Need advice on buying a new GPU

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Need advice on buying a new GPU

Postby Amuscaria » Mon Mar 02, 2015 4:57 pm

It's been several years since I've gotten a new gfx card for my computer, and my new rig is still using the old Radeon 6770 HD I've gotten from way back. It's obviously very outdated.

I'm currently looking at this card: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00SC6 ... UTF8&psc=1

I'm wondering how good it is compared to older models and to the current the AMD Radeon competitor in comparison.

I need a new card for my Zbrush and graphics editing, as I've started to mod Skyrim and will be using it extensively in the future for my career.
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Re: Need advice on buying a new GPU

Postby Xtyfe » Mon Mar 02, 2015 6:09 pm

The Geforce 960 is a great mid range card, I wouldn't recommend an ATI card for anything :p
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Re: Need advice on buying a new GPU

Postby leileilol » Mon Mar 02, 2015 6:30 pm

An anti-recommendation is the GTX 980. Nvidia totally pulled a Creative Labs* on that one





* - the higher memory is slower, similar to the AWE64's extra 32 voices are slower
** - and arguably pulling an nVidia. COUGHCOUGH GEFORCE FX COUGHCOUGH

also no matter whether nvidia or amd just having 4gb of VRAM can crash a lot of older games and potentially some more recent ones. quite similar to that 32-bit/64-bit 4gb system RAM compatibility barrier hurdle that was jumped some time ago. So in 2015 right now it's just marchitecture, and professional artists render beauty shots from their CPU using system memory anyway since gaming video cards aren't exactly the most precise thing in the world.


Also a better video card cannot (and will not) compensate for Bethesda's incompetence. You should be upgrading in mind for UnrealEngine4 production, not a frankensteined Gamebryo/netImmerse. Either AMD or Nvidia will do for that. The difference between the two are mostly driver politics, OpenCL (AMD) and PhysX (nVidia)


Also the zdoom forums aren't exactly the most fair place for this question either. Given gzdoom's nvidia reliance, there will be an nvidia bias.
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Re: Need advice on buying a new GPU

Postby Graf Zahl » Mon Mar 02, 2015 6:49 pm

leileilol wrote:Given gzdoom's nvidia reliance, there will be an nvidia bias.


Make that 'NVidia's GL driver superiority'.

No matter what software you use, the 20x slower draw calls on AMD are an undisputable fact. And the generally delayed driver development as well.
If you way want to use OpenGL on Windows in any way, better skip AMD.
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Re: Need advice on buying a new GPU

Postby Xtyfe » Mon Mar 02, 2015 6:57 pm

Whats wrong with the 980?
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Re: Need advice on buying a new GPU

Postby MG_Man » Mon Mar 02, 2015 8:02 pm

leileilol wrote:An anti-recommendation is the GTX 980. Nvidia totally pulled a Creative Labs* on that one

Wasn't that the 970 not the 980?
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Re: Need advice on buying a new GPU

Postby Nevander » Mon Mar 02, 2015 8:03 pm

What's wrong with AMD?
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Re: Need advice on buying a new GPU

Postby Hellser » Mon Mar 02, 2015 8:19 pm

Nevander wrote:What's wrong with AMD?


AMD is generally lousy at OpenGL code, and GZDoom shows it well.
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Re: Need advice on buying a new GPU

Postby BouncyTEM » Mon Mar 02, 2015 8:24 pm

They also eat power like crazy. :(

I honestly dislike both gpu manufacturers for different reasons, but there's no real alternative.
Last edited by BouncyTEM on Mon Mar 02, 2015 8:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Need advice on buying a new GPU

Postby MetroidJunkie » Mon Mar 02, 2015 8:25 pm

Graf Zahl wrote:
leileilol wrote:Given gzdoom's nvidia reliance, there will be an nvidia bias.


Make that 'NVidia's GL driver superiority'.

No matter what software you use, the 20x slower draw calls on AMD are an undisputable fact. And the generally delayed driver development as well.
If you way want to use OpenGL on Windows in any way, better skip AMD.


