Got myself a situation


I recently decided to replace the 9600GT sitting in one of my old PCs, however I'm now sitting torn between two cards-the GTX 260 and the HD 4890-. The 4890 out-performs the GTX 260 in most benchmarks by a substantial number of fps, but on the other hand, its performance in PhysX optimized games is atrocious to say the least. It also appears that a few titles will be PhysX enhanced in the near future.

Now I won't go into any details, just understand that I cannot choose any other card than either the HD 4890 or GTX 260 (216 896MB), and I won't beable to upgrade for the next year or so.

So what I want to know is, if you were me, which card would you go for? I'm currently running an Athlon II 620 and 2gigs of DDR2 800 in that system, and remember, I can't upgrade again after this and I would like to run on medium-high settings @ 1280x1024 +X2 AA for at least 6months from now ~35-40fps.

Thanks in advance
10 answers Last reply
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  1. At those resolutions the GTX 260 will do fine. However for later games an HD 4890 would be a bit more secure, albeit little to no support with physx.

    I would recommend going with the HD 4890 to be honest, it's performs better and should be able to keep you at high settings easily with 4x-8x AA/eye candy.
  2. I would also recommend the HD 4890, however it depends on how much you would like the physix. What games are you planning on playing the most? Ultimately I would base my decision on that.

    Its possible to use your 9600GT for physics and run the HD4890 simultaneously. I would give that a try if your motherboard would support it.

    Since it will be a while for new nvidia cards, that is an option that alot of folks are exploring.
  3. Alright I've made my choice, I'll go with the HD 4890 based squarely on the fact that PhysX seems fake to me. The games that are optimized for it are mostly mediocre and comparing PhysX physics to that of the Havok engine in HL2EP2 they seem even worse.

    Thanks for the quick response.

    P.S. @BDDazza: Yeah I know, I'll be picking up another 2gigs today :P
  4. If you don't think physics makes much difference in games you must be blind. If you have 2pci-e slots you can use the 9600 for a physics card. I do. If you don't think it'll make a difference in coming games you better read more. There is no "standard" for physics. Nvidia is the only one to have it now and probably for the next three or so years........ until something "universal" comes along. my 2cents. For me, if I had to do it again I'd go straight for a 1792 card. ( I have 3 260's.... 2/896 and 1/1792 ).... I gave away my 4870+4890. ( GTX275...? )
  5. The GTX260 will render physics much better than the 9600. If you don't know by now what games support physics you don't know anything about pc games. Stop being a fan boy and get with the program.
  6. Actually you did. Overkill wanted our opinions on what card to get and why. Having knowledge of it I gave my opinion. You mention stand alone physics. I'm saying "IF" he has a second slot he could use his 9600 for it......... if only single slot the GTX260 will run his games better than the 9600 with or without physics enabled.
  7. Quote:
    You gave an opinion which was much appreciated, although I do not personally agree with it. Its a massive bias that only your opinion is valid yet when I express my opinion you slate me as a "fan boy" for not agreeing with you?

    You mention stand alone physics. I'm saying "IF" he has a second slot he could use his 9600 for it......

    Well its a possibility.

    ... if only single slot the GTX260 will run his games better than the 9600 with or without physics enabled.

    I disagree, in a single slot environment it makes little sense to get the GTX260, sure it will out perform the 9600 GT but you are buying a card which has almost discontinued, very few retailers are selling it and the few retailers that are selling it are selling it at extortionate prices. For the same price a 4890 makes more sense.

    Regardless of which card is best I still stand by the fact that Phsyx is an over rated gimmick, why should the consumer take Physx seriously if the games developers do not?

    I'm afraid I will have to side with BDDazza. Physx is a slight improvement over physics processing but fails because of three main reasons: It's not being used, and the second Nvidia is being a bit stingy with their technologies, and three physics is not a strong selling point in games (really who buys a game just because it has floating leaves or a plastic bag rolling in the street, I mean they're nice to have but not a deal breaker).
  8. As long as half the cards being sold are made by ATI, Physx is NEVER going to be more than a footnote for PC gaming. Why would the developers shoot themselves in the foot by making a game that is going to be a diminished experience for half the potential buyers? They're not in it to sell nvidia cards or ATI cards; they're in it to sell as many copies of the game as they possibly can. So they're going to go with whatever is compatible with the largest portion of the installed base.
  9. Is this really true? Do we know that ATI has half the market share? I was under the possibly misguided impression that Nvidia was the leader, It seems to me that it was something like 65/35 for nividia. Perhaps ATI has made up ground in the IGP sector, I thought I heard someone the other day say it was 80% nividia for discreet graphics. If someone can clarify this for me that would be helpful.

    Well, I suppose it doesn't really matter. Its a good point about installed base, devs were slow to get aboard the 64 bit bandwagon, the hardware's been available for it for at least 4 years. Time will tell if physx is going to be a viable technology, but its not like direct x11 that everyone will be adopting eventually. I agree that the software physics tech may be more useful.

    I'm not sure the developers are really worried about shooting themselves in the foot, its probably more likely that it may not be worth their time and resources since making sure every game has multiplayer is all the rage right now. A lot of games have slipped for this very reason.
  10. well one major reason devs finally jumped 64 bit was that we were already hitting 32 bit's limitations in particular ram.
    With the increase of ram usage, and processing 64 bit was the only way to go. Not only that but it's given developers so much leeway with programming that they rarely run into any more technical difficulties.
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