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AMD or Nvidia for GPU upgrade?


zero2none
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Hey,

 

I started this thread on the Angrycrows fan website, but lately there hasn't been much activity over there.

 

I currently have a AMD Radeon 6870, which I've had for almost 6 years and it's been a lovely card, but it's starting to show it's age. So, I want to upgrade my GPU in October, a month before Fallout 4 and Star Wars Battlefront, and I was wondering what card do you guys think would be a significant upgrade for me? 

 

I've been doing my research and I've shorten the list to the GTX 970 or R9 390. I would love to get a GTX 980/TI or R9 390X, but if it was that simple I wouldn't be making this thread. In Australia these cards are around the $800-1000 price range, whereas the 970 and 390 both sit at around the $450-500 price range. I'd prefer not to bankrupt myself in the process. 

 

So, the problem is which card, the 970 or 390, would be the best choice for a stock, single and future proof upgrade. I don't care about OCing or having more than one GPU. The 390 has it's 8GB of VRam and supports DX12, but the 970 has better drivers, clock speeds and Nvidia is more reliable. 

 

To add more to the decision, if I did choose the 970, which brand? Most of my clan mates have gone for EVGA, because it's OC from the box and they have better customer support, but I've read countless reviews stating that the Gigabyte G1 Gaming and MSI Gaming 970's are better. Gigabyte has a back-plate, LED lights and better temperatures, whereas the MSI 970 is smaller, quieter and has better cooling. 

 

So, what do you guys think? I know there's a lot of fanboys out there, but I really would like a non-biased suggestion for a card that will last me for another 5+ years. 

 

Edit: I've been upgrading my computer, part by part, for the past 5 years, so I know that I won't have any issues with either card. I got a fairly large full tower case (lots of room), 650W PSU (enough power), six 120mm fans (decent cooling), a 7200RPM, 64MB HD (cheap, but decent) and a i5 4670K CPU, and Windows 10. 

Edited by zero2none
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Well first thing is to uninstall Won 10 and get Win 7 64 bit lol.

Sorry I'm just no fan of that mess right now.

Before anyone could really give you solid advice we need to know what you'll use your comp for: are you going to stream? Do you plan on using a 4k monitor? What kind of games do you normally play?

These questions will help see the big picture. Buying parts in a vacuum hurts your overall performance. And when dropping that kind of money it's in your best interest to do the research.

Edited by Keaggan
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Personally im an nvidia fanboi , but at that price range, 390 is a better decision. There is alot of talk going on about Async shaders and how nvidia is going to handle them, but since 390 already beats 970 on DX11, there is no way nvidia beating 390 in DX12.

About the brand, i personally go with Asus, but your best option is checking specific cooling designs instead of going directly with a brand name.

 

Another possibility, of course is waiting for pascal, which is aimed for Q2 2016, that is going to be the most future-proof gpu series ever made, because it features too much jumps in one generation, diffrent manufacturing, different architechture, different memory type , mixed precision , built around dx12.

Edited by Eren
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Well first thing is to uninstall Won 10 and get Win 7 64 bit lol.

 

Sorry I'm just no fan of that mess right now.

 

Before anyone could really give you solid advice we need to know what you'll use your comp for: are you going to stream? Do you plan on using a 4k monitor? What kind of games do you normally play?

 

These questions will help see the big picture. Buying parts in a vacuum hurts your overall performance. And when dropping that kind of money it's in your best interest to do the research.

 

I had Win7 64bit, but I left my computer on over night and when I came back I had Win 10 (stupid auto-update). It's not bad actually, it's a big change, but you get use to it. 

 

I mainly use my computer for gaming on 1080p, I would like to stream, but my internet is pretty poorly made socksty for it. I use two monitors, no 4k. For games, I don't think it matters as both cards I listed run almost every game these days on ultra at 1080p at pretty decent frame rates. I'm more interested in future proofing for games that may come out in the later. However, if I need to be specific; I play everything  :P

Edited by zero2none
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Personally im an nvidia fanboi , but at that price range, 390 is a better decision. There is alot of talk going on about Async shaders and how nvidia is going to handle them, but since 390 already beats 970 on DX11, there is no way nvidia beating 390 in DX12.

About the brand, i personally go with Asus, but your best option is checking specific cooling designs instead of going directly with a brand name.

 

Another possibility, of course is waiting for pascal, which is aimed for Q2 2016, that is going to be the most future-proof gpu series ever made, because it features too much jumps in one generation, diffrent manufacturing, different architechture, different memory type , mixed precision , built around dx12.

 

I could wait until Q2 2016, but I haven't done an upgrade for ages and with my ageing GPU, I can't sit and be patient and play recent games on low settings until then. So, I'd prefer to get the best future-proof card at this current time. 

 

EDIT: Yea I agree, I would go with the 390 if it wasn't a re-branded overclocked version of the 290. However, it's quite obvious that it's more robust and stronger than the 970 with it's 3.5 GB VRam, but I always hear how Nvidia cards are more consistent and reliable. It's a really tough decision.

