Radeon HD 4870 1024MB vs. Radeon HD 4870 512MB
First of all, I want to show you the comparison of the Radeon HD 4870 with 1024 megabytes of graphics memory with the reference Radeon HD 4870 512MB at the same frequencies of 750/3600MHz. The reference card is taken as the baseline in the diagram. An increase or reduction of performance is shown relative to it.
As you can see, the extra 512 megabytes of graphics memory are not always a good thing. The 1024MB version shows best results in such resource-consuming games as World in Conflict, S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky, Crysis Warhead, Far Cry 2 and in the graphics tests from 3DMark 2006. 3DMark Vantage, Unigine Tropics, Call of Duty 4 and Devil May Cry are largely indifferent to the increased amount of memory. The 1024MB card is 3.6% faster on average across all the tests (the geometric mean was calculated) at 1280x1024 and 5.1% faster at 1920x1200. When FSAA was in use, the 1024MB version was 7% and 5.8% faster, respectively, than the 512MB version.
GeForce GTX 260/216SP vs. GeForce GTX 260/192SP
The next summary diagram shows the advantage of the new GeForce GTX 260 with 216 unified shader processors over the older version of the same card that had 192 such processors. The cards were compared at the default frequencies of 575/1242/1998MHz.
The performance growth is inexplicably high in Unigine Tropics Demo and the simple mode of Devil May Cry although I verified the results twice. Overall, the new GeForce GTX 260/216Sp is 4.6-6.9% faster than the older one depending on resolution and display quality mode.
GeForce GTX 260/216SP vs. GeForce GTX 280
The third diagram will show you how slower the GeForce GTX 260/216SP is in comparison with the top-end GeForce GTX 280.
So, the GeForce GTX 260/216SP is slower than the GeForce GTX 280 by 10-13%. To remind you, the GeForce GTX 260 with 192 unified shader processors used to be 15-18% slower than the GeForce GTX 280. Thus, the gap from the top-end card has diminished.
GeForce GTX 260/216SP vs. Radeon HD 4870 1024MB
And finally, let’s compare the performance of the GeForce GTX 260/216SP 896MB at the default frequencies of 575/1242/1998MHz with the Radeon HD 4870 1024MB clocked at 750/3600MHz. The RV770-based card is the baseline in the diagram.
It is hard to prefer one of these cards as they win the tests alternately. I wouldn’t choose any of them without specifying the game, quality, resolution you want to play at and other factors.