GTX280 Vs HD4870 - Help me decide!

LightningRider

Senior member
Feb 16, 2007
558
0
0
Hey guys,

I'm trying to decide which card to get. And I'm completely torn! I currently have an eVGA 9800GTX and I can step up to a GTX280 (I'm actually in the queue right now) for $325.00 after shipping.

However, I'm having thoughts of canceling my step up and going with an HD4870 instead. I know the GTX280 beats the HD4870 in terms of performance but the HD4870 seems to have a lot of more useful features.

GTX280:

- Best performance
- Step up makes it cheaper
- PhysX Support
- nVidia cards do better in nVidia sponsored games (which there seems to be more of than ATi games)
- 1GB of RAM for future games' high res textures
- CUDA
- eVGA is a good manufacturer

HD4870:

- DirectX 10.1 Support
- Havok Physics Support (is this on-card support like PhysX?)
- Don't have to wait for step up queue
- I'll have an extra 9800GTX lying around if I don't step up
- Seems to be less heat problems than the GTX280 (a lot of issues related to temps)
- AMD's CUDA equivalent (don't know which is better, CUDA or AMD's CUDA)

So I'm kind of thinking about all these things and more. I've been with nVidia since the 9700 Pro AIW that I owned so I'm comfortable and familiar with a set up with one of their cards. At the same time, I'm kind of angry that they charge so much for the GTX280 and even the GTX260 and think they can get away with it. That makes me want to buy from AMD, who need the market share more anyways.

The only thing that really worries me about buying an HD4870 is the 512MB of RAM. I know for now it doesn't affect things too much but later on games will start needing even more memory for large textures. I game at 1920x1200 and while it's not the highest resolution, it's certainly not the lowest either.

Now I could wait for the 1GB HD4870 but NCIX said they won't have stock on those for at least 8 weeks. I don't want to wait that long.

So based on the info I've given, what should I get? I'm worried that if I get a GTX280 they will just refresh it with DX10.1 support in 2 months + a die shrink like they've been doing with the G80 and G92 lately.

Any comments and suggestions would be appreciated.!
 

Grit

Member
Nov 9, 2002
130
0
76
If you already have a 9800GTX, I'd wait a while and see what comes to pass. You're going to lose a lot on your 9800GTX if you sell it right now. If you have the upgrade bug or simply just want the best in your system, I'd still go with the Radeon 4870. More bang for the buck, and you can always Crossfire them later. It would cost less, and you can still sell your 9800GTX and recoup some of the cost, making the net cost even less than the GTX 280.

I really wanted to love the GTX 280, but it kinda reminds me of the FX-5800. Unfortunately, very few reviews covered the noise output very well on the GTX 280 OR the HD 4870. That and I'm TIRED of video cards that bump into the HDDs in my Lian Li PC80 case.

 

praesto

Member
Jan 29, 2007
83
0
0
Originally posted by: Gnitepracdlo
get the 4850 now for around $150 ar and then get the 4870x2 when it comes out. that's what i'm doing.

How exactly is it in any way worthwhile to upgrade from a 9800gtx to a 4850?? The gains are not worth 150 at all.
 

SlowSpyder

Lifer
Jan 12, 2005
17,305
1,001
126
Step up is a very nice option to have, but I think a lot of people forget the cost of the initial video card it seems. A GTX280 will cost your 9800GTX + $325. A 4870 will cost ~$310 - what you could sell your 9800GTX for. So factoring in that I'd probalby pick up the 4870. Of course I'm semi-cheap and would probably just keep the 9800GTX as it's still a pretty solid card, especially if you overclock it.
 

Fattysharp

Member
Nov 23, 2005
95
0
0
I waited for the reviews, and went with the 4870. I am upgrading from a 3850 (will go in my media pc), and my monitor is 22" not 24".

IF you have the cash, and IF you think you will benefit from the GTX 280 more, then it is a no brainer. For me, I have a hard time convincing my wife i need computer parts :p Since you are gaming on a 24" monitor, you might be better off with the gtx 280 depending on what you play. I could never spend the 2x the money for the preformance increase you get though.
 

error8

Diamond Member
Nov 28, 2007
3,204
0
76
I'd say just to wait a bit longer. I don't think that there is any game out there that doesn't work great on your 9800GTX at 1920X1200.
 

BenSkywalker

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
9,140
67
91
Making sure I got this right, you would pay LESS for the 280 then the 4870?

