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Discussion on ATI 5800 series and GTX 400 series

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
April 24, 2010 9:24:47 PM

I just want to have a discussion regarding ATI's current new cards and Nvidia's current new cards, and see other people's points of view concerning which company overall appears to really have the best technology and gives the best deal. I don't know a huge deal about the history of Nvidia and ATI, and please feel free to be sceptical of what i say here. Just to tell people that i am interested in buying an Nvidia card, and that i currently have a GTS 250 512mb, so that you can understand the background.

Just that i don't think these new Nvidia cards; the GTX 470 and the 480 are really any better than the ATI 5850 and 5870. This is because, considering a number of factors it seems like ATI either has better technology over Nvidia or are certainly not any less inferior at all to Nvidia's graphics technology. I do agree though that Nvidia are certainly better with SLI than ATI are with Cross Fire X.

First of all comparing power consumption of the GTX 470 and ATI's 5850 and 5870, Nvidia seem to be quite energy inefficient infact probably very much energy inefficient. Seeing how the ATI 5870 only requires 188 watts of power to run on and the GTX 470 requires 215 to run on and performance wise i think the 5870 is about the same or slightly better?, and i'm not even going to talk about the GTX 480 which asks for an unhappy amount of power (not to mention the heat it gives, overheating in your your pc case).

Secondly ATI 5800 series cards were launched much earlier before Nvidia 400 series cards, and i doubted that Nvidia would really be able to bring out a card that would compete with ATI's group regarding energy efficiency and perfromance, but i was seriously expecting that when they were to launch their new cards they were to very much impress me, but they didn't. It seems to be that Nvidia cards do well in benchmarks because of their drivers and Physx rather than the physical strength of the card itself. Given Nvidia had soo much time to develop their new cards, i was expecting not particularly smashing performance compared to ATI but better efficiency and size of the card at least.

Thirdly looking at Nvidia's memory rating comparing the GTX 470 with the ATI 5850 and the 5870, both the 5850 and 70 have 1gb of memory compared to the 1250mb of the 470, it seems straight fowards that the 470 is going to perform better than the 5850 because it has more memory and with it's power consumption you'd definately want it to have an advantage because of that. Looking back at the past with the GTX 260 and the ATI 4870, those were times where the GTX 260 had 896mb of memory and the ATi 4870 had 1gb of mem, there i was clearly impressed with Nvidia's performance, i know that memory doesn't play the largest role in giving performance but it showed that Nvidia had architectural superiority over ATI. But here it looks more like ATi is cleaner more efficient and deserves the title of an enthusiast card more than Nvidia does, and seeing how it's performance is very near, not taking into account the gtx 480 though.

Could this be perhaps that this is the early development of the GTX 400 drivers and in time as the drivers develop more clear performance should be visible over the ATI 5000 series? The main attractive thing i can see about the new GTX cards is that they are smaller, but what good is that if they ask for a lot of power implying that they overheat in compact computer cases, or whatever computer cases. Nvidia and ATI's gap is much smaller than AMD's gap with Intel regarding watt per performance and performance for memory/ghz. The higher power requirement and heat also suggests that less overclocking can be done with these cards if you want to remain safe, as compared to the ATI side, it further implies you'd have to buy water cooling to cool the thing, Nvidia aught to have made the card bigger in the first place with a bigger heatsink to compensate and admit that ATI has done better with their architecture that they can afford to reduce the size of their cards. It seems that because of this AMD certianly deserve to be at the top of the enthusiast market, the mainstream market, and the game market than Nvidia does.
a c 130 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
April 24, 2010 9:49:49 PM

Love, there's been countless threads like this. They all end in flamebait. I know I seem like a douche for posting this, but the fact is, there'll be endless discussion on which card is better.

Also, ATI has better scaling in 2->3 CFX than nVidia does.

April 24, 2010 10:04:47 PM

where i come from the GTX 470 costs as much as an ATI 5870, infact about £17 more yes i'm from the UK. The GTX 480 is £150 more than the GTX 470 which is stupid when the 470 is £300 anyway. I hope that Nvidia will bring out some more cards soon, but with slightly less performance, like ATI has done eg. 5770 looks attractive because of size and low power consumption. I wonder if they will actually decrease the power requirement of the GTX 470 sometime or rebrand an older card making it smaller and decreasing it's power requirements at least and selling it for a good price.
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April 24, 2010 10:10:27 PM

Yes this flame bait...this will turn into the new 260 vs 4870 of this generation.

Frankly having ppl flame fermi in the discussion is more than enough.

K have fun though...
a b U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
April 24, 2010 10:18:50 PM

Warning: This thread may be hazardous to your health!

