Obviously brand can help in this decision since EVGA has such great customer service, but which of these cards really perform better? I'd also like to know which one will give the most performance for value.
Single card, 8 GB DDR2@1000, Vista 64, E8400, monitor will be between 19-21".
I never thought I was a company fan boy... but this 4870 is changing my mind... the software alone makes me want to stay with them, also, I think the image quality is much better than my old 8800 gts 640....
i never realized that there was a quality difference... but its noticeably better
also if the driver crashes.... it recovers from it w/o requiring a re-boot... how nice is that?
I'm sorry but I recommend the 4870
and w/ a 4870 you'll maybe see a 1- 3 % difference in performance... not worth the crap software nvidia has in my opinion
also look into bundles that come with cards
I for one wanted a specific game, and I got it with my 4870
HD 4870 does AA better and usually ends on top when it comes into play, and its of better quality as well. For nvidia to match the quality it has to do 8QxAA for it to compare to regular 8x AA in ati cards, otherwise you'd be getting an inferior image quality (And sadly this is what 95% of the reviews out there don't realize when comparing them).
EDIT: This HD 4870 is the one with lifetime warranty:
VisionTek 900244 Radeon HD 4870 512MB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
A factory oced gtx260 should easily outperform stock 4870, at least if ran without AA. Still, do it yourself oc is just as good as factory oc. You might as well buy stock gtx260 or 4870 for cheaper and oc it yourself. The extra cost of factory oced gtx260 is really not worth it.
Yes the nvidia cards can do the same high quality AA as the Ati cards if set to do so on the game options/nvidia control panel, however it takes an even bigger performance toll on the card than that shown at reviews.