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4870X2 vs GTX 285

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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June 25, 2009 6:01:41 AM

Hi,

My gaming system is currently as follows:

Vista 64 bit
Zotac nVIDIA 8800 GT 512mb AMP GDDR3
Intel Q6600 quad-core 2.4ghz (aftermarket heatsink and fan)
4gb 8500 OCZ HPC Reaper
ASUS IP35 Pro mobo
Thermaltake Toughpower 850w PSU
Antec 900 case (big exhaust fan in top, 2x 80mm fans front, 120mm side fan, 80mm rear fan)

£250 budget for a new graphics card, the ATI Radeon 4870 X2 and nVIDIA GTX 285 seem to be the contenders.

In the Tom's Hardware benchmarks the 4870 X2 scored 254.90, whilst the fasteest GTX 285 scored just 199, with the slowest scoring 188.20.

On that basis, I'd obviously go for the 4870 X2, but I'm told two things:

1) The 4870 X2 has driver issues with some games (how many? which ones?) so in some cases it will only work like a single 4870

2) The 4870 X2 produces a lot of heat

If it makes any difference, the games I'm looking to play right now are GTA IV, Mirror's Edge, Crysis, Crysis Warhead, Empire Total War, ARMA II, Dawn of War II and games in the future include all the new Battlefield games (Bad Company/Bad Company 2 engine I believe), Alien vs Predator, Brink, Crysis 2, Dragon Age, Alan Wake, Assassins Creed 2 and Homefront.

So: which card should I get??

More about : 4870x2 gtx 285

June 25, 2009 6:19:55 AM

Seeing that I don't know how nvidia cards scale in sli nor do I know about their ability to use max aa/af. I know that the ati cards are beastly at this.

Honestly, you can save money and run xfire 4870's as opposed to the x2. but then..I'd say just buy a 4890 now and xfire it Now or later.

The 5xxx series is supposed to be coming out in a few months so maybe buy a 4870 or 4890 now then upgrade later (too bad evga doesnt make ati cards...stepup would rock) Xfire 4890's > 4870x2. Rumors are a 4890x2 is coming out...so I don't know. Go the cheaper route and upgrade sooner than later because you blew upgrade money on a more expensive card.

On top of it all, any of the choices out right now is going to feel like a big step up from your 8800.

As for the games you want to play, GTA IV is super dependent on your cpu from my understanding. From the rest of the list a 4870 or 4890 would be more than sufficient. That is assuming you're not playing on a 30" lcd...

What res do you intend to game at?
a b U Graphics card
June 25, 2009 6:29:45 AM

my insight:

with dx11 knocking @ the door already i'd get a pretty disposable mid range card, a 4870 512mb or a gtx260-216, its definitely faster than an 8800gt.

but if money dont seem to be a problem, i'd pick the single GPU solution, the 285.
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June 25, 2009 6:46:04 AM

I'm currently on a 19" monitor so that's 1280x1024, but I'll be getting a 24" monitor which is 1920x1080 or 1920x1200.

Funds are limited... how long are we talking about until the new cards come out?

I could spend, say, a little over £100 on a card now, then £250 in October perhaps?

So for £110 I can get a 4870 1gb or a GTX 260 896mb for £125.

That's if buying a medium-ish card now and waiting a bit is the best plan. What performance can I get out of those two cards above? I was hoping to be able to enjoy Crysis on max settings (been saving it specially for my upgrade).
June 25, 2009 8:45:31 AM

for a bit more a 4890 does quite well in crysis, but I'm not sure if you're CPU would be a bottleneck.
a b U Graphics card
June 25, 2009 9:59:28 AM

That's if buying a medium-ish card now and waiting a bit is the best plan. What performance can I get out of those two cards above? I was hoping to be able to enjoy Crysis on max settings
said:
That's if buying a medium-ish card now and waiting a bit is the best plan. What performance can I get out of those two cards above? I was hoping to be able to enjoy Crysis on max settings


definitely better than your old 8800gt. my q6600 + 260-216 does crysis quite well @ enthusiast/very high settings @ 1440x900 excluding AA.
1920x1080 or 1920x1200 would require a 295/4870x2. but im betting the next gen mid-enthusiast card will be cheaper and perform almost the same (ie 3870x2/9800gx2 vs 4890/gtx275).
June 25, 2009 10:48:32 AM

At your resolution it might do you better to pick up a 512mb version of a 4870 or even go as low as a 4850 for now. For now being emphasized. I'd say do that, save the extra money and buy either a 5xxx series or if money permits, buy a 4890 when they drop in price. I'm already antsy as hell about buying another one and I just got mine today.
a c 168 U Graphics card
June 25, 2009 11:34:02 AM

Here's where the cards fall, relative to one another:

http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/radeon-geforce-graphics,r...

I'd go for a 512Mb HD4870, nice little upgrade, not too expensive, and save to get a big monitor/DX11 GPU for Christmas and E-bay the 4870.
As a guide my rig (with a HD4870 512) benched Crysis at 47 FPS all max 1280x1024 2xAA but was CPU limited, overclocking pushed it beyond 50 FPS.

Check: Overclockers, Scan, CCL, Novatech, Misco, Dabs, Ebuyer and Pixmania to start.
If you follow my advice and do a stop-gap upgrade, look for price and cooler warranty is unimportaint if you keep it for less than a year and you do n't want a loud fan ruining the system.
June 26, 2009 11:57:01 AM

Thanks guys, in the end I went for an XFX 4890 XT. I'll eBay it when the DX11 cards come out and get one of those :-)
June 26, 2009 2:44:34 PM

RLVasquez said:
Thanks guys, in the end I went for an XFX 4890 XT. I'll eBay it when the DX11 cards come out and get one of those :-)


Same card I have in my rig now :D 

I effin love it.

I could only get a 975 on core & 1000 Mem stable oc :'( 

I was praying for the 1ghz core.

Damn my luck. I should have gone with the xxx.
!