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GPU Choice for a Long Term Build (4-5 Years)

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#1
Hello All,

I am trying to decide on a GPU for my long term build. I have asked this question before when I narrowed my choice to the GTX 780 (and I thank everyone who helped me the first time), but now with the 290X, the 780 price drop, and the rumored 780 Rev 2 chip (GHz), I am now back to square one.

Here is the background: I only build a new computer every 4-5 years (due to funding reasons and need). My current GPU is two AMD Radeon 4890’s in crossfire. I will be building a complete new build, and my choice is a 4770K for the CPU, and the Asus Maximus Hero for the MB.

I will want to get two GPU’s in Crossfire/SLI, more for the longevity aspect. I felt that with my current build I was able to play the newer games this year with higher settings because I had the crossfire set up, and I want to continue with that. My current monitor is a 1980x1080, and if I did upgrade my monitor, I would either go 2560x1440 or 120Hz monitor (no 3D), both at 27in. I know that GPU’s that I am looking at are overkill (really overkill) for the resolution I am at (or will be). Based on my experience, they would be overkill now, but as time goes on, and games get more intensive I would be covered the best I can. I know I cannot “future proof” my build, but I can at least mitigate the future requirements.

Here is my choices (SLI/Crossfire):
1) R9 290X non-reference (Asus Direct CU II most likely)
2) EVGA GTX 780 SC
3) GTX 780 (GHz), EVGA SC if it is available (if it is just a rumor, then not an option).

One of the questions that I have for the 290X vs. the GTX 780 is the vram. Does 4Gb make a huge difference vs. 3Gb? I know that games like Battlefield 3 state that the minimum requirements are 3Gb, and also games like Skyrim (which I play), can use a lot of vram if you utilize a lot of Mods (which I do), and I will most likely play any future Skyrim games as well. I also play games like BioShock, Fallout (with Mods), and different MMO’s (not WoW).

In regards to the Power Supply, would a 1000w SeaSonic Platinum be enough?

I am planning to start my build in late December (Christmas).

Also, the GTX 780Ti, would not be an option due to the price. I am looking at a price of $550-$600 per GPU max, and $600 is a little high for me.

I apologize for the length of the post, but I want to make sure I present all of the information.

Thank you all in advance!!
 

brandonwh64

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#2
Your best bet for the price is 290x
 
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#3
Your best bet for the price is 290x
Yea... that'll keep you going for a while. I still have a 5870 from 4 or so years ago and it can handle just about anything.

3GB vs 4GB... wouldn't matter unless you are running multiple monitors at insane resolutions.
 

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#4
I'd go 290 at the very least and would not get a nVidia card cheaper or not as the only reason they are lower is because of AMD..

So give money to those who are helping the prices to be lower and not to the one who tried to rip you off not to long ago.
 
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#5
So give money to those who are helping the prices to be lower and not to the one who tried to rip you off not to long ago.
that should be sigged by everyone, it wont be long before AMD drop prices on the ref R9's when the aftermarket come out.
 
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#6
GTX is beter say why?

Hello All,

I am trying to decide on a GPU for my long term build. I have asked this question before when I narrowed my choice to the GTX 780 (and I thank everyone who helped me the first time), but now with the 290X, the 780 price drop, and the rumored 780 Rev 2 chip (GHz), I am now back to square one.

Here is the background: I only build a new computer every 4-5 years (due to funding reasons and need). My current GPU is two AMD Radeon 4890’s in crossfire. I will be building a complete new build, and my choice is a 4770K for the CPU, and the Asus Maximus Hero for the MB.

I will want to get two GPU’s in Crossfire/SLI, more for the longevity aspect. I felt that with my current build I was able to play the newer games this year with higher settings because I had the crossfire set up, and I want to continue with that. My current monitor is a 1980x1080, and if I did upgrade my monitor, I would either go 2560x1440 or 120Hz monitor (no 3D), both at 27in. I know that GPU’s that I am looking at are overkill (really overkill) for the resolution I am at (or will be). Based on my experience, they would be overkill now, but as time goes on, and games get more intensive I would be covered the best I can. I know I cannot “future proof” my build, but I can at least mitigate the future requirements.

