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Thread: Is it smart to buy a nVidia card right now?

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    Default Is it smart to buy a nVidia card right now?

    Hi everyone,

    Please forgive my ignorance, I always used to say I don't care about gaming and performance but now after trying it out I am addicted to video cards, overclocking and number-crunching (even though I am not good at any of those).

    I have a laptop, a decent mid-range one I game on (about 7000 3DM06 w/ nVidia's Quadro FX 770M, pretty much a 9600M GT), but I am not happy with performance after hearing custom desktop builders get 2X to 3X the amount of FPS that I get on my favorite games (L4D, Half-Life: Episode 2, GTA4).

    I am an nVidia fan, while the 4870 is nice I feel uncomfortable buying from ATI (I generally like the Intel/nVidia approach). I was thinking of getting into custom desktops this X-MAS and start off with one GTX280, but I fear it will be outdated soon. It is also extremely expensive, compared to the 1GB 4870 that can be had for ~$240 on newegg.com.

    Will nVidia release a new card anytime soon? Or should I just go for it? I've done so much reading and with all these reviews, videos, benchmarks, for the life of me, cannot figure out which is best performance:

    4870, GTX280 or 9800GX2?

    All comments read differ, each saying the other one is better. I'm more curious between the top 2 nVidia cards actually. Then there are the following SLI or Crossfire setups:

    4870x2, GTX280x2, 9800GX2x2?

    I will never go past two cards, I cannot afford the electricity bill or a worthy cooling system for them, haha! Thank you for your patience with me, I apologize if I have broken any rules or come off as annoying.
    Last edited by I♥PUREOC; 09-12-2008 at 03:41.

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    Hi and welcome to the forum!


    IMO selection of graphics cards starts to become a personal reference. Some will buy ATI beacuse you get the same performance but with lower cost. Others will pick up Nvidia beacuse of its compability with some games and less driver issues. Now you've probably read plenty of discussions where one was caliming that Nvidia is king of graphics beacuse of ie Crysis which gets far better performance on those cards. But some one else can reply that COD series are running better on ATI and beat the s..t out of NVIDIA..... Personally i dont think theres much of seeable difference if you get 70 or 80 FPS in the game. You wont see it anyway!

    So if you have good budget and dont really lke to fiddle with the drivers go NVIDIA. But if you're more of a budget guy and some issue with installing and compability of drivers dont scare you off your choice should be ATI.

    " There are some things Man should not know, for rest is Google"
    " Never argue with an idiot, he'll drag you to his level and beat you with experience"




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    I agree. You can't really claim that any one card is "the best" because it depends on how you look at it. Different games run better or worse with one card or another and while someone might say that the 4870x2 is the best card (performance-wise that's true in many cases), someone else might argue that it's not worth the price-tag, energy-consumption etc. etc.

    Since you say that you are "uncomfortable buying from ATi", I have two pieces of advice:

    1. Don't buy something you aren't comfortable buying. You won't regret an nVidia card.
    2. Try it anyway. You'll see that ATi makes a good video-card and that whatever makes you uncomfortable with the company is probably just in your head.

    Since the two pieces of advice contradict each other directly, the coice is still yours! :-)

    Oh, and by the way: Every graphics-card you can get is outdated the moment you buy it. That's just the way it goes.

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    Thanks for your quick responses!

    To be honest, I really don't want to deal with ATI issues. I read more problems about them failing, stuttering or not being very well supported compared to their high-end nVidia counterparts. I have a very weak Radeon in my current desktop, but I just feel more comfortable with nVidia lately (still the price of the 4870x2 compared to one GTX280 is so low).

    I understand the 9800GX2 is two cards and the GTX280 is one card, and they both perform at almost equal performance, but I'm not sure which one to buy (I haven't read specifics on power usage, etc. yet) or how to learn which one to buy w/o guessing. I don't have that much money so I don't want to do SLI setup, just want to buy one great card for all my games to play @ 1900x1200 resolution and @ max settings. I hope it will be a fun jump from the sluggish 9600M GT.

    My question is, however, if I should wait for 2 months or so for nVidia to release new products. This way maybe the current GTX280 will lower in price...
    Last edited by I♥PUREOC; 09-12-2008 at 05:20.

