AMD 7950 vs Nvidia GTX680 gaming battle bout

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by LEOMODE, Apr 14, 2013.

  1. LEOMODE macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2009
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #1
    My setup:

    2010 Mac Pro 6 core 3.33ghz
    16GB 1333ghz DDR3 RAM
    512GB Plextor M5 Pro SSD
    AMD 5870

    Main: gaming (has work related also but does not require VGA power, documentations)

    Technical winner: GTX680 by a small margin (http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/high_end_gpus.html)

    Playing games:
    Starcraft 2 (Nvidia favored)
    Diablo 3 (Nvidia favored)
    World of Warcraft (Nvidia favored)
    Battlefield 3 (Nvidia favored)
    Civilizations 5 (ATI favored)
    Tomb Raider (ATI favored with Tresfx)
    Resident Evil 6 (???)
    Sleeping Dogs (???)
    DOTA 2 (???)
    League of Legends (???)
    Counterstrike (???)
    Counterstrike Source (???)
    Counterstrike Global Offensive (???)

    My games winner: Nvidia favored (4) vs ATI favored (2) vs doesn't know (7)




    So should I get GTX680? Now that 2 VGA's have been officially relased, I'm so lost on which one to buy...!!! Just for my personal preferences with console systems as well as Mac's with VGA, I preferred ATI because the graphic looked much brighter and cleaner. (Nvidia VGA's been looking very spooky...much darker and stuff) I'm not a graphic professional so I can't quote anything professionally but just my personal experience... But in the benchmark, it seems like GTX680 gets much better fps in Nvidia favored games so I'm just curious..(Also has 2009 MacBook Pro with Nvidia 9600M GT)
     
  2. DanielCoffey macrumors 65816

    DanielCoffey

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    Nov 15, 2010
    Location:
    Edinburgh, UK
    #2
    It will depend on how much money you have spare. A 2x 6-pin 680 will cost you a lot more than a 7950, especially if you want a 4Gb card for high resolution or multi-monitor gaming.

    You are not really tied to the Mac cards as the PC 680s and 7950s will work right out of the box now with 10.8.3 albeit at PCIE 1.0 speeds (unless you buy a MacVidCards model).

    If you are prepared to fit a secondary power supply to the spare optical bay you can go up to 7970 3Gb or some of the overclocked 680 4Gb cards with 1x 6-pin and 1x 8-pin or even 2x 8-pin power requirements. The MP can only supply 2x 6-pin and stay within its recommended spec.
     
  3. LEOMODE thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    Thanks but I need EFI screens :(
     
  4. Asgorath macrumors 65816

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    #4
    Why, exactly?
     
  5. MacsRgr8 macrumors 604

    MacsRgr8

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    Sep 8, 2002
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #5
    I want it too.
    Can I live without it? Probably, but if I can get the option to have the EFI boot screen I'm happy to pay a bit extra for it:

    - I want to be able to hold down the <OPTION> key when booting to see the boot options.
    - I like to be able to boot into single user mode (or does that work...?)
    - I like my Mac to be like a real Mac... ;)
     
  6. Abulia macrumors 68000

    Abulia

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    Kushiel's Scion
    #6
    Frankly, I think you can go either way. In OS X the ATI card will probably perform a little better because of better Open GL support. If you do a lot in Windows, the NVIDIA is the winner, IMO. ATI has more VRAM. Pros and cons for both...

    I went with NVIDIA and am sending my ATI back. Aside from the above, the CUDA support is a nod in its favor and the ports are a little more like what I need. Also believe the NVIDIA will support 3 monitors if I ever go that direction.

    Oh, and the "hairdryer fan" issue that some folks have experienced with the new ATI also scared me off. Call it an additional $100 for peace of mind. :)

    Neither is clearly superior in my estimation so I don't believe there's a wrong answer; depends on personal preference, IMO.
     
  7. BigJohno macrumors 65816

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  8. MacVidCards Suspended

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    Hollywood, CA
    #8
    You are, in fact, the ONLY person who could know the answer to this question.

    Depends on OS and driver version

    CUDA-Z or lspci
     
  9. Topper, Apr 15, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2013

    Topper macrumors 65816

    Topper

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    #9
  10. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

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    Sep 21, 2010
    #10
    The GTX680 is a much faster and much more expensive card. They are in different leagues really. I don't think a game being "ATI favored" will matter.

    Perhaps one could ask which has a lower price/performance ratio. In other words, which is a better deal for the money?
     
  11. lssmit02 macrumors 6502

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    Mar 25, 2004
    #11
    I had already ordered a 7950 when the EVGA 680 was announced. I ultimately decided to stay with the 7950 on this basis (about $120 difference). However, if I had not already ordered the 7950, I'm not sure I would have made the same choice. Nevertheless, I have the Sapphire 7950 card now, it has run well (I have not had the fan problem), and so I am OK with my decision. Plus, as MacVidCards pointed out in another thread, the drivers for the 7950 are not as mature yet as other drivers, so it may be that we see an improvement over time. Apple already has a version of the 680 in the iMac, so it may be that initially the EVGA 680 will out perform by a significant margin. Hopefully with time, that gap will become narrower.
     
  12. BigJohno macrumors 65816

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    #12
    10.8.3 with the latest drivers.
     
