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Upgrade now to cheaper 4870x2 or wait till 295GTX

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December 27, 2008 7:19:15 PM

Hello, now I know I'm going to get some biased opinions from fanboys, but I would like to know what you think about my two choices. I currently have a 9800GX2. I have the following options:

- My friend will sell me a brand new 4870X2 if I give him my 9800GX2 and 150 dollars.
- Sell my 9800GX2 to another friend for 300 dollars, save up 200 dollars for a 295GTX.


I'm patient, and I can wait, however, my friend only has a few days left until he sells the 4870X2 to someone else. I have been with NVIDIA with every computer I ever had so I'm a little cautious towards ATI, but I would like to know what everyone else thinks? Am I stupid for getting a 4870X2 now when a newer better card is coming soon?


My system:

Intel Core i7 920
Corsair TX750W PSU
3GB Corsair DDR3 RAM
9800GX2 eVGA
Windows Vista Home Premium
1 TB HDD
ASUS P6T Deluxe Mobo
December 27, 2008 7:30:19 PM

what res are you palying at??
a c 107 U Graphics card
December 27, 2008 7:36:35 PM

I'm not a fan boy but I am biased. I wouldn't own a 9800gx2 if you gave it to me. Having said that, it's a no brainer. You wait for the newer card. It will out perform the 4870x2........ by how much...who knows yet ? .... but I'm a fan of higher memory interfaces.......... learned my lesson when I bought a 4870....... GTX260 was much better. Threw money away on wishful thinking.(4870)
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December 27, 2008 8:02:05 PM

It IS a no-brainer. Buy the 4870 X2 now, the GTX 295 will only outperform the 4870 X2 by irrelevant amounts only seen in benchmarks and not perceivable in gaming. That said, if you end up buying it when the GTX 295 comes out then its only a matter of which you can find cheaper as to me they are basically the same card.

Also seeing as it is cheaper for you to get a 4870 X2, then it really is simple. The GTX 295 wont outperform the 4870 X2 in any meaningful way, it will be exactly like a GTX 260/4870 comparison.

How did you throw money away on wishful thinking (4870)? That card will run all games at medium-high to maxed at high resolutions with acceptable FPS, what where you wishing for? I'm wishing for a 4870 X8, but that wont happen, nor will 16 GTX 280s with good drivers.
December 27, 2008 8:06:03 PM

From the previews of the GTX295 that I've read, the performance is pretty close to that of the 4870X2; they trade blows in different games, and the 4870X2 performs a little better at high resolutions because it has more VRAM.

However, is there anything that your 9800GX2 won't do for now? Neither of those two cards will be a huge upgrade from what you have right now; why not just wait a year or so for the next generation of video cards? Also, AMD probably has something in the pipeline to counter the GTX295, so I'd just wait a bit.

You could always get some more RAM...
December 27, 2008 8:08:56 PM

Swifty has a odd and admittedly biased view of the 4870. He claims the GTX 260 he bought was leaps and bounds better and all the benchmarks, reviews, and owners are wrong and the 4870 is really a piece of junk barely better than a 3870. Take him with a grain of salt. Not to mention we are talking about two different cards here, the 4870X2 is not a 4870, and the GTX 295 is not a GTX 260, so all of that is irrelivant.

As far as the OP goes, just snag the 4870X2. As already stated the performance between the two cards is about the same with trading blows. And since you are able to get the 4870 at a lower price, go with that. Ive owned 3 ATI cards and 6 Nvidia cards of various brands over the past 5 years, there is no reason to hold onto any type of brand loyality.
December 27, 2008 9:14:56 PM

at high resolutions with AA and AF turned way up i personally would prefer to have the 4870X2.
a c 107 U Graphics card
December 27, 2008 9:39:16 PM

the last resort said:
at high resolutions with AA and AF turned way up i personally would prefer to have the 4870X2.


even after seeing whats right in front of your eyes ? I have to say, you sure are loyal......lol
December 27, 2008 9:51:14 PM

In all honesty, previews don't count for jack.

To OP, what're you going to game on until the GTX 295 actually comes out if you sell the 9800GX2?
a b U Graphics card
December 27, 2008 10:09:14 PM

In the previews, it shows the 295 stumbling at high res with eyecandy cranked, which is where these cards are to excel like no others
a b U Graphics card
December 27, 2008 11:08:58 PM

swifty_morgan said:
even after seeing whats right in front of your eyes ? I have to say, you sure are loyal......lol


Giving weight to one positive/limited preview, or even all the paper-launch previews with mandated hand-picked nV benchmarks? :pfff: 

That sounds more like blind loyalty to me than actually reading the reviews out there that tend to have the same conclusion;
in general GTX295 > X2 , but at higher resolution and AA the X2 pulls ahead. Even note Guru3D's statements in FartCry2;
Now again we have the same settings, DX 10 mode but with 8xAA applied. Now, it seems that at 2560x1600 we precisely hit a framebuffer threshold for the GTX 295. The 4870 X2 has slightly more memory available, which might give it the advantage.

