390X or 980 for the long run?

MrPatate

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Hi,

I'm hesitating between the 390x and the GTX 980. I'll play at 1080p(maybe 1200p if I upgrade my screen to 16:10 someday, but not more), will never SLI/Crossfire and will keep it for around 5 years.

In some bench the 980 is better, in others the 390x is better. Both can run anything at 1080p over 60FPS easily right now. But in the long run(4-5years) which should be better? Nvidia's got great drivers, AMD has more VRAM and bit more power(I might be wrong on that part).

Please, factual answers would be appreciated, "fanboy-ism" isn't helping anyone.

Thanks
 
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My guess is that the 980 will perform better in 5 years since NVidia is known for better driver support. I'm still wringing the last drops of blood out of a GTX 460 and I really can't complain about the way it performs. Also, given the thrashing they've been taking at the hands of NVidia and Intel, there's a not-insignificant chance that AMD as we know it won't be around in 5 years.

Even so, have you considered picking up something like a GTX 970 and setting aside the savings to upgrade in 3 years rather than 5? I doubt that after 3 generations the difference between 980 and 970 will amount to much (after all, would it matter whether you were running a GTX 580 or 570 in today's games?), and being able to upgrade sooner will make those last 2 years a lot better.
 

biggles

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I think either is a safe choice even though I have personal preference for Nvidia. My expectation is that PC game development will continue to be linked to console development. Since both are far more powerful than PS4 and Xbox One, decent ports should run fine on either one of the gpu's you asked about.
 

MrPatate

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My guess is that the 980 will perform better in 5 years since NVidia is known for better driver support. I'm still wringing the last drops of blood out of a GTX 460 and I really can't complain about the way it performs. Also, given the thrashing they've been taking at the hands of NVidia and Intel, there's a not-insignificant chance that AMD as we know it won't be around in 5 years.

Even so, have you considered picking up something like a GTX 970 and setting aside the savings to upgrade in 3 years rather than 5? I doubt that after 3 generations the difference between 980 and 970 will amount to much (after all, would it matter whether you were running a GTX 580 or 570 in today's games?), and being able to upgrade sooner will make those last 2 years a lot better.
I thought about the 970, but I think (might be wrong) there will be a significant difference in the long run with the 980 instead of the 970 (current games its 15-20% better). No?
 
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Right, but 15-20% washes out after even one generation, much less 2 or 3. In 3 years, a 980 will be slightly more than a third as powerful as the latest cards, and a 970 will be slightly less than a third. It won't matter nearly as much as being able to upgrade sooner on a given budget.

EDIT: On the other hand, if you get a "wow" factor from being able to max out all settings today, that might be worth it to you.
 

evilsofa

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will keep it for around 5 years.

980 Ti. Yes, it costs more. But you get 6GB vs 4GB VRAM (that will matter 4 years from now), and in most games it's 25%-30% faster than the 980. The 980 Ti costs $570-$600, the 980 costs $460-$500, and the 970 costs $280 ($250 if you buy at EVGA B-Stock). The 980 just costs too much.

Your choices are to go with the 980 Ti for the long term, a cheap 970 to tide you over for a year and get a long-term Pascal card late next year, or an 8GB AMD card now.
 
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Even though I was partial to AMD, I'd say either is a good choice right now. Just keep an eye out for sales or wait till Black Friday and make your buy.
 

Remon

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Hi,

I'm hesitating between the 390x and the GTX 980. I'll play at 1080p(maybe 1200p if I upgrade my screen to 16:10 someday, but not more), will never SLI/Crossfire and will keep it for around 5 years.

In some bench the 980 is better, in others the 390x is better. Both can run anything at 1080p over 60FPS easily right now. But in the long run(4-5years) which should be better? Nvidia's got great drivers, AMD has more VRAM and bit more power(I might be wrong on that part).

Please, factual answers would be appreciated, "fanboy-ism" isn't helping anyone.

Thanks

If you upgrading so rarely, why not wait for the next generation?
 

Mokkat

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Did Nvidia ever fix Kepler performance? I'd hate getting a 980 only for Pascal to arrive and Nvidia to start slacking on making my card run fast in new games.

