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Heroes Might& Magic Champ
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Don't see many other tech news agencies reporting this, but Dailytech reports that both the 4870 and the 4850 get a big price drop soon. Perhaps in the coming week.

http://www.dailytech.com/Radeon+487...Radeon+4850+Will+Drop+to+129/article14433.htm

Dailytech said:
ATI fights NVIDIA's rebranding with better pricing

DailyTech has learned from industry sources that ATI, the graphics division of AMD, is working with its board partners and several major e-tailers to lower prices on some key products.

The ATI Radeon HD 4870 512MB will drop $50 in price, from the $199 segment down to $149. It will compete in this price point primarily against NVIDIA's GTS 250 1GB rebrand using the old G92 chip, variants of which were used in the 8800GT, 9800GT, 9800GTX, 9800GTX+, etc. However, the HD 4870 has been shown to surpass the performance of NVIDIA's GTX 260 line, and value seekers may choose to leave NVIDIA for a better price/performance point.

The Radeon 4870 uses GDDR5 to provide more video memory bandwidth than the GTX260, even though it has more RAM, a wider memory bus, and higher clocked memory.

The ATI Radeon HD 4850 512MB will drop to $129, and is designed to compete at the same price point as NVIDIA's GTS 250 512MB version. The Radeon HD 4830 will be replaced by another part soon at a lower price point.

ATI's price cuts are anticipated to take effect early this week. One of our sources indicates that NVIDIA and its partners will unveil GTS250 parts at the CeBit tradeshow in Hannover, Germany on Tuesday.
Okay found this about the 1gb version of the 4870
Dropping to $199 http://www.xbitlabs.com/news/video/...ces_Pricing_of_ATI_Radeon_HD_4870_to_199.html
 

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Pilgrim
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Now that's great news.

I love when they compete.
 

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Opensource-spice
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It is amazing news. Now that the 4870 is under $200, near-high end is now pretty affordable to people on budget builds.

Go ATI!
 

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From Love and Limerence
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The Radeon 4870 was already ~$200 (and the Radeon 4850 was ~$150). Now it's $150.

I think the price premium of the 1GB version is still too large. You can move from a Radeon 4850 to a Radeon 4870 for $20, but moving from the same card to one with double the memory is $50 more? I could understand if it was like $179.99 or something, but it looks like 512MB cards will remain mainstream with ATi still. Of course, 512MB isn't small or anything, but with some games chewing up more or close to it, I think 1GB needs to become standard with the next generation of cards they release.
 

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The Hunter
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Hadn't value seekers left nVidia over half a year ago anyway?

Anyway, ever since the 3850 I think near-high end has been affordable to most people. That card already offered great value. This new series of course only went further in this. ATi simply has ever aspect of the market covered with superior cards, with the exception perhaps of the ultra high-end, which is irrelevant from a financial point of view.

Anyway, this price cut is as good as a fact, the prices for these cards have been roughly the same since release and nVidia couldn't do a thing other than drastically drop its own prices. It's time to put on a new offensive since ATi can simply do this. Also, there's rumours of them clearing stock in order to release the refresh of the current cards. The 4870 may disappear from the market completely.

Also, in their laptop cards they now put 5GHz DDR5, running at 1200MHz, as opposed to the 4GHz rated stuff found on the current desktop cards. There's also rumours of that making its way to the new desktop refresh. Then again, it's all rumours, ATi put up quite the smokescreen again. Meanwhile, I'm wondering what nVidia's doing. Haven't heard anything from their side apart from flashing bios' and putting new stickers on current models.
 

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Hackin 'n Slashin
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ATi still need to up their bus size on their cards though. That's one area where they are still lagging behind and it's something which is becoming more and more important.
 

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From Love and Limerence
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A fair and modest one, but it's about the minimum gain I'd consider acceptable, if you catch what I mean. Believe me, I've researched GeForce 8800GT upgrades alot, and the Radeon 4850/GeForce 9800GTX cards aren't worth it, and the Radeon 4870 sort of is, but only just ever so barely. If you plan on jumping on the next generation cards anyway, I'd say wait until the eventual GeForce GTX 3x0 and Radeon HD 58x0 cards come along.
 

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Site Owner
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The 8800GT deserves an award for the scrappiest card ever created. A GTX280 is an upgrade to an 8800gt
 

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The Hunter
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ATi still need to up their bus size on their cards though. That's one area where they are still lagging behind and it's something which is becoming more and more important.
What do you mean man? There's no need for a higher bus size at this moment. Actually, it is completely irrelevant in their case since with their 256bit bus size they can get the same amount of memory bandwidth as nVidia with their 512bit bus sizes. It's not bus size that matters, it's memory bandwidth. You can either have a wide bus with slow memory, or the other way around. The problem however with a 512bit bus size is that it complicates the PCB layout a lot, thus increase cost prize. Which is exactly the problem nVidia has right now.

ATi has this part covered because of the quadruple speed DDR5. Don't expect to see a new generation nVidia card with a 512bit bus width. They'll adopt DDR5 as well in order to keep the card layout simple and cost efficient.

