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670, 680 0r 7970?


Magnus Brody
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Not sure if this is the right place to ask, so do please redirect me as appropriate....

Currently I have an NVIDIA GTX 295, and it still manages SL well enough.  I generally use Niran's Viewer, largely because I really like the way the viewer works and the quality of the graphics which, I think, are unmatched across any other viewer.

Generally I run almost everything at Ultra and/or beyond and I'm thinking it is time for a GPU upgrade as I can drop off to 10 or so fps now and then.

Please let me know your thoughts on the following, and I've made some comments on each as collected from my internet meanderings:

1. NVIDIA 670 - said to be so nearly as good as the 680, many have commented that the quality/performance difference with the 680 is not worth paying the extra price for the 680.  In fact, before launch, it is said by some, the 680 was known as the 675.

2. NVIDIA 680 - just a litle beyond my budget, but if you give it absolutely rave reviews then I'd seriously consider reviewing the budget.

3. AMD 7970 - said to match the 670 (great news as it's generally cheaper) and may rival (not entirely, but nudging especially if overclocked) the 680.  This is generally given great reviews, but I'm worried by some terrible reports of general instability (total fails on delivery and, in some cases, multiple returns) and that it sounds like a hoover when it rises to the challenge.


I'm not techy enough to overclock, in fact I'd rather not as I'd prefer to keep a decent card for 1-2 years than thrash the guts out of it in 6 months.

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All of those cards should be great for the next 2 years. If you don't burn them out by overclocking etc. I personally am running a GTX 560, and have been for the past year and a half. Works like a charm, will run SL on the highest settings (though nirans I have to set some things down a tad.. SL just pulls so much due to almost literally 0 optimization) 

I would go with AMD since it is generally cheaper and just as good. (I have a a laptop so couldn't really choose..) the problem with DOA (Dead on arrival) is faced with ANY card from any company. So people might have just had bad luck. 

Check out newegg.com for some awesome prices and deals. I think they have a video on the 7970 and 670 with speedtest etc. 

Anyhow, best of luck on the new card! Be sure your mobo can handle it before you confirm your purchase!

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Go for nVidia, nVidia works much better with OpenGL ( Second Life's graphics "language") than any AMD/ATI card.

AMD/ATI also quite often suffer from  poorly designed drivers which cause strange problems like showing the whole world in pink or drivers that suddenly stop communicating with the operating system (and many more) under Open GL.

The silly argument brought up here 'AMD is cheaper' is not really valid, especially in that high end price segment because usuallyou buy a lot of problems with SL from the money you save when buyng a AMD card.

The AMD 7970  consumes  up to 30% more electrical power than the 680 GTX, so you might have to upgrade your power supply too, which makes the 'AMD is cheaper' argument invalid.

On the other hand: the 680 GTX uses less electrical power than your 295 GTX, so if your current power supply could handle the GTX 295, so you can be sure that there is no need for a new power supply unit in your system.

If you go for a 680 GTX or a 690 GTX is up to you, when it comes to running SecondLife a dual gpu card like a 690 GTX won't bring any noticeable  difference, as SL cannot handle dual gpu cards.

 

J.

 

 

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