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I have a GeForce GTX 980, should I get the Acer Predator X34?

Question by Richard from United States | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Displays & Projectors | Posted: Dec 23, 2015 @ 20:10 CST

Hey TweakTown,

I've had my GeForce GTX 980 for a while now, but I'm in the market for a new gaming monitor now. For the last 2-3 years now I've been running a Samsung 27-inch monitor with a resolution of 1920x1080 and a 120Hz refresh rate.

I don't game as much anymore, but that doesn't mean I don't want a gaming display. I do more productivity work on my PC now, but want to be able to have a great time gaming when I do get the time to put some hours into something like an FPS or League of Legends. I've been eyeing off an UltraWide monitor, especially after your review on the Acer Predator X34. So I have a few questions:

  • Is my GTX 980 powerful enough to run 3440x1440 in games (it doesn't need to be Ultra detail)
  • Is the Acer Predator X34 all that it's cracked up to be?
  • If I did upgrade to a new GPU, should I get the GTX 980 Ti or Titan X?

Hey there Richard,

First off, I'm a total UltraWide nut. I'm sure you might know this, especially if seeing you've read my review on the Acer Predator X34 monitor. I used to be a big advocate of 2560x1440 monitors, but now the 34-inch 3440x1440 resolution has bit me, and I'm completely addicted.

geforce-gtx-980-monitor-buy_06

So, to answer your questions, I'll tackle them one-by-one.

  • Yes, the GTX 980 is enough to run 3440x1440 in most games - and since you've noted that they don't need to be at Ultra detail - my point stands. You've mentioned that you're not gaming as much as you do now, and use your PC for more productivity-themed applications. This is great - as it means you'll get yourself a great UltraWide monitor, that just so happens to double as a kick-ass UltraWide gaming display.
  • The Acer Predator X34 is totally awesome. It really is. I sit in front of it every day as it's now my daily driver monitor. The 100Hz refresh rate is beautifully smooth for everything - not just gaming - and the image quality is superb.
  • This is the tough one. The GTX 980 will be fine for gaming now... but I don't know if you should upgrade just yet. I would hold off for a few months as next-gen GPUs are literally around the corner. You could wait 3-6 months and see what NVIDIA release because the next GPUs that come out are going to be significantly faster - but they'll also be cooler, and smaller. If they're too expensive, you could always grab a GTX 980 Ti that will drop in price thanks to the new cards being released.

I have 2 x SAPPHIRE R9 270X Vapor-X cards, what should I upgrade to?

Question by Michael from Philippines | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards | Posted: Dec 18, 2015 @ 0:01 CST

What GPU should I upgrade to? I use 2 Vapor-X R9 270X's and I don't know what card I should upgrade to. Should I even upgrade my GPU's?

Hey there Michael,

First off - "should you even upgrade your GPUs"... that's up to you. If you are itching to upgrade your GPU setup, then do it. If you've got the money, why not? You could sell your two cards and partly fund your upgrade, too. But the bigger question is what should you upgrade to?

2-sapphire-r9-270x-vapor-cards-upgrade_06

The 2 x SAPPHIRE R9 270X Vapor-X cards are a potent setup in Crossfire, so I would recommend upgrading to something of equivalent power - but a single-GPU solution. The new Radeon R9 390 is a great alternative, as it'll offer more performance than what you have now - with less power being consumed, and less heat output. The R9 390 can be found for around the $300-$350 mark on Amazon and Newegg, which isn't too bad at all.

You'll also get the 8GB framebuffer that the R9 390 rocks, so you'll be perfect for the games coming out in 2016 and beyond. The speed increase from your R9 270X CF setup will be noticed, greatly, where you should be doing 1080p at 60FPS without a problem, and even 1440p at 60FPS+ and some 4K gaming if you've got the display or TV that supports that resolution.

Should I upgrade my PSU if I upgrade from a GTX 670 to a GTX 970?

