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Help for chosing between a ati hd4870 and gtx260

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September 9, 2008 6:28:23 PM

Hello,

I bougth last week my new computer: mobo gigabyte x48-DS4, intel quad Q9400, 2x2gb OCZ memory, and PSU Hiper 880W 5K PFC. They had to deliver this week.

At that moment, following the vendor's advice I chose and ATI ASUS HD 4870 512mb for 230€.

Today they have called me telling that everything is ready except the graphic card, they don't know when are going to receive the 4870, he has offered me and Geforce 260 for 277€ that they have plenty on stock.

The money is not a problem for this 40-50€ diference, but which is the best option, go for the 260 or wait for the 4870?

Thanks in advance for your help. :( 
September 9, 2008 6:36:01 PM
September 9, 2008 6:39:30 PM

Since you have a crossfire board, wait for the HD4870, unless you're not planning to crossfire...
Related resources
September 9, 2008 7:02:34 PM

zero3one said:
Hope this helps...

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/Best-Graphics-Card,...

Personally, I went with a HD4870 because for relatively the same performance, the ATI gpu was cheaper. Plus I got a Crossfire mobo.


That review is somewhat misleading. They make it sound as if 9800gx2 performance the same as 4870/gtx260, when in fact the gap is so big it's not even comparable.

Here's something for 4870 vs gtx260.
http://en.expreview.com/2008/06/24/first-review-hd-4870...
a b U Graphics card
September 9, 2008 7:10:29 PM

Dont let em do it. 4870 all the way
a b U Graphics card
September 9, 2008 7:16:20 PM

So, since the 4870x2 pawns the 9800x2, then the 4870x2 must completely destroy the G280? Is that what youre saying?
September 9, 2008 7:19:57 PM

Test 1- Do you have an SLI or CF motherboard? If yes to SLI go 260, if yes to CF go 4870. If no to both, go to question 2.

Test 2- Do you play, or will you play, any PhysX games? If yes go 260. Do you play, or will you play, and DX10.1 games on Vista? If yes go 4870. If no go to question 3.

Test 3- do a newegg, tigerdirect, mwave, etc search and find one of each card you would buy. Compare brand reputation, cooling solution, and price to make your decision.
September 9, 2008 7:27:12 PM

themyrmidon said:

Test 2- Do you play, or will you play, any PhysX games? If yes go 260. Do you play, or will you play, and DX10.1 games on Vista? If yes go 4870. If no go to question 3.


Physx and dx10.1 doesn't matter.

Here's a list of Physx games.
http://developer.nvidia.com/object/physx_good_company.h...
It looks large and impressive at first glance, but overwhelming majority of those are obscure titles you've probably never even heard of. The only significant ones there are Gears of War, Mass Effect, and UT3.

DX10.1 is even more useless. There is only one game that uses it, Assassin's Creed. But it only adds support in a patch. If you don't download and install the patch, it doesn't work. Studios of upcoming blockbusters like StarCraft 2 and Crysis Warhead have gone out of their way to specifically state that they will not support dx10.1, almost as though they hate it for some reason. There are 3 upcoming titles using dx10.1, but they're all obscure console ports.

Don't let gemmicks such as Physx and Dx10.1 sway you.
a b U Graphics card
September 9, 2008 7:46:31 PM

Incorrect about AC. The patch removes 10.1
September 9, 2008 8:05:04 PM

dagger said:
Physx and dx10.1 doesn't matter.

They don't really matter now, but future titles will likely start supporting one or the other, or both (they're not mutually exclusive...). Keep in mind that while PhysX is not currently supported on ATI cards, it is technically possible. GT200 based cards will never be able to do DX10.1.
dagger said:
Here's a list of Physx games.
http://developer.nvidia.com/object/physx_good_company.h...
It looks large and impressive at first glance, but overwhelming majority of those are obscure titles you've probably never even heard of. The only significant ones there are Gears of War, Mass Effect, and UT3.

