As you might have heard or noticed by now, two graphics cards have been released today. AMD has rolled out the ATI Radeon HD 4890, while NVIDIA is trying to steal ATI's thunder by launching the GeForce GTX 275 at the same day.
To make things a bit easier for you here's a short writeup about what reviewers from around the web think about these new VGA cards. I'll start with Legit Reviews, this site has published a direct comparison of both cards over here.
The conclusion is that both the Radeon HD 4890 and the GTX 275 are great graphics cards with a very high price per performance value. Overall the GeForce GTX 275 seems to be the winner in terms of performance, it's generally faster than the Radeon HD 4890 and Radeon HD 4890 OC, but the GTX 275 cards won't be available in retail stores till April 14th.
ATI and NVIDIA both took care of the power consumption a bit, the Radeon HD 4890 uses less in idle than a Radeon HD 4870 while the idle power consumption of the GeForce GTX 275 is similar to a GeForce GTX 260. In full load the new cards use a bit more than their predecessors though.
When it comes to the Radeon HD 4890 it is hands down the fastest single-GPU graphics card that AMD has every produced. It performs significantly better than the Radeon HD 4870 1GB and runs cooler and uses less power at idle. There really is not much bad to say about the card as it is also priced lower than the GeForce GTX 275. Add in the fact that it has already proven itself to be an overclocking monster with a core clock frequency of nearly 1GHz with the stock cooler and no voltage adjustments you have a clear winner for all the Radeon fans out there.
Next up is a review from AnandTech, they also compared the Radeon HD 4890 with the GeForce GTX 275 and conclude NVIDIA might be the marginal leader in this new graphics card battle. Overall it seems availability could be the main deciding factor for those wanting a new graphics card today, until those GeForce GTX 275 cards hit the retail shelves en masse.
At the same time, there are other questions, like that of availability. With these parts performing so similarly, and price being pretty well equal, the fact that AMD parts can be bought starting today and we have to wait for the NVIDIA parts is an advantage for AMD. And then we have to factor in the fact that AMD driver support doesn't have a proven track record in the recent past. Plus the fact that NVIDIA's developer relations seems more effective than AMD's could mean more titles that run better on NVIDIA hardware in the future. So what to go with? Really, it's personal preference and whatever you can find that day that's the cheapest option. You can't go wrong here.
A third roundup of both cards can be read at PC Perspective, their reviewer also comes to the conclusion that it's difficult to pick a complete and final winner. The GeForce GTX 275 has a slight performance lead, but both cards offer great price per performance value.
Both the AMD Radeon HD 4890 1GB card and the GeForce GTX 275 896MB from NVIDIA are welcome additions to the GPU market and I think it’s difficult to pick a complete and final winner in the debate. Both cards perform very similarly, with perhaps a slight performance lead to the GTX 275 896MB card in a few games even though the Radeon HD 4890 did see a better performance INCREASE over the lower priced card in the lineup. Yes, AMD seems to be pushing the engineering side of things with the RV790 while NVIDIA is more pushing product and marketing, but in the end, a graphics card can only be judged on overall gaming experience. In this case, both are pretty equally matched.