Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Why Today's Graphics Card Market Sucks

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
Share
June 5, 2007 1:45:52 PM

Backstory:

I'm a working stiff. I make enough to cover my bills and save a fair amount every month. At the beginning of this year, I set out to put together a new PC by purchasing one component at a time; each at the right time. I've never taken this approach and it's worked out well. I've replaced everything except for the case, one hard drive, my old and familliar keyboard and mouse, and... the graphics card. (1900GT)

So what's new? A 2ms GTG LCD monitor, a 700W ~87% efficient modular power supply, a couple new SATA drives & DVD, an AW9D MAX mobo, an E6600 (@ 3.2Ghz that idles at ~28C w/ aftermarket cooling), a matched pair of 1 gig DDR2 800 sticks- (@ 900 4-4-4-12 w/ 2.1v) and I even bought an air cooled 5.25" to 3.25" conversion bay to move all my hard drives from where Im expecting a long graphics card to be, also added sommore case fans.

So here I am- all my old parts are long gone; passed off to friends or sitting in a PC "junk" drawer... except that same 1900GT is still sitting there where a newer, faster, better, harder card should be. Lately I've been wondering why that old card is still there; I've been tossing and turning for a couple weeks now on whether to grab an 8800 series card; and which one- etc. Last night the prudent consumer inside me rebelled and fueled a long night of searching the web, reading reviews, tech forum threads, and shopping for prices to settle the matter.

Why I Didn't Buy an Nvidia 8800 Series Card:

The most obvious thing to me at my hesitance to grab one of these were the prices. The 8800GTS 320MB from one of the more reputable manufactuers is hovering around $290. Pricing Info

This is the best bang for the buck the 8800 series has to offer- and for future proofing purposes; the deal may not be sweet enough. There are instances in benchmarking reviews of this card; where it gets beaten by less powerful or less expensive cards with more texture memory. Benchmark here: Benchmark and also here:Benchmark (Check Oblivion, FEAR, + Quake4.)

Benchmarks will vary from game to game; and with a multitude of settings- but if games already on the market are easily chewing up 320MB of texture memory; DX10 games will not be any gentler. Another review echoes this sentiment here: Conclusion @ Firing Squad

Beyond the 8800GTS 320MB in the 8800 series, the price increases much faster relative to the performance increase. 8800 Series Comparison The 8800 Ultra offers a vary narrow lead over an 8800GTX for an extra ~250 dollars or more, and only offers a 30% increase in performance over an 8800GTS 320MB for ~500 dollars more. Pricing Info

I'm also leery of some of the largest and power hungry cards to date. While the architecture of the G80 is real progress- they've chosen to stick with the 90nm fabrication process- this is the reason for the size, power consumption, and possibly the cost of these cards. Some excerpts from a review on the G80 that can be found in full here: Full Review

"The thing is, the G80 isn't manufactured on a next-generation chip fabrication process. After some bad past experiences (read: GeForce FX), Nvidia prefers not to tackle a new GPU design and a new fab process at the same time. There's too much risk involved. So they have instead asked TSMC to manufacture the G80 on its familiar 90nm process, with the result being the single largest chip I believe I've ever seen."

"Nvidia's isn't handing out exact die size measurements, but they claim to get about 80 chips gross per wafer. Notice that's a gross number. Any chip of this size has got to be incredibly expensive to manufacture, because the possibility of defects over such a large die area will be exponentially higher than with a GPU like the G71 or R580. That's going to make for some very expensive chips."

"The chip is still too large and consumes too much power at idle, but this architecture should be a sweetheart once it makes the transition to a 65nm fab process, which is where it really belongs."


Another concern is how "future proof" are these cards against their cost? There is already some evidence out there to suggest Nvidia is basically sitting on the next refresh of cards in the 8900 series that will be available on an 80nm process with faster GDDR4 memory for less money. Leaked Info

I don't know about you; but if I'm going to spend around 600 dollars on a graphics card- I'd be plenty pissed off if a new version makes not just a small step; but a leap ahead in peformance AND at a lower price in less than six months.

Lastly- in the news it seems like AMD and Nvidia are facing over 50 lawsuits that allege price fixing. There are snips and reposts of the news all over enthuiast hardware sites. News Repost

There's also a forum discussion on suspected price fixing that dates back a while here: Price Fixing? With so many lawsuits pending concerning price fixing it is very likely at least one of them will have some effect on the market in the consumer's favor.

