I've been having a hard time deciding between the gtx 260 core 216 and gtx 285. I'm planning on playing Crysis, Fallout 3, Dead Space, Far Cry 2 and a bunch of older games. I just bought an Acer 20" 1680x1050 monitor (I'm space limited). The rest of the rig I'm building is a P45 single ePCI board (GA-EP45-UD3R) socketed with an E8500 (the power supply is PC power & cooling 750W single rail if that helps).
From what I've seen the price difference is about $140 between those two cards ($180 vs. $320 or so).
I'm not really willing to consider dual gpu cards at this point. The power, stability, noise and compatibility worry me too much.
I'm favoring nVidia over ATI, but I have gone back and forth on this. The gtx 275 and the 4890 don't really interest me that much (they don't seem that much better than the gtx 260 core 216 and the 4870 1G).
I love the idea of being able to turn up all the graphics settings in these games at 1680x1050, but I'm not sure I learned my lesson from three years ago. Back then I bought a Sapphire X1800XT 512M for about $300 which looked pretty good at the time (okay, I should have done a bit more research). So I'm wondering if looking back three years from now I'll have any regrets about having shelled out for the gtx 285. It looks like it might perform 10% - 20% better than the gtx 260 core 216, but will I ever notice this difference?
Yes, I've looked at a lot of benchmarks, and the gtx285 does get as much as a 20% improvement on average at 1680x1050 (there's a great article here at Tom's that gives averages over a few different games). But if I'm targeting 30-50 FPS, the gtx 260 seems to be fine. The gtx 275 falls between the two in price and performance. If I'm willing to OC my gtx260 I might get back that 10%.
Look my friend.
Before 2 months i changed my GTX 260 xxx edition and i bought a GTX 285. I agree that the difference is only 20% (i play the same games with you) but specially in Crysis if you play at 1680X1050 (like me) in high settings you will see a noticable difference between the 2 cards. I am very very happy with my new card because its also an investment for the future games....
P.S. sorry for my poor english
My specs: E6850 3.33 Ghz oc, mobo Asus P5QL-E, 4 gb ram DDR2 1066 and 22'' monitor
I find I keep thinking about this differently every hour. In all the benchmarks I've seen, the GTX 285 is always on top @ 1680x1050 (for single gpu, non-SLI and non-xFire setups). I was trying to think of this as not mattering, but I beginning to think maybe you're right.
I would go with the gtx 260 core 216. Given the price difference and the resolution, i think it's better suited. I wouldn't be too worried about the futureproof part, at the end of the day, the 2 cards are quite similar, same architecture really; by the time the 260 is outdated, the 285 wouldn't be any different. In my opinion, the gtx 285 isn't suitable at any price range; you could get 2 4870's for about the same price. With a bit of oc, the 260 wouldn't be too far behind the 285 btw. It is the price/performance ratio that puts the 285 out of the question for me. Go with the 260 core 216, i saw them going for as low as $180.
The 4890 is another tempting option. $40 more than the gtx260-core216, but closer in performance to the gtx285. It's also supposed to overclock well.
I've been finding it easy to get hung up on the gtx285 because it leads todays cards in the current set of benchmarks (here and elsewhere). But this lead is at most 20%, and I think you're right that in a few years this will seem very small.