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Nvidia GTX 260 (core 216) vs. ATI 4890: which one should I choose?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 28, 2009 10:10:54 PM

In my market, price is very similar. On benchmarks, it looks like 4890 is slightly more performant. But, on Newegg, several users seem to complain of overheating and fan noise problems for the 4890 which are not reported for the GTX 260. So, I am still hesitant. What to choose? Will my PSU (Corsair 550VX - already purchased) will handle both GPUs in a satisfying way?

Also, could you recommend some good brands for each GPU?

I do not plan to overclock the card. Robustness/durability is important for me since I leave my computer on 24 hours.

The rest of my rig:
* AMD Phenom II X4 955 BE
* Gigabyte GA-MA790XT-UD4P
* PSU Corsair 550VX
* Windows 7

And I use a 24" 1920 x 1200 monitor.
a b U Graphics card
July 28, 2009 10:57:04 PM

no brainer, the 4890.

*edit* and they dont really overheat. ati has a problem with setting its idle fan speed too low for most peoples LIKING. your idle card temps will be high, unless you manually set the fan, or are a whiz and can profile it.

yes, the 4890 is loud when spun up fully, but so is everything with a decent cooler on it. my gtx 285 isnt much more quiet at full rpm. if you get a card thats quiet at full rpm, chances are it doesnt cool as well.
July 28, 2009 10:57:45 PM

hd 4890. i wudnt get that 4850x2, people complain about scaling issue

either card should be fine though
Related resources
July 28, 2009 11:12:23 PM

4890. -1 for PsychoSaysDie.

I'm an owner of the 4890 too, and even with a pretty big voltage bump, the cards don't overheat very well. Card stays cool at 40-50% fan speeds and is nearly inaudible at 25-30%, where it can afford to idle.
a b U Graphics card
July 28, 2009 11:23:43 PM

PsychoSaysDie, what is it with you insisting people spend more money than they ask to? Maybe the OP only wants a single core card, maybe he has, you know.. a budget??

The 4890 is no contest better though. The fan is fine and is only loud at 80% or higher, people on newegg complain about everything anyway. If you are worried about the fan though, you can buy a non stock version with a different fan.
July 28, 2009 11:29:11 PM

Get yourself two 4850 in crossfire if you can find a nice deal. My two 4850 TOP (OC) are stronger than a GTX285... and it cost like half the price... it easily beat a 4890.

Of course, GTA IV require 1GB cards to work well due to poor PC optimization, but all the other games are running flawlessly.

Your board is crossfire enabled, just go for it. Also, you will have easily enough power for both cards.

(Taken from HWCanucks)

July 28, 2009 11:42:11 PM

redgarl said:
Get yourself two 4850 in crossfire if you can find a nice deal. My two 4850 TOP (OC) are stronger than a GTX285... and it cost like half the price... it easily beat a 4890.

Of course, GTA IV require 1GB cards to work well due to poor PC optimization, but all the other games are running flawlessly.

Your board is crossfire enabled, just go for it. Also, you will have easily enough power for both cards.

(Taken from HWCanucks)

http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/skymtl/GPU/BFG-GTX280-OCX/GTX-OCX-42.jpg


Quote:
I didn't see a money limit anywhere in his post and the 4850 X2 is like 30 dollars more then a 4890. Just throwing it out there


He should buy 2 4850 of a good brand like XFX or something like that instead. He should avoid both of your suggestion :p 

Get 2 of those... awesome price with MIR and free shipping... Read a little to see if there is problems, but newegg customers seem to like this card. Also, it's stronger than a 4890.

79.99$ X 2 = 159.98$ after MIR


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161244
a b U Graphics card
July 28, 2009 11:48:11 PM

While these are alright suggestions.. the OP might have reasons for asking a specific question.. Maybe he has another pci card in that slot, maybe he has a tight budget..