Lack of Suitable Alternatives Or Intermediary Transitions:

So I've decided I'll pass on the 8800 series cards, I then set out to find a card that would provide a significant improvement over my 1900GT at a low price. To my dissapointment, it seems prices on older models aren't dropping as fast as you'd think. Pricing Info

An x1950 crossfire which gets outperformed in most benchmarks by an 8800GTS 320MB, still costs just as much and in some cases more than the lower tier 8800 GTS 320MB cards. The higher end 7900 series of cards are still floating above 200 dollars; that's too much to pay for an intermediary card to transition from in the short term. Ideally I was looking at spending no more than $100-$150 for something that will kick the ass out of my 1900GT and hold me over until a new series of cards arrive that offer real value.

What's available for about a 150 bucks? For my needs, nothing really. The 8600GT series cards are in that price range; but they are about on par with my x1900GT. Though I could not find a direct comparison- the 8500 and 8600GT were compared to a x1950 PRO- (which you can see here only trumps the x1900GT by a small margin: 1950Pro + x1900GT) and the x1950 PRO outperforms the 8600GT here: Benchmarks

In Conclusion:

While there are plenty of options- none of them truely feel like a smart upgrade path for their costs. There's the 8800GTS 320MB model that costs around 300 dollars that may end up struggling with new DX10 games. For around 100 dollars more, the 640MB model offers only the extra memory and no extra processing power. Beyond the 8800GTS 640MB model- the costs are ridiculous as you can easily buy an E6600 and motherboard of your choice for the same price or less. (When they almost undoubtedly cost more to produce) There is also extremely foreboding news on the horizon that casts very credible doubt on the long-term value of any card in the 8800 line-up.

Intermediary cards that offer a significant increase in performance over an x1900GT are still too pricey. If you have a card from less than 3 generations ago- it is simply not worth it to buy an intermediary card as most of the ones that offer real gains are still too close in price to the low end 8800GTS 320MB.

Still irritating- new 8600GT cards that can cost as much as when I purchased my x1900GT almost 2 years ago; can barely outperform it- and in some benchmarks; a x1900GT can probably still beat an 8600GT. There's no value to the consumer for new cards that offer 2 year old performance at the brand new price level.

I understand the nature of the market in the traditional sense... What's really wrong with today's graphics card market is this: Instead of seeing current generation cards replacing those of the last generation at the same price; there has been a trend of increasing price ceilings over the past few years.

What's worse is that not only are the best cards getting pricier- (Fetching 1,000 dollars or more in some instances) but every card in every new generation's series is getting to be a little costlier than it's equivalent in the last generation.

If there was a real industry-bound reason for this situation beyond ATI's and Nvidia's seeming lack of interest in competitive pricing- why is it only affecting the graphics card market? Why doesn't an E6300 cost 500 dollars? Etc.
June 5, 2007 2:35:50 PM

I'm going to bring my DX10 thoughts to this, yes i'm banging a big drum about it but its my drum and i can beat it if i want :) 

The next generation is going to need to be a pretty hefty speed bump due to the fact DX10 may actually start arriving by then. And with its arrival the Geforce 9 series will need to be able to provide acceptable dx10 performance across the range. If not then no mainstream DX10 for another 2 years (geforce 10 umm tasty). And so to deferentiate from its future mainstream siblings the geforce 9 top end will need to be an absolute power house to allow the mainstream to come in near the 8800 GTS (bit below probably) performance as this would appear to be the required ummphh for acceptable dx10. But that has the problem of culling 8 series sales which nvidia will not like, so maybe expect yet another price bump :) 
June 5, 2007 2:48:11 PM

Excellent! All the right questions with very well documented answers. It has been quite some time since such a significant post appeared in the forums.
You should do that professionally and get some money out of it, because you can really stir things and not provide obvious, marketing based opinions.

Bravo! I'm bookmarking your post for future reference...
Related resources
June 5, 2007 3:09:16 PM



It's 4% per year on average over the past 20 years, the increases we're seeing in the cards market are much higher. There may be parallels to situations like this in the computing market in 1980's- wonder if there are records/info on what the market for PC components was like back then. I've heard some pretty non-sensical stories from that period pertaining to the cost of home based PC equipment.
June 5, 2007 3:24:36 PM

In 2003 when the GeForce FX 5800 Ultra came out, it was £390... 4 years on and the the 8800 Ultra costs £450... that's not exaclty a world away from 4% PA (in fact it's 5%)

In April 1997 an Orchid Righteous 3D was £280, adding 10 years of 4% inflation comes to £400, again, not a million miles from the current top of the range prices for graphics cards

I've also found another article where the Geforce 2 Ultra was £380 in 2001, 4% PA makes that £480, which is right on the money for current Ultra prices

the problem is that for most home computer components, we're used to performance going up while prices come down (e.g. in 1992, 520MB of disk space would have cost around £1000, by 1995 it was £179, and today it's less than £1 per GB)

Though thinking about it, the dollar is weak as shit at the moment, so that probably doesn't help the dollar price a whole lot.
June 5, 2007 3:35:42 PM



It's 4% per year on average over the past 20 years, the increases we're seeing in the cards market are much higher. There may be parallels to situations like this in the computing market in 1980's- wonder if there are records/info on what the market for PC components was like back then. I've heard some pretty non-sensical stories from that period pertaining to the cost of home based PC equipment.

