Should I get GTX 970?

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flexy

Diamond Member
Sep 28, 2001
8,464
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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.
You HAVE the option, in any single game :) It is adjusting your game settings accordingly and reasonably.

More than 8GB system ram also helps in those situations where the 3.5GB might possibly be exceeded. This only happened to me once, in a synthetic benchmark which tested 3GB+ Vmem. In BF4, all on Ultra, MSAA and most importantly with 160% resolution scale, mem usage is about 3GB-3.2GB. So in other words: The 3.5GB problem, as bad as it is doesn't show up in "real life". As for GTA V, can't say, haven't played this since the card is not here ATM. When we're at a point that some/many games will need so much VMem we will have and will need 6GB cards anyway. From that point of view relatively pointless to disable the "broken" memory even if that would be possible technically.
 

RussianSensation

Elite Member
Sep 5, 2003
19,460
743
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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?
If you are doing a whole new rebuild, might as well wait for Skylake-S. In the meantime you can get an R9 280 or something similar to that and enjoy some gaming for 6 months until Skylake. You can always sell a $150 card for $100 in 6 months which is not bad considering the utility you'll get out of the card.

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.
You don't know how much power an R9 290X uses? The answer is a 450W high quality PSU will run a Core i7 4790K and an R9 290X.
http://www.techspot.com/review/977-nvidia-geforce-gtx-titan-x/page9.html

You say you never liked ATI drivers which means you haven't used an AMD card in the last 7 years? Sounds like you have a perception about XYZ because you read something on the internet. Without having real world experience with modern AMD cards, I don't see how you can make a connection between ATI's drivers and AMD's.

More heat = this is a non-issue as many after-market R9 290 cards run uber cool (think 70C at max overclock). Sounds like you've done 0 research on this. Alternatively, there are plenty of mediocre GTX970 cards like the PNY reference that hits 80C out of the box and is loud too.

DX12 = all GCN, all DX11 NV cards will support DX12, including R9 290X. How did you miss this?
http://www.anandtech.com/show/9112/exploring-dx12-3dmark-api-overhead-feature-test/2



PhysX = when was the last time we had an awesome PC game with great PhysX effects? Usually it's unrealistic overdone physics effects that look cheap/unrealistic (the irony) ala Borderlands and Mafia II style.
 
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96Firebird

Diamond Member
Nov 8, 2010
5,628
227
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More heat = this is a non-issue as many after-market R9 290 cards run uber cool (think 70C at max overclock). Sounds like you've done 0 research on this. Alternatively, there are plenty of mediocre GTX970 cards like the PNY reference that hits 80C out of the box and is loud too.
There is a difference between GPU temperature and heat generated by a card.
 

flexy

Diamond Member
Sep 28, 2001
8,464
153
106
You don't know how much power an R9 290X uses? The answer is a 450W high quality PSU will run a Core i7 4790K and an R9 290X.
http://www.techspot.com/review/977-nvidia-geforce-gtx-titan-x/page9.html

You say you never liked ATI drivers which means you haven't used an AMD card in the last 7 years? Sounds like you have a perception about XYZ because you read something on the internet. Without having real world experience with modern AMD cards, I don't see how you can make a connection between ATI's drivers and AMD's.

More heat = this is a non-issue as many after-market R9 290 cards run uber cool (think 70C at max overclock). Sounds like you've done 0 research on this. Alternatively, there are plenty of mediocre GTX970 cards like the PNY reference that hits 80C out of the box and is loud too.

DX12 = all GCN, all DX11 NV cards will support DX12, including R9 290X. How did you miss this?
http://www.anandtech.com/show/9112/exploring-dx12-3dmark-api-overhead-feature-test/2



PhysX = when was the last time we had an awesome PC game with great PhysX effects? Usually it's unrealistic overdone physics effects that look cheap/unrealistic (the irony) ala Borderlands and Mafia II style.
RS, the 7 years might be correct talking about my own PC, but I used ATI cards and drivers on notebooks incl. on my wife's and I really never liked CCC, how long it takes to load etc. Yes it may be a subjective thing there and I admit it.

