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Help me choose a GFX card

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#1
Hi everyone,

My 5870's fan is dying so I thought it is past time that I upgrade. I have few questions/requests, but please see my system specs first.

1- I need you to point me to a single GPU that can handle most, if not all, games @ 5760x1080 maxed out. I am torn between GTX 780 and R9 290. Which one performs better for me? Will the larger frame buffer on the AMD one be more suitable? After struggling with drivers for the good part of the last 4 years, I prefer nVidia. (I am open to other graphics cards as well.)

2- Will my system (CPU-mobo) bottleneck the performance of the new GPU?

3- Will my PSU handle the mentioned cards, kindly note that it's 4 years old but is still doing well.

4- Do you recommend waiting for the next gen DX12 cards? I can't spend $500+ on GPUs yearly. Is my understanding that the 290 already supports DX12 correct? What about nVidia's cards? Waiting means that I should find a way to grease the fan of my 5870 or roll back to my old 8800GT :(

Thanks in advance.
 
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RCoon

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#2
No, CPU will not bottleneck unless you're playing CPU orientated games (See genre: RTS), and no, you should not wait for DX12 cards, because DX12 will not be required for a long long time, many years away.

From what I can tell from reviews, the list from worst to best in terms of reference cards is 290>780>290X>780ti

Whatever your budget is, get the best card you can afford. At your resolution I'd warrant a 4GB card, then again if you want everything maxed out, you're going to need a 780ti.

EDIT: I like NVida's drivers, but I prefer AMD's price. If I hadn't already bought 2 780's when they initially released, I'd have bought a 290X.
 
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#3
Thank you for your answer, any thoughts on the PSU?
 
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#4
Is @cadaveca still around? I wish to hear his input.
 

RCoon

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#5
Thank you for your answer, any thoughts on the PSU?
Oh my, quad 20A 12v rails? Well that's awkward. That's 240W per rail... the 780 pulls 268W during Furmark, which is a totally ridiculous test that you will never ecnounter in games, so your GPU would be scraping against the margin the rail is capable of providing. You might get away with it.

EDIT: It's not Bronze rated, and it's not really an enthusiast grade product. I'd recommend a new 550W+ Bronze rated PSU.
 
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#6
Oh my, quad 20A 12v rails? Well that's awkward. That's 240W per rail... the 780 pulls 268W during Furmark, which a totally ridiculous test that you will never enounter, so you GPU would be scraping against the margin the rail is capable of providing. You might get away with it.

EDIT: It's not Bronze rated, and it's not really an enthusiast grade product. I'd recommend a new 550W+ Bronze rated PSU.
Is there a possibility that the PSU will damage the new GPU? I think I can get both rails to provide juice to the card by trial and error, but I'm not sure.
And IIRC the 780/780ti draw less power, right?

Edit: I just saw you edit. Ok so you think I should replace it. I thought FSP is the OEM of many famous enthusiast PSUs :(
 

RCoon

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#7
I thought FSP is the OEM of many famous enthusiast PSUs
It is, but the Epsilon 800W unit is not exactly amazing. Don't get me wrong, it's not terrible, but it's not Bronze rated, and it uses low ampage rails, and 4 of them. The 780 uses 268W in furmark, the 780ti uses even more. Yeah if you pulled power from two separate rails it would be ok, but now is a good time to upgrade your PSU. It wouldn't damage the GPU, the PC would just shut off if it can't pull enough power.
 
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#8
Bump.
 
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#9
@RCoon I just wanted you to know that I upgraded to a single GTX 780 ti (Evga SC) and everything was fine apart from PC restarting in 3Dmark 2013, which was resolved when I upgraded my PSU to Deep Cool Quanta DQ 750w.

Thank you for your help.
 
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#10
...DX12 will not be required for a long long time, many years away.
MS says they plan to implement Dx12 at end of 2015. How is that "many years"?

And if you're arguing that most devs will take their sweet time implementing it like Dx11, this is a different scenario entirely. Most of the intent with Dx12 is a low level API design intended to improve performance, so I would think most devs would want to take advantage of that right away.

The only exception would be if those improvements are not what MS is touting them to be, and/or there are stumbling blocks the likes of which Mantle faced, but that we've yet to see.

I guess I'm a bit biased though, because I plan to build an entire new rig around DDR4 and possibly one of the high end Maxwells when they come down in price, and that will likely be near the launch of Dx12/W9.
 
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#11
@Frag Maniac : I guess most game developers will stick with DX11 for a while because it is what the consoles use and some developers have just started using DX11 to begin with.
Looking back at games like the witcher 2 which was both gorgeous looking and graphically intensive while using DX9 makes one wonder if the latest API is really required to make good looking games.
 

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#12
All you need to do is take a look at the list of DX11.1 games that are being released in relation to how many remain DX10/11 let alone DX12, of course you can always adopt that age old theory of "Let Microsoft develop DX12, let card manufacturers develop and market DX12 enabled cards, buy one and then find after 2 years there are less than 10 games released that support it"

I acknowledge things are speeding up a little over the old DX10 adoption days but as I said, games development and adoption remains pretty slow.
 
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#13
Another point: I read a while ago that the current AMD cards will support DX12 out of the box and it made me wonder if the new API will bring any significant changes at all. I hope it will, but I doubt it is merely a marketing stunt.
 
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#14
If Watch_Dogs is anything to go by, you will need as much VRAM as you can. This game eats up more than 3 gigs with high textures (There's very high too) and Medium to High settings (There's Ultra after those).
between a 780 and a 290, I'd recommend you get a 290. It's cheaper, a little faster at ~1080p and much faster at 4K/Eyefinity multi-monitor stuff (Because not only it has 4 GB of VRAM, it has 64 ROPs which gives it a lot of pixel pushing oomph than a 780 can manage with a comparatively measly 48 ROPs and 3GB framebuffer.
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/MSI/GTX_780_Gaming_6_GB/20.html
You might want to consider a 6GB 780, but that's too expensive for what it is in my opinion.