The Best Graphics Cards: Full AMD and Nvidia GPU Comparison with Latest Drivers

By Julio Franco ยท 151 replies
Nov 26, 2012
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  1. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Posts: 2,869   +2,037

    I'll have what she's having.

    Not at 1080p, there isn't any difference between a 2GB and 4GB GTX 680 at 2560x1600 in any of today's game regardless of settings... the same is even true at 5040x1050 which has almost 30% more pixels than 2560x1600.,1.html
  2. Galaxy 68NQH6DN6DXZ Ge Force GTX 680 GC 4GB 256-bit is 560$
    ......jeeesss how much more they will suck from their blind fans....

    ....just 2 to 4 GB increase and take 80$ more for that....haaaa nvi what damn tool are you made of...and with such puny factory oc...evga costs 550$ with even more puny factory oc ref design....
  3. Saqib Mansoor

    Saqib Mansoor TS Rookie


    Interesting read. I was just going to buy a GTX 670 FTW card but then I heard about the latest amd drivers doing wonders for their 7 series cards. Afterwards I came across this article.

    Everything seems dandy and the 7970ghz seems a beast but I'm confused as to why the 670 FTW edition wasn't compared here.

    Any idea of the BF3 scores between 7970ghz and 670 FTW? (both with updated drivers).
  4. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Posts: 2,869   +2,037

    The 670 FTW is not an official Nvidia graphics card. Its just a factory overclocked GTX 670 made by EVGA. Therefore you would be comparing that to a factory overclocked 7950.
  5. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    The FTW is a factory overclocked card. Steve's review encompassed cards running at stock frequencies - manufacturers reference speed- for an apples-to-apples comparison.
    That's easy enough- The FTW runs at slightly better than GTX 680 frequencies (FTW : 1006MHz core, 1084MHz boost, 6208MHz (effective) memory....GTX 680: 1006MHz core, 1058MHz boost, 6008MHz memory). The difference in shader/core count is negligible, so for all intents and purposes use the GTX 680 numbers in the review as a guide.
    (A GTX 670 FTW vs stock GTX 680 review >>here<< for a comparison between the two)

    EDIT: That's weird! Steve's post wasn't showing a few minutes before I posted this, but the timestamp says it was posted 51 minutes earlier!
  6. McMaaza

    McMaaza TS Rookie

    7970GHz and 7950 Boost are also reference cards while your 670 FTW isn't.That is the difference.Also if AMD release the card it's automatically a reference model card.GTX 680 core clock is 1006 MHz, isn't that GHz and a little more? It doesn't matter who made the card ASUS,MSI,Gigabyte,Diamond,Zotac,,,AMD or Nvidia.All that matters is the clock.7970 and 7970GHz also have a bit different architecture TahitiXT and TahitiXT2.Also Tahiti's leaves huge space for OC while Kepler is squeezed almost to the edge.
  7. Saqib Mansoor

    Saqib Mansoor TS Rookie

    Thanks for the reply man. I have to say AMD's drivers have impressed me greatly. I was going for a 670 ftw next week but after seeing the latest scores, I'm pondering again as to go for that or a 7970 ghz now.
  8. .....even many demanding games(most of these are dx11) , a 7950 boost beats a gtx 680,which costs 120$ more --such as crisis warhead, medal of honour, alan wake, hitman absolution , sleeping dogs, dirt showdown, witcher 2 and TES 5: sky-rim , sniper elite v2, alien vs predator among your list of games.......etc etc

    for example: just saw skyrim bench on kotaku :
    @ 2560*1600, ultra, 8xmsaa, 16af maxed out ...avg fps is 7970 GHz=78, 7970=70,
    7950 boost=66,

    ..........(NV sucks the money of their fans too hard....)
  9. amstech

    amstech IT Overlord Posts: 1,936   +1,101

    It is interesting when a review uses a GHz edition 7970 and boosted 7950, but all stock GTX GPU's, then say the AMD cards are reference GPUs. How about we not go by what AMD says it is, but use common sense and logic. They are re-released GPU's for different reasons. The original 7970 gets beat by a 680 (dont hear many Radeon guys talking about that) so weeks later a magical 'GHz Edition' released.
    But its a stock 7970 :makesjerkoffmotionwithhands:
    Plenty of previous comments have addressed this but I get personal satisfaction in clarifying how ridiculous it looks when a company needs to re-release its flagship and SLASH its price to properly contend. The comment above mine about a boosted 7950 beating a stock GTX 680 is nothing short of comical. What about a boosted 7950 vs a boosted 670? It will lose. Forget about a boosted 680.
    Then the big argument was, bandwidth bandwidth!! Hmm where is the advantage at 1600p or lower? Wait, there is none.
    I won't argue that right now the Radeons are an incredible value, and I am trying my hardest not to sound like a Nvidia fanboy, I have nothing against AMD.
  10. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,276   +461