I've been contemplating a 4870 for a while.. how much of a performance benefit would it give over a stock 8800GT 512MB?
What Lord Zedeck said, can't agree more. The 8800GT is definitely a fantastic card, although not the fastest anymore it still can play every game out there and if you'd have bought it back when it got released you really had a good value. Then again, the same could be said for the expensive 8800GTX, which still outperforms some of the latest series' cards.

In fact, nVidia is relabeling your 8800GT once more in order to sell it, it's still cutting edge technology man :p
 

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Hackin 'n Slashin
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What do you mean man? There's no need for a higher bus size at this moment. Actually, it is completely irrelevant in their case since with their 256bit bus size they can get the same amount of memory bandwidth as nVidia with their 512bit bus sizes. It's not bus size that matters, it's memory bandwidth. You can either have a wide bus with slow memory, or the other way around. The problem however with a 512bit bus size is that it complicates the PCB layout a lot, thus increase cost prize. Which is exactly the problem nVidia has right now.

ATi has this part covered because of the quadruple speed DDR5. Don't expect to see a new generation nVidia card with a 512bit bus width. They'll adopt DDR5 as well in order to keep the card layout simple and cost efficient.
Ah. Thanks for the schooling.

That would mean though that a future mega-jump may be possible by using a 512bit Bus AND GDDR5 though? Or is that impossible?
 

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The Hunter
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Ah. Thanks for the schooling.

That would mean though that a future mega-jump may be possible by using a 512bit Bus AND GDDR5 though? Or is that impossible?
Anytime man :)
And yes, you got that right, it would double the bandwidth. But unless you're bandwidth limited, it wouldn't add anything to performance. It can only increase performance if that's where the bottleneck is. Simple example:

The HD4850 uses the same core as the 4870, but has DDR3 memory that effectively has a clockrate of 2000MHz or so. The 4870 uses DDR5 memory having an effectively clockrate of 3600MHz. Overclocking the core on the 4870 has relatively a much stronger effect than on the 4850, while on the 4850 you gain much more by raising the memory speed.

So far I think they'll try to get the memory to become faster, like how we now have 5GHz DDR5 available on the market. This shouldn't be too hard to achieve since we just made the step to DDR5. Unless desperate for bandwidth, both nVidia and ATi will not use a 512bit bus, it makes the boards way too complicated.
 

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Heroes Might& Magic Champ
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Discussion Starter #17
ATI is really putting the pain on nVidia. With the much smaller die size (and iirc better yield processes) they can afford to drop the price, whereas nVidia with its gargantuan die is really being pressured, they probably can't go much lower without losing profit.
 

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Level 9998
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Well, I'd say to those who say that going from 8800GT to 4850 doesn't show a noticeable boost should really get the cards and play them side-by-side instead of looking at benchmarks because IMHO, benchmarks just don't cut it. :p

That said, I've already gone through quite a host of cards... from 8800GTS 320M to 8800GTX to 9600GT to 8800GT to 8800GTS then to 9800GTX then to 4850 then to 4870 then to *censored to tease Phil*.

And imo, ranking should be as follow for performance gain:

1) HD4870
2) HD4850
3) 9800GTX (a good distance behind 4850, mind you, and no, not the plus model)
4) 8800GT === 8800GTS
5) 8800GTX
6) 9600GT
7) 8800GTS 320M

And with each upgrade, you'll really "feel" the difference. Not just because the fps is like... 1 or 2 notches higher. IMO, benchmarks don't justify these cards. You gotta use them yourself to really see what the fuss is all about. The 8800GTX I used was a terrific card. Obviously faster than the 9600GT that I got later on (though arguably louder and hotter). But I don't think it stands up to 8800GT or 8800GTS. Well, of course I know benchmarks say otherwise, but I don't do benchmarks. I play games. That's all.

Then the jump to 9800GTX was also a great jump. Eye candies in Crysis were pushed further, and I can notice a clear improvement with AA performance and other areas as well. But something was still missing. On top of that, this thing came back to being as hot as the 8800GTX. Brr... (in case you ask, I usually use cases that are very air tight, so a card would be many times hotter to me than it is to you)

Then 4850. Now wow, what a jump. I could not get enough of AA-ing the living **** out of any game I own. Heck... I AA'ed Doom 3 to death, too. Then Oblivion. The card wasn't that much faster than 9800GTX, but with AA, it was significantly faster and more elegant. Then I overclocked her further. Up to a whooping 850MHz core clock. Now that was then that the distance between the 4850 and 9800GTX became wide enough for me to really say that the HD4850 was about a generation above the 9800GTX. Literally. Only downside was heat issues. Eventually heat incinerated that card... and that was when I went for the next step: HD4870.

After purchasing this card, I can really confirm that whoever says that a HD4870 is just a higher-clocked HD4850 might not have used a HD4870 yet. Seriously... this monster at stock clocks is a sin in its own. Arguably the fastest single-core card I have ever used. It ate AA and AF calculations for snacks. Aside from Far Cry 2 and Crysis, no other game would cross the 60fps line with this thing inside no matter what settings I used. But after 10 tweaks later, even Far Cry 2 and Crysis would have to give up and run at over 60fps. The difference was humongous.

