View Full Version : Grahpic's Card decision

01-07-2005, 02:58 AM
I think of buying a new graphic's card soon and now I stay in front of a decision, namely whether to take the Sapphire Radeon X800 XT Platinum Edition(520 MHz core clock/560 MHz memory clock, PCI-Express, 256 MB, 2.0ns GDDR3,Pixelshadoer 2.0 and Vertexshader 2.0, 2*400MHz RAMDAC) or the Gainward PowerPack! Ultra/2600 PCX TV-DVI-DVI Golden Sample (nVidia GeForce 6800 Ultra PCI-Express, 256 MB, 430 MHz core clock/600 MHz memory clock, 1.6ns GDDR3, Pixelshader 3.0 and Vertexshader 3.0, 2*400 MHz RAMDAC). I have got some information that the PCI-Express from the nVidia GeForce 6800 Ultra (HSI Bridge for PCI-Express) is twice as fast as the normal solution from the X800XT Platinum Edition (Native PCI-Express)for example the 6800GT (not Ultra) has an average of 861 MByte per second in a PCI-Express Benchmark, the X800XT has only an average of about 433 MByte per second (source: http://www.ati-news.de/HTML/Berichte/nvidia/6800GT/6800GT-Seite11.shtml, it is a german site but the graphics there will explain everything).In fact I want the graphic's card to last for the most possible time while getting an acceptable performance. I am open for any advices and suggestion.

Thanks in advance.

01-07-2005, 03:26 PM
They're both good cards, but you can't look at them like that. I like ATI for their great drivers and power. The ATI card is the best for the money, but if you're a long time Nvidia fan, then get the 6800GT. Also note that you need a motherboard with PCI-E to use either one of those cards. They have AGP versions out.

01-09-2005, 09:57 AM
The mainboard I will get is named ASUS A8N SLI Deluxe, don't care about other components, they will fit together as I have a little knowledge about computers http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif. Thanks for your help, I am open for more statements.

01-14-2005, 03:02 AM
I know gainward is working on a motherboard that supports any 2 cards in SLI but isn't the motherboard you are considering only able to do SLI with Nvidia cards? I know that board uses the Nforce 4 chipset but I am not up to date on all the SLI options just yet. If that board only does SLI with Nvidia then you might as well go with an Nvidia card. You will be paying extra for an SLI board anyway so it would be a waste to buy a brand of cards that would not be able to use that functionality either now or eventually. Like I said I don't know for sure but I think I heard somewhere that Alienware's custom motherboards are the only one's that can do ATI in SLI at this time. If I am wrong and that board uses SLI with either card then it really doesn't matter. ATI does have higher levels of AA because of the TAA option but it's not that big of a deal. The X800XT-PE is about 25% faster than an Nvidia 6800GT but if you are not planing on using SLI then I wouldn't shell out the extra cash for the SLI option. Asus makes some good boards for the 939 pin athlon 64 series that are about 100 dollars cheaper because they don't have SLI. I would go with whatever I could get my hands on. They are both pretty hard to get at this point.

All in all I would say that the X800XT-PE is a better buy because it is faster and smaller with better AA. Of course the 6800GT may be easier to get and cost $100 less. It all comes down to how much power you want and how much money you are willing to spend. That is if you can get your hands on either card.

You may want to seriously check and make sure what that board can handle though. You may be wasting $100 on an SLI option that you will never be able to use with ATI. 2 6800GT's in SLI would be a powerful combo if you go the SLI route but if you are not planning on using SLI then I wouldn't pay the extra for that option. Personally I think that the next generation of cards will be able to outpace 2 6800 series cards in SLI anyway. I know that future motherboards will allow two differant cards to work in SLI(X300 with an X800 for example) but until that happens I am not even sure SLI is worth the investment. I think it would probably take a 600 watt powersupply in order to run 2 6800 series cards at once and the heat output of 2 cards would be bad as well. Not only would it be cheaper to buy a single card but it may be faster as well. When SLI allows any two cards to work togather then you could just tac your old card on with your new card for added power so then it would be worth it but right now I am not so sure. Just my thoughts on the matter not trying to tell you what you want. It just sounded to me like you were not considering the SLI option in this graphic card decision and since it's a costly option I think it would be a mistake to pay for it and then not use it or atleast consider it's future abilities in comparison with new technology if you use it.

