Tech Buyer's Guru Forum

Tech Talk - Help, Musings, and Inspiration => Video Cards => Topic started by: Ari Altman on March 03, 2014, 06:42:14 PM

Title: The TBG Video Card Buyer's Guide
Post by: Ari Altman on March 03, 2014, 06:42:14 PM
Here's the thread to discuss the "Video Card Buyer's Guide", updated quarterly on The Tech Buyer's Guru.

The guide can be found here (https://techbuyersguru.com/very-best-video-card-buyers-guide-winter-2019).
Title: Re: The TBG Video Card Buyer's Guide
Post by: JJAP on May 23, 2015, 07:56:27 PM
@Ari
I urge you to recommend the 285/960 over the 280(X).

Witcher 3 benchmarks show no strain on vram.
http://www.techpowerup.com/mobile/reviews/Performance_Analysis/The_Witcher_3/3.html
In fact, no game to date has shown a need for more than 2GB @ 1080

OK, you know that. I understand your claim to be that the 3GB of the 280 will someday be better than 128/2GB. But look at hardocp's benchmarks of gta V:
http://www.hardocp.com/article/2015/04/27/grand_theft_auto_v_single_gpu_performance_review_part_1/7

The 280X is significantly slower! We now have significant evidence against the case of an older chip, and still no evidence against 128/2G. I think it's too much of gamble to bet on 3GB w/old chip.
Title: Re: The TBG Video Card Buyer's Guide
Post by: JJAP on May 23, 2015, 08:14:56 PM
I also want to address the commen about the 970 3.5vram being a liability in SLI. There is no evidence of this. In fact, the 970 is by far the best value in dual gpu gaming.

http://www.techpowerup.com/mobile/reviews/NVIDIA/GeForce_GTX_970_SLI/22.html

Even when the 970 SLI was brought to it's knees by GTA V, it's vram didn't go past 3.5GB. It's conceivable that the last 500MB would be a liability, but compared to what? What other card would outperform/price it in SLI?

http://www.hardocp.com/article/2015/05/04/grand_theft_auto_v_multigpu_performance_review_part_2/2

PCPer spent days trying to artificially stress the last 500GB. Under a microscope, yes, the last 500 is slower. But so what? The 970s value still stands.

http://www.pcper.com/reviews/Graphics-Cards/Frame-Rating-Looking-GTX-970-Memory-Performance/COD-Advanced-Warfare-and-Clos
http://www.pcper.com/reviews/Graphics-Cards/Frame-Rating-GTX-970-Memory-Issued-Tested-SLI
Title: Re: The TBG Video Card Buyer's Guide
Post by: Ari Altman on May 23, 2015, 09:26:15 PM
JJAP,

You make some really good points above. There have been some recent game releases (The Witcher 3 and GTAV in particular) that have run much better on new architectures, both from Nvidia and AMD, than on older architectures. The Witcher 3 also happens to be really easy on VRAM, making the GTX 960 and the R9 285 the better choice for that game versus the older R9 280/X.

But the recommendations in the TBG Video Card Buyer's Guide take into consideration many years' worth of games, not just the newest releases, and overall, there is evidence that VRAM matters in many games. And in most game engines, the R9 285 and GTX 960 simply have not proven superior to the R9 280 and GTX 760 that they replaced.  But the Buyer's Guide is updated every quarter, so if I see more evidence of the newer cards proving superior to the older cards (while also dropping in price), I'll change the recommended cards at the applicable price points.

On the topic of GTX 970 SLI, I'm going to hold my ground. I've run GTX 780 Ti 3GB SLI for quite some time, and I can honestly say the 3GB of VRAM became an issue. GTX 970 4GB SLI is nearly equivalent in speed, and will run into similar VRAM issues. The reason that no one has been able to push the GTX 970 over 3.5GB is that the latest Nvidia driver has disabled the last 0.5GB of VRAM, because it is a massive bottleneck to performance. Therefore, the card only has 3.5GB of usable RAM, and that simply is not enough to push detail levels that 970 SLI can run. Even 4GB is going to start being a limitation soon, and this shouldn't be a surprise. The consoles have a total of 8GB at their disposal, about 6-7GB of which can be allocated to graphics. With most games today starting as console ports, game developers are depending on VRAM more and more. For a single GTX 970, 3.5GB is plenty, as you can't push ultra-high levels of detail at ultra-high resolutions on a single card, but for SLI, it does matter.

