R9 390X vs GTX 970: Which GPU is Better for 1080p Gaming
If you are looking for a high-performance graphics card that can handle 1080p gaming at high or ultra settings, you might be wondering whether to choose the AMD R9 390X or the Nvidia GTX 970. Both cards are based on older architectures, but they still offer decent performance and value for money. However, there are some key differences between them that might affect your decision. In this article, we will compare the R9 390X and the GTX 970 in terms of specifications, performance, power consumption, and price.
The R9 390X is a rebadged version of the R9 290X, with a slightly higher core clock speed and a larger amount of VRAM. It has 2816 stream processors, a base clock of 1050 MHz, and 8 GB of GDDR5 memory running at 6000 MHz on a 512-bit bus. The GTX 970 is based on the Maxwell architecture, which is more power-efficient and has better features than the older GCN architecture of the R9 390X. It has 1664 CUDA cores, a base clock of 1050 MHz (boostable to 1178 MHz), and 4 GB of GDDR5 memory running at 7000 MHz on a 256-bit bus. However, the GTX 970 has a controversial memory design that splits the VRAM into two segments: a fast 3.5 GB segment and a slow 0.5 GB segment. This can cause performance issues in some games that use more than 3.5 GB of VRAM.
The performance of the R9 390X and the GTX 970 depends on the game and the settings used. In general, the R9 390X has an edge over the GTX 970 in terms of raw performance, especially at higher resolutions and settings that require more VRAM. However, the GTX 970 has better optimization and driver support for some games, as well as features like PhysX and G-Sync that can enhance the gaming experience. To illustrate the performance difference between the two cards, we will use some benchmarks from UserBenchmark and YouTube videos that compare them in various games at 1080p.
The Witcher 3: The R9 390X delivers an average of 55 fps at ultra settings with no HairWorks, while the GTX 970 manages an average of 48 fps. The R9 390X also has better minimum and maximum fps than the GTX 970.
Assassin's Creed Unity: The R9 390X achieves an average of 69 fps at ultra high settings with FXAA, while the GTX 970 gets an average of 70 fps. The GTX 970 has slightly better minimum and maximum fps than the R9 390X.
Far Cry 4: The R9 390X scores an average of 68 fps at ultra settings with SMAA, while the GTX
GTA V: The R9 390X delivers an average of 68 fps at max settings, while the GTX 970 gets an average of 53 fps. The R9 390X also has better minimum and maximum fps than the GTX 970.
CS:GO: The R9 390X and the GTX 970 are both capable of running this game at over 150 fps at max settings, with no significant difference between them.
Fortnite: The R9 390X and the GTX 970 are both able to achieve around 90 fps at max settings, with a slight advantage for the R9 390X.
PUBG: The R9 390X outperforms the GTX 970 in this game, with an average of 63 fps versus 51 fps at max settings.
As you can see, the R9 390X has a clear advantage over the GTX 970 in most games at 1080p, especially those that are more demanding or use more VRAM. However, the GTX 970 is not far behind and can still provide a smooth gaming experience at high or ultra settings in most games.
One of the major drawbacks of the R9 390X is its high power consumption and heat output. The R9 390X has a TDP of 275W, which means it requires a more powerful PSU and a better cooling system than the GTX 970, which has a TDP of only 145W. According to TechPowerUp, the R9 390X consumes an average of 321W under load, while the GTX 970 consumes an average of 166W. The R9 390X also reaches higher temperatures than the GTX 970, with an average of 75ÂC versus 65ÂC. The higher power consumption and heat output of the R9 390X can affect its overclocking potential and longevity, as well as increase your electricity bill and noise levels.