Looking for a new card
I'm starting to do my research as its time for an upgrade. Now let me paint the current picture. I am currently using a 4890 + slave for a 3 monitor setup, the resolution of the main is 1680x1050 and the others are 1600x1200 and 1280x1024 (and I have to say main widescreen backed up with 2, admittedly oddly sized, 4x3 is quite nice.
Now for the future. I do plan on upgrading to a higher end 27 inch sometime relatively soon (read most likely the new year) and I want to be able to power it sufficiently. So I'm currently at least looking at a 7950 I think.
My kerfuffle now is ATI's (I honestly have no real preference for ati or nvidia, maybe slight ati but not relevant) naming scheme is confusing me massively. You have 2 versions of each numbered version of the card, 7970 ghz edition vs 7970, 7950 boost, etc. 1 would think 1 version would be enough.
So my first question is simply is it worth hunting for the ghz or boost versions (yet to see a boost on ncix though...) or are these simply bioses that can be flashed or simply overclocked to get the same results?
Second question is AMD vs nVidia is one necessarily better this round or does it come down to a price point? I dont necessarily fold enough for that to become a factor.
Third question. What other questions should I be asking and what are their answers?
Third question: what games do you play. =D
Because that would help justify AMD over nVidia, and vice versa. Some games just run better on one, period.
For high resolutions and multi-monitor, though, I say you can't really beat AMD this generation with their higher memory size and bandwidth, even if I personally like nVidia's driver situation MUCH better (I've owned both this past year).
If it's surround gaming you'll be doing later, however, one 7950/7970 may not be enough. 7950 Crossfire will be beastly. Otherwise, a single solid 7970 will serve you very well.
Don't worry about Ghz edition because you can clock it that high yourself. Don't worry about the Boost edition because that's supposed to be a BIOS update.
I dont plan on surround gaming, it has no appeal to me for some reason.
Games I play... hmm. Shogun, Skyrim, Borderlands 2, f1 2011, dunno lots. Wide variety, older, newer. Stuff.
Edit: I geuss I should also ask is there a brand thats worth looking at over anouther. I've had XFX in the past and have liked their policies but is the Double D edition better than say gigabytes or anyone elses?
I'll chime in one more time before bed, and then I'll pass off to other members for them to weigh in.
XFX is as good as it's ever been (take that for what you will). I hear they're utter garbage, but they're now the only AMD AIB that still has a lifetime warranty on cards with non-reference coolers.
Else, I would recommend the Gigabyte Windforce (personal experience with the 7950 -- very quiet!), followed by MSI. ASUS seems to have problems with their DirectCU line on both AMD and nVidia, and Sapphire is good quality and performance, but has more reports of coil whine than any other manufacturer (could be reporting bias as so many people buy them). Don't touch HIS with a stick, they are shit. I've spent a lot of time documenting my struggle with HIS on another forum, and it makes me sick just thinking about it again. If an HIS rep was here, I would say that to his/her face. They are shit, not worth stepping on.
Gigabyte, MSI, and ASUS have the standard 3-year transferable warranty. Sapphire, Powercolor, and HIS have a 2-year non-transferable warranty. XFX lifetime is non-transferable.
MSI and ASUS have an RMA centre in Canada.
Hope that helps!
EDIT: Btw, those are just the AMD manufacturers. If you decide to go with nVidia 660ti/670/680, the differences between manufacturers become even smaller, and are actually not worth going into too much. Gigabyte and Galaxy have the best all-around coolers, MSI may have the most expensive features, and all of them except for PNY and Zotac have 3-year transferable warranties.
Thanks for the input, I do appreciate it.
With your needs I would say HD7950 (normal or GHZ edition, depending on price). Its a great high res option and gives you the option to Crossfire down the road if you need it.
IIRC the XFX lifetime warranty only applies to DoubleD Black Editions registered within 30 days of prchase. otherwise it's 3 years.
Most modern electronics operated within spec will generally either fail in the first 30-90 days or last well beyond the point of full utility. (There are always exceptions of course).
I don't know problems people are haveing with the ASUS DirectCU II cards.When they first came out there was a problem with red screens useing the ASUS GPU Tweak,but that was fixed a long time ago. I have two GYX-670's and they work great .But in your case I would go with a HD-7950.
I'd say wait till you'll upgrade you monitor, then buy a new GPU (possibly a next gen one).
I went with a 7970, should have monitor by Christmas with some luck. But I'm wondering, I've only got w monitors hooked up, both via dvi currently. My 3rd monitor is VGA so I was wondering the best way to get that hooked up. Would a hdmi to dvi to VGA be too much conversion, should I be looking for a displayport to VGA solution? Thanks for all your help so far
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