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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.

 

GTX 280

ATI Radeon 4870

GTX 260 Core 216

ATI Radeon HD 4850

9800 GTX+

Stream Processors

240

800

216

800

128

Texture Address / Filtering

80 / 80

40

72/72

40

64 / 64

ROPs

32

16

28

16

16

Core Clock

602MHz

750MHz

576MHz

625MHz

738MHz

Memory Clock

1107MHz

900MHz GDDR5 (3600MHz eff)

999MHz

993MHz GDDR3 (1986MHz eff)

1100MHz

Memory Bus Width

512-bit

256-bit

448-bit

256-bit

256-bit

Frame Buffer

1GB

512MB

896MB

512MB

512MB

Transistor Count

1.4B

956M

1.4B

956M

754M

Price Point

$349

$149

$199

$129

$169



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4870 faster than GTX 260!
By ali 09 on 3/2/2009 7:22:32 AM , Rating: -1
I beg to differ. Many reviews show the GTX260 performing at least identically as the 512MB, and sometimes the same as the 1GB version of the 4870. However, the GTX260 is still $199, but at least you don't have to put up with the Catalyst Control Centre. Urgh.




RE: 4870 faster than GTX 260!
By dani31 on 3/2/2009 7:33:25 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
at least you don't have to put up with the Catalyst Control Centre


Well you don't have to put up with CCC with ATI either, unless you're the "typical installation" kind of person.

And the other half of the web shows the 4870 overperforming the GTX260 and sometimes the GTX280. Never ending story.


RE: 4870 faster than GTX 260!
By therealnickdanger on 3/2/2009 7:48:17 AM , Rating: 5
Your mileage may vary.

Different configurations will always yield different performance, different games yield different performance, but from what I've seen, the 4870 is at least equal with the GTX260.

This price adjustment is the best thing I've seen in a long time. $149 MSRP means sub-$120 pricing after rebates. The 4850 will easily be available under $100 very soon. AMD wasn't joking about being "the people's champion". I'll definitely be upgrading soon.


RE: 4870 faster than GTX 260!
By GlassHouse69 on 3/2/2009 11:05:25 AM , Rating: 2
yeah, nvidia is going to tank worse now. I do not wish it to as they seem to be on the cutting edge of technology, but they also are on the cutting edge of rip-off loyal users technology.


RE: 4870 faster than GTX 260!
By davekozy on 3/2/2009 11:57:24 AM , Rating: 2
I like Nvidia but this rebranding BS is getting crazy. They have the same GPU's in 8800, 9800, and now 250 series. Makes it very confusing for people.
Get the 1 GB version of the 4870 if you can. It performs much better at high resolutions.


By murphyslabrat on 3/4/2009 11:20:51 PM , Rating: 2
It's pretty much what AMD did with the 2900, 3850, and 4670. There were die shrinks mixed with those steps, just like with NVidia's G92. The only real difference was that AMD made transistor-cuts along the way, instead of a full rebrand.

Although, I am definitely with you on the branding issue when it comes to the mobile segment. I mean, how is it not confusing to "Average Joe" to have a 280M that's not anywhere near the performance of the desktop 280. They've done this all along with mobile GPU's, but it still sucks.


RE: 4870 faster than GTX 260!
By Targon on 3/2/2009 8:01:49 AM , Rating: 3
What is there to complain about? Do you sit in ANY config program for long before you shut it down?

Some people complain about how long it takes to boot up their computers, but if the computer runs very fast once the OS has finished booting, it becomes a minor point if you do not reboot very often.


RE: 4870 faster than GTX 260!
By dgingeri on 3/2/2009 8:12:14 AM , Rating: 3
exactly what I was thinking. I have a 4870, and I have no problems with the CCC. I rarely even look at it. I just recently rebuilt my machine. I went in, set the 3D settings, and exited. No big deal.


RE: 4870 faster than GTX 260!
By omnicronx on 3/2/2009 9:08:23 AM , Rating: 3
I've had just as many troubles with CCC as with Nvidia's control panel. Furthermore who spends time in the control panel after you setup your computer? Buying a graphics card based on the control panel software is pointless. If there are driver issues then sure, but there is nothing specific offered in either control panel that should sway you either way.


RE: 4870 faster than GTX 260!
By therealnickdanger on 3/2/2009 10:53:08 AM , Rating: 3
I'm asking earnestly because I've never had an issue: what trouble do you get with CCC or NVCP? I've used both as well as alternatives like ATI Tray Tools and other hacked drivers. Aside from some limited overclocking features or more advanced graphics settings, I've never had a problem with CCC/NVCP. What does a problem look like?


