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HD 2600 & GeForce 8600: Where's the Mid-Range?

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July 24, 2007 11:07:12 AM

http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/07/24/hd_2600_and_geforce_8600/

Is there hope for those looking for performance on the cheap? We take a look at the state of the graphics market in light of the release of ATI's latest cards.
a b U Graphics card
July 24, 2007 11:46:18 AM

This is a great article, one that had to be written. As Ive been reading the forums, Ive noticed alot of newer people coming in with alot of questions regaurding the "new" DX10 cards, but like alot of us, they dont have a ton of cash to spend. Some are downright newb, and dont really know what to expect. This statement here
Quote:
We thought there would be more DX10 content available at this point of the year but this is not so. All games going forward next year will most likely be DX10, so these should be able to play games like the next The Sims or children's educational programs, but in no way will they be able to handle graphically intense titles.
helps. People have to realize that "DX10" as we WILL come to know it just doesnt exist, and the midrange cards that are out couldnt play them anyways. Many here have tried to discourage many potential buyers, all of them wanting the "new" DX10 cards in their price range, problem is, there really isnt any. OK, not good solid useable cards. We refer them to last generations uppermid-lowerhighend cards (1900pro-1900xt-7950 etc) because actually, they outperform most of these "midrange DX10" cards, and are priced better, that and there being no real DX10 games out makes for a confusing time. Articles like this will help clear a little of this up, thx for the read
a b U Graphics card
July 24, 2007 1:10:32 PM

Almost every day I post on the forum advising someone not to buy one of these cards simply because they are DX10 and cheaper than their high-end brothers. Just a couple of days ago was the guy bragging about getting a new 8600 to "future proof" his system. These people are going to sadly disappointed if they plan to do any gaming with these cards when DX10 becomes mainstream. These cards simply won't do it.
I doubt even the high end DX10 cards will be all that hot when DX10 does finally become mainstream. I would only buy one of the highend cards (8800-2900) right now simply because they are the fastest current solution for DX9, not DX10. Right now there is no reason to buy a card based on whether or not it will run DX10!
Thanks for the article, maybe more people will get the inside scoop on this pitifully poor excuse for a video card(s)
I was out a local shops and retail stores last weekend checking prices, and these things are just flying off the shelf left and right at $200-$300! People. Stop! You are simply tossing money in the garbage.
Related resources
July 24, 2007 1:10:36 PM

WHERE IS THE TEST SETUP????????????
July 24, 2007 3:06:24 PM

You can never get good performance cheap, what do you want, a miracle?

2600xt does well for its price range. And soon the 2600xt gemini will come out to meet the 8600gts in mid range.
July 24, 2007 3:22:12 PM

The title is a good name. I was waiting for the article.
However, I did notice the 8600GTS beat the 1950Pro sometimes. This surprised me.
Jay is right, the x1950XT / 7950 GT is the current mid-range (since real DX10 doesn't exist yet anyway)
I'm still hoping for a 2600XTX and a 8600GTX with double the streams and pipes. But buy then, I'll be upgrading my midrange card to a true DX10 card anyway.
July 24, 2007 3:56:39 PM

I really like that article and I am looking forward to the PureVideo and AVIVO one. I would love to build an HTPC soon and my x1950Pro is not avivo capable. Kudos on the article, it was a good read.
July 24, 2007 4:17:30 PM

As far as I could read it, the Xbox 360 won.
a b U Graphics card
July 24, 2007 4:18:25 PM

DPolkowski said:

Is there hope for those looking for performance on the cheap?


Looks like this once again confirms that the answer is no.

It looks like nVidia took a page out of ATi's X1600 playbook, and AMD didn't learn from Ati's blunder with the X1600.

