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Deciding between GTX 970, R9 390, after RMA'ing my 390X...

Poll Results: For my situation, the $320 R9 390, or the $260 GTX 970?

 
  • 66% (10)
    R9 390
  • 33% (5)
    GTX 970
15 Total Votes  
post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 
Hey all.

Long post because I'm a thorough dude and kinda typing myself through the decision.

I recently purchased an R9 390X after a handful of sleepless nights researching. I got a great price after rebate at the time ($380) and the R9 390 was only $50 cheaper, so i got the X. I decided to get the best single care I could afford (or maybe a little more than afford) at the time.

I immediately had problems with it. Coming from my super stable R9 280X, this was unfortunate. It was frequently CTD, or crashing to black, and forcing me to hard reboot. This was happening at stock speeds, on a nearly brand new HDD, with a fresh windows install.

So I RMA'd it.

I am now deciding between GTX 970, R9 390. Prices on 390X after rebates have gone up a good bit, so they are out of the question now. This is not a "which is a better card in general" thread, and isn't intended to be an nvidia vs AMD thing. The data seems clear, in terms of raw power, its 970 < 390 < 390X, so I don't want to argue about that. I just want some thoughts on the best card for my system and situation.

System:
MSI Z87-G45 mobo
i5-4670K
GSkill Sniper 16GB
Corsair HX850w Gold
QNix 27" 1440p monitor overclocked to 85hz

Games I play:
- Heavily modded Fallout 3 and Skyrim
- Counter Strike: GO, (like having 160-200 FPS always, even if they technically doesn't change anything, I NEVER want a frame drop stutter ever.
- Ryse: Son of Rome
- Dragon Age Inquisiton
- Hearthstone .... totally need a $400 GPU for HS....

Games I'm super pumped to play:
- Fallout 4
- Eventually heavily modded Fallout 4 wink.gif


I do just straight up prefer nvidia, for nostalgia and perceived smoothness of gameplay, desktop performance and driver stability. However, I HATE that nvidia only offers a 6GB vram card on their $650 980ti. I waited over a year to upgrade the GPU because I was waiting for the supposed 8GB 970 to drop, and of course it never did. If they made a 6GB/8GB 970, I would get it without hesitation. Ryse: Son of Rome was already hitting 3.9GB Vram usage on my 390X when I could get it briefly working, so please avoid the "3.5GB of vram is just fine for 1440p" argument. No it's not.

I am not opposed to picking up a used 970/390 next year to throw in the system, and this is partly why I lean towards the 390 (8GB Vram for the xfire goodness on maxxed and modded Fallout 4). Also, I plan to make my next upgrade a G-Sync / Free-Sync monitor, probably around Christmas time. I have heard rumblings that nvidia will support free-sync, but who knows when or how or if the GTX 970 will do it. And Free-sync is cheaper for the monitor.

Pros for me for 970:
- Its nvidia
- Drivers
- Currently price - only $260 vs $320 for the 390
- Tends to play better in SLI (vs xfire) for future upgrade next year
- consumes less power (minor plus, don't care that much, but safer to SLI on my 850w PSU)
- Seemingly higher resale value if I sell it and get the next gen cards next year with the HBM
- Supposedly higher OC headroom

Pros for me for 390:
- Slightly Stronger card currently
- Huge VRAM (biggest reason I'm leaning towards it)
- Free-sync monitors cheaper than Gsync monitors


TL;DR
I know the 390 is not $60 better than the 970 in current 1440P performance, but maybe it is worth it for me due to my use of heavy texture mods and a possible freesync monitor upgrade in the future. Thoughts/questions one way or another? Thanks!
Blood Dragon
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Blood Dragon
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post #2 of 38
if you are so convinced that the vram will be an issue, then why even consider the 970?

btw, i know a member who went through three 780s before landing a good one.
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post #3 of 38
The answer is a 290X. 290X is usually even cheaper than 390's

290X = 390X when clocked the same.

http://www.hardocp.com/article/2015/06/18/msi_r9_390x_gaming_8g_video_card_review/9#.ViRvzStxmYl
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post #4 of 38
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rdr09 View Post

if you are so convinced that the vram will be an issue, then why even consider the 970?

btw, i know a member who went through three 780s before landing a good one.

Beuase it is certainly better price to performance with current rebates and offers. $60 cheaper. its hard to pass up a similar performing card, froma company I prefer, for $60 less. It's why I hate that they didnt release a higher vram version of the 970.
Blood Dragon
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Blood Dragon
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post #5 of 38
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by iinversion View Post

The answer is a 290X. 290X is usually even cheaper than 390's

290X = 390X when clocked the same.

http://www.hardocp.com/article/2015/06/18/msi_r9_390x_gaming_8g_video_card_review/9#.ViRvzStxmYl

If I get an AMD card, its definitely going to have 8GB vram, and the 8gb versions of the 290X are more than the 390 and some are close to 390X territory, despite running hotter, and with a lower max OC, according to the interwebz. Thanks for the suggestion though, I ran to newegg and checked prices, but they don't make sense for the 8gb version.
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post #6 of 38
also, i know a member here using 970 in sli for 4K.cheers.gif
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post #7 of 38
spec wise, the 390 should pawn the 970. But you have to consider the previous issues you had with th 390X is going to happen again. If this just a temporary replacement card before upgrading to next gen, I'd get the 970. If you're planning to use it for a long time, then, the 390 is a better buy imo.

btw, playing Ryse with 970 is not that smooth though. There're several area where the fps will just drop for no reasons. GPU & CPU usage were low when that happened
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Shion
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post #8 of 38
2560 x 1440 @ 85hz?

Long term: 390.
Stop-gap: 970.

Tough choice for you, so weigh those pros and cons as best as you can... or just flip a coin!redface.gif
post #9 of 38
I would just get a cheap second hand 290 and flash it to a 290X (with the money saved I'd get a better third party cooler for it, and then OC the crap out of it) as a stop gap solution until Pascal/Arctic Islands lands, this would be the most cost effective solution in my opinion.
post #10 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by GHADthc View Post

I would just get a cheap second hand 290 and flash it to a 290X (with the money saved I'd get a better third party cooler for it, and then OC the crap out of it) as a stop gap solution until Pascal/Arctic Islands lands, this would be the most cost effective solution in my opinion.

^this. used for a 4GB. most 290X are stock at 1000MHz. no need to flash a 290 . . . at 1070 it should match it. the new 390X are set higher that a 290 stock at 947 needs 1200 to match.
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