Don't get me wrong, I am not saying that a R290X is a "bad" card, R290 and R290X might possibly be very good and as said I was close to buying a MSI Lightning. Those things have an insane memory bandwidth and of course "real" 4GB of memory. But the 2x 8pin connectors really "freightened" me in a sense that it would be an indication how much power the card(s) could potentially draw (I mean there is a reason why they have two 8 pin connectors)...while it's likely it would work here it was still something making me think twice if you have two cards (R290(X)/GTX 970) to decide from.

To be fair: I was (and still am) UNDERWHELMED by my EVGA GTX 970 SC ACX2.0 thermals and fan noise, there you have a point. I expected this card running really cool but it doesn't. It easily goes to 75C-77C and this with 140mm side-fan, a very good case and still cool weather conditions. (I live somewhere where it gets very hot in summer...)
The card also caused me a lot of headaches, it's on RMA now and on the way back. (I could say that all the talk about superior thermals w/ GTX 970 is nonsense because I didn't see any of this, at least with my card)

I am still not excluding a R290(X) as a potential alternative card but I entirely admit it's difficult to switch once you had Nvidia for several years...
 
Feb 19, 2009
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OP: You need a new CPU/MB combo.

That PhII is on par with a Q9400 CPU which I had and that thing struggles a lot in recent games. Terrible min fps stutters.

Just wait for next-gen Intel and see what GPUs are available then.
 

Maximilian

Lifer
Feb 8, 2004
12,607
5
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The 3.5GB of memory fiasco is a big deal because of the new consoles have ~4GB of video memory. Basically any card with <4GB of memory is more likely to struggle on high settings than a card with 4GB or more. A lot of games will be created for consoles first as it has been in the past so a PC would ideally equal or exceed the console in every area of hardware.

For those willing to lower settings its no big deal. Im willing to bet the vast majority of people wouldn't mind doing that tbh.

For those that want the best performance a cheaper card now + selling it and buying a 4GB+ card in the future is likely a better bet. Or just shell out for the 980/290x
 

flexy

Diamond Member
Sep 28, 2001
8,464
153
106
Yes of course a card with 4+GB "in the future" is better..except that "in the future" means they don't exist yet :) I am sure the first 6GB NV cards will cost &#8364;700 +/- (this certainly is not my budget range)... and there will still a lot of time go by until we get the affordable versions.
(If I knew we have 6GB 970ish performance/price cards next month I sure wouldn't have gotten a 970 two weeks ago)
 
Feb 25, 2011
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Don't get a PNY XLR8 970. (It's fine, just louder than the 660Ti it replaced. I'm not going to bother returning it.)
 

tential

Diamond Member
May 13, 2008
7,363
640
121
RS, the 7 years might be correct talking about my own PC, but I used ATI cards and drivers on notebooks incl. on my wife's and I really never liked CCC, how long it takes to load etc. Yes it may be a subjective thing there and I admit it.

Don't get me wrong, I am not saying that a R290X is a "bad" card, R290 and R290X might possibly be very good and as said I was close to buying a MSI Lightning. Those things have an insane memory bandwidth and of course "real" 4GB of memory. But the 2x 8pin connectors really "freightened" me in a sense that it would be an indication how much power the card(s) could potentially draw (I mean there is a reason why they have two 8 pin connectors)...while it's likely it would work here it was still something making me think twice if you have two cards (R290(X)/GTX 970) to decide from.

To be fair: I was (and still am) UNDERWHELMED by my EVGA GTX 970 SC ACX2.0 thermals and fan noise, there you have a point. I expected this card running really cool but it doesn't. It easily goes to 75C-77C and this with 140mm side-fan, a very good case and still cool weather conditions. (I live somewhere where it gets very hot in summer...)
The card also caused me a lot of headaches, it's on RMA now and on the way back. (I could say that all the talk about superior thermals w/ GTX 970 is nonsense because I didn't see any of this, at least with my card)

I am still not excluding a R290(X) as a potential alternative card but I entirely admit it's difficult to switch once you had Nvidia for several years...
This Powerdraw thing that's started up on the internet as we've moved into the "green" time is hilarious. People leave lights on, tvs on, all types of appliances on, but they're worried about a couple of seconds of time their GPU may POSSIBLY, and I mean POSSIBLY as in probably not, consume an additional 50-100 watts of power.