The thing is I'm not sure whether the same pressure will be on for either company to come out with something better like the rumoured/half-confirmed GF8800GS/HD2900Pro models if there isn't the kind of clear leader must-have card like there was with the GF7600GT. There's nothing to push the other company to make something like an X1800GTO/X1900GT. I'm sure that eventually they will both make a 65nm or 55nm refresh to replace the GTS-320 sales point because it would be cheaper to produce; but without anything pushing them forward and the only competition being who can clear the factory of their old stock of X1950s and GF7950s first, I'm not optimistic about there being attractive mid-range cards that come in under $200. The GTS-320 is the clear value winner of the new crop, and the cast offs from last generation are the overall value winners, so we're kind of adrift in a sea of mediocrity.

Now more than ever it'd be nice to have some competition for the mid-range. I thought it'd be bad because the others would take profits away from ATi/AMD and nV which they need to develop the hig-end, but if this is their way to defend the mid-range, they deserve someone like S3 coming in and stealing their lunch. Too bad that's more of a wish than a reality.
a b U Graphics card
July 24, 2007 4:31:53 PM

joex444 said:
As far as I could read it, the Xbox 360 won.


Until you factor in having to buy 3-4 of them over the same time period.
It fell in to a burning ring of fire.... :lol: 
July 24, 2007 6:10:37 PM

enewmen said:
The title is a good name. I was waiting for the article.
However, I did notice the 8600GTS beat the 1950Pro sometimes. This surprised me.
Jay is right, the x1950XT / 7950 GT is the current mid-range (since real DX10 doesn't exist yet anyway)
I'm still hoping for a 2600XTX and a 8600GTX with double the streams and pipes. But buy then, I'll be upgrading my midrange card to a true DX10 card anyway.


I'm curious, why is it surprising that the 8600GTS would be able to beat the 1950Pro in some benchmarks? I don't really know a lot about graphics cards other than what I read, but it seems to me like a newer, more expensive card should be able to beat an older card MOST of the time.
July 24, 2007 6:20:08 PM

JAYDEEJOHN said:
This is a great article, one that had to be written. As Ive been reading the forums, Ive noticed alot of newer people coming in with alot of questions regaurding the "new" DX10 cards, but like alot of us, they dont have a ton of cash to spend. Some are downright newb, and dont really know what to expect. This statement here
Quote:
We thought there would be more DX10 content available at this point of the year but this is not so. All games going forward next year will most likely be DX10, so these should be able to play games like the next The Sims or children's educational programs, but in no way will they be able to handle graphically intense titles.
helps. People have to realize that "DX10" as we WILL come to know it just doesnt exist, and the midrange cards that are out couldnt play them anyways. Many here have tried to discourage many potential buyers, all of them wanting the "new" DX10 cards in their price range, problem is, there really isnt any. OK, not good solid useable cards. We refer them to last generations uppermid-lowerhighend cards (1900pro-1900xt-7950 etc) because actually, they outperform most of these "midrange DX10" cards, and are priced better, that and there being no real DX10 games out makes for a confusing time. Articles like this will help clear a little of this up, thx for the read



Very good points. A lot of people don't know and are not informed consumers. I think this happens every generation when a new gen video card is released with some new gizmo thingamabob and everyone wants it or thinks they have to have it. Look at Tom's current VGA charts. The X800 and the 6800 cards still perform well.
July 24, 2007 7:02:56 PM

fantastapotamus said:
I'm curious, why is it surprising that the 8600GTS would be able to beat the 1950Pro in some benchmarks? I don't really know a lot about graphics cards other than what I read, but it seems to me like a newer, more expensive card should be able to beat an older card MOST of the time.

This is the point of the article. The new mid-range cards are weaker than mid-range cards of previous generations.
So, the 1950Pro is a previous generation low 'high end' card when the 8600GTS is a new generation middle class card.
The 1950Pro has 36 shaders and a 256bit bus while the 8600GTS has 32 shaders and a 128bit bus. There are some other factors, but this is the basic idea.
Normally the new mid-range cards outperform the previous high-end cards.
This year things are different.
July 24, 2007 7:57:52 PM

Good article. It echos my thoughts since the 8400/8500/8600's came out. Where's the 8700??

