Image Quality - Nvidia vs. ATI

I have heard people saying the ATI has better image quality...but from I remember in the past...from researching on different video cards at the time..I thought Nvidia came on top. I remember reading and seeing pictures of Nvidia and ATI on Half-life...and how the Nvidia card had less fragments on the chain fences and how the trees seemed to be clearer...maybe I am mistaken...anyone want to enlighten me...and show be some proof?

Explain: http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/ati_nvidia_image_quality_showdown_august06/page4.asp

Side Note: Nvidia usually has better drivers right?

PS: I have an eVGA 8800GT Superclocked ($249+$15 = $264) coming in soon, but i am thinking of canceling order if 3870 is significantly better for price/performance and image quality. However, I think I got a good deal on the 8800GT. Also, I do not care about power usage or temp as much...I care about what quality I can play and see the game.
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  1. doubt 3870 wont be "sigifcantly better" but it will be better.
  2. itotallybelieveyou said:
    doubt 3870 wont be "sigifcantly better" but it will be better.


    if it is a little better..than i will stick with nvidia..because i <3 warenties...i use video cards for 4 years....ati can't support me like nvidia. But the question remains about image quality.
  3. can u give links to some of these benchies
  4. itotallybelieveyou said:
    can u give links to some of these benchies


    As I said in OP, I just have a memory of this...since it was a quite a longtime ago. Hence, why I am asking others, since I believe I may be wrong.
  5. Everyone SAYS "ATI has better image quality" which it probably does or else everyone wouldn't be saying it. Rumors are based on truths. ATI does better image quality now that they have HDR with AA enabled
  6. itotallybelieveyou said:
    Everyone SAYS "ATI has better image quality" which it probably does or else everyone wouldn't be saying it. Rumors are based on truths. ATI does better image quality now that they have HDR with AA enabled


    Explain this: http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/ati_nvidia_image_quality_showdown_august06/page4.asp
  7. everyone SAYS. Yes I did read it and it was before 8800 vs 2900s
  8. qmalik said:


    A reason could be that that 'review' was made with an unreleased ATI card and ATI isn't actually popular because of bringing the best drivers along the release of their products (just a hyphotesis).
  9. Ati has better image quality than nvidia's 7000 series, but even the HD series can't compete with the 8000 series in image quality. I'd never buy a 2900 even with it getting better frames than a gts because the quality difference is that big. Its possible ati will retake the crown with the 3870 but HIGHLY unlikely as the gap was so huge.
  10. ATI tends to throw in more features, if I remember correctly ATI cards on Oblivion could handle both HDR and AA, however you needed a special (and now obsolete) driver to do this. Newer ATI cards also feature programmable AA. Usually ATI cards are more future proof as the ATI 2900 series has been less impacted by DX10 then nVidia's 8800 series.

    That said nVidia is still faster and runs cooler. I think nVidia tends to design cards around what will be useful in games whereas ATI designs around completely supporting the latest version of DX.

    I really hope ATI comes out with something highend soon. nVidia just announced they are focusing on triple SLI rather than better chips. I'm a little worried they are adopting Intel's 1998-2005 business plan.
  11. I think the visual quality between Nvidia and ATI was much more appearant with the last generation of video cards from both companies. The GeForce 7 Series VS the Radeon 1K Series. To me personally I can see a big difference with the ATI 1k series cards. ATI's Visuals were much brighter and fuller than with the GeForce 7 series.

    Nvidia has made a lot of improvements with the GeForce 8 Series which in a Toms Hardware Article stated it was a little bit better than ATI's 1k Series.

    However ATI's HD2k series improved in color quality also which puts it ahead of the GeForce 8 from what I have seen from reviews online. I can not vouch for that statement personally how as I do not own a current generation card from either company.

    But as I understand it that is how things are.

    If your 8800GT is not shipped by Nov 19th you may want to cancel the order and get a ATI 38XX series. The 8800GT is very short in stock (only 40,000 were sent out) and it is estimated that demands will not be met by Christmas. However on the otherside ATI has the 38XX series cards in full production and will have 250,000 at launch with another 150,000 available by Christmas. Plus you can buy one for 2/3rd's the cost of 8800GT.

    Read the article here:
    http://www.tgdaily.com/content/view/34818/118/
  12. As for driver problems, check the recent 'floptimizations' and also the feedback on the latest WHQL drivers for nVidia and tell me they don't have just as many issues as AMD/ATi.

    In IQ, it depends alot on the testing methods and the tests.

