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GTX 260 SLI vs GTX 470 vs HD 5850

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  • Gtx
  • Graphics
Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 6, 2010 4:11:11 AM

So I started a thread in the system build, but quickly determined my video card is what I'm going to be upgrading. Now the question is - to what and when? I've been reading benchmarks and well, I just keep seeing what looks like tainted results. One place will do tests and the GTX 470 is the shiz and it's at the top with the GTX 480 on most tests. Then I see another where the 470 loses out to the 5850. I saw another where they were pretty much equal. Saw another where the ATIs were all much better than them. It's so misleading!

My monitor as at 1920 x 1200 - 24" monitor, and as it is I'm using a single 192 core GTX 260. I'm also on an EVGA 750i FTW motherboard with an 800 watt ABS Tagan ITZ 800 PSU (6 +12v rails @ 64 Amps). I can buy another GTX 260 for $200 (216 core not that I'll see that particular speed increase with my older card slowing it down) - but I hear people talking about stuttering and such due to SLI...how true is this? I can sell my GTX 260 for $150 or so and buy a GTX 470 for $200 - but I'm not sure it's wise to buy now since prices are hiked up. I'm not big on ATI, so it's really making me cringe to think about buying one of their cards - but the HD 5850 is $300-ish and seems to score close to the GTX 470, but then there's the issue their prices are also hiked up at the same time now. And then there's this dilemma of new cards coming out soon which would drop these older cards prices.

I'm SO CONFUSED. I've read so many benchmarks my heads gonna bust. I paid $215 for my GTX 260 some many months ago (Back when they were mostly still $260+). If I buy another at $200 (What happened to GTX 260's being around $170-$180 - I even remember seeing on Newegg a 192 core for like $165 and now they're all gone and prices hiked up!!) I will have $415 invested in these cards and I don't know how much of that I could hope to recoup. If I sell my 260 for $150 and buy the GTX 470 I still have $415 invested but I dunno how much of that I'll lose when the GTX 470 prices drop (And they're still so new I don't know how much they'd drop to keep up with or beat the ATI prices). If I sell my card $150 and buy the HD 5850 I will have $365 invested - but I don't know how soon I'd need to upgrade again and my mobo is not Crossfire enabled, only SLI.

I question how much of this I should just sit around and wait (the painful option) or gamble on a choice. UGH, anyone else care to chip in opinions on my situation?

More about : gtx 260 sli gtx 470 5850

a c 1430 U Graphics card
April 6, 2010 4:18:25 AM

Waiting is endless since there is always something around the corner. You might be able to grab another gtx260 of ebay for ~150 and that would be the least money out of pocket. (buying computer parts has never been considered smart investing)
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April 6, 2010 4:31:33 AM

rolli59 said:
Waiting is endless since there is always something around the corner. You might be able to grab another gtx260 of ebay for ~150 and that would be the least money out of pocket. (buying computer parts has never been considered smart investing)

Well I suppose that's true - with computer parts it's more of a value over time thing. How long can you use it and how much can you sell it for after you can't use it to do what you want to do anymore? I don't guess anyone can put a value on your own personal benefit from it. My GTX 260 has made gaming great for me for well over a year or more now and the rest of my components are still up to snuff pretty much. I'm still unsure about that SLI stuff though and getting sheering and artifacts. I know it happened on the older cards and I still saw some people reporting these performance dampers on the GTX 260 in SLI - how common are these?
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Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
April 6, 2010 4:32:51 AM

Simple answer- 5850, all around Kick Ass, Efficiency~Heat~PowerConsumption~Speed~OverclockHeadroom~Price , waiting on Fermi might make the 5850 drop to its original MSRP price of 259$. The 470 looks ok at 349$ but considering a 5850 is guaranteed to hit 925-1000Mhz (5870 Lightning 1100Mhz on Air) and 50-60$ cheaper ( Even more after 470 release), 5850 without a doubt.
A 5850 will be ~ on par with 260 SLI but easily surpass it when OCd, no dual GPU hassle, half power consumption and less heat/noise.

Mine is running 825@Default voltage of 1.08v and 1Ghz@1.35v.
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April 6, 2010 4:43:21 AM

Don't waste your money on another 260 unless you can get it for cheap. If you don't want to buy ATI then your only bet is to...wait until the 4series becomes avaliable. Don't expect to get one on the 12th either because they will be very limited in supply and sold out.

