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2 x nVidia 7600GS SLI vs 1 x ATI HD 4670

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 9, 2009 7:23:59 PM

So I have a little problem.

I had a system with two nVidia 7600GS Graphics cards in an SLI configuration on a Gigabyte M590 SLI motherbaord. nVidia 590 chipset basically, PCI Express and all that. PCI x16 v 1 (or whatever).

But little did I realise, those cards weren't HDCP compliant.

Wonderful for everything else, and The Sims 2 was flawless for me.

Getting a Blu Ray drive, I was told by PowerDVD that I need HDCP compliant graphics cards, so I ummed and ahhed for a few months about ATI vs nVidia. I wasn't quite sure about ATI, I didn't think they were that fantastic compared to my rock solid nVidia based system.

But I figured I'd take the plunge, and get a HD 4670. Half the cost of an nVidia 9800GT and probably just as powerful, and I figured, why not.

Try my first Blu Ray disc with PowerDVD, and it starts playing, get lines on the screen, you remember in video editing when you try to go interlaced and you see each line out of sync with each other? Kind of like that. Then black screen. Ok fair enough, problem with PowerDVD.

Try the Sims 2, and the graphics stutter, the layers disappear, sometimes Im left with just floor, or random flashes as you roll around the screen.

Somethings amiss here.

Either the 4670 isn't as great as 2x 7600GS, or I've made a serious mistake. Power supply is 500 watt. 2 CD Rom, 4x1Gig of RAM, 3 HDDs, and a Dual Core Processor. Never been a problem with my two graphics cards. Maybe the HD 4670 just needs a PCIe x16 2.0 to work properly, in which case, what was the blooming point of that?

Any thoughts? This really is quite frustrating.

I'd like to know what Im doing wrong here.

Hopefully you'll tell me there's no reason, must be a substandard graphics card and that it should easily beat two 7600GS hands down, in which case, I'll send it back and get my money back.

Cya
Simon
January 9, 2009 7:35:10 PM

Geforce 7600GS too old now
even Geforce can beat two Geforce7600GS
i think HD 4670 are 4X at less faster then GF 7600GS
January 9, 2009 7:38:39 PM

i mean even Geforce 8600GT can beat two Geforce7600GS
"sorry i can't edit my post . whats wrong! "
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January 9, 2009 7:52:13 PM

I can't understand then why Im getting such moth eaten performance. Out of everything I've seen, it would seem that 500w power supply should EASILY be enough.

So this is what I got in terms of graphics cards:

http://www.gigabyte.com.tw/Products/VGA/Products_Overvi...

This is what I got in terms of a motherboard:

http://www.gigabyte.com.tw/Products/Motherboard/Product...


Catalyst Control Center suggests:
Graphics Bus Capability PCI Express 2.0
Maximum Bus Setting PCI Express 2.0 x16

But if the 4670 is at least four times as fast than a 7600... then lets say it is twice as fast as two 7600gs... and if running at half speed should be as fast or faster than two 7600gs...

Im confused.
a c 171 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
January 9, 2009 8:10:58 PM

While it shouldn't be a problem, try messing with the drivers. Remove everything video card driver wise, and try reinstalling the card. You should also try testing the card in a different computer. DOA cards happen, perhaps thats all you have.
January 9, 2009 8:14:16 PM

4670 is an excellent card and will give you plenty of power over 2 7600. Buy it!
January 9, 2009 8:14:47 PM

That's odd, the HD4670 should crush your previous setup. PCI express 2.0 wouldn't even matter, it probably wouldn't use all of the bandwidth that the original provided.

What brand/model PSU are you using? Are you running recent drivers? Is it running really hot?

January 9, 2009 8:24:32 PM

It's an Akasa AK-P050FG7 500W PSU. It's a couple years old, but it's never given me a problem. The fan on the card is running really fast, but the card is quite cold. It's not even warm. The 7600GS which was fanless ran incredibly hot.

Maybe I should stick to the hope that it is quite simply a DOA card.

When I opened the box, there was no seal on it, the inner tray was ripped, and there was a finger print on the fan. Other than that, nice looking card.

I've removed the nVidia graphics driver, the only thing I havent done is completely remove all traces of ATI and start again from scratch.

January 10, 2009 1:04:35 PM

Ok, I've just done all this, with no effect. Still the same. Removed all nVidia drivers. The only thing I havent yet done is run Driver Sweeper.

How safe is that?
a b U Graphics card
January 10, 2009 2:11:06 PM

Try booting into safe mode and run driver sweeper, I went from an Nvidia 7300LE to a 9600gt and had no problems. Just boot into safe mode, make sure it's checked to only look for nvidia graphics drivers, scan it, clean it, then reboot into normal mode, reinstall latest drivers from ATI and see how that works for you.

If you are concerned, may want to do a backup of your main files though.
January 10, 2009 2:36:44 PM

You need to run driver sweeper in safe mode and get rid of all your old drivers nvidia and ati, and start fresh. You obviously are having driver conflicts.
January 10, 2009 3:35:09 PM

Ran driver sweeper, removed all nvidia and ati drivers, even in safe mode. Reinstalled fresh, downloaded ati drivers. Still no joy.
a b U Graphics card
January 10, 2009 5:01:09 PM

Maybe a reformat then? That would certainly clear out any conflicts. I know they say that going from Nvidia to an ATI card or vice versa can be interesting.
January 10, 2009 5:04:54 PM

Reformat? You're having a giraffe aren't you?

