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Radeon 4870 vs Geforce 9800 gx2

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September 11, 2008 10:26:56 PM

K so both of these cards stock are about the same price on newegg. I've been doing tons of research for about a week now and still cant decide which one of these babies to choose from. I find so many benchmarks where they compare the 4870 to the gtx 260/280 and since the 9800gx2 seems to be an older card, I cant find much comparing 4870 to the 9800gx2 .... :cry: 

I'm hoping that the small amount of benchmarks I did find aren't just talking about the XFX version of the 9800 gx2 Which then wouldn't matter and I'd stick with the radeon 4870. (the 9800gx2 dominates games like mass effect it seems, and strangely is ahead of top cards in other places as well) :ouch: 

So question is, which one of these cards is better? I'm planing on playing lots of fps which is my main reason to upgrade. (Crysis, UT3, half life 2 episode 2, quake 4, some mass effect and will be interested in Fear 2 and Half Life 3 whenever they end up coming out as well.)

Here's my 2 chosen cards .....

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (These cards welcome to criticism ) :bounce: 

Also if anybody knows where I could get the 8 pin adapter for the power supply that connects the 9800gx2 to the PSU because the Power supple I've chosen only has 2 6 pin connections. THanks :D 
September 11, 2008 10:42:35 PM

9800gx2 pretty much blows away a single 4870 in terms of performance.
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3341&p=13
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3341&p=14
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3341&p=15
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3341&p=16
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3341&p=17
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3341&p=18
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3341&p=19

Don't worry, that card comes with 8-pin adaptors in the package. See picture.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ShowImage.aspx?CurImage=1...
As long as your psu has the wattage to power it, it'll run.

All stock 9800gx2 performs the same, regardless of brand.

Keep in mind that 9800gx2 is labeled "9/11 one day sale," prices will increase if you don't order today. :na: 
a b U Graphics card
September 11, 2008 11:09:03 PM

Price will only go up $10, nothing to sneeze at for those that aren't made of money, but still cheaper than the 4870 by that amount + shipping on the 4870.

Its still almost 20 cheaper(30 if you get it today).
Related resources
a b U Graphics card
September 11, 2008 11:14:19 PM

Also something they neglect to mention in the specs for the GX2

Quote:
Minimum 580W or greater system power supply (with a minimum 12V current rating of 40A)*

* Don't ask, PNY doesn't say what it means
September 11, 2008 11:31:19 PM

cliffro said:
Also something they neglect to mention in the specs for the GX2

Quote:
Minimum 580W or greater system power supply (with a minimum 12V current rating of 40A)*

* Don't ask, PNY doesn't say what it means


They're erring on the side of caution (which is the right thing to do). This way they don't get complaints from noobs with small psus. :na: 

Actual system power consumptions is quite a bit lower.
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3341&p=22

Total system power consumption under load for 9800gx2 is still higher than 4870 though, 289.2 compared to 278.6 watts.
a b U Graphics card
September 11, 2008 11:34:03 PM

Oh right, i realize its actually lower...my PSU should struggle with my setup if i went by recommended Wattage and Amperage, mine's 34A combined on 2 rails.

I just threw it in there since Newegg doesn't list it.

edited, I misspelled Amperage...had it ampage at first.
September 12, 2008 2:07:01 AM

lol wow, those have to be the most biased benchmarks I've ever seen. They only show the ones where the 9800gx2 wins .... (high res matches with no AA, AF filters) Isn't AA and AF a good thing?
September 12, 2008 2:12:20 AM

spellbinder2050 said:
lol wow, those have to be the most biased benchmarks I've ever seen. They only show the ones where the 9800gx2 wins .... (high res matches with no AA, AF filters) Isn't AA and AF a good thing?


Crysis, Assassin's Creed, and Bioshock use no AA, but do include AF that comes with preset settings. All other use both AA and AF, on high resolutions.

Read carefully. 9800gx2 outperforms 4870 with or without AA, with or without AF, and at the wide range of resolutions tested, only in different amounts. The gap is far too large for it to make enough difference to upset overall performance.
September 12, 2008 2:46:57 AM

if you've got an nvidia motherboard go with the 9800gx2, but if you think DX10.1 is going to be prominent in games and you've got any other motherboard go with the 4780
September 12, 2008 2:53:30 AM

rangers said:
if you've got an nvidia motherboard go with the 9800gx2, but if you think DX10.1 is going to be prominent in games and you've got any other motherboard go with the 4780


That's not quite right. Quad sli/cf scales horribly, so you won't get enough of a performance increase with 2nd 9800gx2 to justify twice the cost. No need for sli motherboard, it won't be useful anyway.

