8/2015- GTX 970 or R9 390?

I wanted to get everyone's opinion on this. I'm not trying to add to the BS about the 3.5 VRAM of the 970's etc etc or that the 390's are rebranded 290's etc etc.

Right now with all the benchmarks, which would you choose and why?

I'm leaning towards the R9 390 from MSI, but there's a couple of 970's that have caught my eye as well and they have A LOT of OC'ing potential.

What do you guys think is the better buy going forward? The benchmarks out there are mostly biased, because people compare one of the two over clocked to the reference of another and that's just not apples to apples.

From what I have seen it seems above 1080p the R9 390 starts to get an edge.....?

I'm not really hung up on the RAM of either, because in my opinion the cards won't be able to handle whatever you're trying to do with them before you get close to maxing out their RAM, especially the 8GB of the 390.....but will the 8GB maybe make a difference later on if you add a second card?

After a boat load of hours researching GPU's, I have come to the conclusion that right now today, the best price/performance falls in two categories:
1) Buy a GTX 980 Ti
2) Buy a GTX 970 or an R9 390

While it's easy to see the merits of the 980 Ti, I'm not sold on spending so much because if it can't handle 4K in a single GPU scenario then why spend the extra? In 1080p the 970's and 390's seem to have it on lock, and possible an overclocked 4GB GTX 960 too......

For 1440P I think is where the 970 and R9 390 shine, and I ahve not decided on a monitor yet 100% because that's a whole nother basket of crazy too. But I'm debating 1080P or 1440P, even if I get let's say a korean monitor to play those resolutions on.

So let's hear what you guys have to say because maybe someone can point out something that I have not realized, or looked at a certain way.

Once you get past 60 FPS in the resolution you want, is it worth another $200+ just for bragging rights?

I have been eyeballing the following:
- HFA2 GTX 970 SOC
- HFA2 GTX 970 HOF
- MSI Gaming 8GB R9 390/MSI Gaming GTX 970
- Gigabyte G1 Gaming R9 390

Color scheme is really no big deal to me as I have a Fractal Design Define R5 with no window so once it's together nothing will be visible.

As of right now this is where the build stands. (Yes I sold my ASUS Fury non X :p)

Thanks for the feedback

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390, just for the 8GB padding to be honest. Games are demanding more and more these days, and it looks to me like you plan to venture into higher resolutions, the extra ram will be a godsend. Not to mention that as long as you've got enough cooling and power, you can likely get a pretty solid OC on a 390.

Yup, jayztwocents on YT did a video comparing the MSI R9 390 to a GTX 970 and he got a really nice OC on the MSI card and said it was quiet and cool as well.

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I'm in the exact same boat, as i will be purchasing my new GPU on Thursday. 970... 390... 970... 390.... Iv'e been going back and forth.

I will be sticking with 1080p for the life of this card, so >1080p means nothing to me. When i upgrade my monitor, i will upgrade my GPU.

It may honestly come down to how i feel that day. 8GB is nice, but i will only be doing 1080p.... although i will be trying out some DSR/VSR on some games. The 970 also comes with Metal Gear Solid V, which is a bonus.... maybe there will be a neat sale thursday that will help me decide lol

I'm itching to order stuff with the funds sitting in my paypal, but don't want to rush the decision. I did order my RAM a little while ago on sale at Superbiz so that was cool.

Just need to order PSU, GPU, and then focus on monitor and keyboard/mouse. Then I can start down the road of audio which I'm sure will be another hassle lol.......

PSU, i recommend EVGA. i love them. the G2 line is Gold rated, and have 10-year warranties.

Yup that's the plan just waiting until I make a final GPU decision to see which model to buy......

The 970's don't need as much juice lol.......

yeah.... i am still leaning towards the 970 because of that. I have a project for repurposing it in about 2 years into a mobile setup, and the low wattage/heat (and frankly, the size, as i am looking at an EVGA) would work wonderfully. (Going to build a portable all-in-one breifcase PC lol. Got the idea from Qain :P)

Also, Shadowplay is pretty great. and you get a free game.... IDK.. T_T

How was Superbiz? Do they have sales tax?

There was a $5 off promo and shipping was $3.99 usps first class. Was under $80 delivered for a 16 GB (8GB X 2) Kingston kit DDR3 1600.......

