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The ATI Bandwagon...

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July 18, 2008 5:57:32 PM


OK - I feel like I need to jump on the ATI bandwagon... I'm sorry. But really, how much better can you get than a GTX 260 for around $300? My games are played @ 1680 resolution and I like to max them out.

Here is my setup right now --

Vist64 | EVGA 780i | Intel Core 2 Quad Q9450 @ 3.2 | XFX GTX260 | (2x2GB) 4GB Corsair XMS DDR2/800 | WD Caviar SE16 SATA 3GB/S | ZALMAN CNPS9700 | Antec Neo PS | ANTEC P182 Gun Metal | Samsung 22" G2G 2MS

Your honest opinions are appreciated.

More about : ati bandwagon

a b U Graphics card
July 18, 2008 6:06:30 PM

At 300$, the 260 isnt a bad buy at all. Very nice card. Should leave you happy for awhile
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July 18, 2008 6:16:53 PM

I think he was saying that the 4850 is better than the 260 jaydee...like my sig ? lol
July 18, 2008 6:17:05 PM

JAYDEEJOHN said:
At 300$, the 260 isnt a bad buy at all. Very nice card. Should leave you happy for awhile

Thats true, but 4870 cost same and have maybe little higher performance depending on games you play.
July 18, 2008 6:18:10 PM

My honest opinion is this, take the 260 out of your box and run over it with a steamroller. Or, you could keep it and remember that with that MoBo you will have the option at anytime to add another for some SLI action.

Take pictures if you run it over, though.
July 18, 2008 6:20:14 PM

if you're really that determined, i'd say ebay your gtx 260 and put a buy it now of like 290 or so, and your ebay auction will fund your 4870 purchase.
July 18, 2008 6:27:00 PM

4870 is 6% faster than GTX 260. THG reviewed both of them a while back, but if I were to get either one, I'd pick the GTX 260 due to more video memory.
July 18, 2008 6:27:37 PM

Like hairycat said - I also like the idea of going SLI like in a month or so... I wonder how two gtx260's perform... mmm . . .
July 18, 2008 6:29:40 PM

pcgamer12 said:
4870 is 6% faster than GTX 260. THG reviewed both of them a while back, but if I were to get either one, I'd pick the GTX 260 due to more video memory.


Yea... but... You have to keep in mind that the drivers really aren't that well developed for the 4XXX series yet. Heck, they don't even appear on the ATI website for driver downloads. With that in mind, they will likely improve in terms of performance when they get mature drivers.
July 18, 2008 6:31:40 PM

lol. i waited for ati to unleash their dragons, i mean graphics card. :D 
July 18, 2008 6:32:28 PM

Then again, drivers can improve in both camps.
July 18, 2008 6:32:40 PM

peter_peter said:
Like hairycat said - I also like the idea of going SLI like in a month or so... I wonder how two gtx260's perform... mmm . . .


Now that wasn't my first suggestion. I still like the steamroller idea. :pt1cable: 
July 18, 2008 6:34:15 PM

Nvidia usually has more mature drivers at first. Maybe the 8800 was the exception. =)
July 18, 2008 6:35:13 PM

hairycat101 said:
Yea... but... You have to keep in mind that the drivers really aren't that well developed for the 4XXX series yet. Heck, they don't even appear on the ATI website for driver downloads. With that in mind, they will likely improve in terms of performance when they get mature drivers.


You can hold out hope for driver improvements, but that doesn't necessarily equate to more performance. I have noticed that with my 3870, the performance hasn't increased really at all. The 4XXX series probably will benefit some from driver improvements, but I don't think that they will be something to write home about.
July 18, 2008 6:37:33 PM

Why is Nvidia so hated?
July 18, 2008 6:39:50 PM

ATI HD 4870 X2 is going to rely on drivers and CrossFire X profiles as new games are released.
July 18, 2008 6:41:49 PM

Its probably not worth it to switch over to the 4870. I would just stick with the 260. Enjoy that rig man.

Best,

3Ball
July 18, 2008 6:42:21 PM

pcgamer12 said:
ATI HD 4870 X2 is going to rely on drivers and CrossFire X profiles as new games are released.


is it just me or does this really have nothing do to with this thread?
July 18, 2008 6:43:34 PM

We were talking about drivers, I should have mentioned that single-gpu cards aren't affected as much by drivers as cards in SLI or CF. Do you understand now?
July 18, 2008 6:50:50 PM

peter_peter said:
Why is Nvidia so hated?