    OMG. As a fan boy of both ATI(AMD) and nVidia I can tell you that most of you definitely sound like fanboys of the one you currently own. I think most of the arguing going on here is moot as I doubt Steve is going to add any cards to the current review. Also, for those with Romnesia, you should remember that ATI wasn't always the bang-for-buck card that it is now. At release it was $550 and had crappy drivers that provided sub-par performance. After a huge price cut and much improved drivers it is now a smart buy IMO. The 7970's release at $550 is what made me say "I'll buy whatever nVidia releases next." My wife and daughter inherited my 5970s and I still think those are amazing cards as well - I just couldn't deal with the microstutter I had from the quadfire setup.
  11. Blue Falcon

    Blue Falcon TS Addict Posts: 161   +51

    "It is interesting when a review uses a GHz edition 7970 and boosted 7950, but all stock GTX GPU's, then say the AMD cards are reference GPUs. How about we not go by what AMD says it is, but use common sense and logic."

    This was already explained pages earlier. Using the same "logic", 6800 Ultra, Ultra Extreme are also factory pre-overclocked 6800GT cards. GeForce 4400 and 4600 then would also be identical to GeForce 4200 other than clocks. 5900Ultra is then nothing more than a slightly overclocked 5900XT, etc. With this type of logic, we get nowhere. The difference is during most generations, NV would do a refresh (5900U to 5950U, 7800GTX to 7900GTX, 8800GTX to 9800GTX+, GTX280 to 285, etc.). This round only AMD refreshed their cards but NV did not. The 6 months refresh of HD7950/7970 is actually expected as that's what companies have done in the past. This is the first generation in a long time where NV had no refresh at all.

    "Plenty of previous comments have addressed this but I get personal satisfaction in clarifying how ridiculous it looks when a company needs to re-release its flagship and SLASH its price to properly contend."

    Are you a shareholder of NV or AMD? Why is this news to you that GPUs fall in price over time as faster models are released? That's how the GPU industry has always worked - faster hardware gets released and the refreshed product occupies high price level, while the 2nd best then gets a price cut. I guess you forgot NV does this too?

    Nov 8, 2006 - 8800GTS 640mb $449 (

    Oct 29, 2007 - 8800GT 512mb $249 offers faster performance than 8800GTS 640 for $200 less

    or the more obvious example:

    June 16, 2008 - GTX280 $649 (
    7 months later, Jan 15, 2009 - GTX285 $399 (

    Your point still doesn't matter to someone who is going to buy a new GPU this winter or this holiday season. They don't care what happened 6 months ago. As LNCPapa noted, you have to readjust your views of the market landscape as drivers changes, prices changes, new SKUs launch, new games launch that alter the performance.

    Right now a new buyer in the US can pick up a $360 HD7970 1Ghz. ( GTX680 needs to cost $360 to make sense.

    "Then the big argument was, bandwidth bandwidth!! Hmm where is the advantage at 1600p or lower? Wait, there is none."

    Review 1: 9-15% faster (

    Review 2: 11% faster (93% vs. 84%

    The fastest overclocked GTX680 (MSI Lighthing) still loses to the fastest overclocked HD7970 (Asus Matrix P)

    More eye-opening, after-market HD7950 cards are only 10% slower than a GTX680 for $280-300. Shockingly, GTX680 is just 5% faster at 2560x1600 than a 950mhz HD7950:

    Plenty of GTX680s are going for $450-480 on Newegg vs. $280 925mhz HD7950s (

    NV's current lineup above $300 is incredibly overpriced. Not only are their cards more expensive, they are slower too.
    Darth Shiv likes this.
  12. How many times will nvi trolls say boosted 670!!!!!!!!!!!