That's what we really need - something with ~64 stream processors, 256bit memory interface, 512mb memory (or even 320mb.. or even 256mb, as long as the interface is 256bit), ~12-16 ROPS, etc. That's the card that should be priced just under the 8800 320mb GTS. The 8600 can take a price drop for it's level of performance.

I'm pretty disappointed in nVidia (and ATI both) for this round of cards. I'll stick with my 7900GS until prices of 8800's come way down or they come out with something more interesting than the low end cards they have out now.
July 24, 2007 8:01:05 PM

All hope is not lost. ATI/AMD has a 2800 version coming out later this year. It should be the real mid-range we have all been missing. I am not sure what the Green camp has in store except for a refresh of G80. It will be next year until G90 is due out. R700 is also slated for some time soon. Not sure on the exact when but this should help move R600 into a better price point as well as X1950 variants.

This past year and a half has been strange compared to the last few. I mean look back at Voodoo 3. There were 3 cards to suit three price points and not a ton of difference between Voodoo 3 3000 and 3500. Even Ti 4200 4400 and 4600 were not so different either. I question why engineering, PR, and marketing don't get together more often to give a strong showing for their greatest fans. Granted, 2400 and 2600 as well as 8400/8500/8600 should do well with OEMs and make some money for the companies with volume, but what about US... the people that tell other people what to buy? If we don't have something worthwhile for ourselves, what can we tell the people with $$$ to spend and need a new card? Hmmm... (**Scratches head)

Perhaps it would make sense for these two companies to build the high end followed by a midrange and below. The extreme segment (for those with unlimited means) can have the latest and greatest followed by cards for those that want good quality and performance at a lower price. Then they can announce value and entry level cards with the mid-range. All 4 segments would have been happy instead of only having 3 of the 4 and angering the segment that cares the most.

Well... time will tell. We can only hope that these companies will remember launches of 9700 and 9500 together and then 9800 and 9600. Ahhhh.... those were the days.
July 24, 2007 8:14:26 PM

"We can only hope that these companies will remember launches of 9700 and 9500 together and then 9800 and 9600. Ahhhh.... those were the days."

I remember that time...Those were the days when socket A had been around for years, and a good Barton stepping could be had for $60.00. Overclocking was a hobby that CPU vendors discouraged instead of selling specific steppings to Dell for a special 'overclocked PC'...*sigh*

My first video card was a VOODOO 5500. 4 GPU's on one titanic pcb. I had to open up case and set a floor fan blowing on it to prevent the computer from crashing during Unreal Tournament LAN parties. Now THAT was a video card...or at least an example of ambitious engineering.
July 24, 2007 10:26:59 PM

Again there is the suggestion here that since the 2400 is no good for gaming it should be used for HTPC. But ALL published HQV testing proves otherwise. The crippled shaders prevent it from doing any video postprocessing, like noise reduction.

The 2400 is completely INAPPROPRIATE for HTPC use. Sadly, there are no 2600 product bundles (2600pro with HDMI dongle) for HTPC either.

So HTPCs are stuck with noisy, hot 2600XTs that are overkill for HTPC and useless for gaming.
a b U Graphics card
July 24, 2007 11:07:55 PM

bum_jcrules said:
All hope is not lost. ATI/AMD has a 2800 version coming out later this year.


Yeah it just sucks for people having to wait for that (or like me having to wait for more new mobility parts to appear, announced about 2 months ago, lets get some more product variety out there guys).

Quote:
Granted, 2400 and 2600 as well as 8400/8500/8600 should do well with OEMs and make some money for the companies with volume, but what about US... the people that tell other people what to buy? If we don't have something worthwhile for ourselves, what can we tell the people with $$$ to spend and need a new card? Hmmm... (**Scratches head)


This is exactly it, the OEMs love it, and they are of course cheaper to make than the equivalent cards, and often the cards they are replacing. And then these cards are backed up by the results of the #1 OEM marketing tool 3Dmark (where the new cards look awesome). This is definitely not an enthusiast card like the GF4200, R9500, R9600, GF6600/X700, GF7600 all of which made you feel like it was a worthy part for a mid-range gamer.
Sure I have recommended the GF8600GTS, but that's for people living in countries that do not have the X1950Pro/GF7900GS/X1950XT priced similarly. For most people in N.Am. there is little to no value in a GF8600GTS compared to a cheaper X1950/GF7900. And then I just feel bad for the people in other countries with no options.

