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Two crapy cards: Which one sucks less?

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April 12, 2006 1:06:52 PM

:?: - I have an older machine running Windows Server 2003. The machine performs just fine, but I have two video card options: The built in GeForce 4MX video card w/ 32 megs of ram, or an ATI 7000 series w/ 64 megs of ram. Which one is better?

I know the ATI has twice the amount of RAM, but I'm not even sure which card is newer, let alone which one is faster.

Granted, both work, and both will prolly do okay for my server, seeing as how I'm not going to do much (if any) gaming on that machine. Just the same, I'd hate to have something with less power when I have a better option available.

Thanks!

More about : crapy cards sucks

April 12, 2006 1:36:14 PM

Why not use one for a week and then the other and see if you notice a difference. If you do, use the better one. If you don't, what difference does it make? When all is said and done, it's what works best. Otherwise, you're chasing bench marks and bragging rights, which is Ok if this is what someone wants to do.
April 12, 2006 1:52:57 PM

Probably the 64mb ati card. with higher vga ram you should be able to see a slight performance increase :twisted:
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April 12, 2006 2:16:15 PM

Geforce 4 mx is better the ati 7000 doesnt even have T&L
April 12, 2006 2:24:39 PM

Quote:
Geforce 4 mx is better the ati 7000 doesnt even have T&L


Really? Thats good to know, thanks!
April 12, 2006 2:28:40 PM

i think both suck the same. nvidia is know for having better drivers, but 64 megs is double the MX. as you cant play anything but solitaire on these cards, the 64 megs can give a boost on video playback or even allows higher resolution
if you're not planning to play games on this computer, the lack of T&L is not much of an issue anyway
April 12, 2006 2:37:56 PM

Quote:
Geforce 4 mx is better the ati 7000 doesnt even have T&L



Check that again...



"ATI just released two new additions to its RADEON family, the RADEON 7000 and RADEON 7200 boards, both of which have an MSRP of under $100. The RADEON 7000, based on the RADEON 7000 chip (previously known as the RADEON VE chip), is a 32MB DDR board that ATI says gives solid 2D and 3D performance and DVD playback at a price point of $79. The RADEON 7200 is a 64MB SDR graphics board, that gives you hardware transformation, clipping and lighting (T&L) geometry, CHARISMA ENGINE, and an on-chip hardware DVD decoder. The RADEON 7200 is based on the RADEON 7200 chip (previously known as the RADEON chip) and is priced at $99. Both boards are said to be on the street right now and will support Windows XP (which should see the light of day on October 25) Windows 2000, Windows Me and Windows 98."

It really does not matter since you will not be using this for gaming. You can get a version of both cards with DVI and D-Sub as well as S-Video if you need more options for output. Both cards alos have low profile options if you need space requirements.
April 12, 2006 2:39:09 PM

if you are talking linux drivers, then ok... but he is running server 2003 so my question is that if "nvidia is know for having better drivers" what is better? I just hate to see ppl stating something like that w/o facts to back it.

it was stated above that the mx is better b/c of newer tech... I agree but the 7000 has dedicated memory where the mx is onboard and therefore uses system mem.

That becomes a performance issue in a different way than chip architectures. Depends on what you are doing. Server 2003 was not meant for games. If this is a server then chip arch. is not important and system response is. use the discrete card.

one caveat: if power is a concern then use the onboard, it will consume less and for that savings you can suffer the slight loss is system performance.
April 12, 2006 2:42:22 PM

Don't know what people really believe about older cards, but I played Morrowind and City of Heroes on a Geforce 4 64mb, sure it was on the very lowest settings, but is was playable.
April 12, 2006 2:42:48 PM

Quote:
Geforce 4 mx is better the ati 7000 doesnt even have T&L



Check that again...



"ATI just released two new additions to its RADEON family, the RADEON 7000 and RADEON 7200 boards, both of which have an MSRP of under $100. The RADEON 7000, based on the RADEON 7000 chip (previously known as the RADEON VE chip), is a 32MB DDR board that ATI says gives solid 2D and 3D performance and DVD playback at a price point of $79. The RADEON 7200 is a 64MB SDR graphics board, that gives you hardware transformation, clipping and lighting (T&L) geometry, CHARISMA ENGINE, and an on-chip hardware DVD decoder. The RADEON 7200 is based on the RADEON 7200 chip (previously known as the RADEON chip) and is priced at $99. Both boards are said to be on the street right now and will support Windows XP (which should see the light of day on October 25) Windows 2000, Windows Me and Windows 98."
I Said the ati radeon 7000 not 7200 the 7000 is available in 64mb versions so get your facts straight
April 12, 2006 2:55:45 PM

