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Upcoming graphics card questions

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June 14, 2002 4:02:03 AM

Alright, I know that none of the new cards are out yet, but I'm planning for the future. My current budget is the limit of my stupidity (read $500). I have a few questions:

1) When are the Matrox Parhelia-512, the 3DLabs/Creative P10, the ATI R300, and the NVIDIA NV30 due out? I know that the gamer's version of the P10 should be out before the end of the year, the NV30 some time this fall, and the Parhelia is due out this month, but I was wondering if anyone had more exact dates.

2) What are everyone's thoughts as to which will be the best to buy and why? Considering the compatibility issues, I'm really shying away from ATI. You ATI fans can complain if you want, but I have seen it more than once first-hand.

3) What will the prices of these cards be? Guesses welcome. (I know the top Parhelia will be $450, but what about the budget Parhelia?)

Currently I'm leaning towards the P10 because I haven't seen anything from NVIDIA and the Parhelia will suffer greatly from the "lack of any serious Z-occlusion culling technology." I'm not buying for a few more months (unless I see comparative benchmarks and one that's already out really shines) and I don't care about "image quality" (sorry Matrox). I want sheer gaming 3D performance. Thanks for any suggestions!

She said "I love a man in tight jeans" and I said "They're not supposed to be tight I just got fat."
June 14, 2002 4:03:50 PM

IN September you should see reviews of at least 2 cards nv30 is to .13 micron fab so expect to see late this year or early next year. And don't let the past cloud your judgement nvidia's first card the nv1 was considered the carpest card every created, but look were nvidia is now.
June 14, 2002 7:05:17 PM

Quote:

Considering the compatibility issues, I'm really shying away from ATI. You ATI fans can complain if you want, but I have seen it more than once first-hand.

One word: Catalyst!

:wink: <b><i>"A penny saved is a penny earned!"</i></b> :wink:
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Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
June 14, 2002 7:55:01 PM

there are no more nor less compatibility issues than for the geForce4 graphics cards.
June 14, 2002 8:24:08 PM

Catalyst vs Detonator nVIDIA vs ATI sounds real goood to me heheheh
June 14, 2002 8:37:18 PM

All due respect here guys, but don't kid yourself. ATI does not have near the reputation for driver support/compatibility that NVIDIA does. Not by a long shot. Every couple of months NVIDIA has a new official driver release and even more unofficial releases.

BUT... this thread was not started to discuss the drivers of one company over another. What I was looking for was someone to say, "This card is going to be the shiznit and this is why." (Shiznit may or may not be the word of choice). If you think, then, that ATI is going to be the card to beat, tell me why, and just realize that you might have to do a little extra convincing if that is your choice.

Also, a little update. Apparently, from what I've heard, Matrox will not be much of a contender for sheer speed at low res. Only when tons of options are turned on does it really begin to shine. I'm not spoiled by pretty pictures and 4xAA. I would be happy to get good framerates with Quincunx. Special shadowing and extra moving things don't do that much for me. They will be a nice addition, and I assume that any card I'm willing to pay that much for better damned well be able to give me decent results at 1024x768, Quincunx AA, and maybe a little extra shading. That's pretty much it. I really do appreciate anyone who's willing to spell out why they think one card is going to be better than another.

She said "I love a man in tight jeans" and I said "They're not supposed to be tight I just got fat."
June 14, 2002 11:53:19 PM

As for the Matrox, I wouldn't put too much hope into it. First of all, I'd say it'll be at least $450 for the top end but I'm guessing more like $500. As for the lower end, it'll probably be about $300. But that would be with 256bit RAM. Both the R300 and NV30 are supposed to have 512bit DDR and the top end Nvidia cards usually go for about $400 at tiime of release. ATi cards go for even cheaper usually, although I heard the the R300 is for the high-end multimedia enthusiast and therefore will go for $400 also. There will be a R300LE (lite version) just like the R8500LE for the more mainstream person, probably around $200-300. NV30 will probably come out near Christmas since .13um process is still not really meeting demands rigth now at TSMC. I've seen specs putting it at 800-900MHz DDR RAM and 450MHz core with a separate core for TT&L @ 450MHz also. Also there is talk of a new type of aniso filtering. Support for Glide may also be implimented. There hasn't been much info on the P10. Oh yeah, the NV30 will have 8 pipelines with 4 TMUs per pipeline and the R300 will have 8 pipelines also, but only 2 TMUs per pipeline.

My firewall tastes like burning. :eek: 
June 15, 2002 3:58:43 AM

Thanks. That is exactly the kind of info I was looking for. I'd be more than happy to get more though...