No one ever freaks out about turning on 1 additional lightbulb that adds an additional 50 watts of power. I've never seen a person go "Woah, can you unscrew one of those lightbulbs in your bathroom? You have 6 lightbulbs in an array in the bathroom and it consumes way too much power!!!" but 50-100 watts additional power in PC gaming under MAX LOAD gpu and we lose it...

Just lol...

If you want the GTX 970 just keep it. I don't see why people have to dig so darn deep in their book of excuses. You're more comfortable with Nvidia, so why not get the card you're more comfortable getting? Digging 7 years back into CCC drivers, a 50-100 watt power difference, etc.
I enjoy Mercedes, I'll pay the price premium for that product if I can any day. I enjoy high end luxury clothing and jewelry and I'll pay the premium for that as well. But for computing, I will NEVER pay a premium, it's all about price to performance for a set level of quality that I want to obtain and the R9 290/290x are the only two cards out that can do that for me. GTX 980 is way too expensive for the per increase, GTX 970, just no. I got the HD7950, extra VRAM over the competition helps in longevity of your card, after being smart enough to listen to RS to make that decision the first time around and seeing how my card performs against the GTX 680(When I was willing to pay the premium for Nvidia), I am not making that same mistake.
 
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Charlie98

Diamond Member
Nov 6, 2011
6,205
38
91
To be fair: I was (and still am) UNDERWHELMED by my EVGA GTX 970 SC ACX2.0 thermals and fan noise, there you have a point. I expected this card running really cool but it doesn't. It easily goes to 75C-77C and this with 140mm side-fan, a very good case and still cool weather conditions. (I live somewhere where it gets very hot in summer....)
I'm very pleased with my EVGA 970 SSC ACX2 card, it works very well and is boatloads quieter than my old 560Ti (duh...) and marginally quieter and more effective than my EVGA 760. It is not the best cooler on the market, and I really toyed with getting the Gigabyte... but stayed with EVGA because they have always treated me right.

This Powerdraw thing that's started up on the internet as we've moved into the "green" time is hilarious. People leave lights on, tvs on, all types of appliances on, but they're worried about a couple of seconds of time their GPU may POSSIBLY, and I mean POSSIBLY as in probably not, consume an additional 50-100 watts of power.

No one ever freaks out about turning on 1 additional lightbulb that adds an additional 50 watts of power. I've never seen a person go "Woah, can you unscrew one of those lightbulbs in your bathroom? You have 6 lightbulbs in an array in the bathroom and it consumes way too much power!!!" but 50-100 watts additional power in PC gaming under MAX LOAD gpu and we lose it...
I agree... people spaz out over electrical use. Just be smart and don't leave a bunch of stuff on, but I'll be damned if I'll live in a dark cave, or fret about a 50w difference in my PC use.
 

Subyman

Moderator <br> VC&G Forum
Mar 18, 2005
7,876
32
86
I wouldn't wait around for Skylake in your position. You'd be waiting at least 6 months for 5-10% more performance but then you'd have to purchase DDR4 and pay expensive launch prices. I'd go ahead and get a i5-4690K for $240 and pair that with a $100 motherboard for $340. Transfer your ram directly over to this new build and you'd be on your way. That set up will be plenty for years and years. Major CPU leaps are nearly dead.
 

futurefields

Diamond Member
Jun 2, 2012
6,471
29
91
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.
Didn't Nvidia say that there would be no special drivers for the 970?

Yet you are making it sound like Nvidia has to make a special driver for the 970 for each game.
 

sarfraz khan

Junior Member
Mar 27, 2015
9
0
0
www.xtremegaminerd.com
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
get r9 290 . It will be solid for gaming
 
Apr 24, 2015
5
0
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This Powerdraw thing that's started up on the internet as we've moved into the "green" time is hilarious. People leave lights on, tvs on, all types of appliances on, but they're worried about a couple of seconds of time their GPU may POSSIBLY, and I mean POSSIBLY as in probably not, consume an additional 50-100 watts of power.