If you're planning to stay at 1080p, I'd personally grab a 390 or 970 and upgrade again in two years.
 

Udgnim

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if we're looking at a 4-5 year outlook, I'd wait for the next gen of GPUs

otherwise, would go for 390X due to DX12 & 8GB VRAM
 

MrPatate

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So 980 is out and 970 is in again...

Thanks everyone, I know it would take a crystal ball to make the right choice between the 390x and 970 so I'll probably go with my guts an get a 970 (AMD's shitty drivers scares me).

EDIT: Argh... nope... could be 390X... :confused:
 
Last edited:

SamiiRoss

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My guess is that the 980 will perform better in 5 years since NVidia is known for better driver support. I'm still wringing the last drops of blood out of a GTX 460 and I really can't complain about the way it performs. Also, given the thrashing they've been taking at the hands of NVidia and Intel, there's a not-insignificant chance that AMD as we know it won't be around in 5 years.

Even so, have you considered picking up something like a GTX 970 and setting aside the savings to upgrade in 3 years rather than 5? I doubt that after 3 generations the difference between 980 and 970 will amount to much (after all, would it matter whether you were running a GTX 580 or 570 in today's games?), and being able to upgrade sooner will make those last 2 years a lot better.

That doesnt even make sense lol...
 

Nenu

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I also think the 980ti is the better card to have for 5 years for the reasons already stated.
And because it clocks very well, +20% is easy, +30% is quite simple too (compared to reference clocks).
You get the very best performance available from a single GPU and there are some extreme cards with better coolers that can clock very high and/or be very quiet.

I bought a very high clocked GTX980 and while it was a great card, I couldnt quite max all games quality settings at 1080p while maintaining 60fps.
Luckily for me it developed a fault so bought a GTX980ti and this can max 1080p @ 60fps constant.
Even if AMD end up more efficient at DX12, it wont matter, this card has the power to stay on top of this gens cards.
 

Darakian

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Realistically both cards will be out dated in 5 years (look at the gtx 480 and hd 5850 on modern benchmarks). The 390x has more ram and in theory was designed with a better mapping to dx12. The 980 has nvidias much larger driver team behind it and will no doubt be able to dx12 at acceptable levels while using less power etc...

Personally I think it comes down to lower power consumption vs cheaper card. If the up front cost is the larger issue then get the 390x, if the power consumption is the larger issue then get the 980.
 

DPI

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390x of course!!!

/endofthread

You can't /endthread your own post, brains. Someone else has to do it for you. Its in the Internet handbook. :)

OP: I would either grab a used/new 970 for around $250 off of Jet, or a used 980 for around $350 (you can find them. not on ebay, but sometimes on craigslist, sometimes in the FS forum)
 

MrPatate

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More equal than outperform. There's 1 FPS of difference between the two.

I also think the 980ti is the better card to have for 5 years for the reasons already stated.
980ti was never a possibility, at 1k$ CAD it's way to expensive.

Personally I think it comes down to lower power consumption vs cheaper card. If the up front cost is the larger issue then get the 390x, if the power consumption is the larger issue then get the 980.
There is a 100$CAD difference between them and that difference will be gone in about 2years of usage (minimum) with the slighty higher consumption of the 390X. To me none of those two things matter, all I want is "the better card" which I have no idea is which.

Also do you agree with others that the 980(because of the small performance difference between it and the 970) isn't worth it in the long run and I should consider instead the 970 or 390x?
 

Darakian

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There is a 100$CAD difference between them and that difference will be gone in about 2years of usage (minimum) with the slighty higher consumption of the 390X. To me none of those two things matter, all I want is "the better card" which I have no idea is which.

Also do you agree with others that the 980(because of the small performance difference between it and the 970) isn't worth it in the long run and I should consider instead the 970 or 390x?

If the question is 970 vs 390x I'd get the 390x. The 970 has the ram issue which is something I wouldn't want to deal with and which will only become a bigger issue as vram usage rises.

