Please help me decide which is best to buy. I am a pretty avid FPS gamer. I play now COD4, UT3, BIA, WIC, Crysis, etc. and want to play Far Cry 2, Crysis 2, COD WAW, Fallout 3 all in high resolution with some AA and AF turned on, but I play at 1280 x 1024. Currently my 8800GT is about to go out ( I will RMA since I have a dbl lifetime warrenty - thanks xfx) and I will sell the RMA replacement. I was looking at the 9800GTX+, 9800GX2 or the 260. It looks like the 9800GTX+ can be had for about $170 and the other two can be had for about a hundy more ($270). The cost is osmewhat an issue, but I want something that will last me for a while. I was hoping the 8800gt would have. Also, I am somewhat am Nvidia Fanboy. I know the 4850 and 4870 are good, but are they really that much better than the nvidia options?
Depends on how much of an improvement you want. You won't notice much of one going to the 9800GTX+, but the GTX 260 will be a pretty decent improvement. Not drastic.. but still good.
As for the ATI cards, the HD 4850 is both more powerful than the 9800 and cheaper. Lowest I've seen is $140 after rebate, or $160 without. The HD4870 is ~ the same as the GTX 260... so in that case.. go by which plays your games the best. Though the 4870 is also a bit cheaper, and at least for me.. has better features.
In the case of the 9800GX2.. IDK, some ppl will say to get that, because at its current price it DOES outperform all of these. At least in games that support it. This option however, doesnt give you the SLi / Crossfire upgrade path, and generates quite a ton of heat and noise
Well, once you get your replacement 8800GT you could just get another one and SLi it since you have an SLi board. The Radeon 4850 is definetly the best value as it's generally faster than the 9800GTX and can beat out the 9800GTX+, while the Radeon 4870 is generally faster than the 260. Since you have an SLi board it makes sense for you to stick with nVidia. The 9800GX2 is a mixed bag since it does generally have a better top speed than the 260 or 4870, in many cases it has a lower minimum speed. Check out this review
And make sure to look at the charts here also. The charts here don't always match up to other review sites, so pay attention to the settings they are running at as you know what to expect at different settings. Considering that a second 8800GT can be had for $120 I say just SLi your card for now and that will get you close to 9800GX2 performance for a lot less.
hey man i just bought a GTX 260 core 216, its faster than the 4870 and beats the 4870 in most games. not destroy but beats the 4870 just to be clear. the core 216 is 10-15% faster than the original GTX 260 for the same price. my GTX 260 core 216 replaced 2x 9800GT SLI because i wasnt using SLI and i dont benefit from SLI at a resolution of 1440x900. and if you overclock it, its said to equal a GTX 280. so just look at some cards and take notes and compare, then you can make a good choice for your situation. mine was like i said i couldnt benefit from SLI and i wanted to keep my system running cooler. also i rid myself of possible SLI problems like micro-stuttering, and bad scaling.
If you lean Nvidia pick up a GTX260 Core 216. With the 7 games tested it's on par with a 4870 according to anand's review. I would suggest you do a little more research and see which card performs better in the games that you currently most like. Upgrading now for a game that will be released in the future is not a good idea.
You can get a Visiontek 4870 with a lifetime warranty for $280
or Core 216 eVGA with a lifetime warranty for $280 after a $20 rebate.
Both at the egg.
You can't go wrong with either card.