When you talk about price performance for the typical user then obviously the 4870 has a ton going for it, but at even money the 280 is hands down better. That said, you could buy the 4870 and sell your 9800GTX, that is an avenue for you to consider.

Will a die shrunk 280 support DX10.1, not a chance. The only people you will hear making a big deal out of if are die hard loyalists from the ATi camp. The biggest feature in 10.1 is the ability to use shader hardware for AA getting around some issues games had with utilizing AA with DX10 rendering effects- the 280 supports this.

PhysX vs Havok- Havok is a more open standard. PhysX is actually already supported in hardware(and on synthetic benches there is a HUGE speedup using the 280 over any CPU). Long term Havok may end up being a lot better, right now PhysX support is greater then Havok in terms of what you can see today in games with either of those parts.

nVidia doesn't necessarily do better in games they sponsor- a much larger issue will be ports of PS3 exclusives(not that there are likely to be many). I wouldn't consider this a big issue. Nv's overall dev support is significantly better then ATi's, but their sponsored games is a marketing deal with publishers.

The temps I have seen actually have the 280 slightly cooler then the 4870, but very easily within margin of error. Either one of them are going to be hotter then you GTX, by quite a bit.

CUDA vs ATi's alternative- this is an absolute and utter slaughter. CUDA is being taught at the University level, ATi plans on having a full functioning compiler built on an open standard out by 2009. The question is- what are you planning on using it for? Honestly, if you don't know why you are going to use it, you probably aren't :)
 

LightningRider

Senior member
Feb 16, 2007
558
0
0
Well if I get the HD4870, I'm probably going to sell the 9800GTX like you guys said, either that or keep it for another machine.

I really want to try an ATi card for a change as I've always liked them and I'm happy they're doing better now. The only thing really holding me back is that 512MB of RAM...

Also, while we're on the subject... what's the best Radeon brand anyways? I've heard good things about HIS and Powercolor but I'm not sure what makes them good. Except Sapphire I heard is terrible because of terrible warranties. That's another Pro for the GTX280 is having eVGA btw. They have great service and support.
 

bryanW1995

Lifer
May 22, 2007
11,144
32
91
ben hit the nail on the head: your real option is 325 vs 310 - (whatever you can sell 9800gtx for). A fair price to expect for a used 9800gtx today is 160-180, so figure 180-200 more for the gtx 280. Plus you are without a video card for a couple of weeks while you send out the 9800gtx and wait for the gtx 280 to arrive. More importantly, is the gtx 280 worth $180-200 more TO YOU. If you game at 2560x1600 with all the eye candy all the time or you're a crysis addict then I'd say that it probably is. Anything else and you're probably better off with the 4870.

edit: visiontek is the top brand for ati b/c they have the lifetime warranty that all the top nvidia companies have. asus is always a good choice, too. Sapphire is the volume leader but they have a poor reputation for service as mentioned. I've had good luck with my HIS 3870 so I'd probably take them again if VT and asus weren't available for a similar price.
 

error8

Diamond Member
Nov 28, 2007
3,204
0
76
Originally posted by: bryanW1995
or you're a crysis addict then I'd say that it probably is.

One GTX 280 still isn't enough for Crysis on Ultra High settings.
 

LightningRider

Senior member
Feb 16, 2007
558
0
0
Well I game at 1920x1200, but a new monitor's always possible :p

Also, my temps on the 9800GTX are around 62C idle and I've seen that the idle temps on both the cards are lower than that. Also, I wouldn't pay less upfront for the GTX280, but after shipping and everything it would probably be about the same price. I'm not sure if I would sell the 9800GTX or keep it.


Skywalker, can you maybe elaborate a bit on the 512MB vs 1GB @ 1920x1200 issue, you seem well versed in the ways of the recent video cards. :p

Finally I wouldn't be without a video card as I still have my trusty 8800GTS 320MB.
 

Denithor

Diamond Member
Apr 11, 2004
6,300
23
81
Buy an SLI motherboard ($150ish) and a second 9800GTX ($180) and have performance that smokes both 4870 and GTX 280 (check the 4870 dualGPU benchmarks if you doubt this). Sell your current motherboard to offset the cost of the SLI board.
 

LightningRider

Senior member
Feb 16, 2007
558
0
0
I don't wanna do SLI. Crossfire I might but I like Intel chipsets and I don't want to have more of an oven than I already do with current video cards.

Thanks for the suggestion though.
 

