Should I get GTX 970?

calyco

Senior member
Oct 7, 2004
825
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My PC is handling everyday stuff fine. Wondering what card to get to mainly play GTA V and if I should also do a complete build if it is holding video card back. Or please recommend a better video card to run at 1900x1200, looking to spend about $300 TIA

Current system:

AMD PHENOM II X4 955 BLACK EDITION
ASUS M5A99X EVO MOBO
16GB CORSAIR DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
CORSAIR 750W PSU
EVGA GTX 650
WESTERN DIGITAL 500GB and 2TB
 
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Leyawiin

Diamond Member
Nov 11, 2008
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With that CPU you shouldn't bother with anything higher than about a GTX 750 Ti if the CPU is at stock. If you get it to 4.0 Ghz it would help, but even then I wouldn't go higher than a GTX 960 (and that'll be bottlenecked a fair amount).
 
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Shehriazad

Senior member
Nov 3, 2014
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Well, before others come to yell "BOTTLENECK"...yes, that will happen, BUT, no harm in getting that card now, performance of the 970 is very solid.

You can still upgrade to a new platform later ^^

Alternatively you can try to get some used Intel i5 and a decent mobo for it and then just get a 750 Ti for now...but the gains would be pretty sad since then the GPU is a bottleneck(Plus the 750 Ti isn't fast enough to warrant an upgrade from a 650 imho, I used to own a 750 Ti). Imho just get the 970 and upgrade to a new CPU sometime later this year or next year.


Edit: Bottleneck screamers were faster.
Edit2: I just think that a total upgrade that is WORTH YOUR MONEY for 300$ is outright impossible. If you get a 750 Ti + some super trash tier CPU you'll be unhappy very fast. If you get the 970 now you have a very strong GPU that will last you for a long time in that resolution...and once you got another 300 or so $ ready...you can get a new board + CPU and be set for a few years if you don't rush for a higher res.
 
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RussianSensation

Elite Member
Sep 5, 2003
19,460
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Imho just get the 970 and upgrade to a new CPU sometime later this year or next year.

Edit: Bottleneck screamers were faster.
But he was right. With a 955, a 970 is a waste of money. For example, in GTA V he would be getting 35-40 fps average with that CPU. For that you only need a GTX670/7950 style GPU, and even then the minimums on a low end 955 would be pretty bad.





I would look at a $130 R9 270X or a $160 R9 280 at most.
 
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Shehriazad

Senior member
Nov 3, 2014
555
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But the thing is....how much longer would those blargh cards last him? He can get a STRONK card and then upgrade the platform in a few months. He can even keep the ram.


I mean if he can manage to find a good CPU via a special offer or used + mainboard for like 150$...then he can still get some 750 Ti and have a so-so upgrade, as well...


But personally I am against avoiding bottlenecks for the sake of avoiding bottlenecks...what good does it do? Sure, he can get a GPU that is "just fast enough"...and then what?
Once the next game comes out this card will be too slow in ADDITION to his CPU being too slow...and thus he can throw away all of that after a few months.

In the long run he will not get around a stronger CPU...but even if the CPU is a bottleneck...he will still be able to jam some more GPU effects on the slider to the right without further trashing his performance...and then STILL upgrade the CPU later.

Not to mention...games like GTA V are more than playable enough with 30fps/vsync....that pc is not going to be 60fps masterrace material, anyway.
 
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TemjinGold

Diamond Member
Dec 16, 2006
3,050
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970 is a huge waste still. Especially since he is so budget constrained, I would go with an AMD card.
 

DaveSimmons

Elite Member
Aug 12, 2001
40,737
668
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The 970 isn't a safe choice for the long term because of the memory problem, so I can't agree with the idea of buying it now and keeping it when upgrading the CPU + mobo later.

OP, does your monitor handle lower resolutions well? Your card might run it decently at 720p.
 

Shehriazad

Senior member
Nov 3, 2014
555
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The 970 isn't a safe choice for the long term because of the memory problem, so I can't agree with the idea of buying it now and keeping it when upgrading the CPU + mobo later.

OP, does your monitor handle lower resolutions well? Your card might run it decently at 720p.

"Memory problem"...sigh. It got roughly 3.6GB of highspeed memory...with 1900x1200 that's pretty darn futureproof.

