Let’s see how time passes and what value it is worth investing in!

Here at Adrenaline, we do a lot of testing to help people buy equipment, but sometimes our users overestimate our abilities and ask us to predict the future. Questions like these “Will this X card hold for three years? “to eat”If I invest in this Y, will I be able to play it all in the Ultra until the next generation console?“We can’t answer because, unfortunately, we still don’t have a futurist on duty.

But at the same time, we have a very large collection of old maps, as well as testing knowledge. If we cannot predict the future, we can at least try to map out the past. Most Keywords “video card for six years“Let’s work with that figure and look at how much time has passed since both AMD and Nvidia launched several representative games each year, from multiple pricing points for a set of graphics cards.

The boards were tested

We use four video cards from each brand, using its launch price as a reference and trying to equalize direct competitors. Guinea pigs that will launch us in 2015:

$ 649 is the top of the line
AMD Radeon R9 Fury X – Released June 2015 – Review
Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 Ti – Released in June 2015 – Review

$ 329 – upper limit
AMD Radeon R9 390 – released in June 2015 – review
Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 – Released in September 2014 – Review

$ 199 – Average
AMD Radeon R9 380 – released in June 2015 – review
Nvidia GeForce GTX 960 4GB – Released in January 2015 – Review

$ 149 – admission
AMD Radeon R7 370 – released in June 2015 – review
Nvidia GeForce GTX 950 – Released August 2015 – Review

The graphics in this article are a little different than we normally would. Instead of having all the equipment in the same graphical configuration, we are adjusting all of them looking for a speed of 60 frames / sec. With colors we can facilitate the visualization of these variations, blue colors are ultra, green configuration is high, medium is yellow and low is red. The pink card simply indicates that the test failed.


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Spending more on your card will, yes, take you more time

When we look at the progress of the tests, several things become clear. First, yes, spending more money on a graphics card not only gives you instant high-quality graphics, but also allows you to play it in better settings for many years to come. The best cards require only mid-range adjustments from the fourth year onwards, which will be complemented by a new generation of consoles in 2020. Another set was a good achievement – the Radeon R9 390 and GTX 970 were played in high or ultra quality in 2/3 of the games.

The situation is more complicated in the incoming and middle segments. The GTX 950 and R7 370 ran with difficulty in most tests and even reached low levels. Do not play even with graphic quality and very low resolution. Intermediaries, on the other hand, spent half their time in medium or high quality, but began to suffer more from the third year onwards, increasingly in need of medium or low graphical preset use. This is very clear in the chart below, where we have collected over 13 games that tested the settings used on each card:

Looking at this chart, you can probably conclude: I spend as much as I can to play six years in any game. But we think that one last piece of information is missing. As we have already shown in many graphs, here is the last one. Below is the official launch price of these products in dollars:

When we look at the cost curve, high-end models typically make a big leap to high-end products – much larger than a mid-range entry card or a mid-range high-end model. Analyzing the two graphics together, the GeForce GTX 970 and Radeon R9 390 segment seem to be the best long-term strategy for the FullHD / Ultra, saving almost 2/3 of the performance and much cheaper than the high-end ones.

It is important to remember that we use heavy games as a reference, including high-demand releases. The GTX 960 or R9 380 can run competitive games, such as those that require less graphics performance. Another factor to consider is the devaluation of the high-end card.

Balancing price and stability makes mid-range / high-end maps the most interesting

It is important to remember that in the future, if all the data and trends are preserved, it is impossible to know what will happen, and today the models with such characteristics are cards such as GeForce RTX 3060 Ti and RTX 3070 Ti. Nvidia and Radeon RX 6700 XT and 6800 by AMD. Or at least they would be in a world with normal prices, closer to what manufacturers offer. Unfortunately, by studying consumer values ​​and the price evolution curve, it depends on finding a “sweet spot” in this balance between how much money it spends and how long it can play at a good level. quality.


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