best videocard under for $500

n370zed

Limp Gawd
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I currently own a Sapphire 7950 VaporX I bought from Amazon but I didn't get the game vouchers listed on their product page. I called and I was told the picture represents what games the card is capable of running. They said if I wasn't happy is to send the card back. This will be an upgrade that will hopefully last me a good year. I play any and all new triple A titles current and future.My limit is $500. Thanks for the help.

i5 2500k 4.8ghz
16gb ram
160gb ssd
Sony fw900 2304x1440 @ 80hz
700w thermaltake psu
Asrock P67 Extreme4 Gen3
 
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dragonstongue

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he did state Card to be fair, so this would be GTX 770 and Radeon 7970 they are a toss up performance wise, the thing that sets the 770 apart(as I can tell) is power and cooler, 7970 compute performance, game bundle and more memory which is an advantage on some games and higher res with eye candy.

So, seems a was overall both are very potent cards edge on Nvidia slightly for some things on AMD for others, it cannot be said any other way.
 

powruser

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he did state Card to be fair, so this would be GTX 770 and Radeon 7970 they are a toss up performance wise, the thing that sets the 770 apart(as I can tell) is power and cooler, 7970 compute performance, game bundle and more memory which is an advantage on some games and higher res with eye candy.

So, seems a was overall both are very potent cards edge on Nvidia slightly for some things on AMD for others, it cannot be said any other way.

I agree, well said. I went with the GTX 770 and am loving it. Just built a new rig for the first time in years, am coming from a Core 2 Duo E6400 & 9800GTX rig. Needless to say, the jump in performance is incredible.

Both the GTX 770 and 7970/7970 GHz edition are excellent cards. In the benchmarks I've seen, the GTX 770 edges out the 7970/7970 GHz edition overall by 5%-10%, but the 7970 is cheaper and comes with the game bundle. Me personally I went with the GTX 770 and couldn't be happier. I don't think you could go wrong either way.
 

powruser

Limp Gawd
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P.S. - I will say that since you run at a 1440p, if you're getting the GTX 770 I'd spring for the 4GB RAM version. The 7970 has 3GB of RAM which should be sufficient.
 

Eureka!

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I would be honest, if you want bang for buck, the SLI option is definitely something to consider.

As powruser said too, you're also going to want more than 2GB of VRAM. 2GB will get you by now but since you want it to be a long-term solution, 3 or 4GB is more desirable. If you're just staying single card, a 7970 is a good solution (cheaper than 770 and with 3GB). That being said, if you weren't happy with the 7950, you likely won't be happy with either a 770 or a 7970 (they're not that far faster than a 7950). Two cards would give you way more power.
 

n370zed

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I'd rather spend the money on a single GPU. I'm hoping to do some overclocking and the MSI GTX 770 Lightning looks like a killer card. But from what Google search came up with the 7970s are beastly when over clocked as well. Think I'll flip a coin and pick whichever. This is eating me alive lol.
 
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Get the 770 if u get a good clocking one it will walk all over a 7970. I had both 7970 at 1175/1750 and my 670 at 1340(around there)/ 7100 beat it in everything. So a 770 at about 1200-1250/7000 should smoke a 7970. A 4gb will hold its value to.
 

n370zed

Limp Gawd
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Thanks for the insight HOOD. I think I'll pull the trigger on the 4gb version of the Gigabyte Windforce GTX 770.
 

motherpuncher

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I think that's a good choice, probably what I'll be picking up next week. And at that res, if you added a second one later, you'd have no problems running anything.
 

dragonstongue

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Get the 770 if u get a good clocking one.

There is few guaranteed overclockers of any card in any generation unless they are cherry picked for that reason, it always is luck of the draw.

SLI/CF the problem is not all games play well with it, the extra noise/heat sucks for most of us, and most after market/custom cards do not play well with most motherboards/cases as the cards do tend to get extra hot.

Also in regards to the overclocking side, 1175/1750 is umm well beyond what the memory controller can/should handle well, Core first then memory much easier to see gain and/or loss, clock memory up to high and it starts throttling which can kill performance. based on clocks though, both cards would see roughly the same baseline performance at that clock for all the stuff that matters, so if one card was throttling(bet you it was if you didn't test to see it) and other was not this could be that difference, not to mention the game being played matters big time.
 

SonDa5

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I'd call Amazon again and insist the free games were listed and see if they can get them for you or give your a partial refund or a credit to shop with.

I have had to call Amazon a few times about a problem till they fixed a problem to my satisfaction.

They probably forgot to remove the gaming bundle advertising before you ordered it.

No more free games from AMD. bummer...



Still for under $500 the HD7970 is the best card. Only better value is HD7950 which performs about 5% lower for much less money.

