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    The PC (Personal Computer) is a highly configurable and upgradable gaming platform that, among home systems, sports the widest variety of control methods, largest library of games, and cutting edge graphics and sound capabilities.

    980 or 970?

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    alphasquid

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    Poll 980 or 970? (197 votes)

    980 45%
    970 55%

    So, I'm thinking about buying a new GPU and am having trouble deciding between the two. Is the step up to the 980 dramatic enough to justify the price? I'm running everything at 1080p for the moment but that may change at some point.

     • 
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    uhtaree

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    I recently bought a 970, uprgraded motherboard and cpu, and it's a great card, but now kinda wish I had just spent the money I used to upgrade other stuff to pay for the difference between a 970 and 980 since my last cpu was still pretty capable. That said, from a price performance standpoint, the extra $200 bucks it takes get a 980 you're definitely paying a premium and there is always some poorly optimized game that makes me personally have an inferiority complex about my video card anyway. I'd probably get a 980 if I did it over again just because I will probably upgrade to a higher resolution monitor next and that would help out there.

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    alphasquid

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    @aquamarin: Well it looks like I can get a 980 for about $140 more so maybe I'll go for it. Thanks for the input.

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    Corvak

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    #3  Edited By Corvak

    970 for 1080p, 980 for 1440p basically.

    Eventually yeah, the gradual increase in game demands will make the 980 outclass the 970, so I guess theres some future proofing there but thats how it is now.

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    kasaioni

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    I have a 970 as well, and I kind of wish I went the extra mile and got a 980. However the 970 has been doing a good job so far (I also have an i7 4770). The main games that I can't run on the highest settings without taking a hit are GTAV and AC:Syndicate. But GTAV has those insane extra settings that would push most high end PCs. But I can run stuff like Fallout 4, Dyning Light, SR4, MGSV, Shadow of Mordor all day long smoothly on their highest settings. Yet I think I would need at least a 980 if I were to consider playing Rise of the Tomb Raider or highest or very high settings.

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    alphasquid

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    @kasaioni: I don't know about needing a 980 for Tomb Raider. I've got a 760 right now and on around the high preset I'm getting about 45 FPS on average. Granted I haven't played much of the game because it seems that any taxing enough game causes either my power supply or my GPU or something to crash which is why I'm upgrading my PC in the first place but it seems like a 970 might do well with Tomb Raider.

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    Jayzilla

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    #6  Edited By Jayzilla

    go 970 for now and sock the rest of the money away that you could have spent for the 980 and spend it on a card that comes out next year or the year after.

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    kasaioni

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    @alphasquid: For sure a 970 could run Tomb Raider. Usually I try to have the settings around to where I can be at a constant 60, so being at 45 is pretty low for me.

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    alphasquid

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    @kasaioni: Yeah, I was saying that considering the performance on my 760 it wouldn't surprise me if a 970 got a consistent 60 at or around max settings in Tomb Raider.

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    CouldbeRolf

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    I went from a 680 to a 970 and honestly I was rather underwhelmed and don't know if I got my moneys worth. I still can't max most games at 1080p and expect to get a somewhat stable 60fps. If you can afford the 980 I'd say go for that, though the price doesn't reflect the power difference.

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    ASilentProtagonist

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    If you can afford a 980 then why not?

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    mike

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    If you can afford a 980 then why not?

    Because a 980 is 40% more expensive than a 970 and not nearly that much more powerful. It's way past the sweet spot for GPUs, and that's coming from someone who owns two 980s. 970 is the best value.

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    monetarydread

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    #12  Edited By monetarydread

    As someone who is having trouble getting his 980 to run games at 1080p / 60fps - I would recommend waiting until the new cards have come out. The word is springtime, so it won't be that long from now before the next generation of cards are out. If I am having such trouble running games with a 980 that makes me hesitant to recommend a 970 to anyone, it seems like a waste of money at this point in time.

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    ASilentProtagonist

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    @mike said:
    @asilentprotagonist said:

    If you can afford a 980 then why not?

    Because a 980 is 40% more expensive than a 970 and not nearly that much more powerful. It's way past the sweet spot for GPUs, and that's coming from someone who owns two 980s. 970 is the best value.

    980 is worth the investment either way. Many benchmarks at 1080P with 970 getting 45-50fps compared to the 980 which hit's mid 60'-70's that difference is worth it. Especially if you're gaming on higher resolutions than 1080P.

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    alphasquid

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    @monetarydread: Well I'm not sure I'll be able to wait until spring since, as I mentioned in a previous comment, something weird is going on with either my GPU or my power supply and I'm having a tough time getting any recent game running for more than five minutes without crashing. So I kinda looking at sooner rather than later.

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    monetarydread

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    #15  Edited By monetarydread

    @alphasquid said:

    @monetarydread: Well I'm not sure I'll be able to wait until spring since, as I mentioned in a previous comment, something weird is going on with either my GPU or my power supply and I'm having a tough time getting any recent game running for more than five minutes without crashing. So I kinda looking at sooner rather than later.

