#1 Edited by troll93 (450 posts) -

Hey everyone.

My GPU's fans have started making some lovely grinding noise, and seeing it is now out of warrenty, I think I will pick up a new card. Isnt that the thing you do, get a new card every three years or so?

So, I am tossing up between an MSI 770 and the gigabyte R9 290 windforce (not the OC version), both at the same price thanks to a big discount on the R9 290. I absolutely suck at being able to interpret GPU review, and Toms hardware says that the 290 beats out the 770. However, when I look at the specks, the 290 only has a core clock of 947 while all the 770 are up around 1110-1130.

Is anyone able to help me decipher this? Is this a super gimped version of the 290? Is it still worth it due to the sale putting in down in 770 territory? Should I wait a months and new cards will come out?

Cheers everyone

#2 Posted by Alyssia (377 posts) -

Only noise a GPU makes is from it's fan. Check the fan and clean it up. Also Nvidia is almost always the stronger purchase. Better drivers, better support. AMD only if your on a budget.

#3 Posted by DFL017 (199 posts) -

Only noise a GPU makes is from it's fan. Check the fan and clean it up. Also Nvidia is almost always the stronger purchase. Better drivers, better support. AMD only if your on a budget.

I agree

#4 Edited by troll93 (450 posts) -

@jennibelle: Yeah, the fan is busted like I said. The problem is that the lubrication on the bearing has dried out. I could properly fix it, but instead I am taking it as an excuse to upgrade.

#5 Posted by Zelyre (1373 posts) -

@troll93: Bearing's probably bad on your GPU fan. You could swap the heatsink/fan, but if it's three years old, the price of an aftermarket cooler and the work it'll take isn't really worth it.

Clock speed doesn't mean performance when the architecture is the same. A 1.7ghz i7 mobile will run circles around a 3ghz Pentium 4 while running cooler. Think of a hz more like container than a unit of speed. A truck carrying 900 2 liters of pop will carry more pop than the same truck carrying 1,100 cans of pop.

What resolution is your monitor? The 290 is around 30% faster than the 770. It also draws 25-30% more power, generates that same difference in heat, and because of that, will generate more fan noise. At 1080p, you'll most likely be CPU bound before you're GPU bound. It's once you get up to higher resolutions that the 290's going to start pulling away from the 770.

The 770 has 2gb of DDR5, the 290 has 4. The 2gb of ram is the biggest issue. The two cards are priced so closely that I would rather deal with AMD's crappy software (Or lack thereof, as I lost the ability to launch Catalyst eons ago.) then be stuck with a card with only 2gb of ram. If heat and noise is an issue, you can underclock and undervolt the 290 and still have more performance than the 770. The 290 has a big fat 512bit bus for the memory as well.

The 770 is a good card for now. The 290 is a good card for now and tomorrow.

#6 Posted by troll93 (450 posts) -

@zelyre: Alright sounds like a plan. I'm currently running on a 1080, but was planing at some stage in the not too distant future to go up to 1440 or even 1600. Cheers mate

#7 Posted by MB (14041 posts) -

@troll93: something else to consider is Nvidia's Shadowplay feature. Onboard h264, on my machine there is no perceptible performance hit even when recording 1080p60 video...which is all the time. I have an Asus GTX 780 3gb.

#8 Edited by DonMFJohnson (167 posts) -

I would say get a GTX 780, there isn't much of a price difference compared to R9 290 is there?

Edit: Current recommendation from Tom's Hardware seems to be a tie between R9 290 and GTX 780, so get the one that tickles your fancy :).

#9 Posted by Raven10 (2056 posts) -

I hate recommending AMD just because their drivers are always so awful, but the 290 is a more powerful card than the 770 in pretty much every measure. And that extra 2 GB of RAM is going to be a major plus if you are going to game over 1080p. I don't know how much of a budget restriction you are working on but this 770 has 4 GB of RAM and is highly overclocked. Might not give you as much performance as the 290 but personally I would go for that.

#10 Posted by VACkillers (1175 posts) -

Personally I would go with a GTX 770 with 4GB VRAM myself as Raven pointed out AMD drivers are just so bad its actually not even worth it anymore coz the cards get gimped even though their more bang for buck but the drivers only work half the time, updating is an absolute bitch to do for newer games, Mantle isn't worth the ass its printed on my opinion either because DX12 will neglegate any advantage Mantle API has on lower GPUs, it doesn't really do much for the higher end GPU spectrum and limited on games its actually compatible for.