GPU Duel: GTX 970 vs RX 580. Which is better?


GTX 970 vs RX 580

When it comes to your PC’s GPU, you only want what is the best for gaming. When looking at two top GPUs: GTX 970 vs RX 580, which one to choose?

Let us compare the two and find out who emerges victorious over the other one in this duel.

Why GTX 970 vs RX 580, when there are better options out there?

Considering that the GeForce GTX 970 chipset came out way back as far as 2014 and the RX 580 a few years later, in 2017, why are we still talking about these two?

You would think that they are outdated seeing how several chipsets came afterward, but the fact is that they are still able to pack a punch in terms of performance and still manages to deliver quality visuals for a good number of recent games.

Photo of closeup logo NVIDIA on a PC

Another thing that is interesting about these two, is that they aren’t even equivalents in terms of AMD versus NVIDIA.

When looking at NVIDIA’s GTX 970, its true AMD rival is a Radeon RX 480. As for the RX 580, its equivalent would be a GTX 1060. It does make sense knowing the time gap of three years in between their release.

In a way, it is kind of an unfair advantage to the RX 580 as is it a more “recent” model than his opponent.

If you want to see the technical information and a comparison of the two spec-wise, check out this link where we compare both components GTX 970 vs RX 580 on pangoly.com.

For this comp, I chose to compare the two models of the same brand, in this case, it’s MSI. I also picked the 4GB of VRAM edition, as the GTX 970 is only available in 4GB, but the RX 580 is available in both 4GB and 8GB.

Also, as a price point, you would think that older models would be cheaper because when it comes to computer hardware, there are always new GPUs released on the market every year.

So necessarily, you would think the older GPUs would go on clearance, as the saying goes “out with the old and in with the new”, but more on this later on.

One day you may pay an arm and a leg for the best GPU on the market, then not so much the best a few months later as it will be already yesterday’s news with a newer more powerful model that just came out and all that you can show for, is a missing arm and leg.

Jokes aside, that same card would still be great as it would take time to become obsolete.

Among all graphic card brands, which one to choose?

When it comes to brands for your graphic card, there is no right or wrong answer here. When looking at certain models, they basically give all the same product with a few extras to make it look pretty or run more efficiently to make their products stand out from the competition.

Some would add fans to help cool down that expensive piece of gaming hardware, they might allure you with a nice fancy modern-looking faceplate with a side of a little bit of RGB lighting.

That being said, other than the looks or cooling of the actual card, it all depends on the brand you trust and love. Some brands are popular among the gaming population

Here are the top 5 brand names that keep popping up across the web as great options for GPUs (in alphabetical order):

  • ASUS
  • EVGA
  • Gigabyte
  • MSI
  • Sapphire

One thing to keep in mind is the quality of the customer service and the length of the warranty.

Of the five mentioned brands, three of them (ASUS, EVGA, and MSI) offer a 3-year warranty, while Sapphire only provides a 2-year warranty. On the other hand, Gigabyte offers a 4-year warranty.

Photo of Gigabyte brand GPU card

So this should definitely help you make your decision. I am not saying that you should automatically go for the one with the biggest warranty, but this just shows how much a company has faith in its products.

This means that they offer a great quality product and it should last you for a good amount of time or until your next GPU upgrade.

One other thing to take note of is of our two featured models, ASUS, Gigabyte, and MSI are the only ones to offer both the RX 580 and GTX 970 cards in their lineup.

As for EVGA, they only offer the GTX 970, and Sapphire would side with the RX 580.

Which graphic card brands to avoid?

As mentioned before, there is no definite answer to this question. Some people will avoid brands that they don’t know or know little of.

I, for one, did not know about the Palit brand, and from what I read it is quite popular in the Asian market, plus they offer a three-year warranty on their graphic cards.

So for me, avoiding that brand could spell me miss out on a quality product, plus their pricing is fairer than most of the competition on the market. But in this case, Palit does not take part in our GTX 970 vs RX 580 duel, as they do not offer either model.

Secured 1 year warranty golden badge. Isolated on white background.

So to answer the question, which graphic card brands to avoid? I would say to do some research on the lesser-known names before preemptively crossing them off your list and check out reviews to do a little bit of recon.

