graphics card questions for PC Rig

Discussion in 'Games' started by millar876, Aug 23, 2004.

  1. millar876 macrumors 6502a

    millar876

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    May 13, 2004
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    Peterhead, Scotland UK
    #1
    I'm upgrading my PC gaming Rigs graphics card, i have a MSI Nvidia FX5200 Ultra graphics card with 128MB DDR 400 RAM. I want to spend about £250 MAX on a new graphics card. I want the best chipset with 256MB onboard RAM. The Upgradde is for achieving Maximum Quality i can on DOOM 3 (currently @ 640 x 480 no shadows, no antialiasing and medium detail gets 20-30 FPS) should i go for an ATI 9800 pro with 256MB or a BFG GeForce 6800GT-OC with 256MB DDR3
     
  2. vraxtus macrumors 65816

    vraxtus

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    #2

    The difference between a Rad9800 and a 6800GT is HUGE I hope you realize.

    I think the 6800 has twice the RAMDACs as the 9800, but it costs significantly more. Keep in mind also, that if your processor is not that fast, getting a very strong card WILL be a waste of money, due to CPU bottlenecks in terms of feeding the necessary data to the card. The 6800 will net the BEST performance overall but it may not be worth it if your computer is not that fast.

    Oh keep in mind that for ULTRA (not MAXIMUM) quality, you'd ideally be wanting a 512 MB video card since ULTRA runs with uncompressed textures that weigh in at about 500 MB total.
     
  3. millar876 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    millar876

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    #3
    more info

    my pc's processor is an Athalon XP3200 @ 2.3GHz and ive cot 512MB DDR400 on a N-Forse 2 mother board. I am currently able to run ultra at 3-5 FPS wwhen somthing is moving or a lot of detail on screen (taken at a junction about 1/2 way through AlphaLabs 3). i just want to b able 2 play the darn game at more than 40 fps constant. And as I said I only want to spend £250 UK max, but maybe S T R E A C H 2 £280
     
  4. millar876 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    millar876

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    #4
    P.S. new to the whole PeeCee side of things, i Harken back to the good old days of the 680x0 macs when to get better graphics you just added more VRAM. SO coa you explain a wee bitty about all this RAMDAC ect. plz.
     
  5. vraxtus macrumors 65816

    vraxtus

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    #5

    Nowadays GPUs have real clockspeeds and use pixel pipelines to process shading data. The RAMDAC is the GPU equivalent to Mhz in terms of how quickly it processes data and projects it in the screen. The more RAMDACs the faster it can process graphics data. Modern GPUs need more RAMDACs so you can get better performance and quality out of your cards... such as FSAA (Full Screen Anti-Aliasing) and AF (Anisotropic filtering). These are just perks of modern video cards
     
  6. Jigglelicious macrumors 6502

    Jigglelicious

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    NYC
    #6
    Uhh, not to sound mean or anything, but you have no clue what you're talking about. Definition of RAMDAC is as follows:

    Short for Random Access Memory Digital-to-Analog Converter, a single chip on video adapter cards. The RAMDAC's role is to convert digitally encoded images into analog signals that can be displayed by a monitor.

    It has nothing to do with your video cards speed. Its sole purpose is to convert digital signals into something your monitor can display.
     
  7. vraxtus macrumors 65816

    vraxtus

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    #7
    Exactly, and more RAMDACs means a better refresh rate for CRT monitors...

    So in other words, if your card can push hi FPS rates, you'll need more RAMDACs for a CRT to actually "see" those frames. But yeah, beyond 60 there's not that much point.


    Sorry, what I wrote above is kind of confusing. It's not actually the RAMDAC that processes the data, but only what processes it to the screen. The usefulness of RAMDACs is more to actually see the difference on CRT monitors. As for LCDs it's not going to make nearly as much of a difference as the speed of the GPU.

    Also, if anything, probably the most important thing to video cards currently is pixel pipelines. The 9800 has 8... and I believe the 6800 has 16(?) which greatly increases image processing rates.
     
