Time for the 3 yearly graphics card upgrade!


Captain Jack Sparrow

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It's that time of year again, I think it's time for a beefy graphics card upgrade.

Currently, I have a Radeon R9 290 (not the 290X model), which is really struggling in Rise of the Tomb Raider at 1080p.
You can find my full specs in my profile.

But anyway, here they are if you're lazy:

"The Black Pearl V3"

Motherboard: ASRock 890FX Deluxe5
CPU: AMD FX-8370 (4.0 GHz base, 4.3 GHz TURBO-DIESEL)
Graphics: MSI Radeon R9 290 GAMING 4G (4GB VRAM)
RAM: 32GB HyperX FURY Blue 1866 MHz DDR3 RAM [underclocked to 1600 MHz] (4 x 8GB)
PSU: Thermaltake Toughpower XT 875W
Storage: FDD, slot loading DVD, 1 x PNY 480GB SSD, 1 x 1TB HDD, 1 x 500GB HDD, 1 x 640GB HDD
OS: Windows 7 Professional x64

My current card, the Radeon R9 290 uses a 512-bit memory bus (external link, TechPowerUp), with 320 GB/s of memory bandwidth. The current flagship card from AMD's gaming range is the Radeon RX 580 8GB, which uses a 256-bit memory bus (external link, TechPowerUp), only yielding 256 GB/s memory bandwith (really, AMD?!).

So here's my dilemma. I have to get a new graphics card because AMD have broken the HDMI audio output driver on all R9 series cards and they are useless when it comes to drivers, so I don't expect them to fix it anytime soon.
The RX 580 8GB looks like a pretty tasty option, but the lower memory bandwidth is really putting me off. Do you think that I should I just pick up the RX 580 8GB anyway, or wait for AMD's 'Vega' gaming range of GPUs?
Not much is currently known about AMD's Vega range right now.

I want to run Rise of the Tomb Raider at 1080p / 60FPS right now, but in the future, I want to play Life is Strange: Before the Storm. I am also looking at getting Syberia 3 which I've heard is horrifically optimized, largely due to the fact that it uses the Unity game engine. Other than that, I don't really have any other games in the pipeline which I'd like to play. Developers are flooding the PC market with mindless first-person shooters featuring a weak (if any) storyline, I hate this kind of thing.
There is a major gap in the PC market for a good third-person horror/adventure/shooter style game which actually has a storyline worth following.

Let me know what your guys think.

- Capt. Jack Sparrow.
 
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Abarbarian

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Not up on AMD cards I am afraid to say.

Ta for the heads up about Syberia3 I had not realised there was another game in the series.

As for shooters yeah the current market is flooded with so so. Why not go back to yer roots and give System Shock 2 a go or Shadow Warrior. :D
 

Ian

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For 1080p gaming, I think the RX580 will be a good choice - although if you're unhappy with AMDs drivers, you could try a GTX 1060 6GB instead. There isn't really much other choice unless you want to spend a huge chunk more - I think the RX580 and 1060 occupy a nice sweet spot. FWIW, I've got a GTX 960 and I'm really happy with it.

If you're struggling to run games at the moment, it may be better to upgrade now vs waiting a while (IMO - as it's always tempting to wait. I always want to wait!).

I'd lean towards the RX 580 8GB, unless there were good deals on GTX 1060 6GBs.
 

Captain Jack Sparrow

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For 1080p gaming, I think the RX580 will be a good choice - although if you're unhappy with AMDs drivers, you could try a GTX 1060 6GB instead. There isn't really much other choice unless you want to spend a huge chunk more - I think the RX580 and 1060 occupy a nice sweet spot. FWIW, I've got a GTX 960 and I'm really happy with it.

If you're struggling to run games at the moment, it may be better to upgrade now vs waiting a while (IMO - as it's always tempting to wait. I always want to wait!).

I'd lean towards the RX 580 8GB, unless there were good deals on GTX 1060 6GBs.
Ideally I would like an 8GB VRAM graphics card, as more games are cramming higher resolution textures which can eat through VRAM. Rise of the Tomb Raider and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided require an 8GB graphics card on high settings, so this might be why it's struggling, because it has to swap textures in and out of VRAM in real-time, resulting in micro-lag.

It does seem to be tempting to wait for AMD 'Vega', but what do you think the launch price will be? I'm scared of spending £250 on the AMD RX580, only to find that I could have got the AMD 'Vega' card for the same price a month later.

£300 is the max I'm willing to spend, it's all good having a credit card... until you have to pay it back! So I don't wanna load that up too much, it's been hit hard enough recently on PC upgrades and expensive car repairs.