I do have to question one thing you said, however. Judging a video card by its memory bandwidth is a little presumptuous, don't you think? Surely the card has other benefits than a really sharp picture and slow bandwidth. Besides, I don't know where you're getting your info, but I have the NV30 at 256bit at http://accelenation.com/dump.cfm?dump=134. Speaking of bandwidth, I just found a review that said that, given the memory on the R300 demo card at Computex, the RAM on it should run at around 350MHz, (700MHz DDR). That makes it comparable to the P10, the R300, and the Parhelia-512 in bandwidth, around 22.4GB/s.

The only other thing I've heard so far are transistor counts for all four cards:

Parhelia = 80 million
P10 = 76 million
R300 = 107 million
NV30 = (ready?) 120 million

BTW, the last figure comes from an interview with NVIDIA's CEO in Wired magazine; not exactly a rumor.

She said "I love a man in tight jeans" and I said "They're not supposed to be tight I just got fat."
June 15, 2002 3:15:10 PM

The NV30 at 256bit is probably DDR so therefore 512it SDR just like P10/R300/Parhelia. With the NV30 at 750MHz DDR then that equals 24BG/s bandwidth. Plus the R300 and NV30 will have either HyperZIII or LMAIII repectively, which should really help out with bandwidth also. The Parhelia doesn't have anything like those 2. The new aniso from Nvidia is supposed to be up to 80% better than their aniso right now, so that should help too. R300 should be out several months ahead of NV30 so that could really help out ATi. The only bad thing is that ATi'll still be using .15u process switching over to .13u when it's available. I got my NV30 specs off of vr-zone.com.

My firewall tastes like burning. :eek:  <P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Chuck232 on 06/15/02 12:23 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
June 15, 2002 3:34:17 PM

Have you been living under a rock or something in the past year ATI has released/leaked driver revisions almost twice as fast as nVIDIA. And the latest drivers help the flagship ati card outflank the ti 4200 and 4400 by large percentages in recent games like jedi knight 2, and about equal performance or near equal performance in other games. Sure FSAA is a problem to ATI but its anisotropic filtering is outgunning nVIDIA's solution by miles. SEE SHARKYS website on why anisotropic filtering is probably more important than FSAA in 3d shooters. My take on ATI's upcoming card is waaaaaaaaaaay to early to tell guys. But one things certain ATI's card will likely to hit store shelves at least 2 months before nVIDIA's nv30. Potentially giving it valuable early bragging rights.
June 15, 2002 3:42:05 PM

My suggestion if you can wait for reviews of the nv30 and r300, which should be christmas. On paper the nv30 looks hot ( quite literally too ) hope its smaller than the ti 4600.
June 15, 2002 4:01:28 PM

Hopefully ATI will release decent drivers with the R300. The drivers for the Radeon 8500 were garbage until just a couple of months ago. If they don't rush the R300 out just to beat Nvidia to the punch I think they'll have a lot of satisfied customers.

To start press any key. Where's the "any" key? --Homer Simpson.
June 15, 2002 4:08:39 PM

Quote:
And the latest drivers help the flagship ati card outflank the ti 4200 and 4400 by large percentages in recent games like jedi knight 2, and about equal performance or near equal performance in other games

I have no clue where you're getting this crap from. The R8500 128MB barely beats the Ti4200 and not by a wide margin. It easily loses to a Ti4400 - by a wide margin. I have to agree the aniso from ATI is much more efficient than Nvidia's but the NV30 will impliment a new version of it that will be ~80% better. ATI' already has evaluation cards out there (as seen at Computex) and NV30 does not. Therefore, I don't think that ATi's going to have too many more surprises, but Nvidia will I think. As for the heat of the NV30, yes it will have 2 cores, but they wil be on .13um process. With 2 cores, it may be quite large.

My firewall tastes like burning. :eek: 
June 15, 2002 4:12:46 PM

The R300 will have the same drivers as the R8500 so drivers will no longer be an issue. The current drivers already partially support the R300.

:wink: <b><i>"A penny saved is a penny earned!"</i></b> :wink:
June 15, 2002 9:57:12 PM

See hardocp's review of the catalyst drivers and note I said the radeon performs really really well in JEDI KNIGHT 2. IN the review you see the radeon 27% faster than the ti 4200 in jedi knight 2 at 1600*1200. Also note I never said the ATI cards were better just pointing out their positives and dispelling MISCONCEPTIONS about their drivers.

