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nGamer

New gfx card

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The time has come for a new computer. My story : My pentium 4 was fast for its time (2005) but disaster struck (literally) in 2007 when power lines were hit by lightning and totaled my pc. I should have gotten a surge protector, but when it came to future investments covering accidents, I was in denial. I had to switch to my other and first PC; to give you a comparison of how old it is, if I'm ever on the forums, and you look up who's online, I'm the only one using Windows 98, and its on the original machine! Anyway, this time, I'm building from the mobo up and I already have everything but the gfx card. Just wanted some different viewpoints of what would be the best for deving. The root question starts with : ATi or nVIDIA? [Edited by - nGamer on August 28, 2009 8:45:50 AM]

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Im more of an nvidia person myself but heres what it comes down for me.

Ati usually has better graphic cards for cheaper. But nvidia is pretty nice, for deving if your doing the 3d art and whatnot the nvidia Quadros are really nice ones. It's really built for gaming but for working with the software. Of course it's not too bad for gaming either. But for graphics cards, if you know you aren't going to go crazy with the graphics of what your developing then you don't need the strongest graphics card out there.

I'm pretty well off with a single nvidia geforce 9600. But in reality for the art portion I would say memory and a good processor are more important.

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At the moment, ATI's performance/price ratio might be better -- but NVIDIA's dev tools are vastly superior and their drivers range from about the same (D3D) to way better (OGL). Your call, but if I was planning to do graphics programming I'd be unhappy on ATI. (But certainly not crippled.)

Then again, ATI has DX 10.1 support and NV doesn't, which is why there's a Radeon in my machine right now. So take that as you will.

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I haven't owned an ATI card since... um... well ok I don't think I have. I had a Voodoo once. I have a Radeon 2400 HD Pro here at work, and it failed to run Blade3D, which has only cemented my belief that nVidia is better overall. That's not to say ATI is bad, just, well, it just seems nVidia is that fraction better.

[Edited by - BLiTZWiNG on July 21, 2009 8:31:04 PM]

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Original post by nGamer
Thanks guys, I think I am going to go with the Radeon 4890. It's got a gig of 256-bit GDDR5 and 3.9 GHz memory speed. I'm just doing simple games, nothing big yet.


That's a lot of power for simple games :)

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Original post by Lode
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Original post by nGamer
Thanks guys, I think I am going to go with the Radeon 4890. It's got a gig of 256-bit GDDR5 and 3.9 GHz memory speed. I'm just doing simple games, nothing big yet.


That's a lot of power for simple games :)


I was keeping in mind that I will eventually make more graphical games in the future and so I came to the conclusion that it's better to get more than enough power now than to get something that'll pass and then upgrade. Besides, I will be gaming as well.

[Edited by - nGamer on August 10, 2009 6:39:20 AM]

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Original post by Promit
At the moment, ATI's performance/price ratio might be better -- but NVIDIA's dev tools are vastly superior and their drivers range from about the same (D3D) to way better (OGL). Your call, but if I was planning to do graphics programming I'd be unhappy on ATI. (But certainly not crippled.)

Then again, ATI has DX 10.1 support and NV doesn't, which is why there's a Radeon in my machine right now. So take that as you will.

I have an ATI 4890 in one machine and an Nvidia 275GTX in the other and I'm happier with the Nvidia card. Main reasons I prefer the Nvidia card is the whole ATI catalyst driver install is a mess for one. If you ever try to upgrade or remove it you'll get net framework errors, especially on 64bit Windows! Hopefully they fixed it by now, but I went through quite a different number of Ati driver upgrades and the problems were still there. Never had any problem uninstalling the Nvidia drivers. The other big reasons I don't really care for the ATI card is all the noise and heat it generates compared to the Nvidia card so if that is an issue for you might want to think twice about the ATI card.

