It’s been a while since the Nvidia GTX 970 was released, and users are a bit tired now. I mean, using a 7-year-old GPU is not that great for your PC, is it? But you’re not sure about which graphics card would be the best to replace your 970.
So, what is the best upgrade for GTX 970?
In my opinion, the best upgrade for your GTX 970 has to be the RTX 2060. Yes, this GPU is slightly older but it’s the most value-for-money deal. However, there are other good upgrades too. For Example, 3060 Ti, 1660 super, AMD 6600 XT, and many others. All of these GPUs are way better than 970.
Well, that was only a short look at the GPUs. You’ll obviously want to know more about them. So, let’s dig deep into the graphics cards!
Do You Have Enough Power to Upgrade the GPU?
Before anything, you should thoroughly study the compatibility with your GPU. Well, not the one you already own but the one you want to buy. The reason behind this is that some PSU and Motherboards don’t support recent GPU systems.
If your CPU, RAM, Motherboard, or PSU requires an upgrade, you’ll have to upgrade. There’s no other shortcut for this. After that, make sure your CPU is not causing a bottleneck for your GPU.
Moreover, the airflow inside your casing has to be good to dissipate the excess heat. Try to keep these key things in mind whenever you’re going for a PC upgrade.
Now, let’s check out the top 4 picks for your GTX 970 founders edition.
4 best Upgrades for GTX 970 in 2022
I’ve tried to curate the best possible upgrades for GeForce gtx 970. Because these 4 GPUs belong to different price brackets. So, whether you want high-end or budget GPU, I’ve got you covered!
To make your purchase decision easier, here’s a quick table for all the GPU specs-
|GPUs||Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti||Nvidia RTX 2060||Nvidia GTX 1660 Super||AMD 6700 XT||GTX 970|
|Clock Speed||1410 MHz||1365 MHz||1530 MHz||2321 MHz||1050 MHz|
|GPU Turbo Speed||1665 MHz||1680 MHz||1785 MHz||2581 MHz||1178 MHz|
|Performance Gain||2.6X more powerful||1.7x more powerful||1.4X more powerful||2.2X more powerful||—|
|Transistors||17.4 Billion||10.8 Billion||6.6 Billion||11.6 Billion||5.4 Billion|
|Processor Size||8 nm||12 nm||12 nm||7 nm||28 nm|
|Load Temperature (Avg)||65-68 C||75-80C||65-70 C||60-65 C||70-75 C|
This updated list is quite similar to my recommended upgrades for Nvidia GTX 970. Well, it’s kinda obvious because both of these cards are very similar to each other. Still, all of the GPUs are not the same here.
You’ll have to go through them to find out!
RTX 3060 Ti:
Many tend to purchase its younger brother, the 3060, but RTX 3060 Ti is a beast. Not only is it a significant upgrade from 970, but it’s also an upgrade to RTX 3060.
You get the best of the best features and technologies with this GPU. From Nvidia Ampere to the lowest latency, every groundbreaking feature is available with this one. Even the 2nd Gen Ray Tracing is the newest addition to this GPU.
Editing 8K videos, streaming at 1440p, and gaming at ultra settings is unbelievably smooth. Even with the downgraded 8GB of memory, it can achieve wonders!
So, if the budget is not the issue, RTX 3060 Ti is the best GPU for an upgrade.
Nvidia RTX 2060:
Well, I really think RTX 2060 is the best upgrade for your GTX 970. Well, you can check the above table to get an RTX 2060 vs GTX 970 overview. But if you want full details, follow along.
Nvidia RTX 2060 is Nvidia’s flagship consumer-level GPU. It features Nvidia’s signature Turing architecture to ensure the best graphical performance.
It has 6 times more performance boost than its predecessors and better AI technology. 2060 also has better thermal cooling with a 6th gen dual-axis 13 fans system.
Even being one generation older than the 30 series, many still upgrade to this GPU. It’s only because it can brilliantly retain the overall performance.
You’ll see many PC enthusiasts upgrading to RTX 2060 in 2022-
So, you know upgrading from gtx 970 to RTX 2060 is not a mistake in any way! You can pick this GPU without any worries.
GTX 1660 Super:
Nivida GTX 1660 Super is the budget contender in this Nvidia GeForce gtx 970 upgrades. No other GPU in this segment offers such a low price for a powerful GPU.
With 12nm architecture and 1530 Mhz base clock speed, the performance is excellent. You get the Nvidia FreeSync and other proprietary features with this GPU.
Even with a heavy load, the GPU temp does not go higher than 75 Celsius. So, video rendering or getting top-notch frame rates in your games is not a concern. However, the processor will be almost 4 years old in 2022.
So, you’ll have to miss out on many recent technologies such as Ray tracing and AI. Those are only available in the high-end models mentioned at the top of my list.
That can be the only downside of this GPU as there are other better options. But interestingly, none can offer that insanely affordable price range of below $300! That’s definitely the highlight of the Nvidia GTX 1660 Super!
AMD 6700 XT:
While switching from Nvidia to AMD might be a little odd, this GPU is really good. I might even say that it’s the perfect upgrade from Radeon RX 580! Even the 3Dmark score is better than the rest of the GPUs on the list.
I know that score is not everything, still, you can make a guess of its prowess. There’s no possibility that you’ll go wrong with the AMD 6700 XT. With its state-of-the-art 7 nm architecture, it’s one of the most efficient graphics cards ever made.
It comes with AMD’s latest technologies such as RDNA™ 2 and Infinity Cache. All recent games can get up to 150 FPS in 1080p settings. Some FPS games like Rainbow Six Siege and Valorant can get more than 500+ FPS!
That’s why getting this GPU over the Nvidia counterpart won’t disappoint you at all.
Now you are fully aware of the top GPUs to upgrade from your PNY GTX 970. However, let me remind you that your GPU longevity mostly depends on you. If you fail to take good care of it, it won’t even retain the performance that you want.
There are many good ways to extend your graphics card longevity. Try to implement those in your daily life and you’ll be completely worry-free!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How Old is a GTX 970?
The GTX 970 was first launched by Nvidia in September 2014. At that time, the GTX series was the best lineup from Nvidia for the mass consumer market. However, the 9 series was succeeded by the 10 series with better core performance. Now, the GTX 970 GPU has become quite outdated.
Is a GTX 970 Still Good?
Compared to other mid-range graphics cards, the GTX 970 is very capable in recent times. It’s still good for light gaming or editing sessions. However, you can’t really enjoy smooth FPS or ultra-high graphics with this GPU anymore. Because the content or game has now become more advanced.
Is it Worth Upgrading from GTX 970 to 1070?
No, it’s not the ideal decision to upgrade your 970 to a GTX 1070. Nvidia 1070 does not offer any significant improvement in this day and age. While it was a leap in performance at that time, there are better GPUs. For example, RTX 1660 or 3060 are far superior to GTX 1070 in all departments.
So, made up your mind to upgrade GTX 970 to a newer GPU? I hope this in-depth recommendation list will make your purchase decision smoother.
Now, go on and build a beast of a PC with your upgrade!