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Advice needed regarding GPU purchase. Comparing r9 280x and GTX 960.

Hi,
So i'm currently looking at upgrading my GPU (currently an r7 260x OC).
I'm currently running a 600w power supply (Raidmax Cobra RX-600AE 600W 80Plus Gold ATX PSU) and I'd rather avoid having to upgrade it as well if I can (my uni life budget says no). That being said, I don't want to upgrade GPU's again for some time after this and want whatever card i choose to perform adequately with new release games for some time, so If in the interest of long term value for money a PSU upgrade looks necessary I'll consider it.

The two cards I have narrowed my choices down to are the GTX 960 4gb and the R9 280X OC 3gb, both manufactured by Gigabyte. The GTX states a 400w power requirement, and the R9 states a 600w. Links below.

http://www.scorptec.com.au/product/Graphics_Cards/NVIDIA/58743-GV-N960G1_GAMING-4GD
http://www.scorptec.com.au/product/Graphics_Cards/AMD/51791-GV-R928XOC-3GD


Any advice regarding which card would best fit my current PSU and which is a better overall choice for new release gaming would be highly appreciated. (i'm only gaming on a single HD monitor if that helps).

Cheers!
19 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about advice needed gpu purchase comparing 280x gtx 960
  1. Best answer
    Both cards will do a good job and certain games will favour one over the other, but I'd go for the GTX 960. The R9 280X is essentially an HD 7950 whereas the GTX 960 is built on new architecture. It also has a much lower TDP and the 4GB frame buffer (assuming it really is 4GB; wink, wink, GTX 970) will probably help longevity.

    If you can wait, I'd see what the R9 300 series has in store. Rumour is that two high-end cards will be released this year with a new technology called High Bandwidth Memory, which is rumoured to be faster than GDDR5.
  2. Thanks for that bit of advice, and yeah I did read about the 3.5gb fiasco haha! As far as compatibility with my PSU goes, would you recommend the GTX 960?
    At the end of the day, I'm not a huge "it has to run 60fps" sort of person. I just want to be able to enjoy recent and upcoming releases (GTA5) in reasonably good quality.
  3. The 280x is a much stronger card. It is a 7970 ghz equivalent. It will last you longer with future games.
  4. Embra said:
    The 280x is a much stronger card. It is a 7970 ghz equivalent. It will last you longer with future games.


    That's not strictly true; there will certainly be times when a 280X outperforms a 960, but the reverse is also true. Certain games will always favour one GPU vendor over the other.

    OP, yes, I would recommend the GTX 960. Taking everything into account, including your requirements, it's the better card.
  5. bicycle_repair_man said:
    Embra said:
    The 280x is a much stronger card. It is a 7970 ghz equivalent. It will last you longer with future games.


    That's not strictly true; there will certainly be times when a 280X outperforms a 960, but the reverse is also true. Certain games will always favour one GPU vendor over the other.

    OP, yes, I would recommend the GTX 960. Taking everything into account, including your requirements, it's the better card.


    Asus stix factory OCed card:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/nvidia-geforce-gtx-960,4038-4.html

    Show be where a 960 is a better overall performer: keep in mind the 280x is reference.

    Op: The 4 gb ram version is really meant to use in SLI. The bandwidth of the 960 will not totally allow the 960 to utilize it.
    Your PSU is not great quality, but will ok for either card.
  6. The GTX 960 is the better performer because it does everything the OP wants and is much cooler, quieter and more energy efficient than the 280X.

    I agree that 4GB VRAM is mainly for SLI, but a single card has its benefits as well. For example, Far Cry 4 finds ways to use all the available VRAM. Whether that's by design or due to bad optimisation is up for debate, but it doesn't change the fact that VRAM is becoming more important. Graphical mods will also eat away at VRAM, particularly if several ones are installed.
  7. Daley1992 said:
    Hi,
    So i'm currently looking at upgrading my GPU (currently an r7 260x OC).
    I'm currently running a 600w power supply (Raidmax Cobra RX-600AE 600W 80Plus Gold ATX PSU) and I'd rather avoid having to upgrade it as well if I can (my uni life budget says no). That being said, I don't want to upgrade GPU's again for some time after this and want whatever card i choose to perform adequately with new release games for some time, so If in the interest of long term value for money a PSU upgrade looks necessary I'll consider it.

