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Are older Geforce 8+ cards still good?

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June 21, 2012 12:51:52 AM

At the moment, I'm running a 9800GTX+ 512MB card, and was thinking of whether or not to upgrade.

I every once in a while check the benchmarks, stats, and prices of newer cards, and it seems like this card is really holding its value.

I mean, the GTS 250 was a rebranded version of the thing. Both get about 705 GFLOPS or so.

And then even the 450 series is only, like, 600 GFLOPS, and the cards are still pricy.

From what I've seen, the cards that have similar horsepower to mine are running around $130+, and considering mine was about $150 when I got it, it seems the horsepower market hasn't actually grown a whole heck of a lot.

Ideally, I would like to spend the same amount I did originally, but get something at least twice as powerful.



Now, let's tackle on some more things: PhysX, TXAA, and SMAA.

As it is, I run my games at 2048x1152. I can usually play crysis at this setting fairly fine. In most other games, I have to put on some Anti-aliasing before I notice much of any slowdown.

Furthermore, I run an 8600GT alongside it for physx. So in games that support physX, that 256MB of memory is offloaded to the 8600GT. So it's about like "virtually" having a GTX 260 in terms of memory and performance.

And on top of ALL THAT, there are these new high-quality, high-performance FSAA modes. Like TXAA in the nvidia menu, and SMAA from a patch I downloaded. These modes have phenomenal quality and hardly hurt the performance.


So what is your opinion: Do the 8800, 9800, and other series around then still hold up in modern times? Does DX11 offer major performance benefits that make up the lack of horsepower change?
a b Î Nvidia
June 21, 2012 1:02:09 AM

well, its a matter of personal opinion but I do believe the dx11 makes the gameplay look a lot better and sharper but with that being said, it requires a hell lot more horsepower to run the latest titles in dx11. So in a sense, you need at least a gtx 560 Ti/ hd6950 to take full advantage of the dx11.

But if your goal isto just run the games with decent settings and frame rates and if you don't care about the eye candies, then by all means keep your current settings. I used to have one of those gts250s and they are fairly decent performers. Since you are able to run crysis at high resolution, I'm assuming you have a decent quad core cpu. So unless you are crazy about the eye candies, keep your current settings. It will RUN all the titles with no problems.
June 21, 2012 1:02:26 AM

Not quite. The 8800 series was great for their time but in current gaming, they are easily outperformed at the resolutions we play at by even a mid end 5 series GPU.

My HD4870 was a great card but my HD5870 blew it away and no my HD7970 makes it look pretty pathetic, and thats just 2 gens newer. You have about 5 between your GPU and current GPUs.
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June 21, 2012 1:32:23 AM

i believe what you meant was FXAA, TXAA is not available yet. i say you should upgrade,, gtx8 series only still good for dx9 games, it even not smooth enough to handle dx10 games, with full eye candies. it is time to upgrade,, you can start with gtx560ti/amd6870-6950 or waiting until gtx6xx all rolled out. you can expect you'll have 2x more horsepower with more eye candies full on, and only 30% more pricey.
June 21, 2012 1:43:56 AM

if you want to compare GFLOPS(doesn't always translate to real world performance) my 5770 had 1 tTflop under the hood, my 7950 with the overclocks reaches around 3 Tflops. so your in the lower tier cards.

something like the 6670 is a more modern card your can compare to.
June 21, 2012 1:50:26 AM

Some of you guys are funny, I'm still running a GTX 260+ OCed and it runs everything I have fine at high settings and AA (Crysis warhead, NFSHP, Halo 2, Halo, BFBC2, orange box, minecraft, H.A.W.X, Starcraft II, etc.) It's all up to you whether you feel like you need to upgrade or not. In my opinion the older GeForce 8+ series cards have held up fantastically and still have plenty of life. But to the people saying you must upgrade, I say bollocks, use what works for you!
June 21, 2012 1:54:55 AM

whooleo said:
Some of you guys are funny, I'm still running a GTX 260+ OCed and it runs everything I have fine at high settings and AA (Crysis warhead, NFSHP, Halo 2, Halo, BFBC2, orange box, minecraft, H.A.W.X, Starcraft II, etc.) It's all up to you whether you feel like you need to upgrade or not. In my opinion the older GeForce 8+ series cards have held up fantastically and still have plenty of life. But to the people saying you must upgrade, I say bollocks, use what works for you!


i don't think anyone has told him he needs to upgrade. i agree it's all up to the person, but he asked if there still good cards to this day and the answer is pretty much no. i don't think anyone would recommend a 8xxx card as a upgrade.
June 21, 2012 2:05:27 AM

zakattak80 said:
i don't think anyone has told him he needs to upgrade. i agree it's all up to the person, but he asked if there still good cards to this day and the answer is pretty much no. i don't think anyone would recommend a 8xxx card as a upgrade.