I dunno.. seems like it is more useful to stay within the bounds of a specific question, unless it is a particularly flawed questions..
July 29, 2009 2:24:47 AM

The 4890 is faster than the GTX 260. It's on par with a GTX 275 performance-wise. The thing is that the GTX 260 is 10.5 inches long and the 4890 is only 9.5 inches long, so the ATI is likely to have less problems fitting into your case.
July 29, 2009 4:15:22 AM

Thanks all for the feedback. I certainly have a budget, and I wish to remain under certains limits. I am in Asia, I don't have access to Newegg (unfortunately) and prices here are different than in the USA.

Most recommend the 4890, and none the GTX 260. The choice is clear!

Could you recommend good brands for the 4890 (and also for the GTX 260) please?

And also, about the power issue, will my PSU (Corsair 550VX) be fine for the 4890?

July 29, 2009 4:39:23 AM

redgarl said:
He should buy 2 4850 of a good brand like XFX or something like that instead. He should avoid both of your suggestion :p 

Get 2 of those... awesome price with MIR and free shipping... Read a little to see if there is problems, but newegg customers seem to like this card. Also, it's stronger than a 4890.

79.99$ X 2 = 159.98$ after MIR


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161244

Thats what i have now 2 4850 xfx's :kaola: 
July 29, 2009 4:41:19 AM

daedalus685 said:
PsychoSaysDie, what is it with you insisting people spend more money than they ask to? Maybe the OP only wants a single core card, maybe he has, you know.. a budget??

The 4890 is no contest better though. The fan is fine and is only loud at 80% or higher, people on newegg complain about everything anyway. If you are worried about the fan though, you can buy a non stock version with a different fan.

And what is it with you giving that dude a hard time he is trying to help........duel 4850'S all the way! :D 
July 29, 2009 4:46:45 AM

morbius1 said:
Thanks all for the feedback. I certainly have a budget, and I wish to remain under certains limits. I am in Asia, I don't have access to Newegg (unfortunately) and prices here are different than in the USA.

Most recommend the 4890, and none the GTX 260. The choice is clear!

Could you recommend good brands for the 4890 (and also for the GTX 260) please?

And also, about the power issue, will my PSU (Corsair 550VX) be fine for the 4890?

XFX is a good brand check them out first.
July 29, 2009 5:11:21 AM

Personally at this point, i'd wait for the new cards that are probably coming out this later this year. But if you really needed a card just for performance and you don't mind the newer cards, get the 4890. If you want to take a risk, pick up an EVGA GTX260 and hope to god that new NVIDIA cards come out within 3months and then you might be able to step up to the new ones.
July 29, 2009 5:13:40 AM

Didn't see that you were already set on the 4890, XFX and Sapphire are pretty good brands. Just get the one that's cheaper.
July 29, 2009 7:04:20 AM

2 4850's or a 4850x2 is not faster than a gtx 285. It is a little faster than a stock gtx 280.
July 29, 2009 10:33:50 AM

dna708 said:
Personally at this point, i'd wait for the new cards that are probably coming out this later this year.

Well, I can't wait much. I need to build this rig soon...

dna708 said:
But if you really needed a card just for performance and you don't mind the newer cards, get the 4890. If you want to take a risk, pick up an EVGA GTX260 and hope to god that new NVIDIA cards come out within 3months and then you might be able to step up to the new ones.

I imagine you want to talk about some "upgrade" scheme...? You return your card you have recently purchased and you buy another card - more performant and more expensive - from the same manufacturer and you pay the difference. But I doubt this kind of scheme works in the geography where I am ! (in fact, I am sure it does not work !)
July 29, 2009 10:35:41 AM

dna708 said:
Didn't see that you were already set on the 4890, XFX and Sapphire are pretty good brands. Just get the one that's cheaper.

In fact, I haven't made a final decision yet. But everyone suggests the 4890. So, I might well go for it. Thanks for the feedback.
July 29, 2009 10:42:05 AM

Quote:
As far as video cards are concerned Nvidia GTX260 is already scoring over ATI 4890 and I would just give an extra point for the reliability of NvidiaGTX260.

Regards,
Ztronics

Thanks for the feedback. Well, if I understand you correctly, you say that the GTX 260 performs better than the 4890. In that case, your post is very interesting because it just contradicts all what others have said so far !

