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GPU upgrade path for 1440p

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 28, 2013 11:30:48 PM

Hi everyone, I'm looking for a graphics card or multiple graphics cards because I just got a Dell U2713HM and the resolution is completely crushing to the graphics card. I have a 7970 which was great at 1080p but I like maxing out games so it's time for an upgrade. With my next graphics card setup I want to make sure I'm maxing out every current game at 1440p with 45+ fps. For the least amount of money. I've been looking at a lot of benchmarks and I think the main candidates for doing this are two R9 290's but I haven't really found anything conclusive to indicate that these two cards will do what I want them two. I know they're loud and hot but I usually wear headphones and I have a cosmos II which has pretty good airflow. Anyway, I just wanted to get everyone's opinion on whether or not these card will max out the most demanding games at 1440p. I'd love to hear from anyone who has experience with these cards in crossfire or anyone who has a suggestion for another card configuration.

More about : gpu upgrade path 1440p

a c 240 U Graphics card
December 28, 2013 11:40:05 PM

I was going to go the same route but got the 7990, dual 7970 GPU's. Two R9 290's would be an insane performer and crush any game at 1440p especially when the game supports crossfire. Two R9 290's can easily get above 45fps on any game with crossfire enabled, but only one problem, the current stock coolers are terrible, noisy (which isn't an issue for you) but reaches 94 degrees Celsius when under some load. Even though that is in normal operating temperature range that is insanely hot and with two of those that will be a fire inside of your case. I'd just wait for the aftermarket cooled R9 290's to come out as they can be overclocked much better and the cooling will be much better keeping the inside of your case at a decent temperature. Make sure you have a big enough PSU as those are 300 watt TDP cards each so that's already 600 watts so make sure you at least have an 850 watt PSU for extra headroom in case of overclocking.
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a c 240 U Graphics card
December 28, 2013 11:40:56 PM

two R9 290's will crush a 7990, I just got the 7990 as it was cheap
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December 28, 2013 11:56:55 PM

unknownofprob said:
I was going to go the same route but got the 7990, dual 7970 GPU's. Two R9 290's would be an insane performer and crush any game at 1440p especially when the game supports crossfire. Two R9 290's can easily get above 45fps on any game with crossfire enabled, but only one problem, the current stock coolers are terrible, noisy (which isn't an issue for you) but reaches 94 degrees Celsius when under some load. Even though that is in normal operating temperature range that is insanely hot and with two of those that will be a fire inside of your case. I'd just wait for the aftermarket cooled R9 290's to come out as they can be overclocked much better and the cooling will be much better keeping the inside of your case at a decent temperature. Make sure you have a big enough PSU as those are 300 watt TDP cards each so that's already 600 watts so make sure you at least have an 850 watt PSU for extra headroom in case of overclocking.


The only thing that's worrying me about the heat is the life expectancy of the cards. It's really unknown how long they'll last considering the insanely high temps, I know AMD says it's perfectly fine for them to run at 94C but of course they would say that. It would suck if the cards died in like a year. I have an 850w PSU but it's an older thermaltake one that i'm sure is really inefficient so i'll probably end up upgrading that too. Anyway thanks for you input
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December 28, 2013 11:59:59 PM

dan000 said:
The only thing that's worrying me about the heat is the life expectancy of the cards. It's really unknown how long they'll last considering the insanely high temps, I know AMD says it's perfectly fine for them to run at 94C but of course they would say that. It would suck if the cards died in like a year.


I believe that XFX offers lifetime warranties on some of their cards. That way you won't be out of luck if AMD turns out wrong.
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a c 240 U Graphics card
December 29, 2013 12:01:41 AM

that's why you'll have to wait for the aftermarket cooled R9 290's to come out, That is very soon so it won't be long and there will be a price cut shortly so it shouldn't be all that too expensive as AMD have currently soared the prices up at the moment. The Asus Direct CU II card has been reviewed and I don't know how but it says on load hits 77 degrees, that is fairly comfortable and Asus cards tend to last a long time, longer then other manufacturers
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a c 240 U Graphics card
December 29, 2013 12:03:54 AM