I am leaning towards the RX580, but how will the memory bandwidth affect my experience? Am I just being paranoid?
Ta for the heads up about Syberia3 I had not realised there was another game in the series.
This was reviewed horrifically. Mainly due to the bugs, but hopefully they have been resolved by now. I'm intrigued, I want to play it to see if it's really as bad as it's made out to be. You know what they say... any publicity... :D

Anyway slightly off-topic, but does anybody think that the game's atmosphere and the protagonist look surprisingly similar to Rise of the Tomb Raider?



I think Lara Croft's father has been having a bit too much fun! :p

- Capt. Jack Sparrow.
 

Ian

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I can't find much on pricing, but from what I understand, it's only the high-end cards that will be launching soon. It could be the end of the year (or later) until something falls in to the <£300 bracket.

I could be wrong though!
 
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I don't like Radeon cards tbh. Always bought nVidia
The main reason being, the drivers. nVidia are simply installed and don't seem to be bloatware as much. Maybe things have changed I dunno?
 
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Captain Jack Sparrow

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... it's, gobbledygook for, a "refreshed" (rebranded) card.

Nothing 'new' is out yet on the AMD front ... due out soon®©™
That's what I thought, so this is why I'm not entirely sure if it's worth buying. Any idea what card it is based on?
AMD's 'Vega' certainly looks interesting, but could this also be yet another 'refreshed' card? I certainly hope not.

Look at the price of the AMD 'Vega' Frontier Edition!! (external link, CCL Computers) :eek:
Wow, I thought NVIDIA was bad with pricing, but that is ridiculous!

Currently CCL Computers has no Radeon RX 5xx series cards, so guess I'm holding out for now.

Upgrading is not as much of a priority anymore as it was yesterday, because I have discovered a 'workaround' for the missing HDMI audio device on the R9 290. I have not tested this yet, but the problem seems to be caused by AMD's legacy chipset driver package, which overwrites Microsoft's built-in PCI bus driver with AMD's own version. Restoring Microsoft's built-in PCI bus driver allegedly fixes the problem.

If this works, then it means that I can now start using AMD's latest drivers again and then I will re-evaluate the performance of the R9 290 to decide on a time-frame for upgrading.

Later on tonight, when I implement a 'vaccine' across all computers for the recent NotPetya ransomware outbreak (external link, BleepingComputer), I'll test the PCI bus driver 'workaround' to see if this works.

EDIT: I've just checked the stock levels for RX 580 cards at all of my go-to suppliers and they are sold out everywhere!! Does anybody know what's going on, or why they have suddenly sold out everywhere?
On eBay, prices for used RX 580 cards have skyrocketed into the £350+ range.
Last month, RX 580 cards were readily available at most of my go-to suppliers and eBay prices for used cards were mostly in the £200 - £250 range. Something is definitely happening.

Has AMD stopped producing the RX 580, or is there something more sinister that I don't know about, which explains this sudden shortage of RX 580 cards on the market?

- Capt. Jack Sparrow.
 
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muckshifter

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they are sold out everywhere!! Does anybody know what's going on, or why they have suddenly sold out everywhere?
BitCoin mining or some such craze ... we even have someone here on the forums looking for cards, I assume to sell on at inflated prices.

Vega is 'new' but I wouldn't get the Frontier Edition, it's a 'reference' card ... :user:

oh, when you do upgrade, can I has your R9 :)


:wave:
 

Captain Jack Sparrow

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BitCoin mining or some such craze ... we even have someone here on the forums looking for cards, I assume to sell on at inflated prices.

Vega is 'new' but I wouldn't get the Frontier Edition, it's a 'reference' card ... :user:

oh, when you do upgrade, can I has your R9 :)


:wave:
That's lame! They should get an actual dedicated PCI-E ASIC compute card! Or better yet - if they want the cash, go out and get a flippin' job? Sorry if I offended anyone here, but I am specifically targeting the lazy bums who buy a gaming graphics card purely for cryptocurrency mining. Bonus hatred points if they know nothing about computer hardware and/or if they actually don't have a job.

Gamers shouldn't have to suffer due to the greed of cryptocurrency miners! Hashtag #GamersMatter!!

Perhaps they need to do some research. I can't see why your average Joe cryptocurrency miner doesn't simply buy an ASIC based PCI-E compute card, or better yet - a workstation graphics card. I have a workstation graphics card (NVIDIA Quadro K2100M) in my Dell Precision laptop. This card isn't very good for gaming, but it puts my Radeon R9 290 to shame when using professional applications like Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Premiere Pro, Adobe After Effects and AutoCAD.

Yes, I know that it'll cost them a bit more upfront, but at least then, gamers don't suffer from a graphics card shortage, and cryptocurrency miners get performance benefits, because the card is actually optimized to perform the complex calculations needed for mining.

Mucks, you sure can. That saves me having to list it on eBay, avoiding potential buyer scams and eBay fees. I'll be more than happy to sell it to you, when I decide to upgrade in the coming months.

