Doubt about video cards

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Pumo
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Doubt about video cards

Post by Pumo » Thu Jun 16, 2016 5:06 pm

Hi everyone.

I've been thinking about buying a new video card in a future, but a budget one.

I've been always an nVidia user, never tried AMD.
Without fanboyism, which brand is better? Both in hardware and on software (drivers).

Also, It's true that AMD is a bit less expensive than nVidia?

And finally, if that's the case, what would be the AMD equivalent of a GeForce GTX 950?
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Re: Doubt about video cards

Post by Krom » Thu Jun 16, 2016 5:38 pm

AMD still has frequent problems with their drivers/compatibility, for performance they typically trade blows with nvidia in the midrange/low end segments but Nvidia rules the high end. But even where AMD matches performance it comes at a cost of moderate to significantly higher power consumption, which means more heat and noise.

Next gen cards are right around the corner for AMD, and they are aiming for the midrange/low end segments of the market, pretty much completely abandoning the high end to nvidia and their ridiculously expensive 1080/1070 cards. Though knowing nvidia, they are probably holding back the 1060 and 1050 for the day AMD launches their cards just so they can rain on that parade.

So basically, if you are comfortable with nvidia, stick with them.
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Re: Doubt about video cards

Post by Pumo » Sat Jun 18, 2016 10:31 am

OK, thanks for the advice Krom! :D
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Re: Doubt about video cards

Post by Krom » Sat Jun 18, 2016 2:10 pm

One bit of further advice though, watch how things unfold in about two weeks when AMD is supposed to release their next gen cards. Depending on where they land and how they perform it may force nvidia do to something like slash the remaining GTX 970/980 stock down dramatically. I've read some fairly good things about the upcoming RX 400 series, so its definitely worth waiting two weeks to see how they shake up the low end/midrange market. They are promising a huge efficiency improvement so if they catch up to or even edge out the nvidia 900 series cards on efficiency it would make them very attractive.

The 970 and 980 would be under attack from below by the AMD 400 series, and from above by the 1080 and 1070, so it wouldn't surprise me if they get a big price cut to clear out any remaining stock either way.

What I've seen of the RX 480 is that it matches or even beats the performance of the nvidia GTX 980, has a TDP of 150 watts, and will be launching June 29 for $199 / 4 GB or $230 / 8 GB. And as a owner of a factory overclocked GTX 980 myself, I'd say that is some pretty significant performance for that price (the 980 still sells for $380-450 depending on the overclocks/cooler). Almost every recent game can be run with the details on or very near maximum at 1080p and it will hold over 60 FPS (70-90 is pretty common on a gsync/freesync display). So either nvidia will be forced to sell something in that performance range for about $200, or the GTX 980 will get a big price cut.
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Re: Doubt about video cards

Post by Krom » Wed Jun 29, 2016 1:57 pm

RX480 reviews are up, it evenly trades blows with the Geforce GTX 970, but comes in at $200 for a 4 GB, and $230 for an 8 GB.

The bad news is that it is only barely coming under a GTX 970/980 for power usage even though it has a massive advantage due to its process node shrink. It is actually blowing its own TDP limits and according to some sites exceeding the rated current draw on the motherboard slot by 20%. The nvidia GTX 1070 and 1080 annihilate it on power/performance (but do cost 2-3x as much), so depending on how soon nvidia gets a 1060 to market and at what price point, things could get ugly for the RX 480. But I suspect the 1060 is still a ways away (possibly closer to fall) so for the moment the RX 480 holds the best price/performance spot and also holds a narrow lead on power efficiency.
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