As far as 'better' between the 390x and the 980, short answer is I don't know. I think the 980 is the more impressive tech (at least for dx11 stuff), but the 390x is more compute oriented and future APIs seem to draw from the compute model. My preferences lie with AMD, but which is 'better' for you is going to be a value judgement.
 

evilsofa

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I have a GTX 680 that I bought for 1680x1050 use 3.5 years ago. What matters now is that I've upgraded to 1920x1080 and I find that the 2GB VRAM, while it seems low now, is still not as important as not having the GPU power to run newer games at high settings. So, yeah, I'm saying it: GPU power > VRAM size in the very long term.

So, to me, 4GB vs 8GB between the 980 and 390X isn't important; neither the 390X nor the 980 will be better 5 years from now. The 970 costing less than either the 980 or 390X means you can save up and be spendy on the next generation of video cards from Nvidia or AMD, which will be a lot bigger step up than we've seen for a long time because they have both realized they need to serve 4K on a single card. It's going to be a long wait for those cards, but when they do come out, I think they'll have much better longevity than the current generation.
 

Dayaks

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at this point I would save your money and wait for next gen.

Yeah if you're going to keep a card that long I second holding out for the double node shrink + HBM gen II. It's going to be the last huge step for a long time IMO

Buying a card today? 970...
 

DedEmbryonicCe11

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Did anyone ever prove Kepler performance was broken? All of the threads I've found on this subject started badly and quickly devolved into fights over irrelevant topics.



The GTX 980 outperforms the 390X in AotS now.
That version of Ashes of the Singularity is already 2 patches old with significant differences in the benchmark results I see. We would literally have to bench it again every two weeks to keep information up to date.
 

iRUSH

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Just snag a 970 or a used 290x. Wait 2 years, sell the oldcard for $100 and upgrade.

I'd rather make medium upgrades and sell off old hardware vs buying big and dealing with crummy performance down the road. Plus a $650 980 to now for example is worth $100 in 4 years.
 

N4CR

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Used 290X or if you have to a 390X. If you want to add a 2nd one the 390X VRAM could become useful.
 

TaintedSquirrel

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will keep it for around 5 years.
With AMD's poor reliability and the 390X's insane power usage it will probably fail within 2-3 years. People are already baking their 290's and 290X's.

DX12 is on the horizon and I wouldn't go anywhere near an Nvidia product for future-proofing. If you really want to cover your ass by getting AMD (and you should) then I would probably get a Fury for the sole purpose of avoiding Grenada. Otherwise find a 290/290X/390 on-sale and save $200+. Buy 16nm next year.

Neither the 390X nor 980 are good buys. That being said, if you're an overclocker, the 980 will crush the 390X regardless of DX12. If I had to choose between the two I would take the 980 without hesitation.
 

Deathroned

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With AMD's poor reliability and the 390X's insane power usage it will probably fail within 2-3 years. People are already baking their 290's and 290X's.

DX12 is on the horizon and I wouldn't go anywhere near an Nvidia product for future-proofing. If you really want to cover your ass by getting AMD (and you should) then I would probably get a Fury for the sole purpose of avoiding Grenada. Otherwise find a 290/290X/390 on-sale and save $200+. Buy 16nm next year.

Neither the 390X nor 980 are good buys. That being said, if you're an overclocker, the 980 will crush the 390X regardless of DX12. If I had to choose between the two I would take the 980 without hesitation.

Really like really,
 
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Another vote for waiting a few months if you can manage. NVidia has released their GPU's about 16 months apart on average (GTX 680 March 2012, GTX 780 May 2013, GTX 980 Sep 2014). That means they should be gearing up for the next gen within the next few months and I'm sure AMD won't be far behind. All indications are that the new cards are going to blow the doors off the current gen, mostly due to the die shrink that was delayed due to TSMC's problems with the 20nm process.
 

MrPatate

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Thanks, I thought about waiting for Pascal at first. But I need to play Fallout 4 and I only have Intel's HD4600.

