Doom’s release is just around the corner and you may need an upgrade to experience Hell at its finest if you’ve been holding out tweaking your PC like I have.
The jury is still out on whether Doom is going to be good but for me, the visuals and the trailers are promising at least. Of course, Batman V. Superman trailers started to make me think the movie was going to be good, too. That being said, I haven’t quite been completely beaten down by life’s disappointments so I am still optimistic about this title. I mean, come on, Bethesda has been on fire lately. Considering the impressive visuals, the game must be able to provide us a good benchmark of what our PC’s need to be able to keep up in today’s industry.
Let’s take a look at 3 video cards at different price points to get you in the game slaughtering demons with a bloody chainsaw!
Minimum specs call for at least either a Nvidia GTX 670 or an AMD Radeon HD 7870 with 2 GB of RAM, so for our first card we want to get into the mayhem on a budget, but we also don’t want to be stuck on the absolute bare minimum, because that never actually works in practice.
In the budget category AMD has Nvidia beat with the R7 250 at a price point we can all be happy about. I’ve selected an MSI brand, which I have used many times in the past with no trouble whatsoever. It has all the power you need and, bonus, you can also play Fallout!
For the mid level pick we look at the Recommended settings and, of course, we want to beat them because we don’t want to have to upgrade THAT often. We want to be ready for whatever Bethesda wants to throw at us next. If you’re already rocking something better than the GTX 970 or Radeon R9 290 that they recommend, then you’ll want to skip to the “money is no object” pick if you really feel like you need something new.
I have to make two picks here because I don’t want to pick a side between AMD and Nvidia. If you are brand loyal you can pick your favorite, if not, either will make an excellent pick!
For AMD we have chosen the R9 390X. I like to stick around a $400 price point during my builds or major upgrades because I think it typically gets you the best performance that will last the longest for your money. Have a look at this card from XFX, the only downside being lack of display ports. They’ve gone with 2 extra DVI ports instead, so if display ports are critical, look at other R9’s, there are some that are suitable.
As for Nvidia we’re going with Gigabyte’s GTX 980 offering, which does have 3 display ports, although compared to the R9’s it has half the RAM at 4 GBs. This doesn’t hurt as much as you might think, as the two cards benchmark neck and neck with each other. And again, I’m not going to pick a side, but raw performance is raw performance, both cards perform damn close and beat the other in some operations over others.
Money is No Object
Looking at the most powerful cards available here in April, you would think I would pick the one with the greatest raw power but I’m not going to do that. By the way, that is the R9 295 X2. Instead, you might think I would lean toward the best price per performance, held by the 390X, if you’re curious. No, if I were building a machine and money were no object, it is the GTX 980 TI that gets my vote. It is near enough in price per performance to the AMD cards to negate that as a factor and instead focus on the performance which comes damn close to the top dog, only at half the price.
And then? I’d buy two.
Get your hands on Doom May 13, 2016 on PS4, Xbox One, and PC and Fight. Like. Hell!