7970 vs 2x GTX 580

I was originally going for a MSI Lightning 7970 and then told I can roll it back a little with another model and get it about $100 cheaper if I'm not going to extreme OC. Just in today I found a post for 2 used GTX 580s for $300 (vs the $500 the 7970 would cost). Worried on how well they will preform in the future and what all supports SLI I am unclear on what way I should be leaning. Any insite?
Note from Seller:
Well, to be honest and not biased, two 580s will perform better than one 7970. Most games support SLI so it'll be better than a 7970 in FPS as long as you're on a 1080p monitor. When I used them for some time, the performance was great, I almost wasn't going to get the 780 because the scores are about the same but I upgraded to a 1440p monitor so I needed the Extra VRAM. You wont be disappointed against a 7970, it's about 20% increase in most cases and cheaper in the end.

(portion of e-mail.)

Link to add: http://cleveland.craigslist.org/sys/3952423996.html

Thank you all!

7970 is the better option, it has more processing power and uses less electricity than 2 580s would.

GTX 770 > 7970


Thank you for the comparison and I was originally looking into NVidia's new models and then I was redirected to the 7970 "lightning".


You are honestly going to try and tell me that a 770 is better than a 7970 on the basis of a synthetic benchmark's 2 point lead in score and some shit FPS game's max FPS with one card over the other?

7970 with openGL in a 3D and video rendering environment blows away CUDA. Professionals know this and thats why they predominantly buy FirePro cards. A 770 might be better with AA in games but you can ignore AA with Supersampling using raw GPU power.

Also why are we comparing reference boards? Nobody but water-cooled overclockers buys reference PCB graphics cards anymore. The OP's interest in an MSI Lightning 7970 is a sound decision with great overclocking headroom and a well designed air cooler.

The fanboy is strong in this one.


2x 580's will out strip a 7970, they howerver will have less Vram if you choose the 1536MB versions, but there are 3074MB editions.

I would recommend a GTX 780 or Radeon 7970.

No fanboy here dude. I'm stating the facts. If the OP wants horrid problems with the current drivers and graphics glitches with new Nvidia hardware he can be my guest. I can't recommend anything less than what he's interested in, the MSI 7970 Lightning.

Don't even get me started on the power consumption and heat output of the 580s though. OH GOD.

But yea i agree- 580s may have the horsepower but they lack the memory.

Please be much more clear with the rubbish you speak, the only driver issues are with Battlefield 3, with few people, myself included back when i had SLi'd 480's.


This issue is no longer existent.


The 580's are faster.


A single GPU is almost always a better solution, but SLi has come a long way, there is not a lot of games that will have any issues.

I'm personally here on my first computer build and lean towards majority vote / what is argued least in compilation with my own research, and the occasional Eeny, meeny, miny, moe (not really but had rough time choosing mobo)

Glad my heads not spinning so when does the memory start to become to much and end up as a bottleneck as with the 7970 with 6vram?

1536MB will show it's lacking memory at 2560x1600 from personal experience with 480's.


3GB will not for a single display.

I was personally wanting to pull eyefinity "x3" on some Acer H236HLbid or maybe pushing LG Electronics EA63 23EA63V (in the long run 1 for now though) both running 1080

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824009483 / http://www.amazon.com/LG-Electronics-23EA63V-23-Inch-LED-lit/dp/B00BJSB754/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top


I would go for the single card Either GTX770 or 7970

Single Card:

  • Less power consumption
  • Less heat output
  • Potentially more Vram
  • Leaves room to add a second card in the future
  • Much more mature and technologically advanced platform. eg. 40nm vs 28nm

Dual card

  • Most likely more performance
  • More Power Consumption (A LOT)
  • More Heat Output (A LOT)
  • Can't really add more cards to it because of modern scaling.
  • Potentially Less Vram

Forget 580's if they are only 1536MB versions for 3 displays, a single 780 is more appropriate for that setup without touching multi-GPU, but it costs a fair bit more.

To add to that, I've seen reports of Crysis 3 taking up 2+GBs of Vram on the titan

but then again,... that's crysis for you.

Okay well I have nixed dual cards for current maybe adding in a second down the road but for now going with the single card. I'm also still leaning towards the 7970 lightning and assume plenty of threads can be found nvidia vs radeon etc but will take whatever else finds its way here into consideration up until purchase likely ordering within next couple days though maybe later tonight. Thank you all.

Im speaking of the new hardware dude, not 2 generations old power eating junk. The GTX 700 series is plauged with driver issues and firmware issues causing graphical glitches and instability. Untill they work out the drivers and card Bios I cant recommend a brand new Nvidia. Just like I wont recommend a brand new 9000 series graphics card when they release later this year. You never buy launch hardware. No matter what company it comes from. 3-6 months after launch, sure go ahead and buy it. They usually have all of the driver and firmware issues ironed out by then.

I think you've made a good choice. The 3GB of Vram on the 7970 is the sweet spot for high-resolution monitors, in my opinion. The 770 and 7970 are virtually neck and neck. However, many games are going to be optimised for AMD, including Battlefield 4. I really do think you have every reason to go with the red team.

Unless you can stretch your budget to a GTX 780? That is a sweet ass card for 1440p.