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4870 vs 260 visual quality?

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April 5, 2009 11:45:24 PM

I'm going to be upgrading within the next month or so, and it came down to the 48701GB or 260 (216). I started leaning towards NVidia because of possible future titles supporting Physx. But then I came accross this review on Newegg:

See review posted 3/24/2009
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductReview.aspx?Item=N...
Quote:
In game, I am seeing awesome things with the HD 4850 that I never saw with my GTX260 setup. Stuff like flames shooting out of the end of my carbine, and real-life blue smoke and lighting effects, and vivid multi-colored sparks when I shoot at metal.


I'm not sure which game he was playing, but later in the review he referenced Far Cry 2.

So, is there validity to this observation, or could this guy be a shill for ATI? What could explain this difference in effects? The Far Cry website bears Nvidia's "The way it's meant to be played" logo.

Assuming it is not Far Cry, could optomization for a specific graphics technology account for two similar performing cards yielding different on-screen results? If that is the case, then I'd guess that there would be some games that would yield better visuals on an Nvidia platform as apposed to ATI.

For what it's worth, the game I'm most concerned about playing is Fallout 3, whose site also bears the Nvidia logo...
a b U Graphics card
April 5, 2009 11:54:59 PM

Fallout 3 has better fps on ATI's for some reason. Some titles prefer some cards but overall they are almost exactly the same.

The technology has gone in different directions but the end result is the same generally. That's why a 9800gtx = 4850, 4870 = 260 and 4890 = 275/285 with few differences.
April 6, 2009 12:25:26 AM

4890 = 275 period lol stop trying to push the 285 in there jenny :) 

Its 10-20% difference.

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a b U Graphics card
April 6, 2009 12:51:35 AM

L1qu1d said:
4890 = 275 period lol stop trying to push the 285 in there jenny :) 

Its 10-20% difference.


lol what? The only time you'll see a 10-20% difference between the 285 and 4890 is with CoH. That's kinda negated by the 20-30% difference in favour of the 4890 on grid. ;) 
April 6, 2009 1:11:12 AM

lets see, cod waw, far cry 2, dead space, Crysis...and soo forth.

Grid you'll see the 4870 lose to the 285 GTX but the 4890 wins yes, but not by I think I saw 10% somewhere, I think it was anandatech.

Remember if the 4870 is up to 30% slower, on avg, this card is only 10% stronger...well do the math.

Jenny you need to stop seeing 1 road...it takes the 4890 about 950-1000 mhz to match and beat sometimes marginally beat the 285 GTX (excluding Grid and fallout 3) thats roughly 15-20% OC.
April 6, 2009 1:20:34 AM

wow L1qu1d ...jennyh...you guys stalking each other or what? Did you guys even answer this guys question?
April 6, 2009 1:28:01 AM

we're glad you took the time to point us out, and didn't answer the question urself bud;)
April 6, 2009 1:39:16 AM

Don't own a current gen Nivida card so cant comment but I know you have had a 4870x2 and the 280-5s ...so any different in image quality that you saw?
April 6, 2009 1:39:33 AM

In terms of raw FPS, I know the two cards are about equal, depending on the game. But which one LOOKS better? I have one report from the newegg reviewer that for some reason Nvidia doesn't show all the eye candy that ATI does. I'm trying to figure out if there is anything to this, or if this guy just had some settings messed up with his 260.
April 6, 2009 1:46:23 AM

I will take a look at far cry 2 on both my ati and my nvidia rig tonight and see if I see a difference.
April 6, 2009 1:59:04 AM

image quality has been the same ever since Nvidia tried to pull a fast ball with some drivers. They should be exactly the same now:) 

Though With Nvidia you need to turn up saturation with some monitors.
a b U Graphics card
April 6, 2009 2:40:13 AM

L1qu1d said:
4890 = 275 period lol stop trying to push the 285 in there jenny :) 

Its 10-20% difference.


Not in any of the reviews I saw. In the reviews I saw, the 4890=275, both of which were only 5-10% back from the 285.

Oh, and although the render quality won't be perfectly identical, for all practical purposes, there's no advantage either way for quality. It used to be that ATI had a noticeable quality advantage, but those days are gone.
April 6, 2009 3:02:08 AM

Well ran some tests with both my systems. As far as visual quality, I can not notice much of a difference between the 4870 crossfire setup and the gtx 285 sli setup. The few things I noticed was motion blur was better on the 285's, but noticed muzzle flash and steam/smoke on both.
a b U Graphics card
April 6, 2009 3:05:23 AM

I'm not sure which game he was playing, but later in the review he referenced Far Cry 2. said:
I'm not sure which game he was playing, but later in the review he referenced Far Cry 2.


he aint playing a game. he's smoking joint and that what explains the smoke from the carbine that he's seeing.
a c 105 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
April 6, 2009 3:25:21 AM

The thing about the 4850........ I think he wants to feel good about his purchase so he's making something up.... I don't know.

