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Deciding on upgrade from EVGA GTX460 GTX680 ATI 7970 or wait?

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Diamond Member
Feb 17, 2012

As the resolution is increased the gap btw 7850 and 580 narrows and at 25x14 ultra 4x msaa it is just about 12-14% slower than 580 but a lot faster than 570 due to 570S lack of VRAM, it is like 50% faster than 570, more like 45% but just 12-13% slower than 580. But at 16x10 even 570 is faster.

At these settings the difference btw a stock 7970 and stock 680 narrow down to just 10% which will easily be covered by 7970s superior overclock scaling. That means clock to clock the 7970 does a bit better at this Rez with msaa

Future games will need at least 1.5-2 gig VRAM to max out. A 580 wont be much faster than a 7850 stock to stock in games to be released after 1-2 years. And a 7870 stock will crush an Oced 580 then

For most games today 1.5 gig is plenty but 1 year down the line at would be a necessity just like 1.25 gig no longer cuts in skyrim at those settings while 1.5 gig is plenty. IMO 2+ go is safe for the next 1+ years and if you plan to use your card for at least 2 years then 7970 is better than 680 because 2 gig will eventually fall short just like 570s 1.25 gig fell short despite having enough juice otherwise.

Get a 680 if you will upgrade within 1.5 years, otherwise get 7850 cf which even otherwise beats a 680 oc


Golden Member
Dec 20, 1999
I really was thinking of going to a 680 but they are all out of stock. It would be great if I could play games on a dual monitor setup but nothing out there seems to exist. What are your thoughts and feelings on getting another 460. Would one more card be that much more of an improvemant? I.E $200 vs $500.


Aug 10, 2009
Sorry, haven't read the whole thread. Has the 670 already been ruled out for some reason? I'll be surprised if we see 680's for a while.


Platinum Member
Sep 25, 2003
Sorry, haven't read the whole thread. Has the 670 already been ruled out for some reason? I'll be surprised if we see 680's for a while.
When the OP initially posted this thread, the 670 wasn't on the market. Now it's the best pick. :)


Dec 12, 2001
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Elite Member
Super Moderator
Jan 31, 2000
OP, before they sell out and there are limited choices as it is, but i'd get this right now:


MSI N670GTX-PM2D2GD5/OC GeForce GTX 670 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

$399.00 w/fs for a card that rivals a GTX 680 is the best value right now.


Diamond Member
Jun 25, 2000
I have a 7970 but just bought a 670 to try. I like my 7970 but the thing is a hair dryer and I have the Silverstone Raven case that places the cards exhaust up so its even more noticeable. Im hoping the 670 will be much quieter & put out less heat.

Dark Shroud

Golden Member
Mar 26, 2010
1 feature...adaptive vsync. The 670 has it the 7970 doesn't. Even still, more money is more money.

By the time there's a game that the 670 can't handle you probably would be wanting to upgrade from the 7970 as well. The software(games) are really lagging behind the hardware.
Even now there are modded games that will hit the 670's VRAM limit on single monitors that the 7970 can handle.

And on single monitor viewing I don't feel adaptive vsync matters at all.


Elite Member
Sep 5, 2003
After deciding what the bottleneck is in my system I realized it is the GPU. I O/C my i7-930 to 4.2 GHZ and still Skyrim slows down in high graphics intense scenes in the open territories.
GTX670 beats HD7970 in in SKYRIM and 2GB of VRAM does not appear to be an issue. You should be fine for 1080P even with mods.

GTX670 also costs less. If you can find the Gigabyte Windforce for $400, that's a great card. Out of the box it is essentially ~ GTX680.

The Sapphire HD7970 OC that's recommended has tons of coil whine complaints, and it doesn't have a backplate which causes it to sag and as a result a lot of users are reporting crashes as well.

GTX670 performs better in more recent games (SKYRIM, BF3, Dirt 3, Crysis 2, Batman AC). Also, AMD is still a full generation behind in tessellation performance. That might be the Achilles heel when newer games start showing up way before 2GB of VRAM becomes a limitation at 1080P:

If you play Crysis 1, AvP, Shogun 2, Anno 2070 and Metro 2033 or need double precision performance for compute, HD7970 is a better card. If you play the games mentioned above, GTX670 OC is more or less = reference 680 for $100 less.

Honestly, the fact that so many HD7970s are prone to coil whine makes me hesitant to recommend those cards. That's unacceptable for a $450+ GPU unless you play with headphones. And the reference blower is a jet engine which means 1200mhz overclocking is again off limits. Then there is the extra 100W of power that HD7970 @ 1200mhz will consume despite being hardly faster. For these reasons, I am having a hard time recommending any HD7970s cards at the moment, not until MSI Lightning or PCS+ Vortex drop to $450. Those cards have solid Hi-C caps/chokes and digital VRMs, which guarantees no coil whine lottery. Unfortunately they both sell > $500.

I suppose if you can't find GTX670/680, then HD7970 wins by default.

Here is the Sapphire HD7970 OC but for less than Newegg with $10 off using coupon code Congrats. Free shipping. At <$450, it may be worth a gamble for coil whine. :D

They have EVGA GTX670 reference design for $430 - $10 off using same coupon but reference 670s are not that stellar.
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