PDA

View Full Version : Final decision: ATI X1800XT or NVidia 7800GTX


jpinard
12-31-05, 05:49 AM
OK, I think I've sold my current video card and I have to make a decision in the next 2 days. Do I go with the ATI X1800XT video card, or the NVidia 7800GTX based card? Don't let price be a factor.

I will have to swap out my motherboard at this point too. So if I get the ATI card, I'll get the ATI (shown below), and if I get the NVidia card, I'll get an NV board (shwo below).

ATI Crossfire board (A8R-MVP ):
http://usa.asus.com/products4.aspx?l1=3&l2=15&l3=236&model=787&modelmenu=1

Asus NV SLI board (A8N32-SLI Deluxe)
http://usa.asus.com/products4.aspx?l1=3&l2=15&l3=0&model=744&modelmenu=1

I'm also getting the Creative Labs XiFi sound card too (the cheapest version).

I am really desparate for some good advice. So I thank all of you that come in and help me make a tough decision. Thank you so very much!


<<<<< note >>>>>

* I'm referring to the NVidia 7800 GTX with 256 Meg RAM, not 512. The 512 version is way too expensive.

* Also graphic quality is my number concern.
* Tied for my number one concern is playable framerates. I like playing games (if possible) 4x FSAA, 16x AF, 1600x1200, best quality textures.

PaiN
12-31-05, 06:10 AM
I don't mean to sound simple, but when it comes to high-end cards(and mid-levels, also) the nVidia products are far superior.......get the 7800GTX :)

jpinard
12-31-05, 06:18 AM
Why are they far superior? I have an ATI X800XT PE in my machine (that's been super for the past year)... so I need some convincing!

jolle
12-31-05, 10:17 AM
I don't mean to sound simple, but when it comes to high-end cards(and mid-levels, also) the nVidia products are far superior.......get the 7800GTX :)
how so? from what Ive seen the X1800XT and 7800GTX(256) are pretty even, taking turns to come out on top depending on the game tested..
Both can do "Transparancy AA" sort of AA, but the X1800XT has the advantage of HDR+MSAA.. also video quality is "previewed" to be better on the X1800XT with Cat 5.13 (I think it was?)
On the other hand the X1800XT is a bit more expensive if I remember right..
That said, going from GF3 to 9700Pro to a 6800GT, I do prefer Nvidias drivers by quite a bit.

Wish I could afford either of them, I might be able to stretch to a 7800GT soon tho hehe..

Riptide
12-31-05, 10:52 AM
I'd get the XT. My ASUS - I couldn't tell a difference in speed between it and the 512GTX. I know the GTX is a bit faster but they're pretty close in the real world. Oh and my favorite game, 3dmark05, scores the same as it did on the 512GTX once I turned overdrive on.

BrianG
12-31-05, 11:19 AM
You have posted looking for advice on this subject at ATI and NVIDIA fansites. You have gotten posts of no bias, ATI is better and no bias, NVIDIA is better.

Now, if this decision is going to influence your motherboard decision, you need to read more motherboard reviews. You will likely be using the new mobo longer than you will the video card. I usually go new card and the refresh card in one motherboard.

The ATI mobo is known to have dodgy USB throughput and, let's be honest, the nForce4-32 SLI chipset is the most advanced out. Full 16x lanes to both cards in SLI, heatpipe cooling and tons of SATA options. It looks cool, heh. The X-Fi issues mentioned at Rage have been sorted out with newer X-Fi revision cards, so don't let that sway you. There is less bloat in the NVIDIA drivers, net requiring .NET to be installed on standard ATI installs, at least for the time being.

SLI is more mature and has a larger support base of users. That should be considered, as well. Have you thought of going immediately to an SLI config with two GTs? You can get the GT for $284 after $20 MIR at NewEgg and ZZF. I digress.

The X1800XT is louder than the 7800GTX, if noise is any concern.

In the X1800XT's favor is the recent Far Cry patch enabling HDR+AA. Do you play Far Cry? Whatever. The ATI card will get along better with the TV product line from ATI. If you are planning on Crossfire, you can get the standard 1800 now and get the Crossfire master card when prices drop.

Right now, it seems as though the GTX has more advantages. The X1800XT's 512MB or memory could come in handy down the road a bit. How long do you intend to hang on the card?

Stew on it. You really can't go wrong, just more right for your usage...

nV`andrew
12-31-05, 11:25 AM
You have posted looking for advice on this subject at ATI and NVIDIA fansites. You have gotten posts of no bias, ATI is better and no bias, NVIDIA is better.

Now, if this decision is going to influence your motherboard decision, you need to read more motherboard reviews. You will likely be using the new mobo longer than you will the video card. I usually go new card and the refresh card in one motherboard.

The ATI mobo is known to have dodgy USB throughput and, let's be honest, the nForce4-32 SLI chipset is the most advanced out. Full 16x lanes to both cards in SLI, heatpipe cooling and tons of SATA options. It looks cool, heh. The X-Fi issues mentioned at Rage have been sorted out with newer X-Fi revision cards, so don't let that sway you. There is less bloat in the NVIDIA drivers, net requiring .NET to be installed, at least for the time being.

