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GPU Selection of AMD's Fire breath and NVIDIA's Green Fart Clouds of Death


GuitarSage125

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Guys, I'm torn. Since GTX 970 STRIX is only $370 and has great power efficiency, I had planned to 2 of them, then I saw the MSI R9 290X Lighting come down to $450, while it may not be as power efficient it performs better when it comes to single GPU performance. I can't decide what to buy!

 

Reasons to buying the 970

1) Power Efficency

2) Price

3) I can afford doing SLI

4) Borderlands Pre-Sequel included in purchase

5) Price to performance ratio

6) Great overclocker

7) Don't need to upgrade PSU for dual cards ( I'm using a Corsair RM 750w )

8) SLI scales better than Crossfire ( I however don't have the funds for Crossfire 290X

 

Reasons to buying 290X

1) Looks nice

2) Better single card performance

3) NVIDIA drivers are the bain of my existence.

4) AMD game bundle ( I only want that Aliens game )

5) 970 is out of stock everywhere ( I am willing to wait however )

6) Good overclocker

7) Better multi-monitor support  ( I use 3 monitors )

 

I play a lot of demanding titles such as Crysis and Battlefield. I also have Skyrim heavily moded with high res textures and ENB. My monitors are at 2560x1600, however I don't use surround.

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Guys, I'm torn. Since GTX 970 STRIX is only $370 and has great power efficiency, I had planned to 2 of them, then I saw the MSI R9 290X Lighting come down to $450, while it may not be as power efficient it performs better when it comes to single GPU performance. I can't decide what to buy!

 

Reasons to buying the 970

1) Power Efficency

2) Price

3) I can afford doing SLI

4) Borderlands Pre-Sequel included in purchase

5) Price to performance ratio

6) Great overclocker

7) Don't need to upgrade PSU for dual cards ( I'm using a Corsair RM 750w )

8) SLI scales better than Crossfire ( I however don't have the funds for Crossfire 290X

 

Reasons to buying 290X

1) Looks nice

2) Better single card performance

3) NVIDIA drivers are the bain of my existence.

4) AMD game bundle ( I only want that Aliens game )

5) 970 is out of stock everywhere ( I am willing to wait however )

6) Good overclocker

7) Better multi-monitor support  ( I use 3 monitors )

 

I play a lot of demanding titles such as Crysis and Battlefield. I also have Skyrim heavily moded with high res textures and ENB. My monitors are at 2560x1600, however I don't use surround.

 

Lets see.. Power user, check. Multi monitor, check, Skyrim modder with ENB ( needs best performance) check, Hates nvidia drivers, check, wants to overclock, check..Likes looks,, check, check and double check.. Not to mention out of stock everywhere.. Don't know where you are looking but ok .. check..

 

Sounds like you are just trying to excuse the extra cash on a single card and the possibility of spending more later when you get the next one requiring a upgrade in Power supply. If you can fork over 800 dollars ( roughly two 970 cards with tax) you can eventually upgrade to the preferred card and power supply.. because you are willing to wait.

 

Always get the preferred card always if you can.. Only settle for the lesser card when you can't.. ;).

 

Disclaimer and extras

 

 

Now.. Unlike you.. I actually prefer nVidia and their drivers... as well as the new designs and such from them. So .. My choice would be the nVidia hands down.. Just thought I'd let you know that since it isnt' a fan based recommendation and is only based on your preferences and desires. . However I will wait for quite some time to upgrade as currently my GTX670 is quite capable of running my modded games quite well so far and can easily handle every game I have to a very satisfactory level. Finally.. I can use it as a Physix engine later.. lol. Oh.. I have already upgraded my power supply to easily handle the added requirements of the old 770's so the 970's should be easy for me.. 1000 watt EVGA.. ;). Love watching for those sales... :D. end up upgrading parts of my rig out of order  and before it is time .. lol. If you build your rigs.. do like I do and keep an eye out for the next couple of possible upgrades so that when sales come up or opportunities do come up .. you can take advantage of them.. of course provided you have the money.. Which in this case seems like it isn't much of a problem.. within reason of course.

 

 

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IDK, but I've had more luck with Skyrim/Battlefield with Nvidia drivers and cards.

