Originally Posted by RobsM6S
As a former owner of a 7970 myself I disagree. Sure, you get voltage control but what you end up with at the end of the day after playing around with voltage is an overclock that is very similar to what a lot of GTX 680's are getting. Neither card is really more difficult than the other when it comes to overclocking and both cards overclocked will trade blows with each other depending on the game in question. My primary game is BF3 multiplayer and with 4XMSAA enabled the 680 is simply the faster card which is the reason I now own one.
In short both cards have similar peak overclocks while one has voltage control and the other does not.
I've owned 5 gtx 680s so far and they have all been a pain in the neck to OC except the lightnings. I was able to sell my old reference boards at no loss (this is when they were never in stock online) so it wasn't a big deal to move from those to better 680s. Thats why I like my lightnings so much, sure some have had different experiences but mine are great. I recognize that some have had different experiences, but dealing with Kepler throttle and high temps on the reference 680 was not worth it. 7970 doesn't have any junk like this in terms of thermal throttle and such.
As far as my 7970s I had reference boards that OC'ed +275mhz higher than stock. And I could adjust the voltage to my hearts delight -- also, overclocked 7970s can meet/exceed stock 680 performance, and as 1200 or higher they are great.
Now don't get me wrong, I like my 680s a LOT and really enjoy my setup. For the 7970s though, I'm just saying they're a pretty good option, if he's looking to save a bit of money for overclocking cards.Edited by xoleras - 7/19/12 at 3:55pm