Quote:
I just hate to see ppl stating something like that w/o facts to back it.

maybe my practical and some other's examples i've seen on several forums? isn't that good for you, or you must see some kind of comparison on which drivers fails less to install than other? if you look at the internet you'll see several reviews about ati's drivers updates, mostly correcting performance issues. too much hate on you, relax

Quote:
what is better?

for me, a driver that wont crash on installation, for example. or one that wont crash the tray icon. i've never seen this happening on a nvidia driver, but i've seen on ati's.


Quote:
Don't know what people really believe about older cards

hey man, i was kidding about the solitaire thing... but you have to agree that one card with 32megs and another one that does not even has T&L make his gaming choices are a little bit limited...
April 12, 2006 3:07:41 PM

Personally, I don't feel there will be a perceptible difference with either card... he's talking about running a server... games aren't an issue (or an option) with the two cards in question and neither is Vista. I'd be more concerned about driver stability than performance on a server.
April 12, 2006 3:11:00 PM

That link shows both. I don't see why you are disgruntled. The R100 is the core used in the Radeon 7000. You said the Radeon 7000 cards did not have T&L, which is an error. It was not a caustic attack, just a statement.

The R100 has the “Charisma” engine which is their T&L engine.

Oldschool reading on R100
April 12, 2006 3:14:42 PM

Agreed. Both are on par. We are after all talking about hardware from the year 2000. If he keeps using Server 2003, Vista is not an issue yet... when he makes the move over, then it will be. D3D9 will be needed for the Aero features but if not then there might still be support for the older cards.
April 12, 2006 3:36:05 PM

too much hate huh? wow, wasn't aware of that... so when ppl say something like "they are known for having better..." on whatever it is, but not stating how they are known that is ok? hmm...

to qualify myself, i'm gonna say what i have said in other threads and forums too then:

I have updated ati drivers for 3+ years on each and every update and NEVER found an issue that traced back to the drivers. They do not update so much to fix a bad driver as to improve performance... continuously. That is a GOOD thing.

On other systems I have found issues that re-installing the SAME driver fixes... which i have seen the exact same thing w/ Nv drivers. (many other types of drivers too) That is not an ati thing, that is a windows thing. If you can't see that then I am sorry, and please feel free to go on making false statements that ati drivers are the gremlins crashing your system.

Aparently the 7000 DOES have T&L, so 'nuff about that.

to others:
these choices are not on par! one is dedicated card, another is onboard. Doesn't matter what chip it is at this level as long as you use the dedicated card unless power is a problem. frees up system memory.
April 12, 2006 4:19:52 PM

ok, mr. qualified, i was saying that i've seen more discussings about ati's drivers issues than nvidia's and also i've experienced myself, but you seem to ignore other people's opinions.
so, i give you the reason if you feel happy with that
April 12, 2006 4:38:17 PM

what i am getting at is that most of the "discussions" of ati driver issues revolve around someone saying they suck, and everyone agreeing w/ no reasoning behind it.

I am not trying to ignore your opinion, you are entitled to it. I am trying to find out if it is an educated one or just ignorant fanboy-ism. W/ many driver "issues" (both Nv and ati) most of the issues are not drivers at all but other apps conflicting w/ them. Everything from obscure ativirus and backup software to windows "hotfixes" can cause prbs w/ many drivers. To say that it is always the driver is ignorant if you haven't really traced it down. by closing down other apps and finding the conflict you may find that it is some other app that is causing you grief.

Not trying to be an a$$ here... ok, maybe I am... but my point is still sound: just b/c you like Nv over ati (fanboy?) does not mean that everything ati does is crap soley on the fact that they are ati.
April 12, 2006 4:45:19 PM

first of all, i never said they suck or something like that... also, i would never say what i said based solely on other opinions...

anyway.. i know the driver might "crash" due to other factors than the driver itself... but my point is: i notice such problems more frequent on ati, by saying that i'm not assuming that they suck at all.

and if you noticed, i recommended him to use ati's card, so i guess your last statement was not pointed at me.
April 12, 2006 4:54:23 PM

right, not pointed at you... just ppl in general that do that.

I see I wasn't clear on that last one. What I was saying was that I was originally asking your reasoning for you not liking ati drivers b/c you had none at first. While you provided no specific reasons still, I see that you are not a simple fanboy.