    In the FS review the AF is set to default, not to ATi's HQ mode, which was undeniably better than nVidia more angle dependant mode and did not come at a heavy price. The AF situation has improve in the GF8 series where it's arguably better than the HD2K, but it's the rare time it's noticeable compared to the shimmering and crawling of the GF7. But it is better in tests. The HD38xx is rumoured to have better AF quality, but I won't believe it until I see it. Early talk about the HD38xx series in games like Crysis have been positive though so who knows, could see a slight change.
    AA quality however is pretty much the same, with different quality in the default modes and optional modes, but in the forced full AA modes they are more similar than different.

    Whether or not the FS review was an early HD2900 or simply and X1950XTX is a necessary question, because if it was an HD2900, then it's a very early card with far from optimized drivers using a shader based AA method instead of a traditional hardware based resolve like that found in the X1K and GF7. Early issues with that shader based method are similar to the Half-Life issues that also plagued the GF8 early on.

    Right now though until the IQ issues in Crysis and Gears of War are fully explained and a WHQL driver comes out that fixes them with the performance boosts intact, you aren't going to have the answer you're looking for.

    Both have their IQ benifits and issues. The main thing remains to look at the games you play most and see how they react.
  13. MagicPants said:
    ATI tends to throw in more features, if I remember correctly ATI cards on Oblivion could handle both HDR and AA, however you needed a special (and now obsolete) driver to do this...


    I got a x1800xt and I run HDR and 2x AA without special drivers. So that driver statement...not true at all.
  14. It is true, just an imprecise somewhat outdated view.

    Initially you needed the Chuck Patch to run HDR+AA in Oblivion, however later it was folded into the WHQL release , and is likely still there. The chuck patch is obsolete, but not the ability to do HDR+AA.

    It's still a tricky issue, but it's really more of a restriction in Bethesda's implementation of the game than ATi/AMD or nVidia's. The thing that annoyed most people was that they offered it on the Xenos, but not on the X1K, with the initial excuse being 'performance'.
  15. monsterrocks said:
    I got a x1800xt and I run HDR and 2x AA without special drivers. So that driver statement...not true at all.
    I think the statement Magic Pants made was true for him in his situtation at the time he did it. I don't think he is making this up at all or is just throwing a statement out there.

    I had a friend with a X1950Pro and I watched him try to run AA and HDR at the same time in Oblivion and the game threw an error saying that it could not run the game in HDR with AA enabled. That was back in September of 2006.

    Since then Oblivion may have had an update for all users that corrected this problem which allowed you to run your X1800XT with AA and HDR enabled simultaneously with out issue.
  16. Looks like Great Ape just answered that question for us. He just got his post in minutes before I got mine in.
  17. Nah, your friend just needed to read up on how to apply HDR+AA in Oblivion.

    The Chuck patch came out, and was folded into the general drivers long before September 2006.

    http://www.hexus.net/content/item.php?item=5282&page=1
  18. Well, my friend (or acquaintance I should say) had a pirated copy of Oblivion which would probably mean he did not receive any updates for the game. Which in turn would mean never got the patch to run HDR and AA at the same time.

    All of his games were pirated. Which I am really against. I buy all of my games. And I don't buy them either unless PC Gamer gives them a rating of 90 or higher.

    However I do have to admit I made an exception to that rule once and I bought Madden 2008 for the PC despite it's poor rating. However that is different. That game is fun.
  19. Read the link, it wasn't an update for the game, it still doesn't support direct application of both AA and HDR. You still have to enable forced AA from the control panel, and then turn on HDR within the game, otherwise it still tells you "HDR is not supported when Anti-aliasing is turned on." That's even for the HD2K and GF8 series.
  20. That is not true TGGA. While that is the easiest and best way to do it, there is a way in game. I found a way to trick it in game (from an article) to run both AA and HDR. Yous should google it, I am sure it is still out there some where. I tale that back, I think it was in the options menu when the games autorun menu popped up that you could do that. I know it worked reguardless, because I could see that both HDR and AA were running at the same time because of the image quality and stuff. HDR is pretty easy to tell. And at resolutions of 1024x768, 2x AA makes a huge difference. So I am postitive they were both working.
  21. i'm an avid supporter of nvidia because of the fantastic driver support across all platforms. But i must vote for ATi when it comes to picture quality.

    the 3870 will be on par with the 8800gt more or less for most games. i'm waiting for its release before i dish out my money, even if its 10% slower than the 8800gt its a small sacrifice for the added dx10.1 support that the nvidia card lacks
  22. You're going to have to provide the article, because without a hack or else forcing AA through the drivers, I haven't seen anything else about 'tricking' it into just appearing.