The 4% mark does not apply to all markets.

But seriously, the GFX card market is not much different. I'd wait for Cleeve's reply to this thread, but I would wager a bet that he would say there have always been pricepoints, and it almost always goes up about $50 a year or so higher than it was before. There's always been decent cards in the $100-$150 range, but that could not compare to the $500-$600 card of the same time period. The difference is, now we're seeing a lot of filler between the $150-$500 range that we did not have before. It used to be that you'd get a decent range of cards up to about $200, and then a small handful of cards until you hit $500. Now, that small handful has expanded to entire lines and tiers of technology, which results in the greater number of choices, as you mentioned in your original post.


It's really just a bull market created through a higher demand from more enthusiasts, and defined by inflation.
a b U Graphics card
June 5, 2007 3:44:12 PM

Nice write up and good assessment on the state of gpu's today.

For many of the same reasons I'm holding on to my 7900GT. Aside from those reasons, the complete lack of 100% DX10 games is the reason to hold off purchasing a DX10 card. Being able to view all the eye candy in Vista is certainly no reason to get a DX10 card either. Heck, for all we know, the 8800 GTX and/or Ultra might end up a mid/low range card by the time true DX10 games become available.
June 5, 2007 3:53:23 PM

personally I thought that was a good read. Then again i dont have a 8800, so people with one will probably like to disagree.
June 5, 2007 3:56:30 PM

Chunky no need for DX10 with Aero Glass (vista eye candy) i certainly noticed no difference. Even the windows flipping thing works on DX9 hw no problem, looks decent but still to find a use for it though :) .
June 5, 2007 4:03:45 PM

I think his article was a great writeup for the $100-$150 range, but not for the overall state of the GFX card market.

As some of you know, I just recently built my new computer, upgrading from a 9800proSE (128MB) and a P4 3.2ghz prescott that I built 3 years ago. Obviously, my comp cost a fair amount more than most people would want to budget, but had I had a lower spending limit, I think I would have still gone w/the 8800GTS 320MB at a bare minimum because of the price/performance.

I am 100% aware that my 8800GTX will be owned by the end of the year, and that I probably won't be able to step-up to something better before that happens. Maybe it would have been smarter of me to get the 320GTS and upgrade to the GTX in 3 months, if nothing to save a little bit of money.

That being said, I've looked at the GFX market from two angles (big purchase/low return, medium purchase/medium return) and I've got to say that the market is quite nice. Sure, it could be better... sure, I would have liked to see some actual competition from ATI to drive prices down, but for what it is, we're seeing some great technology at some really decent prices.

The fact is, you simply cannot expect to "upgrade" from a couple years ago at the $100-$150 pricepoint. Everyone knows that the $100-$150 price point *IS* a couple years ago, therefore you cannot "upgrade" when you're limiting yourself to the price of what the high end card you bought a couple years ago is now worth! That's like saying you buy a car at $13,000, and then in 5 years, you cannot find a car that is better than what you have for $6,000.

This is all just very basic economics.
June 5, 2007 4:20:37 PM

Its interesting to see the reports of the next wave of nividia graphics cards waiting in the wings of the final release of Ati's lower and mid-range 2000 series. It could explain the driver issues many users have that the focus is to get product out . Most big box retailers sell 1 premium card for every 3-4 mid-range cards and by extension 10-15 lower end ones. A quick tour of local outfits finds cards that are vintage of 3-4 years ago on the shelves. Many smaller stores are not in this position. I suspect that yes summer sales ie blowouts are comming and that the retailers will restock in the fall to take advantage of "back to school" and the holidays.
Recently a local big retailer (no rebate shopping) ran a special on the evga 8600gts superclocked at 199.99cdn versus msrp 279.99 . This was at the time of our .91 dollar. My buddy who works in the business said that often big box retailers get special deals , warranty reserve dumps and over-stock of slow moving product. Most retailers are stuck with no new product to sell and do not want to cut their own throats until they absolutely have too.
Enough said; the article leaked suggest that the 8600 moniker would have two models in gs and gt with 64 stream processors in lieu of the 32 that are present now. This with a cheaper 8900 gs (256bit interface) for 50.00us more. They are pricing to price points in increments of multiples of 50.00us. Based on this new information my 8600gts is going back to the puppy mill with the 30 day return policy.
June 5, 2007 4:31:45 PM

Quote:
The fact is, you simply cannot expect to "upgrade" from a couple years ago at the $100-$150 pricepoint. Everyone knows that the $100-$150 price point *IS* a couple years ago, therefore you cannot "upgrade" when you're limiting yourself to the price of what the high end card you bought a couple years ago is now worth! That's like saying you buy a car at $13,000, and then in 5 years, you cannot find a car that is better than what you have for $6,000.

