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Hardware Performance Mainstream Graphics Update

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Tim S, 28 Feb 2008.

  1. Tim S

    Tim S OG

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  2. Sandwich

    Sandwich New Member

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    despite the slower performance, I've always felt that the ATi cards produce better images. I normally buy nVidia, but after seeing a bunch of ATi cards running, I'm gonna be leaning toward them next time I buy. Could we get an image quality test someday? I am a bit curious.
     
  3. Bauul

    Bauul Sir Bongaminge

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    There really does seem to be a huge number of cards available, although the 8800GT still looks like best deal. If I bought anything else, I'd always be thinking "For a little more, I could have had the 8800."

    Out of interest, I've been struggling to place my old card in terms of the modern line up. If it's still a decent card, I'd feel cheated spending £120 on a 9600 and not seeing any major performance increase, especially given I don't have Vista. I currently own a Palit GeForce 7900 GT Sonic 512MB (550/1320MHz - factory overcloked). Is it worth me upgrading?
     
  4. Tim S

    Tim S OG

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    Yep, the 9600 GT is about 1.7x the performance of a 7900 GT (it's about the same speed as the X1950 Pro which we included in our original 9600 GT review). :)
     
  5. AlexB

    AlexB Web Nerd and WC Addict

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    Where does the 8800 GTX sit in that? (or two in SLI for that matter)
     
  6. adamc

    adamc New Member

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    glad to see my 8800GT OC is still the most viable option in this price-range.
     
  7. hawky84

    hawky84 SilentModder

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    8800GT 512MB all the way!!! Runs everything out now just fine and if it starts to struggle a little with some future titles... Buy another one and go SLI!!!
     
  8. MiNiMaL_FuSS

    MiNiMaL_FuSS ƬӇЄƦЄ ƁЄ ƇƠƜƧ ӇЄƦЄ.

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    8800GT seems the best perfromance clearly, but I've seen 3870 512MB's go for under £100 on today only (scan) and this week only (OCUK).....which for me makes them the best bang for buck.
     
  9. Tim S

    Tim S OG

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    About on a level with the 8800 GTS 512.
     
  10. Sark.inc

    Sark.inc New Member

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    ATI have odd testing, first it gets lower fps at lower res, but change the res up and it gets more.. wtf o_O
     
  11. Xtrafresh

    Xtrafresh It never hurts to help

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    bang for buck chart

    You mentioned bang for buck on the first page of the article. I was interested to see this in the literal sense. So i made this table. It's probably not very accurate, but it gives a good sense for people shopping for cards atm.

    The BFGTech card's price wasn't included in the article, so i took today's price at scan.
    All other numbers are from the article, i used the avg performance.

    B4B is the performance factor that a card has per 119.14 pounds. This gives the 9600 a 1, so we can compare nicely. :D

    Code:
    Card                                        factor  price    b4b
    
    BFGTech GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB OC            1,31   191,4    0,815
    Nvidia GeForce 8800 GT 512MB                 1,17   150,74   0,924
    Nvidia GeForce 9600 GT 512MB                 1      119,14   1
    ATI Radeon HD 3870 512MB                     0,99   131,25   0,898
    PowerColor Radeon HD 3850 Xtreme PCS 512MB   0,94   112,92   0,991
    Nvidia GeForce 8800 GS 384MB                 0,74   109,92   0,802
    Some conclusions:
    • Boogie for the 9600 GT. I'm actually concidering buying one (or two :D) because of this.
    • The ATI 3850 also looks good, but i must admit that the price is for a reference card, the performance is the one listed, so it might not be completely accurate.
    • ATI is back on par, a move for an nVidea card is no longer generic
    • we are all still too much in love with the 8800 GT. It was so awesome that any next card from nVidea, even a good one like the 9600, is an anticlimax.
    • I agree with the article's main conclusion: all of these cards are good products, not one of them stands out in a spectacular fashion. Only the 8800 GS fails to meet the standard.

    Good article, rock on! I'd really like to see more of these reviews for cards that most of us can actually afford :lol:
     
    Last edited: 28 Feb 2008
  12. Amon

    Amon inch-perfect

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    Wow, I didn't expect the 9600 GT to be neck-to-neck with the Radeon 3870 for performance.:eeek:
     
  13. Tim S

    Tim S OG

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    Are you referring to Crysis? 1280x1024 is tested with AA, 1680x1050 is tested without.
     
  14. Xtrafresh

    Xtrafresh It never hurts to help

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    tim, what is your opinion on a b4b chart like the one i posted above? Do you think it's possible to include them in articles like these? I'd really like to see them :)
     
  15. Tim S

    Tim S OG

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    It's about the same conclusion I came to (but did it in my head when I was writing the final page ;)), so yeah it's right. However, what it doesn't do is take into account that the 8800 GT is--in certain scenarios--up to 28/29 percent faster than the 9600 GT at reasonably playable frame rates. There are other occasions where the 9600 GT is of course much closer to the 8800 GT, but I expect them to be less frequent going forwards.

    That's why I'm still not sure of the long term value of the 9600 GT compared to the 8800 GT, so while it might look better value today, I don't know what it's going to look like once this year's slew of games come out (even the Easter launch titles) - in that respect, I'd lean towards the 8800 GT being the better long term purchase. That doesn't make either the 9600 GT or 3850 512 bad purchases though.

    The PowerColor 3850 512 is available for £99 inc on Overclockers, so it's fairly representative, FWIW.
     
  16. airchie

    airchie New Member

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    I have to agree that I always felt ATi cards gave better quality images.

    One thing that's been annoying me since I bought my first 8800GTX a few weeks after they launched is this.
    In CSS, distant players/boxes in dark areas seem to 'grey-out' instead of blending into the darkness.
    With my ATi card they were rendered properly.

    Tim, have you seen a similar effect and are you able to describe it better than I am doing now? :D
     
  17. Tim S

    Tim S OG

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    [​IMG]

    Yep, there were problems with the early drivers/Source engine. I seem to remember seeing the same thing with R600 too when it launched, but again it was fixed with a Source Engine update.

    Image quality wise, the two are fairly comparable nowadays - Nvidia has the edge on filtering, but ATI probably has the edge on AA quality because the MSAA sample patterns are programmable. One thing you don't want to touch though is nearly all of the CFAA algorithms - the only one worth any salt is Edge Detect, but it comes at the price of performance.

    An image quality article is something I can look into doing, but next on my list is Video Performance/Quality - especially after the PureVideo enhancements that came with the 9600 GT (and were added to the 8800 GT/GTS 512).
     
  18. SlickGnome

    SlickGnome New Member

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    I've been on the fence for a few weeks now about the 9600 and the 8800gt going into the new Q6700 Rig I'm building right now. Couldn't decide if the cheaper price point was worth the slight performance hit, but looking this nailed the lid on the coffin for the 9600 for me, the extra few bucks for the 8800 is worth it to me since this is primarily a gaming rig. Great Review.
     
  19. Vash-HT

    Vash-HT New Member

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    I have to agree I think they're pretty close nowadays when it comes to IQ. I went from a 7800gtx to a x1900xtx to a 8800gts 512, and nvidia got rid of the annoying shimmering texture problem they used to have. I haven't really looked in depth at the difference, but there aren't any glaring faults like the shimmering textures now(at least none I've noticed).
     
  20. 1ad7

    1ad7 New Member

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    going to the gts from the 1900xtx was it worth the cost? in your opinion?
     
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