 

And I know damn well Crysis (1/Warhead) plays way better on Nvidia and scales really well with SLI.

 

But SLI has it's downsides too, it only performs well on games that get the support for it, otherwise on unsupported games/software your getting only the performance of 1 card.

Also 2-way SLI has huge problems with Micro Stutter (which is non-existant on 1 card or 3 card setups). V-Sync will be your new worst enemy.

 

So unless you don't mind tweaking profile settings and/or waiting patiently for Non-Nvidia endorsed/partnered games to get driver and SLI profile support. Don't go SLI.

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Lets see.. Power user, check. Multi monitor, check, Skyrim modder with ENB ( needs best performance) check, Hates nvidia drivers, check, wants to overclock, check..Likes looks,, check, check and double check.. Not to mention out of stock everywhere.. Don't know where you are looking but ok .. check..

 

Sounds like you are just trying to excuse the extra cash on a single card and the possibility of spending more later when you get the next one requiring a upgrade in Power supply. If you can fork over 800 dollars ( roughly two 970 cards with tax) you can eventually upgrade to the preferred card and power supply.. because you are willing to wait.

 

Always get the preferred card always if you can.. Only settle for the lesser card when you can't.. ;).

 

Disclaimer and extras

 

 

Now.. Unlike you.. I actually prefer nVidia and their drivers... as well as the new designs and such from them. So .. My choice would be the nVidia hands down.. Just thought I'd let you know that since it isnt' a fan based recommendation and is only based on your preferences and desires. . However I will wait for quite some time to upgrade as currently my GTX670 is quite capable of running my modded games quite well so far and can easily handle every game I have to a very satisfactory level. Finally.. I can use it as a Physix engine later.. lol. Oh.. I have already upgraded my power supply to easily handle the added requirements of the old 770's so the 970's should be easy for me.. 1000 watt EVGA.. ;). Love watching for those sales... :D. end up upgrading parts of my rig out of order  and before it is time .. lol. If you build your rigs.. do like I do and keep an eye out for the next couple of possible upgrades so that when sales come up or opportunities do come up .. you can take advantage of them.. of course provided you have the money.. Which in this case seems like it isn't much of a problem.. within reason of course.

 

 

 

 

Yeah, I did want to lean towards a single card. I had SLI as a thought mainly because of the raw performance that I could achive with it, especialy with the price I can get with the 970s. When it comes to the drivers, I really like AMD's drivers more because I had a much smoother experience with it and the Eyefinity is much more supirior to Surround.

 

As of right now I'm using a pretty strongly overcloked 680 and it does perform well, but it only has 2GB of RAM and gaming at 2k could be better.

 

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IDK, but I've had more luck with Skyrim/Battlefield with Nvidia drivers and cards.

 

And I know damn well Crysis (1/Warhead) plays way better on Nvidia and scales really well with SLI.

 

But SLI has it's downsides too, it only performs well on games that get the support for it, otherwise on unsupported games/software your getting only the performance of 1 card.

Also 2-way SLI has huge problems with Micro Stutter (which is non-existant on 1 card or 3 card setups). V-Sync will be your new worst enemy.

 

So unless you don't mind tweaking profile settings and/or waiting patiently for Non-Nvidia endorsed/partnered games to get driver and SLI profile support. Don't go SLI.

 

I thought crossfire had more issues than SLI. From my friends, they said that 2-way SLI is actually not as bad as you are saying it is. I will still keep what you said in mind. As for v-sync, when it comes to the AMD card, I'll just use free-sync when it comes out and for NVIDIA, I'll get G-Sync.

 

If I go with a single card like you are saying to do, should I just get 980 instead of the 290X?

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Nvidia.

 

And i'm saying that while my last cards were: HD 3850, HD 4850, HD 6770, 260X.

Nvidia drivers are much better and they have a big advantage if you playing a very CPU intensive game like Battlefield 4.

 

Check this how an Nvidia card performs with the same CPU compared to an AMD card http://pclab.pl/art55953-4.html.

 

Oh wow, there's a big jump between the 780 and the 290X when using the 4770K.

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Nvidia.

