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Any reason for me to get an HD3850 over an 8600GTS?

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December 21, 2007 3:31:54 AM

First I must state that I know the 3850 is faster then the 8600GTS in terms of graphical power. However I do not use my computer to play games. I just browse the internet, burn dvd/cd, watch movies, listen to music and do some video encoding. My current system is as follows:

Dell 530
Vista home premium
Q6600 processor
4GB Ballistix DDR2 800MHz
Antec 500W PSU
Integrated GPU
LG L246WP monitor 1900x1200

Just a few days ago I picked up an EVGA 8600GTS 256MB "256-P2-N761-AR" graphics card. Now I just found out that I can get a VisionTek HD3850 card for literally about $5 more. Given my current system and the way that I use it, is there any reason for me to return the 8600GTS and buy the HD3850? Will the 3850 give me a better picture during blu-ray playback? Is VisionTek a reputable company? Any help would be appreciated : )

Also, what is the difference between the Antec Basic 500W PSU and the Antec EarthWatts 500W PSU?

More about : reason hd3850 8600gts

December 21, 2007 4:15:22 AM

http://firingsquad.com/hardware/amd_rv670_performance_p...

Check out the performance difference for yourself, the HD 3850 totally stomps out the poor 8600GTS by a heafy 30 FPS in that test.

The difference between those two PSU is unknown? but i would say make and quality.
But if you dont game much or at all why not look at the HD 2600XT that is really great for decoding and watching movies, along with the HDMI output its a clear winner for Home theaters!


Whoa! just found this on newegg.com can anyone confirm this!?? this is crazy!
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
!!!!$90
a b U Graphics card
December 21, 2007 4:29:31 AM

stick with the 8600 if returning it would be any hassle. if it means dropping it back off at BB, I say take it back and get the 3850 if it's only $5 more (how much did you pay for an 8600?!) if you want to save money the 8500, hd2400 or 2600 would all serve your uses just as well for a lot less money. all of these cards off load hd processing, not that you need it with a q6600!

the earthwatts are made by seasonic, likely to be a better quality than the "standard" 500. earthwatts also have higher efficiency, which is nice.
Related resources
December 21, 2007 5:59:36 AM

take the 3850 because it's PCIe 2.0. When you will upgradeing your comp, probable will be MBO with PCIe 2.0, so you'll not have to change your VGA
December 21, 2007 6:43:21 AM

The 3850 is quite a bit faster afaik. The 8600 is the biggest flop in graphics card history.
December 21, 2007 6:51:36 AM

Yes, get the 3850 over the 8600. I've often found that ATI cards are better for multimedia than Nvidia's. Maybe I just like Avivo over Pure Video? Am I right in thinking that Nvidia charges separately for that?

December 21, 2007 7:26:13 AM

If you only have one hard disk and edit a bit of video or do multi-tasking, but another HD to get better use of your Q6600.
a b U Graphics card
December 21, 2007 7:35:25 AM

Feelgood said:
Also, what is the difference between the Antec Basic 500W PSU and the Antec EarthWatts 500W PSU?

Basiq = poor quality and no bling and the price is low for good reason.
EarthWatts = very good quality but no bling so it keeps the price down. Also supposedly designed for high efficiency
December 21, 2007 7:39:51 AM

Yes, get the 3850 if it's not much hassle. The UVD on those cards also support full VC1 video codec (which is used a lot on Blu-ray) decoding over DXVA unlike PureVideo 2 that only support this codec partially thus much higher CPU usage. Then again your CPU is strong enough for VC1 though so it's your choice.

Stay away from those lower end HD2400 or GF8400 and 8500 as they have trouble playing 1080i or p currently if you want to buy more cards for HD playback. Don't think this will ever be fixed though as those cards actually lack the power needed to accelerate video at that resolution.