Question by Mirza from Bangladesh | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: Dec 9, 2015 @ 22:21 CST

I own a Cooler Master GX 450W psu. It has been used for nearly 2 years. It's powering my pc absolutely fine (no BDOS,etc) which has a MSI GTX 670 Power OC edition, overclocked FX-6100 @4.1GHz, MSI 990XA-GD55 mobo, two 4GB RAM sticks, two HDDs and a few fans. I am thinking about upgrading to GTX 970. So, I have two questions. Will my psu be able to handle GTX 970 since GTX 970 possibly has same power consumption as GTX 670? And will the upgrade from GTX 670 to GTX 970 even be worth it? I game at 1080p. Thanks for reading :)

Hey there Mirza,

First off, the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670 requires 2 x 6-pin PCIe power connectors, for a total draw of 170W and a total PSU requirement of 500W - according to the official page on NVIDIA's website for the GeForce GTX 670. This is the reference card, but your MSI GTX 670 Power OC Edition has the same 2 x 6-pin PCIe power connector setup, so your total power draw might hover closer to 200W.

upgrade-psu-gtx-670-970_06

Comparing this to the GeForce GTX 970 which has the same 2 x 6-pin PCIe power connector setup, but it has a TDP of just 145W - much less than the GTX 670 you're using now. NVIDIA recommends a 500W PSU, so I think you might be fine with what you've got.

But... I would recommend upgrading the PSU if you have the money. You can get yourself a decent 500-600W PSU from Cooler Master, be quiet! or Corsair and then you won't need to worry about your PSU.

Which GPU should I upgrade to for 4K gaming? Would a GTX 980 do?

Question by James from United Kingdom (Great Britain) | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards | Posted: Dec 7, 2015 @ 18:54 CST

I currently have a Sapphire R9 270x (2GB), however i've noticed extreme stuttering on my 4K monitor with the higher settings. Would a GTX 970/980 be a good upgrade or should I wait?

Hey James,

I can definitely see where your 4K gaming is dwindling, as you're using the underpowered SAPPHIRE R9 270X 2GB card, but a new card from NVIDIA would definitely see you gaming at 4K 60FPS without a problem.

gpu-upgrade-4k-gaming-gtx-980_23

You've mentioned the GeForce GTX 970 and GTX 980, and I would recommend either. Sure, there are the VRAM issues on the GTX 970, but that's only if you fill the 3.5GB fRAMebuffer. If you wanted to maintain 60FPS at 4K, you're going to need to dial down some details anyway - and if you didn't, then you'd have to buy the GTX 980 Ti which is going to cost quite a bit more.

To escape those VRAM issues, the GTX 980 also has 4GB of fRAMebuffer without the 3.5GB problems. I would be happy with recommending the GTX 980 for 4K gaming, but I would recommend pushing the details down a little. In today's games, even running them at Medium settings is fine, and you don't notice too much of a change in graphics quality. Some of the AA is gone, but that really strains a GPU. Most of the textures remain the same, but you'll find a sweet spot to maintain 60FPS.

You did say "should I wait", and ultimately, that's up to you. Next-gen GPUs won't be here for at least 3-4 more months, and they will be expensive. You could buy a GTX 970/980 now, and then sell it when the new cards are here, and upgrade again. But, it's up to you if you can wait, gaming at lower resolutions/fRAMe rates for the next few months.

Hopefully we've helped you on your purchasing decision!

Do I need x16/x16 PCIe for my NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti SLI setup?

Question by Francesco from Italy | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards | Posted: Nov 26, 2015 @ 15:57 CST

Hi, I'm going to use 2 GTX 980Ti probably with an Asrock Z170 OC Formula.But with a GIGABYTE Z170X Gaming G1 or a Z170X SOC FORCE,what could be the difference in-game considering the x16/x16 SLI possibility they have? Thanks.

