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If you were forced to choose between the ATI 3850 Vs. Nvidia 8800 GT

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If you were forced to choose between the ATI 3850 Vs. Nvidia 8800 GT

Total: 125 votes (23 blank votes)

  • Nvidia 8800 GT 256MB
  • 78 %
  • ATI 3850 256MB
  • 23 %
December 8, 2007 10:45:48 PM

If you where forced to choose between them which one would you pick and why? Doesn't ATI have more driver problems than Nvidia?
December 8, 2007 11:25:20 PM

The 8800GT is far better than the 3850 and costs a lot more, so you can't compare them.
December 8, 2007 11:38:05 PM

Well 8800GT... performance is worth the extra money..
Related resources
December 8, 2007 11:53:40 PM

The 8800GT only cost $30 more. I would spend it on that.
December 9, 2007 12:07:40 AM

The last person who tried to force me to do anything, seriously regrets it now.

Don't let people force you into doing anything.
December 9, 2007 12:13:13 AM

I would say the 256Mb 8800GT, because it's just the better card. However, I just bought a 3850 for my dad's B-day because I didn't want to go over $200. If it was my comp, I would pay the extra change.
December 9, 2007 12:13:27 AM

I dont regret it, cruiseO :) 
December 9, 2007 12:58:02 AM

I picked Nvidia for a few reasons:
A. better card
B. I like Nvidia better
C. It gives the AMD/ATi fanbois a hemorrage.
December 9, 2007 1:16:21 AM

The 3850 is good if your on a budget as it can be had at $170. The 8800GT 256 is the better card, but also costs $40 more!
a b U Graphics card
December 9, 2007 1:43:44 AM

If going between those two 256MB cards, I'd take the $160 HD3850 from bestbuy. I don't like the way the 256MB GT gets destroyed by the 512MB version so far in what we have seen. I wouldn't spend over $200 on a 256MB card anymore.
December 9, 2007 1:48:07 AM

Quote:
Doesn't ATI have more driver problems than Nvidia?


Can anyone answer that? :) 
December 9, 2007 1:55:08 AM

And when is Tom going to put the 8800 gt 256 in their VGA charts?
December 9, 2007 2:12:12 AM

everyone has problems w/all drivers. sometimes i have problems with nvidia's and sometimes with ccc. 8800gts in one system and 1900xt in the other. gts better in games / xt better watching movies. everyone has different experiences. everything has it's downside. i preffer ccc over forceware though.
December 9, 2007 2:31:53 AM

physx7 said:
And when is Tom going to put the 8800 gt 256 in their VGA charts?


the 8800 GT and 38x0 series are coming very soon!

As for driver problems, haven't seen anything of note in years except some vista stuff. Both Nvidia and Ati have their quirks but no show stoppers in XP.

As for which one I'd pick... if it was the same price, the 8800 GT of course. At the prices they are, either is fine...
December 9, 2007 2:58:12 AM

I had the same decision and I chose the 3850. It seems to run all games well at high resolutions (1680 x 1050), plus I'm a casual gamer and don't want to have a super good graphic card, because I would feel more obligated to use it more ;P
December 10, 2007 5:25:10 PM

What games at what settings? And what is the rest of your system?
December 10, 2007 5:32:21 PM

3850 and 3870 is already on the VGA chart

And 8800GT will beat a 3850 hands down, no question about that.

Maybe you meant 3870? but the GT still wins
December 10, 2007 5:38:39 PM

Arrgh the VGA charts won't come up! :fou: 

And I meant the 8800 gt 256
December 10, 2007 6:02:02 PM

ati devs think that drivers are people who drive cars
Dont expect much from them...
December 10, 2007 6:15:15 PM

3870 if you're going for crossfire...8800gt if you want only a single GPU.
December 10, 2007 6:57:37 PM

cruiseoveride said:
ati devs think that drivers are people who drive cars
Dont expect much from them...


