Question Is a $400 GPU overkill if I'm not going to be playing really demanding AAA games in 1440p?

Apr 14, 2020
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Currently trying to decide on a GPU for my build and have considered most of the options in the $200-450 range (i.e., 1660 Super, 2060, 5600 XT, 5700, 2060 Super, 2070, 5700 XT). Was initially set on getting something from the upper end of that range—either a 2060S/2070 or 5700 XT. While I could definitely afford it, it would be at the upper threshold for my budget and when I think about it...do I really need it?

I don't play a lot of really demanding AAA games (e.g., RDR2, Asassin's Creed, etc.) and am not planning on playing in 1440p. Mostly stick to competitive or ARPG games like Apex Legends, R6S, and Diablo 3. With my new build, I'd really love to give The Division 2 and Borderlands 3 a try but can't think of many other super demanding games that interest me.

Is spending $400 on a GPU overkill for me? I could pick up the Gigabyte 5600 XT GAMING OC (3 fans) for $260 right now. For what I want to do, do you think this makes more sense? I have no problem spending more for a GPU (~$400) but am wondering if I can really justify it. Alternatively, I could split the difference and pick up an RX 5700 for ~$330 (albeit not a great 5700 card—MSI Evoke).

Tentative build would be pairing the GPU with a Ryzen 5 3600 and B450 TOMAHAWK.
 

Piske

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Nov 28, 2016
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To begin with, forget about AMD cards. Check the internet to see the amount of black screens and huge problems people are having. Now, the real question. If your monitor is just a 1080p 75hz or something like that, you are ok with a 1660 super. If you want a bit more "life usage", get the 2060 super.
A 2070 super is overkill for a 1080p monitor. I have an LG 32GK650F-B 1440P 144HZ. To get the best out of this monitor, you need at least a 2070S and you will have to sacrifice some quality settings on some games to go at 144fps.
So 1080p low hz (75) just 1660super or 2060S
if 1440p high hz (120-144) 2070 Super at least.
 
Apr 14, 2020
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Will be playing on a 1080p 144hz.

I was initially wary of AMD cards but it seems like a lot of the driver issues have been sorted out relatively recently for the most part. I agree, it'd be great to just go with NVIDIA for the piece of mind...I just wish I could find a better deal on the 2060S/2070. It's a lot of money for not a ton of card (relative to AMDs).
 
I would not at all say "forget about AMD cards" - that's bad advice. They generally give you better bang/buck, and, while I can't speak for all of the earlier drivers, when I upgraded my son's PC from an RX 580 to an RX 5700, I went with the 20.2.2 version of the Adrenalin WHQL drivers (the latest at the time), and have had ZERO problems. None whatsoever. My son's been gaming on it for about a month now. Actually, it's the MSI Evoke OC.

Are you looking to game at 144fps? That takes a lot of horsepower generally.

If you're looking for something in the RX 5600/RTX 2060 performance range, you might consider an RX 5700. If you're in the US, there's generally been an MSI MECH or MSI Evoke 5700 going for only slightly more than the lowest price 5600/2060 cards.

The prices are a little higher right now:
https://pcpartpicker.com/products/video-card/#c=436,445,484&sort=price

However, considering that the lowest price 2060 is only slightly less than the lowest price RX 5700, then the 5700 is a no-brainer. They didn't test it at anything lower than 2560x1440 here: https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/amd-radeon-rx_5700-rx_5700_xt,6216-2.html

To figure out what frame rates might be, take whatever the frame rates are for 2560x1440, and multiply them by 1.75. That should give you a very approximate idea of that the frame rates would be for the tested games at 1920x1080.

Honestly, though, I would say screw the ultra-high frame rates. Your monitor likely has FreeSync (what exact brand and exact model number is your monitor?), and, if it does, use the Chill feature of the Adrenalin drivers to set a max framerate of say, 75, or 100, or whatever, and enjoy smooth gaming.
 

mdd1963

Polypheme
The 1660 Super or 5700 is 'enough' for 1080P now, IMO; the 5700XT, an excellent value at ~$400, is more than enough for 1080P, and 1440P, and will have 'room for growth' for more demanding 1080P games in the future...(That extra $150 spent now might save you from wanting another $250-$300 card two years later...hypothetically!)
 

