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What drives your GPU buying decisions?

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Diamond Member
Mar 25, 2010
PS: I like to ask to the people suddenly valuing power consumption if that factor was important to them in the Fermi era.. This thread is a testament for possible goalposts shifting when the next generation arrives and certainly will be quoting-material.
Most definitely. I had an HD 5870 during that era. Fermi was a hog! I even got the GF the more efficient GTX 460 1GB since she isn't into high FPS as much as I am.


Aug 3, 2010
The quietest, reliable card in my price range. That being said, I've really soured on Nvidia and their business practices, so "the quietest, reliable AMD card in my price range" is probably more accurate right now. I've been incredibly pleased with my Asus R9 270, but I'm itching to see what Polaris brings.
Feb 19, 2009
An informed buyer would, if the performance is similar, price is similar, go for the GPU that has better metrics in other factors: noise, cooling, power usage. These metrics have always been measured by review sites, it's all important.

Besides these, I'm sure there's more personal factors, like ecosystem preferences ("drivers" & features), longevity aka "future proofing" (how often one upgrades) and even perceived company ethics.

I did own a Kepler 670 that was on-par with my 7950, for about 6 months of it's lifespan, after which the 7950 picked up and left it in the dust ever since. Because I upgrade every ~3 years, future proofing is high on my list. Hence, I bought R290s & R290X.

In the next gen, regardless of the tech, I will not go with NV simply due to their unethical pushing of propriety features and planned obsolescence.


Platinum Member
Nov 15, 2005
I don't keep cards for more than a year or maybe two years max. I usually look for the best value cards for the performance (lately AMD 390, Fury X when on sale, the Nano would count but they're essentially defective by design so I don't include them) and I look for the best technology and capabilities of those cards. Maxwell did wonders for power efficiency so an Asus ITX 970 currently sits in my custom Osmi case and works great.

For the future I'll be looking for the best AMD cards that can run 4K without issues. Dual Fury X's come close and is a better buy than SLI 980Ti's in this configuration so I'll be keeping a good eye on Polaris. I want to go single card though as crossfire / SLI support is still lacking in many games and adds unneccassry latency and judder that I could live without.

I also mine coins in between gaming sessions so most of my AMD cards have traditially paid for themselves which is a nice bonus and Nvidias recent business ethics and practice's are keeping me away from considering new Pascal cards.

VR is the wild card though. I'm interested in how both companies will deal with it but when I look at current recommended specs I kind of have to laugh to myself as that's being overly optimistic given how many FPS are needed without inducing motion sickness.

Also interested in HDR gaming but will have to pass if only VA panels are going to be used. They're just not fast enough so hopefully IPS with zone lighting panels are released for a reasonable price.


Golden Member
Oct 14, 2014
First criterion is performance range, I'll filter out based on whether or not it can meet my criteria for performance. Note that that's a floor and not a ceiling. I may make an exception in exceedingly rare cases like when I just need a card now and something cool is on the horizon.

Next is performance per dollar per year. This is of course blatant conjecture and prone to wild bias. However the basic idea is pretty much guessing how long the thing will last, then how much performance I'm getting over that lifespan. I personally like to dress up my guesses by reading a bunch, looking at the architecture and calling them educated conjuncture because it makes me feel better about my purchasing decisions. However, sometimes this backfires, such as when I learned that my nice 970 that I was counting on to last three years rather than two actually had a weird memory architecture that I wasn't sanguine about having real longevity. I wasn't happy. I'm still not happy.

Power consumption is not a concern, but its symptoms are. I have a big enough UPS for my computer, which includes a 290. That's a firm ceiling. I'm also not a huge fan of noise. That's a soft ceiling but I'll easily pay 5% more for a better cooler.

Honestly that's pretty much it but I will confess that I have biases. A really good and pretty cooler goes a long way with me. I still want a Fury X. I'd put that thing on my desk once it's not a viable GPU and just play with it.

As far as brand preference goes, I'm still mad at NV, I'm not confident at all with their long term performance, I consider buying the underdog to be helping keep the marketplace balanced which is very much in my long term interest, and I like to lie to myself and pretend the invisible hand works and the consumer punishing poor behavior is something that can actually happen. So I'll go out of my way to buy AMD. If it's the market when the 970 came out and the 290 was still 600 dollars and for some bizarre reason I have no reason to think it'll change, then I'll buy NV. If not I'll go to the segments that hit my performance criteria and pick the best way to rent performance from AMD.


Diamond Member
Nov 16, 2006
Price to performance at the $200.00 mark is my everything. If I can't get at least a 50% improvement in performance for $200.00 then I'm sitting that upgrade cycle out.

Everything else is gravy: power, features, dev support etc.


Platinum Member
Jul 28, 2015
Nvidia has been shafting their not-current gen cards, so ta hell with 'em. Not supporting that black-box Gameworks nonsense neither.

Only leaves AMD, really. And when it comes to purchasing components, me ceiling is £80. Get the best component at that price (GPU, CPU, sound card, maybe mobo?) and call it a day.

That, and me PSU is a lowly 450w, so that leaves me ta pick frae cards with fewer than 2 pci-e power connectors.

Here's hoping Polaris finally comes up with the 7850's successor.


Senior member
Jan 10, 2013
All the people listing price/performance as their primary or only criteria who aren't using a $100 video card are either lying for some unknown reason, or not understanding what price/performance is. Beyond fluke sales there are no cards that beat cards in the $100 range for price/performance. $300 cards not 3 times faster than $100 cards nor are $600 cards 6 times faster.
I don't think that's true. 100$ gets you a 750Ti, 300$ gets you a 970. A 970 is about 3 times faster than a 750Ti, give or take. It's only above 300$ that price stops matching performance.


Senior member
Sep 18, 2013
price/perf. powercon. doesnt matter because i dont game very much. i want the best perf for my buck.


Nov 4, 2015
Price to performance followed by performance per watt. Obviously my current card is very power hungry if left unchecked, luckily AMD tends to be very conservative with estimating sufficient voltage thus I have mine undervolted by 31mv and power limit set to -25% in Afterburner.


Golden Member
Aug 9, 2005
1) reliability - it's got to play the games I want to play without breaking or needing special driver installs, or tweaks or any of that rubbish.
2) features - it's got to support features I care about (e.g. 3D)
3) noise - doesn't have to be silent, but it can't be loud, or have annoying coil whine.
4) performance - best performance for the money.
5) price - obviously I have a price range, but it is flexible.

Tbh 1 is way above the others.