New desktop build, picking graphics card

I’m building a new PC soon with Ryzen. I’ve decided on almost everything except the graphcis card, and I’m torn between Nvidia and AMD. Nvidia is the vendor I have used for my graphics card since forever, and only bought an AMD card once in 2011 when I had a budget PC.

I have found a very solid Zotac 1070 GTX card with a lot of value for the price. Value for money is more important to me than the price. If you pay a lot and still get a lot more, I would be fine with that.

On the AMD side I’m thinking about the RX Vega 56 or RX Vega 64, but I’m really torn on that. When I used AMD graphics card before it was rather buggy in some games, and the driver wasn’t as good. I’ve been following AMD graphics card for some time, to see how it has progressed, but I never wanted to move away from my Nvidia safe haven.

For the future I might invest in new screens, and that is when freesync will be better, right? Still I’m not sure if I can get aboard for the AMD graphics card.

So, what do you guys think of the RX Vega cards, with the drivers, support and are any of you going to buy RX Vega now?

I bought an Asus Strix 1070 around launch and while I am happy with the performance of the card, I don’t like how Nvidia handles their driver updates these days. Having to sign in to the Geforce Experience to get automatic driver updates is kinda crazy. The software is buggy but it does have some “easy button” features like game optimization. I don’t usually stick with these optimized settings, but use them as a baseline and then tweak graphics settings in game to my performance/quality ratio.

As I can’t speak personally to how AMD is in terms of software and stability, I have friends with AMD cards that are not that tech savvy and they love them. Freesync is an open standard and is cheaper than GSync. The Vega 56 will beat the 1070 in most scenarios, but it will pull more power. If you can find one in a decent price range (good luck with the mining and supply shortages), that’s the card I would buy today, especially if I wasn’t running my gaming PC 24/7. Plus I always like to support the underdog in the market if their product is comparable to the market leader. We all know what happens when a company has no real competition.

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Id lean to a AMD RX Vega 56 card with an AIB cooler like strix but the availability and price may mean just get a 1070.

Vega runs hot so a reference card is out of the question in my opinion.


All depends on pricing 1070 vs AIB 56 get whats cheaper


Heres what I’ll say, what you say about AMD in your experience is 1:1 with Nvidia for me. Everyone has their biases, so what. Just establishing that here.

With that, I’ll say that as a linux user, at least, my 580 is the best card I have ever had. The 8GB is nice, but I would def be happier if they had done HBM. Who wouldn’t be. Since, I assume you’re on windows, the windows drivers are based on the linux drivers, and I have been watching Vega very very closely, I can confidently say that I think vega would be worth it. 56 or 64. Unless you really need to play the newest possible AAA games at 90FPS min at 8K or whatever stupid shit, even a 580 or 480 would be nice (though I’ll say 580 because the power delivery is more reliable and if you want it you can OC them better. They are not the same card, thats nonsense, just the same core). I think the 56 will be more available? I might lean away from vega though, as well, since the tech in them isn’t all for gaming either. You’re paying for those 56 or 64 cores that could be used for mining or something in ML or science. But IDK maybe you’re into that.

No reason to be scared of AMD though. In my world on linux, OpenGL is handled flawlessly. The one time that the windows 7 driver worked I played quake champions on my 580 with everything slammed into the ceiling and it was great. 1070 is also a good choice though, so if you have a valid interest in keeping on NV do it up dood.


Thanks for the replies. I should have said that it’s for gaming, and I’m running W10 on it. I do use Linux as well, just not on my gaming PC.

I don’t play that many A3 titles. Mostly I play old school style western RPG, RTS, TBS and some action RPG. Waiting for Cyberpunk and Kingdom Come. I play Guild Wars 2, which can murder my current PC in WvW, and I had to turn down rendering distance to very low to have on higher graphics (AMD FX 8350 / 960 GTX 4 GB).

I have 2 24" 1920x1080 screens. I think that 2k, 4k or 8 gaming is overrated, as it require too much juice to get 60 fps +. I don’t have that much money, at least not for a while. So currently my goal is high, possibly ultra (but isn’t neccesary) in 1920x1080, with most effects and stable 60 fps or over.

I’m not into minining or ML or science.

What does AIB stand for?

Is there any difference in manufacturors, xfx, msi, gigabyte and sapphire beyond how their customer service is and how good the warranty is?

