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GTX 480 vs 6870 vs another couple

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May 21, 2012 1:24:41 PM

So I started out my GPU search willing to spend $200 as a cap on my new card. For this price range, doing the math comparisons and looking at all the testing I found my best card choice to be the Radeon HD-6870

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Since setting out to find my best choice however I was brought to the comparison of the GTX 560 TI's as the better by a nail card to the 6870, but I wasn't comfortable with spending $70 more just to be wearing the Nvidia tag. Before we go any further I'm an Nvdia user period, so let's turn this thread into a Nvida does better than ATI Cuda cores, shaders and so forth.

Since even deterring that however, I've found the Nvidia GTX 480 on sale now here.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I'm pretty much planning to pick up the GTX 480 as in comparison to the HD 6870/GTX 560 Ti, it really does curb them in 3d Mark Vantages, in FPS rates and so forth. I do however have a primary concern as I've been reading heavily about the GTX 480 and found that the problems with it are heat/noise. I personally have no care for these issues as I currently have a GPU in the GT 545 that sits idle at 27 degrees and under load hits 55 degrees and after researching that, I've found I have a particularly well beat heating dissipation case in the way I've set up my HAF 922. Noise I could care less about.

My true issue with taking this plunge to buy hardware from yesteryear as it would seem is the comparative numbers. People say get the GTX 570 over the 480 because they're very close in performance yet the 570 won't have any heating/noise issues. But I also noticed one other thing about the 570, it runs with OpenGL 4.1 vs the GTX 480's OpenGL 3.2. My question now is imposed on whether or not this is going to make a considerable difference in my gaming/future proofing. Also am I able to update my OpenGL as simply as a driver update to the card? Or does it not work like that, as I've read OpenGL 3.3 is nearly similar to 4.1.

My issue with buying the GTX 570 is that they start at the $300 range and I'm not willing to go that high, $230 is the absolute max I'm spending on a card as I've found this GTX 480 and it's absolutely absurd on it's price to performance ratio.

So any recommendations folks?

More about : gtx 480 6870 couple

a c 175 U Graphics card
May 21, 2012 3:52:27 PM

Look are you sure you can pay $300? I think (personally) 570 is going to be a better choice than 480, especially when you care about heat/power consumption issues. But still I would choose to pay the 570 when you can pay for it.

But if you can only pay for $200 max, I suggest other cards instead of that 6870 2GB one or the 480, which can be this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Oh yes the 480 too. Unless you have a good power supply and cooling.
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a c 87 U Graphics card
May 21, 2012 4:02:40 PM

The GTX 480 is a good deal faster than the 6950 and 560 TI (just shy of the 570). Instead of these cards, I recommend the Radeon 7850. It's faster than the 6950 and 560 TI (just shy of the 480), but it uses about half of the power used by the 480 and it has the most updated support for standards such as OpenGL. When some models are on sale, they can drop below $220 to $230.

EDIT: One thing to consider with the Radeon 7000 cards is that they pretty much all come with coupons for games and if you don't want them, you can sell the coupons for a good amount of money, meaning that you can afford a more expensive card than you might have first thought if you want to. For example, this 7850 has two free games (totaling $110 in value):

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Take the free games into consideration and it only costs $152.55 (that includes a $7.56 shipping fee).

It has DX11.1 and OpenGL 4.2 and another $15 gives you the dual fan version (the above link is single fan, below is dual fan):

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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May 21, 2012 4:04:37 PM

If you are not going to be doing multimonitor or gaming beyond 1200p, then you don't need a 2GB GPU. That would make it about $160 for a 6870.
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a c 87 U Graphics card
May 21, 2012 4:19:56 PM

SinisterSalad said:
If you are not going to be doing multimonitor or gaming beyond 1200p, then you don't need a 2GB GPU. That would make it about $160 for a 6870.


