GTX 480 (825/1100 MHZ) vs. HD 5870 (975/1300 MHz), Overclocked Performance Analysis, Part 2

21 Responses

  1. tviceman says:

    Thanks for all the tests! This just confirms what I was already leaning towards doing – waiting for the next round of refresh cards from Nvidia vs. AMD’s next gen cards.

    OC’ing Fermi shows that with some tweaks and getting thermals to a lower level, this card has plenty of untapped potential.

  2. tviceman says:

    Correction, this architecture has plenty of untapped potential.

  3. What a monster than GTX480 is… Too bad I cannot afford it nor a new PSU to for it D:

  4. Electrofreak says:

    The HD 5870 is a 6-month-old card. While it’s good to see nVidia back to being competitive (performance-wise), I wonder how long it will last before ATI releases a GTX-480 killer?

    nVidia can keep its price point for now because of sales to benchmark enthusiasts and nVidia loyalists, but assuming ATI releases a new card soon (and prices reasonably), they’re going to have to make some significant price cuts.

    But, as I said before, it’s nice to see them back in the game. I’ve always been an AMD & ATI fan (worked out real well for me when they merged), but it’s never fun to see one side or the other sitting on top for too long.

  5. james says:

    Why put these cards head to head?
    The 480GTX price is much close to the 5970 then the 5870 so why no comparison with the 5970?

    The 5870 is an old card now….

    As its been said nvidia Failed hard on this new card

  6. apoppin says:

    Why? Because HD 5870 and GTX 480 are respectively the fastest single GPU video cards from AMD and NVIDIA. The HD 5970 have 2 GPUs in a single video card and it is also over $100 more expensive than GTX 480.

    By asking us to benchmark GTX 480 against HD 5970, you are basically asking us to test 2 x HD 5870 in CrossFire against a single-GPU GTX 480 video card. It may be unfair, but no worries, we shall do this test soon – putting HD 5870 CF which is a little faster than HD 5970 – against the stock GTX 480 and also overclocked.

    This is a *series* on GTX 480 performance and upcoming Part 3 shall use the new 197.41 WHQL drivers to test against the release Betas and we shall also compare the relative performance hit of 8xMSAA vs. 4xMSAA on HD 5870 vs. GTX 480. Expect this part of the review up next Monday.

    For Part 3, I am also returning about 8 games to my benching suite and I will also add Just Cause 2.

    As you may have noticed, I predicted that AMD would allow their partners bring out their highly overclocked HD 5870s – also priced about $500 – to compete with GTX 480. That is GTX 480’s competition, overclocked HD 5870 – not HD 5970. There will be no price war until NVIDIA brings out its “Ultra” and AMD responds with a “5890”.

  7. Rollo says:

    “Why put these cards head to head?
    The 480GTX price is much close to the 5970 then the 5870 so why no comparison with the 5970?”

    Where do you shop? At newegg, the cheapest 5870 is $409.99. All the stock GTX 480s are $499.99.

    That is $90.00 difference.

    The cheapest 5970 is $699.99, that is $200. difference.

    The GTX480 and HD5870 are MUCH closer in price, but the GTX480 leads in performance and feature set.

  8. zebani says:

    who cares how many gpus there are everybody put gtx 295 against 5870 and 7950gx2 against x1900 sure it was fair then but not now lol its about fastest graphic card right ? or may be you don’t want to upset nvidia ?

  9. apoppin says:

    No. This series on GTX 480 performance has not been about the fastest video card. Other sites do that but we prefer to explore in far more depth through a *series* of reviews.

    Ours is an ongoing performance analysis of GTX 480 vs. HD 5870. So far, it compares AMD’s single fastest GPU against NVIDIA’s single fastest GPU.

    We also pointed out that the $500 GTX 480 is set against the overclocked versions of HD 5870 which are also about $500; not against a $700 dual-Radeon card.

    Later on in this series, we shall expand it to include comparing GTX 480 and perhaps GTX 480 SLI versus HD 5870 CrossFire. That will give you an idea of how GTX 480 performance compares to that of two Radeons.

  10. kaneda says:

    If you ignore power consumption, heat and noise. nVidia wins this round(providing you’re willing to pay a little more in your price range). STFU about comparing a dual-gpu card to a single gpu card, as the guy before me said, when the GX2 came out against the X1950XTX i assure you the nvidia loyalists didnt argue it was unfair. (despite X1950XTX’s in CF outperforming the quad SLI(two GX2’s)). Pick whichever card you wish, personally, with soaring energy costs, a large scale economic recession every penny helps, in the long run ATi’s solutions are cheaper and offer more than enough performance, but if you want an extra couple of fps (along with extra heat and noise and a larger energy bill) fork out the extra for the green option. The companies don’t care about you just your money, side with whoever has the best product for your needs.

    PS: european prices on GPU’s arent the same as US ones, theyre way higher. Using a single website for a price comparison isnt really fair. even if it is newegg.