Piske

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Nov 28, 2016
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I would not at all say "forget about AMD cards" - that's bad advice. They generally give you better bang/buck, and, while I can't speak for all of the earlier drivers, when I upgraded my son's PC from an RX 580 to an RX 5700, I went with the 20.2.2 version of the Adrenalin WHQL drivers (the latest at the time), and have had ZERO problems. None whatsoever. My son's been gaming on it for about a month now. Actually, it's the MSI Evoke OC.

Are you looking to game at 144fps? That takes a lot of horsepower generally.

If you're looking for something in the RX 5600/RTX 2060 performance range, you might consider an RX 5700. If you're in the US, there's generally been an MSI MECH or MSI Evoke 5700 going for only slightly more than the lowest price 5600/2060 cards.

The prices are a little higher right now:
https://pcpartpicker.com/products/video-card/#c=436,445,484&sort=price

However, considering that the lowest price 2060 is only slightly less than the lowest price RX 5700, then the 5700 is a no-brainer. They didn't test it at anything lower than 2560x1440 here: https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/amd-radeon-rx_5700-rx_5700_xt,6216-2.html

To figure out what frame rates might be, take whatever the frame rates are for 2560x1440, and multiply them by 1.75. That should give you a very approximate idea of that the frame rates would be for the tested games at 1920x1080.

Honestly, though, I would say screw the ultra-high frame rates. Your monitor likely has FreeSync (what exact brand and exact model number is your monitor?), and, if it does, use the Chill feature of the Adrenalin drivers to set a max framerate of say, 75, or 100, or whatever, and enjoy smooth gaming.
Sorry to tell you, but i was one of those AMD users that bought and AMD card, specifically the RX 5700XT Thicc III from XFX. I had to RMA both as i had black scree issues.

It would be nice to not DOWNVOTE guys who know far better than you what is happening with those cards. I want to help you leave your ignorance, so i will give you the link to a place where literally thousands of people have been reporting issues. Youtubers like Hardware Unboxed talked about this drivers issues.

So the argument is: as my soon had no issues, there are no issues. Is this the kind of way you think?=? Watch this forum, than quote me if you want more.

https://community.amd.com/thread/243837?messageTarget=all&start=2625&mode=comments

oh.,..BTW, the crashing fact, i forgot about it: Release notes 20.4.1

Known Issues
  • Enhanced Sync may cause a black screen to occur when enabled on some games and system configurations. Any users who may be experiencing issues with Enhanced Sync enabled should disable it as a temporary workaround.
  • Running Folding@Home while also running an application using hardware acceleration of video content can cause a system hang or black screen. A potential workaround is disabling hardware acceleration for the application that has it enabled.
  • Using Edge™ web browser to playback video content with a multi display system configuration may cause a system hang or crash after extended periods of use.
  • Performance Metrics Overlay and Radeon WattMan incorrectly report higher than expected idle clock speeds on Radeon RX 5700 series graphics products. Performance and power consumption are not impacted by this incorrect reporting.
  • Modifying the HDMI Scaling slider may cause FPS to become locked to 30.
  • Some games may exhibit stutter intermittently during gameplay on Radeon RX 5000 series graphics products.
  • Desktop or In-game corruption may occur intermittently when HDR is enabled.
  • Radeon RX Vega series graphics products may experience a system crash or TDR when playing games with Instant Replay enabled. A potential workaround for users experiencing these issues is to disable Instant Replay.
  • Radeon RX Vega series graphics products may experience a system crash or TDR when performing multiple task switches using Alt+Tab.
  • A system crash or hang may be experienced when using Edge browser to play Netflix™ content.
  • Some users may still experience black screen or system hang issues during extended periods of gameplay. AMD will continue to monitor and investigate reports of these issues closely.
  • Direct ML Media Filters are currently unavailable in Radeon Software Media gallery for video or image content.
  • XSplit™ may experience an application hang or freeze when performing a scene switch.
Even AMD is aware of the problem. A problem that has been going on since release. To a point where people are just running drivers 19.12.3
 
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Piske

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Will be playing on a 1080p 144hz.

