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ATI or Nvidia?

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September 2, 2010 1:36:00 PM

OK, I am the crossroads here.

I really wanted to get into the 3 monitor deal I saw with Eyefinity. Now does Nvidia have that? I thought if they did, you would need to get 2 cards to do that, correct?

But then I see Nvidia has 3D, which I probably won't get into.

I was going to look into the XFX HD 5870 2GB card, which is quite expensive but I heard it's more stable than the HD 5970. Then I hear that before the end of the year, ATI is coming out with the HD 6XXX series. Is it worth it to wait and see if they addressed any bugs, power problems, etc.?

I currently have an old DEll Q6600 quad with a Nvidia 9800GT card, which has been running ok without any problems. Still, I have as a gift a brand new i7-930 and a 1250 PSU by Sparkle just sitting around waiting to be used. Have to decide on a build and a GPU.

So seriously, which one is better to get? ATI or Nvidia?

Thanks everyone!

More about : ati nvidia

a c 1307 U Graphics card
a c 145 Î Nvidia
September 2, 2010 1:45:05 PM

They are both good in the high end. If any then ATI is more energy efficient.
September 2, 2010 2:29:02 PM

I opted for Nvidia because its more future proof then ATI hince why ATI is already coming out with the 6xxx series towards the end of this year. How about all those guys that bought the 5xxx series? Are they going to sell their cards and upgrade this early, I would be pissed.

Besides, no games really take advantage of the higher end hardware anyways...

My 2 GTX 480's have been a boring experience so far IMO because everything is a console port etc. Crysis 2 has been delayed and while I have mostly been playing starcraft 2, I can't help but think of all the money I could have saved on a lower end gpu giving me the same performance @ 1920 x 1200 (you do not really need more then 60 fps)

I would suggest 2 GTX 460's
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a b U Graphics card
September 2, 2010 3:05:34 PM

A)There is no such thing as future proof, so ignore solid nickel. Also lol at his reasoning.

B)You do not need a 2GB card AFAIK. A 1GB 5870 would be more than most people need. I believe [H]ardocp did a review on eyefinity and 2GB cards.

C)I am not sure ATI has any bugs or power problems, I think you are confusing nvidia with ati there.

D)You are correct that you need 2 nvidia cards to have the nvidia equivalent of eyefinity.

My advice is to look at reviews, and look at your budget. Pick one according to them.
September 2, 2010 4:15:53 PM

strangestranger said:
A)There is no such thing as future proof, so ignore solid nickel. Also lol at his reasoning.

B)You do not need a 2GB card AFAIK. A 1GB 5870 would be more than most people need. I believe [H]ardocp did a review on eyefinity and 2GB cards.

C)I am not sure ATI has any bugs or power problems, I think you are confusing nvidia with ati there.

D)You are correct that you need 2 nvidia cards to have the nvidia equivalent of eyefinity.

My advice is to look at reviews, and look at your budget. Pick one according to them.



I said the Fermi was more future proof then ATI's 5xxx series. Obviously everyone or mostly everyone knows that nothing is futureproof.

Why would you go out and buy a new 5870 when the 6xxx series is coming out fairly soon unless a big price drop. My reasoning is funny? Its the truth, only a few games take advantage of my hardware at this point, why don't you have a look at the upcoming pc games coming out this quarter and the 1st,2nd and 3rd quarters of 2011; Nothing special thats going to make my 2 GTX 480's roar other then Crysis 2?

You need to include a extra 100 dollar Display port to even run Eyefinity that of which could go to the second Nvidia card. How much do you wanna bet you wont need this display port for the 6xxx series, a waste of money.

I am giving the OP my honest opinion.
September 2, 2010 4:32:17 PM

Ok, see I am a bit unfamiliar with both cards and what you need to run them, etc.

I can wait and not buy the 5870 now (unless yes if there was a HUGE price drop).

I also didn't know that about needing an extra $100 display port to run Eyefinity...or I forgot ;-)

I was just very interested in play games across 3 screens. I saw both previews of it on youtube for both ATI and Nvidia. They were both impressive but just wanted to get an opinion on which one was the best way to go.