Some games push past 1GB of VRAM usage at 1080p and such games will only get more common as time moves forward. Future proofing should also be considered, especially if CF/SLI is done in the future, so at least 1.5GB should be had with 2GB to 2.5GB being ideal for this performance level.
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a b U Graphics card
May 21, 2012 4:30:48 PM

7850 at $230-250
480 at $210-230
560ti at $180

all good calls...7850 is best value imo.
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May 21, 2012 4:39:20 PM

Well I personally right now have a GT 545 that has 1.5gb of VRAM and just personally gaming in Tera/Mass Effect 3 so far I've seen that VRAM used entirely at some points, but under load it's sitting at 60-70% useage ie. 1gb of VRAM being used. I'm a guy with eyes that catch screen tearing with np for instance, so I'm very picky about this and want it to stay at 2GB or 1.5GB being the minor.

I game in 1920x1080 on a single 27" monitor as well.

I like the 7850 reccomendation alot personally, and as for the 570's I know they're the 480's with updated tech, but not for $310. I'm looking at these charts rq and what is interesting is when You stack the 7850 to the 480GTX we have 2 charts with 2 different results.

http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/high_end_gpus.html

http://hwbot.org/compare/videocards#1787,1758,1684,1918...

I personally dislike that alot between the two, but trust HWbot a little bit more since it actually explains the testing/submission rates/allows you to stack multiple tests for instance.

Like I've previously stated my case the HAF 922 is well cooling built, I have a fan controller and have optimize the placements to pull the air up as heat rises and expel it from the top of the case, sucking cool air from the bottom/front/sides. This has kept my hardware amazingly cold in comparison to other people's cases/setups I've seen so far and I have a 500W PSU that works great.

This 7850 is really attractive I'm not gonna lie, it's the GTX 480 benchmarks. The question here now I pose is the horrid Nvidia vs ATI question, I'm very unfamiliar of the technologies offered in ATI and am curious to hear that they have something similar to PhysX at least?

Also for branding which would You choose:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I personally like the Diamond since it's only $20 more, not $40 more. But this is the line, I refuse to go, well Your up another $30, so why not up another $30 and spend $300 on the card bro? Because then it's going to be, well Your at $300, but at $330 and so on and so forth.
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May 21, 2012 4:46:54 PM

Also as a foot note that I'm now reading, my Mobo is a PCI-X16 2.0, the 7850 want's a 3.0, what is this going to mean for me? Incompatible entirely? Or just throttling? And if throttling back, is it worth giving up the power of the GTX 480 for it?

Edit: And scratch on that, just as quickly as I asked, I read that the slots are backwards compatible without performance hits.
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a c 87 U Graphics card
May 21, 2012 4:49:50 PM

BenCo9 said:
Well I personally right now have a GT 545 that has 1.5gb of VRAM and just personally gaming in Tera/Mass Effect 3 so far I've seen that VRAM used entirely at some points, but under load it's sitting at 60-70% useage ie. 1gb of VRAM being used. I'm a guy with eyes that catch screen tearing with np for instance, so I'm very picky about this and want it to stay at 2GB or 1.5GB being the minor.

I game in 1920x1080 on a single 27" monitor as well.

I like the 7850 reccomendation alot personally, and as for the 570's I know they're the 480's with updated tech, but not for $310. I'm looking at these charts rq and what is interesting is when You stack the 7850 to the 480GTX we have 2 charts with 2 different results.

http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/high_end_gpus.html

http://hwbot.org/compare/videocards#1787,1758,1684,1918...

I personally dislike that alot between the two, but trust HWbot a little bit more since it actually explains the testing/submission rates/allows you to stack multiple tests for instance.

Like I've previously stated my case the HAF 922 is well cooling built, I have a fan controller and have optimize the placements to pull the air up as heat rises and expel it from the top of the case, sucking cool air from the bottom/front/sides. This has kept my hardware amazingly cold in comparison to other people's cases/setups I've seen so far and I have a 500W PSU that works great.

This 7850 is really attractive I'm not gonna lie, it's the GTX 480 benchmarks. The question here now I pose is the horrid Nvidia vs ATI question, I'm very unfamiliar of the technologies offered in ATI and am curious to hear that they have something similar to PhysX at least?