I was initially wary of AMD cards but it seems like a lot of the driver issues have been sorted out relatively recently for the most part. I agree, it'd be great to just go with NVIDIA for the piece of mind...I just wish I could find a better deal on the 2060S/2070. It's a lot of money for not a ton of card (relative to AMDs).
https://community.amd.com/thread/243837?messageTarget=all&start=2625&mode=comments

Read this post before following the advice of buying an AMD card.
 
Perhaps you had that issue, but the THICC II had cooling issues due to that form-over-function shroud. While the THICC III definitely improved on it, the problematic shroud still is there. Maybe the heat contributed, maybe not.

And, what exactly was supposed to reveal that you were an "expert" on this?


That said, you are also using the Optional drivers - I suggested the WHQL. And yes, I am aware that plenty of people had issues earlier, and I am also aware that a lot of those issues went away with 20.2.2. I listed my experience, and, though I had some trepidation about getting a Navi card, I got one and had no issues.

I don't rely on YouTubers. I rely on Tom's Hardware, Techspot, etc., with writeups about their experiences. Neither denied at the time of writing that the issues existed, but both stated they hadn't experienced that.

So, if I'm guilty of relying on what I read and what I experienced (and I didn't have to take any kind of troubleshooting steps at all, mind you), you're guilty of relying on what you've watched, read, and experienced. Or are you going to argue that more than 50% of Navi owners have problems, and ALL of them followed all steps accordingly, and that everything you've read/seen before and after 20.2.2 indicates no changes/improvements? Did they all use DDU to remove previous drivers? Etc. etc.

I won't bother with the list of known issues because Nvidia provides such a list with their drivers as well.

Is it possible that the OP will experience issues with a Navi? Absolutely. It is possible they'll experience issues with an Nvidia card? Sure. Have you read the forums here? Do I even think there's a greater chance that they may have issues with Navi vs Nvidia? Given the stories out there, yes.


But, if you're objecting to the downvote, it's for the suggestion to just "forget about AMD cards" as I don't think just entirely dismissing one brand outright is valid advice.
 

jtungate

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Jan 15, 2019
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The THICC are known to be some of the worst editions of the 5700 series, I believe. I am in a similar position as OP, and I just bought a 5700 XT (sapphire pulse). I have had zero issues with it. 20.4.1 are the drivers what I am currently using. ViewSonic XG2402 (1080p, 144hz) monitor, Ryzen 7 2700x, Rog Strix b450-f mobo, Corsair 16gb vengeance lpx, g. skill trident z rgb 32gb, adata xpg nvme & samsung 850 evo sata ssd.

The 5700 XT is buying 2070 Super performance for the price of a 2060 super. If you have more money than time, maybe you'd be better off spending extra for the Nvidia, or going down a tier in performance for the cheaper Nvidia. If you're in the US, I would order from Amazon and simply return if you don't like it. With Amazon prime you can return for free and they will even send out a replacement while you still have the card in your hands so you can try both. Quick and painless.

I havent had a problem with the 5700 xt but I know that a lot of early adopters did, but that's to be expected. "I spent 400$ on this card, it should perform without a single issue" is most people's attitude and I would be inclined to agree with them, but then I realize that a) happy people don't usually post reviews.. so for every bad review you have to think how many good reviewers didnt say anything and b) a lot of people bring a lot of problems onto themselves, so who knows if it was the card or the user.

you might not have any problems either.. I know that i've got a known good driver version here.. I don't have to upgrade drivers either.. I can let everyone else upgrade and check reports before I do and if I do decide to upgrade drivers and I run into any problems going forward I can roll back to this version..

but like you, I am not a professional gamer so I didn't want to drop 700+ on a card, but I did want quality hardware, not something i'd regret buying in a month or two.

The only thing I am questioning now.. is the release of RDNA 2 later this year, and will I regret having bought in this late in the RDNA game. but I imagine RDNA 2 cards are going to be a lot more expensive so at the moment I am happy.

Just make sure you get one of the good rx 5700 xt's and don't overpay for a crappy design/cooler. The PowerColor Red Devil and the Sapphire Nitro/Pulse are good.
 

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