Quote:
All 4 segments would have been happy instead of only having 3 of the 4 and angering the segment that cares the most.


And ain't that the truth, the biggest sweet spot market is the this mid-range segment that pay a bit of a premium over the low end, and sells in quantities that rival or exceed the low end. So the majority of both companies profits lie in this area, it's surprising that both would've brought parts like this to market that could easily have been destroyed by the competition if it had continued on a 'as good as the previous gen's high end' while they had not. Luck for each separately that the other company didn't bring out the part we all want or else they would be in serious trouble.

Quote:
Well... time will tell. We can only hope that these companies will remember launches of 9700 and 9500 together and then 9800 and 9600. Ahhhh.... those were the days.


Yeah, the R9500Pro reminds me of the GTS-320 a bit, in that nV is selling a crippled hig end part to satisfy the upper mid-range. I'm surprised that nV hasn't worked harder to replace it, in the same fashion ATi did, with something that's cheaper to make and fills a similar gap. Seems to me their margins would be much better with a 65nm part @ 400+ million transistors, rather than cripplign their 700million (including NVIO) transistor part.

And really the performance gap between the GF8600GTS and the GF8600GTS, wow, it's bigger than the one that was between XGI and ATi/nV. :lol: 
July 24, 2007 11:40:59 PM

TSIMonster said:
I really like that article and I am looking forward to the PureVideo and AVIVO one. I would love to build an HTPC soon and my x1950Pro is not avivo capable. Kudos on the article, it was a good read.


Not AVIVO capable? You have got to be kidding, as I know of *no* X1K-series card that lacks AVIVO support (while there are few X1K-series cards that support video-in, that has nothing to do with AVIVO, or even HD/video-out for that matter, as even the X1650 Pro in AGP supports that).

One thing I am doing nowadays, due to the PSU issues that still plague both the X1950-based cards (and the GeForce 76xx/78xx/79xx series, for that matter) is recommending last generation's midrange cards (ATI's X1650 Pro and XT, especially in AGP, in particular). Cards like the X1950 Pro and XT (and their nV counterparts) often require much beefier PSUs due to their current demands. The X1650 Pro (and X1650XT, especially in AGP trim) have the following to recommend it, especially if you are replacing an ATI R3xx/RV3xx-series card described in the review:

1. It requires no more power than the card it will replace. (Yes, they do require a four-pin PATA-style Molex; however, so did most of the R3xx/RV3xx cards). The X1650 Pro from ATI (typical of the breed), despite it's outsize 512 MB of onboard GDDR2, only requires a 350W PSU (same as the AIW 9700 Pro it replaced (which only had 128 MB of GDDR)).

2. No real compatibility woes. Again, compared to even X1950 Pro and the GeForce 7-series, there are far fewer hardware-compatibility issues between the X1650 Pro/XT and older motherboards (this is primarily due to the friendlier PSU requirements). On the *software* side, if you are replacing an ATI R3xx or later GPU, you don't even have driver replacement to concern you, as thanks to the unified driver architecture, it's simply a matter of re-detection. (This applies equally to Windows XP or Windows Vista.)

3. Value pricing. The X1650 Pro, in the 512 MB AGP configuration, has an SRP of $209, and is typically priced under $200, even retail. (I bought mine retail and paid $174, including tax.)

July 25, 2007 12:00:41 AM

enewmen said:
This is the point of the article. The new mid-range cards are weaker than mid-range cards of previous generations.
So, the 1950Pro is a previous generation low 'high end' card when the 8600GTS is a new generation middle class card.
The 1950Pro has 36 shaders and a 256bit bus while the 8600GTS has 32 shaders and a 128bit bus. There are some other factors, but this is the basic idea.
Normally the new mid-range cards outperform the previous high-end cards.
This year things are different.


