I`m a little supprized in that this card was pushed as being AMD`s answer to the GTX280, and the ensuing arguement about the price of the 2 was that the nVidia are having a laugh.
Looking at this review, it`s an overly obvious competitor for the GTX260 - which is fine, and the pricing is -£20 or so to nVidia, which kinda puts a difference perspective on things.
The 280 being that much more.. well yeah ok it happens to be the better card out of the 4 without "competition" (used loosely here), and the trend here is "pfft we`ll charge whatever we like for it" - just look at Intel with it`s cpus that compare to the AMD cpus and those that are beyond comparison.
In terms of loosely labeling that there is no competition.. well that`s kind of a misleading statement today. All 4 of the cards reviewed will not be held back in any way by games u throw at it in comparison to each other. The distinction is that on paper some to 10,20,30, whatever frames more than the other - the other already doing awesome frames. And the looks.. all 4 will give u an immensely pleasing experience.
This for me is where the OC3D cost per frame blows many reviews out of the water. There has been need for a change in review styles. Benchmarking doesn`t mean what it used to, in terms of gaming, perhaps bracketing only. Quality of picture is very hard to put over, other than u have to accept that they`ll all output at the same quality-standard. So what`s left is what u pay for them...
The strong arguement in addition to this is the screen sizes, and I think this may get more of a question as monitors get cheaper and standard resolutions get bigger. 20-22" widescreens mainly operate at 1680x1050 - this is almost being the norm for me. 24" above can be the same, with quality models offering the higher resolutions again. There`s even larger monitors out there being used where perhaps 24" was in the past.
With these thoughts in mind, the size of monitor vS the cost of the cards vS the capability of the card at the standard resolution u want - u should pick out of the 4. Smaller resolution, 17/19" square - 4850 will be fine, 24"+ u may chose the 280 and be able to afford it considering what u already purchased.
It`s sad that performance isn`t the stickler for selection - but having `quality` become a replacement for it isn`t wholey a bad thing.
Great review again btw.
PS. need more bumpff, when will manufacturers learn that graphic cards and mobos need to be accompanied with misc bumpff! Don`t care too much what it is, but c`mon.