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Final verdict on the fastest graphics card?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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May 26, 2010 5:32:49 PM

I know drivers can enhance or hinder gpu performance..
is there a verdict on which companies highest end card is the top dog

ive read that the 480 is sometimes faster than the 5970 but the 5970 simply has more horspower than anything from nvidia..

i know there is also a debate on comparing both cards is unfair since one is dual gpu and one isnt..but im asking about top offerings from both companies currently..

thanks
a b U Graphics card
May 26, 2010 5:38:57 PM

In 90% of cases, the 5970 will beat the 480. With heavy tesselation or extreme AA, the 480 will most likely win. Depends on how much you care about value, heat, power, crossfire.
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May 26, 2010 5:40:58 PM

i guess for nvidia based features the 480 will outperform the 5970 because the game was designed to use nvidia features?
is quadfire still a poor performer?
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a b U Graphics card
May 26, 2010 6:24:47 PM

BIG POST:

All numbers are for 1920x1200 with the same graphics settings and same rig
GTX 480 1536 mb
5970 2048 mb
--------------------------
Bad Company 2
GTX 480 - 55
5970 - 74

5970 up by 34.5%
--------------------------
Far Cry 2
GTX 480 - 84
5970 - 86

5970 up by 2.3%
--------------------------
Tom Clancy's HAWX
GTX 480 - 114
5970 - 136

5970 up by 19.3%
--------------------------
Modern Warfare 2
GTX 480 - 135
5970 - 130

480 up by 3.8%
--------------------------
Anno 1404 dawn of discovery
GTX 480 - 71
5970 - 105

5970 up by 47.9%
--------------------------
CoD: WaW
GTX 480 (1536 mb) - 92
5970 - 84

480 up by 9.5%
--------------------------
Crysis Warhead
GTX 480 (1536 mb) - 51
5970 - 61

5970 up by 19.6%
--------------------------
Just Cause 2
GTX 480 - 76
5970 - 65 (driver issue, multi-gpu didn't activate)

Fault, but 480 up by 16.9%
--------------------------
Mass Effect
GTX 480 - 120
5970 - 177

5970 up by 47.5%
--------------------------
Brothers in Arms: Hells Highway
GTX 480 - 109
5970 - 123

5970 up by 12.8%
--------------------------
Resident Evil 5 (Dx10)
GTX 480 - 121
5970 - 143

5970 up by 18%

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

Out of 11 fairly modern titles, the 5970 won 8 times with an average margin of victory of 25.23% FPS. When the 480 won, it won by an average margin of victory of 10.07% FPS.

Source: http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gtx-470-480-revie...

Unfortunately, as stated by Jryan, the 5970 is a dual GPU card and it isn't quite a fair comparison from that perspective. HOWEVER, it is fair in the fact that it's the strongest single PCB solution that each company offers, and thus ATI still owns that crown. So it depends on your point of view on the matter.

In the end, numbers don't lie, and number's state that the 5970 still remains the strongest single PCB solution for your GPU needs.
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May 26, 2010 6:37:19 PM

I know some feel its not fair to compare dual gpu vs single gpu..but both are each companies top end product.. so in a sense it IS a fair comparison..
nvidia decided on one gpu, ati on 2.. for whatever reason..

are there any recent reviews on how well, if at all, quadfire scales?
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a c 125 U Graphics card
May 26, 2010 6:42:17 PM

Personally I think it is fair to compare the two cards as they're the fastest from each company and where I live the two cards are priced similarly.
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May 26, 2010 8:29:33 PM

so am I reading..that quad performance isnt amazing but its decent? seems that with higher resolutions it gives the game enough to still give some decent fps?

also, curious..5970 crossfire would be in essense QUAD fire, right? since the 5970 is technically crossfire already being its dual gpu?
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a b U Graphics card
May 26, 2010 8:36:57 PM

5970 crossfire = quadfire.
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a b U Graphics card
May 26, 2010 10:23:49 PM

pnico said:
so am I reading..that quad performance isnt amazing but its decent? seems that with higher resolutions it gives the game enough to still give some decent fps?

also, curious..5970 crossfire would be in essense QUAD fire, right? since the 5970 is technically crossfire already being its dual gpu?


