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Advice on a new graphics card.ATI or Nvidia?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 14, 2007 4:49:25 PM

Hello all.

Its about time to make some serious upgrades to my system.The thing that bothers me the most is the graphics card-there are so many of them.And I dont have a clue what all those xt,gt,xtx and stuff means.I dont even know what are the best cards-ATI's or Nvidia's.Anyway after some search I found the Sapphire X1950XTX 512Mb.This is my price range.From what I saw on this card's specs,it's better that other ones from this price range.Do you have anything else to suggest?What do you think about the 1950XTX?And something last,I have a coolermaster psu @450W,will it be enough for my new gfx?Thanks in advance.
January 14, 2007 5:01:48 PM

I'm looking at newegg, and they say that card is selling for $370. At that price, I'd definitly step up to the nVidia GeForce 8800GTS selling for around $400. It's snywhere from 20-50% faster than the ATI card, and it will support DX10. The X1950XTX will not. The nVidia cards also scale better when in SLI than the ATI cards in crossfire (those are two standards used to couple two graphics cards together for more gaming performance). This will give you a better upgrade path down the road. Just make sure you're looking at a motherboard that supports SLI. Good luck!
January 14, 2007 5:03:35 PM

You'l be stylin' with the 1950XTX.
Though the 8800GTS is only a bit more and would serve you well if you plan on Vista and DX10.
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January 14, 2007 5:30:04 PM

Third vote for the 8800 GTS. It will slaughter an X1950 XTX, for about the same cash.

The X1950 XT is a goodf deal at about $250, but at the $400 range the 8800 GTS has no competition.
January 14, 2007 5:40:46 PM

4th vote for the 8800gts.
Check amps on 12v rail and beware of OC. It seems that psu is on the limit.
January 14, 2007 5:50:08 PM

If I were you I would wait for the R600 to atleast see how it peforms compaired to the 8800 and then buy a card. but if you need one now then I would suggest the 8800GTS
January 14, 2007 5:58:52 PM

8800GTS would be the better buy over the X1950XTX, but it certainly wouldn't "slaughter" the X1950.

Here are the power requirements for the 8800GTS:
400W PCI Express-compliant system power supply with a combined 12V current rating of 26A or more (Minimum system power requirement based on a standard PC configured with an Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800 processor)
January 14, 2007 6:46:11 PM

i bought a 8800gtx, but if i was you i'd just hold out for a month and see wether the 8000 series is as good as the R600 and then make your decision.
January 14, 2007 6:49:49 PM

i second what Col-P suggested.
January 14, 2007 7:34:54 PM

Quote:
If I were you I would wait for the R600 to atleast see how it peforms compaired to the 8800 and then buy a card. but if you need one now then I would suggest the 8800GTS

off topic- what configs do you have in futuremark/catalyst?? Your 3dmark score is too low.
January 14, 2007 8:15:32 PM

Quote:
If I were you I would wait for the R600 to atleast see how it peforms compaired to the 8800 and then buy a card. but if you need one now then I would suggest the 8800GTS

off topic- what configs do you have in futuremark/catalyst?? Your 3dmark score is too low.He has an FX55 and an X1950XT. I don't see anything unusual about his score. :?
January 14, 2007 8:21:33 PM

it seems kinda low. I score almost 5700pts with a 7900gs
January 14, 2007 8:26:18 PM

Thanks for all your replies guys!Unfortunately,the 8800GTS is like 100 Euros($150) more expensive than the 1950 and I also have to buy a new cpu,mainboard and ram so I cant afford it.Anyway,I just checked the 8800's specs,and I saw that the Engine clock is at 500MHz and the Memory Clock at 1600MHz,whilst on the 1950 is 650 and 2000.Doesn't that matter?
January 14, 2007 8:29:56 PM

Better architecture. Less for more.
January 14, 2007 8:30:43 PM

well...no. :D 
January 14, 2007 8:35:28 PM

Of course not! Mhz isn't a performance indicator anymore. Things that really matter are memory bus width, number of pixel\vertex shader units, amount of memory and core architecture. Mhz will count between same company products which has all the above specifications identical. :wink:
January 14, 2007 8:39:37 PM

This is a great place!Thanks again for all the quick replies.So I guess that nVidia is better than ATI(generally)and the 8800 is the best choise.I think I might have to rob a bank though :wink:
a b U Graphics card
January 14, 2007 9:05:52 PM

Quote:
8800GTS would be the better buy over the X1950XTX, but it certainly wouldn't "slaughter" the X1950.