With that, I say this: bummer that you have had these problems of which you speak. I have built no less then 10 different systems in the last few years all using various processors/mobos/components (intel and amd) but all using one ati card or another (mostly 9800s though) and NONE of them have issues w/ the drivers or the control center. not one.

so while I by no means dismiss your opinion, I do not see any support for it in my own experience and so I wonder if it was a different problem.

Regardless, be happy if what you have now works, enjoy life and game on. :D 
April 12, 2006 6:08:36 PM

Hey all, I think I've got it figured out. I'm going to use the ATI card, b/c it doesn't use my system RAM. I think, like others pointed out, it will be a mostly moot point, because both will perform about the same for my server.

This is mostly a system to allow the five computer users in the house to share files from a central location, and also to share an external HD to allow us to backup critical files as needed.

I think many of you will laugh when you hear the final specs on my system, however. Keep in mind that although I bought the motherboard recently, all else came from my "junk" pile:


AMD Simpron 2800+ (Socket A)
3 gigs ram (1gigx1gigx1gig) - This is running dual channel, the board has three slots.
ATI 7000 AGP w/ 64meg RAM
450 W PS
80 gig HD/40 gig HD/40 gig HD/CDRW
250 gig external HDD
April 12, 2006 6:11:24 PM

Other than your Obvious GPU issue, that system doesn't sound too bad. I certainly wouldn't laugh at it and I'm sure it'll do a good job for what you're using it for.
April 12, 2006 7:38:54 PM

Quote:
Other than your Obvious GPU issue, that system doesn't sound too bad. I certainly wouldn't laugh at it and I'm sure it'll do a good job for what you're using it for.


LOL, thanks Shabodah! :) 
April 12, 2006 7:41:47 PM

also, i dont think you need 3 gigs of ram to run a file server, so you can take 2 gigs out and use on your main compter :) 
April 12, 2006 7:44:19 PM

If anything I think that from personal experience ATI drivers are better, for xp that is, idk about windows server. I have problems with my nvidia drivers all the time but my friend has ati and updates whenever a new 1 comes out and doesnt.
April 12, 2006 8:47:50 PM

To be honest, I think that this is more or less a draw. The main disadvantages of either are the same; integrated graphics all have 64-bit memory interfaces, while the Radeon 7000 does as well. Also, I believe the integrated GF4 MX also offloads geometry processing (T&L) to the CPU, as does the Radeon 7000. That would really leave only one point of contention in favor of each card: For the Radeon 7000, it has dedicated video memory. It won't really be any faster than using the main memory, but it won't be taking bandwidth away from the rest of the system. As for the GeForce, I believe the GF4 MX does happen to have a total of 2 ROPs and 4 TMUs, which would make the core, at least in that respect, a bit better off than the Radeon 7000, which has only 1 and 3, respectively.
Quote:
That link shows both. I don't see why you are disgruntled. The R100 is the core used in the Radeon 7000. You said the Radeon 7000 cards did not have T&L, which is an error. It was not a caustic attack, just a statement.

The R100 has the “Charisma” engine which is their T&L engine.

Oldschool reading on R100

You're actually a bit off; you're thinking of the ATi Radeon, later re-named the Radeon 7200. Those indeed have a vertex shader (the modern name for a T&L engine) in the GPU, named the "charisma engine" as you noted.

However, the Radeon 7000 (originally named the Radoen VE) does not; it is a spectacularly "hacked-down" R100; not only does it have the obligatory 64-bit memory interface of cheap-o cards, it also has one of its two pixel pipelines disabled (so it has 1 ROP and 3 TMUs rather than 2 and 6) and its vertex shader is disabled as well. Techically, it has T&L support, and will run games requiring it, but it offloads all processing for it to the CPU. I would actually know this, as I happen to own a Radeon 7000, and used it heavily for a while. (in a PC with no AGP slot, and I had a highly prohibitive budget at the time)
April 12, 2006 9:09:38 PM

For a server and not gaming?

I can't think of a single possible instance where you would be able to tell the difference.

2d signal quality maybe? The Radeons are known for having better RAMDACS in the 7x00/Geforce 1 generations of cards.
April 12, 2006 9:29:41 PM

Thanks man I knew I wasnt going crazy as i had an ati 7000 and it never had T&L thanks man for clearing that up as i was having my doubts.I remember now I bought a Geforce 4 ti4200 cause it had T&L and i could play gta3
April 12, 2006 9:47:47 PM

Quote:
We are after all talking about hardware from the year 2000.