This is all just very basic economics.


I am sorry, but i have to disagree. What was the price and the performance of a 6600GT 3 years ago? Did the 7600GT almost double that performance at the same price point or not? Is the performance of the 8600GT (or GTS for that matter!) anywhere near double that of a 7600GT? What do you have to pay to get double the performance of the 7600GT? Maybe the price for a 8800GTS?
Where is Moore's law in all of this?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moore%27s_law

Sorry for all the questions but i still believe that asking questions is the first step to getting answers.
Inflation was never the answer to I.T. industry prices, Moore's law and competition was. Today's situation is rather unbalanced. With no real competition i wouldn't lower the prices of my products, i would just raise the marketing hype spending...

Just an opinion, not a flame war attempt :) 

Edit: Syntax
June 5, 2007 4:54:16 PM

Could have knocked that story down to your last four paragraphs, but what I feel is that the market has always been this way. There are always a few high dollar cards out there followed by mid range and low-end. That hasn't changed since I've been gaming. People have always tried to figure out the best bang for the buck and then there are people like me who always buy the best available. This hasn't changed either. So I don't see how the market is different now. As Prohzt said, the only thing that's really changed is inflation.
June 5, 2007 5:06:01 PM

I feel the same way as you do. I wanted to upgrade my 7900gt but am going to hold out until the 8900 series finally comes along. In the meantime I bought a second used 7900gt to put in sli to hold me over until I get that new 8900.
June 5, 2007 5:09:04 PM

Quote:


[While there are plenty of options- none of them truely feel like a smart upgrade path for their costs. There's the 8800GTS 320MB model that costs around 300 dollars that may end up struggling with new DX10 games. For around 100 dollars more, the 640MB model offers only the extra memory and no extra processing power.


Ok, you've written a good short article and I've no complaint about its competence. That said, I did buy a 8800GTS 640 last week to replace my old X1900 XTX Toxic. I had intended to keep the X1900 a while longer, but it bit the dust and I needed a new card now, not a few weeks or months from now.

Why the 640mb instead of the 320mb version, since on the face of it, the 320mb seems to provide more bang for the buck, etc? First off, by watching sales, I got it for only about $40 more than a 320mb version. That seemed like a good deal to me. Second, since no one really knows yet how the cards may perform once real DX10 games appear, the 640mb version may show an advantage when those games do come out. Yes, that's an unknown and it could be that the 640 version will show no more advantage than the 320 version. But to me, the $40 was worth the gamble. Third, since I bought a card from EVGA, I can use their step up program if a better card comes out within 90 days, so I won't loose money to depreciation if I decide to go that route.

Yes, I do think the offerings from the graphics card industry are poor at the moment. Through the years, I've noticed cycles of this phenomena. Its like the industry gets stuck, not knowing what to produce which will help both in games and with changing operating systems. The two biggest things that tick me off are the fact that Nvidia still hasn't solved its problems concerning Vista and DX10, while AMD's 2900 XT doesn't excell in much of anything. Its just there, which may be better than not being there, but not by much.

Price wise, I don't have too much objection to the costs of the new cards. Beyond raises due to mere inflation, it should be kept in mind that the newer cards have vastly increased numbers of transistors and other parts which cost more money. Also price I paid for the 8800 GTS 640mb was less then I paid for a 7800 GTX 256mb card a couple years ago, so I think I got a good deal with it. But that's my opinion only.

Overall, I think we are going to have to wait a few months for better cards to come out. First off, real DX10 games have to start arriving in sufficient numbers that comparisons can be made among the cards. For that matter, more people will have to start using Vista before the matter becomes relavent. Second, Microsoft will have to patch several of the problems within Vista itself before the video card industry can its patches/updates for present cards or new cards entirely that will make real differences on our machines.

Ok, I've given my 2 cents worth. Again, you did a good job describing the problem we all face at this time concerning video cards. I just don't know what the end answers are for the moment. I do wish things would settle down a bit in the industry as I too am trying to put together a new computer, but I find its not only a problem of trying to find a good video card, but also the wait for real changes concerning cpus, motherboards, and ram. So Ive got the project on hold until some of the dust settles.
June 5, 2007 5:14:35 PM

Good read, but you seem to contradict yourself with these two parts...