Here are the power requirements for the 8800GTS:
400W PCI Express-compliant system power supply with a combined 12V current rating of 26A or more (Minimum system power requirement based on a standard PC configured with an Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800 processor)


Thats pretty funny since the x1950 pro that I got from powercolor says a system with it needs a 450W with at least 30A on the combined 12V rail. I doubt it.
January 14, 2007 9:27:47 PM

Quote:
Thats pretty funny since the x1950 pro that I got from powercolor says a system with it needs a 450W with at least 30A on the combined 12V rail. I doubt it.


Gotta cover there arses for people who use really crappy 450W PSU's...
January 14, 2007 9:32:58 PM

Quote:
So I guess that nVidia is better than ATI(generally)and the 8800 is the best choise.


uhhhh....it is in this case yes, because at the moment its the only one with dx10 support. That doesnt mean its "generally" better. Until the 8800 series was released ATI had the lead in gfx performance. Also my personal experience is that ATI's in game image quality is a little better than Nvidias (just my opinion, not trying to start a flame war here).

So technically its like a seesaw...one day nvidia leads, then ati come along and gets better, then nvidia goes ahead and gets even better and so on.
a b U Graphics card
January 14, 2007 10:21:59 PM

The 8800GTS is a much better card.
It is marginaly faster than the X1950XTX in DX9 games and has full support for DX10 gaming.

You can also overclock the GTS to nearly match in performance with the GTX.

If your coolmaster psu is the same as either one listed on newegg, you should be alright.
Bouth listed on newegg show 2 +12V rails with 18/16A.
Just inside minimum system power requirements.

If you are in no hurry, I would recommend waiting a month or so for the R600 to come out.
There is also a sub $300 version of the GTS that is supposed to be comming out soon.
January 15, 2007 5:44:31 AM

Quote:
it seems kinda low. I score almost 5700pts with a 7900gs


You're running a Core2duo CPU, this makes a big impact on 3DMark06 scores. FX-55 just doesn't have what it takes any more. :cry: 
January 15, 2007 5:45:39 AM

What is this R600 everyone is talking about?Is it ati or nvidia?And that sub version of the GTS will be as good as the one that exists now?
January 15, 2007 6:43:41 AM

It's the FX55 that gives me the low score not the graphics card. But the score is ccorrect.
January 15, 2007 6:55:24 AM

Another question,there are so many brands on the same chipsets(msi,sapphire,asus etc.)are there any specific ones I should avoid or they are all the same?Whats with the price differences on the same chipsets but different manufactures?I mean a 8800GTS is still the same card no matter what the manufacturer and the price is,right?
January 15, 2007 7:05:44 AM

They are just different companies offering the same product, and peformance (for stock speeds not factory oc models). they may have a different warranty and alot of times different games included. So in all there is not much difference I just stick with the well known brands to be on the safe side. like asus, bfg, Ati but msi and sapphire are good aswell. But I would personaly stay away of brands such as powercolor, pny,jetway,his,connect3d diamond.
a c 173 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
January 15, 2007 7:20:19 AM

I haven't seen anyone mention this yet, so I will. Generally, you don't want to buy the XTX version of ATIs cards. Unless you have the $$$ to spend (and you don't or else you'd be getting the GTS) you can safely buy the XT version. Stock, it isn't much slower then the XTX, and can be overclocked to make up even more ground. Add in the fact that the XT is cheaper then the XTX, and your best buy becomes a 512MB x1950XT. (I'd even consider getting the 256MB card.

I do agree with the other posters. Over here in the States, it doesn't make much sense to buy an x1950XTX. Its just a bit more money for the GTS. Not only is it faster stock, but has much better overclocking potential.
January 15, 2007 7:23:35 AM

Well prices here in Greece are way different from your prices :cry:  .I forgot to mention that im not really into overclocking,so I think I would prefer a better "stock"card.
a c 173 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
January 15, 2007 7:32:16 AM

Don't get me wrong, the x1950XTX is faster then the x1950XT. But I don't believe that it is worth any price premium over the XT. The XT can provide nearly all the same experience as the XTX, but for less $$$. (over here anyways... YMMV)
January 15, 2007 10:35:06 AM

Quote:
What is this R600 everyone is talking about?Is it ati or nvidia?And that sub version of the GTS will be as good as the one that exists now?


