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Tauqeer

Best directx video card

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hello guys. i want to upgrade my video card but i dont know which one is better and supports more functions so i need your opinion.

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the new, soon to be released, card coming out from ATI (Radeon X800) also rocks as much as the GeForce 6. it's a tad slower on some things in benchmark tests, and a tad faster in other (i.e. it averages to the same thing). the big plus is that the X800 actually runs with less power and produces less heat than the current 9800 series of cards. the GeForce 6, in contrast, runs hotter and requires 2 EXTRA power plugs in the card to run (you'll need to upgrade your PSU to at least a 450W unit to be able to use the card and not have your machine crap out all the time). this is sad b/c i've only ever owned NVIDIA cards and now i have to switch.

GeForce 6800 review:
http://www6.tomshardware.com/graphic/20040414/index.html

Radeon X800 review:
http://www6.tomshardware.com/graphic/20040504/index.html

-me

[edited by - Palidine on May 20, 2004 1:58:06 PM]

[edited by - Palidine on May 20, 2004 2:00:00 PM]

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The big minus with X800 is that it doesn''t have 3.0 shaders. And personally I would never even consider buying a card that doesn''t have that. And why? Because I want them

If there''s an issue with the powersupply being too weak, then I buy a new one.

- Benny -

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quote:
Original post by benstr
The big minus with X800 is that it doesn''t have 3.0 shaders. And personally I would never even consider buying a card that doesn''t have that. And why? Because I want them
ATI is waiting until Longhorn and shader model 4.0. Shader model 3.0 is nice, and has some nice new features, but it''s nothing revolutionary. Also, the X800 has the new 3Dc normal map compression, which allows for normal maps to be compressed at a 4:1 ratio. This can make any game look loads better.

Personally, I''d wait until Longhorn to throw the $$$ for a top-tier graphics card.


Dustin Franklin
Mircrosoft DirectX MVP

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As a developer, buying a future card that does not have SM3.0 is pretty much the same as buying a card now without programmable shaders (ie MX series). You are basically stuck with the old technology.

You will see die-hard fans of certain hardware companies try to argue this point, but the fact remains the Geforce6 is DAMN FAST and has SM3.0 for all your development and future gameplay needs.

Why work with a card that hinders you in shader programming?


I would buy one of the following which are amazing cards:

1. Geforce 6 series if you have money to burn and want some great 3.0 shaders.

2. Radeon 9800 XT or GeforceFX 5900 (pre-nerf version) or GeforceFX 5950. These are great cards based on SM2.0 and won't cost you an arm and a leg.

The new X800's are not bad.. but you basically get the same performance as the Geforce 6, and you are missing hardware displacement mapping, SM3.0, nVidia drivers, etc. There is no reason to buy a card for top dollar that is just giving you the same features as last year but a little faster. The 9800 or 5950 would be preferable to the X800 due to having the same features and being MUCH less on the wallet.


[edited by - Imperil on May 20, 2004 3:50:09 PM]

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quote:
Original post by Imperil
As a developer, buying a future card that does not have SM3.0 is pretty much the same as buying a card now without programmable shaders (ie MX series). You are basically stuck with the old technology.

Well although I do agree that 6800s are cool cards (but what were they thinking with all the power and cooling stuff??), I think you're *slightly* overstating the shader stuff.

No shaders vs. 2.0 shaders is HUGE. 2.0 vs 3.0 is a lot more subtle. Actually the jump from 1.4 -> 2.0 is a lot larger than 2.0 -> 3.0 IMO. Furthermore I (and many others) have some major concerns about the use of some of the larger SM3.0 features, like dynamic branching, for performance reasons. Many of these things totally break the parallelism of GPUs which is the reason why we are doing this in shaders rather than the CPU in the first place...

Anyways I agree with Dustin in that I'm not convinced much will happen with the 3.0 shaders before we're already into the 4.0 model and Longhorn (that's only a year off remember), which promise to be a major update.

I'm not saying not to buy a 6800... just don't put too much emphasis on the shader support as it isn't likely to be an issue in either case.

Also noted is that with the X800s you get 3dc which is becoming increasingly important as practically everyone switches over to high quality normal maps. The feature WILL make a very noticable difference in the quality of any game that uses it. Furthermore when the 16-pipe X800 come out, it will probably pull away from the 6800 a bit more in terms of performance. Granted both are fast cards, but ATI seems to have the upper hand by a slight margin this time.

[edited by - AndyTX on May 20, 2004 4:53:56 PM]

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In a discussion that a site (I don''t remember its name) made with a lot of developers from great companies, those developers were asked about the VS3, is it useful for them, and most of them said that they cannot find a use for the VS3 instructions!.
Of course others(one of them was sweeny) said that the VS3 is very important and they can use it to make a lot of better things.
so you can not be sure that the GF6000 worth buying taking into account that the x800 is much faster.

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Can''t think of uses for 3.0 shaders!? Can''t be thinking too hard.
Displacement mapping is great. Dynamic branching is amazingly useful. How many programs have you made without an if or a for statement in? There are ways around in 2.0 but they cost quite a few instructions. With dynamic branching you can build more flexible shaders so what would be 4 shaders for different numbers of lights and parameters can now be just one. Some raytracing can be done so voxels can be rendered. More and more physics can be excecuted within the shaders: I have seen some demos of good cloth animation running on VS3.0. Texture lookups can be made in the vertex shader.
3.0 shaders will bring many improvements.

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quote:
Original post by Drath
Can''t think of uses for 3.0 shaders!? Can''t be thinking too hard.

I agree that vertex shader texture lookup is cool, but again - it makes more sense to wait for SM4.0 where the function of pixel and vertex shaders is much more unified to a single architecture.

But do remember that there still is the concept of things "better to do on the CPU", and "better to do on the GPU". The latter is the category of vectorized operations and extreme parallelism. This CANNOT be accomplished when different pixels can take different execution paths (eg. dynamic branching).

Don''t just assume that "everything that we can offload on the GPU is good news!". As graphics become more complex and people demand higher resolutions and quality (AA/AF,Tri,etc.), the GPU becomes a much more precious resource. Remember that we''re talking about a processor running at a fraction of the speed of our CPU; the only reason that we''re trying to offload ANYTHING is because the GPU is optimized for certain types of work. Next thing you know people will be trying to do AI on the GPU!

Again this doesn''t invalidate the need for new shader features, but it does suggest that perhaps we haven''t gotten the design right yet. From what I''ve seen of SM4.0, that is bringing us a lot closer.

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