Right, and of those three only UT3 actually makes use of hardware accelerated physics processing in any sort of meaningful way. Even then it's only on specific downloadable maps, and the game isn't very popular to start with.
dagger said:
DX10.1 is even more useless. There is only one game that uses it, Assassin's Creed. But it only adds support in a patch. If you don't download and install the patch, it doesn't work.

Actually it's the other way around, the patch removes DX10.1 support :o 
dagger said:
Studios of upcoming blockbusters like StarCraft 2 and Crysis Warhead have gone out of their way to specifically state that they will not support dx10.1, almost as though they hate it for some reason. There are 3 upcoming titles using dx10.1, but they're all obscure console ports.

Two developers do not speak for the entire industry. Blizzard (Diablo 3), EA, and SEGA are rumored to be developing games with DX10.1 support.

All that being said, I still view PhysX and DX10.1 as tie breaker features. I wouldn't weigh them very heavily in any purchasing decisions; performance and IQ above all.
September 9, 2008 8:20:32 PM

Thanks for the answers.

I've seen that almost always, the 4870 beats de 260 for 5-10% in all charts. Point for the ATI.

My motherboard will be a Gigabyte X48 DS4 I think it's Crossfire. If in a future i decide to go for CF, the second graphic card has to be the same brand, review, memory etc, or being the same GPu is enough?? The vendor told me that if i would go to CF or SLI I should buy the two cards at the same time, is that like this?

The brand would be ASUS for both possibilities.

dagger: the 9800GX2 is not available, they have 4870x2 for 493€ (too much for me)

thanks
September 9, 2008 8:35:59 PM

na the vendor is wrong CF will work with cards from different manufacturers/memory
September 9, 2008 8:38:59 PM

but keep in mind that if you've got a card with 1gig and one with 512 the one with 1gig will only use 512
September 9, 2008 8:41:10 PM

LOL he told you to byt hem at the same time? what an @$$

you can by them 3 years apart, they will work fine together
a c 263 U Graphics card
September 9, 2008 8:46:51 PM

I think the GTX260 and 4870 are the same level of card. There are differences, based on resolution, games, and quality options, but on balance, they are comparable cards. If you had either one, the other would not be enough difference to warrant an upgrade.

If you accept the offer of the GTX260, you will be getting a comparable card, although at a higher price. If waiting is not a problem, I would wait for the 4870. If you don't want to wait, see if you can get a price concession on the GTX260.
a c 106 U Graphics card
September 9, 2008 11:00:17 PM

Ah gothic 3. It's a great game, but it's buggy as hell since it was rushed out the door and even with the patches it's not as desired. Still a great game. You don't really need a physX for that game though. I ran it on my Athlon 3000+ with a 1950GT and it ran great on my friends 3800X2 and 1950 Pro system. Ok maybe physX could be used for more realistic arrow trajectory ^_^. Yeah I'm not to convinced on the need for physX. If you check out that physX website you'll see that alot of those titles don't even have weblinks!! We mighnt see more use out of 10.1, but with DX 11 coming up it can only be of slightly more consequence than PhysX.

Back to the point of this thread get the 4870. It's generally better than the 260 and you should consider that you can drop in a second one latter for some great crossfire performance.
a b U Graphics card
September 9, 2008 11:33:03 PM

homerdog said:

Actually it's the other way around, the patch removes DX10.1 support


Yeah it was SP1 that enabled the DX10.1 not a patch to the game.

Quote:
All that being said, I still view PhysX and DX10.1 as tie breaker features. I wouldn't weigh them very heavily in any purchasing decisions; performance and IQ above all.


Agreed. And really since PhysX sucks on just one card, you would want to add a second GF card anyways for PhysX support, and if you're on XP you can do that with an HD4870+GF9600 so that advantage is lessened greatly. And if on Vista that would be another story until the WDDM issue is cleared up, but I still wouldn't trade any noticeable performance difference in either for the meager & question benefits of either PhysX or DX10.1 support.