Although there are companies that I have come across that seem to put the emphasis on the looks of their components rather than quality.

I am not saying that their products are necessarily bad, it is just that look-wise they are appealing to the eyes with some nice RGB lighting, but they only provide a 1-year warranty for their video cards when the competition offers 2 to 4 times the warranty length.

Just keep a watchful eye on them, if ever you consider buying a graphic card from them. That is all.

There are good GPU companies that provide a one-year warranty for their GPU and those are ASRock, Zotac Gaming, and probably more.

To sum up, when looking up brands online, be wary of those that have a short warranty for their product.

GTX 970 vs RX 580 price-wise, what’s the damage?

At the moment of their respective release date, the GTX 970 was priced at 329 USD, and the RX 580 was 199 USD for the 4GB version and 229 USD for the 8GB model.

Now in 2021, during these hard times of the global economy, the supply of video cards among thousands of other products is very limited and with demand far exceeding the supply level of these video cards or any other model for that matter, the prices went through the roof.

To put things in perspective, the RX 580 which was originally priced at 229 USD for the 8GB model, in today’s market they can be found somewhere between 500 USD and 1000 USD depending on the brand. That’s insane considering that it is a 4-year-old model.

As for the GTX 970, it is more “reasonably” priced, it has been seen around the original MSRP of 329 USD, but it also varies up to 700 USD. Still a lot of money.

I believe the better option is either to wait it out, hoping for a price drop, or simply think about getting a used one that can be found online or even refurbished, although there is not much of a difference in price for the latter.

If ever you choose to go for a pre-owned graphic card, I would be careful in doing so, in the case that the card was used for cryptocurrency mining.

If it did, then there is a good chance that it has been “worn out” and won’t perform as well as it should. It is because in most cases, these GPUs ran 24/7 for a long period of time, which cannot be too good for the hardware.

Farm for mining crypto currency on video cards close-up

So make sure that in the description the seller mentions that it was not used for that purpose and if it doesn’t say, then I would ask the question directly.

So make sure that in the description the seller mentions that it was not used for that purpose and if it doesn’t say, then I would ask the question directly.

VR Ready?

Yes, if you are planning to use your graphic card for some virtual reality gaming then you’re in luck as they both are compatible with VR.

Although you may not be running at optimal or recommended settings, you will still be able to play nonetheless. For more recent AAA VR games, you may want to check compatibility beforehand.

To give you an idea, one of the more popular VR titles is “Half-Life: Alyx”, which was released in March 2020. In order to play at minimum requirements, you would need either an NVIDIA GTX 1060 or an AMD RX 580 (6GB).

Knowing this, unfortunately, the GTX 970 would simply not be powerful enough to play it and as far as the RX 580 is concerned, you would need the 6GB model as the 3GB one would not be enough.

Seeing as the RX 580 is the minimum requirement for a AAA VR game from March 2020, you can expect that for more recent or any future AAA games both cards would be now considered obsolete.

Final Thoughts

Who won?

The RX 580 can claim an easy victory on this one as it can still run on some games that the GTX 970 cannot.

Also, being more recent than the NVIDIA, his life expectancy was greater, to begin with.

One of the reasons you may want to pick the GTX 970 is that it still supports NVIDIA SLI (Scalable Link Interface) although the technology has been dropped by the company as of January 1st of 2021.

Another reason to pick the GTX chipset is an extra DVI port over the RX 580 and it supports NVIDIA G-Sync which is a feature to help prevent screen tearing giving the user a smooth gaming experience while reducing input lag.

Siding with AMD has a load more advantages as it is as I had previously said more recent, thus supports more games, it boasts better overall clock speeds, it has one more Display Port and one more HDMI than the GTX 970.

This GPU supports AMD Crossfire and AMD FreeSync, which respectively help with performance with 3D graphics rendering, while FreeSync is AMD’s version of NVIDIA’s G-Sync.

Hope you enjoyed it and remember: The greater the visuals, the greater the games.

So let’s keep it great and game on.


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GPU Duel: GTX 970 vs RX 580. Which is better?


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