 

And i'm saying that while my last cards were: HD 3850, HD 4850, HD 6770, 260X.

Nvidia drivers are much better and they have a big advantage if you playing a very CPU intensive game like Battlefield 4.

 

Check this how an Nvidia card performs with the same CPU compared to an AMD card http://pclab.pl/art55953-4.html.

 

Oh wow, there's a big jump between the 780 and the 290X when using the 4770K.

 

Not just there, its performs much better with every CPU.

Just an example:

FX6300@4.7GHz+290X          44.7 FPS

FX6300@4.7GHz+GTX 780     64.1 FPS

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new AMD cards will be out early 2015 (maybe mid 2015) until then Nvidia is a generation ahead of AMD and cheaper (the 970 power per $ is insane and the 980 is v/powerful at a fairish price) 

 

There is a chance (small) that the new AMDs could be crazy cause they have invested heavly in a new manufacturing process for there chip that said it could easily all be PR

 

Tldr; wait till AMDs new cards(2015) if you can't wait the 970 and 980 are amazing GPUs for the money and AMD price wise is close but it's a gen behide.

 

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-card-review,3107.html is useful too

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I thought crossfire had more issues than SLI. From my friends, they said that 2-way SLI is actually not as bad as you are saying it is. I will still keep what you said in mind. As for v-sync, when it comes to the AMD card, I'll just use free-sync when it comes out and for NVIDIA, I'll get G-Sync.

 

If I go with a single card like you are saying to do, should I just get 980 instead of the 290X?

 

 

In my book, if you can afford 1 really good card over 2 mediocre cards, you'll always get your money's worth.

 

If you go SLI/Crossfire route your essentially paying double the price for about (in best case scenarios) 160% performance. And that's only on Nvidia partnered video games/applications.

 

Worst case scenario, (like in the case of most indie games and normal software) you just payed 200% for the use of 1 card. The other card just sits their useless.

 

IMO, SLI/Crossfire is a good way to upgrade your system for cheap to catch up with current gen stuff. Like say for example you buy a 980 GTX today, which is widely acknowledged as a good card and pretty pricey. Then down the road in like another 2-5 years when Nvidia/AMD are releasing new tech and gaming has gotten more resource hungry, your looking to upgrade your stuff. You could then at that point buy a (probably cheaper) copy of your 980 GTX and SLI it to get pretty decent performance improvement, instead of investing a full $800+ again to get the latest card.

 

At least that's how I view using SLI/Crossfire.

 

The problems in tech with 2-Way SLI/Crossfire will always be the same regardless of which company you buy from, and that's due to a fault in which the way the graphics is calculated in those setups, it's not something really controllable by either companies (unless they invent a new way to have 2 graphics cards work together). That being said the only problem I have with my 2-way SLI's is with micro-stutter, but you can usually get rid of that by simply disabling V-sync.

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Lets see.. Power user, check. Multi monitor, check, Skyrim modder with ENB ( needs best performance) check, Hates nvidia drivers, check, wants to overclock, check..Likes looks,, check, check and double check.. Not to mention out of stock everywhere.. Don't know where you are looking but ok .. check..

 

Sounds like you are just trying to excuse the extra cash on a single card and the possibility of spending more later when you get the next one requiring a upgrade in Power supply. If you can fork over 800 dollars ( roughly two 970 cards with tax) you can eventually upgrade to the preferred card and power supply.. because you are willing to wait.

 

Always get the preferred card always if you can.. Only settle for the lesser card when you can't.. ;).

 

Disclaimer and extras

 

 

Now.. Unlike you.. I actually prefer nVidia and their drivers... as well as the new designs and such from them. So .. My choice would be the nVidia hands down.. Just thought I'd let you know that since it isnt' a fan based recommendation and is only based on your preferences and desires. . However I will wait for quite some time to upgrade as currently my GTX670 is quite capable of running my modded games quite well so far and can easily handle every game I have to a very satisfactory level. Finally.. I can use it as a Physix engine later.. lol. Oh.. I have already upgraded my power supply to easily handle the added requirements of the old 770's so the 970's should be easy for me.. 1000 watt EVGA.. ;). Love watching for those sales... :D. end up upgrading parts of my rig out of order  and before it is time .. lol. If you build your rigs.. do like I do and keep an eye out for the next couple of possible upgrades so that when sales come up or opportunities do come up .. you can take advantage of them.. of course provided you have the money.. Which in this case seems like it isn't much of a problem.. within reason of course.