Nvidia certainly isn't hated, it's just that they have been on top of the graphics market for quite a while. With ATI becoming a threat again, it's nice to see the underdog come back from behind.
July 18, 2008 6:52:32 PM

I agree with 3Ball. For a 6-10% performance increase it is really not worth disturbing a stable rig.
July 18, 2008 6:53:22 PM

Is the gtx280 worth the Jump?
July 18, 2008 6:55:29 PM

pcgamer12 said:
We were talking about drivers, I should have mentioned that single-gpu cards aren't affected as much by drivers as cards in SLI or CF. Do you understand now?


yeah, its just that to me you didnt clearly state your point. which is why i was like :heink: 
July 18, 2008 6:55:45 PM

GTX 280 would definitely be worth the jump, but only if you have money to spare and/or get it through a step up program. Make sure your power supply is up for it too.
July 18, 2008 6:56:59 PM

Check this out, Newegg is selling PNY GTX 280 for $419.99 after rebate. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814133228

To see the price, you've got to add it to your cart. Although it does require a mail in rebate, $420 is a much better price than $649. ATI certainly brought their game to bring the GTX 280's price down $230 dollars.
July 18, 2008 6:59:27 PM

cappster said:
You can hold out hope for driver improvements, but that doesn't necessarily equate to more performance. I have noticed that with my 3870, the performance hasn't increased really at all. The 4XXX series probably will benefit some from driver improvements, but I don't think that they will be something to write home about.



You haven't noticed any driver improvements? What driver version are you using?
I have definitely noticed some better performance for the driver out now compared to the driver I used back when I got it in February. There have also been more graphics settings and anti aliasing options enabled in some games.
a c 102 U Graphics card
July 18, 2008 7:18:25 PM

If you already have a GTX 260, there is no point. They are both close.

I got a 4870 because Nvidia's drivers suck for the 8800GTX on Vista 64, but the 260/80 drivers INF modded fixed allot(just not enough for me[and in a test my old X1900XT worked with all the games i was using], the 8800 will go on a XP machine for the rest of its life) so you should have no issues.
July 18, 2008 8:42:09 PM

> Thanks Nuke... I guess I feel better with my GTX260 - I'm not the biggest gamer - but COD4 gots me hooked.

Any other good games similar or better than COD4?
July 18, 2008 8:59:41 PM

Jesus man.

What are you thinking?

Your eyes wouldnt be able to tell the difference.

The 4850/4870 and GTX 260/280 are amazing cards all can play all games in high-very high at 720 and above.ATI did good and Nvidia did good.You'll be a fool to be disappointed from a power perspective.

Though Ati shot themselves in the foot, in exactly the same way Nvidia did with entire 9 series.(

512 vram is a bad idea unless your happy to upgrade GPu again with a new monitor.

I think Vram and memory bandwidth is everything with the high end cards. And a lack of it will cause many heartache over the coming 12-24 months when they get a bigger and better monitor.
a b U Graphics card
July 18, 2008 9:22:53 PM

My 8800GTS (G92) owns CoD4, your GTX260 is probably bored with it. Granted I only play at 1440x900. If you've already spend the dough, and have the 260, you're just losing money to get rid of it and buy anything else.

Stick with it, and be glad your video card is way better than mine. ;) 
a b U Graphics card
July 18, 2008 9:25:56 PM

dos1986 said:
Jesus man.

What are you thinking?

Your eyes wouldnt be able to tell the difference.

The 4850/4870 and GTX 260/280 are amazing cards all can play all games in high-very high at 720 and above.ATI did good and Nvidia did good.You'll be a fool to be disappointed from a power perspective.

Though Ati shot themselves in the foot, in exactly the same way Nvidia did with entire 9 series.(

512 vram is a bad idea unless your happy to upgrade GPu again with a new monitor.

I think Vram and memory bandwidth is everything with the high end cards. And a lack of it will cause many heartache over the coming 12-24 months when they get a bigger and better monitor.

Keep in mind that a 1GB 4870 has always been planned, and should be out shortly. As for memory bandwidth, the 4870 has it in huge quantities - it's called GDDR5.
July 18, 2008 10:29:06 PM

If I was going to buy an ATI card around this time I would wait for the 4870x2 to peep it's head out.
a c 102 U Graphics card
July 18, 2008 10:40:13 PM

peter_peter said:
>Any other good games similar or better than COD4?