Also for branding which would You choose:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I personally like the Diamond since it's only $20 more, not $40 more. But this is the line, I refuse to go, well Your up another $30, so why not up another $30 and spend $300 on the card bro? Because then it's going to be, well Your at $300, but at $330 and so on and so forth.


The GTX 570 is not an updated 480. The GTX 580 is more like an updated/upgraded 480 and the 570 is a cut down 580. I don't know if AMD/Ati cards have something like PhysX, but I honestly don't think that it makes much difference anyway. The XFX still has my recommendation. Even if it didn't have more freebies than the Diamond, XFX is generally regarded as the superior brand for AMD cards.
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a c 87 U Graphics card
May 21, 2012 4:53:56 PM

Passmark is not a good measure of performance. For one, it has the Radeon 6990 below the 7850, despite the 6990 being almost twice as fast as the 7850 and the GK104 isn't even a graphics card, it's a GPU and it's the GPU inside the GTX 680 and 690 (the 690 has two of them and the 670 has a cut down version of one of them), so it's not even accurate at all since it's way behind the 670 and 680. Passmark is a synthetic benchmark, meaning that it is not representative of gaming performance.
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a b U Graphics card
May 21, 2012 5:11:49 PM

SinisterSalad said:
If you are not going to be doing multimonitor or gaming beyond 1200p, then you don't need a 2GB GPU. That would make it about $160 for a 6870.

Ha. I hit my 1GB limit in Crysis + mods, Crysis 2 DX11, and BF3 - all on 900p. 2GB+ is wise.

@BenCo9, you won't see throttling with a PCIe 3.0 card - no card can take advantage of the bandwidth yet. Also, I wholeheartedly recommend the HD 7850 at $250. There's also a great deal on a $200 HD 6950 2GB right now if you want to spend less: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You'll get about 10% less performance than the HD 7850, but you're saving 20% in cash.
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May 21, 2012 5:32:51 PM

Alrighty guys, thanks for all the help today on this and pointing out the benchmark flaws and so forth. I'm gonna be going with the 7850 XFX DD for my new card.

I was really skeptical on buying the GTX 480 period as it's just an older format and I dislike trying to futureproof myself with a card from yesteryear for example. So thanks again for the help in everything.

We kept it at a 2GB VRAM so I'm stoked there, and I'm even reading that the 7850 can OC to beyond the 1Ghz mark, but I'll keep her in limits :D  The FPS reviews I'm seeing on this card are happy time for me as well with BF3 running full throttle and 16xAA keeping 41FPS as it's low point on a test I read. I'm realizing this card will be the hammer for my useage as it's rare I play a game like BF3/Crysis and morely stick to the MMO lines, hooray for having a quad core 3.1GHz there with a huge L3 right? :D 

Alright guys thanks again and be well to all! You've saved another person from a thermal pie in the GTX 480 ~Laughs~
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May 21, 2012 5:33:13 PM

Best answer selected by BenCo9.
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a c 87 U Graphics card
May 21, 2012 5:40:58 PM

jessterman21 said:
Ha. I hit my 1GB limit in Crysis + mods, Crysis 2 DX11, and BF3 - all on 900p. 2GB+ is wise.

@BenCo9, you won't see throttling with a PCIe 3.0 card - no card can take advantage of the bandwidth yet. Also, I wholeheartedly recommend the HD 7850 at $250. There's also a great deal on a $200 HD 6950 2GB right now if you want to spend less: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You'll get about 10% less performance than the HD 7850, but you're saving 20% in cash.


I was considering that, but then there's the power usage difference. It's much more favorable than the 480 versus the 7850, but the 7850 would make up that money in a year or two, if not a little less time, depending on how long the computer is on (even if it's idling, so long as the display is off, the 7850 still uses a good amount less power although the greatest difference is at load). However, if the 7850 is not wanted, then that 6950 2GB get's my second plave recommendation. 6950s are good overclocking cards and offer excellent upgrade paths since they are compatible with three-way Crossfire (not to mention them having huge multi-GPU scaling compared to everything in their performance tier, except for the somewhat faster 7850, but the 7850 probably can't do three-way CF except in exotic situations, such as using a motherboard with a PLX chip and using software Crossfire).

