View Full Version : nvidia or ati?? which is better?

11-14-2004, 10:49 AM
o.k. guys..im so excited..i won a $500 gift card from best buy and planning to get a video card. The only thing is which one? they have one BFG 6800 GT 256 ram...for $399.. or an ATI x800 for the same price.. i dont really know much about ATI's..i have a ge force fx 5900xt now..will the new card make much difference.? how is the GT version of the 6800 compared to the ULTRA?? besides the price? do they both have 12 pipelines?? whatever that mean.. or does the ATI have more? tell me...what should i get? i cant wait to waste that $$$ chi-ching..thx in advance

11-14-2004, 12:04 PM
First, congrats... Both are great cards. They both are comparable in speed and both have 16 pipes. The 6800GT is basicly a ultra downclocked. If you have adequate cooling and a good power supply, you should have no problem reaching Ultra speeds and then some while saving 100$. With the saved 100$ I would buy a very good power supply(450w and up)from thermaltake or Antec, uless you already have one. If you have Nvidia now, I would go with the 6800GT, right now I would consider the GT the best vid card for the money. It has support for SM 3.0 and the speeds at which it runs are very comparable to any of ATIs cards.

11-14-2004, 12:12 PM
Should i lie? or should i tell the truth? Although being a ATI fan that i am i would recomend The Geforce 6800gt like Carver up there ^^^^ said. I have never used it but i have heard its a bit faster than the X800 xt. i have compared benchmaarks and the GT wil give u the most bang for ur buck. But if u are getting a vid card for HALF LIFE 2 i would strongly recomend ATi. half life 2 runs %20 faster on ATI cards (its good see some companys are finaly supporting ATI!)so the chiose is urs.

P.s why are u getting a new card anyways? ur Geforce 5900 is still good. save the money for something else but eh ur choice

11-14-2004, 12:17 PM
The X800 is not comparable to the Geforce6800GT! The 6800GT is a 16 pipeline card, while the X800 sports just 12 pipelines. I would recommend either an X800XT (16 pipelines) or the 6800GT. The X800XT beats the 6800GT at everything except Doom3, and HL2 is supposed to run faster on the X800XT architecture.

11-14-2004, 12:20 PM
so will i tell the difference in games like half life 2...is 20% alot? will it stutter? these are my current specs..

p4 2.8 ~ @ 3.4 ghz HT/enabled. 800 fsb/1mb cache
1024 PQI DDR pc3200 @400 mhz (i think)
5 fans..
win xp home ed
direct x 9.0c
ge force fx 5900xt
latest drivers from nvidia.

will i be able to see the 20% difference on the GT ?? btw.. the 5900 xt is for sale..if anyone needs one..

11-14-2004, 12:22 PM
lucky you =)

hmmm, if im not mistaken, the 6800 ultra has SIXTEEN pipelines, as does the top-of-the-line x800xt platinum the number of pipelines affects how many pixels the card can draw per a given amount of time. more pipelines=better graphics performance.

ok, first your questions:

1)you WILL see a gigantic performance leap in the really demanding games (right now, far cry, doom 3, and half life 2) this card should last you a while, i hope.

2)the GT version of the 6800 is simply a cheaper, and therefore not quite as powerful, video card. its like an "x800" versus an x800 XT" the xt is better because it has *gasp* two extra letters!! (lol, **** names of cards)

3) the GT version has 12 pipelines, the ultra has 16. the ultra has a higher core speed (400mhz versus 350 mhz)

4)the ATI cards and geforce cards of the same (or comparable) prices usually have about the same number of pipelines. x800xt platinum has 16, 6800 has 16. x800 pro has 12, GT has 12.

now the long explanation comes. this is where i will compare the two cards: (not that i am slightly biased towards ATI, but all the info is accurate to my knowledge. talk to some store representatives before buying. maybe you can find someone who knows more about cards than me.

so, ATI or NVIDIA? heres some pros/cons

ATI pros:
-last i heard, had slightly better drivers in many games
-sweet logos on the box (metallic dogs and such.. lol)
-only takes up one slot in the back of your computer
-takes less power than the 6800
-basically the same performance... both cards differ by only a few percent in many tests: sometimes one wins, sometimes the other.
-Half Life 2 supports ATI cards "better" than nvidia... probably because ATI paid valve to market their cards with HL2
-third party x800xt platinums have PCI-express support!!
-higher core speed than ANY 6800 i could find, by 100mhz! (even overclocked, 6800 is at 420mhz, x800xt is at 520)

-You cant buy a PCI-express version directly from ATI, you have to buy a "third party" video card with ATI technology, such as sapphire. with current cards, PCI-ex and AGP dont really have a performance difference, but as far as upgradeability, AGP cards will start to go away and be replaced by PCI-ex versions.
-not "supported" as much by Doom 3 (i think farcry is independent of the two)... in other words, nvidia paid doom 3 to do ads with them, ATI paid half life.

6800 ultra pros:
-"supported" better by doom 3 (see above)
-basically the same graphical power as ATI's best.

