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GTX 970 4GB VS R9 390 8GB, please help me decide.

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isogamer

Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2012
Hi, soo i am like in a crossroad and having a hard time choosing between these two cards. I been doing my research and alot are saying 390(not the x version, compared to this GPU) 390 is the way to go cause not only it slightly outperforms the 970gtx, but also how it is good in the long run due to its 8GB memory.

My only concern is that even though the 390 has 8gb, the memory clock and core clock is still faster with the 970. Also from some of the live test demos i seen with the Gsync vs FreeSync, G sync seems to look better. But thats probably just my preference.

Anyways i would like to know what you guys think, cause i am leaning towards the 390, but the 970 seems to go with its speed performance.

970gtx :

http://www.3dmark.com/fs/2852276

R9 390:

http://www.3dmark.com/fs/5187922

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9cKZiJw6Pk
 

ninjacore

Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2006
Location
OH
Any price difference where you'll be buying?

What PSU do you have?

You can't really compare them clock for clock as the micro-architecture differs between the two cards.

390 is a rebadged 290, making it relatively old tech compared to the 970.

If your resolution is 1080P or lower, the 970 is a no-brainer. You will never need more than 4GB of vram at that res.

If you're at 1440P, maybe the increased vram factors in for games later this year, but I'd still probably lean in the direction of the newer tech and decreased power consumption with the 970.

@ 4K, I'd be looking at other cards.
 

Vellinious

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Apr 12, 2013
Location
Central US
Are you going to overclock? I'm not talking about adding +75 to the core and +200 to the memory...I'm talking about REALLY overclocking. If you're going to overclock, the 970 series are amazing cards, that will do wonders with a bios mod and decent cooling. But at stock clocks, for me anyway, both cards are pretty underwhelming.

If you're not going to overclock, they're both very capable cards and both will make you very happy.
 
OP
I

isogamer

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Joined
Jun 24, 2012
The price difference between the two cards is about 40 to 50buks.. 970 being the more expensive card... I herd about the "rebadged" on the 390.. but after doing some research and that youtube link i provided (which you should watch)... its more of a "REFRESH" VS a Rebrand...
 

Vellinious

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Apr 12, 2013
Location
Central US
Or....get the 8GB 290X. More powerful GPU than the 290 / 390, with as much VRAM, and about the same price as a mid tier 970.

It's what I ended up opting for. And....thus far, I'm lovin it. = ) And, I had 970s that were absolutely SICK overclockers....
 
OP
I

isogamer

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Jun 24, 2012
Or....get the 8GB 290X. More powerful GPU than the 290 / 390, with as much VRAM, and about the same price as a mid tier 970.

It's what I ended up opting for. And....thus far, I'm lovin it. = ) And, I had 970s that were absolutely SICK overclockers....


hmm the re search that i did i thought the 290x is equal to the 390.. and the 390 having 8gb..
 

Vellinious

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Apr 12, 2013
Location
Central US
They're equal at the factory clocks....run them at the same clocks, and the more powerful 290X core will run better. And....that's why I said, look at the 8GB 290X.
 

ninjacore

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Aug 13, 2006
Location
OH
290 == 390
290X == 390X

They increased the core and mem speeds by a small amount, doubled the vram, changed the name to Grenada, and (supposedly) enhanced the power delivery system (likely in an attempt to allow the card to use less voltage and alleviate power consumption complaints). Not a typical rebadge, certainly, but they are pretty much the same card. Take an 8GB 290X with core speed at 1050 and mem at 6600 and it will give you identical performance to the 390X.

Did you mention what resolution you're at, OP? Any of these cards will be great at 1080P. As long as you have proper airflow, I'd go for whichever you can get the cheapest. If you have a small form factor build, I'd go with an Nvidia card.
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
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Dec 15, 2008
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Buckeyes!
290 == 390
290X == 390X

They increased the core and mem speeds by a small amount, doubled the vram, changed the name to Grenada, and (supposedly) enhanced the power delivery system (likely in an attempt to allow the card to use less voltage and alleviate power consumption complaints). Not a typical rebadge, certainly, but they are pretty much the same card. Take an 8GB 290X with core speed at 1050 and mem at 6600 and it will give you identical performance to the 390X.

Did you mention what resolution you're at, OP? Any of these cards will be great at 1080P. As long as you have proper airflow, I'd go for whichever you can get the cheapest. If you have a small form factor build, I'd go with an Nvidia card.
Yep. Clock for clock the are the exact same according to many reviews.
 

EarthDog

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Buckeyes!
If you are on 1080p and plan on staying there, the 970/4GB will be fine. If you plan on getting a higher res monitor, I would go with the rebadged 390/390x.
 