But Drivers DO drive cars... don't they? :sol: 

Seriously... Ati drivers are fine. So are Nvidias. They both have a few quirks, but they're both pretty solid.


December 10, 2007 7:24:57 PM

I'v always said, when in doubt go with nvidia, less chance of getting a DOA card, at least in my experience.
December 10, 2007 8:34:56 PM

For even dollars and even performance, stick with nVidia. ATI is not worth the headache. ATI needs a minimum 50% performance value jump before it is even worth considering. Too much effort to beta test and stabilize their lousy stuff. For writing this I'm sure ATI is gonna punish me anytime now, my x1950 pro is gonna blue screen the system with another of those ATI2Vxx.dll blow ups. Damn $hit ATI and CCC (Can't Control Crap) that eats up all sort of memory.
December 10, 2007 8:47:38 PM

Mreh. Lots of Ati haters here.

As a hardware reviewer for Tom's, I change and play with all kinds of videocards quite often on multiple systems, I uninstall and re-install drivers wayyy more than the average bear, and I've not experienced a notable problem with Ati or Nvidia in years.

In my experience, both Nvidia and Ati have their quirks, to be sure. Ati's catalyst takes a few seconds to start up in XP; is that the huge deal you guys are talking about? Nvidia has some Vista problems, too. But I haven't come across any show-stoppers from either camp for a very long time.

DOA cards? On this board I've seen doa cards from both camps. If any manufacturer in the world has a 100% track record of no doa-hardware, let me know and I'll invest in them immediately...
December 10, 2007 9:00:53 PM

Where exactly does everybody get all of their information these days? About the only review I can find showcasing the 256MB (because that is what the OP is talking about people) is the legitreview someone linked to above. The only game where the 3850 gets beaten squarely by the 256 8800GT is Bioshock. All other games, the 3850 wins more than it loses to the 256 8800GT.

The 3850 and the 256 8800GT trade blows but I still see the 3850 winning overall due to it's lower price/performance at this time.

Both ATI and nVidia have their share of driver issues.
a b U Graphics card
December 10, 2007 9:06:00 PM

Quote:
the 256mb only gets destroyed above 1600x1200. At anything under, its neck and neck with the 512mb. The 256GT even beats the 512mb 3870 in most benchmarks at 1280x1024. Thats the res I run so I dont care about anything higher. If your running high resolutions, the more ram helps immensly. Its puny 256mb power is really shown in Bioshock where it scorched even the crossfired cards.

Neck and Neck? That's not correct. In many games even at 12x10 the 8800GT 512MB is way ahead of the 256MB 8800GT. Turn on FSAA it gets worse.

Oblivion, Bioshock, and Crysis would be huge examples:
http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/xfx_geforce_8800_gt...
http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/xfx_geforce_8800_gt...
http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/xfx_geforce_8800_gt...


55 fps vs 28 fps, 76 fps vs 53 fps, and 42 vs 29 in those games is not neck and neck.

Like I said, there is a big difference between the two 8800GT versions. I myself would never buy a $200+ 256MB card again. I have a 256MB X1950XT and a 320MB 8800GTS, but from here on out it's 512MB or higher in $200+ cards for me. $100 cards is another story. The 256MB 8800GT does do well, I just don't think it's a good buy though for the price. I paid $249 each for my two 512MB GT 's, well worth the $40 IMO over the 256MB. The HD3850 though at $160-170 is still a nice card for the money.
December 10, 2007 10:34:15 PM

I am going to be gaming at 1680x1050 with 4xAA and 8xAF. It looks like the 3850 is better than the 8800 gt 256 at higher res?
December 11, 2007 4:22:29 PM

Hmm, thanks for the FiringSquad review Pauldh. I hadn't seen that one and it paints a better picture of the 256 8800GT than the Legitreviews one. I hate it when "review" sites don't make it clear what settings they're testing at.

