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Gaco
08-29-04, 01:13 PM
Hi guys :)

I was just wondering in these times where Nvidia and ATI are pretty much even in performance, what makes you want to buy a certain graphicscard? And by that i mean, how important are the power requirements (fx in the choice between 6800GT/Ultra) or noiselevels (HIS's IceQ version of X800XT is currently the only true silent highend videocard), or what about features (things like 3Dc vs. SM3.0)?


Personally I care fairly much about the noise levels of graphicscards. Power requirements also count, but it won't be the decisive factor. Features are always nice, but a good featurelist doesn't necessarily mean succes (just look at the NV3X), but in the case of SM3.0, I think it's definently worth taking note of.
When im choosing a new videocard the first thing i look at is of course performance but also noiselevels. Then comes the features, power requirements ect., but it all counts in the final decision, even more if the competitors are very close in terms of performance.

How about you? Which things comes most into your considerations when purchasing 400-500$ videocards?

EciDemon
08-29-04, 01:32 PM
I bought an 6800(nu) a few days ago ... I guess I went with Nvidia because Ive been using nvidia hardware ever since my first Riva Tnt 16mb agp when that one was brand new.

Sadly I had to go back to the store with my new cards as it lock up and Bsod'ed in all games and applications I tried the card with.

This is the first time I ever had problems with a Nvidia card. Ill prolly get a new card as soon as they are done testing it, if not then I must figure out what is wrong with my puter.

myshkinbob
08-29-04, 02:07 PM
The noise thing isn't really a factor, it's incredibly easy to make the 6800 series silent without having to spend more than 5.

The power needs are one thing that slightly put me off buying nvidia this time around, but i only bought a GT so one molex connector is par for the course with high end cards now, whatever you get.

As you said in terms of performance things are pretty even between NV and ATi this time, but what swung it for me in a big way was the driver support. NV puts out more drivers, releases and leaks, and as an end user you can't beat knowing that if there's a problem in a game a driver will appear to fix it in a matter of weeks. Plus with nearly every driver you get a nice little performance upgrade in your favourite games. There's a bigger sense of activity on NV's part to support their products.

Aside from that, i use linux too, and nvidia are the ONLY real consumer level linux graphics card option for 3D. They're absolutely miles ahead for linux, with drivers that perform as well for linux as windows, and driver releases as often as the windows counterparts. I mean, nvidia even provide constantly updated x86_64 linux drivers so i can run a pure64 linux desktop and make use of all the advantages of a 64bit processor AND a current generation graphics solution.

Ati's drivers for windows are much better these days, but there's a sense of lethargy in their developement, there's no buzz around improving them. And in linux, well, their 32bit drivers are horrendously slow, making a 9800xt perform worse than a gf4 mx on the OS, and their 64bit linux drivers don't even exist as far as i'm aware.

myshkinbob
08-29-04, 02:19 PM
I forgot to mention that, in my opinion, the NV community is a little better too. Although you get fanboys on either side, there's a wider community support around here, and generally a more open-minded and friendly atmosphere. :)

SH64
08-29-04, 02:21 PM
Usually i go for the highest-end video cards no matter what (of course if i have enough money) . but this time its differnet :

Most video cards are not available as before & the games that takes use of them are available though .. which makes me get the fastest video card i can right now .
thats why i grabbed my current video cards (X800Pro/6800GT) ASAP & didnt wait for the highest ends .

i took the GT mainly becuase its lower power req & special HSF design (MSI's own copper cooler) which can take an advantage of my vantec card .
so i can overclock it to the Ultra speeds later .

i care about nosie , but i dont think it will matter in this gener . the only noisy video card was the well-known Dustbuster & now cooling solutions are improving so i dont think its a serious matter anymore .

Lfctony
08-29-04, 03:21 PM
I like both ATI and Nvidia. This time, both IHVs have delivered great products. The reasoning for going with a 6800U over an X800XT would be features, since Nvidia has the speed as well. I also picked up a good deal on an X800 Pro and I'm currently using it on my second system.

dsj
08-29-04, 05:06 PM
I will never buy something from ati as long as the cards are close.

spirited1
08-29-04, 05:27 PM
I hold no allegience to any manufacterer. The day I do, will be the day they are giving me money. I'm a fanboy for my wallet!! It was down to the Ultra 6800 or the ATI XT Pro Ultramagnetic MammaJamma EX Alpha.

I chose Nvidia because (and I may be wrong here) I imagine 70pct of all FPS in the next 3-5 years will be run on the Doom 3 engine - at least, if Quake 3 was anything to go by. It occurs to me software houses/development teams like iD's engines - if this were to change, I wouldn't think twice about jumping ship. However, I think I've made the right choice.

