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Old 11-24-2008, 04:04 AM   #1
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Default ATI HD 4870 1GB vs. NVIDIA GTX 260/216 896MB

In the $250 - $300 price-range, there exists two graphics cards that want to see your dollar, but which one deserves it the most? To find out, we're taking a thorough look at each. In addition to general performance comparison, we're also taking a look to see which excels where power consumption and temperatures are concerned, in addition to overall pricing.

You can read the full article here and then discuss it here once finished. Regarding the extra information as mentioned towards the end of the article, it can be found below.

Call of Duty: World at War
GTX 260/216: 34.095 FPS (2560x1600, 4xAA, Max Details)
HD 4870 1GB: 29.209 FPS (2560x1600, 0xAA, Max Details)

Crysis Warhead
GTX 260/216: 40.676 FPS (2560x1600, 0xAA, Mainstream)
HD 4870 1GB: 33.983 FPS (2560x1600, 0xAA, Mainstream)

Dead Space
GTX 260/216: 156.78 FPS (1920x1200, 0xAA, Max Detail) (Due to inability to run at 2560)
HD 4870 1GB: 74.323 FPS (2560x1600, 0xAA, Max Detail)

Fallout 3
GTX 260/216: 53.740 FPS (2560x1600, 4xAA, 15xAF, Max Detail)
HD 4870 1GB: 50.097 FPS (2560x1600, 4xAA, 15xAF, Max Detail)

Far Cry 2
GTX 260/216: 33.269 FPS (2560x1600, 4xAA, Max Detail)
HD 4870 1GB: 29.897 FPS (2560x1600, 4xAA, Max Detail)

Left 4 Dead
GTX 260/216: 56.444 FPS (2560x1600, 8xMSAA, 16xAF, Max Detail)
HD 4870 1GB: 63.773 FPS (2560x1600, 8xMSAA, 16xAF, Max Detail)

For those who want to see the image quality comparison shots, you can download this file. Images are all resized to 1680x1050, from 2560x1600.
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Old 11-24-2008, 12:11 PM   #2
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looks like Nvidia has the more bang for buck GPU right now! Hey wot will Two 9600GTs in SLI be equal to?!?
and u have ur system specs at the bottom of ur post, how do i do that?!?

Last edited by Doomsday; 11-24-2008 at 12:19 PM. Reason: question asking
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Old 11-24-2008, 05:01 PM   #3
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You need to go into your user control panel and then click on "Edit Signature". To get it the same size and font as mine, I used Arial size 1. Welcome to the forums!
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Old 11-24-2008, 05:35 PM   #4
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i'm sorry but i am not getting a "Edit Signature" when i go to my user control panel?!?
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Old 11-24-2008, 06:05 PM   #5
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Woops, I forgot that we had a post limit that needs to be met first. Once you hit 10 posts on the forums, you'll be able to create signatures. We have it set this way since many spam bots will sign up on the site only to edit their signatures and then never come back. It's staggering how many bots are used to do just that.
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Old 11-25-2008, 04:18 AM   #6
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Okie dokie.
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Old 11-25-2008, 10:06 AM   #7
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Great Article! Given that I won't be upgrading my monitor for a while, it looks like the
EVGA 896-P3-1267-AR GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 Superclocked Edition 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16

Will be a great piece for my system as I had previously though I was going to go with the ATI 1GB.
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Old 11-25-2008, 10:50 AM   #8
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If you don't need to purchase the GPU right now, you might want to wait until we follow-up our testing when ATI releases their 8.12 Catalyst driver. It's supposed to add various improvements that hope to match or surpass the performance of the GTX 260/216 in most games, including the ones used in the article.

I'm having a hard time believing that we'll see enough improvement to surpass NVIDIA's card, though. I'm hopeful, but even if ATI's card happens to match the NVIDIA for performance, the GTX 260/216 still has the upper-hand with cooler temperatures, better power consumption and price. Not to mention that ATI's card has a low overall overclocking top-limit, whereas the GTX 260/216 can go as high as 75MHz above stock and sometimes even higher (as in the case of our 666MHz XFX card).

But, as I mentioned before, I won't conclude on anything until we get ahold of these drivers and see what they can muster.
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Old 11-25-2008, 02:49 PM   #9
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Hm, I can remember when NVIDIA's GTX 260 216 couldn't even beat a 4870 in most games... those much hyped 180 drivers really seem to have done something.
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Old 11-25-2008, 03:20 PM   #10
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  • Boosts performance in numerous 3D applications. The following are some examples of improvements measured with Release 180 WHQL drivers vs. Release 178 WHQL drivers (results will vary depending on your GPU, system configuration, and game settings):
    • Up to 10% performance increase in 3DMark Vantage (performance preset)
    • Up to 13% performance increase in Assassin's Creed
    • Up to 13% performance increase in BioShock
    • Up to 15% performance increase in Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts
    • Up to 10% performance increase in Crysis Warhead
    • Up to 25% performance increase in Devil May Cry 4
    • Up to 38% performance increase in Far Cry 2
    • Up to 18% performance increase in Race Driver: GRID
    • Up to 80% performance increase in Lost Planet: Colonies
    • Up to 18% performance increase in World of Conflict
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Old 11-26-2008, 03:18 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kougar View Post
Hm, I can remember when NVIDIA's GTX 260 216 couldn't even beat a 4870 in most games... those much hyped 180 drivers really seem to have done something.
See, that's what confuses me. What kinds of optimizations could be make to a driver to cause that much improvement? Unless it's just these games... who knows. In hindsight, I should have used a much wider collection, but I was trying to stick to just what's popular for the holidays, and as far as I know, I didn't skip over anything (except NFS: Undercover, because it didn't get here in time).

I should be getting ahold of the 8.12 Catalyst driver soon and will follow-up when possible on this. I'll use the same games as above, but others as well to give a wider representation of who the performance king is all-around, not just with the latest games.
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Old 11-26-2008, 07:18 PM   #12
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From what I've read software drivers used to usually bring large performance improvements back when the ATI 8000/9000 cards and NVIDIA Ti/FX cards were around.. These days there's no benefit to leaving anything unoptimzied during a new hardware launch, but I wouldn't be surprised if they figured out a much better way of writing their drivers, or optimizing the hardware. I also wouldn't be surprised if they found a way to "cheat" the system either by manipulating image quality, they've done it before.
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Old 11-26-2008, 07:31 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kougar View Post
I also wouldn't be surprised if they found a way to "cheat" the system either by manipulating image quality, they've done it before.
That's one thing that concerned me, but in all six games, I saw little-to-no difference in the screenshots I had. Feel free to download them and take a look yourself. Maybe you can find something I didn't (they're in the first post).
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Old 12-01-2008, 04:52 AM   #14
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Well I didn't look very closely to be honest, and just said it to throw it out there, not accuse them even though they tried it in the past. I didn't check the screenies as I've seen to many screenshots that look stellar, but then ingame is something else entirely. For example that shining/white reflective issue where textures end that only shows up during camera movement, shimmering sand or ground textures, etc.

Anandtech updated their bit, first place I've seen mention some specifics. The story seems to fit. http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3462&p=4
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Old 12-01-2008, 10:12 AM   #15
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That's a good overall look, but I'm curious at improvements for games not shown on the "improvement" list. If the optimizations weren't game-specific, then many new games should see a nice boost in performance. I don't think even 10% will sell anybody, but like we said in the article, there's other factors that come into play that currently put NVIDIA on top.

I'm still waiting on some 8.12 drivers from ATI. I'm really looking forward to seeing if any catch-up is going to occur. I'm hoping so. Will keep things interesting.
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