Not quite. The ATI was released October 2, 2001. My old PC has a GF2, and it's from Feb. 2002. So I'd have to guess that the GF4 is from 2003ish.
April 12, 2006 10:06:41 PM

Dude I run a Cirrus Logic (I think!!) 2mb graphics card on my server, and that works just dandy. Granted if you want to run a big screen on it or have any sort of decent colour/resolution you'll need something a little better than that, but those two'll do just great.

If you really wana make the choice, I don't know that much about the technicalities, but my GF4MX440 is okay-ish at gaming, but my friend's R7000 is absolute crap.
April 12, 2006 10:51:10 PM

Quote:
:?: - I have an older machine running Windows Server 2003. The machine performs just fine, but I have two video card options: The built in GeForce 4MX video card w/ 32 megs of ram, or an ATI 7000 series w/ 64 megs of ram. Which one is better?

I know the ATI has twice the amount of RAM, but I'm not even sure which card is newer, let alone which one is faster.

Granted, both work, and both will prolly do okay for my server, seeing as how I'm not going to do much (if any) gaming on that machine. Just the same, I'd hate to have something with less power when I have a better option available.

Thanks!


Use the NVIDIA. Windows Server 2003 has its own drivers, and WINDOWS 2003 DOES NOT SUPPORT DIRECTX T&L, so it makes no f*cking difference. Man I forget about how many times gamers think they know everything...many gamers give opinions whether or not they are educated on the subject matter.

I recommend NVIDIA because in my experience with Server 2003 it runs better. Also those radeon 7000 cards burn up every once in a while, something I have yet to see any MX card do.
April 12, 2006 11:02:07 PM

Go with the 7000, it will reduce hits on the system memory caused by the shared memory used by the geforce, that is really the only performance issue I can think of in a server environment.
April 12, 2006 11:03:00 PM

Just to prevent future confusion, and to prevent false advice--

IF YOU DONT USE SERVERS, DONT GIVE ADVICE ABOUT THEM.

Ahh...well if you want to sound like you have no idea about anything, and want to totally ruin the reputation of the Forumz, I suppose I can't stop you...

Quote:
Go with the 7000, it will reduce hits on the system memory caused by the shared memory used by the geforce, that is really the only performance issue I can think of in a server environment.


The GeForce4 MX is not integrated. He says it came "built-in" but he means it came with it. No mobo or chipset I know of will support integrated GeForce4 MX graphics...
April 12, 2006 11:29:25 PM

Totally agree with you on the server advice part :) 

I have two servers with 7000's in them as they were the crappiest agp cards I had in my pile 'o crap. Never had a prob with either. I also have a cirrus logic and matrox with 4meg each in a couple other servers, never had a prob there either.

I do recal back in the day when I bought my first Radeon, that it kicked my friends mx on Alice and Undying, but that may have just been his crappy hp :) 
April 12, 2006 11:32:37 PM

actually, there will be no apparent result using one or another... as he already said, he wants to run with 3 (three) gigabytes of memory... i dont think any size of shared memory would cause much of an impact on system performance... for displaying 2D, both will do the same.
but for psychological reasons, using dedicated memory of 7000 would perform "better"...

i dont see any reason for you aggressiveness, by the way
April 13, 2006 3:29:34 AM

Quote:
No mobo or chipset I know of will support integrated GeForce4 MX graphics...


I believe that the nforce2, which are the best socket A mobos out there have integrated graphics on many models. That integrated chip was equal to a gf4mx, just not always called that.

I have one and it works very well, but does use system memory. Not trying to start another fight, just clearing it up a bit.

I agree w/ you on the t&l thing, and I mentioned earlier that for a server games should not be a thought really.
April 13, 2006 7:58:02 AM

Errrr, dude I do run a server, but in a home environment which is what it sounds like this guy wants to. If it was for any other environment I wouldn't 'chip in' but seeing as I have experience in 'amateur' server use and have experience with both cards I offer my opinion, which last time I checked was the whole point. If I really know so little about this then it can be up to this guy to ignore me.

I would point out not to give advice about GF4MX if you don't use them, but that would be childish and oops I already have.
April 13, 2006 1:24:58 PM

Quote:
No mobo or chipset I know of will support integrated GeForce4 MX graphics...


I believe that the nforce2, which are the best socket A mobos out there have integrated graphics on many models. That integrated chip was equal to a gf4mx, just not always called that.