Only Assassin's Creed use 10.1 right now, nothing else. It's been out for a while now, and still not widely adopted. Studios of future blockbuster titles like Crysis Warhead and Starcraft 2 have specifically stated that they will not support dx10.1. From the looks of things, dx10.1 will likely be skipped over to dx11.
September 12, 2008 5:09:15 AM

Dagger, this guy that reviewed the card on this page:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

says that he had to purchase the converter separately

"Cons: Does NOT come with PCIE 6-pin to 8-pin converter. BFG and XFX include this with their products; I was forced to purchase seperatly."


I also cannot identify it in the package contents

VCG98GX2XPB-OC
Driver Disk
User's Manual
Power Cable
DVI to VGA/D-sub Adapter
S/PDIF Cable
September 12, 2008 12:25:17 PM

go to http://www.slizone.com/page/home.html and see if your PSU needs the adapter.

As for quad, you get atleast 30% scaling in every game I'd say its worth it, since it makes Crysis playable at a higher resolution.


40(single) vs 70(quad) for me.
September 12, 2008 12:36:12 PM

spellbinder2050 said:
Dagger, this guy that reviewed the card on this page:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

says that he had to purchase the converter separately

"Cons: Does NOT come with PCIE 6-pin to 8-pin converter. BFG and XFX include this with their products; I was forced to purchase seperatly."


I also cannot identify it in the package contents

VCG98GX2XPB-OC
Driver Disk
User's Manual
Power Cable
DVI to VGA/D-sub Adapter
S/PDIF Cable


Lol, strange that they show it in picture of package contents. False advertising. :na: 
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ShowImage.aspx?CurImage=1...

The adapter is pretty cheap though, doesn't really make much of an impact on bottom line, just annoying to buy separately.
http://www.google.com/products?q=8pin+pcie+adapter&btnG...


Quote:
As for quad, you get atleast 30% scaling in every game I'd say its worth it, since it makes Crysis playable at a higher resolution.


Well, 9800gx2 quad sli still outperforms 4870 dual sli, but that's really only because the existing gap between single 9800gx2 and 4870 is so huge already that it can't be overshoot despite the handicap. The amount of increase is small for twice the cost.
September 12, 2008 12:50:11 PM

well most benchmarks I see with recent drivers used the frame rate increase are seen even as 50%, and the only time I don't see the quads scaling is in games where other cards don't scale either.

take these for example: (i'm going to do 1920x1200 since thats the max res most gamers have these days, well for the ones that have bigger scresns)

Crysis isn't worth much to me since its not optimized.



151 vs 82, thats an increase of almost 100%!



130 vs 97, thats an increase of 25%

Frontline fuel of war doesn't scale with any card.



86 vs 71, thats an increase of 18%

although the scaling isn't that great, the GX2 quad still stays above the pack in ever game, excluding 280 GTX tri sli (but it does beat it at COD4 ).

I'd say a second GX2 would do great since games are becoming more and more sli ready:) 
September 12, 2008 12:54:18 PM

4 gpus can eat up a lot of juice though. :p 
September 12, 2008 2:07:10 PM

Yup but I don't pay for electricity, included in rent:D  lol. ( I think 2 280 GTX actually come close to match them though...I mean a gx2 needs around 850 watts where as for the 280s htey said atleast 1000 soo I dunno:S, I do kno that tri-sli would suck more than a black hole though:D )

Allthough I do get angry sometimes when I actually have to tweak Nvidia's choice for profile..example grid, I manged to get 15 extra fps ....tisk tisk nvidia.

I'm curious though, is your gts @ 780 constantly or just when you game?
September 12, 2008 3:00:39 PM

dagger said:
That's not quite right. Quad sli/cf scales horribly, so you won't get enough of a performance increase with 2nd 9800gx2 to justify twice the cost. No need for sli motherboard, it won't be useful anyway.