dan000 said:
unknownofprob said:
I was going to go the same route but got the 7990, dual 7970 GPU's. Two R9 290's would be an insane performer and crush any game at 1440p especially when the game supports crossfire. Two R9 290's can easily get above 45fps on any game with crossfire enabled, but only one problem, the current stock coolers are terrible, noisy (which isn't an issue for you) but reaches 94 degrees Celsius when under some load. Even though that is in normal operating temperature range that is insanely hot and with two of those that will be a fire inside of your case. I'd just wait for the aftermarket cooled R9 290's to come out as they can be overclocked much better and the cooling will be much better keeping the inside of your case at a decent temperature. Make sure you have a big enough PSU as those are 300 watt TDP cards each so that's already 600 watts so make sure you at least have an 850 watt PSU for extra headroom in case of overclocking.


The only thing that's worrying me about the heat is the life expectancy of the cards. It's really unknown how long they'll last considering the insanely high temps, I know AMD says it's perfectly fine for them to run at 94C but of course they would say that. It would suck if the cards died in like a year. I have an 850w PSU but it's an older thermaltake one that i'm sure is really inefficient so i'll probably end up upgrading that too. Anyway thanks for you input


I currently have a Antec HGC-900 900 Watt PSU and it's awesome, 5 year warranty and has lots of watts of headroom to play with so it's more efficient and headroom in case of overclocking. There pretty cheap for the performance they give and watts it has
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December 29, 2013 12:08:02 AM

unknownofprob said:
that's why you'll have to wait for the aftermarket cooled R9 290's to come out, That is very soon so it won't be long and there will be a price cut shortly so it shouldn't be all that too expensive as AMD have currently soared the prices up at the moment. The Asus Direct CU II card has been reviewed and I don't know how but it says on load hits 77 degrees, that is fairly comfortable and Asus cards tend to last a long time, longer then other manufacturers


Gigabyte's are out already:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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December 29, 2013 12:10:05 AM

loosescrews said:
dan000 said:
The only thing that's worrying me about the heat is the life expectancy of the cards. It's really unknown how long they'll last considering the insanely high temps, I know AMD says it's perfectly fine for them to run at 94C but of course they would say that. It would suck if the cards died in like a year.


I believe that XFX offers lifetime warranties on some of their cards. That way you won't be out of luck if AMD turns out wrong.


The current card I have is from XFX so i'll probably stick with them, I hear they have good support too but I've never had to use it. Unless I get a reference card then I sort of want the sapphire one with that cool sticker, which Seems pretty trivial I know.
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a c 240 U Graphics card
December 29, 2013 12:11:29 AM

loosescrews said:
unknownofprob said:
that's why you'll have to wait for the aftermarket cooled R9 290's to come out, That is very soon so it won't be long and there will be a price cut shortly so it shouldn't be all that too expensive as AMD have currently soared the prices up at the moment. The Asus Direct CU II card has been reviewed and I don't know how but it says on load hits 77 degrees, that is fairly comfortable and Asus cards tend to last a long time, longer then other manufacturers


Gigabyte's are out already:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


I'd go asus any day over that, though Gigabtye Cards are good, the lifetime and cooling performance of the direct CU II is better
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December 29, 2013 12:13:02 AM

loosescrews said:
unknownofprob said:
that's why you'll have to wait for the aftermarket cooled R9 290's to come out, That is very soon so it won't be long and there will be a price cut shortly so it shouldn't be all that too expensive as AMD have currently soared the prices up at the moment. The Asus Direct CU II card has been reviewed and I don't know how but it says on load hits 77 degrees, that is fairly comfortable and Asus cards tend to last a long time, longer then other manufacturers


Gigabyte's are out already:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Oh didn't know any were out yet but that is insanely expensive for a 290 at that price I might as well add another 100 and get a 780ti. Bitcoin miners are really eating up the stock of R9 cards.

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December 29, 2013 12:18:33 AM

dan000 said:

Oh didn't know any were out yet but that is insanely expensive for a 290 at that price I might as well add another 100 and get a 780ti. Bitcoin miners are really eating up the stock of R9 cards.