Solidnickel, so you can play across 3 screens with your dual 2 GTX 480's? Have you tried it? Does it require more power than ATI's cards? Again, I am bit new to this here so forgive the noobish questions.

a b U Graphics card
September 2, 2010 4:34:23 PM

Why would you go out and buy a new 5870 when the 6xxx series is coming out fairly soon unless a big price drop. My reasoning is funny? said:
Why would you go out and buy a new 5870 when the 6xxx series is coming out fairly soon unless a big price drop. My reasoning is funny?


actually it is. its more like 95% e-peen, 4% utilitarian, 1% reasonable. just my estimate.
a b U Graphics card
September 2, 2010 4:43:56 PM

I do not see why fermi would be more future proof, you cannot guage that unless you know how games are going to be made down the road, we don't.

Futrue proofing is a bad concept that should not be at the forefront of a purchase decision, another being what is around the corner.

If you choose to wait on what might be, you will always be waiting. Christ you are running 480's for crying out loud.

You also do not need to buy a displayport adapter. That is only if you are running monitors without a Displayport, personally I would buy a decent monitor with all three main connectors, dvi, hdmi and DP.

OP, best read a few reviews before purchasing anything.
September 2, 2010 4:50:09 PM

nish-ka-bibble said:
Ok, see I am a bit unfamiliar with both cards and what you need to run them, etc.

I can wait and not buy the 5870 now (unless yes if there was a HUGE price drop).

I also didn't know that about needing an extra $100 display port to run Eyefinity...or I forgot ;-)

I was just very interested in play games across 3 screens. I saw both previews of it on youtube for both ATI and Nvidia. They were both impressive but just wanted to get an opinion on which one was the best way to go.

Solidnickel, so you can play across 3 screens with your dual 2 GTX 480's? Have you tried it? Does it require more power than ATI's cards? Again, I am bit new to this here so forgive the noobish questions.



Yes, I can easily hook up 2 more monitors and play across 3 screens in 3D with my current hardware. Its ready but I have not tried it. I game on a 28" monitor with pretty big bezels so you can imagine how big those bezels would be with me adding another 2 monitors. Now you can get some monitors with little bezels but I am hoping for non bezel monitors in the future plus if I'm to buy another monitor, It would be stereoscopic monitor.

As for power; Nvidia cards are more abit more power hungry; a 1k power PSU is all you need. My cards do not heat up past 79 degrees on any game either.

September 2, 2010 4:55:52 PM

strangestranger said:
I do not see why fermi would be more future proof, you cannot guage that unless you know how games are going to be made down the road, we don't.

Futrue proofing is a bad concept that should not be at the forefront of a purchase decision, another being what is around the corner.

If you choose to wait on what might be, you will always be waiting. Christ you are running 480's for crying out loud.

You also do not need to buy a displayport adapter. That is only if you are running monitors without a Displayport, personally I would buy a decent monitor with all three main connectors, dvi, hdmi and DP.

OP, best read a few reviews before purchasing anything.



The reason I said more future proof then the current ATI 5xxx series is because the way they handle tessellation which is what most newer games are going to be built around. If you every used Maya or Studio Max, tessellation has been around for more then a decade, just not implemented into games, have a look at the Heaven demo with wire frame mode on. Or open studio max and apply the tessellation filter and watch how much higher the polygons go up.
September 2, 2010 4:58:02 PM

wh3resmycar said:
actually it is. its more like 95% e-peen, 4% utilitarian, 1% reasonable. just my estimate.



You are weird man
September 2, 2010 5:22:31 PM

One other comment to the OP,

If you plan to upgrade, make sure you have a i7 cpu because anything else will most likely bottleneck your GPU or GPU's...