It looks as though the 3850 is a solid card for the money but so is the 256 8800GT.
December 12, 2007 2:08:02 PM

You ATi haters are funny! I have never had an issue with either company but I do prefer ATi cards... mainly because I love Ati Tray Tools, Riva Tuner is good, but not as good.

Thanks for the Firing Squad link. Looks like the 3850 is the better bang for buck card!
December 12, 2007 2:19:46 PM

My moniter has a max refresh rate of 60hz. So anything over 60 FPS doesn't concern me. Im thinking that the 3850 is the card for me.......

Oh yes and I am running Vista home premium 32 bit. I will pay a little extra for less trouble. Has anyone had any issues with the ATI 3850 n Vista?
a b U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
December 12, 2007 2:25:31 PM

Even though your max refresh rate is 60, try to see if you can find a review with minimum fps, because if the average is 50fps but it's because one card is 200fps one moment and then 10fps the next you want to make sure the minimum fps is the highest on whichever one you get.
December 12, 2007 2:54:14 PM

The higher you go in rez, the less the 256 mb 8800 GT should be considered. If you are playing in 1680x1050, get a 3850 512 mb or a 3870. The 8800 GT 256 is a great card, but only a good solution for low res gaming. Although, the ATI offerings do have issues AA...They slow down considerably when aa is enabled. But the choice is yours. Both have trade offs. I'd recommend trying to nab a 8800 GT 512 if possible, this way you won't be hindered by the low amount of memory.

Keep this in mind when you're looking at the benchmarks/shopping for your card.
December 12, 2007 3:21:25 PM

Well my price range is 150-200 bones max. So im having a nervous breakdown trying to choose between the 3850 n 8800 256.
December 13, 2007 1:33:07 AM

3850 512MB is $199 on the Egg with free shipping!
December 13, 2007 2:03:34 AM

3850 w/ 512mb is your perfect card! Unless you can find a great deal on a 8800GT of course.
December 13, 2007 2:58:01 AM

physx7 said:
Quote:
Doesn't ATI have more driver problems than Nvidia?


Can anyone answer that? :) 


NO .... it's the other way around in dual card setup . Plus nvidia has a big heat problem .
December 13, 2007 3:05:50 AM

The choice for me is the 8800. I have the 512MB version of the gt and i have been blown away. Replacing my 7800gtx 256mb, my 3dmark06 score went from 2600 to 11400 with just the addition of the 8800. The fps in every game I play AT LEAST doubled. Went from about 25-30 fps in DiRT to 45-60 fps on average on it with every thing maxed. UT3 went from dipping as low as 20 or so fps to literally being pegged at 60fps for most of the time. In warfare online, it may dip into the 40s briefly. Insane.

All i'm trying to say is: if we are talking about cards in the 170-200 dollar range. I have to strongly suggest sacrifice some extra cash and getting the 512mb card. I have never seen more bang for your buck than this.

And kudos to nvidia for actually focusing on making the cards more efficient before making them faster for once. Things were getting out of hand. The 2900xt pulls 374 watts according to the recent 8800 article. egad. The 8800gt pulls only 227 or (something like that), and bests the ati card. That's nice. I can probably go SLI soon and not break my PSU or wallet.
December 13, 2007 3:10:46 PM

Chef_Boyardee said:
I have the 512MB version of the gt and i have been blown away. Replacing my 7800gtx 256mb, my 3dmark06 score went from 2600 to 11400 with just the addition of the 8800...

All i'm trying to say is: if we are talking about cards in the 170-200 dollar range. I have to strongly suggest sacrifice some extra cash and getting the 512mb card. I have never seen more bang for your buck than this.


I think you might be assuming the performance difference you experienced came from the extra RAM when, in fact, you would experience the same amazing performance difference with a 256mb 8800 GT.

The chipset is the primary reason your framerates went up, not the extra 256mb of RAM.

