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ATI vs. NVIDIA

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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February 7, 2011 4:19:26 PM

Hello,Just had my graphics card replaced, under warranty. Had Geforce 8600gt now have Radeon HD 3450. Not a big fan of ATI. Which is better?

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a b Î Nvidia
a c 125 U Graphics card
February 7, 2011 4:44:11 PM

They're both good brands. Do you mean between 8600GT and HD3450? Because the 3450 isn't even close to the 8600GT. That's a huge downgrade.
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February 7, 2011 5:12:47 PM

ATI is cheaper - Nvidia is pricier.
ATI drivers have better chance to bug games - Nvidia drivers have less chance to bug games.
ATI have "frame drop" - Nvidia have more stable fps.

But that doesn't make ATI a bad choice or Nvidia a better one. They both have their good and bad sides. That's why there are so many ads to convince us what to buy... :) 
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a c 80 Î Nvidia
a c 216 U Graphics card
February 7, 2011 5:36:58 PM

adampcman said:
ATI is cheaper - Nvidia is pricier.
ATI drivers have better chance to bug games - Nvidia drivers have less chance to bug games.
ATI have "frame drop" - Nvidia have more stable fps.

But that doesn't make ATI a bad choice or Nvidia a better one. They both have their good and bad sides. That's why there are so many ads to convince us what to buy... :) 


The driver situation not so cut and dry. ATI drivers have more small glitches generally, but there are almost always a good set without the glitch if you try some of the older ones. Nvidia drivers cause more hard lock ups and game crashes (proven by Steam surveys).

I'm not sure what you mean by ATI having more "frame drops". If you look at the benchmarks, the new 6000 series at least, the Nvidia cards usually have the lower min FPS, but slightly higher average FPS.

What I can say that is good about Nvidia, from my experience, is they are less likely to have hardware issues, which I believe is due to them clocking them at a safer level to prevent issues.

For me, when it comes to choosing a card from either brand, it comes down to PhysX vs SSAA and MLAA. I currently use both due to having a spare card to run as a physx card.

If you play games that use physX effectly, and you wish to use that ability, go for Nvidia.

If you find aliasing (jaggies) annoying you in games, ATI has better options to get rid of them. SSAA is officially supported, and can be useful in games that aren't overly demanding (I use it in Dragon Age Origins and love it there). I also play a few other games which AA isn't supported and can't be forced on (Risen for example), MLAA is post process and can be forced on any game.

I've found a new use for MLAA now that I'm playing Two Worlds 2. Two Worlds 1 & 2, with aliasing on, causes a glowing outline around objects and characters when you turn on AA. It's almost worse than the original aliasing. With MLAA, this problem doesn't occur. In Two Worlds 1, I use both MLAA and MSAA for best results.
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February 7, 2011 6:55:06 PM

bystander said:
The driver situation not so cut and dry. ATI drivers have more small glitches generally, but there are almost always a good set without the glitch if you try some of the older ones. Nvidia drivers cause more hard lock ups and game crashes (proven by Steam surveys).

I'm not sure what you mean by ATI having more "frame drops". If you look at the benchmarks, the new 6000 series at least, the Nvidia cards usually have the lower min FPS, but slightly higher average FPS.

What I can say that is good about Nvidia, from my experience, is they are less likely to have hardware issues, which I believe is due to them clocking them at a safer level to prevent issues.


I compared ATI vs Nvidia in simple words, keep that in mind, so that everyone can understand.

Ofc that you are right about ATI drivers and many other things, i agree... I didn't know about Steam survey regarding Nvidia, but now when i think about it, (from my experience) it's maybe true. :heink: 

What i meant about ATI having more "frame drops" is just like you said. It is all about AVERAGE fps in game. Nvidia have more stable average fps than ATI. So, ATI have "frame drops" or less stable average fps! Like you now see, we agree... And interesting thing is that ATI almost always if not always, have less stable AVERAGE fps than Nvidia. I could give you links to support this, but you can google it out with no problems (proofs are everywhere)... Funny i thought that we all know about "ATI frame drops"... It's like open secret. We all know, but we are all silent about it.

What makes Nvidia less hardware :pt1cable:  than ATI? Yes maybe it's because Nvidia lower clocks, but i think that is more about (Nvidia) better architecture than ATI. Who really knows...


EDIT: Typo
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a c 80 Î Nvidia
a c 216 U Graphics card
February 7, 2011 8:23:38 PM

The FPS issue also depends on what you are comparing. If you compare price per FPS, then it's quite close. Nvidia, however, does have the faster single GPU card, but it also costs more.

I'm still not sure we agree on the stable FPS thing. If ATI has higher min FPS but lower average FPS, that would make their FPS the more stable one, but that also might mean we are comparing the wrong two cards.
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February 7, 2011 9:39:42 PM

AdamPCMan: "Ofc that you are right about ATI drivers and many other things ..."

ATI had some horrendous problems with drivers in the 90's. They cleaned up their driver development process when they introduced the Radeon series, especially starting with the 9700 & later (circa 2002). Since then, their drivers are no worse on average than NVidia's. ATI's reputation for bad drivers is just an artefact from the 90's, kept alive by NVidia marketing efforts.

Back to kevbarkow's question re: ATI vs. NVidia, neither is really "better". Usually you can better performance per dollar from ATI, but if you want high performance on games or apps that use PhysX or take advantage of NVidia's general purpose computing, like Folding@Home, then you're better off with NVidia.