Obviously nobody would recommend them as an upgrade (unless it's a special case and you find one cheap used), but what I'm saying is they are still good to use (if you already have one) as long as they work for you. I was making a general statement by the way, just in case someone suggests he needs to upgrade.
June 21, 2012 2:12:18 AM

whooleo said:
Some of you guys are funny, I'm still running a GTX 260+ OCed and it runs everything I have fine at high settings and AA (Crysis warhead, NFSHP, Halo 2, Halo, BFBC2, orange box, minecraft, H.A.W.X, Starcraft II, etc.) It's all up to you whether you feel like you need to upgrade or not. In my opinion the older GeForce 8+ series cards have held up fantastically and still have plenty of life. But to the people saying you must upgrade, I say bollocks, use what works for you!


gtx260 and gts250 /9800gtx+ is a different class. i can say gtx200 series is more dx10 capable than gtx8 series... gtx8 series is still great for dx9 (dx10 is not that great, but enough). and you must add other processing power to this modern game: physx and compute, so you may want to add your gpu horsepower. UE4 engine is arround the corner now :)  But in the end, i agree with you, it is only a matter of needs.
June 21, 2012 2:29:42 AM

atikkur said:
gtx260 and gts250 /9800gtx+ is a different class. i can say gtx200 series is more dx10 capable than gtx8 series... gtx8 series is still great for dx9 (dx10 is not that great, but enough). and you must add other processing power to this modern game: physx and compute, so you may want to add your gpu horsepower. UE4 engine is arround the corner now :) 


I completely agree with you but you forgot to read my quote, I've used and dealt with all types of older hardware including the GTS 250/9800 GTX+, hell my friend still uses one! So I am very aware of it's capabilities and power.
June 21, 2012 2:42:30 AM

I'm running duel HD4650 cards(OC'd to the max however), and they run just about anything just fine, the only thing they have a problem with is shadows.
June 21, 2012 2:52:23 AM

whooleo said:
Some of you guys are funny, I'm still running a GTX 260+ OCed and it runs everything I have fine at high settings and AA (Crysis warhead, NFSHP, Halo 2, Halo, BFBC2, orange box, minecraft, H.A.W.X, Starcraft II, etc.) It's all up to you whether you feel like you need to upgrade or not. In my opinion the older GeForce 8+ series cards have held up fantastically and still have plenty of life. But to the people saying you must upgrade, I say bollocks, use what works for you!


I would just like to add that most of the games you listed there would all perform really well using a gts 250 or the 9800gtx+. Crysis Warhead, HAWX, and SCII benefit from better processors, especially SCII. Not sure about BFBC2. Essentially, the games you listed aren't great examples if you were trying to get at playing modern, graphically taxing titles.

And like atikkur said the gtx 260 is a totally different class than the 250. I remember when I got my gts 250, I was looking at the huge price difference (and raw performance/power) between it and the gtx 260.

As was previously suggested, if you (Jonathan) are content with running games w/out DX11 and all those eye candies, then I see no reason to upgrade. The 9800gtx+ is/was an amazing card. If you are interested in playing games using DX11 and at least high settings, then I would go ahead and get at least a gtx 560 ti or radeon 6950 (or new models).
June 21, 2012 2:59:46 AM

whooleo said:
I completely agree with you but you forgot to read my quote, I've used and dealt with all types of older hardware including the GTS 250/9800 GTX+, hell my friend still uses one! So I am very aware of it's capabilities and power.


you can try just cause 2 (cuda water on), metro 2033 on dx10, lostplanet dx10, batman AA pysx high, mafia physx high, with gts250 is still choppy (<40fps). i once had it too.
June 21, 2012 3:05:02 AM

fudoka711 said:
I would just like to add that most of the games you listed there would all perform really well using a gts 250 or the 9800gtx+. Crysis Warhead, HAWX, and SCII benefit from better processors, especially SCII. Not sure about BFBC2. Essentially, the games you listed aren't great examples if you were trying to get at playing modern, graphically taxing titles.

And like atikkur said the gtx 260 is a totally different class than the 250. I remember when I got my gts 250, I was looking at the huge price difference (and raw performance/power) between it and the gtx 260.

