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[PC Gaming] Any opinions on Radeon 290X vs waiting for GTX 780ti (also Mantle vs PhysX)?

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout' started by Drexlerfan22, Oct 25, 2013.

  1. Drexlerfan22

    Drexlerfan22 Contributing Member

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    So my old desktop has been starting to show signs of impending death lately. This is basically alright with me, since this machine itself was an "emergency buy" that I picked up when my laptop suddenly conked out on me 4 years or so ago. I have been looking forward to getting a custom rig with Windows 7, rather than something off-the-shelf with Windows Vista (shudder).

    I feel reasonably certain about all my other components... but the one I'm really indecisive about is what video card to go with. All I know is I prefer to stick with a single GPU, which seems to leave me choosing between the 290X and the yet-to-be-released 780ti.

    One thing I've heard is the 290X runs extraordinarily hot at 95C. There seems to be debate on whether or not that's actually a problem, given that you can tweak settings to run it cooler and louder if you wish.

    And as always I hear that Radeon drivers are terrible compared to GeForce ones, though I've also heard this has gotten better lately.

    There are also differing opinions about the 780ti, regarding whether it will actually beat the 290X in many cases, or if the 290X will actually stay king of the hill even after the 780ti releases.

    I also keep hearing contradicting stories about how much PhysX and Mantle will or won't matter.

    Can anyone shed some light on this stuff for me? I am not very knowledgeable about PC hardware and could use some expertise. But for now the pull is pretty strong to order now, with the 290X, as the 780ti may not be out for as much as another month.

    Anyway... for the sake of this debate, assume cost is no object between the two cards. Also, I run one monitor for gaming (1920x1200), with a second 1920x1080 that I occasionally watch movies on while gaming (I never plan to actually game on two screens).



    Also, if you're a junkie on giving PC component advice:
    *I figured I would go with 16GB of 1866 RAM. But, I hear that speed comes at the cost of latency. What are the practical pros/cons of 1600 vs 1866 vs 2133?
    *For soundcards... pros/cons of ASUS Xonar DX vs Creative Sound Blaster Z, under the assumption that I will stick with 2.1 speakers and/or headphones, and that I care more about music quality than gaming audio?



    Thanks in advance for any advice!
     
  2. morpheus133

    morpheus133 Member

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    I haven't followed the newest cards since I haven't been in the market lately. I bought a geforce gtx 770 back in July and there isn't anything I own that I can't run at max levels with great performance. I generally prefer to get a ~$400 level card and upgrade every 2-3 years, rather than the top of the line which is only top of the line for maybe a year. Tom's Hardware does pretty good monthly reviews on best video card for the dollar, but it looks like the 290x and 780ti aren't on their list yet:

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-card-review,3107.html

    I'd expect upcoming professional reviews of both cards to list comparisons between the two.
     
  3. morpheus133

    morpheus133 Member

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    oh and soundcard wise I have the xonar and it is great, but you really need high quality speakers or headphones to get the value out of it. I have the Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO headphones and they sound great with the card.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0006NL5SM/ref=oh_details_o00_s01_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    If you don't have high level speakers or headphones it's probably not worth it to upgrade your sound card, but I haven't tried the soundblaster to compare them. The reviews at the time I got the xonar convinced me that it was the best at that time, but that was a year ago.
     
  4. Drexlerfan22

    Drexlerfan22 Contributing Member

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    Thanks for that input... I forget what exact product it was, but I did get myself some seriously nice $300 headphones a few months back. I am positive I could tell the difference in quality on headphones, though I would probably need to upgrade my speakers.

    I've heard some people say Xonar is better for music and SB is better for gaming, but that sounds so oversimplified I'm not sure I'm ready to believe it...

    Also, totally hear you on buying a more mid-range graphics card and upgrading more frequently. I just find upgrading a pain so I like to do it as little as possible, so that's why I want to buy high-end.
     
  5. morpheus133

    morpheus133 Member

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    Yeah, but video card is one of the easiest things to swap out as long as you have a case that has good accessibility. It's usually just a matter of uninstalling the old card drivers, opening the case, remove 2 screws that hold the card in, pop it out, and pop the new one in, install drivers.
     
  6. Duncan McDonuts

    Duncan McDonuts Contributing Member

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    Check out anandtech for benchmarks and sneak peeks.

    One thing my cousin mentioned, who works for Microsoft, is a gamer and a techy, is that while Nvidia has had better drivers in the past, he thinks they're on par again. And with the new consoles coming with AMD GPUs, the community feels that games will be optimized for AMD drivers.

    Not sure if it's true or not, but something to think about. Personally, I never had a problem that wasn't fixed with either company. I just buy whatever is the best value.
     
