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Thread: What Video Card Should I Buy?

  1. #2781
    Movember 2011Movember 2012 Nordstern's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bombcrater View Post
    everything is at least $100 too expensive
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  2. #2782
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    Quote Originally Posted by Overspark View Post
    Edit: oh god, given how hard they're creaming over the current RX cards these Vega cards must be absolute gold to them, especially the 56 model.
    I can't see Vega being popular with miners. Vega FE had horrible mining efficiency, and even with some power tweaks all the Vega RX cards, except perhaps the Nano, are likely to make little or no profit at current price and difficulty levels. Only miners who have cheap electricity and are prepared to bet the farm on a steep rise in coin prices will even look at Vega, and even then it's likely the 1070 and 1080 will remain much more popular due to their low power consumption.

    My guess is AMD have gone with high prices for Vega simply because they don't have many to sell. The Vega/HBM2 package is hideously complex to build and I'm pretty sure AMD is much more interested in using its production allocation at GloFo to build Ryzens, which are way more profitable than any GPU and critical to AMD's survival.

  3. #2783
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bombcrater View Post
    The RX cards should draw less power in at least some games due to the tile-based rasterizer, which wasn't enabled in the Vega FE drivers.

    What also remains to be seen is how adoption of packed FP16 goes. That could give Vega a very sizeable boost in any games that can use it, since it can almost double shader throughput. Apparently Doom is getting FP16 support, as is Wolfenstein 2. I wouldn't be surprised to see community patches for some older games, too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zekk Pacus View Post
    AMD do always seem to do really well at driver optimisations so we'll see how that pans out.

    If they can keep power consumption down it'll be an interesting time, but nothing to compete at the halo end. The 295W TDP on Vega 64 doesn't leave me with a lot of hope.
    Basically this, I don't think "they'll optimise stuff and then it'll be gud". Depending on software developers to implement stuff after the game is out is always a gamble, not everybody is ID to put in Vulkan support in after the game is out. Either the tool is good or the tool needs adjustments to work just as good as another tool - the latter doesn't make Vega desirable since the baseline is not so good
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  4. #2784

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    Vega vs 1080Ti: Completely unscientific gameplay testing by HardOcp but still an interesting way of doing things.


  5. #2785
    Specially Pegged Donor Overspark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bombcrater View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Overspark View Post
    Edit: oh god, given how hard they're creaming over the current RX cards these Vega cards must be absolute gold to them, especially the 56 model.
    I can't see Vega being popular with miners. Vega FE had horrible mining efficiency, and even with some power tweaks all the Vega RX cards, except perhaps the Nano, are likely to make little or no profit at current price and difficulty levels. Only miners who have cheap electricity and are prepared to bet the farm on a steep rise in coin prices will even look at Vega, and even then it's likely the 1070 and 1080 will remain much more popular due to their low power consumption.
    Didn't know that, good to know.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bombcrater View Post
    My guess is AMD have gone with high prices for Vega simply because they don't have many to sell. The Vega/HBM2 package is hideously complex to build and I'm pretty sure AMD is much more interested in using its production allocation at GloFo to build Ryzens, which are way more profitable than any GPU and critical to AMD's survival.
    Vega might actually be a big win for Ryzen. So far p much everyone who was testing Ryzen to it's limits used the faster Nvidia cards, logically thinking the faster card was the most likely to bottleneck the CPU. However, as we know from some reports the Nvidia drivers are leaning heavily on a single core, which means all the tests claiming "Ryzen is slow in 1080p" weren't testing just what they thought they were testing. Doing these same tests again in a Vega system with AMD drivers that are supposed to be much more multi-core friendly might show a very different picture for Ryzen in situations that are supposed to be CPU bound, so I'm looking forward to see what the results will be.

  6. #2786
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    That could well be the case. The scheduling code in NVidia's drivers seem to make a bunch of assumptions about x64 architecture that don't deal well with Ryzen at all. Same happens with Intel's Skylake-X chips, but those are pretty much stillborn and irrelevant.

    I think Vega on Ryzen may end up surprising us, at least after AMD has refined the drivers a bit and engine developers tweak their code. In ideal conditions - good cooling, Ryzen or Threadripper CPU, game that supports FP16 - I'd expect Vega to give the 1080ti a very hard time. Trick for AMD is making sure those conditions happen as much as possible.

  7. #2787
    Movember 2012 Zekk Pacus's Avatar
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    Vega NDA lifts today.