Last but not less if you have trouble with color level with the new ATI HD card looks here http://exdeus.home.comcast.net/ati-hd2x00/. nvidia has this problem, too. But most ppl doesn't notice.
December 21, 2007 9:09:28 AM

Yes, deffy
December 21, 2007 11:28:37 AM

Good advice so far :) 

I can't believe how similar the HD3850 is to the 8800GT in these graphs seen here. Being that it is substantially less, the choice seems like a no brainer. Even if I won't tap into 50% of it because I don't game!

http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3175&p=6

December 21, 2007 12:37:01 PM

torcida_kutina said:
take the 3850 because it's PCIe 2.0. When you will upgradeing your comp, probable will be MBO with PCIe 2.0, so you'll not have to change your VGA


PCie 2.0 and 1.0 are compatible with each other.

When i read the OP i thought he said 8800gt... but nope, he said 8600.

the 3580 will just destroy the 8600.
December 21, 2007 12:41:56 PM

Better UVD encoder (on the HD3850). The PureVideo on the nVidia is not very good (especially outside Vista).

http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/10/26/avivo_hd_vs_pure...

It's pretty clear from the article that AVIVO is superior to PureVideo (in the HD2x00 vs. 8x00 arena). I'm sure the same is as true (if not more true) in the HD3x00 vs. 8x00 realm.

Edit: 8x00 (read: non-G92 based)
December 21, 2007 12:58:46 PM

Get the 3850, even if you dont game. It is a more powerful card by far and for $5 dollars more you are really getting your moneys worth. Besides, you may not game now, but you never know; one of your friends just might show you a game you really like. So if anything, get it just in case, because $5 more is more than worth it.
December 21, 2007 1:01:41 PM

Yeah, I would definitely get the HD3850, not only is it a better investment, it's just an all around much better card.

Like some people said, the Earthwatts version of Antec is made by Seasonic and of very good quality (I have the 430 Watt Earthwatts version). Amazing PSU. Quiet, very good quality, cheap, and has very good amps on the 12+ rails. So I would definitely get the earthwatts version.
December 21, 2007 1:02:11 PM

monsterrocks said:
Get the 3850, even if you dont game. It is a more powerful card by far and for $5 dollars more you are really getting your moneys worth. Besides, you may not game now, but you never know; one of your friends just might show you a game you really like. So if anything, get it just in case, because $5 more is more than worth it.


I second that.
December 21, 2007 1:04:07 PM

with no doubt 3850 , if you never play game in resolution more than 1050i with all AA in some games like call of duty4,and so on. the 3850 will do a good job ,and it's performance at least 1.5times more than 8600GT
December 21, 2007 2:39:37 PM

Feelgood said:
Just a few days ago I picked up an EVGA 8600GTS 256MB "256-P2-N761-AR" graphics card. Now I just found out that I can get a VisionTek HD3850 card for literally about $5 more. Given my current system and the way that I use it, is there any reason for me to return the 8600GTS and buy the HD3850? Will the 3850 give me a better picture during blu-ray playback? Is VisionTek a reputable company? Any help would be appreciated : )

Yes, you should get the 3850 if you're going to be watching HD movies (blu-ray and HD DVD). ATi's Avivo HD is better implemented in the 3850's than nVidia's PureVideo HD in the 8600. ATi offers better noise reduction and better offloading of the CPU (which isn't that important with the CPU you have). Now, I'm not an ATi fan, but according to the various reviews I've read, you'd be better off with the 3850 for HD content, and games when you feel like having some fun. :) 
December 21, 2007 2:40:42 PM

KyleSTL said:
Better UVD encoder (on the HD3850). The PureVideo on the nVidia is not very good (especially outside Vista).

http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/10/26/avivo_hd_vs_pure...

It's pretty clear from the article that AVIVO is superior to PureVideo (in the HD2x00 vs. 8x00 arena). I'm sure the same is as true (if not more true) in the HD3x00 vs. 8x00 realm.