As for what cards beat 970 SLI, the answer is simple. Either the Radeon R9 295 X2 (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00JOQZ4XE/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00JOQZ4XE&linkCode=as2&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=THZUCW2A4E7BRT4W), which will go down in history as one of the most insane closeout deals of all time, or alternatively two R9 290X (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00HHIPN5A/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00HHIPN5A&linkCode=as2&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=UIRCVOC7GDVHPDHY) cards. Sure, there are games where 970 SLI will outperform the Radeons, but overall, the Radeons are simply faster and more robust in dual-card configurations due to their VRAM advantage and huge memory bandwidth.
Title: Re: The TBG Video Card Buyer's Guide
Post by: Oilcruzer on January 01, 2016, 01:32:34 PM
Nice site Ari.  Hope you are getting enough page views / links...

The hierarchy on vid cards is a little difficult to follow... although people at TH have hit that pretty well.

A few questions here.

The "2160p (4K)" HTPC vid card recommendation is that Gigabyte GeForce GFX 950 that you link to.  http://www.amazon.com/Gigabyte-GeForce-GDDR5-Graphics-GV-N950OC-2GD/dp/B013XFK0R6

1) Is that the only 950 model that will fit the bill? (i.e. do other / all GeForce GFX 950 units include HDMI 2.0a and HDCP 2.2?)

2) Are there other restrictions on systems that people need watch for?  (I.E. does the processor come into play here at all or the chipset or other items?  (I.E. does simply switching out the vid card fit the bill?)

3) For those who would like an even better vid card, are there other cards that work right now?  (I've a Gigabyte GFX 560 ti, and it's a pretty decent mid-stream card, but if I'm going to upgrade, maybe I should toss a bit more into the upgrade cycle here...

Thanks.
Title: Re: The TBG Video Card Buyer's Guide
Post by: Ari Altman on January 01, 2016, 02:10:14 PM
Nice site Ari.  Hope you are getting enough page views / links...

The hierarchy on vid cards is a little difficult to follow... although people at TH have hit that pretty well.

A few questions here.

The "2160p (4K)" HTPC vid card recommendation is that Gigabyte GeForce GFX 950 that you link to.  http://www.amazon.com/Gigabyte-GeForce-GDDR5-Graphics-GV-N950OC-2GD/dp/B013XFK0R6

1) Is that the only 950 model that will fit the bill? (i.e. do other / all GeForce GFX 950 units include HDMI 2.0a and HDCP 2.2?)

2) Are there other restrictions on systems that people need watch for?  (I.E. does the processor come into play here at all or the chipset or other items?  (I.E. does simply switching out the vid card fit the bill?)

3) For those who would like an even better vid card, are there other cards that work right now?  (I've a Gigabyte GFX 560 ti, and it's a pretty decent mid-stream card, but if I'm going to upgrade, maybe I should toss a bit more into the upgrade cycle here...

Thanks.

Thanks for this helpful feedback, Oilcruzer. Much appreciated!

Were you referring to the hierarchy in the Video Card Rankings (http://techbuyersguru.com/video-card-rankings-page-4) article? This will get a full revamp in Spring 2016 when the new generations of cards launches, so any suggestions can be integrated into the update. The Tom's Hardware hierarchy is incredibly comprehensive, but some of the categories are a bit too broad. That makes making purchasing decisions a little harder.

As to your specific question, all GTX 950 cards have the same home theater capabilities. The Gigabyte happens to be least expensive, and given that the some of the "upgraded" models are too close in price to higher-end GPUs, they don't get our recommendation.

The GTX 950 is actually the most advanced GPU on the market in terms of HTPC capability. It's not certain whether any other Nvidia model can do HDCP 2.2, as there is no content to test it with yet. And no AMD card comes close to its capabilities.
Title: Re: The TBG Video Card Buyer's Guide
Post by: Oilcruzer on January 01, 2016, 02:38:44 PM
Thanks for the quick reply.

Hmmmm... I didn't make it as far as Page 4 (funny)... the article didn't scream out that those were coming after the groupings seen in Pages 1 to 3.

Perhaps a tweak for next time?  Make the navigation and "what's included" more clear?