Only performance upgrade from HD7970 is GTX 780 but NVIDIA has got the price so jacked up that its not worth the high price compared to the HD7970.
 

dragonstongue

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770 is basically a higher clocked 680 or at least on average slightly better i.e meant to compete better to 7970GHe, overclocking is never guaranteed so 770 and 7970 are neck and neck overall as mentioned.
 

tonyftw

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Performance wise, depending on the clocks you were running on your 7950, you won't notice any differences switching to a 7970 or 770 (aka 680).

The best bang for your buck at $500, would be sli gtx 760's. Only a 780 or titan will net you a much bigger performance gain from where you are at.
 

n370zed

Limp Gawd
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Yup Amazon won't budge. I was told the the promotion was over and I wouldn't get any game vouchers. Still they have the 7950 alongside the games when you search for the vaporx version. I have $475 amazon credit. Gonna pull the trigger tonight. Gigabyte GTX 770 4gb seems like the clear winner.
 

jinhur

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get a used 680 4gb for 350$, tune it, then save the rest for the 800 series next year.

PM for more details on why and how this was concluded.

people here are just advising u to buy the newest and most expensive thing that meets ur requirements.
 
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Get the 770 if u get a good clocking one.

There is few guaranteed overclockers of any card in any generation unless they are cherry picked for that reason, it always is luck of the draw.

SLI/CF the problem is not all games play well with it, the extra noise/heat sucks for most of us, and most after market/custom cards do not play well with most motherboards/cases as the cards do tend to get extra hot.

Also in regards to the overclocking side, 1175/1750 is umm well beyond what the memory controller can/should handle well, Core first then memory much easier to see gain and/or loss, clock memory up to high and it starts throttling which can kill performance. based on clocks though, both cards would see roughly the same baseline performance at that clock for all the stuff that matters, so if one card was throttling(bet you it was if you didn't test to see it) and other was not this could be that difference, not to mention the game being played matters big time.

I tested in heaven at 10mhz increments to make sure the memory didn't throttle. Anything higher got throttling and art if acting. The 670 was still faster. If u get a 770 over clocked edition from MSI or evga its likely to be binned over the wind force 3. Had a few wind force 3 670s that didn't clock well. Had a zotac amp 670 that clocked to mid 1300s and 2 evga ftw sig2 that both did over 1200 stock and over 1300 on stock voltage. Also I had a reference 680 that only did 1202/6800 maximum and it matched the 670 at 1340/7200 in heaven. So if u get a 770 that craps like crap your still in the range of a top clocked 7970. Remember a GHz 7970 barely edges out a stock 680 which is only 1054 boost or something. If u get a good clocking wind force card the cooler is by far the best I've used (haven't used evga acx yet). Talking 60s at 30-40% auto fan. Everyone says evga doesn't bin but I think its bs I've owned a ton of their cards and sc always clock better than a base reference and the ftw models clock like crazy. I really like the look of the new MSI cards tho. If they have a lightning 4gb I'd pull the trigger.
 
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vjcsmoke

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Still for under $500 the HD7970 is the best card. Only better value is HD7950 which performs about 5% lower for much less money.

Only performance upgrade from HD7970 is GTX 780 but NVIDIA has got the price so jacked up that its not worth the high price compared to the HD7970.

7970 is not the best peforming card. It was the game bundle which gave it the edge before. 770 beats the 7970 Ghz edition by about 10%. There will be some games that are slanted towards red or green, but in general that seems to be the difference in performance.

It's also debateable whether more than 2 GB is necessary for anything short of triple monitor setup.
 

SonDa5

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7970 is not the best peforming card. It was the game bundle which gave it the edge before. 770 beats the 7970 Ghz edition by about 10%. There will be some games that are slanted towards red or green, but in general that seems to be the difference in performance.

It's also debateable whether more than 2 GB is necessary for anything short of triple monitor setup.


Both of my HD7950s beat up on GTX 680s all the time in benchmarks. HD7970 is better than HD7950.

GTX 770 is almost the same as a GTX 680.


Under $400 the HD7970 is the better card.
 

SonDa5

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Are you comparing extremely overclocked water-cooled 7950s to stock clocked GTX 680s?


Both of my cards are over clocked. 1 does around 1250mhz on the core and the other does close to 1380mhz. Both of the cards beat up on many GTX 680s.


GTX 770 does look like it is a little better for over clocking than the GTX 680 but it is very similar.
 
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Your 1380 card would b about the same as a 1202 MHz 680, maybe slightly faster. Your 1250 wouldn't be as fast but close. Almost any 770 will do 1202. Not many 7950/70s out there do over 1200 without water.
 

SonDa5

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Your 1380 card would b about the same as a 1202 MHz 680, maybe slightly faster. Your 1250 wouldn't be as fast but close. Almost any 770 will do 1202. Not many 7950/70s out there do over 1200 without water.


I've read about many people getting 1200mhz on air with HD7950.


If I had a GTX 680 or a GTX 770 I would water cool them as well.


My cards are above average but I bought them both separately at different times and got them each for around $300 and with my Vapor X HD7950 I made out well from the game bundle.

Not sure why some people with GTX 680s can't beat my over clocked HD7950s.