Edit: 8x00 (read: non-G92 based)

What I said above ^^^! :) 
December 21, 2007 3:03:46 PM

Feelgood said:
Good advice so far :) 

I can't believe how similar the HD3850 is to the 8800GT in these graphs seen here. Being that it is substantially less, the choice seems like a no brainer. Even if I won't tap into 50% of it because I don't game!

http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3175&p=6



Note that that was a chart with a 256MB 8800gt, not the more sought after "standard" 512.
I would highly recommend a 3850, better image quality, why not if that is your purpose.
December 21, 2007 3:12:41 PM

I'm seeing a whole lot of idiocy in this thread. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

I can't believe how many people would recommend upgrading from an 8600 to a 3850 when the guy SAYS HE ISN'T USING IT FOR GAMING.

WTF? For what possible reason would he upgrade to a faster gaming card? His 8600 GTS is already overkill for watching DVD movies and has great HD-DVD and Blu-ray acceleration. For chrissake, it's even an OK gaming card.

Listening to music and video encoding has absolutely nothing to do with the video card. Do you think his internet browsing will show some kind of massive quality increase with a 3850? Jesus murphy, people. A Radeon 2400 or Geforce 8400 would be more than this guy needs.

If you don't know what you're talking about, try not to recommend that folks blow their hard-earned money on a useless upgrade.

Seriously people. Just use some common sense.
December 21, 2007 3:32:20 PM

Well its only $5 more dollars. The 8600GTS isnt really an overkill.
So what if he did start gaming for some random reason? Then a 3850 would be a huge benefit.
If he turns Catalyst AI off then he will get a somewhat difference in picture quality.

Another reason why most people keep suggesting that the OP should get the 3850 is because the 8600GTS is a big waste of money. Cleave you said things about hard-earned money and a useless upgrade. Well then basicly the 8600GTS is a "useless upgrade" and I think a 3850 will be worth his "hard-earned" money for $5 more dollars.

Of course the OP dosen't have to get a 3850 if he dosen't want to.
December 21, 2007 3:43:01 PM

Catalyst AI has absolutely nothing to do with 2d picture quality. I don't know who told you that, but they were off base.

The 8600 GTS is most definitely and undeniably overkill for someone who never plans to game.
Even if they did, it's a fine gaming card.

But you guys are going on about how much better the 3850 will be when this fellow won't see one iota of benefit.

If he's going to go through the trouble of exchanging cards, it'd make more sense to DOWNGRADE to a 2600 XT or 8600 GT to get some cash back - both of which are still more than he needs if he's not a gamer, but will have excellent HD video playback and can even game at 1280x1024 with no AA very well.

Is $5 - and the time and hassle to exchange cards - worth it for absolutely no real-world benefit to this fellow? I guess that's for him to decide, but don't tell him he's going to see any difference. He won't see a smidgeon of difference for what he's doing.
December 21, 2007 4:11:44 PM

cleeve said:
Catalyst AI has absolutely nothing to do with 2d picture quality. I don't know who told you that, but they were off base.

The 8600 GTS is most definitely and undeniably overkill for someone who never plans to game.
Even if they did, it's a fine gaming card.

But you guys are going on about how much better the 3850 will be when this fellow won't see one iota of benefit.

If he's going to go through the trouble of exchanging cards, it'd make more sense to DOWNGRADE to a 2600 XT or 8600 GT to get some cash back - both of which are still more than he needs if he's not a gamer, but will have excellent HD video playback and can even game at 1280x1024 with no AA very well.

Is $5 - and the time and hassle to exchange cards - worth it for absolutely no real-world benefit to this fellow? I guess that's for him to decide, but don't tell him he's going to see any difference. He won't see a smidgeon of difference for what he's doing.

Point granted. Forshame ... me :pfff:  :( 
December 21, 2007 4:13:19 PM

But ATI has better color quality, nvidia can only output 2bit color!
December 21, 2007 4:22:15 PM

There's one nifty advantage that could come into play in favor of the 3850 but only if the OP converts videos. ATI's free AVIVO video converter. Something I surely miss since upgrading to my 8800GTS.
December 21, 2007 4:23:20 PM

This internet thing is the best ... Thanks
a c 143 U Graphics card
December 21, 2007 4:27:10 PM

Cleeve, you have a good point. BUT, what if the guy gets a GF and she likes to game. :)  Or what if he wants to resell the computer in 2 years and the buyer cares a lot about the difference between those two cards.