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Original post by Promit
Your call, but if I was planning to do graphics programming I'd be unhappy on ATI. (But certainly not crippled.)
On the flip side, if you follow that logic you may well end up being another of those people chucking out a stream of NVidia-only graphics demos.
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Original post by daviangel
Main reasons I prefer the Nvidia card is the whole ATI catalyst driver install is a mess for one. If you ever try to upgrade or remove it you'll get net framework errors, especially on 64bit Windows! Hopefully they fixed it by now, but I went through quite a different number of Ati driver upgrades and the problems were still there.
I haven't had a single issue in this regard in the last year - guess it has been fixed.
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The other big reasons I don't really care for the ATI card is all the noise and heat it generates compared to the Nvidia card so if that is an issue for you might want to think twice about the ATI card.
Not sure if this is really the problem it is made out to be - my Radeon 4870 runs very cool, even to the point that you can touch the heatsink while it is working. Mind you, I do have very decent airflow through the case, driven by a pair of high-speed 120mm fans.

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Original post by Promit
Then again, ATI has DX 10.1 support and NV doesn't, which is why there's a Radeon in my machine right now. So take that as you will.



I am running a nvidia GT220 that would disagree with this assertion.

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ATI's performance/price ratio might be better -- but NVIDIA's dev tools are vastly superior and their drivers range from about the same (D3D) to way better (OGL).


I second that. In May, my old nVidia video card got toasted. Since I only make 2D games, I asked for the cheapest card, which was an ATI.

However, my game, while 2D, still uses OpenGL for better rendering and blend modes. And, well... The OpenGL driver for my ATI video card does not implement everything, and there are a couple of functions that do not work anymore. However, you might want to develop your game for the lowest common denominator to make sure it runs everywhere, so that is not necessarily a bad thing.

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Original post by stonemetal
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Original post by Promit
Then again, ATI has DX 10.1 support and NV doesn't, which is why there's a Radeon in my machine right now. So take that as you will.



I am running a nvidia GT220 that would disagree with this assertion.

GT220? I can't say I have heard of that card/chipset. I've heard of the 295, 280, 275, and 250, but not the 220. Is it in a laptop or something?

I personally see the 4850 as been a pretty sweet spot for price/performance.

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It is an OEM card on the low end of things. Came in an Asus desktop system. It is current gen architecture card not a rebadged 9x card like the gt100s are. It is Nvidia's first 40NM product. There aren't any reviews out there to point you at and I haven't really put it through any bench marks yet, but I can say it is a big step up from the ATI 9600 I had before it.

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Original post by Bearhugger
However, my game, while 2D, still uses OpenGL for better rendering and blend modes. And, well... The OpenGL driver for my ATI video card does not implement everything, and there are a couple of functions that do not work anymore.
ATI seems to spend much less time on maintaining deprecated features, where NVidia keeps the older features around pretty much forever. Make sure you are using valid, modern OpenGL constructs in your programs.
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Original post by stonemetal
It is an OEM card on the low end of things. Came in an Asus desktop system.... I haven't really put it through any bench marks yet, but I can say it is a big step up from the ATI 9600 I had before it.
Since ATI's 9600 is an (ancient) SM 2.0 card, it is not surprising that the newer card comes out on top - even the integrated ATI 3200 and NVidia 9400M should be well above a card of that vintage [smile]

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I forgot mention that I may be doing some Blender. I decided to take second thought on that 4790; it may may be way to much firepower for the job. Whatever I'm getting, it's going to be ATi. Is there any noticeable difference between the 4890 and the next step down; 4870?

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From the benchmarks I've looked at, the 4890 seems a bit faster than the 4870. It may also run a bit cooler. I'm actually considering getting a 4870 for my new machine I just ordered. There are a few 1 gig models for around $160 CDN that have solid reviews.

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Original post by phantom
FYI; according to some rumors AMD might well be releasing that DX11 cards by Sept 11th this year.

Where'd you see the rumors? I'm curious - I haven't heard anything about it yet.

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