Also, the actual pricing that normally defines the midrange is seriously skewed. The X1950 Pro and XT (along with the GeForce 79xx series) that defined last generation's high end are *still* largely around $300USD. Worse, they are just as power-hungry as their newer counterparts (making them a bad choice for midrange computer duty, and a *worse* choice for an HTPC). What is in the pricing midrange today (around $200-250USD)? The refreshes of these cards (ATI's X1650 Pro and XT, and the GeForce 76xx and 78xx series, especially in AGP), often with outsize 512 MB GDDR2 RAM configurations (which are far more usable today than they were when they originally debuted).

Some of ATI's AIBs (notably HIS, but also Diamond Multimedia and VisionTek) are taking notice and are even releasing the X1950 Pro and X1950XT in 512 MB AGP trim; however, unlike the X1650Pro, the X1950-series GPU is far more of a power pig than that of the X1650, even overclocked.
a b U Graphics card
July 25, 2007 12:26:12 AM

PGHammer said:
Also, the actual pricing that normally defines the midrange is seriously skewed. The X1950 Pro and XT (along with the GeForce 79xx series) that defined last generation's high end are *still* largely around $300USD.


Actually you can get an X1950Pro for under $150 (even under $120), GF7900GS for the same, GF7950GT for under $200, and X1950Xt for under $200 (under $150 after rebate)

So the GF8600GTS launched into a black hole of price/performance at above these cards that hasn't improved really, and also didn't change for the equally weak HD2600 (which instead is priced to target the GF7600GT/X1650Pro/XT).

When the X1600Pro and GF7600GT were launched, they were cheaper than the GF6800GT and X800XT so their relative performance wasn't as big an issue. The X1600Pro has to contend with the GF6800GS, but the GF7600GT was clear.

Now there's little chance of arguing price/performance benefits of a GF8600GTS versus those lower priced cards above.

Outside the US it's a much different picture, but anyone with access to NewEgg, Pricewatch, etc. has little reason to spend more money for less performance.
a b U Graphics card
July 25, 2007 12:29:19 AM

Too bad we still don't have any DX10 benchmarking software.
a b U Graphics card
July 25, 2007 2:16:26 AM

A 1950pro for $300? I can drive 15 minutes to nearly any local shop and pick up and ATI X1950Pro for $170-$219. The very same stores are selling the 8600 cards for $199 to $329! And people were buying them! I was out checking prices just last Saturday as I was hoping to find a X1950pro for less than $150 to toss in my rig and run crossfire for the heck of it, but none quite that cheap yet at the local stores. Microcenter had them on sale for $149 a few weeks back- should have grabbed one then.
July 25, 2007 2:33:23 AM

PGHammer said:
Also, the actual pricing that normally defines the midrange is seriously skewed. The X1950 Pro and XT (along with the GeForce 79xx series) that defined last generation's high end are *still* largely around $300USD. Worse, they are just as power-hungry as their newer counterparts (making them a bad choice for midrange computer duty, and a *worse* choice for an HTPC). What is in the pricing midrange today (around $200-250USD)? The refreshes of these cards (ATI's X1650 Pro and XT, and the GeForce 76xx and 78xx series, especially in AGP), often with outsize 512 MB GDDR2 RAM configurations (which are far more usable today than they were when they originally debuted).

Some of ATI's AIBs (notably HIS, but also Diamond Multimedia and VisionTek) are taking notice and are even releasing the X1950 Pro and X1950XT in 512 MB AGP trim; however, unlike the X1650Pro, the X1950-series GPU is far more of a power pig than that of the X1650, even overclocked.

I got my X1950 XT for less than $190 HERE:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I can assure you the X1950XT will blow any 8600 or 2600 out of the water in terms of FPS.
Also, the 1950 uses one pin PCI plug. So yes, it also uses more power. (but still a lot less than the 8800GTX for exampe)
As for a AGP X1950XT ?? I can't see it working. Even if the card works, too many other bottlenecks
I'm personally waiting for 8800GTX SLI unEarthly performance in one low energy card.