If the whole thing costs only $5 and a trip to a nearby store, with no shipping or restocking fees, I'd do the exchange.
December 21, 2007 5:29:57 PM

I think you can get a 8400 GS or 2400 PRO to do the same exact thing
December 21, 2007 5:35:34 PM

aevm said:
Cleeve, you have a good point. BUT, what if the guy gets a GF and she likes to game. :)  Or what if he wants to resell the computer in 2 years and the buyer cares a lot about the difference between those two cards.


Absolutely. But these are the things that people should have told the fellow so HE could make up his mind. Instead, he was told how terrible the 8600 GTS was, with little reference to his needs.

And really, the 8600 GTS is a fine gaming card. It's overpriced compared tot he X1950 PRO, but it's more than a non-gamer will ever need, even if they decide to dip their toes in the gaming arena.
December 21, 2007 5:45:05 PM

torcida_kutina said:
take the 3850 because it's PCIe 2.0. When you will upgradeing your comp, probable will be MBO with PCIe 2.0, so you'll not have to change your VGA


That's a stupid reason. pci-e 2.0 is backwards compatible, meaning that 2.0 cards will work in 1.0 and vice versa.
December 21, 2007 6:45:37 PM

cleeve said:
I'm seeing a whole lot of idiocy in this thread. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

I can't believe how many people would recommend upgrading from an 8600 to a 3850 when the guy SAYS HE ISN'T USING IT FOR GAMING.

WTF? For what possible reason would he upgrade to a faster gaming card? His 8600 GTS is already overkill for watching DVD movies and has great HD-DVD and Blu-ray acceleration. For chrissake, it's even an OK gaming card.

Listening to music and video encoding has absolutely nothing to do with the video card. Do you think his internet browsing will show some kind of massive quality increase with a 3850? Jesus murphy, people. A Radeon 2400 or Geforce 8400 would be more than this guy needs.

If you don't know what you're talking about, try not to recommend that folks blow their hard-earned money on a useless upgrade.

Seriously people. Just use some common sense.


He doesn't game NOW. If he is spending his hard earned money, and if he can get something way better for $5 more, then he should get the slightly more expensive product for higher performance. If he ever does get into games, which do think would be better, the 8600 or the 3850? Why don't you get some common sense before telling others to use their common sense.
December 21, 2007 6:52:11 PM

monsterrocks said:
He doesn't game NOW.


He didn't ask our opinions wether or not he should game, or if we think he should be gaming in the future. What he asked was:

"...I do not use my computer to play games. I just browse the internet, burn dvd/cd, watch movies, listen to music and do some video encoding.

Given my current system and the way that I use it, is there any reason for me to return the 8600GTS and buy the HD3850? Will the 3850 give me a better picture during blu-ray playback?"



The answer to that would be "the way you use your computer, it doesn't matter which card you have."
And maybe we could add, "If you DO want to game in the future, it'll make a big difference".

The answer is not "We think you should be a gamer so please upgrade".
December 21, 2007 7:29:56 PM

sympathy for AMD shareholders ?
December 21, 2007 7:59:44 PM

cleeve said:
He didn't ask our opinions wether or not he should game, or if we think he should be gaming in the future. What he asked was:

"...I do not use my computer to play games. I just browse the internet, burn dvd/cd, watch movies, listen to music and do some video encoding.

Given my current system and the way that I use it, is there any reason for me to return the 8600GTS and buy the HD3850? Will the 3850 give me a better picture during blu-ray playback?"



The answer to that would be "the way you use your computer, it doesn't matter which card you have."
And maybe we could add, "If you DO want to game in the future, it'll make a big difference".

The answer is not "We think you should be a gamer so please upgrade".


