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ATI LOOKS GREAT, but Nvidia is dropping prices FAST!!

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 7, 2008 3:45:37 PM

Alright so I had thought that I had made up my mind about which graphics cards to go with, and I thought I had myself convinced that I would be switching to ATI for this graphics card battle, hoping to eventually win the war.

But now, in response to ATI's awesome performing 4850 and 4870 cards each at an all time low price for performance ratio, Nvidia is quickly slashing prices straight across it's entire line up.

The lowest price you can find a GTX280 for is about 470-499.99 (with rebates) and the GTX260 is now 299.00-350.00 depending on the model number and rebates involved. These are actually really good prices as compared to 2 weeks ago. Obviously I'm talking about the 650.00 dollar pricing fiasco. Especially for cards that only offered an average of 35-50% performance improvements over previous generations.

Whats worse is that I am stuck because not even 2 months ago I bought a 790i Ultra board at a whopping 349.99 from EVGA. The board is great and has posted the best results I have ever seen to date on any motherboard as far as overclocking and functionality is concerned, and it runs my q6600 @ 3.6GHZ all day long, everyday.

So my plight is obvious. I bought this 790i Ultra to be ready for the new generation of Nvidia cards. My plan was to buy the GTX280 and SLI them. I am currently running (2) 8800 GT's in SLI and with my overclocks and current settings can hit 19,400+ in 3dmark 06. I can also play every game except Crysis at maxed out settings at 1900X1200 resolution.

I was hoping to see huge gains over this once the reviews for the GTX 280 came out but so far have been less then thrilled. As a matter of fact the pill became even harder to swallow once I saw the pricing upon release. My 8800's were holding me up just fine. Why do I need to switch to GTX 280's ? My 88's in SLI actually perform much better than a single GTX280 in pretty much every benchmark I have seen.

So this begs the question, with the new 790i board money already invested and my entire system already running flawlessly, would it be even plausible to switch sides now? Could I possibly have any real reason to switch to ATI ?

The new Nvidia price cuts are going to keep dropping I can only assume, since ATI really hasn't even released there big boy yet (4850X2 or 4870X2) and the prices of those cards are supposed to be extremely competitive, let alone the fact that they are also supposed to out perform the GTX 280.

Now I am left with feeling like if I move on an Nvidia card right now , in two weeks, maybe the prices will be 50-100 dollars cheaper. Also we still don't know what Nvidia has in the works as it's response to ATI's new super card (X2 series), so buying anything right now seems to be stupid for me.

Should I wait for more price cuts? Should I wait for a manufacture process reduction on the GTX280? Which will possibly run at higher clock rates and cooler temps. Will the 4870X2 stomp the hell out of anything that Nvidia has, and will Nvidia respond with a monster card that will win back the title? Is there a bottoming out point for Nvidia's pricing? Have the prices reached the lowest they will go for the immediate future (3-4 months).

With my investment in an Sli board, that at this point cannot be returned, and the fact that my sytem is working perfectly, with no complaints about the performance of my dual 88's, I believe I have no choice but to wait it out and see what moves the two graphics goliath's make next. Buying 2 GTX 280's right now seems ridiculous for me as the pricing is still horrible, (even with the price cuts and the performance improvement ratio not to my liking over the previous gen cards)and the GTX260's are currently being stomped on by the 4870's
and soon to be big brothers 4850X2 and or 4870X2.

The switch to a crossfire board seems rather inviting where the future of graphics dominance is concerned. Two 4870X2's in crossfire would surely be a beast that Nvidia would have a hard time defeating, and they would actually be cheaper than two current GTX280's and obviously out perform it by a large margin.

I could still feasibly TRI-SLI three 9800 GTX+'s when they come out for much cheaper than the GTX280's or I could also Tri-Sli GTX260's which would still be killer performance for better cost. I am running a 1200 Watt PSU and I believe it could handle it without issue.

The point of this whole thread is basically this, being a gamer I want to have a great performing system, but I also wan't something that is going to handle the games that are released for the next 2-3 years. That being said, my 790i board should have no problem, however my 88's are already showing their age a bit. With so many what if's for the future of graphics dominance floating around right now, it makes it an extremely exciting time, but also a very confusing one for most of us who are trying to decide where to invest our hard earned money.

I have a decision to make indeed, and I want to know some opinions about the current state of affairs from other gamers and enthusiasts out there, please tell me what some of you guys have decided to do about all this, and if you are just going to wait it out and see what happens over the next few months.

The last thing I wanna end up like is the guys that just bought a GTX280 at 650.00 last week and look at newegg this week and see them 150.00 dollars cheaper....Damn..that sucks.

July 7, 2008 4:03:50 PM

I'm sorry but I gave up half way though. Can you give us the short version?
July 7, 2008 4:08:37 PM

The reasoning for moving up to gtx200s is if you want to enable 8x-16x Quality anti-aliasing and transparency AA in games, or if you want to really buff up your "Crysis experience" hehe

Anyways, I wouldn't recommend gtx280 SLI unless you have a 24" + display, otherwise you just aren't pushing enough pixels to really bother.

