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Old 07-10-08, 08:35 PM   #49
ChrisRay
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Default Re: The right price for the GTX200 family...

I dont see how you conclude that I stated the differences were only due to memory. I was speaking in broad terms over broad amounts of hardware which often overlapped in performance. Lets say my 2 9800GX2 cards verses my 2 GTX 280 cards. The GTX 280 cards offered a much better overall experience. Despite them being close in performance when the memory wasnt the bottleneck. 9800GX2 Quad SLI scaling was never the problem. It was the fact that its memory artificially hamstringed it from producing ideal results.

If you saw my 9800GTX + investigation.

http://forums.slizone.com/index.php?showtopic=24853

You would see that I consistently pointed out that the 9800GTX + offered higher framerates. Yet I still wouldnt reccomend it over a single GTX 280 because it offers a more consistent experience. It's not bull to say that having more memory offers a more consistent experience in most cases. Especially in comparison to 512 cards. 512 meg cards are already suffering at the 1920x1200 + resolutions. It's not that far off till they start suffering at the 1600x1200 ones. And they do in some cases with 8xQ/16xQ AA. Or in games such as Crysis. You can see it several times in

You can see it here too.

http://forums.slizone.com/index.php?showtopic=23084

I had to consistently cut out tests such as 16xQ because the cards wouldnt even start or the performance was so bad it was unable to complete the benchmarks.






Even at 1920x1080 at high setting the 512 cards were unable to provide a consistent experience in Crysis. UT3 and Age of conan crashed. Fear crashed with 16xQ or 8xQ. All with settings that were limited by 512 megs of framebuffer. I have no need to generalize when I have tested this extensively. Which unfortunately made the 9800GX2 look better than it was in some cases. But what can you do when the 512 meg cards cant finish the tests due to consistently running out of memory or not being able to load settings because they exceed the framebuffer. The way I see it. 512 cards in the coming year are on their way out. Specially as newer titles come out that start using bigger and larger textures. I consider buying a 512 card now and hoping it'll last a reasonable amount of time a gamble. I expect them to represent the low end in the not too distant future.

This was never meant to be a ATI verses Nvidia discussion to me. Heck I didnt even bring up ATI here. I base my opinions and prejudice on Nvidia hardware as I use it extensively and and my thoughts on the GTX 260 being an extremely good deal were based on those prejudice.
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Old 07-10-08, 09:12 PM   #50
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Default Re: The right price for the GTX200 family...

Sorry Chris, I don't consider your tests valid. A 9800GX2 vs. a single 280? A lot of those framerate issues may be memory, or just typical SLI shenanigans. I'll wait for HD4870 512MB vs. 1GB comparisons. Yes, I feel that more memory is better. No, I don't feel as if the 512MB of the 4870 is holding it back...for today.
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Old 07-10-08, 09:25 PM   #51
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Default Re: The right price for the GTX200 family...

Considering my entire point was. Dual GPUS are where the memory gains are most prominent. I really dont see how you can say that comparing memory usage in SLI configurations to be bad tests. They arent. The 9800GTX + failing at 1680x1050 has absolutely nothing to do with its ability to scale. This can be seen in single "AND" multi GPU enviroments.

In this test. Crysis nearly scaled 100%. Yet was still limited by its framebuffer.





At a lower resolution it did not have that problem.



The data is right in front of your eyes. Yet you guys keep dismissing it like its non existent. Once again. I'm not the one who brought up ATI here. My previews and articles dont mention ATI. My views and perspective had nothing to do with ATI. The fact is 512 megs of memory can be a real bottleneck. And when looking at the Nvidia lineup. The GTX 260 is a pretty sweet deal. This insatiable desire you guys have to include ATI into that conclusion is completely beyond me. When I looked at the title of this thread. I read "The Right price for the GTX200 family" You guys are making something out of nothing by consistently bringing ATI into this. When I personally could care less.
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Old 07-10-08, 09:31 PM   #52
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Default Re: The right price for the GTX200 family...

Quote:
Considering my entire point was. Dual GPUS are where the memory gains are most prominent. I really dont see how you can say that comparing memory usage in SLI configurations to be bad tests. They arent. The 9800GTX + failing at 1680x1050 has absolutely nothing to do with its ability to scale. This can be seen in single "AND" multi GPU enviroments.
My point is, comparing different cards doesn't validate your memory claims. The cards are different hardware, and can be faster/slower depending on a myriad of issues. You should already know that.