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by nexus_alpha on 06/15/02 06:02 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
June 15, 2002 10:26:27 PM

Seeing your budget is $500 I think the nv30 fits your bill if you can wait. Also be warned the fan on the parhelia is huge it may block up to 2 slots. The p10 looks to outshine other cards if THERE IS HEAVY SUPPORT of its features in the game it is running. That is dependant on industry support and nVIDIA usually grabs all the attention. The r300 ............ there are 2 types the first you will see this year is based on a .15 micron fab so only so fast it can go, it is speculated to be 60-80% faster than the r8500. Fast it is truely. This edition is to beat any nVIDIA card on release and by a huge margin, but it will not be faster than nv30 I can assure you that. SO whats the point well it will be released long before the nv30, aiming to gain market share and improve ATI's image. Than when nVIDIA releases the nv30 ati will release (about the same time) the 2nd edition of the r300 based on .13 micron fab and faster clock and ram sppeds. How will it compare to the nv30 that my friend is probaly the $500 question. Another question mark will ATI improve the FSAA implementation, because their anisotropy advantage over nVIDIA is going to be greatly eroded. Drivers well nVIDIA is the gold standard but of late ATI is very close behind. Also this is almost a given you will get more frames per dollar with an ATI card, that does not mean it is fastest though. So it boils down to this R300 1st edition if you can't wait, R300 2nd edition vs nv30 if you can wait. Of course this just my own opinion.
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
June 15, 2002 11:53:23 PM

huh? what are you talking about?!?
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
June 16, 2002 12:11:04 AM

<b>the R300 informations</b>

Date: June 4th, 2002

While the first day of Computex was stolen by AMD's Hammer announcements today's events were spread out much more evenly among a handful of companies. Through the sweltering heat while drowning in humidity in Taipei we managed to grab photos of ATI's R300, NVIDIA's nForce2 and learn even more about the omnipresent Hammer platform from AMD.
We provided an exclusive look at Intel's Springdale chipset to our Newsletter Subscribers earlier today and now we're offering the same information from that piece in our Day 2 wrap up coverage as well. If you'd like to receive these exclusive looks first you'll want to sign up for our free Newsletter here.

<b>VIA Demonstrates ATI's R300</b>
While in VIA's suite we noticed a couple of demos running, one of which happened to be a test of AGP 8X functionality on the KT400 chipset. Although VIA's AGP 8X controller still has issues with SiS' Xabre 400 core, VIA wanted to prove that the chipset did in fact support AGP 8X so they displayed it running with the only other AGP 8X graphics card they had access to - ATI's R300.

Just a few weeks ago we were in Toronto visiting ATI and they were very tight lipped about anything R300 related; it will be interesting to see if VIA was supposed to be publicly running this R300 in their suite.


There wasn't much we could gather from seeing the R300 run demo loops over and over again; benchmarking it was out of the question. The card was stable and as you can probably guess by now, this was the card that was running Doom 3 at E3 a couple weeks ago. The reason id Software was demonstrating Doom 3 on the R300 is simply because ATI has the fastest GPU that is in a stable enough form to actually run for any appreciable period of time. ATI's release schedule has always given them the ability to beat NVIDIA to the punch when it comes down to their Fall product releases. ATI usually releases in the Summer and NVIDIA follows in the Fall. The development of R300 has placed it in a very healthy state today and we are expecting to hear an announcement from ATI in the July/August timeframe.

Given that the chip is already up and running and production is due soon we are beginning to wonder if the R300 will be made on a 0.13-micron process or if it will be 0.15-micron like its predecessor. If it is indeed a 0.15-micron chip then there is the question of whether ATI will make it a DX9 compliant part with full floating point pipelines. Assuming ATI does make the R300 as feature rich as NVIDIA's NV30 currently appears on paper, then there's the question of yield and clock speeds. It will be interesting to see the design choices ATI made with the R300 and how that effects competition with the NV30 later this year.

The one thing that we could gather from the card that VIA was running is an idea of memory clock speeds. The DDR SDRAM chips used on the 128MB R300 card were 2.86ns parts rated at 350MHz, thus you can assume an effective memory clock of 700MHz. It is also safe to assume that the R300 has a 256-bit memory bus much like the Parhelia-512 and 3DLabs P10 GPUs resulting in 22.4GB/s of raw memory bandwidth without taking any sort of occlusion culling technology into consideration. Granted that this isn't an indication of final shipping clock speeds but it should give you a ballpark figure to expect from R300. With ATI providing boards for E3 and VIA's AGP 8X test, it will only be a matter of time before we see cards in reviewers' hands and eventually on store shelves.

