#1 Posted by TriBeard (134 posts) -

I posted a similar topic on the tested forums, but was also interested in any opinions you guys have too. I am starting to look at video cards for purchase later this year, and assuming no one comes out with anything new before then, I'm pretty much down to the 770 and th 7970. Tested's review seems to indicate that the 770 is the better card, but for very similar performance numbers, I can't see why that is when the 770 is about 100 dollars more (and doesn't come with three free games, whatever that's worth). Any opinions on what is best?

Also, I have a core i7 920 CPU in my machine. I don't think this will be too much of a bottleneck, if one at all, but if someone thinks otherwise, please let me know.

Thanks guys.

#2 Posted by Veektarius (4921 posts) -

I just made a similar comparison between the 760 and the 7950 and ended up going with AMD for cost reasons. People are generally down on AMD for not being as on top of things with their drivers. NVidia has a reputation for always taking the prize in performance, but depending on your requirements, its rare that you ever need that extra edge that gives you. I guess some people out there have had bad luck with AMD cards, but I can't claim the same.

If it's any help to you, you will have to choose your 3 games from the following: Sleeping Dogs, Hitman: Absolution, Deus Ex: HR, Tomb Raider, Far Cry 3, Dirt 3, some other Dirt game, Far Cry 3, Blood Dragon, and I think DMC.

#3 Edited by bellmont42 (323 posts) -

I will say if you can afford it then go with the 770 simply on the fact that nvidia has a better control panel(common opinion) and the 7000 series itself is getting old. Otherwise I really don't think it matters...

I will also add in that the 770 uses less power so if you are using it extensively then you may end up saving money over the 7970 over the course of a few years.

#4 Posted by Sooty (8082 posts) -

770 all the way.

#5 Posted by TriBeard (134 posts) -

@veektarius said:

I just made a similar comparison between the 760 and the 7950 and ended up going with AMD for cost reasons. People are generally down on AMD for not being as on top of things with their drivers. NVidia has a reputation for always taking the prize in performance, but depending on your requirements, its rare that you ever need that extra edge that gives you. I guess some people out there have had bad luck with AMD cards, but I can't claim the same.

If it's any help to you, you will have to choose your 3 games from the following: Sleeping Dogs, Hitman: Absolution, Deus Ex: HR, Tomb Raider, Far Cry 3, Dirt 3, some other Dirt game, Far Cry 3, Blood Dragon, and I think DMC.

I have a 560m in my laptop right now, and a 5850 in my desktop, and I don't get it either. I've had way more driver and graphics problems with the laptop than the desktop. I know that laptops are different, but this one uses what is supposed to be a reference board, and it's just a straight, user swappable MXM slot for graphics. I have seen the hell that can be crossfire, and SLI is not perfect but for single cards especially, I think AMD gets a worse rap that it probably deserves.

How is the 7950 treating you? I currently just have one 1080p monitor, but I would like to get a 1440p or higher monitor in the not too distant future and so I am sort of leaning toward the 770/7970 for that reason.

#6 Edited by Veektarius (4921 posts) -

@tribeard: Well, I've mostly been using it for Rome 2, and I can tell you that it does not master that (poorly optimized) game on max settings. However, I tried Tomb Raider with it, which is the best looking game I own, and found it ran perfectly smoothly. I'm not sure it's possible to run Rome 2 without some kind of monster rig, so the latter test probably has more validity than the former.

#7 Edited by TriBeard (134 posts) -

Yeah, probably. I'm almost positive that the 7950 would be perfectly adequate for any gaming I could do on a 1080p panel for the next couple years. But it's just that if I don't spring for the higher card now I'll be stuck with a questionable experience if/when I do get the monitor that I want.

#8 Edited by Kidavenger (3582 posts) -

The 7970 is a much better value, the only thing that would stop me from getting one is that the 8000 series is right around the corner and they should be a big leap forward seeing how the 7000 series is fairly old at this point.

I've never had any problems with AMD drivers and I play a lot of games, I will concede that I rarely play first person shooters and those are the games that people tend to complain about driver issues on launch but even that is fairly rare these days.

Nvidia has PhysX and they do have a much better control panel that gives you more graphical tweaking options but I really don't think the $$$ are worth it for these things, especially if the included games have any value to you.

