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VGA Card Buyer's Guide 07/2003

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July 15, 2003 1:10:30 AM

Did I miss something from this article? In the conclusion it states:

"We chose one card from each of the price categories that we found especially worthy of recommendation and awarded it our Editor's Choice. Our main criteria in doing so were obviously the cards' 3D performance and feature set. "

but the only card listed as a Editors Choice is the MSI FX5600-VTDR128. I was looking foward to the recomendations for the different price ranges, but only got that one recomendation for that one price range.
July 15, 2003 1:57:14 AM

Yeah, he took a lot of time with that article, but seemed to cut his recommendations short. Still a good article though.
July 15, 2003 3:14:30 AM

I enjoyed the article, it seemed to answer some of our demands in this forum as well.

Still, I am waiting for the day they showcase what the power consumption of modern cards is. Such is the key for users with limited power output.

They did use a new benchmark, Gunmetal, though I never have seen such incredibly cheap performance by a mid-range 9500PRO, at 9.6FPS. HAS to be an unoptimized game.
They didn't bench a lot though, which disappointed me. The point of the article was to show which card is optimal in x games on a general set of games.

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July 15, 2003 3:19:49 AM

he posted about the 9600pro that the *only* difference it had from teh R300 (9700) was the 128bit memory bus


we all know theres much more difference than that. he has the 9600pro mixed up with teh 9500pro

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July 15, 2003 8:23:40 AM

I missed one thing, rather important to me.
The whole driver issue, nVidia is cheating in it's drivers for more then 70 appl. while ATI is only gaught cheating in 3dmark nature.
UT 2003 is one of the games nVidia does cheat, so what does these benchmarks say? Not much to my opinion.

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a b U Graphics card
July 15, 2003 10:13:24 AM

I wish Lars had lloked at more benchmaks too. Even adding UT2K3 Botmatch which differs from flyby. And the addition of another game. Three test (even at diff. res. and AA/AF just seems a little light, despite the Large bredth of cards.

The funny thing is that alot fo his benchmarks also conflict with alot of the ones I've seen from other sites. From the performance of the 9600PROs to the performance of the R9500P vs the FX5600s. This is one of the ONLY places I've seen an FX5600non-ultra EVER beat an R9600Pro, except maybe in Q3 at low res. I also am disappointed that the 9700Non-pro (the forum here's favorite IMO) wasn't included. It's th odds on price/performance favorite, yet didn't get a showing and neither did the 9800no-pro. However there was an Fx5900non-ultra, FX5800non-ultra, FX5600non-ultra, and BOTH of the FX5600Ultras. There sure is alot of green in those charts.

All in all a pretty diverse review with some serious time invested (as is also required to read from cover to cover), but not enough tests IMO. I'll give it a 9.9/10 for looking at a bunch of cards and for subjective content (great read), and a 5/10 for benchmarks/tests, thus an overall 7/10. This rating has been optimized for the latest drivers, I mean writers. :wink:


- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! <A HREF="http://www.redgreen.com" 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
July 15, 2003 2:12:32 PM

Interesting there is already an MSI click-ad on the front page which trumpets the 'Editor's Choice Award'.
Less than a day later, that was quick.
A little too quick for me.


- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! <A HREF="http://www.redgreen.com" target="_new"><font color=green>RED</font color=green> <font color=red>GREEN</font color=red></A> GA to SK :evil: 
July 15, 2003 4:17:50 PM

Methinks MSI paid Tom's. :wink:

Intelligence is not merely the wealth of knowledge but the sum of perception, wisdom, and knowledge.
July 15, 2003 4:32:14 PM

One thing I found to be awkward at best is them mentioning the R9800 being R380. I thought more would discover that. There is no R380, it's an R350!

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a b U Graphics card
July 15, 2003 6:41:21 PM

Yeah, I missed that one. There WILL be an RV380 but that the PCI-EX mid-range model.

There should also be an R360 and RV360, but not an R380 from what I've read so far.


- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! <A HREF="http://www.redgreen.com" target="_new"><font color=green>RED</font color=green> <font color=red>GREEN</font color=red></A> GA to SK :evil: 
July 15, 2003 8:31:26 PM

First off, I have to admit that I didn't read every single line of that review.

NONETHELESS,

Lars, why are you using Q3 still? UT2K3...ok, fair enough. Gunmetal? No clue what game that is and I didn't see a description or note about it or why you chose it. The conclusion didn't make sense to me either since you only picked one card even though you seemed to mention that you were going to pick a card from different price categories. Did you forget a couple pages?

What exactly am I supposed to do with this review? The noise measurements are usefull, but the benchmarks are limited at best. If you take a look in the games section you'll see which games people are currently playing and I really wish we could see more of those mentioned in the benchmarks. As long as the futuremark controversy has crippled the synthetic benchmarks you might as well use games that people are playing, and several of them.


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a b U Graphics card
July 15, 2003 8:45:42 PM

To read more about Gunmetal, click <A HREF="http://www.yetistudios.com/gunmetal/Gun Metal/PC Benchmark Info.htm" target="_new">HERE</A> to visit Yeti's site (you can even downlaod the benchmark).

Or got to [H]ard|OCP's BFG Asylum 5900Ultra review. <A HREF="http://www.hardocp.com/article.html?art=NDk2LDc=" target="_new">Here's</A> the Gunmetal page of the [H] review to make it easier for you LAZY bastards! :tongue:

Oh yeah, and I agree about Q3 (like I said above in another post, but I think it needs repeating)

- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! <A HREF="http://www.redgreen.com" target="_new"><font color=green>RED</font color=green> <font color=red>GREEN</font color=red></A> GA to SK :evil: 
July 15, 2003 8:57:17 PM

Ok, that explains why the benchmarks for that game are so low. Makes me really wonder what the requirements are going to be for HL2 if you want good IQ and > 30 fps

<A HREF="http://forums.btvillarin.com/index.php?act=ST&f=41&t=38..." target="_new"><font color=red>dhlucke's system</font color=red></A>

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July 15, 2003 9:06:48 PM

more than 70 apps?? where are u getting this from?? ILOVEATISOMUCHIAMGOINGTOMAKEUPFAKESTUFFABOUTNVIDIA.com??
and ATi cheated in quake 3 before too, dont forget that

Proud Owner the Block Heater
120% nVidia Fanboy
I'd get a nVidia GeForce FX 5900Ultra... if i had the money and if THEY WOULD CHANGE THAT #()#@ HSF
July 15, 2003 10:03:33 PM

I believe I read that somewhere too. But they didn't cheat in 70 apps, they've done 70 application specific "optimizations". Also, ATI's Quake III cheat lasted no more than a week and after it was repaired, we didn't lose any performance.

Intelligence is not merely the wealth of knowledge but the sum of perception, wisdom, and knowledge.
July 15, 2003 10:23:50 PM

I have such a hard time listening to you say anything about ATI when you have a sig that concedes you being a 120% Nvidia fanboy.

<A HREF="http://forums.btvillarin.com/index.php?act=ST&f=41&t=38..." target="_new"><font color=red>dhlucke's system</font color=red></A>

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July 15, 2003 10:46:24 PM

I was also surprised at the lack of other editors choice options for the other price categorys.
Also the lack of description for Gunmetal left me stumped.. usually they dont make us go investigate just to find out a little about a new benchie.

What caught my eye was the performance of the FX5600 Ultra, I didnt realize it was this high class of a performer. In the same league as the 9700 Pro, a highly respectable card performance wise and if a 5600 Pro is $200 it beats it on price also.

The 4fps difference between the two doesnt outweigh the likely Doom3/HL2 performance lead the nvidias will have (due to their shadow technology, Doom 3 is "doomed" to be leanient towards Nvidia as Carmack said the prerelease alpha of Doom3 by ATI would result in consequences) and my bad experiences with ATI products in the past (NEVER buy a standalone ATI tv tuner!!!!)

I dont really need a new video card now but my 2nd computer does badly, I think I found my next video card.
Overall a good article.

Athlon 1700+, Epox 8RDA (NForce2), Maxtor Diamondmax Plus 9 80GB 8MB cache, 2x256mb Crucial PC2100 in Dual DDR, Geforce 3, Audigy, Z560s, MX500
July 16, 2003 12:39:49 AM

Quote:
Doom 3 is "doomed" to be leanient towards Nvidia as Carmack said the prerelease alpha of Doom3 by ATI would result in consequences


I think Carmack was talking about consequences in future dealings with ATi. I would be very surprised if he punishes ATi owners for something they had no control over. In other words I think that D3 will work just as well on ATi cards as it does on nVidia's, and if there is a difference it'll be because of other factors like open GL performance or whatever (for technical reasons, not because Carmack is mad at ATi).

Of course that's all IMHO. :cool:

<font color=blue>Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.
-Einstein</font color=blue><P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Confoundicator on 07/15/03 05:41 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
July 16, 2003 1:01:38 AM

Quote:
One thing I found to be awkward at best is them mentioning the R9800 being R380. I thought more would discover that. There is no R380, it's an R350!


whoa i missed that one!

*10 minutes later*

i just reread that article and found it to be lacking and uninformative

he talks about how the majority of people buy based on price/performance ratio. yet he only mentions teh ti4200 *ONCE*. as of right now, they are by far teh best deal, being faster than gffx5600s and 1/3 the price

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July 16, 2003 1:17:16 AM

I just can't help but find those FX5600 results suspicious. Ape mentioned that this is the only site with such strong data.

My biggest problem with the new FX5600 Ultra is not only its price (I'd be hard-pressed to find it at the announced 199$), but the occasional odd performance drop. Like the 9600PRO, it has these gaps in certain games where it just drops out of nowhere, to 50% the performance of the 9600PRO.
Things like these worry me and make me weary of considering the card. Of course there is that and the DX9 questionable performance.

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July 16, 2003 2:00:57 AM

About the Gunmetal Benchmark. The benchmark is different from the game. This was taken from Hard OCP's latest review, which uses that benchmark:
“The Benchmark intentionally incorporates features and functions that are designed to really push the latest DirectX 9 compatible 3D accelerators to the limit and therefore the speed of the benchmark should not be taken as representative of the speed of the game. We would always expect the game to run at a higher frame-rate than the Benchmark on the same hardware configuration.”

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