First, you refer to an article that claims that producing the 8800 series is very expensive

Quote:
"Nvidia's isn't handing out exact die size measurements, but they claim to get about 80 chips gross per wafer. Notice that's a gross number. Any chip of this size has got to be incredibly expensive to manufacture, because the possibility of defects over such a large die area will be exponentially higher than with a GPU like the G71 or R580. That's going to make for some very expensive chips."


Then, you balk at the prices of the 8800s by claiming that the production of said 8800s must be less than that of a processor and motherboard...

Quote:
Beyond the 8800GTS 640MB model- the costs are ridiculous as you can easily buy an E6600 and motherboard of your choice for the same price or less. (When they almost undoubtedly cost more to produce)
.

Perhaps, back to your first point, the 8800s actually ARE fairly expensive to produce and the high retail prices are justified. Besides, until ATI steps up to deliver a card that can outperform the 8800s, why should nVidia budge on the pricing anyway? If you want top-notch graphics NOW, what else are you going to buy?

-TyShoe
June 5, 2007 5:21:01 PM

Exactly. I'm tired of all the whining about the high prices because the market's always been this way. Like I mentioned, you got the folks who wait because the next best thing is around the corner, which has most people waiting in virtual perpetuity because the next best thing is always around the corner, you got the folks who go for the best bang for the buck and then you got the folks who just dive into the latest and greatest thing as soon as it comes along. There's still a card for everyone. The whole waiting game has never made sense to me. When my video card could no longer play all games at the highest settings I switched to one that did - price and whatever's around the corner be damned.
June 5, 2007 5:33:11 PM

Well, if you do decide to get an 8800 may I recommend one? :-P The EVGA 8800GTS 640mb Superclocked is IMO the best buy. It's got just a bit less memory and fewer shaders than the GTX, but it's clocked the same and costs considerably less. It's priced right and comes with Dark Messiah, if you're into that type of game.
June 5, 2007 5:47:42 PM

If one of our big issues in life is worrying about which overpriced piece of entertainment to buy over the other, then we are all doing pretty well.
As someone else earlier put it, there is no competition and no reason to drop the prices.
I think part of the perception that little is changing has to do with that the technologies are moving in more directions than just better framerates. I think DX10 will eventually bear that out and more than before things will be judged on quality of those frames than quantity.
Along with the extra things the cards will be able to do, such as sound or physics.
June 5, 2007 5:50:41 PM

i'm in the market for a card too, and my price range is about the same as yours, only my current gpu is an onboard 6150 (did this to get up and going quick/cheap)

ok... after hundreds of hours of looking here's what i came up with in a VERY SHORT suggestion....


wait for the hd 2600's to come out....

there... i honestly think that the price point on them will be feesable to everyday consumers and they will outperform the 8600's... that should at least bring your prices down, and give you dx10 too... i'm hoping to see a 200 dollar or less hd 2600 that'll smash the 8600's... like i said, hoping... i think release is july 1st... and about mid to end july you should be able to hit up a good card for cheap no matter which way you go... i hope...

so there's my 2 cents... lemme know how ya feel about that...
June 5, 2007 6:00:58 PM

Nacho if indeed the 2600 copes with DX10 acceptably then ATI would be actually the only ones with a complete DX10 solution in this generation, which would actually be pretty damn good. Only problem is it would have to so close to the 2900 to achieve this that it would effectively make the 2900 meaningless, bitter pill to swallow i'm sure for them. But heres hoping :) 
June 5, 2007 6:05:47 PM

Quote:
if indeed the 2600 copes with DX10 acceptably


meh, i doubt thats gonna happen.
June 5, 2007 6:08:25 PM

Actually what wuld solve all our woes is if China company started designing and making video cards. Lovely cheap cards for all, just may melt above room temperature and require a weird proprietry vga connector :) 

Though serious with DX 10 minimum capabilities requirement it is not outside the realms of possiblity for them to produce some sort of generic card with just bog standard speed bumps now and again. Though they'd probably be more interested in CPU's which i think they developed one of, can't remember the story so no link sorry :( 
June 5, 2007 6:25:02 PM

Quote:
Don't buy a graphics card to play tomorrow's games. Instead, buy a graphics card to play yesterday's games.[\quote] :wink:

As some of the poster's said, DX10 cards are not worth it since there are no DX10 games out.
June 5, 2007 6:54:20 PM

I must say I am happy that I am not in the market for a new PC or GPU right now. To be honest, unless you are building a complete, brand new system, I see no reason to purchase a DX10 card. The 8800's, like many have said, will not run any of the new DX10 games well. Generaly, all first gen cards like this won't, especially at the prices.

One of the main problems was AMD not getting their DX10 cards out of the door earlier. This gave Nvidia the upperhand and allowed them to control the pricing.