If you do have a 24" display, i'd even still recommend the gtx260 SLI over the gtx280 SLI - the performance is pretty close and the gtx260 can hit the same OCs as the gtx280, all for 400$ cheaper. Will the gtx280 SLI outperform the gtx260 SLI? Sure, but I really don't think that kind of a performance increase is worth 400$ more, that is quite a bit of money that could be spent on other quality parts, software, or failing all else: beer.

I don't think its worth going with a gtx280 right now unless you planned to use it as a single gpu in a "buy one now, get one later" strategy, where you wait for the prices to come down to a stable level, with more demanding games to hit market.

If you want to switch to a crossfire platform then you really can't go wrong with the 2-4870x2 QF or even 4870+4870x2 TF, like you said it should be a total beast; however it would be a shame to give up a nice SLI board like the 790I-U.

I think if enabling ultra high quality options in your gpu control panel isn't your first priority at the moment, then sitting with your 8800 GTs isn't a bad idea at all; wait until the jury is out on the 4870x2 and then make your decision.
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July 7, 2008 4:11:28 PM

The answer to your question is in this sentence:
"I can also play every game except Crysis at maxed out settings at 1900X1200 resolution."

If there is only one game that you can't run maxed out (and I reckon it must look awsome nonetheless), then you can wait until the prices drop some more, also, seeing as you own a nvidia mobo I'd bet you'll get less performance from a 4870 than from two 8800 GT, so anyway you'll have to wait for the release of the X2 versions.

Anyway it sums up in one word: Wait.
July 7, 2008 4:26:28 PM

What's wrong with your current setup? 8800GT SLId will do for another year or even more. I don't see any new demanding game at the horizon.
July 7, 2008 4:29:42 PM

SirCrono nailed it.

Why upgrade if you can play all games maxed at that resolution except Crisis (which noone can play at max settings anyway).

Upgrading would be throwing money away.

WAIT.
a b U Graphics card
July 7, 2008 4:38:33 PM

I was looking for the nVidia is HAVING TO drop prices in the thread title. Id wait as well, because the 280 is way overpriced, and with your current setup, youre fine anyways. By the time you decide, the 55nm refresh wont be that far aways anyways. Not until we see the 280 under 400 would I do it, but thats just me, and todays competitive pricing, thanks ATI
a b U Graphics card
July 7, 2008 4:42:08 PM

WAIT! If it ain't broke, don't fix it
July 7, 2008 4:59:07 PM

dirtmountain said:
WAIT! If it ain't broke, don't fix it

No sir. If it ain't broke, fix it until it IS! :sarcastic: 

Really though, with a pair of 8800GTs there is really no reason to get the latest gen of cards unless you just *have* to drop money on whatever is the latest and greatest.

-mcg
July 7, 2008 5:04:44 PM

homerdog said:
I'm sorry but I gave up half way though. Can you give us the short version?


same here.

do you have a tree in your backyard that grows money or something? for what you spend for your current system, it would last a quite a while. there is no point in getting the lastest and greatest.
July 7, 2008 5:19:10 PM

I'm kinda in the same boat and due to the rumors I heard about a possible new series coming out in Q4 08 or Q1 09, I see no reason to upgrade now and plan to wait. My feeling is something new from Nvidia may appear for the Christmas rush.
a b U Graphics card
July 7, 2008 5:20:13 PM

MrCommunistGen said:


Really though, with a pair of 8800GTs there is really no reason to get the latest gen of cards unless you just *have* to drop money on whatever is the latest and greatest.

-mcg

+1
July 7, 2008 5:31:16 PM

with a 8800gt sli setup I would not upgrade yet.
July 7, 2008 5:39:57 PM

I paid $300 for my 8800GT. What do I win?
a b U Graphics card
July 7, 2008 5:43:28 PM

An official Jen-Hsun The Way We Meant To Play You game
July 7, 2008 5:54:10 PM

deuce271 said:
I paid $300 for my 8800GT. What do I win?

Acceptable performance every game* out there

*Crysis not included
a b U Graphics card
July 7, 2008 5:59:49 PM

Dont mean to burn you, as we all know, if youve bought any cards before, to day theyre expensive, tomorrow theyre cheap/yesterdays news
July 7, 2008 6:25:17 PM

dirtmountain said:
WAIT! If it ain't broke, don't fix it


MrCommunistGen said:
No sir. If it ain't broke, fix it until it IS! :sarcastic: 


Totally

"If it ain't broke, you're not trying!" -Red Green-
July 7, 2008 6:51:19 PM

@dragoncyber, I too have a Q6600, 2x 8800GT SLI, and an evga mobo (i have a 780i). Your system is fine, like you said yourself, 8800GT SLId often perform better than the gtx280. Wait till prices drop, but you dont need to upgrade right now. I bought my 8800GT's to last awhile and I am not disappointed (except for Very High settings in Crysis).
July 7, 2008 6:58:45 PM

However if you're like me with a P45 now and a single 8800GT and a 24inch screen, 4850 xfire looks a really really nice way to go :D 


One 8800GT just cant cut it with 4x aa + max settings on games like cod4 ;) 

4850xfire beats em out at 100fps+.


