new videocard

Discussion in 'NVIDIA Graphics Cards' started by Bart1987, Nov 15, 2003.

  1. Bart1987

    Bart1987 New Member

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    A friend of mine wants to buy a new videocard.
    He is thinking of buying a radeon 9700 pro or a geforce fx5900, the prices are the same.
    He has a pentium 4 2.4ghz 533Mhz FSB
    512MB DDR (don't know the speed of it)
    Windows XP

    What would be the better card, considering IQ and performance with AA en AF on?

    Bart
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2003
  2. Roadee

    Roadee Never forgotten

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    9700 Pro:D Or wait a little bit for the 9800 Pro to drop in prices!!
     
  3. Bart1987

    Bart1987 New Member

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    Doesn't the new detonator 52.xx driver improve a lot?
    And isn't it faster than the 9700 pro?
     
  4. Roadee

    Roadee Never forgotten

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    There are a lot of issues surrounding the 52.xx drivers right now, as well as whether or not the FX cards are actually DX 9 capable cards. The 9700 Pro is a proven DX 9 card, has awesome IQ, very stable, awesome drivers........and they dont have to cheat in order to get performance:D There is just too much going on right now with nVidia to even seriously consider it. The ATI cards WORK with the games that are out now and are about to come out......to me that is all I need to know. It would really suck to spend all that money to buy an nVidia card.....expecting the game that you have been waiting to come out to run unimpeded......only to find out that you have to use drivers for your card that have to force the game to run decent......and still not look as good as your friends does. For right now.....ATI just works....maybe nVidia will get it right next time around, with there next generation.....at least I hope they do.

    This is just my opinion, there are alot of sites that have done reviews on these cards, do some reading and see what you think. But until the smoke settles on the nVidia driver issue's, I will stick with my recommendation of ATI.

    Good luck:)
     
  5. mothership

    mothership New Member

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    recently, there's already rumours of 9800pro being slashed pricing to USD$299, so, maybe, in another few weeks. It may just be somehwere $199
     
  6. jjmd

    jjmd New Member

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    get the 9800pro if you find it cheap. Or the 9700pro will do just fine.
     
  7. Optimummind

    Optimummind Banned

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    You can buy a ATI Radeon 9800 Pro 128MB for $280 with Free Shipping at AllStarShop.com.

    If you are going for a 9700 Pro or a FX 5900, I say go for a 5900. The FX is a DX9 card--the reason people are bitching about it not being DX9 is because it uses 16 and 32-bit precision as opposed to just 24-bits like ATI cards.

    As a result of its DX9 architecture, nVIDIA uses a Unified Compiler to reorder some execution branches for optimal performance on its card. This is NOT cheating. Afterall, it makes sense to use a type of execution that would benefit the FX architecture the most.
     
  8. losingstreak

    losingstreak New Member

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  9. Bart1987

    Bart1987 New Member

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    Thanks for the help.
     
  10. toddsmack2k

    toddsmack2k It Never.....

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    Tell him to go with the 9700 Pro If cannot wait for the 9800 prices to drop. The price versus performance to me says the 9700 is better for the money, cheaper ya know.
     
  11. shortyes

    shortyes New Member

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    There is always the new 5900SE or 5900XT that comes with Call of Duty. It is 179 at Newegg when I last checked. From the reviews I read, it is not a bad card at all for a sub 200 +CoD so in fact the card is 140 if you were planning to buy the game.
     
  12. tek

    tek New Member

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    Go with the 9700pro, since the only nVidia card that beats the 9700pro is the 5900 Ultra, and if you cant get that for the same price... stick with the 9700pro, the 5900 aint the best deal right now.
     
  13. demalion

    demalion ={DH}=demalion

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    There is so much inaccurate info going around. :( This is a post based on some pretty technical info, and if you want to understand its basis, I can recommend a place like Beyond3D to you to begin. But, for now, I'll just cover an outline that comes to mind to address some of the things I've seen said here, and some other places.

    Let us split a card into two aspects temporarily: Processing (the core design and clock speed) and Bandwidth (the memory speed and bus width).

    Processing

    Let us split this topic further into two, because it is necessary to explain why so much of the info going around is bad (this includes some popular sites that "sound" technical in their discussions, but aren't being accurate).

    Pixel processing, or "what is done to draw detailed colors and object surface effects".

    Let me explain the central issue with the current generation of cards that nVidia spends a lot of time trying to hide: In pixel processing performance, the Radeon cards simply dominate completely, top to bottom, corresponding FX cards. nVidia puts out competitive performance results by (slightly simplified): 1) (cheating) working hard to to remove other performance penalties from the picture (like not offering trilinear filtering in Direct3D when asked, even though the card can offer it), 2) (cheating) replacing shaders with other shaders that actually do less work, 3) (optimizing) using a shader optimizer that can produce better performance with the same work, just being done more efficiently.

    (suffering succotash...I hope you didn't read that out loud, or you'll have to wipe off your screen. :lol: )

    Now, 3) is very good, and ATI is working on this too, but there is a problem here from nVidia, which is probably related to why ATI doesn't talk too much in marketing about their doing the same thing as 3). The problem is that nVidia calls everything "optimizing", and has for a while, even though only the last step (which has only fairly recently been evident for nVidia) deserves that name. This confuses conversation about optimization, because people think the "optimizer" is doing amazing things, when the person could do the same thing themselves by turning off trilinear filtering or selecting inferior shader effects for the games that offer it.

