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GTX 260 vs HD4870

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January 8, 2009 2:38:31 AM

hey everyone, i was looking at benchmarks today for video cards.
So far it seems either the hd4870 1gb is a close match to the GTX 280 216SP.

My rig is
Corsair 750watt Power Supply
GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3R
Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550
COOLER MASTER Hyper Z600
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)
Video Card: ((UNDECIDED!!)) =[

Alright, i know some questions will arise like.

Monitor: 24" 1900 x 1200
Games: Fall out 3
CoD: WaW
Dead Space
Star craft II
Diablo III
These are just some games i want to play with my computer, i would like to know anyone with personal experience.
How well does any of their cards run any of these games (excluding the ones that are not out yet of course).

Please, no fan boys, i want honest unbiased opinions. Thanks for reading once again!

More about : gtx 260 hd4870

a b U Graphics card
January 8, 2009 2:40:27 AM

It's honestly hard to go wrong with either one. I'd tend to lean towards the ATI card though, as with the Intel chipset, you could potentially crossfire in the future, but SLI is out of the question.
January 8, 2009 2:43:09 AM

Which card would be better for future games? Like.. i am really really anticipating Elder scrolls V (2010 release date) Think either one would fair better at that time frame?
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a b U Graphics card
January 8, 2009 2:47:26 AM

It's basically impossible to say. They're pretty darn close in most cases.
a b U Graphics card
January 8, 2009 3:02:41 AM

You will get more having DX10.1, but who knows how much? So far, real full DX10.1 shows a lessor hit using AA, but again, who knows
January 8, 2009 3:06:05 AM

No cards right now support dx10.1, right?
I don't know how much gaming has changed since i have a long time ago.
I want something that at least a year or 2 from now i go well.. at least my card can run medium wit 0xAA at least...

am i hoping for too much?
a b U Graphics card
January 8, 2009 3:19:35 AM

More than likely, 2 years is a long time in gpu performance. Todays cards are more than60% faster than those 2 years ago. ATI offers DX10.1, and as DX11 and DX10.1 games come out, youll get that extra performance, not alot of extra eye candy over DX10, but DX10.1 allows for better AA usage, if the games compliant
January 8, 2009 3:22:59 AM

In your opinion then, GTX 260 or HD4870 1GB?
any added reasons would be greatly appreciated.
I know alot about computers, don't get me wrong.
But i have been out of the Computer part scene for so long i have no idea whats good right now XD

All i have to go on is benchmarks, and figures.
Come on, when i was building computers last the Radeon 9800pro was 300 somethin dollars and it was AWESOME =D
January 8, 2009 3:29:09 AM

Vos17 said:
hey everyone, i was looking at benchmarks today for video cards.
So far it seems either the hd4870 1gb is a close match to the GTX 280 216SP.


I would go with the gtx260 core 216. A pal of mine was in the same dilemma, and after reading tons of reviews and looking through pages of benchmarks the Nvidia card came out ahead most of the time. The only place it really lost to the 4870 1gb was in newer, arcade style racing game (boring) like GRID, Need for Speeds, DIRT rally, etc. But it doesn't sound like you're a fan of cheezy racing games so I'd go with the 216.
a b U Graphics card
January 8, 2009 3:29:58 AM

To me, its a toss up. And truly, DX10.1 may be of help down the road, or it may not be much of one, so shouldnt be considered a deal breaker. Id get the one that is priced best, as both cards have similar performance
January 8, 2009 3:31:14 AM

cjl said:
It's honestly hard to go wrong with either one. I'd tend to lean towards the ATI card though, as with the Intel chipset, you could potentially crossfire in the future, but SLI is out of the question.


His board only has one PCI-e x16 lane and his next upgrade to an x58 (SLi and crossfire) is probably too far away for this card to matter much.

