1. #1

    7970 Lightning or GTX 680?

    To be more specific, I am looking at the 7970 Lightning vs GTX 680 Twin Frozr.

    The 7970 is cheaper, but the 680 outperforms by a small margin.

    On the other hand, the Lightning is a non-reference model with great OC potential.
    The 680 is a reference card with twin frozr cooling solution.

    The thing keeping me from immediately going the route of the 7970 is all this talk about poor drivers and driver support for games. Can anyone elaborate on these drivers issues I keep reading about?

  2. #2
    tetrisGOAT's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
    More games are being especially optimised for nVidia than for AMD.
    AMD has historically have worse drivers and shoddy Cataclysm builds, but recently they have been quite good.
    nVidia has, ironically, been having driver issues lately, and for me, I've always had issues with them. (but since I switched to AMD myself only recently, I never had a chance to witness more than one or two issues with their drivers)

  3. #3
    I heard specifically that there is a standing unresolved issue with the 79XX's drivers. However, after a bit of research I am not finding anything current or anything showing fixes in the past.

    Makes me wonder if it was just brand bashing to begin with..

  4. #4
    The 680 has 1-2 niggling driver issues at the moment but unfortunately the 7970 is having more of a problem. If you get the 7970 just remember to never ever update to the latest drivers until they are well and truly proven to be perfectly stable. Personal experience with them has taught me to find a stable driver and stay there. (or more accurately never get a new ati card unless the series has been out over 6 months.)

    The 680 has a pretty well known stable OC and does perform better than the 7970 ( which is still over priced )

    Only problem with 680 id see is being wary of PhyX on the single card on high end settings (arkham - maybe a ~£40 9800gt for dedicated phyx?!) and Nvidias apparant complete disregard with LUX effects.

    Imo if you can get a 680 do it, or wait a little while until the 7970 has a nice price drop.

    Just keep in mind that you may get a slightly nicer OC with the non ref 7970 but that is only going to destabilize it more when you (probably) run into driver issues.

  5. #5
    The 7970 Lightning should be faster than 680 Twin Frozr in memory intensive games (Crysis 2) by about 5%, but the 680 is about 13% faster in BF3 for some reason.
    Last edited by haxartus; 2012-04-24 at 10:37 AM.

  6. #6
    The 680 is lower in Crysis because that game requires vast amounts of memory bandwidth, the 680 has only a 256bit bus which is a fair side less than the 7970. And still it is very close.

    However on any game that does not require vast amounts of memory bandwidth for top end conditions the 680 will beat the 7970.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Nellas View Post

    However on any game that does not require vast amounts of memory bandwidth for top end conditions the 680 will beat the 7970.
    By such a small margin it prob isnt worth the wait or the money. And its been a while since i read anything about driver issues regarding the 79xx series

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