Wednesday, 30 October 2013

AMD and nVidia Price Wars - R9 290X and 780 Ti

We've had a few interesting establishments over the last 6 months or so. From the green team we've had the new 700 series cards, some fairly good performance shown there, right the way up to the TITAN, which shows some monster performance and compute power.

Then from the reds we've had the 7950 and 7970, two cards which do a very good job of dominating the price/performance sectors of the market. After some drivers issues I think most of the crossfire stuttering problems should be solved now, higher resolution and multi screens may have small issues though.

Recently however, AMD are pushing their new release of the R9 series. The 280X seems to be selling fairly well at the price point of £220-£280, which is a point at which you will see either the high end nVidia 760 cards or the lower end 770's.

Currently, the 770s edge out the 280X on lower resolutions of 1080p, but the 280X overtakes it in certain games as you start hitting 4K resolutions., though some still play better on the 770.

Their new 'flagship' R9 290X card however has hit mixed reviews. While it does have TITAN/780 rivalling performance, it does seem to get extremely hot. We're talking almost 95 degrees here. I've heard some people use the argument "Ah but you have to watercool it, then it's fine.". Just stop it, watercooling should not be mandatory, even with flagship cards. They should work just perfectly well out of the box (and not be heating my entire room), and function just as any other card would. I feel the performance gain here was not worth the immense heat they put out. I'm not certain if the new cooler design is to be blamed, or just the huge die. We'll see when the non-reference cards arrive.

As the news of these cards hit the masses though, nVidia decided that a blanket price slash on their 700 series cards was in order. The 780 dropped $150, while the 770 lost $70 from its RRP. This can only be good news to the consumers looking for a decent upgrade!

Soon to arrive is nVidia's next bump up, the 780Ti. Rumours are that it will be close/better than TITAN performance with a larger amount of VRAM (good news for me as I need more than 3GB, preferably 4GB with some games nowadays).

I'm hoping it brings a card that will run newer games at good fps on a surround system (5760*1080), while sporting some decent VRAM (4GB+) and hopefully in the £500-£600 price range. Cheaper is obviously better though!

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