Graphics card | My fate in PSU's hands!

$Greatness$

Master Poster
Sep 4, 2009
3,331
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Baltimore, MD
#1
Hello, Pimp and Pimpettes!

Ya boy needs some serious help with this PC life. I'm in need of a graphics card. I want to start trying my hand as a PC gamer. I currently have the stocked graphics card off my board and needless to say, its completely fraudulent. I mean, Andy Dalton level, but that's for another time. Here are my PC specs

CPU: AMD Fx 6-core processor 3.50 Ghz
RAM: 8GB (Thinking of upping this to 16GB idk)
OS: Win 7 64-bit

Now what card should I get? I'm looking to spend no more than $250. $300 if its a card that simply can't refuse. I'm trying to run games that are up to date and can stand the test of 2 or 3 years. What would you guys recommend? Don't care if its Nvidia or AMD, whatever. (Asus etc) Just long as I get a quality card in preparation of H-Hour! Thanks for the help!
 

Fijiandoce

Administrator
Staff member
Oct 8, 2007
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#2
XFX Double D R9 290
^On sale now for $270. One step down from AMD's flagship card the 290X

However, the 290X card be bought for $330 from Amazon.

IMO, AMD usually has the best performance per dollar. However, you're gunna need to have an adequate power supply and have decent airflow through your case.

A GTX 970 can also be bought for a little more than the 290X, and i can personally vouch for the cards performance. However, keep in mind the recent revelation that it only comes with 3.5GB VRAM.

For future proofing, i'd try for the 290X. Unlike the 970, it has 4GB VRAM, and performs in the same ballpark. Just be sure your PSU can power it ;)
 

Valefor

Dedicated Member
Mar 16, 2009
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England, UK
#4
The AMD 3XX series is rumoured to be released in Q2 this year, so that's something to take into consideration - if you can wait until their release, you may get an even better card for the price you want to pay. The 2XX range could potentially drop in price further on their release, but if so I wouldn't imagine there would be a large difference as they are already priced very well.
 

Varsh

Editor /Tech Adviser
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Jan 5, 2006
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#6
If I was strapped back in terms of money too I would purchase the 290X however a 290 plenty good enough for $40 less.
 

MATRIX 2

Forum Sage
Jul 29, 2005
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D.C.
#7
XFX Double D R9 290[/URL]
^On sale now for $270. One step down from AMD's flagship card the 290X

However, the 290X card be bought for $330 from Amazon.

IMO, AMD usually has the best performance per dollar. However, you're gunna need to have an adequate power supply and have decent airflow through your case.

A GTX 970 can also be bought for a little more than the 290X, and i can personally vouch for the cards performance. However, keep in mind the recent revelation that it only comes with 3.5GB VRAM.


For future proofing, i'd try for the 290X. Unlike the 970, it has 4GB VRAM, and performs in the same ballpark. Just be sure your PSU can power it ;)
not this again.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/8931/nvidia-publishes-statement-on-geforce-gtx-970-memory-allocation
 

Fijiandoce

Administrator
Staff member
Oct 8, 2007
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#8
[QUOTE="MATRIX 2, post: 6420104]not this again.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/8931/nvidia-publishes-statement-on-geforce-gtx-970-memory-allocation[/QUOTE]
Yeah, I was trying to keep my post as succinct as possible. Typing up "3.5GB really fast RAM with 500MB sorta slower RAM" would have just added confusion to my post.

If he can square it with himself that 3.5GB is good enough for him, then what the card actually does is irrelevant....Don't know why you jumped on that singular facet? Did you miss the bit right before it where i stated i can personally vouch for the card? o_O
 

$Greatness$

Master Poster
Sep 4, 2009
3,331
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Baltimore, MD
#9
Thanks! I completely forgot I made a post like this before. :lol:

I was looking at the r9 and gtx970. Tough decision, but I'm leaning towards the r9 since people are saying its future proof with the 4 gigs of RAM. I'll let you guys know Friday what I copped.
 

