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Graphics Card Conundrum

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Let me preface this by saying I'm not a graphics card nut, I'm not savvy as to shader cores or the like, I have a general knowledge only of graphics cards. But I'm learning more as I dig along. That said.......

I'm in the market for a graphics card, and I want to go with somethign that's going to last me for a while, stay current for a while, etc. I.E. I'm in the market for a 7970 or a GTX 680.

I'm not a BIG gamer. I don't have a fast internet connection so I don't play on line games hardly at all. I do play games from time to time, like CoD Black Ops, NFS Shift 2, etc, so frame rates are important to some degree. I do play lots of 1080p encodes and blu rays on the computer also. All of this on either a 24" 1920x1080 monitor or my 42" LCD at 1920x1080.

My other concern is heat. I'm running in a NZXT H2 Classic case. It's done very well with my setup and a 5750 card in there, but I'm wondering if a 7970 or 680 is going to greatly impact the heat. As of now, with an H80 and I7-950 OC'd to 4.02 ghz, temps aren't bad at all with idle temps on the processor at about 33 and load temps at about 62 under Prime or doing a 1080p handbrake encode.

Now I fully understand that a 7970 or 680 is going to be overkill for what I'm doing. But, like I mentioned, I'm in the market, and want one of the upper echelon cards out right now for longevity sake. I'm just wondering which is a better match for me. I'm gravitating towards the 7970 because it seems to have lower temps and lower power consumption and I already have an AMD card/cr, but from what I've been seeing, the 680 is a better performer overall.

You all experienced types have any thoughts or advice?
   
HTPC
(9 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel I7 950 Asus Rampage III Gene XFX Radeon 7970 Samsung Green DDR3 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Adata S599 SATA II SSD 64GB Samsung Spinpoint F1 LG Super Multi Drive BD/HD-DVD ROM CoolerMaster Hyper 212 Evo 
CoolingCoolingOSMonitor
NZXT 120mm Intake fans x 2 NZXT 120MM Floor intake fan Windows 10 Pro ASUS VH242H 24" 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Microsoft wireless OCZ ZX 850 NZXT H2 Classic Microsoft Blue Anywhere Laser wireless 
Other
Thermaltake Max-1562 5.25 bay six 2.5 drive bac... 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Phenom 9850 Black Edition Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-US2H Sapphire Vapor-X Radeon 5750 OCZ Platinum DDR2 
Hard DriveCoolingCoolingCooling
Adata S599 SATA II SSD Ultra X-Wind 120mm CPU hsf Coolermaster 120mm Green LED exhaust Fan 2 x generic 80 mm intake fans 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Microsoft XP pro Asus VH242H 24" LCD Micro Inovations USB Diablotek 450 Watt 
CaseMouseOther
Ultta Microfly BX6 Logitech MX-8 3.5" multi card reader 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
AMD A6-5400K ASRock FM2A85X-ITX G.Skill Ares DDR3 1866 8 GB (2x4GB) Adata SX900 64GB SSD 
Hard DriveMonitorKeyboardPower
Toshiba PH3200U-1I72 2TB  50" Phillips Plasma Logitech DiNovo Edge PC Power and Cooling Silencer MKIII 400W 
Case
Fractal Design Node 304 
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HTPC
(9 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel I7 950 Asus Rampage III Gene XFX Radeon 7970 Samsung Green DDR3 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Adata S599 SATA II SSD 64GB Samsung Spinpoint F1 LG Super Multi Drive BD/HD-DVD ROM CoolerMaster Hyper 212 Evo 
CoolingCoolingOSMonitor
NZXT 120mm Intake fans x 2 NZXT 120MM Floor intake fan Windows 10 Pro ASUS VH242H 24" 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Microsoft wireless OCZ ZX 850 NZXT H2 Classic Microsoft Blue Anywhere Laser wireless 
Other
Thermaltake Max-1562 5.25 bay six 2.5 drive bac... 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Phenom 9850 Black Edition Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-US2H Sapphire Vapor-X Radeon 5750 OCZ Platinum DDR2 
Hard DriveCoolingCoolingCooling
Adata S599 SATA II SSD Ultra X-Wind 120mm CPU hsf Coolermaster 120mm Green LED exhaust Fan 2 x generic 80 mm intake fans 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Microsoft XP pro Asus VH242H 24" LCD Micro Inovations USB Diablotek 450 Watt 
CaseMouseOther
Ultta Microfly BX6 Logitech MX-8 3.5" multi card reader 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
AMD A6-5400K ASRock FM2A85X-ITX G.Skill Ares DDR3 1866 8 GB (2x4GB) Adata SX900 64GB SSD 
Hard DriveMonitorKeyboardPower
Toshiba PH3200U-1I72 2TB  50" Phillips Plasma Logitech DiNovo Edge PC Power and Cooling Silencer MKIII 400W 
Case
Fractal Design Node 304 
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post #2 of 3
If you're concerned about temps and power consumption, I would choose the 7970. Although, if you can look past that the 680 is performing better overall. Now regarding your encoding and video playback, as far as I know, that's the processor's job to handle.