Also, I predict that more people are going to be looking at alternatives from the locked down options such as the Roku 4 / Apple TV... so that they can move their own picks from their HTPC to their combination of Display and Audio units.

Personally, I'm looking to build a stand alone unit that allows me to tie my NAS and Netflix options together, and from there I separately send SPDIF to the AV unit and the HDMI signal to the "4K" unit.



HNY!
Title: Re: The TBG Video Card Buyer's Guide
Post by: Ari Altman on July 14, 2017, 10:43:45 AM
This guide has been updated for Summer 2017, with TBG's best picks in a difficult market. The Ethereum cryptocurrency mining craze has wiped out inventory on a wide range of models!
Title: Re: The TBG Video Card Buyer's Guide
Post by: Secret on March 31, 2018, 12:34:33 PM
Ari are these prices of cards going to become the new standard now that data mining has become so popular?  I keep postponing things hoping the market will return to normal but I'm not seeing any signs of it.
Title: Re: The TBG Video Card Buyer's Guide
Post by: Ari Altman on March 31, 2018, 01:23:38 PM
Ari are these prices of cards going to become the new standard now that data mining has become so popular?  I keep postponing things hoping the market will return to normal but I'm not seeing any signs of it.

Secret, this is indeed the new normal. Despite the fact that there's no better way to lose money today than to mine cryptocurrency (especially Ethereum), the bait has been set, and people can't stop biting. Every GPU manufacturer has increased official MSRPs by 35% in response, and I assume that this "reset" is permanent and will apply whenever the next generation of cards appears. I now believe this will be in the Nov/Dec timeframe, despite the fact that Nvidia surely has its Volta-based gaming GPUs ready. Why? Because 2-year-old cards are now priced above their original MSRPs (talk about printing money - Nvidia is doing it!), and my hunch is that AMD may never release another Radeon for gaming. Seriously. Based on my conversation with AMD reps at CES 2018 in January and subsequent remarks published in financial disclosures, it's clear that AMD is going to target the mining community almost exclusively. It's a much better fit for AMD's GPU tech.

So, honestly, if you want a new PC, just go ahead and open your wallet. I don't mean pay a third-party an absurd price, but do be prepared to pay $350 or so for a GTX 1060 6GB, (https://www.amazon.com/ZOTAC-GeForce-ZT-P10600B-10M-Compact-Graphics/dp/B01I5O5AP2/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1522527614&sr=1-7&keywords=GTX+1060+6GB&th=1&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=c948c5b5bad67a2eb00984062002bcc0) $580 for a GTX 1070 Ti (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076QDSVB4/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=2b630c162b10359810fd5aefcf30e300), $680 for a GTX 1080 (https://www.amazon.com/EVGA-GeForce-Support-Graphics-08G-P4-6286-KR/dp/B01GAI6478/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1522527696&sr=1-4&keywords=gtx+1080+8gb&th=1&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=def6e88ab5bb388444cd743ff8856205), and at least $900 for a GTX 1080 Ti (https://www.amazon.com/ZOTAC-ZT-P10810F-10P-GeForce-Extreme-Graphics/dp/B07113WJPC/ref=as_li_ss_tl?m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1522527737&sr=1-1&keywords=gtx+1080+ti+11gb&refinements=p_6:ATVPDKIKX0DER&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=18aebdb301046832c312fd5e8431e0a4).
Title: Re: The TBG Video Card Buyer's Guide
Post by: Secret on January 16, 2019, 12:47:19 PM
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814202326&Description=amd%20vega%2064&cm_re=amd_vega_64-_-14-202-326-_-Product (http://www.anrdoezrs.net/links/7120282/type/dlg/https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814202326&Description=amd%20vega%2064&cm_re=amd_vega_64-_-14-202-326-_-Product)

This seems like a good deal.  I might have picked one up had I not already purchased the 590.  Though after reading lots of reviews it seems you need to be a pro at setting one up to get it to run right.
Title: Re: The TBG Video Card Buyer's Guide
Post by: Ari Altman on January 16, 2019, 12:55:27 PM
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814202326&Description=amd%20vega%2064&cm_re=amd_vega_64-_-14-202-326-_-Product (http://www.anrdoezrs.net/links/7120282/type/dlg/https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814202326&Description=amd%20vega%2064&cm_re=amd_vega_64-_-14-202-326-_-Product)

This seems like a good deal.  I might have picked one up had I not already purchased the 590.  Though after reading lots of reviews it seems you need to be a pro at setting one up to get it to run right.

