Best Graphics Cards for the Money (Archive)

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alextheblue

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I know you mentioned it in passing but I think the Radeon 380 deserves a spot - here MASSIVE gap in your lineup between the 950 and the 970. I mean you can get a solid XFX XXX OC edition 2GB for $180, and there are models that sell for less with a MIR
 

alextheblue

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Wow that got posted by mistake somehow before I even corrected typos. I blame the alcohol. Anyway I found an even more compelling 380 - Newegg has a great deal on a high-clocked 4GB Dual-X Nitro for $190 (less after MIR). I would say that at that price it's not even worth considering a 2GB 380. That makes it a more compelling option altogether.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814202166

Other than the gap between the 950 and the 970, I think your list is pretty solid.
 

lexsan

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VR maxed out with 980 ? What a joke ! Played Elite Dangerous with the DK 2 and with high settings and 1.5 supersampling could barely maintain 75 FPS.
mod edit - let's not see that sort of language here again please.
 

darcotech

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There is huge difference in price beetwen GTX 950 and GTX 970 in 1080p category. Are you saying that there is no other card that you can max out 1080p but to be quite cheaper than GTX 970?!!!
Thanks in advance for your answer TH.
 

DeathRabit

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I still using my old R7 260x 1GB and for 1080P is enough for medium/high settings with AA OFF * Memory limit ;)
I will start looking for new GPUs when my current will be no longer good for 1080P 1-2Years :)
 

IceBergs

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Missing 380's and budget GPU's you can get on ebay like a GTX 260-270-280 on eBay for 30 bucks and outperform and trash low class GPU with a 64 bit data rate. Not to leave out the sweet spot for last gens high end hardware like the 78XX series which is still kicking it today. IF you're doing High gaming 970 and up is great. If your not Buy a 380 or go lower and find yourself a sweet spot on ebay around 75-100 used.

Yes we get that this is "2016" GPU's but if you want a burning hole in your wallet for buying a 60 dollar paper weight that can't even play minecraft on high stick to the used market like ebay and craigslist and really put your money to performance ratio through the roof.
 
If you "need" 60FPS with UltraMaxOhWOW! settings on new games at high resolutions, yes you're going to spend a lot of money. If you're satisfied with "Good" settings (typically "high"), or play older games, or have no problem with 45FPS, it won't be nearly so expensive. Older games run just fine at 2K on a mere GTX750Ti.
 

arielmansur

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Maxed out HD its radeon 370/gtx 950, not 360.. i own a gtx 750ti which is faster than the radeon 360 and i couldn't max out the witcher 3 on HD.. so that one is wrong.
 

Newbie 101

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I am confused about this comment about the Fury-X vs 980Ti:
"AMD does claim a slight performance advantage at 4K. However, the 980 Ti tends to be cooler, quieter and more self-contained. It’d be hard to go wrong either way. "

As a Fury-X owner, I find it pretty much silent and extremely cool. How exactly does the 980Ti beat a watercooled card in those metrics?
 

chlamchowder

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I am confused about this comment about the Fury-X vs 980Ti:
"AMD does claim a slight performance advantage at 4K. However, the 980 Ti tends to be cooler, quieter and more self-contained. It’d be hard to go wrong either way. "

As a Fury-X owner, I find it pretty much silent and extremely cool. How exactly does the 980Ti beat a watercooled card in those metrics?
I'm a GTX 980 Ti owner, and I agree. The article has it backwards. From TomsHardware's own tests, the Fury X generates 35.6 dB(A) of noise, while the reference GTX 980 Ti 44.6 dB(A), or 39.7 dB(A) inside a closed case. With respect to temperatures, the reference GTX 980 Ti stays at 83 C, while the Fury X only goes to 64 C. Compared to non-reference 980 Ti cards that dump heat back into the case, the Fury X's radiator can actually be an advantage because you can position it to exhaust hot air out of the case.

The real advantage to getting a 980 Ti is overclocking, either from manual tweaking or factory overclocked cards. The 980 Ti can be overclocked enough to beat the Fury X at 4K on almost all titles, while the Fury X can't be overclocked much.
 

Newbie 101

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Full agreement about OCing - I have not even bothered to try on my Fury-X given that most folks talk about minimal (5%) improvements. The OC capabilities vs noise+temp should be the real comparison here.

I am curious also what happens when you try to Crossfire/SLI, as is recommended for high end 4K gaming - how does noise and temp increase for both sets of cards?
 

mlee 2500

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A single, straight GTX 980 when coupled with G-SYNC has no problems playing most titles at 4K on high settings.

In my experience, G-SYNC makes lower frame rates (~30fps) as or more tolerable then almost twice that without G-SYNC.
 