*edit*

Vos17, just to let you know both jaydeejohn and cjl use ATi cards if I remember correctly...
a b U Graphics card
January 8, 2009 3:33:37 AM

The 216 currently is 1 driver release or so ahead of the 4870, as its a month older, and before those 216 drivers came out, they were even, so, Id bet theyll end up that way. Dpnt let a single driver release sway your decision, tho, like I said, theyre even
January 8, 2009 3:34:48 AM

I just don't want to buy a card, plug it in and set everything up, and feel like i made the wrong choice, ~250 isn't money for testing out. (well for me anyway). Fall out 3, Call of duty: World at War, and some games coming out later in the year are what i'm also looking forward to.

Anyone play any of those games with either of those cards and can offer any feedback?
January 8, 2009 3:36:25 AM

My friend plays CoD World at War with his core 216, but only on a 22" 1680x1050 monitor.

Just look up some benchmarks.

edit:

Here, core216 vs 4870 1gb at 1680x1050 and 2560x1600 (sorry, no 19x12)
http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-r...
http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-r...

Dead Space
http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-r...

Fallout 3 (4870 barely pulls ahead)
http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-r...


January 8, 2009 3:40:04 AM

That is another thing i need to figure out, The display i want.
either a 22" or 24"
And i was pretty much set on 1920 x 1080, unless someone has a opinion on that =p (is it worth the extra $$?)
January 8, 2009 3:46:58 AM

Vos17 said:
That is another thing i need to figure out, The display i want.
either a 22" or 24"
And i was pretty much set on 1920 x 1080, unless someone has a opinion on that =p (is it worth the extra $$?)


You'll get higher frames, higher settings and the card will last longer with a 22" 1680x1050 since it's easier to push.

I personally would want a gtx295, 4870x2 or some sort of crossfire or SLi setup for 1900x1200 (not 1920x1080p...lame unless you watch LOTS of movies and TV shows on your PC).

Also, do you already have the q9550? Because the i7 is way better for the same price, if not cheaper.
January 8, 2009 3:49:45 AM

the only problem with going with the i7 is im forced to pay close to 300 for a motherboard, and damn high prices for ddr3. It WAS considered, honestly. But because im forced into pricier stuff.

besides, this computer im saving up the money for, March (with bills and stuff) seems like the best time frame for me to purchase everything. who knows, maybe the stuff will be cheaper.

I like to plan ahead, i been researching and everything so i don't jump on something completely over the top when the time comes, you know lol
a b U Graphics card
January 8, 2009 4:01:59 AM

Well, by March, check the performance again on these 2 cards, as Im sure it will change
a b U Graphics card
January 8, 2009 4:22:16 AM

Noya said:
His board only has one PCI-e x16 lane and his next upgrade to an x58 (SLi and crossfire) is probably too far away for this card to matter much.

*edit*

Vos17, just to let you know both jaydeejohn and cjl use ATi cards if I remember correctly...


Ahh - I missed that (I didn't look up the full specs of the board, just that it has an Intel chipset).

In that case, I'd be tempted to go for a 260, unless there's a significant price difference. If you like running with a lot of AA, the 4870 gains some ground, but on the whole, the 260 does slightly edge it. Without the possibility of future crossfire, the ATI falls behind IMO. As for me running an ATI card? Yes I do in my primary machine, but I have also run Nvidia cards (my last one had a 7950 in it). I just go for whichever provides the best performance that is within my budget at the time. At the time of my latest build, my budget was fairly high, and the GTX 280 was more expensive than it is now, so it has a 4870x2 in it. It's as simple as that.
January 8, 2009 4:25:19 AM

Yeah, by march you'll be buying an i7 920 / DDR3 / x58.

I've seen deals on the i7 920...$230 at a Fry's special.

There's a $205 gigabyte x58 ud3r on newegg.