Only Assassin's Creed use 10.1 right now, nothing else. It's been out for a while now, and still not widely adopted. Studios of future blockbuster titles like Crysis Warhead and Starcraft 2 have specifically stated that they will not support dx10.1. From the looks of things, dx10.1 will likely be skipped over to dx11.



im not talking about quad sli, the thread clearly states 9800gx2 Vs 4870, get it together and keep up
September 12, 2008 6:24:08 PM

I think ur the one that should keep it together, re read your post. You said to get a 9800 GX2 if he has a Nvidia board. The GX2 doesn't need an nvidia board, which leads to the conclusion that your talking about quad. Because on either a Intel chipset board or an nforce board the GX2 would still be the better choice for now.
September 12, 2008 7:56:12 PM

admittedly, that made me blink a few times.


The 9800GX2 is faster than the 4870 I think in every title except race driver grid? It might even be faster in that too.

I don't think its really up for debate.
September 13, 2008 1:04:54 AM

every one knows ati cards don't run well on nvidia chipsets, i have seen it myself
September 13, 2008 1:19:23 AM

rangers said:
every one knows ati cards don't run well on nvidia chipsets, i have seen it myself


There is no difference.

And the Anandtech benchmark I linked use Intel DX48BT2 (x48 chipset) for ATI cards (single or cf) and single Nvidia cards, 790i was only used for the sli setups.
September 13, 2008 2:55:51 AM

dude either admit defeat or get ready to be bent over by dagger:) 

Seriously your posts wreak of fanboyism:) 

(so does your quote:p )
a b U Graphics card
September 13, 2008 3:19:55 AM

Its true, the nVidia dual x2 is faster than any single card out, as it should be. However, looking at cheap solutions, the 4850 in CF which is more in price, but not too much higher, depending on buyer, wins out over the GX2, and the 4850x2 will show slight increases, as shown by the 4870x2 vs the 4870 in CF. Its a great price for the GX2, and until the 4850x2 comes along, has its own bracket in both price and performance as well as price vs performance. This shouldnt even be argued. You may as well say the same thing against G280 vs GX2, especially the price performance scenario.
September 13, 2008 9:00:17 AM

L1qu1d said:
dude either admit defeat or get ready to be bent over by dagger:) 

Seriously your posts wreak of fanboyism:) 

(so does your quote:p )


are the two of you a tag team, im starting to think, its you thats wanting to be bent over by dagger


and not liking nvidia's business practices is not fanboyism, if larrabee is any good i would probably go for that,
so its not like you and dagger trying to plug the GTXx2
a b U Graphics card
September 13, 2008 10:36:34 AM

Both 4870 and the 9800gx2 are very good cards. performance wise the 9800gx2 would do better only reason its 2 cards packed in one card, so even with the extra performance comes a price; there more power hungry, generate more heat/causing fan speed to increase, sli card so games that don't support sli will not benefit and price is slightly above the 4870. The 4870 is a very fast single card, handles aa very will and supports nice extra features such as tessellation and dx10.1, they also have some heating issue and noisy fans. If it were up to me i would go with the 9800gx2 if u can pass some of its issues. All in all you wont get disappointed with either cards.
September 13, 2008 12:42:17 PM

rangers said:
are the two of you a tag team, im starting to think, its you thats wanting to be bent over by dagger


and not liking nvidia's business practices is not fanboyism, if larrabee is any good i would probably go for that,
so its not like you and dagger trying to plug the GTXx2


Technically its not bending over, when you agree with some1 that speaks sense, and doesn't talk out of their @ss (like you) and just speaks for a company logo and not their benchmarks.

No1 stated the card was bad, but your comparing a card that performs about 30% slower than the GX2 as a card that's superior, which it isn't.

Read almost every post in this topic and in the forums and you'll see the population vs you.

Not good signs.

Your about as popular as George W.
September 13, 2008 1:34:39 PM

yes what was it he said in one of his posts "bioshock is a heavy ati optimized game" the way its meant to be played yes he speaks sense, and your just as stupid for listening to him, so go and blow it out ur @ss
September 13, 2008 1:36:22 PM

ps. it takes a bigger man to walk away, good bye
September 13, 2008 1:38:41 PM

what the heck are you talkin about? I'm talking about popularity your trying to combine the jokes?

Or wat?

When did I ever say anything about optimization??

Grid is a heavily optimized for ATI cards, the GX2 sitll wins.

I don't understand what your getting at????

your arguments are like shooting blanks.

Anyways I think I'm done arguing with you, and I'm sure other posters have enough to say about you and your out of whack posts.