    Yeah, but spring is 4-8 weeks away. The cards out right now are just revisions of cards that were introduced four years ago, and thanks to VR, the developers are finally forced to release their new designs making this the closest PC gaming gets to a new console generation. Investing in a card now is like investing in a full-priced ps3 the August before the PS4 was released. You might have to go without PC gaming for a month, or so, but whats worse, no gaming for a month or immediate buyers remorse a month from now?

    If you are dead-set on buying soon, I would just go for a 950 ($139 on newegg.com and runs a bit better than your 970) for next-to-nothing and then upgrading in the Fall. I would not-even consider investing in something expensive right now

    Edit: It is also a little weird that your 760 is crashing right now. It sounds like a software problem, not a hardware problem. What are your GPU temps when it crashes? What kind of Power Supply are you running? Is there an overclock that you are not aware of?

    I recommend that yourun Microsoft Event viewer, then run the game till it crashes, and look at the results. I bet there is some sort of .dll conflict going on. I had the same thing with Metal Gear Solid V and it turned out that an app I had installed (duet display if anyone is curious) was conflicting with .dll's games needed to run. The even viewer let me see what was wrong and then uninstalling duet display let me run games without problems.

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    xymox

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    #16  Edited By xymox

    @alphasquid: Does the game crash or your entire system? I've had something similar before and it was caused by my card not getting enough juice from my PSU. Could play games for 5-15 minutes, sometimes more sometimes less, but always bluescreened.

    I'd say save the money and pick up a cheaper card, and put the rest of the money towards going up one price level on your next graphics card purchase? The new spring cards will apparently be nuts to the point where I thought the general concensus was that now's the time to wait.

    Also maybe check some Tomb Raider Rise benchmarks on the web before / if you make a purchase if that's the main thing you're interested in playing. Because from the benchmarks I'm finding for Tomb Raider they all seem to have the 980Ti pinned as the only card that hits a solid 60 at very high/max settings at 1080p, and even that one's gonna see some drops every now and then into the high 50s. The 970 looks veeery iffy to me especially since some sites like kotaku report sub 30 on very high as the minimum?

    @monetarydread said:

    As someone who is having trouble getting his 980 to run games at 1080p / 60fps - I would recommend waiting until the new cards have come out. The word is springtime, so it won't be that long from now before the next generation of cards are out. If I am having such trouble running games with a 980 that makes me hesitant to recommend a 970 to anyone, it seems like a waste of money at this point in time.

    This is what I'm thinking.

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    hassun

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    #17  Edited By hassun

    How soon are you willing to upgrade? A new generation of cards is coming out this year and VR might actually push technology (a bit) faster and sooner than usual. This will cause the card you buy now to become obsolete more quickly. If you're not willing to wait but willing to upgrade sometime soon I would go with the 970. If you just want to buy a good card now and stick with it the 980 might be a better idea. (Although the 980 carries a steep price premium for a relatively small performance gain.)

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    alphasquid

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    So, I don't think I have a software problem because I erased everything and reinstalled Windows literally a few days ago and still have next to nothing installed. What's going on is that when playing certain games (recently it's been occurring in both Rise of The Tomb Raider and XCOM 2) seemingly out of nowhere the whole system crashes to a screen consisting of just a solid color and whatever audio was playing distorts. Temps are a bit high but not too crazy (between around 77 to 85ish). I guess the best course of action would probably be to replace the power supply to see if that works and wait on the GPU. The only problem is that I made something of a mistake by buying an Alienware which is very small and does not have an internal PSU. So to replace it I need to move all the parts to a new case which I would have to do anyway to upgrade the GPU. I'm not seeing any particularly helpful information in Event Viewer.

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    Moztacular

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    I think a lot of the factory overclocked 970s can reach stock 980 speeds/power, plus it's cheaper. I have a 970 though so of course I'll want to defend that purchase. I will say that the 970 gets strained on 1440p and I end up dropping to 1080p for some games (like rise of the tomb raider and witcher 3). 1080p the 970 is fine, it can max rise of the tomb raider including the hair physics setting whatever it's called. Having bought the 970 last year I suspect I'll be tempted by the 2017 GPU models that are probably going to be quite powerful.

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    alphasquid

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    Well, thanks for the advice everyone. I guess I'll go with waiting on the GPU and start with replacing the PSU

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    jd_delgado

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    Nvidia's new gtx cards (codenamed Pascal) are coming out in Q2, so just wait a little IMO

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    Wemibelle

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    I'll chime in and say that my 970 (and others', according to Internet chatter I've read) have some problems with crashing due to overheating/poor optimization. There are certain games that push my card so far--FFXIV, Witcher 3, Rise of the Tomb Raider--that the card will simply shut down, forcing a hard restart of my PC. It seems this has to do with the card's default fan speeds not being satisfactory at cooling the card and keeping it from reaching automatic shutdown levels. I get around this issue by using MSI Afterburner to artificially boost the fan speed of my card, keeping it from getting too hot. It's not that much of a problem, but it is something to consider.