I would look into a HD5870 i got mine for a hair over $400 and i came from a HD4870 which is about the same speed as your 260. If not that then a HD5850 is the current best bang for your buck.



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a c 249 U Graphics card
April 6, 2010 4:52:08 AM

You have to look at the 5850 and 470 with respect to what you are going to do with them. Here's a table of all the benchies from 3 sites for the 5850 and 470 in DX11 games at high settings. For example, you'll notice that the two cards run neck and neck in the dollars per frame category with the 470 eeking out an edge 5 to 4 over the 5850 using "launch day" pricing.....One ATI vendor (Saphire) responded right after with price cuts which changed things a bit.

Keep in mind this does not include DX10, other resolutions or lower settings where I will bet the 58xx did much better. In addition, on the day data was compiled, the cheapest name brand 5850 was $305....today it's $290 so that shifts the edge to the 5850 on a dollars per frame basis 7 to 2. The 5870 also dropped in price by $20. What this tells us is the two cards are very close on a price / performance basis and small changes in price will shift the advantage either way.

What I didn't expect was the 470 finishes above the 5850 8/9 times and above the 5870 5/9 times.

Columns are Card / Price / Game & Settings / % faster than card below it in table / % price increase above card below it / dollars per frame.

THG Review

Card Price Heaven % Faster % Price Incr. $ Per Frame
ATI 5970 $725 56.80 5.97% 45.00% 12.76
nVid 480 $500 53.60 25.82% 42.86% 9.33
nVid 470 $350 42.60 20.68% -16.67% 8.22
ATI 5870 $420 35.30 16.12% 37.70% 11.90
ATI 5850 $305 30.40 NA NA 10.03


Card Price STALKER 4AA % Faster % Price Incr. $ Per Frame
ATI 5970 $725 67.92 24.24% 45.00% 10.67
nVid 480 $500 54.67 17.44% 19.05% 9.15
ATI 5870 $420 46.55 7.83% 20.00% 9.02
nVid 470 $350 43.17 9.93% 14.75% 8.11
ATI 5850 $305 39.27 NA NA 7.77


Card Price Dirt2 4AA % Faster % Price Incr. $ Per Frame
ATI 5970 $725 127.20 29.66% 45.00% 5.70
nVid 480 $500 98.10 23.09% 42.86% 5.10
nVid 470 $350 79.70 5.70% -16.67% 4.39
ATI 5870 $420 75.40 6.80% 37.70% 5.57
ATI 5850 $305 70.60 NA NA 4.32


Card Price BFBC2 8AA % Faster % Price Incr. $ Per Frame
ATI 5970 $725 87.06 11.06% 45.00% 8.33
nVid 480 $500 78.39 24.73% 42.86% 6.38
nVid 470 $350 62.85 1.93% -16.67% 5.57
ATI 5870 $420 61.66 16.30% 37.70% 6.81
ATI 5850 $305 53.02 NA NA 5.75


Card Price Metro 2033 % Faster % Price Incr. $ Per Frame
ATI 5970 $725 48.70 27.49% 45.00% 14.89
nVid 480 $500 38.20 21.77% 19.05% 13.09
ATI 5870 $420 31.37 17.89% 37.70% 13.39
ATI 5850 $305 26.61 10.60% -12.86% 11.46
nVid 470 $350 24.06 NA NA 14.55


Hardware Canucks
AvP = 1920 x 1200 Very High Settings, Tesselation + Advanced Shadows, 4AA 16xAF
BFBC2 = 1920 x 1200, Highest Settings, HBAO Enebaled, 4AA, 16 AAF
Metro 2033 = 1920 x 1200, High Adv DOF and Tesseleation Enabled, 0AA, 16AFF
Heaven = 1920 x 1200, High Shaders, Tesseleation Enabled, 4AA, 16AFF

Card Price AvP % Faster % Price Incr. $ Per Frame
ATI 5970 $725 63.31 12.63% 45.00% 11.45
nVid 480 $500 56.21 24.22% 42.86% 8.90
nVid 470 $350 45.25 1.14% -16.67% 7.73
ATI 5870 $420 44.74 16.91% 37.70% 9.39
ATI 5850 $305 38.27 NA NA 7.97


Card Price BFBC2 8AA % Faster % Price Incr. $ Per Frame
ATI 5970 $725 77.33 32.39% 45.00% 9.38
nVid 480 $500 58.41 15.85% 19.05% 8.56
ATI 5870 $420 50.42 7.71% 20.00% 8.33
nVid 470 $350 46.81 9.55% 14.75% 7.48
ATI 5850 $305 42.73 NA NA 7.14


