gtx970 or r9 390 for 3D modelling and similar stuff

Hi everyone!

The title says everything, as far as gaming performance goes I am confident that both of these cards are amazing.

But I'm mostly interested about 3D modelling performance ( yeah, yeah I know... quadro and firepro - no, not gonna happen), but photoshop, illustrator and video editing are important too.

I would go with nvidia, but the r9 390 has 8gb ram with 512bit memory interface - i would imagine it's handy whe you have high polycount models and high res textures.
I could not find any usefull information about what should I buy, it seems like it's hard for people to stay on topic. And I guess it also depends on when I buy the card, and what kind of software updates it gets, especially in the future.

The Msi r9 390 gaming 8gb seems like a pretty good choice. The other options are the evga ftw/gigabyte g1 gtx 970.
Anything more expensive is out of question, and I'm not interested.

My build so far: i7 4790k, noctua nh-u14s, maximus vii hero, 16gb kingston 2400mhz ram, cm v650 80+ gold, 240gb kingston hyperx ssd, define r5

With respect, I'm mostly intrested in those opinions that are backed up with experince...but any feedback welcomed.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

While I can't speak out of experience here is what I do know based on anecdotes from casual users of modelling/editing etc. and the more advanced users:

The increased bandwidth/frame buffer of the R9 390 (8GB vs 4GB) has the potential to be VERY awesome depending on factors such as the ones you already stated (High res, high polycount, etc.). I would also look up for the software you use whether they support CUDA acceleration, use OpenCL or both. This can also make a huge difference.

Assuming both Cuda and OpenCL can be used I would be inclined to spring for the R9 390 as you said you are mostly interested in productivity. In gaming the 970 will be better for 1080p than the 390 and probably even at 1440p but that is something you will have to weigh against each other

Depends on the modelling software

some examples...

if its

zbrush = gpu isnt used at all, its all cpu (which is damn impressive)
c4d = opengl

Let us know what software you had in mind

Yeah pretty much sums up my thoughs so far.
The 8GB ram is what makes the 390 so attractive to me, but I would assume that's not everything.
As far as software goes, I want to use Blender for modelling and possibly video editing, and it recently got an OpenCl patch. Though I will probably use more than one software

Anyway, I will search for more info, after all that's what the internet is good for, right? I kind of hoping for the easy solution though...maybe someone here have the answer.
And it will be a good card anyway


blender, maya/zbrush, 3ds max/mudbox, cinema 4D...anything actually, I would like to try out a couple

blender is completely free but powerfull, so that is for sure something I want to use

Just be warned that Nvidia don't appear to be fully supporting CUDA in newer driver releases for gaming cards. I can't find a definitive statement for you but there are a threads like this one on the Nvidia forums:

Interesting. Thanks for the heads up

I also found this:

One of them wrote this: "It's also not the encoder component in general that's discontinued. It's just the old nvcuenc component, the newer nvcenc one works fine. (but since most developers got de-motivated by the performance of the old encoder, only a few think about going through the trouble to write a new encoder based on the nvenc example from the sdk."

So, according to this nvidia would support it, but developers hesitating to switch, maybe in a couple of months...
Or maybe they really stopped supporting it since these are gaming cards, and don't expect the general users to take advantage of it in productivity

Honestly, for now at least, the 390 seems like a better option. And I would imagine with new drivers it will be even better

I feel stupid... I checked Blenders website and they did have a thread about GPUs...who would have guessed, righ?

So according to them, Nvidia is better for their software.
here is the link, if someone is interested:

"Currently NVIDIA with CUDA is rendering faster. There is no fundamental reason why this should be so - we don’t use any CUDA - specific features - but the compiler appears to be more mature, and can better support big kernels. OpenCL support is still in an early stage and has not been optimized as much."

So back to the evga gtx 970 ftw

That sounds promising, are you able to check that what they say is still the case with the latest GTX 9xx cards and drivers, having flicked through some of the stuff earlier it sounds like there are scenario's with older cards out perform the newer cards when using older drivers with certain software (I guess because of the kind of issues you've identified). It would be great if someone with a 970 could confirm for you that it all works properly!

It seems like you have to tinker around with it and then you can enable cuda support
such as this guy:

There were others who used the older drivers and had no problem, I found one guy who claimed his card works out of the box and there were others who could not find any solution for their problems.

This was also interesting:

Also adobe does not recommend neither the 900 series for cuda, nor the r9 300 series for open cl (though it's new, maybe that's why):

The same thing with 3ds max and maya, with exception of the 980. I think for modeling both the 970 and the 390 would work just fine. It still sucks though, I expected a bit more...the 900 series is a weird one

Anyway, at least I know that Blender prefers I guess I'll go with the evga 970 ftw, it's just got cheaper, and for gaming it's damn good

So in the end I bought the 970 g1 gaming from gigabyte