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Discussion in 'Techie Discussion' started by Maljonic, Dec 29, 2003.

  1. Maljonic

    Maljonic Can't get enough of FH

    I'm a big fan of Geforce but someone told me 'ATI's Radeon series is kicking Nvidia's GeForce ass'; I don't think I could ever trust ATI from past experience and I've never had anything but good results from GerForce cards. Any thoughts?
  2. Gurnox

    Gurnox One of Freddy's beloved

    ATI have _just_ got the speed advantage at the moment but there is not a lot between them from what I've read.

    The new ATI drivers are a far cry from the old and painful days of the Rage chipset.
  3. fatbusinessman

    fatbusinessman Fledgling Freddie

    Gurnox is about right - there's not a lot between the two brands at the moment, either in the mid-range (£150) or high-end (£350) ranges. If youre thinking of getting a new card, I would suggest waiting until something really special comes out to justify it (e.g. Half-Life 2) and then see what the situation is at that point.
  4. Big G

    Big G Has a sexy sister. I am also a Bodhi wannabee.

    In my humple 2p worth opinion,

    I was a huge nvidia fan, owning a geforce 256 DDR then a GF4 Ti4400. Recently, my Ti4400 gave up the ghost with a burnt out fuse so I had to take the plunge into buying a new card.

    My options were fairly simple - I am a huge CS/HL mods fan and the occasional spin in Quake3. The two top cards were the 9800 XT and the 5950 Ultra.

    My next "big game" was definitely gonna be HL2 over Doom3. Without getting into technical details (im sure Jont and Xavier could elaborate), the ATi platform is the current winner for HL2 with the Nvidia platform miles behind in frame rates (early days yet, early days). Additionally, the GF4 took a massive performance hit with FSAA x AA switched on and this was a feature I wanted: graphics quality. I wanted the ability to have high fps, but also to have pixel perfect graphics.

    Read Xavier's 9800 XT Vs 5950 Ultra (with fsaa & aa in UT2003) here:

    There is too much of a performance hit on the nvidia platform.

    This falls in line with other reviews comparing the two top cards.

    Additionally, Aquamark 3 figures:

    I took a big gulp and admitted I was gonna buy ATi.

    There was only one winner for me, the 9800 Pro. The 9800 XT was too pricey for the marginal performance gain. My 9800 Pro overclocks to 412/360 (XT core/mem speed) without a hitch, although I do have extra cooling just incase. Additionally, the current situation of "HL2 will run better on ATi" wins me over, since Doom3 doesn't really press my buttons with its hard lined stencil shadowing ;)

    Edit: oh and, you can pick up a 9800 Pro for £225 where as the 5950 Ultra / 9800 XT will set you back £300+

  5. Big G

    Big G Has a sexy sister. I am also a Bodhi wannabee.

    Agreed, I had no intention to upgrade until Q2 2004 at the earliest - unfortunately my old card fried so I made the big upgrade now.

  6. fatbusinessman

    fatbusinessman Fledgling Freddie

    As good a reason as any - last time my computer fried I was hoping to upgrade the motherboard to an nForce2 jobbie so I could get 5.1 surround sound.

    Unfortunately it was the hard disk that had died, so I just had to spend £50 on getting the same thing again :(
  7. Xavier

    Xavier Can't get enough of FH

    While the situation on Antialiasing and AF is unlikely to change, it looks like there may be a big turn-around with Half Life 2 performance for NVIDIA...

    By now everyone has probably heard about the >$8M OEM and 'Marketing Endorsement' deal between Valve and ATI, and the more observant will probably also be aware of the situation recently with HL2's shaders, where it was shown that ATI themselves provided most of the radeon-friendly pixel and vertex shading code used in the game, while the shading code for the GeForce cards was completed in-house with no apparent input or consultation with NVIDIA... Although they did a good job of diverting all attention from both stories after the new of leaked game code swamped hardware and gaming sites across the net and geeks the world over tried to get their hands on the beta.

    We know that at the time of the leak, around 6 days before the original 30th September launch target, the game engine was about 80% 'there' (in valves words), and level-wise only 40% of the maps were populated, with none 100% complete. Valve initially argued that the leaked code was much older but the comments and datestamps both in the source code and leaked executables argue otherwise.