Personally I would value DX10.1 'higher' long term, but that would be like 0.2% being more than 0.15% diff. To me more titles will support some DX10.1 features than GPU-PhysX ever becoming the core physics engine longer term. Right now neither has proven it's worth long term and are about as valuable as the free trinkets packaged with the cards. They only have value if you specifically know that the game you want to play makes good use of the feature in a way that matters to that choice.

And seriously paying extra (50€ ~ $70 :??:  ) for a plain jane GTX260, not worth it IMO. Cheaper option would be best of either of them IMO, but waiting does suck.
September 10, 2008 12:17:27 AM

ape i know that DX11 brings tessellation and i also know that the 4850/4870 has tessellation will that make it DX11 compliant
a b U Graphics card
September 10, 2008 1:38:26 AM

No, it won't.

There are two issues, first there are more features than just tesselation being added to DX11, including changes to compression options, texture requirements, and a few others.
The HD3K and HD4K likely fall short on some of the features outlined at Gamefest but still not enough information of either the core hardware limitations of the HD3/4K nor the final requirements for full DX11 compliance / compatability, so it's uncertain what it will fall short on and whether that will make much difference. There's still confusion on what the backwards feature support is. It's like few people knew the FP16 limitations/benefits of the GF7/X1K until they had something to make use of them with HDR+AA in Oblivion. So there might be some features that are hard limits and some that are softer limits. Considering the spec is still in flux (they keep talking about possibly adding feautres) it's hard to tell right now.

But as their presentations said:
- D3D 11 adds support for new features to D3D 10.1
- The fastest way to move to Direct3D 11 is to start developing on Direct3D 10/10.1 today
- Direct3D 11 will run on down-level hardware
- Algorithms closer to Direct3D 11 and future APIs

So the implication is that there will be some cross-level implementation.

As for Tesselation, DX11 exposes even more options for tesselation than those mentioned for the HD2K tesselator. Whether or not the limitations are major or not I don't know. I would suspect there is something similar to a Hull shader in the ATi tesselation unit already, but whether or not something like the Domain shader is supported or supportable through the current architecture through buffers or emulation. Some people speak of a split between implementations, but with so mcuh programmability it's unlikely that they would make hard limits to the tesselations options which are the fixed function portion of the GPU.

Sofar though there is still not enough information to be definitive, there's alot of discussions of the limitations of the X360's tesselator versus a DX11 one (since that was what gamefest is focused on XNA/X360 development future) but not specifically the HD2/3/4k versus those required by DX11.
An important point in the presentations though would be this;

- Xbox 360 has a subset of D3D11’s tessellation
- Parity = ease of cross-platform development

Meaning the focus will be on exposing the tesellator to more than just DX11 hardware, although it won't be exposed until DX11 ships, just like AC's DX10.1 features weren't exposed until SP1 shipped.
a b U Graphics card
September 10, 2008 6:53:09 AM

whoa..... now i'm scared.
a b U Graphics card
September 10, 2008 8:14:49 AM

Just feed him bananas and beer, he turns cuddly as an ape then
September 10, 2008 12:30:56 PM

rangers said:
ape i know that DX11 brings tessellation and i also know that the 4850/4870 has tessellation will that make it DX11 compliant

Sorry, I was disappointed to find out the other day that the tesselator in RV770 will not be DX11 compliant :(  . I'll try to dig up the link, but it was pretty concrete.
September 10, 2008 12:36:02 PM

I think it's pretty clear you can't make a dx10.1 card dx11. :p 
a b U Graphics card
September 10, 2008 12:43:13 PM

But youll have DX10.1 capabilities with a DX10.1 card using DX11 which you wont with only a DX10
a b U Graphics card
September 10, 2008 5:23:27 PM

homerdog said:
Sorry, I was disappointed to find out the other day that the tesselator in RV770 will not be DX11 compliant :(  . I'll try to dig up the link, but it was pretty concrete.