MATRIX 2

Forum Sage
Jul 29, 2005
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#10
[QUOTE="Fijiandoce, post: 6420112]Yeah, I was trying to keep my post as succinct as possible. Typing up "3.5GB really fast RAM with 500MB sorta slower RAM" would have just added confusion to my post.

If he can square it with himself that 3.5GB is good enough for him, then what the card actually does is irrelevant....Don't know why you jumped on that singular facet? Did you miss the bit right before it where i stated i can personally vouch for the card? o_O[/QUOTE]

Even then, it isn't really an issue. The card is still an excellent performer.

[QUOTE="$Greatness$, post: 6420116]Thanks! I completely forgot I made a post like this before. :lol:

I was looking at the r9 and gtx970. Tough decision, but I'm leaning towards the r9 since people are saying its future proof with the 4 gigs of RAM. I'll let you guys know Friday what I copped.[/QUOTE]

Nothing is future proof.

And don't forget the amd cards use a lot more energy and run much hotter than nvidia's offerings.
 

Varsh

Editor /Tech Adviser
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Jan 5, 2006
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#11
Also the GTX970 has the latest technology whereas the 290 does not because it is a generation behind so you might want to keep that in mind too.
 

$Greatness$

Master Poster
Sep 4, 2009
3,331
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Baltimore, MD
#12
[QUOTE="MATRIX 2, post: 6420119]Even then, it isn't really an issue. The card is still an excellent performer.



Nothing is future proof.

And don't forget the amd cards use a lot more energy and run much hotter than nvidia's offerings.[/QUOTE]

Didn't mean literally. Just because I know it had 4GB of ram and would last a little while longer than some cards is what I meant.

[QUOTE="Varsh, post: 6420168]Also the GTX970 has the latest technology whereas the 290 does not because it is a generation behind so you might want to keep that in mind too.[/QUOTE]

Yeah, I'm so undecided. After reevaluating I am leaning towards Nvidia since its shown their hardware runs cooler. and because the 970 is one of the lastest techs out. Like I said, I should have something by this weekend. I'll keep you guys posted.

Thanks for all the help fellas!

EDIT: Thoughts on these two cards

http://www.microcenter.com/product/439377/GeForce_GTX_970_Superclocked_ACX_20_Video_Card

http://www.microcenter.com/product/441042/GeForce_GTX_970_Overclocked_4GB_GDDR5_Video_Card
 
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Fijiandoce

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Oct 8, 2007
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#13
[QUOTE="$Greatness$, post: 6420310]http://www.microcenter.com/product/439377/GeForce_GTX_970_Superclocked_ACX_20_Video_Card[/QUOTE]
I have that exact card. Zero complaints from me. If you can go with Nvidia they are the better option. Runs cooler, performs better at human resolutions, uses less power, and with that card the fans won't even spin up until it reaches 60C (you can override that though if you want).

I know i said above it comes with 3.5GB (and it does only use ~3.5GB) but unless you're really trying to push VRAM the impact is barely noticeable . I loaded a crap tonne of 4k textures onto my copy of Skyrim just to push the card and it handles it like a champ. Sits at 3.5GB and you would be hard pressed to know anything was amiss.

EDIT:
As a little note though, 970's have a weird case of coil whine. I don't even notice it, even more so if i put headphones on. But if you're one of those PC gamers who care, i thought i should just mention it.

I only notice it when i have V-sync off and let the frame rate go crazy (500+ in menus and stuff). For general use and play, as far as im aware, it does not whine.
 
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$Greatness$

Master Poster
Sep 4, 2009
3,331
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Baltimore, MD
#14
Yeah, I'm not as "all-in" with PC like some, so the 3.5 won't hurt me as it did those who really thought they were getting the 4 gigs with Nvidia. It's about $100 over budget, but I might still grab it just because it seems like a solid card that will hold up for a while. Now I'm about to DL that DS3 tool so I can use my PS4 controller. Or I might cop a wired 360 controller. Don't want latency issues if they can be avoided.