I had to upgrade from a q9550 to a i7 960 OC @ 3.8 to get rid of the bottleneck. That new build cost alot so keep that in mind as well.
a c 535 U Graphics card
a c 330 Î Nvidia
September 2, 2010 8:32:16 PM

As far as future-proofing goes, the Nvidia cards will basically get a boost in speed and overall performance, so nothing "new" will be added with the GTX 475, 485, etc. I would consider the GTX480 to be future-proof because the new cards will not do anything differently than the 480 already does, just faster, and it's already plenty fast.

For the ATI/AMD cards, they currently do not do a very good job with DX11 tesselation. The new 6000 series cards will address that issue and be much better DX11 performers. They will actually be better at video rendering and faster, so current ATI owners will feel a greater need to upgrade than will Nvidia owners.
a b U Graphics card
September 2, 2010 8:55:45 PM

There is no evidence that tesselation is going to make that big a deal, a few games have it at the moment but no indication that it will be widespread. Consoles don't have it for one.
September 2, 2010 9:03:20 PM

If power consumption is a major concern to you then go with ATI. For me...if my main rig is on a game is gonna be launched within a couple of minutes so low idle power usage is irrelevant. I prefer Nvidia cards because my computers do a lot of Folding@Home which ATI cards are horribly inefficient at...and have several programs that take advantage of the CUDA processing. The other thing is ATI doesn't do quite as well with drivers as nvidia so the "buggy" comment you made is more likely for ATI versus power consumption is more of an nvidia thing.

The other thing is all the benchmarks I saw were comparing the Fermi at launch with infant drivers against the 5870 and such which have fully matured drivers. I haven't seen any benchmarks yet of mature driver vs mature driver.

For budget gaming the 460s are amazing. $200 each and pretty darn awesome performance...and really high limits for overclocking.
September 2, 2010 9:07:02 PM

strangestranger said:
There is no evidence that tesselation is going to make that big a deal, a few games have it at the moment but no indication that it will be widespread. Consoles don't have it for one.


And console graphics are horrible compared to PC gaming.

Wasn't tessellation one of ATIs big things that they kept talking about with DX10.1? I'm really surprised nvidia managed to pass them at something they were talking about for a far longer time with it's advantages to graphics.

DX11 games all look far better with tessellation cranked up, I'm really hoping the ATI 6 series does fix the issue despite admittedly being an nvidia fanboy.
a c 271 U Graphics card
a c 168 Î Nvidia
September 2, 2010 9:34:50 PM

strangestranger said:
There is no evidence that tesselation is going to make that big a deal, a few games have it at the moment but no indication that it will be widespread. Consoles don't have it for one.


It's going to be interesting to see whether ATi stick with the idea of having a dedicated chip for tessellation or whether (like SLi bridges) they take a more Nvidian approach.
a b U Graphics card
September 2, 2010 9:44:56 PM

Unfortunately people have been saying that xxx is going to be the next best thing and appear in all the new games and it rarely does. Like most things tesselation, even though backed by microsoft now, will not take enough of a hold to matter until perhaps 2012. I may be wrong but buying something because of that is not wise.
September 2, 2010 11:56:29 PM

There is not such thing as future proof period. And yes the 480 is a faster card than the 5870 duh. The 5870 came out like almost a full year before the 480. Of course the 480 is going to be faster, its alot newer than the 5870. It would be more fair to compare it to 6xxx series when its released.
September 3, 2010 12:00:57 AM

Release dates for each card

5870 September 23, 2009
480 April 12, 2010

Nvidia had awhile to see what ATI launched to and to put out a better card. I have mostly owned ATI cards, but I usually say buy which ever is going to give you the best bang for your buck at the time.
a c 271 U Graphics card
a c 168 Î Nvidia
September 3, 2010 12:05:44 AM

mpavao81 said:
Release dates for each card

5870 September 23, 2009
480 April 12, 2010

Nvidia had awhile to see what ATI launched to and to put out a better card. I have mostly owned ATI cards, but I usually say buy which ever is going to give you the best bang for your buck at the time.

