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Comparison: ATI vs. Nvidia

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December 6, 2009 5:35:29 AM

Looking to buy a new card for a gaming rig, upgrading from an 8800 GT.

ATI: DIAMOND 4890PE51GXOC Radeon HD 4890 1GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Nvid: GIGABYTE GV-N275UD-896I GeForce GTX 275 896MB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Basically what I'm looking for here: which should I go for? I'm really liking the overall stats for the 4890, especially the R5 mem, but then I lose PhysX if I switch off, so I started looking for another Nvidia replacement. Found this 275; looks VERY clean, but honestly the price is pushing it.

- Not looking to OC by hand.
- Running AMD Phenom X4 Quad.
- If you do happen to find better bang-for-buck cards than these (in similar price range, of course), please post them, will heavily consider.

Thanks in advance,
Miaoven Winter

More about : comparison ati nvidia

December 6, 2009 6:01:57 AM

i personally stick with ati nowadays, i think alot of companies are going to start developing more and more of there games with the ati hardware, because ati were the first ones to push the envelope with dx11...on top of that, nvidia has been stuck in the stone age with ddr3 since i was in diapers...they are certainly good at making something look pretty..but giving you a pretty big price tag to go along with it...the 4890 is definitely your best bet..it will get you your monies worth ;) 
a c 376 U Graphics card
December 6, 2009 6:18:51 AM

If you are spending a lot of money on a card lately I'd go for one of the DX11 ATI cards. It's a more important update than DX10 was and there's a decent chance before too long you'll wish your card was compatible. Unfortunately on the high end the HD5850 has gone up $50 in price to $310 since it came out due to high demand and low supply. If that's too pricey the HD5770 is still a pretty powerful card(similar to the HD4870) and its very power efficient/runs cool which is great for crossfiring in the future if your board allows for it.
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a b U Graphics card
December 6, 2009 6:33:39 AM

Forget the GTX275, if you're worried about PhysX it would make more sense to take the price differences and invest in a multi-PEG (PCIe 16x) slot motherboard so you can recycle the GF8800GT as a PhysX GPU, it would perform better with another single HD4K card than having that GTX275 do double duty.
a c 212 U Graphics card
December 6, 2009 2:11:57 PM

For an unbiased comparison, read this:

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

It's hard to advise further w/o knowing your resolution.

As you can see in that article THG gave most of the kudos to the ATI 4xxx series. IIRC, the ATI4xxx took 10 categories, nVidia took 4 and the ATI 5xxx series took just 2....and those 2 were 3 way ties with ATI 4xxx and nVidia.

I have to agree with THG but with a caveat that most people I run into get new boxes every 4 years or so and switch GFX and maybe CPU mid way through after the 2nd year. If your in that group, then while I expect DX11 not to be the total flop DX10 was, we won't know for sure for about 2 years and it will be that long before it's important enough to matter. I'm not abig gamer, but from what I have seen of the tesselation that DX11 provides, the differences are noticeable though sometimes they have to be pointed out just what to look for....but, to my eyes at least, not to the level of PhysX. If you won't be building a new box or upgrading GFX again by XMas 2011, the 5xxx is the way to go if you are buying now.

My youngest son was aching for a 260 216 but it won't fit in his case by 1/4". His thought was he'd use it now on his 19" and then carry it over as a PhysX card when he does his next build. But the 250 has more than enough juice at his current resolution. Come next Xmas, he will probably wind up with twin cards in SLI or Xfire and the 250 for PhysX.
December 6, 2009 5:00:00 PM

Many thanks for the responses so far. Jack brings up a good point; I'm currently running 1280x1024.

Also, I originally had my eye on this beast of a card: HIS H489FP1G Radeon HD 4890 Turbo+
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

However, Newegg took it down before I wanted to buy...as did every other retailer. >_> Have been spending a goodly modicum of my time searching for another seller; it's gotta be out there. If anyone does happen to find it, it would be extremely appreciated.
a b U Graphics card
December 6, 2009 5:12:27 PM

Resolution is of interest if you want to trade down your options for an HD4770 or 4870 (neither of which will have as good legs going into the future as the HD4890) or an HD5770 which would give you more distance into the future, and also at your resolution currently not cost you anything performance wise, and so you likely would have a better overall experience with the HD5770. But the main question is what is the game/app that is currently making you want to upgrade your GF8800GT ?

I wouldn't bother with a stock overclocked edition if it's more money, if it's similar price, then definitely, the HIS Turbo editions are especially nice cards.
December 6, 2009 5:15:07 PM

All these cards are big overkill for a 1280X1024. I would personally lean towards a 5770 or 5750, or a 48701gb. The 5XX0 series will last you a while at that resolution, burn less power, and support DX11.
December 6, 2009 5:16:49 PM

I personally dont know why would you upgrade 8800GT if you play on that resolution.

There is no game that you cant max (except Crysis but you wont be able to max it with GTX275 either so no point).

I would advice you to stick with your card and upgrade in 3-6 months. Hoping more competition from nVidia coming by then, and current ATI stock fiasco resolved.

You will see about 50-60% increase in fps which is not mouth dropping.