You may like Rainbow 6 Vegas and Vegas 2. I also found MOH: Airborne fun.

There are lots of shooters out with decent single player(if you are into that part of the game).

And if you ever feel like pointless killing, Serious Sam II can be fun.

Once again, the 2 cards to trade blows(almost depends on what you play), and the drivers are new for both, so they may get even better in the future.
July 19, 2008 5:46:52 AM

night_wolf_in said:
lol. i waited for ati to unleash their dragons, i mean graphics card. :D 


If I'd have known, I would not have spent $449 on a 3870x2 the first week of last February. I would have waited for the 4870x2. Not that I have a bad card, it compares favorably to the 4850 and runs my games nicely.

I just hate spending that much money and seeing the next generation out in six months, as I usually only buy a new card every 1-2 years.

That said, the next ATI series is expected something like early 2009. So, I think I'll skip this generation after all.

To the OP, I did not feel the need to jump on the Nvidia bandwagon when the best of the 8800 series outperformed ATI in Crysis. I like ATI image quality and AVIVO, as I do more than just game with my PC.

If you really like Nvidia, then stick with them and go GTX260. I'm one fanboy who does not mind other fanboy's their toys. The only thing I mind in the realm of fanboyism is insistence that everyone must switch depending on whatever incremental improvements are made in any particular generation.

ATI and Nvidia have been leapfrogging each other in performance for generations. I did not like the budget Nvidia platform I had when I upgraded from a P4 Northwood on an i865PERL. That platform was a 405 chipset with a 7600gs and my current CPU (which I moved to an ATI mobo when I got the 3870x2).

If you like your higher end Nvidia platform and enjoy SLI, then go for it. You do not need to be on anyone's bandwagon but your own. Get the tech you enjoy and we should all stick to facts, not fiction, when critiquing tech from the companies we don't normally buy.


a b U Graphics card
July 19, 2008 6:02:29 AM

nukemaster said:
You may like Rainbow 6 Vegas and Vegas 2. I also found MOH: Airborne fun.

There are lots of shooters out with decent single player(if you are into that part of the game).

And if you ever feel like pointless killing, Serious Sam II can be fun.

Once again, the 2 cards to trade blows(almost depends on what you play), and the drivers are new for both, so they may get even better in the future.



Of course, for pointless killing, you can't miss UT3 :D 
a c 102 U Graphics card
July 19, 2008 6:07:46 AM

Yeah there is that too. I Play that too.

Sam II is just so much more pointless. Wave after wave of baddies. Where else can you send a bird with a bomb hanging from its neck at someone(this is in single player) :) 

I also like the co op mode with friends.
a b U Graphics card
July 19, 2008 6:24:28 AM

nukemaster said:
Yeah there is that too. I Play that too.

Sam II is just so much more pointless. Wave after wave of baddies. Where else can you send a bird with a bomb hanging from its neck at someone(this is in single player) :) 

I also like the co op mode with friends.

True. Of course, I've never seen quite as much mayhem as when you start unloading with a flak cannon in the middle of a mob...
July 19, 2008 7:06:00 AM

pcgamer12 said:
4870 is 6% faster than GTX 260. THG reviewed both of them a while back, but if I were to get either one, I'd pick the GTX 260 due to more video memory.


more video memory isn't going to mean much, b/c the bandwidth of the gddr5 is very high, so high it doesn't hit the same limitations that more memory of higher bit buses do for gddr3 memory, so ur VP is a little naive..
July 19, 2008 7:20:16 AM

FrozenGpu said:
more video memory isn't going to mean much, b/c the bandwidth of the gddr5 is very high, so high it doesn't hit the same limitations that more memory of higher bit buses do for gddr3 memory, so ur VP is a little naive..


Regarding video memory, more memory should help the 4850, as it still uses GDDR3. There's supposedly going to be a 2 gigabyte version by Powercolor:

http://www.tweaktown.com/news/9809/powercolor_boosts_th...

The 3xxx series reaches EOL this quarter as the 4400 and 4600 are expected to arrive soon:

http://www.nordichardware.com/news,7948.html

It would be great to see a 4400 as fast as a 3850 and a 4600 as fast as a 3870. That should help the low end compete against Nvidia quite well.

cjl said:
True. Of course, I've never seen quite as much mayhem as when you start unloading with a flak cannon in the middle of a mob...