    The 64 and the 56 trade blows with the 1080 and 1070 respectively, the 1080 Ti is way out there. The Vegas also use much more power to do the same thing and the air cooled 64 throttles pretty hard - expect that to get fixed with third party coolers. The 56 looks very interesting - beats out the 1070 in the majority of games and if they can keep it on the market at $399 it's a great proposition comparatively, especially if you also have a use case for the compute power. Starting to see why AMD asked reviewers to focus on the 56 over the 64.

    Initial reviews don't show the hoped-for Ryzen improvement but AMD have a great track record for improving drivers over time.
    Last edited by Zekk Pacus; August 14 2017 at 06:15:48 PM.
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  8. #2788
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    Gotta love AMD. Ask reviewers to focus on the card people can't buy yet...

  9. #2789
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    Supposedly, the next version of AMD's drivers will have a DAG fix that people have been asking for.
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  10. #2790
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zekk Pacus View Post
    Vega NDA lifts today.

    The 64 and the 56 trade blows with the 1080 and 1070 respectively, the 1080 Ti is way out there. The Vegas also use much more power to do the same thing and the air cooled 64 throttles pretty hard - expect that to get fixed with third party coolers. The 56 looks very interesting - beats out the 1070 in the majority of games and if they can keep it on the market at $399 it's a great proposition comparatively, especially if you also have a use case for the compute power. Starting to see why AMD asked reviewers to focus on the 56 over the 64.

    Initial reviews don't show the hoped-for Ryzen improvement but AMD have a great track record for improving drivers over time.
    Looks that way, yeah.

  11. #2791
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nordstern View Post
    Supposedly, the next version of AMD's drivers will have a DAG fix that people have been asking for.
    And a wild blockchain driver appears: https://support.amd.com/en-us/kb-art...ase-Notes.aspx

    My RX480 cards gained about 1.66 MHs using the new drivers. You'll need the beta release of After Burner and manually set your fan speeds.
    My RX Vega went from 31 to 37Mh/s mining ETH only. Very nice improvement.
    Just saw a guy get it to 45 mh/s but total system power with one card was like 480 watts.
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  12. #2792
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    The old Radeon 290 I've been using in my VR system expired in a cloud of multi-coloured garbage last night. I've been shopping for a new card, which is a deeply depressing experience. AMD have nothing I want, not a damn thing. 580 is too slow, Vega is hot, noisy and way, way too expensive. Custom-cooled Vega 56s may end up being good, but the ETA for those is apparently October.

    So for the first time in 10 years I'm going green. Ordered one of those 'mini' 1070s for £350. Still more than I want to pay, but everything below that price is just shit.

    Edit: fun fact; I've owned 5 Radeon 290s and 4 of them failed...
    Last edited by Bombcrater; August 21 2017 at 03:25:02 PM.

  13. #2793
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bombcrater View Post
    The old Radeon 290 I've been using in my VR system expired in a cloud of multi-coloured garbage last night. I've been shopping for a new card, which is a deeply depressing experience. AMD have nothing I want, not a damn thing. 580 is too slow, Vega is hot, noisy and way, way too expensive. Custom-cooled Vega 56s may end up being good, but the ETA for those is apparently October.

    So for the first time in 10 years I'm going green. Ordered one of those 'mini' 1070s for £350. Still more than I want to pay, but everything below that price is just shit.

    Edit: fun fact; I've owned 5 Radeon 290s and 4 of them failed...
    The 1070 is probably currently the best available card for the money, so you did good. MAYBE Vega 56 will give it a run for its money but I'm very disappointed by the power draw of Vega cards. I have a R9 390 that draws (I think) ~300W and it just heats up the room so much, it's uncomfortable at several degrees above the rest of the house (and as usual there's no AC in europe). So I really really want something that draws less power. The 580 would have been great but that's no longer an option at the prices you have to pay and I was hoping for Vega ... meh. Might have to go green.
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  14. #2794

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    570's are in stock here and there but you wouldn't see any tangiable performance improvements over your 390. Aaaand they're priced way too high anyway as there's 1060's at the same pricepoint in stock.

    This GPU market just won't quit will it? I can't believe that for once I upgraded my gpu at the right time in the release cycle.