Add-in Board (Partner). Basically aftermarket cards that don’t use the reference blower design.

If you want to get technical, yes. Different power delivery circuitry depending on each model. Different coolers have different cooling capabilities.

Honestly Vega56/64 just put out too much heat imho. If you’re in an air-conditioned room and have a mid tower case, I can see how that’s not an issue. However, since you mention that you found a Zotac 1070 for a “good price”, I would generally lean towards that direction for the reduced power draw, similar gaming performance, and matured drivers.

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GTX 1070 is a good card overall.

Vega is a case of wait and see. Maybe Sapphire gets their amazing vapour chamber coolers out again. Then Vega will another option. Else I see no real hope in a gaming-only use case.
The RX580 8GB cards when obtained for a price near MSRP would also be a very compelling option.

For AMD, the drivers age like wine, they only get better over time. Depends on how long you will be running the card.

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I wouldn’t worry too much about what manufacturer is making the card. Either the 1070 or the Vega 56 will crush games at 1080p. If you find a good price on either card, don’t sweat the details too much and pick it up. The differences between different variations of the card (if you aren’t going to overclock the snot out of the card) are mostly cosmetic. I would also try to look for deals that bundle a game or 2 with the card, but I’m not sure if these promotions are going on right now.

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GFE is not required, just check for Nvidia driver updates often.
I only install GFE temporarily when I want to make a recording, then un-install it.
Most gaming and hardware review sites let me know when a new driver is out.
Also, if a new game comes out Nvidia usually drops a new driver release at the same time.

I have been a Nvidia fan boy, and I picked an R9 390 (which was defective) so I went with a GTX 970.
I am really leaning toward Vega 2 though because the monitor I want has FreeSync.
From what I read, AMD is working hard to make the drivers more stable with each version.

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Yeah, I know that GFE isn’t required for driver updates, but to get them automatically you do need the software. I leave it installed because of the automatic driver updates and the game optimization. It’s just dumb of nivida to force the account creation and signin. That pisses me off the most.


Personally I had only one experience with Zotac and that was a GTX 670 Amp that started to throw artefacts two months after the warranty ran out. Of course that is a sample size of one but I still don’t like Zotac.

Vega56 might be a really nice option for you when partner cards are released. The drivers have come a very long way and the difference between gimpsync and freesync might even cover up the overpricing because of mining.

That being said for 1080p 60fps on high you really don’t need to go that big, a 580 or even 570 will make any game go fast. If not it is simply the games fault. For MMORPG CPU is certainly a big factor as well, keep that in mind.


I prefer downloading drivers manually so I can save them.
Even though I’m using the latest, here you can see I have a driver from a year ago labeled as most stable in case I need to roll back to diagnose a problem. Yeah, I know one can get legacy drivers from Nvidia, but these are based on my testing, with my hardware.

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That’s awesome and a very wise approach to things. I’ll admit that when it comes to gaming, I am lazy and I just want the game to run and not crash my computer. I troubleshoot computer issues all day, the last thing I want when I go to game (when I actually get the time) is to worry about my drivers being up to date and finding graphical settings that are appropriate for each game and my system.

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Full Disclosure: Not my idea.

This is the way AmigaDOS organizes drivers and I have continued to use their good idea once I switched to PC. On the AMIGA you just drop a driver in the folder and the OS picks it up. No Installation Required.

Wouldn’t that be nice in this day and age? lol Windows can’t even manage to not spy on me. At least windows 10 is so easy mode for most users that it really gets close to the plug and play dream.

I do like to get technical, but that is a bit further than I usually do. Thanks.

Yeah, I hate that as well. I removed geforce experience cuase of that. Instead I just update manually.

I can’t recall having a bad experience wth the Gainward and EVGA cards I’ve had. Maybe I will just go for another EVGA card again if I got for Nvidia.

I currently have a 960 GTX, which I could stick with some time until prices drop and more releases come. It’s not a bad card, it’s just not as good as I’d like it to be at this time.

I picked my ASUS strix 1070 up at launch for $400 and thought that was high but worth it. Later I bought a refurbed EVGA 1070 for $350 (after the VRM debacle). Looking at them now is crazy. They are good cards but I would ride that 960 until it doesnt suffice anymore.

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