And just please tell me a game you cant play with your current card?
a c 376 U Graphics card
December 6, 2009 5:22:10 PM

For your resolution you really don't need an HD4890 or GTX 275. I doubt you will see any practical difference between those and an HD5770 which itself is quite a bit of overkill for that res.
If you were using 1980x1080 then it would be a tough call between the HD5770 and spending more for something faster but with less features but as is the choice should be easy unless you are expecting a monitor upgrade in the near future.
a b U Graphics card
December 6, 2009 5:30:30 PM

Possibly one of the issues is that he's using both graphics and PhysX with that card, so any PhysX game would likely be choking on that thing, but it does depend on what he's playing, even at 12x10 he could be chocking on mods and settings, but those would be outside of the norm, so he'd need to provide more detail.

For a long build the HD5770 for gaphics with the option of the old GF8800GT to be popped in for PhysX seems to make the most sense long term, and even has more shader power than the HD4890 so may even be better near term.
a b U Graphics card
December 6, 2009 5:34:31 PM

If you absolutely HAVE to upgrade then, considering your resolution, get the 5770. The GTX 275 and the 4890 are a bit faster, but you wont notice the difference under 1650x1050 resolution and you will notice the difference between having DX10 and DX11.

That said, I recommend you save up for a GPU AND a monitor upgrade.
December 6, 2009 5:57:05 PM

Kk, so the reason that I AM looking for a new card is that I HAVE been having FPS issues with many games, not the least of which is, indeed, Crysis. I don't play it regularly, but I do use it as a benchmark to test against other games. Borderlands, for instance. Cannot play smoothly on full graphical settings. Same thing for Mirror's Edge (a real oddball), Fallout 3, UT3, Prototype, etc. Many MMOs; Drift City, Combat Arms, Alliance of Valiant Arms, Operation 7, they'll run at more than acceptable standards, but I just can't take them over the edge, lest they experience framerate lag (NOT network latency). Even something like Bioshock, I'll be able to get right in under the max, but then you push it, and it doesn't run smoothly anymore. So yes, what I am looking for is overkill.

As for the monitor, I just don't have the space to store something bigger. I honestly prefer to game on a smaller screen; less strain on the eyes (note my work rig is a Mac Pro supporting six monitors, two of which are Apple Cinema HDs).

Should also mention that I have no intention of getting a new MoBo for this rig to support SLI/CF.
a c 376 U Graphics card
December 6, 2009 6:07:52 PM

HD5770 should kick that resolutions ass for the foreseeable future. The only situation where a more powerful card would make any real difference is if you simply must max out AA & AF in Crysis.
December 6, 2009 6:10:02 PM

jyjjy said:
HD5770 should kick that resolutions ass for the foreseeable future. The only situation where a more powerful card would make any real difference is if you simply must max out AA & AF in Crysis.


Well then, I suppose I simply must. :D 

However! Your recommendation for the 5770 is a good one; I'm looking at some right now. Though I notice that they only run on a 128-bit interface; wouldn't the 256-bit from the 4890 benefit me more in general?

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a c 376 U Graphics card
December 6, 2009 6:15:12 PM
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Well, at your res in Crysis Warhead with everything maxed an HD4890 or GTX 275 should get you 5 more frames per second than the HD5770.

a b U Graphics card
December 6, 2009 6:39:55 PM

If you're having difficulty with UT3 or Fallout3 then you likely have some other issues holding you back, both games play fine at full settings (without cranking AA) at that resolution. SO you may want to check and see what else is going on if you're not simply jacking the AA just in order to 'play at maximum settings'.

Mirror's Edge might be that you have PhysX enabled which simply robs the single card of power to go the rest of its work, all for little gain in debris effects.

As for the memory, don't worry about the 128bit versus 256 bit, it's a surface concern, it's not actually a significant impediment at your resolution, and going forward the shader power will be more important that the memory bandwidth. If it was memory alone then the GTX275 should be able to stay ahead of the HD5770 going into 2560x1600 above, heck the GTX275 has more bandwidth than an average HD4890, yet it's night and day between the two with the GT275 getting spanked.

It's worth the power savings and more future-looking feature set to get the HD5770 over the HD4890 for your situation.
December 6, 2009 9:14:30 PM

I noticed you haven't said what your other specs EXACTLY are.

You said you are running Phenom x4 but is it the old one or the new one (BIG Difference)
also old ones come from 2.1GHz to 2.6GHz - new ones from 2.1-3.4GHz

Specify exactly the computer you have we might be able to give you better advice

I recently replaced 8800GT and I honestly didnt have problems with ANY game except Crysis at MAX, but you cant judge by that.

Even with my new 5850 - Crysis on Enthusiast (VERY HIGH) 1680x1050 4xAA 8xAF barely scrapes 30fps average. Which is playable but still - nearly $300 Video card

jumping from 8800GT to 5770 will have exactly 0 effect to you because you STILL wont be able to play crysis on MAX and still all other games will run good.

Either jump to 5850 MINIMUM or stay at 8800GT
a c 376 U Graphics card
December 6, 2009 9:56:31 PM

I dunno about that. An 8800gt is very good at that resolution but it will still struggle some when maxing out settings/AA in DX10 on some games other than Crysis, such as GTA IV, Far Cry 2 and probably some other recent games I haven't gotten around to yet.
December 6, 2009 10:07:55 PM

GTA IV is SUPER cpu limited and stupid in the point of implementation (they dropped the ball there when they ported from console)

FarCry 2 runs great on 1680x1050 MAX 4xAA (30-40) fps so on 1280 should be even better

Crysis - I said about it already
May 4, 2010 8:57:55 AM

Best answer selected by Miaoven Winter.
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