Edited by zero2none
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My advice: don't buy a expensive gpu. Save your money for the new Pascal Nvidia gpu's next year. Bought a GTX 970 few months back. It has good performance/price ratio and it will last you at least a year (to wait for Pascal).

 

Ow, and no gtx card last 5 years ... unless you like abysmal performance.

 

And the Win10 haters out there, don't listen to them. All my games run fine without problems.

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My advice: don't buy a expensive gpu. Save your money for the new Pascal Nvidia gpu's next year. Bought a GTX 970 few months back. It has good performance/price ratio and it will last you at least a year (to wait for Pascal).

 

Ow, and no gtx card last 5 years ... unless you like abysmal performance.

 

And the Win10 haters out there, don't listen to them. All my games run fine without problems.

 

I would disagree with GTX life span, I have a friend that has an old one that has lasted him for 5 years and 2 months. My AMD card has lasted for six years, but AMD cards are more robust than Nvidia.  

 

I could wait for the new Pascal GPU's, but who knows how much will they cost and as mentioned before I don't want to be patient. 

 

Honestly, all I want is someone who has had the cards I mentioned, 970 and 390, to tell me how they compare to each other. I kind of knew people would just go on with the lazy route and just tell me to wait for the "new" cards, but that's not what I was asking for initially. 

Edited by zero2none
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I would disagree with GTX life span, I have a friend that has an old one that has lasted him for 5 years and 2 months. My AMD card has lasted for six years, but AMD cards are more robust than Nvidia.  

 

I didn't mean that the hardware would break, just performance wise. Seems you don't have an issue with this though. Good luck!

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See I've watched countless benchmarks of recent games like this one; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-gkOUgKiOAc, and every time the 390 is slightly better. However, the 970 is more consistent and doesn't dip as much as the 390 in high-tension sections. I think the real question is, in 3-5 years which card will still be efficient. 

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See I've watched countless benchmarks of recent games like this one; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-gkOUgKiOAc, and every time the 390 is slightly better. However, the 970 is more consistent and doesn't dip as much as the 390 in high-tension sections. I think the real question is, in 3-5 years which card will still be efficient. 

ITs very likely that 390 will outlast 970, because AMD has been building their architechture around compute performance for years, and because DX12 gives more directive access to hardware by decreasing driver load , it will benefit more from pure compute performance, AMD also has Async Compute Engines, which handle shader queues automatically in hardware level. And lets not forget 8gb ram , even if you are gaming at 1080p , as long as games use high res textures, you need more ram. Which is likely to happen in future.

 

Also about windows 10 and windows 7, windows 8 features faster opening times and better in-game performance(very slightly) , windows 10 features same stuff as windows 8 but with much greater UI and return of the start menu, personally, out of all the window'es i have used, win10 is my favorite.

 

This being said Pascal is really a big thing, one of your options is buying 960 now and selling it before the release of pascal. 

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ITs very likely that 390 will outlast 970, because AMD has been building their architechture around compute performance for years, and because DX12 gives more directive access to hardware by decreasing driver load , it will benefit more from pure compute performance, AMD also has Async Compute Engines, which handle shader queues automatically in hardware level. And lets not forget 8gb ram , even if you are gaming at 1080p , as long as games use high res textures, you need more ram. Which is likely to happen in future.

 

I've been reading that AMD has very poor drivers and has problems more frequently than Nvidia. It's obvious that the 390 is better than the 970, and when DX12 comes out it'll be on par with a GTX 980, but will their drivers improve as well? 

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I would advise you to wait till next year for the whole new generation of GPUs and CPUs.

They are gonna be much more powerful than the generation today.

AMD gonna have very attractive and competetive offers again next year too, I would strongly guess.

 

Also keep in mind that if you buy a new Nvidia card, you gonna need a Nvidia certifizided monitor as well, if you want to use G-Sync, which makes the monitor cost over $100 USD more. AMD got the same feature with a different solution, its on an open source basic, which costs nothing extra.

http://community.crowfall.com/index.php?/topic/8163-system-requirements/?view=findpost&p=212371

Edited by Urahara

After EverQuest Next is gone, its Star Citizen for me.

 

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CPU wise, intels next generation is not very good, nor was their current generation was good. However 2 generations after they are going to bring some big stuff, just like they did with haswell.

AMD-wise, AMD's  offers are already shown, HBM , Async Compute Engines,  FreeSync etc. They dont have anything coming other than 16nm transistors, which is going to be standart.

 

Driver wise , Nvidia is indeed better. But lets also not ignore drivers are not going to matter as much at DX12

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I would advise you to wait till next year for the whole new generation of GPUs and CPUs.

They are gonna be much more powerful than the generation today.

AMD gonna have very attractive and competetive offers again next year too, I would strongly guess.