July 25, 2007 2:35:32 AM

joex444 said:
As far as I could read it, the Xbox 360 won.


console fans, please go back to your crap and poor quality hardware, crap online service, and games that cost more. oh dont cry that a 7600gt beats a 360 on prey

anyways i reserve judgement till i see these things run crysis, all these dx10 patched games are crap sure some look a lot better then their dx9 counterparts, but theres no performance benefit wich is a major part of dx10

ape, the mid range cards need to be good and theres no other option for bs, even if they release low-high end cards that dosnt mean anything, the x1650s and 7600gts were gd, and amd did pull their heads from their asses to replace the x16 even if it was late, lets hope they realize this bs isnt going to go down, but again lik i said, i reserve judgement till native dx10 games come out
July 25, 2007 3:00:38 AM

Hatman said:
You can never get good performance cheap, what do you want, a miracle?

2600xt does well for its price range. And soon the 2600xt gemini will come out to meet the 8600gts in mid range.


I recently (by that I mean 2 hours ago) purchased an X1950XT from Newegg for 180.00$. How can this card possibly compete with that card at a higher price? The article is right: midrange is pathetic these days! 128 BIT MEMORY BANDWITH??!?! HAVEN'T WE GOTTEN PAST THAT YET!!?! Sorry but they are a HUGE dissappointment to me, because I was looking to replace the old X850XTPE with a nice 8600. Sigh...
-cm
July 25, 2007 3:04:12 AM

running 8800gts, i never use mid range cards anyways, but i got it release.

u were running high end before i say dont switch to a mid range by any means, fact is if these cards as of now are ok and i mean they do beat the old mid range cards although it shoudl relaly be beating the high end of last gen. im in canada and the 2600xts can be had for 125, if they are really bad for native dx10, nvidia and amd will surely update or turn around. im pretty sure these will still be able to handle games lik crysis with decent settings 1280x1024
July 25, 2007 4:18:43 AM

Interesting article, but in your comparison chart:

GeForce 8800 GTX GeForce 8800 GTS GeForce 8600 GTS GeForce 8600 GT
768 MB 640 MB 256 MB 256 MB

You left out the GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB, perhaps the closest thing to a midrange card in this group. Could you please update the specs to include this card?

BTW, I'd really like to see you start including 3D rendering apps in your benchmarks. How a video card performs in Mojoworld or Lightwave or Maya can be just as important as how it performs in a game.
a b U Graphics card
July 25, 2007 5:06:46 AM

ryokinshin said:
im in canada and the 2600xts can be had for 125, if they are really bad for native dx10, nvidia and amd will surely update or turn around. im pretty sure these will still be able to handle games lik crysis with decent settings 1280x1024


I'm certain both AMD and nV are thinking of refreshes, but we'll likely not see them until back to school or later. The fact that they tied each other in suckiness means no one is pushing them until maybe S3 enters the market in the fall, but I doubt they'll be much better than the current offerings and I would suspect them to be competing against the HD2400 and GF8400.

I'm not sure if the GF8600GTS and HD2600XT will do well in Crysis. The early review with the GF8700M-GT (which is between a GF8600GT and GF8600GTS in specs) seemed to only run at low res (800x600) and with setting kinda medium (low depth of field, no AA, mediumish textures) and they mentioned stuttering in the review. I suspect the desktop versions to be not much better, and I doubt they'll be running at 1280x1024 except on lower settings. Medium I suspect will be for 1024x768 or maybe less, but that's just a guess, and only the shipping product will give us the final verdict on these cards.
a b U Graphics card
July 25, 2007 6:57:49 AM

Oh boy, does oblivion not like the nvidia cards or what?
a b U Graphics card
July 25, 2007 7:33:37 AM

Ill throw in some speculation here (who me?) What Im seeing is a reluctance in many avenues because of DX10, Vista, PCIe2 etc. Also, we have a new contender on the horizon in larrabee (Intel) as well as S3. If there isnt DX10, and theyre selling overpriced/underperforming cards, doesnt that leave a wedge/door for, as Ape said, S3, and even for Larrabee? To me this is foolish marketing, letting the giant in the door. Both ATI/AMD and nVidia dont have as much time as theyd like to think, being as the competition will be heating up next year. Theyd better take care of their consumers now BEFORE this happens My 2 shekels
July 25, 2007 9:45:43 AM

Spanki said:
Good article. It echos my thoughts since the 8400/8500/8600's came out. Where's the 8700??