    ......ref gtx 670 is already a boosted card from 915-980 MHZ's ref 7950 boost as amd later released the boost clock via a bios update both cards supports boost clock
    .......hence,ref hd 7950 boost(800-925 MHZ) vs ref gtx 670(915-980 MHZ) comparison is fair and square as both card supports boost clock

    .....these nvi trolls must do some digging before complaining and moaning the same thing time and time again.......
  13. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    There are arguments for both, and a lot will depend upon local pricing (see below), if they are fairly close then let the article be your guide. The 7970GE is 7-10% better off than the GTX670FTW in raw performance, so if the 7970GE is less than 7-10% more expensive then you're getting a good deal. Drivers for single GPU from both AMD and Nvidia are pretty solid in general so I wouldn't use that as a determining factor since you'll see individual game related quirks from both camps. An example of this is the new 310.64 Forceware driver from Nvidia (released a couple of days ago) which gives a reasonable performance boost for Black Ops 2 and BF3 (single and multiplayer) - this from user experience, not the PR/release notes.

    As for overclocking, both should yield pretty solid results. The higher binned (factory OC) 670's are the equal of the 680's, and higher than most vanilla versions. The Jetstream 670 I'm running at present is good for around 15% overclock while still retaining good temps- the ASIC (GPU) quality is high (as is the FTW), so you should be able to net solid performance increases whether you decide to go with AMD or Nvidia.
    Probably depends on how astute a shopper you are, and local pricing/distribution. Not a lot of people would opt for a GTX 680 or HD 7970GE over a GTX 670/660Ti or HD 7970 (vanilla)/HD 7950. I needed a placeholder card after selling my two GTX 580's, and locally the Palit GTX670 Jetstream (GTX680 perf.) was cheaper than the HD 7950 Boost, and the only other factor in play was the 2 year warranty offered by Palit versus the 3 years offered by Sapphire for the Vapor-X. No big deal as I upgrade graphics at least a couple of times a year on average.
  14. CerealKiller

    CerealKiller TS Rookie

    Sorry Nvidia fans... this time AMD rocks...
  15. amstech

    amstech IT Overlord Posts: 1,936   +1,101

    @ Bluefalcon: New drivers made a performance difference, not bandwidth. Even so, the GTX's are still right there or faster at 1600p when evenly matched/clocked. There is nobandwidth advantage at 1600p or lower.
    As far as lowering prices? Nvidia hasn't needed to, for the last 5 years they have released superior products with superior software/drivers. Even in this particular war, it was the GTX's forcing AMD to make price drops, again and again. For the 100th time, you pay more for a GTX because you get more features with better drivers that have less issues. There is more to drivers then performance.
    All this being said, the Radeons are and continue to be what they always have been. Great bang for the buck GPU's. For maximum quality, stability and features, Nvidia is still the best.
    Now lets see those Radeons play BL2 with PhsyX on Ultra, with all settings maxed. :D
    "Oh amstech thats not fair the Radeons don't support PhsyX"
  16. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,811   +472

    NVIDIA funded development of PhysX on BL2. What is your point? And PhysX does not affect gameplay - just eye candy.
  17. LairenyX

    LairenyX TS Rookie

    Can someone please tell me where roughly a x2 Radeon HD 6950 2gb Crossfire stand in this hierachy chart? is it between any two card or equal to one card?

  18. Jagen

    Jagen TS Member

    I just want to say this review has made it even harder for me to choose a Graphics card. haha.

    I have had both nvidia and AMD in the past and hav had my issues with both. for example, my old 3870 was an absolute beast.. but my 4870 performed worse, overheated like a *****, crashed all the time, and was super temperamental with different drivers (seriously I had one driver, performed well, updated it and lost fps and game crashed twice as much). but then nvidia gtx 275 was good and never crashed on me but diddnt get the same fps as my mates AMD card (cannot remember what he had lol).