It's not a case of "lets see what the competition comes up with and we'll make a card that's better", it takes a couple of years to go from drawing board to silicon making your time line pointless.
September 3, 2010 12:10:19 AM

Point is they dont release cards at the same time so one is always going to be better, and in say 6 months people will be comparing the 6xxx series to the 4xx series. And chances are the 6xxx series will be better than the 4xx series. Then another 6 to 8 months after that nvidia will release another series of cards to.

With how fast cards get released there is no future proof, within 6 to 8 months there will be something out faster than what you bought. And 6 to 8 months is plenty of time to make changes to the core/memory speed. even if its just a small increase.
September 3, 2010 3:16:05 AM

Mousemonkey said:
It's not a case of "lets see what the competition comes up with and we'll make a card that's better", it takes a couple of years to go from drawing board to silicon making your time line pointless.


Exactly...the GF100 was in development loooong before the 5870 was released and long before anybody had any sort of idea what it would be. Just because a card is newer doesn't mean it's going to perform better...if that were true the GMA4500 would have been more powerful than something (besides another intel chip). Had TSMC had less problems making the Fermi chips it probably would have hit market first.

The fact of the matter is each company sits down and asks "Okay, what do we have that's working now? What do we need to improve on? What do we need to add for future games?" and designs the circuitry. For each product they try to make it as powerful as they can and then it's up to us to compare the results of their independent creations. Just because one releases later doesn't mean it's going to be more powerful. It could flop completely!

To get back on topic for the OP...the question you've asked really has no answer except for the one you want! Each manufacturer has it's strengths and weaknesses. They have incredibly different ways of going about the same end result and in turn each performs better at certain tasks than others. As far as Eyefinity and running 3 monitors off of a single 5870 I think it's a cool idea but you're still trying to feed three separate monitors from one single graphics processor. Sure it's a very powerful GPU but some new games now are pushing the card pretty hard at higher single monitor resolutions so for future gaming across 3 monitors I'm seeing performance and/or quality taking a huge hit.

I think what would really help us though is if you would tell us what kind of games you play so it'd be easier to determine what you're demanding from a GPU. If you're playing mostly like Call of Duty type of stuff I think 2-3 monitors off of a single card may be doable at playable framerates.
September 3, 2010 3:09:49 PM

I am good with my 480's for a long while, the game developers can not catch up to the hardware; simple as that. I am seeing games on consoles which is old hardware compared to todays standards that are just simply amazing looking and with 512 megs of total RAM!

Hell, the 360 has been out over 5 years now? Just imagine what game developers could do with a console that had a ATI 5xxx or Nvidia 4xxx series card. The console would last for a decade...

All the new xbox needs is keyboard and mouse support and I just might be done with PC gaming :wahoo: 
September 3, 2010 4:01:05 PM

asking to go with ATI or Nvidia is like asking for $10000 or $10001. everyone is bias, just do research and choose yourself.
a b U Graphics card
September 3, 2010 4:37:27 PM

I'm a fanboy of whatever company sells the best card at a cheaper price.
Price/Performance.
That would be a 460, in my opinion.
Honestly though I never get a high end card, right now I'm running a vapor-x 5770 because I got it through a combo that gave 20$ off.

If Microsoft/Sony release a new console within the year; I expect that the consoles won't have the high end gpu's at the time, we'll see the next xbox using a 4850/70 and the next playstation using 260/285.
At least Sony can keep their promise of full hd gaming then.
September 3, 2010 5:05:04 PM

dalta centauri said:
I'm a fanboy of whatever company sells the best card at a cheaper price.
Price/Performance.
That would be a 460, in my opinion.
Honestly though I never get a high end card, right now I'm running a vapor-x 5770 because I got it through a combo that gave 20$ off.

If Microsoft/Sony release a new console within the year; I expect that the consoles won't have the high end gpu's at the time, we'll see the next xbox using a 4850/70 and the next playstation using 260/285.
At least Sony can keep their promise of full hd gaming then.



4850? No way, I am sure it will be the 6xxx series because I highly doubt the new consoles will surface for another 2-3 years plus MS is trying to get PC and the Xbox cross played on Live.
a b U Graphics card
September 14, 2010 12:47:06 PM

solidnickel said:
4850? No way, I am sure it will be the 6xxx series because I highly doubt the new consoles will surface for another 2-3 years plus MS is trying to get PC and the Xbox cross played on Live.

