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Old 07-25-2015, 09:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default GPU Choice Thread

So I'm about ready to pull the trigger on a GPU (within a few weeks) and I've been doing research. At first I was torn between the 970 and 390, and settled in on the 390 after seeing some very recent benchmarks showing it ahead of the 970 in most of the newer games, even at 1080p (stock and both OC'd). Plus the 8gb VRAM just seems like a really good thing to have. However, now I'm considering stepping up to a 980 since it decimates both in every benchmark and resolution. Question is, is the extra $140 worth the performance difference between a 970/390 (~$330) and a 980 (~$470). I do have a SLI motherboard, so if something else would work better, feel free to let me know. Keeping in mind, any SLI setup plans will involve a PSU purchase as well.

After some advice from PP in my last thread, my goal is now to game on a 2k monitor.
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Old 07-25-2015, 09:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: GPU Choice Thread

Yes, the 980 is worth every little penny even when it was 550.
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Old 07-27-2015, 09:02 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: GPU Choice Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by PP Mguire View Post
Yes, the 980 is worth every little penny even when it was 550.
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Old 08-07-2015, 07:27 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: GPU Choice Thread

I went with the 390. Old architecture and all, it performed better than the 970 and within 0-15 fps of the 980, even at 1080p from the latest benchmarks. 390x makes no sense for anyone to buy. I can't justify $140 for a max of 15fps (mostly 10fps) more and in one case less fps, when both frames are playable. That's at 1080p, at 1440p the gap lessens from every bench with the latest drivers I saw.
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Old 08-07-2015, 08:09 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: GPU Choice Thread

Where are you getting your benchmarks? The only reliable place showing recent 1080p numbers shows that the 970 is over the 390 and the 980 is a solid 15% over the 390. Another thing to take into consideration is the massive amount of heat and power draw coming from that card which I'd be willing to bet is half your CPU heat issue. The 970 and 980 use basically half the amount of power output meaning heat output is going to be halved.
Another thing to take into consideration is places like TPU use reference Nvidia cards for their base numbers they keep in the charts which all have a stock clocks. My 980 when using a decent fan curve ran absolute circles around my buddies 290x and in SLI made mincemeat of his 290x Crossfire setup. That was my regular boost (about 1350) vs his overclocked cards.

And to be frank, 15fps is a pretty big difference when we're talking about frame dips. It could mean the difference of a dip to 20 and a dip to 30 which IMO is more important to consider over average frames.
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Old 08-07-2015, 10:04 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: GPU Choice Thread

I thought the 970 performed very similarly to the 390 and the 980 pretty much trumped it across the board... ?

Not many 970/980 boards come shipped with stock clocks because they just run so cool and quiet, stick a decent fan in and you're laughing... The 390 will undoubtedly serve you well and if it's doing what you want it to then fantastic, but the 970 is probably a better all round package!
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Old 08-07-2015, 10:16 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: GPU Choice Thread

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Originally Posted by cb600fshornet View Post
I thought the 970 performed very similarly to the 390 and the 980 pretty much trumped it across the board... ?

Not many 970/980 boards come shipped with stock clocks because they just run so cool and quiet, stick a decent fan in and you're laughing... The 390 will undoubtedly serve you well and if it's doing what you want it to then fantastic, but the 970 is probably a better all round package!
All initial review samples are reference so I think stock boost on the 980 (not sure on 970) is around 1200. My 980s both did 1540 with a little help, and over 1300 with stock voltage and just a good fan curve. So a better comparison for this guy would be an SC version of the 970 vs his AIB 390. Either way, the heat output alone makes the 970 much better option.
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Old 08-07-2015, 02:04 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by PP Mguire View Post
All initial review samples are reference so I think stock boost on the 980 (not sure on 970) is around 1200. My 980s both did 1540 with a little help, and over 1300 with stock voltage and just a good fan curve. So a better comparison for this guy would be an SC version of the 970 vs his AIB 390. Either way, the heat output alone makes the 970 much better option.
Whats AIB 390? Why would an overclocked 970 be a good comparison for a stock 390? I looked at a benchmark of a 970 overclocked vs a 390 overclocked as well, the 390 performed better.

Power consumption and heat output aside, the reviews/benchmarks I read showed the 390 and 970 doing about the same as far as performance. I was sold on the 970 until I got the idea to get a 980 and started researching 980 vs 390/390x. Then I found more recent reviews with showing the 390 with a convincing advantage over the 970, and playing ball with the 980 in some cases. So I figured, if the 970 and 390 are about the same depending on the benchmark you look at, I may as well have 8gb of Vram and the potential for better drivers in the future unlocking performance.

The power hasn't been an issue, and I can overclock to 1100 on stock voltage, 1200 with a bump in voltage. The heat wasn't an issue until I installed Windows 10, which put my system on the edge of failure under full load thanks to my dated case (as you quickly figured out for me in the other thread). But that can be managed and will need to be managed in the future anyway. All I care about is cost vs performance, bang for buck.

All I did was Google benchmarks and watch a couple YouTube reviews and they all showed pretty much the same. Here's a random one I just found, I'm sure I don't need to find them for you:

PowerColor Radeon R9 390 PCS+ 8GB review - Introduction
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  • 16GB (8x2) GSKILL DDR3 1866mhz
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  • Aspire X-Plorer Silent Case
  • PC Power & Cooling Silencer 610W Continuous
  • 180GB Intel 520 SSD
  • Vizio 32" TV (1920/1080)/Acer P221W 22" Widescreen LCD (1680/1050)
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Old 08-07-2015, 02:34 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: GPU Choice Thread

Yea, you mentioned 1080p. The 970 trumps the 390 at 1080p, yet the only place that shows it would be TPU. All other places are going 1440p and 4k now.

All of that aside, if these places Titan X reviews are anything to be said none of them can be taken seriously but that's a different topic altogether.

AIB = Add In Board meaning companies like MSI, XFX, Sapphire, Asus, eVGA ect. They all come with factory overclocks and each review site is always given a reference Nvidia card which they don't properly setup the fan curve for meaning the card won't ever boost to the proper speeds like if compared to say an eVGA ACX.
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