View Full Version : Made the switch, ATI to NV (9800XT to 7800GT)

02-09-06, 08:02 PM
I'm not so much brand loyal as I am $$$ loyal. I'll buy the best video card at my target pricepoint when I feel the need to upgrade.

The 9800XT was beginning to show its age for me, so I was aiming for something better as part of my new complete system. As the title suggests, I settled on the 7800GT.

Now, having been an ATI user for over 2 years, and being subjected to the drivel that is Rage3D, I honestly expected a slight IQ downgrade to go with a sizeable performance increase.

What I got, instead, was a drastic increase in both performance and IQ. IMO, this is the best GPU upgrade I've made since going from the S3 ViRGE 2MB to the Canopus Pure3D (6MB 3Dfx Voodoo1).

For one, shadows now display properly in all of the games I play. Also, 8xS AA looks noticably better than the 6x AA I was using. There are a few games where I'm limited to 4xAA (WoW, GW, and NS:MW), but the 9800XT wasn't able to go above 4x in those games either.

One thing that I have to mention is the drivers. It's always going to be "the grass is always greener" no matter which I use, I suppose. I'll start with the positives from this switch though. For one, I can now properly configure my LCD. Its 1280x1024 native (5:4), but some of my games are limited to a 4:3 aspect. Warcraft BNE and Diablo 1 are 640x480, Diablo 2 is 640x680/800x600, and Morrowind is 1280x960 max on my monitor.

Using the 4:3 aspect option, I use 1280x960 with two small black bars (top and bottom). I couldn't do this with the ATI drivers. This essentially makes my monitor a 1280x960 4:3 native monitor for games that don't support 5:4. Morrowind, WC BNE, and Diablo 1 all work perfectly in this as they run fine at that native resolution (1280x960 displays 640x480 perfectly as it draws every pixel with 4 pixels). Diablo 2 does have to suffer from some distortion at 800x600, but it's not noticable to me. It still looks better to me than running at 640x480.

As for the downsides, ATI makes drivers available much better than NV, IMO. They have a set monthly release, and the latest version is always on their website. NV is terrible about updating the download section on their website. They still list 81.95 as their latest release, but I'm running 83.60 (WHQL), and they have some 84 series beta drivers out as well.

The card came with both Quake 4 and CoD 2. However, the CD-Key for Q4 doesn't work, so I'm currently in contact with EVGA and Activision in regards to sorting that out. Right now, they're both in the "refer the customer back to the other company" mode, but we'll see how this plays out.

Overall though, I couldn't be happier with this upgrade. I fully expect to get at least 2 years out of this card, if not more, due to my gaming demands.

02-09-06, 08:11 PM
Glad you are injoying your new card. Nice review BTW! :D

02-09-06, 09:19 PM
nice that you saw that light that is nvidia.... i've alway preffered their drivers over the ATi drivers, having had a radeon 7000, gf 5200, gf 5700 ultra, 5900 ultra, and this 6800 GT.... and i've used my friends system and built it for him with an X700 pro, and even the performance and IQ of it i wasn't impressed with, and this was when i was using a 5900 ultra, and the X700 pro actually out-performed it... however with worse IQ, anyway, good to see you're enjoying the card

02-09-06, 10:29 PM
Congrats on the new card.

02-11-06, 04:57 AM
I moved from X800XTPE to Leadtek 7800GT and I have found the upgrade excellent.

Like you a lot of my games now play "properly" esp. with AA enabled wheras on old ATI card AA was mostly broken in games.

With regards to drivers I think ATI are better and they do listen to issues and each new release does contain bug and game fixes. However, I was less than pleased when they stopped developing the CP for that useless piece of c**p called CCC.

I'll wait for G80 or R600 before I dip my toe in again.