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Head to Head results: Neck and Neck

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  • Graphics Cards
  • World Of Warcraft
  • ATI
  • Graphics
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a b U Graphics card
May 5, 2004 12:18:23 AM

Wow, did we really see that comming?

LOL, lately ATI has been sucesseful with the "just enough" approach. They aren't trying to get ahead. The only amazing thing is that they've done such a good job of gauging nVidia.

2 years ago ATI introduced the 9700 Pro with the mistake that it significantly outperformed the 5800 Ultra. The fact is the 5800 Ultra didn't perform as well as ATI though it would. Since then they've been back pedaling to make the competition more equal. The reason is simple: ATI saves a lot of money in developement by stretching out their releases.

ATI could be giving us even better technology, but they're taking the cost saving approach rather than agressively grabbing for market share. Of course that keeps them out of the money loosing proposition that plagued the CPU market: The MHz race put processors on the market more quickly than the market demanded them, and after everyone had better computers than they needed, they quit buying! So maybe I shouldn't be too harsh on ATI for not being more agressive.

At any rate, nVidia still has better Open GL performance, but my old AIW 9600 Pro is faster than I need for any of my 3D modeling software, so maybe the best choice is the card that offers the best gaming performance while using the least amount of power, creating the least amount of waste heat. But I won't be buying, my current card serves my gaming needs as well, and I don't have any spare cash.

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a b U Graphics card
May 5, 2004 12:44:05 AM

I agree, except I have the cash, and I'm still not interested in upgrading anymore. Why waste your money (there's always something else to buy, DVDs, SkiGear, Car/Home stuff, BEER, Vacations, etc).

Maybe I expected more, but these cards don't really impress me. Hopefully a PCI-EX AIW or PersonalCinema card offers something to make me go wow.

But I agree wholeheartedly with the idea that they are neck and neck, and ATI has really let some people down by doing only what was needed, not what they COULD do.

You were dissapointed about the lack of transition of the R9800 series to 0.13, IIRC. And now I feel the same way about ATI not actually following through with the R400, and the NV40 not being impressive enough to warrant that response. This is like R3XXplus and what the FX was supposed to be. Not impressed in the least. Maybe the fall will show me some killer reason to care. Hopefully something like D]|[, Stalker, or something like ElderScrolls4.

Maybe that will put the fire under those of us not quite there yet.


- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! - <font color=green>RED </font color=green> <font color=red> GREEN</font color=red> GA to SK :evil: 
May 5, 2004 1:11:21 AM

I have to disagree with both of you. I don't have alot of $ right now, so I won't be upgrading any time soon, but if I did have the extra $, I certainly would.

HELLO!? This is not a small performance boost. 2x 9800XT performance? That's alot of performance!

I bought my 9800 Pro to play current (at the time) games at max detail, high resolutions (1024x768+), with AA and Aniso. My card can no longer do that with some of the newer titles (Far Cry). The X800 and GF6800 can do this (and will be able to for a while), which is exactly what I want, and is exactly why I bought my 9800 Pro in the first place (and Ti4400 a hella long time ago, lol).

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May 5, 2004 1:17:37 AM

I believe the point they were trying to make is that ATI stays just barely ahead of Nvidia, not ahead of their previous products.
a b U Graphics card
May 5, 2004 2:07:33 AM

I'm sorry, I'm not impressed. It is an increase, but not what I was hyped to believe it would be.

I know many will disagree, heck I will be in the minority I am sure, but it's just the way I feel unfortunately. Like I said, the driver changes impressed me more.

I woudl buy one tomorrow if they were small, quiet, and didn't need power connector, and yet still produced those numbers. Now that would have impressed me, and might have been possible on a 0.11 version of the R9800 (like and RV380++).

To put it in more tangible terms, I just feel like I was Promised a GT40 and got a Saleen Mustang. Sure it's GREAT result/product, but not what I was hoping for, and not enough to make me consider upgrading immediately from my satisfactorily enjoyable Ford PumaV6/Mercury CougarV6. And the sad thing is they had the Ability to give me what I wanted, they simply decided no to because they didn't have to.

I saw alot of personal nicities going from the R8500DV to the R9600Pro (especially while riding the PCIAIW for the brief period in between), but I just don't see the same 'WOW' factor for these cards right now, not even from demos.

Anywhoo, don't let my lack of enthusiasm take away from yours; my perspective is just different.
They are nice cards, and hopefully you will enjoy them soon enough, don't let me spoil that for you.


- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! - <font color=green>RED </font color=green> <font color=red> GREEN</font color=red> GA to SK :evil: 
May 5, 2004 2:14:09 AM

I kinda see it a little differently. I dont think Ati expected nvidia to come back so strong. They waited for the 6800 release, then busted some serious tail to catch up. Now thier new card is pushed to the limit, while the core of the 6800 still has a lot of room. Ati knows they are in serious trouble if they cant bring out something a lot faster, and soon.
Dont get me wrong, I'm sure that the 6800 will do ps3 every bit as well as the 5200 did ps2, but Ati has to be able to say that they can do it also.
a b U Graphics card
May 5, 2004 3:13:11 AM

Actually ATI is holding back, just like they did last fall. They're offering you the best they can get out of their new chip, but that's because they limited the technology they put into that chip. They're holding back the new stuff for the next release, because they CAN.

<font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
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May 5, 2004 3:28:06 AM

Sure they give us all the big hype. How great these cards are going to be. BUT when thet get released. Where is the performance thay told us about? :frown: $400 to $500 and lacking big speed.
a b U Graphics card
May 5, 2004 6:56:53 AM

OK, I've been stewing for a while...

1.) ATI was supposed to release the 9700 on .13 micron but decided not to due to production problems. This was fine
2.) ATI was supposed to move the chip to .13 micron for the 9800, but decided not to when they found out how bad the 5800U was! That set performance back maybe 15%!
3.) ATI was supposed to release the R400 but decided not to because nVidia didn't come up with many improvements. So we got the 9800XT, still not on .13 micron. The R400 would have probably given us another 30%
4.) The R420 could have had PS3 support, etc, but ATI decided they didn't need more power. By now they've already held us back maybe 45%, who can guess where we would have been had ATI forged ahead! Certainly they would have owned the market by now!

But that's just the enthusiast talking. As a businessman I understand their reasons for holding back, to maintain a steady market, rather than peaks and surges.

<font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
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May 5, 2004 7:18:08 AM

Yeah it would've been great, if ATI went straight from the 8500 series to the R500 architecture, unified shaders, 90nm process. That would've been one hell of a jump. And Nvidia really should've skipped the FX generation.

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a b U Graphics card
May 5, 2004 7:34:17 AM

LOL, no, I'm saying they purposely handicapped technology. The 9700 release was fine, but it put them in such a comfy position it allowed them to lag, on purpose, to milk enthusiast better.

<font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
May 5, 2004 7:37:26 AM

All I can blame is Nvidia, for flawing their NV3X series. If the 5800Ultra performed the way it was suppose to, Nvidia said 2x speed of 9700pro, that would've pushed ATI to release the R500 much much sooner.

<A HREF="http://forums.extremeoverclocking.com/myrig.php?do=view..." target="_new">My PC</A>
May 5, 2004 8:07:10 AM

The new cards won't shine until games are more demanding and can actually take advantage of the cards power. When the CPU is not bottlenecking the X800XT is twice faster than a 9800XT. Thats bloody fast.

<A HREF="http://service.futuremark.com/compare?2k1=7737657" target="_new"> My rig </A>
May 5, 2004 8:08:32 AM

Personally I am quite impressed, but at least I was expecting a big jump from ATI, based on:

- Core frecuency: 9800XT runs at 412Mz, but 9600XT run at 500 and you can overclock easily to 550 or even to 600 in some cases. So building the 9800XT on 0.13 low-k meant an increase of 30% clockspeed.
- Number of Pipes & shaders: increase only 50% of them and you gain that amount of percentage.
- Memory: you can find real 1100Mhz GDDR3 (in fact X800XT PE' memory is rated for 1200Mhz)

So joining both increases for CPU you get about <b>95% of more power</b>. Memory does not have such a jump, but I am not considering ANY of the optimizations ATI can develop too. So a 100% increase for new TOP GPUs was not a dream.


I agree with TheGreatGrapeApe and others about not impressed by new technologies or improvements. What about Overdrive? Is still there? Why they don't introduce they own "Cool'n'Quiet" feature? I am sure is not so difficult! And is it posible to run 3 monitors? I am not an expert, but I am almost sure there have ten more ideas out there of new cool and usefull features.


Anyway, I was thinking about buying a 9800Pro, but now it seems a little slow to me :wink: . But $399 for a X800Pro is really OUT of my budget. Waiting again ...


Still looking for a <b>good online retailer</b> in Spain :frown:
May 5, 2004 2:33:17 PM

I think the whole scenario of nV versus ATI was built up so high that whatever the resulting speed, it would've been a let down for the enthusiasts.

I mostly agree with Crashman - from business pov it makes perfect sense, from enthusiasts' view, we're not really ecstatic.