    The two cards I have narrowed my choices down to are the GTX 960 4gb and the R9 280X OC 3gb, both manufactured by Gigabyte. The GTX states a 400w power requirement, and the R9 states a 600w. Links below.

    http://www.scorptec.com.au/product/Graphics_Cards/NVIDIA/58743-GV-N960G1_GAMING-4GD
    http://www.scorptec.com.au/product/Graphics_Cards/AMD/51791-GV-R928XOC-3GD


    Any advice regarding which card would best fit my current PSU and which is a better overall choice for new release gaming would be highly appreciated. (i'm only gaming on a single HD monitor if that helps).

    Cheers!


    get the r9 280, it is more powerful and has more vram and because of amd's crossfire you can pair it with and card in its family.
  8. Ok, so there seems to be a much of a muchness kind of situation between the two cards. I've had a look at some comparison videos detailing frame rates between the two cards and while the r9 280 does give better fps there really doesnt seem to be a hugely noiticable difference.
    The main thing with the r9 280x cards that doesnt feel like it will fit for me is to do with power supply, most versions of the card i have seen all need around a 750w PSU, the Gigabyte model is the only one I've found that says it needs 600w. But I'm just worried that the 600w PSU I have wont handle both the card and the rest of its requirements to feeding power to other components? I'd hate to have shit burn out and or explode on me lol. (excuse my potential ignorance there, I'm not very familiar with how all of that stuff works. Hence why I'm asking on here).
  9. Your PSU is not very good quality... maybe something to consider upgrading. That being said it should get you by with all the GPUs mentioned, even the 280x.
    Companies generally over state the PSU specs to insure one enough power.

    The 960,280 and 280x would all play well at 1080p. The 280x is the superior card and for $50 less, a much better bang for the buck.
  10. Well ... the 280X is slightly faster but those 4 GBs of VRAM on the 960 are better in the long run.

    I love AMD, but this time AMD is just shooting themselves in the foot by not releasing a 4 GB R9 285.

    So yeah, get the 4 GB 960.
  11. Cryio said:
    Well ... the 280X is slightly faster but those 4 GBs of VRAM on the 960 are better in the long run.

    I love AMD, but this time AMD is just shooting themselves in the foot by not releasing a 4 GB R9 285.

    So yeah, get the 4 GB 960.


    also with nvidia you get nvidia geforce experience with multi sampling and shadowplay which in my experience is the best recording software to date> I am changing my side to the 960 because I did not know that they released a 4gb version yet because I heard no news on it
  12. Ok, thanks for all the answers. The help is appreciated...
    Its hard to work out the best option because everything I read seems to nitpick on the minute details and differences and I'm not sure if I'll even see those differences?
    I see that from a FPS perspective that the r9 280X outperforms, but I'm very cautious of trying to run it on a 600w PSU when a lot of other manufacturers are saying 750w with their builds.
  13. Your PSU delivers 504W on the +12V rail and the 280X has a TDP of 250W, so at maximum load the GPU is taking half of the total available power. In retrospect, the GTX 960 has a TDP of 120W. If you post your entire build we can establish how much power each component will draw.

    To run the 280X your PSU will need one 8-pin and one 6-pin PCIe power connector, and the GTX 960 will require one 6-pin. Unfortunately, I can't establish how many of these connectors your PSU has, so you should open up your case and take a look before going through with a purchase.
  14. Build specs are:
    AMD FX 8350 4.0GHz 8 cores (factory overclocked)
    16GB DDR3 1600MHz
    2TB HDD
    120GB SATA 3 SSD
    R7 260x OC gpu (requires 6pin power connector so obviously the current PSU has this)
    AMD 970+SB950 Motherboard
    600W PSU (as mentioned above)
  15. OK, minus the 260X, your current build is pulling around 250W with everything at maximum load. Power consumption during basic tasks is around 120W, and during gaming, around 180W. If you start to overclock these numbers will obviously increase.
  16. gtx 960....better performance...no driver issues...latest....only 400 psu required
  17. Ok, and that leaves just the recommended amount of available power left over for the r9 280X, and plenty enough for the GTX 960?

    So I guess it's really a toss up now, but the GTX 960 is seeming like perhaps a better choice, despite being a slightly slower card. I've read in a lot of places that the maxwell architecture utilises the smaller memory bandwidth in an efficient way, so it isnt neccessarily the be all and end all, or likely to noticably impact on gaming performance for someone who is just an enthusiast like myself.
    Again, appreciate all the answers
  18. Daley1992 said:
    I've read in a lot of places that the maxwell architecture utilises the smaller memory bandwidth in an efficient way, so it isnt neccessarily the be all and end all, or likely to noticably impact on gaming performance for someone who is just an enthusiast like myself.


    My thoughts exactly.
  19. You probably won't notice this "slightly slower"
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