Ownage.
July 7, 2008 7:01:53 PM

4850 CF is a great setup, the scaling in the 4850s is very good; at its price point it is a much better value/performance than 4870CF.
July 7, 2008 7:13:55 PM

Wait for the 55nm refresh, it will be cheaper and cooler
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
July 7, 2008 7:41:07 PM

sir crono = wise man lol

exactly... my 8800 gts 640 handles every game at max including AA @ 19x12... EXCEPT CRYSIS...
a c 171 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
July 7, 2008 7:49:27 PM

Its not a matter of Nvidia having to drop prices. What your waiting for is Nvidia to release cards that increase performance. 8800GT in SLI >= GTX280. I don't believe you gave your resolution.

You did say you wanted something that will handle games years from now. The only way that happens is if you upgrade with technology. You either keep pace with it, or you don't. There isn't anything you can do now that will allow you to play high end games 3-4 years from now. (other then putting your money in an interest bearing account...)
July 7, 2008 8:05:16 PM

you have a sweet rig right now .No need to switch.The 4800 are great cards but not to the point of you making any changes.Next year you can but the gtx280 for pos. $250,which would make it a great deal.Save your money.Again ,nice rig
July 7, 2008 8:19:07 PM

I would wait as well at least till nvidia brings out there cards that support dx10.1. Rumor mill says that there "New" generation of cards will be out in January that will not just be reworks of the g80 generation and die shrinks. Unless you have a specific reason to upgrade I would say don't do it.
July 7, 2008 8:53:47 PM

MrCommunistGen said:
No sir. If it ain't broke, fix it until it IS! :sarcastic: 

Really though, with a pair of 8800GTs there is really no reason to get the latest gen of cards unless you just *have* to drop money on whatever is the latest and greatest.

-mcg

Doesnt a pair of 8800GT's already beat the crap out of the HD 4870 and GTX 260 alike? Maybe not in every game, but in games that scale well with SLI at high resolutions... jeez.

btw I was agreeing with you.
July 7, 2008 9:16:32 PM

doomsdaydave11 said:
Doesnt a pair of 8800GT's already beat the crap out of the HD 4870 and GTX 260 alike? Maybe not in every game, but in games that scale well with SLI at high resolutions... jeez.

btw I was agreeing with you.


He may have meant the latest and greatest pair (260 SLI or 4870 CF)
July 7, 2008 9:39:05 PM

jonyb222 said:
He may have meant the latest and greatest pair (260 SLI or 4870 CF)

Either way, I was agreeing with him. The 8800GT pair is still a fantastic option
July 7, 2008 10:15:53 PM

it is indeed, heck most of last gen CF/SLI setups are still good
July 7, 2008 10:19:03 PM

Even a last gen Single card would be fine for me :)  I'm having trouble giving up my dying 7900GS which is not even that old! 1.5yr!
July 8, 2008 1:54:47 AM

If there is no push to upgrade (i.e. no step up deadline), then by all means wait for price drops. What's the rush to upgrade now if you are getting satisfactory performance?
July 8, 2008 4:23:36 AM

This question, hell all these questions, would be alot easier to answer and alot simpler if everybody would stop basing their purchases/system performace around Crysis.

Just stick with the 8800GT's, dumping them for something else is incredibly pointless.
July 8, 2008 5:14:15 AM

I am using an XFX 8800 GT on my new system build with an XFX 780i. I almost bought 2x g280's, but you helped me not throw away my cash( and the prices are coming down.... I woulda been p'od). After doing more research I am going to try and wait for the Nvidia Cards with DDR5 memory to come out and grab 1 or 2 of them at that time.
a b U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
July 8, 2008 7:43:25 AM

Simple answer wait.

The X2 is coming, as are udated single card models of the HD4K, PLUS unless you have a burning need, I'd say wait for the 55nm GTX2xx series, since the 65nm are somewhat weak.

If your current system does you in the games you play, then unless there's an itch you absolutely need to scratch I'd avoid the current GTXs and then consider the future offering more than the current ones.
July 8, 2008 3:57:33 PM

Well as most of you have stated waiting seems to be the logical answer. Thanks for the assistance guys, once again always a pleasure. I think if I did anything at all right now I would regret it in a couple weeks. I'm going to wait and see what happens when the dust settles between Nvidia and ATI. Then I will probably be able to get a much better setup for a much better price. My 8800 GT's do still scream in SLI, so I really don't have anything to complain about. Heck just one of them does a great job.
July 8, 2008 4:25:15 PM

Your system looks great at the moment so you can simply wait, there's really no reason for you to consider switching motherboards or anything of the like. There's an ATI card coming for people like you and it will be called the HD 4870 X2, Crossfire on a single card, so you don't end up needing another board.

Basically wait, check out benchmarks on the X2, then decide if and what you should buy.
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