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help leading an nvidia fanboy to the dark side...

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Last response: in Graphics & Displays
June 24, 2003 8:36:33 AM

having rma-ed my a7v8x to asus because of a faulty southbridge, i'm currently rethinking all of the components in my case. i'm pretty happy with just about all of them, except my geforce 2 gts 32mb vid.card. the 32mb is really showing it's age with the newer games, so what i'm looking for is a interim card for under $150 (pref. under 100) that will tide me over until half-life 2 or doom 3 ships (which i'm guessing will be dec. 2003 at the earliest for hl2 - i don't have faith in a sept. launch,) when i will pick up a geforce fx 5900 ultra to go along with the game (prices should be down by then and the fact i am a nvidia fanboy.)

my real question comes from looking at the radeon 9600. i'm a little scared going with ati given game incompatabilities with the earlier radeons, but have these issues been worked out? i've previously scoffed at ati cards so i haven't been paying that much attention to them, but right now i would be willing to temporarily set brand loyalty aside for the best bang for my buck. or am i really wasting my money buying a $100-150 card now only to get another one in a half-year? should i just plunk down $37 instead for a geforce 4mx 64mb card, not gaining much in fps, but going from 32 to 64mb for textures? that would defn. be the cheaper route. any advice would be appreciated.

relevant sys info:
asus a7v8x
athlon xp 2100+
corsair xms pc2700 512mb

More about : leading nvidia fanboy dark side

a b U Graphics card
June 24, 2003 9:11:33 AM

The 9600Pro is a nice card (I own one) and the 9500Pro is also a nice card.

As for driver and game issues, they are pretty much a thing of the past. There will ALWAYS be minor issues for both card makers, but no longer is one more game stable than another. Both companies have their ssues, and both seem to be resolving them. This isn't your father's ATI as athe saying goes.

- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! <A HREF="" target="_new"><font color=green>RED</font color=green> <font color=red>GREEN</font color=red></A> GA to SK :evil: 
June 24, 2003 11:48:14 AM

Since the Geforce4 MX is just a tarted up Geforce 2 with some extra bells and whistles I would not recommend spending $100 - $150 just for a few months. Just wait for a little and get a your FX9600 Ultra beast. I don't think that you will have to wait until Xmas (especially in the USA) - maybe Doom 3 might slip to october but they will want it to be established ready for the Xmas rush.

If you can afford to blow that amount of cash just for a few months then why not get a FX5900 Ultra now? Plus the prices only come down significantly when a new generation card comes out and I don't think we will see another generational leap from Nvidia before Doom 3 / HL2.

If you really use the card to its full for a good amount of time then it worth spending the cash. I got a Geforce 2 GTS 64MB version around the time when the Geforce 2 Ultra was the best card you could get and I paid £225 for it - but I kept it right up until I got my Ti4600 a few months after that came out - so I definitely got my use out of it and in that time I only had to slightly reduce image quality to get full speed in games like CMR2 or Serious Sam (1024x768 32bit colour no AA / Aniso). Think of it like a good PSU - invest the cash now and it will last you for a long time - after all everything goes down in price eventually.

4.77MHz to 4.0GHz in 10 years. Imagine the space year 2020 :) 
June 24, 2003 12:07:43 PM

Ive been an ati user for over 2 years. The first card I got was the first 64mb ddr card. It had a few issues that where later sorted out but my 9700pro, which I've had for over 9 months now has been almost perfect. I say almost because I had to get a new psu to run it as I was using a generic 300W at the time. But it plays every game perfectly on max settings (quake 3, nolf 2, counterstrike, morrowind (runs very sweet now on new setup), GP4, Unreal 2, Project IGI, SFC 3) the list goes on......

<A HREF="" target="_new"> MY RIG </A>
<font color=red> 120% overclocker </font color=red> (cheapskate)
a b U Graphics card
June 24, 2003 12:28:16 PM

<A HREF="" target="_new">RV 40</A> is slated for release by Q4 (end Q3?) of this year, about the same time as the release of D]|[, coincidence?

So there will be a replaceent by then, and a 5900U refresh (lower perfomac 4 pipelines) in early Q3.

<A HREF="" target="_new">;/A>

So if you CAN wait and want the Best wait 'til then since the current FXs should be Cheaper, and the Current Radeons too, as well as there being KILLER cards on the market. R420/NV40. Your GF2 should do you until then, unless you want to play with all the bells and whistles on. HalfLife2 WILL be out before then. So in anticipation of that you may wish t upgrade. A HIGH end upgrade is pointless IMO, a 9800Pro or a 5900Ultra would be paying too much of a premium for a soon to be outdated card. You best choice, probably a 9700 Non-pro. Otherwise wait.

- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! <A HREF="" target="_new"><font color=green>RED</font color=green> <font color=red>GREEN</font color=red></A> GA to SK :evil: 
June 24, 2003 1:20:54 PM

I used to be a Geforce guy, but I couldn't ignore the value Ati was offering when it was time to upgrade.

My last card was a Radeon 8500... lasted me more than a year, and gave great performance to boot. The only reason I upgraded was I wanted to use antialiassing, which wasn't one of the 8500's strong suits

Now I've got a 9500 non-pro I got for a very good deal on e-bay, which when overclocked is alot more powerful that I ever would have expected.

I am very happy with Ati, and can heartily recommend the 9600 PRO. But if you can find a 9500 PRO, I'd recommend it slightly over the 9600 PRO.
June 24, 2003 2:07:32 PM

I also recommend either R9600(also own one) or 9500pro or 9700nonpro. All are excellent cards at decent prices.

and BTW the dark side isnt that dark when your over here.

--You know, I think Paul Bryant was from the Netherlands.--

-=[ Addicted, Finally. ]=-
June 24, 2003 2:25:36 PM

If you're sticking with Nvidia throughout this 'transitional' period I'd go with a ti 4200 128MB. There aren't very many games that could even come close to kicking this cards arse. I mean, for 110 bucks, you can't go wrong. If this seems like something out of your price range, go with the geforce 2 ti card. This is the card I had for years until my upgrade to the 9500 Pro. I played various games flawlessly with it (BF1942, UT2K3, NOLF2) and got decent framerates. The downside is that it only has 64MB compared to the 4200's 128. But for 51 bucks, one can hardly complain. If you want to go with ATI (which I recommend) then try the 9000 Pro with 128MB. It's a DX9 compatible card and it's compareable to the ti 4200. The price is just right at 67 bucks. For me, I always like to get cards that I could use to build second gaming machines. That way when I have a LAN party, I always have an extra gaming machine that someone can use (even if it is a bit slower than most of the other machines) that will spread a lil bit o frag fever.

June 24, 2003 3:51:41 PM

1. your a nVidia Fanboy
2. your gonna get a FX5900Ultra
when dont u just either stick with the GF2 or get a GF4 Ti4200 for like $80 and save up for the FX5900Ultra

Proud Owner the Block Heater
a b U Graphics card
June 24, 2003 4:02:29 PM

BTW the dark side isnt that dark when your over here.

Except when you have your shaders/shades in use. :cool:

Mmm shade! Where's my Marguerita!?!

- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! <A HREF="" target="_new"><font color=green>RED</font color=green> <font color=red>GREEN</font color=red></A> GA to SK :evil: 
a b U Graphics card
June 24, 2003 4:08:34 PM

try the 9000 Pro with 128MB. It's a DX9 compatible card and it's compareable to the ti 4200

Based on your description I assume that's a Typo and you mean an R9600/9500; however your price suggest you're talking about an R9000Non-pro. I have both and the R9600(pro or non) is more than $67 (even US), and the R9000 (pro or non) isn't DX9 compatible/capable and is pretty shy of the GF4ti, it's closer to the GF3ti; and then I'd recommend an R9100 (better price/performance than the R9000P). And the GF4ti is still an option.

- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! <A HREF="" target="_new"><font color=green>RED</font color=green> <font color=red>GREEN</font color=red></A> GA to SK :evil: 
June 24, 2003 7:17:53 PM

Yep, I'm retarded. The 9000 is only DX8.1 compatible. Dunno what I was thinking there...*pOp*! That's the sound of my head coming out of my arse. For some unknown and unapparent reason, I was thinking the 9000's were DX9. Oh well. He could still snag the 9600Pro for about 140 bucks. That's not too bad. Once again, I apologize for the sudden immitation of Corky from 'Life Goes On.'
Thanks TGGA :) 

June 24, 2003 7:56:02 PM

for clarification, i picked up neverwinter nights and noticed that it was a little slow in the outdoor scenes, plus 64mb textures were offered in the game. this got me thinking that maybe a small upgrade from 32mb to 64mb wouldn't be too expensive, given a geforce 4mx 64mb is $37 on pricewatch. but would the jump from 32mb to 64mb not be that noticable? the ati cards come in with me wondering if i could get a bigger boost while i wait for around $100 or so (which as someone pointed out i could just put that card in my spare p3-1ghz rig once i pickup the 5900ultra)

also, the reason why i'm just not buying the 5900ultra now is that i have no need for it now. i'm not playing anything that i crucially need to have looking spectacular, looking pretty good is fine enough. the only games that are coming out in the future that i would love to use a 5900ultra for are deus-ex2, doom3, and hl2. so, until those come out, i really don't need that much power. i'm just looking for something for cheap that will make the current games i'm playing (neverwinter, morrowind, raven shield, bf1942) look and play better than my 32mb g2-gts is offering.

i've noticed the votes for just wait it out with my current card, but $37 isn't that much for a card (g4mx), even for a few months of use. but would i see a big improvement in the above games going from a 32mb card to a 64mb card? or would an ati card (while more expensive than the $37 card) would give me a bigger improvement?