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    deactivated-60481185a779c

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    I play at 1080p at highest available settings and my 970 has not disappointed me. If you are considering higher resolutions in the future then maybe opt for the 980 but by that stage there might new cards out there at better value.

    @wemibelec90:That's a shame. I haven't experienced this with mine (Gigabyte G1). Which manufacturer is your card, out of interest?

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    Cav829

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    There's no reason to buy a 980 right now unless you want to do 4K gaming. This is especially true with the amount of deals lately for 970s around $250. Since you're playing at 1080, there are far better uses of that money. For instance, you could set it aside and combine it with the money you could make ebaying your 970 in a year to get a card more powerful than a 980.

    The real debate is if you should buy a 970 or a Radeon 390. :)

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    Dave_Tacitus

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    As someone who bought a 780 a few months before the 900 series cards came out, I'd say wait a while if you can. I stuck a friend's 970 in my PC a while later and found almost identical performance at £65 less than I'd paid for the already heavily discounted 780. A little over a year later I bought a 980ti and resolved never to buy a GPU in haste again.

    Even though I was happy enough with performance, deep down in my bones I knew I should have listened to the people telling me to wait a few months.

    I don't want this waste of money to happen to anyone else if I can help it. Stay strong, duder. ;)

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    korwin

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    #26  Edited By korwin

    At this point neither, we're getting close to the launch of the next generation of GPU's.

    @cav829 said:

    There's no reason to buy a 980 right now unless you want to do 4K gaming.

    You are grossly overestimating the 980's capabilities.

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    Wemibelle

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    @dgtlty: EVGA. I've heard most of the people with this problem have the same card, but I've seen a few people with non-EVGA cards who've had the problem too. Not a big deal if you know how to deal with it but still worth knowing.

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    OurSin_360

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    #28  Edited By OurSin_360

    970 or skip and go for the 980TI, i don't think the price gap between 970 and 980 is worth it. 980 isn't good enough to play at max settings at 1440p, and honestly I still have to turn down settings at 1080 with it. Unless you can get a cheap 980, get the 970 or 980ti.

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    NTM

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    Five GeForce GTX Titan X's.

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    hack1501

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    I have a MSI 100ME 970 and it runs great. Running at 1080p and set to the highest settings has not been a problem for any games I have played yet (Mad Max, Just Cause 3, Civ V and Skyrim). I know you said your GPU might not make it much longer but it might be worth trying to push it till the new cards come out.

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    alphasquid

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    @ntm: This is the real answer. Cost effective too!

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    NTM

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    #32  Edited By NTM

    @alphasquid: Ha ha. I know. It would be nice to have one though... Five is overkill I think (and not just on the wallet, but especially so there), but what the heck.

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    VooDooPC

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    @kasaioni: Yeah, I was saying that considering the performance on my 760 it wouldn't surprise me if a 970 got a consistent 60 at or around max settings in Tomb Raider.

    Looking at Nvidia's benchmarks, the 970 gets around 40 fps at 1080p at max settings. No card(s) on the market can run the game at max settings at a consistent 60 fps according to Nvidia.

    http://images.nvidia.com/geforce-com/international/images/rise-of-the-tomb-raider/rise-of-the-tomb-raider-nvidia-geforce-gtx-900-series-performance.png

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    alphasquid

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    @voodoopc: Wow. Apparently the max Tomb Raider settings are more impressive than I thought. (I haven't looked at them)

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    chu52

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    I love my 970 at 1080 and so does my wallet. That's all I got to say

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    Dave_Tacitus

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    @alphasquid: Going by my card (980ti) I'd say those figures are pretty accurate. If I max everything out at 1080p on TR I'll get high 40s fps - The supersampling AA is the killer here - just like the chart says. Go with FXAA and a few jaggies and I'm at 80+.

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    monkeyking1969

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    What CPU and RAM are you running....does your rig justify a 980?

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    OldManLight

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    Short of a desire to play games at 1440 or higher resolutions, a 970 will be just fine for anything that's out now.

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    rethla

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    What CPU and RAM are you running....does your rig justify a 980?

    All rigs justify a 980 if its not an old Pentium 4 rig.

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    koolaid

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    It's honestly a pretty hard choice. The jump in price from the 970 to the 980 doesn't REALLY justify the increase in performance. But on the other hand, I got the 970 and sold it after about 6 months and bought a 980 ti... the fact that it could be better just ate away at me man.

    I dunno... if you can afford it, then treat yourself! I will say that if you are only gaming at 1080p then the 970 probably meets your needs but higher then that you may have remorse.

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