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Magister Lajciak

Best Graphics Cards at Present and in the Future

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I am not so familiar with the graphics cards territory, so I would welcome your opinions.

 

1) What do you think is the best graphics card at present and what features mark it as such?

a) For desktops

b) For notebooks

 

2) What is the best graphics card that is currently on the roadmap for the future and what features mark it as such?

a) For desktops

b) For notebooks

 

Note: By 'best' mean the most powerful, not necessarily the greatest value for money.

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At the moment?

 

Nvidia's 8800 GTX is best without comparison, but it isn't exactly cheap

Edited by Xard

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The best card for desktop computers right now is the Geforce 8800 Ultra. Only because it's the fastest. It's also a giant hole to pour money into. It's not really worth what it costs when compared to (for example) the 8800 GT or the ATI Radeon 3870.

 

The best card for notebooks should be the 8800M GTX. I haven't read up on it, but it's bound to be extremely fast (and power hungry).

 

Noone knows that the future will bring, but judging from this current generation, chances are that the 9800 (bound to arrive this February) will rock ATI's socks. I'm hoping ATI will make a huge comeback by then (as they are releasing their unnamed high-end part at the same time) as Nvidia needs competition to perform. I mean, the 8800 Ultra (which is just an overclocked 8800 GTX) is a year old by now! Without competition they just don't care.


Swedes, go to: Spel2, for the latest game reviews in swedish!

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...which the others don't have? (gf 8xxx series and ati hd series all have unified shader architecture, x1xxx from ATI already had that to some extent iirc, though not dx 10 compliant.)

 

It's faster than its competitors because it has a rather efficient architecture combined with high clock- and memoryspeeds. It's faster than the 8800 GTX only because of increased clock speeds for memory and gpu, but is unproportionally more expensive.

 

There's a GF8800M GTX, too, which is the fastest available notebook gpu and a bit slower than the old version of the 8800 GTS.

 

 

I think it's not too clever to call these "best" graphics cards, though. Who wants a notebook that runs for an hour or so, just to be able to play the newest 1337 crysis? Or spend substantially more money on a 8800 ultra when it's marginally faster than a GTX? Well... The OP clarified his initial posting, but it's certainly not my definition of "best" *shrug*

Edited by samm

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I get very confused comparing high-end graphics cards nowadays, because you have to keep the various SLI (and whatever ATI's equivalent is) options in mind. That said, is it ever the case that two lower-priced cards SLId together will outperform a single higher-priced card?

 

Noone knows that the future will bring, but judging from this current generation, chances are that the 9800 (bound to arrive this February) will rock ATI's socks. I'm hoping ATI will make a huge comeback by then (as they are releasing their unnamed high-end part at the same time) as Nvidia needs competition to perform. I mean, the 8800 Ultra (which is just an overclocked 8800 GTX) is a year old by now! Without competition they just don't care.

Ooh, is ATI lagging behind then? I thought they were level-pegging in all things. An nVidia monopoly would not be a good development, certainly...


"An electric puddle is not what I need right now." (Nina Kalenkov)

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Yes, ATI doesn't really compete at the high end graphics cards right now. The new HD 3xxx series is priced lower than the 8800GT, fitting exactly to their speed (though the slower model, the 3850, offers especially good speed for the money). They also draw less current than nVidias similar offerings, unlike the monster that is HD2900 Pro / XT.

 

I think I read - but don't find the source right now - that two 8800 GTs (512 MB) in SLI, probably two 3870 in Crossfire too, outperform an 8800 Ultra while being less expensive.

Edited by samm

Citizen of a country with a racist, hypocritical majority - as shown yet again

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Yes, ATI doesn't really compete at the high end graphics cards right now. The new HD 3xxx series is priced lower than the 8800GT, fitting exactly to their speed (though the slower model, the 3850, offers especially good speed for the money). They also draw less current than nVidias similar offerings, unlike the monster that is HD2900 Pro / XT.

 

I think I read - but don't find the source right now - that two 8800 GTs (512 MB) in SLI, probably two 3870 in Crossfire too, outperform an 8800 Ultra while being less expensive.

 

I dunno if the 3870's will beat an Ultra, but I know that 2 3850's will outperform an 8800GTX.

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Im waiting for the 9xxx series graphic cards. When the heck is Duke Nukem Fornever coming out anyway?! hmmph!

 

Im not to impressed with the 8xxx series Geforce when compared to the current crop of game engines out. These games really kick the crap out of the 8xxx series.


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The only game that gives current cards trouble is Crysis. Unless you want to play all games at ridiculous resolutions of course.