7850 as my first recommendation, the 6950 2GB as a fairly close second. Thanks for mentioning it because when I was on newegg, I overlooked it without giving it the proper thought.
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a c 87 U Graphics card
May 21, 2012 5:43:17 PM

BenCo9 said:
Alrighty guys, thanks for all the help today on this and pointing out the benchmark flaws and so forth. I'm gonna be going with the 7850 XFX DD for my new card.

I was really skeptical on buying the GTX 480 period as it's just an older format and I dislike trying to futureproof myself with a card from yesteryear for example. So thanks again for the help in everything.

We kept it at a 2GB VRAM so I'm stoked there, and I'm even reading that the 7850 can OC to beyond the 1Ghz mark, but I'll keep her in limits :D  The FPS reviews I'm seeing on this card are happy time for me as well with BF3 running full throttle and 16xAA keeping 41FPS as it's low point on a test I read. I'm realizing this card will be the hammer for my useage as it's rare I play a game like BF3/Crysis and morely stick to the MMO lines, hooray for having a quad core 3.1GHz there with a huge L3 right? :D 

Alright guys thanks again and be well to all! You've saved another person from a thermal pie in the GTX 480 ~Laughs~


Don't mock the 480. It can be a great card if you know what you're doing with it, it simply takes a little more work to use properly. The heat is a solvable problem. My only issue with the 480 is it's power usage. Trust me when I say that the 480 can be great, just not quite as great as the 7850 for most modern uses when you factor in the electricity bill. I'd rank it third behind the 6950 2GB as my recommendation with the GTX 560 TI right behind it and would only let the GTX 570 2560MB (the 480 has 1.5GB compared to 1.25GB on the reference 570, so I actually recommend the 480 above the 570 1280MB just because 1.25GB is simply not enough VRAM for that performance) take it's place as third recommendation here if it came down in price like it should.
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May 21, 2012 5:50:02 PM

blazorthon said:
Don't mock the 480. It can be a great card if you know what you're doing with it, it simply takes a little more work to use properly. The heat is a solvable problem. My only issue with the 480 is it's power usage. Trust me when I say that the 480 can be great, just not quite as great as the 7850 for most modern uses when you factor in the electricity bill. I'd rank it third behind the 6950 2GB as my recommendation with the GTX 560 TI right behind it and would only let the GTX 570 2560MB (the 480 has 1.5GB compared to 1.25GB on the reference 570, so I actually recommend the 480 above the 570 1280MB just because 1.25GB is simply not enough VRAM for that performance) take it's place as third recommendation here if it came down in price like it should.


Right-O and I entirely understand You. But as both us knowing what we're doing sort of gents, when we OC the 480GTX and are forced to pick up the external upgraded Heatsink/fan because we know what we're doing with it and aren't going to fry it in half after 8 months of day in and day out use where are we price wise? $300-$310

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It's a great card yes, but the entire point of me even making this topic was to solve the fact that I didn't want to futureproof with yesteryear's technology, especially when doing it properly costs $300 and we're both in agreeance that the 7850 is better, and now after buying the proper cooling for the GTX 480, even cheaper.

Thanks again
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a c 87 U Graphics card
May 21, 2012 6:13:44 PM

BenCo9 said:
Right-O and I entirely understand You. But as both us knowing what we're doing sort of gents, when we OC the 480GTX and are forced to pick up the external upgraded Heatsink/fan because we know what we're doing with it and aren't going to fry it in half after 8 months of day in and day out use where are we price wise? $300-$310

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It's a great card yes, but the entire point of me even making this topic was to solve the fact that I didn't want to futureproof with yesteryear's technology, especially when doing it properly costs $300 and we're both in agreeance that the 7850 is better, and now after buying the proper cooling for the GTX 480, even cheaper.

Thanks again


You're welcome. I simply meant to say that although you were kinda implying that the 480 was a nightmare card, that the 480's not really that bad, it's just not the best option.
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a c 273 U Graphics card
May 21, 2012 9:56:39 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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