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7950 vs 7970, is there any difference besides clock speed?

post #1 of 30
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Sorry for asking this noob question. But I couldn't find the answer through google.

I can't figure out if there is a difference between the 7950 and 7970, besides the clock speed? They both feature 3gb GDDR5 and 384bit memory interfaces. They both have the same GPU Tahiti. So is there any difference besides the 800mhz vs 925mhz clock speed?

The reason why I'm asking is because I might pick up a pair of 7950's for Xfire. I know they can be beast when it comes to overclocking, like 1100-1200 range....so is there any reason to pony up an extra $100 per GPU and get the 7970, EVEN if you plan to OC the 7950 anyway? I heard the 7970 can do 1100-1200 as well, but it doesn't have as high of headroom since it already starts at 925mhz versus the 800mhz of 7950.

Thanks in advanced.
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post #2 of 30
Here are the cards details:



If 7950 and 7970 are running at same clocks 7970 would be 5% faster than 7950.

http://hexus.net/tech/reviews/graphics/34761-amd-hd-7950-vs-hd-7970-clocks/

Edit:
What I would do is that I would buy two cheapest 7970 GHz editions and I wouldn't OC them, because there sure is no need to do that when you have two 7970 GHz at Xfire, those beasts does beat every game and laugh while they are doing it.
Edited by Paztak - 5/17/13 at 1:26am
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post #3 of 30
Apart from the 7970 Ghz Editions (which are super beast), the standard reference editions of the 7950/7970 are pretty close in terms of performance and specs (can't remember what the 7970 has more of than the 7950) And yes, overclocking on the 7950 is awesome. Mine goes up to 1050/1500 on air and that brings it over 7970(ref) performance. Benching I have pushed it to 1250/1600 and pretty stable

If you are planning on Xfire and would rather save some money, the 7950's are pretty much your best option at the moment IMO thumb.gif
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post #4 of 30
The 7970 dominates. That Hexus review is over a year old and doesn't reflect the MASSIVE difference in performance the drivers have delivered. YES the 7950 is a nice card, but the whole "5% difference at same clocks" simply doesn't stand. Plus one has to remember that the 7970 overclocks as well. A overclocked 7970 jumps in performance DRAMATICALLY. The difference between my 7970 at stock (950mhz) vs. overclocked (1200mhz at time of testing) was 20fps in Tomb Raider. TWENTY FRAMES PER SECOND! It is absolutely ridiculous the performance differences when overclocking.

With my 7970 overclocked to 1200/1700 and I NEVER go below ~60fps in Metro Last Light @ 2048x1536 max settings (no AA)...usually run 70-80 frames in most situations.

Is the 7970 worth the extra $100? I certainly think so. Especially if you have the money. If $200 extra is stretching it then go for the 7950 as they are still awesome cards. If $200 is doable the do it. There is a reason the 7970 is AMD's flagship single GPU graphics card.

7970 Ghz Edition vs. 7950 Boost using newer drivers:
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/645?vs=618

Edit:

Just ran the Metro LL benchmark at both stock (950mhz) and overclocked (1200mhz) and got:

Stock:
  • Total Frames: 6469, Total Time: 169.1396 sec
  • Average Framerate: 38.28
  • Max. Framerate: 69.00 (Frame: 5141)
  • Min. Framerate: 8.81 (Frame: 4322)


Overclocked:
  • Total Frames: 8044, Total Time: 169.5781 sec
  • Average Framerate: 47.47
  • Max. Framerate: 85.90 (Frame: 6416)
  • Min. Framerate: 12.74 (Frame: 5828)

OH! Also see about picking them up used as well if that doesn't bother you. Got this 7970 (Sapphire Dual-X) for $330 used here on the forums. Just to let you know! thumb.gif
Edited by AndroidVageta - 5/17/13 at 1:42am
post #5 of 30
7950s are lower rated everything. The pcbs are lower quality even when using similar pcb to the 7970, corners are cut somewhere for ex. with the new Sapphire 7950 with 7970 pcbs. In this ex. they removed a power phase. Many 7950s have lower rated memory as well.