<b>with the KT400</b>
Seeing the R300 made us forget about exactly what we were looking at - the only KT400 system at Computex that was running with DDR400 memory. The KT400 platform VIA was demonstrating was supposedly running at DDR400 without any issues which is more than any of VIA's motherboard manufacturers have been able to say; it is worth mentioning that it's almost always the case that the chipset manufacturer has no problems with running their own chipset but it's motherboard manufacturers that run into the vast majority of the problems. We're still hearing talk of an August launch for KT400 yet motherboard manufacturers aren't necessarily excited about the upcoming chipset.

<b>and the K8HTA with the ClawHammer</b>
VIA also had their K8HTA Hammer chipset up and running in their suite. The 800MHz/1MB L2 ClawHammer was definitely not running as hot as the processor will once it's clocked closer to its shipping clock speeds but it was apparently running reliably.
VIA's K8HTA reference board was seen in virtually every single motherboard manufacturer's booth or suite but this was the only one that was actually up and running.
The AGP controller had an interesting heatsink/fan combo (right) and was running quite hot.


first page extract from <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/showdoc.html?i=1632" target="_new">here</A>


<b>note:</b>
moreover ATI should come out for the first semester of 2003, the successor of the R300 baptized R400 or R500.
plus ATI's president, David Orton, had said he was rather astonished. he thinks that the new NV30 gpu coming out in August, shouldn't be very different than the geForce4.
<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by corsair3200 on 06/15/02 08:36 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
June 16, 2002 1:13:25 AM

In JKII, they had it with aniso on, where ATi has a huge advantage. In raw power, a Ti4200 and R8500 are neck and neck and a Ti4400 beats the R8500 outright. ATi's Aniso is better, but that's basically the only place they are, well OpenGL is pretty good on ATi cards too.

My firewall tastes like burning. :eek: 
June 16, 2002 2:59:22 AM

FROM THE WEBSITE------------------------In our tests, I used settings of: Color Depth: 32 bit, Full Screen: On, Geometric Detail: High, Texture Detail: Very High, Texture Quality: 32 bit, Texture Filter: Trilinear, Detailed Shaders: On.


Where does it say ansio was on you making this stuff up or what. LOOK I TAKE great pains in delivering straight facts sometimes speculation when it is asked for example this post about future cards.
June 16, 2002 3:02:22 AM

Sorry to burst your bubble but the card the showed could have been the rv250 which happens to also be agp 8x. Though the is a small chance you are right.
June 16, 2002 1:05:54 PM

Well, that card is a Radeon8500 AIW 128MB. And yeah it does seem to outperform the Ti4200. But only in that and in Serious Sam SE - with aniso -, so really the R8500 does not severely beat the Ti4200 and definitely not the Ti4400, although maybe by a bit in JKII aat high resolutions.

My firewall tastes like burning. :eek: 
June 16, 2002 10:50:34 PM

Why are we having this argument I did not SAY that the r8500 severly beats the ti 4200 only in a 1-2 select games and NEAR EQUAL PERFORMANCE IN OTHERS. SO what the card was a radeon 8500 AIW 128 the non-aiw version performs similarly or a little better.
June 16, 2002 11:11:46 PM

Quote:
And the latest drivers help the flagship ati card outflank the ti 4200 and 4400 by large percentages in recent games like jedi knight 2, and about equal performance or near equal performance in other games

Oh yeah, I'll give you that it beats the Ti4200 in about 1 game. But it definitely doesn't beat a Ti4400 by large percentages, it doesn't really even come close. Except with aniso.

My firewall tastes like burning. :eek: 
June 17, 2002 12:39:33 AM

And then imo aniso is pointless.

My frog asked me for a straw...dunno what happened his ass all over the place :eek: 
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
June 17, 2002 1:37:47 AM

hehe. you give up the thread, here, isn't it?


:smile: i like toasted cpus but not AMD-inside. :smile:
June 17, 2002 1:41:08 AM

lol, you haven't tried Aniso if you think Aniso is pointless. :wink:

:wink: <b><i>"A penny saved is a penny earned!"</i></b> :wink:
June 17, 2002 3:15:38 AM

The GF4 Ti4600 really isn't that much faster then a Radeon8500 128mb and in fact slower if you max out anisotropic filtering on both cards on a number of benchmarks. The Ti4600 is very effective in MSAA while the Radeon doesn't have multisampling yet its supersampling has superior quality over the Ti4600 but of coarse at a much more larger performance loss.

