GPU Decisions

So I'm in the market for a new GPU, my current one is an AMD 7870 made by VTX3D, likely in the batch with the dodgy capacitors. It freezes up, crashes often, and doesn't like it when my window isn't open.

So, I need a new GPU, primarily for CAD and a bit of games playing.
My big question is, do I opt for more GRAM, or a faster clock?
I'm sure that more GRAM would be better for CAD, BUT, with DirectX12 coming out which might let us finally pool the memory of SLI/Crossfire cards would it be worth to get smaller ram?

My options currently are;
GTX 960 (2GB)
Radeon R9 280
Radeon R9 270X

other suggestions appreciated (Y), budget £180 MAX.


gtx 960

I don't suppose you'll be able to wait for the AMD 3XX cards to be released since that will drop the prices for AMD cards and you might be able to get a higher end card, also you should be able to save a little more money by then meaning you'll be able to get an even better card. But if you have to get one of the GPU's from your list and you're mostly going to CAD applications you may want to go for the R9 280 depending on what applications you're going to be using since it has more VRAM than the GTX 960. How much VRAM do use when using CAD applications? Because if you're not using more than 2GB the GTX 960 will better gaming and won't limit your CAD but if you're using more than 2GB then I would recommend the R9 280. Hope this helps.

1 Like

Lol troll 4/10

If you will play games that need the extra 1 gig then yes. But otherwise the 960 is better in most other aspects, as power consumption, sub 2gig gaming and so on. I use r9 280 myself and got it before the 960 came out so both choices are solid.

Ah! I haven't read much on the AMD 3XX series so I might just wait about to see what happens. Waiting to get something that has both speed and VRAM is also an option, providing the 7870 doesn't fail (I made a mistake above, corrected now).
Currently using AutoCAD and Solid works and they don't use too much VRAM, however as of September I'll be doing more complex and demanding modelling and simulation.

If anyone is interested I have found a solution!
Big VRAM and also very fast speeds. Potential for 2way SLI in the future! :)

I personally would buy the fastest single gpu and not plan on sli. I was sli and constantly had issues, granted i was using 3 monitors and had problems when i didn't want it to be in surround and would have to turn off sli and games that don't support sli ext. ext.

now i just have a single 980 and when that runs past its prime ill ge the next top end with sli you will end up spending near the same price as the high end card. in my case the high end card was cheaper. then the dual 760 4gb

This is just my personal preference if you have one monitor then sli may very well be fine but just my 2cents.


isn't the 970 is the one with the 3.5

I would go with the 280X, its in your budget and It beats the 960 on almost all benchmarks, here is one from techpowerup and one from GURU3D. The only down side is that Radeon cards are notorious for being space heaters, so if you don't like that the MSI STRIX 960 is a bit outside your budget but if you find it on sale somewhere you could grab that instead.

I think you miss typed a 280x does not beat a gtx 980

I did, I shall fix that.

Hi, for anyone who's at all interested, I finally settled on two XFX R9 280Xs, I got both of them for just £200 used and they work great.

Thanks for all your input (: (and apologies for the extremely late update!)


1 Like