Warning: This thread may be hazardous to your health!
a b U Graphics card
April 24, 2010 10:20:33 PM

This has already been discussed looong time ago, head over to Fermis review thread and have a good day reading the 28 pages xD

Bottom line is if you have water or noise isnt a concern and budget is 350$+ and have the PSU requirements, then go with Fermi. Btw when you 1st look into it , you might think that the 470 is a better value but in the end after seeing OC and FPS results/Temps/Noise, the 480 is well and very well worth the 150$ extra. I posted why in the Fermis thread.

ATi has most of the time been more efficient, with 4xxx and 5xxx. But what matters is FPS/$ which in my opinion right now is the 5850 and especially the ASUS 5850 CuCore for 319.99$ with 22% better air flow than reference with less noise.

The rise MSRP price might also let me look more into Fermi if I had to buy an ATi now, I would feel a bit tricked by paying 40$+ MSRP and especially after 8 months launched product, I got mine ( 5970 260fps+ AVG MW2 lol switched to 5850 ) at launch.
April 24, 2010 10:25:36 PM

In my experience, Crossfire X is much better than SLI
a b U Graphics card
April 24, 2010 10:29:03 PM

It really depends on the game now. Crysis used to scale better with SLI last year bot now Crossfire improved so cant really tell.

But yea, when I looked threw results, adding a 5850 to a 5970 nearly Doubled FPS !

With 2 cards overall I think SLI (2 Cards) has slight advantage again really depend on the game. With 3 cards Crossfire scale better. Actually 3 Crossfire beat 4 Crossfire in real games but not in benchs.
a b U Graphics card
April 25, 2010 12:51:13 AM

If only ati and nvidia could reach some kinda cross licensing deal like intel and amd. Personally I think that gpu acceleration is more important then multi monitor gaming. If both parties supported both then devs would be more inclined to develop for both technologies which gives more incentive to upgrade.
April 25, 2010 11:15:44 AM

i don't get multi monitor gaming. With that you can fragment your game picture to display on lots of screens? hmm that's interesting you mean concerning these new cards it seems to be ATI have improved their crossfirex? It also depends on the game in which crossfie x scales better to? I just remember the comparison with the GTX 295 and the ATI 4870x2 and the GTX 295 won in everything or at least the vast majority. Perhaps that was because the GTX 295 just had architectural superiority. But i do hope that Nvidia realeses some new cards, with as much performance pretty much or less than the GTX 470 with better energy efficiency, less heat emissions, and being made on a relatively small size of card, otherwise i will scrap Nvidia and not buy from them. Unless they compete with ATI nicely price wise, but then still it might be better for me to go for an ATI 5850 card considering my case can't afford the large heat emissions.

Yes i aught to have read previous posts lol, i'm lazy, i will consider that in the future :) 
April 25, 2010 11:42:04 AM

it's just quite disappointing to think the ATI 5850 uses as much power as my GTS 250 and has pretty much twice the perfomance and is packaged on almost the same sized card, and the GTX 470 ok is on a pretty small card, but uses 75 more watts and has a bit more performance but not noticable when on Battlefield 2 bad comapny Fps is krap on all cards anyway with aa and af enabled. I certainly think that anti-aliasing and aniso-tropic filtering is important because if not used on a computer you might as well buy an xbox 360 instead of playing games without it on the computer. looking at some benchmarks ( the GTX 470 gets just above 60Fps in battlefield 2 bad company and ATI isn't much behind, but it seems that the difference isn't worth it, on other games you might get above 200Fps either with an Nvidia card or an ATi card, so no difference at all will be noticed. Those benchmarks have taken place with an Intel i7 965 cpu at 3.6ghz so it shows you that soo much power is needed to get a satisfactory amount of FPS in the first place. what i'm saying is that smooth gameplay is with FPS well over 60 up to 100 on average during non intense moments because it means during times of graphical intense moments the FPS should decrease alot but at least not much bellow 45 FPS. This is certianly true as i have noticed getting average FPS usually of about 80 and during intense moments it has gone all the way down to 30FPS and it is not playable i tell you. This is what i think, so the GTX 480 isn't much better than the ATI 5870 at all considering it's factors and that gameplay still isn't smooth. Therefore looking at Nvidia's GTX 470/480, it looks like it still hasn't hammered these new games requiring 256mb of graphics like battlefield 2 bad company if you want to play it with say 4aa and 8af at the very least. Unless you spend your money on the fastest processor and overclock it it doesn't seem just to buy a GTX 480, but just to wait over time as technology gets better that cards can decrease in energy requirement and in physical size. It seems a bit rash of Nvidia to bring out a GTX 480, suppose just like most of their cards because it doesn't seem a realistic choice to buy as Nvidia have completely just scrapped factors like efficiency etc. that the card should be such a pain to run in a system.