Nvidia is giving away the new Batman game right now, if you are into those games, that may tip you in that direction versus to AMD's comparatively older games (AMD is announcing a new game as part of their bundle tomorrow I think, that may be worth waiting a day for)

#9 Edited by Veektarius (4921 posts) -

@tribeard: If the extra hundred bucks were in my price range, I'd have done the same thing. I was trying to keep my total upgrade cost and under 800, though.

#10 Edited by Corvak (1126 posts) -

For those on a budget and who like to split hairs - there are third party driver tweaks that give more control than either control panel - making AMD a bit of a better option

PhysX: While it's nice, it just isnt in enough games to tip the scales in their favour. If you're a big fan of a game that will feature PhysX however, by all means :)

One thing that isn't really changing, AMD will probably remain the more affordable option, in terms of price performance ratios.

Advice i'd give is, if you can wait, do it.

- Next gen games are coming, expect a jump in requirements as developers adjust to new console hardware. Consoles drive the level of detail put into things like textures and physics in games. Unless you're Battlefield, most games don't spend a ton of money putting work into something only one platform will see.

It's unlikely to change all that much, as initially the consoles will simply catch up to where PC gaming is right now, but it's still likely to bump up system requirements a bit for multiplatform games.

- The 8000s. AMD's 8000 series is coming. These will be more powerful and also drop the price of the 7000 series. Buying the top of the line often comes with a price premium - and the 7970 will still be the monster of a card it is today. But it might cost $100 less :)

#11 Posted by jsnyder82 (744 posts) -

770 definitely. I just bought it and it's phenomenal. I've had one AMD card before and it crapped out on me. So I just stick with NVidia now.

#12 Edited by Zlimness (562 posts) -

The choice in this price range is a no-brainer really: Get the Radeon 7970 GHz Edition. The 7970 GHz is faster than a 680, and the 770 is a 680. It costs less and have better specs. You also get a bunch of free games from AMD, which is nice. The Geforce is not a bad card though, so you're likely to not be disappointed with a 770. But the 7970 is a lot better value in my opinion.

You should consider upgrading more parts if you plan on playing the next-gen games. The CPU is an entry-level i7 Bloomfield chip that's almost 5 years at this point. It's been fine for a while now with the console ports, but PC games like Civ 5 and Total War put a lot more strain on the CPU. With the next-gen around the corner, developers will start stepping up the requirements in order to run these games.

Unless I'm completely off-base, your rig is 4 years old at this point. If so, wait a few more months when AMD releases the 8000 series and Nvidia hopefully drops the 780 in price. Get a new mobo, i5 haswell and some fresh memory. Give yourself a nice X-mas gift.

Edit: I'm running a 7970 Ghz myself. It's fucking awesome.

#13 Posted by Colourful_Hippie (4419 posts) -

@sooty said:

770 all the way.

#14 Edited by Sooty (8082 posts) -

@zlimness said:

Unless I'm completely off-base, your rig is 4 years old at this point. If so, wait a few more months when AMD releases the 8000 series and Nvidia hopefully drops the 780 in price. Get a new mobo, i5 haswell and some fresh memory. Give yourself a nice X-mas gift.

I'm still on a 2009 non-Sandy Bridge i5 and able to play every game out very well (I know that's because most games are heavily GPU limited but it's still impressive), I would argue there's really little point in upgrading motherboards and CPUs for at least another year or two. (provided you are on at least an i5/i7 quad circa 2009)

Hopefully the new consoles having 8 cores will push games to take advantage of systems with multiple cores as for the most part you still don't need anything more than a fast, modern dual core for PC gaming.

I'm not sure how well the AMD processors from 4 years back have held up, but this i5 still kicks major ass. I used to run it at 4Ghz but I put it down to 3.2 because I didn't see any need to run it that fast, runs super cool as a result. I'm in an annoying position because I leave for Japan in 2015 so if I upgrade next year I won't be able to use it for very long, and if I hold off until 2015 I might as well not bother at all. Grr. It's partly why I'm buying a PS4 because that's something I can actually easily take along.