    I have been trying to decide between a EVGA GTX 680 Classified 4GB in 3 way sli, 7970 GHz edition in tri fire or 2 GTX 690's. ill be playin on either 3 1920x1080 or 3 2560x1440 screens. both the 680 Classified and 7970 Ghz are absolute beast cards, and both have there pro's and con's, but look at me, its true AMD has the edge, but I like having physx and nvidia drivers are constantly stable, so I was edging towards the 680 Classies because of my choice to sacrifice some fps for physx (I like the eye candy :) ) and the EVGA cooling... and then there is the GTX 690... ERR MAH GERD that card is sexy as hell... haha.. mind you after seeing this review im back to square 1 hahaha...

    but for all those Nvidia Fan boys out there what it boils down to is what you are looking for in a game. if you are looking for the best performance and wicked bang for buck, go with the 7970 Ghz or 7950 boost. but if you like the physx or the constant stability of nvidia drivers, or hell even just want the nvidia logo, well then continue to be a fanboy and go Nvidia :). the whole point of this article is to help you pick the best performance card without breaking the bank. if you want to go for nvidias flagship the GTX 690, go buy one, it will out perform a 7970 GHz but then again it is TWO graphics card's in one, and then once you reach reso's above 2560x1440 and hav AA/AF maxed the 2GB of the GTX 690's bottleneck its performance on some games. and then again 1 GTX690 vs 2 HD 7970 GHz cards the GHz will dominate. if you hate AMD that much, then dont go AMD. its that simple. stop complaining because your more expensive GTX680 is getting dominated by the 7970 GHz edition. these are the or fxacts, after years of trailing just behind the competition AMD's flagship has pulled ahead and it looks like they have fixed there driver issues (about time :) ). who knows next gen nvidia may pull ahead and may even fix there sli scalling isues, you never know. so take the hit and admin that for this Gen AMD has the edge.. :)
  19. Jagen

    Jagen TS Member

    6950's dual sit around the performance of 1 7970 GHz

    only shows when playing at 1080p, so dont know how will go at higher reso's but hope this helps :)
  20. LairenyX

    LairenyX TS Rookie


    Not a regular 7970 but a 7970 GHz edition!? that's a relief. This means my rig is still a little more future proof. I was hoping for something like this when I originally bought the CF set. This also means it equals to the Gtx 680!

    Not to mention, x2 card in my window rig looks WAYYYYY cooler than 1 card. 1 card give me that empty feeling and less muscle.
  21. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    Generally - CrossfireX profiles notwithstanding- dual 6950's should still provide performance equal or higher than any of the individual cards in the review. I don't know of any recent Crossfired 6000 series cards (for current games comparison), but you might try Guru of 3D's VGA comparison. Crossfired 6950's aren't appreciably less powerful than a HD 6990 (direct comparison here) so you should get a rough estimate. Bear in mind that the HD 7000 series have benefited a fair bit from driver optimizations since the G3D article in comparison the 6000 series and the boosted cards aren't included. If you also compare against the GTX 680/670 should give you a reasonable picture of where the performance lies.
  22. LairenyX

    LairenyX TS Rookie


    Thanks for your help. That information is useful and is consistent with the other post.

    First time I posted and this community is VERY helpfull ^^!!
  23. You pay more,you get more---that thing comes to intel cpu wrt amd cpu........not nvi gpu wrt amd gpu......
    .....the only difference between the two products is nv has physx support ....but hardly 5-6 games supports physx and that too if you are playing resource hungry games with physx high even with gtx 680,you need another dedicated nv card only for physx support:

    for eg: metro 2033 w/physx high 1080p very high, dof, no aa gives gtx 680 as 36 fps

    ..........arkham city gives 42 fps w/physx high 1080p

    so, you need a very able dedicated card of nvi to render full physx eye candy on those resource hungry physx games to achieve the sweet spot 60 fps even with gtx 680 as eg,,,,say a 550 ti

    so the equation comes to this:

    even among those only 5-6 games using physx,,,in 2-3 games you have to pay more money to nv to get 60 fps with physx high as dedicated physx card:


    gtx 680(479$)+dedicated physx card gtx 550 ti (114$)=you are paying 593$ for physx

    gtx 660 ti(300$)+dedicated physx card gtx 560 ti(180$)=you are paying 480$ for physx full and to achieve 60 fps,which's the main thing for any gamer

    .......and even you need a very high end motherboard for that which also adds to the price of above.... for handful and puny number of games (hardly 5-6) that uses physx,if you want to pay that huge price to NVI then it's up to the fan boys to fall in trap of nv marketing

    .....remember that majority of games use havoc licensing engine....see WIKI for that....and all other eye candy feature you will find in radeon pro except physx....., it's upto the fan base to make nv make more and more money by pricing much more and performing par or less wrt competing models among both camps........

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