XP2000, 512 ddr 2700ram, GF4 MX440, XP Pro
May 5, 2004 2:45:52 PM

Even though ATI is holding back so as not to glut the market, I think the performance gains are still pretty significant. Last week, the best $400 card was a 9800XT. This week (or whenever the cards are widely available) the best card for that price is significantly faster. That seems satisfying to me.

I realize that things could be even better and faster, but as noted earlier-it's bad for business to outpace the market. I've been sitting with my GF3 for years now because by turning down the settings slightly it will play everything. I am finally considering upgrading because there was a performance increase in this generation that hasn't been seen since ATI release the 9700's-that seems like good progress to me, even if it isn't the best technology that they have in Canada.

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May 5, 2004 3:24:35 PM

Quote:
Since then they've been back pedaling to make the competition more equal. The reason is simple: ATI saves a lot of money in developement by stretching out their releases.

ATI could be giving us even better technology, but they're taking the cost saving approach rather than agressively grabbing for market share.

I actually thought about this too. I was thinking that maybe ATI is actually doing the right thing financially and strategically: While nVIDIA is spending tens of millions on development of futuristic hardware and will end up having a smaller profit margin on sales since manufacturing nV40 cards will definitely be more expensive than X800s . . . well, you see the point. Hmmmm. damn Canadians :smile: .


<font color=green>"The creative powers of English morphology are pathetic compared to what we find in other languages." (Steven Pinker, The Language Instinct)</font color=green> :cool:
May 5, 2004 3:29:02 PM

Quote:
They waited for the 6800 release, then busted some serious tail to catch up. Now thier new card is pushed to the limit, while the core of the 6800 still has a lot of room.

Damn GOOD POINT too! This could, indeed, be the case. Hmmm. Now I am completely confused. LOL

<font color=green>"The creative powers of English morphology are pathetic compared to what we find in other languages." (Steven Pinker, The Language Instinct)</font color=green> :cool:
May 5, 2004 3:53:51 PM

Surely its all conjecture - how can we know how fast the core can go?

Everyone says the 9800xt owns the 5950, but from all the benchies (IQ aside) they seem on a total par with each other to me!

XP2000, 512 ddr 2700ram, GF4 MX440, XP Pro
May 5, 2004 3:59:12 PM

For me, the biggest dissapointment was the lack of PS and VS 3.0. But the real surprise was the total lack of any other innovations except texture compression.

Ati has advertised the use of shaders to speed up video processing with the 8500, and hyped it up again with the 9700... and still, we see no real software optimized for it. No hardware improvements with that aspect, either.

Hell, even Deltachrome has some nifty features in that respect.

The way I see it, the X800 is a speed bump. A notable speed bump... but a speed bump nonetheless.

Hell, when a 9800XT get's a FREE doubling of AA power (with temporal AA) and an inevitably lower price when the X800s come out in force, it looks a helluva lot more attractive to me.

I'm with ape on this one, I'll probably skip this gen.

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May 5, 2004 4:50:37 PM

My 7500 does really well in UT 2004, but then again, the last card I used was a 16MB ATI Rage.. I'll probably get the XT800Pro. I waited 6 years between computer upgrades so the video card should be a HUGE improvement.. I like waiting a while, everything feels like a huge improvement !!

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"Don't worry brain, my computer will do the thinking for us now" Homer Simpson
May 5, 2004 5:09:00 PM

Yup they love to milk the enthusiast market. Plus charge big bucks for the new stuff.
a b U Graphics card
May 5, 2004 7:19:14 PM

Quote:
Everyone says the 9800xt owns the 5950, but from all the benchies (IQ aside) they seem on a total par with each other to me!

Well, remember that in new tests the 5950's IQ has been so degraded in the drivers to try and perform like the ATI.

Also, when we talk about the top cards, which were the 9800XT and the FX5950, who really buys those cards without caring about IQ and AA/AF settings. Unless benchie's are your thing, then actual game players who care nothing about AA/AF settings can just stick to midrange cards and save money. But stress the video cards, and the R9800XT stood out far above NV's offerings.

Look back at Tom's VGA charts III. How well did the FX5950 do in the quality tests? Now who but a NVidiot or 3dmark addict would buy a $400-$500 card and not want to see some Eye Candy? IMO that makes little sense, so the R9800XT was clearly superior to the FX5950. You just can't get rid of AA/AF and forget about IQ floptimizations and then compare benchies. Of course NV was hoping most people would do just that.

