Radeon HD 7950 3 GB: Six Cards, Benchmarked And Reviewed ...

[Discussion] My own personal guide to used hardware alternatives.

Hi there. My name is Jeff. I've been building systems for the better part of 15 years and try my best to contribute here actively. After being involved in this little community for a few years now, I'm noticing a serious lack of discussion about buying used components, and I feel like it's time to shed a little light on the subject for those looking to build on a (seriously) tight budget.
As Linus said in his scrapyard wars video, buying new on $300 isn't practical, and if you posed the challenge to him on a random day, buying used is almost certainly the path he'd choose. As someone who's been "scrapyarding" as a hobby for the better part of 10 years, I figured I'd take some time to share some of what I've learned for the modern audience.
Let's begin with a simple rundown of modern "budget" choices, and I'll tell you what I'd do instead.
CPU
The G3258 and Athlon 860k are the sub-$100 CPUs of choice, and both work just fine. I have built with both in the past, and each carries their own set of advantages.
Used Alternatives: You can go in a couple of directions here; if you happen to have an LGA 1366 motherboard lying around, you can get an i7 920 or better for under $50, and they still hold up reasonably well. Being that LGA 1366 boards are not typically cheap when purchased used, my favourite option is the Phenom II x4 Black Edition series, each of which compare favourably to modern budget options, and will even overclock on some incredibly dated, dirt cheap AM2+ boards. In my experience, eBay prices on these get a little too high for my taste, but I've been able to nab several on Kijiji locally in Toronto for under $50 as well.
GPU
The R7 260x and GTX 750 ti are often cited as budget options for most builders, with the latter serving a very specific role in systems where power draw might be a concern. While there exists no option that can complete with the low consumption of the 750 ti (or even the single 6-pin connector goodness of the 260x), its performance can easily be matched (and exceeded) for less money.
Used Alternatives: The bitcoin mining craze from a few years back led to the Radeon 7950 and 7970 being blacklisted on the used market, and I think the fears about burned-out cards are a little overblown. Here in Toronto, you can easily grab a 7950 for the price of a 260x, but I don't pay anywhere near that for my builds. At most, a Windforce will cost me $125, as where I recently picked up some non-boost edition PowerColor versions for a mere $83 each (bought 3 for $250).
EDIT: Forgot to mention something important - avoid the reference 7950 and 7970. They were employed to a far greater degree in mining rigs because of their rear-only exhaust, and if you see a bunch of them from the same seller listed at once, they're likely old mining cards. Only pick them up if they're incredibly cheap.
Want to go even cheaper? The Radeon 6950 (with the shader unlock, preferably) or even the 6970 will rival the performance of the 260x, and shouldn't cost Canadians more than $50-$60. I personally have 2 in my possession right now, and have gone through at least a dozen in the last 6 months.
In general, one should always avoid Nvidia when buying used, because they are far too popular and overvalued for their performance as they age. I still see GTX 660s selling for $150, which is absolutely absurd.
Motherboards
Motherboards on the used market are weird, and this can largely be attributed to the fact that they're hard to transport and don't handle well over time. As such, people don't really sell boards on their own that often, and you'll likely have more luck finding a combo of some kind (or even a ready-to-go tin-can with no graphics card) for less per part than you will finding a given board on its own.
Used Alternatives: The boards I'd recommend depend entirely on the CPU you've chosen. Being that I'm a fan of the Phenom II x4 series, AM2+ boards are going to be dirt cheap, but DDR2 RAM is actually fucking expensive, so you'd likely be better off going with AM3. I've even seen some used AM3+ boards (The 970 ASRock Extreme3, in particular) for as low as $40, so it wouldn't hurt to look.
On the Intel side, you're actually at a significant disadvantage. Much like Nvidia cards, Intel boards (and CPUs) actually retain their value and don't often come cheap. For me, LGA 1156 is the price/performance sweet spot, granted I can find an i7 8XX to go with it. Even still, they're going to run you a fair bit more than an AMD board, and likely aren't worth it by comparison.
RAM
Ram is ram. DDR2 is pricy as fuck due to an obvious market shortage of the stuff, so the AM2+ board option might not be best by comparison. DDR3 ram, however, is ubiquitous, and I always die a little inside when people building on a "budget" choose to buy new at all. If I'm being honest, I can get DDR3 ram from e-waste recycling companies for as low as $10 per 4GB stick, at 1333MHz, and not once have I ever had a bad stick of the stuff. Even for people going the route of the G3258 (which only supports 1333MHz), this is the clear winner.
Is value RAM ugly as sin? Sure it is. It is just as good as that fancy Ripjaws shit you've got in your current build? You betcha.
Storage
