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Building my Dream Computer, need your vote on these 4 cards!

Poll Results: Please Read Part of the Thread Before Voting!

 
  • 34% (89)
    EVGA SuperClocked GeForce GTX 680 2GB
  • 22% (57)
    MSI Lightning Radeon HD 7970 3GB
  • 6% (16)
    GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 680 2GB
  • 36% (94)
    SAPPHIRE Vapor-X Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB
256 Total Votes  
post #1 of 356
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone, I'm building my dream computer right now and I'm hearing mixed reviews on a couple of cards. I am looking to buy 1 high end card right now and then if needed down the road getting another for sli/cf. I have never built a dream computer nor will i again for a good 4 years give or take a year. So i need these cards to be as future proof as possible and i know thats asking a lot as far as cards go. I just want to spend 500$ on this card, My options are...

Evga GTX 680 SC 2gb

Gigabyte GTX 680 2gb

MSI Lightning 7970 3gb

Sapphire Vapor- X 7970 3gb


Keep in mind it has to be a stand alone card that can run anything right now, and once i sli/cf it needs to run reliably well for the next 3 years.

I am buying a 24inch 120hz gaming monitor and will play mostly in 1080p. Altho i might play in the higher setting if able to max.


Just stop in and vote or suggest a different card please. If you can provide reason to back up your vote that would be a great help.

Thank you all in advance + rep to helpful people.

EDIT:
New Poll added!

Please keep these in mind before voting

1. 500$ budget
2. Gaming on 1920 x 1080 no higher
3. 1 monitor
4. Will not OC to the max just a small push
5. Needs to last a few years
6. Cant be absurdly loud

Edit: Purpose and Use of this PC updated!

I am a hardcore gamer hands down. I have been so for as long as I can remember. I also have never owned a high end computer which as you can understand is a real problem for a person like me. I play a lot of games on my xbox 360 as my computer cant run anything really(lap top has a ATI 4250 GPU). So as the title says I'm trying to build my Dream PC. Its the PC i have been dreaming to have since i first started gaming online 10 years ago. So that is the spirit of the entire project that's why I'm very slow to cut corners or go with something i feel I might be cutting corners with. If i buy something just to save money I'll no doubt later on feel as if I cheated myself.

With that brief back story out of the way lets get to what really matters(what I intent to use this computer for). I do a bit of video editing time to time just messing around. also I convert video files and play in Photoshop but not enough to make that a real factor. The main thing is gaming hands down no question. Its a multi purpose computer but the main focus is not doubt on gaming, as I'm sure it is for most people here. I enjoy playing all types of games from, mmo's,single player rpg's, rts, and fps of course. I will admit i do prefer to play FPS's on my xbox but that might just be because i couldn't on my pc in the past. So the games I will be playing with this system!

1. Borderlands 2
2. Guild wars 2
3. farcry 3
4. skyrim
5.Arma 2(day Z)
6. Witcher 2

I will be playing a number of different games but those are the main ones I'm looking forward to. I want to be able to run all of these games on max settings (witcher 2 with out the game breaking one) and get at least 40+ FPS.
Edited by Hyperion. - 9/15/12 at 6:03am
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post #2 of 356
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hyperion. View Post

Hello everyone, I'm building my dream computer right now and i'm hearing mixed things on a couple of cards. I am looking to buy 1 high end card right now and then 4 months down the road getting another for sli/cf. I have never build a dream computer nor will i again for a good 4 years give or take a year. So i need these cards to be as future proof as possible and i know thats asking alot as far as cards go. I just want to spend 500$ on the card because i have to buy another one later. My three options i'm thinking over are......
670 4gb
680 2 gb
MSI Lightning 7970 3gb
Keep in mind it has to be a stand alone card that can run anything right now, and once i sli/cf it needs to run reliably well for the next 3 years.
I am buying a 24inch 120hz gaming monitor and will play mostly in 1080p. Altho i might play in the higher setting if able to max.
Just stop in and vote or suggest a different card please. If you can provide reason to back up your vote that would be a great help.
Thank you all in advance + rep to helpful people.

670 4GB takes my vote..
The more VRAM will help in the long run and it's about the same as the 7970.
 
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post #3 of 356
HD7970 is the fastest of those. But HD7950 is currently the best bang for the buck, you can Crossfire two of those for just $650 and match other big setups with dual 670s, 680s & HD7970s.
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post #4 of 356
For 1080p i would not get a 4gb card. I pick the 670 because of physx. And for the price of a 4gb 670 you can get a 2gb 680.
    
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post #5 of 356
I have been trying to figure same thing out and I belive in long run and plan to xfire the 7970 or 7950 is best option as the faster memory and 3gb will help in long run as my wife is making them last 3 yrs.
Look in to the sapphire 7900 oc model dual x models they are nice and oc even more.

Sent from my HTC-X710a using Tapatalk 2
post #6 of 356
I would get the 7970 without hesitation. I would not get anything under 3GB, even at 1080P if this needs to last you 4 years, and a 256-bit bus has some limitations, here is why.....

It is already possible to hit a VRAM limit with 2GB on certain games, even at 1080P, games like Skyrim when modified will do this. We are also starting to see some of the limits of a 256-bit memory bus, in terms of throughput, on the extreme of games. We aren't hitting those limits, but we can see where 256-bit is going to be an issue.

