Please explain the age old question(ATI vs nvidia)

It seems the majority of topics on a graphics card forum are "should I buy ati or nvidia". 7th response on this topic ( says "So basically pick which team you like or which favors the games you play."

Now, I'm not trying to skyline the guy who wrote that but I've heard that comment before. Something like "if you play MMO, buy nvidia, if you play FPS, buy ATI". I may have it reversed, but regardless is there any validity to this? I understand a computer will not blow up if it plays MMO with either card or FPS with either card, but I am curious if one is actually more inclined for a certain game type.

Same question for AMD vs. Intel, although I am almost positive I am getting an i5 2500k as that is by far the most suggested CPU on this site.
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  1. Best answer
    the only way you can determine which is better for the particular games you play would be to read benchmarks. you may play games that favour both, so what do you chose?!!. just chose the best overall card for the money your paying, read lots of reviews and pay particular attention to the benchmarks run in the resolution YOU will be playing at. some cards do well at higher res, some do better at lower res. There is no definite answer to which GPU manufacturer is best overall unless you are a fanboi. i5 2500k is the best cpu choice for games at the moment.
  2. Best answer selected by timothy2180.
  3. As a side note, two things I'd add:

    1. There are other things that benefit GFX cards other than gaming. Some of those things, i.e. 2D CAD, 3D Rendering, Video editing, etc., benefit from CUDA and if you want to take advantage of that you'll be looking for a nVidia card.

    2. In the most popular price segments, with the current incarnations of cards, I find that nVidia has a bit of an edge at 1920 x 1200 and ATI has the edge at 2560 x 1600.

    I am finding that many of my favored sites over the years have "gone corporate" and favor one camp or the other. One of the things that I find points to this behavior is a shrinking number of games in their gaming test suites. Currently I have been relying n the Guru3D site and Hardwareheaven site for timely and accurate tests which maintain the same, wide range of games over the period so as to make comparisons easy.

    Guru3D uses the following games in their test suite, COD-MW, Bad Company 2, Dirt 2, Far Cry 2, Metro 2033, Dawn of Discovery, Crysis Warhead. Total fps (summing fps in each game @ 1920 x 1200) for the various options in parenthesis (single card / SL or CF) are tabulated below along with their cost in dollars per frame single card - CF or SLI:

    $155.00 460-768 MB (314/592) $0.49 - $0.52
    $155.00 6850 (371/634) $0.42 - $0.49
    $170.00 6870 (434/701) $0.39 - $0.49
    $245.00 6950 (479/751) $0.51 - $0.65
    $265.00 6950 Frozr OC (484/759) $0.55 - $0.70
    $210.00 560 Ti (455/792) $0.46 - $0.53
    $315.00 6970 (526/825) $0.60 - $0.76
    $220.00 560 Ti - 900 Mhz (495/862) $0.44 - $0.51
    $335.00 570 (524/873) $0.64 - $0.77
    $500.00 580 (616/953) $0.81 - $1.05
    $725.00 6990 (762/903) $0.95 - $1.61
    $700.00 590 (881/982) $0.79 - $1.43

    Like with most other components, there is no universal "better". There is on only "better for your situation / applications".
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