4870 vs. GTX 260

Yes I know this might have been debated in the past, but now that these two cards are about the same in price, I wanted to get opinions on what would be the better buy at this point.

I realize the 4870 performs on average about 6% better (according to Tom's benchmark) than the GTX 260, however, runs hotter and is higher on power consumption. I wanted to see where the latest drivers landed these two? Which one, in your opinion, would be the better buy at this stage in the game. I will use this for general web surfing and gaming purposes.

I will not run either one of these cards in SLI or Crossfire. It will be a single card configuration paired with an E8500 CPU on a "19 LCD at 1280x1024. I realized at that resolution I can pretty much run almost any game maxed out smoothly, however, I will upgrade the monitor to a "24 early next year and wanted to see which card might be the better bet down the road.

Nvidia with CUDA and physx or ATI with Direct X 10.1. Right now I dont know if any of that technology buys me much, but down the road, which one plays out.. Not sure.

Appreciate the help!
43 answers Last reply
More about 4870
  1. well ati cards have support for havok witch is like physx but the ati version and theirs talk about ati getting support for physx. also i think that ati video card renders better looking colors
  2. Some other reviews rate the difference at 1.5% or even 0. For all intended purposes, they're the same. If you have sli motherboard, get gtx260, if you have cf motherboard, get 4870.

    4870 runs much hotter, but the gpu also tolerates higher heat without artifacting, so it shouldn't be a big issue. Power consumption is also around the same. Things like CUDA and DX10.1 shouldn't be counted on. Those things may not materialize. Focus on current performance, not fads.
  3. just for the record, they were always close to the same price, and every1 still says 4870.

    just do a search on toms and see how many of these topics come, im pretty sure every1 is sick of this specific comparison, i know i am.

    and fyi, they're on par in most games, but the 4870 does perform better, even if it is minimal, except for games like crysis... but really... its not that good of a game anyway
  4. Wichever is cheaper would be my general advice, but if you have poor airflow in your case, are easily annoyed by loud fans or have a weak PSU the choice would seem to lean towards the 260, IDK about performance gain with the new set of drivers, I do know however that in the past ati has shown more gain from it than nvidia, but I also know that drivers aren't magic, so you'll have to do some research.

    Anyway, long story short, get wichever is cheaper, if they are around the same price and you have no heat issues go with a dual slot 4870, if you care a lot about power consumption go with the 260.
    cal8949 said:
    well ati cards have support for havok witch is like physx but the ati version and theirs talk about ati getting support for physx. also i think that ati video card renders better looking colors

    Havok is actually INTEL's version of physx, and it predates physx too, albeit it wasn't owned by intel at that time.
  5. Thanks guys!

    I know this topic has been played out before many times, so sorry for yet another thread. I was leaning towards the 4870 but I have always been an Nvidia guy so I just wanted to put out one last feeler to see what everyone felt was the way to go.

    Appreciate it and sorry again for the duplicate thread!
  6. yeah definitly listen to these guys, they nailed it.

    props for first unbiased (at least as close as you can get to unbiased) topic talking about a 4820 and gtx 260!
  7. core7884 said:
    It will be a single card configuration paired with an E8500 CPU on a "19 LCD at 1280x1024. I realized at that resolution I can pretty much run almost any game maxed out smoothly, however, I will upgrade the monitor to a "24 early next year and wanted to see which card might be the better bet down the road.

    Appreciate the help!


    Until you upgrade, you'll be CPU limited with either card. With either the 4870 or GTX260, you'll be in need of a 24" monitor. I recommend holding off and getting the card and the monitor at the exact same time.

    I got my 3870x2 last February with the intention of upgrading to a Phenom B3 and a 24" LCD two months later but real life intervened and I finally won't have the upgrades to put me out of CPU limitation territory until the middle of next month.

    So, that meant gaming with a card too powerful for my situation for 7 1/2 months. I should have gotten a 3850 as a stopgap, then moved that to a spare PC not used for games.

    If you have a card that's decent right now, then consider just waiting.
  8. ^+1
  9. As well as that, take great care to study how the cards perform specifically in the games you want to play now (obviously can't tell for the future).

    I upgraded to a 4870 and am beset by poor performance, failing drivers (8.6 hotfix, 8.7 and 8.8 - all pants), not to mention the now legendary heat and noise output of the 4870.

    If you don't have to buy now, I would be tempted to hold fire, and check the pricing and noise/heat of the forthcoming GTX+ range before making any decision.
  10. Quote:
    As well as that, take great care to study how the cards perform specifically in the games you want to play now (obviously can't tell for the future).

    I upgraded to a 4870 and am beset by poor performance, failing drivers (8.6 hotfix, 8.7 and 8.8 - all pants), not to mention the now legendary heat and noise output of the 4870.