If you are looking for a powerful card in the very near future then the Matrox or the R300 should fit the bill nicely. As for drivers consider that ATI supports the whole card better. Meaning with your TV out ATI gives much more choices then Nvida where you have to buy outside programs to adjust your output so that it fits correctly on your TV screen. I used version 6.5 of TVtool on my GF3 Ti200 card in which I paid money for, Results:
1. At 800x600 output I have servere screen corruption.
2. I tried to play Star Wars Episode 1 at 800x600 my computer frozed up and I lost my W2K OS :mad:  .

In addition ATI supports DVD a hell alot better and gives great software to support that part of the card. While a Nvidia card you may get an obsolete DVD player with no chance of upgrading for free like you do with ATI. ATI DVD ability or quality is in a class of its own.

In addition ATI usually has more advance features then Nvidia like TruForm etc. that does increase IQ to an extent. Plus ATI thinks ahead a little bit more and gives you options like hooking up your video card to a HDTV set for the ultimate gaming card.

ATI constantly upgrades there multimedia parts whild Nvidia really does not have much to speak of. Frankly Nvidia driver support sucks in many different areas. Game wise Nvidia is the standard but I am not to impress with the rest of their support or lack of support.

I didn't mention 2d either or duel monitor support where once again ATI does better. ATI drivers combine many different aspects together to support us as customers to enjoy the whole card, not like Nvidia that only supports certain areas good and others like crap.

Just some opinions and experiences I've had so far. :smile:

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by noko on 06/17/02 00:05 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
June 17, 2002 3:37:55 AM

Tell that to the guy who put up the ansio vs fsaa article at sharky's website he said ansio was more important than fsaa in 3d shooters and he showed why.
June 17, 2002 7:17:32 PM

I don't know which one is more important, but all I'm saying is that you shouldn't compare two cards in a feature where one is obviously the leader by a wider margin.

My firewall tastes like burning. :eek: 
June 19, 2002 8:02:30 PM

I was really surprised to read what you wrote. I've been looking to buy an HDTV this summer, because I want to hook my computer up to it to play video games such as C and C: Renegade, or UT. But I don't know which brand and make of HDTV I should get.
I also Have a Nvidia GeForce 2 GTS 64MB card w/video out, but I am waiting for all the new cards that are coming out this year to upgrade(I also don't know which one to buy, but was recommended to get the new Matrox or ATI)
If anybody has any recommendation as to which brand and model of HDTV I should get, and what graphics card I could getthat I could use along side it, please let me know my email is:
Valentino@darien.lib.ct.us
Thank you.
June 19, 2002 8:02:43 PM

I was really surprised to read what you wrote. I've been looking to buy an HDTV this summer, because I want to hook my computer up to it to play video games such as C and C: Renegade, or UT. But I don't know which brand and make of HDTV I should get.
I also Have a Nvidia GeForce 2 GTS 64MB card w/video out, but I am waiting for all the new cards that are coming out this year to upgrade(I also don't know which one to buy, but was recommended to get the new Matrox or ATI)
If anybody has any recommendation as to which brand and model of HDTV I should get, and what graphics card I could getthat I could use along side it, please let me know my email is:
Valentino@darien.lib.ct.us
Thank you.
June 19, 2002 8:02:43 PM

I was really surprised to read what you wrote. I've been looking to buy an HDTV this summer, because I want to hook my computer up to it to play video games such as C and C: Renegade, or UT. But I don't know which brand and make of HDTV I should get.
I also Have a Nvidia GeForce 2 GTS 64MB card w/video out, but I am waiting for all the new cards that are coming out this year to upgrade(I also don't know which one to buy, but was recommended to get the new Matrox or ATI)
If anybody has any recommendation as to which brand and model of HDTV I should get, and what graphics card I could getthat I could use along side it, please let me know my email is:
Valentino@darien.lib.ct.us
Thank you.
June 19, 2002 8:26:49 PM

PLEASE DISREGARD MULTIPLE POSTS, MY APOLOGIES, MY COMPUTER IS ACTING UP
THANK YOU
June 19, 2002 9:23:31 PM

Ok no prob, weird seeing triple posts... :smile: I only do double.

What's the deal with lampshades, I mean it's a lamp, why would you want a shade? :smile:
June 19, 2002 10:07:10 PM

I both double and triple post on occasion. I have a bad habit of double-clicking if I don't get a response right away. Tom's Hardware is an extremely slow forum.

:wink: <b><i>"A penny saved is a penny earned!"</i></b> :wink:
!