As was previously suggested, if you (Jonathan) are content with running games w/out DX11 and all those eye candies, then I see no reason to upgrade. The 9800gtx+ is/was an amazing card. If you are interested in playing games using DX11 and at least high settings, then I would go ahead and get at least a gtx 560 ti or radeon 6950 (or new models).


have a hard time believing that 8800gtx could handle crysis warhead at decent quality. even my 7950 clocked to 1000 mhz struggles reaching anything above 70 at maxed quality
June 21, 2012 3:08:52 AM

jimmysmitty said:
Not quite. The 8800 series was great for their time but in current gaming, they are easily outperformed at the resolutions we play at by even a mid end 5 series GPU.

My HD4870 was a great card but my HD5870 blew it away and no my HD7970 makes it look pretty pathetic, and thats just 2 gens newer. You have about 5 between your GPU and current GPUs.


Dude u are doing a useless comparison. U are comparing 4870 with 7970 :-|

If u want to make a fair comparison compare 4870 / 5770 / 6770 / 7750. Thats a fair comparison. Compare cards in the same price range..

EDIT: and if OP still likes to play in dx9, then the 7750 will not "blow away" the 4870
June 21, 2012 3:29:47 AM

As I said it all depends on what you think is sufficient. For me, missing out on DX11 isn't a big deal at the moment but to each his own. To those talking about taxing games Crysis warhead is still really taxing as well as Bad Company 2. Most newer games can run on a 9800 GTX+ without looking like crap but obviously not max settings.
June 21, 2012 6:30:57 PM

"As was previously suggested, if you (Jonathan) are content with running games w/out DX11 and all those eye candies, then I see no reason to upgrade. The 9800gtx+ is/was an amazing card. If you are interested in playing games using DX11 and at least high settings, then I would go ahead and get at least a gtx 560 ti or radeon 6950 (or new models)."


I'll admit, playing Crysis 2 without the extra texture pack and tessellation was a bit of a bummer. But as it is, I agree with Whooleo in that I don't think DX11 features are a huge deal.

The thing is, when sticking with the same card, your visual quality will stay the same in an ideal case. Same horsepower=same visuals, until they come out with better algorithms like FXAA (right, not TXAA).

But from what I've seen in the past, things AREN'T ideal. If you play a newer game at 30FPS, it tends to STILL look considerably worse than and older game at 60FPS. But if Portal 2 is any indicator, when a company puts decent time and effort into running their game on lower tech, you get a great-looking game at great performance.

Lol at whoever commented about upgrading to geforce 8 series. They don't even sell the high-end 8's and 9's on newegg. I was talking about lifespan, and if whether or not the lifespan is spent on 8's and 9's. Because of their highly-programmable nature, the tech really holds its own. The Horsepower/Cost is what I refer to.

Oh, and screw DX10. I haven't seen a game that actually USES DX10. Most of them just looked the same as DX9, ran worse, and used more RAM. DX11 seems to be where things are starting to get new.

But I figure, those technologies still seem rather "beta" to me. That is, it's like "Radiosity" support in the 7 series. great concept, but people didn't use the technique worth squat until Crytek came up with their own method using voxels. Or the almighty "virtual displacement mapping" or "parallax occlusion mapping". those were supposed to be game-changers. All I ever saw it change was a couple rocks in Crysis.

So I figure, tech-wise, I'm fine for now, until games really start using tessellation more universally (starting to crop up now). For me, horsepower vs. cost is the big debate, and it seems like it hasn't changed all that much.

Anyone have direct benchmarks of similarly-priced cards?
June 21, 2012 7:11:45 PM

absolutely understand where your coming from and agree someone should make a forum to talk about the 8XXX and 9XXX in benchmarks versus more modern hardware with the same horsepower
June 21, 2012 8:52:25 PM

Of course, you know what would be better, but not feasible? Benchmarks from every series ever.

Imagine comparing the UT2004 framerates between a geforce2 Ti and a Geforce GTX 690.

Most. Useless. Information. Ever.

But of course, I would be looking at that thing all the time. It would be awesome to see how technology has changed over the years, in a direct, side-by-side comparison.

Or even looking at frame rate drops between AA modes by % drop. Looking at how much more efficient cards have gotten.

Just a dream, I suppose.
June 22, 2012 10:56:24 PM

Jonathanese said:
Of course, you know what would be better, but not feasible? Benchmarks from every series ever.

Imagine comparing the UT2004 framerates between a geforce2 Ti and a Geforce GTX 690.