Quite a delayed bump.
Microsoft and SONY will probably realize that people aren't going to spend over 500$ for a console.
So we are either seeing a mid end 5000/6000 series card, or possibly a 4890 if a new console came out by next year.
But just think when a new console comes out

Quad/Hexagon core cpu's OC@ 3.6/4.0GHz
4gb DDR3@1600MHz 7-7-7-21
[Insert Radeon/Nvidia gpu]
1tb HDD 7200rpm

That would cost alot, quite alot of console gamers will happily buy it right away. It's slightly hard to figure out what the next gen consoles will have though.

Nintendo's side:
Dual core cpu @ 2.2GHz
512mb DDR3 1066MHz 9-9-9-24
Radeon 4650 512mb DDR3
250gb HDD 5200rpm

Would actually be a huge improvement over their current system.
September 14, 2010 3:11:35 PM

i don't know if anyone mentioned it yet, but that 1200w "Sparkle" PSU scares me.
September 17, 2010 11:06:01 AM

dalta centauri said:
Quite a delayed bump.
Microsoft and SONY will probably realize that people aren't going to spend over 500$ for a console.
So we are either seeing a mid end 5000/6000 series card, or possibly a 4890 if a new console came out by next year.
But just think when a new console comes out

Quad/Hexagon core cpu's OC@ 3.6/4.0GHz
4gb DDR3@1600MHz 7-7-7-21
[Insert Radeon/Nvidia gpu]
1tb HDD 7200rpm

That would cost alot, quite alot of console gamers will happily buy it right away. It's slightly hard to figure out what the next gen consoles will have though.

Nintendo's side:
Dual core cpu @ 2.2GHz
512mb DDR3 1066MHz 9-9-9-24
Radeon 4650 512mb DDR3
250gb HDD 5200rpm

Would actually be a huge improvement over their current system.




A 4890? Just like when the first xbox came out, ATI implemented their latest technology into that box. I still see the same thing happening with the new xbox. They, MS, Sony and Nentendo make most their money on software sales, not hardware sales. They always loose money on that end.

My prediction is the next console will be built to last at least one decade...

ATI 6xxx series
6 core AMD cpu?
4 GB DDR
2 TB HD for digital distribution, I really think people will start buying more games and downloading them just like Steam.
3D ready with kinect built in if it sells well but we are still at least 1.5 - 3 years away from another console IMO from MS

AMD will profit huge from MS and Nintendo console sales.


a b U Graphics card
September 17, 2010 12:44:56 PM

So the consoles skip dx10/.1 entirely?
But the gpu will either be middle-end or a brought down higher end model. As Microsoft must realize they won't be able to sell a 600$ console and make a huge profit.
September 19, 2010 8:08:51 AM

dalta centauri said:
So the consoles skip dx10/.1 entirely?
But the gpu will either be middle-end or a brought down higher end model. As Microsoft must realize they won't be able to sell a 600$ console and make a huge profit.


Microsoft lost a 100 dollars on each console sold when it originally launched. Sony is still losing money. Forget about DX 10.1...

DX 11 is out already man, hopefully they actually utilize it this time around.
September 19, 2010 11:13:37 AM

gtx 480 vs hd 5870 all over this page.... maybe you can look at gtx 470.... gigabyte just released their super overclock series for their gtx 470... its cheaper than gtx 480 while almost matching hd 5870 performance depend on what games.... a win-win situation... just check it out... gigabyte gtx 470 may just be the card for you....
a b U Graphics card
September 21, 2010 2:45:29 PM

solidnickel said:
Microsoft lost a 100 dollars on each console sold when it originally launched. Sony is still losing money. Forget about DX 10.1...

DX 11 is out already man, hopefully they actually utilize it this time around.


So, an 800$ console being sold for 350-400$ and amping the price for games to 80$?
September 21, 2010 6:03:49 PM

What about PhysX?
!