    Anywhoo, regardless of a second method, the method being refered to is the Chuck Patch, which is clearly described and detailed in the link above by the creator.
  23. I wouldn't wrry too much about DX10.1 unless you plan on keeping this card into 2009.
  24. TheGreatGrapeApe said:
    I wouldn't wrry too much about DX10.1 unless you plan on keeping this card into 2009.


    i plan to keep this card for 3-4 years....arg..maybe i should got ATI...but i had bad experiences with them in the past...after my x800xl died and they wont replace it...gg crap warranty...right now i have nvidia card...and it has never given me problems and seems to perform more "stable" than the ati's. hmmm what to do...what to doo...I WANT BENCHIESS!!!
  25. i probably will, i just want something to play crysis with. and since the 3870 is expected to be priced better than the 8800gt, i might be able to afford 2 and do a Xfire setup
  26. cruiseoveride said:
    i probably will, i just want something to play crysis with. and since the 3870 is expected to be priced better than the 8800gt, i might be able to afford 2 and do a Xfire setup


    tbh, i don't think its THAT much better...maybe 20$...if u cant SLI with 8800GT..than you probably don't wan to SLI with 3750. imo.
  27. I know this is a limited review but for the purposes of image quality differance i think it will do.
    http://iax-tech.com/video/3870/38701.htm
    Mactronix
  28. ATI this morning posted a page on their new 38XX series cards.

    The improvements to image quality with DX10.1 look really impressive.

    Look at the white sheets for the 38XX series.

    http://ati.amd.com/products/pdf/DirectX10.1WhitePaperv1.0FINAL.pdf
  29. mactronix said:
    I know this is a limited review but for the purposes of image quality differance i think it will do.
    http://iax-tech.com/video/3870/38701.htm
    Mactronix


    That site is causing a lot of damage for a one trick pony, the water reflection quality was an issue specific to crysis with one revision of the BETA drivers for nvidia and has already been fixed with an updated beta version. I think the image quality issue which was restricted to crysis only was in beta for a few days at the most!

    That site has precisely four articles all on one subject (8800gt vs 3800 series) and people are trying to point to it and say the 8800GT has minimum fps issues and image quality issues, its got fanboi fud written all over it...
  30. rwayne said:
    ATI this morning posted a page on their new 38XX series cards.

    The improvements to image quality with DX10.1 look really impressive.

    Look at the white sheets for the 38XX series.

    http://ati.amd.com/products/pdf/DirectX10.1WhitePaperv1.0FINAL.pdf


    I see they have droped the ambiant occlusion since the october issue of the white paper guess they had some issues
    http://www.teamati.com/DirectX%2010_1%20White%20Paper%20v0.4.pdf Just in case you were wondering what im on about.
    Mactronix
  31. dtq said:
    That site is causing a lot of damage for a one trick pony, the water reflection quality was an issue specific to crysis with one revision of the BETA drivers for nvidia and has already been fixed with an updated beta version. I think the image quality issue which was restricted to crysis only was in beta for a few days at the most!

    That site has precisely four articles all on one subject (8800gt vs 3800 series) and people are trying to point to it and say the 8800GT has minimum fps issues and image quality issues, its got fanboi fud written all over it...


    Who said anything about the water reflection issue i was talking about picture quality diferance which hasnt improved with the new drivers the Nvidia image still lacks colour depth and looks washed out compared to the ATI image.
    You cant just blame these guys either i have seen three more reviews that mentioned the issue you are talking about and the fact that the max FPS now fall into line with the ATI card would sugest that the Nvidia card was indeed skipping frames to get a better FPS be that due to a bad implementation of some optimisation as they claim or not.
    Dont really see how you get fanboy fud from a review stating how things were at the time thats all they can do and all we can expect from any site. I said it was a limited review when i posted but it did and still does even with the update show the difference in image quality which was the point of my post.
    Mactronix
  32. Ah, hell here comes the video quality bullSh*t argument again..., to that I also say...what-ever, you guys needs some girlfriends...
  33. warezme said:
    Ah, hell here comes the video quality bullSh*t argument again..., to that I also say...what-ever, you guys needs some girlfriends...


    So whats got you so rilled up then why is video quality B/S if its not important to you then fine except it must be a burning issue with you or you wouldnt have posted ? So do go on tell us the error of our ways then. :lol:
    Mactronix
  34. mactronix said:
    Who said anything about the water reflection issue i was talking about picture quality diferance which hasnt improved with the new drivers the Nvidia image still lacks colour depth and looks washed out compared to the ATI image.
    You cant just blame these guys either i have seen three more reviews that mentioned the issue you are talking about and the fact that the max FPS now fall into line with the ATI card would sugest that the Nvidia card was indeed skipping frames to get a better FPS be that due to a bad implementation of some optimisation as they claim or not.
    Dont really see how you get fanboy fud from a review stating how things were at the time thats all they can do and all we can expect from any site. I said it was a limited review when i posted but it did and still does even with the update show the difference in image quality which was the point of my post.
    Mactronix


    To quote your article on image quality "We found ATi HD3870 is actually has better picture process while Crysis benching.