#15 Posted by TriBeard (134 posts) -

Yeah, this rig was actually free. I had a friend who came back from deployment and wanted to build himself a new computer. He did, and was going to give this one to his parents, who would have used it for nothing more than internet and word and such. I had a core 2 duo rig at the time with a HD 4850, and so I told him they could have that if I could have this with the first gen i7 and 5850. It's been great for the year and a half or so that I have had it, and I really don't notice anything that seems to really bog down due to CPU (occasionally in game physics can do it, borderlands 2 was terrible for that without an nvidia card, but I can just turn that down/off, no big deal, and idk if a new CPU would help but so much anyway).

I really don't want to have to upgrade the motherboard, CPU and buy more ram (this is 3 channel, so I have 3 sticks, so I'd have to buy at least one more, and I don't know if I could get a matched pair. It's not a big expense but still.) If I were to do all of those upgrades I would have to go down to at least a 7950, if not lower to afford it all.

Does anyone know when the 9000 series is coming out? I heard they were skipping the 8000 series on desktop parts. If it's not till winter, no big deal cause I probably won't upgrade till black friday at the earliest, maybe christmas worst case.

Thanks for all the opinions guys.

#16 Edited by BonOrbitz (2214 posts) -

I just bought a 770 and my processor is a i5-2500k Sandy Bridge OC'd to 4500 and there's no bottlenecking. I absolutely love this card.

Oh yeah, if you buy a GTX card now you get Batman Arkham Origins free.

#17 Posted by noizy (681 posts) -
@sooty said:

I'm still on a 2009 non-Sandy Bridge i5 and able to play every game out very well (I know that's because most games are heavily GPU limited but it's still impressive), I would argue there's really little point in upgrading motherboards and CPUs for at least another year or two. (provided you are on at least an i5/i7 quad circa 2009)

I run a Bloomfield (i7-920) with a 7850, and I'm fine with current games. Let's see what next gen will do. That i7 was the best tech purchase I've made in a long time.

#18 Posted by TriBeard (134 posts) -
@noizy said:
@sooty said:

I'm still on a 2009 non-Sandy Bridge i5 and able to play every game out very well (I know that's because most games are heavily GPU limited but it's still impressive), I would argue there's really little point in upgrading motherboards and CPUs for at least another year or two. (provided you are on at least an i5/i7 quad circa 2009)

I run a Bloomfield (i7-920) with a 7850, and I'm fine with current games. Let's see what next gen will do. That i7 was the best tech purchase I've made in a long time.

Yeah, that's basically what I've got in mine. Seems to have held up pretty dang well. The whole system is dead now though cause my OCZ SSD died for the 2nd time. Forced to use my laptop exclusively. FYI guys, OCZ has great customer support, but, from my experience and others that I know, terrible ssd reliability.

#19 Posted by SoldierG654342 (1788 posts) -

I can't speak to the nVidia side of things, but the HD7970 is rock solid.

#20 Posted by believer258 (11991 posts) -

As a current owner of an AMD card, I'm going NVIDIA next. I'm at the point where I've uninstalled Catalyst Control Center and just use Sapphire's Trixx program to play with clock settings and fan speeds. CCC kept causing blue screens for me and I couldn't do anything to fix them, so that shit went away and I haven't had a problem with the card since. But I really don't want to spend hundreds of dollars on a card when the company making the drivers for it can't be arsed to make a good program to control the card.

While we're at it, I also constantly had a problem with games freezing and colored lines criss-crossing the screen with CCC installed. It was caused by the memory clock changing speed halfway through a game or so I heard on the internet - anyway, this is another problem that was solved when I uninstalled Catalyst Control Center and just started using Trixx.

So, yeah, go NVIDIA. If you've got the cash, spring for that 770.

#21 Edited by Sooty (8082 posts) -

@noizy said:
@sooty said:

I'm still on a 2009 non-Sandy Bridge i5 and able to play every game out very well (I know that's because most games are heavily GPU limited but it's still impressive), I would argue there's really little point in upgrading motherboards and CPUs for at least another year or two. (provided you are on at least an i5/i7 quad circa 2009)

I run a Bloomfield (i7-920) with a 7850, and I'm fine with current games. Let's see what next gen will do. That i7 was the best tech purchase I've made in a long time.