Here is my choices (SLI/Crossfire):
1) R9 290X non-reference (Asus Direct CU II most likely)
2) EVGA GTX 780 SC
3) GTX 780 (GHz), EVGA SC if it is available (if it is just a rumor, then not an option).

One of the questions that I have for the 290X vs. the GTX 780 is the vram. Does 4Gb make a huge difference vs. 3Gb? I know that games like Battlefield 3 state that the minimum requirements are 3Gb, and also games like Skyrim (which I play), can use a lot of vram if you utilize a lot of Mods (which I do), and I will most likely play any future Skyrim games as well. I also play games like BioShock, Fallout (with Mods), and different MMO’s (not WoW).

In regards to the Power Supply, would a 1000w SeaSonic Platinum be enough?

I am planning to start my build in late December (Christmas).

Also, the GTX 780Ti, would not be an option due to the price. I am looking at a price of $550-$600 per GPU max, and $600 is a little high for me.

I apologize for the length of the post, but I want to make sure I present all of the information.

Thank you all in advance!!
hi my good frieand
i think GTX 780 or 780ti is beter than R290 or R290x say why?
1-GTX 780 and 780 ti nvidia soon updated for gpu clock or GHz edition coming
2-GTX series nvidia droped and cut price in 500 to 590 max
3-GTX sreies is faster go see any bech to all sites
4-waiting for GTX 780 TI this card nvidia cuts price cheaper than r290x and faster
5-GTX 780ti faster than 780&titan&r290x
6-last words waiting for 780 ti cheaper and faster
 
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#7
Wait until the custom built 290x cards come out and get reviewed. At 1440p i've seen a few games sail close to 3gb vram usage. In two years there might be a few games using well over 3gb of memory. When that happens a 780 3gb sli set up will suffer.
Sit tight for a month or so then if the custom 290x cards impress they should be your choice.

Think how long you want to use these for and how much power and memory 1440p resolution will use in a few years. 3gb might not cut it.
 
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#8
hi my good frieand
i think GTX 780 or 780ti is beter than R290 or R290x say why?
1-GTX 780 and 780 ti nvidia soon updated for gpu clock or GHz edition coming
2-GTX series nvidia droped and cut price in 500 to 590 max
3-GTX sreies is faster go see any bech to all sites
4-waiting for GTX 780 TI this card nvidia cuts price cheaper than r290x and faster
5-GTX 780ti faster than 780&titan&r290x
6-last words I LOVE NVIDIA and the 780
corrected that for ya

OP R9 290x in crossfire beat any sli setup bar full titan sli(in some games) just ask wizz so if your buying now go with them get full cover blocks on them a 360 rad and sit happy through 5 years of joy, or go with nvidia spend more because the Ti and boost are not going to be cheaper or better than a 290x(and will be easily pipped by a normal amd driver update post release of the Ti let alone Mantel which will bring the shovel:rockout:), this is my opinion.
 
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#9
I would pick up a couple of the evga GTX 780s if you can't afford the 780ti. You can get them today for under $500 with a Newegg coupon code, the dropped price and the rebate. Plus you get 6 games (2x batman arkham origins, splintercell blacklist, assassins creed black flag) so you can easily sell the extra games for $50-75 bucks. That means your total cost comes to aproximately $915 w/3 games. The EVGA is one of the better overclocking cards and it is easily as good or better than the 290x and with multi-gpu nVidia has always been better IMO.

It is possible that the 290x aftermarket cards will be good, but I doubt they will be significantly better and they will be more expensive too. If they end up $575 that's a $235 difference, that's most of your cpu...
 
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#10
Think how long you want to use these for and how much power and memory 1440p resolution will use in a few years. 3gb might not cut it.
No truer statement than that. If I was in your position with 1440p plans in mind, I wouldn't look at less than 4gb vram [regardless of Amd or Nvidia].
 
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#11
OP is the 290 not available in your area? That + ~700W-800W PSU would be my choice.....

