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Building a Budget Rig Need Help in Decision

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I am building a budget rig for my cousin and I am trying to get the most bang for his buck. I have picked out everything besides the graphics card because I have been presented with quite the dilemma. I can get a used 7870 for ~180 or a GTX480 for ~120 both used from buddies. Is the 7870 worth 60 more? I know the 480 is a bit more powerful but also has a lot more power consumption which isnt an issue because I am using a 700w PSU. Any advice would be more than grateful. Thanks! thumb.gif
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post #2 of 5
are you sure the 480 is more powerful? I'd suggest going for the 7870 for two reasons. 1) the greater VRAM (albeit only a delta of 500MB) makes it a better contender for future games, even current games like Skyrim with mods will be happy with the 2GB vram of the 7870. 2) The 7870 can overclock like a champ if your cousin can handle that, or you can set it up for him/her

I can't comment on the financial aspect of it since 60 bucks are valued differently by each person. But I am very price conscious and expenditure now will probably mean staving off upgrading down the road. Especially since the 7870 is newer tech compared to the 480

hope this helped
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post #3 of 5
at stock speeds the HD 7870 is on par with GTX 580. when overclocked to 1.25 ghz it matches HD 7950 boost (925 mhz) and GTX 670. the GTX 480 needs to be watercooled and and running at 950 mhz to 1 ghz to reach that kind of performance.

here is a golden msi hawk at 1325 mhz matching HD 7970 (1 Ghz) performance

http://www.overclock.net/t/1345122/sapphire-hd-7870-xt-based-on-amd-tahiti-le-chip/110#post_19435849

also instead of a used HD 7870 you can get a new HD 7870 Tahiti LE and sell the game coupons to cut cost. you could easily get USD 50 from selling the 2 game coupons.

Tahiti LE cards

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814131487
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814202024

US NCIX has the Powercolor HD 7870 Tahiti LE for USD 249 (219 after mail in rebate) . check if us ncix has the game bundle offer for this card.

http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=80887&vpn=AX7870%202GBD5-2DHPPV2E&manufacture=PowerColor

this card matches HD 7950(800 mhz) at stock speeds. runs at 975 mhz boost clocks. its 10 - 12% faster than HD 7870 at same clocks. easily overclocks to 1.15 - 1.2 ghz at stock voltage of 1.25v.
Edited by raghu78 - 3/6/13 at 12:43pm
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post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Great looks like the consensus leans towards the newer tech 7870, I will be going with that, Thanks
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College Build
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Intel i7 920 D0 | 3.5GHz @ 1.075v 24/7 EVGA x58 SLI LE EVGA GTX 275 3 x 2 GB OCZ DDR3 1600 XMP 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
2 x 640 GB WD Caviar Black Microsoft Vista Ultimate Hanns-G HG-281DPB 28-Inch Logitech G15 
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Corsair 750TX Coolermaster ATCS 840 Logiech G5 Func mousepad 
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post #5 of 5
HD 7870 is a sort of a ripoff at $180 used. The new ones, with games that you can sell for $50+ are selling for $200-210 sometimes.

You can get a Tahiti LE HD 7870XT for $230ish and sell the games for $50+ and get a better deal than buying a used HD7870 for $180
Edited by AlphaC - 3/6/13 at 5:11pm
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