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Old 06-08-2009, 01:13 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Nvidia or ATI?

Hi,
Currently have a 9800GT 512Mb Gcard. Looking to have a slight upgrade, hopefully around 100 mark. Saw Custom PC say that the new ATI cards were brilliant but can't remeber which card they said. Been looking at the shopping site and am confused with the numbers. My card at mo has:
Core Clock - 750Mhz
Mem Clock - 2000Mhz

BUT, Looking at the speeds of the ATI 48?? cards there slower, surely that can't be the case???
The cards I'm looking at are:
Sapphire HD 4870 512MB GDDR5 Dual DVI HDCP HDTV out PCI-E Graphics Card
Sapphire HD 4850 512MB GDDR3 HDMI DVI VGA PCI-E Graphics Card
XFX HD 4870 512MB GDDR5 Dual DVI HDTV Out PCI-E Graphics Card

They all seem to be around the same speeds,
Core - 670-700Mhz
Mem - 400Mhz

Except the XFX card that has:
Core - 750Mhz
Mem - 3.6Ghz!!!! (this is what throws me!!)

The Nvidia's are,
PNY GTS250 512MB GDDR3 Dual DVI HDTV Out PhysX and Cuda ready PCI-E Graphics Card
XFX GTS250 512MB DDR3 Dual DVI HDCP HDTV out PhysX and Cuda ready PCI-E Graphics Card
ZOTAC GTX260 192 Core SYNERGY EDITION 896MB DDR3 Dual DVI HDTV PhysX and Cuda ready PCI-E Graphics Card

These are around the mark of
Core - 576Mhz / 738Mhz
Mem - 1998Mhz / 2200Mhz

Please could someone tell me which is the better card and why the numbers are similar but they say the cards run Crysis Max detail with no probs????

Thanks for your time,
Shaun.
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Old 06-08-2009, 01:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Nvidia or ATI?

Well, if you were looking at a GTX260, don't get the 192 core. Get the 216 core.

The real question is are you eventually looking to have 2 cards together? Because if so, you'll need to go with the brand your motherboard would support for that. Nvidia chipsets support SLI, while basically everything else supports Crossfire. Intel x58 chipsets support both.

This is a prewarning for everyone posting in this thread. Keep it civil.
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Old 06-08-2009, 01:45 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Nvidia or ATI?

You can't compare the small variations in the frequencies between ATi and nVidia cards. They use completely different components. Also, the 4870 memory runs at 3.6GHz because it is GDDR5, while the nVidia cards are GDDR3 which runs at a much lower frequency.

This is basically the way it goes:
If you don't have a lot of money but want a good card, get ATi.
If you have a lot of money and want the best of the best, get nVidia.

Currently, the GTX295 is the fastest nVidia card and it is faster than the 4870X2, which is ATi's fastest card. The 4870 is pretty much on-par with the GTX260, but the GTX280+ are faster.

Now, if you are looking at a GTX250, I would say instead pickup an ATi 4850 or 4870, as they're a bit faster. If you want to stay with nVidia then go with a GTX260 216.
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Old 06-08-2009, 01:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Nvidia or ATI?

The HD 4870 512mb is the fastest card of all the oens you posted.

The main factors that influence gpu performance are stream processors, memory interface, memory clocks, and gpu clocks.

Stream processors are the main influence of performance. They are basically like cpu cores except much less powerful. However gpu's have a lot of them so working together they perform very well. The more stream processors you have the more cores your gpu has. Nvidias stream processors are faster than ati's stream processors one one one however ati cards have more stream processors so it evens out.

Memory interface and memory clocks are closely related because they both influence memory bandwidth (memory bandwidth=memory_clocks *memory_interface). Therefore a card like the HD 4870 which has a 256bit memory interface and memory clocked at 3.6ghz can have similar bandwidth to a card like a GTX 260 which has a 448bit memory interface and memory clocked at 2ghz.

GPU clocks are last on the list because you can't compare them between separate architectures. Fort example if one hD 4870 is clocked at 850mhz and another is clocked at 750mhz then the 850mhz one will be faster however is a GTX 285 is clocked at 670mhz you can't compare it's clock speed to the HD 4870's mentioned before.

Even taking all this info into account the easiest way to figure out which gpu to get is to look at some recent benchmarks of all of the cards you are interested in.
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Old 06-08-2009, 02:46 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Nvidia or ATI?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Puddle Jumper View Post
The HD 4870 512mb is the fastest card of all the oens you posted.

The main factors that influence gpu performance are stream processors, memory interface, memory clocks, and gpu clocks.

Stream processors are the main influence of performance. They are basically like cpu cores except much less powerful. However gpu's have a lot of them so working together they perform very well. The more stream processors you have the more cores your gpu has. Nvidias stream processors are faster than ati's stream processors one one one however ati cards have more stream processors so it evens out.

Memory interface and memory clocks are closely related because they both influence memory bandwidth (memory bandwidth=memory_clocks *memory_interface). Therefore a card like the HD 4870 which has a 256bit memory interface and memory clocked at 3.6ghz can have similar bandwidth to a card like a GTX 260 which has a 448bit memory interface and memory clocked at 2ghz.

GPU clocks are last on the list because you can't compare them between separate architectures. Fort example if one hD 4870 is clocked at 850mhz and another is clocked at 750mhz then the 850mhz one will be faster however is a GTX 285 is clocked at 670mhz you can't compare it's clock speed to the HD 4870's mentioned before.

Even taking all this info into account the easiest way to figure out which gpu to get is to look at some recent benchmarks of all of the cards you are interested in.
+ 1

Best card in that price range, I'd also get teh HD 4870 if I had that kind of money
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Old 06-08-2009, 02:50 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Nvidia or ATI?

Personally I'd get a 260 (which I did), but I'm not saying that you shouldn't get an HD4870, they're both great cards. Mostly I agree with previous posts.
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