Wondering which AMD R9 Graphics card to get.

Grant Cole

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Before I begin, here are the details of my pc:


  • Fractal Design 1300 Case
    Asus Motherboard m5a78l-m
    AMD FX 6300
    2x4GB G.skill Ripjaws X Ram
    1TB Western Digital Black HHD
    750w EVGA PSU
I've been doing some research, and I've been feeling that both the R9 270 and R9 270x are starting to age and not worth getting, since they are pretty much even with today's consoles which are already showing their limitations, I feel that I should avoid these two models.

So I'm looking at the R9 280 and the R9 290 as well as their X versions. I was thinking about wanting a little more beef by getting one of the 290 versions, but the truth is, I don't think I'll be 4k gaming for awhile because this is a tv based PC, and a decent size 4k tv will cost a fortune.

So, since I'll be sticking to 1080p televisions in the near future, I'm thinking that the 290 graphics cards are more than I'll ever need from what I read.

But I also want to think about the future too, as games evolve, I wouldn't want to end up having to sacrifice on a lot of frames or go back to sub HD just to play the game, so this makes me think I should go with 290 afterall, since I can be more confident that this card can handle games tomorrow like the 280 would handle games today.

Also, are the X versions really that great of an upgrade?

Also, this is ignoring the fact if the 290 versions would be taxing on my system. I got the 750w PSU so I can be confident it could handle a lot. But I believe there are still many other variables to consider.


I also have one final question. I am planning on buying one of these motherboards on Black Friday of this year. How good are the sales on average for these devices during this sale? An idea of how good these sales actually are will help me decide which version I should actually go with.
 
The r 270 is far better then whats in consals these days remember the apu in xbone and PS4 is a all in one chip no discreet card... The 270 and x are actually the r 370 revamped re badged card so r 280 x or r 290 or the r 380x or r 390x would be the way to go.
 

Grant Cole

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So you're suggesting my pc can handle all these cards you listed above?
 

zayed builder

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yea because you have great psu and specs but tell me what is your budget if it was 300+go for 390/x 390x is better but if your budget is lower go to gtx 960 4gb or r9 280/x
 

Grant Cole

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I find it interesting how in the past few comments, the 290 isn't even considered. Was the 290 a bad model?

Update: Okay, the 290 was mentioned, sorry I missed it. :p

Either way from what I'm seeing from the comments here, I should go with 280 or 280x, but if I can spare a few more dollars, to go with the 390 or 390x.

How much do deals usually go on average in Newegg for graphics cards on Black Friday? Because I am saving up for the Black Friday shopping sale.
 
Dec 5, 2014
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Are you plan to overclock your fx 6300? Because im using the same cpu overclocked to 4.6GHz still bottlenecks my r9 270x back then. Even after turning all low settings on BF 4, i cant get the minimum fps to more than 40. Im playing at 1080p using directx 11. Switching to mantle, i can attain 60 fps at medium settings but stutter frequently due to memory leak on mantle. So in the end, i keep using directx11.

In comparison, i tried playing BF 4 using my friend's pc with a locked i5 4590 (or i5 4460, forgot which one) plus a GTX 560Ti. On the same settings, i got a minimum of 60 fps straight at 1080p. Which is no bottleneck in that system except if you crank the graphics up. Well, GTX 560Ti 1GB is damn old card.

Currently i have 2 cards. the HD 7950 and the r9 380. Using that card gave me no benefits to the game like battlefield 4 directx11. This time with more VRAM, i can alleviate the bottleneck and play 1080p medium settings @ 60 fps while record my gameplay at 720p 60 fps.

As for your topic, if you concern about the "future-proof", you can slap a r9 390 or r9 290 as they are still a beast card. But beware though, as dx11 title will still bottlenecks our system.
 

Grant Cole

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Are you saying from my current build, I am no better off getting anything higher than 270? I mean, if this cpu bottlenecks the 270, getting a better graphics card will not make a difference.
 
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yeah. At least for now. Its kinda hard to believe but before i had a 1920 x 1080p monitor, i game at 1280 x 1024 on battlefield 4. The fps difference between 1024 and 1080p was none. Well, battlefield 4 has known to be a CPU-bound game so thats why the FX-6300 had troubled.

