I'm upgrading my GPU finally, just have no idea what to get. Currently I have a XFX R9 280x. Should I get a R9 290x, GTX 970 or should I put in the extra money and get a GTX 980 or R9 390?
Well, the R9 390 is at the same price point as the GTX 970 (about $330). You can get a 290x for less than that, but only by about $20, and every other 290x is quite a bit more, but still in the $300-$400 range. The GTX 980 is in the $500-$600 range.
If you have the money for a GTX 980, you should buy that because out of the cards you've listed, the 980 is the best. If you can't afford it, then the next tier is the 970 or 390; they are pretty neck and neck in performance and price, but the 970 runs cooler and consumes less power, but the 390 performs slightly better. The lowest tier is the 290x, I base that off the fact that it is an old generation, performs worse than the 970 and 390, and is generally more expensive than newer, better cards.
What about the 390x?
I am currently looking into the 390x because I've decided to get an AMD 300 card instead of a GTX 970 because of VRAM (eventually doing 1440p and I use adobe suit and rendering programs). So far I have not been able to figure out why the 390x is another $100 more. The specs are stupid similar. I guess only benchmarks will tell.
The R9 390x is $100 more than the R9 390 as @Tek_Elf stated, and also as he has stated:
The 390x would be a good option if you edited videos professionally; it includes more Stream Processes and better OpenCL performance than the 390. For gaming,though, there really isn't any reason to spend $100 more for a card that only performs slightly better.
Regional average for the US is $0.12 KW/hr. Sorry you pay more for power, but that is an over inflated price compared to the average. Besides, comparing watt usage is pretty stupid, seeing as it's literally a couple bucks extra a year. When people make 14k-100k per year that extra $30 in electricity is not a deal breaker.
I see you didn't even bother adding the cost of electricity to the 970 there. So you didn't even create a full data set to argue with... Alrighty then.
To answer OP:
The GTX 970 is a great card (minus the very bad management of a certain 512MBs of VRAM) and does very well for itself at the $330 price point. The R9 390 sits right next to it in benchmarks and is the same average price. If you want to go higher and aim for a GTX 980, consider the R9 Fury which comes out in a few days. If the Fury doesn't impress you, then jump on the GTX 980 and be happy with that.
Well the GTX 970 costs $340 retail right now, so you say that it uses no power at all, while the R9 290X uses $60 worth.
Here are some real numbers, since you care so much.
R9 290X: Furmark Peak System Power Draw: 323W
Run 4 hours per day, every day at this load would cost $4.65 a month, or $56.59 a year.
GTX 970: Furmark Peak System Power Draw: 284W
Run 4 hours per day, every day at this load would cost $4.09 a month, or $49.76 a year.
Congratulations! In electricity you saved $6.83 in a year. You could have saved the same amount by skipping a meal at McDonald's, or not buying an extra toothbrush at the store.
Now since we're frugal, let's go for lowest price GPUs:
R9 290X can be purchased for as low as $310.
GTX 970 can be purchased for as low as $315.
So you saved yourself $1.83 in that first year.
Okay @kevinheinrich go ahead and delete your posts, I'm leaving this up to uphold that point that comparing TDP is literally splitting pennies a day. You aren't wasting huge sums of money like everyone seems to think.
Whatever you get, make sure you get the most amount of VRAM possible for the card/price point. Games seem to be using more and more VRAM than cores. I really like the R9 390 for the 8Gb of VRAM, as compared to the GTX 980. Might I suggest checking out this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9cKZiJw6Pk
The R9 Fury (non X version) should be a good rival for the 980 (beats it most of the time at 4k), based on the leaks. I would consider that if you want to spend around that much. However, at ~$350, I can't not recommend the 390. The 390x is a little harder sell as it is kind of in a no-mans-land of sorts. Anyway, you can't really go wrong at the time being. Everything is really competitive, so whatever you think is important to you is what you should use to decide which to get. Freesync, Gsync. VSR, DSR. Frame buffer, power consumption. There are pros and cons. Just pick what works for you.