-takes TWO AGP slots (only plugs into one, but is so large that you cant fit another card in the slot above it)
-takes TWO plugs from your power supply
-requires AT LEAST a 420 or 480 watt power supply. I'd go with a 500 and get a few extra case fans to keep this thing cool.
-slower core speed than x800xt platinum (why oh why cant they make the names simple?!?!) the geforce 6800 ultra is 400 mhz, the x800 is 520 mhz.
-a bit more expensive
-NO PCI-ex versions (that i could find, not even any third party versions)

alright, alltogether, if i had 500 bucks to blow on a video card, here's exactly what id get:

"Sapphire ATI RADEON X800 XT Platinum Edition Video Card, 256MB GDDR3, 256-Bit, DVI/VIVO, PCI-Express, Model "100599" -OEM "

newegg.com, $525. you can find an AGP alternative for 500, but this thing is PCI-ex, and thats worth 30 bucks to me. imagain it as spending 30 bucks for the best 3d card available to the public. (can the government beat it??). probably more expensive if not unavailable at bestbuy. check with them, see if they can order it for you, special. (**** gift cardes). if they cant, go for a "regular" ati x800xt platinum. it probably isnt on the floor, its probably only kept in the back. a $400 card will do, and with that extra money you can buy a new game. but if you want the best performance money can buy, go for the sapphire version. heres the specs:

Chipset/Core Speed: ATI Radeon X800 XT/520MHz
Memory/Effective Speed: 256MB GDDR3/1120MHz
BUS: PCI-Express x16
Ports: VGA Out(15 Pin D-Sub) + VIVO + DVI
Support 3D API: DirectX 9, OpenGL 2.0
Max Resolution@32bit Color: 2048X1536@85Hz
Cable/Accessories: HDTV Cable, VIVO Cable, DVI to VGA adaptor, Power Cable, Driver CD, User's manual
OEM Package (See pics for details)

good luck with your new card. remember to make sure its compatible with your motherboard and that your system is fast enough for it. maybe you can shell out a few more dollars and have bestbuy install it for you. then if they break it, you still get a new card.

have fun running the best, newest games at maximum detail (except doom 3, no card can do that at decent framerates. not till video cards have 512 mb of ram on em, anyway.)
woo, long post, with alot of "research" in it (i.e. me skipping out on my homwwork to surf ATI, nvidia, pricewatch.com, newegg.com, and bestbuy.com for prices and specs.

EDIT: oh yeah, no matter which card you get, do a few things: download the best drivers, buy some anti-dust spray (falcon northwest makes some if im not mistaken, otherwise its some other company), and maybe buy a 15 dollar case fan and mount it above or blowing across that thing's GPU, and maybe it will last longer. (im a freak when it comes to overheating, and i dont even overclock)

11-14-2004, 12:28 PM
if i go for a pci express..then i need to buy a new mobo.. currently i have an ABIT AS8.. i just bought it a few months ago..

11-14-2004, 12:42 PM
eh, no big deal. the pci-ex (right now) is only for those who plan to upgrade in the future. your AGP wont run it much slower (if ANY slower) than the pci-ex. plus, the pci-ex versions are a bit more expensive. so dont sweat it.

btw, nice system. how bout saving that money and waiting for the NEXT line of 500$ cards to come out? i dont know how long it'll be, but maybe you'll think its worth it.

anyone think any of my above info is incorrect?

11-14-2004, 12:56 PM
when are the new cards coming out? if and when they come down...then the 6800gt and ultra should come down.. .. so will i tell the difference on the 6800 gt..from the 5900xt?? if not that much... $500 is alot to spend... i could get a ps2..or xbox..or more memory..more games..more things...or maybe a lcd screen..btw..are lcd's good for games?

11-14-2004, 02:47 PM
people used to complain about LCDs blurring in motion... and when they first got popular i went to a store and played jedi knight-somethin

and i noticed it.

but now i cant notice it at all, even when spaceships are flying/taking off, etc. some people say they can see it, i dont know if theyve just tricked themselves into beleiving they see it.

LCDs are sweet, but if you have enough room on your desk, dont bother. i got a sweet CRT monitor for 250 bucks, and theres a $50 mail in rebate (at best buy).

also, if you get an LCD, make sure your gfx card has DVI. if youre a really nit-picky, competition, play-for-money and tournament winning kinda guy, dont get an LCD, because maybe there IS blurring and it will mess you up.

unless your really crunched for space, i prefer CRTs because they are SO much cheaper.

your 5900 is still a great card. its like on par with a 9800 i think.

and you probably WILL see a difference in high end games like farcry when running at high resolutions. plus with that new card you can put the resolution up to 1600x1200 with full FSAA and AF enabled.

whatever you decide, its $500 worth of electronics you didnt have to pay for.

ps2 or xbox... personally, i wouldnt. id wait for the NEXT gen of consoles to come out, cuz the current ones are starting to stretch their hardware. in a year or maybe 2 we will see some new ones out. just get your RAM up to about a gig, buy some case fans and some anti-dust, and overclock your system. spend the $500 on 10 of the best games out there. and with the holidays coming up, theres a heck of alot of good ones coming out. (hl2, doom3, farcry, rome total war, warhammer 40000: dawn of war, battle for middle earth, LOTR: the third age, vampire:the masquerade (based on the source engine too!!))