DDR3 is dropping in price.
January 8, 2009 4:29:00 AM

There is about a 40$ difference, AA isn't too much of a concern for me, if your telling me the gtx 260 would be a better performer on my machine, well.. i don't know, i am -TRYING- to budget myself but it seems less and less possible. lol

maybe... which one would be better possibly later on? the Nvidia (Higher Bit rate, and more pixel shaders) or the ATI (Higher bandwith, and gddr5)
January 8, 2009 4:30:02 AM

Think the price of a i7 pc will drop into my price range around that time? i am trying to stick with around 1k
a b U Graphics card
January 8, 2009 4:32:53 AM

Honestly, an i7 isn't that far off of 1k right now, especially as you already have a good PSU. If you get a board for $300 (such as a P6T deluxe), an i7 920 for $300, 6GB Of RAM for $150, and a $250 GPU, you're at 1k.

Oh, and as for the GPU thing, if there is a $40 difference, go for the cheaper one. There is a slight performance benefit to the 260, but it is truly slight. It is definitely not $40 worth.
a b U Graphics card
January 8, 2009 4:34:37 AM

Ummmm, Im not using a ATI card. Im trying to be honest here, and going on my knowledge. I really cant give you a recommendation, because, as Ive said, these 2 cards are even, and thats my opinion, period
January 8, 2009 4:35:09 AM

is a i7 configuration really gonna kick a really nice quad core configuration to the curb?
Look at my build, i planned on taking my quad to 3.6ghz, would an i7 clock as good or no?

Mainly, is it worth it?
January 8, 2009 5:08:30 AM

You bet your A$$ it does, and for the graphics card, its not a toss up, get either the superclocked EVGA GTX 260 216 or the XFX GTX260 Black edition, across the board Pounds the ATI counterpart, and if anyone wants to argue it, back it up with proof as I would.... Oh and the I7 does it clock well? 2.6ghz to 3.8 or more on air, absolutely, and when you OC it, all bandwidth, scores unreal almost off the charts, its crazy fast, nothing even remotely close to it, Hope this helps, Shark
a b U Graphics card
January 8, 2009 12:30:46 PM

sharken said:
You bet your A$$ it does, and for the graphics card, its not a toss up, get either the superclocked EVGA GTX 260 216 or the XFX GTX260 Black edition, across the board Pounds the ATI counterpart, and if anyone wants to argue it, back it up with proof as I would.... Oh and the I7 does it clock well? 2.6ghz to 3.8 or more on air, absolutely, and when you OC it, all bandwidth, scores unreal almost off the charts, its crazy fast, nothing even remotely close to it, Hope this helps, Shark

Ill readress this in a months time
a b U Graphics card
January 8, 2009 1:23:23 PM

OK, just for clarification, the OP refered to this card http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
not a super lets changethename1moretimechargedcard. Its already currently 30$ more tahn the 4870, so, Id save the 30$. So, between what the OP wants, and what youve suggested, its not feasible at current pricing. Its always better to get a stock card anyways, unless the oceed card comes with better cooling, and the price only reflects the cooling price differences, with a slightly higher pricetag.
Thing is, nVidia didnt have this kind of ability in their cards til the latest driver release, and everyones waiting for ATIs response, as Im sure we will see improvements in their drivers too, and get it back to even, or close to it. Putting an oceed card against a stock card is only good if theyre at the same price, but, even then, you can still oc the stock card, so, its a non issue here, especially when they charge more for them.
@ the OP, just give it a lil time, as this will allow either the 4870 to catch the 216 with driver improvements, or, if it doesnt, which is possible, just like catching it is, by the time you do your purchasing, youll know, and prices will have dropped, as weve seen price increases on the G260 series increase lately, since nVidias new drivers have come out
January 8, 2009 1:31:54 PM

Pretty much this is what i wanted to hear. Mostly on these forums people try to talk me into the more expensive product.
I am saving money for a computer, i know i COULD go more expensive, but what is the point if i don't give myself a budget?

I have bills and other stuff, around 1k is my goal, jacking it up higher is.. out of the question. The hd4870, in my opinion, has more room to be a decent card in a year or 2 because of its higher bandwidth, and GDDR5.