I've always preferred CRPGs, and am playing LOTRO mostly nowadays. My 45 lvl minstrel can only hit 3 opponents at one time with call of orome or the equivalent legendary trait based light attack.

With mobs of elites that respawn incredibly fast, there are times when I miss the old meteor shower or star shower from the classic Might and Magics!
a b U Graphics card
July 19, 2008 7:22:45 AM

FrozenGpu said:
more video memory isn't going to mean much, b/c the bandwidth of the gddr5 is very high, so high it doesn't hit the same limitations that more memory of higher bit buses do for gddr3 memory, so ur VP is a little naive..

More video memory will still help, despite the high bandwidth. Look at the 4870x2 (2GB) vs 4870CF (512/card) results at 1920x1200 and above with AA and you can see what I mean.
July 19, 2008 7:26:37 AM

cjl said:
More video memory will still help, despite the high bandwidth. Look at the 4870x2 (2GB) vs 4870CF (512/card) results at 1920x1200 and above with AA and you can see what I mean.


umm those margins are very small though, you'd have to play at 2500*1600 in my most humblest opinion to take any real advantage...

a b U Graphics card
July 19, 2008 7:32:29 AM

They're only small in the areas that 512MB are sufficient. Look at this for example:



Notice the nosedive that the CF 4870's take, while the x2 sits happily. The X2 gets more than DOUBLE the framerate at 2560x1600. Yes, this is higher than what most people play at now, but keep in mind that newer games tend to use more memory at the same resolution. I would bet that a 1GB 4870 would be a lot more futureproof than the 512 model.
July 19, 2008 7:37:17 AM

FrozenGpu said:
umm those margins are very small though, you'd have to play at 2500*1600 in my most humblest opinion to take any real advantage...

1600x1200 resolution as highest sufficient resolution with 512MB video memory and even this maybe not enough if use high resolution textures etc.

Memory bandwith dont help you if all graphics needed just dont fit.

It all depend on game, if there are huge numbers of objects and efects in game even 8800GTX with 768MB is sometime not enough. For game with less graphics even 128MB could be enough.
July 19, 2008 8:48:02 AM

If one already has a GTX 260, then the money you'd lose to shipping costs and selling your old card for what you could get (which would be much less than what a new one on NewEgg is) would mean that you'd wind up having to pay a sizable chunk to "upgrade" to an HD 4870; I'd judge around 20-30% of the card's value. (or as much as $100US) Not exactly a brilliant idea for a sliver of performance. That's almost as bad as upgrading to the GTX 280, which would again be only two slivers more, but would likely wind up, in the end, setting you back several times as much.

However, I do agree that the thought of watching someone run over their own video card they paid like $330US for is amusing.
July 19, 2008 2:19:15 PM

cjl said:
They're only small in the areas that 512MB are sufficient. Look at this for example:

http://images.anandtech.com/reviews/video/ati/R700/GRID.jpg

Notice the nosedive that the CF 4870's take, while the x2 sits happily. The X2 gets more than DOUBLE the framerate at 2560x1600. Yes, this is higher than what most people play at now, but keep in mind that newer games tend to use more memory at the same resolution. I would bet that a 1GB 4870 would be a lot more futureproof than the 512 model.


but still, you guys are completely missing the point, 1gb of vram, is still overkill for what most ppl's set-up even so at the highest res. the gtx260 is like 32.9, and the single 4870, is 43.9. [2500*1600]

now the gtx260 has more memory but clearly it doesn't do the card any good, so even though the 487 has 512 of memory that gddr5 bandwidth helps, and technically NVidia still has the upper hand in terms of actual SP, TMU's, and ROP's, so the ati card is more efficient in terms of the hardware it has and how it uses it to outperform the gtx260.

Now if the OP wants, he should just keep the gtx260 as it is overkill most the majority of the games out there, why go thru all that hassle just to have the best possible hardware in that scenario when software is still sooo far behind what leaps hardware has gone through...
July 19, 2008 2:35:36 PM

Anyone that is going to tell you to upgrade from a gtx260 to a ati 4870 is on crack. Its a waste of money unless you are getting at least 300$ for your gtx260 which will cover the cost of the 4870.

Wait for the 4870x2 if you wish to make an upgrade, but going from a gtx260 to a 4870 would be underwhelming to say the least.
July 19, 2008 3:50:02 PM

ovaltineplease said:
Anyone that is going to tell you to upgrade from a gtx260 to a ati 4870 is on crack. .



Alot of them around, seriously
!