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|12th November 2008, 21:36||#1|
Join Date: May 2002
Winter 2008 Graphics Performance Update
If you are looking for more performance than that, the GeForce GTX 280 looks to be a good option now and weíd dare say itís a better option than the Radeon HD 4850 X2, especially as a stock GTX 280 is a good ￡50 cheaper. Admittedly there are times when the 4870 X2 will completely blitz the GTX 280, but there are just as many examples where the dual-GPU behemoth will suffer from performance inconsistencies like those we saw in our Far Cry 2 DirectX 9.0 tests thanks to unoptimised drivers or engine limitations. The bad news is that official driver support from AMD isnít coming until January, so 4870 X2 owners may well feel a little let down by AMD's drivers here.
The other interesting thing weíve learned from our new testing is that the GeForce 9800 GTX+ is now a much more compelling option compared to the Radeon HD 4850. OK, so itís not as clear cut as, say, choosing the 4870 1GB over either the 4870 512MB or GeForce GTX 260+ and there are times when the 4850 is quite a lot faster than the 9800 GTX+, but there are now some scenarios where the 9800 GTX+ is notably faster Ė we just couldnít say that just a few short months ago.
Looking at both Far Cry 2 and Fallout 3 shows that Nvidia is now offering at least comparable, if not better performance than the competition from AMD in the latest titles. Iím sure AMD has its own optimisations to do in these games as well, but things are looking a lot more promising for Nvidia at the moment.
A driver update canít turn the world upside down though and AMD still holds a clear performance lead with the Radeon HD 4870 X2 when the drivers and game engine allow Ė thatís unlikely to change any time soon as well, based on what weíve been hearing. In short then, the Radeon HD 4870 1GB is still the card we'd spend our own money on at the moment, but the playing field isnít quite as clear elsewhere as it used to be Ė thatís a good thing for consumers though, as thereís now not really a bad buy in sight any more.
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