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Buying New GPU: Help Me Choose!

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 13, 2006 12:22:49 AM

Okay,

So I am in the market for one of the following GPU':

7900GT
7900GTX
XT1900XTX

I'm having a EXTREMLEY hard time choosing which to go with. I just built a new rig recently, and due to the GPU (7800GT) being DOA, sent it back and am choosing from these now. Whichever card I go with has to last me at least a year, as this is going to be the Crown of my system for at least that amount of time.

The problem I'm running into is this, 7900GT is a very nice card, however I don't have a SLI Mobo, so Unless I were to throw away the $90 I just spent on my ASUS A8N Series Mobo, there would be no room to go up to a second processor.

I'm also not convinced that SLI is really something I would need. Not when card's just keep coming out at a blazing rate. I want to be able to play Everquest 2, Oblivion, any games that come out soon, or that are out, at the best settings I can for my money.

The 7900GT is hard to beat in terms of price to performance ratio, and I am strongly considering it simply for the $330 price point. However, at the same point I can get a XT1900XTX or 7900GTX for $499.99 - and at the moment I have the extra $170 to spend, so I figure on the other hand, I might as well.

So in that case, it comes down to the 7900GTX vs XT1900XTX. Honestly, right now I am leaning towards the ATI card, I've been going with nothing but NVIDIA latley and am curious how the ATI would perform, I will be playing at 1680x1050 resolution mainly, so nothing too insane, but a very steady one (Dell2005FPW 20.1' WS LCD).

Which do you guys think would be the better buy for right now, and most importantly, WHY? Like I said, I need this to last me a good chunk of time, and being I never thought I would spend this on a GPU, I need to know which would be the smartest buy.

More about : buying gpu choose

a b U Graphics card
March 13, 2006 12:49:35 AM

"Which do you guys think would be the better buy for right now, and most importantly, WHY?"

I think you would be happy with either card, truthfully, but if both cards were available at equal prices, I think the 7900GTX was leading in performance in a few more typical game benchmarks than was the 1900XTX...

Granted, both are amazingly fast single card solutions...

(flip a coin! if you find yourself saying, best two out of three, then you've already decided!)
Related resources
March 13, 2006 12:53:58 AM

X1900 XT; more features, better shader performance, OpenEXR+Antialiasing support.
March 13, 2006 1:09:02 AM

Quote:
X1900 XT; more features, better shader performance, OpenEXR+Antialiasing support.


I agree, you get slightly smoother pictures with the X1900 series. But then, I may be biased, since I am buying one next week (I went through the same process).
March 13, 2006 2:09:20 AM

I believe in SLi. go for the 2x 7900 GT route. that will crush any single card on the planet.
March 13, 2006 2:17:12 AM

Quote:
I believe in SLi. go for the 2x 7900 GT route. that will crush any single card on the planet.


For six months until a single next generation card beats it out for half the price. Unless you are at extremely high resolutions, SLI is a waste of money. For normal res, you can get the top of this gen, and the top or near top next gen for the same price.
March 13, 2006 2:21:11 AM

Quote:
I believe in SLi. go for the 2x 7900 GT route. that will crush any single card on the planet.


For six months until a single next generation card beats it out for half the price. Unless you are at extremely high resolutions, SLI is a waste of money. For normal res, you can get the top of this gen, and the top or near top next gen for the same price. in 6 months , money will recover finiancially. then i buy another two next mid-end gen card for half the money for another SLI configuration. :wink:

then sell my old 6800 GS's. i'll never run high end single card again and pay high end price.
March 13, 2006 2:24:53 AM

1900XTX
March 13, 2006 2:31:47 AM

Quote:
I believe in SLi. go for the 2x 7900 GT route. that will crush any single card on the planet.


For six months until a single next generation card beats it out for half the price. Unless you are at extremely high resolutions, SLI is a waste of money. For normal res, you can get the top of this gen, and the top or near top next gen for the same price. in 6 months , money will recover finiancially. then i buy another two next mid-end gen card for half the money for another SLI configuration. :wink:

then sell my old 6800 GS's. i'll never run high end single card again and pay high end price.

You won't pay high end price, but you just said you recommend 2X 7900 GT? (~$640), as opposed to a $530 dollar 7900GTX or a $500 X1900XTX for little or no increase in performance at normal res? That makes tons of sense.

Thats not even getting into the money will recover financially statement.
March 13, 2006 2:34:28 AM

I'm with hergieburbur on this one.

Another vote for the X1900XTX for its better features.
March 13, 2006 2:49:02 AM

What games do you play?

