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Nvidia GeForce GTX 480/470 vs. ATI Radeon HD 5870/5850

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Nvidia GeForce GTX 480/470 vs. ATI Radeon HD 5870/5850

Post by Yaznee! L4DS on Sat Jun 05, 2010 4:28 pm

By Steven Walton on June 3, 2010 techspot.com

Although the
Nvidia GeForce 400 series has been out for about 2 months now, it'd seem
the jury is still out on whether or not the series is a success. Some
will tell you the GeForce GTX 480 is a power-hungry expensive GPU that
failed to deliver, while others claim it lived up to the expectations as
the world’s fastest single GPU graphics card and that power consumption
figures are for sissies.
While we feel the truth might lie somewhere
in the middle, it is time to take another look at the Nvidia GeForce
GTX 480/470 vs. ATI Radeon HD 5870/5850 comparison.

The GeForce
400 series, particularly the GeForce GTX 480, is a serious piece of
hardware that at least on paper should leave the Radeon HD 5870 dead in
the water. Our first go at this board revealed that while it was priced
~20% higher than the Radeon HD 5870, on average we only saw a 16%
performance increase based on the dozen games included in our
benchmarking phase. Perhaps more relevant than that, we found that when
placed under full load the GeForce GTX 480 consumed ~30% more power,
while at the same time it attempted to send us deaf.

When
wrapping up our original GeForce GTX 480 review two months ago we had
this to say...

“The GeForce GTX 480 is fast, but given the extra
time Nvidia had to work on the card and tweak it to perfection, we would
have at least expected to do without the heat/power compromises. As
drivers mature these Fermi-based graphics cards will likely become even
faster, but we may also suggest Nvidia revises its pricing strategy,
which could make or break sales once the cards become available next
month.”

It would appear that time is now as Nvidia released the
257 beta driver revision a couple of weeks ago. Nvidia claims these
drivers provide significant performance improvements across the board
for the GeForce GTX 400 series. In the 8 weeks since releasing the
GeForce GTX 400 series AMD has also polished their Catalyst drivers and
the current 10.5 version seems very solid.

Another reason why we
wish to revisit this high-end graphics card battle is to settle a belief
of the green team fans that the GeForce GTX 480 is far superior to the
Radeon HD 5870 when measuring minimum frames per second. This is an
interesting argument as the average fps results did not suggest a huge
difference in minimum frame rate performance when we last tested, though
it could be possible and therefore we wanted to find out if this were
true or not.

However, simply showing the flat minimum frame rate
is not enough considering that this could be the result of something
else going on within the system that causes a split second drop in
performance. Therefore we have recorded the a frames per second timeline
to reveal just how often the performance drops and for how long. Shiny
new graphs coming your way, read on...

Wrapping Things Up
Although we tested these high-end graphics cards
with only seven games we feel it was a solid and representative line up.
A few new games were included such as Metro 2033, Just Cause 2 and
Battlefield Bad Company 2, while some older yet still significant games
for measuring graphics card performance were included like Crysis
Warhead and S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat.
The GeForce GTX 480 vs.
Radeon HD 5870 comparison certainly didn't turn out as we were
expecting, especially given what we had already seen in our original
comparison where the GeForce GTX 480 was on average 16% faster. Now with
newer drivers we were expecting this margin to open up a little,
further favoring the Nvidia graphics card.

This was not to be as
the margin appears to have been reduced instead. Of course, we have
changed our testing methodology for this article by using FRAPS to
measure performance, while the focus was more on real-time gameplay
instead of time demos. For the most part the GeForce GTX 480 and Radeon
HD 5870 delivered very similar results which again was a little
surprising.

Games such as Battlefield Bad Company 2, Resident
Evil 5 and Wolfenstein showed almost no difference in performance
between the two higher-end cards. Another surprising set of results were
found when testing with Crysis Warhead. The GeForce GTX 480 was just
~3fps faster when measuring both the minimum and average frame rates
which is considerably less than what we observed last time using a time
demo.

The biggest performance margins where playable performance
was still obtained were seen when testing with S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of
Pripyat and Just Cause 2. The GeForce GTX 480 was 5fps on average faster
in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat with Tessellation enabled, while on
the other hand the Radeon HD 5870 was 6fps faster when testing with Just
Cause 2.

