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Thread: Ati Schoolz Nvidia

  1. #1
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    Best Playable IQ:
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    [img]http://www.hardocp.com/images/articles/1083564189888Adk70te_10_1_l.gif' width='200' height='120' border='0' alt='click for full size view'>

    The above chart will give you a quick understanding at just how powerful these video cards are when it come to gaming in the real world. Above you can see the IQ settings that we found playable on our test system.

    There is a very obvious pattern here; 1600x1200 with AA and AF on the X800XT. Only in one game did we have to play at 1280x1024, and that was only because the game, NFS: Underground did not support 1600x1200 resolution. Otherwise every single game was playable at 1600x1200 with AA and AF! We find this to be nothing short of incredible and frankly we did not think we would see this kind of video card power till possibly later this year.

    The Radeon X800Pro comes in second in the pack and did achieve 1600x1200 with AA and AF in a couple of games with the rest being playable at 1280x1024 with AA and AF.

    The GeForce 6800Ultra came in third from the top in our testing, as it had only one game that it could run at 1600x1200 with AA and AF. The rest played best at 1280x1024 or 1280x960 with AA and AF. In the case of the new FarCry game that many folks is buzzing about, only 1024x768 MediumAA/4XAF was playable. That said, NVIDIA gave us a newer set of drivers that were outlined to improve FarCry frames per second by 20% by working out some Z culling issues according to NVIDIA. These new v61.11 drivers also were saddled with IQ bugs and we did not feel comfortable testing with them as we would not have suggested them for your gaming experience.


    Comparing IQ Technology:

    Looking at the Anti-Aliasing and Anisotropic image quality between the X800 series and the GeForce 6800Ultra we find them to be very comparable. There is one difference though. The X800 is so powerful, 6XAA is actually a useable Anti-Aliasing setting on the X800 series whereas comparable 8XAA on the 6800Ultra, is basically not usable, as it is too demanding in terms of performance because it is a super-sampling + multi-sampling technique.

    The only shader quality differences we noticed were in FarCry where the X800 series is providing much better image quality. Compared to the 9800XT the X800 series have identical AA, AF and shader quality.

    Temporal AA is an interesting feature, and one that you will simply have to judge for yourself. Some may like it some may not. Just keep in mind that it does enable VSYNC when it is turned on and if the framerate goes below 60fps it shuts off. Therefore in order to get the most benefit out of it you need to keep the framerate very high, the closer it is to your refresh rate the less shimmering you will notice. We are happy that ATI is evolving new techniques for improving image quality and providing a potentially better AA image quality with no performance hit impact.


    Dueling Shaders:

    So here we are at the question that we know everyone will be thinking about, what about Shader Model 3.0 versus Shader Model 2.0? Right now it isn’t even exposed on the GeForce 6800Ultra and won’t be until DX9.0c is out. There isn’t much to say except that both will look the same this year unless we see games with true displacement mapping implemented. Technically the X800 series, and going all the way back to the Radeon 9700 series, support point sampled Displacement Maps via N-Patches, while the 6800Ultra supports filtered Displacement Mapping via vertex texture lookups in VS 3.0. But it all depends on what developers use in games. If developers never use it, it is a useless feature. SM3.0 is an extension of SM2.0 and adds mostly performance enhancements, as well as possibly easier programming for developers. Again, it all depends on what the developers do, and we’ll stress again, SM3.0 versus SM2.0 image quality differences is really a non issue currently, and probably will be for this year of next-gen games.


    The Bottom Line:

    The X800Pro should be selling in major retail online outlets today, May 4th, and selling for an MSRP of $399. The X800XT Platinum Edition will begin shipping to retailers by May 21st and will be sold at an MSRP of $499. As usual, those MSRP prices will deflate somewhat quickly if the supply is available that ATI assures us there is.

    When it comes right down to it the X800Pro matches or beats the GeForce 6800Ultra in game performance and IQ. Compare the price, performance, and IQ of the ATI Radeon X800Pro with the GeForce 6800Ultra, and the X800Pro definitely stacks up as the better value than the 6800Ultra. NVIDIA is today launching an even higher clocked Ultra, no doubt in response to the X800XT-PE. We have yet to even see a retail 6800Ultra for any of the partners so currently I would consider these a non-issue. Also, a lower clocked 6800GT is being introduced but this card is simply not currnetly going to play in the same ballpark with the X800 series from ATI.