Rhaze

Member
May 23, 2008
37
0
0
Originally posted by: Gnitepracdlo
get the 4850 now for around $150 ar and then get the 4870x2 when it comes out. that's what i'm doing.

Unless I'm retarded... and I am completely open to this possibility...

I would Step up to the GTX280 for the 325... eBay it 'New, factory sealed box' for 550+

Buy an HD4850 and beer with the gains... this would be a slight upgrade with slight profit after the sale and beer is the mega win.

THEN... wait for the HD4870x2. Sell the used HD4850 on eBay, or CF it.
 

Sutareteiru

Member
Feb 28, 2008
80
0
0
I also have a 9800 GTX and the performance levels are great with it, overclocking it has made a big difference. Now if you have watched pricing over the last few months as ive had you will notice on launch dates the prices on these things are obviously peaked then they drop within a matter of months. Looking at this I see that the improvements on the games like crysis from 9800 gtx to the 280 do not warrant $300 of your money. I say wait for the next gen card something that would be a substantial upgrade, which wont be long...maybe a year or so? in the mean time, save up. Instead of upgrading so quickly, maybe save up for the new nehalem processor coming up. Anyways thats just my 2 cents. Save your money instead of grabbing that few fps, or at least until new games come out that will require that power, and by that time the price will have dropped alot.
 

jonks

Lifer
Feb 7, 2005
13,918
20
81
Sell the 9800gtx and buy a 4870. Should be able to dump the 9800 for at least $150, the 4870 is $300, so you got yourself a top of the line card for $150.
 

LightningRider

Senior member
Feb 16, 2007
558
0
0
Well, I had always intended to step up to the GTX280, that's why I bought the 9800GTX when I did, knowing it wouldn't be high end for long. I am thinking of just going for the HD4870.

The only things I'm still thinking about are:

- 512MB vs 1GB of memory
- ATi driver support, I've heard it's a bit worse than nVidia's
 

tuteja1986

Diamond Member
Jun 1, 2005
3,676
0
0
GT 280 = IF you got the cash and if it ain't going hurt your wallet , then get it as its best but not in price vs performance or in feature wise.
4870 = buy for price vs performance , dx10.1 support maybe useful with EA new titles , Blizzard new deal and also microsoft will anounced 2 title with DX10.1 support

As for GPGPU both have their advantage and disadvantage. Both have a transcoding software.

Also EVGA don't make teh GT280 , Nvidia does :! EVGA just puts its sticker and ocs its. Asus is better at warranty support for ATI and Nvidia product. EVGA step program is good but it ain't worth $350 extra.
 

Jax Omen

Golden Member
Mar 14, 2008
1,654
2
81
From what I understand, ATI's driver support in the last 6 months or so has blown away Nvidia's craptastic drivers (seriously, wtf is the excuse for MULTIPLE 1+ year-old issues still not being fixed?)
 

batmang

Diamond Member
Jul 16, 2003
3,020
1
81
Originally posted by: LightningRider
Well, I had always intended to step up to the GTX280, that's why I bought the 9800GTX when I did, knowing it wouldn't be high end for long. I am thinking of just going for the HD4870.

The only things I'm still thinking about are:

- 512MB vs 1GB of memory
- ATi driver support, I've heard it's a bit worse than nVidia's

That is complete bulls#it. ATi's driver support is far more superior compared to NVidia's. OFFICIAL releases almost every month and every release performance in an area is increased. That is just AWESOME.

If anyone buys a $630+ GTXD 280 over a $309 4870 you should be smacked back to reality. If you have $600+ to blow on a card, wait for the 4870X2 or buy two 4870's. The GTX280 is such a waste IMO. Read the reviews... why the hell would ANYONE buy a GTX280 when the 4870 can be bought for less than half the price and perform almost identical with settings maxed?

 

JBT

Lifer
Nov 28, 2001
12,095
1
81
Originally posted by: Rhaze
Originally posted by: Gnitepracdlo
get the 4850 now for around $150 ar and then get the 4870x2 when it comes out. that's what i'm doing.

Unless I'm retarded... and I am completely open to this possibility...

I would Step up to the GTX280 for the 325... eBay it 'New, factory sealed box' for 550+

Buy an HD4850 and beer with the gains... this would be a slight upgrade with slight profit after the sale and beer is the mega win.

THEN... wait for the HD4870x2. Sell the used HD4850 on eBay, or CF it.

teh winnAr!