The results were a little unexpected, as the GeForce GTX 480 delivered results that were closer to the Radeon HD 5870 than we had previously seen. For the most part the GeForce GTX 480 was still faster, however when taking into consideration price, power consumption, and operating temperatures the Radeon HD 5870 simply makes more sense from a value perspective.
The face off between the more affordable Radeon HD 5850 and GeForce GTX 470 was even more one sided, with ATI's card delivering better performance, operating efficiency and much better bang for your buck in the games we tested.
For our tests we ran games at a 1920x1200 resolution as we felt this is what most people purchasing one of these high-end graphics cards would likely use. The fact that 23 and 24-inch LCD monitors are very affordable today, selling for a small fraction of what they did a few years ago helps to make this resolution even more mainstream.
But for those amongst you that like to take things to the next level, gaming at 2560x1600 with 30-inch displays and beyond. For extreme users that do not necessarily care about value, power consumption or even heat... who offers the best gaming solution?
This question leads us to a new showdown between ATI and Nvidia, only this time using a pair of GeForce GTX 480 graphics cards in SLI versus a pair of Radeon HD 5870 using Crossfire technology.
For many of us the prospect of spending $400 on a Radeon HD 5870 graphics card seems a little crazy, let alone the $500 Nvidia is asking for the GeForce GTX 480. So it goes without saying that those willing and able to purchase two of these mighty graphics cards are in the minority. Still, such configurations do exist and those of you looking to go down that path will be interested to check our findings.