  8. Converted2Truth macrumors 6502a

    Converted2Truth

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    #8
    The 6800 GT has 12 pixel pipes...it's not as powerfull as the ultra. That said... it's much better than the 9800pro. I've got the 9800 pro in my peecee, and i run medium detail at 1024x7 with 2x AA and vertical sync. I rarely get lag. The 256mb version would run the same setting but maybe at 'high'. My doom3 experience has been great, but i'm sure that nvidia would run it MUCH better.
     
  9. vraxtus macrumors 65816

    vraxtus

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    #9

    Well of course... current nVidia cards are basically made FOR that game... plus their drivers are optimized for it as well.
     
  10. Converted2Truth macrumors 6502a

    Converted2Truth

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    #10
    Kind of the contrary... the game was made for the card... then optimized drivers were released. Currently, no vcard has been MADE for doom3. Soon we'll see 6800's with 512mb of ram. However, i thought i read somewhere that the AGP bus only supports 256 as a max... but that's gotta be wrong... i don't remember where i read it... maybe in my mobo manual...
     
  11. vraxtus macrumors 65816

    vraxtus

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    #11

    That's why most 6800s are PCI-Express I believe. Also keep in mind that nVidia's drivers are better coded in general to suite D3. Their FSAA and AF algorithms work better with D3 code.
     
  12. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030

    crazzyeddie

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    #12
    Uh, dude, what are you talking about? RAMDACs are really not the issue at all here. Nvidia or ATI would never sell a card that could not push at least 75hz at any given (standard) resolution because no one would buy the thing.

    I highly recommend the 6800 because benchmarks have shown that Nvidia cards run Doom3 better than the ATI 9800/X800 (comparable 6800 models, of course).
     
  13. vraxtus macrumors 65816

    vraxtus

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    #13

    What I'm saying is that RAMDACs do make a difference for CRT monitors with high refresh rates. And... 75?? Most I hear of now push 85 at LEAST.

    And you also parrotted what I said about nVidia cards...
     
  14. benpatient macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2003
    #14
    to answer the dude's question:

    If you can afford the 6800 GT 256, then get it. That's a no-brainer. The 9800 Pro 256 is a great card for the money, although in most cases the 256mb is a bit overkill...that is changing with the latest games, but still, the card won't use all of that ram most of the time.

    I have to ask, though, why are you trying to decide between those two cards? The 6800 GT costs considerably more than the 9800 Pro...they aren't even similar in price.

    If you want a comparable ATI card, look to the X800 Pro, and don't base your decision simply on Doom 3...other games, like HL2, are going to run considerably better on the X800 than on the 6800...If you play a lot of CS, or want to, or DoD or whatever, then the Source ports of those games will run better with an ATI card.

    Both cards are great, though, and you'll be very happy with the upgrade either way. One thing to look at is power consumption. Most ATI cards need less power than their "equivalent" nVidia cards these days. Some nVidia cards need TWO additional power supply connections!
     
  15. benpatient macrumors 68000

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    Nov 4, 2003
    #15
    most modern graphics cards support refresh rates in excess of 200hz at reasonable resolutions.

    very, very few monitors can handle that strain, however. You end up losing the B of your RGB a LOT sooner than you normally would.

    I had a monitor that ran 215hz with my last machine, and it was well...beautiful. LCDs have sorta ruined all the fun of that, because they don't show flicker even at pretty low hz, but let's just say I didn't run my monitor at 215hz for very long after i saw what happens to one that's been that way for a couple of weeks...
     
  16. millar876 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    millar876

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    #16
    right, so the question realy is do i get the above 6800 or the X800pro those are my options now. and i will be getting halflife2 when its released
     
  17. vraxtus macrumors 65816

    vraxtus

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    #17
    6800 for D3
    X800 for HL2

    Depends what you like more.
     
  18. Golem macrumors 6502

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    Jun 2, 2003
    Location:
    Sydney,Australia
    #18
    Intel Extreme 2 Integrated Graphics

    In a semi-related question just how bad is Intel Extreme 2 Integrated Graphics?