That's what we really need - something with ~64 stream processors, 256bit memory interface, 512mb memory (or even 320mb.. or even 256mb, as long as the interface is 256bit), ~12-16 ROPS, etc. That's the card that should be priced just under the 8800 320mb GTS. The 8600 can take a price drop for it's level of performance...


Whoops.. I didn't realize that nVidia had already announced/created an 8700(M). Apparently it's a mobile (laptop) part. I don't really care what they call it (8700, 8800GS, whatever), but they have a huge hole to fill in thier desktop lineup between the 8600GTS and 8800 GTS 320mb. If they come out with the successor to the 8800 (at current 8800 pricing) and drop the 8800's down a tier in price, that would work too ;) .
a b U Graphics card
July 25, 2007 4:30:32 PM

Just FYI, the GF8700M-GT is actually between the GF8600GT and GTS in performance, so unfortunately it's not as good as we hoped (and WTF is the GF8800M going to be that it might draw 22W? :heink:  ).

The card I think you're thinking of to fill the gap is the one that was originally touted as the GF8600Ultra, then the GF8800GS, and now is in limbo for a name (likely won't be either since nV denied the existance of both at some point). It's commonly known know as the 65nm GF8800GS, which is supposed to battle the also rumoured HD2900Pro (which is now rumoured to be 55nm). Main problem with just dropping the GTs into the segment is it's still a 700million transistor part whose role could be replaced by a ~450-500 million transistor part on a smaller process. Like the R9500Pro, I think it makes sense for nV to move to something like that baring and issue with the process (like leakage) that would compromise yields.

Sounds like Darren knows more about them than he can say, all I hope is that they arrive before Crysis for some people or they may feel tempted to pull the trigger on a bad GF8600/HD2600 decision.
July 25, 2007 5:50:55 PM

PGHammer said:
Not AVIVO capable? You have got to be kidding, as I know of *no* X1K-series card that lacks AVIVO support (while there are few X1K-series cards that support video-in, that has nothing to do with AVIVO, or even HD/video-out for that matter, as even the X1650 Pro in AGP supports that).

Well it doesn't have video-in then. Dang, I think you knew what I meant. Its the EAX1950Pro from ASUS. Heck of a card, but no video in. Google it.
That aside, the EAX1950PRO features two HDCP capable dual-link DVI connectors, and video out capabilities (meaning no video input here).

http://www.elitebastards.com/cms/index.php?option=com_content&am p;am p;task=view&id=187&Itemid=27&limit=1&limitstart=1
a b U Graphics card
July 25, 2007 6:22:20 PM

TSIMonster said:
Well it doesn't have video-in then. Dang, I think you knew what I meant. Its the EAX1950Pro from ASUS. Heck of a card, but no video in. Google it.


Well he did suspect what you were thinking, but what you said was different. But whatever...

Quote:
That aside, the EAX1950PRO features two HDCP capable dual-link DVI connectors, and video out capabilities (meaning no video input here).


Funny thing about that segment, from it you'd suspect that the X1950 was capable of Dual-Link HDCP support, while in fact it's got Dual Link support on each DVI output, and separately each of which supports single link HDCP. The HD2K and GF86000/8500/8400/8300 (not Gf8800) series added Dual-link HDCP support.

So the X1K & GF7 cards with HDCP support can view protected content up to 1600x1200-1920x1200 (depend on blanking & refresh requirements), while the HD2K and newer GF8 series cards can go up to their blanking limits of dual link around 25x16@60hz.

