R9 390X/R9 390 vs GTX 970

Mazhar Malim

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I am currently upgrading my system and I was wondering which GPU is better
for gaming at the moment. I am coming from a old GTX 680 2GB GPU
and i have decided to upgrade. Will the new R9 390 series be a better choice or the
GTX 970? The reason for the upgrade is that i want to play newer games at 1440p on
high-ultra settings and also i want to max out GTA 5 atleast on 1080p.

Full PC Specs:
CPU: Intel Core i7 4790K (Stock at the moment)
GPU: ASUS GTX 680 DC2T 2GB GDDR5 (Current)
RAM: Corsair Vengeance 8GB DDR3 1600MHz
MoBo: ASUS H97 PRO
PSU: Corsair CX750
HDD: WD 1TB 1003FZEX
Case: Corsair Obsidian 750D
 

turbopixel

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Tomshardware review:
> http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/answers/id-2686200/380-970-upgrade.html

Tomshardware review:
> http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/amd-radeon-r9-390x-r9-380-r7-370,4178.html

GTA V benchmark
1080p (Full HD)
GTX 970: 52 fps
R9 390X: 49 fps
> http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/amd-radeon-r9-390x-r9-380-r7-370,4178-6.html

Reading the fps from above, even the 390 X with its 8g vram can't beat Nvidias 970 at full hd resolution.

GTA V benchmark
2160p (4K)
R9 390X: 25 fps
GTX 970: 20 fps
> http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/amd-radeon-r9-390x-r9-380-r7-370,4178-6.html

Things are different at 4K resolution. The new 390 X will beat the 970 greatly. And you should know these AMD cards have not much overclocking potential. Got this info from the conclusion site of the above benchmarks. Contrary to this, the Nvidia cards with Maxwell architecture like the GTX 970 can be overclocked greatly.
 

Mazhar Malim

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Mar 22, 2015
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But will the Vram issue of the GTX 970 affect gaming performance because some users have noticed decreased performance while using more than 3.5GB Vram...

 

HCSn

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In that review, they matched the G1 970 with an MSI 390X. It's worth noting that, at least from what I have seen, the G1 Gaming series cards tend to perform better than MSI's gaming series cards (higher clock speeds, highly custom PCB).
 

turbopixel

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@Mazhar Malim
I can't say this for sure. The benchmarks are there and you can read the fps. If there is any performance hits, then it would be in form of stuttering, as some reports. I don't know how this looks. My settings on GTA V are cranked up and I use more than 3.5g Vram (reported with GTA Vs internal Vram monitor) and I cannot remember any problem with it.

@HCSn
Probably yes. I did not found any other benchmark. At least, you can overclock the GTX 970 better than the AMD card. So the difference would be less in that case.
 
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Guest

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I'm going with the r9 390, because it's more future proof. I can game now at 1080p and get really good fps, not as much as the gtx 970 but almost the same. But then at 1440p the 390 wins due to the 8gb vram. Also I plan to cross fire in the future and run 4k. The 3.5 vram will cap the 970's SLI performance while the 390's 8 vram won't in crossfire. Also as newer games come out, they are going to need and want more vram so the 390 also covers that point. So in all I would go with the 390 to future proof my build, but hey you could also get a r9 290 that directly competes with the 970 but for like $50-$70 cheaper. Also the 390x isn't worth it, as the price for performance doesn't match the 390 or 970
 

Azazel Zel

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A 970 only has 3.5gb of useable ram, go for a 390x over a 970 or a 980 for that matter, wipes the floor with both of them in higher resolutions.
 

turbopixel

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GTX 970 have 4g usable vram. All of it is usable. The last 0.5g segment is slower, but not unsuable. In some games, in certain situation, this can lead to stuttering. I have filled the 4gb in GTA V and did not see any problem with it. Saying it is unusable is just wrong.
 
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Guest

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Hi,

Actually R9 390X defeats the GTX 970. Check guru3D review. You can rely on it. R9 390X s real rival is GTX 980.

Btw you should get a Z97 board to get 4790k's over clocking potential.

Gigabyte g1 gtx 970 oc score - 11427
R9 390X Msi gaming oc score -12610
3dmark fire strike.

Amd's only fault is not having a alternative to adaptive vsync
 


I am going to say for this current day and age, 390. Why? The 970 and 390 are great GPUs for their price. Really. However, AMD was able to refine the Hawaii chips since there are reusing them. This has allowed them refresh the card so it can now compete with NVIDIAs monster 970, which was on par with the 290x at times. So, best bang for buck for best FPS, probably the 390.

