It's been an eventful year for GPU releases with updated models and prices across all budgets from both AMD and Nvidia. With no more releases from either camp for the remainder of the year the competition will likely center on price. That's exciting news for those of you who have a shiny new GPU at the top of your Christmas list. Let's break down each price bracket to determine which company offers the best value product.
Although the AMD Radeon R9 290X is blisteringly fast it also has a problem with heat. Board partners solved this issue for the most part with massive heatsinks riddled with copper heatpipes cooled by a battery of fans. But what if you want a 290X that is even faster and at the same time much quieter? Seems like a dream, but HIS has been working hard to make it a reality with the HIS Radeon R9 290X Hybrid IceQ 4GB.
Nvidia's GeForce GTX 970 positioned itself it as an ideal candidate for multi-GPU 4K gaming by outperforming the Radeon R9 290 while undercutting its price too. As expected, AMD was quick to respond with price cuts, which means folks looking to game at 4K have some capable multi-GPU options for as little as $600 to $660.
Last year's GeForce 700 series pushed Kepler to its limits. With such a strong showing, Maxwell's first appearance had us excited for higher-end cards and today we finally have them: the $329 GTX 970 will try to carve a place out for itself between the R9 280X and 290, while the $549 GTX 980 is positioned against the R9 290X.
Already one of the most iconic and atmospheric first-person shooters around, Metro has received some post-release polish that should present a greater challenge for today's GPUs. Metro Redux features improved versions of both Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light, including completely remastered visuals.
As a mid-range GPU, the R9 285 is meant to deliver mainstream performance at a competitive price. The "Tonga" GPU is essentially a newer, cheaper to produce version of the tried and true "Tahiti" GPU, with features such as DirectX 12 support and next-gen CrossFire. It does have an inferior memory controller, however.