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Radeon 5870 vs GTX 295


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#1 aocvirek

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Posted 01 November 2009 - 04:06 AM

Ok, so I am planning to buy a new rig for my birthday at the end of November. I have been saving for 8 years since I bought my last one, so price isn't really an issue on this discussion .

I am pretty much set on the rest of the build, but the GPU solution is driving me nuts.

On one hand, I have the DX.11 compliant Radeon 5870, and on the other hand, the non DX.11 GTX 295. (I plan to go dual GPU Xfire/SLI on this either way.)

From most of the reviews and benchmarks I have seen, the R5870 lags behind the GTX295 in raw performance, often significantly, on Direct X 10 and 10.1 based apps. But from all of the non biased (i.e. non nVidida PR department propaganda to avoid market share loss since they blew their Oct Fermi launch.) Direct X 11.0 is a significant advancement over Direct X 10.1 in terms of code optimization, tesselation, multicore and thread use, etc...

So, I keep asking myself. Should I go with the card that has more raw power on current benchmarks, but risk DX.11 catching on rapidly and leaving my GPU setup out in the cold, and possibly with falling benchmarks as DX.11 cards perform better with the optimized code?

Or

Should I go with the setup that is compliant with DX.11 but a little less powerful right now, hoping that DX.11 will catch on quickly, and that the promised improvements in the code result in superior performance as programs move from DX.9-10-10.1 into DX.11?

I suppose the 3rd option is to wait until ATI/AMD releases the Hemlock board (5870x2 / 5970 / 5950 or whatever they decide to call it...) and hope that the benchmarks show considerable improvement over the GTX295, or possibly even wait until Late December, early January and gamble on Fermi actually being released by then.

However, since ATI has been tight lipped about the Hemlock, and it might not even get a release until late Nov (with possible supply issues rumored then anyway...) I am a little skeptical on this one.

As far as Fermi, well... seeing as they missed the Oct target, botched the demo, pushed it back to a rumored Q1 2010, then started taking pre-orders for a potential Dec 09 launch, but with ominous rumors of anemic production numbers and no firm release date for those who do pre-order... Lets just say my faith that it will be out and available at retail in less than 6 months is more then a little shaken.

If anyone has any additional insights into the issues at hand, I would love to hear them.

Edited by aocvirek, 01 November 2009 - 04:07 AM.


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#2 dpunisher

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Posted 01 November 2009 - 07:23 AM

I would be willing to bet Fermi won't hit the retail channel in any numbers until late March/early April 2010.

As far as 5870 vs 295, I think the 5870 is the better bet. 295 prices are insane, and with few exceptions. they are pretty close performancewise. I haven't seen any Crysis numbers yet from a 5870 that would make me shy away. Performance increases have been promised with the Cat 9.12 release. Personally I am going to wait until Fermi numbers, legit performance numbers, are released to make any purchase. I am in no big rush for this round of videocards. I will wait until TSMC gets their act together before giving ATI or NVidia any cash.

Edited by dpunisher, 01 November 2009 - 07:27 AM.

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#3 the_patriot11

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Posted 01 November 2009 - 02:32 PM

Personally, I would go ATI. there has always been that whole hype of how NVIDIA is better then ATI, but the reality of it is, I honestly think the hype is just there so NVIDIA can charge more. from my experience ATI cards always perform lower originally, because their drivers really do suck, but as they release new drivers, the performance increases to match, or even beat, NVIDIA in may ways, for less money. I myself use an ATI saphire 3870 x2, and I love it, it performs well and still plays all the modern games at a playable framerate. Youll get the best bang for buck with the 5870 if you ask me. :D

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#4 Beenthere

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Posted 01 November 2009 - 02:39 PM

get the results from 5870x2 now
wait approx 2 months
get the results from 5870x2 now
if there isn't a significant improvement in framerate, go with 295
if there is, go with 5870x2

#5 DJBPace07

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Posted 01 November 2009 - 09:42 PM

From what I've seen a 5870 in Crossfire wins over a GTX 295. Combine that with DX11 and the ATI card seems like it has more value. Unless you have an SLI-only system, then you may want to consider Nvidia cards.

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#6 bourkie

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 05:58 AM

just rember that all the bench marks around of the 5870 are with beta drivers, peformance will go up, the 5870 and its cheaper than both the 295 and 285 and the xfire benchmarks i'v seen things are looking good, i would sugest either geting a 5870 now or wait and see what navida dx 11 cards are like, i'm beting dx 11 is gona be a lot bigger than dx 10 was, dx 11 will work on vista (if you still want vista now that win 7 is out)so it going to get a lot more suport than dx10 did.
i defentley would get a dx 11 card otherwise you will be upgradeing again very soon.

if you do get a 5870 now you could always sell it later when the 5870x2 or a better navida card comes out, if your willing your willing to buy 2 295's i'm guessing money isnt a big problem.

#7 aocvirek

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 02:54 AM

I have seen some good points brought up so far. The release benchmarks are on beta drivers, and I have had similar experiences with ATI release drivers being sub par, but picking up ground in later releases.

The more I hear about Direct X 11, the more I am convinced that software companies will migrate in that direction more quickly than with DX 10. So I think forking over all the extra cash for a pair of 295's which could be less resellable due to lack of DX11 support if I want to upgrade later on, doesn't make a lot of sense.

Since Danger Den has released the water block demo for the Hemlock, it looks like the release on it is probably just around the corner. Hopefully the Late Nov, early Dec release rumors prove true. If so, I will probably go with a pair of those. When (If) the Fermi boards are released, the Hemlock could still potentially hold its resale value, even if Fermi blows it away performance wise. The price gap will likely keep ATI's boards competative despite any performance gap.

I guess it's down to wait and see. Hopefully something gets announced in the next few weeks.




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