It takes the lead at higher res with higher AA. Some of the reviews out there don't fully set the highest settings despite saying they are (Bloom is not tougher than HDR), and others only running lower levels of AA in Crysis (2X even). So, watch out for some misleading results that are much lighter on both buffer usage and pixel shader power. Look at a few others who make the same statements;

BitTech;
http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/2008/12/18/first-look-...

"Our biggest disappointment in the testing we've done so far though is how the card performs at higher resolutions with AA enabled - there are scenarios like the one we've shown you here in Fallout 3 where the card just runs out of steam at 2,560 x 1.600 with 8xAA. "

[H];
http://enthusiast.hardocp.com/article.html?art=MTU5OSw3...

"This is its weakness at high settings and our game testing has proven that."

Hardware Canucks;
http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-r...

Look at the Crysis DX10 and FartCry2 high resolution results, performance drops off both for average and especially min, which is where these solutions are supposed to help at higher resolution, limiting the drop-offs. This reflects the same results as almost everyone else including the Guru3D review you wish to bring to people's attention.

Overall the GTX295 > X2 , however if you want to play at the highest settings, you may want to wait for the real deal, and not the paper launch preview as to which card to go with.

If you play in the 1920xXXXX realm or below, then the GTX295 is pretty straightforward overall leader.

But don't ignore the facts there swifty, and be sure that the review you post and are being arrogant about supports your snide comment about "seeing whats [sic] right in front of your eyes". :kaola: 
December 27, 2008 11:26:27 PM

TGGA is absolutely right. I have used a 4870 and a GTX 260, they are even closer than what you would think. So if you really believe that Swifty, you either got a bugged 4870 or you have no idea what you are talking about.
a c 107 U Graphics card
December 27, 2008 11:51:59 PM

The_Blood_Raven said:
TGGA is absolutely right. I have used a 4870 and a GTX 260, they are even closer than what you would think. So if you really believe that Swifty, you either got a bugged 4870 or you have no idea what you are talking about.



4870/260......well, yes, I do know what I'm talking about. I tried them both and the 4870 blows. And if you look closely it still tanks in the same game... COD W@W I was complaining about when that game came out. I have yet to run into a game the nvidia cards can't play because we have to wait for the geeks to come up with good drivers. And I have older games the ati product can't play/won't load because of those fantastic monthly drivers that come out don't address them. This isn't true with the green team. If you are one of those people who play at low resolutions........ all this doesn't apply sans Crysis.

And I'd like to know who plays at that high a resolution....... certainly NOT the majority of people who purchase video cards for gaming....... therefore the nvidia product is the certainly better buy. The charts prove it.

and to the guy who said something about benchmarks not meaning anything...... I get my head cut off when I say that sort of thing. I post some and I still get my head cut off.........there's no winning here.
December 27, 2008 11:54:54 PM

Actually the majority of people that do buy the GX2/X2/doublegpu/sandwhich cards DO game at or above 1900x1200 (2560x1600).....hince the reason for buying them.

If youre buying one of those cards for 1200 x 1024 or 1400 x 900 then you need to spend some time doing research. These dual GPU cards are completely worthless at low and moderate resolutions, much like Sli/Crossfire itself is. If the GTX 295 cant do what its made for, then whats the point? Thats not saying it wont be a good card, but if youre gaming on 26" and above you need a 4870 X2.
a b U Graphics card
December 28, 2008 12:11:52 AM

You need to look around on other forums, theres people like you whove either had or have both currently. Its a dead heat, even, kissin your sister tie. At least thats what theyre saying. What youre saying isnt the norm. Which games dont work on a 4870, or because of drivers?
December 28, 2008 12:11:58 AM

Who cares who likes what, us nvidia fans get to have an incredible GPU for 499 and it pushes down the prices for all the ati fans of the x2, we both win, no reason to fight.
a c 107 U Graphics card
December 28, 2008 12:25:11 AM

spathotan said:
Actually the majority of people that do buy the GX2/X2/doublegpu/sandwhich cards DO game at or above 1900x1200 (2560x1600).....hince the reason for buying them.