During Black Friday, that deal was attractive, but honestly, it's just not that great anymore, as the RTX 2060 is cheaper and nearly as fast, and of course doesn't sound like a vacuum cleaner.

Note that the Video Card Buyer's Guide was just updated for Winter 2019, adding the RTX 2060.
Title: Re: The TBG Video Card Buyer's Guide
Post by: Secret on January 16, 2019, 02:09:51 PM
Is the 2060 really that good, I haven't look up numbers yet?

Damn just looked up the numbers, feel like an idiot for buying the 590  :-\
Title: Re: The TBG Video Card Buyer's Guide
Post by: Ari Altman on January 16, 2019, 08:39:19 PM
Is the 2060 really that good, I haven't look up numbers yet?

Damn just looked up the numbers, feel like an idiot for buying the 590  :-\

Eh, it's not that bad. You did get a deal on your 590. But at no point did you see it recommended on TBG! ;)
Title: 6/8 monitor configuration
Post by: Prik on February 06, 2019, 12:41:36 PM
Thanks for the great work you do! I wanted to ask you if you could add also an alternative for 6/8 monitors, atx configuration
Title: Re: 6/8 monitor configuration
Post by: Ari Altman on February 06, 2019, 03:37:29 PM
Thanks for the great work you do! I wanted to ask you if you could add also an alternative for 6/8 monitors, atx configuration

Welcome to the Forum, Prik! Glad to hear you like the guides!

So, to get 6 monitors working, there are two different approaches:

(1) If you want to use six monitors with a resolution of 2560x1440 or below, you could actually use the existing system and take advantage of DisplayPort daisy chaining, connecting each of the three available DisplayPort outputs on a single video card to one monitor, and then a second monitor from each of those monitors using a second DisplayPort cable. The limitation here is that each output on the video card is still limited to a resolution of 3840x2160 (4K), so you can't have two 4K monitors driven off of one output, but you can have two 2560x1440 monitors driven off each output. Technical details on this setup are provided by the DisplayPort consortium (https://www.displayport.org/cables/driving-multiple-displays-from-a-single-displayport-output/).

(2) If you want to drive six monitors with resolutions above 2560x1440, for example six ultra-wides or six 4K monitors, then you're going to need two video cards. To do that, you of course need a second video card, as well as a case and motherboard that supports two video cards. You can simply purchase two of the GTX 1060 cards (https://www.amazon.com/ZOTAC-GeForce-Compact-Graphics-ZT-P10610A-10L/dp/B01KKJAJM4/ref=as_li_ss_tl?&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=62af39519205e0a3d26fed993476ffd8&language=en_US) listed in the guide, then upgrade the build with the Gigabyte X470 Ultra Gaming motherboard (https://www.amazon.com/GIGABYTE-X470-AORUS-ULTRA-GAMING/dp/B07BZ239Z2/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1549495972&sr=1-3&keywords=x470+motherboard&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=1000ef52f9b8e2d83c7c9e40884d59c6&language=en_US) and the Phanteks Enthoo Evolv X case (https://www.amazon.com/Phanteks-PH-ES518XTG_DBK01-Tempered-Windows-Digital/dp/B07GY355N2/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1549496154&sr=1-2&keywords=Phanteks+Enthoo+Evolv+case&th=1&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=5843bd19bc481d3b9dc558dc6d66f543&language=en_US). Everything else in the build will remain exactly the same.

