Upgrade from GTX660 to HD7950 ?

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  11 November 2012
Upgrade from GTX660 to HD7950 ?


I recently bought a GTX660 to replace my GTX460.
If i chosed again nvidia it's mainly for CUDA and appsthat supports it for acceleration. If it wasn't for CUDA i would have chose a 7870 or maybe a 7950, much better for games, larger bandwith, more memory etc.

But now i discover that openCL is like CUDA except its opened and starts to be hugely adopted by softwares for 3D and VFX.

My first question is to know what sotfwares in this list use openCL acceleration, because i can't find the kind of info anywhere :(

  • 3DS Max 2013
    Rayfire 1.59
    Realflow 2013
    Afterburn 4.1.2
    FumeFX 3.5.1
    Krakatoa for 3ds max 2013
    Premiere CS6
    After Effects CS6

My second questions is about to know if i should change my graphic card.
My GTX660 has 2gb memory and 192bits bandwith memory whereas 7950 has 3gb and 384bits which can be very usefull, in games and in 3D and CG apps BUT i read here and there that Nvidia is better than AMD for all the apps i mentionned, even if it's not for CUDA.
Well actually i guessi would decide if i go for a 7950 if most of the apps in the list above have openCL support and have no that much of problem with amd.

  11 November 2012
Well the tough thing about graphics cards is that you can always get something slightly better for another $20-$30. You should be fine with the GTX660. Thats still a pretty nice card.

If your concerned with CUDA, openCL, and the performance of some of those more niche market programs, you might want to look at the Quadro cards.

  11 November 2012
I have a 7950 card for my home machine and I had to take it out and put my GTS250 back in. AMD's drivers just suck.

It's been sitting on the shelf for 3 months. I'm waiting for them to update their drivers where they actually work.

Stuff like I can only launch 1 instance of maya. Anything more just won't launch. I know you're using max, but I just can't take a card serious if it won't do basic things.

Then there's the stupid crap like random lockups from moving a window - no load on the CPU or I/O, nothing else going on, just moving a window or clicking a menu. The card freeze up on my machine that's been ROCK SOLID for the past 2 years prior to the 7950.

I stress tested the thing for like 30 min with furmark, prime 95, and intel burn test set to maximum memory load all at the same time along with random bursts of mouse clicking (which can sometime cause a crash when the machine is near the threshold of stability) - no issues with handling extreme loads or heat.

Finally after 2 weeks of having probably 15 random UI lock ups and about 4-5 hours of work lost as a result, I took it out and put it on a shelf where it's sat for 4 months. My computer has gone back to being stable with the old GTS250 in it.

I'll use the 7950 as a gaming card when I retire my current machine. Hopefully they've improved the drivers at that point.

Last edited by sentry66 : 11 November 2012 at 11:12 PM.
  11 November 2012
Thx for the info. No AMD for me then.

I might keep my GTX660 then (even if it's not yet supported by max and co) or i might change it for a GTX670 hoping the 256bits bus will make a difference with the 192bits bus of the GTX660 (which is quite low compared to the 384bits of the 7950!). I will never go before yeaaaaars above 1920x1080

Last edited by Nemo2020 : 11 November 2012 at 11:13 PM.
  11 November 2012
I'm sure someone is using the 7950 is swears by them, so I might just be a fringe case.

For reference, my machine is win7 64, using the "windows classic" UI draw style, 4.2ghz i7 930, 750 watt thermaltake power supply

I tried I think 3 different AMD drivers, using driver wiper to do a clean driver install each time. I tried underclocking the card and tried turning all sorts of features on and off - nothing stopped the random freezes of interacting with the UI.

Last edited by sentry66 : 11 November 2012 at 11:17 PM.
  11 November 2012

i've had similar problems when switching from a GTX 275 to a GTS 250...

After switching the cards I got bluescreens, freezes and totally random crashes. Wiping the drivers didn't work.

I put in the GTX 275 after a week of unstable working.

My guess is that you need to install the windows system from scratch if you want to stay stable after a graphics card switch. So it's not neccessarily an AMD problem. I am using 3dsmax though. Have been using geforce cards ever since - but I am not happy with them anymore. Nvidia crippling their drivers to limit cuda / open cl performance to make you buy the more expensive stuff - I am gonna go with amd with my next card.
  11 November 2012
hey, I will just ask here cuz I don't want to start new topic so what you think guys about geforce gtx 680 for maya and zbrush using? On autodesk site says that geforce 6xx series cards are not supported by any kind of software made by them but in my opinion they just want to count more buyers for quadro cards.

Last edited by Westland : 11 November 2012 at 12:01 AM.
  11 November 2012
I have no idea why a 680 wouldn't be spectacular with viewport 2.0

Can't say it'd be great for the normal viewport though, just expect 3 fps max unless your scene is under 500k polygons

My Quadro FX1800 gets 30 fps with a high poly model in maya 2009, but 3.5 fps in 2013 on the exact same machine with each version of maya running at the same time - what happened autodesk?

Viewport 2.0 in maya 2013 meanwhile gets 28 fps

how weird is that?
  11 November 2012
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