    With a new rumoured release date of April '04, that will have given Valve 6 months, not only to get the game environment completed (the creation tools they're using have been referred to as extremely fragile, which may explain in part just how they ended up so far behind by 30/9/03) but also further optimise their shader architecture and render engine to work better with GPUs other than ATI's. Regardless of how big a backhander they recieved, Valve recognise that NVIDIA still hold a pretty large majority in the market and will no doubt do everything they can to make sure that as many potential customers as possible are able to play their game.

    We discussed the whole matter with NVIDIA just after their Editors Day, and it was mentioned that not only did Valve reject NVIDIA input in optimisation of shaders for the GeForce chips at the same level to which they'd involved ATI, but also that when the developers spotted the fogging bug in the beta 52-series drivers which Gabe attempted to crucify NVIDIA over, that rather than raise the bug in the usual manner, they dropped all communication - which is pretty damn strange way of working with anybody.

    Knowing that the source engine was still incomplete we were pretty surprised just how many sites ran that "exclusive HL2 benchmark"... We along with many others turned it down, unless were offered gold code and corresponding WHQL drivers designated for the time of retail release there's just no point. I made a mistake of leaping for beta code when I wrote the hardware section for PC Zone, entering into a deal with Epic to be one of the first to use UT2003 beta code for graphics benchmarks, and I know only too well how drastically performance changed between that beta and what finally hit shelves, not only in terms of GPU performance but also between the P4 and AMD rigs at that time.

    Since the original round of benchmarks, which were run on supplied black-box machines and forbade the use of NVIDIAs 50 series driver, Valve haven't allowed anyone to touch the benchmark again... Positive PR only when it suits them.

    Looking at those current HL2 scores as a 'worst case scenario', alongside the performance figures people have touted round the web since the leaked beta it's pretty clear that none of the top-end GeForceFX or Radeon cards are going to have any problem running HL2 or DoomIII. However its worth remembering that by the time both are out we're likely to have news on, if not the launch of the R420 from ATI and NVIDIAs NV40, Pixel and Vertex Shader 3.0, a minor DirectX rev and most significantly PCI Express.

    So, unless you've had a significant outage and blown your 3D card sky-high in he process, or simply have pots of cash to waste, I'd wait til May or thereabouts, by which time you should be able to get your mitts on a Prescott based BTX system with PCI express graphics and all other forms of technical wizardry ;)
  8. Big G

    Big G Has a sexy sister. I am also a Bodhi wannabee.

    When i said Xavier would Elaborate, that's exactly what I meant ;). Great post. :clap:

    I couldn't agree more with waiting, as I said it is really early days but if you were forced into making a choice now (like me and my Ti4400 paperweight), I was more than happy with ATi.

  9. Jonty

    Jonty Fledgling Freddie

    Hi guys

    There's not much I can really add that hasn't already been said :) However, given a little time, I'll post my thoughts on the 9600XT and 5700Ultra, ATI and nVidia's latest mainstream cards, respectively. I've had the pleasure of testing one of these cards thus far, soon to be both (courtesy of Xavier), so I'll let you know my humble opinion, and hopefully answer any questions you may have.

    Kind Regards
  10. SawTooTH

    SawTooTH One of Freddy's beloved

    Well I think it all comes down to what you want to play in 2004. Doom3 is supposed to play better on Nvidia cards and Halflife on ATI
    I'm a Halflife fan and thats why I have an Ati card at the mo.

    Correct me if Im wrong but this used to be the way it was when I started playing games.
  11. fatbusinessman

    fatbusinessman Fledgling Freddie

    Really? I thought John Carmack's .plan files were full to bursting with talking about how wonderful ATI's cards were...
  12. Jonty

    Jonty Fledgling Freddie

    Since that time (I think?) UltraShadow has been developed and implemented into nVidia's 5900 and 5700 cards, so as to aid lighting techniques in games such as Doom3. When some benchmarks were run a while back (although take into account Xavier's comments, as they're as valid here) nVidia's cards really outperformed ATI's across the board, pretty much.