The biggest thing you need to think of is the next generation of gaming engines that are coming out, CryEngine 3.0, Unreal Engine 4.0, and Frostbite 3.0 based games. The first of which are schedule to hit early to mid next year, and the level of realism they bring is amazing. With this level of detail and realism you are going to need higher amounts of VRAM and faster memory through-puts, the 7970 has a substantially faster memory bus than the Nvidia 600 series and the extra memory to go with it. Both of which will be a huge plus for it with these new games and the farther we get into the future the more of an advantage.

Ask yourself this; Why would Nvidia have gone from a 3GB 384-bit memory configuration on the GTX 580 to a downgraded 2GB 256-bit configuration on the GTX 680? For that matter they took a major step backwards in the 600 series and it's memory configuration from the 500 series. The answer is planned obsolescence, Nvidia knows the 600 series isn't going to hold out in the long term, think several years. So when they drop the 700 series, or Maxwell after that, many of the hardcore gamers are going to need to switch, especially if they want to take full advantage of the next generation games.
    
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post #7 of 356
Future will bring with it games more demanding on bandwidth, but also more demanding on shader power. Nvidia thinks that shading power is what will be the bottleneck, AMD thinks the key is memory bandwidth. Future will show which is right. To say it's clear that bandwidth will make the 7970 more future proof is a flawed argument. As it stands, the most bandwidth hungry titles, Crysis and Metro 2033, are rather old whereas modern day titles such as BF3 and Max Payne 3 are heavy on the shaders. If shader power is the future, 7970's bandwidth isn't worth a lot since it will be bottlenecked elsewhere.
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post #8 of 356
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PostalTwinkie View Post

I would get the 7970 without hesitation. I would not get anything under 3GB, even at 1080P if this needs to last you 4 years, and a 256-bit bus has some limitations, here is why.....
It is already possible to hit a VRAM limit with 2GB on certain games, even at 1080P, games like Skyrim when modified will do this. We are also starting to see some of the limits of a 256-bit memory bus, in terms of throughput, on the extreme of games. We aren't hitting those limits, but we can see where 256-bit is going to be an issue.
The biggest thing you need to think of is the next generation of gaming engines that are coming out, CryEngine 3.0, Unreal Engine 4.0, and Frostbite 3.0 based games. The first of which are schedule to hit early to mid next year, and the level of realism they bring is amazing. With this level of detail and realism you are going to need higher amounts of VRAM and faster memory through-puts, the 7970 has a substantially faster memory bus than the Nvidia 600 series and the extra memory to go with it. Both of which will be a huge plus for it with these new games and the farther we get into the future the more of an advantage.
Ask yourself this; Why would Nvidia have gone from a 3GB 384-bit memory configuration on the GTX 580 to a downgraded 2GB 256-bit configuration on the GTX 680? For that matter they took a major step backwards in the 600 series and it's memory configuration from the 500 series. The answer is planned obsolescence, Nvidia knows the 600 series isn't going to hold out in the long term, think several years. So when they drop the 700 series, or Maxwell after that, many of the hardcore gamers are going to need to switch, especially if they want to take full advantage of the next generation games.

Very well thought out and nicely put. I have been hearing this often and this is what lead me to starting this topic.

If i were to go 7970 would the MSI lightning be the best card or are there others i should consider?


Also thank you to the rest that have come in with your views. I find it interesting about the shaders. Are the AMD cards that far behind nvidia in this respect? Also are the drivers alot better now on the AMD side then they used to be and if so could you give me a decent comparison to the nvid side?

Thanks guys and keep it coming please i'm still undecided!
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post #9 of 356
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hyperion. View Post

Very well thought out and nicely put. I have been hearing this often and this is what lead me to starting this topic.
If i were to go 7970 would the MSI lightning be the best card or are there others i should consider?
Also thank you to the rest that have come in with your views. I find it interesting about the shaders. Are the AMD cards that far behind nvidia in this respect? Also are the drivers alot better now on the AMD side then they used to be and if so could you give me a decent comparison to the nvid side?
Thanks guys and keep it coming please i'm still undecided!

The Sapphire Vapor-X 7970 Ghz Edition is generally considered to be the best, others would argue the Asus DC2T, both followed by the the MSi Lighting. Drivers have come a long way for AMD as they made a hard focus on making them better, and they have succeeded pretty well.

As for shaders....

Memory architecture is more important and has a greater impact on overall performance; This article is a little over a year old, but the basics are there...

http://www.realworldtech.com/gpu-memory-bandwidth/

The truth of the matter is, if you don't have the bandwidth to push the data through, you still choke. Not to mention there are new shader technologies in the works with the next generation game engines that greatly improves performance.
    
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post #10 of 356
Quote:
Originally Posted by PostalTwinkie View Post

The Sapphire Vapor-X 7970 Ghz Edition is generally considered to be the best, others would argue the Asus DC2T, both followed by the the MSi Lighting. Drivers have come a long way for AMD as they made a hard focus on making them better, and they have succeeded pretty well.
As for shaders....
Memory architecture is more important and has a greater impact on overall performance; This article is a little over a year old, but the basics are there...
http://www.realworldtech.com/gpu-memory-bandwidth/
The truth of the matter is, if you don't have the bandwidth to push the data through, you still choke. Not to mention there are new shader technologies in the works with the next generation game engines that greatly improves performance.

For all generations where they existed, the Lightning cards have always had the beefiest VRMs, the best overclocking features, one of the best coolers and always the highest max overclocks. Why are you saying that it's not the best...?
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