Since I am sure others may come and dispute what you say, do you have any material (like web report or review ...) that supports your view and that is accessible?
July 29, 2009 11:04:50 AM

The Mighty 4890.... :(  Two 4850's on the other hand.... :D  :bounce: 
a c 105 U Graphics card
July 29, 2009 11:48:28 AM

inspector71 said:
The Mighty 4890.... :(  Two 4850's on the other hand.... :D  :bounce: 


And what do you do when the two 4850 don't scale in cross fire ?
July 29, 2009 11:50:12 AM

morbius1 said:
In fact, I haven't made a final decision yet. But everyone suggests the 4890. So, I might well go for it. Thanks for the feedback.


If you are afraid of getting outdated, you can buy an EVGA card. They have a step up program. If there's a better video card that comes out in the next 90 days (3 months), you can 'step up' to it.

http://www.evga.com/stepup/
July 29, 2009 12:33:54 PM

considering most people choke their cases on air supply, i'd hit the 4890, it's a good idea to have plenty of air flow anyway for longevity of your parts. Ati's new drivers for win7 work great so far, even my old 3870 got a kick in the pants on performance over win xp x64 drivers. :-p also, gpgpu computing on ati is enabled in win 7, another thought. 4890 is great single card, especially at higher resolutions. two smaller cards would be fine but i see two issues with that, one. correct me if i'm wrong, but that 790x platform is 8x and 8x on the pcie with two cards, not a HUGE deal should work great, untill you hit 2x massive cards. a single better card is generally better performing at higher resolutions than 2x smaller cards. Keep in mind your memory allocation when using large monitors, generally 24" or using two monitors. 1680x1050 i think gets GREAT benchies out of 2x 4770's in crysis vs the high end cards, whereas the 4890 pulls ahead when you get to the higher resolutions. Something to keep in mind as well. Having said all of that, I prefer the 4890. the 260 will (in some games) have you regretting not getting the 4890.
July 31, 2009 5:36:04 AM

nachowarrior said:
considering most people choke their cases on air supply, i'd hit the 4890, it's a good idea to have plenty of air flow anyway for longevity of your parts. Ati's new drivers for win7 work great so far, even my old 3870 got a kick in the pants on performance over win xp x64 drivers. :-p also, gpgpu computing on ati is enabled in win 7, another thought. 4890 is great single card, especially at higher resolutions. two smaller cards would be fine but i see two issues with that, one. correct me if i'm wrong, but that 790x platform is 8x and 8x on the pcie with two cards, not a HUGE deal should work great, untill you hit 2x massive cards. a single better card is generally better performing at higher resolutions than 2x smaller cards. Keep in mind your memory allocation when using large monitors, generally 24" or using two monitors. 1680x1050 i think gets GREAT benchies out of 2x 4770's in crysis vs the high end cards, whereas the 4890 pulls ahead when you get to the higher resolutions. Something to keep in mind as well. Having said all of that, I prefer the 4890. the 260 will (in some games) have you regretting not getting the 4890.

In fact, this mobo has 2 PCI-E 16x slots, one running at x16 and the other one at x8. In any way, it is not my intention to have 2 graphics cards bundled with SLI or xfire, and I will stay with one card only.

I am still undecided about which GPU to choose. I am looking for reviews of each GPU made by the same reviewer or under the same conditions so that I can compare the performances.

I think I will be fine with the GTX 260 as far as robustness and stability of the drivers are concerned. If the 4890 is superior in terms of performance, I would like to know how much superior it is really, and that is why I am looking for appropriate reviews or or product comparison reports of both GPUs.
July 31, 2009 12:49:07 PM

You still haven't decided yet which one you want? Get the 4890.Make the right choice.
July 31, 2009 7:22:43 PM

inspector71 said:
You still haven't decided yet which one you want? Get the 4890.Make the right choice.