  15. #2795
    Movember 2011Movember 2012 Nordstern's Avatar
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    I bought a RX 560 4GB last night on ebay for $120. It will replace my RX 460 2GB.
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  16. #2796
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    Quote Originally Posted by theBlind View Post
    The 1070 is probably currently the best available card for the money, so you did good. MAYBE Vega 56 will give it a run for its money but I'm very disappointed by the power draw of Vega cards. I have a R9 390 that draws (I think) ~300W and it just heats up the room so much, it's uncomfortable at several degrees above the rest of the house (and as usual there's no AC in europe). So I really really want something that draws less power. The 580 would have been great but that's no longer an option at the prices you have to pay and I was hoping for Vega ... meh. Might have to go green.
    Yes, it's hard to argue against the 1070 atm. It's the only card in its price range worth buying right now. I still think there's a possibility Vega 56 will be an all-round better card in the long run, though. Some hardware sites are getting spectacular results by undervolting Vega 56, basically 1080 performance for less power draw. If custom cooled 56s appear at a reasonable price (£400 or less) and with the GPU running at sensible voltage, then they should mop up the 1070. But it's AMD so those are substantial ifs in there.

    Anyway, my new 1070 is here. It's small, quiet and works fine. But jesus, I'd almost forgotten how woeful the NVidia control panel is, it's a relic from the XP days.

    Also in a hilarious feat of geekery, I managed to somewhat restore the failed 290 to life. Something seems to have gone pop in the memory voltage regulation circuit, after some trial and error I discovered that modifying the VBIOS to downclock the memory to 900MHz and run very, very loose timings made the card stable enough to loop the Uningine Valley benchmark for two hours without a glitch. It's lost about 10% performance, but I'm going to count this one as a win.

  17. #2797
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    I hold 0 hope for the Vega 56 it will come in £100-£150 more than the 1070 and I expect it to barely compete in performance, watching the trend in pricing of the 1070's heading down to £300 as well.
    the annoying thing for me is in the last 4 or so years we have not had any improvement in price / performance all the performance increases have come with price increases.

    I need to pass my GTX 970 on to the missus (she is stuck running an backup 9800GTX+) but nothing is affordable that has any improvement in performance for it to be worth upgrading.

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  18. #2798
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    Pricing is definitely key. It's not impossible AMD will be able to keep the 56 below £400, yields will be better than the 64 and it is using cheaper, slower Hynix HBM2 rather than the Samsung stuff on the 64 and FE (which is apparently searingly expensive, like $100 per chip).

    The 1070 will have a cost advantage for sure, it's a much simpler design. I'm pretty sure NV could push the retail price down below £250 if they wanted and still make a good margin. But I'm convinced Vega 56 will be much the better card once board partners get to work on it.

  19. #2799
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    I'm curious, if you buy a video card, how long do you keep it?

    I remember keeping my GTX680 for 3 years (March 2012 - March 2015) and the upgrade did not feel really that significant unless I'd be playing the new released titles. Had my Titan X Maxwell for 2+ years (March 2015 - present) and don't really feel the need to upgrade as it's holding its own quite well in the grand scheme of stuff (except lolStellaris and Deus Ex Mankind Divided which are poorly optimised to begin with).

    I don't think most of the MMOs today really require that much video processing power and not a lot of other games are played as much, and those which are really good are generally well optimised (I'm looking at The Witcher 3 for example, looks beautiful and is actually running well on most hardware that isn't a potato).

    I feel the big push is coming from the VR requirements, albeit for example Elite Dangerous and Assetto Corsa with everything maxed worked for me with Oculus without any stuttering or glitches, but I didn't get to test it with a 1070. Also lots of trickled tech due to lack of competition is hurting the overall progress, but that's only in addition that current processing technologies are reaching their limits as well.
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  20. #2800
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    In the past I used to upgrade every year, sometimes quicker. But I kept my 7950 going for almost two years, and only upgraded because I had a couple of 290s spare from mining. Those got replaced by an ex-mining Nano, which I eventually sold and just used the money to buy a 1070. So thinking about it, the last time I upgraded due to performance issues was before the 7950 when I was running a pair of 6870s in xfire and 1GB of Vram started to be become a major issue.

    Using the 1070 I'm startled by how little difference it's made over the Nano. Elite Dangerous is a bit smoother, but it just plain hates AMD cards. And XCOM2 is so badly coded it ran out of Vram on the Nano after a while, so it benefits from the 1070. I've now moved my Rift onto the main rig with its 1070, before it was on my second machine which had a 290 fitted. There's zero difference in written-for-VR games, only ED shows an improvement in framerate. Assetto Corsa was completely smooth on the 290.

    I think VR will drive gfx requirements higher, particularly since it doesn't work at all well with xfire or SLI, but not until there are enough headsets sold that pushing past the base-line 290/970 level becomes viable and not sales suicide for developers.

    But i may be wrong and market expansion will take precedence over visual quality. Microsoft's new AR/VR headsets use 1440x1400 res per eye and they've set the base gfx as Intel's Skylake iGPU.

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