ati or nvidia?

caLLous

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It's an archaic question I know, but which is currently "in the lead" and what's the best card around? Money isn't really a problem (not in a bigheaded way, I just need to spend this £500 gift voucher... :) )
 

throdgrain

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As far as I can see - Im in the market too - the 6800 series is the best for a range of games, but the x800/x950 stuff is ahead for HL2/Counter-strike.
Obviously, Ill be buying an ATI :)
 

Big G

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*scratches head*

I'd go with nvidia.
 

Mazling

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My next card will be ATI, unless I suddenly become rich and SLI makes more of a difference that it currently seems to.











SLI with nvidias that is, not the old voodoo2's. Which I had. *gasp*
 

Jonty

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Hi guys

Firstly, if anyone starts flaming their posts will be gone, so please keep things pleasant and reasoned as it has thus far been :)

Personally, and I have a bias towards nVidia, I honestly don't think you'd be disappointed with whichever company you went for out of ATI and nVidia.

ATI's x850 XT PE, for example, is pretty much the fastest card out there and certainly excels under optimised games such as the Source engine (HL2, CS:S etc.). Whether it's worth the price tag is debatable, though, but that can be said of most high-end cards. For more mainstream performance, the x800 XL, although a 'cut down' version of its bigger brothers, still offers outstanding 'bang for buck' at around £199, often beating the higher priced GeForce 6800 GT. ATI also update their drivers every month which, although sometimes a pain to keep downloading, certainly means issues rarely remain unresolved for very long.

That said, nVidia's card are no slouches. From a technical standpoint, the features they currently offer are slightly ahead of ATI's in some respects, e.g. Shader Model 3.0 support, a dedicated hardware video decoder etc. Whilst few games support the former at present, the difference it can make is notable without impacting on performance too much, and given the scope of nVidia's The Way It's Meant to be Played program, you can expect more and more games to adopt the standard. For optimised programs, nVidia has Doom 3 and other OpenGL titles under its belt, and currently occupies the top 20 3DMark scores last I heard. nVidia also have the edge in terms of SLI technology, although I wouldn't rely too much on this as, cool as it is and despite the notable performance advantage it offers, most people don't own SLI systems (ATI are apparently still planning a similar, proprietary setup).

Personally, I'd probably blow your £500 on a new SLI motherboard (depending on your current processor etc.) and either a couple of GeForce 6 cards or on one card such as the Gigabyte 3D1 which utilises two graphics cores on one card (via SLI) to outperform a lot of high end cards from both nVidia and ATI. Alternatively, both nVidia and ATI have recently announced 512MB variants of their high-end products, both of which (although only minor revisions) ought to last you a while :) None of these purchases are exactly practical, but if that voucher is burning a hole in your pocket and you're only intersted in graphics cards ...

Kind Regards
 

Escape

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I'd buy a 6800GT / X800XL, motherboard and some nice ram to go with it. Those three will cover your voucher and then some :p

The "Which graphics card" question comes down to pedantic you are. If a few FPS more, or some sparkly effect will enhance your gameplay, then spend £100 more to get them. But remember hardware technology moves fast and spending more now won't mean you can keep it for longer(e.g. the 6800GT and 6800Ultra will become redundant at the same time)
 

Clown

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Jonty said:
Firstly, if anyone starts flaming their posts will be gone, so please keep things pleasant and reasoned as it has thus far been :)
Makes a change from the rule that gets you banned for disagreeing with someone.
 

Clown

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£500 quid or not, I usually get the best bang for my buck. I need to get a replacement for my broken 6800GT, and I'll probably chose another 6800GT over an Ultra as I can squeeze out the same performance out of it (maybe more if I don't blow it up) for a cheaper price.

The only reason I chose to overclock a 6800GT rather than an X800 Pro VIVO, is because it was cheaper. I doubt I would notice much difference between a 6800 Ultra and a X800XT.

And I usually always ignore the top of the range shit, because it just isn't worth it.
 

Jonty

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Hi caLLous

Escape and Clown make a good point that the top end kit, fast as it is, is very rarely worth the price tag. Sometimes choosing the model down (GeForce 6800 GT over the Ultra, x800 XT or the x850 XT PE etc.) is a better bet, especially given the performance is often similar enough in real world gameplay.

Kind Regards
 

caLLous

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Hello one and all!

It's a bit shit that I have one £500 voucher as opposed to 5 x £100 or something - I can't get change or store credit so I need to spend the whole thing in one go. It's also a bit of shame that it only applies to a couple of high-street stores (Dixons, Currys, The Link and PC World), so whatever I buy it's going to be hideously over-priced I'd imagine.

I've always been a bit of an nVidia fan, for no real justifiable reason... Perhaps it's time for change.

Thanks for the help everybody!
 

Jonty

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Hi caLLous

Check out PC World's Compent Centres, most larger stores have them. Their range of kit isn't great but at least you could grab a wider range of stuff whilst you're at it. Like you say, it will probably be exorbitantly priced, but have fun buying nonetheless :)

Kind Regards
 

Ch3tan

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Two nvidia cards in sli mode? Spend the extra and upgrade your mobo at the same time?
 

JBP|

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I would go for an "X850 XT PE PCI-E"



And i bet you can't say that 10 times when your as pissed as a fart ;)
 

Jonty

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That is indeed a lovely card, but note it's PCI Express so you may need a new motherboard if you went that way caLLous.

Whilst we're talking of insane names, Gainward are surely up there with their Gainward PowerPack! Ultra/2600PCX TV-DVI-DVI Golden Sample SLi 512MB GeForce 6800 Ultra :)

Kind Regards
 

smurkin

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Jonty said:
Gainward are surely up there with their Gainward PowerPack! Ultra/2600PCX TV-DVI-DVI Golden Sample SLi 512MB GeForce 6800 Ultra :)
Thats just ridiculous. In fact, that would actuallly put me off buying that card :)
 

Jonty

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smurkin said:
Thats just ridiculous. In fact, that would actuallly put me off buying that card :)
hehe, can you imagine the size the box they'd need to fit that on? ;) I personally feel Gainward ought to send us each a sample just to satisfy our curiousity :D

Kind Regards
 

Gengi

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Jonty said:
hehe, can you imagine the size the box they'd need to fit that on? ;) I personally feel Gainward ought to send us each a sample just to satisfy our curiousity :D

Kind Regards
Now that would be golden :)

Later
 

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