Most. Useless. Information. Ever.

But of course, I would be looking at that thing all the time. It would be awesome to see how technology has changed over the years, in a direct, side-by-side comparison.

Or even looking at frame rate drops between AA modes by % drop. Looking at how much more efficient cards have gotten.

Just a dream, I suppose.


It's a dream I share as well because I love older hardware and still tinker with it from time to time just to see how far we have come. You hear that Toms?! We want comparisons and benchmarks of older hardware! Not everybody has a GTX 680 or HD 7970!
a b Î Nvidia
June 23, 2012 1:01:26 AM

In my experience as a collector G80 and G92 these days still hold their own and sure they can't max every game with every setting maxed out but they are not total weaklings. The low end cards these days hardly even come close to the day to day performance in games as well physx/cuda. Everything below the GTS450 level performance including the low end Kepler parts only compete at a 9600GT level performance as Nvidia barely makes mainstream low end cards so most have to aim higher than they would have needed to get a decent card.

Understanding the strengths and weakness of your gear is important when it comes to choosing what titles that you play and what settings that you use. Those at the very upper end of the high end just click for max and do so for bragging rights. Now days the mainstream level of performance for what most people need is easily met with a simple gt460 or a cheap 6850/70.
June 24, 2012 1:31:07 AM

nforce4max said:
In my experience as a collector G80 and G92 these days still hold their own and sure they can't max every game with every setting maxed out but they are not total weaklings. The low end cards these days hardly even come close to the day to day performance in games as well physx/cuda. Everything below the GTS450 level performance including the low end Kepler parts only compete at a 9600GT level performance as Nvidia barely makes mainstream low end cards so most have to aim higher than they would have needed to get a decent card.

Understanding the strengths and weakness of your gear is important when it comes to choosing what titles that you play and what settings that you use. Those at the very upper end of the high end just click for max and do so for bragging rights. Now days the mainstream level of performance for what most people need is easily met with a simple gt460 or a cheap 6850/70.


Well said indeed!
July 2, 2012 4:05:09 AM

nforce4max said:
In my experience as a collector G80 and G92 these days still hold their own and sure they can't max every game with every setting maxed out but they are not total weaklings. The low end cards these days hardly even come close to the day to day performance in games as well physx/cuda. Everything below the GTS450 level performance including the low end Kepler parts only compete at a 9600GT level performance as Nvidia barely makes mainstream low end cards so most have to aim higher than they would have needed to get a decent card.

Understanding the strengths and weakness of your gear is important when it comes to choosing what titles that you play and what settings that you use. Those at the very upper end of the high end just click for max and do so for bragging rights. Now days the mainstream level of performance for what most people need is easily met with a simple gt460 or a cheap 6850/70.



Exactly. And to relate this to one of the posters who said the 9800GTX+ couldn't compare to the GTX 260, I understood the weaknesses of my card whenever I started playing games that sucked up the memory. Memory is the 9800GTX's primary weakness. A weakness I'm able to overcome in several CUDA/PhysX titles by simply having the 8600 in the other slot, diverting an additional 256 meg away from the primary card. IN my tests, the 9800/8600 combo worked just as well as a 260 in titles that could take advantage of offloading general purpose tasks to a second GPU. And thus, in these games, I'm able to play easily at 2048x1152 at 4xAA or FXAA. In unreal engine 3 titles, I rarely go below my monitor's 60Hz refresh rate.

And furthermore there really seems to have been a lot of slacking in the low or midrange area. Those products still compete with at best the midrange 9-series. Just as well, saying my 9800 only competes with current midrange at best is really proving my point. the 9800 series was basically midrange for its time, anyway. At least in price. For a card this old to still compete with current midrange cards is pretty incredible, especially given how the proce/performance ratio hasn't seemed to have changed a whole lot.

July 2, 2012 12:57:01 PM

Jonathanese said:
Exactly. And to relate this to one of the posters who said the 9800GTX+ couldn't compare to the GTX 260, I understood the weaknesses of my card whenever I started playing games that sucked up the memory. Memory is the 9800GTX's primary weakness. A weakness I'm able to overcome in several CUDA/PhysX titles by simply having the 8600 in the other slot, diverting an additional 256 meg away from the primary card. IN my tests, the 9800/8600 combo worked just as well as a 260 in titles that could take advantage of offloading general purpose tasks to a second GPU. And thus, in these games, I'm able to play easily at 2048x1152 at 4xAA or FXAA. In unreal engine 3 titles, I rarely go below my monitor's 60Hz refresh rate.