No one ever freaks out about turning on 1 additional lightbulb that adds an additional 50 watts of power. I've never seen a person go "Woah, can you unscrew one of those lightbulbs in your bathroom? You have 6 lightbulbs in an array in the bathroom and it consumes way too much power!!!" but 50-100 watts additional power in PC gaming under MAX LOAD gpu and we lose it...

Just lol...

If you want the GTX 970 just keep it. I don't see why people have to dig so darn deep in their book of excuses. You're more comfortable with Nvidia, so why not get the card you're more comfortable getting? Digging 7 years back into CCC drivers, a 50-100 watt power difference, etc.
I enjoy Mercedes, I'll pay the price premium for that product if I can any day. I enjoy high end luxury clothing and jewelry and I'll pay the premium for that as well. But for computing, I will NEVER pay a premium, it's all about price to performance for a set level of quality that I want to obtain and the R9 290/290x are the only two cards out that can do that for me. GTX 980 is way too expensive for the per increase, GTX 970, just no. I got the HD7950, extra VRAM over the competition helps in longevity of your card, after being smart enough to listen to RS to make that decision the first time around and seeing how my card performs against the GTX 680(When I was willing to pay the premium for Nvidia), I am not making that same mistake.
Some people like highly over clocked systems that are also very quiet. For this, you need efficient thermals. Less heat means big fans spin slowly. Slower big fans means much less noise.

For these kind of people, only Intel and Nvidia will do.

Hey, if you don't give a crap about quality, then AMD will welcome you with open arms. Grab some AMD before they get renamed Samsung.
 

kasakka

Senior member
Mar 16, 2013
334
1
81
Didn't Nvidia say that there would be no special drivers for the 970?

Yet you are making it sound like Nvidia has to make a special driver for the 970 for each game.
They have managed to improve the segmented memory bandwidth and overall performance on it though. That said, I don't think they do game-specific drivers at all, just general improvements.
 

DaveSimmons

Elite Member
Aug 12, 2001
40,737
668
126
They have managed to improve the segmented memory bandwidth and overall performance on it though. That said, I don't think they do game-specific drivers at all, just general improvements.
Who knows? "Fool me once..."

nvidia tried to hide the memory issue until others forced them to come clean. Both ATI and nvidia have cheated on benchmarks with game-specific optimizations in the past. Put those together and it's hard for me to trust nvidia that these are really general-purpose improvements and not game-specific fixups.

If they really are general improvements, great. But if nvidia is just doing game-specific fixups then owners are in trouble in a year or two when nvidia stops caring about the 970.

I'd buy a 960, 980 or Titan if I needed to replace my 680, but I keep my cards for several years so I would not buy a 970 right now.
 

tential

Diamond Member
May 13, 2008
7,363
640
121
Some people like highly over clocked systems that are also very quiet. For this, you need efficient thermals. Less heat means big fans spin slowly. Slower big fans means much less noise.

For these kind of people, only Intel and Nvidia will do.

Hey, if you don't give a crap about quality, then AMD will welcome you with open arms. Grab some AMD before they get renamed Samsung.
"We found that the PowerColor PCS+ R9 290X was similar in noise compared to the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980’s blower fan when operating manually. The OC MSI GeForce GTX 970 4G had slightly quieter fans, so even at 70% they were a little quieter than the other video cards."
http://www.hardocp.com/article/2015/03/30/powercolor_pcs_r9_290x_video_card_review/10#.VT5vwlVVhBc

So I guess since the GTX 980's fan is as loud as the R9 290x it's not a viable card now?

But you're new here and by the way you worded your comments you're clearly looking to start something and may not be accustomed to how discussions work on here. You provide facts to back your claims up or reviews. Not just baseless comments.
 

RussianSensation

Elite Member
Sep 5, 2003
19,460
743
126
Some people like highly over clocked systems that are also very quiet. For this, you need efficient thermals. Less heat means big fans spin slowly. Slower big fans means much less noise.

For these kind of people, only Intel and Nvidia will do.

Hey, if you don't give a crap about quality, then AMD will welcome you with open arms. Grab some AMD before they get renamed Samsung.
Is this a troll post?

