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Old Jun 29, 2012, 06:55 PM   #1
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DarkSyde
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Processor Gigabyte HD7950 Windforce

I'm gradually upgrading my system and was going to wait a while yet to replace my 1GB 5870 but the prices just keep dropping. I'm eyeballing this board as the price is right.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814125414

Anybody here used one of those? Would you recommend another brand? Is there really any difference between reference and non-reference PCB's (the PCB itself... definitely not going with the reference cooler)?

$350-ish is the most I care to spend on a GPU. I need to consider noise/thermals (I now have a Corsair 550D case which is going to run a little warmer than others), and I have really acute hearing so coil whine will be extremely noticeable to me.

I'll only be running a single 1080P monitor. I considered a 7870 but for another $50 I'd rather be sure whatever I buy is going to easily last around 3 years before I replace it again, and I don't want to have to rely on overclocking to keep things smooth in a couple of years. I'd also rather have more VRAM as well 'just in case'.

I prefer to buy from Newegg or Amazon but I don't mind going somewhere else that is reputable.

Thanks for your input.
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Old Jun 29, 2012, 08:42 PM   #2
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i have the 7970 DirectCU-II version
and let me tell you,
if you care about noise at all, don't get this card.

anything about 21% fan speed is unbearably loud unless you drown it out with
other stuff. even at 12-15%, you can still hear the fans.

the 6950 DCU-II, on the other hand, was silent up to about 20% fan speed,
which it never reached.
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Old Jun 30, 2012, 05:05 PM   #3
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If it's anything like the windforce on the 670/680, it's going to be a quiet and cool running card.

Here's a review, seems to be pretty cool & quiet.

http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum...review-18.html

Last edited by Mangler : Jun 30, 2012 at 05:09 PM.
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Old Jul 2, 2012, 10:16 PM   #4
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I took the plunge, $350 total from Amazon. Should be here on the 5th.

The MSI Twin Frozr board is actually going for $340 in some places, probably a good deal as well if anybody is looking to upgrade. At these prices a 7870 is pointless when they are only $20ish less.

I'll post again after I've spent some time with the new board.

Thanks again guys. Also I want to mention... avoid the Asus boards. They are (or maybe were?) seriously flawed.

http://www.behardware.com/news/12153...lt-report.html

Might of been corrected by now but not worth chancing it IMHO. Not a fan (puns...) of how they tried to just completely ignore the issue as well.
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Old Jul 3, 2012, 01:50 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkSyde View Post
I took the plunge, $350 total from Amazon. Should be here on the 5th.

The MSI Twin Frozr board is actually going for $340 in some places, probably a good deal as well if anybody is looking to upgrade. At these prices a 7870 is pointless when they are only $20ish less.
That MSI card has $20 rebate as well. So, it's $320.
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Old Jul 4, 2012, 04:38 AM   #6
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I wouldn't get the 7970 DirectCU-II like Mystik said because of the amount of noise it produces. Really annoying

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Old Jul 6, 2012, 02:57 PM   #7
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Question WTF is going on here?

As per my usual luck, I may have a bad board... I could be wrong though.

I removed the drivers and swapped boards. After installing the board and 12.7 Beta (going to try older drivers next) I started up Tera. After a short while my screen very quickly flashed a purple and black checkerboard looking pattern. If I'd of blinked, I would of missed it. A little while later, it did it again but this time with what appeared to be a blank grey/blue screen. I shut down the game and removed the forced AA from CCC thinking that might of caused it, then played a couple hours and didn't see anything like this again.

Today I started to run Heaven to monitor the boards temperature with my 550D closed up like normal as I'd opened all of the vents until this point. The board still stays frosty cool and dead silent, but I'm getting random flashes of random colors every few minutes or so. After a while the bottom half of the screen started to sometimes flash a garbled mess (again, if I blinked at the wrong time I'd miss all of this). I also noticed some small little green lines in a few places.

Bad board? Driver glitch? Some other software bug? Any particular set of drivers I should install for testing?

Edit: I even ran Heaven in windowed mode and the flashing was only within the window. I've not (yet) seen any issues at all on my desktop or Firefox.

Edit 2: An hour of BF3 multiplayer and nothing unusual, both full screen and windowed. Hmmm..... Also for what it's worth 3DMark 11 seems ok or at least I didn't notice anything, but I only have the demo.

Edit 3: I ran Heaven through a few more loops, and I realized these glitches seem to happen at very specific places. The first is when you come over the hilltop approaching the walkway which takes you to the ship, nearly every time I get a quick flash of garble on half of the screen. The 2nd is when you circle the dragon, I get a quick flash of white, but this one sometimes does not happen. The green lines/dashes appear only on one specific rooftop. Here's a screenshot: http://img528.imageshack.us/img528/2714/hmmio.jpg Check the panel below the porthole. Is that normal?

Still haven't tried older drivers yet. I'll give it a couple of days with 12.7Beta first as I have other games to try out, unless someone here knows for sure that they are the issue.

Edit 4: More random black flashing from time to time in a few more games. Switched to 12.3 and ran Heaven, same behavior. Put my 5870 back in, installed 12.7Beta and ran Heaven, again the same problems. Now I'm really starting to get worried...

Final edit: After playing a few more games for about an hour each and seeing them flash different types of corruption a few times, I'm throwing in the towel and returning both the vid board and my new motherboard/ram. I'm pretty sure the mobo is flaky and while the GPU is nice I can't rule it out. I seemed to be far too horribly CPU limited anyway as most games didn't really run any smoother. Oh well...

I will say the Windforce cooler is pretty impressive though. Didn't even hit 60C running Furmark... in a case built for silence. I had to check the fans with a flashlight too. Would recommend it to anybody building a silent gaming rig.

Final, final edit: The Heaven glitches appear to be a problem with that specific program as I've finally managed to get a friend to run it on his system and the same thing happens at the walkway. Other than that though I'm pretty sure that I had a dud, as I've seen nothing else after reassembling my old system. 3 of 5 new parts defective and 1 I can't use without the others, good grief... At least I got a nice case to replace my Antec 900 Vacuum Cleaner.

Last edited by DarkSyde : Jul 11, 2012 at 09:53 PM. Reason: more info. should be done now, I swear!
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