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Non-reference cooled 290x, 780, or 780 TI

NagelFireNagelFire Vienna, VAPosts: 409Member

Im looking at new video cards, but I am kinda at an impasse when it comes between deciding between these 3.  I was waiting for the non-reference 290x cards to be released, but looking at the price of them, (The gigabyte is $700), Im not so  sure now. 

 

The non-reference gigabyte,http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125499, is 700$, while an Nvidia 780 TI is also $700, and to my knowledge is a much more powerful card.

 

However the normal 780 is $500, and im not sure if the performance increase from the 780 to the 290x/TI is worth 200$.  Im upgrading from a 5850.  What do you think?

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Comments

  • RedempRedemp Hot Springs, ARPosts: 1,042Member

     After owning a r9 290 for the last month or so, I would point you back towards the 780's. I purchased saphires 290 and was pleased enough with it at the outset, I have changed my impression of the card entirely after my latest round of problems. For starters the cards run way to hot, 94C during peak loads. The catalyst system is supposed to downclock the card after a certain threshold, but I barely noticed this as the temp just increased. I started to get black screens, which after reviewing dump files linked back to ati's drivers. Supposing this an issue of heat I installed an aftermarket gpu cooler, which did wonders for the temps. ( For anyone curious from 94C down to 62C underload ) The Black screens and ati driver related dumps haven't stopped though. In my latest round of research I found I am not the only one having these issues, there are loads of posts all over the net with the exact same issue. I'm not yet sure if it's a hardware problem or if their drivers still need work. Regardless I'm considering returning this card and going with a 780.

     

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,784Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Redemp

     After owning a r9 290 for the last month or so, I would point you back towards the 780's. I purchased saphires 290 and was pleased enough with it at the outset, I have changed my impression of the card entirely after my latest round of problems. For starters the cards run way to hot, 94C during peak loads. The catalyst system is supposed to downclock the card after a certain threshold, but I barely noticed this as the temp just increased. I started to get black screens, which after reviewing dump files linked back to ati's drivers. Supposing this an issue of heat I installed an aftermarket gpu cooler, which did wonders for the temps. ( For anyone curious from 94C down to 62C underload ) The Black screens and ati driver related dumps haven't stopped though. In my latest round of research I found I am not the only one having these issues, there are loads of posts all over the net with the exact same issue. I'm not yet sure if it's a hardware problem or if their drivers still need work. Regardless I'm considering returning this card and going with a 780.

     

    So you see why people said not to get a reference card.  Even if your aftermarket GPU cooler keeps the GPU cool, there's no guarantee that it does the same for the VRMs, memory, and other components.  The VRMs in particular have been problematic on some cards such as the Radeon HD 5990 and GeForce GTX 590.  Problems with a reference R9 290 aren't necessarily indicative of problems with a non-reference card that has a better cooling system.

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    It depends some on when you want to get the card.  If you need it today and at today's prices, an R9 290X is exactly the same price as the GeForce GTX 780 Ti, then I'd lean toward the latter unless you have some reason to prefer the former (strong brand preference, bundled games, vendor-exclusive features, etc.).

    But if you're willing to wait a few weeks, it probably won't be long before you can get an aftermarket Radeon R9 290X for under $600.  Right now, they're in very short supply, which drives prices up.  But that won't last long as more vendors get cards to market.

  • Sal1Sal1 Twin Cities, MNPosts: 183Member Uncommon
    What's a reference video card? What's a non-reference video card? 
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,784Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Sal1
    What's a reference video card? What's a non-reference video card? 

    AMD and Nvidia make "reference" versions of many cards so that board partners can buy a completed video card, stick it in their own packaging, and sell it, without having to design and build entire video cards themselves.  They also sell GPU chips alone (or optionally bundled with video memory) and let the board partners design and build their own cards around it.  These are "non-reference" cards.

    You can have a bad design of a card built around a particular GPU chip, in which case, it may be sensible to tell people, card X is nice, but just not this particular brand's version of it.  In the case of the Radeon R9 290 and R9 290X, the reference cards themselves were bad cards.