(That is my opinion, please, no flaming) Of course share your own though.

i will look into the price of a i7 pc tho, the benchmarks pretty much do throw it in the quads face o.o
January 8, 2009 1:44:02 PM

Yeah they're both good choices and as you're motherboard doesn't call for either one specifically, I'd go with whichever is cheaper.

Both the 216 and 1gb are just awesome cards, at least here you can't possibly go wrong right?


PW
January 8, 2009 2:07:38 PM

Well its close to an extra 200$ For my i7 build... compared to my quad build.. is the jump worth it? think my computer would be "better" longer?
a b U Graphics card
January 8, 2009 2:10:23 PM

It's up to you whether it's worth it, but I would probably go for the i7. Not only is it faster now, but in the future, Intel is planning on releasing more CPUs for the 1366 socket (even through the 32nm die shrink), while 775 is going to die away.
January 8, 2009 2:14:34 PM

so... truthfully, going with the i7 would not only be faster and better, new processors would use the same socket so even my motherboard would not have to be updated for awhile?

I want my computer to last till end of 2010 before buying anything new for it.
Elder scrolls V >.<!
a b U Graphics card
January 8, 2009 3:11:57 PM

Exactly - when the new stuff came out, it would be a simple CPU swap, rather than a replacement of CPU, motherboard, CPU cooler, and RAM.
January 8, 2009 3:23:48 PM

that kind of makes it a simple choice now, thanks, lol.

Anyone have a good suggestion for a heat sink?
The i7s don't have alot to choose from it seems (i know cuz it just recently came out)
January 8, 2009 3:36:37 PM

sharken said:
You bet your A$$ it does, and for the graphics card, its not a toss up, get either the superclocked EVGA GTX 260 216 or the XFX GTX260 Black edition, across the board Pounds the ATI counterpart, and if anyone wants to argue it, back it up with proof as I would.... Oh and the I7 does it clock well? 2.6ghz to 3.8 or more on air, absolutely, and when you OC it, all bandwidth, scores unreal almost off the charts, its crazy fast, nothing even remotely close to it, Hope this helps, Shark


Alright I couldn't resist....there is just too much BS in what was just said.

The GTX 260 Core 216 does NOT pound the HD 4870 1 Gb, it slightly beats it (by literally 1-3 fps) in Crysis and FarCry. In most other games the HD 4870 1 Gb wins out (usually not by a whole lot, but by a decent amount in games like call of duty). To say that one pounds the other is completely asinine.

http://www.legitreviews.com/article/848/3/
http://www.legitreviews.com/article/848/5/
http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/2008/10/06/amd-ati-rad...
http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/2008/10/06/amd-ati-rad...

Consider the two cards to be even. Since you do not play Crysis, but you do play Call of Duty, I would go with the the HD 4870 1GB even if you cannot crossfire later.
January 8, 2009 3:38:28 PM

Vos17 said:
that kind of makes it a simple choice now, thanks, lol.

Anyone have a good suggestion for a heat sink?
The i7s don't have alot to choose from it seems (i know cuz it just recently came out)


For the i7 you would be looking for the Vigor Monsoon
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
January 8, 2009 3:46:21 PM

The two cards perform very similar and you wouldn't be going wrong with either one. My suggestion is that you find the best price and simply go with that.
January 8, 2009 3:50:31 PM

hd4870 1gb, think this card would be best for my choices in gaming?

-CoD:WaW (already said it by i list it anyway)
-Fallout 3
-Diablo III
-Star Craft II
-Guild wars 2
^---yes i know the last 3 are not goin to be graphically demandin as processor demanding. lol
January 8, 2009 4:08:04 PM

For your choices in gaming, yes.
Even if you were in to Crysis though, the Core 216 barely beats it. The only game where there is any meaningful difference (that I found) is COD.

So it really is a wash unless you play COD (in which case go 4870 1 Gb)

January 8, 2009 4:13:25 PM

Really the question is though, which card, in your opinion, would future games be better on. i understand they show at equal now, but lets say games that out are more.. bandwidth demanding (HD4870 1gb, GDDR5. Clear choice).