.
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a c 77 Î Nvidia
a c 228 U Graphics card
February 7, 2011 9:44:06 PM

Right now the two cards targeted the most by enthusiasts are the 570 and 6970. I can't remember a time when two cards fro opposing camps were so closely matched. When building for someone targeting this niche, I won't have anything to say with either choice ....except for the following. If ya doing any of these things, I will recommend nVidia

1. Planning on adding a 2nd card .... tho as single cards, Guru3D shows them within 2 fps of each other summing all the game tests (HAWX excluded as ATI has driver issue there). However in SLI, the 570's get 873 frames to the 6970's 825 and with the 570 being cheaper, it's an easy choice when doubling up.

2. If you do AutoCAD or any 2D vector graphics.

3. If you are doing anything which benefits from CUDA

4. You dig PhysX...decide after watching this:
http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/batman_arkham_asylu...

The 580 is in a class by itself .... it's called the "ya want the best, ya gonna pay for it class" ..... and the 560Ti has carved out a niche..... get to the $225 and below category and I can't keep track ..... I find myself having to check the prices as they keep adjusting to better position themselves against one another.

I find myself pushing ATI when:

1. When existing PSU may be strained by a desired nVidia card, the comparable ATI may slide by.

2. Existing undersized case size is an issue.

As for drivers, I think the gap has been closed for the most part tho X-Fire remains a bit tricky especially if thinking about that 3rd card.

http://www.guru3d.com/article/radeon-hd-6850-6870-cross...
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a b Î Nvidia
a c 125 U Graphics card
February 8, 2011 12:40:58 AM

Guys I really don't think we need to get pulled into an ATI vs Nvidia debate here. For every price point they trade off as for which card is better right up the ladder.

The OP doesn't even form a cohesive question lol. Was he really asking which brand is better as his title suggests or is he trying to compare his two cards, or maybe he's looking at a future upgrade which I can guarantee will be a low to mid range card and generally that goes to ATI but again they each of their own card at whatever price point.
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a b U Graphics card
February 8, 2011 12:55:18 AM

wolfram23 said:
Guys I really don't think we need to get pulled into an ATI vs Nvidia debate here. For every price point they trade off as for which card is better right up the ladder.

The OP doesn't even form a cohesive question lol. Was he really asking which brand is better as his title suggests or is he trying to compare his two cards, or maybe he's looking at a future upgrade which I can guarantee will be a low to mid range card and generally that goes to ATI but again they each of their own card at whatever price point.


+1 --- Also what company exchanges from Nvidia to ATI as a warranty replacement ???
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February 8, 2011 1:36:52 AM

My First NVIDIA Card 9500gt 2nd card 9600gso then 9600gts then 9800gts(which blew up..lol :p ) then 5670 512mb and currently 57701gb

and i'd say ATI is amazing..price and performance is overall good...only advantage of having Nvidia is physx game run awesome thats it, not interested in cuda when i already have ATI Stream.

just update your drivers regularly. :) 
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February 8, 2011 4:06:56 PM

My opera crash so i lost everything i wrote... it was excellent text btw :(  so now i will be short as possible.

@bystander Min and Max fps are constants ( constants because FPS can't drop below min, and FPS can't get higher than max ) And to have more stable AVERAGE FPS means that you are having more smooth game play! So more stable AVG FPS is better than MAX FPS. ATI have less stable AVG FPS compared to Nvidia and it' a fact! I really hope that you understand me because i want to share with you this. If you don't believe me, then install a logic chip in your brain. :) 

Please note that i will NOT answer or comment about this discussion! Discuss ATI vs Nvidia is a waste of time, the sooner you get that the better!

I will exit this discussion saying, ATI and Nvidia are both good brands on their own way.... :kaola: 
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a b Î Nvidia
a c 376 U Graphics card
February 8, 2011 4:21:57 PM

What you are saying about frame rates is simply not true as far as I'm aware. It's not an open secret like you think, or any kind of secret. If you want to claim something provide evidence for it rather than telling anyone questioning you to google it. If anything from the numbers I have seen the opposite is true and AMD has more stable frame rates for the current generation of cards at high resolutions. In any case what determines smooth game play is more the minimum frame rate rather than "stability."
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a c 80 Î Nvidia
a c 216 U Graphics card
February 8, 2011 5:47:35 PM

jyjjy said:
What you are saying about frame rates is simply not true as far as I'm aware. It's not an open secret like you think, or any kind of secret. If you want to claim something provide evidence for it rather than telling anyone questioning you to google it. If anything from the numbers I have seen the opposite is true and AMD has more stable frame rates for the current generation of cards at high resolutions. In any case what determines smooth game play is more the minimum frame rate rather than "stability."


I believe the problem is he's misunderstanding what the meaning of stable is.

Stable means there are less fluctuations. He seems to think it means higher average, of course the average comparisons depend on what cards you compare.
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February 8, 2011 6:21:46 PM

bystander said:
I believe the problem is he's misunderstanding what the meaning of stable is.

Stable means there are less fluctuations. He seems to think it means higher average, of course the average comparisons depend on what cards you compare.


:non:  you are wrong.
I know what stable average fps is, it is like you said, less fluctuations. Is my English that bad? If it is, then sry about that, consider that am not from UK or USA.

There, i explained. So, can you please skip me, and move on your discussion.

Btw i can give you links, but am not in the mood. Like i said, this discussion will be very long and without end, so skip me...
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