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Toms VGA Buyers Guide - comments and opinions

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 20, 2003 12:51:13 PM

Ok not sure if this has been posted already. checked 5 pages and didn't find anything.

Well i just read Toms VGA Buyers Guide and my opinion of it is that it's just :|
It's definetly not good. It's mediocre leaning to bad.
Didn't Lars editiorial mention that the 9800pro and 5900ultra was dead-even in performance? Or maybe i'm just remembering wrong. But what's this?
Quote:
Currently, the FX 5900 Ultra can safely be called the fastest card on the market

Safely called? There are no 3dmark cheats. There are no timedemo cheats. No further comment on that.

And giving the FX5600ultra the editors choice award? :|
I'd recommend a ti4600/4800 over a FX5600ultra and here it gets the THG editorial choice :|

And why was only official prices mentioned? The selling prices are often higher or lower than those(depending on supply and availabilty). Even if would've only been prices in germany it still would've given a better perspective on what is cheaper and what isn't.

I thought this buyer's guide was bad. No positive points about it. Putting together a small review and naming it "Buyer's guide" with lots of cards might give the impression to others that the reviewer is doing lots of work. But i wont fall for that so easily and especially since the finished work wasn't good. Two benchmarks was used, Q3 and UT2003. The most common benchmarks that a certain IHV is suspected to cheat using the same tricks that was used in another popular benchmark.

This "Buyer's Guide" was just bad and i don't recommend anyone to follow the recommendations mentioned in it. At first i thought maybe THG actually wanted to make a REAL buyer's guide. But now after reading it it's very apparent that us consumers aren't high on their priority list.
In sweden a 9700regular can be had for 240€ while a FX5600ultra costs 200€. Which one would you rather buy?


Wooba Wooba
a b U Graphics card
July 20, 2003 1:28:36 PM

Yeah it's been covered <A HREF="http://forumz.tomshardware.com/hardware/modules.php?nam..." target="_new">HERE</A>. But we ca talk about it again.

I was surprised by the R9600Pro and R9500Pro's perfromance against the FX5600U old and even the FX5600non-ultra.

Every other review I saw showed the R9600Pro doing better than the FX5600Urev.1 but losing to the FX5600rev.2 (as expected). However that's not what showed in THG's review, it showed the R9600P losing to both and even all three sometimes.

Check <A HREF="http://www.gamepc.com/labs/view_content.asp?id=gw56ufc&..." target="_new">this recent review</A> I posted. It is an example of a review that differs from THG's.

Ans yes I'd still say MORE tests are needed to draw any real conclusions. Nice attempt though.


- 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: 
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July 20, 2003 5:48:26 PM

What impressed me was that my almost 1 year old (just 2 months away) 9700pro is within 5-15 percent perf of the top cards. Now its overclocked a bit, its probably closer to 5% slower than the brand new 256mb beasts. Best card ive ever owned imo.

<A HREF="http://service.futuremark.com/compare?2k1=6772243" target="_new"> MY RIG </A>
<A HREF="http://service.futuremark.com/compare?2k3=1050289" target="_new"> 3D-03 </A>
<font color=red> 120% overclocker </font color=red> (cheapskate)
July 20, 2003 5:59:35 PM

How many geforce fx's will be just behind the new cards in 10 months time? ATI didnt really need to release the 9800, but they did and its kind of a stop gap between the 9700 and the new one coming soon. Look how much nvidea have had to do just to get a bit better than the 9800, which is only an overclocked 9700pro. I can vouch for this as my card @ 347/324 gives me an extra 500 3dmarks in 2001 and a 9800pro would give me an extra 1000-1200 at 380/340.

Im really expecting something special (and overclockable) from ATI later this year...

<A HREF="http://service.futuremark.com/compare?2k1=6772243" target="_new"> MY RIG </A>
<A HREF="http://service.futuremark.com/compare?2k3=1050289" target="_new"> 3D-03 </A>
<font color=red> 120% overclocker </font color=red> (cheapskate)
July 20, 2003 6:17:36 PM

I benchmark (and once in a while play...) with my 9800 Pro at 460/380. I get no artifacts at these speeds, except in the 03 nature benchmark. Lowering the memory to 375 eliminates these. So far thats the only thing I've found that gives me errors at 380 on the memory.

Usually I play at 420/360 to stay nice and safe. I mean, its plenty fast enough for todays games as it is.

I'm kind of deviating from the original subject, but since you mentioned overclocking I just wanted to say something.

Alot of people say that overclocking is stupid and pointless. These are usually the people who
1) can't get good overclocks (or any!)
2) don't know jack about computers, or overclocking

The classic reasoning is, "Hey, why would you risk blowing up your cpu (or whatever) for a few extra mhz?"

Few extra mhz eh? Im only on air cooling and I can get a nice 10-20% boost in performance (talking cpu/memory overclocking), while keeping 100% stability and not risking the life of my components.

The same can be said for my 9800 Pro. With a volcano 10 on there, I'm not worried about temps.

My point is, I REALLY CAN notice a difference!

I've started up a game of ut2k3 at stock speeds, on an intensive map, then at overclocked speeds. When you play at settings that are just on the limit of what you would consider the minimum FPS you would like to play at, it makes a big diff!
I play ut2k3 at 1024x768 4xAA 16x perf. aniso, but I have a low tolerance for low fps (below 40 in ut2k3 pisses me off).


BTW I too think that review sucked!

In some better reviews/comparisons of the FX vs. Radeons, its interesting to see the AA penalties. The FX5800/5900 with the new drivers does amazing with AA up to 4x, but then to go to 8x, you see at least a 50% performance hit. Going from 4x to 6x (which at the moment looks better than nvidias 8x, and ATIs 4x looks better than nvidias 4x) dosn't even come close to that.

Stock to overclock gives me about 1000 points in 3dmark 03.

Most store-bought computers out there today don't even get 1000 points:) 

"Mice eat cheese." - Modest Mouse

"Every Day is the Right Day." -Pink Floyd
a b U Graphics card
July 20, 2003 6:51:54 PM

I'd only say that I CAN overclock, but I'd prefer not to run VERY OC'd on a regular basis. My NEW stock speed as I've said before is 432/308 simply because I don't think it will after the long term health of my card the way that 535/363 would. If I were certain this were a toss-away part then I'd OC the crap out of it all the time, but since I want to move it to my video rig once the new cards come out. I want to keep it running cool/stress-free as much as possible (as long as their isn't a cool new benchmark. :wink:

But I agree anyone aginst ALL overclocking just isn't fully aware of the potential you can unlock. Of course there are degrees but that's for the individuals to come up with.

And once again I'll say that the Buyer's Guide needs a little work. And update would be nice (like more tests), but since someone (MSI) is already marketing the 'editor's choice award' I think it unlikely that there will be any alterations.

<b>EDIT:</b> <i>Most store-bought computers out there today don't even get 1000 points:) </i>

Funny thing is SAME here, and that's with an R9600Pro. :tongue:

- 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:  <P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by TheGreatGrapeApe on 07/20/03 12:53 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
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