Raffle won - New GPU decisions

AMD or Nvidia for my new GPU

I would like some help reviewing my decision process to see if I’m failing to take something into account.

I won a raffle for a 4070 ti/super or 4080 graphics card (I don’t know which quite yet). All the cards in the raffle will fit my case, but if I get a blower the thermals will be bad (vertical case). I currently have a 6700xt, am on linux. Case is NZXT H1 V2.

Use cases: gaming at 1440p, and potentially machine learning. If I stay AMD I’m not against buying GPU cluster time to run anything I need to on that.

Decision factors:

  1. I would like to do machine learning work, as I’m going into data science as a career. GPU cluster time is < $1 per card per hour, and it’s not like I’ll be doing anything big on my personal machine, just portfolio work. If I have an Nvidia GPU I can at least check for errors before i start trying run things remotely, or run them locally if I have GPU time on my end.
  • Big point for Green.
  1. I’m on linux-wayland. Nvidia drivers are notoriously problematic here. The newest drivers should fix a lot of the graphical Nvidia-wayland issues but I’m skeptical since they dropped like, this last week or something. I haven’t seen a ton of complaining so that bodes well. It looks like they work well for AI. So AMD will be easier and less problematic, but Nvidia isn’t out of the picture.
  • Point for Red
  1. I game a lot, 1440p. I will spend more time gaming than running machine learning algorithms, especially since my PC is in my room and I don’t like having it run while I am asleep. I don’t care for RTX. This tends me towards AMD + renting GPU cluster time.
  • Point for Red
  1. I’ve got a 750W PSU and pcpartpicker specs my current system as 316W without the GPU. But even the 6700xt heats up my room a lot though. iirc it’s ideal to have ~20% headroom from system consumption to PSU max for transitory spikes and PSU max efficency? Higher end and newer GPUs are more efficient for a given performance, producing less heat in equivalent light workloads and only produce more heat under the higher/heavier workloads. Nvidia is better in this regard all around it looks like.
  • Point for Green
  1. vram… I still believe that vram has the largest impact on GPU longevity since I like to play modded games, and game devs at large seem to assume everyone has infinite vram now, and don’t optimize for it. I don’t know how true this is anymore, but I bought a 4GB GTX 980 (my prev card) specifically bc it had 4GB ram over 2GB and that was a very good decision. This points to AMD, which would also be a long term bet on AMD building CUDA equivalent libraries and translation layers, which imo is a safe bet rn. But I also could easily be wrong about my vram bias, and the bet is long term, without an actual upside today.
  • Small point for Red.
GPU vram pcpp est. Watts PSU headroom
6700 XT 12 GB 546 27%
7900 GRE 16 GB 576 25%
4070 Super 12 GB 536 30%
7900 XT 20 GB 647 15%
4070 Ti 16 GB 601 20%

Closing thoughts:

If I sell both I’ll probably be buying a 7900 GRE, because, for AMD’s offerings, the price to performance and thermals to performance are the best.

Nvidia has better performance to thermals overall, and the option to run local AI algs for testing, but potentially more problems getting to play nice with my system and the vram is lower.

If the card I get is too power hungry or a blower I’ll sell for sure (2/6 chance). But if I get a 4070 Super or Ti, I can not decide if I sell and buy AMD or if I keep it and learn to troubleshoot Nividia on wayland (I can also always hop to x11 if I need to)

… I can not decide. Sorry for the long post. Thanks for any thoughts. Esp about running Nvidia/AI work on KDE plasma + wayland. What would you do?


Tom’s Hardware GPU hierarchy, Tom’s Hardware Best GPUs of 2024

It is a question only you can answer but a few thoughts from me:

  • AMD is definitely more trouble free on Linux
  • If you care about gaming, DLSS is so much better than FSR2. Especially in motion.
  • Since you mentioned longevity, you might consider the fact that in the future, ray tracing may be a requirement for games. We haven’t reached that point yet but as more games are developed with RTGI in mind, it is something to think about.
  • How important VRAM is depends on your personal preferences. Are you playing modern AAA single player games with high quality textures? VRAM makes a difference. Are you playing multiplayer games with lower quality textures to get the most FPS? VRAM isn’t as important.

If you aren’t gaming as primary use case or you are only playing games casually, I think it is easy to make a case for AMD. If you are though, it might not be ideal to give on nvidia which has some significant advantages. However, it is all based on personal preferences.

Just from the standpoint of Linux support and community, I’d go AMD.
I’m with you, the minimum these days is 12 GB of VRAM, and I went that route about Christmas. If I were buying now, I might look for more, because the games requirements aren’t going to get lighter in the future.

I couldn’t stomach paying $1000 for the AMD 7900xtx at the time. . . and went cheap with a 6700xt. It’s been good enough for most things other than like stupid graphics on cyberpunk. . .

I personally won’t bother with Nvidia as I don’t like the way they are towards linux and FOSS stuff. I’d get whatever has the best resale value and then use that to buy the best AMD card you can afford. It just works and I’ve been very happy with it. I’ll continue to support AMD as I have for like 20 years. The Intel Arc stuff is interesting, but not quite there yet. I’m looking forward to seeing their progression.

Yeah I bought a 6700xt 1.5y ago bc it was the cheapest card that would do everything I wanted it to at the time of purchase, and the prices were way too high to justify buying a card geared towards longevity or work. It still does, but I’m getting a new card basically dropped in my lap now for a similar price to what I paid for that card (tax on the new card).

If I sell the new card I’m paying taxes twice (to receive the raffle card then the new amd card), which is also a point against red. It drives the effective price up towards a new green GPU, when red normally has much better raster to cost.

I’m leaning towards keeping the card if it works for me rn because if that. Hadnt thought about that before

Seems like you’ve already made up your mind based on something entirely different than your original points. :thinking:

Not at all. It’s exactly the purpose I posted. “something entirely different,” I posed exactly because I couldn’t tip the balance on my own. I was looking precisely for “something entirely different” from my own thinking that would tip the balance of my opinion.

I knew I’d be missing something, and fbody’s comment made me think of something I didn’t on my own. The fact that the cost of the Nvidia GPU would be just taxes, the cost of an AMD card for whatever I value i realize from the Nvidia card would be both GPU’s taxes, driving down the AMD performance to price ratio they usually hold an advantage in.

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