 

No offence, but sometimes I think people just skim-read these topics for "post points" or something. If I wanted to wait, I wouldn't have posted this thread and I wouldn't have already mentioned that I don't care about the new gen GPU's. They're going to be overpriced anyway and we don't know exactly how powerful they will be, it's all talk at the moment.

 

I rather start playing games on ultra now then in 6-8 months from now. I understand they will be better but that's not what I asked for; 390 vs 970... it's simple. 

 

Sorry, I'm just getting a bit annoyed of people copying each other and not providing a clear-cut answer to my question. 

 

Edit: The reason why I'm annoyed of these; "wait for next gen" comments is that if I would ask the same type of question when the new gen cards come out, people would say the same god thing, "wait for the newer cards".

Edited by zero2none
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CPU wise, intels next generation is not very good, nor was their current generation was good. However 2 generations after they are going to bring some big stuff, just like they did with haswell.

AMD-wise, AMD's  offers are already shown, HBM , Async Compute Engines,  FreeSync etc. They dont have anything coming other than 16nm transistors, which is going to be standart.

 

Driver wise , Nvidia is indeed better. But lets also not ignore drivers are not going to matter as much at DX12

 

I had an AMD CPU once, never went back after I switched to Intel... I just had so many issues and crashes with my AMD CPU, but we'll see if they can shape up their game with their "new" cpu's.

 

I haven't looked into DX12 that much, what do you mean drivers won't matter any more?

Edited by zero2none
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Personally, if you are upgrading for no other reason than to play CrowFall.  I would wait.  The game is not going to be released for over another year and by then a lot of new tech will most likely be release.  Also, nothing at all wrong with Windows 10.

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I had an AMD CPU once, never went back after I switched to Intel... I just had so many issues and crashes with my AMD CPU, but we'll see if they can shape up their game with their "new" cpu's.

 

I haven't looked into DX12 that much, what do you mean drivers won't matter any more?

Well, basically, in DX11 , the way it works is you are sending commands to GPU and GPU's Driver handles those commands, organizes them and tells GPU to process those commands. This way making games in DX11 is easier, but you sacrifice performance in exchance. Also Drivers effect performance since better your driver organizes those commands, better your computer will perform. However with DX12, they are allowing developers to direclty communicate with GPU , making them handle this "organization" in their game code, instead of letting driver do it for them. Which results in %100 utilization of GPU.

There are also ton of other fancy stuff, they are allowing you to send commands form any CPU thread, which makes more usage of CPU's with over 8 cores. Async Shaders etc.

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Edit: The reason why I'm annoyed of these; "wait for next gen" comments is that if I would ask the same type of question when the new gen cards come out, people would say the same god thing, "wait for the newer cards".

 

Yes, I understand that quite well and know how that is.

The thing is the next genration will have a whole new production process they were working on for years to get it done, but they werent able to get it done all these years, so they had to change product line ups and everything.

Its not a tiny improvement, but a bigger step forward in technology,

After EverQuest Next is gone, its Star Citizen for me.

 

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Yes, I understand that quite well and know how that is.

The thing is the next genration will have a whole new production process they were working on for years to get it done, but they werent able to get it done all these years, so they had to change product line ups and everything.

Its not a tiny improvement, but a bigger step forward in technology,

You have a point, that always happens, however this time its a bit different. Im in same situation as you are, its already time for GPU upgrade, and there are ton of big games i havent played yet because im waiting for new GPU. But pascal is a bit different, NM decrease rarely happens nowadays, since transistors are already at atomic sizes its not so easy to decrease their size, this is where FinFET, a new transistor design came in, allowing us to build transistors as small as 14NM, pascal will feature 16nm however, since 16nm is more reliable atm.

 

Last time we had transistor size jump was at 2012, from 40nm to 28nm.

 

Than there is the new API and architechtures built around DX12, pascal and upcoming architechtures altough they will be different, they will all be designed around DX12, and they wont bring as much performance benefit over pascal as pascal will bring over maxwell, which was designed around DX11.

Last time we had API jump was at 2010.

 

And lastly, we have memory type jump, which is from GDDR5 to HBM2. Unlike GDDR5, HBM2 is 3d stacked memory, which allows lower power consumption (which is really not important since GDDR5 consumption was already very,very low) , higher memory capacity (which is important for 4K gaming , which will matter nomatter you are using 1080p thanks to downsampling)  and much higher bandwith. Now the bandwith is the killer word here, bandwith is the sole reason Graphics cards feature their own type of ram, textures must be transferred very fast so your GPU does not stay idle while its transferring textures, its crucial for GPU performance and with coming of 4K and 4K textures, you really need that additional bandwith. Which is 3times as fast as GDDR5, last time we had memory type differance was at 2010 from GDDR3 to GDDR5, this is even bigger than that, its whole different type, not the next version of same type.

 

So yeah, please consider this more carefully, its either playing games at ultra now, or waiting 8 months to get the most future-proof GPU generation you will get in 5 years. And if you buy now, chances are, your GPU will be outdated in a year, with all these extra power developers will start making use of , the old GPU's will really fall behind.

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