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Geforce 3 Ti 200 or ATi Radeon 8500?

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June 4, 2002 11:56:14 PM

Hi all!

I'm thinking about buying a new graphics card (my Riva TNT is getting too old). I want to buy one that is quite good, but not very expensive. After a lot of research, I narrowed my choices to the Creative Geforce3 Titanium 200-64M, the Asus GeForce3 64Mb V8200T2 Deluxe and the ATI Radeon 8500 64DDR.
Now, I'm in quite a difficult situation, as I don't know which one to choose. I know that the Geforce 3 Ti 200 chip is reliable, being from nVidia, and I was thinking of buying it. But then I saw benchmarks from different sites that describe an excellent performance from the ATI Radeon 8500, showing that it is superior to the Geforce 3 Ti 200, the Geforce 3 Ti 500 and even the Geforce 3. But then again, I'm aware that the Radeon has driver compatibility issues. And besides, if I were to buy the Radeon 8500, I would buy it OEM, and then how would I know if it was a "powered by" or a "built by ATI" card (given that there are core speed differences)?

Please heeeeelp me! :) 
June 5, 2002 12:25:15 AM

Well from what I see, the Asus and the R8500 Retail built by ATi cost bsically the same. ~$130USD. If that's what you see too, I'd definitely go for the R8500. I'd be a bit more reluctant to go for and OEM ATi card. Most of the OEM R8500 are clocked at 250/275 core/mem. The RAM is also probably rated to run at lower speeds. ATI's drivers have greatly improved and I have a Radeon and I am quite happy with it except in Win2K where I get horrible frame rates, but it seems like not many others have that problem.

My firewall tastes like burning. :eek: 
June 5, 2002 12:36:25 AM

Thanks for replying.
Well, around here (I live in Portugal), there's a substantial price difference between a Geforce 3 Ti 200 and an ATi Radeon 8500, the first one being cheaper,and I'm on a tight budget. Except for that OEM Radeon I spoke of. But I'm also reluctant in buying it because of what you said, possible lower RAM speeds. Do you think I should buy it OEM anyway or go for the Asus Geforce 3 Ti 200?
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June 5, 2002 12:50:36 AM

Are you going to be buying from a store or an oline store? You could always send an e-mail with some questions, or you could just ask them if it's a brick and mortar store. Ask them what speed the OEM card runs at and also the RAM rating. (how many nanoseconds.) If it runs at 250/275, then i'd probably go for it. You could easily overclock the core 25MHz. Also if then RAM is 3.3ns, then even better.

My firewall tastes like burning. :eek: 
June 5, 2002 5:33:35 PM

Thanks for the advice. I sent the store an email asking the card's core speed and how many ns the card's RAM has. I guess I still have to wait a while for their answer.
June 5, 2002 9:21:38 PM

I´m planing on buying the Radeon 8500 myself. It´s basicly on the same level as the Ti500 except that some say NVidias anti-aliasing is better then ATIs. Here in Finland the Radeon (by Hercules) is alot cheaper then the GF3 Ti500.
I don´t think that it will mather alot if you buy ATIs own card or the LE version (250/275) by some other manufacturer, you´re still going to see a massive increasment in framerate from the TNT. And overclocking should be pretty easy.
June 5, 2002 10:05:04 PM

Actually ATi's antialiasing is probably better. Doesn't slow down games as much as the NVidia's. The LE is clocked at 250/250 adn the OEM one's come even lower. The OEM R8500 are clocked at 250/275 usually, but the worst thing is that they don't have the 3.3ns RAM that are soo good for overclocking. Yes yo will see a massive increase in framerates, but so will just about any card. ATi's card I think is the only one with the 3.3ns RAM so that's why I told him to get that.

My firewall tastes like burning. :eek: 
June 5, 2002 11:31:46 PM

Quote:
Actually ATi's antialiasing is probably better. Doesn't slow down games as much as the NVidia's.

i think the gf3's AA is better than the R8500's (or is it the gf4?)...but the R8500 has superior ansio.
Quote:
The OEM R8500 are clocked at 250/275

i thought it was 250/250 or 230/230...

anyhoo...the R8500 is a better card the gf3ti200...and is slightly better than (or equal to) the gf3 ti500....id say the R8500 64mb retail is you best bet.

:eek:  <b>Who fixed <font color=red>ATI</font color=red>'s leaky faucet??</b> :eek: 
June 5, 2002 11:51:16 PM

OK yeah, the AA and aniso I always get mixed together. What's the difference again? The ATi cards don't alter all the pixels only the ones that need to be to make it smoother, therefore making it less taxing on the card. From what I saw, the R8500 OEMs were clocked at 250/275. The R8500LEs were clocked at 250/230 or 230/230. And yes the R8500 64MB RETAIL is your best bet.