And furthermore there really seems to have been a lot of slacking in the low or midrange area. Those products still compete with at best the midrange 9-series. Just as well, saying my 9800 only competes with current midrange at best is really proving my point. the 9800 series was basically midrange for its time, anyway. At least in price. For a card this old to still compete with current midrange cards is pretty incredible, especially given how the proce/performance ratio hasn't seemed to have changed a whole lot.


I completely agree, my GTX 260+ beats the GTX 550 Ti by a lot which means it's still very capable along with a host of other older cards.
a b Î Nvidia
July 2, 2012 2:45:13 PM

Jonathanese said:
Exactly. And to relate this to one of the posters who said the 9800GTX+ couldn't compare to the GTX 260, I understood the weaknesses of my card whenever I started playing games that sucked up the memory. Memory is the 9800GTX's primary weakness. A weakness I'm able to overcome in several CUDA/PhysX titles by simply having the 8600 in the other slot, diverting an additional 256 meg away from the primary card. IN my tests, the 9800/8600 combo worked just as well as a 260 in titles that could take advantage of offloading general purpose tasks to a second GPU. And thus, in these games, I'm able to play easily at 2048x1152 at 4xAA or FXAA. In unreal engine 3 titles, I rarely go below my monitor's 60Hz refresh rate.

And furthermore there really seems to have been a lot of slacking in the low or midrange area. Those products still compete with at best the midrange 9-series. Just as well, saying my 9800 only competes with current midrange at best is really proving my point. the 9800 series was basically midrange for its time, anyway. At least in price. For a card this old to still compete with current midrange cards is pretty incredible, especially given how the proce/performance ratio hasn't seemed to have changed a whole lot.


That is one reason more why I settled with the 1GB versions rather than the normal 512mb 9800gt when I built my second sli rig. Having the extra 512mb makes a massive difference. I do go back further though vogons :D 

The gtx260 was and still is a nice card in my book. Built better than most of the low midrange cards are except for the inductor issue.
a b Î Nvidia
July 2, 2012 6:16:54 PM

nforce4max said:
In my experience as a collector G80 and G92 these days still hold their own and sure they can't max every game with every setting maxed out but they are not total weaklings. The low end cards these days hardly even come close to the day to day performance in games as well physx/cuda. Everything below the GTS450 level performance including the low end Kepler parts only compete at a 9600GT level performance as Nvidia barely makes mainstream low end cards so most have to aim higher than they would have needed to get a decent card.

Understanding the strengths and weakness of your gear is important when it comes to choosing what titles that you play and what settings that you use. Those at the very upper end of the high end just click for max and do so for bragging rights. Now days the mainstream level of performance for what most people need is easily met with a simple gt460 or a cheap 6850/70.


Glad I'm not the only one that collects these things....
July 2, 2012 6:23:51 PM

Deemo13 said:
Glad I'm not the only one that collects these things....


I'm with you but I also grab even older cards (Radeon 8500 LE!).
a b Î Nvidia
July 2, 2012 7:27:54 PM

I've got a Rage 128 sitting around, and an old Voodoo as well.
July 2, 2012 8:18:58 PM

Deemo13 said:
I've got a Rage 128 sitting around, and an old Voodoo as well.


Damn! Now that's old school.
July 2, 2012 8:50:02 PM

all i say is that a 8800gt gives much better graphics than a console XD
a b Î Nvidia
July 3, 2012 12:08:57 AM

whooleo said:
Damn! Now that's old school.


I wonder how a vintage S3 Virge VX and a Diamond monster 3D would rank on your old school list. :whistle: 
Got enough pci Trident vga cards to build a house. :lol: 
a b Î Nvidia
July 3, 2012 12:10:36 AM

megagabobe1 said:
all i say is that a 8800gt gives much better graphics than a console XD


Not only console but also creams, GT430, GT440, GT520, and GT640 in almost everything except power consumption while costing as little as $30 used. ;) 
July 3, 2012 1:13:36 AM

nforce4max said:
I wonder how a vintage S3 Virge VX and a Diamond monster 3D would rank on your old school list. :whistle: 
Got enough pci Trident vga cards to build a house. :lol: 


That's way beyond old school, that's ancient!
a b Î Nvidia
July 3, 2012 1:52:49 AM

nforce4max said:
I wonder how a vintage S3 Virge VX and a Diamond monster 3D would rank on your old school list. :whistle: 
Got enough pci Trident vga cards to build a house. :lol: 


Now that sir, is old.
!