(ps & somewhat ot- given id only showed a looped trailer of doom3 at e3 compared to hl2 having a playable demo plus already having licenced its source engine out to troika with vampire bloodlines, i'm pretty sure id won't be making a 2003 release. even half-life i'm doubtful of. id may not have quite the same quality control standards of 3drealms, but i can't imagine id releasing even a 99% done game just to make a christmas release.)
June 24, 2003 8:14:13 PM

Well i'd say get one right now instead of wasting the cash on a card then to replace it soon. How much will high end cards drop in price do you suspect?
Probably the amount you spend on that gf4mx to tide you over til the price drops that amount.
Consider how long you are willing to wait. And how much do you think you will really save on waiting?
These are the high-ends of nvidia.

Wooba Wooba
June 24, 2003 8:20:00 PM

A gainward 5600 ultra is 139.00 off pricewatch... might wanna check that out if you wanna stick to nvidia... the 9600 pro is about the same price too (sapphire).

June 24, 2003 8:49:19 PM

A g4mx will not be a big improvement over your current card (not worth the money IMHO).

I have a Ti4200 64MB right now that can handle damn near anything I throw at it. I am also waiting for HL2 and D3 to come out but I'm <b>not</b> buying a new video card until I have HL2 on my machine, and even then only if I'm getting considerable slow-downs.

If I was in your position I would get an ATI 9500PRO or 9600PRO (as so many have already suggested) unless they are out of your price range, in which case I would get a Ti4200 128MB. Either way I wouldn't get another card until I had the game running on my computer and saw with my own eyes that I needed another upgrade.

But that's just me. :cool:

<font color=blue>Build a foolproof system and they'll build a better fool.</font color=blue>
June 24, 2003 10:47:10 PM

Yeah, waiting on the 5900 is a good idea, because if you were to spend $500 and buy one now, you'd be getting a card no better than a $350 ATi 9800 Pro 128mb. In the end, their prices will endup the same, probably, so the purchase (or the delay therein) will save you money in the long run.

Tit for tat, butter for fat, ATi's dog kicks nVidia's cat

(Maximum PC)
a b U Graphics card
June 25, 2003 6:41:07 AM

Just to add to my original recommendation.

If you need something now, get it. The GF4 will hlp you with NWN issue you're having. The 9700Non-Pro will also help. BOTH can easily be resold for a bit of money in the future (an MX can't IMO) when you replace with the Next-gen card. I did back-up the idea of the 9500/9600, but in reality it should b a choice between the GF4 and 9700NP if you are going to upgrade at all.
Also, I wouldn't really consider the 9800Pro OR the 5900Ultra as replacements for whn the games actually it the market as I have a feeling that MUCH better cards will be availible, nd a 5900Non-Ultra and 9800Non-Pro will likely be the economical choie, and then the R380/420/RV380 and the NV40 will likely be the high end (with their non-ultra and non-pro variants.
Just look at the current market the 9700Non-Pro is your best bet IMO, that will likely be the same then, a non-X variant of the former top end card will be the price/performance winnner, and if you are not looking at that aspect then go with RAW performance which would be the new chips in the fall/winter.

So my quick list of options:

<b>A)</b> Do nothing, if nothing bothers you 'til the release of the new cards (IS NWN <b>that</b> bad?)

<b>B)</b> Get an R9700NP or GF4 to tide you over to fix what currently bothers you (you can resell both [heck people still sell GF2s and 3s easily]) The R9600/9500 aren't bad choices I just think the advantages over the GF4 (mainly DX9) aren't a factor if you are upgrading anyway. But the raw performance boost of the 9700NP is a factor (you definitely could sel it easier too).

<b>C)</b> Buy an R9800Pro right now and hope it sufficient for you with your gaming style (AA/AF? Hi Res?) when the titles come out. I think we have seen that to have ALL the bells and whistles on Both the Fx5900U and the R9800P aren't powerful enough to turn everything on. And you will be buying a card that is overpowered (if there is such a thing in this forum) until those titles come out. The FX5900U isn't a bad choice (similar performance and same situation as R9800) just not price competitive, unless you just wana stick with NV product because you've had a good experience with them (may also make transition easier). It's just a question of whether the price diff. is enough 'right now of course'.

My personal feeling based on your situation. <b>Option B</b>

- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! <A HREF="" target="_new"><font color=green>RED</font color=green> <font color=red>GREEN</font color=red></A> GA to SK :evil: