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Midrange DirectX10 cards might not be "midrange" after all

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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May 10, 2007 12:47:28 AM

Midrange cards like 8500 and 8600GT and the rest might not be so useless after all in DX10 games. The reason i am saying this is because, they might suck on DX9 games, BUT when DX10 applications come along next year, using their Geometry shader and Stream output functions they could increase their performance 2-3 times on the GPU calculations area. Which means there would still be a bottleneck due to the memory limitations, but the GPU will be able to perform a lot more calculations due to the DX10 functions, hence boosting performance compared to a similar DX9 card.
May 10, 2007 12:57:02 AM

So ur theory is that in DX9.0 they are only as good as 7900s, but in DX10 they will be as good as X1900s?
May 10, 2007 1:05:53 AM

Quote:
So ur theory is that in DX9.0 they are only as good as 7900s, but in DX10 they will be as good as X1900s?


In DX9 probably less than good than a 7900, more like a 7800, but yes when DX10 comes into play they should perform in the X1900 area.
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a b U Graphics card
May 10, 2007 1:08:40 AM

Quote:
Midrange cards like 8500 and 8600GT and the rest might not be so useless after all in DX10 games. The reason i am saying this is because, they might suck on DX9 games, BUT when DX10 applications come along next year, using their Geometry shader and Stream output functions they could increase their performance 2-3 times on the GPU calculations area. Which means there would still be a bottleneck due to the memory limitations, but the GPU will be able to perform a lot more calculations due to the DX10 functions, hence boosting performance compared to a similar DX9 card.
This sounds reasonable, just one thing? How do you then explain the performance of the 88's?
May 10, 2007 1:11:30 AM

Quote:
Midrange cards like 8500 and 8600GT and the rest might not be so useless after all in DX10 games. The reason i am saying this is because, they might suck on DX9 games, BUT when DX10 applications come along next year, using their Geometry shader and Stream output functions they could increase their performance 2-3 times on the GPU calculations area. Which means there would still be a bottleneck due to the memory limitations, but the GPU will be able to perform a lot more calculations due to the DX10 functions, hence boosting performance compared to a similar DX9 card.
This sounds reasonable, just one thing? How do you then explain the performance of the 88's?

They will get the same boost as well. I am not saying that the high end cards will perform the same while only the midrange will perform better. All DX10 cards should perform much better. I am just stating in this article something that we all forgot about. When DX10 applications appear, all DX10 cards should get a nice boost in performance just from the fact that they will actually use the extra hardware.
a b U Graphics card
May 10, 2007 1:15:46 AM

Of course youre right. I was just pointing out the disparity between the 86<88 . There MUST be a reason tho...
May 10, 2007 1:36:18 AM

Don't get the crappy performance confused with DX10. DirectX10 has better efficiency within it's coding and DX10 capable cards are much more efficient at processing that information than DX9 information. So even though DX10 is a vast improvement in looks and performance, VISTA holds most of the performance back.
May 10, 2007 3:28:44 AM

Quote:
Of course youre right. I was just pointing out the disparity between the 86<88 . There MUST be a reason tho...


You are trying to compare two completely different things. The main difference in their performance comes from the two following factors:

the 8800 family has 320 and 380-bit wide memory bus interface, the 86xx family only has 128-bit. Then the number of unified shaders is 96 and 128 on the 88xx family, while it is a merely 32 and 64 if i remember well on the 8600. It is a slightly different architecture. Kudos on the 86xx family though for their new hardware decoding that not even the 88xx sports. So better video quality on the newer 86xx.
May 10, 2007 4:01:48 AM

I am not going to say that your going to get double or triple performance, but you have to look at it from a logical standpoint. With the Direct X10 code being optimized that is going to remove the buffer overhead, but at the same time that buffer overhead is going removed.

Now, with the higher optimization you have to look at how much more stuff is going to be added now that Direct X 10 is optimized. Until actual games come out, you can only go upon articles and information that talk about the Direct X 10 architecture. Anything else beyond that is pure speculation.
May 10, 2007 4:15:37 AM

Most of the reason they are priced so high right now is because of the lack of competition.
a b U Graphics card
May 10, 2007 5:07:03 AM

You are forgeting that the GF8500/8600 still don't have enough power for really using DX10.