And lowering res? That's just gonna push him toward his CPU limit.


P.s. And yea...a cheap AMD GPU might also be an idea...and then overclock the crap out of that CPU until it starts burning.
 

DaveSimmons

Elite Member
Aug 12, 2001
40,737
668
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"Memory problem"...sigh. It got roughly 3.6GB of highspeed memory...with 1900x1200 that's pretty darn futureproof.
Not until nvidia gives owners a way to completely disable use of the broken 512 MB.

I like nvidia cards and my current card is a GTX 680. I don't trust the 970 as it is now, or recommend buying it to people who might keep it for years.
 

kasakka

Senior member
Mar 16, 2013
334
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Ok so I've been using a GTX 970 SLI rig since the start of this year and Shadow of Mordor is still the only game where I've experienced any issues and even that was improved with the latest drivers released on Monday.

Nvidia have done driver fixes to improve memory bandwidth on that last segment since the issue came to light.

Today I've been playing GTA V a lot and I can run it at near max settings at 1440p. I don't think that is too bad for cards that cost 400-500 euros less than the 980 SLI or a single Titan X.

GTX 970 isn't a good choice for 4K but for up to 1440p it is pretty great.

I think OP's AMD CPU is going to hold him back the most. Seems that people who are having issues with the 970 are often using AMD CPUs. I'd probably buy a used AMD or Nvidia GPU for now and overhaul the whole thing later.
 

skipsneeky2

Diamond Member
May 21, 2011
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I would look into something like a used 7950 then drop in perhaps like a used fx 8350.Would be a balanced upgrade for about $300.Assuming his board can support fx cpus which i am sure it does.
 

SteveGrabowski

Platinum Member
Oct 20, 2014
2,643
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The GPU is the least future proof part of a system. I'll never understand paying top dollar for a high end GPU now and putting off the CPU+MB upgrade so that you get lousy performance now. Then by the time you get a good CPU to drive your once highend GPU, it's now replaced by something better and cheaper. I'd always buy the CPU+board before the GPU since Intel CPUs seem to have pretty good shelf lives. A bottlenecked GPU gives a really lousy gaming experience. If I had $350 for a GTX 970 now with that setup I'd drop about $250 on an i5-4590 + H97 board and then hit ebay up to see if I can get a GTX 670 or HD 7950 for a steal, and if not save up the extra $30 for an R9 270 or the extra $60 for an R9 280.
 

RussianSensation

Elite Member
Sep 5, 2003
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The GPU is the least future proof part of a system. I'll never understand paying top dollar for a high end GPU now and putting off the CPU+MB upgrade so that you get lousy performance now. Then by the time you get a good CPU to drive your once highend GPU, it's now replaced by something better and cheaper. I'd always buy the CPU+board before the GPU since Intel CPUs seem to have pretty good shelf lives. A bottlenecked GPU gives a really lousy gaming experience. If I had $350 for a GTX 970 now with that setup I'd drop about $250 on an i5-4590 + H97 board and then hit ebay up to see if I can get a GTX 670 or HD 7950 for a steal, and if not save up the extra $30 for an R9 270 or the extra $60 for an R9 280.
Great post. In 9 months the market went from $1K Titan to $650 780Ghz with similar performance, then $400 R9 290 with similar performance. Then in a year or so from that point, we got 780Ti's performance in a $330 GTX970, 6 more months to today we have R9 290X for $280 and R9 290 for $240. That means in a span of barely more than 3 years we went from a certain level of performance for $1K to $240. :D It's hard to think of any other component in the PC that's dropping in price this quickly (maybe SSDs). The idea of buying a $300 GPU that will only perform as fast as a $150 one until the CPU is upgraded sounds like a waste of $ to me.

A $141 XFX R9 280 is a huge upgrade from that GTX650 as is. The rest of the money should be used to upgrade the AMD CPU or get a new Core i5+mobo platform.
 

TheSlamma

Diamond Member
Sep 6, 2005
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People are taking the 3.6Gb thing way out of proportion.

That is the type of low EQ that keeps people living at home.
 

DaveSimmons

Elite Member
Aug 12, 2001
40,737
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People are taking the 3.6Gb thing way out of proportion.

