Originally Posted by ibleedspeed
lets assume here that the friend is a newbie since he did not design or come here and ask himself... so having to overclock the card to reach the same results may not be the best choice. maybe out of the box performance is best for someone new to building. i say get the best card you can get within budget and save the overclocking for when the card no longer cuts it..jmho
Even still, the vanillia 7970 is only ~5 FPS slower in most cases. 100 bucks for 5 FPS?????? To me that is a bit wasteful, especially considering there is no SSD in the build plan.
Plus, overclocking a GPU is not as hard as overclocking a CPU. IF (key word), the OP/OP's Friend needs that extra 5 FPS, there are tons of videos, guides, resources, and software to help them OC the card. Plus, there is a good chance that the OP could OC the card himself. In any case, the real answer is we do not know how experienced the OP or his friend is. All I was doing was saying that the option for overclocking the card is on the table.
Not to mention that if we really wanted to get the OP the best card for out of the box performance, we would need to know what sort of games his friend plays. For all we know, a GTX 770 could be a better option. *shrug*
While there are too many variables to make a clear cut decision, one thing is for certain. The 7970ghz card (or at least that particular model) is SEVERELY over priced.