Exactly right --- BIOSTAR M7NCG 400 Socket A (Socket 462) NVIDIA nForce2 IGP Micro ATX AMD Motherboard.

The NVIDIA card is built into the board itself. I've been using the ATI card for a few days, and no issues or trouble. I figure that in the event it fails, I could always fall back to onboard video.

By the way - I -HAVE- hit a major issue w/ SP1. The 3 gigs of RAM work fine, until I install SP1. Then, it will not boot. When I take out the 3rd stick, it loads just fine.

I have a total of four sticks of RAM, but only 3 slots. As a result, I have an extra stick of RAM. I tried swapping out different sticks, to make sure I don't have a bad mem stick. No luck. Once I install SP1, it is as if it will no longer support 3 gigs.

BTW: When I do try to boot, I see the POST screen, but then where I should get the load screen for Server, I only get a gray moniter, and the CRT power light goes yellow, as if it were not being sent a signal. This occurs regardless of video card in use. Any ideas? If not, it's cool, because 2 gig is still overkill. It's PC 2700 RAM, so we have no use for it in any other system except the server.
April 13, 2006 2:10:11 PM

So...you have NForce2 graphics then. I have a couple of GeForce4 MX cards that I've used for a few years in older PCs, PCI and AGP flavors--I thought that was what you were referring to (being that NVIDIA does not create them for integrated graphics). In this case though, a separate video card would be the better choice. Shared memory, even if you have 8GB RAM, will always decrease overall performance--though very little in this config.

SP1 issues? Must admit I've never heard of that specific issue. I'm guessing you've verified it isn't one memory stick in particular causing the issue? Or one slot in particular?
April 13, 2006 2:18:18 PM

Quote:
Errrr, dude I do run a server, but in a home environment which is what it sounds like this guy wants to. If it was for any other environment I wouldn't 'chip in' but seeing as I have experience in 'amateur' server use and have experience with both cards I offer my opinion, which last time I checked was the whole point. If I really know so little about this then it can be up to this guy to ignore me.

I would point out not to give advice about GF4MX if you don't use them, but that would be childish and oops I already have.


Like I said, I use a couple of GeForce4 MX cards. I try to assume the card is a GeForce4 MX since that is what it was called. I was wrong, and forgot that some vendors also call it by the wrong name...

...Anyway, the point was about the Server OS. NVIDIA doesn't even provide drivers for Server 2003. OpenGL is not supported, neither is T&L. Therefore, based on the assumtion that the GF4MX was an actual GF4MX card, my recommendation would have been strictly to ensure stability. Radeon 7000 may be faster on a server, but the GF4MX cards, crummy as they are, haven't even begun to approach critical temperatures. They suck but are rock-solid hardware.
April 13, 2006 2:26:54 PM

He did say it was built in, but thas cool. It's just a bit lame when people get agressive when all anyone's trying to do is help each other out.

Anyway, what I was actually gonna say was:

Is power consumption an issue? I was also gona ask people if they knew whether a GF4MX built-in GPU uses more or less wattage than a card GPU?

If the OS doesn't support any of the extra features of the GF4 then just use the ATi and save :o  64mb :o  of RAM
April 13, 2006 2:32:49 PM

Quote:
If the OS doesn't support any of the extra features of the GF4 then just use the ATi and save 64mb of RAM


Yep, I do agree with that. Does the intg. use more power? I honestly don't know--GF4MX cards use much less power than most modern "value" cards--like, for example, the ATI X300SE. The Radeon 7000 is a little older than the GF4MX if I recall (and definately older than the X300se), so needless to say it should be very close.
April 13, 2006 4:04:59 PM

Is it true then, that power consumption in graphics cards has only become a real issue with the newer 6xxx and above cards?
April 13, 2006 4:27:08 PM

I don't think there's a 4-or-less pipeline card out there that is a power hog by todays standards... maybe the newest 7300 GS and X1300's that have really fast cores.

PSUs didn't really become a factor until the higher-tech cards... 8 pipeline cards like the 9700 PRO.

But a radeon 7000 or Nforce4 Geforce? Power is a non-issue, mate.

Really, this is a whole lot of discussion about a choice which makes little-to-no difference.

Radeon 7000:
Probably slightly better display quality, dedicated RAM, slightly more power consumption

Geforce MX:
Probably worse display quality, shared RAM, slightly less power consumption


Like I said, regardless of your choice you will probably never, ever notice the difference...
!