    Explaining this requires very technical and detailed info, and careful examination and discussion...video cards are not simple things. Fooling someone about it simply requires witholding that info. This is why many people view the above as a "rumor" instead of something already proven if you know where to look and can understand what is being discussed.

    ...

    Processing performance parity or superiority for nVidia cards is almost completely an illusion (i.e., lie). In "DirectX 8" applications, in some specific shader workloads, this might not be a lie when comparing a 9700 to a 5900 (or 5800, which executes DX 8 at similar speeds to later cards), but with the higher clock speeds of the 9800 products, with the 5800/5900 products not increasing clock speeds, figures that continue to show this are pretty much always due to other factors (the FX cards have some advantages, and there is the cheating as well).

    The exception is the drastic price drops on the 5900 SE (aka XT :sigh:) cards, which are actually a fairly high end card priced lower because nVidia is fooling less people that count (card manufacturers and system builders like Dell), because they do factually compare fairly well with the 9600 cards in processing performance: they have a higher processing performance potential, but also have some serious performance issues that whittle away at it for medium to long shaders of the moment. Given its target market, it could very often be a clear leader here, if you could get rid of the cheats listed above compromising on image quality (which widen the performance leadership by deception, but produces typically inferior output).

    Also, in processing capabilities, there is the specific case of the 5200 has more capabilities than the 9200, but the problem is the 5200 is incredibly slow at capitalizing on the difference. A large portion of its processing power is even done at less precision/range than the 8500-9200 (12 bit fixed point versus 16 bit). The 8500-9200 actually have significantly more processing power for the fairly flexible shader functionality they offer.

    Finally, you might have heard that the NV3x has more advanced shaders than the R3xx, but, for even longer technical reasons than the above, that isn't quite true unless you look at just the list of instructions alone (which is misleading, since it isn't just instructions that matter). The R3xx offers a set of features to go with its shading instructions that allow it to quickly and efficiently offer advanced capabilities that the NV3x chokes on.

    ...

    Sorry for the length, but nVidia's year long campaign to hide the above makes it a complicated subject. For the rest, I'm going to cover simpler things (things where nVidia doesn't have such severe problems, so they haven't had reason to complicate things with so much misleading information).

    Vertex processing, or "what is done to make object shapes and shadows"

    nVidia compares a lot more favorably here. They do still suffer in comparison for some more complicated vertex processing, but they also often (without having to resort to drastic lying) excel at more simple vertex processing. Given a mix of these in games, this will tend to (in reality, not just the fiction current nVidia drivers try to establish) go back and forth in advantage between the card families. However, it is pixel processing that is the most performance limiting factor in games moving forward at the moment, so this is primarily manifesting in games that have already been published, and not upcoming games. Also, the high end Radeon cards have been climbing in clock speed, improving their standing in comparison, while the high end FX cards have not.

    Anyways, Doom 3 might have been like this if published last year, retaining a slight edge for (some) existing nVidia FX cards to their comeptition, but given that some things Carmack has talked about experimenting upon for Doom 3 having already been implemented in some other games, I suspect that Doom 3 is evolving a bit during its delay to incorporate more of the advanced effects he reported the Radeons as performing more quickly.

    Bandwidth

    nVidia compares more than favorably here...they have oodles of bandwidth (typically), and have a significant advantage over ATI. It is simply due to their significant problems in (back to this again) pixel processing, as well as some other factors that I didn't get to (like AF and AA quality and performance comparisons), that this advantage does them so little good for how much of an advantage they often have in competing products.

    Again, the 5900"SE/XT" stands out, because they have a massive advantage here over 9600 cards (as long as they retain the 256-bit bus for a card in this price range). Actually, in combination with the Processing power it has, it ends up being, in general, a better card than the 9600 (aside from AA quality and power/size/cooling limitations), if only all of its capabilities could be exposed instead of being replaced with performance "boosting" image quality reductions. The only thing wrong with it (besides drivers preventing access to all capabilities, as long as they keep the cheats in) is that the "XT" name seems like such a premeditated low blow (which, however, doesn't change the product's strengths at all), and that the 9600 cards can actually sometimes beat it in performance...with about half the transistor count and bandwidth :wtf: .

    Of course, if this causes ATI to offer 9800 NPs at the same price, or you can find a 9700 card, it doesn't fare so well. This is why it is unfortunate for such future competition driven products that nVidia is heading down the road they seem to be in terms of their products. :bleh:

    ...

    But, anyways, for what you asked, the 9700 should almost always offer significantly better performance and/or image quality. I hope I've explained why there is some confusion on the matter, if you found the above understandable. :dead:
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2003
  14. farmeunit

    farmeunit New Member

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    My 2 cents

    I got 2 9800s out of Dells and flashed them to PROs no problem. I paid $200 for one and $50 video card and some trade for the other. Just had someone upgrade video card and then I replaced with 8500 which itself isn't a bad card and since they don't game not that important. Just an idea if you can do something similar. If someone is looking to buy a new computer that is.
     

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