 

 

 

 

Yeah, I did want to lean towards a single card. I had SLI as a thought mainly because of the raw performance that I could achive with it, especialy with the price I can get with the 970s. When it comes to the drivers, I really like AMD's drivers more because I had a much smoother experience with it and the Eyefinity is much more supirior to Surround.

 

As of right now I'm using a pretty strongly overcloked 680 and it does perform well, but it only has 2GB of RAM and gaming at 2k could be better.

 

 

Single card that is strong enough to do what you want is the best. Less power requirements than two of a slightly lesser card and less issues with microstudder, video tearing ( if disabling Vsync) and general cost. Now that is if the game is optimized for one, the other or both SLI or crossfire. If not.. you got nothing except one card and and expensive paper wait until you play another game that can use it or ... the game comes out with a proper .. functional patch for supporting SLI or Crossfire.

 

I am like you ..however mine is a 670 2gb ram.. Handling most of what I want currently but I am afraid will start to seriously feel its age soon as I go back to gaming and start adding mods, textures and am interested in some pretty good ENB's.. which will likely make my current card obsolete.

 

 

 

I thought crossfire had more issues than SLI. From my friends, they said that 2-way SLI is actually not as bad as you are saying it is. I will still keep what you said in mind. As for v-sync, when it comes to the AMD card, I'll just use free-sync when it comes out and for NVIDIA, I'll get G-Sync.

 

If I go with a single card like you are saying to do, should I just get 980 instead of the 290X?

 

 

In my book, if you can afford 1 really good card over 2 mediocre cards, you'll always get your money's worth.

 

Worst case scenario, (like in the case of most indie games and normal software) you just payed 200% for the use of 1 card. The other card just sits their useless.

 

IMO, SLI/Crossfire is a good way to upgrade your system for cheap to catch up with current gen stuff. Like say for example you buy a 980 GTX today, which is widely acknowledged as a good card and pretty pricey. Then down the road in like another 2-5 years when Nvidia/AMD are releasing new tech and gaming has gotten more resource hungry, your looking to upgrade your stuff. You could then at that point buy a (probably cheaper) copy of your 980 GTX and SLI it to get pretty decent performance improvement, instead of investing a full $800+ again to get the latest card.

That being said the only problem I have with my 2-way SLI's is with micro-stutter, but you can usually get rid of that by simply disabling V-sync.

 

@blabba:

Let me guess you have a 120htz or better monitor?

 

@GuitarSage

Lets not forget that when you disable v-sync many articles state that tearing can occur as the graphic monitor play catch up with each other.. Having a faster refresh helps that. However it is a very good possibility.. However in your case .. you might not only want to budget for a power supply ( AMD) but a better monitor if you don't already have one. and you have three monitors.. Might look weird if you have one different..

 

Now there is one other consideration.. you already have nVidia and your mods currently work with this.. If you get the nVidia you will only need to change the drivers and perhaps some .ini settings r/t the more powerful cards .. etc.  .. With an AMD you might end up with some other effects and changes that are needed. If I am not mistaken.. you can just use the Gforce Experience and it will updated and help configure the card and such for you. The current drivers supports the new Graphic Cards.. ;). Less work.. ( you might want to add that to your OP :D)

 

 

However.. your preferred card s ATI and if you are willing to work to resolve any issues .. it still is a very good choice. Some of the members above are accurate in the Battlefield and Cryisis. I have also heard that these are better with nVidia as well. I still state this because you KNOW your tech and can research the other little facts and such on the side. Getting what you prefer out of two very excellent options is really what you should always do. Otherwise you will likely regret the purchase later. Make more notes on the pro's and cons and then make a decision on what you believe is the very best of the two for you..

