Gtx 960 4GB or Gtx 970


I'm planning on on updating my gtx 750 ti. I was wondering what would be better for 1080p gaming. I know the 970 really only uses 3.5GB and my question is would a 960 with 4GB be better for the money than a 970?


Get a 970 or an R9 290/390

IMO the 960 is shit. That narrow bus and overall lowpower of the card will make 4GB useless.

No the 970 is a much, much faster card. For 1080p gaming, and really 1440p for the most part, 3.5gb's is more then enough. Although, I would actually put my vote in for the R9 390. The 390 has been more competitive with the 980 then 970, and you can get 390's for 970 money.

Get the R9-380 if you don't want to spend more than 300 bucks. it's much faster than the 960.

if you want to spend money in the 300+ range then grab the 390.

You'll be getting more for your dollar. plus you're getting what's actually advertised on the box. 8GiB of VRAM and not 3.5 like the 970.

Thanks for the fast reply!

What is your opinion? do you think the 390 is worth the extra money?

If your choices are limted to those 2 I would take the 970 for the increased horsepower that GM204 core offers over the GM 206 that comes with the 960. Also, the 3.5gb thing is none issue really for 1080p gaming, from the reviews I've read and benchmarks I've seen.

However, if you're open to an AMD option the R9-390 is an even better option with 8gb's of VRAM for $330 (the 970 price point..

I really do. If I were building a system currently and needed a new GPU to go with it, I would get a 390.

Ok Thank you for informing me:) I will definitely go with the 390. Thank you!

Don't forget to post a follow up! I love hearing first hand experiences with all things computer tech.

Will do!

yes if you are willing to spend that much. i mean right now at this very moment if all you have is $250 bucks i would recommend you get the 380. it's just much faster than the 960. the 960 was a huge disappointment. for a few reasons. it didn't beat the old 280, the 285. and it doesn't beat the 380 which technically IS (The 285 just with higher clocks) and for like 25 dollars more you could of grabbed a R9-290 which annihilated it entirely.

if you are willing to spend around the $320ish dollar range the R9-390 gives you 8GiB of VRAM which is excellent for 1440p. and is amazing for your dollar. plus you don't have to deal with the 3.5GiB VRAM issue. that Nvidia tried "sweeping under the rug" and only admitted it when they got caught.

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was personally thinking of getting the 390, but after seeing MANY people with driver problems, i would honestly just go for a 970 or 290x. I am recomending a GTX 960 to a friend because it is a decent card and his PSU only has one 6-pin

Also, the 970 does have 4GB of vRAM, it is just that the last 512MB runs slower. But here is where things get interesting. In the VERY FEW instances in which the 970 would actually utilize 3.5 vRAM, you would be getting such low frames that you would then back off on some graphics settings, which would bring it down under 3.5GB anyways.

And that is my problem with the marketing of the 390/390X. Putting 8GB in the card and on the box will likely attract people. i mean. 8 is double 4. But there is NO WAY that those cards would use even 5GB, let alone 8GB.

I am not even sure what game could use, let's say 5GB, right now. Maybe Skyrim at 4k with 150 mods? but by that point, your frames would most likely be in single digits, so you would have to back offer to get playable frames rates, which would probably put your vRAM usage at around 3GB.

TL;DR: ditch the 960, get the 970, or even the 290x. There is an Asus 290x on newegg for $299. come with a $30 rebate, so that would bring it down to $269.

There's pretty much no practical reason to ever get a 4GB 960. It's mostly meant for SLI with a bigger buffer, but a 970 or an R9 290 would always be a much better deal than two 4GB 960 cards. Current games at 1080p are fine on a 960, if they're properly optimized for PC, but it's nothing high-end nor future-proof. The 960 is crazy efficient at using its tiny memory bus with compression, but the chip is designed to fully utilize 2GB of VRAM, nothing more than that.

An R9 280 or 380 would usually be the best bang for your buck. Then again, that depends on where you live. The only reason I bought an nvidia card recently is because the gpu market here is fucked upside down and AMD cards were a lot more expensive than Nvidia for some reason.

The only reasons you should ever consider buying a 960 (2GB) is if either :
A) you can't afford anything better
B) you don't need anything better
C) your power supply can't run anything better (and you'd rather put the money on the GPU than on a PSU upgrade)

Some insecure gamers think that, since consoles use 8GB of unified memory, they need more than 4GB of VRAM on their GPU to stay above console-level graphics...

Also, lately AAA devs seem to have picked VRAM-caching as a way to compensate for processing power in consoles. One could conclude that this would translate into a much larger VRAM demand in cross-platform games due to porting habits.

what those ignorant people don't understand is that the 8GB in the consoles is both the system RAM, AND the vRAM.

I mean the only way i see the 8GB 290x. woops... i mean 390x, needing 8GB of vRAM is if you were going to run multiple in crossfire. maybe then you could get passed 4GB in certain games while still getting over 30fps at 4K.

OP - what is your CPU,PSU, OS and the games you play?

I can tell you the best card you see in a review strapped to the fastest cpu's and psu's might not be the card for your system; and you might get little benefit from a 970 or 390 over a 960 or 380 or AMD over nvidia.

If you can afford it, get the 970. If you can only afford the 960, look on AMD's side for the possible better value (it depends on your market really).

The 390 doesn't have drivers issues. only about 2 reviewers reviewed the rest of the 300 series. none of them mentioned a driver problem. the Fury X was the one that HAD driver issues. and that was fixed on launch day. reviewers got horrible beta drivers when they reviewed the card. for some reason the only person who did proper testing with the newest current drivers was Jayztwocents. his results were much different than every other reviewer with his Fury X review. as for the 970 recommendation, i don't recommend it cause Nvidia tried sweeping the issue under the rug. and that in my opinion is absurd. you buy a card for the 4GiB and you can't even use it all? pssh. Nvidia only admitted the problem when they got caught. and even though nothing is future proof. in about a year or so, there most likely will be games that will push more video memory. if you jump into 1440p some games already reach around 3GiBs alone. after the 3.5GiB that the 970 let's you use won't be enough.

I'd rather a used 780ti over a 960. once 980ti production is ramped up you'll see an influx of them around. Probably won't be dx12 compliant, but a 960 would be such low settings it's not like you'd get a palette of dx12 options. Video card is worth the money you invest. You get what you pay for up to the x80 edition cards.

As for the original post. GTX970 would be the bare min card I'd invest retail money in. It's actually a no brainer in any and all arguments. If you could pick up a 780ti used for short money then it'll buy time to make a decision once dx12 has been established in a few games.