No, I still haven't decided. Most people who replied to me said that they would opt for the 4890. But one said that the GTX 260 is a better choice. So, I am confused. I am searching for reviews and comparison reports for both cards before deciding.
a b U Graphics card
July 31, 2009 8:25:13 PM

Read the best graphics card for the monye july'09....this can give you an idea for what GPU choose, personally I will buy the GTX260 core 216, is an excellente GPU and is in the range of the 4890.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-graphics-card,...

that's the link when you can find all GPU hierachy. llok for the 4890 and the GTX260, and you can read that tom's hardware prefer the GTX260 for price/performance: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-graphics-card,...
July 31, 2009 9:20:20 PM

The only times I've seen the GTX 260's pull ahead of a Radeon 4890 is those few titles that favor Nvidia architecture. There are plenty MORE games which favor the specs, and semantics aside, the 4890 is a more powerful card than the GTX 260. Reasons?

GDDR5 > GDDR3
Increased clock speeds.
Tad bit more VRAM 1GB > 896MB

That's my reasoning. I would too recommend a 4890.
a b U Graphics card
August 1, 2009 9:24:07 PM

ok i agree with ambientmf....but the price also increment...so if you haave the money, go for the 4890 but rememmber that the 4890 use more power that the gtx260...so think in the power supply....
August 1, 2009 10:26:28 PM

Well, as I said in my initial post, prices where I am are similar for both GTX 260 and 4890. They vary according to the brand. Here are some examples:

XFX GTX 260 (C 216)..........USD 244
XFX 4890............................USD 247
EVGA GTX 260 (C 216)........USD 216
HIS HD 4890.......................USD 214
HIS HD 4890 (Turbo)..........USD 232
GIGABYTE HD 4890.............USD 213
MSI 4890 OC......................USD 211

As for the PSU, I don't worry about it any more: the PSU calculator on the Corsair web page indicates that my VX550 will do for either GPU.
August 2, 2009 3:23:17 AM

MSI 4890 OC......................USD 211
or
XFX 4890............................USD 247

I prefer XFX.
a b U Graphics card
August 2, 2009 3:51:18 AM

morbius1 said:
Well, as I said in my initial post, prices where I am are similar for both GTX 260 and 4890. They vary according to the brand. Here are some examples:

XFX GTX 260 (C 216)..........USD 244
XFX 4890............................USD 247
EVGA GTX 260 (C 216)........USD 216
HIS HD 4890.......................USD 214
HIS HD 4890 (Turbo)..........USD 232
GIGABYTE HD 4890.............USD 213
MSI 4890 OC......................USD 211

As for the PSU, I don't worry about it any more: the PSU calculator on the Corsair web page indicates that my VX550 will do for either GPU.


GTX260s sp126 cost about $170

4890s cost about $200

4890s are about 10%-15% better than the GTX260 sp216

4870s cost about $140-$150 and rival the GTX260

4870s = best bang for the buck at the moment.
a b U Graphics card
August 2, 2009 3:52:48 AM

ambientmf said:
The only times I've seen the GTX 260's pull ahead of a Radeon 4890 is those few titles that favor Nvidia architecture. There are plenty MORE games which favor the specs, and semantics aside, the 4890 is a more powerful card than the GTX 260. Reasons?

GDDR5 > GDDR3
Increased clock speeds.
Tad bit more VRAM 1GB > 896MB

That's my reasoning. I would too recommend a 4890.


You can't directly compare ATI's GDDR5 with Nvidia's GDDR3. Totally different architecture. ATI's memory may be more than 2x faster than Nvidia's memory, but Nvidia has twice the memory bandwidth compared to ATI's cards.

It evens out in the end.
a b U Graphics card
August 3, 2009 3:09:59 PM

morbius1 said:
Well, as I said in my initial post, prices where I am are similar for both GTX 260 and 4890. They vary according to the brand. Here are some examples:

XFX GTX 260 (C 216)..........USD 244
XFX 4890............................USD 247
EVGA GTX 260 (C 216)........USD 216
HIS HD 4890.......................USD 214
HIS HD 4890 (Turbo)..........USD 232
GIGABYTE HD 4890.............USD 213
MSI 4890 OC......................USD 211

As for the PSU, I don't worry about it any more: the PSU calculator on the Corsair web page indicates that my VX550 will do for either GPU.