That is the type of low EQ that keeps people living at home.
I'm guessing that the second sentence is meant to be some sort of insult? I could afford Titan X quad-SLI if I wanted them, I'm just still happy with my GTX 680.

Right now nvidia is making the effort to support the 970 in drivers for new games because it is the current model year. How much effort will they make in 2 years when they stop selling it? My 680 still works great because it doesn't need special driver code to handle a RAM flaw.

So: a good card this year, if you plan to replace it within 1-2 years and aren't worried about resale value.
 
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Apr 15, 2015
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I'm guessing that the second sentence is meant to be some sort of insult? I could afford Titan X quad-SLI if I wanted them, I'm just still happy with my GTX 680.

Right now nvidia is making the effort to support the 970 in drivers for new games because it is the current model year. How much effort will they make in 2 years when they stop selling it? My 680 still works great because it doesn't need special driver code to handle a RAM flaw.

So: a good card this year, if you plan to replace it within 1-2 years and aren't worried about resale value.
They can't fix or mitagate a hardware flaw through software lol.
 

Subyman

Moderator <br> VC&G Forum
Mar 18, 2005
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People are taking the 3.6Gb thing way out of proportion.

That is the type of low EQ that keeps people living at home.
Isn't that where people live, at a home? :p


I agree with the others, get a lower end card or upgrade your MB+CPU. Jumping on a quickly depreciating GPU that you can't take advantage of is not a good idea.
 

ZGR

Golden Member
Oct 26, 2012
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Your GPU isn't that bad. I have a GTX 650 and it can run GTA V ~15-50fps at normal/low settings at 1080p. It does stutter due to its 1 GB of VRAM, but it can definitely run the game. I'm sure it can get a stuttery 30fps if you play with the settings.

Since your platform is so old; definitely get a MB+CPU like others suggest. Your GTX 650 can power through most games fine; so why not reuse it until you know what kind of performance to get? If you're really into PhysX, you could keep the GTX 650 for a dedicated PhysX card and get an Nvidia card. If you are on a strict budget, keep an eye on those discounts like others have posted.
 
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calyco

Senior member
Oct 7, 2004
825
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Thanks to AT and Newegg, I am now looking at a GTX970 and i7 4790K :p So basically a new build within a year. That or wait for Skylake?
 

flexy

Diamond Member
Sep 28, 2001
8,464
153
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I don't trust the 970 as it is now, or recommend buying it to people who might keep it for years.
It is true that the GTX 970 is not "perfect", not just because of the 3.5GB of ram issue (which in many games doesn't even play a role, by the way).

NEVERTHELESS (and you can believe I had my share on forums reading and debating this debacle) I did get a GTX 970 since IMHO it is still (rather) attractively priced and has all I want. A R 290X etc. was not an option for me (2x8 pin PCIE connector, how much power does this thing need?) because I never liked the ATI drivers, more heat, lack of PhysX and DX12.

Has the GTX970 a long future ahead of it? No it hasn't. Because no card has - in fact hardly ANY hardware has a long future. At the time when I got the 970 (just a couple weeks back) 6GB Nvidia cards were merely "announced", let alone available, let alone affordable. I am not a guy who spends &#8364;700-&#8364;900 on a Video card. But spending &#8364;260-&#8364;300 on such a card is still reasonable, and it makes it also reasonable to buy another card, say in a year or so when 6GB cards are out.

Despite issues I had with THIS particular card (it's on RMA now for various reasons) overall I cannot be happer. I like the card. But of course the rest of the system must match it.
 
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flexy

Diamond Member
Sep 28, 2001
8,464
153
106
Thanks to AT and Newegg, I am now looking at a GTX970 and i7 4790K :p So basically a new build within a year. That or wait for Skylake?
"Waiting" sounds kind of boring. But I was in the same boat, here also whether to get a new, shiny Z97 and 4790k which should me tie over until Skylake. What I did, got a used Z87 Asus Pro and 4770K since ESSENTIALLY it's the same thing as Z97. This and the GTX970 *definitely* can tie me over some time until we have Skylake, DDR4 and whatnot... because playing games and enjoying your PC NOW is better than "waiting", because there is ALWAYS something better announced and on the horizon, this is a given. If you wait for Skylake, rest assured some other platform/CPU will be talked about the day you buy :)
 

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