You may not use 4GB right now but in 3yrs time....you'll be glad of the extra 1GB....
 

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#12
Try to look for a used 780, I know there are some people who sidegraded to 290x.
 
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#13
Makes way more sense to get a single 780/290x right now, why?

With the same amount of money you bought the 780/290x you can probably buy a GPU that's twice as fast as the two I mentioned in a couple of years and have strong single GPU performance without multi GPU issues.

If you really wanna buy two GPUs right now well you should get the 780, it has much better multi gpu drivers behind and I'm kinda sorry to say it as I like ATI/AMD more.

Also massive lol to who said thanks to AMD for driving prices down and being the "paladin".

If AMD had a refined product that was a good percentage faster than the titan and it hadn't cooling issues do you really think they'd still price it at its current price?

AMD and nvidia are in the market to make money not to please you with their prices or to save you from another.

Didn't history teach you anything? Hello? AMD Athlon FX processors, doesn't it ring a bell? Hypocrisy.
 
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#14
I'd go 290 at the very least and would not get a nVidia card cheaper or not as the only reason they are lower is because of AMD..

So give money to those who are helping the prices to be lower and not to the one who tried to rip you off not to long ago.
Is this a joke ? AMD wanted almost $600 for the 7970 and $450 for the 7950 when they came out.

NVidia released the 670/680 which where not only faster but $50-75 CHEAPER and then AMD dropped the prices of both by $100

I don't understand your point ? This is EXACTLY what AMD did last video card series...... (I hope this is a joke post and that your really not that ignorant)
 
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#15
I think everyone in this thread is very optimistic thinking that custom R9 290X's will be available for a December purchase; they haven't even been announced yet.

Considering you have to live with the computer for 5 years, I would think the noise factor is important (if the card is too loud, you're stuck with it for 5 years and can't change anything). That rules out the reference R9 290X, which is 6dB louder than your current 4890 (already considered a loud card to begin with). Since the release date for custom R9 290X's is as of right now is just speculation, I think one of the 780 variants is the best choice. Depending on the reviews of the R9 290 tomorrow, that might be worth considering too.

If you were considering a mid-range 2GB card I would advise against it, but I wouldn't debate about whether 3GB or 4GB of VRAM on a high end card will make a huge difference in 5 years; that extra 1GB won't make the difference between whether a game is playable or not. The memory argument is like asking if 768MB or 1GB is an adequate amount of VRAM in 2013. The answer is no either way. Also, the speed of the core and shaders will restrict performance well before the limited VRAM will. This is especially true since you do not have 4K resolution planned.

The 1000W power supply is sufficient for stock clocks or a light overclock, although it doesn't leave much room if you desire to push your GPU overclock and choose dual R9 290X's (600W alone at stock, which leaves only 100-150W for the GPU overclock). As far as the CPU power consumption Haswell is extremely power efficient, and if you desire to overclock you will kill the chip well before you max out your power supply (150W is extreme for Haswell; 130W is more typical of a very high overclock).

And for the other posters saying "buy AMD only because they started a price war," can we please stay on topic? This thread is not about ideology, this is about finding the OP a product that he can buy in December and use for 5 years.
 
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#16
If you were considering a mid-range 2GB card I would advise against it, but I wouldn't debate about whether 3GB or 4GB of VRAM on a high end card will make a huge difference in 5 years; that extra 1GB won't make the difference between whether a game is playable or not. The memory argument is like asking if 768MB or 1GB is an adequate amount of VRAM in 2013. The answer is no either way. Also, the speed of the core and shaders will restrict performance well before the limited VRAM will. This is especially true since you do not have 4K resolution planned.
I have been hearing from a lot of people that games like Skyrim with Mods, would eat up the 3Gb. I do play Skyrim with some large mods. Should I be worried that a 3Gb card would be an issue?