    Specially the light refraction from water"

    Funnily enough I cant see much else in the article suggesting anything about washed out lack of colour depth, which are precisely the issues for which the 8800 series has been praised since launch!

    Theres more than enough REAL LIFE users out there with 8800GT's posting their benchmarks not getting under 20 FPS min at 1280x1024 with everything on high.

    I see fanboi fud when I see a newly set up website with just a pair of graphics cards to its name coming up with VERY odd results against one company that arent being replicated elsewhere. Whilst talking up the oppositions card. When the vast majority of user posted benchmarks I see posted are completely at odds with what one very limited site has to say I smell a rat. The site seems very unprofessional to me, I certainly wouldnt take its word over my own experience of the 8800 series in crysis. Or over the majority of other user posted benchmarks. If a few of the major review sites were saying that they were having issues with frame rate drops to 1 fps despite higher average FPS then I would be more likely to take it seriously that there was some sort of issue, If ALL the sites were saying the same things then I would consider the card a write off.
  35. This entire thread is full of arguments on image quality but they continue to pull up a review of the 7900 series vs. the X1900 series? As most review sites have said, the 8800 series has slightly higher quality anisotropic filtering than the HD 2900 series, but the difference is so small it's very unlikely most would even notice the difference.
  36. dtq said:
    To quote your article on image quality "We found ATi HD3870 is actually has better picture process while Crysis benching.

    Specially the light refraction from water"

    Funnily enough I cant see much else in the article suggesting anything about washed out lack of colour depth, which are precisely the issues for which the 8800 series has been praised since launch!

    Theres more than enough REAL LIFE users out there with 8800GT's posting their benchmarks not getting under 20 FPS min at 1280x1024 with everything on high.

    I see fanboi fud when I see a newly set up website with just a pair of graphics cards to its name coming up with VERY odd results against one company that aren't being replicated elsewhere. Whilst talking up the oppositions card. When the vast majority of user posted benchmarks I see posted are completely at odds with what one very limited site has to say I smell a rat. The site seems very unprofessional to me, I certainly wouldn't take its word over my own experience of the 8800 series in crysis. Or over the majority of other user posted benchmarks. If a few of the major review sites were saying that they were having issues with frame rate drops to 1 fps despite higher average FPS then I would be more likely to take it seriously that there was some sort of issue, If ALL the sites were saying the same things then I would consider the card a write off.


    Look you know what was in my original post heck you even quoted it I'm not saying the article didn't mention the water issue. I'm saying that i didn't i only posted it to show people the difference in the image quality.
    I never said the article said anything about lack of colour depth or being washed out that's my own observation.
    That's all it was my observation i never claimed the article to be accurate i even said it was a limited review when i posted.
    Its got nothing to do with FPS or benchmarks look at the top of the thread "Thread : Image Quality - Nvidia vs. ATI".
    OK so the review is not the issue just look at the pictures.I think the ATI one has more colour depth and the Nvidia one looks washed out by comparison. It would seem that you dissagree fair enough but image quality is all down to individual preferences anyway some may feel that its more lifelike/real with less vivid colours,me i prefer it.
    Mactronix :)
  37. mactronix said:
    Look you know what was in my original post heck you even quoted it I'm not saying the article didn't mention the water issue. I'm saying that i didn't i only posted it to show people the difference in the image quality.
    I never said the article said anything about lack of colour depth or being washed out that's my own observation.
    That's all it was my observation i never claimed the article to be accurate i even said it was a limited review when i posted.
    Its got nothing to do with FPS or benchmarks look at the top of the thread "Thread : Image Quality - Nvidia vs. ATI".
    OK so the review is not the issue just look at the pictures.I think the ATI one has more colour depth and the Nvidia one looks washed out by comparison. It would seem that you dissagree fair enough but image quality is all down to individual preferences anyway some may feel that its more lifelike/real with less vivid colours,me i prefer it.
    Mactronix :)


    I think you are reading WAY too much into two screenshots from that site. I will try to remember to grab a screenshot from a 8800 powered crysis to match the colour of the ATI shot from the site. Personally I dont have any problems at all with colour depth on my system, I havent used a 2900 or 3800 based card to compare them to, but the major review sites havent came up with any issues so far, I suspect that the screen shot appearance has more to do with timing of shot or different brightness contrast gamma settings etc rather than "what the card can do"

    The two screen shots are taken at different stages of the game if you notice the differences in the screen shots the 8800 screen shot was clearly taken earlier in the descent as the two small islands close to each other are far more central in the 8800 shot than in the 3870 shot! Perhaps the 3870 is incapable of rendering clouds!!! Seriously I dont think you can claim much basis for colour depth from these screen shots, My 7600gt powered work PC can produce more vivid greens than that 8800 shot if the games in a "vivid green place" :D
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