  11. Mariosti says:

    About gtx480, 5870 and 5970…
    Here in Europe (precisely in Poland), those cards are priced around 474$ for 5870, 664$ for GTX480, and 804$ for the 5970 (yeah, who would have guest we’re so rich, I can’t see it in anything else than the prices). That gives 190$ difference between 5870 and gtx480, and 139$ diff between nv gtx and 5970. When we look at the difference as percents, we get 40% and 21% differences respectively. When we add to that the fact that the gtx uses as much energy as the 5970 witch means nvidia won’t be physically able to create a dual gpu card form their 480, so not comparing it to the 5970 is giving a handicap to nvidia actually.
    The 5870 competitor is the gtx470, at least price wise, because again the ati card uses less energy, produces less heat and so on. If nvidia will try to take on the 5970, their only chance is to create some down clocked dual 470 card, witch might not be able to do the trick, especially because stock 5970 has so much oc headroom.

    Anyway, great to see competitive cards from nvidia… although they didn’t pull ati prices down witch proves that they’re not much of a threat.

  12. apoppin says:

    Well, as I pointed out in Part 1, three weeks ago, NVIDIA is not going affect ATI pricing for quite awhile. It appears to be intentional that the GTX 480 and GTX 470 do not compete in the same price slots as HD 5870 and HD 5850.

    It appears that both companies benefit by not engaging in a price war with each other now. ATI has instead decided to offer their partner-overclocked HD 5870s at about the same price as GTX 480 (US $500) as competition to it.

    HD 5970 is in a unique position until NVIDIA brings out their own dual-GPU card. And when we see regularly overclocked versions of GTX 480, then we will probably see an ATI refresh of 5870 – or their new architecture.

  13. Someone says:

    You guys OCed the GTX480 that much? Did your computer shoot across the room when the fan ramped up? How did you avoid burning the lab down in a horrid flash fire?

    Worst thing about the Fermi is temps and power. It gets ludicrously close to the 105C throttle point when running under load. A hot summer day and some dust will be enough to piss off a lot of gamers.

  14. apoppin says:

    Nope. Our GTX 480 has plenty of overclocking headroom and it never went near 100C in any game even with very warm ambient temperatures of 80 degrees F.

    The GTX 480’s fan at 90% is just as annoying as our reference Diamond HD 5870’s fan at 90%. Both of these video cards are simply intolerable without headphones and neither reference card was designed to have their fans running continuously at that speed for 24/7/365. You need to make a proper fan profile but the spin-up and loudness of either card is annoying in 3D gaming.

    For either a moderately or a highly overclocked GTX 480, I would definitely recommend a non-reference fan or else water-cooling. For reference clockspeeds or even for a mild overclock, you will be fine with a reference GTX 480.

  15. hanny says:

    Yep untapped potential, if you are smart you will wait for the improved version of fermi which I am sure nv is working on. You can OC that even more . Wait for GTX485 with improved thermals / power consumption clockrates and possibly with up tp 512 CUDA cores and higher overclockability.

    Remember how fast GTX 280 became obsolete when 285 came out? same story here.

  16. dbird says:

    Thanks for this article! I haven’t run a video card at stock speeds for almost 10 years… That pretty much makes most reviews somewhat meaningless since the overclocking headroom of each card can (and usually does) dramatically change the price/performance landscape.

    Since I usually aim for one-step below the top-of-the-line cards due to the large price premiums they carry, I would love to see the 470 and 5950 added to the mix. That would also paint a clearer picture of what the “real” difference in performance is between them and their bigger brothers…

  17. hansmuff says:

    I know this seems silly, but where oh where have the 2D tests gone?
    I know that 2D is generally fast enough and just peachy. However, personally I get annoyed when a browser window filled with all kinds of junk does not scroll 100% smoothly.
    Bitblt, text rendering etc should be tested as part of your standard repertoire.

  18. prpz says:

    I dont know what to say…I had the 5870 now got the 480 for testing purposes…..I gotta say your numbers look off….way off…favouring Nvidia…far cry 2 nvidia overclocked gets 20 more fps and ati only 3? with a bigger oc?????? come on guys who are we kidding here… real….

  19. apoppin says:

    The 2 GB HD 5870 is currently a “specialty” card for Eyefinity-6. We’d certainly like to test it but we seriously doubt that the performance figures in any games would change by very much.

    As to the response by prpz about our Diamond reference HD 5870 not scaling very well at the extreme limit of its core and vRAM; we agree. It did not scale particularly well. And it brings us to “why?”

    We have just began testing our “new core” PowerColor HD 5870 PCS+ against our reference “old core” Diamond HD 5870 at incremental overclocks to see if we can discover anything interesting. At any rate, expect a full review of the PowerColor HD 5870 PCS+ early next month.

    The very next part of this series – Part 3, GTX 480 vs. HD 5870, 8xMSAA Performance Analysis – is going up this week.

  20. Robert says:

    GTX580 and FS2004? my FS 9 isn t running any more

  21. apoppin says:

    Sorry, I don’t have FS series. I will be lucky to add a new game for benchmarking every month and I have to play it first to see how the game relates to the benchmark.

    I am running 23 game benchmarks now and H.A.W.X. 2 and Batman Arkham Asylum GotY edition are my latest games. F1 2010 is confirmed as my 24th benchmark game.

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