Its ppl like you that led others into buying the 2900 XT for the same price as a 8800 GTX, and the XT performed lower than the 400$ 8800 GTS 320.

Have good life!

P.S

Your like a leech and commoner of society, you look for the Name of the brand not the background information. NO1 here said the 4870 is a bad card, every1 encourages the card, but it doesn't not compete with the GX2 PERIOD
September 13, 2008 2:15:16 PM

rangers said:
if you've got an nvidia motherboard go with the 9800gx2, but if you think DX10.1 is going to be prominent in games and you've got any other motherboard go with the 4780



thought i would clear my post up, if you can use ur intelligence and read between the lines what i was trying to say was. if you've got an nvidia motherboard go with the faster card the 9800gx2 but if you've got an intel motherboard go with the card with the better architecture the 4870


my feelings on the matter are (and this is after a bad experience with and nvidia motherboard and the ati9700pro) that ati cards don't run well on nvidia motherboards and that is why i recommend the 4870 on a intel chipset
September 13, 2008 2:17:45 PM

rangers said:
thought i would clear my post up, if you can use ur intelligence and read between the lines what i was trying to say was. if you've got an nvidia motherboard go with the faster card the 9800gx2 but if you've got an intel motherboard go with the card with the better architecture the 4870


my feelings on the matter are (and this is after a bad experience with and nvidia motherboard and the ati9700pro) that ati cards don't run well on nvidia motherboards and that is why i recommend the 4870 on a intel chipset


Your feeling are wrong. Mixing brands don't affect performance. :sarcastic: 
September 13, 2008 2:24:38 PM

^ thats exactly whats wrong with your posts dude, feels are completely irrelevant to facts. Your discouraging people just on your experiences.

If I saw that more than just you have had problems running ATI cards on Nvidia chipsets then yeah I'd say okay he's right he's one of the people that had problems.

but your going against a whole stack of reviews.

You want to hear one part of your posts that I can extract some fact form (if its intended this way) is yes, nforce chipsets suck, that you can say, they are a pain to install drivers for. but don't say that ATI cards don't run well, thats just a biased remark.

I ran the 4870 X2 on my 780i Chipset and it ran well. Now I have it in my secondary till I see driver support for quad sli, my other computer has nofroce chipset:)  (GPU bottlenecked though)
September 13, 2008 2:27:29 PM

gx2 gx2 gx2 gx2
September 13, 2008 2:34:54 PM

im not the only one that experienced the problem, the benches where in line but in game it would stutter and it was at the time nvidia got caught sacrificing image quality for FPS, so that and other bad decisions by nvidia is why i don't recommend nvidia but saying i would recommend the 2900xt was below the belt. LOL
September 13, 2008 2:39:50 PM

link us to the problems with nvidia boards. I searched and nothing official or unofficial.

In all honesty you would recommend it, lol be honest I kno you would.

I kinda miss the whole XT Pro, GTO, XL SE naming they should bring it back. They made it to easy for customers lol
September 13, 2008 2:43:30 PM

A lot of people can have problems with a lot of things. Like when you press the On button and the computer doesn't turn on? :p 

Human error is the mostly likely cause.
September 13, 2008 2:44:55 PM

indeed. Stupididy....err I mean human error is very comon these days:)  LOL

My friend said his com wasn't working...it wasn't plugged in...sigh!
September 13, 2008 2:52:50 PM

you've got me wrong mate, i lambasted the 2900xt, and it was documented in a uk computer mag micromart and im going back a bit to the nvidia nforce2 chipset
a b U Graphics card
September 13, 2008 5:24:27 PM

You could include the 6 boards too. Theres alot of people that complain about the nVidia chipsets. Unstable, hot etc, not as good ocing. I know theyve cleared most if not all of that up, but it happened, just like nVidias pricing. Just like their poor AA performance this round. Previous round? They were superior. It changes, as do the cards abilities to competition, and Im saying both sides here. I take it a release at a time. I prefer ATI, but Im still (dang it) on my old 320GTS, because it was the better card at the time. You cant knock the GX2 for its price point, yes theres heat issues, and power issues, and micro stuttering etc, but thats the norm from a x2 card, tho I hate the sandwitch design, shows much lack of innovation. Thats why I say, it has its own niche, cant be compared to single cards, just like the 4870x2, tho it appears the microstuttering is all but elimated, it still suffers from x2 card problems, tho its a much better card than the GX2. And itll only get better due to driver releases that the older GX2 has already seen. The 4870, has much potential, as seen by a few games where its faster than the G280, so IMHO has much more to look forwards to as far as ability down the road compared to all the cards around, including the G280. If it were me, and dont give a r@+$ arse about bling, but about performance, Id go for the 4870, simply because, unless Im playing at 25x16, which I dont, the 4870 can handle everything Id throw at it, and doesnt have all the issues of a x2 card, and has more potential for growth, due to driver improvements....whooooo
September 13, 2008 5:58:33 PM