Yep.
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May 26, 2010 10:49:46 PM

hey to which quiestion?
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a b U Graphics card
May 26, 2010 10:52:15 PM

Pretty much everything. Quadfire doesn't scale fantastically, but it's not terrible. Personally I think it's overkill, 1 5970 should be fine unless you're playing at HUGE resolutions on a 30" plus monitor.

two 5970's is Quadfire and yes a 5970 has two GPU's on one PCB.
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a b U Graphics card
May 26, 2010 10:59:02 PM

Last I checked, Quad GPU's (at least with SLI) could actually decrease performance. But since I'm not absolutely made of money, I don't bother much with many Tri/Quad GPU benchmarks to be completely honest. :) 
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a b U Graphics card
May 26, 2010 11:07:06 PM

That depends on your other hardware. A Quadfire solution can EASILY run into CPU Bottleneck issues in a heartbeat if your other components can't keep up. Also, it'll run into such a bottleneck, that yes sometimes it can actually go backwards and screw things up.

It's why I recommend a single 5970 every time. Quadfire can't scale well enough with our current CPU's and Motherboards, and even then the driver optimization for it isn't super either.
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a b U Graphics card
May 27, 2010 12:08:20 AM

Is there a question here ?, :)  oh ok,
Single card right now, the 5970 operates via crossfire, imo, the argument in other threads , should a person run 2 5770's or a 5850 has all the pro's and con's of the single gpu GTX 480 VS the 5970.

In the coming month's
1.gtx 490
2. 5970 4gb
3.5970 2gb
4.Gtx 480
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a c 225 U Graphics card
May 27, 2010 1:16:02 AM

The 5970 is a twin GPU card .... the last one of those we saw were the 295 GTX and the 4870x2. Back in October, the fanboi mantras were:

Red Team "comparing the 295 and 5870 was unfair as the former is a twin GPU card"
Green Team "the old 295 still beats the 5870"

Now we have:

Green Team "comparing the 5970 and 480 unfair as the former is a twin GPU card"
Red Team "the 5970 still beats the 480"

There are lots of ways to compare GPU's....on a matter of principal, I won't pay $100+ over MSRP for any card so that has me down on the 5970 ATM. Up until last week, on a price / performance (dollars per frame) basis, the 480 had an edge over the 5870 and the 470 over the 5850....this week however, ATI card prices have almost dropped to the original MSRP's making them more competitive by this criteria. But you get more money for 1st place than 2nd so I don't think we'll see corresponding price drops from nVidia just yet.

The real comparisons that I want to see is the two $700 solutions:

One ATI 5970 OC'd to its limit versus two 470's OC'd to their limit in SLI.

Here they took twin 470's to 778 GPU Clock (128% of stock) 901 MHz (108%) and Shader to 1555 (128%)

http://www.bjorn3d.com/read.php?cID=1852&pageID=8942

So the real test to my mind is seeing how ATI's $700 card stacks up w/ Nvidia's $700 solution (2 x 470 in SLI) at max overclocks.

Here's one comparison (Using 1920 x 1200 highest settings):

http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-r...

Game
Card (Avg/Min)

BFBC2 (DX11)
470 SLI (76/57)
5970 (77/54)
5850 Xfire (85/61)

Dirt2 (DX11)
470 SLI (128/116)
5970 (93/83)
5850 Xfire (11/97)

Dragon Age Origins (DX9)
470 SLI (102/65)
5970 (102/55)
5850 XFire (95/49)

Far Cry 2 (DX9)
470 SLI (131/86)
5970 (119/76)
5850 XFire (121/79)

Far Cry 2 (DX10)
470 SLI (139/86)
5970 (111/76)
5850 XFire (123/84)

Metro 2033 (DX11)
470 SLI (44/35)
5970 (37/26)
5850 XFire (40/28)

Heaven (DX11)
470 SLI (55/33)
5970 (40/18)
5850 Xfire (42/20)


Totals:

470 SLI (675/478) wins by 9% / 19% over twin 5850's ..... 17% / 23 % over 5970
5850 XFire (617/418) wins by 7 % / 8% over 5970
5970 (579/388)

** Above 470 numbers don't include latest driver improvements listed here:
http://www.tomshardware.com/news/release-256-forceware-...

In this round, and at this resolution looks like the 470 takes the "$700 Solution Crown" but the 5850 pair had a very strong showing. Things change at other resolution so your gonna have to do your homework if playing at other resolutions.

Again, these aren't OC'd so, not quite the solution I'm looking for.

The review's conclusion are a mixed bag and can be read here:

http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-r...
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