Anyways, here's my take on it. I have a 4870 and I had problems with some textures not showing up in some games. COD W@W was one of them. I don't know about FarCry2 because by then that card was out and my GTX260 was in. It gave smoother game play and had no texture problems and to be honest, in FarCry2 and Crysis the gtx looked better IMO. The other day I came across this......

http://legitreviews.com/article/946/1/...........

You keep hearing people say that new drivers will fix it but the 4870 came out last year and they're still having some difficulties........... not saying the cards are bad but the support is lacking somewhere.




a b U Graphics card
April 6, 2009 8:57:20 AM

Anyways, here's my take on it. I have a 4870 and I had problems with some textures not showing up in some games. said:
Anyways, here's my take on it. I have a 4870 and I had problems with some textures not showing up in some games.


the textures are there but its badly filtered. i get that too but not on COD:WaW. happens badly on crysis but not that much on facry2.

edit: im reading the link you posted. lol textures are really missing, objects even.
April 6, 2009 10:05:36 AM

Can't really say for sure as I don't own any current generation graphics cards but some games might get better visuals on ati due to directx 10.1 support that Nvidia lacks, on the other hand physx gives it edge on some. Havoc so far is noshow in games as far as I know. So as far as I've read overall neither has clear lead so it comes to specific titles and raw power.
a c 262 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
April 6, 2009 3:23:58 PM

Image quality difference? Good question. Looking for an answer, I conclude that there are no substantial differences. If there are, they would be considered slight preferences, probably depending on the person.

Is there a diffference between these two screen shots?
http://enthusiast.hardocp.com/image.html?image=MTIzNTk3...
April 6, 2009 3:34:30 PM

I have both a 260-216 and a 4870 in different computers and I don't see any substantial differences between them in picture quality. The 4870 was cheaper, but the 260 get higher points running FAH. Running games, its a wash, with one card doing a few frames better in one game, while the other card does a few frames better in a different game. So I'd say that if you do FAH, get the 260, otherwise, look for whichever card is cheaper.
a b U Graphics card
April 6, 2009 4:57:51 PM

+1 for sailer
Havok is in alot of games, and is the way of the future. ATI is now looking into it being run on gpus, when Larrabee gets here, itll surely run Havok, which leaves nVidia by itself with Physx.
Typically its as L1qu1d said, ATIs coloring is better at default, but nVidia cards can be adjusted to match. The 10-20% thing tho... anyways, both companies provide decent rendering or equivilent rendering in games, and shouldnt be a deciding factor. The older 7 series on down in the nVidia cards did show a lessor "real" rendering quality, but has been corrected since the 8xxx series
April 7, 2009 4:20:50 AM

Well, I went ahead and got a 4870 1GB at NewEgg today. At $170, $10 more than the 260, but for Fallout 3, the 4870 seems to outperform the 260 by a 15% margin. Of course, Newegg does have an MSI 260 216 with a 12% overclock, but I decided to stick with ATI. Also, NVidia seems a bit shady lately withe their re-branded re-branded re-branded 8800GT and witheld / cherry picked 250 review samples.

Now I can play Oblivion on max, but I'll have to wait a few more months for Fallout 3. I have an X2 3800 (939) that will be holding me back. I plan to save up a little and get an i5 system in the July/August timeframe. Sure, I could get an FX60 on Ebay, but $160+ for a processor that performs half as well as an equivalently priced Core2 Duo just doesn't make sense.

Thanks for the help! Still, I wish we could have gotten to the bottom of the mystery of the differences noted by the Newegg reviewer. But that may be nigh impossible without actually having him here.
a b U Graphics card
April 7, 2009 4:54:30 AM

geofelt said:
Image quality difference? Good question. Looking for an answer, I conclude that there are no substantial differences. If there are, they would be considered slight preferences, probably depending on the person.

Is there a diffference between these two screen shots?
http://enthusiast.hardocp.com/image.html?image=MTIzNTk3...


I noticed that the small detailing of distance items looked less blotchy, or aliased on the 4870 screen shot.
a c 130 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
April 7, 2009 8:11:50 AM

There used to be image quality differences that made a difference back with the 7*** series and X1*** cards. Today its all about how you set the cards up. Ati and Nvidia both have different default image settings for the cards, so out of the box chances are the image will look different.
Take some time to calibrate your monitor and adjust some of the settings ie gamma/colour saturation etc and you should be able to get a virtually identicle image from either card. I beleive you can even get a tester/color-ometer ? not sure what its called.
Its the default image most people are refering to when they say they prefer one card over another.

Mactronix
a b U Graphics card
April 7, 2009 2:46:36 PM

Havok is in alot of games, and is the way of the future. ATI is now looking into it being run on gpus, when Larrabee gets here, itll surely run Havok, which leaves nVidia by itself with Physx. said:
Havok is in alot of games, and is the way of the future. ATI is now looking into it being run on gpus, when Larrabee gets here, itll surely run Havok, which leaves nVidia by itself with Physx.


gpu havok will run via opencl. so theres a big chance nv will get its piece of the havok cake.

and yep you calibrate your monitor differently relative to the videocard you have.

!