OP
I

isogamer

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Jun 24, 2012
If you are on 1080p and plan on staying there, the 970/4GB will be fine. If you plan on getting a higher res monitor, I would go with the rebadged 390/390x.

Well as of right now i have a 1080p monitor 60HZ. I do plan in the future to either get a 144ghz monitor or maybe a 4k monitor depending on price. The 39 390 is about $50buks cheaper then the 970 Asus Strix card. Although it isn't alot of money, it is still money being saved, and the reason why i am leaning more towards the r9 390. Ofcourse not to mention plus tax.

I keep hearing this term "rebadged", but all the research i been doing and this jaytwocent review i seen, they say its more of a "refresh". I am hearing 50/50 on this rebrand vs refresh debate. Seems to be more of a refresh vs a rebrand. Cause i rather get the 970 if the R9 390 being more of a rebadged.

Watch this link and let me know what you think: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9cKZiJw6Pk
 

Evil-Mobo

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Nov 16, 2015
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MD
If you're going to be at 60hz/fps on your monitor, then both cards are overkill. You could get a less expensive card and be fine. 4K is not gonna happen with one of either, so I think first you need to narrow down exactly what you want monitor and resolution wise.

You can get a 960 or 380/380X and be more than good at 1080p.......... the Sapphire Nitro 380X is a lot of card for the $$ and would suit you very well......
 

ninjacore

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Aug 13, 2006
Location
OH
If you're going to be at 60hz/fps on your monitor, then both cards are overkill. You could get a less expensive card and be fine. 4K is not gonna happen with one of either, so I think first you need to narrow down exactly what you want monitor and resolution wise.

You can get a 960 or 380/380X and be more than good at 1080p.......... the Sapphire Nitro 380X is a lot of card for the $$ and would suit you very well......

I agree with your first point, but disagree on the recommendation for 1080P. Those cards are going to struggle at 1080P with the most recent and upcoming games at the highest settings. Sure, you can turn stuff down to Medium/High, but unless your budget precludes it, I think one should buy hardware to max out current/upcoming games. A GTX 970 or R9 290/390 would be the minimums to do that at 1080P, in my opinion.

Well as of right now i have a 1080p monitor 60HZ. I do plan in the future to either get a 144ghz monitor or maybe a 4k monitor depending on price. The 39 390 is about $50buks cheaper then the 970 Asus Strix card. Although it isn't alot of money, it is still money being saved, and the reason why i am leaning more towards the r9 390. Ofcourse not to mention plus tax.

I keep hearing this term "rebadged", but all the research i been doing and this jaytwocent review i seen, they say its more of a "refresh". I am hearing 50/50 on this rebrand vs refresh debate. Seems to be more of a refresh vs a rebrand. Cause i rather get the 970 if the R9 390 being more of a rebadged.

Watch this link and let me know what you think: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9cKZiJw6Pk

Yuck, video reviews ;) I didn't take the time to watch it, but knowing how these two cards (390 and 970) perform, I would say the title is probably on to something.

The 970 and 390 perform right about the same with about a $30 price difference for the cheapest variant of each. I think I've said it before in this thread, but you're basically deciding whether you want the decreased power consumption of the 970 (good for ITX builds) or the increased vram of the 390 (good for resolutions > 1080P).

I always say, buy the hardware you need now. Futureproofing is for the birds as the landscape inevitably changes with each new release. You're at 1080P60Hz now, so don't spend more than the $300 you need to spend. An R9 390 or GTX 970 is the card for you. The only other option I'd throw in the mix is a 290X, which will run you ~$300 as well and give you a 10-20% performance boost over either of the other two (at the cost of greater power consumption, so only an option if you have good airflow).
 
OP
I

isogamer

Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2012
If you're going to be at 60hz/fps on your monitor, then both cards are overkill. You could get a less expensive card and be fine. 4K is not gonna happen with one of either, so I think first you need to narrow down exactly what you want monitor and resolution wise.

You can get a 960 or 380/380X and be more than good at 1080p.......... the Sapphire Nitro 380X is a lot of card for the $$ and would suit you very well......

I want to first thank you all for the responses i been getting. Really been helping me out.

Reason why i am so into these two cards is because the company i work for is giving me a decent discount on these two cards, and the r9 390 being the cheaper card among the two. Other wise if they were retail price i would have went with the 960.

I just want a GPU where i can play all my games on high to max settings, and even though the 960 card is a good card from what i seen, it isn't exactly future proof and from the settings i seen at my friends place (who has the 960gtx evga) you can't play the games on max settings, like GTA V.