If i remember correctly, i can play Shadow of Mordor with HD Texture Pack at fps around 47-60 fps using medium settings. Since my r9 270x died several months ago, i cant test it anymore.

Even so, you'd be off with a r9 290 or r9 390 since that card is powerful. You might see fps increase by a pretty good margin although they can do more with a more powerful CPU. I think we will rejoice after DX12 title is coming out so yeah.

Would you like me to test few games with my HD 7950 and r9 380 to see give you an insight how capable the fx-6300 is? This might help to give you an idea..
 

Grant Cole

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Of course! Wow, here I am worried about future-proofing this setup, but yet it's already going to struggle already with today's games.

 
Dec 5, 2014
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Since i havent had time to test it, i just run a 3 different benchmark using 3d mark firestrike. And i added a more powerful cpu to the game, the i5 4670k from 3d mark result section. Hope you explore the processor tab to see its overclocked speed. BTW im using the latest beta driver 15.9.1 while the i5 (just guessing) shold be using official ones like 15.7.1.

http://www.3dmark.com/compare/fs/5553399/fs/6169946/fs/6170073/fs/6170018

First run, im using stock speed with turbo up to 3.8GHz. Second run i overclocked a bit to 4.0GHz. And finally the third, i overclocked my fx to 4.6GHz by raising its voltage. The score may increase by a quite margin there but look at the Graphic Score section. There is only a minor difference like 10-20 point difference. Many GPU-bound games will be working great regardless the CPU.

But if we look at CPU + GPU test (Combined Score), we can see a steady score bump. The more the clockspeed i had, the better the score was. The i5 4670k with 4.5GHz overclocked dust my fx away by a mile in any categories. (Well, its far more expensive that FX-6300).

From the table, i concude that the more CPU power, the better the r9 380 will perform.

Expect a benchmark result from these title below (since this are the only games that i had so far)
-Battlefield 4 (Running in DX11)
-(Upcoming) Star Wars Battlefront
-Witcher 3 (Benchmark purpose only)
-GTA V

Are these title is enough? I will benchmark using fraps to get min, max, and avg using overclocked fx 6300 @ 4.6GHz. I will post back around friday or saturday..
 

maxalge

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with your current mobo/cpu there is no future, its the here and now.

Overclock the cpu to 4.5ghz, most games should run well.

But expect to average less than ~40 fps on the newer titles. You will need to tweak settings.

A 290 would be good, as you could just swap it into a new build when the time comes

 

Grant Cole

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Sounds like a good answer. That's what I'll do than.
 
Dec 5, 2014
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Quick update to OP.. Today i played star wars battlefront beta on my rig with spec below.

Im using the latest 15.9.1. I played on Windows 10. Somehow i was able to play within 50 minimum fps on high settigns with AA off while recording at 1080p @ 60 fps using Raptr / Plays.TV / AMD Gaming Evolved. I'll post a youtube videos to see how it goes. Quality through youtube however will degrade though.

Edit: Havent record BF 4 though. Manage to get a good fps in dx11 at high settings earlier too. I was suprised.. Lets see if i got a good recording later on.
 

Grant Cole

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Thanks Kevin, sorry for the late reply, your message seemed to indicate you had more to share at a later point, but that I guess not.

Either way, I was looking through some cards, and believe the 380 seems to be the best graphics card for my situation. It also comes at a price that won't break the bank.

I've noticed Newegg is either discontinuing selling the R9 200 series or it just seems to be that way. I am noticing daily the more popular brands of these cards are just either becoming out of stock, or simply just removed from the site entirely. I dunno if this is true, but it does seem to be what I'm noticing.

I guess my choice now, since there isn't even a R9 290 card on their website sold by any reliable name, I will either have to choose between R9 380 or R9 390. The 380 to me seems to be more the more affordable card. Both the MSI and the Sapphire cards seem to have great reviews as well.

What's your guys take on this card?

Also, when I upgrade my cpu and motherboard, I'll be aiming towards price/performance. This is why I often choose AMD because they are a better on the wallet. Should I go with the Black Edition Vishera FX 8350?

 
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here's the Star Wars Battlefront experience with my config: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zcs9hQFUpt0

Sorry, its true that i want to share a lot but i've got no time now >.<
 

Grant Cole

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Good share, I am glad that I'll be making a safe purchase than for the time being.
 
