The GTX 285 is no longer produced. It is EOL. The FX 3800 is nearly EOL and way overpriced. The most economical choice today is the GTX 470, which is expected to be certified with the next dot release and works fine with the 'hack' for the time being.
Neither; both are EOL. Assuming you're building a new computer (
your present one is probably the bottleneck), get a GTX-470/480
instead. They'll soon be supported officially, and they're working now
using the "hack". Search the forums here for more information.
That first link is bad...
So you have first-hand experience with the GTX 470, or at least know of someone using it successfully? Should I go ahead and spring for the 480, or just stick with the 470?
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I have the 480 and I know of several others that have either the 480 or the 470 and they have not had any problem with either. All of these people are well known for their systems and the reliability of their systems. 8 different systems were tested with the new PPBM5 benchmark without any problems, using both the 470 and the 480 cards.
Initial testing has not shown much difference in performance between the two, hence my recommendation that the 470 is the more economical choice. The caveat is that we currently only have a small sample of tests, that CUDA/MPE development is constantly improving acceleration, and that the drivers are improving all the time, so it is difficult to say that the 470 will remain the best bang-for-the-buck card, but currently it is.
In theory more cores should be faster, but we have not yet seen that during our testing. It may be the immaturity of CUDA/MPE support. One system was tested with both the 285 and the 480 and there was no discernible difference, despite double the cores.
In theory more memory should be faster because it reduces the latency of RAM - GPU - RAM transfers, but again, no hard data yet. We have seen the negative effect of dual processors versus single processor on MPE rendering however, due to the latency introduced by dual processor systems.
There is not much difference between the various suppliers, Asus, EVGA, Gigabyte, MSI, PNY, POV, etc. so the choice is based on specific features one may have over the other in terms of better cooling, quieter fan, longer warranty, better price, higher clock speed, more memory and the like. Use customer reviews on sites like Newegg to find which ones are liked.
The law of diminishing returns may apply to video cards as well. Theoretically the 480 will be faster than the 470, but if the difference in cores will compensate the difference in price and seconds gained is something to be seen.