JayzTwoCentz did a video on the 390 vs the 970 not a while back.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9cKZiJw6Pk

Also, the 970's issue with the vram thing is NOT an issue at 1080p and in some cases 1440p. The card performs just like it is supposed to. It is the reason AMD was forced to lower prices on the 290x/290.
 

bigirishman

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Go with the R9 390 and then crossfire it when you get some spare cash. I'm doing the same as yourself accept I'm moving from a GTX 780. I'll be glad to see the back of Gameworks and Physx. Knowing my luck though, some proper developments in optimisation for Physx and Gameworks will roll out soon and I hope they do.
 

GObonzo

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i don't see how Tom's 390X only hits 49fps in GTAV.
my 290X runs it Ultra with CCC enhancements @ steady 60fps. 1080p
my settings are showing 3718MB vram usage. so, mine being an 8GB version shouldn't be making a difference.
but, yes. i would definitely go with the 8GB 390X. you should not be disappointed.
 

croniktrust

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too be honest with u i will go with the r9 390x i got my self a evga 970 gtx ftw in november and when gta came out i was sad i could not even max it ok for sure i play the game in 1080p at i think is allmost very high and high every where and i can only use 3gb of ram of the 4gb :S + eperently that what every one saying is that the 970 have 3750mb ram and 250mg in wtv that they say but too be honest i have no issue with my 970 i love it a lot but was really desapointed on gta do she was the only reason of the upgrade since i had a 660 sc before so wtv there my setting on optimal for gta and will put in there the optimal for heroes of the storms what make me laff a lot that gta sis way nicer then that game and optimal tellin me too play on like low lol i put a couple more games in there soo u can see the optimal setting for the 970 ftw so too be hpnest i am pretty sure for same price range ur gonna be better with the news stuff amd just came out with :p

sorrry if the link if off facebook i had no choice too put them there soo u can see

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=921876334540598&id=100001547214399&pnref=story

comp spec ya i kno my cpu getting bottleneck is 3years old even more i could say 4-5 allmost now + is like one of the first gen of the FX cpu but he still rock and sorry ya i kno i dont have a photo with my updated 970 and my second ssd

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.313017965426441.71610.100001547214399&type=1&l=a380cb3e12

Powered By ASUS Sabertooth 990FX Gen 3 With AMD FX6100 Unlocked From The Box (6Core and Reach 4.1ghz And Prob Higher) And 4x4g G.Skill Ares Orange, Gefore Gtx 970 ftw 4go,Corsair Force 128gb SSD, Kingston hyper HyperX 3K 120gb SSD, Corsair H100 Watercoolin, NZXT Hale82 (850W Power Supply) That Power Everything In A NZXT Phantom 410 Casing With 7 Fans 4 Super Coolin :)Powered By RAZER Naga Epic Mouse 2014 and a logitech 910 orion spark
 
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Guest

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The r9 390 has better fps at 1080p then the 970 at most games
 

crimsonrange

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the 970 will most likely not posses an issue on vram. the 3.5 vram will be plenty for 1440p. if u see the vram extended over 3.5 turn the render distance down a bit. the 390x with 8gb of vram is made for VR. keep in note that r9 390x is a oven, so unless u have a cold room, u will lose performance.
 
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Guest

Guest
I don't even compare the 390x to the 970 because of the insane prive increase. On terms of the 390 vs 970 the temps only vary by 2 degrees or so. I do agree that the 8gb of vram are a tad bit overkill and it doesn't see too much of a difference now, but the extra vram does help future proof the card more. I mean future proof in the sense that more games are taking advantage of vram now a days and that the card isn't clapped at 3.5 when in sli/crossfire. I still think both cards are the best price for performace. Also the 390 is cheaper then the 970 still.

Check out Jay's 2 Cents video on the gtx 970 vs 390 for an overall comparison. Also watch Hardware Unboxed video about the 390x vs 290x, to show how vram really affects games today.

 
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Guest

Guest
Yea, well I'm not going to argue that the 390 has better cooling, because it doesnt. It does depend on which company you buy it from.

 

Michael Gabriel_1

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Sep 2, 2015
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Id hands down get the r9 390. Cause its alot cheaper and has more ram. That and you can basicly buy the r9 390X when the price goes down in about a year. AMD's cards support Crossfire setups better then the Nvidia's SLI's Where you actually need 2 of the same cards. AMD lets you have more choice and compatibility. =D Technically Speaking you can buy the 390 X in the future and have that card increase the performace with your 390 and not bottleneck the VRAM since they have the same 8gb's. Only Issue you might have is your powersupply. if you have those 2 cards in. the corsair 750 cx wont cut it. you would need a 1500 psu
 

sleepwalkerfx

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Did you even check benchmark results for other games in that link you provided? Would someone buy a graphics card just to play GTA V? I hope not. In that review 390X beats 970 in almost every other game even in 1080p.
 

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