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Graphics card decisions (GTX 670, 7950 or 7970)

Poll Results: What would you do?

 
  • 22% (2)
    Buy another 670 Sig2 2 GB
  • 22% (2)
    Buy a 7950
  • 55% (5)
    Buy a 7970
9 Total Votes  
post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone I'm having a few troubles in the GPU department. In my current setup, I have a GTX 670 Signature2 FTW 2 GB card powering a 1440p monitor, and it's a great card, I have it clocked basically at 1300 MHz, so pretty much GTX 680 performance.

However, in games such as BF3, I'm hitting the VRAM limit constantly, and it won't hold a solid 60 FPS on max settings either. (I'm a max settings freak biggrin.gif ) sometimes dipping into the low 40 FPS range. So I've been pondering my options, and here's what I think they are:
-Buy another GTX 670 Signature2 FTW 2 GB, SLI them - If I did this it'd have to be a Sig2 card, because of how they clock, I'd like them both to clock around 1300 MHz
-Buy a 7950, and X-fire it later
or finally,
-Buy a 7970 and X-fire it later

As said above, I play in 1440p, and I'm playing games like BF3, Portal, Minecraft, some COD's, and possibly some Far Cry 3. I also fold a lot, and GPU folding is nice too. Currently the 7970 brings in around 50k PPD, while a GTX 670 brings in around 33k PPD. I'd appreciate the community's input on this.
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post #2 of 21
if you are positive that you are hitting a vrm limit with one 2GB card - adding another 2GB card is not going to help. it might even make it worse.

not sure if i asked you before . . . have you tried raising your cpu oc?
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post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rdr09 View Post

if you are positive that you are hitting a vrm limit with one 2GB card - adding another 2GB card is not going to help. it might even make it worse.

not sure if i asked you before . . . have you tried raising your cpu oc?
I've checked with GPU-z while playing BF3, and once the level "levels" out, my VRAM is at a constant 1960-2006 MB of use.

As for my CPU, it's at 4.4 GHz, with only 1.17V. It can do 4.5 GHz stable with 1.2V, so lots of voltage headroom there. The only problem is my cooling isn't up to the task. Right now I'm already getting temperatures of around 71C on the hottest core, and on 4.5 GHz, I was getting around 82C on the hottest core.
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post #4 of 21
7970 and CF later. at 1440p, you can use the extra horsepower you get with the 7970 over the 7950.

Hope this helps! thumb.gif
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post #5 of 21
I'd also have to recommend the 7970, as it sounds like you really need that extra VRAM. It's a shame you'll have to set aside the 670 FTW, I myself own one and love it, though I do only game at 1080p. It boosted to 1300 MHz right out of the box biggrin.gif Incidentally, what level of AA are you using? To the average eye there's very little visual difference between 8x MSAA and 4x MSAA, but that 8x MSAA comes with a massive performance hit, if you don't notice the difference it might be worth just turning it down a little.
post #6 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by ahnafakeef View Post

7970 and CF later. at 1440p, you can use the extra horsepower you get with the 7970 over the 7950.

Hope this helps! thumb.gif

+1 rep

I love my 7970 and i'm really thinkin of xfire my setup!!
post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KaiserFrederick View Post

I'd also have to recommend the 7970, as it sounds like you really need that extra VRAM. It's a shame you'll have to set aside the 670 FTW, I myself own one and love it, though I do only game at 1080p. It boosted to 1300 MHz right out of the box biggrin.gif Incidentally, what level of AA are you using? To the average eye there's very little visual difference between 8x MSAA and 4x MSAA, but that 8x MSAA comes with a massive performance hit, if you don't notice the difference it might be worth just turning it down a little.
Wow! My GTX 670 Sig2 does 1290 MHz with 1.175V in PrecisionX, and it's stable.

As for the MSAA, everything is maxed out in BF3 when I play it, so I think it's at least 16x MSAA when I play on those settings. Even with MSAA on lowest/disabled setting, I think my GPU is still using no less than 1500 MB, and I *think* it's usually around 1700 MB of usage.
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post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by cam51037 View Post

Wow! My GTX 670 Sig2 does 1290 MHz with 1.175V in PrecisionX, and it's stable.

As for the MSAA, everything is maxed out in BF3 when I play it, so I think it's at least 16x MSAA when I play on those settings. Even with MSAA on lowest/disabled setting, I think my GPU is still using no less than 1500 MB, and I *think* it's usually around 1700 MB of usage.
16x MSAA at 1440p? That's ridiculous to be frank. I doubt even the 7970 is going to hold a constant 60fps with those settings, and the ppi on a 27" 1440p screen is fine enough that there's virtually no visual gain beyond 2-4x MSAA anyway.

Also VRAM usage can be misleading since games will cache more than they actually require for your frame buffer. If you're over your VRAM limit you won't just see tiny dips, you'll be dropping into the single digits when your GPUs start trying to read from your system memory/hdd.

Personally, I'd just keep what you have and use a reasonable amount of AA.
post #9 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Booty Warrior View Post

16x MSAA at 1440p? That's ridiculous to be frank. I doubt even the 7970 is going to hold a constant 60fps with those settings, and the ppi on a 27" 1440p screen is fine enough that there's virtually no visual gain beyond 2-4x MSAA anyway.

Also VRAM usage can be misleading since games will cache more than they actually require for your frame buffer. If you're over your VRAM limit you won't just see tiny dips, you'll be dropping into the single digits when your GPUs start trying to read from your system memory/hdd.

Personally, I'd just keep what you have and use a reasonable amount of AA.
Alright, I've done some tests, and these settings use from 1925-2040 MB of VRAM in BF3:
-2560x1440p
-Everything Ultra
-4x MSAA
-16X Anisotropic
-HBAO Ambien Occulusion

With these settings, I'm only using around 1.8 GB of VRAM:
-2560x1440p
-Everything Ultra
-2x MSAA
-4x Antrioscopic
-SAOO Ambient Occulusion

Doesn't look very different, but uses a fair amount less of VRAM, I'm thinking now I might even look into another GTX 670 Sig2, so I can get a solid 60FPS with these settings (currently getting 40-60, usually around 50-55FPS). Especially that exact card for it's cooling and OC capabilities. (not the greatest, but if I can get it to around 1300 MHz I'm happy)
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post #10 of 21
If you're really hiting your vRam wall you won't be dipping into low 40's, you'd be dipping into unplayable framerates, 40's are considered playable. So you're not really hiting your vRam wall.
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