Sure geometry shaders and other aspects should be more efficient, but they will also be thrown a heavier load, so they still won't be worth it compared to the GF8800GTS-320.

And considering the way geometry shaders access memory you're still going to have bandwidth limitations.

The main question is can you dial back the DX10 effects enough to make it worthwhile, where either the performance is the same as DX9 with some added shine or that it's the same visuals as DX9 achieved with added performance. However if it's like most previous implementations of new features, they'll likely be unable to make use of much of the new features.
May 10, 2007 6:04:12 AM

Quote:
You are forgeting that the GF8500/8600 still don't have enough power for really using DX10.





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Hey Great Grape, do you know anything about Nvidia droping a 256bit DX10 card anytime soon? (or ATI) basically something better than a 8600 GTS, but smaller single slot card (must be single slot) unlike the 8800 cards, im kinda in a tough spot :( 
a b U Graphics card
May 10, 2007 8:52:34 AM

Keep an eye out for the 2900xl, it MAY be what youre looking for
May 10, 2007 10:15:09 AM

try the BFG water cooled GTX. The block is made by danger den, which is a great W/C brand. Single slot and better than GTS!
a b U Graphics card
May 10, 2007 3:54:32 PM

Quote:

Hey Great Grape, do you know anything about Nvidia droping a 256bit DX10 card anytime soon? (or ATI) basically something better than a 8600 GTS, but smaller single slot card (must be single slot) unlike the 8800 cards, im kinda in a tough spot :( 


NO hard evidence, but the rumour is the GF8600Ultra with 256bit memory interface (and likely a tweak or two IMO) has actually been turned into a real product due to the poor performance of the GF8600GTS and the gap created between it and the GF8800GTS-320.

The rumour is that the GF8600Ultra would be here by July/August.

On the AMD/ATi front, I think we're going to be similarly dissapointed, and so a 65nm HD2900PRO (RV670) has been discussed as something similar to the GF8600Ultra which will fill what I'm sure will be a similar gap between the HD2600XT(X) and the lowest HD2900. Now there is also mention of a crippled HD2900SE built on the bin'ed/rejected 80nm R600s that couldn't make XL parts, but I have seen nothing credible about that and likely it would be still a dual slot cooler, but if enough is crippled maybe they could cool it with an X1950Pro style single slot cooler, I just wouldn't count on it.

If you're looking for powerful DX10 single slot solution, and you don't need a card now, then wait for the GF8600Ultra and HD2900Pro to appear, if you need something now, IMO, buy an X1950Pro, then sell it and rebuy when the DX10 games come out that need the feature. That's likely going to be you best path for good gameplay.

If PC buiding annoys you and you just want a solution now, then the GF8600GT and GTS are ok and likely the HD2600s similarly so, but likely not the best choices, and I'd still wait about a week or two to see prices stabilize.
a b U Graphics card
May 10, 2007 3:56:21 PM

Quote:
try the BFG water cooled GTX. The block is made by danger den, which is a great W/C brand. Single slot and better than GTS!


Now that's thinking. :trophy:

BTW, most of them I've seen are better than the GF8800Ultra, and were cheaper when the Ultra launched !! 8)
May 10, 2007 7:59:50 PM

thanks grape ape :) 


so if thats the latest rumor of a single slot dx10 card with a memory bus is 256bit or higher, whats the scoop on any ati cards with a dx10 256bit memory bus single slot card(s)?
May 10, 2007 10:31:02 PM

I have the 8600GT and all i have to say is in the DX10 i have tried yet. Nvidia, and fps creator. All were lagging, except adrianne demo in 1024x768. I know its demo but why it would not lag in dx10 if it lag in some little demo !.
May 10, 2007 10:39:47 PM

Quote:
The rumour is that the GF8600Ultra would be here by July/August.


After their outrageous pricing of the 8800 Ultra, I can't wait to see how much they charge for the 8600 Ultra. We better hope ATI comes out with a good card to rival the 8600.
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