Sunday, December 15, 2013

[Rant] Is upgrading from the GTX670 really worth it? (for 1440p)

I’ve been thinking of upgrading my Palit Jetstream GTX 670 since I bought a new 1440p display. There are three cards that I had been looking at. The AMD Radeon R9 290, NVidia GTX 780 and NVidia GTX780 Ti. Even though I don’t want to buy, I had been keeping a close eye on the prices of GTX 770 and R9 280x.

R9_2xxvs_GTX7xx

Photo courtesy of The Tech Report

Last night I had some free time and I checked the reviews to see where each card stood again each other at 2560x1600 (which is close to 2560x1440 on my display).

graph

※This is for my current card.
 
The rating at stock clocks were taken from the GTX 780Ti review posted at TechPowerUp. The overclock results were also taken from individual reviews for different cards posted on the same site. Of course the final overclock results can be different from card to card, so this is just a rough estimation. But it is good enough approximation.
 
Also another thing to understand is that these are the average results. That means, even though the GTX 770 OC only 9% faster than a GTX 670 OC, in some games it can be as much as 20%. In some games it can only be 5%. It depends on the game engine – whether it like more memory speed or whether it like more core clock speed or whether it like more shader processors or a combination of all of them.

I can sell my GTX 670 as well, but the card goes only about JPY 19,000 these days here in Japan. A month ago it is was about JPY23,000. Sadness! I really hate AMD for not making enough AMD chips so that the OEMs could make cards based on custom coolers.

From what I can see, only the R9 290 seems to be the viable option, if I am going to upgrade now. But I will never get the reference card. I would wait for the cards based on custom coolers. I’m dead serious. But they would likely be much expensive. Palit is the cheapest brand in Japan when it comes to video cards, but they don’t make AMD cards. Sad. Anyways, with cards based on custom coolers, the R9 290 might scale even higher. Basically, things will get only better for the R9 290.

However after seeing the reality (how they perform against each other when overclocked as well as counting the price of my card’s resale value in), I don’t know if I should get any of them. Perhaps the wise decision would be to wait till the Maxwell come out. Maybe GTX780 Ti like performance would be had for about $399. Or even cheaper.

OK, I’m going to first wait for the R9 290 cards based on custom coolers to come out. Then I will decide. Hopefully by then, games that use Mantle APIs will be out and I will be able to take that into consideration as well.

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