The 1000W power supply is sufficient for stock clocks or a light overclock, although it doesn't leave much room if you desire to push your GPU overclock and choose dual R9 290X's (600W alone at stock, which leaves only 100-150W for the GPU overclock). As far as the CPU power consumption Haswell is extremely power efficient, and if you desire to overclock you will kill the chip well before you max out your power supply (150W is extreme for Haswell; 130W is more typical of a very high overclock).
I do not plan on doing any major OC'ing. All i would really do is OC the CPU a little bit. But, if I wanted to, should I go with a larger PSU. Currently I am looking at 1000W Platimum, should I go with a 1200W Gold?
 

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#17
I do not plan on doing any major OC'ing. All i would really do is OC the CPU a little bit. But, if I wanted to, should I go with a larger PSU. Currently I am looking at 1000W Platimum, should I go with a 1200W Gold?
Do the maths: 150w for Haswell, 300 each for 290x. You can settle for 850w and still have plenty of room for everything else.
 

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#18
Is this a joke ? AMD wanted almost $600 for the 7970 and $450 for the 7950 when they came out.

NVidia released the 670/680 which where not only faster but $50-75 CHEAPER and then AMD dropped the prices of both by $100

I don't understand your point ? This is EXACTLY what AMD did last video card series...... (I hope this is a joke post and that your really not that ignorant)
Works vise versa always support the one that's trying to give lower prices and at this time it's AMD by a long shot.

And lets face it AMD is the much smaller company here too..

Just that it pisses me off that people want lower prices and get them ( in this case AMD ) and they buy from the other company who was charging much more.
 
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#19
hi my good frieand
i think GTX 780 or 780ti is beter than R290 or R290x say why?
1-GTX 780 and 780 ti nvidia soon updated for gpu clock or GHz edition coming
2-GTX series nvidia droped and cut price in 500 to 590 max
3-GTX sreies is faster go see any bech to all sites
4-waiting for GTX 780 TI this card nvidia cuts price cheaper than r290x and faster
5-GTX 780ti faster than 780&titan&r290x
6-last words waiting for 780 ti cheaper and faster
Nvidia embarrasses itself on price to performance ratio even within it's own lineup.

GTX 760 SLI Review Guru3D

"Interesting is that two of these cards are priced roughly 40% lower then say a GeForce GTX Titan, yet you'll hover at roughly the same performance."

http://www.guru3d.com/articles_pages/geforce_gtx_760_sli_review,19.html

Their 760 is the only spot in their line where they really have good bang for buck, but many would rather not deal with the problems you run into with multi GPU setups regarding hit and miss results and lower VRAM. AMD are the only ones offering high end cards at a decent price with a good amount of VRAM.

Those wanting to run their GPUs 4-5 years really SHOULD consider price, because in even half that time many start regretting cards that have a hefty price tag.
 
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#20
I'd defo go for 290x and then dual setup down the line, for your budget it is the best performer by a country mile, who gives a shit about power or noise, I sure as hell don't and I'm on a payment meter for my electric! in a year or so you're going to be able to pick up another for maybe £300 and 2 of those whilst you won't be able to overclock the snot out of them due to how power hungry they are will server you better than 2 780's.

Their 760 is the only spot in their line where they really have good bang for buck, but many would rather not deal with the problems you run into with multi GPU setups regarding hit and miss results and lower VRAM. AMD are the only ones offering high end cards at a decent price with a good amount of VRAM.

Those wanting to run their GPUs 4-5 years really SHOULD consider price, because in even half that time many start regretting cards that have a hefty price tag.
Whilst I somewhat agree with this statement, I also think that high end cards whilst more expensive obviously do have better longevity than mid range cards in multi GPU setups. Example, I'm pretty sure there are still some people running dual 5870's that splashed out a lot when they first came out but they are still able to run a lot of todays games with that setup compared to those who went dual 5770's (which I might add was a belter for price/performance 3 years ago, testament to myself having run 2 of those in CrossfireX config for a year or so)
 
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#22
I have been hearing from a lot of people that games like Skyrim with Mods, would eat up the 3Gb. I do play Skyrim with some large mods. Should I be worried that a 3Gb card would be an issue?
Skyrim is an extreme example of memory usage (~2.5GB), and I don't think the memory usage in the future will be much more than that. The reason is that the Skyrim mods use 4K textures, which by definition are all that is necessary for up to a 4K resolution. More games will move to 4K textures in the future, but since there is no reason for larger than 4K textures at the moment I don't see a reason why VRAM usage would increase over what the Skyrim mods have. Plus, there are memory management algorithms coming, like partially resident textures, which will significantly reduce VRAM usage while still having large textures.