If youre buying one of those cards for 1200 x 1024 or 1400 x 900 then you need to spend some time doing research. These dual GPU cards are completely worthless at low and moderate resolutions, much like Sli/Crossfire itself is. If the GTX 295 cant do what its made for, then whats the point? Thats not saying it wont be a good card, but if youre gaming on 26" and above you need a 4870 X2.


Ok, so here I am... playing @ 16x10 using my 4870. The card has a little stumbling. I turn on the AA it can't take it, it falters more. I lower the resolution and turn off the AA. It seems to play fine on the majority of the things I throw at it. I turn on the AA again and it stumbles again. I say screw this and yank the card. ( I do all the drive cleaner crap so its a non issue )....... I put my GTX260 in. I play at my resolution, 16x10 and it plays fine. I turn on the AA and it still plays fine........ so what you're telling me is that because of my resolution I don't need a big card ( or better card ) even though I prove to my self that it is indeed needed and is indeed providing a better playing atmosphere. You don't make sense.

even when I had a crt and played at lower resolutions, every time I made a video card upgrade I got improvement with how much stuff I could load. AA/AF etc............ to a point where the rest of the system held it back.

to the guy who wanted to know what games wouldn't play....... can only think of one right now..... EA Games series of Medal of Honor.......i haven't had my card ( 4870 ) in a machine for about 6 weeks now. I split up my 260's and am using those now. ...but will have to use the 4870 soon.
a b U Graphics card
December 28, 2008 12:41:29 AM

spathotan said:
Actually the majority of people that do buy the GX2/X2/doublegpu/sandwhich cards DO game at or above 1900x1200 (2560x1600).....hince the reason for buying them.


Exactly!

It's like saying "but who drives over the US speed limit" or "who needs Y&Z rated tires" when talking about sport/super cars.

Heck at lower resolutions the multi-VPU cards are often slower than the single cards due to their CPU overhead of Xfire and SLi.

Swifty's using his limited experience to paint the entire line. That would be like me pointing to this review to show global GTX performance against the HD4k (single HD4850 beats two GTX280 in SLi);

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/red-aler...

But that's obviously not the global case, what Swifty doesn't get is that his isn't the global case either.

In the end, even in the review that Swifty pointed to, it supports what LastResort said, not his sarcastic reply. What he can't seem to understand is that they both have good and weak points, he's letting his personal experience colour all the other objective information he's being shown. So one isn't as good with one game, it certainly doesn't mean the same for all others.
December 28, 2008 1:37:35 AM

Thanks for the replys, if I choose the 295GTX over the 4870X2 I will continue to game on the 9800GX2 until I get a 295GTX. My resolution I'll be gaming on is 1680 x 1050, I do plan on getting a bigger monitor soon. So at lower resolutions, is it worth getting the 295GTX since it pulls ahead of the X2?
a b U Graphics card
December 28, 2008 1:46:22 AM

I would actually pick option 3 (not listed) in keeping your GX2s until the summer/fall when truly new stuff comes out.

Unless there's specifically a game you're not enjoying because you can't play it at the settings you need and you KNOW that one of these will fix that, then I would save the money and buy a card when you DO need it. Both ATi and nV have big updates coming in a few months, and if you don't NEED something now, then save your money. But if you do have a game that bothers you and these play better, then definitely upgrade.

I usually advise against waiting, but only if people need a card and are waiting, but if you're upgrading just for the sake of upgrading, then IMO don't bother, especially at your resolution which really isn't that taxing for the GX2 or any of these solutions. Worry about your upgrade when/if you do get that bigger screen.
December 28, 2008 1:51:41 AM

If youre only gaming at 1680 x 1050 then both the 4870X2 and the GTS 295 are a waste of money. But if you must have one, once again...go with the cheaper solution.

Or perhaps even two 4850's, or a 4870 and a 4850 in crossfire. Or a single GTX 280.
December 28, 2008 2:01:41 AM

I hate this forum anymore, so many dumb ass fanboys... interesting how my 4870 X2 can hit x4 AA without any performance decrease. Funny how my friend's 4870 can do the same. Funny how my mother's GTX 260 can't. Guess I'm just wrong...
a b U Graphics card
December 28, 2008 2:03:46 AM

Spathotan, the problem is he already has a GX2, so a single GTX280 wouldn't be much of an upgrade, and depending on the game could be a downgrade.
I'm also not sure of the value of a sell/resell for his stuation. Two HD4K or two GTX260 in tandem would be an upgrade, but worth it?
December 28, 2008 2:08:32 AM