Read the quality part of <A HREF="http://www.tomshardware.com/graphic/20031229/vga-charts..." target="_new"> Toms VGA Charts 3 </A>and especially note the 4X/8X benchmark settings. The FX5950 loses to the plain R9700 non-pro in UT2003, which is a TWIMTBP game, as well as both Call of Duty and Nascar Thunder 2004.

Of course the GF6800U is a different story, but the FX5950, forget about it.



ABIT IS7, P4 2.6C, 512MB Corsair TwinX PC3200LL, Radeon 9800 Pro, Santa Cruz, TruePower 430watt
a b U Graphics card
May 5, 2004 7:35:56 PM

I agree with what you are saying. It makes sense why they are not pushing all they can, but I wish it were not the case.

My feelings about the new cards are mixed. I am more impressed than GrapeApe, but also not wowed enough that I feel I need to upgrade now. Would I like a X800pro or X800XT-PE, of course I would. My card looks great in farcry, but would be brought to it's knees if i didn't turn the settings down. I am very impressed with the X800XT's farcry abilities that shine in HardOCP test <A HREF="http://www.hardocp.com/article.html?art=NjExLDEw" target="_new"> Here </A>. 1600x1200 highest settings with AA/AF? wow. Even the X800pro destroys my R9800P with it's playable settings. That makes me want one, especially if that trend will be passed onto HL2 and D]|[ also.

But farcry is only one of the games I play, and the only one that currently makes me want more graphics power. All in all, the scores don't show enough reasons to make an upgrade worth the money. If they had just released R500, I'd probably be more than willing to shell out $500 it. Considering what my family could use that $500 for, I'd say I'd be TOO willing. But neither 6800U, X800P, nor even X800XTpe will make me do that.


ABIT IS7, P4 2.6C, 512MB Corsair TwinX PC3200LL, Radeon 9800 Pro, Santa Cruz, TruePower 430watt
May 5, 2004 9:14:58 PM

Cheers for the clarification Paulh!

XP2000, 512 ddr 2700ram, GF4 MX440, XP Pro
May 5, 2004 10:56:38 PM

okay
1. ATi saved alot of money on development? ya.. but they're not nearly as rich as nVidia
2. FX line was actually a success.They still made s***load of money off it

anyone wanna bet nVidia made more money off FX5200 and FX5600 then the entire R3xx line?

In the business world. Money and production is all that matters. As long as they get a profit, they don't give a f*** about those 10000 or so 1337 people that complain while everyone else is buying their products
ATi is nowhere as strong as nVidia when it comes to business tactics.

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May 5, 2004 11:36:51 PM

Not including prepackaged cards, nV wasn't as far ahead as you think. ATI has gained ALOT of market share the past year.

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a b U Graphics card
May 6, 2004 12:44:00 AM

Yep, economically speaking, makes sense, I know exactly why they have done what they've done, but it doesn't make me like it. :wink:

The thing to remember is that the R400 is still on track, it's just that they made the 'R420' from what everyone else would've called an R390/399. Supposedly the R400 architecture has simply been redesigned and re-dubbed the R500, pushing the R500 series into another number (supposedly they are looking for people to work on the R600 according to a job posting a while back I saw at [H]).

Now none of the numbers make sense. Had the R400 really made it to market, it may have been slower, but likely would've given us features at the cost of performance, at a time when ATI was learning that 24bit vs 32 bit means little, and PS2.0+ vs PS2.0 means little, and until the games arrive that show up your hardware, people will keep buying what plays TODAY'S games.

I know your opinions on this and I've agreed from a technology point of view, but I always said, the thing they needed most is someone to push them harder. Too bad they didn't miss the perfromance target this round, I think that would've hastened their release schedule to the point where we could be impressed again. But I don't know who to blame for that, ATI for not trying to do more than just meet expectations, or nV for not making the GF6800U significantly better. Hopefully parity will at least push the release schedule a bit.


- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! - <font color=green>RED </font color=green> <font color=red> GREEN</font color=red> GA to SK :evil: 
a b U Graphics card
May 6, 2004 1:10:55 AM

Quote:
ATi saved alot of money on development? ya.. but they're not nearly as rich as nVidia

Depends on what you mean by Rich. ATI's Market Cap is much larger, and their P/E ratio is smaller (better smaller than larger [30 vs 49]).

nV's revenue and assets are larger, but so were their expenditures, and their net income went down while ATI's went up.

Who made money off of what is a relative thing. nV might have sold more FX5200's and FX5600SEs, but with the basement pricing, it doesn't mean they profited. The most profitable segment is the R9600Pro and FX5600Ultra, and the R9600 definitely won that. Selling cards like the R9500Pro and FX5700U, and FX5900XT might win you kudos and benchmarks, but they aren't necessarily profitable.