Not to say 512mb is a bad choice; 512mb is very nice to have on higher end cards. But it's something I think is important to point out so folks don't get the wrong idea.
December 13, 2007 3:49:44 PM

I have a 3870. It is closer to the 8800GT than the 3850. It is still slightly slower, but i love the image quality and i am still getting 60-80FPS on COD4 with high settings.

I replaced an older nvidia. The ATI drivers and CCC are a bit harder to get optimized, but as a whole ATI dirvers/CCC and the 3870 work great.
December 13, 2007 4:48:38 PM

pauldh said:
If going between those two 256MB cards, I'd take the $160 HD3850 from bestbuy. I don't like the way the 256MB GT gets destroyed by the 512MB version so far in what we have seen. I wouldn't spend over $200 on a 256MB card anymore.


The 256Meg version is cheaper but one of its main purposes, to get the most functionality from it, is by being paired up in SLI. :)  The 512 GT is the option for people who only desire a singe card, but dual is still and option there as well.. that is if you can get your hands on 2 :lol: 

50bmg said:
I have a 3870. It is closer to the 8800GT than the 3850. It is still slightly slower, but i love the image quality and i am still getting 60-80FPS on COD4 with high settings.

I replaced an older nvidia. The ATI drivers and CCC are a bit harder to get optimized, but as a whole ATI dirvers/CCC and the 3870 work great.


And yes ATI worked very hard on the HD side for these cards, for shader model 3 and HDR and i'm quite impressed.
December 13, 2007 4:53:37 PM

what is with all of this 512MB talk? the original post was on the 256MB version. all this babble of 'just spend more on the 512MB version, why spend money on the 256MB version' is retarded, that wasnt the original question.

and to contribute to the OP, I would get the 8800gt cause it has the 512MB version that pwns everything else so the 256MB is a bad choice anyway cause for 30$ you can just buy the 512MB version and have a card that is so much better than the 256MB version of either model.

/sarcasm
December 13, 2007 6:26:58 PM

ATI 3850

its just better then any nvidia crap
December 13, 2007 8:44:42 PM

8800GT
December 13, 2007 9:05:47 PM

Quote:
what is with all of this 512MB talk? the original post was on the 256MB version. all this babble of 'just spend more on the 512MB version, why spend money on the 256MB version' is retarded, that wasnt the original question.


Yes Thank you! *clap* *clap*.


Quote:
its just better then any nvidia crap


Care to explain dude?
December 13, 2007 9:10:00 PM

To the OP

Aren't there any 3850 512mb cards avaialble. There is in the UK. The price difference translates to about $20 over the standard 256mb cards. Also all the 3850 512mb cards have overclocked cores and memory and better cooling. Infact there performance is just below that of a 3870.

Looking at the reviews one of those cards would easily beat a stock 8800gt 256mb.
December 13, 2007 9:18:16 PM

Links to benchies on the ATI 3850 512 please!
December 13, 2007 10:32:38 PM

8800GT
December 14, 2007 12:05:38 AM

Pollux said:
3850 and 3870 is already on the VGA chart

And 8800GT will beat a 3850 hands down, no question about that.

Maybe you meant 3870? but the GT still wins


The X3850 beats the 8800GT 256, according to Anandtech:

http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3175&p=8

The 8800GT 512 beats the X3870 overall, but not by all that much. The 8800GT 512's and X3870's have availability problems right now. If I were buying today, I'd go X3850 over a 256 meg 8800GT card. As is, I'll wait till February and try to snag a one gig X3870 for my next build.

gpippas said:
To the OP

Aren't there any 3850 512mb cards avaialble. There is in the UK. The price difference translates to about $20 over the standard 256mb cards. Also all the 3850 512mb cards have overclocked cores and memory and better cooling. Infact there performance is just below that of a 3870.

Looking at the reviews one of those cards would easily beat a stock 8800gt 256mb.


If it turns out by February that I can't get any version of the X3870, then I'll go for a 512 meg version of the X3850. That's worth an extra $20 from Newegg. Can't wait to see the one gig version of the X3870 that's been promised.
!