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Recommended Quality Graphics Card for Workstation (Conroe)

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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August 15, 2006 5:25:31 PM

Greetings,

Planning for a high-performance workstation (Intel Core 2 Duo Conroe). Here is the discussion on the CPU.

http://forumz.tomshardware.com/hardware/modules.php?nam...

Next, I would like to talk about graphics card (PCI Express).

As mentioned in the post about CPU, I spend much time on developing software, including compiling multiple applications, and watching DVD. Sometimes I play PC games especially RPG and simulation. Great if the graphics card could provide exceptional visual effects when playing games (RPG) and watching DVD.

What are some quality graphics cards that would match well with the new high-performance workstation?

ATI or Nvidia? What quality is the driver software especially on windows platforms (xp and vista)? Which graphics card?

Kuphryn
a b U Graphics card
August 15, 2006 6:24:30 PM

Specifically what are the apps?

Straight out of the box for what you want, I'd say an ATi card would be preferable, but depending on your app the nV cards have other stregths, especially in Proffesional OGL , but in a Windows DX environment I'd say the X1900GT or better (X1800XT, X1900XT) would be your choices.

In your CPU thread you mention Unix/Linux, where Linux would be more favourable to nV.

Now if you don't need that much power then the GF7600GT and X1800GTO would also be other wise choices.

But IMO the X1900GT and X1800XT are the bang/buck choices, and the X1900XT would be the 'I want the best, but at a good price' choice.

Alot of it depends on your workstation apps though, but for the DVD and gaming along with Windows development tools I'd say ATi for those areas, although nV is really close too, so if the pro apps you use really favour nV then get a GF7600GT or GF7900GT.
August 17, 2006 2:10:18 AM

Down to these graphics cards:

ATI Radeon x1600 Pro 512MB PCI-E
GEFORCE 7600GT 256MB GDDR3 PCI-E

Never bought ATI graphics card. Always bought Nvidia

Nvidia features really stable windows driver software. ATI not as good before radeon driver software.

I have noticed ATI graphics card displays clearer, more accurate images on windows platform. Noticeably better than Nvidia (Geforce 2).

How good is ATI driver software on windows platform - present and future?

ATI: clear, accurate image display

Nvidia: stable driver software and great performance especially games even if hardware is old

Experience says Nvidia. Optimism and desire says ATI.

(Planning DirectX 10 graphics card when available.)

Kuphryn
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August 17, 2006 3:41:46 AM

Quote:
Down to these graphics cards:

ATI Radeon x1600 Pro 512MB PCI-E
GEFORCE 7600GT 256MB GDDR3 PCI-E

Never bought ATI graphics card. Always bought Nvidia

Nvidia features really stable windows driver software. ATI not as good before radeon driver software.

I have noticed ATI graphics card displays clearer, more accurate images on windows platform. Noticeably better than Nvidia (Geforce 2).

How good is ATI driver software on windows platform - present and future?

ATI: clear, accurate image display

Nvidia: stable driver software and great performance especially games even if hardware is old

Experience says Nvidia. Optimism and desire says ATI.

(Planning DirectX 10 graphics card when available.)

Kuphryn


they're both fine cards, i've owned both ATi and nVidia products. If you are making an OpenGL workstation, i'd give a slight advantage to nVidia in that arena, thats why i went with a 7900gtx for my workstation. However, ATi will give you a boost in graphics heavy games. But not by much.

However as far as image quality... don't expect to see a difference b/w the two. The difference, IF ANY, will come in framerates. nVidia having SLIGHTLY better OpenGL performance (which is good if this is a graphics workstation), and ATi having a SLIGHT lead in D3D.

It really boils down to your CompuReligion. ATi has aligned itself with the god Aay'Mm Dee, while nVidia seems to be cozying up to the god Int'Elle. In the Great Prosess'orr war that is to come, it may be a good idea to choose the side you are more comfortable with, until things calm down a bit.
a b U Graphics card
August 17, 2006 6:37:40 AM

Quote:
Down to these graphics cards:

ATI Radeon x1600 Pro 512MB PCI-E
GEFORCE 7600GT 256MB GDDR3 PCI-E

Never bought ATI graphics card. Always bought Nvidia


Well of those two choices I'd say it's a wise Idea to continue the trand.
The GF7600GT is almost always better than the X1600P in gaming, should be better than the X1600P in most workstation situations, which do favour OGL and nV mostly. Architecture wise both have their advantages with ATi having 10bit colour for 2D and nV have better subpixel precision for 3D.

Quote:
Nvidia features really stable windows driver software. ATI not as good before radeon driver software.


That WAS the case, but not anymore. Both are equally solid and weak, even in Linux they are getting closer, but nV is still ahead there.

Quote:
I have noticed ATI graphics card displays clearer, more accurate images on windows platform. Noticeably better than Nvidia (Geforce 2).


Well the GF2 is a terrible platform for IQ, with slow RAMDACs and poor TMDS, the only thing equally poor in the ATi lineup is anything in the R7200 and lower generation.

Quote:
How good is ATI driver software on windows platform - present and future?


On current Windows ATi is just as good as nV, on future VISTA, I'd suspect they'll also be equal, but ATi has the PR edge in having been given the nod by Microsoft early on, but really IMO neither has any easily discernable advantage there, so I doubt there'll be much of a difference, but who knows, either could take a lead again.

Quote:
ATI: clear, accurate image display

Nvidia: stable driver software and great performance especially games even if hardware is old


Actually that's the old story, now they are basically equal for the most part, and while ATi leads the single PCB/card performance in games, nV leads multi-VPU, and in the case of the two you're looking at above, the GF7600GT dominates the X1600Pro in pretty much every game except Oblivion.

Quote:
Experience says Nvidia. Optimism and desire says ATI.


In this case go with the experience, unless you decide to move to a card more worthy of comparison like an X1800GTO or X1900GT , because the X1600Pro just will not compete with the GF7600GT which is a clear winner as both a gaming card and a general purpose workstation card (if you have a specfici pro app then it's easier to say whether there's a benifit to one or the other).
a b U Graphics card
August 17, 2006 6:39:59 AM

Quote:

It really boils down to your CompuReligion. ATi has aligned itself with the god Aay'Mm Dee, while nVidia seems to be cozying up to the god Int'Elle. In the Great Prosess'orr war that is to come, it may be a good idea to choose the side you are more comfortable with, until things calm down a bit.


However for now ATI seems to have the best MoBos for Intel Conroe, and nV seems to have the best MoBos for AM2 which makes for interesting bed fellows until the future realligns.
August 17, 2006 8:19:28 AM

for workstation and professional apps Nvidia dominates. Over 70 percent of workstation professionals use Nvidia. In the real world, absent fanboism.
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