Hard Drives are actually a tricky game, as they are the single most volatile component in any budget build, easily succumbing to wear and tear from age and daily use. As such (and some might find this hard to believe) I actively avoid HDDs when building value systems for people and opt for cheap SSDs instead. As always, check the date on a drive if you're really insistent on buying one, and considering how cheap a WD blue is new, don't pull the trigger on one unless it's for less than $30/TB.
SSDs are obviously (akin to RAM) highly resilient and are nearly guaranteed to work when purchased used. The average SSD pulled from an old laptop or an office off-lease desktop, will have no more than 100GB of writes on it, which leaves 99% of its life for you to exploit. While there exists no specific recommendation for which brand to buy, just be sure you're getting a relatively good drive with SATA III capability. 120/128GB variants of these sorts should cost you no more than $50 in my native Canada, and I've even gotten lucky on some larger sizes too. Recently I picked up 4 256GB Samsung 840 Pros for $75 each (I came), just days after I bought a Crucial MX100 of the same size for $85.
Monitors
Monitors are fun to buy, because the recent shifts in display technology have rendered a lot of recent-but-obsolete models nearly valueless. For example, remember when 16:10 was a thing? I actually still like 1680x1050 monitors, but the rest of the world seems to disagree, so I've been able to pick up 23" variants for as little as $40. Being that the slightly lower resolution actually eases the strain on your VRAM a bit, it's a nice fit for a lot of budget cards that might not have a full 2GB available, like some variants of the 6950. 1600x900 monitors are often just as cheap and come with the same inherent benefit of being obsolete despite being almost as good as its bigger 1080p cousin.
Keyboards and Mice
If you're on a budget, we can't even have this discussion. As much as I like mechanical keyboards and high-precision gaming mice, people building used $300 systems aren't going to allot any of their budget buying them. That said, wired USB keyboards and mice are virtually free (search your local goodwill or value village for some), and if you have to pay money, buy a wireless combo for $20 new from some little shit store in a suburb somewhere.
Cases
Cases on their own sell for about half of their original retail price, give or take based on the condition. I normally just get them as a part of a tin-can bundle and make use of them if they aren't too dirty, but when building for someone else, I'd often just prefer to buy a new budget case in the $40 range.
PSUs
I saved this topic for last, because it's by far the most difficult category to master. First off, you really need to do your research and understand how PSUs work before delving into these guys, as the cost associated is almost entirely dependent on how resilient the underlying platform has been proven to be. Generally speaking, reading reviews on JonnyGuru and HardOCP is a great start, but none of them account for units that are several years old.
As a general rule of thumb, I use the EVGA 500W W1 as a reference point, and build my value tree around that. In other words, if a new EVGA 500W (a passable, proven budget unit) is cheaper than a used 500W variant of a better brand, why would I bother buying used? Sure, that 520W Seasonic S12II puts the EVGA to shame in terms of voltage regulation and ripple suppression, but can I really make the same claims of a unit that's 5 years into its life? Wouldn't I just be safer buying new? These are all factors you have to consider.
For me, the threshold lies around 50% in terms of cost savings vs. risk. In other words, if you can find a used quality unit for less than half the price of the cheapest quality unit available at a given time, buy it.
Anyhow I think that covers everything. And as a closing note, remember to be safe. Meet potential sellers (and buyers) in public, well-lit places, and try your best to avoid entering someone's home without some protections in place. Also, the more info you get about the person (address, phone number, etc) the less likely it is that a person will be trying to scam you. People who purposely conceal their identity do so for a reason.
Also, feel free to ask me anything about my own experiences buying and selling used. I've been doing it as a hobby for a long, long time and have sold many value builds to people who can't otherwise afford PCs. I'm happy to impart any wisdom I might've gained over the years.
Edit: CPU Coolers! Forgot those. Air coolers are a safe bet. They're slabs of copper and aluminum with fans strapped to them. Buy with confidence, and seek one out for $10-$15 if you plan to overclock. AIO water cooling is not so safe. Those things are typically only good for 2-3 years, and you have no idea how much longer a pump has before it gives. Budget builders likely aren't water-cooling anyhow, right?
Edit 2: Just to be clear, when I said I'd been doing this for a long time, I should clarify that a) I once owned a game store and sold systems out of there and b) I currently resell systems out of my house to raise money for charity builds. I really don't want people to get the impression I'm trying to sell anything.
submitted by Oafah to buildapc [link] [comments]

