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Programmer101

nVidia 8800, worth it?

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Hi everyone, I have lately been wondering if the nVidia 8800 is worth it. I've never used one so I can't say and granted I'm sure its a kick a** card and really nice to have. Just the thing that gets me is that gpus are coming out every other month or so now and since this is the first dx10 card would it be better to wait for another few months. Also I'm not sure why anyone would release a dx10 app right now when only one card supports it. I'd like to hear what you all have to say and I hope I'm not making anyone mad by questioning the purchase of their new awesome graphics card, I just want to know if I should wait a little while.

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Quote:
Original post by Programmer101
I'm not sure why anyone would release a dx10 app right now when only one card supports it.


Doesn't seem like much point getting one in my opinion, like you said, there would be no DX10 apps to use it on. When DX10 arrives, and games are using it, there will probably be a wider selection of cards, and at lower prices anyways. If you really must upgrade now, and can afford it, then go for it. Otherwise, I'd just buy a lesser card or wait it out.

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I would wait.

When the cards launched I was going to buy one (or two) but looking around a bit and discovering some hardware flaws (first few batches) and some software flaws (horrible drivers or no drivers for Vista) turned me off. The hardware should all be fixed now (wrong resistors on first batches of GTX's) and there are some drivers (Vista is still broken with leaked drivers) but I'm now waiting for the R600 to launch and the lower end versions of the cards (Geforce and Radeon) before making a decision.

From what I know about the R600 it should be considerably faster then the 8800 in some cases. The memory bandwidth is just insane (512 bit bus, 2.4Ghz RAM) at ~154GB/s bandwidth compared to the 8800's ~86GB/s. So that's gonna be out beginning March.

Also coming out in March timeframe are the 8600 and 8300 versions of the 8800 and a new GTS model with half the ram (50 dollars less than GT?).

So if you can wait, wait otherwise if you want the fastest right now get an 8800 GTX.

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IMO, wait for ATI to release their card. Right now Nvidia has a stranglehold on the DX10 market, once ATI releases their new card in March we'll see more competitive pricing. And ATI might end up with the better product. However this is only if you decide to adopt Vista now, although I would recommend waiting until the second half of this year, when MS releases SP1 for Vista. That should be a good time to upgrade everything - OS and GFX - since DX10 games will be more available at that time as well.

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Quote:
Original post by Gaiiden
IMO, wait for ATI to release their card. Right now Nvidia has a stranglehold on the DX10 market, once ATI releases their new card in March we'll see more competitive pricing. And ATI might end up with the better product. However this is only if you decide to adopt Vista now, although I would recommend waiting until the second half of this year, when MS releases SP1 for Vista. That should be a good time to upgrade everything - OS and GFX - since DX10 games will be more available at that time as well.


Yes, wait for the R600 cards. They're faster than the G80 cards and will be priced in the same range.

Also, the interesting thing is that I read somewhere that Crysis will run on not only DX10, but DX9, too - with the DX10 version offering nothing more than speed if you have DX10 hardware. HAHA.

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nothing wrong with waiting for better cards or more competition ... but a few things:

The 8800 isn't just a DX10 part, it is the absolute best card on the market right now and also provides almost the best performance per $ (Best choices after rebates are the 7600 GS at $100, the X1950 Pro at $180, and the 8800 GTS at $380). It is the absolute best buy for playing games on the 30" displays (apple and dell at 2560 x 1600 resolution) or on 2 19" displays (1280x1024 x 2 - although for this you only need an 8800 GTS to max out current games).

Graphics Cards are always getting better, cheaper, more efficient, etc ... so waiting until you have a real USE / benifit for a graphics card is always the right choice, but once you have good deals and a use for them ... you can't wait forever, you only live so long.

If you are using 1 19" monitor right now, the ideal card is the X1950 Pro at $170-$210 ... it can play all current games at high settings with antialiasing turned on ... you don't need more. If you have 2 steps higher res (basically more than 1600x1200 total) you might consider going beyond this though. Also if you would rather spend a good chunk of money now ($380-$600) for the next 2 or more years, rather than $200 now and another $200-$400 in year or so ... because no $140 card is going to be enough better than today's $200 card to justify swapping.

I bought an X800 XL 256MB the month they came out, because I only had an FX 5700 before that which couldn't play most games at 1280x1024 really (my new LCD res). It cost $300 which I found as a CompUSA ad when online prices were $330-$370. The card rocked my world. AND it didn't come down below $300 for over 5 months, and even then it stayed around $250+ for over a year. And the next gen came out (X1800) for more money and no obvious need by me. And the next (X1900) and the revision (X1950), and right now today you can buy a card better than mine for $145 (7600 GT) or a good amount better for $180 (X1950 Pro), but NONE of them offer enough actual in game benifit to be worth spending the money ... not until the performance level of the 7950 GT or X1950 XTX at a minimum ... and at those price levels, the 8800 GTS just smokes them all in value.

So just showing that sometimes it can be a really good purchase to go top end and / or new (just not when the top-end is way overpriced) ... and I feel this is one of those times.

The 8800 GTS 320MB is supposed to be out in march (for $300), as well as the ATI DX10 parts, and the 8600 and lower series. But the ATI part is going to be ULTRA high-end ... which I am guessing means $500+ for the minimum version (I could be wrong). Adn the 8600 is just very unlikely to perform enough better than the current X1950 Pro or 7900 GS to really be worth it for an enthusiast (if the price of the 8600 is low enough it will be great for those who can't afford the big cards though).

Personally I might buy the 320MB version, but if the price is only $60-$100 different I might spend on the 640 just so I know my card will handle EVERYTHING really really well for at least 2 or more years.

P.S. And I'm a programmer who writes .NET / windows code and never intends to even get Vista or use DirectX 10 - DirectX 10 is NOT a reason to buy a graphics card this year - because any game which doesn't rock DirectX 9 isn't going to be playable by more than 95% of the market.

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It's always worth waiting. Unless you need it now.
If you want to start messing with DX10 now, then yes, an 8800 is worth it.

If you want to do so within the next year? Then wait a year, and you can get better and/or cheaper cards instead.

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The general rule to computer hardware is that if you can wait, wait. If you had something like a Geforce 2 or equivalant card, I'd upgrade, no questions asked. Or if you had to buy a computer today.

But regardless of what you buy, even if it is ATI's next card, you're going to most likely end up being disappointed that 4 months down the road, something even better comes out. Sometimes you just have to understand that no matter what you get, it won't be the best.

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It should be noted that you can use all features on the 8800 cards in windows XP or linux if you use OpenGL (thus you don't need to get vista to use it properly)

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Xai has it down pretty well.

Here's my two cents: If you can wait, do - there are only more options and cheaper prices in the future. That said, if you're always waiting on the next big thing, you're never going to actually buy anything.

Here are some other things to consider:
1) Currently, its the best D3D9 card, not just the only D3D10 card.
2) ATIs card is rumored to be a monster - if its better than the 8800, nvidia will have to drop prices to be competetive and probably introduce faster 8x00 models.
3) No current games support Support D3D10, but they're on the way. None *require* DX10 to my knowlege.
4) The DX10 features are only available to Windows Vista running games supporting D3D10.
5) The DX10 features are *exposed to OpenGL right now* using the extension mechanism, no Vista required.
6) CUDA allows you to compile computational code directly for the video card, we don't know what ATI will offer to compete, but its clear they will have something.

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