I do not plan on doing any major OC'ing. All i would really do is OC the CPU a little bit. But, if I wanted to, should I go with a larger PSU. Currently I am looking at 1000W Platimum, should I go with a 1200W Gold?
If you have no plans to overclock the GPUs, 1000W is more than enough for two GPUs and a CPU overclock. The efficiency difference between Gold and Platinum is miniscule, so I would pick whichever of the two is less expensive.

Do the maths: 150w for Haswell, 300 each for 290x. You can settle for 850w and still have plenty of room for everything else.
You're leaving only 100W for the rest of the system including fans, motherboard, and storage, which in a high end system is cutting it close. You probably can use 850W but that would be almost 100% of capacity. I prefer to not run my system that close to capacity because it is the loudest part of the PSU's fan curve. Also remember that as power supplies age, they lose some capacity. If he plans to keep his system for 5 years, this could be an issue with a 850W supply.
 
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#23
You're leaving only 100W for the rest of the system including fans, motherboard, and storage, which in a high end system is cutting it close. You probably can use 850W but that would be almost 100% of capacity. I prefer to not run my system that close to capacity because it is the loudest part of the PSU's fan curve. Also remember that as power supplies age, they lose some capacity. If he plans to keep his system for 5 years, this could be an issue with a 850W supply.
You wouldn't even hit 750w at maximum stress test, and less than 600w during normal operations (Haswell keeps under 100w, and about 250w from each 290x). There are plenty of room to spare, and a good power supply will not lose 100w over its lifetime.
 
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#24
You wouldn't even hit 750w at maximum stress test, and less than 600w during normal operations (Haswell keeps under 100w, and about 250w from each 290x). There are plenty of room to spare, and a good power supply will not lose 100w over its lifetime.
I disagree with your numbers, but only because he stated an intent to overclock his CPU. A R9 290X uses 282W peak in "Quiet" mode (note: this is peak in games, not Furmark) and an overclocked 4.7GHz 4770K system (everything but the GPU and case fans) consumes 171W peak. Together that's 732W. Add in about 20W for case fans and that's at your 750W number. Perform stress tests like Furmark and you'll get to that 850W pretty easily.

As I said, 850W is possible for the system but just barely. I would error on the side of a slightly larger capacity since he plans to keep the system for 5 years in order to deal with any sort of power supply aging. Yes, the aging effect would be minimal in a quality power supply, but if you're that close to capacity every watt counts. Plus, running your power supply close to capacity is less efficient than near the middle of its range and you also don't have to deal with a screaming loud PSU fan that would occur at 100% capacity.
 
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#25
I disagree with your numbers, but only because he stated an intent to overclock his CPU. A R9 290X uses 282W peak in "Quiet" mode (note: this is peak in games, not Furmark) and an overclocked 4.7GHz 4770K system (everything but the GPU and case fans) consumes 171W peak. Together that's 732W. Add in about 20W for case fans and that's at your 750W number. Perform stress tests like Furmark and you'll get to that 850W pretty easily.

As I said, 850W is possible for the system but just barely. I would error on the side of a slightly larger capacity since he plans to keep the system for 5 years in order to deal with any sort of power supply aging. Yes, the aging effect would be minimal in a quality power supply, but if you're that close to capacity every watt counts. Plus, running your power supply close to capacity is less efficient than near the middle of its range and you also don't have to deal with a screaming loud PSU fan that would occur at 100% capacity.
Isn't peak running Furmark which like IBT will stress a GPU (as opposed to CPU) like no game or real world application?

I'll only run those types of programs for a very short amount of time to test short term, high OC stability, if I do longer term testing it would be with something like P95 or 3DMark