Maybe if your read my first post you would see that I NEVER said he should become a gamer. I said that he ma get into gaming sometime and for that reason he should spent the extra $5. So there is nothing wrong with what I said.
December 21, 2007 8:11:31 PM

monsterrocks said:
Maybe if your read my first post you would see that I NEVER said he should become a gamer.


Maybe if you read my first post, you'll see that I wasn't referring to you as you hadn't even posted yet... ;) 
December 21, 2007 9:13:21 PM

Cleeve ole buddy...is there something you wanna talk about????
December 21, 2007 9:57:04 PM

cleeve said:
Maybe if you read my first post, you'll see that I wasn't referring to you as you hadn't even posted yet... ;) 


Ummm...yeah, I had posted already.
December 21, 2007 10:08:58 PM

go for the ATI 3850 definitely.

Also im looking into buying your monitor what do u think of it?
December 21, 2007 11:37:35 PM

cleeve said:
Catalyst AI has absolutely nothing to do with 2d picture quality. I don't know who told you that, but they were off base.

The 8600 GTS is most definitely and undeniably overkill for someone who never plans to game.
Even if they did, it's a fine gaming card.

But you guys are going on about how much better the 3850 will be when this fellow won't see one iota of benefit.

If he's going to go through the trouble of exchanging cards, it'd make more sense to DOWNGRADE to a 2600 XT or 8600 GT to get some cash back - both of which are still more than he needs if he's not a gamer, but will have excellent HD video playback and can even game at 1280x1024 with no AA very well.

Is $5 - and the time and hassle to exchange cards - worth it for absolutely no real-world benefit to this fellow? I guess that's for him to decide, but don't tell him he's going to see any difference. He won't see a smidgeon of difference for what he's doing.

True about Catalyst AI but it does in 3D.
Well if he happens to go to the store or something for other needs then he can exchange it very quickly. Also he will be way more future proof. You never knows what happens in the future. $5 to be ready sounds good to me.
December 21, 2007 11:40:50 PM

Ok monster and cleave please calm down.

To see who wins this argument, lets ask the OP what he's going to do.

@OP.
Do you think that in the future or nearfuture, that you will do some gaming? Maybe games like Cod4, world in conflict. w/e.
December 22, 2007 12:04:20 AM

aznstriker92 said:
Ok monster and cleave please calm down.

To see who wins this argument, lets ask the OP what he's going to do.

@OP.
Do you think that in the future or nearfuture, that you will do some gaming? Maybe games like Cod4, world in conflict. w/e.


You completely missed the point.
December 22, 2007 1:14:57 AM

monsterrocks said:
Ummm...yeah, I had posted already.


Well, in that case you're welcome to apply a little logic and figure out whether the post was meant for you or not...

If it doesn't apply to you, that's a hint to keep your panties from getting in a knot. :D 
December 22, 2007 1:36:59 AM

cleeve said:
Well, in that case you're welcome to apply a little logic and figure out whether the post was meant for you or not...

If it doesn't apply to you, that's a hint to keep your panties from getting in a knot. :D 


Fair enough. ;) 
December 22, 2007 2:11:01 AM

cleeve said:
For what possible reason would he upgrade to a faster gaming card? His 8600 GTS is already overkill for watching DVD movies and has great HD-DVD and Blu-ray acceleration. For chrissake, it's even an OK gaming card.


For the sheer reason that the HD3850 is a better HD format renderer. The card packs features that make it a better High-Definition card over the 8600. Such as the fact that the HD3850 packs the VC-1 decode, and full H.264 decoding. Not to mention UVD. The GTS isn't as overkill as the HD3850, but compare prices: HD3850 $170, 8600GTS $145, for an extra $15 you get a much better and well rounded video card, specially to what his needs and wants are. He might not NEED a gaming card, but if he decides to pursue that route, he'll have a very capable card in that respect.

cleeve said:
Listening to music and video encoding has absolutely nothing to do with the video card. Do you think his internet browsing will show some kind of massive quality increase with a 3850? Jesus murphy, people. A Radeon 2400 or Geforce 8400 would be more than this guy needs.