So if you'd like to be set for quite a while at 1080p in the next few titles to come, I'd choose a 680. I'm no fanboy. Owned both green and red, but I'm not concerned about power consumption or temps.
Main
(29 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD FX-8320 ASRock 990FX Extreme4 Sapphire Radeon R9 290 Tri-X Crucial BallistiX Sport 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Seagate Barracuda 3.5" 7200rpm [Internal] Western Digital 3.5" 7200rpm [Internal] Hitachi Deskstar 3.5" 7200rpm [Internal] Western Digital "Elements" 3.5" 7200rpm [External] 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Western Digital 2.5" 7200rpm [Internal] Seagate Barracuda 3.5" 7200rpm [Internal] Western Digital 3.5" 7200rpm [Internal] Samsung 840 Series SSD 
Optical DriveOSMonitorMonitor
Pioneer DVR-115 DVD+/-RW Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit SP1 2x BenQ 24" G2420HDB LG 50PK250N 50" Plasma TV 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
BenQ 1070W Projector Logitech K200 XFX ProSeries Black Edition 850W Phanteks Enthoo Pro 
MouseMouse PadAudioAudio
Roccat Kone+ SteelSeries 4D Cerwin Vega XLS-6 speakers Fronts Cerwin Vega CLSC-6C Center 
AudioAudioAudioAudio
Jamo cornet 40 II Rears Pioneer VSX-421 Surround Receiver Creative Sound Blaster Tactic3D Rage Wireless LG HX906SB 3D Home Cinema system 
Other
Scythe Kaze Master II 
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Main
(29 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD FX-8320 ASRock 990FX Extreme4 Sapphire Radeon R9 290 Tri-X Crucial BallistiX Sport 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Seagate Barracuda 3.5" 7200rpm [Internal] Western Digital 3.5" 7200rpm [Internal] Hitachi Deskstar 3.5" 7200rpm [Internal] Western Digital "Elements" 3.5" 7200rpm [External] 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Western Digital 2.5" 7200rpm [Internal] Seagate Barracuda 3.5" 7200rpm [Internal] Western Digital 3.5" 7200rpm [Internal] Samsung 840 Series SSD 
Optical DriveOSMonitorMonitor
Pioneer DVR-115 DVD+/-RW Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit SP1 2x BenQ 24" G2420HDB LG 50PK250N 50" Plasma TV 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
BenQ 1070W Projector Logitech K200 XFX ProSeries Black Edition 850W Phanteks Enthoo Pro 
MouseMouse PadAudioAudio
Roccat Kone+ SteelSeries 4D Cerwin Vega XLS-6 speakers Fronts Cerwin Vega CLSC-6C Center 
AudioAudioAudioAudio
Jamo cornet 40 II Rears Pioneer VSX-421 Surround Receiver Creative Sound Blaster Tactic3D Rage Wireless LG HX906SB 3D Home Cinema system 
Other
Scythe Kaze Master II 
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post #3 of 3
buy whichever one is cheaper or more readily available. they are both great cards. unfortunatley 680's have been out of stock since release day and there is no info if or when they will be available again. if you are looking to purchase one right now, 7970 just dropped in price. if you have time to wait, keep an eye out for a 680 as nvidia typically has better drivers.
Case Labs S3
(12 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 3770k ASRock Z77E GTX 780Ti Samsung 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
840 EVO Custom Water Win 7 Shimian 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Razer Black Widow Seasonic X660 Case Labs S3 G400 
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Case Labs S3
(12 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 3770k ASRock Z77E GTX 780Ti Samsung 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
840 EVO Custom Water Win 7 Shimian 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Razer Black Widow Seasonic X660 Case Labs S3 G400 
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