While this is not certain, but if you are waiting impatiently for Quake Wars & love Q4 you probably should look at the 7900 series. I cannot say with certainty, but ET:QW uses the D3 engine and likely will be stronger on the 7900 series. But I will note the X1900XT(X) does well on this engine so it is not the end of the world scenario.

But in general I say the X1900XT (just OC it to XTX levels).

- Better IQ. HQ AF. MSAA + FP16 blending ("HDR").

- Much better Pixel Shader SM3.0 performance. The Xbit labs shader tests show various heavy dynamic branching tests being between 300% and 400% lead over the 7800GTX 512MB. NV even conceeds this (just look at the notes in Toms review how NV talks about todays games versus future games).

- Much higher raw pixel shader performance. Very few games currently maximize this (e.g. FEAR is only 20% faster on an X1900XTX compared to the X1800XT, although the former has 3x the pixel shader performance). BUT this performance edge will begin to be more noticable with future titles that lean heavier on shaders. We already see this now in a game like FEAR when soft shadows are enabled and the gap between the X1900XTX and 7900GTX goes from 20% to 60%.

Personally I would wait for the DX10 GPUs... but that said both consoles are SM3.0, meaning it will be here for a looong time. If you are gonna plop down $500 for a GPU you might as well get the one with more legs.

Then again the PS3 is getting a modified G70 @ 550MHz, so it may turn out fine that way as well.

Really cannot lose either way.
March 13, 2006 3:45:09 AM

Since X1900XTX and 7900GTX perform about same, go with the ATI solution since ATI has better video quality in games. Plus its cheaper.
March 13, 2006 4:28:39 AM

X1900XT , The Same Preformance of the X1900XTX , More Cheaper , OutStanding Performance , The Best Choice , Dont Even Think About Something Else :twisted:
March 13, 2006 4:31:50 PM

I'm in the exact same boat as this guy.

I'm deciding between the x1900xt(x), and the 7900GT. I'd like to play Counter-Strike:Source (Hl2 engine) on FULL graphics settings at 1024x768 and maintain AT LEAST 80 FPS in ALL fire fights.

While I can afford any of those cards, I'm having a hard time deciding still. :( 

-Ryu
March 13, 2006 4:53:57 PM

Quote:
I believe in SLi. go for the 2x 7900 GT route. that will crush any single card on the planet.


He doesn't even have an SLI motherboard so he'd be looking at $700 to get two 7900GTs and a new motherboard. The guy gave us his specs and budget and wanted valid options/opinions that fit his unique situation... your sugguestion was WAY out of bounds.
March 13, 2006 5:05:30 PM

Quote:
80fps! using the cs:s stress test i got an average of 145. true that is an average but trust me you dont need 80. oh yes and that is playing 1920 x 1200 with everything maxed so you should be fine.

Stress test now I get about 100... and then in game I drop as low as 20s in firefights.

Trust me, I need 100. Your rates are also FPS dependant :D 

-Ryu
March 13, 2006 5:09:11 PM

Quote:
i have no clue about rates and don't bother with them when im playing cs:s

Then we aren't on the same level of play :D 

-Ryu
March 13, 2006 5:19:10 PM

Quote:
in what respect

Well default rates = terrible registration.

Take a poll of the top players in the game... I bet you 0 of them use default rates.

-Ryu
March 13, 2006 5:25:59 PM

Quote:
there is a solution. play on servers that force rates. then the mighty become weak

CAL CSP is the "standard" of cvar lockdown tools (server side). And that allows rates to be set at max 100, which is what of the CAL-I players set it at.

-Ryu
March 13, 2006 5:44:37 PM

Quote:
ok then what rates do you set it at an does it make that much of a difference

The most common rates for "leet" players are:

cl_cmdrate 101
cl_updaterate 101
rate 25000
cl_interpolate 1
cl_interp 0.01

And yes, it does make a pretty big difference. You should notice your shots land a lot better... the only thing is you'll have to create an autoexec.cfg and put it in your cfg folder.

-Ryu
March 13, 2006 6:32:01 PM

I think I have decided to go with the 7900GT.

Anyone (ATI Fanboys?) suggest something different in that price range (300-400)?

At 1024x768 I'd imagine this card should hold 100 FPS with relative ease... and if not, I can always turn down the AA/AF

-Ryu
March 14, 2006 1:04:34 AM

Quote:
ok then what rates do you set it at an does it make that much of a difference

The most common rates for "leet" players are:

cl_cmdrate 101
cl_updaterate 101
rate 25000
cl_interpolate 1
cl_interp 0.01

And yes, it does make a pretty big difference. You should notice your shots land a lot better... the only thing is you'll have to create an autoexec.cfg and put it in your cfg folder.

-Ryu

so maybe thats why i get owned all the time
!