    The Radeon X800XT Platinum Edition goes even further and burns through these games like a hot knife through butter, besting NVIDIA’s 6800Ultra by an easily noticeable real-world margin. If the flagship is what you want, be assured the ATI Radeon X800XT Platinum Edition was the top performer allowing us to play today’s demanding games at higher resolution and quality settings than any 3D graphics accelerator we have ever experienced.

    Our Radeon X800 Series VPU Technology article is here for those of you that wish to know more about what is in the silicon.

    While we realize that it is not likely that you will own two X800s, both are worthy of our "Must Have" award. The X800Pro and X800XT-Platinum Edition can both easily be called Must Have [Hardware] by the discerning gamer.

  2. Software & Hardware   -   #2
    w00t!
    That's what most of us would have guessed anyway, no?
    I know I figured ATI would kick nvidia's ass in everything, and I was right
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  3. Software & Hardware   -   #3
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    On another board I post at,one of the memebers posted a link to some other article on hardocp that showed Nvidia coming out on top.So I quickly posted your link in the thread so he could look at it and see if he was still correct.His response was
    'From what I can see, they're just trading off "wins" back and forth, with a fairly hefty amount of editorializing by Kyle (no surprise there...). "
    Of course he has an MSI FX5900XT in his computer.Funny how all the Nvidia fans will look right at the results and then say that somebody is basically lieing about them.
    So wheres ATIVidia at anyway.LOL
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  4. Software & Hardware   -   #4
    Lick My Lovepump
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    You have been saying no alot, no?

  5. Software & Hardware   -   #5
    lynx's Avatar .
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    Originally posted by johnboy27@4 May 2004 - 16:05
    On another board I post at,one of the memebers posted a link to some other article on hardocp that showed Nvidia coming out on top.So I quickly posted your link in the thread so he could look at it and see if he was still correct.His response was
    'From what I can see, they're just trading off "wins" back and forth, with a fairly hefty amount of editorializing by Kyle (no surprise there...). "
    Of course he has an MSI FX5900XT in his computer.Funny how all the Nvidia fans will look right at the results and then say that somebody is basically lieing about them.
    So wheres ATIVidia at anyway.LOL
    Isn't that exactly what you did when someone posted a link showing Nvidia on top? At least his response was honest, all you ATI fanboys seem to be blinkered into believing only the ones you want to see.

    Ati may have come out with a better card, but many of us think it is better to wait until someone comes out with a fact based review before making up our minds.
    .
    Political correctness is based on the principle that it's possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

  6. Software & Hardware   -   #6
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    These things aren't even benchmarks also. Its what HardOCP says is a playable resolution and amount of quality extras.

  7. Software & Hardware   -   #7
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    Originally posted by lynx+4 May 2004 - 17:23--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (lynx @ 4 May 2004 - 17:23)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-johnboy27@4 May 2004 - 16:05
    On another board I post at,one of the memebers posted a link to some other article on hardocp that showed Nvidia coming out on top.So I quickly posted your link in the thread so he could look at it and see if he was still correct.His response was
    &#39;From what I can see, they&#39;re just trading off "wins" back and forth, with a fairly hefty amount of editorializing by Kyle (no surprise there...). "
    Of course he has an MSI FX5900XT in his computer.Funny how all the Nvidia fans will look right at the results and then say that somebody is basically lieing about them.
    So wheres ATIVidia at anyway.LOL
    Isn&#39;t that exactly what you did when someone posted a link showing Nvidia on top? At least his response was honest, all you ATI fanboys seem to be blinkered into believing only the ones you want to see.