So really, it'd be really worthwhile to go to a HD4870 from a 8800GT. If you don't really feel a difference, you might be more CPU-bound than GPU-bound. I've reported that a HD4800 card would only shine when you're on a Quad-core.

And it's worthwhile even if your monitor only goes to a max of 1280 x 1024 or something like that. If that is the case, just push AA because at such resolution, you could pretty much force 4x AA onto Crysis and still get a good experience out of that game. That's saying a lot now.

Anyway, those are all personal opinions. I know I'm going to get flooded with benchmarks and numbers. But I'd just like to say that it could have something to do with he system I used those cards on, too. Which is to say I don't exactly have a QX9775 running at 3.2GHz with possibly 8GB of RAM and some ASUS Rampage Extreme motherboard with 4 PCI-E 2.0 slots or anything of the sort. Many other factors would come into play as well... (software). But I still would like to say that from my own experience, the HD4870 is a very worthy upgrade. (save that OpenGL performance may suffer... but I guess ATi should be able to remedy that. In fact, it's gotten quite a bit better)

And Cid, I highly recommend that you further overclock your processor if you find a need for "speed". :p
 

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Pilgrim
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You always have to tease Phil. :lol:
 

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ライチュウ|タオ
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Well, I'd say to those who say that going from 8800GT to 4850 doesn't show a noticeable boost should really get the cards and play them side-by-side instead of looking at benchmarks because IMHO, benchmarks just don't cut it. :p

That said, I've already gone through quite a host of cards... from 8800GTS 320M to 8800GTX to 9600GT to 8800GT to 8800GTS then to 9800GTX then to 4850 then to 4870 then to *censored to tease Phil*.

And imo, ranking should be as follow for performance gain:

1) HD4870
2) HD4850
3) 9800GTX (a good distance behind 4850, mind you, and no, not the plus model)
4) 8800GT === 8800GTS
5) 8800GTX
6) 9600GT
7) 8800GTS 320M

And with each upgrade, you'll really "feel" the difference. Not just because the fps is like... 1 or 2 notches higher. IMO, benchmarks don't justify these cards. You gotta use them yourself to really see what the fuss is all about. The 8800GTX I used was a terrific card. Obviously faster than the 9600GT that I got later on (though arguably louder and hotter). But I don't think it stands up to 8800GT or 8800GTS. Well, of course I know benchmarks say otherwise, but I don't do benchmarks. I play games. That's all.

Then the jump to 9800GTX was also a great jump. Eye candies in Crysis were pushed further, and I can notice a clear improvement with AA performance and other areas as well. But something was still missing. On top of that, this thing came back to being as hot as the 8800GTX. Brr... (in case you ask, I usually use cases that are very air tight, so a card would be many times hotter to me than it is to you)

Then 4850. Now wow, what a jump. I could not get enough of AA-ing the living **** out of any game I own. Heck... I AA'ed Doom 3 to death, too. Then Oblivion. The card wasn't that much faster than 9800GTX, but with AA, it was significantly faster and more elegant. Then I overclocked her further. Up to a whooping 850MHz core clock. Now that was then that the distance between the 4850 and 9800GTX became wide enough for me to really say that the HD4850 was about a generation above the 9800GTX. Literally. Only downside was heat issues. Eventually heat incinerated that card... and that was when I went for the next step: HD4870.

After purchasing this card, I can really confirm that whoever says that a HD4870 is just a higher-clocked HD4850 might not have used a HD4870 yet. Seriously... this monster at stock clocks is a sin in its own. Arguably the fastest single-core card I have ever used. It ate AA and AF calculations for snacks. Aside from Far Cry 2 and Crysis, no other game would cross the 60fps line with this thing inside no matter what settings I used. But after 10 tweaks later, even Far Cry 2 and Crysis would have to give up and run at over 60fps. The difference was humongous.

So really, it'd be really worthwhile to go to a HD4870 from a 8800GT. If you don't really feel a difference, you might be more CPU-bound than GPU-bound. I've reported that a HD4800 card would only shine when you're on a Quad-core.

And it's worthwhile even if your monitor only goes to a max of 1280 x 1024 or something like that. If that is the case, just push AA because at such resolution, you could pretty much force 4x AA onto Crysis and still get a good experience out of that game. That's saying a lot now.

Anyway, those are all personal opinions. I know I'm going to get flooded with benchmarks and numbers. But I'd just like to say that it could have something to do with he system I used those cards on, too. Which is to say I don't exactly have a QX9775 running at 3.2GHz with possibly 8GB of RAM and some ASUS Rampage Extreme motherboard with 4 PCI-E 2.0 slots or anything of the sort. Many other factors would come into play as well... (software). But I still would like to say that from my own experience, the HD4870 is a very worthy upgrade. (save that OpenGL performance may suffer... but I guess ATi should be able to remedy that. In fact, it's gotten quite a bit better)

And Cid, I highly recommend that you further overclock your processor if you find a need for "speed". :p
Does the 4870 choke at say 1680x1050? My 8800GT "dies" a bit if I force more than about 2xAA on modern games[with everything else maxed too], depending on the game.
 
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