Sapphire TriX R9 290X = 37 dBA
Gigabyte G1 980 = 43 dBA

You cannot just make blanket statements that all AMD cards run hot and loud while all NV cards run cooler and quieter.

Also, when comparing PowerColor PCS+ R9 290 vs. MSI Gaming 970 inside the gaming case, both are uber quiet at idle and load.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KVv0at4IdZs
 
Feb 25, 2011
16,526
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"We found that the PowerColor PCS+ R9 290X was similar in noise compared to the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980’s blower fan when operating manually. The OC MSI GeForce GTX 970 4G had slightly quieter fans, so even at 70% they were a little quieter than the other video cards."
http://www.hardocp.com/article/2015/03/30/powercolor_pcs_r9_290x_video_card_review/10#.VT5vwlVVhBc

So I guess since the GTX 980's fan is as loud as the R9 290x it's not a viable card now?

But you're new here and by the way you worded your comments you're clearly looking to start something and may not be accustomed to how discussions work on here. You provide facts to back your claims up or reviews. Not just baseless comments.
Not every cooling solution is created equal.

But here's some basic physics:

The 980 has a stock TDP of 165w.
The R9 290X has a stock TDP of around 300w.

That's not power use, that's just the spec that the cooler has to be built to, according to nvidia/amd. Assuming an air-cooled case, that means more air moving to maintain operating temperature. (Whatever that may be.)

That doesn't mean that it's impossible to engineer a HSF that will cool a 290X at or below the noise level of a given dB. (Or even fanlessly, if you wanted to go that route.) But it's harder.

Which brings me back to "not all coolers are created equal." For instance, the review you're quoting is comparing open-style double- and triple-fan coolers on the 290X (which are usually quieter) to the 980 "blower" which is generally louder anyway. (But which usually performs pretty well, exhausts air outside the case, and is kind of a necessary evil if you have a small case.)

Anyway, IMNSHO, noise is a red herring. Because it varies from card to card, OEM to OEM, and case to case, it definitely isn't a reason to choose a 980 over a 290X (or visa versa).

Noise is a reason to choose an ASUS 290X over a Sapphire 290X (or visa versa) though. Or to say "screw it" and get an aftermarket cooler the size of a shoebox and douse it in LN2.
 

B-Riz

Golden Member
Feb 15, 2011
1,228
302
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Not every cooling solution is created equal.

But here's some basic physics:

The 980 has a stock TDP of 165w.
The R9 290X has a stock TDP of around 300w.

That's not power use, that's just the spec that the cooler has to be built to, according to nvidia/amd. Assuming an air-cooled case, that means more air moving to maintain operating temperature. (Whatever that may be.)

That doesn't mean that it's impossible to engineer a HSF that will cool a 290X at or below the noise level of a given dB. (Or even fanlessly, if you wanted to go that route.) But it's harder.

Which brings me back to "not all coolers are created equal." For instance, the review you're quoting is comparing open-style double- and triple-fan coolers on the 290X (which are usually quieter) to the 980 "blower" which is generally louder anyway. (But which usually performs pretty well, exhausts air outside the case, and is kind of a necessary evil if you have a small case.)

Anyway, IMNSHO, noise is a red herring. Because it varies from card to card, OEM to OEM, and case to case, it definitely isn't a reason to choose a 980 over a 290X (or visa versa).

Noise is a reason to choose an ASUS 290X over a Sapphire 290X (or visa versa) though. Or to say "screw it" and get an aftermarket cooler the size of a shoebox and douse it in LN2.
You're not a true PC Gamer unless you have a fan controller or 2, and turn everything up to 11 before loading whatever you are going to play. :)
 

omek

Member
Nov 18, 2007
137
0
0
I am still not excluding a R290(X) as a potential alternative card but I entirely admit it's difficult to switch once you had Nvidia for several years...
I've had NVIDIA cards for years and years... and years and have run multiple SLI configurations for the last 4 years now and I also had the same apprehension as I went multi-290X but it's really no different. AMD's drivers are on par with NVIDIA as far as functionality and ease of use - I've also found more games to run Crossfire out of the gate than SLI, less profile shenanigans (I must be in the minority) and overall better frame timings while CF'ed.
With one 290X you should have no problems.
 

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