  7. Drexlerfan22

    Drexlerfan22 Contributing Member

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    That's interesting to hear about the drivers!

    "Best value" seems pinned pretty squarely on the 290X from what I've read, as the 780ti is rumored to launch at $100 more for roughly the same performance. I do wonder about how hot the 290X runs, though.

    The point about all the next-gen systems using AMD GPUs occurred to me as well. I mentioned that to a friend of mine who is sort of a techy who keeps up on these things a bit, and he seemed to think that wouldn't matter. He also kept talking about how important PhysX was. It almost sounded Nvidia fanboy-ish except that I know he runs an AMD card right now.

    Grrr. Tough decision. If the 290X didn't run so hot I think I would've ordered one already.
     
  8. Cowboy_Bebop

    Cowboy_Bebop Member

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    Don't waste your money with the R9-290x at the moment if you are tight on cash. Go with the HD 7870. They are like under $200 with 2 to 3 games. R9 290X are not going to be cheap when it's out. I sold my GTX 580 and got the HD 7850 because its run cooler and eat up less power. I gave my HD 7850 to my nephew and is not running a GT 430 and amazingly it is running almost any game with low setting which I'm fine with it. Never again I'm going to spend a video card over $400. I have wasted so much money over a video cards over the yrs and their resell value is pretty bad. I'm going to wait until next yr to upgrade my video card when Dragon Age Inquisition come out next year.
     
  9. Drexlerfan22

    Drexlerfan22 Contributing Member

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    Thanks for the input, though I don't consider myself to be short on cash for this purchase. My preference is to splash on something really nice and keep it for an incredibly long time with minimal upgrades. I know buying mid-range and then upgrading when the need arises is the smarter and more cost-efficient path... but I'm just lazy enough not to be smart in this instance. :)
     
  10. Xenochimera

    Xenochimera Contributing Member

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    depending on how you want to wait you should wait for Maxwell, suppose to be out Q1 2014

    [​IMG]
     
  11. ChankMcStank

    ChankMcStank Member

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    Provides no real noticeable benefit between the three. Unless you're a benchmark junkie and want the highest score possible. Only scenario where it actually matters with speed is if you're using something like an AMD APU since the IGP uses the system RAM as well. Benchmarks prove this as a fact. Otherwise, dedicated GPUs render the RAM speed irrelevant.



    Thanks in advance for any advice![/QUOTE]

    I actually owned a Xonar DS PCI and now a Xonar DGX PCIe (new motherboard doesn't have PCI slot). Both cards definitely sound better than the integrated sound cards 10-fold. My DGX actually comes with a headphone amplifier so that's a plus from the DS. There are some better drivers out there some guy put together for the Xonar cards since ASUS doesn't seem to provide proper drivers (not sure if that's still true) for owners. I did get the infamous being stuck at install screen several times and had to reboot and reinstall again.


    And for the 290X vs 780ti, I'd say wait it out for a couple of months.
     
  12. Drexlerfan22

    Drexlerfan22 Contributing Member

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    Is there somewhere that CONFIRMS Q1 for sure though?

    I was interested in this as soon as you posted it, but when I Googled it, there appeared to be nothing but speculation. If you go back far enough people thought it might even be late this year. Now the general consensus seems to be "first half of 2014."

    Would be nice to wait, but I'm not sure how much longer my current computer is going to survive. And really, tech is always going to get better. Waiting a month is one thing, waiting 6 months is another...

    Great info on the RAM. I can probably just go with the 1600 for less money, then, if it will give me the same performance anyhow.

    Do you have any experience with the Sound Blaster Z? I have a Xi-Fi Xtreme Audio, haven't been that impressed, but I'm told the Z is a whole different animal... that it's not massively inferior to the Xonars like my current card is for music. I also think I saw somewhere that Creative had some feature that made the gun sounds in Battlefield sound a bajillion times better or something, and that might be the PC game I play the most in the near future.

    Either way though I don't think I can go too wrong on the sound card...
     
  13. ChankMcStank

    ChankMcStank Member

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    Haven't really messed with any Creative cards as of late so I couldn't tell ya. I've only used those two Xonar cards for the past couple of years so I can't comment on the SB Z. Just pop in one of the entry level Xonars like the DGX and see how it compares to your Xi-Fi Xtreme. For 30-40 bucks, you can't go wrong. (probably get it cheaper on eBay too).
     
  14. chow_yun_fat

    chow_yun_fat Contributing Member

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    I think the 290x MSRP is $549. If that's too pricey, the 280x is a steal at $299 (re-badged 7970 which was released at $499 over a year ago).
     

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