The rationnal choice would be to find the cheapest playable(medium at least) used card for now and wait for the launch of the next gen GPU(summer probably)?
 

limitedaccess

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You're better off buying the 970 or 390 (depending on preference) at most and upgrading sooner as opposed to trying to "future proof" via the 980 or 390x.
 

defaultluser

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Yeah dude, the GTX 970 on sale right now will max-out 1080p for several years, and handle DSR at 1440p fairly well. Don't spend more than that for 1080p when these cars are all ancient tech.

But yeah, if you're running on Intel graphics, you definitely need an upgrade.

Also, since you only have integrated graphics you'd better tell us what your PSU is. The GTX 970 uses at least 150w, and the 390X uses at least 250w.
 

MrPatate

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The PSU isnt a problem, EVGA SuperNova G2 850W. The GPU is the last part I need for my "new" computer(been building slowly for the last 6months).
 

jamesgalb

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290x 8gb...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150723

$330, and flash the BIOS to a 390x ;)

Save the extra money for the generation after "Next Gen", and in the mean time enjoy a pretty future-proof card for 1080p ;)

(unlike others, I would not wait to spend more money on something you likely wouldnt utilize the gains from since you are only gaming at 1080p for a while... Start gaming today, save some money, and dont worry for atleast another generation.)
 

a3venom

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I have a GTX 680 that I bought for 1680x1050 use 3.5 years ago. What matters now is that I've upgraded to 1920x1080 and I find that the 2GB VRAM, while it seems low now, is still not as important as not having the GPU power to run newer games at high settings. So, yeah, I'm saying it: GPU power > VRAM size in the very long term.

So, to me, 4GB vs 8GB between the 980 and 390X isn't important; neither the 390X nor the 980 will be better 5 years from now. The 970 costing less than either the 980 or 390X means you can save up and be spendy on the next generation of video cards from Nvidia or AMD, which will be a lot bigger step up than we've seen for a long time because they have both realized they need to serve 4K on a single card. It's going to be a long wait for those cards, but when they do come out, I think they'll have much better longevity than the current generation.

I completely agree, GPU Raw Power is far more important than VRAM. I personally dont think the 8GB ram on the 390 series is anything more than marketing, i think it might matter at 4k, although very slightly. It will definitely be great for Xfire.

But for 1080p Gaming, i would recommend a 970 as a price/perf for sure. I own a 290 it is solid but hot. The 3.5GB can be bad in very rare situations, but it can OC like a Motherfucker and reach 980 stock performance almost every time for a much cheaper price than 390x. GTA V uses more than 3.5GB but 970 OC often beats the 390 OC.

I havent owned a Nvidia card so i cannot speak of drivers, AMD has been fine for me.
 

PRIME1

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The PSU isnt a problem, EVGA SuperNova G2 850W. The GPU is the last part I need for my "new" computer(been building slowly for the last 6months).

I saw a sale on a 980 for $440 and 980ti's for under $600. 970's for $260.
 

Vittra

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Just for some context, I noticed you mentioned CAD pricing. That means you're in Canada, and with our exchange rate the way it is currently, both the new and used markets are an absolute mess.

If you think buying new so close to new tech is a mistake in the US, amplify that significantly here. You are, sadly, best off going used. Go specifically for brands that have RMA depots here in Canada and warranty by serial if a receipt isn't available - that would be be Asus and MSI.

If you want something to tide you over to Arctic Islands/Pascal when buying new will make more sense, look for a used 290x at no more than $275 CAD (keep in mind warranty will be short on these now, and possibility of them being mined on), or a 970 for no more than $350 CAD. A used GTX 980 will run $500, and a 390 will be the same.
 

jbc029

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Frankly, if you're capping yourself at 1080p/60Hz, you shouldn't be considering anything over a 970/390. It's just tossing away a *lot* of money for almost no gain. If you aren't capping at 60Hz, then I still couldn't see recommending anything between the 970/390 and the Fury/980Ti.

If you're in the market for top shelf performance, then you sure as hell don't skimp. And if you're honest with yourself and just want very good performance for the display you'll be using, you stop at the 970/390. Both are US available around $300 new. Sometimes you might catch that "white whale" sale and see a new 970 or 390 for $250-$270, but $300 is where you can find them everyday. Nothing is worth it beyond that until you hit $550+.
 
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