I do tend to think the idea about removing anything nVidia related and trying again is a bit of an old wives tale. The idea that Windows will see an ATI card, but see an nVidia driver and try and use that, or have the ATI drivers try and use non linked DLLs and system files a bit far fetched.

But hey ho.

I'll be sending the card back assuming it's faulty. The box was opened when I received it and the inner tray was ripped as if it was previously used.
a c 171 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
January 10, 2009 10:25:06 PM

Probably a good idea. Before you do, if you can, try it in a known good system. If the card is bad, it should fail to boot as well. More ammo for your RMA if you need it.
January 10, 2009 10:46:02 PM

It's not bad as in it doesn't work at all, but I would imagine there would be degrees of badness. My system is a known good system. It boots fine. But it fails at playing BluRay and fails with playing my favourite game.

I spent £150, or more, just on trying to get BluRay working, and now I got problems with my games.

The Catalyst controllers also don't control the fan on my new card properly either, it's just permanently on. Obviously making me wonder further whether there's a fault.

Im going back to nVidia.

Cya
Simon
January 15, 2009 7:29:40 PM

Well, I just spent £120 on an XFX 9800GT (nVidia). According to my information it gives marginal improvement at best on an ATI4670.

Plays BluRay discs flawlessly. Also my Sims 2 game is also flawless.

nVidia does it again.

Of course, it is possible that the ATI card I had was just faulty.
January 15, 2009 8:55:11 PM

Hrm. My information is wrong. I was thinking of the 9600GT. But eh. For the prices, the 9600GT is a non-entity compared to the 9800GT.

According to 3D Vantage, 9800GT clocks in at 4948 while the ATI 4670 clocks in at 2909. According to the benchmarking, it even slowed my procesor down.

I should have gone to a 9500GT just to prove how great nVidia is.

Love to see some benchmarks showing 7600GS, 9800GT and ATI 4670.

Someone reckons the 9800GT is only twice as fast as the 7600GS.

Confused.

Cya
Simon
January 23, 2009 6:34:07 PM

I think your problem is outdated bios on your motherboard. You have done everything except update that.

If it were a bad video card, you would have seen graphical glitches and artifacts everywhere, and not just when trying to play blueray or HD content. But, It could also be the Manufacturer of HD4670 that could be to blame. I purchased a HD 3850 from VisionTek that was absolute garbage. I returned that card and got a Sapphire HD 4670 1gb DDR3, and it does everything flawlessly.
January 23, 2009 6:45:52 PM

For me the fact it even ran the fan at 100% (this is the card doing that, and thought it was on PCI Express x16 v2) was the clincher for me in deciding the stupid thing is faulty.

I wasn't about to spend a couple of days updating BIOS and system drivers that could have the potential to kill my system just to try and prove it's not my system.

We'll never know now, as I sent it back.

But Im perplexed as to how a BIOS can cause problems with a graphics card?

Some people might suggest that bad DDR3 would present itself in situations such as BluRay playback or games.

Suppose it's a moot point now. Switched to a 9800GT and that works flawlessly and even detects the correct bus type.

Im happy. Plus it's a new card. The 4670 came in a ripped box and sold "as new".

Perhaps I was just expecting too much out of the 4670? The information I have suggests that at best, the 4670 has a 3D Mark Vantage score of roughly twice that of 2x7600GS.

On a v1 PCI Express x16, that would be half bandwidth, and I presume mean the 4670 would score half and therefore be lower than 2 7600GS.

I took loads of benchmarks and found comparitive tests between machines, and put together a little chart for myself after levelling out the 3D Mark scores:

I got fed up trying to work out all the benchmarking and what it relates to my old card.

So I took the 3Dmark Vantage/06 results against comparitive tests, and did some calculations and worked out:

nVidia 7600GS 182
nVidia 7600GT 286
nVidia 8600GT 400
nVidia 9500GT 465
ATI 4670 644
nVidia 9600GT 852
nVidia 9800GT 1000 (Based on 3D Mark of 13440)

I would suggest, 2x7600GS in SLI would be 364, while the 4670 on v1, would be 322.

Cya
Simon
January 23, 2009 6:46:18 PM

Which reminds me gallidorn, your PCI Express x16, is that v1 or v2?

Cya
Simon
January 23, 2009 6:54:55 PM

The reason behind suggesting the motherboard bios update, is because your motherboard is a little bit older and may not fully support PCI Express v2. The reason for bios updates is to fix issues the manufacturer has discovered through issues reported by their customers.

I'm confused a little, because it sounds like you never downloaded the latest drivers from ATI/AMD?

That should have been the first thing you did after installing the new card.

Sorry, I don't mean to sound critical, but if you are running outdated drivers (which most are by the time you pull the card out of the box), then you will be lucky if your card performs well at all.

January 23, 2009 7:07:44 PM

Sorry I mean, I wasn't running updated system board chipset and BIOS drivers. They were from 2007 and 2006 respectively.

The graphics issues were present both on the ATI drivers that came out of the box with the graphics card and also in 8.12 of Catalyst. CCC refused to control the overclocking features of the card. Despite unlocking and setting values, no changes would occur and the GPU would remain at a frosty 39 degrees.

I swapped that card for a 9800GT and unlike the 4670, it reports the correct bus type in DirectX/3D Mark Vantage. It kind of makes me wonder.

I have just updated BIOS and Mainboard drivers. Done absolutely diddly squat for performance but there are a few more buttons to press now.

Cya
Simon
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