Actually the 8600 series and HD3000 series have a lot to do with video playback, not so much audio, but most certainly video. As for the browser, when you watch videos, say, on YouTube, the quality of the video will be much better, I know this as fact for when i compare my 7900GS to my old 8800GTX and HD2900 Pro. it's almost like night and day. So yes, it does have to do with video. The 8400 and HD2400 would be OK, but it certainly is not a card I would ever suggest.


cleeve said:
Seriously people. Just use some common sense.


You think you would use some common sense and see that the HD3850 is a very well rounded, capable, priced video card to handle all of his needs and wants, and offer a lot more than an 8600GTS ever would. For an extra $15 the performance benefits are almost to irresistible. Common sense would tell you this.


cleeve said:
Catalyst AI has absolutely nothing to do with 2d picture quality. I don't know who told you that, but they were off base.


Actually it does. You can adjust AA and Anisotropic Filtering via Catalyst AI for EVERY application, thus giving you a better and crisper 2D image. There's even 2D options in the Catalyst AI Control Panel.

cleeve said:
The 8600 GTS is most definitely and undeniably overkill for someone who never plans to game.
Even if they did, it's a fine gaming card.


Can't argue that, it'll game just fine, but he doesn't game so that really isn't subject here. However, the price difference between the HD3850 and 8600GTS and the potential benefits, which is what I'm looking at here, is an irresistible purchase. It offers better HD content decoding and playback and will offer a crisper image on his screen, specially if he's watching a video on his screen.

cleeve said:
But you guys are going on about how much better the 3850 will be when this fellow won't see one iota of benefit.


He'd REALLY see the benefit in gaming, and a smaller benefit in HD content as well as overall picture quality. He'd be perfectly fine with an 8600GTS sure, but he's asking if he should get it, i think he should. Based upon the author's question I would recommend the card to him no question. If you don't, that's fine as well. Everything about the two cards has a pro and a con.

cleeve said:
If he's going to go through the trouble of exchanging cards, it'd make more sense to DOWNGRADE to a 2600 XT or 8600 GT to get some cash back - both of which are still more than he needs if he's not a gamer, but will have excellent HD video playback and can even game at 1280x1024 with no AA very well.


While that is a very valid point indeed, you might want to also ask if there's a specific price he'd like to place on potential; specifically potential that is targeted at what he's doing and using.

cleeve said:
Is $5 - and the time and hassle to exchange cards - worth it for absolutely no real-world benefit to this fellow? I guess that's for him to decide, but don't tell him he's going to see any difference. He won't see a smidgeon of difference for what he's doing.


I'm going to go with a no, as he could end up spending the price difference just in gas alone, I don't know how far the commute is but it is entirely feasible. And yes, it is for him to decide, you and I are only here to persuade him into a suggestion. I just hope he'll turn to us before the folks over at Best Buy. We can agree on this, yes?
December 22, 2007 3:07:21 AM

For real HD content as in 1080i and p on HD DVD or Blu-ray or even HDTV, anything lower than a nvidia 8600 or ATI 2600 won't cut it. At the time I tried, with a 8500 you will have no picture, with the ATI 2400XT it is either scaled down or cropped. So stop saying that a 2400 or 8400gs is ok for video playback. But maybe you think video playback doesn't include playing back 1080 content, meh.
December 22, 2007 2:42:04 PM

justinmcg67 said:
For the sheer reason that the HD3850 is a better HD format renderer.?


please. With a decent CPU, the 8600 GTS offers near-identical real-world HD decoding. VC-1 is pretty easy on the CPU, it's a checkbox feature for Ati, and good for them for having it, but seriously. The real-world difference between the two is negligible on vista without benchmarking or serious scrutiny. on XP the 3850 has better post processing, but once again... I didn't see you offering this info to the OP so he could make an informed decision. NOW, everybody pipes up.


justinmcg67 said:
The 8400 and HD2400 would be OK, but it certainly is not a card I would ever suggest.


