If you can wait until 20 nm GPUs arrive at the end of the year, then now is a good time to wait. If you need a new GPU right now, then you have to select among the graphics cards available right now to get the one that best meets your performance requirements and budget.
This thread was started because of the price run-up that happened with Radeon graphics cards (especially those based on Hawaii and Tahiti GPUs) during the litecoin mining bubble.
Radeon R9-270X is a faster version of R9-270 which is an updated version of Radeon HD7870. These cards use the full Curacao/Pitcairn XT GPU which is noticeably more powerful than the Pitcairn Pro GPU that has 1/5th (20%) of its shaders disabled in the Radeon R7-265 / HD7850
At as little as $182
, Radeon R9-270 provides a good gaming experience at 1080p. Radeon R9-270 has much
better gaming performance than the similarly-priced GeForce GTX750Ti.
Radeon R9-280 is an updated version of Radeon HD7950 Boost which is a faster Radeon HD7950. These cards use a Tahiti Pro GPU that has 1/8th (12½%) of the shaders disabled from the full Tahiti XT GPU that's found in the Radeon R9-280X / HD7970
At $295 and up
, prices still haven't fully recovered from the litecoin bubble. These cards were a phenomenal value when they were selling for as little as $200 last summer. When the litecoin mining fad started gobbling up all of the available supply in November 2013, Newegg jacked up prices higher than a GeForce GTX770 / GTX680
, making those NVidia GK104 based cards a better value for gamers.
Radeon R9-290 uses a Hawaii Pro GPU that has 1/11th (9%) of the shaders disabled from the Hawaii XT GPU that's found in the Radeon R9-290X
At $465 and falling
, prices are still above the $400 MSRP with which these cards launched at the beginning of November, but they've come down tremendously from the $780 height of Newegg's price-gouging when the litecoin bubble was at its peak.