I'm the kind of computer hardware enthusiast that is going to over clock any hardware I am giving and I'm going to use water cooling. Between the price and raw performance my HD7950 is a great card and I have beaten many GTX 680 users benchmark scores.
 
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Flogger23m

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Both of my HD7950s beat up on GTX 680s all the time in benchmarks. HD7970 is better than HD7950.

GTX 770 is almost the same as a GTX 680.


Under $400 the HD7970 is the better card.

image.html


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http://www.guru3d.com/index.php?ct=articles&action=file&id=4766

Not sure I believe you. ;)
 

n370zed

Limp Gawd
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Went ahead and grabbed the evga gtx 770 superclocked with acx cooler 2gb. Very excited :)
 

Mr. Stryker

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I would go for nvidia cards solely based on the fact that games run better on them, and the drivers are better. Besides the GTX 700 series could probably overclock your monitor to 90Hz lol. Even if ATI 7900 series run aat a higher FPS, the gameplay isn't as smooth as nvidia cards. I know, because I've gone through 3 7950s, 3 7970s, 4 680s and 2 660 Ti's last year up until April.
 

naticus

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I would go for nvidia cards solely based on the fact that games run better on them, and the drivers are better. Besides the GTX 700 series could probably overclock your monitor to 90Hz lol. Even if ATI 7900 series run aat a higher FPS, the gameplay isn't as smooth as nvidia cards. I know, because I've gone through 3 7950s, 3 7970s, 4 680s and 2 660 Ti's last year up until April.

What? Sure you have man. :rolleyes:
 
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Y would u roll ur eyes. I've gone threw 2 wind force 670s, zotac amp 670, MSI power edition 660ti, 2 evga ftw sig2 670s, evga reference 680, 2 sapphire oc edition 7950s, sapphire oc edition 7970 and now 780 lol.
 

tonyftw

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Your 1380 card would b about the same as a 1202 MHz 680, maybe slightly faster. Your 1250 wouldn't be as fast but close. Almost any 770 will do 1202. Not many 7950/70s out there do over 1200 without water.

My old 680 twin frozr at 1241 boost/1752 memory - http://www.3dmark.com/3dm11/6492386
My old 7950 twin frozr at 1195 core/1650 memory - http://www.3dmark.com/3dm11/6300467

A 7950 at 1380 on the core, would annihilate most 680's and 770's. So Son is probably right.

Have you seen my heatware? The long list of video cards I've gone through? I'm not even exaggerating.

Same here. I've gone through a ton of cards over the past year. This single 780 is so smooth =).
 

Kor

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At that price in the realm of single GPU's the 7970 is probably going to be you best bet. Next to that you can get a GTX 770 for similar money.
 

Blkout

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My old 680 twin frozr at 1241 boost/1752 memory - http://www.3dmark.com/3dm11/6492386
My old 7950 twin frozr at 1195 core/1650 memory - http://www.3dmark.com/3dm11/6300467

A 7950 at 1380 on the core, would annihilate most 680's and 770's. So Son is probably right.



Same here. I've gone through a ton of cards over the past year. This single 780 is so smooth =).

Is 3DMark fun to play? Hence the reason why I asked which benchmarks specifically. Unless you're a bench whore, who cares what scores best in 3DMark when most people are buying their video cards to play games and AMD is certainly not "beating up" Nvidia by any means.
 

jinhur

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i forgot to mention i haven't crossed the green-line.
if he had kept pm-ing me i would have for sure mention the red-line.
especially hearing all the great things n all. its just from my knowledge base i haven't yet crossed the green-line.
 

tonyftw

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Is 3DMark fun to play? Hence the reason why I asked which benchmarks specifically. Unless you're a bench whore, who cares what scores best in 3DMark when most people are buying their video cards to play games and AMD is certainly not "beating up" Nvidia by any means.

Not just in 3dmark, but in games too. That's okay though, some of you nvidia sheep can continue to think otherwise.
 

SonDa5

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Really? This is the best comeback you have to offer? :rolleyes:


Go over to overclock.net and search the forums and go to HWbot.org.

Most of the people over there are into maximum performance from video cards and you can find many results in all types of benchmarks.

After awhile of research it's not that hard to see that the GTX 680 is not as good as a HD7970 in terms of raw performance and hardware design. HD7950 on average lags HD7970 performance about 5%.


IMO HD79XX is better than GTX 680 and GTX 770 because of raw performance and hardware design and then the cherry on top is the much better value. With HD79XX cards you get alot more video card for your money.

GTX 780 is the card to be looking at if you want a real upgrade from HD7970.
 
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tonyftw

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Please post benchmarks.
I do not have both of those cards anymore. Just have to take my word for it.
Really? This is the best comeback you have to offer? :rolleyes:

What comeback do you speak of? It's a well known fact that 7970's at their max oc's, are faster than 680's and 770's (aka 680).

The 7950 is on average 3-7% slower than the 7970, clock for clock. You can do the math on your own.
 
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