What should I upgrade my AMD Radeon R9 280X to for improved gaming?

Ares is rocking an old system and wants to upgrade his AMD Radeon R9 280X GPU to something better. We help out.

Question by Ares from United States | Answered by in Video Cards & GPUs on Oct 9, 2020 5:46 PM CDT

Hello, my current build consists of:

  • ASRock P67 Pro3 SE
  • Intel Core i7 2600K
  • 32GB DDR3 1600
  • XFX Radeon R9 280X DD

I'm specifically looking for an upgrade on my graphics card, but I'm also open to other suggestion upgrades. Many thanks for considering my request.

Hi Ares,

Let's first go over what you have currently. As you already know, P67 is about eight generations old now releasing in 2011, but the ASRock P67 Pro3 was a rather solid mid-range solution back then. You paired it with the best processor of that era, the 2600K, and went all out with 32GB of memory, which at the time came at a cost. The 280X isn't too bad of a card performing similarly to an RX 570 currently.

What should I upgrade my AMD Radeon R9 280X to for improved gaming? 1

As for recommended upgrades, if the budget is available, it's likely about time to rebuild your machine from the ground up due to age. If you decide you want to do this, wait until after November and send another message with your budget, and we will look into your options! That said, since you mentioned just wanting a GPU upgrade, let's get to it!

Starting with your 2600K and current card, the 280X, your first upgrading method is to move up to the next generation of AMD card, the R9 3xx series. I don't think you will see much of a performance improvement going to the 380X, but the 390X could gain you roughly 30% at 1080p. If you want an architecture change, the next series up from the 3xx will give you just that with the RX 4xx. This may be as high as you would want to avoid processor bottlenecks and wasting money on unused performance.

That said, the RX series had some great budget cards, including the RX460 and 470, but you can likely find an RX480 for cheap these days and have the best that generation had to offer. The RX480 should net you close to 40% over your 280X and allow you to move to a higher resolution with its 8GB of VRAM.

On the NVIDIA side, something like a GTX 780 or 780 Ti would give you similar performance, but at half the VRAM and no support for 4K60.

Good luck!

Last updated: Nov 3, 2020 at 07:09 pm CST

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