GAH....! I paid like $67 for my 8GB Kingston Savage memory back in Feb. then all of the sudden, RAM prices dropped back to like $45-$50 per-8GB. oh well lol

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Yeah that's why I figured screw it I made some smart choices on stuff I bought let me start with 16GB and if anything later I can just add another 16 gig kit. If I went 8gb now then would either only add another 8 to fill all slots or have to remove the 8 and get a 16.......

Just made sense for the price to me.........

My last AMD card was a 7970 and was super hot and super load. But I don't know about these new cards. I really love my two 970s. Never had an issue with the ram either

Which model 970's are you running @kevindavid3? Also what games do you play and how is the SLI support for the games you play?

When considering the dual GPU setup it's not clear. I'm not so much concerned about the costs of the higher watt usage on the AMD cards as I am how much more heat they might generate compared to dual 390's.....

But then you have double the VRAM in the 390's and when you're talking dual GPU now you can wonder if it would or would not make a difference in 1440 and 4K......?

Yeah, i have honestly never heard of and specific RAM problems at 1080p. I think i remember reading where someone had an issue at a much higher resolution in some game (maybe crysis 3 or something) but that the framerate was unplayable anyways, so by the time you backed off on the resolution or settings, you were well under the RAM limits.

after doing a bit of research.... i am leaning more towards the 970, but ill keep an open mind on thursday.

I think the only time it's really an issue is when people have a bunch of filters layered on each other and ultra textures and such on. Some people that's a need but if I have issues I just turn a filter off.

Still, i haven't seen any actual reports of going over the 3.5GB and STILL getting playable framerates. I may have to look up if anyone has achieved this.

Wow... you sold the Fury..
Tough decision as there are pro's and con's to each & the benchmarks speak for themselves, its a tight race.
390 (+)8gb vram, (-) power usage, (+) some designs oc well
970 (+)oc'ability across nearly all models on the market, (+) power usage, (-) >1440p performance, (+) game bundles

Since you are planning to re-purpose after awhile in a compact build the 970 is probably the pick - could run off the majority of SFX sized psu's etc, they dont pump out a lot of heat & some pcb designs are quite compact.

Yup I decided put it on ebay and see what happens because the restock fee was ridiculous with new egg, lol.

It sold, so back on the hunt. I know many will think I am nuts for doing that, but I just don't see the justification for the added cost over so many other cards (GTX 970, R9-390, R9 290X). $100 more (over the fury non X cost) gets you the 980 Ti, and I'm sorry but nothing I have seen about the Fury X impresses me either at the price point it's at. And the Fury and Fury X do not overclock well, not sure if that "might" change with drivers later or what, but right now it is what it is.

As for the re-purpose later, that was not me it was another poster. So that will not affect my decision either way.

Are you planning on ever adding a second card? if so, the 390 wins.

If you plan on going higher than 1080p, 390 wins in terms on the future.

If you want less power draw, a free game, and shadowplay (which is better than raptor) go with the 970.

I can't answer the second card question with 100% certainty, that depends. When the time comes what will produce better results for the $$? Adding another R9 390 at whatever the price is then, or upgrading to whatever the new monster card is?

And I always go back to the same thing, aside from bragging rights was does the cost of a 980 Ti or higher card give you in real life playing games at home? I'm not trying to bash the card, and this isn't a money issue, but I always like to get "value" in what I buy. No one has answered my question yet. I am honestly looking to learn more not trying to start a pissing match. Once you're over 60 FPS and in a lot of cases (depending on the resolution you use) at or over 100 FPS, what is the mind set in paying $200+ more for @20 FPS or so? Is it just a matter of not having to upgrade as fast as someone with a lower tier card?

I am fully aware with technology (and mostly any hobby) you only have the best/newest thing for so long because stuff gets updated and new models come out so often. And I am not the type that always has to have the newest stuff, I just always research a lot (usually, not in the case of the Fury was an impulse buy) to get the most value for the $$. I am new coming to this very recently, but did the GTX 980 guys know there was a Ti card coming after their 980? If not I would have been a little upset at a release of a Ti so soon after my 980 basically making my card not worth the performance for the cost anymore.......

Just so many different things to consider........

And just from an outsider looking in with no brand loyalty, it's enough to make you crazy trying to decide. I'm all for competition as it is good for the consumer and for pushing new limits and what not, but things really aren't looking too good for AMD right now..... the early days of HBM right now really don't impress right now. We will see if drivers fix anything but how much better can things get with just software? At some point the hardware has to be the limiting factor right?

Ok rant over lol......