Gigabyte Geforce 660 OC vs Gigabyte Radeon 7970 OC


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Profile Ragnar Sandberg
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Message 1404415 - Posted: 17 Aug 2013, 19:59:41 UTC
Last modified: 17 Aug 2013, 20:42:48 UTC

Hi there,

I'm currently running Astropulse in SETI@home on a Gigabyte Geforce 660 OC 2 GB GPU in Linux Mint with 8 GB Corsair 1600 MHZ RAM, an Intel SSD in the 520 series, and the Intel Core i5-3450 CPU.

Realistically, how much of an improvement would I get if I were to replace my GPU with the Gigabyte Radeon 7970 OC? My average time for each WU in Astropulse is currently 39 minutes. I see the 660 OC has 1881.6 GFLOPS, whereas the 7970 OC has 3788.8 GFLOPS. Also, the 660 OC has 960 cores, whereas the 7970 OC has 2048 cores. How much of an improvement could I expect? Is it too optimistic to expect the average time of completion for Astropulse WUs to drop to 20 minutes?

My reasoning for upgrading to the 7970 OC specifically has to do with the fact that I'm limited to a 550W PSU. This card seems like it's going to give me the best bang for buck. I've also read online that AMD cards are considered better for crunching on BOINC, but I'm unsure as to whether or not this also applies to SETI@home.

Could I get some advice on this? I've been crunching for little more than a year now, and I specifically built my current rig for GPU crunching mainly in SETI@home, Einstein@home and Milkway@home. Recently I've also started crunching for GPUGRID. So far I've completed 1,5M WUs in BOINC since April 2012.

All the best,
Ragnar
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Message 1404438 - Posted: 17 Aug 2013, 20:56:34 UTC
Last modified: 17 Aug 2013, 20:58:18 UTC

I dont know about one unit at time because i`m running 2 instances on my 7970.
Low blanked units take about 30 minutes.
But i think 20 minutes is possible.

But i dont think a 7970 will work with a 550 Watt PSU.
My card is factory overclocked as well running at 1050 MHZ and uses ~260 Watts.
I have a 850 Watt PSU installed.
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Message 1404464 - Posted: 17 Aug 2013, 21:49:01 UTC - in response to Message 1404438.

But i dont think a 7970 will work with a 550 Watt PSU.

AMD writes: 500W (or greater) power supply with one 150W 8-pin PCI Express power connector and one 75W 6-pin PCI Express power connector recommended..

Although that's probably on a system that doesn't have anything else in it. ;-)
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Message 1404468 - Posted: 17 Aug 2013, 21:58:03 UTC - in response to Message 1404464.

But i dont think a 7970 will work with a 550 Watt PSU.

AMD writes: 500W (or greater) power supply with one 150W 8-pin PCI Express power connector and one 75W 6-pin PCI Express power connector recommended..

Although that's probably on a system that doesn't have anything else in it. ;-)


Yes, but AMD dont tell anything about the OC`d version.
My card has two 8 pin power connectors.

But you are correct of course.
250 for the card 125 for CPU plus 50 for the board.
Not much room if not a 90+ PSU is in use.

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Message 1404481 - Posted: 17 Aug 2013, 22:38:40 UTC - in response to Message 1404468.

Yes, but AMD dont tell anything about the OC`d version.
My card has two 8 pin power connectors.

But you are correct of course.
250 for the card 125 for CPU plus 50 for the board.
Not much room if not a 90+ PSU is in use.


The company I'm ordering this card from states that the requirement is 550W, but if you're worried this might not be sufficient, maybe I should opt for the 7950 instead? However, the same company recommends a 550W PSU for the ASUS RADEON HD7970 DCII as well.

With regards to my power supply, it's a Corsair 550 TX 550W 80 PLUS bronze certified.
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Message 1404487 - Posted: 17 Aug 2013, 23:47:51 UTC

550W is the recommended minimum PSU capability. I would think that a 670W PSU will give safety from burning out the PSU. At least it is the value I have for 24/7 crunch on my HD7970.
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Message 1404492 - Posted: 17 Aug 2013, 23:57:28 UTC - in response to Message 1404487.