----------------------------

Ok, for those price i buy the 4890...but i don't believe that this is the correct price for a gtx260....is too much
August 3, 2009 3:59:14 PM

saint19 said:
----------------------------

Ok, for those price i buy the 4890...but i don't believe that this is the correct price for a gtx260....is too much

I have mentioned earlier that these are the prices in my geography. They are the best prices in my country. I live in Asia. Newegg (or similar) is not for me.
a b U Graphics card
August 3, 2009 4:47:23 PM

morbius1 said:
I have mentioned earlier that these are the prices in my geography. They are the best prices in my country. I live in Asia. Newegg (or similar) is not for me.


------------------

Ohhh, logic price for the GPU, but i live in Colombia and all my system was bought in newegg and import to Colombia....the distance isn't a problem today...
August 3, 2009 11:13:23 PM

Bluescreendeath said:
You can't directly compare ATI's GDDR5 with Nvidia's GDDR3. Totally different architecture. ATI's memory may be more than 2x faster than Nvidia's memory, but Nvidia has twice the memory bandwidth compared to ATI's cards.

It evens out in the end.

This is true. I'm guessing this has to do with bus width (256-bit ATI vs 448/512-bit Nvidia?).
It comes down to what games you play...Generally speaking, Radeon 4890 is a better performer. But some games favor Nvidia architecture and a GTX 260 will perform better in some cases.

Also, in my country (Canada), Nvidia tends to be quite more expensive than the ATI/AMD equivalent...For me, a 4870 1GB is sometimes $100CAD cheaper than a GTX 260...a 4890 is found almost the same price as a GTX 260.
For me, the 4800 Radeons are better value.

Back to the OP, based on the prices you posted, I would purchase an XFX 4890. It's almost identical in price to the XFX GTX 260 and generally speaking, 4890 > GTX 260.
Oh, and you can overclock a 4890 quite easily, if you're comfortable with GPU OC'ing. Something else to consider.
August 5, 2009 5:53:57 AM

I've become a big fan of this card:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
The IceQ4+ cooler is incredible!

Not only is this card factory OC'd and stays stable with automatic fan control at those speeds, but with only having to set the fan to 40% manually I was able to set my core clock to 790 and my memory clock to 1100 with just under 60 degrees idle and just under 70 degrees during heavy load. I have yet to see it go above 70 degrees in even the most intensive games, and the fan is pretty quiet at 40%. At 100% though... it sounds like a hair dryer. xD
a b U Graphics card
August 5, 2009 1:16:24 PM

morbius1 said:
In my market, price is very similar. On benchmarks, it looks like 4890 is slightly more performant. But, on Newegg, several users seem to complain of overheating and fan noise problems for the 4890 which are not reported for the GTX 260. So, I am still hesitant. What to choose? Will my PSU (Corsair 550VX - already purchased) will handle both GPUs in a satisfying way?

Also, could you recommend some good brands for each GPU?

I do not plan to overclock the card. Robustness/durability is important for me since I leave my computer on 24 hours.

The rest of my rig:
* AMD Phenom II X4 955 BE
* Gigabyte GA-MA790XT-UD4P
* PSU Corsair 550VX
* Windows 7

And I use a 24" 1920 x 1200 monitor.


--------------------------------------------

Maybe other posibilite is the GTX260 Ligthing Black Edition...look them, could be you nwe GPU...
August 5, 2009 1:42:02 PM

If you're at all thinking about running linux/X.org forget about ATI. Beyond that I have no opinion other than personally since I do run linux ATI no longer makes my list of cards, plus the 260 is just a better card in my budget range but nvidia drivers even trump that for me even if their card in my budget wasn't all that good...

Actually before I became entirely disgusted with X.org cats, I had been thinking a CF 4770 setup, which is close to single card costs at leats the 4890. The 260-216s should be able to be had for <$200, or at least they were @ newegg not long ago.
August 5, 2009 4:08:52 PM

saint19 said:
--------------------------------------------

Maybe other posibilite is the GTX260 Ligthing Black Edition...look them, could be you nwe GPU...