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    wait Nvidia is coming out the new GX2 soon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deton View Post
    wait Nvidia is coming out the new GX2 soon.
    Any idea on how that affects prices of current high-end cards? If the price of the GTX280 drops, I will definitely get 2 of those. Or if the price of the GTX260x2 is low like what ATI did with their 4870s (sub-300), that will be a pretty nice choice too .

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    I don't know if the current GTX280 will drop in prices because the GX2 will compete with ATI X2 though.

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    I think it would make the GTX280 drop in price just a tad because as of right now that's their top tier card and when the GX2 ( 2 GTX260s) comes out that will be there top tier card and would have to lower the price line of there high end cards to accommodate the newcomer.

    I would say wait those 2 months (and regrettably suffer with the low end ati) and either get the GTX 280 at a lower price or get the new gx2 if you have the money for it. the gtx 280 as of right now is a great card, able to handle most games at high resolutions and high AA, antriscopic, and quality but not saying everything can be maxxed at high resolutions with it but it is a great card none the less.

    I have a 4870x2 atm and to me its a great card, I can play crysis warhead at 1900x1200 everything at enthusiast except for water and motion blur ( I turned off motion blur as it creates havoc with the 4870x2) averaging around 45-55fps and in battles hitting around 35-40fps. and thats on crysis which people rave how it does poorly on it, CoD i have it vsync, it never never leaves 60fps.
    Last edited by kaganader; 09-12-2008 at 22:40. Reason: added more info =D
    and Damn Proud of it!

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    Its ok to buya new one, doesnt matter, no matter which card you buy, it will always be soon out dated,.... I went out and bought a 8800ultra for 750$ and a DD water block for it for 150$usd 900$ total for a card that was old news within 2 months just remember that what ever you buy wont be the coolest #1 for more than a few months.

    so yea the 350usd for a 280 is an awesome deal... buy 2 and youll still be less into it than my old dilapitated ultra.

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    If you can wait a little bit longer for Nvidia to release 295 line, the current 260 & 280 might drop prices or you can buy the 295 card.

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    You take your chances though, so don't wait toooooo long. The new Nvidia models will come out so you'll find some good deal on the current lineup like the 280. BUT.........historically Nvidia will NOT drop prices too much. They don't want to cannibalize their own lineup and profits from the new cards being released. Usually they just let the stock dry up at somewhat reduced prices, then the new cards go full steam. That way people are sort of "forced" to buy the new cards. It's a smart business move, though we as consumers don't necessarily benefit as much as we could. But the trend has been like this for a LONG time with Nvidia, so I don't expect it to change with the next lineup release. Their cards will be JUST good enough to beat the existing ATI cards, and they'll probably price them fairly aggressively, so the current NV lineup will slowly go the way of the dodo bird

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skyguy View Post
    You take your chances though, so don't wait toooooo long. The new Nvidia models will come out so you'll find some good deal on the current lineup like the 280. BUT.........historically Nvidia will NOT drop prices too much. They don't want to cannibalize their own lineup and profits from the new cards being released. Usually they just let the stock dry up at somewhat reduced prices, then the new cards go full steam. That way people are sort of "forced" to buy the new cards. It's a smart business move, though we as consumers don't necessarily benefit as much as we could. But the trend has been like this for a LONG time with Nvidia, so I don't expect it to change with the next lineup release. Their cards will be JUST good enough to beat the existing ATI cards, and they'll probably price them fairly aggressively, so the current NV lineup will slowly go the way of the dodo bird
    Yeah I can only go so long speculating on what to do before I pull the trigger. I am -most- likely to get an OC'd EVGA or XFX of BFG GTX 280, and when someone posts a big discount for the holidays too. That would be awesome (recently missed the Superclocked 260/216 @ $212). Gonna just pick one up next time I see a discount haha, as I'm not looking for the best of the best and I'm not looking to top ATI, I'm just trying to enjoy my games as much as possible for a good price, and so new cards probably won't be worth it for me for the few extra FPS.

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    Sounds like a very reasonable plan. Besides, if you need more horsepower you could go SLI later, maybe even pick up another 260 or 280 cheap off Ebay

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