NVIDIA Strikes Back: The GTX Gets a Dose of Reality

NVIDIA was still living in the days of G80 when it launched its 1.4 billion transistor GT200 GPU and the GeForce GTX 280/260 that were based on it. Not only did NVIDIA's own GeForce 9800 GX2 outperform the GTX 280 at a lower price, but once AMD launched its Radeon HD 4800 series it became very clear that NVIDIA's pricing was completely out of whack. NVIDIA was pricing its GPUs for a reality that just didn't exist.

The first step to get things back in line was to drop the price of the GeForce 9800 GTX, which NVIDIA did. Next up were the new GTX cards, the GTX 280 now sells for $450 and the GTX 260 is a $299 part. In the conclusion of our Radeon HD 4800 launch article we wrote:

"The fact of the matter is that by NVIDIA's standards, the 4870 should be priced at $400 and the 4850 should be around $250."

It looks like NVIDIA's standards changed, largely thanks to AMD, and now the key players in NVIDIA's lineup are priced more realistically. Today we'll take a look at how the landscape has been reshaped as a result of NVIDIA's pricecuts. At the same time, AMD's literally hot GPUs have seen their prices fall; the Radeon HD 4870 is now a $270 - $280 GPU, slightly down from $299 and the Radeon HD 4850 is a $170 - $180 card. These are very slight changes in price, but at least they are in the right direction.

AMD Prices the Radeon HD 4870 X2

When we previewed the Radeon HD 4870 X2 we weren't given a target pricepoint, we just knew that it'd be more than $500. Today we have a price: $549.

At $549 the X2 isn't exactly a bargain, it's slightly cheaper than two Radeon HD 4870s but you don't need a motherboard with two PCIe x16 slots to use it, which helps lower overall system costs. With NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 280 price drops, the Radeon HD 4870 X2 is now the most expensive current GPU on the market - pretty impressive for a company that swore off building huge GPUs.

The competing product from NVIDIA is, well, there isn't exactly one. NVIDIA doesn't have a single-card multi-GPU GT200 product, so we have to rely on comparing the 4870 X2 to the GeForce GTX 280 (priced at $450) as well as the GeForce GTX 260 in SLI (priced at $300 x 2).

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  • M1KEO - Saturday, August 16, 2008 - link

    Buying a high end video card has little to no effect on the price of gasoline, seeing as very few power plants run off of oil. And are you relating electicity usage to forest fires and floods which are all natural disasters, and have been happening for milleniums? Look at what scientists are saying, and realize temperatures were actually warmer in the 1980's then they are now, and that plants even flourish with more CO2 in the atmosphere because that is what they use to make oxygen. Reply
  • far327 - Sunday, August 17, 2008 - link

    Whatever makes you sleep better at night. Your approach is as if energy, despite how it is produced or distributed is an endless commodity. Where as, I am trying to take a more conservative approach towards the ideal that energy is a valuable resource because of the ways we import it and produce it. Now if energy was made via solar or wind, I would loosen up a bit with my energy spending habits because that it would then be renewable energy. I'm just saying, don't feed the pig if it's already over weight. Eventually that pig will not be able to walk, and the meat with spoil. We as a country need to completely change the way we think about our energy spending habits. If we buy these power hog cards and create a viable market for Nvidia and AMD to invest in year after year. The exuberant careless energy spending cycle continues... We are therefore feeding that pig until it will eventually collapse. WAKE UP AND SMELL THE NEWS PEOPLE!! Global warming is not even debatable anymore! It is a very real threat towards our existence as a people. I am done with this childish debate and I'm sure all of you will be happy I leave the board, but don't say you weren't all warned. Reply
  • BenPope - Thursday, August 14, 2008 - link

    I guess SidePort will become useful on 4-way plus... in much the same way as 2 or more hypertransport links in opteron 4 and 8 way CPUs scale.

    So if you have 4 GPUs, the sideports could connect diagonal corners to reduce latency the two-hop latency and increase bandwidth.
    Reply
  • Barack Obama - Thursday, August 14, 2008 - link

    :) Reply
  • oldhoss - Thursday, August 14, 2008 - link

    Uh oh...Bedwetting tree huggin liberal alert! ;-P Reply
  • Hrel - Thursday, August 14, 2008 - link

    How the heck did you not include the 9800GX2 in your testing; I mean, that's Nvidia's only comprable card. And you said yourself it outperforms the GTX 280. When you factor in that it only cost 285 dollars on newegg it's a great buy. I'm actually amazed and sincerely confused as to why that card wasn't included in this review. Big mistake anandtech; not a small oversight but a complete disregard for common sense. Reply
  • jeffrey - Thursday, August 14, 2008 - link

    Usually, NDA dates are known well in advance for the latest and greatest tech. That means that many people are excited and looking forward to insight on release day.

    I was happy to see the 4870 X2 posted when I opened the site. I was even happier to see the authors of the review were Anand and Derek. This to me usually means a well-thought out unbiased article that would have unique industry insights.

    The article seemed rushed, incomplete, and unbalanced. What a disappointment! ATI released the current performance king in the 4870 X2, a mid-level 4850 X2, AND refreshed the 4870 and 4850 by doubling the RAM!

    So much time and effort was wasted in the article whining about AMD/ATI not using the Sideport that driver versions and system specs weren't even included.

    This post probably sounds like a broken record now that I'm number 70 something giving feedback that is not very positive. I just want this site to stay the best and I felt I owed it to you Anand and Derek to try and push you to do better. Thanks for all the great work that you have done over the years.
    Reply
  • Bezado11 - Wednesday, August 13, 2008 - link

    I loved the article and well it shows that the new king of cards is the 4870X2, however; I think your doing a bit of extra work for a benchmark nobody will use. AOC is tanking hard, not sure if you guys are aware of that games overall lack of integrity. Since AOC is not going to be a well played or viewed game, why use that as a benchmark standard? I mean we won't care one bit about it sooner or later because the game is in it's death stages.

    Just a heads up on that. I think taking the AOC benchmark out of future reviews will be advised. Stick to what we know best and what stresses the hardware the most like Crysis etc. AOC for heavens sake doesn't even support DX10 yet.
    Reply
  • Griswold - Thursday, August 14, 2008 - link

    While I dont play AoC or plan on doing so, you just showed what a foolish idiot you are by claiming its soon demise. It has been the fastest selling MMO launch in history, I think "some" people will stick to it and even more will return when the content problem has been solved. Just because you dont like it, doesnt mean its not a good benchmark.

    I mean, I couldnt care less about all these "quake wars" and "ssassins creeds" that are, in my opinion, played by dumbass kids such as you, but hell, I wont complain about them being used as a benchmark.
    Reply
  • Scour - Wednesday, August 13, 2008 - link

    This article is a way to negative for AMD/ATIs cards. This looks like the reviewer hate ATI, dunno why

    First the negative article about 790GX-chipset, now this :(
    Reply

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