Yes, I was recently looking at the XFX GTX 260 Core 216 Black Edition (OCed at 666 MHz, 2300 MHz) . This card seems to have excellent reviews and sometimes outperforms the 4890 for some applications. It seems to compete with some GTX 275 and even GTX 280 cards, for a lower price. But I am not sure I can find it locally. Let's see...
August 5, 2009 4:19:33 PM

Like others have said, if you can, get an XFX card. Their warranty is one of the better ones compared to other GPU vendors.
a b U Graphics card
August 5, 2009 4:21:37 PM

morbius1 said:
Yes, I was recently looking at the XFX GTX 260 Core 216 Black Edition (OCed at 666 MHz, 2300 MHz) . This card seems to have excellent reviews and sometimes outperforms the 4890 for some applications. It seems to compete with some GTX 275 and even GTX 280 cards, for a lower price. But I am not sure I can find it locally. Let's see...


-------------------

Wait, the GTX260 core 216 comes with 896MB....the GTX260 Ligthing edition comes with 1792MB, me same memory that the GTX295, but with diferent specifications...
August 5, 2009 4:24:04 PM

cutterjohn said:
If you're at all thinking about running linux/X.org forget about ATI. Beyond that I have no opinion other than personally since I do run linux ATI no longer makes my list of cards, plus the 260 is just a better card in my budget range but nvidia drivers even trump that for me even if their card in my budget wasn't all that good...

Actually before I became entirely disgusted with X.org cats, I had been thinking a CF 4770 setup, which is close to single card costs at leats the 4890. The 260-216s should be able to be had for <$200, or at least they were @ newegg not long ago.


I must strongly disagree. for linux... go AMD. AMD has released open source drivers along with it's closed source, while nvidia only has closed source. I did lose support for my card in the closed source rather quickly, but I still can use the open source one. I believe the closed source drivers for both AMD and nVidia are better than the open source ones, however you can't lose support for open source drivers. Once you lose support with nVidia...you are done, however with AMD you have a fallback that is constantly being upgraded and improved on.
August 5, 2009 4:33:02 PM

saint19 said:
------------------

Ohhh, logic price for the GPU, but i live in Colombia and all my system was bought in newegg and import to Colombia....the distance isn't a problem today...

If I am not mistaken, Newegg delivers to addresses located in the USA only. Which suggests that you have someone in the USA who takes delivery of the goods you purchase through Newegg, and then re-expedites them to you in Columbia...? On my side, I don't have anyone in the USA who could do that for me :( 
a b U Graphics card
August 5, 2009 4:54:43 PM

morbius1 said:
If I am not mistaken, Newegg delivers to addresses located in the USA only. Which suggests that you have someone in the USA who takes delivery of the goods you purchase through Newegg, and then re-expedites them to you in Columbia...? On my side, I don't have anyone in the USA who could do that for me :( 


------------------------

In your country don't exit some company that import products from other countrys?, is an option...not the best...the an option....i don't know any body in USA, pay a company that import the products for my....
August 5, 2009 5:21:10 PM

cutterjohn said:
If you're at all thinking about running linux/X.org forget about ATI. Beyond that I have no opinion other than personally since I do run linux ATI no longer makes my list of cards, plus the 260 is just a better card in my budget range but nvidia drivers even trump that for me even if their card in my budget wasn't all that good...

Yes, running Linux is my objective, and that's precisely why I would rather go with nVidia, given all I can read about the difficulties of getting Linux drivers for ATI cards.


cutterjohn said:
The 260-216s should be able to be had for <$200, or at least they were @ newegg not long ago.

Not where I live, trust me !


By the way, what is this "X.org" you mention in your post? I just don't know what it means ...
August 5, 2009 6:03:27 PM

morbius1 said:
Yes, running Linux is my objective, and that's precisely why I would rather go with nVidia, given all I can read about the difficulties of getting Linux drivers for ATI cards.



Not where I live, trust me !


By the way, what is this "X.org" you mention in your post? I just don't know what it means ...



X.org is the graphics server for linux. Without xorg (or an alternative) you get a TTY and nothing else. Also see my previous post about linux and ati/nvidia open/closed source drivers. Also, why do you need such a good card for Linux?
!