I've read all the reviews - seen the benchmarks, the arguements and discussions. I'm a relative newbie, but I do try and do a little research and I like to think I'm as unbiased as I could be. It strikes me that ATI have the upper hand when comparing the two companies flagship cards, but it's a difference so insignificant (for me) the choice was clear - support for fancy features rather than 5-10fps extra.

FearMeAll
08-29-04, 08:30 PM
I got a GT because it was the quickest thing I could get. I've loved my choice so far, however I feel I would be just as happy with an x800xt as well..both are great this round.
I have however really enjoyed my experience on these boards than what I felt on rage3d.
Everyone seems more laid back and does not flame people for having 9800s or x800s; people just seem to say, "hey nice card, enjoy your card, etc.." But lately I've been veerry disappointed with the attitude on the rage3d boards. Everyone seems to still be stuck on the FX hoopla. I used to post a lot on that board but now you are not allowed to say one criticism about the drivers or you get banned or called an nvidiot.. I had a 9700pro as well as a 9800pro before (btw I hated the FX series) and loved the cards and now I love my GT. I will say I felt like I had to post very carefully on rage3d for fear of getting flamed. I also a very active poster on neowin.net but not many poeple there know much about the 3dcard saga. lots of n00bs I'm sad to say in that area exclusively. So far I've had nothing but an enjoyable experience posting on nvnews as many of you seem more than willing to admit the x800xt is a fantastic card too and not be fanboys. Not as much of this mine is bigger than yours crap.
It's this kind of support that makes me hope nvidia stays on the straight and narrow with their driver optimizations so I can keep the tech support an nvnews.
I also like the digital vibrance feature on nvidia cards. I went without for a long time with the 9800 but it wasn't too bad. Even though vibrance can make the colors more fake I don't care I like having the feature as an option. I love how these new drivers for 6800 cards let the end user make all the decisions to how their 3d looks and runs.
Overall I guess everyone can gather I've made a very smooth transition to nvidia from the 9800pro series.

lordtyranus2
08-29-04, 10:57 PM
I got a GT because it was the quickest thing I could get. I've loved my choice so far, however I feel I would be just as happy with an x800xt as well..both are great this round.
I have however really enjoyed my experience on these boards than what I felt on rage3d.
Everyone seems more laid back and does not flame people for having 9800s or x800s; people just seem to say, "hey nice card, enjoy your card, etc.." But lately I've been veerry disappointed with the attitude on the rage3d boards. Everyone seems to still be stuck on the FX hoopla. I used to post a lot on that board but now you are not allowed to say one criticism about the drivers or you get banned or called an nvidiot.. I had a 9700pro as well as a 9800pro before (btw I hated the FX series) and loved the cards and now I love my GT. I will say I felt like I had to post very carefully on rage3d for fear of getting flamed. I also a very active poster on neowin.net but not many poeple there know much about the 3dcard saga. lots of n00bs I'm sad to say in that area exclusively. So far I've had nothing but an enjoyable experience posting on nvnews as many of you seem more than willing to admit the x800xt is a fantastic card too and not be fanboys. Not as much of this mine is bigger than yours crap.
It's this kind of support that makes me hope nvidia stays on the straight and narrow with their driver optimizations so I can keep the tech support an nvnews.
I also like the digital vibrance feature on nvidia cards. I went without for a long time with the 9800 but it wasn't too bad. Even though vibrance can make the colors more fake I don't care I like having the feature as an option. I love how these new drivers for 6800 cards let the end user make all the decisions to how their 3d looks and runs.
Overall I guess everyone can gather I've made a very smooth transition to nvidia from the 9800pro series.
You speak for me as well. Aside from 2 hours trying to force my GT into the AGP slot, my transition from 9700 pro to 6800 gt has also been smooth. The old drivers on the cd seemed to be unstable at first, but the new 60.77 ones seem solid.

Stoneyguy
08-30-04, 12:36 AM
I picked the 6800 because it was the best value. for 300 bucks you can either get the 9800XT or the 6800nu. that was a fairly easy decision. Plus I can step up to a GT with eVGA for only the difference in price.

Lezmaka
08-30-04, 04:26 AM
I only wanted to spend around $300 for my next video card, and in May, it seemed that the 6800 standard would be my best bet as there wasn't/isn't a $299 card based on ATI's next-gen stuff. If they did have one, I would probably have gone with ATI. But in the middle of June, I got in on the $300 6800GT pre-order deal on BestBuy.com. I also like nView/multimonitor support, driver control panel, game profiles, etc more than ATI's control panel, although the screenshot of the new ATI control panel looks very nice.