Newbie 101

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I have a 2K Freesync monitor, so I understand what you mean, but these days with 144hz, I am looking to get framerates above 100 and I love my max settings!
 

Davie12345

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Why have they done this piece now with pascal and polaris on the horizon? Seen's to be a waste of time in my opinion. Marketing?
 

mlee 2500

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Yeah, I also probably should have qualified my statement with "...more than sufficient for 4K on non-FPS type games like X-COM, Dragon Age, or Total War". Hard-core FPS folks might want the additional frames.
 

DVJ Rick Kraft

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Why have they done this piece now with pascal and polaris on the horizon? Seen's to be a waste of time in my opinion. Marketing?
They do this monthly thing, where they review GPUs to help people make buying decisions? It says you've been a member since 2009 but even I know they try to post monthly articles like this. Plus, helps people to save money on the discount cards! Hey, thanks Toms!
 

DVJ Rick Kraft

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For my hard earned money, I just need to look at the stats. While 3DMark shows an unrealistically high score for the R9 390, Passmark shows a truer tale... one backed up by Witcher 3 framerates. Forget the Hairworks thing for a minute, pure FPS without that still hits the AMD card very hard. I own three AMD Radeon cards(all different models) and with my main gaming PC a 43" and living room a 55" TV and 3D 1080p projector 100" screen with 7.1 surround... the AMD drivers have been a real pain. Plus, there's no way to permanently disable the automatic 6~7% underscan that it randomly tries to impose on TVs. You can set it to 0, sure, but it comes back every now and then. (With and without HDMI splitters.) Registry edit? If you find one that works, please tell me!

Also worthy of note is that if your average end-user's system is 3 to 5 years old, your PSU may need to be upgraded going the AMD route, especially with the higher TDPs. An extra ~100 bucks on top of that 380X purchase. Hmmm. I'm really looking at memory, and AMD trumps here easily, also 960s and 970s with 4GB only have 3.5GB useable (0.5GB is useless). Sucks.

Overclockability: NVIDIA wins here. Looks like Gigabyte and MSI have the best Mhz and OC for the GTX 950s, 960s and 970s. I've bought both AMD and Intel, and AMD and NVIDIA- AMD is awesome for competition, it makes the marketplace better for everyone! But 2 GTX 960s in SLI come close to 980 levels! Seriously, 2 GTX 960s almost = a 980!!! Check this out:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLRukr_nJvw&list=LLq6-3pGyjjk7kSBO_CBBK-A&index=30

-------Tier 3-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
http://www.futuremark.com/hardware/gpu/AMD+Radeon+R9+380X/review
3DMark GPU Score: 13360 Lowest Price: N/A TDP: 190W
http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/gpu.php?gpu=Radeon+R9+380X&id=3266
Average G3D Mark 5889
newegg lowest: $205(195)Powercolor 4GBD5-PPDHV2E

http://www.futuremark.com/hardware/gpu/NVIDIA+GeForce+GTX+970/review
3DMark GPU Score: 15790 Lowest Price: $315 TDP: 145W
http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/gpu.php?gpu=GeForce+GTX+970
Average G3D Mark 8669
newegg lowest: $200(170)EVGA 02G-P4-2963-KR
-------Tier 2------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
http://www.futuremark.com/hardware/gpu/AMD+Radeon+R9+390/review
3DMark GPU Score: 17530 Lowest Price: $424 TDP: 275W
http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/gpu.php?gpu=Radeon+R9+390&id=3464
Average G3D Mark 7622
newegg lowest: $330(---)Gigabyte GV-R939G1 GAMING-8GD

http://www.futuremark.com/hardware/gpu/NVIDIA+GeForce+GTX+980/review
3DMark GPU Score: 17920 Lowest Price: $498 TDP: 165W
http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/gpu.php?gpu=GeForce+GTX+980
Average G3D Mark 9761
newegg lowest: $530(480)MSI GTX 980 GAMING 4G
 

alextheblue

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Also worthy of note is that if your average end-user's system is 3 to 5 years old, your PSU may need to be upgraded going the AMD route, especially with the higher TDPs. An extra ~100 bucks on top of that 380X purchase. Hmmm.
I wouldn't recommend the 380X. An overclocked 4GB 380 is a better buy. Also you can obtain a more than adequate, brand-name 80+ Bronze 550W PSU for $60 or less if you really needed it in the first place. My PC from ~8 years ago had enough juice for a 380X. What percentage of users have chassis space and funds for such a card, but lack sufficient PSU headroom? For those rigs, there's other options. But that probably isn't the main limiting factor for most semi-modern gaming machines.
 

Matteo_3

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Why to invest money when all Graphic card aren't true HDMI 2.0 as you are paying? Which chipset does support 18Gb/s output as true HDMI2.0 standard requires ? None. Why Tomshw don't report it ?
 
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