2900Pro 512MB Vs. 8800GTS 320MB

Okay, so I am looking to purchase a new next-gen video card.

The cards:

I know this might sound like a bit of a silly question (given the VRAM and core clock differences) but seriously, out of the two, which is the better card? Tom's Hardware don't have ANY benchmarks for the 2000 series ATI cards (dumb), and I can't seem to find any anywhere else that does.
Which one should I buy? I am really only interested in looking at this card for Crysis; the only other game I play is css. I have an E6400 at stock speeds and 2 GB of 667MHz ram, if that helps.
16 answers Last reply
More about 2900pro 512mb 8800gts 320mb
  1. Chopice depends on one factor, whether are willing to OC or not.

    If you are, 2900pro, if you aren't, 8800gts.
  2. Why would the 2900 Pro need overclocking? it's already got a faster clock speed by a fairly hefty margin than the 8800GTS... interesting, I found some benchmarks on some other forums that someone showed me and its weird how the 8800GTS performs on par if not better than the 2900 pro in most situations. Anyone else not think that's weird? Given the higher clock speed and VRAM? or not?
  3. They use completely different architectures, so forget about comparing graphics cards using clock speeds, you can't even compare 8600 against 8800 on clock speeds because they use different GPUs and have different features, let alone an Ati design vs an nvidia design. Think Pentium 4 and Athlon XP, despite the athlon having slower clock speeds it could still smoke the Pentium 4.

    The HD 2900 Pro biggest drawback (at least for me) is that as soon as you turn on AA it will most likely lose to the GTS by a fair margin (Despite having playable framerates), but when you don't use AA you'll find the HD 2900 Pro sometimes beating the GTS depending on the game engine. Other big drawback for me is the higher power consumption in comparison to the GTS (the GTS consumes roughly 70% of what the Pro does).

    That's not to say that there are only drawbacks to buying the Pro, since the card does have 512MB vs the mere 320MB on the GTS, 512MB that it can actually make use of, since the GPU is more than fast enough to do so.

    Whether you are willing to overclock to me is really pointless, because if you are willing to OC then you can get it to maybe XT speeds (750/825 I believe), which is nice, but not ALL cards are able to get this far, remember that these are "failed" R600s for a reason, which suggests that they may not be able operate stable at those speeds or operate at all. On top of that, you can also OC the GTS as well, which has also been reported to reach decent clock speeds (Mine reaches 650/950 stables and I didn't pay for a factory overclocked card, I bought it with stock clocks of 500/800), also remember that not ALL GTS can get this far either.

    You have to consider 3 things in order to make a good choice between these two:

    -how important is AA to you?
    -Do you have a PSU big enough to support either without issues? (Meaning not straining the unit)
    -What's the price difference between the two?
  4. The stock performance of the Pro will probably increase a little more with the next driver update, so what is true today, might not be true tomorrow.
  5. The AA thing is true, im going for the 1gb 2900pro, however at 1920x1200, I'm not going to use any AA, so it should be alrite. May force that other thing that ATI have in its CCC center though, temporal AA or w/e, it showed decent image improvements last time.

    I think this is where the R600's show their best.

    Most cards will be able to get to XT speeds, they are failed XT's yes but with the XT, ATI needs a certain amount of headroom. So it would clock to XT levels more than likely, but it likely wouldn't clock as high as a 2900xt if you purchased one of those.
  6. OMFG I wish people would stop asking the same bloody questions on this forum.

    /end tantrum
  7. Hatman said:
    The AA thing is true, im going for the 1gb 2900pro, however at 1920x1200, im not going to use any AA.

    I think this is where the R600's show their best.

    Most cards will be able to get to XT speeds, they are failed XT's yes but with the XT, ATI needs a certain amount of headroom. So it would clock to XT levels more than likely, but it likely wouldn't clock as high as a 2900xt if you purchased one of those.

    Yep that's what I tried to say, and applies for both the Pro and GTS, it may overclock to those levels (And there's a good chance it will), but it's still just the luck of draw. Some people buying factory overclocked cards can't get to the same levels as me while others can overclock even further.

    And I guess you're right about the AA on 1920x1200, but if I was looking at a screen that big I'd have to consider Crossfire XT/Overclocked Pros or SLI GTX to get a fluid enough experience. (Some people are satisfied at 25-35fps, but I can't stand that, especially on shooters)
  8. Problem is most ppl who do that pump up 4x AA, 16x AF, lots of other things that they don't need, half the settings on a game give such a small improvement to visuals yet cost like 20% of your FPS, theres just no need. 16x AF is pointless I find 4x gives exactly the same results, and in FPS thats a damn lot of performance difference. high quality shadows are also deadly lol. Deadly pointless.

    Is there like, a separate control panel for ATI cards? 4x MSAA should smooth out a 2.1MP screen fine, but Idk if its possible to set that with ATI control panel.

    Nhancer for nvidia cards, a ATI counterpart would be cool.

