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Help me decide between 3 GPUs: 7870s vs 7950? Update:7950 it is.

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I'm torn between these three cards:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100006662&IsNodeId=1&Description=7950&bop=And&CompareItemList=-1%7C14-102-983%5E14-102-983-TS%2C14-102-962%5E14-102-962-TS%2C14-150-605%5E14-150-605-TS

I will be gaming on a 60Hz monitor at 1080P and playing everything from SCII to Skyrim to BF3. I have an Antec 300 with a max GPU length of 11 inches or 280mm.

I absolutely, positively, will not spend more than the 7950 I linked to costs ($390) - I can't and won't spend a penny more on a GPU. I'm already pissed because I know the prices are going to drop like a rock a month after I buy this but there's nothing I can do about that.

The reason I'm torn is because an OC'd 7870 beats a stock 7950. The 7950 that I can (barely) afford has a crappy-looking/performing cooler on it. I probably won't be able to OC the 7950 without an aftermarket cooler which is pricey so it's probably not happening for a while... I will be able to OC a 7870 as high as it's going to go with the cooler provided, stock - although that really doesn't save me hardly any money to do so.

I'm leaning on the side of the XFX 7870 because it has a nice looking/performing cooler on it (don't really care what it looks like TBH) and a lifetime warranty which is nice because I give all my "hand-me-downs" to my g/f and so I like them to stick around. I also never spend this much money on a single PC component so a good warranty is nice, though I know the two year warranty on Sapphire parts is likely all I'll ever need.

As for the 7950, I'm mostly concerned about the temps I read about with the card I've linked to - I've read it reaches the mid 80's under load and the voltage reg's get well above that supposedly. That sounds a little toasty!

So, my argument is get the 7870 with the nicest cooler/warranty I can afford, and OC it to basically meet a 7950 with less of a warranty and a rather shotty cooler... sound intelligent?

Benchmarks are below:

OC'd 7870's vs Ref 7950's (Remember, I can't OC the card I'm looking at anyway, and can't spend more on a nicer 7950)
http://www.anandtech.com/show/5767/capsule-review-sapphires-radeon-hd-7870-overclock-edition/5

Stock 7870's vs Ref 7950's
http://www.anandtech.com/show/5767/capsule-review-sapphires-radeon-hd-7870-overclock-edition/3

HW Canucks BM's + Review:
http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-reviews/52165-amd-radeon-hd-7870-hd-7850-review-10.html

Sapphire 7870: $365 Shipped
XFX 7870: $386 Shipped
Sapphire 7950: $390 Shipped

The 7950 is still tempting so somebody tell me what they think about all of this and which card to get.

Thanks!


UPDATE:

Decided on this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102963
$417 shipped but it's going to be one or two weeks so my fingers are crossed for a little bit of a price drop - doubtful but hopeful. I think the better cooler will be worth the extra $$.
Edited by FromUndaChz - 4/28/12 at 7:38pm
post #2 of 15
That sapphire 7950 will OC very well actually and with the 7870s so close in price I would definitely buy the 7950. You'll be able to overclock it to stock 7970 levels pretty easily.
    
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post #3 of 15
Easy, 7950... Dude over me here says it all wink.gif
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post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
Okay, sounds good to me - just wanted somebody(s) to back me up lol!

Thanks guys.
post #5 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by FromUndaChz View Post

Okay, sounds good to me - just wanted somebody(s) to back me up lol!

Thanks guys.

At that price differential 7950 is an easy pick.
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post #6 of 15
for 10 bucks more get this hd 7950 oc edition. would easily clock 1 - 1.1 Ghz at stock voltage. You can push it to 1.2 Ghz+ with extra voltage. The 7870 will be no comparison at those speeds

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125414
Edited by raghu78 - 4/28/12 at 7:42pm
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post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by raghu78 View Post

for 10 bucks more get this hd 7950 oc edition. would easily clock 1 - 1.1 Ghz at stock voltage
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125414

Won't fit in my Antec 300. Max length is 11" and I'm not hacking anything up.

I'm going to get this one even though I can't afford to lol... I'm sure the better cooler will be nice to have when I OC it.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102963
post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by FromUndaChz View Post

Won't fit in my Antec 300. Max length is 11" and I'm not hacking anything up.
I'm going to get this one even though I can't afford to lol... I'm sure the better cooler will be nice to have when I OC it.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102963

very good choice. enjoy smile.gif
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post #9 of 15
Ofcourse HD7950 is the right choice smile.gif Its different from HD7870 when comes with overclocking, OC scalling with HD7950 is very high, at stock HD7950 gets 28K of Vantage graphic test score and can goes up to 36-37K if you overclock it smile.gif but HD7870 gets 25K of Vantage graphic test score and can goes up to around 30K smile.gif
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post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by neoroy View Post

Ofcourse HD7950 is the right choice smile.gif Its different from HD7870 when comes with overclocking, OC scalling with HD7950 is very high, at stock HD7950 gets 28K of Vantage graphic test score and can goes up to 36-37K if you overclock it smile.gif but HD7870 gets 25K of Vantage graphic test score and can goes up to around 30K smile.gif

Yeah I Tube'd it last night and found it to be quite the overclocker with a decent cooler attached to it :-D Can't wait! Going to order it next week or the week after, it's $417 shipped but I'm waiting for a price drop or promo code of some sort before I buy - I don't usually spend this much money so one of Newegg's promo codes will be a much appreciated relief if I come across one by then, lol.

I wish the availability of Keplar was better, it would drive the prices down on the 7950 pretty quickly I'm sure - A month after I buy I'm going to watch the price drop like a rock. AMD is charging a premium for their high end cards while they can still get away with it, even though it's really not much better than 1 yr old tech overall from Nvidia's GTX 580, Nividia is also milking their prices up until the very last moment - and now they're competing with themselves for the time being.
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