SLI is more mature and has a larger support base of users. That should be considered, as well. Have you thought of going immediately to an SLI config with two GTs? You can get the GT for $284 after $20 MIR at NewEgg and ZZF. I digress.

The X1800XT is louder than the 7800GTX, if noise is any concern.

In the X1800XT's favor is the recent Far Cry patch enabling HDR+AA. Do you play Far Cry? Whatever. The ATI card will get along better with the TV product line from ATI. If you are planning on Crossfire, you can get the standard 1800 now and get the Crossfire master card when prices drop.

Right now, it seems as though the GTX has more advantages. The X1800XT's 512MB or memory could come in handy down the road a bit. How long do you intend to hang on the card?

Stew on it. You really can't go wrong, just more right for your usage...

:werd: to the two GT's...and also to what he said about the cards, he actually offered some info

OWA
12-31-05, 11:59 AM
I'd normally recommend the nvidia system but since you've been using an ATI card and have been happy with it, you probably won't find reasons for switching very convincing. I usually just stick to what I'm happy with and what has been working well for me.

Nevertheless, here is a short comparison (as I see it). Okay, hmm, maybe not so short comparison. :)

-- The X1800XT is a lot louder than the GTX 256 and louder than the GTX 512 as well. If you plan to use dual-cards at some point, I don't think I'd want dual X1800XTs unless you replace the cooler. Just a single one is a little too loud for my tastes.

-- You have to use the CCC with the X1800XT and I hate it (although, as an alternative, you can use ATI Tray Tools as a work-around. Still, it seems ridiculous to essentially force users to have to use a 3rd party tweaker). On the other hand, Nvidia's control panel is very fast and efficient. I much prefer the Nvidia CP over the CCC.

-- I get annoyed by the gamma issue on my ATI system but again, you can work-around that by editing the registry or if you can use your monitor controls to get everything looking like you want it, it probably won't be an issue. It didn't really start bugging me until I switched to LCDs and I've just about got that solved by using the monitors controls (i.e. I no longer adjust the brightness/contrast/gamma within the ATI drivers and that has helped a lot).

-- The X1800XT has better AF when enabling the HQ AF option.

-- The X1800XT has HDR+AA while Nvidia cards only get that if the game uses a method like Valve has done in HL2, Counter-Strike, etc. Otherwise, HDR on Nvidia cards doesn't support AA. One issue here is that you have to wait for games to be patched before HDR+AA is supported. So, the feature isn't very useful now but will be in the future if the performance hit isn't too big.

-- The 7800s have slightly better AA due to the super sampling modes. For example, the Transparency AA mode is little better than the Adaptive AA option ATI provides. You can see that in some screenshots in the other graphics forum (I think the thread title had something to do with Far Cry IQ). The super sampling modes on the Nvidia cards are nice but with just one card, you might not be able to use the SS modes all that often.

-- In general, I think Nvidia's drivers are a little more stable but if you haven't had any issues with your current ATI card, this is probably a moot point. The X1800s driver support isn't as mature yet but it seems to be improving pretty quickly. There were a few X1800 specific driver issues with the first drivers supporting the X1800 but most of that has already been worked out now.

-- The 512M on the XT might be beneficial but it really needs to be coupled with 2 gigs of RAM to completely eliminate the hitching. Right now I've only got 1 gig in my ATI system and FEAR hitches badly and Quake 4 hitches as well (although not nearly as bad as FEAR). Still the 512+2gig is the best solution. 256+2 gig works okay but you'll still get a little hitching in some games.

-- If you're going to use dual cards at some point, I'd give the upper-hand to Nvidia. SLI and Nvidia's motherboards are more mature and there are usually a few bumps in the road with new techonology so it might take Xfire a while to get up to speed.

Well, it looks like I've taken so long to write this that BrianG has already covered a lot of what I said. Oh well...

Medion
12-31-05, 08:04 PM
As of right now, the cheapest 7800GTX on Newegg is $449, while the cheapest X1800XT is $489, so they are close in price. The only X1800CF MC is $569 and not available.

So, here are the strengths of eacxh choice.

7800GTX
-SLI (ATI's CF MC isn't readily available, just like the GTX 512) Basically, if you want dual-GPU, go with the nVidida solution, IMO
-8xS AA on one card (MSAA + SSAA)
-Simpler yet more powerful control panel (I hate CCC, and I'm an ATI user)
-Single-slot cooler, makes it easier to use SLI (the X1800XT is a VERY tight fit on a crossfire mobo due the dual-slot cooler)
-Transparency AA looks better than ATI's adaptive AA

X1800XT:
-Angle-independent AF
-6x MSAA on one card (nVidia limited to 4x)
-Faster card in almost all apps, even in Doom 3 and Quake 4, surprisingly
-Adaptive AA has a smaller perofrmance hit than nVidia's Transparency AA
-HDR+AA, and the speed to be able to use it (X1800XL is to slow to use it)
-bios upgrade makes it an XT-PE, 700mhz core, and so far, it's a 100% success rate.