"My hovercraft is full of eels!" - Hungarian tourist
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I want to tattoo a map of the Netherlands on my nether lands.
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The only game that gives current cards trouble is Crysis. Unless you want to play all games at ridiculous resolutions of course.

I want to play at really high, not ridiculous settings! :grin:

 

its only a couple months away, till the the gen cards come out. I do not have a 8series card so maybe i went out of line, but my 7series blows when it comes to LOW settings for unreal3 at resolution 800*600. So Ill save up for the uber 9series graphic card so I can kick boks ass in Unreal3. :)

 

Bok my handle is still Enlight_2.0 if you want to play Unreal 2K4 Tourny!


Always outnumbered, never out gunned!

Unreal Tournament 2004 Handle:Enlight_2.0

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The only game that gives current cards trouble is Crysis. Unless you want to play all games at ridiculous resolutions of course.

I want to play at really high, not ridiculous settings! :)

 

its only a couple months away, till the the gen cards come out. I do not have a 8series card so maybe i went out of line, but my 7series blows when it comes to LOW settings for unreal3 at resolution 800*600. So Ill save up for the uber 9series graphic card so I can kick boks ass in Unreal3. :shifty:

 

Bok my handle is still Enlight_2.0 if you want to play Unreal 2K4 Tourny!

 

Which card is that, exactly? My 7600GT works pretty well with UT3

 

 

@Magister: SLI


"My hovercraft is full of eels!" - Hungarian tourist
I am Dan Quayle of the Romans.
I want to tattoo a map of the Netherlands on my nether lands.
Heja Sverige!!
Everyone should cuffawkle more.
The wrench is your friend. :bat:

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The only game that gives current cards trouble is Crysis. Unless you want to play all games at ridiculous resolutions of course.

I want to play at really high, not ridiculous settings! :sorcerer:

 

its only a couple months away, till the the gen cards come out. I do not have a 8series card so maybe i went out of line, but my 7series blows when it comes to LOW settings for unreal3 at resolution 800*600. So Ill save up for the uber 9series graphic card so I can kick boks ass in Unreal3. ;)

 

Bok my handle is still Enlight_2.0 if you want to play Unreal 2K4 Tourny!

 

Which card is that, exactly? My 7600GT works pretty well with UT3

 

 

@Magister: SLI

 

That explains it. Thanks!

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How fast the GPU can communicate with the RAM, the memory interface. It's usually measured in some amount of bits. <128 bit is bad. 256> bit is good.

 

Something like that.


Swedes, go to: Spel2, for the latest game reviews in swedish!

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To get a rough idea about the performance of a video card, you can look at some easy-to-calculate metrics such as pixel, texel, and vertex fill rates. These metrics are becoming less and less indicative of the actual in-game performance of modern GPUs with highly programmable shaders, but are still your best bet short of looking at actual benchmark scores.

 

Fill rates can be calculated from the published specifications of graphics cards. http://www.gpureview.com/ has a pretty extensive and accurate database of GPUs with fillrate numbers, but the numbers for some of the modern cores with their unified scalar shaders are not comparable to older GPUs (apples-oranges).

 

If you really don't even want to get into fillrates, but want a single number (based on specs, not benchmark runs) to compare and get an instant idea, then based on the way GPUs and games have evolved in the past few years, I'd say you want to look at one metric: Memory Bandwidth. Simply multiply the bit-width of the memory bus (e.g., 384-bits for the 8800GTX) with the memory clock (e.g., 1800MHz for the GTX) and you'll have a pretty good idea of the market bracket the card falls into.

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If you really don't even want to get into fillrates, but want a single number (based on specs, not benchmark runs) to compare and get an instant idea, then based on the way GPUs and games have evolved in the past few years, I'd say you want to look at one metric: Memory Bandwidth. Simply multiply the bit-width of the memory bus (e.g., 384-bits for the 8800GTX) with the memory clock (e.g., 1800MHz for the GTX) and you'll have a pretty good idea of the market bracket the card falls into.

The disappointment that was the ATI Radeon 2900XT has a 512 bit interface and the memory is clocked at 1.65GHz. It's bandwidth beats that of the 8800GTX. On paper that GPU should have been a beast. I still don't understand what holds it back..


Swedes, go to: Spel2, for the latest game reviews in swedish!

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8800 GTX is 384-bit, i think it's good

No. 768MB. :huh:

 

if ur trying to impress me with your grafix knowledge then u better try a little harder :)

A nerd like you should be going for the 768MB GeForce 8800 Ultra. Thats the uber graphics card.


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