1st post; building computer; delimma of choice

First of all, Hi Everybody!

I'm building a computer for myself, to save money, for fun, to learn, because I need a new one for games, etc. My current computer's three years old or so... and I think the GF3 Ti500 isn't going to cut it with newer games.

The newer computer I built lacks only one componet -- the video card. It's a moderately nice computer: Athlon 64 3800+ and a couple gigs of ram. My plans are to buy a high end graphics card this time around, partially just to revel in the idea that my card is unnecessarily powerful for a while, and partially to play TES IV: Oblivion with graphics settings turned up high. I plan on keeping it for a fairly long time.

I was going to just buy a 7800 GTX, but then I heard ATI was going to release a new line of cards this week, so I decided to wait. Now it's sounding like the ATI x1800 XT is a better value, more powerful (works better with antialiasing and things?), and more memory and neat features that might make it last a little longer or be more functional in a year or two. The biggest thing probably is that it supports AA and HDR at the same time, and Oblivion promises HDR.

The actual delimma: Two months hasn't seemed this long since I was in kindergarten. And I'm not quite positive that I understand the differences between the two cards properly. Is there any reason I might not want to wait to buy the ATI card instead? (besides impatience)
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  1. Go with the 7800 GTX BFG has the highest OC from mfg. 24 pipelines. How much does the ATI have?
  2. Quote:
    The actual delimma: Two months hasn't seemed this long since I was in kindergarten. And I'm not quite positive that I understand the differences between the two cards properly. Is there any reason I might not want to wait to buy the ATI card instead? (besides impatience)

    Patience, and perhaps the intial price the card will have coming into the market, opposed to the already decreased price of the 7800 GTX.

    Performance wise, the 7800GTX and x1800XT perform marginally close to eachother, so I'd say go the 7800 GTX route as it's already here.

    Feature wise, though, the x1800XT is a little more attractive, but if you didn't want to wait until next month, then the 7800GTX would, again, be the route to go.

    Although if it were me, and I was patient, I know I'd wait for the HDR + AA.

    And reading the various reviews, one thing that was mentioned is that while some of the r520's features might not affect gaming today, they could have beneficial results for future gaming. So in that aspect, it might entail that the x1800XT are somewhat more "future-proof," but what's future-proof in the Computer world? :p

    I'd feel bad telling you to wait just one more month for it, because it feels like that's all I've been saying lately; is telling people to "just wait until you see the cards" and then make your choice.

    The only problem is one can only do so much waiting. And thinking last week that we'd be seeing the x1800XT's this week, I had no problem saying "just wait it out." But I can't and refuse to tell someone to "wait just a month."

    Have you considered the x1800XL? That card is expected to be coming out this week, but performs close with the 7800 GT.
  3. 3800+ - do you have a s754 system? What motherboard do you have in the rig?

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  4. 7800 GTX performance is at LEAST on par with the X1800 XT. Easily better in OpenGL, as far as other games it's debatable.

    Get the 7800 GTX unless you really covet some of the new X1xx features, like AVIVO hardware DVD encoding.

    Other than AVIVO, I can't think of a compelling reason you shouldn't buy the 7800 GTX right now... other than maybe Gamer's point of HDR + AA.

    The HDR hit on this generation of cards is still quite hard, if you have to run in lower resolutions to see HDR eye candy it'd be real handy to use AA...

    But it comes down to personal preference.

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  5. My motherboard is a Socket 939. Reading the box, it seems to be an Epox 9NPA+ Ultra.

    The benchmarks I saw on extremetech.com seemed to indicate that performance-wise the ATI x1800 XT was slightly ahead, with significantly less pain from enabling AA and AF. It seems like the features and higher memory might make it last a little longer too.

    My biggest concern probably is playing Oblivion with HDR and AA. If HDR makes it run too slowly anyways then it's a moot point, but I'd think it'd run fairly well off the latest and greatest card, right? (I'm asking from a position of ignorance if it's not obvious)

    P.S. replies are much appreciated. you guys are great :)
    Also, wusy is an evil bastard.<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by l33t_c0w on 10/06/05 06:29 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
  6. I'd have to agree that the X1800XT looks like it performs slightly better where things matter. And the features are nice. But how long will you have to wait to buy a X1800XT for the price of a 7800GTX today? I'm with ya that I think I'd rather have the ATI, just no way to know for sure for a month on exactly how it will compete per dollar. Hard to go wrong with a 7800GTX, especially since we now know R520 doesn't crush it. If I had a spare card to use I'd wait. But if the system is dead waiting for a card, I doubt I'd wait.

    <A HREF="http://service.futuremark.com/compare?3dm05=658042" target="_new">3DMark05</A> <A HREF="http://service.futuremark.com/compare?2k3=3781954" target="_new">3DMark03</A>
  7. The system is dead currently. That's what's driving me nuts. heheheh. Made the PCEx16 switch, and no PCE card yet. But I'll be kind of busy for a while anyways, and not planning on buying any new games for, say, the next month :)

    worth noting: When I said "keep it a fairly long time" I meant around until it moves near the low end of mid-range performance. I'll probably keep it as long as I can, because generally I'm rather cheap. For instance, I'm still using this GF3, though I did want rid of it a while ago. heheh. The point is that if in a year to two years it'll make a difference, it's worth a month to me now.

    I'd really like to know more about HDR. How it'll perform and that. If anyone knows already I'd definately be interested in hearing it. (Seems like that might be the deciding factor for me.)
  8. "Dead" as in Hardware that is yet untested as RMA time periods are expiring? I hate being in that position. At the very least I like to boot up a new build and see that it posts as expected, then I can go to sleep and install the OS another day. I'd get it tested even if it's with an old PCI card. Not trying to scare you, but it's a good policy. Build enough machines and you will get ahold of a bad piece of hardware here and there. Now try not to stay awake all night worrying. :eek:

    <A HREF="http://service.futuremark.com/compare?3dm05=658042" target="_new">3DMark05</A> <A HREF="http://service.futuremark.com/compare?2k3=3781954" target="_new">3DMark03</A>
  9. with all the suggestions about getting the 7800GTX and you still aren't sure, I'm thinking that you have already made up your mind to go ahead and wait for the ATI. I prefer ATI, which seems like you do to, but their track record with new releases lately sucks. It's up to you if you want to wait and see if you can get a hold of a card when they're released, but I would suggest if your in a hurry then go ahead and get the 7800GTX. If you are going to wait, then I would do like Paul suggested and use on old PCI card to test all your new components to make sure they don't need RMA's.
  10. Pauldh: Thanks for the advice. Wonder why I didn't think of that.

    Robc1880: You're close to right... it's more that I never take advice unless there's enough information behind it for me to come to the same conclusion. but I was leaning towards waiting.

    wusy: thanks for that link. was useful for me to read :)

    I guess I'll hang in there another month 'n change and see what happens. And I'll swipe my dad's old pci card to boot things up and make sure they work :D

    I might have come to the same conclusion on my own, but I wouldn't be nearly as happy about it that way. These forums are great. Maybe sometime I can play the helpful guy :)<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by l33t_c0w on 10/07/05 04:44 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
  11. 20. I appreciate the concern, but if I was worried I'd have any regrets over the purchase later, I definately wouldn't do it :)

    I figure if I'm going to spend all that money on a new card, I want it to do everything, not "everything minus one."
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