My 7800GT still runs almost every game at the highest settings with no problem.
June 5, 2007 7:31:56 PM

First of all, where's the proof that the 8800 cards won't run ANY DirectX 10 games very well? People are saying this like it's fact. And "generally, all first gen cards like this won't." Says who and with what facts behind it?

Besides that, AMD/ATI not getting its card out the door was not a "main problem" for me and many others. I had no problem buying the 8800GTX.

Finally, you can bet your bippy that if AMD had a similar performer to the 8800GTX, it would be right around the same price. They'd be stupid to price it too much lower.
June 5, 2007 7:51:26 PM

I think 8800's will be ok for dx10 even in 2008 when they start to arrive a bit more frequently, in 2007 it will be cyrsis which will show the serious amount of gpu processing power required, as long as they go to town on the DX10 which i assume they are doing why else would take so long :)  though its alot of work for a small demographic but tech is one of its usp

If they do go to town i'm sure u actually wont be running it on highest setting unless ur on Ultra or ATI's equivalent if such thing will exist :) 

Yes its all elobrate guess work and we wont no for absolute sure until the time but its always interesting trying to predict the future some people even make a living out of it like a professional gambler or something :) 
June 5, 2007 8:23:59 PM

Quote:
I'm a working stiff. I make enough to cover my bills and...


Oh for f*ck's sake. Someone call this guy a whambulance?
June 5, 2007 9:29:01 PM

Quote:
Quote:
Don't buy a graphics card to play tomorrow's games. Instead, buy a graphics card to play yesterday's games.[\quote] :wink:

As some of the poster's said, DX10 cards are not worth it since there are no DX10 games out.


I agree with that quote to an extent. Buy the hardware that suits your use.
June 5, 2007 9:36:02 PM

Quote:
I think 8800's will be ok for dx10 even in 2008 when they start to arrive a bit more frequently, in 2007 it will be cyrsis which will show the serious amount of gpu processing power required, as long as they go to town on the DX10 which i assume they are doing why else would take so long :)  though its alot of work for a small demographic but tech is one of its usp

If they do go to town i'm sure u actually wont be running it on highest setting unless ur on Ultra or ATI's equivalent if such thing will exist :) 

Yes its all elobrate guess work and we wont no for absolute sure until the time but its always interesting trying to predict the future some people even make a living out of it like a professional gambler or something :) 


I expect that an 8800GTS 320mb would run Crysis just fine in DX10, and probably do even better in 64-bit if they're including it. Being as the game is able to play in DX9 just fine but not on high settings, it can't be THAT taxing. It's also built on a great engine, and if the engine is anything like FarCry's...it should be quite smooth.
June 5, 2007 9:48:42 PM

Jonny for sure they would have to really go to town on the DX10 to cripple the 8800 GTS. But its taking them a while they have to be doing something :) 

The dx9 code will be sweet no matter what as well, and the 8800's will have no bother blazing through that if the worse did come to the worse.

At the end of the day i suppose it is the available hardware that is will limit what games are going to be able to do. I was going to mention about highly rich and dynamic environments made possible by DX10 but that hardware limitation has always been there dx10 or not.
June 5, 2007 10:27:34 PM

Right. I mean, has anyone considered the possibility that Crysis will run great on current DX 10 cards? Maybe DX 10 is a much more efficient code. The game engine the game is developed in is also a consideration. Some game engines are silky smooth while others are downright boggy no matter what kind of rig you have.
June 5, 2007 10:53:37 PM

I just hope they stick with pci-express 16 for a while longer and don't upgrade that too soon. I'm still stuck on AGP, lol.

It figures DDR2 prices become sane, and they start putting out ddr3 mobo's/memory (that doesn't really offer a performance upgrade worth the price diff atm imo)


It all comes down to, what do you want to invest $ wise, and what games do you want to play. Do you want to shell out $1000 every year to play the latest tech demo's, or do you want to pay ~$250 to play recent games that have had their bugs patched/features fleshed out.

Just happens to be a bad time for price comparisons between this year, and last, considering there is a new OS out, and to run DX10 you need to run your games on a hog of an OS in the first place.
June 6, 2007 12:03:00 AM

As someone who recently assembled a midrange system and spent weeks trying to resolve the same issue i have to say the OP is completely correct.

The $/performance ratio seems to have taken a dive with the most recent generation of cards. There is not, as someone said above, "a card for everyone" because there are no value cards. There are 'midrange' cards that happen to fall in between the high and low end but they do not qualify as value cards like the previous generations of midrange cards have for the longest time. The 8600s suck. The 7xxxs are getting old. The 8800s, while strong cards to be sure, simply aren't the bang-for-the-buck solution when your spending hundreds of dollars for the cheapest version. Theres a glimmer of hope for the 2600 but im not holding my breath.