The 8400 & 2400 are absolutely great for plain DVD playback. Since the OP didn;'t mention the kind of videos they're watching, and the current standard is DVD, it's likely what they're watching. Once again, why not give the OP the info and let them know instead of making asssumptions?


justinmcg67 said:
You think you would use some common sense and see that the HD3850 is a very well rounded, capable, priced video card to handle all of his needs and wants, and offer a lot more than an 8600GTS ever would. For an extra $15 the performance benefits are almost to irresistible. Common sense would tell you this.


Common sense should tell you that berating a deaf man because he didn't spend $15 more for better speakers isn't a good deal. The money spent is as good a deal as the utility the OP gets out of it. But you're missing my point, I think the OP can upgrade to his hearts content - if he wants to based on quality information. Information that he wasn't provided, IMHO. My problem is that almost everyone (monster excluded :) ) has boasted up and down how much better the 3850 is for the OP's needs without telling him the real-world impact, many people basing their recommendation on gaming alone when the OP made it clear he won't be using the card for gaming.

Nobody said the real world difference of video playback will be nil if he uses Vista; nobody said 2d performance will be identical. This is what he was asking, specifically how it would impact his needs.


justinmcg67 said:
Actually it does. You can adjust AA and Anisotropic Filtering via Catalyst AI for EVERY application, thus giving you a better and crisper 2D image. There's even 2D options in the Catalyst AI Control Panel.


If that's true I stand corrected, but I can't find any info supporting that. Please provide some proof.


justinmcg67 said:
I'm going to go with a no, as he could end up spending the price difference just in gas alone, I don't know how far the commute is but it is entirely feasible. And yes, it is for him to decide, you and I are only here to persuade him into a suggestion. I just hope he'll turn to us before the folks over at Best Buy. We can agree on this, yes?


After refuting everything I've said your last paragraph encapsulates my point perfectly. I'm simply diossapointed in the countless posters who told this guy to upgrade without providing reasons relevant to his request to do so.
December 22, 2007 7:14:02 PM

A couple clarifications about my needs.

I do play video games but I have a PS3 and XBOX 360 for that. I honestly believe that I have never played a game on my PC before so I do not so it happening anytime soon. I encode videos a few times a week and actually do not really even watch movies on the PC. About once a month I will watch a movie on my PC instead of on the plasma. I do not have a blu-ray burner yet but was expecting to pick one up sometime in the near future whenever the prices dip to around the $100 mark. I was pretty much just looking for the card that was going to give me the best picture quality, best performance in Vista and be able to run 1900x1200 with all the eye candy turned on. I was also having a hard time deciding on if I needed a 512MB instead of 256MB card. But for my needs/usage, I should not need the 512MB correct?

I should also add that I picked up the EVGA 8600GTS card for $120 off of an online retailer. It would be somewhat of a hassle to return the card. However, if the 3850 will perform better in the three categories listed above it would be worth it.
December 22, 2007 9:24:50 PM

1. Encoding videos has nothing to do with the video card. Ati does offer an encoding app you can download, but it isn't hardware accelerated, it's just software. It'll do the same job any encoder will.

2. Blu-ray & HD-DVD will look pretty much identical on the 8600 GTS or 3850 on windows Vista. The 3850 probably has a little bit better noise reduction.
(Anecdotally, if you're using XP, it will look a lot better on a radeon because the current Geforce drivers do not support HD video post-processing on XP)

3. 512mb is needed in games if you want to use ultra texture settings, makes no difference in non-gaming apps (except high-end CAD maybe)

Hope that helps. :) 



a b U Graphics card
December 22, 2007 9:45:04 PM

Wow, did someone wake up on the wrong side of the bed? The 3850 would obviously be better than a 8600gts, but the guy doesn't game, so anything over a $50 card would just be extra $ out of his pocket. He could even use the onboard GPU (if he had one). I'd take the 8600gts back and just use the $ for a cheaper card or use his onboard GPU.
!