Quote:
In the business world. Money and production is all that matters.

Somewhat true, but they aren't directly related. nV may have moved more volume, but it doesn't mean they made more money. And truely the GOAL of business isn't just profit, but return on investment. Short term profit doesn't give as much return on investment as a healthier product line. And between the two companies, ATI's position got better, and nV's got worse. The FX5200 line is too close in competition with the Intel Extreme, and all the old cards out there that any future profits are easily eaten away by even the likes of SIS and VIA.

Quote:
As long as they get a profit, they don't give a f*** about those 10000 or so 1337 people that complain while everyone else is buying their products

Sure they do, because the FX5200 owners talk to their 1337 friends who laugh at them, and make them feel stupid for moving from a GF4ti to an FX5200. And if you think the market for the mid to high end cards is onl 10,000 then you haven't really been paying attention to the past year's financial health of both companies. Both of them care MOST about the mid-range market, that's where the money is.

Quote:
ATi is nowhere as strong as nVidia when it comes to business tactics.

Depends on what you mean, because nV definitely hasn't done well over the past year, so you'd have to choose your measure of strengths. One thing that can't be denied is that ATI is no longer the weak company without the means to compete. Alot of Graphzilla's mistique has shriveled over the past year, and they don't have anywhere near the same power they enjoyed after the launch of the GF4 series.

BTW, remember that Intel still sells more graphics chips than either ATI or nV, and now ATI's licenced design is in the IntelExtreme3, so the FX5200 numbers are likely to mean little compared to even that small fraction of the 50+% chip share Intel has.

Thankfully both are big enough to push each other to the brink. Hopefully that shoving match heats up over the summer and gets us some interesting products for X-mas.


- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! - <font color=green>RED </font color=green> <font color=red> GREEN</font color=red> GA to SK :evil: 
May 6, 2004 3:33:34 AM

Yup I was going to buy a FX vid card. With all the hype of how great these cards where suppose to be. Good thing I waited for all the reviews to come in. I could have been stuck with a crappy FX5200. Hunk of junk. :frown:
May 6, 2004 10:38:14 AM

and...and... the 128 MB version totally rox, not to mention that they all are AGP8x.... whaddayawaitinfor? go grab it!

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May 6, 2004 4:41:43 PM

Some noob might take you guys seriously.

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May 6, 2004 5:06:58 PM

LOL! :lol: 


Still looking for a <b>good online retailer</b> in Spain :frown:
May 6, 2004 6:02:07 PM

Well, I'm very very impressed with what I've seen/read since the 4th.

Not being a very techie guy about gfx cards, twice as fast, with double the pipes makes me drool (yeah, to me it's like going from a Barton 2500 to a Barton 5000). I was all pumped to get a 9800 pro with the coming price drop, but after what I've read about the new cards it seem's exciting as yesterdays dog poop.

I'm not sure, no in fact I am sure that I'm not concered about the lack of PS3 etc. Are there any games that even have it? Aren't the games generally several years in the making? Aren't most still mostly relying on DX8.1? By the time many games do have the new features PS3 or DX10, I expect the new generation cards will make this stuff look lame anyway.

I'm guessing my opinion is somewhere between those who think the MMX 440 is a rad card and you guru dudes.

EDIT: As a business person, not a pc professional, I'm very impressed in that it looks like ATI has acheived more with less. By getting more with their old platform than nVidia with their new, they s/b making hella $ this go-round and that generally translates into a stronger company better poised to attack for the next generation.

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Win98SE<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Coyote on 05/06/04 02:09 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
a b U Graphics card
May 6, 2004 9:36:52 PM

Well, they're great upgrades for people who haven't already spent their money on recent upgrades!

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a b U Graphics card
May 6, 2004 9:44:57 PM

2X the speed is only in certain games at very high settings. Yes, these new cards are nice and allow higher resolution and more use of AA/AF. That matters alot to me as I'd love to play new games such as farcry at 1280x1024 4XAA/8XAF and max details.

But if you game on a 17" monitor that maxes out at 1024x768, and you play older games, you will not get anywhere near 2X the performance. Matter of fact you may not see much of a difference until you play games that stress the cards. Now if you have a slow CPU, even less difference will be evident.


So for power gamers with monster systems, of course you wouldn't buy the 9800pro. But for other people, a 9800 pro for half the cost of X800pro is the better bargain for sure.


ABIT IS7, P4 2.6C, 512MB Corsair TwinX PC3200LL, Radeon 9800 Pro, Santa Cruz, TruePower 430watt
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