Card Price Metro 2033 % Faster % Price Incr. $ Per Frame
ATI 5970 $725 44.84 15.06% 45.00% 16.17
nVid 480 $500 38.97 27.73% 19.05% 12.83
ATI 5870 $420 30.51 0.20% 20.00% 13.77
nVid 470 $350 30.45 15.60% 14.75% 11.49
ATI 5850 $305 26.34 NA NA 11.58


Card Price Heaven % Faster % Price Incr. $ Per Frame
ATI 5970 $725 40.20 34.90% 45.00% 18.03
nVid 480 $500 29.80 21.14% 42.86% 16.78
nVid 470 $350 24.60 0.41% -16.67% 14.23
ATI 5870 $420 24.50 23.12% 37.70% 17.14
ATI 5850 $305 19.90 NA NA 15.33


Benchmark Reviews
BattleForge = 1920 x 1200 Very High Settings, No SSAO, 8xAA, Audio MT

Card Price BF % Faster % Price Incr. $ Per Frame
nVid 480 $500 82.50 18.03% -31.03% 6.06
ATI 5970 $725 69.90 46.54% 72.62% 10.37
ATI 5870 $420 47.70 17.49% 37.70% 8.81
ATI 5850 $305 40.60 NA NA 7.51

You also have to weigh ATI's features (eyefinity, power savings and lower temps) against nVidia's (PhysX, CUDA, 2D graphics and GPGPU). In short, there's no hard and fast answer as to what's the best card to get.... everyone's choice will depend upon their individual needs and what they want to do with the cards.
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Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
April 6, 2010 4:53:37 AM

I really dont understand why ATi released the 5850 @ 725 as it runs @ 825 with its default voltage and the ram is rated @ 1250Mhz by the manufacturer lol Maybe it will step in the 5870 territory then?

Reminds me of the new Intel i3 530 that does 4Ghz on stock volts 1.18v
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a c 249 U Graphics card
April 6, 2010 4:56:51 AM

Methinks, they left some room for the vendors to produce "non reference" boards to fuel the second round of buying frenzies. I always wait till the reference boards play out and the vendors subsequently finish their one upmanship.
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April 6, 2010 5:00:41 AM

I think it is just the nature of the beast the whole family is good overclockers.
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April 6, 2010 5:04:47 AM

I've heard a lot about Eyefinity - what is that? I haven't kept up with the video card race since the 275/285/295 and Radeon 4xxx series so this latest DX 11 stuff is a bit lost on me. Power savings I don't think are an issue, I bought an overkill PSU so that should be an area I can handle. My GPU produces acceptable temperatures, makes a fair bit of noise. As long as the GPU is okay running at the temp that it runs at and isn't going to be damaged from it it's okay by me. I have a fan inlet in the front of my case and an exhaust port in the back and above, as well as a seperated area for the PSU at the bottom. Not liquid cooled, but as it is I have my fans turned down (Three speed Antec fans). I guess I could crank them up if the 470 ran too hot.

I was kinda feeling that the GTX 260 would be a bit dated by now so SLI wise I wasn't sure it was a financially or performance wise smart move. I was kinda going by the benchmarks here, but no one else's benchmarks show the 260's in SLI or if they do they aren't as highly ranked. I'm not sure which features I use the most, I play the original Left 4 Dead a lot, some CoH, lots of source based games, I actually have been neglecting my PC gaming so I haven't gotten many new PC games. If someone doesn't mind, what's a list of fairly new and upcoming games that are respectively strong for ATI and Nvidia? The games my PC had some trouble playing smooth maxed out as last I recall were Far Cry 2 and Crysis.

I know about PhysX, but what exactly is CUDA used for and GPGPU? I know the GTX 400 series is banking on some future tech which is what makes me unsure if it's worth jumping on early or waiting to see if it's adopted. I'd hate for it to be like an AGP Pro or something...
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April 7, 2010 2:23:14 AM

Any more thoughts? My actual out of pocket on the GTX 470 would be $150 assuming I can get $150 for my GTX 260 on CL. I'm wondering if I adopt it now, and the prices do really drop - how much superior would two GTX 470's in SLI be to something like GTX 260's in SLI? I mean if prices get low enough I could do that - I wonder how long that would be "future proof" so to say?
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Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
April 7, 2010 3:13:35 AM

The 5850 is the best choice right now but considering your motherboard is SLi only, a GTX470 makes more sense unless you are going to change your motherboard.
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April 7, 2010 4:35:59 AM

Quote:
The 5850 is the best choice right now but considering your motherboard is SLi only, a GTX470 makes more sense unless you are going to change your motherboard.