actually X2 cards have more potential for growth lol Single GPU cards reach their wall at some point, and judging by all the Driver releases, the only thing the 4870 that has going for it for now is DX 10.1 which should increase frames with AA on.

I think the drivers have reached their maturity by now:) 

do you think the 280 GTX has seen maturityI think so.:p 
a b U Graphics card
September 13, 2008 6:19:27 PM

Not a chance. Not even close. ATI is either known notoriously or favorably, depending, on their continued driver improvements. Ive heard the 8.9 drivers will be where we actually start seeing great driver performance, as the first few have had to deal with more than the usual amount of bugs. By the time the 4850x2 comes out, you will see a different scenario concerning where the 4870 sits comparatively with current cards, as will all the 4xxx series.
September 13, 2008 6:25:36 PM

Highly doubt that, from what I heard from other sites. They're known to make reliable drivers, as for performance increases...not much you can do for single gpus:p 

I hope your right though, wouldn't mind jumping on board to ATI if I see it match the GX2, but I'm telling you right now, I don't see if happening at all.

If you said the 4870 X2 and the quad sli solution will get a huge performance increase, then its a more believable scenario to me:p  (Don't think i'm calling you liar lol, don't get offended, that's far from what i'm trying to point out)
September 13, 2008 6:30:44 PM

L1qu1d said:
Highly doubt that, from what I heard from other sites. They're known to make reliable drivers, as for performance increases...not much you can do for single gpus:p 

I hope your right though, wouldn't mind jumping on board to ATI if I see it match the GX2, but I'm telling you right now, I don't see if happening at all.

If you said the 4870 X2 and the quad sli solution will get a huge performance increase, then its a more believable scenario to me:p  (Don't think i'm calling you liar lol, don't get offended, that's far from what i'm trying to point out)


Yep, historically, single gpu cards, ATI or Nvidia, don't get significant performance increase with new drivers. It's unlikely they'll start now. :p 
September 13, 2008 6:35:34 PM

what, no bigbang2 then (thats me being sarcastic)
September 13, 2008 6:36:24 PM

rangers said:
what, no bigbang2 then (thats me being sarcastic)


Lol, bigbang2. I'll believe it when I see it. :sarcastic: 
September 13, 2008 6:58:46 PM

You won't trust me, the biggest deal you might see from the new cards will be the DX 10.1

Thats not to say they are bad cards, I'm just saying don't dream the 4870 will turn out to be 5xs faster than the GX2 like the preview benchmarks, and don't dream period.

I'll give you a max 2 frame increase:) 

a c 177 U Graphics card
September 13, 2008 7:37:07 PM

OP:
Go for the 9800GX2 as long as your PSU can handle it, I`d have one now but for the fact that it is still sooooo much more expensive here in the UK than the HD4870.
a b U Graphics card
September 13, 2008 10:27:24 PM

Im not talking 2x etc. At 15% the 4870 will be faster than the G280. I was trying to put some perspective on this, and you blew it out of proportion. Reread what I said, then think again odf it like this. If I needed something for a high resolution, which I dont, then Id go with a GX2. But, since a 4870 handles everything up to 26x16, then thats the card for me. And if 15-20% isnt enough for, thats ok, some people welcome it, especially the vastly superior (in numbers) owners of the 4870. If I was the poor sucker that bought one of the GX2 for whatever they were charging a few months ago, Id be very upset with nVidia, since its really only their 3rd oldest card out.
September 13, 2008 10:33:15 PM

Geez, when has any single gpu card improved performance by 15-20% across the board just from driver updates? :sarcastic: 
September 13, 2008 10:53:55 PM

so what are you saying, that we're not to have any dreams, there go's that lamborghini then
!