That's all I could think of, hope that helps.

PaiN
01-01-06, 02:57 PM
k...maybe its a stretch to say "far" superior...but I have yet to see a vs. review that gave the nod to ATI 1xxx cards over the 7800 line. Not that there is anything wrong with ATI, other than the fact its current gen. cards are bested in almost every way by nVidia's. So if faced with a person asking which one to buy.....I'd have to recommend NV

Medion
01-01-06, 03:41 PM
but I have yet to see a vs. review that gave the nod to ATI 1xxx cards over the 7800 line.

I'll give ya a one, if you like.

other than the fact its current gen. cards are bested in almost every way by nVidia's.

Incorrect. Read my above post, and you'll see that they are quite balanced.

XBITLabs did a recent GPU shootout, and it shows the X1800 and 7800 series cards trading blows. I wanted to list THG's GPU shootout as well, but for some reason they used an older Catalyst driver that doesn't even support the X1K line of cards, and the benchmarks reflected that.
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/games-2005.html

fatal1ty
01-01-06, 04:46 PM
You can get an X1800XT Sapphire OEM at Newegg for $489 with 512 MB of memory. Flash to the X1800XT PE bios and you've got a killer card with great IQ, shimmerless AF - you cant go wrong with either card but with the huge price drop of the X1800XT its really a no brainer now.

(cheers)

fivefeet8
01-02-06, 02:38 AM
OK, I think I've sold my current video card and I have to make a decision in the next 2 days. Do I go with the ATI X1800XT video card, or the NVidia 7800GTX based card? Don't let price be a factor.

<<<<< note >>>>>

* I'm referring to the NVidia 7800 GTX with 256 Meg RAM, not 512. The 512 version is way too expensive.


So which is it? Because if price isn't a factor, I'd say get a 7800gtx 512(if you can find them). If price is a factor, I suggest you get the 7800gt's since they overclock quite well and costs a lot less.

jpinard
01-02-06, 04:42 AM
Of everywhere I've posted this question, this thread has so far been the best. I applaud you all in letting biases slide to help me make a good decision.

Now, I should have said $600 was my videocard cap since I didn't think anyone would list the GTX 512 with it being AWOL.

Now something that I really like when I went from NVidia to my ATI card a few years ago was my games stopped shimmering. The shimmering was the single most frustrating thing for me, over any other issues I had. I will be running all my games 4x FSAA and 16X Anistropic filtering. So with the 7800 GTX (the GTX is faster than the GT right?), will I have the shimmering in my games?

Here is a list of specific games that are forcing this upgrade:

* Rome Total War (with Barbarians expansion)
* Silent Hunter III
* Oblivion (sequel to Morrowind)

I want to get those games to run with every detail maxed out, high resolution with no slowdown whatsoever. Silent Hunter III has several add-on graphic mods available, but in a large battle in stormy weather the frame rate starts to slow down. So you could look at those 3 games and base my buying decision off of them directly.

CaptNKILL
01-02-06, 11:22 AM
* Oblivion (sequel to Morrowind)

I want to get those games to run with every detail maxed out, high resolution with no slowdown whatsoever. Silent Hunter III has several add-on graphic mods available, but in a large battle in stormy weather the frame rate starts to slow down. So you could look at those 3 games and base my buying decision off of them directly.
Heh, good luck there. I have a feeling itl be a long time before we see systems capable of running next gen games with no slow downs and max settings. This one is going to really push your system to the limit, dont be surprised if a 7800GTX doesnt get you smooth framerates at 1600x1200 with 4xAA and 16xAF.

BrianG
01-02-06, 01:07 PM
Of everywhere I've posted this question, this thread has so far been the best. I applaud you all in letting biases slide to help me make a good decision.

Now, I should have said $600 was my videocard cap since I didn't think anyone would list the GTX 512 with it being AWOL.

Now something that I really like when I went from NVidia to my ATI card a few years ago was my games stopped shimmering. The shimmering was the single most frustrating thing for me, over any other issues I had. I will be running all my games 4x FSAA and 16X Anistropic filtering. So with the 7800 GTX (the GTX is faster than the GT right?), will I have the shimmering in my games?

Here is a list of specific games that are forcing this upgrade:

* Rome Total War (with Barbarians expansion)
* Silent Hunter III
* Oblivion (sequel to Morrowind)

I want to get those games to run with every detail maxed out, high resolution with no slowdown whatsoever. Silent Hunter III has several add-on graphic mods available, but in a large battle in stormy weather the frame rate starts to slow down. So you could look at those 3 games and base my buying decision off of them directly.
Fastest you will get at $600 is 2x7800GT. For $658 shipped, you can even get a motherboard thrown in. eVGA has the SLI mobo combo offer going at ZZF and NewEgg, ZZF a bit cheaper at $359. Add a second 7800GT for $299.

Just a thought...