  • RidelynnRidelynn Fresno, CAPosts: 4,178Member Uncommon

    There's also the fact that LiteCoin miners are sucking up the R290/X supply and driving the prices up right now, particularly on the non-reference Gigabyte models. Hopefully once we see some more non-reference models that more or less normalizes.

    If you need the card today, right now... it's just a matter of your budget.

    $200 for a 15-20% speed increase is expensive, but if it's in your budget, then why not.

    If you can wait a few more weeks - we'll see more non-reference R9 290/X's out, and we'll see the "after holidays" inventory clearance sales hit, both of which will change up this a good bit.

    I would say if you see a 780 at the $400-$425 price point on sale, snag it while you can, and aside from that I would kinda wait for other premium cooler 290s to hit the $500-$520 price point.

  • RidelynnRidelynn Fresno, CAPosts: 4,178Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by Redemp
    For starters the cards run way to hot, 94C during peak loads. The catalyst system is supposed to downclock the card after a certain threshold, but I barely noticed this as the temp just increased. I started to get black screens, which after reviewing dump files linked back to ati's drivers. Supposing this an issue of heat I installed an aftermarket gpu cooler, which did wonders for the temps. ( For anyone curious from 94C down to 62C underload ) The Black screens and ati driver related dumps haven't stopped though.

    If you are getting black screens you have a defective card, regardless of the temp it hits. I would say RMA it, but you've already voided the warranty.

  • LeGrosGamerLeGrosGamer Canada, QCPosts: 210Member
    Originally posted by NagelFire

    Im looking at new video cards, but I am kinda at an impasse when it comes between deciding between these 3.  I was waiting for the non-reference 290x cards to be released, but looking at the price of them, (The gigabyte is $700), Im not so  sure now. 

     

    The non-reference gigabyte,http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125499, is 700$, while an Nvidia 780 TI is also $700, and to my knowledge is a much more powerful card.

     

    However the normal 780 is $500, and im not sure if the performance increase from the 780 to the 290x/TI is worth 200$.  Im upgrading from a 5850.  What do you think?

    Overall the 290x is better then GTX 780 TI , only problem though is that you'll need a kick ass power supply and water cool on that 290x because it will HEAT up. That's the reason I never really put final judgement out of a benchmark, because if you put the 290x on full blast without proper cooling, it will fail and cause BSOD, but if you cool it properly, it will benchmark just as good if not better then the GTX 780 Ti (If you're not already, but at this point it is strongly recommended that you water cool :) )) .   Both of these graphic cards will need a i7 processor or equivalent to really pull out all the potential.  But again at this point I'm guessing you're already running on a i7 CPU :).

  • jdnewelljdnewell Spring Hill, TNPosts: 2,150Member Uncommon

    If I had to buy one today and the prices were the same I would grab the 780. If you can wait a few weeks you will probably be able to pick up the 290 for cheaper.

    If you dont have to have the best card on the market then take a look at the 280x.  Replacing a 5850 with a 280x would be a massive boost, and unless your running multiple monitors at high resolutions the 290x / 780 is a bit overkill.

    But I do get it =) I would love to slap a 780ti in my PC, i just cant wrap my mind around spending that much on a GPU when I am running a 1920 x 1200 monitor.

    If your going to drop that much on a GPU then grab the 780 IMO, otherwise wait until the 290x drops in price as availability increases.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,784Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by jdnewell

    If I had to buy one today and the prices were the same I would grab the 780. If you can wait a few weeks you will probably be able to pick up the 290 for cheaper.

    If you dont have to have the best card on the market then take a look at the 280x.  Replacing a 5850 with a 280x would be a massive boost, and unless your running multiple monitors at high resolutions the 290x / 780 is a bit overkill.

    But I do get it =) I would love to slap a 780ti in my PC, i just cant wrap my mind around spending that much on a GPU when I am running a 1920 x 1200 monitor.

    If your going to drop that much on a GPU then grab the 780 IMO, otherwise wait until the 290x drops in price as availability increases.

    If good, non-reference Radeon R9 290s (not 290Xes) show up near the MSRP of $400, that's probably a better value than the GTX 780.  But I don't know if or when that will happen, and at exactly the same price, I'd slightly favor the GTX 780.

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