I have a couple of questions that I hope people can answer for me as I am upgrading soon and just want to make the best decision as possible. First to give everyone a frame of reference my pc specs:
FX-60 @ stock
250 gig HD
2 gig ram
17"in Samsung LCD monitor
6800 GS PCI-e @ stock
Rosewill 550W PSU with 36 amps on 12volt rail.
1. How much of a difference will I see in picture quality will I see between a 128 bit and 256 bit card if the two have similar speeds and ram? Same question in regards to 256 and 320 bit.
2. Taking into consideration some older games, whose drivers will more often than not play older games (as example Medal of Honor Allied Assualt.) ATI used to have problems with some older games in the past, heard that was fixed but can't confirm that.
3. In the past and through the 1950 series vs 79xx series the ATI cards were considered to have a better picture quality due to better shaders. Comparing the shaders now are the 88xx shaders as good or better than the previous and current ATI or will I not notice any difference?
4. How does both ATI and Nvidia HDR/FSAA compare to each other in terms of picture quality when enabled at same settings?
5. Is there any real difference between the 1900 vs the 1950 when it comes to graphic quality when comparing the equavilant card ie..xt to xt and xtx to xtx? I know the 1900's are slightly slower but not by a large margin so will I notice or is there any difference?
6. Does having more vram even if it is the same card increase your GPU memory bandwith or will it be the same? ie... 256mb 7950 GT to 512mb 7950 GT.
7. Lastly unless I can think of some more questions (will probably happen) this is more for advice. This is my list of games that I play, all at 1280x1024 if the resolution is offered.
Medal of Honor AA, SH, PA
Brothers in Arms Earned in Blood
In the future Brothers in Arms Hells Highway
I already know that my 6800GS will struggle with Hell's Highway as I have demo'd another game using the same engine, Unreal Engine 3, it works but at lower settings and still struggles at times. Since I am not looking at getting any game that needs DX10 the newer N or A cards are not necessary but not out of consideration. Taking everything I have but especially HH into consideration will the 256mb 1950xt be good enough or should I try to find a 512 version just for vram insurance? HH is not out yet but best guess here. I at the moment have the opportunity to get a new 1900xtx for $200, should I jump on it or keep looking?
I speak as one who has a FX60 wiht an ASUS A8N32-SLI Deluxe mobo, and who has used a 7800 GTX, 1900 XTX and now have a 8800 GTS 640.
1. You will see a large change, both in speed and the ability to have more details enabled.
2. My ATI 1900 XTX had no problems, until I overheated the memory while overclocking.
3. Comparing my old 1900 XTX with my present 8800 GTS, the 8800 can run slightly more detail, but I don't notice much difference when it comes to the shaders affecting picture quality. That may sound odd, but I mean that I can see indivual things, grass, leaves, etc, with more detail using the 8800 GTS, but the color qualities are about the same.
4. At present, I think the ATI card had better HDR/AA.
5. No difference that I know of.
6. Maybe. Some cards used GDDR2 and others used GDDR3. You have to be careful about picking the card.
7. The 512 mb card is good insurance, and if you can get a new 1950 XTX for $200, then I'd go for it, assuming you're running XP for the OS.
Sailer has it covered, I want to clarify #6 though: the AMOUNT of memory has no impact on bandwidth. However, I believe sailer was referring to some card manufacturers which use slower memory on cards with larger amounts of RAM.
Another vote for the X1950 XTX. It'll make a massive difference on your system.
Thanks for the replies guys, its not often that people will actually take the time to fully answer all the questions but will just give what they like and thats it.
The 2900pro for just over $200, sweet!!!! Hope thats true, if it is then I'm going for it other wise its then going to be up to what kind of deal I can get between 1950xt/x or the 8800GTS 320. Thanks again.