To the OP i share your frustration.
June 6, 2007 2:05:01 AM

Maybe this is why people buy game consoles.... :lol: 
a b U Graphics card
June 6, 2007 9:16:43 AM

Sorry, I don't have time for a long post now, 8O yes it's me folks 8O , while I'd like to go into detail about the market, industry and economics, I'm gonna make it short and sweet because it's been a long day.

Stick with your X1900GT until the new DX10 games come out that you ABSOLUTELY MUST play OR until the Refresh cards come out in August/Sept. Those will have the benefits of lower power, revised architectures, and likely also push down the price of older options, all of which look to give you the balance you want.

But just a note, missing the sales on the GTS-320 and the opportunity to buy one, then resell and buy again is your big missed opportunity IMO. Sure it's not 'future proof' but little is, and the resale value will be pretty good, and then you can buy the next part of your future instead of hitching your future to just one option.

As always, just my two frames' worth.
June 6, 2007 10:02:17 AM

I would be so happy to have a 1900GT. I mean ifit works, use it! why the need to upgrade so soon? 1900GT probably gets good frame rates. Until its not playable, thats the time you will have the best upgrade performance.
June 6, 2007 12:14:11 PM

One major reason why we haven't seen a huge jum in performance over previous Gen is direct x10 , a lot of the power has been spent on the quality image and new effects, the next cards will focus once again on framerate.

I think 8800 GTS with a very good CPU E6600 and above are indeed futur proof for the lifespan of current consoles xbox360 and ps3, the minimum will be 4 years which is a long time.

Think about it , most Games are going multiplatform now, the 8800 GTS is a much powerful card than 360's and ps3's... you can rest assured that whatever run on the 360 will run on PC (that if programers are not idiots) with no problem, so for instance you will play Bioshock better than it looks or smoother than on 360 and that's really impressive...

Developers will release their games that will work on the hardware most available, they will not release a game that will only play VERY WELL on the latest Tech, that 8800 GTX will server for a very long time...

take Alan Wake, this game is impressive and 'im sure it will run quite outstandingly on a 8800 GTS... consider the ps3 and 360 as a true reference to all next games as most developers will aim to release their games on multiplatform. and that list of games is extremly long.

I think that people exagerate way too much by treating 8800 GTS as a card that will be outdated soon enough... that's absolutly not true in my opinion and the above are my arguments.
June 6, 2007 1:04:39 PM

You didn't want to buy a 8800GTS 320MB because you feared it would perform poorly in Direct X10, so instead you're using an X1900GT? :lol: 
June 6, 2007 1:33:43 PM

I think you are a little bit too worried. I believe the mid ranged price cards are a little bit missing, especially in the perspective of DX10 games that will be released. But still, we don't know how the now-available DX10 cards will perform in new games. I keep an optimistic view over things, and hope that prices go down.

and 150$ is a little bit cheap. We'll never see a good DX10 card in that price range, IMO.

I share your frustration but I think I'll have to open my pocket a little bit wider than 150$ to buy a decent DX10 card (even the hd2600 as some suggested).

And if I had the money, i'd buy a 8800 GTX. Maybe just for the pride of owning one :) )
a b U Graphics card
June 6, 2007 1:56:12 PM

I don't really think parts are that overpriced.
From what we paid 10-15 years for self builds, todays PC parts, including GPU's are priced pretty reasonable, except for maybe a few extreme top-end pieces.
When I see people complaining about prices, I wonder who and how old many of the complainers are? Have you bought a tank of gas lately, paid insurance or even own a vehicle? Bought groceries for a family of 4 for a week? Taken the family out to dinner or day at an amusement park lately? Take your boat to the lake with half a dozen friends, spend a good full day skiing and boating and see what that costs you, in gas alone!
I guarentee you I pay more for a night out on a regular basis than any single part in my PC cost, and a few times I have spent more than I have on my whole build.
Now I am not saying that these parts are cheap by any means, I just think that overall, for what you get today, most parts are pretty fairly priced.
June 6, 2007 2:20:26 PM

i'm sorely tempted to buy an 8800gts, but i'm sticking to my 7900gt till Crysis comes out. At that point i will buy the best card i can afford.

Hopefully we will have better dx10 offerings by that time in the $300 price range than now.
June 6, 2007 2:28:42 PM

Quote:
I guarentee you I pay more for a night out on a regular basis than any single part in my PC cost, and a few times I have spent more than I have on my whole build.


WOW
8O

Even a relatively low-end rig will cost $800.
You must have some truly fun nights out on the town. :lol: 
June 6, 2007 2:52:24 PM

Quote:
Jonny for sure they would have to really go to town on the DX10 to cripple the 8800 GTS. But its taking them a while they have to be doing something :) 

The dx9 code will be sweet no matter what as well, and the 8800's will have no bother blazing through that if the worse did come to the worse.

