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Old January 7, 2009, 10:40 PM
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Default 4870 1GB vs. GTX 280

Why exactly does the 4870 1GB get beaten by the GTX 280? If you look at the specs, and overall computer power, the 4870 should be better. The 4870 has a 55nm process, (less power & heat), GDDR5 @ 3600MHZ effective speed, a faster core clock, more SP's, and has 1200 GigaFLOPS (1.2 TeraFLOPS) of computer power. The only thing it doesn't have compared to the GTX280 is a 256-bit memory bus vs. 512 on the GTX280, and half as many ROP's and Texture Units.

Meanwhile, the GTX280 is bigger, hotter, has less memory, has slower memory, has GDDR3, far less shaders, and has 933 GigaFLOPS, exactly 267 billion less FLOPS than the 4870.

Based on this, I can't bring myself to a conclusion as to why the 4870 1GB is beaten by the GTX 280. Do the ROP's and Texture Unit's really make that big a difference, enough to knock the 4870 down to the GTX260's level? How so?

Also, I don't mean to purposely make this question seem biased, I'm just saying it like it is. I looked up the question all over the place and can't quite figure out why the 4870 is beaten by the GTX 280. Any experts in the house care to comment, however?
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Old January 7, 2009, 11:51 PM
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I'm no expert, but nVidia claims their SP architecture is more efficient (of course) and the ram timings on DDR5 I suspect are fairly high, so more cycles to activate a change.

I wish GPU-Z (or some other tool) would show the ram timings. I don't know of a tool that does. I guess they want to keep their bios settings close to their chest.
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Last edited by MonsterSound; January 8, 2009 at 12:02 AM.
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Old January 8, 2009, 05:40 PM
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4870 does not have 800 shaders. It has 160 shaders with 5 units each (ATI marketing department "spec stretching", as usual). 280 has 240 shaders with 1 unit each. So, unless the game is programmed to use multiunit shaders, 280 has an advantage. Plus 280 has twice the amount of ROPs and TUs.

So, technically, newer games with higher effect levels should favour 4870, games with shear number of triangles should favour 280.

Still, I think 4870/50 1GB is the best card for the money (thinking short and long term).
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Old January 8, 2009, 06:27 PM
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You cannot compare the GTX 280 to the 4870 by architecture and organization. They handle processes in a completely different manner. You really just have to go by the performance...
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Old January 8, 2009, 07:15 PM
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Quote:
You really just have to go by the performance...
Exactly......as well as Bandwidth, not sure what the Bandwidth of the 4870 is, but an OC'd 280 is hovering around 160 GB/ Sec.....its bloody fast!!
The 4870 was an extremely fast Card, that was why nVidia came out with the GTX 260 Core 216, unlocked a few more shaders so that they could claim the Card as faster.
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Still, I think 4870/50 1GB is the best card for the money (thinking short and long term).
I disagree, imo the best overall Card for the coin right now is the GTX 260 Core 216....I know I know..and so the debate continues, but if I were to be laying out the $$$, I know where it would go!
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Old January 8, 2009, 10:02 PM
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Yeah I am on Rj's side here in terms of raw performance the 280 stacks up with an impressive memory bandwidth and in the end I thinks thats what its all about. Now correct me if I am wrong, but if a 4870 had 512bit memory interface it would probably rape the 280.
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Old January 8, 2009, 11:28 PM
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Quote:
but if a 4870 had 512bit memory interface it would probably rape the 280.
Not sure EE.....that is starting to bend towards the "uber geekness GPU construction" end of things, it makes sense though, but if it were the case, why wouldn't ATI have done this...?....
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Old January 9, 2009, 06:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjbarker View Post
Not sure EE.....that is starting to bend towards the "uber geekness GPU construction" end of things, it makes sense though, but if it were the case, why wouldn't ATI have done this...?....
They didn't do it because they said that the GDDR5 makes up for the 256bit bus. IIRC the 4870 does around 110GB/s at stock. If I remember, and no one else has done so, I'll post a GPU-Z screenshot after school (I only have a 512MB version, but they are both the same memory speed).

EDIT: I just checked, and at 1125MHz (default is 900MHz) the 4870 gets 144MB/s
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Last edited by CanadaRox; January 9, 2009 at 02:04 PM.
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Old January 9, 2009, 07:20 AM
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It's all a matter of cost. I'm sure there is a big enough discrepancy between a 256 bit, and a 512 bit interface that they thought a GDDR 5 memory standard made up for any loss of performance, and helped keep the cost down.
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Old January 9, 2009, 08:30 AM
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Why dont you get a 260 216? I find the 280 has too much of a price jump to be worth it.
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