Building a new rig and my current dilemma is the GPU. I recently am doing a AMD/ATI Build. I was kind of planning on doing a Intel/NVIDIA (i7). My question though is there is big advantage of going with Nvidia or ATI? I am not speaking of any specific card, just the company. Example, Nvidia offers Phsyx which I often see a lot of games I like using it. Is there big difference between Phsyx on/off?
Also I am using 1920x1080p as much res. I also just prepurchased Dragon Age 2 and I am really excited and want to see it in all of its glory.
Forgetting about price/performance, the main difference between the cards are PhysX and AA.
Nvidia has PhysX. For the few games that support GPU accelerated PhysX, this can be a nice feature. I think this has been talked about enough you likely know what it's about already.
ATI has better Anti-Aliasing options. Super-sampling AA cleans up aliasing a lot more thoroughly than Multi-sampling. The main difference is supersampling cleans the whole image, multisampling only smooths out the edges. ATI also has Morphological AA which is a weak version of supersampling AA, but it's post process and works on any game, even games that won't support other forms of AA at all.
I just wanted to add that ASUS do some great AM3 motherboards that have SLI right now. I have been running (over the last 18 months) an ATI Crossfire gigabyte MB with a single 275, then a single 295 (SLI on a card). I then upgraded to an ASUS EVO AM3 socket MB in August with a 1090t x6 AMD CPU and two 470s. So you can have AM3 and NVIDIA as another choice. Maybe there is a ATI and intel solution as well if you want that?
I have run a series of ATI cards along side these NVIDIA ones. Even the worst card is great these days. One fact that isn't mentioned in the reviews is that I feel ATI ad NVIDIA GPUs have a different 'graphical presentation'. So my NVIDIA renders the same game differently from the ATI. I can see it. This part to me is personal preference. I prefer the NVIDIA. My friend likes the ATI better. Certainly the ATIs seem to have very fluid 2D if that matters to you. I then they put a lot of effort into that 2D code years ago? Not that the 470s are slouches with that either.
As I am a UNIX guy used to multiuser SMP, I load up my windows 7 64-bit game system with apps and multi-task heavily. The intel's don't seem to like what I dish out and I have had stutters and hourglasses a lot with Intel chips that I don't get on AMD running the same apps. Maybe with your apps it will be the other way round. I know that lots of stuff is compiled with Intel compilers so is optimized for that.
So I ended up with AMD CPUs and NVIDIA cards, weird huh!