However, it looks like it might be a while before we see the Radeon RX 580 cards back in stock. If AMD's latest driver (currently 17.4.4) improves the R9 290's performance (after fixing the HDMI audio output), I might decide to hang onto it for a little bit longer. Either ways, I will keep you posted on what I decide to do.

- Capt. Jack Sparrow.
 
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Abarbarian

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"I think Lara Croft's father has been having a bit too much fun! :p"

At first glance the two women do look similar so he may well have been playing away from home. I recon they both use the same boutiques for shopping though . :lol:
 
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Captain Jack Sparrow

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"I think Lara Croft's father has been having a bit too much fun! :p"

At first glance the two women do look similar so he may well have been playing away from home. I recon they both use the same boutiques for shopping though . :lol:
A better picture is worth more than 1000 words.



If you scrutinize the features, you can definitely some differences, but to the untrained eye, there is a striking resemblance.

Anyway, removing the AMD PCI bus driver was a really bad idea.
This forced a machine restart and upon reboot, all of my PCI device drivers were broken. Windows attempted to reinstall all of the PCI device drivers, but it was too much and the machine went to a BSOD.

When I reset the machine, it simply goes into a Startup Repair loop. Looks like AMD's PCI bus driver is baked so deeply into the OS driver stack that all other PCI device drivers depend on it.

I'm going to have another crack at this tonight. I will try using safe mode and if that is able to boot up, then I will manually uninstall all of my third party PCI device drivers and then reinstall them.

Failing that, then I will run a system restore from the Windows recovery DVD and try removing the PCI bus driver from safe mode.

- Capt. Jack Sparrow.
 
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Captain Jack Sparrow

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Time for Monday's update, aaaand the AMD RX 580 is still out of stock everywhere.
What's gonna happen first? AMD's 'Vega' gaming series gets released (and then immediately sold out, of course) or the AMD RX 580 gets restocked? Place your bets people... I'm kinda losing hope here!

I still haven't had any luck with the current state of the PC, I'm going through driver hell right now. Removing AMD's PCI bus driver has really screwed things up to military proportions.
But if doing so fixes the missing HDMI audio driver on the R9 290, then it'll be worth it. If it doesn't, I'll be seriously annoyed and will probably decide to smash something.

Why has something so fundamental like this, gotta turn out to be so damn complicated?!

- Capt. Jack Sparrow.
 

Abarbarian

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Time for Monday's update, aaaand the AMD RX 580 is still out of stock everywhere.
What's gonna happen first? AMD's 'Vega' gaming series gets released (and then immediately sold out, of course) or the AMD RX 580 gets restocked? Place your bets people... I'm kinda losing hope here!

I still haven't had any luck with the current state of the PC, I'm going through driver hell right now. Removing AMD's PCI bus driver has really screwed things up to military proportions.
But if doing so fixes the missing HDMI audio driver on the R9 290, then it'll be worth it. If it doesn't, I'll be seriously annoyed and will probably decide to smash something.

Why has something so fundamental like this, gotta turn out to be so damn complicated?!

- Capt. Jack Sparrow.


Not quite sold out everywhere

http://www.laptopsdirect.co.uk/xfx-gts-xxx-radeon-rx-580-4gb-ddr5-oc-graphics-card-rx-580p4dfd6/version.asp

:cool:
 

Captain Jack Sparrow

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Captain Jack Sparrow

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After a long, hard night last night, I have finally got my PCI drivers to play nicely, following the removal of the AMD PCI bus driver.

The AMD High Definition Audio Device is now showing up in Device Manager, so I finally have HDMI audio! If you're missing the AMD High Definition Audio Device in Device Manager, and you have the AMD PCI bus driver installed, then this is the fix. Just be prepared to go through driver hell in order to get things working again after removing the AMD PCI bus driver.

I'll spin some games later and see what the performance of my old R9 290 is like with the latest AMD driver, which is still currently 17.4.4. But I will still upgrade to the Radeon RX 580, when/if it gets restocked, as I really do need an 8 GB VRAM graphics card.

- Capt. Jack Sparrow.
 
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Captain Jack Sparrow

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Santa might bring you one if yer a good boy :lol:
The way they're going, I don't think that even Santa will get his hands on one if the miners keep this up!
And despite that, I think I've ruined any chance of Santa getting me one by slagging off AMD and then immediately after, slagging off NVIDIA :lol:

- Capt. Jack Sparrow.
 
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Abarbarian

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The way they're going, I don't think that even Santa will get his hands on one if the miners this up!
And despite that, I think I've ruined any chance of Santa getting me one by slagging off AMD and then immediately after, slagging off NVIDIA :lol:


There are always board games :lol:
 
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