Should i sell my 7950?

So i have a PowerColor 7950 i recently bought for about $200 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I read that the prices of the 7950 just shot up due to Bitcoin/Litecoin mining. They sell for about $400 on ebay from what i have heard. Since i do not mine, do you think i should sell it and get something else? If so what is on the current market with similar, if not better performance for maybe $300-400? Thanks in advance for any input and contributions!
submitted by sammyssb to hardware [link] [comments]

Should I buy a 7950 for 225 bucks?

Ok so I have found a guy in my city selling a Powercolor 7950 for 225. He says he used it for bitcoin mining and stopped and hes selling it because he just cashed out and he is moving. Here are my concerns:
  1. Its been used for mining, and while I know bitcoin is not mem intensive, its still mining (seller claims around 6 months of mining).
  2. Its a reference powercolor with another cooler installed and new thermal paste, (guy claims 68c temps consistently) and I do not know the specific model.
  3. I have a 650w PSU its a rosewill capstone (~91% efficiency at 50-80% load) 80+ gold, its about 11 months old. The reason I say this is that my irg already has a 7970 inside and i'm drawing about 290 watts from the wall total (7970 is undervolted as well as my 3770k). even if this card adds 250w overclocked, im still at only 540w pulling from the wall but realistically I will probably undervolt the card to keep temps down.
Is this a good deal and should I jump on it?
EDIT** I decided against buying based on my PSU. I have redirected the seller to hardware swap and this sub in hopes he can still sell the card, but I am not sure he will try selling here.
EDIT 2 I Found a Sapphire 7970 Vapor-X card for 300$!!! this card I know I can undervolt and I will be purchasing that instead
submitted by DrJohnFuckinZoidberg to litecoinmining [link] [comments]

Are you in the market for some computer parts? Looking to bring your rig up to Star Citizen spec? Look no further!

Our very own /KhanKarab has a surplus inventory of the following parts:
He is liquidating this inventory, and will take reasonable offers. If you have no specific offer, you can ask for a price quote. Just a word to the wise: make sure you're near a toilet, because he's pants-soilingly cheap.
Will accept Paypal and BitCoin as payment.
I personally vouch for Karab, because he is an amazing person, and has delivered goods to people I connected him with.
I will update this Subreddit (or Karab will) as his inventory gradually depletes. Be sure to send a direct message to /KhanKarab with your order or questions. He will let you know if he has the item in stock.
(Note: He has a lot. A lot.)
submitted by NKato to TestSquadron [link] [comments]