My firewall tastes like burning. :eek: 
June 6, 2002 2:22:15 PM

Quote:
What's the difference again?

i dont know the technicals behind both technologies...but i do know that AA makes jagged diagonal lines look smooth and ansio. makes textures look better....but AMD_Man knows everything about this...he'll explain it again sooner or later.
Quote:
From what I saw, the R8500 OEMs were clocked at 250/275. The R8500LEs were clocked at 250/230 or 230/230. And yes the R8500 64MB RETAIL is your best bet.

whatever the clock speed of them oem/LE R8500 happens to be...at least we know that it's less than retail...the only question is how much less...

:eek:  <b>Who fixed <font color=red>ATI</font color=red>'s leaky faucet??</b> :eek: 
June 6, 2002 8:33:49 PM

Hmmm... Nice discussion I've caused. :) 
Well, the guy from the store replied to my email saying that the ATi Radeon 8500 64 DDR OEM they have in stock has a RAMDAC of 400 mhz. The stupid thing is... I asked him about the card's speed and memory nanoseconds... Not the card's RAMDAC... Now, there are too possibilities: either the guy's stupid (which I hope to be the case) or he's trying to hide from me the fact that the Radeon he has for sale has a clock of 230/230 or something like that. Because, afterall, the ATi Radeon 8500 64 DDR OEM they have for sale costs 253 USD, about 93 USD cheaper than the retail ATi Radeon 8500 64 DDR, here in Portugal. So I guess that could mean a substantial clock speed difference.
I'm going to ask him the card's clock speed, once again...

Oh, btw, I found this on a site: "Make sure you check for the "Built by ATI" sticker on the box to confirm you are getting the retail version clocked at 275/275. The other versions of the card, OEM and LE, have a "Powered by ATI" sticker, and are clocked down @ 250/250 and 230/230 respectively."
From what I understand, that means the OEM is clocked at 250/250 and the LE at 230/230.
June 6, 2002 8:42:54 PM

253USD??????? HOLY CRAP!!! That is a total ripoff!! In Canada I can get a ATI RETAIL R8500 64MB for $329 and that's pretty expensive. You can find them for ~$200. That's about $125USD. As for the sticker thing, yeah it's probably true. Although I've seen OEM R8500s at 275/250 and OEM LEs at 250/230.

My firewall tastes like burning. :eek: 
June 6, 2002 10:46:34 PM

I guess the prices here are very high... Lucky you live there... I guess you'll find me kind of dumb after I tell you this: the Geforce 3 Ti 200 is basically at the same price than the ATi Radeon 8500 64 MB DDR. I guess the choice seems obvious to me now: buy the Radeon, as it is superior. But when I first posted, I didn't know that ATi was solving driver problems. Even now, I don't know... Do you think ATi will need to solve more driver problems or that the future games will already fully support the Radeon? I ask this because I fear that in about 2 years from now ATi may stop concerning about drivers for the 8500, as there will be newer ATi cards by then... And what about then? Won't I be able to play recent games? Is it preferable to trust nVidia?
June 6, 2002 11:13:42 PM

ATI now uses unified drivers so they'll continue to support the entire Radeon series indefinitely.

:wink: <b><i>"A penny saved is a penny earned!"</i></b> :wink:
June 6, 2002 11:28:57 PM

Yeah, like AMD_Man said. Hey if you're still around AMD-MAn, could you clarify the differnce between AA and aniso? THanks.

My firewall tastes like burning. :eek: 
June 6, 2002 11:28:58 PM

Oops, double post. :tongue: <P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Chuck232 on 06/06/02 08:30 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
June 7, 2002 2:04:53 AM

Ok, thanks for clearing me on that. The ATi seems a safe bet then.
June 8, 2002 8:25:03 AM

That's no comparison at all. Get the $99 ATi 64MB OEM card at newegg right now. It comes with the 3.3ns hynix memory, which ATi is going to put on the R250 next month and overprice. That means that this one right now is probably a steal, so get it! The GF3 ti 200 is more expensive than it, and is slower in all benchmarks anyway.