    If you don't have to buy now, I would be tempted to hold fire, and check the pricing and noise/heat of the forthcoming GTX+ range before making any decision.
    You did something wrong ... 'cause I didn't have any problems :D and the card rocks. I run it with 8x edge-detect (24 samples) high quality image settings and still get above 70 FPS in FlatOut and COD :D
  11. Proud owner of XFX GTX 260 xxx edition.
    Specs very close to GTX 280.
    I have this card about 1 month and i am very very happy.
    I suggest you to buy this card. Its about 15-20% better from the 4870 wich is also a good card.

    P.S. sorry for my poor english
  12. Quote:
    Proud owner of XFX GTX 260 xxx edition.
    Specs very close to GTX 280.
    I have this card about 1 month and i am very very happy.
    I suggest you to buy this card. Its about 15-20% better from the 4870 wich is also a good card.

    P.S. sorry for my poor english
    Please show us the benchmarks where the 260 GTX is 15-20% better than the 4870....I really want to see them!
  13. http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/590/13

    Its an xxx edition. Its not a simple GTX 260.
    Best choise for the money...
    ;-)
  14. Also...
    http://www.hexus.net/content/item.php?item=14144&page=9

    The way it's meant to be played...

    Have a nice day!
  15. Quote:
    http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/590/13

    Its an xxx edition. Its not a simple GTX 260.
    Best choise for the money...
    ;-)
    Quote:
    Also...
    http://www.hexus.net/content/item. [...] 144&page=9

    The way it's meant to be played...

    Have a nice day!


    Sorry but I don't see 15-20% : http://www.overclock3d.net/reviews.php?/gpu_displays/xfx_gtx_260_xxx_sli_performance/5

    Both cards are wonderful. Choose the cheapest one!
  16. Aristhewargod13 said:
    http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/590/13

    Its an xxx edition. Its not a simple GTX 260.
    Best choise for the money...
    ;-)


    In the UK at least, the GTX260 XXX is 26% more expensive than a HD4870.

    Also, those benchmarks vary wildly but just saying the 260 is 10-15% faster isn't accurate. For example, in Crysis 1920x1200 High both cards pull off exactly 30fps average. In some other benchmarks the 4870 is faster.

    There's no easy answer to this but if I was considering buying these two I would wonder why i'm paying an extra £45 when the cheaper card is capable of reaching the same performance level.
  17. ^+1. :)
  18. Aristhewargod13 said:
    Also...
    http://www.hexus.net/content/item.php?item=14144&page=9

    The way it's meant to be played...

    Have a nice day!

    The first review you link was an OC which isnt a good compare and the second is with drivers predating the GPU. Try this review using version 8.7 that has optimizations for the 4800's. The second graph shows a wide margins but the over all is a draw. I would pick the 4870 due to the DX10.1 support in this case over the 260GTX which only supports DX10.
    http://www.techspot.com/review/109-geforce-gtx-260-280-versus-radeon-4850-4870/page11.html
    On your first link why pay someone extra to OC the card when you can do it for free? The 4870 can be OC'ed by the catalyst software ATI offers for free and im sure the Nvidia's can be OC easily. Before I would pay for OCing I would just buy the costlier 280 or 4870x2.
  19. xxx edition is pre-overclocked version of 260 gtx it runs on 640 MHz instead of 576 MHz for standard....xxx edition also costs $30 more...so its not wise to compare the two ...better compare a pre-OCed version of 4870 ( few models have come up from xpertvision and palit )

    it will be interesting to see how a Pre-OCed version of HD4870 performs against pre-OCed version of HD4870.

    as everybody has said i would to original poster that buy whatever u get cheap ...at my place HD4870 is cheaper than 260 gtx ...so thats my choice ...
  20. imgame23 said:
    xxx edition is pre-overclocked version of 260 gtx it runs on 640 MHz instead of 576 MHz for standard....xxx edition also costs $30 more...so its not wise to compare the two ...better compare a pre-OCed version of 4870 ( few models have come up from xpertvision and palit )

    it will be interesting to see how a Pre-OCed version of HD4870 performs against pre-OCed version of HD4870.

    as everybody has said i would to original poster that buy whatever u get cheap ...at my place HD4870 is cheaper than 260 gtx ...so thats my choice ...


    Speaking of oc, a stock gtx260 does oc better than 4870. So if you typically oc, this'll even out or reverse the small performance edge 4870 has once both cards are oced to their respective typical limits.
  21. it might ...but i have not come across any benchmark scores which proves that ...if u some please share with me ...it will increase my knowledge ...

    thanks for reply.
  22. imgame23 said:
    it might ...but i have not come through any benchmarks scores which proves that ...if u some please share with me ...it will increase my knowledge ...

    thanks for reply.


