I have always been a NVIDIA guy, but all the benchmarks show this GDDR5 card with 800 stream processors really kicking NVIDIA's ass for the price. I have heard a a lot of people state NVIDIA is always better and their drivers work well with xp and vista. And I have also heard people complain a lot about driver issues with the 4870.
My question is, how good of a card is the 4870 in every area compared to NVIDIA cards for the same price. And is SAPPHIRE a reliable company to by this card from.
The 4870 is a fantastic card for the price. It's ATI's highest GPU to date. It's in direct competition with the GTX260 and 260 216 although very slightly slower than the 216. I would have no problem at all recommending a 4870. Grap a copy of Custom PC and they have always recommended the 4870. Sapphire is a decent player. I've personally not heard of any horror stories. At present I think the 4870 is the best for price/performance.
Well regarding problem wit the drivers, ATI are constantly providing fixes for them...they wouldnt want to lose their golden egg(ATI 4000 series) bcos of some stupid driver issue would they...
And tat too the price drops beats evey other competition out there...No one can disagree wit this...
I have a 4870 and I bought one over a 260 because of price. Their performance is similar and in some cases the 4870 even competes with a 280. You can also get one for much less than $200. Why do you need a 1GB version? Unless you use high resolutions like 1920x1080 or even higher (dual/triple monitor setups) then the 512mb version is good enough. I play @ 1440x900 on my 4870 (cost me $150 + free stalker clear sky game from newegg) and I can play all my games on the highest settings with no problems.
The only thing bad I can say is to stay away from the ASUS brand ones, I've had a bad experience with them and after googling and reading newegg customer reviews it seems I'm not the only one. The problem on those cards is the fans on those cards will stop working causing it to overheat.
I have a HIS brand one with a reference cooler.
I've not had problems with drivers. The only problem, thats probably driver related that I've had, is that in CSS, in DX9 mode, there is too much fog on some of the maps making it hard to see. Originally, the 8800GT's had this problem too, but nVidia fixed it with a driver update. I wish AMD/ATI would do the same >.<
Well I have a 22 inch LG monitor. So what your saying is the 1gig 4870 will only benefit me if I had a bigger monitor? I am planning on going crossfire with 2x 4870 either 512mg or the 1gig cards. I found the 1gig sapphire 4870 on newegg for $199.
At your resolution going crossfire is going to be a waste of money. Only time you will ever truly benefit from dual GPU's is if your going to be using huge monitor I wanna say around 32inch or bigger. As far as the 4870 goes I have one and absolutely love it. As far as drivers go never had a issue with any new ATI card and they release updated drivers Once a month only negative thing I can think of with the 4870 is the Reference cooler runs HOT HOT HOT but its easy to fix just bump up the fan speed (it does get loud but if you have a bunch of case fans like me then its not a big deal) bumping it up to 50%-65% runs cools the card to around 41-50c which is much better then its 80c stock fan speed. Sapphire I have heard is a good company but I have only used them once for a family member the card is still running after 4 years its a 9250 it has just a heat sink but it has been put thought its paces with light gaming. As far as memory goes just get the 512mb version its gonna be plenty fast I have a feeling the 1 gig version isn't going to be much faster if any and is just gonna cost more. I hope this helps answer some of your questions and helps you save a few dollars
I have an Asus 4870 1GB and I really like it. The only complain I have is my PC is very quiet and the fan runs at 50% at idle, I setup a fan profile in Rivatuner to keep it down a little under 52C. When the temp goes over that it kicks into auto. It Overclocks pretty well and I really like it!
The 4870/512MB at $150 after rebate is a STEAL! look for ones that come with a free game. While I have the 4870/1GB at that price it compares to the GTX260/216. They do trade punches in certain games. So either card is nice. If you have the cash i'd spring for the 1GB version because it has a little bit of an advantage in certain games. But the GTX 260 is also a nice card. LOOK FOR FREE GAMES.
May I also add, the 4870's LOVES DX10! I recently upgraded to Vista 64-bit (actually a week ago). And my performance in games has increased across the board with DX10. Farcry2 runs at higher frames on VeryHigh DX10 than it did in XP with Very High DX9 settings. My FC2 Benchmark went up 10+ fps. Insane!
I had a bad experience with three seperate Powercolor PCS+ 1gb cards for different reasons, DOA card, VRM failure, DVI failure. The card is non-reference in both cooling and design. The cooling for the core is good but not the memory or especially the VRM and was originally released at 800/925. The last card I received was downclocked to 780/925. In my experience, the memory doesn't seem to like to run above 900mhz or you get flicker in games. It also tended to reset the CAT driver even at original stock clocks periodically. I think the problem is related to the VRM although when it was released it was supposed to be better(4 phase instead of 3).
I feel the 4870 1gb would be a little better for the 22" but I would have to agree that at $150 even the 512mb is hard to pass up. However, I have had better experience with Sapphire ATI cards. If the 285 GTX wasn't the same price I originally paid for the 4870, I would have probably gone with a Sapphire card given the big price drops on ATI cards.
regarding the ATI DRIVER PARANOIA. it dont exist anymore. the only thing thats missing is a separate profile for different games like on the NV's. i have never been this happy with an ATI card, from a 4850, 4870, and a recently bought 4670 for my younger brother's rig.
i have the palit 4870 1gb clocked @ 790/1050. i have yet to encounter a BSOD while playing a game. (i did get a BSOD while trying out the AVIVO transcoder, though).
I too have a Radeon 4870 1g, and I love it. I've had minimal driver issues, and a lot of gaming pleasure. I use it at 1680x1050 on 22" and graphics are awesome, even on my PCIe 1.0 16X slot. I also chose it over the GTX260 due to pricing.
What you hear about ATI drivers is really outdated information. It amazes me that people still talk about it as if it were an active issue. Tales of that go back over 5 years ago to the 9800Pro days. Those issues have been dead for years. I think today it exists more as a rumor than anything else.
I have been using ATI since March of 2006 and have had zero driver problems. All of my games run flawless with no glitches. Games do not choke or anything.
I just recently got a 4870 TOXIC Edition and it runs great.
If you are going to buy a 4870 hold off for a few more weeks:
1.) Because ATI is getting ready to slash the prices of the 4870 and 50s by about $50.00
I have four computers and run different cards in all of them. One has a 4870 512mb and it is very good, though not quite enough for my new 24" monitor, so I'm torn between getting another 4870 512mb and going crossfire or or getting a 4870 1gb card. I have a 260-216 in another computer and it does very well. I suppose it depends a bit on what you're doing. I fold a lot, so the 260-216 is much better than the 4870 in that regard, but when it comes to gaming, the 4870 does just as well for less money.
The most recent drivers from ATI have helped Folding a bit, but still are not up to Nvidia's cards, by the way. So again, it depends on your goal. If only for gaming, I'd say get the ATI card.