The next big thing for computer gamers is the release of the new DirectX10 (DX10) API. When it is released (sometime this year), it will offer some truly revolutionary possiblities for game designers to use the graphics processor (GPU) in ways unimaginable in the past. So naturally, graphics chip manufactures want to create new GPUs capable of running this code.

The very first GPU to the market that fully supports the DX10 API is nVidia's G80 (the one used in all the 8800 series cards). The 8800GTX is the most powerful GPU on the market today, bar none! The 8800GTS is a derivitive, with slighty slower clocks, and part of the chip is disabled (to improve yield).

ATI has yet to release a proccessor that supports DX10, but they have one in the works, and it is currently slated for March (although it's been pushed back a couple times already). It's codename is the R600.

There is a lot of speculation on whether the R600 will be able to surpass the G80's performance, but it would be stupid for ATI to be this late, and release something inferior, so most believe that it will be more powerful. However, the G80 from nVidia has been out for a few months already, and my guess is nVidia is going to be very ready to release a newer version of the 8800GTX (8900GTX maybe?) that should be able to counter whatever ATI throws at it. Only time will tell.

As far as performance in current games, built on the DX9 API...any of these new GPUs are extremely powerful, and you can rest assured they will carry their weight for at least a little while.
January 15, 2007 1:03:03 PM

Thanks alot miahallen,that was very helpful.
January 15, 2007 1:05:11 PM

No problem, just sitting at work, passing the 12 hour shift as productively as possible :lol:  Good Luck!
January 15, 2007 1:20:06 PM

One more question.I saw that the 8800 needs 2 PCI slots,the 2nd one for the cooling system.Does that mean that I have to buy a SLI mainboard?Im saying this because im not interested in SLI and I dont want to pay the extra $$ for it.
January 15, 2007 1:31:25 PM

Quote:
What is this R600 everyone is talking about?Is it ati or nvidia? And that sub version of the GTS will be as good as the one that exists now?


R600 is Ati's upcoming DirectX 10 GPU. Shoud be here in a month or two. Probably going to be called the X2800 or something like that... :p 

You don't need an SLI board to use a 8800. It just uses up more space than a single-slot card.
January 16, 2007 9:36:40 AM

Do you think thats its not wise to get a new gfx card just before vista and DX10 are released?
January 16, 2007 4:33:45 PM

I bought the Radeon 9700pro when it was first released. At the time it blew the competition away (this was four and a half years ago). It was the first DX9 card on the market, and there was LOTS of speculation as to whether it was a necessary upgrade at the time (because DX9 had not yet been released).....NOT ONCE HAVE I REGRETTED BUYING IT. Even though DX9 had not yet been release, it was still far more powerful at running the DX8 games anyway. It has lasted me quite nicely the last four and a half years. It's about as fast as a current nVidia 7300GS. Of course now it's showing it's age.

The situation is very similar right now, and if you had asked this question six months ago concerning the X1950XTX or the 7900GTX, I would have told you to wait. But, now the new 8800 series is out, and as you can see in my sig, I bought the new flagship...the 8800 GTX. I think when a new architecture comes out IT SIGNALS THE PERFECT TIME TO UPGRADE! You can sit around an wait for the next best thing FOREVER, and never buy anything (things are constantly changing). But there isn't ANYTHING that will cause the 8800 series to become obsolete (unusable) in the foreseeable future, and I plan to keep mine until DirectX11 is released (hopefully it'll be another 5 years or so). Plus, current technology has another advantage going for it. I'm sure in two years time, my 8800GTX will not feel so "cutting-edge" anymore, so I'll visit ebay, and buy another one (buy then they'll probably be down to around $200-300) for SLI, extending the life of this upgrade even further.

Some people say DX10 isn't even out yet....but that doesn't detract the facts...the 8800GTX is also the fastest architecture for DX9! 8)
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