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NVIDIA guy confused about AMD cards ...

Hi all,

I have spent the last 2 days reading about AMD cards, coming from 10+ years of only caring about NVIDIA cards. I'm replacing my GTX260 with something more capable and that can handle GPU passthrough under Xen so I don't need to keep rebooting my Linux box for a quick game.

The card isn't for 4k gaming (probably max 1920x1200) but I do like to try and max out settings when possible. I'll be playing anything and everything from Crysis 3 to Arma, Max Payne, CS:GO, Farcry etc. One of the main requirements is providing 2 DVI outputs for my two monitors.

I think I have narrowed the choice down to an R9 280X, however I wonder if this is overkill? Would a 270X do the same job at those resolutions? Could somebody suggest something more suitable? I'm looking to hit a price/performance sweetspot for my requirements.

Thanks in advance!
8 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about nvidia guy confused amd cards
  1. I would suggest staying with Nvidia. I know this isnt the answer you are looking for but I suggest you a gtx 770 4gb card for your needs.
  2. For ultra settings, R9 280X or GTX 770 2GB model.
    4GB is not worth it if you just running a single gpu. Are you gaming on two monitors or just a single?
    R9 270X would play med-high settings best at 50 fps at 1080p.
  3. Havo_k said:
    I would suggest staying with Nvidia. I know this isnt the answer you are looking for but I suggest you a gtx 770 4gb card for your needs.


    Thank you for your reply,
    Im unable to even consider another nvidia card because they crippled virtualization and don't cooperate with open-source. Stable, performant GPU passthrough is the primary requirement, ruling out nvidia unless I want to get a Grid/Quattro card or mod a similarly chipped card.
  4. What are the rest of the system specs? The GTX 260 is an old card, if you're running an equally old quad you'd probably want to aim a little lower, either the HD7850 or R9 270 (non 'X') would be a better match.
    If you're coming off a GTX260 on a rig with a strongger CPU I'd g for a R9 280 or HD7950 (same card, different name, to all intents and purposes). It sits a little above the R9 270X and a little below the R9 280X (AKA HD7970) and is priced accordingly.
    Biggest advantage of the R9 280/280X is its larger 3Gb memory over the 2Gb equipped R9 270/270X, which helps at HD resolutions with the settings turned up. ;)
    Haven't got Crysis3 but my HD7950/overclocked i5 750 rig plays FC3 and Max Payne 3 at max (pun intended) or near max settings at 50 FPS or more, plenty fast enough for smooth play.
    One point with FC3, it stutters on my rig when moving quickly, the solution was to download RadeonPro and set a custom profile and cap the frame rate at 50 FPS (or the MINIMUM your rig can provide).
  5. coozie7 said:
    What are the rest of the system specs? The GTX 260 is an old card, if you're running an equally old quad you'd probably want to aim a little lower, either the HD7850 or R9 270 (non 'X') would be a better match.
    If you're coming off a GTX260 on a rig with a strongger CPU I'd g for a R9 280 or HD7950 (same card, different name, to all intents and purposes). It sits a little above the R9 270X and a little below the R9 280X (AKA HD7970) and is priced accordingly.
    Biggest advantage of the R9 280/280X is its larger 3Gb memory over the 2Gb equipped R9 270/270X, which helps at HD resolutions with the settings turned up. ;)
    Haven't got Crysis3 but my HD7950/overclocked i5 750 rig plays FC3 and Max Payne 3 at max (pun intended) or near max settings at 50 FPS or more, plenty fast enough for smooth play.
    One point with FC3, it stutters on my rig when moving quickly, the solution was to download RadeonPro and set a custom profile and cap the frame rate at 50 FPS (or the MINIMUM your rig can provide).


    Thanks for your reply coozie7, very helpful. Here's my current spec:

    AMD FX(tm)-8350 Eight-Core Processor Black Edition (water cooled @4.2ghz) , Gigabyte 990FXA-UD3, 16GB of Corsair Vengenance, RAID1 PCI-e SSDs

    I have had my GTX260 a while
  6. HA! HA! Wasn't sure about the base system, you'll be fie with any of the cards you have in mind, or have been mentioned.
    Even the R9 270 will be quite an upgrade for gaming over the GTX260 and can usually be overclocked to within an ace of the more expensive R9 270X, same goes for the R9 280/280X.
    Personally I'd say the 280/280X would be the better choice for long term use, games like Watchdogs and Wolfenstein TNO are already pushing 3Gb VRAM for ultra settings and you have a strong, up-to-date rig.
    Have a quick read here: http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/gaming-graphics-card-review,review-32899-7.html the chart should help you make a final decision.
    Final point: AMD cards need good cooling, I don't think your system case will be an issue (you don't mention it but I suspect you've not put that nice hardware in some cheap box) ;) Asus, MSI, Sapphire, HIS and Gigabyte all make cards with excellent cooling solutions.
  7. coozie7 said:
    HA! HA! Wasn't sure about the base system, you'll be fie with any of the cards you have in mind, or have been mentioned.
    Even the R9 270 will be quite an upgrade for gaming over the GTX260 and can usually be overclocked to within an ace of the more expensive R9 270X, same goes for the R9 280/280X.
    Personally I'd say the 280/280X would be the better choice for long term use, games like Watchdogs and Wolfenstein TNO are already pushing 3Gb VRAM for ultra settings and you have a strong, up-to-date rig.
    Have a quick read here: http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/gaming-graphics-card-review,review-32899-7.html the chart should help you make a final decision.
    Final point: AMD cards need good cooling, I don't think your system case will be an issue (you don't mention it but I suspect you've not put that nice hardware in some cheap box) ;) Asus, MSI, Sapphire, HIS and Gigabyte all make cards with excellent cooling solutions.


    Thanks for the chart, i'll either go 280X or crossfire a pair of 270s but need to readup on how that fairs with virtualization.
  8. Best answer
    I'd go for a single card. CF can still be a little troublesome and I don't know how nicely it'll play with virtualisation, but TBH a single R9 280X is capable of running just about every game available at, or near to, max settings on a single 1080 display and more than a few at max settings on dual screens.
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