+1 for waiting. Your 9800GX2 is an amazing card to start with. The 4870X2 and GTX 295 aren't going to give you much more at your resolution.
December 28, 2008 2:35:36 AM

DON'T PAY $50 MORE FOR NO PERFORMANCE INCREASE!!! If you are going to get one of them, though you shouldn't, then get the 4870 X2 it is cheaper and almost half the time beats the GTX 295 from what we know now. Add in much better AA performance, DX10.1, and much more mature drivers since the card has been out so much longer te 4870 X2 can be considered the better of the 2. If that is not totally true it does not matter. The GTX 295 will NEVER perform well enough to justify a $50 surplus over the 4870 X2. Also remember the GTX 295 will be more expensive than you think when it first comes out... are you getting the picture?

Now factor in the fact that the difference between any of these cards and a 9800 GX2 will be extremely limited... are you getting THIS picture?

If you want to increase performance overclock that CPU and get more RAM.
December 28, 2008 2:47:03 AM

Thanks, for the replies once again. But again I must state that I am planning on getting a bigger monitor soon. I do want higher AA as well with higher resolution, so correct me if I'm mistaken, the 9800GX2 will not perform very well under those circumstances.
December 28, 2008 2:55:48 AM

TheGreatGrapeApe said:
Spathotan, the problem is he already has a GX2, so a single GTX280 wouldn't be much of an upgrade, and depending on the game could be a downgrade.
I'm also not sure of the value of a sell/resell for his stuation. Two HD4K or two GTX260 in tandem would be an upgrade, but worth it?


Errr good points. Lol.
December 28, 2008 3:18:27 AM

swiftymoron.
Please send all the 9800gx2's you dont want, including the non working model your imaginary friend had
December 28, 2008 5:01:48 AM

The GTX 295 may very well be the better card, as it is 2x GTX 260 Core 240s in one card, but there is no product yet. Can Nvidia make enough of these to sell them any time soon? Will the retail version of the card still have all 240 (480) shaders enabled? Or do they cut them down to 216 or 192 to save on power for the retail version, thus making current previews and benchmarks irrelevant?

You seem a little partial to Nvidia to begin with, there is nothing wrong with that, everyone has some brand loyalty(but its good you are open to the idea of a 4870X2). You choice is essentially between 2x4870s 1GB or 2xGTX260s core 240.

2x4870s 1GB ~ 2xGTX 260s core 216. (this statement is a tremendous over generalization. I understand you can make either set of cards look superior to the other depending on the games benchmarked and the settings used.)

So I am assuming that 2xGTX core 240s is > 2x4870s 1GB.

So the question is then is the GTX 295 worth $50 more then the 4870X2?
Thats a very difficult question to answer at this time due to the limited amount of information available about the GTX 295 at this time. If all you play are TWIMTBP games then the GTX 295 is probably worth $50 more then the 4870X2. Keep in mind that Nvidia may not have the financial resources to continue bribing (I mean partnering with) game developers to make games run better on Nvidia architecture so future games may be more evenly balanced between the ATI and Nvidia.

You mentioned that you were patient and could wait. With your current hardware I would continue to recommend waiting until a new architecture comes out sometime this summer. If you can't wait that long at least wait until the GTX 295 actually launches as you should see price decreases on the 4870X2s which should help you get an idea of what is the best price to performance card for you. Another plus to the GTX 295 is the shrink to 55nm.

a b U Graphics card
December 28, 2008 7:14:37 AM

Goldsun1715 said:
Thanks, for the replies once again. But again I must state that I am planning on getting a bigger monitor soon. I do want higher AA as well with higher resolution, so correct me if I'm mistaken, the 9800GX2 will not perform very well under those circumstances.


No it performs well under those circumstances, but other options just perform better. Whether they perform 'better enough' depends on your games and on the monitor you're getting.

IMO, your card is fine for the 1920x1200 generation monitors for most games, with Crysis being one of the major exception on higher settings.

But if the new monitor is a 25x16 model then you may feel the major pinch of the memory limits of the GX2 and all other 512MB cards.

Main thing is where you're going with the new monitor, I'd say 1920x1200 stay where you are and put money into a new summer solution, but if you go 25x16 and want the highest AA levels then multi-VPU is the way to go, just check reviews for the game you play because the variability is huge.
January 16, 2009 7:59:46 PM

The 4970x2 is a far better deal, and if you take that leftover money and invest in a Waterblock and Watercooling you can OC it quite a bit.

I have had 4 Nvidia cards, and they have all died on me, I have had 4 ATI cards, they have never failed me.
!