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New Video Card advice (ATi vs. nVidia)

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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November 13, 2009 6:05:44 PM

OK, so here is the situation that I need help with. I'm putting together a new gaming rig and have decided on 98% of the components going it to it. As a basic break down it's going to be an Intel i7 920 setup with a CrossFire/SLI capable EVGA x58 board. As stated it's going to be a gaming rig and I mostly play MMO's, but I do have some high end capable FPS's as well (Crysis, World at War, etc.).

Here is my question. What is the better make to go with now a days, or is that to broad of a question?

I've been using nVidia for about the last 2 cards that I have owned. My last ATi was an AGP 9800 and I gave up on that make because the drivers at the time just started to become crap and I got frustrated with the whole ATi thing and switched. I've been happy with nVidia and was originally planning to stick with them by purchasing 2 260's and setting up SLI when I put my new system together. Since I'm new to the whole Intel components (Been using AMD for to long to remember. :)  ) I posted on the new system side of the forums my query on components and people were really helpful, however I ran into people suggesting that I switch to ATi because their cards a getting further ahead of nVidia.

Now one of the reasons that I was interested in sticking to nVidia of course is because they now support the PhysX engine which from what I've seen in demos makes things a bit more realistic graphics wise. From what I've read ATi doesn't really have anything like this, but then they have the new DirectX 11. Is one feature going to be better than the other or is it just better to view the specs (of which ATi definitely seems to be the winner at the moment) and go with that? If I stick with nVidia I plan to go with SLI 2x260 216, but am leaning towards the ATi 5770 (about the same price point) and then possibly getting a second and CrossFireing them after I've paid off a bit of the rest of the system.

Also, just for my own curiosity and because what I've read doesn't make total sense with the new generation cards, but how come even though nVidia cards are usually higher spec wise (clock, memory bus, stream/shader processors, etc.) than Radeons, that Radeons are getting better performance? Just wondering what I'm missing in my understanding things. :heink: 

Any way, sorry for the long winded post, and thanks in advance for any help people can give.
November 13, 2009 6:24:36 PM

because the radeon's have more stream shaders than nvidia's shaders and ati has higher clocks and faster memory
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November 13, 2009 6:25:04 PM

ATI is the only one that has DirectX 11, so unless you plan on replacing your graphics card anyway in the next year or two, get one of those four.

A GPU is always coming out every six months with better specs than the last one, but having too low a DirectX version is what eventually obsoletes the card.

I really have never noticed any difference between ATI and Nvidia as manufacturers overall. They both have their stretches where one card takes a slight lead over another, but that just changes naturally from generation to generation and there's not really anything "wrong" with one brand or the other.
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November 13, 2009 6:25:30 PM

as far as nivida vs ati get whatever suit your application the best for the money, it's foolish to select by brand

the reason the ati's lower spec cards can beat nvidia's is due to the chip architecture, it may be moving slower but it is doing the work smarter. Similar to intel's chips; speeds haven't been going up they change architecture every few years (p4, core 2,...) thus increasing performance.

as far a which card to get if you post your games and resolution you will be playing there are many people here who can answer that question better than me
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November 13, 2009 11:28:23 PM

Knew I forgot something. I'm currently using a Samsung SyncMaster 2493 (24.5") at 1920x1200. As for games, it varies but I do have some like CoD: World at War, Crysis, and World at War 2 that I'd like to be able to run pretty high with resolution/AA wise. Of course pricing does have a factor which is why I was looking at the 5770 and 260, so about $200-ish. Thanks
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