Hey there Francesco,

This is a great question, and it's something I'll be covering in a series of articles in the near future with single GPU, multi-GPU and multi-monitor setups.

need-x16-pcie-nvidia-geforce-gtx-980-ti-sli-setup_04

From the testing I've done over the years, the speed of the PCIe port you're plugging into will only have a few percentage point difference. If you were running GTX 980 Ti cards in SLI in x8/x8 ports, you'll receive 1-2% less performance compared to full blown x16/x16 ports. The same is said for x4/x4 even, as the bandwidth required is fine for these cards.

I would be comfortable recommending either the ASRock Z170 OC Formula, or the GIGABYTE Z170X Gaming G1 or Z170X SOC-Force.

Should I upgrade to the MSI GeForce GTX 980 Ti Lightning, or wait?

Question by Richard from United States | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards | Posted: Nov 19, 2015 @ 17:05 CST

Hi, I have an ASUS GTX690-4GD5 and was thinking of upgrading to a MSI GeForce GTX 980 Ti Lightning in the next few weeks or should I wait till mid next year? My Rig CPU: Intel Core i7 2700K OC @ 4.6GHz "I Love My Sandybridge!" CPU Cooler: Corsair Hydro H80 MB: ASUS Maximus IV Extreme-Z RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2133 GPU: ASUS GTX690-4GD5 PS: Corsair Professional Series HX1050 Box: Cooler Master HAF X Opt drive: ASUS Bluray Reader OS: Windows 10 Pro 64-bit My monitor is: Sony Bravia 46inch 1080p @60Hz

Hey there Richard,

Your GeForce GTX 690 is still a good card, but I can see why you're itching to upgrade. The MSI GeForce GTX 980 Ti Lightning is one of the best video cards you can buy right now, and it would last you for a number of years.

upgrade-msi-geforce-gtx-980-ti-lightning-wait_30

Gaming at 1080p, 1440p, 4K or even VR would be no problem for the GTX 980 Ti Lightning - but your next question: should I wait? That's up to you. If you want to play all of the games that have been released lately like Star Wars: Battlefront, Fallout 4, and more - then yes, upgrade now. You'll be fine with it now, and absolutely fine going into the new year.

If you wait, you could grab the next-gen cards when they're released sometime around the May/June mark if the rumors are correct.

Help me upgrade from my AMD Radeon HD 7970! Should I buy a Fury?

Question by Adi from Malaysia | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards | Posted: Nov 15, 2015 @ 19:02 CST

Hello TweakTown..i would like to ask a few question..mainly on video card..now i have been using sapphire 7970GHz edition for two years plus..running on core i7 3770k ..asus pz77 v pro mobo..16gb 2400MHz kingston beast RAM ..corsair 128gs SSD...2 tb wd green..cooler master haf xm..thermaltake extreme 2.0 AIO..and corsair hx 850 gold 80+ psu..i want to upgrade my gpu..can u advice me on something..should i just buy another 7970 GHz edition org buy a new gpu either fury org gtx 980ti..planning on getting 2k monitor..now using samsung 1080p monitor..any suggestion..thank you in advance

Hey there Adi,

Both paths that you choose will see you with a much better gaming system, but I would really steer clear of buying another SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition, and grabbing the new AMD Radeon R9 Fury X or NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti.

help-upgrade-amd-radeon-hd-7970-buy-fury_01

Both cards are going to be great for the 1080p monitor you have now, and just as good when you upgrade to a 2560x1440 display. The Fury X is a champion at 1440p gaming, sustaining 60FPS+ throughout our benchmarks at 2560x1440. I have no problems recommending you the single Fury X, as it'll beat HD 7970s in Crossfire without a problem, while consuming less power and generating less heat and noise.

Alternatively, you mentioned the GeForce GTX 980 Ti as an upgrade path. Switching to the GTX 980 Ti would provide the same performance jump, so the change is up to you really. Both the Fury X and GTX 980 Ti are incredibly powerful cards, both capable of maintaining 60FPS+ at High/Ultra details in all games right now at 1440p.