At the end of the day i suppose it is the available hardware that is will limit what games are going to be able to do. I was going to mention about highly rich and dynamic environments made possible by DX10 but that hardware limitation has always been there dx10 or not.


I think Crytek is a company that really wants to do things right. FarCry had a few bugs but nothing too major and they got it fixed. They made it work well on more than one platform too. With all the hype and new learning of coding required, and all the different hardware setups that people have now, they're taking their time in getting it to work as they should. This has to be a tougher project for them than FarCry was. I expect this game will sell even more copies than FarCry did, especially now that they have a good sized following/fanbase. It's one of the first DX10 games and I think they really want to show what their engine is capable of and do it right.
June 6, 2007 3:54:18 PM

Quote:
Jonny for sure they would have to really go to town on the DX10 to cripple the 8800 GTS. But its taking them a while they have to be doing something :) 

The dx9 code will be sweet no matter what as well, and the 8800's will have no bother blazing through that if the worse did come to the worse.

At the end of the day i suppose it is the available hardware that is will limit what games are going to be able to do. I was going to mention about highly rich and dynamic environments made possible by DX10 but that hardware limitation has always been there dx10 or not.


I think Crytek is a company that really wants to do things right. FarCry had a few bugs but nothing too major and they got it fixed. They made it work well on more than one platform too. With all the hype and new learning of coding required, and all the different hardware setups that people have now, they're taking their time in getting it to work as they should. This has to be a tougher project for them than FarCry was. I expect this game will sell even more copies than FarCry did, especially now that they have a good sized following/fanbase. It's one of the first DX10 games and I think they really want to show what their engine is capable of and do it right.

I agree, Farcry was a great game for it's time, and I hope that Crytek does take their time and get it right. I think Crysis is my most anticipated game right now(followed closely by spore).

Just to verify, does someone knowledgable know if Crysis will be fully DX10 or mostly DX9 with some DX10 features(like CoJ)? I had heard fully DX10, but I have also learned not to trust marketing :lol: 
June 6, 2007 3:57:06 PM

Quote:
Jonny for sure they would have to really go to town on the DX10 to cripple the 8800 GTS. But its taking them a while they have to be doing something :) 

The dx9 code will be sweet no matter what as well, and the 8800's will have no bother blazing through that if the worse did come to the worse.

At the end of the day i suppose it is the available hardware that is will limit what games are going to be able to do. I was going to mention about highly rich and dynamic environments made possible by DX10 but that hardware limitation has always been there dx10 or not.


I think Crytek is a company that really wants to do things right. FarCry had a few bugs but nothing too major and they got it fixed. They made it work well on more than one platform too. With all the hype and new learning of coding required, and all the different hardware setups that people have now, they're taking their time in getting it to work as they should. This has to be a tougher project for them than FarCry was. I expect this game will sell even more copies than FarCry did, especially now that they have a good sized following/fanbase. It's one of the first DX10 games and I think they really want to show what their engine is capable of and do it right.

I agree, Farcry was a great game for it's time, and I hope that Crytek does take their time and get it right. I think Crysis is my most anticipated game right now(followed closely by spore).

Just to verify, does someone knowledgable know if Crysis will be fully DX10 or mostly DX9 with some DX10 features(like CoJ)? I had heard fully DX10, but I have also learned not to trust marketing :lol: 

As a marketing guy, I resemble that remark. :lol: 
June 6, 2007 4:12:32 PM

Quote:

the problem is that for most home computer components, we're used to performance going up while prices come down (e.g. in 1992, 520MB of disk space would have cost around £1000, by 1995 it was £179, and today it's less than £1 per GB).


This is the most important factor. It's great having cards that are more powerful with more features but the cost should be decreasing not increasing. Paying £500 for a graphics card is insane just to play a game that costs £30. That is not progress. They need to design ways of making manufacturing cheaper if it really costs that much to make these cards (which I doubt). Now that would be progress.
June 6, 2007 4:14:21 PM

To answer 2 points raised:

1. DX10 games aren't out but are coming in the next month or two so to buy DX9 if you want DX10 would be a false economy, better waiting but see also below:

2. Beware DX10.1!!! I still have a 6800gt sat in my pc because I knew the 8800GTX was coming. I was just waiting for the last moment to buy before Crysis was released when DX10.1 was announced for possibly the end of the year. As DX10.1's features won't work on DX10 cards, it measn waiting again unless you want your shiny new piece of hardware obsoleted within months. We' re not talking obsoletion on performance here but features and rendering quality as DX10.1 requires new architectural features in the GPU chip to work its magic.
!