Litecoin. GPU bitcoin mining hasn't been worthwhile in a long time.

I think two GTX 780s might be a good option.
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a c 240 U Graphics card
December 29, 2013 12:19:34 AM

780 Ti gets destroyed by an R9 290/X anything over 1080 - usually. The 512-bit memory interface is much better and the extra 1GB VRam helps a lot
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December 29, 2013 12:30:29 AM

unknownofprob said:
780 Ti gets destroyed by an R9 290/X anything over 1080 - usually. The 512-bit memory interface is much better and the extra 1GB VRam helps a lot


At stock they are pretty close but from what I've seen the 780 ti is a crazy overclocker and easily goes to 1250 mhz with the stock cooler. Thats really the only significant advantage I can see to going 780 ti over one of the r9 cards.
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a c 240 U Graphics card
December 29, 2013 12:43:40 AM

The R9 290's in crossfire could render life at 1440p, Crysis 3 will get destroyed and any other intense graphic game doesn't stand a chance, 8GB VRam + 1024-bit memory interface running at 640GB/s is just an insane rig to have.
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December 29, 2013 12:51:35 AM

unknownofprob said:
The R9 290's in crossfire could render life at 1440p, Crysis 3 will get destroyed and any other intense graphic game doesn't stand a chance, 8GB VRam + 1024-bit memory interface running at 640GB/s is just an insane rig to have.


I think you've convinced me that the 290's are the right cards for the job. The frame times are looking great for crossfire too. I think the 290's and the 290x's are too close in performance to justify the price difference. What do you think about the price to performance between the two cards?
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a c 240 U Graphics card
December 29, 2013 12:56:36 AM

there is no justifying the huge price difference between the R9 290 and 290X, there basically the same just one has had a few cores cut out and clocked a little less, but it can be easily clocked at the same rate just AMD's way of trying to say the X is better I guess. The comparison is basically a GTX Titan vs 780, the 780 being R9 290 and the Titan being the R9 290X, but the difference is they both have the same amount of Vram, there is simply no justification of price to even consider the R9 290X.
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December 29, 2013 1:06:17 AM

unknownofprob said:
there is no justifying the huge price difference between the R9 290 and 290X, there basically the same just one has had a few cores cut out and clocked a little less, but it can be easily clocked at the same rate just AMD's way of trying to say the X is better I guess. The comparison is basically a GTX Titan vs 780, the 780 being R9 290 and the Titan being the R9 290X, but the difference is they both have the same amount of Vram, there is simply no justification of price to even consider the R9 290X.


Exactly my thinking on it. Thanks for all your help and opinions. Just out of curiosity, Do you play games on a 1440p monitor if you do how does the 7990 perform, I really like the way the card looks and 6gb of vram is really nice. I wanted to get one but they were pretty sparse when I was looking and they seem to have become rare again. Just out of curiosity though i'm almost positive i'm going 290's CF
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a b U Graphics card
December 29, 2013 1:12:00 AM

just get another 7970, single monitor crossfire doesn't have any problems.
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a c 240 U Graphics card
December 29, 2013 1:12:06 AM

I am going to 1440p but am currently on 1080p, The 7990's performance is outstanding with the bugs on micro-stutter it used to have is now gone. The R9 290's have larger everything and twice the ROP's at 128, the 7990 has 64. The 7990 does look really cool and for the price of it the price justification is nothing compared to anything. I got mine for the same price as an R9 290X and that was a no-brainer for me for the choice. +8 Free games is also sweet. Cooling is decent though under load gets to 88 degrees Celsius but with the extra cash you can buy a block cooler and that'll keep it cool. At 1440p it will still be a titan at doing above 60fps on anything but there is no comparison to dual R9 290's at they will blow it out of the water.
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a b U Graphics card
December 29, 2013 1:18:37 AM

two 7970's are going to be faster than a single 7990. you will have much better temps due to more cooling power and a higher overclocking headroom.
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a c 240 U Graphics card
December 29, 2013 1:22:26 AM

unless he Goes the dual R9 290's which will beat that, Dual 7970's will be great at performance though but no where near as good as dual R9 290's.
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