Upgrading to a 1440p gaming monitor, but which GPU? R9 390 or GTX 970

Question by Felipe from Mexico | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards | Posted: Nov 12, 2015 @ 20:39 CST

I run an Intel Core i54690 on an ASUS Maximus VII Impact, and an ASUS GTX 760 Striker Platinum, and I'm planning to upgrade from a 1080p to 1440p monitor, and I want to upgrade my GPU, but don't know what to choose, a R9 390 or a GTX 970??

Hey there Felipe,

First off, you're going to love the jump from a 1920x1080 gaming monitor to the huge resolution of 2560x1440. I hope that you're going to grab yourself a 144Hz monitor that is capable of AMD's FreeSync or NVIDIA's G-Sync technology!

upgrading-1440p-gaming-monitor-gpu-r9-390-gtx-970_10

Either GPU you buy is going to be great for 1440p gaming, but I think I would have to edge you towards the Radeon R9 390. It comes with 8GB of RAM, which will have you gaming for years without a problem. The R9 390 is a great GPU, capable of 1440p 60FPS+ without a problem. If you were aiming for 1440p @ 144Hz, then you might need two of them in Crossfire, or to drop the in-game details down a bit.

Alternatively, the GTX 970 isn't a bad card. The GTX 970 would be an easier upgrade for you, because you're already using a GeForce card. You could just buy the GTX 970, download some new drivers, and you're ready to go.

Either way, you're going to have a great time with a Radeon R9 390 or GeForce GTX 970 on that new 1440p gaming monitor.

Should I buy a GeForce GTX 980 Ti now, or wait for the new GPUs?

Question by Peter from Australia | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards | Posted: Nov 11, 2015 @ 18:38 CST

Currently building a new PC. The single largest expense is the video card. Approximately when are the new NVIDIA cards emerging and will the comparable 980 ti of the new series have a substantial improvement over the current version? Am I better waiting until just before the new series release when the current series will most likely drop in price. Currently using an old AMD 7870, and wondering whether to continue using it until/if current 980 ti prices drop

Hey Peter,

If you upgrade from your AMD Radeon HD 7870 to the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti, the upgrade is going to be absolutely huge. You'll go from playing games at lower resolutions and in-game detail levels, to maxing everything out in all games right now.

buy-geforce-gtx-980-ti-now-wait-new-gpus_08

The new cards will most likely be unveiled sometime in March-June timefRAMe of 2016, and yes the prices on the current cards will drop. If you can continue to wait that long, then wait. But, if you want to upgrade now, you won't be throwing your money away at all.

The GTX 980 Ti is an excellent card, and will see you through 2016 without a problem.

Which CPU upgrade? Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200, or the Q6700?

Question by Krishnakumar from India | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | CPUs, Chipsets & SoCs | Posted: Nov 6, 2015 @ 23:20 CST

I wish to upgrade my PC from Intel Pentium 4 506. I have choices for Intel Core2 duo E8400 3GHz, Intel Core 2 Quad q8200 and Intel Core 2 Quad Q6700. I am not a hardcore gamer. Which one is better for me? Please help.

Hi there Krishnakumar,

If you're not a hardcore gamer I would definitely go for one of the quad-core options. Both the Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 and Q6700 are great CPUs, with the Q6700 being a little over 10% faster than the Q8200.

cpu-upgrade-intel-core-2-quad-q8200-q6700_01

An upgrade from your older Pentium 4 processor to the Core 2 Quad Q6700 is going to be huge, and while you might not use the CPU to its full potential, your system is going to feel much faster. I would also suggest doing a full backup of your files and data, and a fresh installation of Windows.

If you've got the spare money, buy a small SSD (60-120GB is fine) and the CPU/SSD upgrade would make your system feel like a completely new PC.