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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  • Greene - Wednesday, August 13, 2008 - link

    Wow. Lots of this and that in here :-)

    No Hardware Info...
    No Driver Info...

    Did we lose a Page ?

    I'm also curious why Assessess Creed wasn't tested with the different versions ?
    There was such a big stink back in 99/2000 when ati fudged drivers to get better FPS scores, as well as the stink back when Nvidia did the same with 3DMark (what was it 05)?
    And here the "creed" developers drop some sort of support for ATI
    and the authors skip over it, and leave the different versions out of the test.

    Did you guys draft this article 2 weeks ago and forget to revise it ?

    Did you hire fox news editors ?

    I've really trusted and valued Anandtech's articles in the past.

    This just seems sloppy, incomplete and rushed... and i dropped out of college! :-)
    Reply
  • Arbie - Wednesday, August 13, 2008 - link

    Every bar graph has the cards in a different order. This makes it impossible to scan the graphs and see how a card does overall, across a range of games. And there is no compensating benefit. If I want to know which card is fastest in Crysis, I can clearly see which bar is longer! It DOESN'T HAVE TO BE THE TOP BAR ON THE GRAPH.

    So... you won't do that again.

    Next: everyone should just go out and buy a 4850. It will do all you want for now. Let all these X2 kludges and 65nm dinosaurs pound each other into landfill. Check back again in 6-8 months.

    Arbie
    Reply
  • hooflung - Wednesday, August 13, 2008 - link

    The numbers were not bad. They speak for themselves. However, the tone of this review was horrible. It is the fastest card in your review and has exactly what people want out of a multi gpu setup. 1 slot, full gig of ram, smashes the competition's closest competitor that cost more, only costs 100 above the best single gpu solution and doesn't require a new motherboard.

    Yet, Nvidia can't do any wrong. ATI decides its sideport isn't needed and disable's it which is a cardinal sin it seems. It still cost 100 dollars LESS than Nvidia's GTX280 when it first came out.

    The mixed signals coming from this review could make a cake if baked.
    Reply
  • drank12quartsstrohsbeer - Wednesday, August 13, 2008 - link

    This article had the feel like the authors were annoyed that they had to write it. I certainly feel annoyed after reading it... Reply
  • just4U - Wednesday, August 13, 2008 - link

    From my perspective this was a very valid and honest review that zones in on key issues that effect the majority of our gpu buying decisions. Yeah their getting some tough love feedback from it but that's to be expected as well.
    Reply
  • Keldor314 - Wednesday, August 13, 2008 - link

    750 watts for the X2 in crossfire?! You'd better think of having an electrician come by and upgrade your home's powergrid! Seriously, though, for my house, I can't run a single 8800 gtx at the same time as a space heater without tripping the circut breakers in the garage. True, the heater in question is rated at 1500 watts. The total wattage to trip the circut breaker is thus probably less than 2000 watts, since I've also seen the heater trip it when only accompanied by a lamp (no computer on). Given that the X2 CF will probably, after counting the rest of the computer, send energy usage to over 1000W at load, there's a very real chance that such a computer would periodically cause your power to go out, especially if, god forbid, someone tried to turn on the room's lights.

    Upgrading a power supply is cheap. Rewiring your house to handle the higher wattage is not.
    Reply
  • CK804 - Sunday, August 17, 2008 - link

    Actually, the power consumption numbers are of the entire system and not just the graphics cards alone. Still, it's amazing how much power these cards draw. My jaw dropped when I saw that the power consumption of a system with these cards under load exceeded 700 watts. When X-bit labs did a roundup of 1000 watt power supplies, the first thing they concluded was that there was no need for power supplies over 6-700 watts for any setup unless some sort of exotic cooling was to be used. I can attest to that statement when I had 4 first gen. 74GB Raptors in RAID 0 coupled with 2 7900GTs in SLI and an AMD X2 4800+ running on a Zalman 460 watt PSU. Reply
  • animaniac2k8 - Wednesday, August 13, 2008 - link

    I 've been a reader of AnandTech's articles for many years and I have owned exlusively Nvidia cards since 2001.

    This is easily one of the worst and most biased articles I 've ever read on AnandTech. Very dissapointed to have wasted my time reading this. I 'll be looking elsewhere for quality reviews from now on.
    Reply
  • CyberHawk - Wednesday, August 13, 2008 - link

    Same here. Reader since 2001, registered later.

    I always liked articles here. English is my second language and I liked that from time to time I found a new word that made me look into the diary.

    But, this article is a bunch of bull. One more like this and I am out of here. Not that this means the end of anandtech but anyway.
    Reply
  • helldrell666 - Wednesday, August 13, 2008 - link

    Where's the system setup?
    Why the poster hates AMd that much?
    This is the worst review of the 4870x2 I've checked yet.

    The review at techreport.com is much better.


    Reply

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