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Upgrade from 970 SLI?

Discussion in 'Graphics Cards' started by RatmanGB, Mar 29, 2020.

  1. RatmanGB

    Gangster

    Joined: Jan 12, 2010

    Posts: 159

    Hi,

    I've been out of the loop since I bought my Vega 64 (the coil whine is so bad it actually drove me away from PC gaming) but I'm looking at upgrading my other half's long neglected PC since it's going to get a lot more use all of a sudden.

    It's currently running an unmatched pair of 970s in SLI on a P67 chipset board with an i5-3470 overclocked to 3.8GHz and 16Gb of 1600MHz DDR3. So quite old. PSU is a Cooler Master Real Power Pro 850 so power shouldn't be a problem.

    What would you recommend to replace the 970s, as SLI doesn't seem to get much support these days? There may be a monitor upgrade happening too but she won't be playing in more than 1920x1080 or possibly 2560x1080.

    It has to be Nvidia as that's what she wants. Also - and I know this is a risk with any card - are any manufacturers either less susceptible to coil whine or have good RMA policies for it?

    Thanks for any ideas.
     
  2. Neil79

    Caporegime

    Joined: Sep 8, 2006

    Posts: 34,493

    Location: On Ocuk

    RTX 2070!

    Amazing card, frame rates are very impressive.. Way beyond my 980 GTX Super clock as well
     
  3. koooowweeee

    Soldato

    Joined: Jan 13, 2010

    Posts: 5,339

    Location: Manchester

    You'll need a CPU upgrade too
     
  4. Gray2233

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Oct 25, 2010

    Posts: 2,160

    Given you're on an old quad core i5 I wouldn't bother unless you upgrade the CPU/Mobo/RAM at the same time.
     
  5. RatmanGB

    Gangster

    Joined: Jan 12, 2010

    Posts: 159

    Well, that's disappointing but not wholly unexpected. Thanks for the replies!

    How about a slightly different question, since a full system upgrade isn't an option right now (I've just bought her that monitor I mentioned and I still need to get rid of that Vega 64!):

    What single Nvidia card would deliver equivalent performance to 970 SLI, in games where it actually works? For what she uses the PC for, the performance is more than adequate when SLI is supported.

    Thanks again!
     
  6. arc@css

    Caporegime

    Joined: Nov 8, 2008

    Posts: 27,065

    I'm not absolutely sure here, but assuming you're getting good scaling with SLI in a given title, then I would have thought somewhere around a GTX1080/Ti/RTX2070(S) would deliver similar performance.
     
  7. Jae-So

    Mobster

    Joined: Jan 9, 2010

    Posts: 2,925

    Location: UK

    Get an RTX 2070, upgrade the rest later. While at 1080p there will be a CPU bottleneck I feel like it is being overstated.

    You could probably get by with a second hand 1070 to upgrade everything later. Just a thought.
     
  8. orbitalwalsh

    Capodecina

    Joined: Dec 1, 2015

    Posts: 17,303

    1660s /RTX 2060

    Gigabyte, UK rma like most but solid rep support on here
     
  9. Quartz

    Capodecina

    Joined: Apr 1, 2014

    Posts: 10,476

    Location: Aberdeen

    2070S - Gigabyte or Zotac for the UK RMA.
     
  10. RatmanGB

    Gangster

    Joined: Jan 12, 2010

    Posts: 159

    Rep support and UK RMA sound good.

    Is the 2060 Super worth considering? At 1080p it seems close to the 2070?
     
  11. Neil79

    Caporegime

    Joined: Sep 8, 2006

    Posts: 34,493

    Location: On Ocuk

    Get the 2070 matey!
     
  12. RatmanGB

    Gangster

    Joined: Jan 12, 2010

    Posts: 159

    For those with RTX 20x0 cards...

    What's the coil whine situation like?
     
  13. Dirk Diggler

    Capodecina

    Joined: Jan 6, 2013

    Posts: 13,686

    Did you ever investigate the issue with the Vega 64? I'm just asking on the off chance that it's been running silly high frame rates which would cause that.
     
  14. RatmanGB

    Gangster

    Joined: Jan 12, 2010

    Posts: 159

    It whines at normal in game frame rates unfortunately - if I lock it to 60 it's OK ish but much above that and it's very noticeable (from inside a Silent Base 801 with the solid side panel...). I could induce coil whine on the MSI 970 I had before, but only when it was rendering at crazy rates on a black screen.

