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Top Holiday Games of 2008 Graphics Shootout - Page 6 of 6

PERFORMANCE SUMMARY

This section is where the verdict for each game is provided.

  • Call of Duty: World at War - No issues to report on either graphics card, but the EVGA GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 Superclocked was the better performer at all resolutions tested.


  • Dead Space - No issues to report. The PowerColor Radeon HD 4870 1GB had a slight lead at the resolution of 1680x1050, but the EVGA GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 Superclocked wins this matchup due to its higher performance at 1920x1200 and 2560x1600.


  • Fallout 3 - The EVGA GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 Superclocked performed without incident in Fallout 3 while the PowerColor Radeon HD 4870 1GB suffered from random split-second freezes during benchmark runs. Although the additional memory on the PowerColor Radeon HD 4870 1GB gave it the edge at 2560x1600 with 8x antialiasing, the EVGA GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 Superclocked barely wins this matchup as it outperformed the PowerColor Radeon HD 4870 1GB in all other tests, except at 1920x1200 with 8x antialiasing, which ended in a tie.


  • Left 4 Dead - Both graphics cards performed without incident in this title. The EVGA GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 Superclocked performed better when no antialiasing and 4x antialiasing were used, while the PowerColor Radeon HD 4870 1GB performed better at 8x antialiasing. This game was too close to call and thus ends up in a tie.

    Note that Left 4 Dead performed significantly faster with multi-core processors enabled. For example, at the resolution of 1920x1200 with 4x antialiasing, the EVGA GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 Superclocked averaged 88 frames per second (fps) with a single core, which increased to 109 fps with multiple (dual) cores enabled. Good job Valve!


  • Far Cry 2 - Another tie. In all but one test, the PowerColor Radeon HD 4870 1GB outperformed the EVGA GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 Superclocked, but was penalized as the only resolutions available for the game under Windows Vista were 1280x800 and 2560x1600.

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

Price, performance and image quality are certainly important considerations in choosing one graphics card over another, but there are other considerations that come into play. Some that were noted during testing include:

  • Product Design - The EVGA GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 Superclocked is a better-designed graphics card as it features a metal enclosure that conceals and protects most of its components and is optimized for cooling. The PowerColor Radeon HD 4870 1GB uses a custom cooler from ZEROtherm, but its overall design is out-dated.


  • Installation - The EVGA GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 Superclocked was easier to install. In order to install the PowerColor Radeon HD 4870 1GB, a third thumbscrew, located directly above the graphics card, needed to be removed.


  • Thumbscrews!



  • Drivers - Following driver installs under Windows XP and Windows Vista, NVIDIA's ForceWare driver recommended that the test monitors native resolution of 2560x1600 be used. After installing the Catalyst drivers, the resolution had to be manually configured. Also, under Windows XP, the resolution of 2560x1600 did not appear in the drop down menu until the refresh rate was manually changed from 85Hz to 60Hz.


  • Fan Noise - During load, noise from the PowerColor Radeon HD 4870 1GB's custom fan was noticeably louder than the EVGA GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 Superclocked's stock fan. Product design had a significant influence here.

CONCLUSION

Based on our test results and other considerations, the EVGA GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 Superclocked wins this shootout. It provided better performance in today's top games under Windows XP and did not exhibit the minor issues that came along with PowerColor Radeon HD 4870 1GB.

Top Selling Games on Steam - 11/21/2008

The PowerColor AX4870 Radeon HD 4870 1GB is currently priced at $274.99 at Newegg. The product has received a 4 out of 5 rating based on 37 customer reviews.

The EVGA GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 Superclocked retails for $302.99 at Newegg, which drops to $282.99 after a $20 mail-in rebate. It is also bundled with Far Cry 2. Out of 42 reviews at Newegg, the EVGA GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 Superclocked has received a 5 out of 5 rating.

Based on our PriceGrabber feed, the cheapest price for the EVGA GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 Superclocked is currently $259.99 at CompUSA Online (although the price has yet to be updated, see the link below).

Please refer to the following feedback thread for comments or questions about this article.

Back to nV News

Last Updated on November 25, 2008


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