Final Words

NVIDIA has a pretty solid product lineup now, the problem it is that at the lower end of the lineup the Radeon HD 4850 manages to do a great job of disrupting things:

The Radeon HD 4850 continues to be a better buy than NVIDIA's GeForce 9800 GTX, even if both are priced at $199. The overclocked, 55nm 9800 GTX+ manages to barely outperform the 4850 in a few titles, but loses by a larger margin in others, so for the most part it isn't competitive enough to justify the extra $30. The 4850 also uses significantly less power than the 9800 GTX+, and AMD was quick to point out that by the time the 9800 GTX+ ships that it will also have factory overclocked 4850s. That should make things even more interesting, because honestly, a factory overclocked Radeon HD 4850 is far more attractive to us than an overclocked GTX+.

In a little over 12 hours we'll be able to complete the story with a full look at AMD's RV770 GPU and the Radeon HD 4870, so for a full, detailed performance analysis come back then. Until then, in short, the 9800 GTX+ doesn't really change anything for NVIDIA.

NVIDIA needs to further drop the price of the GeForce 9800 GTX or GTX+ in order to make them truly competitive with the Radeon HD 4850. There's nothing more to it. Price drops on the 8800 line are also necessary, which makes sense given the positioning of the 9800 GTX/GTX+. There's a reasonable chance we'll see some of the 8800 products disappear from NVIDIA's lineup in the near future, so if you've been contemplating adding a second 8800 GT 512 for SLI use, now might not be a bad time to do so; we're seeing cards priced as low as $160 with a $30 mail-in rebate now.

The Witcher, Bioshock & Oblivion


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  • SiliconDoc - Tuesday, July 22, 2008 - link

    Well thank you for giving me a clue, I wondered why the prices are so arbitrary and ridiculous. Everything is a gambled commodity with shorts and longs nowadays.
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, June 24, 2008 - link

    Using the same process doesn't mean you'll get the same results. It's entirely possible to less a more power efficient chip using 55nm than a competing chip built using 65nm; it's all in the design. AMD has had more time fine-tuning their designs for 55nm, and we could see some updates to NVIDIA's 55nm part that will further reduce power requirements... or not. The fabrication facility is really only a small part of the equation; a great process with a lousy design still won't make for a killer product. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, June 24, 2008 - link


    "to less a more" = "to build a more"
  • Martimus - Tuesday, June 24, 2008 - link

    It's funny. Two weeks ago I would have loved to be able to get a 9800GTX for $200 (my budget for a video card in the upcoming build), but now I have absolutely no interest in it at that price due to the great performance of the HD 4850. Even if the two were even I would choose the ATI card because of regular driver updates, but it just amazes me that my fortune has changed so quickly that a card I used to really want no longer interests me because a better cheaper card came out so quickly. Reply
  • puffpio - Tuesday, June 24, 2008 - link

    Will this + card oc higher than it's 65nm equivalent? Reply
  • IvanAndreevich - Tuesday, June 24, 2008 - link

    It likely will. Reply

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