    I've tried other cards in this PC and they don't whine and this card in another PC and it still whines - at this point I'm pretty sure it is the card.

    In any case, this card will be for that other PC that doesn't whine with the two 970s, I just don't want two PCs that whine if I can help it. :)
     
  15. Tired9

    Associate

    Joined: Oct 7, 2018

    Posts: 10

    R5 2600X for that price / perf ratio or grab a 3600X, the Gigabyte B450 Aorus Elite is a great board if you are not interested in overclocking, it has more features than most other B450 boards for a cheap price and looks great too. If you can, try to find a X470 board, some of them support Ryzen 3000 and will be cheap now with the influx of X570.
    As for the GPU, a RTX 2070s or 5700-XT is where i would place my money, the 2070s will beat the XT but for a much higher price.
     
  16. Dirk Diggler

    Capodecina

    Joined: Jan 6, 2013

    Posts: 13,686

    Sounds like you've tried your best to solve it, very frustrating for you I'll bet. I've only had one card in the past that was bad for it but I managed to get it RMA'd in time.
     
  17. RatmanGB

    Gangster

    Joined: Jan 12, 2010

    Posts: 159

    OCUK didn't consider it bad enough - which is OK, noise is a subjective thing and I didn't really have the best recording equipment - but I was slightly miffed not to get a response of any kind from PowerColor themselves.

    Just trying to avoid a repeat performance, these things aren't exactly cheap!
     
  18. Dirk Diggler

    Capodecina

    Joined: Jan 6, 2013

    Posts: 13,686

    It's a difficult one to get agreed, luckily I was within my 14 day return window so they didn't get a choice.
     
  19. SirPsychoZe0

    Associate

    Joined: Sep 1, 2018

    Posts: 67

    I actually had a very similar set-up to you (970 SLI, i5 2500k CPU) about 15 months ago. I replaced the SLI set-up with a 1070 Ti at the time - this offered ever so slightly more performance than the 970 SLI working in full. I did this intentionally (that is buy a GPU equal to 970 SLI) as I wanted the same performance without replying on SLI compatibility. So as a start, you could say that 970 SLI = 1070 Ti. Now I know this card isn't available first hand anymore, so we need to look at a modern equivalent. Having replaced the 1070 Ti this month, I spent quite some time looking at reviews and the 2070S would give you a further 30% performance increase. It might be that the 2060S is the closest card to the 1070 Ti (which remember represents 970 SLI performance), but if you can afford it I would still recommend the 2070S as the others have said. I have ignored AMD offerings as others have stated the 2070S equivalent already.

    Given that I upgraded from a similar set-up to you, I would draw your attention to one thing in particular. I upgraded my GPU as stated above first, and kept the same CPU/RAM/Mobo for a while before eventually replacing this. Depending on the games you play, you might find that you will get no more FPS that you did before. As an example, I was playing Battlefield 5 at the time I replaced my 970 SLI with the 1070 Ti. Despite BFV not using SLI, I got no further FPS because of the CPU bottleneck. What was worse was that the game continued to drop to 11/15 FPS at times (stuttering) which made online multiplayer awful. I had similar (but not as bad) problems with PUBG online which would stutter as well. When I finally replaced the CPU with a modern one, the performance improvement was massive and the game was actually playable - the CPU/MOBO made a much bigger impact on my gaming than the GPU did. I would just ask you to bear this in mind when choosing which to upgrade - I thought I could get away with a 'partial' upgrade like you are proposing, but it didn't work unfortunately and it was quite disappointing to spend money but not get the performance I thought I would. You would be surprised how much the CPU can be the issue* rather than the lack of SLI in set-ups like yours (ours).

    * This reminds me of all the people who say "the i5 2500k is still a great CPU blah blah". I find that quite bad advice and people need to realise that whilst there hasn't been a massive single generational leap in CPU performance, there has been 7 generations (2nd to 9th) of moderate improvements that have accumulated to create a massive improvement over the 2nd (and 3rd) generation CPUs from Intel.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2020
  20. ALXAndy

    Capodecina

    Joined: Apr 23, 2010

    Posts: 10,173

    Location: West Sussex

    Ryzen 1600AF. It's a 2600 in disguise. B450 board, 3600 RAM and a 2060 or 2070.