But then again, they could roll to games needing a higher bit-rate (448bit)
and higher memory clock speeds as well as pixel shading too. GTX 260 216sp.

...Sort of weird but thats my dilemna, to be honest i think games would turn towards the higher bandwidth. But then the gtx 260 has the higher bit rate.

30$ difference or not, i don't want to have to drop another 250-300$ on a card within a year.
January 8, 2009 4:18:40 PM

For CPU comparison between current quads and the core i7 quads, see Tom's CPU chart:

http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/desktop-cpu-charts-q...

In the Crysis benchmark, the i7 920 gets 10% more FPS than the Q6600. The i7 920 is about 25% better in the CoD benchmark.

These are respectable gains, but nothing drastic. The only huge performance gains are in the theoretical benchmarks like memory bandwidth (which really don't matter, even the AMD dual cores beat the Intel Core2 quads in this!).

So unless you are building a new computer from the ground up I would stick with the q9550
January 8, 2009 4:20:38 PM

i am building it from the ground up, thats why i am decidin on all the parts right now.
January 8, 2009 4:23:54 PM

Vos17 said:
Really the question is though, which card, in your opinion, would future games be better on. i understand they show at equal now, but lets say games that out are more.. bandwidth demanding (HD4870 1gb, GDDR5. Clear choice).

But then again, they could roll to games needing a higher bit-rate (448bit)
and higher memory clock speeds as well as pixel shading too. GTX 260 216sp.

...Sort of weird but thats my dilemna, to be honest i think games would turn towards the higher bandwidth. But then the gtx 260 has the higher bit rate.

30$ difference or not, i don't want to have to drop another 250-300$ on a card within a year.



No matter what card you get you it will be behind in a year. Both will definitely still provide you with a good gaming experience. Heck, I have a single HD 3870 512 MB and Fallout 3 looks great with only a little AA and AF. You definitely could go three years with either card before you *HAVE* to replace it. It's going to be a while still anyways before anyone codes a game that is more graphically intensive than Crysis.
January 8, 2009 4:36:12 PM

I know.. but the problem isn't which cards better, right now it's Choosing the right card for my system. To be honest, i have never had much luck with nvidia, the first graphics card in my very first computer was the geforce 5200, it was great in games like cod 1, and tribes. after 2-3 months, for some reason, it couldn't play anything very good anymore, the card crapped out for no reason.

Then i had a radeon 9800 pro, my first ati card. No issues at all, it performed for years with no problems. (till my brother took it out of my computer and broke a transistor off... >.<)

From what i remember, the ATI interface with your display and stuff was alot easier than nvidias huge load up menu which is a little confusing at times.

i do like ATI over nvidia, but i don't know how much has changed since nvidias old cards which ALWAYS crapped out on me after a few months. The ATI cards lasted longer than i cared for, and i still even have another 9800 pro in my closet that still works perfectly.
January 8, 2009 4:53:58 PM

I don't know if one will last longer over the other.....graphics cards are just PCBs with circuits and a processor on them, there's not much material wise that is different. I think people's experiences with graphics cards quitting on them is incidental, there really is no reason why one would last longer (functionally) than the other.

As far as the ATI interface goes....I know the catalyst control suite tends to be buggy. Can't say much about the Nvidia display. Either way I don't really use that feature after I finish building my computer and the settings are right, so it doesn't concern me much.

For future compatibility, the ATI card supports DirectX 10.1, which Nvidia only supports DirectX 10. Right now DirectX 10.1 isn't used (unless you have an unpatched version of Assassin's Creed). Eventually, DirectX 10.1 will be important, but who knows when that will be.
January 8, 2009 4:57:17 PM

well then, without even trying, you answered my question =p
Ill get the hd4870 for the dx10.1 compatibility. That way, if, in a year or 2 games start turning to the 10.1, i would be set, in theory. =D
January 8, 2009 5:07:50 PM

This might be a little off topic but at the price that the GTX 280 is at now it really is tempting I think it will beat both the 260 and the 4870
!