Dec 5, 2014
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Thanks! Well eventhough the FX-8350 is a price/performance CPU, somehow i think you to hold your ground. The difference between FX-8350 and FX-6300 is there but not that much. If you have the money, slap 'em with the R9 380 (4GB if possible since 2GB is a bit worrying nowadays :() or R9 390 (because its a beast) and save your money to buy an i5. By the time you have i5 + R9 390 / R9 380, it will eat up games :D
 

Grant Cole

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The i5 solution won't work for me I don't think. Not at this time. I already spent enough money. I didn't originally plan to overclock because I wasn't comfortable about the idea. Because of this, if I am to upgrade my pc, I'll practically have to get an entirely new pc. Which is a shame because I just bought this one.

My mistakes began when I wanted to get a budget build, but I see that there is no future in budget build pcs.


For me to go i5 now, I'll have to get a decent motherboard that can overclock, which means I'll need to get a new case because my current case only fits mitx motherboards which I read are terrible for overclocking.

I'll also have to get a new windows because my version is OEM.

I now realize that right now it really doesn't matter what GPU I get because my entire build is flawed. I'll probably just get the cheapest GPU I can get, and just settle for minimum settings.

In the future, I'll use the knowledge I learned here to not repeat the same mistakes. Not to really complain about price, since it wouldn't seem like I spent much on the hardware that I got. But it seems like building a pc in Canada is a lot more expensive. This pc that should have cost only around $600 has cost me over $1000 when the costs of tax and shipping are added.

Again, this is now an issue of get what I can get that'll be able to match or slightly outperform the consoles, and then shop better in the future. Being a Canadian, I don't think Newegg is in my future.

Update: Sorry, my post was written a little emotionally. I guess I felt a bit discouraged for a moment. I'm thinking that I'll still go with the 380, and make plans from there. I guess there's no harm in having multiple computers just in case.
 
Dec 5, 2014
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no problem mate. well for the same price (if you are not overclocking) you can go for FX-8350 like you mentioned before or for later build, the i5 4460 or 4590.

But i agree to your statement though. Looking for price/perfomance ended up throwing more money like i do spend on a headset . Looking for a good price/perfomance headset for 40-50$ ended up having 3 over-the-ear headset for 150$ while with that amount of money, i can snag a very good headset from a popular brand like Audio Technica, Sennheiser and so on.

Well at the end of the day, R9 380 (the 4GB version) is only the way then. The only hope for our pc is DX-12 enabled game. If there is a good fps increase from DX-11 to DX-12 (due to the removal of cpu load to gpu, meaning less bottleneck), then i think the overall gaming experience will get better. My build was about 1 year ago and i still feel proud of it TBH :D

Last but not least. im a big fan of AMD. I recommend the i5 because its that powerful and i have see it perform in front of my eyes but i dont care. I'll be loyal to AMD until the release of the Zen CPU. If it was a big flop, then in CPU department i may jump to Intel.
 

Grant Cole

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So I've been looking up some videos to see gameplay on the FX 6300 + R9 380 combo, and the truth is, I think I'll be satisfied.

My only desire really in this build is to have something that is likely to outlive the consoles, even by a couple of years. I truly have no interest in playing 1080p 60fps with everything on ultra settings, even though those things all together would be nice.

I wouldn't mind perhaps at times sacrificing a few frames to play on 1080p or 4k or whatever, just as much as other times I won't mind going to 720p to play games at 60fps. I also don't mind going with high settings over ultra settings if need be.

As you can see, I'm quite flexible here.

What I mean when I say future proofing this thing is that I don't want to run into a situation where there is a game that the PS4 can play, and I can't play. The main reason of going PC is that I want to outlive the PS4 and Xbox One. I don't need perfect settings to be satisfied.

With that said, I got a feeling that if I am okay with sacrificing a few settings, I'll do fine with this build, and the option to upgrade in the future is still there.
 

Grant Cole

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Sure I will, I might even follow you up on another question I'm about to ask the community, I'll pm you with the link, not so much as to get help with my other inquiry, but more so just to have a pm history of some sorts so I am reminded and can tell you my experience with the R9 380.
 

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