    Ati may have come out with a better card, but many of us think it is better to wait until someone comes out with a fact based review before making up our minds. [/b][/quote]
    The reason i posted the link is because the one he posted was one that didn&#39;t even have any testing between the two,just what they thought by only looking at the two cards and the specs.As for the comment about Nvidia fans,it was supposed to be sarcasm.I like ATI,I really have no experience with Nvidia (well a little with friends computers) but I have always had ATI and have never had a problem with them.On another note,I really am not too concerned about the newer cards because I won&#39;t be buying one,I can&#39;t justify paying so much for something I won&#39;t really use to it&#39;s full potential.
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  8. Software & Hardware   -   #8
    Conclusion Tom&#39;s Hardware

    We haven&#39;t even really gotten over NVIDIA&#39;s highly impressive introduction of its GeForce 6800 Ultra, and here ATi is already hitting back hard. Thanks to its performance advantage when using anisotropic filtering, the Radeon X800 XT Platinum Edition shows its rivals who&#39;s boss in this discipline without noticeably sacrificing image quality. Even the much less expensive X800 Pro with its 12 pipes can beat the GeForce 6800 Ultra in some game tests. The price difference of about &#036;100 will certainly be an argument that could win over a number of undecided buyers. When quality-enhancing features like FSAA and anisotropic filtering aren&#39;t enabled, however, it is often the GeForce 6800 Ultra that takes first place. Thanks to Temporal AA, though, ATi has a good solution even to this "problem". At any rate, most gamers would be loath to do without anisotropic filtering when using cards of this caliber anyway. But keep in mind that neither of the cards can be termed "slow". We´re talking about differences at very high levels&#33;&nbsp;

    In our opinion, the most impressive thing about this card is how little effort ATi needed to reach the performance we saw here. The power consumption of the X800 XT is about the same as that of its predecessors in 3D applications. Additionally, the cards require only one auxiliary power connector and don&#39;t need an especially potent power supply like the GeForce 6800 Ultra does. Even the cooler has shrunk a bit, reducing the card&#39;s overall weight and ensuring that it would fit even into a mini-ITX case.

    The trouble is, there are also drawbacks to the fact that only little effort had to be put into this design. Technologically, ATi&#39;s 3D architecture has fallen behind that of NVIDIA, and it is now the green guys that can claim to have the more innovative chip and can rally support for new features. Although the X800 cards can now process longer and therefore more complex shader programs than the R9800XT, they are still limited to 24-bit floating-point precision and ShaderModel 2.0. It remains to be seen whether the GeForce 6800 Ultra, with its support for ShaderModel 3.0 and 32-bit fps precision, will enjoy any tangible performance advantages in practice. For now, ATi&#39;s shader quality definitely gives no grounds for complaint. And not to forget 3Dc, which can improve the game experience. Nonetheless the R420 only seems to be a temporary solution. Already, the R480 is rearing its head in the roadmaps, and there&#39;s a good possibility that ATi may just introduce the R5xx series instead. And after so much speculation and conspiracy, this author can&#39;t help but find himself humming an eerie little melody. You know - the theme from that mystery series with the X in the name...

    Until then, the new performance leader is ATi&#39;s Radeon X800 XT Platinum Edition. Let&#39;s just hope that ATi stays true to its word and that these cards will be available in more than just homeopathic doses. Even if only the slightly slower non-Platinum XT versions actually make it to the market in high numbers, these should still be able to keep the GeForce 6800 Ultra in check. Then again, NVIDIA is not just sitting around twiddling its thumbs - it plans to launch the GeForce 6800 Ultra Extreme, which will be offered by a number of NVIDIA partners, Gainward and XFX among them. It remains to be seen at what price point these cards will be sold, as the "normal" GF 6800 Ultra&#39;s price tag of &#036;499 already makes it just as expensive as the X800 XT Platinum Edition. The direct competitor to the X800 Pro in the &#036;399 market segment will be the new GeForce 6800 GT.

  9. Software & Hardware   -   #9
    Illuminati's Avatar Simple Bystander BT Rep: +7BT Rep +7
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    This thing happens every few months - ATI brings out cards which outperform nVidia&#39;s, nVidia bring out cards that outperform ATI&#39;s a couple of months later, the cycle repeats again a few couple of months after. It used to be every six months a few years back, but as with Moore&#39;s Law with today&#39;s processor technologies it&#39;s increasing in frequency than originally thought

    And if I remember, this same bloody thread happened a few months ago as well by the same bloody person. See you again in a few months, adam


  10. Software & Hardware   -   #10
    bigdawgfoxx's Avatar Big Dawg
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    Yeah, since ATI and Nvidia release new cards like every couple of months
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