Finally, the GeForce GTX 480 dominated Metro 2033 by a
7fps margin with Tessellation though with an average of 28fps and a
minimum of just 21fps this is a hollow victory for Nvidia. At 1920x1200
we feel Tessellation is better off disabled in order to achieve smooth
gameplay and doing so closes the gap between the GeForce GTX 480 and
Radeon HD 5870 graphics cards.

The GeForce GTX 470 vs. Radeon HD
5850 comparison can be summed up much more easily. The Radeon HD 5850
was without a doubt the superior performer in our testing, washing away
the GeForce GTX 470 in all but two games. Even when the GeForce GTX 470
hit the lead when playing Metro 2033 and S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat
it was by a small 1-2 fps margin on average.

Take into account
that the GeForce GTX 470 sells for ~$50 more ($350) and the choice
becomes quite obvious. In fact, value is the real showstopper for
Nvidia’s current generation GPUs in our opinion. Although the GeForce
GTX 480 is unquestionably a beast, at $500 it is an expensive one that
sells for a $70-$100 premium over the Radeon HD 5870.

So two
months later, both AMD and Nvidia have delivered new drivers for their
current generation GPUs and very little has changed. The GeForce GTX 480
is still very fast, on the expensive side, and very power hungry. The
Radeon HD 5870 on the other hand is almost as fast, it's a better value
per dollar, and much more fuel efficient. For those reasons alone the
Radeon HD 5870 still gets our seal of approval.

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Re: Nvidia GeForce GTX 480/470 vs. ATI Radeon HD 5870/5850

Post by TL#L4DS on Sun Jun 06, 2010 6:10 pm

Ati win.

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Re: Nvidia GeForce GTX 480/470 vs. ATI Radeon HD 5870/5850

Post by Yaznee! L4DS on Sun Jun 06, 2010 6:51 pm

No they dont! which one does it say is faster???

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Re: Nvidia GeForce GTX 480/470 vs. ATI Radeon HD 5870/5850

Post by TL#L4DS on Mon Jun 07, 2010 6:03 am

Ati is just a little slower ( about 7 FPS on average ). While the Nvidia Cards got cooling and powerconsumption problems + They cost 1/3 more. And Nvidia even had longer to work on those problems as well. So I would say that Ati wins even if Nvidia's cards are faster.

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Re: Nvidia GeForce GTX 480/470 vs. ATI Radeon HD 5870/5850

Post by Yaznee! L4DS on Mon Jun 07, 2010 8:32 am

But it doesnt so f*** off lol,in the long run im happy with my 280's so i wont be buying either of em anyways

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Re: Nvidia GeForce GTX 480/470 vs. ATI Radeon HD 5870/5850

Post by TL#L4DS on Tue Jun 08, 2010 7:23 am

Let's make a comparison of our systems when I get a new CPU kk? :p

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Re: Nvidia GeForce GTX 480/470 vs. ATI Radeon HD 5870/5850

Post by Yaznee! L4DS on Tue Jun 08, 2010 7:28 am

Lol you'll be picking Intel and I have AMD and will never own an Intel!!!
Want a system comparison now? lol

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Re: Nvidia GeForce GTX 480/470 vs. ATI Radeon HD 5870/5850

Post by Yaznee! L4DS on Tue Jun 08, 2010 7:28 am


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Re: Nvidia GeForce GTX 480/470 vs. ATI Radeon HD 5870/5850

Post by TL#L4DS on Tue Jun 08, 2010 7:52 am

No I will be getting AMD actually the same one as you linked :p

it's up at my usual retailer atm. for £257,142 (converted from DKR)

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Re: Nvidia GeForce GTX 480/470 vs. ATI Radeon HD 5870/5850

Post by Yaznee! L4DS on Tue Jun 08, 2010 7:53 am

At least you have now seen the light and turned to AMD Very Happy

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Re: Nvidia GeForce GTX 480/470 vs. ATI Radeon HD 5870/5850

Post by HILBILLY on Fri Jun 11, 2010 10:18 am

well i have the ati radeon 5850 hd card and its awesome its probaly the best card i ve had and i am a nvidia card man but i was surprised at the performance that this card has.
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Re: Nvidia GeForce GTX 480/470 vs. ATI Radeon HD 5870/5850

Post by Yaznee! L4DS on Sat Jun 12, 2010 12:45 am

ive got 2 GTX 280's and they are awesome so i wont be upgrading my card anyways Very Happy

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