The Graphics Conundrum

Thursday, 30 June 2016

This year has been a very exciting time to be a PC gamer! Both NVIDEA and AMD have shown their offerings for graphics card supremacy, and while in terms of raw power a winner is very apparent, the choice between them - for me - has never been harder. 


If you haven't been keeping up with the latest in graphic card technology I wouldn't blame you. Sometimes I bore myself with the things I find interesting. First NVIDEA came out of the gate showing their first new card the GTX 1080; this card without a doubt is the most powerful with a ridiculous 9.0 TFLOPS of calculating power behind it. However it comes at the hefty price of around £600. There is also their slightly more modest version, the GTX 1070 coming in at 6.5 TFLOPS for the cheaper £400. Then AMD Shot out the gate with the RX 480 promising affordable VR and 5.5 TFLOPS for just £200. To put that into perspective the PS4 currently can manage 1.84 TFLOPS and the Xbox One at 1.31 TFLOPS. 


Now comes the problem I face, my current setup is running a fairly old GPU (Radeon R7 2000 Series) and while it can run pretty much everything that is coming out recently, something is telling me that wont last long. With the Xbox and PS4 both releasing new more powerful iterations of their consoles I'm sure that pretty soon we will see a dramatic increase in the complexity of future game releases. So being the utter man-baby that I am I'll have to upgrade.


Now I can safely say that I'm not going to be able to afford the £600 GTX 1080 and even if I could it would be wasted on me. I don't play in either 4k or VR and I probably won't for the foreseeable future. So while it can be very tempting to go for the most power you can get your hands on, I need to take stock in what I really need. I play in 1080p, and I want to be able to pick up games for at least 3 years without worrying if ill be able to play them. While both the other options would be able to do this for me I'm not sure if I can bring myself to pay the extra £200 for the GTX 1070. It would provide me with more power, yes. But I don't think it's enough when the RX 480 can provide the power I need for the next 3 years, and by then who knows what will be out and about for me to get my grubby little mitts on. Plus everything I have mentioned in this post only refers to the reference cards put out by AMD and NVIDEA, we haven't seen what the 3rd party cards and overclocking could achieve. So I think my next investment will be the RX 480 so keep an eye out for me gushing over it at some point in the next year. 

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