Screen Tears when mining -- Both 7870 and 7950 on AMD 13.1

When bitcoin mining using cgminer and p2pool I've noticed screen tears along the taskbar as shown in this picture:
http://i.imgur.com/KIAz312.jpg?1
[URL=http://imgur.com/KIAz312][IMG]http://i.imgur.com/KIAz312.jpg?1[/img][/URL]
This issue occured with both the powercolor 7870 tahiti LE and 7950 sapphire vapor-X
It's not a temperature issue because the sapphire is running at 61ºC while the powercolor was running at 77ºC
Is this related to catalyst 13.1 drivers or does everyone get these tears due to GPU load being ~100%
submitted by jayjl3 to BitcoinMining [link] [comments]

[Discussion] Any AMD Radeon 7950s in UK?

I'm struggling to find a site that sells AMD Radeon 7950 Graphics Cards in the UK. I understand that these cards are in high demand for mining Bitcoin/Litecoin. Anyway, does anyone know where I can still get a 7950 that doesn't cost >£400? I currently own a Powercolor 7950 and wanted to Crossfire this year. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
submitted by NIMQUAD to buildapc [link] [comments]

Cgminer mining duel layer 5x 7950 3.1MH+ cheap LTC litecoin rig PowerColor Radeon HD 7950 Boost State Edition Video Card Specifications - SLIDE ONLY Fast and Compact Litecoin mining rig with AMD Radeon 7990 GPU = 1.2MH/s Electronic76 - YouTube Litecoin Dogecoin Scrypt 1200 KH/s Mining Rig 3 x 7850

Asus, MSI, Powercolor: Übertaktete Radeon HD 7950 mit zwei Lüftern. Auf Basis von AMDs überzeugender Grafikkarte Radeon HD 7950 stellen zahlreiche Boardpartner eigene Kühlungsdesigns vor. Um ... The 7950 will be going into my already-build rig as a second GPU, so ideally it would have some sort of improved cooling. Hashrate is, of course, very important as well. Noise is relatively important, considering I'll be moving back to university soon and will have to share a room with a roommate who may or may not be irritated if my computer is too loud. The quieter the better, but the other ... HIS 7950 IceQ received some good comments, and there are reports of a good hashrate 640+KHash/sec with undervolting. The single fan might be a disadvantage but this card’s performance is solid. PowerColor HD7950 is favourable among some miners. Plus it is rather low priced. Non-7950 choices How To Mine Bitcoins For Free Hd 7950 Ethereum Why use NiceHash to sell your hashing power? Type it in, and do NOT lose it, as it cannot be recovered. Post edited by rismondo on March It's not really worth it but I'm too cheap and stubborn to just buy into crypto. Should be a little faster with that clockrate you are using. Pretty surprised with the nice responses I got for my first article ... HIS HD 7950 IceQ Turbo Sapphire HD7950 OC Asus HD7950-DC2T-3GD5 MSI R7950 Twin Frozr 3GD/OC PowerColor PCS+ AX7950 3GBD5-2DHPP; Shaders: 1792: 1792: 1792: 1792: 1792: 1792: Texture Units: 112: 112 ...

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Cgminer mining duel layer 5x 7950 3.1MH+ cheap LTC litecoin rig

You will see how easy it is to make your own Litecoin mining rig with a single 7990 GPU. You can easily get greater than 1.2MH/s performance with a Powercolor 7990 GPU. LTC donations welcome ... Stress Test PowerColor AX5970 2GBD5-MD Radeon HD 5970 Furmark. Cheap way to start litecoin mining running cgminer 2.11.4 Im getting just over 3.1MH. This is my third rig cgminer settings color 0A setx GPU_MAX_ALLOC_PERCENT 100 setx GPU_USE_SYNC_OBJECTS 1 ... Video meines 2MH/s Litecoin / DOGEcoin mining rig bzw. Rechner. In der Beschreibung weiter unten habe ich die Einzelteile aufgelistet. Wenn ihr den Miner nac... Please note - this video contains only a SLIDE with relevant information Purpose of this video content is to provide information about particular product to the general public. I believe that all ...

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