Anywhoo, not a big deal, but still worth making sure people know the correct info for both issues.
July 25, 2007 6:28:19 PM

toms butchered my link, but oh well, you get the idea. MY mistake on saying AVIVO, truth is, I didn't know

I naively thought VIVO was Video In Video Out..... my bad
a b U Graphics card
July 25, 2007 6:45:45 PM

Just FYI, for long links you need to return to the old school of the URL tags. Using [ instead of the < I use for illustration here, put the <url></url> tags around your link and it won't get garbled when word-wraped.
a b U Graphics card
July 26, 2007 2:57:33 AM

AARRGGHHH said:
Interesting article, but in your comparison chart:
BTW, I'd really like to see you start including 3D rendering apps in your benchmarks. How a video card performs in Mojoworld or Lightwave or Maya can be just as important as how it performs in a game.


From what I've read before, as of today 3D Rendering apps utilize the vid card only to display the objects while modeling. When you're about to render/save what you've done, ONLY the processor is used. That's why the 3DSMax encoding is included only in the CPU Charts and not in the VGA charts. With CAD applications you get a pretty different picture, as in AutoCAD's own website, it doesn't recommend consumer video cards to be used as they have lacking features that AutoCAD uses.
a b U Graphics card
July 26, 2007 2:58:46 AM

Until they get a true,low power, midrange card, and all of the bugs out of DX10, I am out. It seems what they are really trying to do is push everybody to consoles.

We shouldn't have low power, dual core, 45nm GPUs by now. Hello, Intel, how about a discreet graphics card?
July 26, 2007 3:56:02 AM

Darren Polkowski wrote: "As for those of you who are still in a holding pattern: you need to dive in soon." What a load of bollocks! Those of us in a holding pattern should wait and get DX10 hardware that can actually handle DX10 Games that have been written to take FULL advantage of DX10 and not WASTE money now! I am quite happy gaming in DX9 for the moment with my x1950pro which holds it's own at 1280 x 1024 (note: real world resolution) with 4x aa in my fave games! So Whilst I have a (free) copy of Vista Home Premium I still Game on XP as Vista has some issues (such as having to diasable 1 core to get 3d to work!) with 3d that are yet to be resolved!
July 26, 2007 5:23:24 AM

amnotanoobie said:
From what I've read before, as of today 3D Rendering apps utilize the vid card only to display the objects while modeling. When you're about to render/save what you've done, ONLY the processor is used. That's why the 3DSMax encoding is included only in the CPU Charts and not in the VGA charts. With CAD applications you get a pretty different picture, as in AutoCAD's own website, it doesn't recommend consumer video cards to be used as they have lacking features that AutoCAD uses.


We all know that 3ds max and other 3d modeling software uses cpu power to render the final image. But viewport speed is realy important too. From what I have seen the professional cards like the quadro and firegl dont accelerate 3ds max that much and I would like to know as I am sure a LOT of people would like to know how specific cards work in 3d apps. There are a lot of people asking whether to buy a quadro card or a geforce for specific app and trust me this is really a valid question.
July 26, 2007 8:34:24 PM

Soon as in when the next cards come out... that will be in 1-3 months. That is soon for most people saving for a graphics card.

I think that DX9 cards is still where the price is best. The performance on these current "new" cards is less than stellar but there are new cards comming soon.

5 more months and we are in a new year. Then we can say hello to Intel as they enter the graphics market.
July 30, 2007 4:42:34 PM

Great article. My brother and cousin typically aim for the $100 video card since they play a lot more console games than PC games. I tend to play a few more PC titles so I got myself a Geforce 7900GS a while ago, and this article fits our segment well. All of us right now are pretty satisfied with our video cards for the moment. Of course we would love having 8800GTS cards, but there's other aspects of our PCs that could use upgrading before the graphics cards.

I saw that the 8600 video card got released a little after I bought the 7900GS, and to me it's not worth it to get an 8600. Now, if NVidia makes an 8700 card that's well-priced, and the games on my old 1024x768 LCD monitor start slowing down significantly, I'll want it for sure. For now, I haven't run into that one game that I can't play at a decent setting.
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