Take a card that is offered in 512/1GB configs, and SLI them. Compare those. The same card. Then you'll have something valid. Until then, it's just benchmarks of different cards, when the memory configuration is just one of many variables.
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Old 07-10-08, 09:36 PM   #53
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Default Re: The right price for the GTX200 family...

I really beg to differ. Obviously a 512/1 Gigabyte 9800GTX is a more perfect comparison. But the tests are hardly invalid. Especially when the problem is obvious. Medion you should know me well enough by now to know that I am very aware of what a memory bottleneck is and what an SLI Scaling problem is. Yes there can be other factors. But in this case its very clear what the bottleneck is. And its the same thing with all those tests all failed 16xQ tests. The only common factor between the 8800GT, 9800GTX, and 9800GX2 and those failed tests was the 512 megs of memory. Your not suggesting that this is some sort of coincidence.

I think its pretty clear where the bottleneck/problem was. In my old 9800GTX 3 way SLI/9800GX2 Quad Comparison to 3 way 8800GTX I had the same problem with Crysis. I've done extensive testing with this.

http://forums.slizone.com/index.php?showtopic=19314


Quote:
Originally Posted by myself
Editors Note: With soft shadows set to high the 9800GX2 and 9800GTX configurations all fall down to 5 FPS range and the 8800GTX Tri SLI Configuration is able to hold a 22 FPS advantage. Even with that advantage the 8800GTX 3 way SLI configuration has unbearable mouse lag due to the low performance of the single GPU. However it should be noted that this is one spot where the 8800GTX's extra memory gives it an advantage.
Now I performed these tests well before I even heard of an "HD4000" card. Now either I'm lying or making this up. Or I do know what I am talking about and these problems do happen on 512 meg cards. I have consistently shown that 512 meg cards have problems and the problem has grown with newer and more modern titles. Yet you are quick to dismiss it with /yawn different configuration type posts. I've gone through a great deal of trouble here to explain my position and the experiences/tests I have done.
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Old 07-10-08, 09:50 PM   #54
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Default Re: The right price for the GTX200 family...

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Originally Posted by ChrisRay View Post
The data is right in front of your eyes. Yet you guys keep dismissing it like its non existent. Once again. I'm not the one who brought up ATI here. My previews and articles dont mention ATI. My views and perspective had nothing to do with ATI.
This is a joke, right? You're upset because some of us "brought up ATI" when your original statement was so vague as to say "512 MB" cards? And just what is the most popular 512MB card around this forum right now? Of course many of us are going to think that you're including the 4870 in your generalization.

You need to be more specific if that was never the case.

Quote:
This insatiable desire you guys have to include ATI into that conclusion is completely beyond me. When I looked at the title of this thread. I read "The Right price for the GTX200 family" You guys are making something out of nothing by consistently bringing ATI into this. When I personally could care less.
Sorry, I was under the impression that this was a forum for enthusiasts, not Nvidia fanatics who might cry at the mere mention of ATI. Many of us don't just cling to one brand or the other and have owned both vendors and will generally discuss both vendors on occasion--especially when doing a price comparison. After all, the lowered prices in Nvidia's camp right now can be attributed to ATI and their new lineup.

The sad thing here is that I actually agree with your general statement that more VRAM is a good thing. I just don't agree with the way you present it and some of the arguments you're using to back it up with.
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Old 07-10-08, 10:01 PM   #55
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Default Re: The right price for the GTX200 family...

I'm hardly "Crying" at the mention of ATI. But I sure has heck havent been discussing them either. And no I'm not joking. Considering the title of this thread. I thought we were discussing Nvidia pricing. Sorry for assuming the thread title was indicative of what the discussion was about. You can talk, praise, and dance around ATI all you want. But it has nothing to do with my original post. Nor what I have been discussing. I think you'll find the ATI discussion one sided because I have no interest in discussing their GPUS as I dont work or deal with ATI's driver teams. I work exclusively with Nvidia's driver and product teams and provide troubleshooting feedback and assistance for Nvidia hardware. Now you can choose to accept that. Or you can continue to try and have these 1 sided arguments with me about ATI. A company I dont even work or deal with. But I think you'll find yourself getting bored of that quickly.

Chris
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Old 07-10-08, 10:03 PM   #56
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Default Re: The right price for the GTX200 family...

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Originally Posted by Medion View Post
ATI and NV seem to handle memory differently. Comparing their hardware on just memory, when there are other variables, just isn't going to work. When the 1GB 4870 comes out, compare that to the 512MB version, and then we'll see if there's a 512MB limitation.
Agreed. That's the point that I've been trying to drive home with him the entire time (and always mentioned "4870" so he knew I wasn't just referencing Nvidia cards.) Different architectures, different memory management. The best control test would be the exact same card with more VRAM on one of those.

