Christmas is coming up and the entire VGA pricing model typically shifts a little prior to it. Two products that I personally can recommend very much for that wish list or under that Christmas tree are both the Radeon HD 4870 1024MB and the GeForce GTX 260 (Core 216 preferably). I both like these graphics rendering goblins as they are both located in an affordable price range, both have a lot of raw rendering power and both have a lot of memory, something that is becoming increasingly important with DirectX 10 games as we noticed often lately.
So over the past couple of weeks some interesting stuff has happened really, the Radeon dropped in price and can now be found for as little as 269 USD. NVIDIA a while ago also dropped their pricing model and the GTX 260 Core 216 version is also below 300 USD but... a little birdie told me that prices on this card are going to drop this week as well, maybe even below that Radeon HD 4870 1024MB. yeah, it would be a head on head attack from NVIDIA against ATI.
And granted, the history is pretty interesting when you follow this kind of stuff. Let's place the two products in a little historical perspective:
NVIDIA released GeForce GTX 260
ATI Released the 4870 512MB
NVIDIA dropped pricing model
Then NVIDIA answered with the GTX 260 Core 216
ATI answered with a 1024 MB model of the 4870
NVIDIA now answers with pricing model, big bang drivers and "old" GTX 260 going EOL.
As you can notice, there's a bit of a skirmish going on between the two companies. This week NVIDIA is launching another driver in their Big Bang series, which might be considered as a small innuendo towards pr0n for geeks I guess. The interesting part is that the driver, next to the recently added PhysX features and Multi-monitor SLI gaming options, offers a pretty good performance increase.
Now the tale goes like this; when the GTX 260 core 216 was released, we got a phone call from ATI, asking if we'd like to do an article on the Radeon HD 4870 1024 MB comparing it with the GTX 260 C216. And sure, why not. Then with the new driver being released this week, we got a phone call from NVIDIA, asking if we would like to do such a direct comparison article. And we figured... sure, that's fair enough. More power to consumers... wooooah.