Well, in your opinion do you think I should upgrade my motherboard? I do dislike the slot layout on one of my PCI slots - it prevents me from putting my sound card in it due to a peskily located capacitor. Have there been much advancements as far as LGA 775 mobos go that would be worth buying or am I wiser off to save up for a Core i7 Socket 1366 mobo?
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Best solution

Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
April 7, 2010 1:24:45 PM

Considering the CPU is still a Dual-Core, an i7 will offer a great boost. Many new games like Battlefield are efficiently using 4 Cores and largely depends on CPU speed.
So getting a 5850 right now and upgrading for a Cross Fire motherboard later is the thing to do. By then, 5850 prices should go down and you could just pick up another one.

Also, a 470 will be very hard to find at launch, low quantity's.
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April 8, 2010 1:26:56 AM

Well, would a Core 2 Quad not be a sufficient quad upgrade option? I've heard lots of people saying that the Core 2 Quads are still real fast and that i7's are just cutting edge. I could do a Core 2 Quad upgrade on my current mobo as is. But for the time I've scrapped this plan. I'll just hold out until the market stabilizes, stuff is more available, new models are announced. I love Nvidia and would much rather give them my money, I cringe at the thought of giving AMD a penny - haven't for over 8 years now and don't plan on starting again anytime soon unless the offer is too good to pass up.

I looked up Eyefinity - while an interesting concept, I hate how the side monitors all have a distorted FOV and look funny. It bugged my eyes just watching videos of people using them. Not a feature I care about, I'll stick to a single large monitor. Why do people hype up a feature so much that most people won't ever even use? Who has the money to buy a bunch of monitors for that crap? I'd need two more 24" monitors and they sure couldn't be identical, I'm not paying $500 a pop for a refurbed version of my current monitor.

Thanks again for all the input everyone.
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Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
April 8, 2010 3:45:31 AM

lol, your choice, but for me , my money gets to most well done job all around, and this time, it is ATi, last Time ATi, Before, nVidia with the 8800 series.

If you can find a great deal on a Quad like a 9550 or a 9650, yes.

Why not if you have monitors waiting in your garage, some people do, some people will like 3 projectors with no bezels each directed at a different wall while you are in the middle, I personally cant afford such setups but its an extra feature to have. And some people can afford such setups.
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April 8, 2010 3:49:09 AM

Quote:
lol, your choice, but for me , my money gets to most well done job all around, and this time, it is ATi, last Time ATi, Before, nVidia with the 8800 series.

If you can find a great deal on a Quad like a 9550 or a 9650, yes.

I clung to a 6600 GT for years (AGP) and when I switched to my new build I picked up a dirt cheap PCI-E 6600 GT. I found an equally dirt cheap ATI X1900 XTX PCI-E which I used until I picked up my GTX 260. I've had great luck with Nvidia. Not giving money to AMD is also a plus, I'm big on Intel and Nvidia. I don't really have a problem with ATI persay, just giving AMD money. Never been satisfied with anything AMD I ever bought, but it was always cheap (And that's the impression I get they're more interested in - people argue over pricing but I say you pay for what you get...).
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April 8, 2010 3:52:54 AM

Best answer selected by RavinRivie.
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Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
April 8, 2010 3:53:04 AM

Lol Each one will have different experiences... I was pretty much happy with AMDs CPU warranty, I had accidentally destroyed some pins on an old Althon XP 2500+ while cleaning it, it had 2 years left of warranty of 3, they sent me a 3000+ with the cooler for free lmao Right now, I have Intel because it was the best deal by that time, in fact, I still have that athlon xp system since 2003 lol
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a c 249 U Graphics card
April 9, 2010 3:23:53 AM

The average price of the 470 and 5850 on newegg right now are $326 and $354.....that's an 8% price difference and you are getting much more of a performance increase on average with the 470.....assuming you can catch one before they sell out again.....it comes at the cost of more watts and more power which may be a consideration.....if you doing twin cards, the 470 has a huge advantage here.
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