I'd like to see that, because alot of people are talking about the split where they said features like Tesselation will be limited to DX11 hardware, but even M$ developers said, that's more of a statement of those that only meet the support for DX10.1 and don't have additional tesselation hardware (like the S3 series [the forgotten IHV in these discussions]) will not support the DX11 specific features like Tesselation, but no one official I have seen has said that it won't be supported. Most people see it as a two path implementation like PS2.0 / 2.0a / 2.0b , as it should be easy to support both within the API, but even that is still speculation, alot of it does rely on what developers do, so regardless of the possabilities and options within/without the spec we may see reality offer something different from developers.

Anywhoo, any additional information is always good, however of course be sure to question the source, I tend to trust M$ on this more than either IHV, although often M$ reps will tell you to contact the IHVs for further information so it's somewhat of a circular discussion.
a b U Graphics card
September 10, 2008 5:24:49 PM

JAYDEEJOHN said:
Just feed him bananas and beer, he turns cuddly as an ape then


Grapes, Concord Grapes !! [:mousemonkey]
Bananas only with Ice Cream and Strawberries. [:thegreatgrapeape:8]
September 10, 2008 5:29:00 PM

All this talk is just misleading. The average person reading this might think existing dx10.1 cards can be made into full dx11 card just with a driver update or something. :sarcastic: 
a b U Graphics card
September 10, 2008 5:38:41 PM

dagger said:
All this talk is just misleading. The average person reading this might think existing dx10.1 cards can be made into full dx11 card just with a driver update or something.


Which isn't what is written, it's pretty clear what's there. And I think I was pretty definitively clear in my first line.

However anyone's confusion would be similar to that they experience when they hear people talking about PhysX support, either influencing their choice for a single card or being implemented to any great level on any game, when the underlying physics remain other engines and have nothing to do with PhysX.

The only thing we can do is make the information accurate, how people preceive it is out of our control.
September 10, 2008 5:49:27 PM

dagger do some research the 9800 gx2 is not that far ahead of both the gtx 260 and the hd4870, is some games it is not even better...
go for the hd 4870 its the best single card solution of those 3 and is a very good bang for the buck. gtx 260 is good but not worth the extra money, it does not perform better than 4870.
September 10, 2008 8:03:11 PM



Nica Guy said:
dagger do some research the 9800 gx2 is not that far ahead of both the gtx 260 and the hd4870, is some games it is not even better...
go for the hd 4870 its the best single card solution of those 3 and is a very good bang for the buck. gtx 260 is good but not worth the extra money, it does not perform better than 4870.


It's ahead enough... :p 
September 10, 2008 8:04:14 PM

Thanks everybody for your comments, following your advices, finally i've decided to wait, maybe only one week, for the 4870.

regards from Catalonia.
September 10, 2008 8:34:29 PM

TheGreatGrapeApe said:
I'd like to see that, [...]

Quote:
The answer is to use the power of the GPU to generate this additional complexity—hardware tessellation. Industry watchers were a little disappointed that hardware tessellation didn't make it into DX10, but it will be fully implemented in DX11. Note that this is the one feature that absolutely requires DirectX 11 hardware. When Gee was asked if the hardware tessellator currently built into AMD Radeon HD series GPUs would support DX11 tessellation, the answer was "No."

http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,2845,2329315,00.a...

I hope he's wrong, but that's pretty clear cut.
September 10, 2008 9:05:37 PM

you know how to paint a picture, thanks mate
a b U Graphics card
September 10, 2008 10:18:36 PM

homerdog said:

http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,2845,2329315,00.a...

I hope he's wrong, but that's pretty clear cut.


Nah, if anything he'd know he's an M$ guy, and the one who's sorta leading the way for them. Here's his presentation at Gamefest;
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyI...