  13. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

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    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #13
    Yeah, it matters quite a lot actually. :)

    I can write code that's nearly twice as fast on the ATI or the GTX either way. And the display too - one can look more beautiful - fuller richer FX. The ATI cards are a lot more work to write for however. So just from that I would assume the GTX would be faster at for more things than the ATI. Not all devs will go the extra weeks of work it takes to get ATI cards on a level playing field. In our case we had to because it wasn't a benchmark or a game - it was a 3D animation package so everything had to match up regardless of the hardware used. Bla, what a PITA!
     
  14. MacVidCards Suspended

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    #14
    ok, now run CUDA-Z or google & install lspci
     
  15. LEOMODE thread starter macrumors regular

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    #15
    Oh barefeats benchmark is in! Man GTX680 rips 7950 apart! Thanks I chose my mind now haha :)
     
  16. lssmit02 macrumors 6502

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    #16
    Yeah, I probably would have sprung the extra $120 for the 680.
     
  17. MacsRgr8 macrumors 604

    MacsRgr8

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    #17
    Looks like it for the most part!

    However: Problem is the 2 GB VRAM limit if X-Plane 10 is your game.

    Barefeats' X-Plane 10 test is in no way close to real life experience. If you can get high enough settings, and the GTX 680 as GPU can do it, then heavy-duty add-ons scenery etc. will force VRAM consumption easily over the 2 GB. Even the 7950 does that.

    So, 3 GB VRAM and a lesser GPU or 2 GB limit and be frustrated with it...

    IMHO:
    If your game = X-Plane 10 and you enjoy large and detailed extra sceneries: Radeon 7950.
    Anything else: GTX 680.
     
  18. Topper macrumors 65816

    Topper

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    Jun 17, 2007
    #18
    That is correct.
    That's why some people here are going after Nvidia's Titan.
    And I think they are getting the 4GB 680 to run also.
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1565735
    I personally prefer to run XP10 in Windows under Bootcamp with an Nvidia card (but you know that.)
     
  19. MacsRgr8 macrumors 604

    MacsRgr8

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    #19
    I do indeed, Topper :)

    A GTX680 justifies 4 GB VRAM in X-Plane 10. The GPU can handle enough that 3 GB is a minimum for that card.

    The 3 GB VRAM in the 7950 is the "sweet spot" for X-Plane 10. More VRAM is not necessary as this GPU won't be able to handle it, and 2 GB would have been too little.

    As you know: I love playing X-Plane 10 on OS X. ;) My ageing Mac Pro '08, now with 16 GB RAM and the 7950, feels "maxxed out".

    So, I'm settling with this Mac until, hopefully, one day, eventually, maybe, probably, when all the planets of our solar system line up, Apple brings us the new Mac Pro.... with options for the GTX 680 4 GB VRAM and the idea that future high-end AMD and nVidia grfx cards will be available, either through Apple or Sapphire / EVGA. :eek:
     
  20. dpny macrumors regular

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    Jan 5, 2013
    #20
    What's your object density, and what fps are you getting with the 7950? I've got a 670 in my Mac Pro 5,1, but the crappy nVidia drivers make X-Plane a slideshow.
     
  21. Asgorath macrumors 65816

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    Mar 30, 2012
    #21
    What settings are you using in X-Plane, out of curiosity?
     
  22. dpny macrumors regular

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    Jan 5, 2013
    #22
    Can't answer when I'm at work. Will post a shot of my settings when I get home.
     
  23. Enigma, Apr 18, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2013

    Enigma macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2004
    #23
    For me the biggest downside of the 680 is the single Displayport. I've got a 2010 Mac Pro with the 5870 but I also have 2x 27" Cinema Displays. I was interested to see the new video cards as I feel the video card is the one part of this machine I'd quite like to upgrade (combination of wanting to try some GPU based analysis work... and playing Battlefield 3...) but the 7950 doesn't seem like a huge hike in performance over the 5870 and the 680 won't let me run both monitors.

    Does anyone know of a 680 with dual displayport (or mini-displayport) outputs that can be flashed and installed in a Mac Pro? I've pretty much upgraded everything else...
     
  24. xav8tor macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 30, 2011
    #24
    I'm running a 3690 at 3.6 GHZ in XP10 with the 670 4GB. Using the standard FPS tests, OS X runs MUCH slower than in Boot Camp with Win 7. I'm one of those users considering the Titan, but not on the OS X side. As it is, even with the most powerful CPU you can put in the Pro, the GPU wait times are ridiculous. On the Windows side, it isn't nearly that much of a problem. Unless Apple makes some serious upgrades to the Pro in terms of making a highly clocked modern CPU available (XP being essentially single threaded), hotter GPU's are likely a waste of money and will only yield small gains.

    I use a single monitor (and sometimes a second via HDMI at 1080), but as soon as the 4K (UHD) 30 to 37" 3840x2160 monitors come out at a reasonable price, that's where I'm headed. This probably means Mac for light to medium tasks and a custom Windows box with an overclocked i7 to 4.5 to 5.0 GHz feeding a Titan for XP. Unless Apple pulls off a miracle, for max performance in something like ver.10, that's the only solution I can see. A generation or two old CPU and mobo cannot come close to keeping a Titan, or even my 670, busy. I doubt the Nvidia OS X drivers are the sole culprit causing these performance woes.
     
  25. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

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    Jul 17, 2010
    #25
    This is what happens when you barely write drivers. The HW, the bus width, and the core speeds have little to do with OS X drivers sucking. For me it is fine as all I need in OSX is screen drawing and HW acceleration. I only game in Windows as I am a sane man.
     

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