at the performance in these few games, at these specific overclocks, at one specific resolution. I didn't even bother looking at the 670 vs 7950 comparisons as I own a 7970 and am not interested in downgrading right now. I am not comparing best bang for the buck, just curious about how performance varies across cards. The CUDA vs VRAM and everything else is arguable, but the graphs speak for themselves, subject to the caveats [H] and I listed.
Nah, no joke. Just forget it if you can't understand what I said. No biggie.
 

cmdrdredd

Lifer
Dec 12, 2001
26,835
278
126
I love it... say something like "meh...I don't care about 3GB memory because it's mostly wasted" and you get the response "OMG fanboy!"

Say "oh well, cuda? physx? Useless...and memory bandwidth starved!" you get the response "You're biased and should stop talking"

Gotta love the internet.
 

Jaydip

Diamond Member
Mar 29, 2010
3,691
20
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This is such a useless discussion.Some guys will buy the fastest single GPU and they will go for 680 or 7970 depending on their preference.670 is a great card but it is not a 7970 yet.Regarding AMD drivers I bought an ASUS 7950 DC II for my brother and he is quite happy about it,The drivers have so far worked fine. Regarding Xfire yeah they are probably light years behind NV atm.
 

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