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Okay guys, after reading what you guys have to say and looking at many benchmarks, I'm going to buy the 2 970's. I know you guys advocate for a single powerful card and I would advocate the same, but the benchmarks I saw is that the difference between the 970 and 980 is about 10-15 percent with the 980 costing about 50 percent more. In addition, I have also read that in order to maintain 60FPS+ at 2k res or above in demanding titles, SLI is really needed. I want to be able to play at 2K resolution since I have 2K monitors and I would like to stick with my native resolution and not have to rescale down to 1080p. I am aware of the risk I am taking doing an SLI rig, but if I can achieve 2k @ 60Hz then I'm willing to suffer through fixing the annoyances. Micro-Stuttering is something I can't fix, but from what I read it's not as bad as it is in crossfire. In addition, you guys gave me solutions on how to work around it. Thank you for that. In terms for my experience with AMD, I do perfer AMD drivers due to how smooth my experience was with it. However, pretty much all of you guys are advocating for NVIDIA, so I'll give NVIDIA another shot. So, all in all I'm going to take the risk and buy the 2 970's instead of the single R9 290X. Thank you guys so much for helping me decide on what to buy. If not for you guys, I would still be arguing with myself and wallet on what to get.

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Good news glad It was a useful debate.. :D

 

The worst you might have to do with your game settings is those few games that have bad or no support for SLI is either accept lower quality ( turn off shadows etc) or scale down until/if they create proper support. The rest of the games that have support should run just fine at your resolution. If your 2k monitors are above 60 htz then turn off vsync if you have problems you can always turn it back on. This goes for 60 htz monitors as well. Some graphic issues might happen at this level less likely at higher refresh rates.

 

I agree with you on the 970 cost vs power.. It is just not worth it really to get a single 980 unless you are only able to / or only will run one single card. I know a few people that have 980's and 970's in SLI and they haven't mentioned any issues with microstudder on them and only rare issues with poor SLI support. I believe the one that was really complained about was Watchdogs. ( since recently I believe they fixed that problem with an updated).

 

Best of luck with your choice. Hope you do truly start to enjoy nVida and not regret the decision to get them. Both companies have great cards and both have their problems which as you know .. makes it hard to make a great choice for use because of such an impact they make not to mention the amount of time most will use that investment.

 

 

60 hz lol.

 

I'm too poor to afford a 120hz monitor

@blabba..

Me too bud,, me too.. :D

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NVIDIA

In my personal experience I always had problem with ATI drivers, and I don't want to remember those day...before 2006, before AMD bought ATI... I had hundreds of headaches because of those ATI drivers...

In my opinion, you are paying less for the hardware, but you have to accept the difference of price in software quality.

 

I'm currently saving for a new card, and have the same problem in my mind, but I'll buy an NVIDIa card probably, even if is more expensive...

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NVIDIA

In my personal experience I always had problem with ATI drivers, and I don't want to remember those day...before 2006, before AMD bought ATI... I have hundreds of headaches because of those ATI drivers...

In my opinion, you are paying less for the hardware, but you have to accept the difference of price in software quality.

 

I'm currently saving for a new card, and have the same problem in my mind, but I'll buy an NVIDIa card probably, even if is more expensive...

 

GTX970 is the one that is the best price to cost ratio of the large nVidia cards. They now come with 4gb vram and are more energy efficient than the previous gen of GTX770.. ;)

 

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NVIDIA

In my personal experience I always had problem with ATI drivers, and I don't want to remember those day...before 2006, before AMD bought ATI... I had hundreds of headaches because of those ATI drivers...

In my opinion, you are paying less for the hardware, but you have to accept the difference of price in software quality.

 

I'm currently saving for a new card, and have the same problem in my mind, but I'll buy an NVIDIa card probably, even if is more expensive...

 

The ancient Cat drivers used to be inferior shite partly because they needed .NET to make them work, but 14.9 is an improvement now. Never had a problem with Catalyst ever since I bought an HD7750, but because I don't play overrated system hogs like BF4 or COD.

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Well I installed a R9 290x a month ago, a friend of mine bought one. And I must admit that the new Catalyst drivers work pretty well, he can play BF4 without any problem at all..

But you know.... here we have a saying, "if you burn with milk, you cry every time you see a cow"

ATI should improve a lot in the future if they want to recover the lost confidence over a decade of bad drivers..

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