    Sometime soon I need to pick up a new testing/local server box for work to replace an ageing p4 1.4

    While I have some input on the exact box in terms of Processor/ram/disk its pretty much going to be hp/ibm/compaq and whatever graphics is standard.While i can use it for gameing after work if I want to I never bothered with the last one with its anemic ATI Rage Pro and I am wondering if I try and push for a nvidia 5100/5200 or just forget it and stay with Integrated graphics.
     
  19. kuyu macrumors 6502a

    kuyu

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    Sep 16, 2003
    Location:
    Louisville
    #19
    My gaming pc has an X800 Pro. I play doom 3 at 1280 on high detail with no problems (very fun game btw).

    However, I bought the card for HL2. Valve has gone on record that ATI's cards are killing nvidias in HL2. It has something to do with each cards interpretation of DX9 and floating point precision. HL2 needs high floating point precision to produce it's cinematic quality effects. Nvidia's don't seem to be as proficient at this and it's killing their framerates at high detail.

    I bet that more games will be built on source engine than the doom3 engine. Also, expect a lot of STALKER engine ports as well as cryengine ports, now that EA has licensed cryengine.

    All in all, neither card sucks. They are both great at running all these games. Each has a slight advantage with different titles. Get either one.
     
  20. kuyu macrumors 6502a

    kuyu

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    Louisville
    #20
    Bad. It siphons memory from the system to handle graphics. This lowers the processors effective power by limiting processing memory bandwidth. Also, no new games will likely work with integrated gfx.

    By going with integrated gfx, you'll never actually have full access/use of your system memory and your computer will be slower than the same system with a dedicated gfx card. So, if you have the memory to give to the gfx for a game, you may lack the system memory the game itself requires. Thus, modern games likley won't work.

    Or, get integrated gfx and buy an xbox if the bleeding edge of gaming isn't important to you.
    :)
     
  21. Maclarny macrumors 6502

    Maclarny

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    Apr 20, 2003
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    #21
    The choice, IMHO, is obvious. Go with a Geforce 6800. It's the base of the new 6800 line but still maintains all the latest technologies (Shader 3.0, Ultra Shadow II) that the X800 line lacks. In a choice between the 6800s and X800s for HL2 the difference will be between something like 80 FPS on a 6800 and 100 FPS on a X800. The 6800 line is geared for future games that will use the latest technologies (I.E. LOTR: Battle for Middle Earth). Also, the 6800 is priced around $100-$140 (US) less than the X800 Pro and performs equally, if not better, in many of the latest games. You can find a Geforce 6800 for around $285 (US) from Newegg.
     
  22. Maclarny macrumors 6502

    Maclarny

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    #22
    Here is a link to back up my Half Life 2 claims. If you look around you can find that the 6800 lead in Doom 3 is much more substantial.

    Link
     
  23. millar876 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    millar876

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    May 13, 2004
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    #23
    thanx

    thanks 4 all the advice, i decided to go for a Xfx branded 6800 GT 256 i read a couple of peecee gamer mags and the diferenges in thr 6800gt 6800 ultra ond x800xt were marginal with only about 3fps diference between the cards andin many of the tests the gt pushed the x800xt into third and was concistently outperformed the x800 Pro. i should get it on thursday evening. :D
     
  24. millar876 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    millar876

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    Peterhead, Scotland UK
    #24
    Got my card

    I Got my Graphics card and it cooks, im playing D3 ho High detail at 1024x760 (my good monitor that can display a higher res is getting fixed). and the difference it makes to MS-Flight Sim 2004acof is amazing the draw distance is dramaticly further with better textures and i can use my modified terain maps at full detail now aswell. and on another point the dosumentation i can find states that the x800 pro has 12 pixel pipelines and to get 16 you need the XT version whereas the 6800s entire range has all 16 pixel pipes active, and the 6800GT is mid range 6800 6800le and ultra are low and high end respectivley, le just not out yet.
     

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