Report back on what you decide to do!
Title: Re: 6/8 monitor configuration
Post by: Prik on February 07, 2019, 01:00:27 PM
Thanks for the welcome and for the very precise explanation! To tell the truth I'm still a little undecided about what to do, now I'll explain better. I have a configuration a bit old(cpu i7-2600 , motherboard Asrock z68 Pro3(https://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/Z68%20Pro3/index.asp)...)  and the idea was to run 6/8 monitor, then buy a video card with 6 video outputs, since the motherboard has only one PCI Express 2.0 x16 slot and then move the card on a new configuration of a newer new computer. So I bought a Sapphire GPRO 6200 graphics card with 6 Mini-Displayport outputs(http://www.sapphirepgs.com/productdetail.asp?IDno=108&tag=spec&lang=eng) to which I wanted to connect 6 of these monitors 27 "(2k) Hannspree HQ272PPB(https://www.hannspree.eu/product/hq-272-ppb), only I bought one to see if I was comfortable and I must say I'm not very happy , the fonts are a bit too small to read in the original 2k resolution, I know that I can increase the size of the characters through windows 10, but so I lose space. So to conclude the graphics card I already have it, but I'm still a little undecided on the monitors to buy.
Title: Re: 6/8 monitor configuration
Post by: Ari Altman on February 07, 2019, 03:49:29 PM
Thanks for the welcome and for the very precise explanation! To tell the truth I'm still a little undecided about what to do, now I'll explain better. I have a configuration a bit old(cpu i7-2600 , motherboard Asrock z68 Pro3(https://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/Z68%20Pro3/index.asp)...)  and the idea was to run 6/8 monitor, then buy a video card with 6 video outputs, since the motherboard has only one PCI Express 2.0 x16 slot and then move the card on a new configuration of a newer new computer. So I bought a Sapphire GPRO 6200 graphics card with 6 Mini-Displayport outputs(http://www.sapphirepgs.com/productdetail.asp?IDno=108&tag=spec&lang=eng) to which I wanted to connect 6 of these monitors 27 "(2k) Hannspree HQ272PPB(https://www.hannspree.eu/product/hq-272-ppb), only I bought one to see if I was comfortable and I must say I'm not very happy , the fonts are a bit too small to read in the original 2k resolution, I know that I can increase the size of the characters through windows 10, but so I lose space. So to conclude the graphics card I already have it, but I'm still a little undecided on the monitors to buy.

That old Radeon card you bought is not a good solution in my opinion. Its DisplayPort outputs can only support 4K monitors at 30Hz, which is practically unusable, and they furthermore require mini displayport cables which are not mainstream.

It seems like you're really putting together a custom PC based on old parts, so I don't think your question at this point is actually related to the Stock Trading PC. Perhaps I'll split this question off and put it in the monitor section of the forum.

If a 27" 1440p monitor was uncomfortable to use due to the dot pitch, which is fairly standard at this point, your only option is to go with a 1080p monitor. Everything else will have a much smaller dot pitch.
Title: Re: 6/8 monitor configuration
Post by: Prik on February 17, 2019, 06:25:53 AM
Thanks, I need to clear my head a bit 'ideas
Title: Re: The TBG Video Card Buyer's Guide
Post by: Secret on July 12, 2019, 03:35:49 PM
I see you recommended the 5700, what do you think of the 5700xt for $400 or would you recommend another $400 card.  I read the thermals aren't good but hoping those prices will hold once models with different coolers come out.
Title: Re: The TBG Video Card Buyer's Guide
Post by: Ari Altman on July 12, 2019, 04:25:09 PM
I see you recommended the 5700, what do you think of the 5700xt for $400 or would you recommend another $400 card.  I read the thermals aren't good but hoping those prices will hold once models with different coolers come out.

Performance-wise, the 5700 XT is amazing. In terms of cooling, it's pushing the limits of the blower cooler, and the RX 5700 is much better. So, overall, I like the 5700, but the XT is the best bang for the buck on the market, and custom models won't arrive until September from what I've seen.
Title: Re: The TBG Video Card Buyer's Guide
Post by: Secret on July 12, 2019, 07:22:54 PM
I dont understand why amd keeps putting out these cards with blowers
Title: Re: The TBG Video Card Buyer's Guide
Post by: Ari Altman on July 12, 2019, 08:41:14 PM
I dont understand why amd keeps putting out these cards with blowers

To be honest, it shocked me that they did so given nvidia moved away from them, and OEMs and case manufacturers are learning to deal with it (blowers allow for less attention to case cooling). That and they designed an open air model for the Radeon Vega VII. Maybe it's slightly cheaper with the single fan and motor, but we're talking a dollar or so. Missed opportunity.

Actually just had a theory come to me... could be that AMD couldn't (or wouldn't for secrecy purposes) get samples to board partners in time and gave then exclusivity on open air coolers as a consolation prize. Given that many are huge Nvidia partners means this makes some strategic sense.