H3avyM3tal
08-30-04, 05:09 AM
well. for me it's like this.
first i look at performance. in this case 6800 and x800 are tied.
now, features. 6800 ins this one. now, we have doom3 engin vs hl2 engin.
another piont to nvidia. i'd rather have more fps on a newer engin rather than on the old one.
the only thing left now, is to choose the card that looks best!:)

Arioch
08-30-04, 05:48 AM
Well I have had the privledge of owning both a X800XT and a 6800 Ultra. Here's a little breakdown between the cards based on my experiences.

DirectX games - The X800XT is a bit faster in most of these games at the setting I like to play at, 1600x1200 with 4xAA/16xAF, but nothing overwhelmingly so.

OpenGL games - The 6800 Ultra is faster with the percentages being higher in some games. For my experience the X800XT is still plenty fast in these games though but Nvidia is more consistenly better.

Video Card Drivers - ATI is doing a lot better job with these and people that still think their drivers suck are morons. Nvidia, however, still has better overall drivers IMHO as it never fails that some major title always seems to have an ATI-only bug that takes a few months to fix.

Card Size/Power Consumption - Well ATI wins this one without a doubt at least for the high end cards but it is a non-issue for me since I have a Enermax 550W power supply and plenty of room in my case for the two-slot 6800 Ultra card.

SM 3.0 - While there isn't a lot of games that will support this even in the next few months this feature will start to slowly show up in games over the next year or so. The 6800 series is the only cards that support this. It is well known that ATI will have this in their next new card but we won't see that for another year at least. The ability to offer additional eye candy actually interests me more than the performance gains.

Stereo 3-D - Nvidia supports this technology and ATI does not. E-Dimensional, where I bought my glasses from, has a wrapper for ATI cards but it only works for DirectX games and even then it is not nearly as robust as Nvidia's support.

Both cards kick ass but Nvidia offered some things that ATI did not this time around and is the reason I went that route this time.

FearMeAll
08-30-04, 07:07 AM
You speak for me as well. Aside from 2 hours trying to force my GT into the AGP slot, my transition from 9700 pro to 6800 gt has also been smooth. The old drivers on the cd seemed to be unstable at first, but the new 60.77 ones seem solid.
man I really recommend you give the 65.73 drivers a shot. I've had no problems and they are just faster.. I also hear they are whql.
Enjoy your card.

sundru
01-21-05, 03:13 PM
Simple If you are running Linux the choice becomes obvious as you beat your head to get a ATI driver to work and by the time it does you are way too old to play Quake III.

toxikneedle
01-21-05, 03:30 PM
I had nvidia, then ati, and now back to nvidia. I gotta say nvidia does seem like better quality cards. I just bought a 6800NU and because its better than anything ati can offer for the price range. Same goes with a 6800GT vs a x800 Pro, the 6800GT is MUCH better for less money. As far as XT-PE vs 6800Ultra, there I think you should get whichever you prefer, if you like nvidia more, get that, if ati then get that.


The other thing i want to mention is that other than Half Life 2 I have pretty much not played any other game that Ati supports. Nvidia on the other hand supports all of my favorites, BF42, BF-V, MOHAA, etc(forever).... plus many on the horizon. That was actually a major factor why I got nvidia, but again if your spending 500-600 dollars on a vid card, either one will perform great with any game (at least at the moment)

Buenamos
01-21-05, 03:48 PM
When I chose my card, I mainly looked at benchmarks that compared high resolutions with AA/AF because that's what I like to game at. I saw that ATI slightly edged out Nvidia and seemed to have slightly better AA. Both cards are great, if I wasn't lucky enough to get my hands on a x800xtpe back in june i'd safely say that I would have a 6800ultra in my system right now. You can't choose wrong either way. ;)

OWA
01-21-05, 04:10 PM
I prefer nvidia's cards b/c of their drivers (quick access CP, CP layout, profiles, release schedule, stability, etc.) and features. Plus, I've been using them for a long time so there's a comfort factor there. I use a 6800U in my main system.

I bought the X800 Pro b/c it was the first "new gen" card available at retail in my area. I do like it's smaller size and wish nvidia could shrink their cards a little. The X800 Pro is now in my 2nd system (SFF).

