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Very close performing GPU which one to choose?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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October 19, 2008 7:59:28 PM

Could anyone tell me which one is better and why (they have comparable prices)?

ATI Radeon HD 4870 v/s Nvidia Gforce 8800 Ultra

Objective high definition gaming :D 
October 19, 2008 8:11:10 PM

The 4870 is much better, that's all you really need to know.
October 19, 2008 8:21:45 PM

the ATI 4870 is A LOT newer compared to the 8800 ultra (essentially an overclocked 8800 GTX) which is still a great card but has been on the market for almost 2 years now. Therefore it pretty much goes without saying that the recently released 4870 will perform better than an 8800 ultra at whatever res or setting.
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October 19, 2008 8:22:33 PM

The 8800GTX/Ultra were great cards during their time, but it is old Nvidia tech, and the 4870 should be noticeably faster in most cases. The Radeon 4870 also supports Direct X10.1, where as the Geforce 8800Ultra (as well as ALL current Nvidia cards) only support Direct X10.0.
a c 165 U Graphics card
October 19, 2008 8:58:38 PM

Make sure it`s the 1 Gb version of the HD4870. There is little difference in price and for hi rez gaming the extra memory wiil be very useful.
October 19, 2008 9:03:08 PM

While the 1GB version will help at higher resolutions, its $60 more than the regular 512mb model. The 512mb one is down to $240.
a b U Graphics card
October 19, 2008 9:30:00 PM

Careful, check out the GPU charts.
The 8800Ultra is still a plenty powerful card, and in higher resolutions with AA/AF enabled will outpace a 4870 most, not all, but most of the time by a considerable margin. It along with the GTX have the 384 bit wide memory buss, and that makes a difference when you start cranking things way up.
Nvidia did their homework on these cards.
While they are older tech, you cannot pass them off as slower because they are older.
Best advice, check out the GPU charts for the games and res you play at before you make your decision.
a b U Graphics card
October 19, 2008 9:50:27 PM

i would go with the 4870 since it tends to handle aa very well and in general new tech. 8800ultra is still a powerful card but i would only select the 8800ultra or 8800gtx if you can find it within 130$.
a b U Graphics card
October 19, 2008 9:52:45 PM

^yeah, good point. Only get the Ultra if the price is right.
a c 143 U Graphics card
October 19, 2008 10:05:51 PM

I'm still very happy with my 8800GTX OC2, but I'd prefer a HD 4870 these days. It's 55nm technology rather than 80nm.
October 20, 2008 1:27:48 AM

the charts are incorrect. the latest gen suffers seriously from the CPU (note the topic w/ the far cry 2 bench as an example). the 4870 is better (although not by much) than the 8800 ultra and will be supported for longer time (driver optimizations for new games).
it's also DX10.1 and if you're into it has pretty nice HD features.
October 20, 2008 1:34:08 AM

"along with the GTX have the 384 bit wide memory buss"

Ever hear of GDD5? Not only does the 4870 have more bandwidth, the core has a greater effect on increasing perf with the 4xxx series. On a side note.... you really shouldn't be giving out advice based on tom's hardware charts.
October 20, 2008 3:50:41 AM

GDDR5 eliminates the need for a bus larger than 256mb. Its so much faster than GDDR3/4 that even a 512mb bus cant help it. That 512mb bus REALLLLY helped out the 2900XT, eh?
October 20, 2008 3:53:59 AM

jitpublisher said:
Careful, check out the GPU charts.
The 8800Ultra is still a plenty powerful card, and in higher resolutions with AA/AF enabled will outpace a 4870 most, not all, but most of the time by a considerable margin. It along with the GTX have the 384 bit wide memory buss, and that makes a difference when you start cranking things way up.
Nvidia did their homework on these cards.
While they are older tech, you cannot pass them off as slower because they are older.
Best advice, check out the GPU charts for the games and res you play at before you make your decision.


You are aware that the 8800 Ultra loses to the HD 4850, let alone the HD 4870... right?
October 21, 2008 4:52:52 PM

Thanks guys will go for 4870 1gb at 270 $, is it worth it to pay additional 30$ to get a 3600 MHz memory clock (instead of a 1800 MHz)?
a c 143 U Graphics card
October 21, 2008 6:04:31 PM

LOL, some manufacturers say 1800Mhz, some say 3600Mhz. They're confused about and GDDR5. For example a HIS HD 4870 advertised with 3600MHz and a Visiontek HD 4870 with GDDR5 advertised with 1800Mhz are in fact using the same clock. Don't worry about the clocks. Do get the 1GB version, it's worth the extra $30 IMO.
October 22, 2008 5:18:40 AM

Thanks for this info
!