That's unfortunate, it would be interesting to see specific from him, but it depends on the implementation, it may still be a situation with 2 paths, but it looks like the DX11 level won't be there.
September 11, 2008 1:29:12 AM

Nica Guy said:
dagger do some research the 9800 gx2 is not that far ahead of both the gtx 260 and the hd4870, is some games it is not even better...
go for the hd 4870 its the best single card solution of those 3 and is a very good bang for the buck. gtx 260 is good but not worth the extra money, it does not perform better than 4870.


Funny coming from some1 with ATI logo in their Avatar:)  ha

Either way your right, the 4870 seems to be one of the best bang for the buck deals for single GPU (and overall, excluding the Awesome 4850 which takes the cake), but it is greatly surpassed by 1 GX2, seeing as the GX2 beats the 280 GTX, the 280 GTX beats the 4870.

Either way the 4870 and 260 GTX exchange blows, 4870 wins most benchies, but it remains in the 260's category.

As for not wining by far, lets take call of duty 4 for example (I'm only going to do this, if you want more examples I'm willing to type)

GX2 gets 107.9
4870 gets 82.4

so if we do the math, the 4870 gets about 76% of the GX2's frames (power if you want it that way). so the 4870 needs to earn 24 % for it to equal the GX2.

Now lets break down the prices

lowest price I've seen for the 4870 found is 260.99 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...)
lowest price I've found for the GX2 289.99 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...)

so the GX2 is about 11% more expensive than the 4870 and 24% faster :) 

The only game(s) it comes close is Enemy territory (which runs well on anycard almost, and its just a tweaked, Tweaked doom 3 engined game [Quake 4's engine which is doom 3 tweaked for open space and higher res/optimiztion]) and Assassin's Creed which still put the GX2 15% ahead of the 4870.

And you can add Bioshock to a kinda win for the 4870, I was shocked I thought it wouldn't do that well:)  but I would've liked to see AA.

a b U Graphics card
September 11, 2008 7:29:32 PM

It still does depend on the game and the settings, but easily the majority is GX2>GTX280>HD4870 in most situations.

A big issue is the variability of the price of the GX2. On NewEgg it has stayed pretty consistent, but outside there it's sometimes shockingly expensive. So I would be sure you know what the Euro prices are for the GX2 in his area or that he has access to, especially as GX2 supplies dry up a bit.
September 11, 2008 8:00:06 PM

TheGreatGrapeApe said:
A big issue is the variability of the price of the GX2. [...]

Also the variability in performance, especially in games that have yet to be released. I know, buying a card for games that have yet to be released is foolish, but dual GPU cards require constant driver updates and tweaks to work right in the latest games. If the 7950GX2 is any indication of the level of support the 9800GX2 will get later in its life I recommend sticking to single GPU solutions.

Same goes for the 4870X2 :whistle: 
a b U Graphics card
September 11, 2008 8:24:19 PM

I somewhat disagree as to the ATI solution. nVidia is on record of disdaining x2 solutions, and it could bring support issues with it. As for ATI, their future/philosophy is multi gpu setups, so I would think support for a x2 card from ATI would get more support from them, just by looking at the future, and what theyre commited to as companies. Also, look at the refinements of the 3870x2. I was surprised of the increased capacity when they were included in all the 4xxx series releases, as to how well they now perform, even a few AA enhancements compared to where they were
September 11, 2008 8:52:55 PM

homerdog said:
Also the variability in performance, especially in games that have yet to be released. I know, buying a card for games that have yet to be released is foolish, but dual GPU cards require constant driver updates and tweaks to work right in the latest games. If the 7950GX2 is any indication of the level of support the 9800GX2 will get later in its life I recommend sticking to single GPU solutions.

Same goes for the 4870X2 :whistle: 


4870x2 is just out. While it scales as single 4870 in a handful of games, there'll be driver updates to correct it soon.