For me it's the Twin Frozr GTX 470 with a bit of extra overclocking. Holy shit this thing is insane, 3 years later in December and I'm still running games on ultra at 60 frames. Cannot believe it. Haven't tested Last Light but Far Cry 3, Blacklist (even with HBAO+) and numerous others have all ran great. I sometimes got dips to the high 40s and low 50s on Far Cry & Blacklist but usually it's a solid 60. It's so weird to not have to compromise visual settings and still play games so smooth at such high quality on a card that is getting pretty old. The only setting I never bother use is tessellation and I use FXAA because it's basically free anti-aliasing it seems. I tried SSAA on Blacklist and god damn, my framerate must have went down by 75% and it didn't really look any better over FX.

#22 Posted by Mr_Misery (261 posts) -

PS4

#23 Posted by TriBeard (134 posts) -

PS4

That's probably down the line, depending on if they impress me with exclusives and things that I can't get on PC. I did just trade in the two (long story, one was free when my grandma bought a laptop) 360's I had for a PS3 slim, and am using it more than I have used the xboxes in a very long time. I am considering a ps plus membership and maybe a vita at some point.

Graphics card is more important at the moment though.

#24 Posted by Questionable (619 posts) -

I'm currently rocking the HD7970 and if i got to choose again i would have gone for the GTX counterpart simply because there are so many things that only show if you have physx. just look at the borderlands 2 physx demo its like night and day.

#25 Posted by Questionable (619 posts) -

I'm currently rocking the HD7970 and if i got to choose again i would have gone for the GTX counterpart simply because there are so many things that only show if you have physx. just look at the borderlands 2 physx demo its like night and day.

#26 Edited by djhicks1 (150 posts) -

@tribeard: I checked here: http://gpuboss.com/gpus/Radeon-HD-7970-vs-GeForce-GTX-770 Looks like a toss up.

I'd say go for the latest technology, which is neither, really. A 770 is just a re-branded 680. It depends on if you were going to buy the AMD bundled games. Also, I think AMD might release something before 2014. So yeah, I guess I provided zero help.

#27 Posted by Kidavenger (3582 posts) -
#28 Posted by Zlimness (562 posts) -

@sooty said:

@zlimness said:

Unless I'm completely off-base, your rig is 4 years old at this point. If so, wait a few more months when AMD releases the 8000 series and Nvidia hopefully drops the 780 in price. Get a new mobo, i5 haswell and some fresh memory. Give yourself a nice X-mas gift.

I'm still on a 2009 non-Sandy Bridge i5 and able to play every game out very well (I know that's because most games are heavily GPU limited but it's still impressive), I would argue there's really little point in upgrading motherboards and CPUs for at least another year or two. (provided you are on at least an i5/i7 quad circa 2009)

Hopefully the new consoles having 8 cores will push games to take advantage of systems with multiple cores as for the most part you still don't need anything more than a fast, modern dual core for PC gaming.

I'm not sure how well the AMD processors from 4 years back have held up, but this i5 still kicks major ass. I used to run it at 4Ghz but I put it down to 3.2 because I didn't see any need to run it that fast, runs super cool as a result. I'm in an annoying position because I leave for Japan in 2015 so if I upgrade next year I won't be able to use it for very long, and if I hold off until 2015 I might as well not bother at all. Grr. It's partly why I'm buying a PS4 because that's something I can actually easily take along.

It's not necessary to upgrade the CPU, no. But it's definitely going to be a bottleneck for some games next to a 770 or 7970. Timing a CPU upgrade with the arrival of the 8000-series in a few months would be smart. There won't be anything new from Intel for a while, so there's no point holding out for that reason. But you could also argue that OP should buy a new GPU first and see how much it changes, before running out and buying a new mobo and CPU, of course. But upgrading the CPU will improve overall performance, that's a given.

For comparison sake, I had AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition with a 465 GTX up until a few months ago. Performance was extremely varied. Games like Bioshock Infinite and Tomb Raider ran fine. Battlefield 3 and Far Cry 3 ran like shit. I put in a Radeon 7970 GHz and while some games performed a lot better, there was still performance issues, especially with Civ 5 and other RTS games. Then I switched over to a i7 2600k, and it was like night and day, man. It's so nice to not even have to think about performance issues.

#29 Posted by Anomareh (92 posts) -

I think this mostly comes down to personal preference. It's sort of the same as what make of car you prefer. With how much money you spend on that one component you only need to get bitten once to jump ship. I used to go with ATI back in the day, but eventually ended up with one card that was just a nightmare of problems. Switched to Nvidia and thankfully haven't had any issues since. Honestly, the price is worth the ease of mind for me.