My guess is the benches will come close to the 2900XT when it was released. Not much of a difference, if any.
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Old 07-10-08, 10:10 PM   #57
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Default Re: The right price for the GTX200 family...

Of course I knew you were talking about ATI. People throw big enough fits when I even mention the names because I am affiliated with NVidia. I did my damned hardest to stay focused on Nvidia hardware. Even so. ATI Hardware isnt magic. Memory management is just that. Memory management. ATI may very well manage memory better. As I said though. You eventually have to pass memory to the system bus. Believe it or not. The data I use to formulate AA storage capacity is based off what ATI employees posted and what Nvidia has told me.

Its a simple mathematical formula.

Height * Width * Sample *(front buffer,+ back buffer,+ Zbuffer, + AA backbuffer + AA Zbuffer)). It really is simple math. You may be handle your PCIE swapping differently. But your still dealing with the PCIE bus when you run out of memory.
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Old 07-10-08, 10:12 PM   #58
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Default Re: The right price for the GTX200 family...

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I'm hardly "Crying" at the mention of ATI. But I sure has heck havent been discussing them either.
....

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisRay
Once you exceed that framebuffer count. Your system memory starts acting as framebuffer. How ATI/Nvidia may allocate that system memory to framebuffer could very well be different. But the point is you cant get past the Zstorage of AA data. And its expensive.

...The 512 problem has been there "Long" before the HD4000 series ever existed.
Sorry pal, I'm not trying to pick a fight with you, but you may want to work on your communication skills a little. Not only did you mention 512MB cards in a thread where several users (not me) had already referenced the 4870 before you had posted, but you had also specifically referenced ATI at least twice in your arguments about a 512MB frame buffer being insufficient.

With that, I'll drop out of this thread. Didn't intend for it to get off topic like this.
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Old 07-10-08, 10:15 PM   #59
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Default Re: The right price for the GTX200 family...

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Sorry pal, I'm not trying to pick a fight with you, but you may want to work on your communication skills a little.

With that, I'll drop out of this thread. Didn't intend for it to get off topic like this.
Your the one who brought ATI up bud. I was simply responding to you.

http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/show...5&postcount=21

You might want to look at your own timeline of events before accusing me of not following a discussion properly.
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Old 07-10-08, 11:21 PM   #60
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Default Re: The right price for the GTX200 family...

Chris,

I happened to run into this thread. Haven't been here for a long time but this has been one of the most mysterious observations I've had over G92 (and to some extent G80).

When I got a HD 3850, believe it or not, I felt as if it was a better card than 8800 GT. Yes, 8800 GT can do a little more detailed settings in games, but the performance was nowhere near as consistent as HD 3850. I didn't purchase the HD 3850 for gaming, so I was pretty much shocked. (I've used 8800 GTX, 8600 GT, 8800 GTS 320, 8800 GT SLI)

That my personal experience and glowing reviews encouraged me to purchase a HD 4870, and I'm totally impressed. Having a 30" LCD I was very concerned with its memory size prior to purchase, but at least for the games I play the experience has been better than any NV setup that I've had.

I do understand what you're trying to say with regard to absolute amount of frame buffer. But the problem with NV cards is as if, for whatever reason, they hit their own memory limit before they get to that absolute amount of memory required. If you could explain to me, for example, why I can play Oblivion @2560x1600/8AA with a HD 4870 but 8800 GTX has a hard time handling (plus stuttering) 2560x1600/4AA even with x1.5 times of RAM.

Following your explanation, obviously GTX 280 will have a better chance to deal when a game/setting require more than 512MB of RAM than a HD 4870. But at the same time, looking at how HD 4870 handles many games, I'm thinking:

- Even today, there just aren't many games that needs such amount of RAM. (Exception: Crysis), or
- When the amount exceeds 512MB, AMD cards handles it a lot better than NV cards, or
- For some reason NV cards tend to run out of memory even when the *theoretical* amount of RAM needed doesn't exceed 512MB.

I've been genuinely curious about the dynamics of bandwidth vs frame buffer. I'd like to ask how the two interact. You yourself explained above that AMD's new architecture handles MSAA with fewer passes than NV's. Does that have anything to do with either bandwidth or frame buffer? If so, doesn't that explain why NV cards need more RAM or bandwidth than AMD cards given a same situation?
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