550W is the recommended minimum PSU capability. I would think that a 670W PSU will give safety from burning out the PSU. At least it is the value I have for 24/7 crunch on my HD7970.


Hmm, do you think opting instead for the HD7950, with 500W being the recommended minimum PSU capability, would still be pushing it?
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Message 1404496 - Posted: 18 Aug 2013, 0:17:54 UTC - in response to Message 1404492.

The problem being is, your system consists of a little more than just a CPU + motherboard + graphics processor. RAM, fans, hard drives, optical drives, USB, etc. etc. all use up power as well.
So best use a energy calculation site like http://www.power-on.com/calculator.html to see what the bare business is that your PC uses. That site just calculates CPU+RAM+Drives+Fans.

My favorite other site is offline for maintenance, so use http://www.msi.com/service/power-supply-calculator/ to do the total minimal calculation of energy that your system uses.

The AMD HD7970 alone shows a hefty minimum 407 Watt.
The HD7950 uses 357 Watt.
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Message 1404642 - Posted: 18 Aug 2013, 10:13:21 UTC - in response to Message 1404496.
Last modified: 18 Aug 2013, 10:15:37 UTC

My favorite other site is offline for maintenance, so use http://www.msi.com/service/power-supply-calculator/ to do the total minimal calculation of energy that your system uses.


According to the site I'm currently using 281W with the 660, and I would be using 356W with the 7950. Is this basically telling me what my system uses while being idle?

I only have 2 fans, 1 SSD, no additional PCI or PCI Express Cards, and only 1 DVD-ROM. I also use 1 high-end audio-technica headset. Based on this review, I guess my 550W PSU would not cut it: http://www.techspot.com/review/496-amd-radeon-7950/page9.html
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Message 1404654 - Posted: 18 Aug 2013, 11:07:06 UTC

I plugged my neighbours watt meter on my PC.
Its pulling 565 Watts atm.

CPU AMD FX 8150 OC
GPU HD 7970 OC
2 TB HDDs
1 BD drive
4 Fans

If you substract 30 Watts for the CPU mine is TDP 140 and another 25 for one HD you are still above 500 Watts.
With only 10% room its just a question of time.


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Message 1404676 - Posted: 18 Aug 2013, 13:31:20 UTC - in response to Message 1404654.

If you substract 30 Watts for the CPU mine is TDP 140 and another 25 for one HD you are still above 500 Watts.
With only 10% room its just a question of time.


Okay everyone, thank you for the help. I've decided to either upgrade my PSU as well, or wait until later. I appreciate the help.

All the best,
Ragnar
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Message 1404737 - Posted: 18 Aug 2013, 16:07:09 UTC - in response to Message 1404654.

I plugged my neighbours watt meter on my PC.
Its pulling 565 Watts atm.

CPU AMD FX 8150 OC
GPU HD 7970 OC
2 TB HDDs
1 BD drive
4 Fans

If you substract 30 Watts for the CPU mine is TDP 140 and another 25 for one HD you are still above 500 Watts.
With only 10% room its just a question of time.

PSU ratings are for the output, so those 565 Watts input mean 452 Watts output at 80% efficiency, or 508.5 Watts at 90% efficiency. IOW a good 550 Watt PSU would handle that load, assuming the current limits for each rail are not exceeded. But of course anyone sensible would want more headroom.
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Message 1404745 - Posted: 18 Aug 2013, 16:19:38 UTC - in response to Message 1404737.

I plugged my neighbours watt meter on my PC.
Its pulling 565 Watts atm.

CPU AMD FX 8150 OC
GPU HD 7970 OC
2 TB HDDs
1 BD drive
4 Fans

If you substract 30 Watts for the CPU mine is TDP 140 and another 25 for one HD you are still above 500 Watts.
With only 10% room its just a question of time.

PSU ratings are for the output, so those 565 Watts input mean 452 Watts output at 80% efficiency, or 508.5 Watts at 90% efficiency. IOW a good 550 Watt PSU would handle that load, assuming the current limits for each rail are not exceeded. But of course anyone sensible would want more headroom.
Joe


Yes, but you forgot the peak levels.
Some HDs pulling almost double on spin up for example.
Way to risky for me.

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