01-14-2005, 06:43 AM
Yeah, the SLI option isn't really that good either, I've seen benchmarks. If you plan on shelling out $1000 on video cards and that huge amount on a motherboard, then I hope you're prepared for dissiappointment.

01-14-2005, 07:40 AM
Thanks for the replies first.
The mainboard I will get has a SLI-option as the shop where I would get the graphic's card from hasn't got another Mainboard for PCI-Express and socket 939. Anyway there isn't any intention from my side to even use the mainboard's SLI option. And I also wanted to mention that I have to make the choice whether to buy the GeForce 6800 Ultra (not GT like mentioned in different post before) or the ATI X800XT PE. The performance difference between the two cards (6800 Ultra, not GT and X800XT PE) won't be 25% anymore, will it?

Thanks in advance.

01-14-2005, 10:10 AM
No, they're quite equal. I have a X800 XT on order.

01-14-2005, 10:50 PM
I agree with gnogtr, The performance of the two cards are very competitive. Nvidia is faster at OpenGL games and ATI is faster at D3D games. Neither card falls far behind the other in most situations though. ATI is faster 3FPS in one game and Nvidia is faster 3FPS in another game. The difference between the two cards are small things that may or may not be important to you.

The 6800 Ultra has in my opinion a nicer control panel that fits everything on a single tab with no wait time. ATI has a traditional control panel that has all the graphic options spread out over 14 tabs. You can download the new ATI control panel CCC and it looks like Nvidia's but it is kinda slow and annoying. Still ATI's old panel is easy to use.

Nvidia has PS3.0 capability. Some people think it will make a huge difference in future games and some don't. Personally I feel that when games have enough pixel shader calculations to let this feature make a real difference the games will be way to complex for either of these cards to handle. For example Farcry uses it and it makes such a small difference that ATI is still just as fast if not a little faster even without SM3.0. Farcry is nowhere near reaching the number of calculations that PS2.0 can't do at optimal speeds.

ATI has gamma corrected AA which looks a little nicer and they also have TAA which allows up to 12X AA under certain circumstances.

ATI also has 3Dc which some people think will make a big differance and some don't. Personally I don't think it will be used for a while if at all. If it does get used heavily it won't be until Nvidia adapts to it which will be when both of these cards are chugging along anyway.

You can't go wrong with either card but I was in the same decision as you about 6 monthes ago when the cards were first released and this was the reasoning I used when I chose the X800XT-PE over the 6800 Ultra.

More games are D3D then OpenGL and 12XTAA is usable right now with no hit to performance. Also the X800XT-PE is about 1.5 inches smaller with a single slot cooler and it only uses one molex power connector. Since the X800XT-PE uses less power it puts off a little less heat as well. That is why I bought it. Mainly just little small things on the engineering side that swayed me ATI's way. Since they are close in performance and price the little things become the things that matter.

I was a skeptic of ATI's driver stability after using a 9700 pro but I have had solid stable performance in every game I own since I bought my X800XT-PE 6 months ago. Nvidia has a solid history of good drivers as well though I did have a little problem when the detonators switched over to forceware with my Geforce FX 5950 Ultra. For some reason my old games would jitter even when my FPS were high. Also when I was reading reviews for the cards I heard mentioned that since Nvidia switched to a new GPU core their drivers may be a little twitchy a first so that was the final straw that broke the camels back for me. Still I havn't heard any serious complaining from my friends that own Nvidia cards. There was an issue with shimmering when using AF but I don't know the details of it. In the end though, I decided to give ATI another try and they haven't dissapointed me yet.

01-15-2005, 01:56 PM
Thanks for the informative replies.
I now decided to get the card which the shop where I am buying my computer from will get first. Anyway I guess both cards have their dis-/advantages and all in all it doesn't really make any sense to bother about buying one or the other card. At all both are High-End graphic's cards and I can be glad to get one of them (mainly to be able to play Splinter Cell Chaos Theory).