    However, I'm sure ATI cards will end up performing well in Doom3, just as nVidia's will in HL2. The main difference between the Doom3 situation and HL2 is that id software, and John Carmack particularly, seems to have very close relationships with all major card players, rather than aligning to one at the expense of others.

    Kind Regards


    Edit ~ About nVidia's UltraShadow technology ~ [H]ard|OCP's (Early) Doom3 Benchmarks
  13. Insane

    Insane Wait... whatwhat?

    hey jonty, when your finished with those cards can i have one? :D

    *attempts to blag 2nd hand gear*

    im holding out till release date and proper benchmarks before i invest my hard-earned cash in a graphics card, i jumped on the Radeon 8500 bandwagon after they went through tonnes of benchmarks and in the real world (tm) its not performing up to scratch to my mates Geforce card :(
  14. Xavier

    Xavier Can't get enough of FH

    Heh, well all of the initial reviews of the Radeon showed it cheating in Quake3 based games, the 8500 is outclassed by the GeForce3, let alone the Ti500 or any GeForce4Ti, which means the 8500 is slower than every DirectX8 offering NVIDIA have brought to market :(
  15. Lemming

    Lemming Fledgling Freddie

    Must say I've been an Nvidia supporter all the way (never bought an ATI card myself). Although the ATI's are better the amount of driver problems I hear, combined with the REALLY REALLY BAD Linux support, the fact I run Linux quite a bit and never had cause for complaint with a Geforce has led me to buying Nvidia cards.

    Voodoo 3 >>> Geforce 2 MX >>> Geforce 4 Ti4200 >>> Geforce FX5600
  16. Gumbo

    Gumbo Resident Freddy

    I ordered a 9800pro today, I wanted a fairly up to date card as my Ti4200 is dieing, but absolute top whack was not worth the extra money imo. After all it'll be replaced within a year or so anyway, so 100squids more is just silly.

    Anyway, why did I go ATi over Nvidia?

    I heard the Nvidia's were noisy, very noisy, and the Radeon was pushing out reasonable decibels, ear defenders would not be necessary.

    That's it really.
  17. Xavier

    Xavier Can't get enough of FH

    Probaby worth checking this out then - since the 5900 noise is no longer an issue :)

  18. Danya

    Danya Fledgling Freddie

    Well I was nvidia from the TNT2 up till my GF4 and they were all great. Then I got an offer too good to pass up on a 9800 pro and bought that. Had previously avoided ATI due to the heinous drivers on the rage cards and such.
    So far the 9800 pro has been superb - it's actually better at doing multiple monitors than nvidia cards to my mind - much less rebooting and fiddling about to get it to work. No problems with stability or driver issues - my gf4 was very slightly unstable (crashed maybe every other day, not a big deal), the ati is rock solid. Linux compatibility is a non-issue for me as I only run windows so I can't really comment on that.
    That said, I'd have stuck with my gf4 if I'd been paying full whack for a new card - neither the radeon or FX cards are really worth the extra cost atm since nothing uses the new stuff yet.
  19. Bodhi

    Bodhi Resident Freddy

    That's funny, I seem to remember that after ATi fixed the "cheat" (It was actually a bug that showed up only in Quake 3 and had been in the drivers for about 8 releases, naturally nVIDIA waited until ATI had a big product release to tell HardOCP about it - which Kyle had no problem telling the world about. Funny how his tone changed when nVIDIA were caught cheating. I wonder who's payroll he's on.) they didn't actually lose any performance in Quake 3, which considering when it came out I seem to remember it beating the vanilla GF3, means it was still faster than that and the GF3 Ti200.

    Now ATi are top in all honesty. They fumbled the ball with the initial GF FX line, then the 3dmark scandal did some pretty serious damage tot their reputation. Their driver quality has faded recently aswell, with many people citing ATi as having the strongest drivers now. nVIDIA have closed the gap to ATi slightly in the past couple of months, but still for now ATI R TEHG BESTEST!"!"!"!
  20. Deadmanwalking

    Deadmanwalking Fledgling Freddie

    And if i was to say Xboxs are the new Nvidia?
  21. throdgrain

    throdgrain FH is my second home

    The difference at high resolutions betwen my 9800 pro and my previous card , a GF4400 , is amazing :)

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