Censorship makes us so much more creative.
June 8, 2002 7:50:30 PM

hey Chuck 232, the guy from the store answered my email once again, and he said the ATi Radeon 8500 64MB DDR OEM he sells has the following features:

Powered by the revolutionary RADEONT 8500LE

Features ATI's TRUFORMT, SMARTSHADERT, SMOOTHVISIONT, and HYPERT Z II technologies

64MB of powerful double data rate (DDR) memory

Latest 3D games support the advanced features of AP64D

Dual monitor and Video output support

Industry-leading DVD video playback

Digital Flat Panel (DVI-I) support

Supports 3D resolutions (32-bit color) up to 2048x1536

AGP 2.0 Compliant BUS - AGP 2X (3.3V), AGP 4X (1.5V), or AGP2X/4X based systems

Support V-Tuner Tweaker

Huge FanSink with double side , no more overheat


It's rather curious that if you go to newegg and search for an ATi Radeon 8500, you find a GIGABYTE RADEON 8500LE PRO (not ATi), with the following features:

64MB of double data rate memory(DDR)

Powered by the revolutionary RADEON 8500LE Features ATI's TRUFORM, SMARTSHADER SMOOTHVISION, and HYPER Z II
technologies
Latest 3D games support the advanced features of AP64D

Dual monitor and Video output support Industry-leading DVD
video playback

Digital Flat Panel (DVI-I) support

Supports 3D resolutions (32-bit color) up to 2048x1536

AGP 2.0 Compliant BUS - AGP 2X (3.3V), AGP 4X (1.5V), or AGP2X/4X based systems

Support V-Tuner Tweaker
Huge FanSink with double side, Games and Software

Bundle250MHz Model#: AP64D


Isn't it interesting how both texts are, in their majority, equal? Either the guy at the store doesn't know the hardware he sells or he wants to trick me into buying a so-called "ATi" Radeon 8500, that is probably a Gigabyte RADEON 8500LE PRO afterall... Do you think I should buy it anyway (it probably runs at 250 mhz, according to newegg) or simply go to a big store and buy a Geforce 3 Ti 200 by the same price? At least I know the Geforce IS a Geforce...


cakecake: I'm not from the States, so I can't buy at newegg! But thanks for the info anyway.

Btw, related to this I have to ask something else. I have an Asus A7V133 motherboard. In the description of the board's agp slot comes the following: "This motherboard provides an AGP Pro slot to support AGP/AGP Pro graphics cards, such as an ASUS AGP-V6800DDR/64M." Does this mean I can put a Radeon 8500 on my board's AGP slot? It's because I've seen that an AGP 1.1 slot (1.5V) is required for the Radeon. Are all AGP ports the same?<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Silver_Wraith on 06/08/02 05:15 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
June 9, 2002 1:23:27 AM

AGP Pro is a fancy name to say that it supports both 1.0 and 1.1. It will work. Sucks that you can't get that card. Because $99 for something you can overclock using the stock cooler (no water cooling necessary!) to 300/300 and get benchmarks as good as a GF4 Ti4400 is just way too nice. Some people get it up to 300/330 but that's rare. Lowest I've seen is 290/290, but maybe that person was just being cautious. Plus it has pixel shaders... :) 

Anyway, don't compare features to try and see if they are the same card. Most of the non built by ATi cards have slower memory. Almost all ATi OEM cards in the past had the slower 3.6ns memory, until a month ago with the cards at newegg. It's funny too because Hynix almost sold out its complete supply of vid card memory to several unknown buyers, maybe ATi bought it all. If you can, ask them to look at the memory chips on the physical card itself and see what speed memory you have. If it's 3.6ns it's the slow version that can only run at 230/230 or perhaps 250/250 if you get lucky with an overclock. If it's 3.3ns get it. Make sure they aren't lying to you too, resellers tend to do that...

Censorship makes us so much more creative.
June 9, 2002 1:49:27 AM

Hey again.
It's a relief to know that my VGA will work with my MoBo.

The card that guy sells is, as I suspected, a Gigabyte RADEON 8500LE PRO, not an ATi, because of the model in the features that the guy mentioned: AP64D. This Gigabyte seems a very good performer, and it's about 100 USD cheaper than a retail ATi Radeon 8500 here in Portugal. It is based on the Radeon 8500LE from ATi, and runs at 250/250, with 3.6 ns (that's what it says at Giga-byte.com, and that was precisely the place where the store guy got the information). I've seen a review where the reviewer managed to overclock the Gigabyte to 295/295. Seems a very good buy. So I think I'm going to take this chance.
June 9, 2002 2:05:37 AM

295/295 is a <b>very</b> lucky overclock. Since it's a gigabyte I'd give them a chance to reach 250/250 reliably and maybe 260/260. Gigabyte will be releasing their next line of ATi cards soon: their overclocked version of what they call the Radeon XT Ultra (300/300 clock) and soon the R250 and R300 right after that.

Censorship makes us so much more creative.
June 9, 2002 1:43:31 PM

Well, I can't wait around for their next releases, because I really need a new graphics card, hehe. I'll be buying the Gigabyte. Thanks for your help.
!