On the other hand, in terms of mid-performance cards, AMD cards tend to provide much better performance than Nvidia cards of a comparable price range, as I found out when I was shopping for a card. Guess it depends on whether you'll be using it primarily for commercial games, which tend to use DirectX, or for more open sourced community made games, which tend to use OpenGL. I can say that GZDoom mostly works just fine on my AMD Card, the only real hurdle is I had to use the "some grass and bushes" option on that Island mod because full caused it to lag. eDuke32 (With Polymer), on the other hand, stutters like crazy because the developers disabled cache on AMD cards to avoid other issues.
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Re: Need advice on buying a new GPU

Postby edward850 » Mon Mar 02, 2015 8:33 pm

BouncyTEM wrote:I honestly dislike both gpu manufacturers for different reasons, but there's no real alternative.

Well, there is Intel, but their field is low cost APUs. Their recent ones have been remarkably serviceable, mind you.
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Re: Need advice on buying a new GPU

Postby Undead » Tue Mar 03, 2015 1:29 am

The 960 does just fine for 1080p gaming. It won't always max everything out but near most of the time it'll be very good at High. I don't think it's going to be a good 144Hz performer at 1080p, but I suppose you have the 970 and possibly 980 for that. Yes, the VRAM incident is real, but unless you're modding a Bethesda game's textures far from base, I don't think you will reach that last infamous half GB on 1080p. I don't know what card is best for editing graphics, but for gaming, you have what I have summarized here.

Fun fact: My modded Skyrim eats up almost 2 GB of VRAM, and that's the only game. Even PlanetSide 2 on near max settings holds itself to around 1 GB. This is on a GTX 760.
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Re: Need advice on buying a new GPU

Postby Graf Zahl » Tue Mar 03, 2015 4:01 am

MetroidJunkie wrote:On the other hand, in terms of mid-performance cards, AMD cards tend to provide much better performance than Nvidia cards of a comparable price range, as I found out when I was shopping for a card. Guess it depends on whether you'll be using it primarily for commercial games, which tend to use DirectX, or for more open sourced community made games, which tend to use OpenGL. I can say that GZDoom mostly works just fine on my AMD Card.


The problem AMD has with OpenGL is not hardware performance but driver overhead which is just insane.
That means for GZDoom even a lower mid-range NVidia card will perform better than AMDs high end hardware.
Another thing with AMD is that they deprecate their older hardware far, far quicker than NVidia does and if that happens there'll be no more driver updates. Bad luck if you get stuck on a broken revision (yes, this has actually happened!)
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Re: Need advice on buying a new GPU

Postby MetroidJunkie » Tue Mar 03, 2015 8:21 am

Graf Zahl wrote:The problem AMD has with OpenGL is not hardware performance but driver overhead which is just insane.
That means for GZDoom even a lower mid-range NVidia card will perform better than AMDs high end hardware.
Another thing with AMD is that they deprecate their older hardware far, far quicker than NVidia does and if that happens there'll be no more driver updates. Bad luck if you get stuck on a broken revision (yes, this has actually happened!)


So it isn't that the cards are less capable with OpenGL so much as the company that made them in the first place is bad when it comes to any real driver support. Sounds like this is a problem that could be fixed with community efforts. After all, custom drivers are made all the time for GPU's when it comes to Linux distros. Could they, in theory, run OpenGL just as well as any Nvidia equivalent if they had genuinely good drivers?
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Re: Need advice on buying a new GPU

Postby Blzut3 » Tue Mar 03, 2015 10:21 am

Graf Zahl wrote:deprecate their older hardware far, far quicker

More accurately, nvidia maintains legacy drivers far, far longer. Both AMD and nVidia currently only support their 2010+ (aka Direct X 11) cards. nVidia however, maintains two generations of legacy drivers.

I do assume you're referring to the HD4000 series fiasco where they were still selling HD4000 hardware (albeit in integrated form) when driver support was dropped? AMD was forced into maintaining a legacy driver then, not sure if said legacy driver is still being updated though.
MetroidJunkie wrote:So it isn't that the cards are less capable with OpenGL so much as the company that made them in the first place is bad when it comes to any real driver support. Sounds like this is a problem that could be fixed with community efforts. After all, custom drivers are made all the time for GPU's when it comes to Linux distros. Could they, in theory, run OpenGL just as well as any Nvidia equivalent if they had genuinely good drivers?

I wouldn't count on the community writing good graphics drivers. They're still only OpenGL 3 compliant and if I'm not mistaken most of the work being done on the open source drivers are done by Intel and AMD. (Intel doesn't have a closed source Linux driver and AMD plans on maintaining both with some shared code.) On top of that for AMD vs Catalyst there's a pretty significant performance drop (although the open source drivers are still generally useful if you're not doing heavy gaming).
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