For the last few years I've had a card from both sides. I wasn't sure I was going to do that this time but with the X800 Pro being available in my area first, it made the decision for me. Anyway, as long as they stay close I'll probably continue buying one from each side. I like being able to see both sides and if there is some game that won't run correctly on one card, it usually runs fine on the other. I like having that option available.

circuitbreaker8
01-21-05, 04:12 PM
My first videocard was a TNT2, then a Geforce 2 MX 420 64Mb, then a Sapphire 9800 Pro 128Mb, now my BFG 6800 Gt 256Mb. I'm actually trading my card for a X800XT so I can flash it to a PE.

os2
01-21-05, 04:26 PM
I think you can't go wrong with either cards. I started with a TNT2, progressed to a Geforce2, then a ATI 9700Pro and now a ATI X800Pro VIVO. What made me choose the X800Pro Vivo? I can bios flash it to a X800XTPE. At the end of the day, my next video card purchase will be based on what features I want at the time. I didn't feel that SM3.0 was an issue this time around. Maybe in a couple of years when it is a standard across the board, then it will enter into my buying equation. Drivers wise, both company's produce decent video drivers for my needs.

No matter what you have bought, enjoy your card and don't bag others for choosing theirs!!! It was the right choice for you :)

jolle
01-21-05, 05:48 PM
I got a foot on each side really, last card was a 9700Pro and it was really great, this time around I got a 6800GT, price was right and I felt like trying out the NV drivers again. (before that: GF3, GF256, matrox G200, TNT, Matrox Millenium II + voodoo, Matrox Mil (1), amiga hehe)
No complaints on ATi, but I feel that the NV drivers are a slightly better now that Ive used them for a while..

who knows, next time I might end up with ATi again, it all depends on how the situation looks when that time comes..
the 9700Pro was a simple choice against the FX series, this time it was harder, but with my restricted budget I was limited to the 6800GT vs X800Pro, and in that showdown the GT is a bit faster overall.

Next time it might even be another player if one presents itself, it does however seem very hard for new players to enter the market, to compete with the gigantic cooperation both ATi and nVidia has built up with game developers (support, seminars etc, ie GITG, TWIMTBP minus the marketing bit), their driver experience and all that, and also the level of complexity involved in modern GPUs and the funds required for R&D and development of the chips (not to mention the marketing hehe)
Always kept a secret flame of hope burning for Matrox to put out something awsome, had alot of hopes on Parhelia but it didnt turn out like I had hoped :(

Mr_LoL
01-21-05, 06:34 PM
well i bought my card brand new for 140 pounds of some bloke on ebay with negative feedback :D so i took the risk and got it cheap as chips. before i had a 6600 gt but the performance was crap with aa enabled so i gave that to my twin sister and got this instead :D I also love the digtal vibrance feature and i think the radeon 9800 series are the best graphics cards ever made ;)

Blacklash
01-21-05, 07:33 PM
Honestly I look for image quality, user control, playable frame rates, and the most wide game compatibility. Between nVidia cards and Ati cards they both seem to have very playable frame rates in all games. As another said Ati seems to have the edge in direct X when both AA/AF are used, however nVidia certainly has playable frames. The same is true when you compare nVidia's OGL support vs Ati's. I think Ati may be more lacking in OGL than nVidia is in Direct x with AA/AF. Frames really become a non factor to me when you are talking about 90 frames vs 80 or so.

With nVidia I can use full trilinear filtering with no AF optimizations and usually do so. I like the degree of control I have over the driver.

So again, for me, its about good IQ, playable frames, wide game compatibility and control over the card in question. I have found nVidia's current generation to meet all these criteria.

One thing I will say for Ati is they have always had great fast efficient AA, and the 9700Pro is one of the best cards ever designed. I am glad they woke up nVidia. I will certainly consider Ati again when they have a SM 3.0 product and perhaps a multi-gpu configuration. One company monopolizing a market leads to stagnation, poor prices for the consumer, and usually lack luster products to boot. I want to see Ati and nVidia healthy. I would love to see Matrox or another company become more competitive.

john19055
01-21-05, 08:47 PM
I get witch ever card is supposed to be th best but this time it is to close to call IMO,I would have got a X800XTPE if I could have found one at the time I was looking ,I have a 9800 pro and it has been a great card and IMO when running at 2xFSAA ati looks just a tad bit cleaner.But I also had good luck with my GF 3 and 4,so when I found a Evga 6800 ultra and I could actually get it with out haveing to pre order and wait and wait and wait just to get my order cancelled I went ahead and got one and so far I have no regrets getting it although I wish it did'nt take so much power to run it.but in the end witch ever card you get you can't go wrong this time around.