    You've already seen it in that benchmark concerning the factory oced gtx260. Typical do-it-yourself oc tend to go higher than any factory oced card. It gives an indication.
  23. dagger said:
    You've already seen it in that benchmark concerning the factory oced gtx260. Typical do-it-yourself oc tend to go higher than any factory oced card. It gives an indication.


    thanks for reply i did not know typical do it yourself oc tend to go higher than any factory oced card ...but then i have a doubt ...why factory oc it ...? if its not that effective ..?
  24. it all comes down to choice you can choose to support a company that if it wasn't for the 4870 you would be paying £340 or you can go with the smarter option and get the 4870 and be happy in the knowledge that the card is only going to get faster when DX10.1 games come out
  25. Firstly, I need to clear up a few things. The 4870 blows ALL the air out of your case, not some, like the G260, so therefor, for a better/cooler case temp, the 4870 is prefered. Also, the G260 doesnt use less power than the 4870, in this review it shows it uses less http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/radeon-hd4870-x2_6.html#sect0 Having said this, if keeping a cooler case is important to you, then thats a + for the 4870 not a negative. The power usage, it varies from one review to another, so I think its a wash. Most reviews show the 4870 doing things the G260 cant do, and thats beating the G280. The potentials there for more in the 4870 obviously. At the same price, Id say the 4870.
  26. Exactly^ , plus you can't compare an OC 260 GTX with a stock 4870 ......Comon.. Don't you guys know that the 4870 can OC as well?

    no1 mentioned about the benefits it might get from dX 10.1 (20% increase in performance apperently)

    EDIT: I would like to add, that I don't trust that website even if my life depended on it:D
  27. Wow I had no idea this thread took off. Thanks for all the info!

    I will primarily be playing MMO's (Warhammer Online, etc), with the occasional FPS game, like CS:S or UT3. I havent tried any of the newer games yet because my current PC (P4 2.6Ghz) and VC (AGP 7600GT) wont even make them playable. I have tried Warhammer in beta and my system took a beating from it.. lol

    I am building a new rig to be able to play the latest games and Warhammer Online releases mid September, so holding off unfortunately is not an option.

    Appreciate all the help!
  28. Heres one from Anands showing the 4870 using 16 watts more. http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3341&p=22 Heres one from Toms http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-4870,1964-15.html It shows the 4870 using 13 watts more. I can find others where the 4870 uses less, but overall its a moot point. Either way youre talking 1 amp at 12v. To me, not a deal breaker, and not anuthing near as important as getting that hot air out of your case. Just because ATI cards run hot, and they dont fail at those temps, they do remove all the heat, unlike nVidia cards, which push some of that heated air into your case. To me, when people say, gosh, ATI cards run hotter doesnt mean a thing. And when people claim its better by going nVidia because they run a lil cooler, thats the opposite of the truth, as they SHOULD be concerned about the hot air those nVidia cards are releasing into their cases
  29. Yeah, thatd truly suck
  30. Could you run 4870 with 500 watt ?
  31. Milos-stancene said:
    Could you run 4870 with 500 watt ?


    Yes.
  32. dagger said:
    Yes.

    100% ?
  33. Milos-stancene said:
    100% ?


    A single 4870? Yes.
  34. dagger said:
    A single 4870? Yes.

    Thanx!
    Tomorrow i am gonna buy one !
    4870 > GTX260 hopefully ??????
  35. I say this everytime this comparison comes up, pick the one you can get the best deal on. That said the 4870 is superior, but that's more theoretical than noticeable.
  36. First double post, ever. YAY!!!
  37. The deal is not the problem,these 500watt are!!!!
    I dont have enough money for GPU and PSU.
    So,the question is,which one can survive with Enermax Liberty 500 ????
  38. Milos, weve already gone over this. That 500 watt will be fine.
  39. For both that is.
  40. I am really sorry, but ...
    I saw today a GTX260 BOX and it says 500 watt MINIMUM....and I only have 500 .... I dont wanna fry my PC.
    Which one of these two cards needs a stronger PSU?

    Thank you alll and I am really sorry,this would be my last post!!!
  41. Milos-stancene said:
    I am really sorry, but ...
    I saw today a GTX260 BOX and it says 500 watt MINIMUM....and I only have 500 .... I dont wanna fry my PC.
    Which one of these two cards needs a stronger PSU?

    Thank you alll and I am really sorry,this would be my last post!!!


    Official requirement for 4870 is the same 500watts. They're overestimating just to be safe. It's fine.
  42. Look at my previous posts. Each one show a power requirement for each of these cards. Of 4 sites I recall, 1 shows the 4870 uses less , 3 show the G260 uses less , by anywherws from 6 to 16 watts, which is around 1 amp in difference, and wont matter to you, because if ones that close to the other, if ones underpowered so will the other be
  43. JAYDEEJOHN said:
    Look at my previous posts. Each one show a power requirement for each of these cards. Of 4 sites I recall, 1 shows the 4870 uses less , 3 show the G260 uses less , by anywherws from 6 to 16 watts, which is around 1 amp in difference, and wont matter to you, because if ones that close to the other, if ones underpowered so will the other be

    You are my savior!!!
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