The differences here are quite striking. It's not like with Cayman where the 6950 was practically identical to the 6970.
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post #6 of 30
There is a difference, but only you can decide if it's worth it. I saved the couple hundred bucks and went with the 7950's. They are awesome cards and run 1150/1575 on air.
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post #7 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AndroidVageta View Post

The 7970 dominates. That Hexus review is over a year old and doesn't reflect the MASSIVE difference in performance the drivers have delivered. YES the 7950 is a nice card, but the whole "5% difference at same clocks" simply doesn't stand. Plus one has to remember that the 7970 overclocks as well. A overclocked 7970 jumps in performance DRAMATICALLY. The difference between my 7970 at stock (950mhz) vs. overclocked (1200mhz at time of testing) was 20fps in Tomb Raider. TWENTY FRAMES PER SECOND! It is absolutely ridiculous the performance differences when overclocking.

With my 7970 overclocked to 1200/1700 and I NEVER go below ~60fps in Metro Last Light @ 2048x1536 max settings (no AA)...usually run 70-80 frames in most situations.

Is the 7970 worth the extra $100? I certainly think so. Especially if you have the money. If $200 extra is stretching it then go for the 7950 as they are still awesome cards. If $200 is doable the do it. There is a reason the 7970 is AMD's flagship single GPU graphics card.

7970 Ghz Edition vs. 7950 Boost using newer drivers:
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/645?vs=618

Edit:

Just ran the Metro LL benchmark at both stock (950mhz) and overclocked (1200mhz) and got:

Stock:
  • Total Frames: 6469, Total Time: 169.1396 sec
  • Average Framerate: 38.28
  • Max. Framerate: 69.00 (Frame: 5141)
  • Min. Framerate: 8.81 (Frame: 4322)


Overclocked:
  • Total Frames: 8044, Total Time: 169.5781 sec
  • Average Framerate: 47.47
  • Max. Framerate: 85.90 (Frame: 6416)
  • Min. Framerate: 12.74 (Frame: 5828)

OH! Also see about picking them up used as well if that doesn't bother you. Got this 7970 (Sapphire Dual-X) for $330 used here on the forums. Just to let you know! thumb.gif

Thanks for the informative post. I will keep this in mind. My budget isn't necessarily "tight"....but at the same time, I do appreciate bang for the buck. I also game at 2560x1600. Maybe the 7970's are more worth it than?

Also a quick question, is the GHZ edition simply a factory OC? Does it feature more unlocked shaders versus the original 7970, or something?
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post #8 of 30
HD7970 performance wise are not worth a extra money, especially if you're in to overclocking a HD7950.
At same clocks HD7970 is only 5% faster than HD7950 at best.

My HD7950 easily OC'd @ 1050/1750MHz is on pair with a GHz edition HD7970 (1050/1500) but almost 50% cheaper in my country.
Here HD7950 cost around 360$ and HD7970 costs 510$ so it's no brainer.

Here's my 3DMark 11 at 1050/1750MHz with 13.4 catalyst (tessellation ON), GPU score is 9929
http://www.3dmark.com/3dm11/6498406.


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post #9 of 30
7950 @ 1200/1600 vs 7970 @ 1200/1600... There was about 2fps difference in gaming @ 1440p. If you can get hands on unlocked 7950, i would not recommend 7970. When you overclock 7950 about 50 more core over 7970, its as fast.
post #10 of 30
OP : Are you buying new cards? If so, then why? whats wrong with your 670 SLI?

Also, if you arent aware of it already, the 700 series from nvidia are to be released on the 23rd of this month. I strongly suggest that you wait until the official specs and reviews come out. See how they perform and are priced, then make an informed decision. As per the rumors, the GTX 780 is going to be a cut-down Titan with 80-90% performance of a Titan and will hopefully be priced within $500--$600. That is going to be an amazing card and have an amazing price/performance ratio if the numbers are anywhere near the real thing.

I'm surprised that no one else has suggested you to wait for the 700 series. Its not worth buying two year old hardware so close to the release date of the next gen of cards. You'll most likely regret it if you do.

Also, about CF : AMD's multi-GPU solutions are a mess right now. Stuttering and low performance in frame time latency tests are two of the major problems with crossfire right now. AMD is supposed to release new drivers to fix this issue sometime in June. But who knows how much of a fix that will be. But if you're going for a single card, the 7970 will be fine. Although, the 780 will give better price/performance if the rumored prices are true.
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