As for 9800gx2, the same problem does not exist. Drivers are already mature. There is a reason that people who say 9800gx2 don't scale in some games never link to a benchmark: because it doesn't exist. I would be surprised if you can find one game in the past 3 years that doesn't support dual gpu.
a b U Graphics card
September 11, 2008 9:40:10 PM

Going on the support of the 3870x2, ATI has shown such commitment. Everyone knows that the 79x2 was way undersupported, so nVidia needs to prove they will continue to support multi/x2 solutions in the future. I agree, both the 98x2 and the 38x2 have seen good support, ATI isnt in the position of having dropped support of their x2 solutions, like nVidia has, so o me, nVidia has more to prove than does ATI, simple as that. Take into account nVidias CEO, and what hes said, it continues to show a negative attitude towards these solutions. Look at the design. Surely, again, not near the commitment throwing together a sndwitch board as opposed to a single pcb, exclusive to that card. Yea, nVidia has much to prove yet
a b U Graphics card
September 11, 2008 10:00:44 PM

Well to me that ATi's strategy relies on multi-gpu support and nVidia's doesn't means their focus SHOULD be on better support for multi-GPU scaling, whether or not that will be the case is yet to be seen, however because of their different focuses I would have slightly more faith in ATi's future scaling and support, but I wouldn't risk alot on it if there's a great nV deal.

And personally I still don't like multi-GPU solutions until they show seemless intergration, and I prefer multi die single package over multi-card or multi-package solutions, at least until they can figure out the resource sharing better, but despite that dislike I don't ignore the areas that those multi-gpu solutions currently excel in/at.
a b U Graphics card
September 11, 2008 10:14:28 PM

Refer L1qu1d
Bought a Powercolor AX4870 from newegg yesterday
$260 - $30 MIR.

Need
$20 off instant coupon EMCAKAKAF

Never bought a PowerColor before - Hope it's OK
My current Sapphire X1950XT was my first 3rd party ATI GPU. All pior GPU have Been ATI
September 12, 2008 12:40:18 AM

I personally had a bad experience witha a power Color x800 XL, but all my friends still have powercolor cards that are working to date, worse case scenario RMA it. But you shouldn't worry about it, when it comes to quality of the card these days all brands are the same. Your more than fine with the power color and you chose the perfect card. DX 10.1 will be a very nice treat for you:) .

When I use to be with ATI (Hoping to switch over if I see 4870 X2 CF exceeding the small gap it has over the GX2 in quad sli) I bought cards made by ATI mostly (my 9800 XT, X1950 XT, X1900 AIW). My friend worked at ATI gave me a good discount on Refurbished cards.

:) 

Good luck with the card let us know how well it works, I promise you'll be very happy with it if all goes well:D 
Enjoy!
September 12, 2008 1:24:58 AM

from what i know, 4870 beats 9800 gx2 in smaller resolutions, 9800 gx2 doesnt beat gtx 280 but in a couple of games, and is fa behind a 4870 x2
September 12, 2008 1:28:58 AM

gtx 260 is a sweet card maybe its just i dont like dual gpu solutions like gx2.
i would buy the 260 before the gx2, ill change my avatar when nvidia releases something better than ati. Im just a gamer who buys whats best for the money, ati at this moment. Hope the competenc keeps going that way we all win :) 
September 12, 2008 1:33:19 AM

well your facts are pretty much out there. but I'm not going to convice you otherwise. Most of the Users will agree with this when it comes to video card raw power.

4870 X2 > 9800 GX2 > 280 GTX > 4870~260 GTX > 4850 > 9800 GTX+ > 9800 GTX~8800 GTS (same bloody card) etc.

please make sure you argue fact with opnion that always works:) 

Read reviews, don't assume from what you know:D  look at my links/images, Daggers etc.

EDIT: Think of Google as your PC Bible, search all the reviews the Bible has for you:) 
a b U Graphics card
September 12, 2008 1:39:44 AM

with that mobo a 4870x2 or budget wise a 4870.
!