    Anyway, aslong as the non important settings are turned down, it should mostly run fine.
  9. Multisampling? Yeah I think I read somewhere that Ati cards got that too... But I'd rather get a slightly smaller screen like a 22" with 1680x1050 to up the settings more if I was going to use a single card. I'm kind of an performance freak, I rather have a smaller resolution (Which isn't all that small to be honest) but have it run really smooth.

    I agree on the fact that there are some really dumb settings that take away a lot of the framerate (Shadows on R6: Vegas comes to mind), but there are also a lot of things that are truly compelling for the immersion in the game that I'd prefer to have them as high as people (Like View Distance) that also have a big hit on your fps. By the way, 16x AF barely hurts your FPS, I wouldn't worry too much about it.
  10. Just to through it my .02$ in there. I was in your shoes and chose the 8800 mainly for the price difference. My 8800GTS 320 was $250 shipped from ZZF and came with a $30 game.

    Also, people talk about OC'ing the PRo, but you can't forget, the 8800 overclocks very well. Stock, mine was 513/1600... now it is running at 600/2000 with ease. Max temps are around 75, which isn't bad for an 8800 at all! So far, the only game the 8800 sucks at is Dark Messiah of Might and Magic, I can't figure it out. Even Tom's charts shows it sucking.
  11. Get the PRO, better value, more RAM, OC's better.
  12. Yeah, I am a cheater too. I turn off all shadows and make lighting really crappy in BF2 and 2142 so that when I walk into a dark area I can see people very easily, they stick out like a sore thumb. I also turn the vegetation down to the lowest possible setting so people cannot hide in it. When I play through a campaign though I will have all that stuff up for immersion. During multi play though, whatever gives me an edge.
  13. Multi-samping is great for smoothing out the really bad edges for almost no performance loss, unlike SSAA.

    24inch actually has 15% more pixels/inch then a 20inch with 1680x1050 res, which is why I chose it.I find more pixels displays some more key details. This kinda shows it.. but not too the extent Ive seen with my own eyes.

    16x AF can take 10% of your performance over 4x, as seen with the 1900xt in this guide.


    Doesnt hurt the GTX but to me it looks like a CPU bottleneck on taht card. Idk if it affects ATI cards more or its just because its less powerful, I'm going for the latter though.

    10% may not be that much, but for no visual increase its a heck of alot, 10% here, 10% there and somewhere else, ya got %30 performance boost, if you're on 30FPS then youve just got 10FPS extra.


    weskurtz81 lmao I do the same thing for quake wars, it actually gives a big tactical advantage lmao. Even better, if you use a certain type of AA< it makes small lines wider, so you can see things such as bullet trails to see where they come from.

    TSIMonster thats a fine point, but, 320mb vs 1gb, lol. 1gb may not be used, but things like crysis will need more then 320mb at high res. Here in UK the the 2900pro 1gb costs £200 and the lowest 8800gts is £170, about $340. Which is quite a lot.

    God dammit... long post... id be interested to see the 2900xt/pro vs an 8800gts at 1920x1200 without AA though. May be something for toms to do.
  14. Well I doubt I'd be willing to overclock either card if I got it. My monitor is a 20" @ 1680x1050, but I can always take it down to like 1440x900 if need be. I'd still be able to play Crysis with settings med/high, right? Or would I need more than 320 MB of VRAM?

    I know you guys are all talking about turning down the settings for a better performance gains, but seriously, to buy Crysis and turn the visuals right down? That'd defeat the purpose of buying it... at least buy half. The visuals in Crysis have to be turned up in order to enjoy the game. I would just say screw it and get an 8800GTX, but I don't have the job I was expecting for yet, so I can't do that. Looks like I'll have to carry on saving for the 8800GTS, I was just seeing if I could get more bang for my buck (less buck) then the 8800GTS with the 2900pro.

    Thanks for all the help and input guys.
  15. No not the essential visuals, the ones that take lots of performance but give hardly no gain. 320mb wont be enough for Crysis at that res. well... I dont know that for sure but I think 99% of ppl here would agree with that...

    640mb 8800gts is defo your best bet, however, its great that you cant afford it yet, since the 8800gt will be released soon, it should be perfect for you.
  16. Emtiph said:
    Which one should I buy? I am really only interested in looking at this card for Crysis.

    And for that you will just have to wait. It's a guess right now who will do better the 8800's or 2900's. I wouldn't doubt the 8800GTX may beat the HD2900XT in Crysis, but will the 320MB on the GTS be enough for that game or will it tank making the 2900 pro better. I hope it won't tank, as I game on one myself, but I don't doubt that in crysis the 640MB GTS will be better and potentially quite a bit better.

    Wait at least until the single player demo comes out for a starting idea of which is better. And even then, come retail release, driver fixes, patches, etc. it will be a while before we know exactly which card is better (unless it's a blowout from the start). Look at Doom 3 and HL2. The clear lead each company had at launch dissappeared over time to where it didn't matter much which brand you had for those games. Also, both companies have new cards coming out within a month in this pricerange. Maybe one of those will be much better for you. Both are fine cards if you need to buy now and plusses/minusses have been explained to you by others. But specifically for Crysis, it's just a guess right now.
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