I think the most likely safe bet would be is for me to get a 144hz monitor and so far the research i been doing the r9 390 8GB is leading against the 970gtx due to its 8gb video ram. But when it comes to clock speed and memory speed the 970 is the better performer.
 

Evil-Mobo

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Nov 16, 2015
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MD
I agree with your first point, but disagree on the recommendation for 1080P. Those cards are going to struggle at 1080P with the most recent and upcoming games at the highest settings. Sure, you can turn stuff down to Medium/High, but unless your budget precludes it, I think one should buy hardware to max out current/upcoming games. A GTX 970 or R9 290/390 would be the minimums to do that at 1080P, in my opinion.



Yuck, video reviews ;) I didn't take the time to watch it, but knowing how these two cards (390 and 970) perform, I would say the title is probably on to something.

The 970 and 390 perform right about the same with about a $30 price difference for the cheapest variant of each. I think I've said it before in this thread, but you're basically deciding whether you want the decreased power consumption of the 970 (good for ITX builds) or the increased vram of the 390 (good for resolutions > 1080P).

I always say, buy the hardware you need now. Futureproofing is for the birds as the landscape inevitably changes with each new release. You're at 1080P60Hz now, so don't spend more than the $300 you need to spend. An R9 390 or GTX 970 is the card for you. The only other option I'd throw in the mix is a 290X, which will run you ~$300 as well and give you a 10-20% performance boost over either of the other two (at the cost of greater power consumption, so only an option if you have good airflow).

And you're entitled to disagree. I don't see the point in buying cards that max out double what your monitor is capable of....... different views is all no right or wrong answer. Just making sure he has all points to consider. More than one way to skin a cat. :thup:
 

ninjacore

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Aug 13, 2006
Location
OH
from the settings i seen at my friends place (who has the 960gtx evga) you can't play the games on max settings, like GTA V. .

Exactly.

I think the most likely safe bet would be is for me to get a 144hz monitor and so far the research i been doing the r9 390 8GB is leading against the 970gtx due to its 8gb video ram. But when it comes to clock speed and memory speed the 970 is the better performer.

Nope. Both cards will give you roughly the same FPS at 1080P. Extra vram will not help at all, regardless of refresh rate.

- - - Updated - - -

And you're entitled to disagree. I don't see the point in buying cards that max out double what your monitor is capable of....... different views is all no right or wrong answer. Just making sure he has all points to consider. More than one way to skin a cat. :thup:

gta5_1920_1080.gif

That isn't double...
 
OP
I

isogamer

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Joined
Jun 24, 2012
Ya all i want at the end of the day is a GPU card that will last me a long time. At least 4 to 5 years, i guess 3 years is more of a realistic number. Power consumption to GPU interior space is not that a big deal for me. I just want a card that performs well, and can handle a 144hz monitor which i am going to upgrade somewhat soon. R9 390 is more appealing to me due to its 8GB V ram, but the 970 also looks good cause of its high core clock and memory clock speed.
 

ninjacore

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Aug 13, 2006
Location
OH
Ya all i want at the end of the day is a GPU card that will last me a long time. At least 4 to 5 years, i guess 3 years is more of a realistic number. Power consumption to GPU interior space is not that a big deal for me. I just want a card that performs well, and can handle a 144hz monitor which i am going to upgrade somewhat soon. R9 390 is more appealing to me due to its 8GB V ram, but the 970 also looks good cause of its high core clock and memory clock speed.

You really need to re-read some of the above posts.

1) No card is going to last you 4-5 years. 3 years from now, you'll be playing on Low-Medium settings @ 1080P with a 390/970.

2) Power consumption affects how much heat your card dumps into your case. If you have a big case, no big deal. Small case, potential for issues. Get it?

3) Any card can "handle" a 144Hz refresh rate monitor. The monitor's refresh rate doesn't affect your FPS at all.

4) vram >4GB won't matter at 1080, regardless of refresh rate.
 

Evil-Mobo

Member
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Nov 16, 2015
Location
MD
Exactly.



Nope. Both cards will give you roughly the same FPS at 1080P. Extra vram will not help at all, regardless of refresh rate.

- - - Updated - - -



View attachment 173756

That isn't double...

Ok so you pulled a chart from an unknown benchmark with unknown settings. All we know is it's 1080. FYI, 99% of all these benchmarks are run at much higher settings than most will play at, especially if we're talking about the GPU's in question. I'm not trying to argue here just pose a different point of view. You're not going to change mine, and I'm not trying to change yours. There's a difference between real world gaming experience and benchmarks people run with ridiculous settings.