RE: 4870 faster than GTX 260!
By Reclaimer77 on 3/2/2009 10:58:38 AM , Rating: 2
Years ago ATI had a bad reputation for crappy drivers and even worse control panels. Maybe that's what he's referring to.


RE: 4870 faster than GTX 260!
By MikeMurphy on 3/2/2009 12:55:15 PM , Rating: 4
If you don't like CCC then why not just download the bare graphics driver from the ATi website?

You'll notice it available immediately below the CCC package link.


RE: 4870 faster than GTX 260!
By omnicronx on 3/2/2009 1:37:30 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Years ago ATI had a bad reputation for crappy drivers and even worse control panels.
Yep, I am, and for Nvidia, their control panel was terribly unstable upon the release of Vista. Currently I have both ATI and Nvidia cards in my two PC setups, and have no problem with either control panel. Some people will always have issues, but from what I can tell neither console has any widespread issues.

The only thing CCC used to lack was a good overscan and underscan tool, which they have now.


RE: 4870 faster than GTX 260!
By LRonaldHubbs on 3/2/2009 8:50:44 AM , Rating: 3
What's wrong with CCC? It used to be slow to launch, but they fixed that problem in one of the early 8.x versions. The only other thing I can think of is that overclocking features are limited, but if you need advanced overclocking features then just use RivaTuner or ATi Tool -- it's not like you are bound to CCC. For typical usage (setting up multiple displays and changing 3D settings) CCC works perfectly, and personally I find it to be laid out much better than the nvidia panel.


RE: 4870 faster than GTX 260!
By kellehair on 3/2/2009 12:06:32 PM , Rating: 2
I upgraded my 8800GT to an HD4870 512MB a while back. I feel that the CCC is much easier to work with than the Nvidia Control Panel. Overclocking works fine for the limited OC I'm doing and switching between my monitor and TV is much easier.


RE: 4870 faster than GTX 260!
By hduser on 3/2/2009 12:22:02 PM , Rating: 1
CCC isn't hard to use but difficult to upgrade or get working correctly sometimes. I had CCC 8.08, then upgraded to OEM 8.9 version then tried to upgrade to 8.10 on a clean system. CCC no longer came up. I had to rebuild the system. No amount of uninstalling/reinstalling and registry editing would make CCC work.


RE: 4870 faster than GTX 260!
By feraltoad on 3/2/2009 1:16:14 PM , Rating: 1
That's been my experience, too; some updates aren't an option. I think it must vary according to the card, hardware, and other software. When it works CCC is wonderful for ease of use, and if it doesn't work it won't even show up. I guess I prefer that to being glitchy. Much prefer CCC over NV's control panel. Both of them have problems with their drivers from time to time, I'm OK as long as I can upgrade my drivers once every few times they get updated.


RE: 4870 faster than GTX 260!
By omnicronx on 3/2/2009 1:45:09 PM , Rating: 2
As a rule of thumb for all Video cards, new and old, you must uninstall the old drivers and software before you install the new ones.

Even if there is an update option, your best bet is to always start fresh. I used to have the problems all the time, the 1 minute + reboot time it takes to uninstall the old driver is more than worth it. I have not had trouble installing graphics drivers for over two years using this method. Of course sometimes these pesky drivers just won't uninstall, but for the most part they should, and is more than worth the potential hours of wasted time trying to fix the resulting problems.


RE: 4870 faster than GTX 260!
By The0ne on 3/2/2009 6:24:02 PM , Rating: 2
Something both companies need to fix. How can you not be able to uninstall what you installed in the first place ><!


RE: 4870 faster than GTX 260!
By silversound on 3/2/2009 1:46:38 PM , Rating: 2
I think they are on par with each other on performance, but 4870 for only $149, its a better value there


RE: 4870 faster than GTX 260!
By walk2k on 3/3/2009 12:31:13 PM , Rating: 2
Not to mention there just aren't many games that need faster video cards for the majority of people using 19"-22" monitors. SLI, please. Unless you have a 30" monitor and want 8zillion xAA (not worth it unless you are taking screenshots maybe) you don't need more than a single mid-range card like 9800 or 260.


RE: 4870 faster than GTX 260!
By kmmatney on 3/4/2009 4:37:05 PM , Rating: 1
Most reviews (at least recent ones) show the 4870 beating the 260 is just about everything. The new Catalyst 9.2 drivers are very good as well. The CCC has also gotten a lot better, IMO. I really don't mind using it now - I've even considered uninstalling ATI Try tools (though I still like some of the ATT options, such as onscreen display).


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