Graphics Decisions

By Jaf
Oct 31, 2003
  1. Im gonna get an AGP Graphics card soon. But Im wondering if any1 knows which is better out of these two manufacturers:

    ATi Or nVidia

    I've compared features and some of the new geforce FX cards have better features than lets say the Ati 9600. But then other poeple are saying Ati is better than Geforce FX, even though the features of the Ati board are not as good. Ive got a nVidia nForce 2 motherboard, so would a agp card made by nvidia be better, or doesn't matching manufacturers matter between the motherboard and agp graphics card.

    Grateful for any help and suggestions on which graphics card is good without breaking the bank. I dont want to get one that costs more than £160.
  2. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,977   +15

    This is a lot like the Intel VS AMD debate, however as it stands now ATi is better then nVidia. The GeforceFX series cards are all pretty bad. If I were you I'd get a 9600PRO or a 9700PRO if it fits your budget (dont know about the £/pound thing :p)
  3. Jaf

    Jaf TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 52

    Would you suggest getting a ATI 9600 XT OR PRO. ive seen them both on a site and the pro cost more than the xt, and i thought the xtwas better than the pro. but the 9600 pro doesn't break the bank.

    Cheers :)
  4. InsaneMonkeyBoy

    InsaneMonkeyBoy TS Rookie Posts: 163

    The newest NVIDIA FX cards would be the best NVIDIA cards to buy. The top FX cards (5900 + 5950 (ultra or non-ultra)) have very high memorey bandwith which is an important spec on GPU's. But some ATI RADEON cards come close (9800XT + 9800 PRO).

    This doesn't mean ATI cards are behind in anyway because it's proven that the new ATI Radeon cards are stronger in single texture fill rate but the NVIDIA FX cards are stronger in multi texture fill rate.

    Lastely, in most computer games Direct X is used and at the moment DirectX9 is needed. Unfortunately NVIDIA FX cards perfrom very very badly with direct x9, sometimes the colour is automatically turned off cause it can't handle it. ATI however run through it as smooth as hell.

    Personally I recommend you get a Radeon 9600XT cause it's a high performer and only costs £165. Also it comes with a free coupon for Half Life2. Unless you have a spare £420 quid, hell go for a 9800XT!! :grinthumb
  5. wicka_wicka

    wicka_wicka Banned Posts: 125

  6. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,977   +15

    The latest high-end nVidia cards are starting to show the numbers, however in games such as Half-Life2 they perform horribly. The ATi cards perform wonderfully on the other hand. Dont get me wrong - Im an nVidia boy, however their latest hardware is really: :( The 9600 XT is (slightly) better then the 9600 PRO, and if its also cheaper it would make sence to get it over the PRO. The 9800XT performs are beyond the 9600XT, I think it would be a good thing to look at. It may cost a chunk more, but its going to future-proof your PC an additional year.
  7. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,573   +65

    What are these "features" that the ATI card is lacking? Just curious.
  8. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,977   +15

  9. Jaf

    Jaf TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 52

    Thanks for all your help. I think i might get an ATi 9600XT as you say nvidia cards are quite bad with dx9. Which is the best brand to get. Theres so many like Saphire, Gainward, 3d prophet. Whats the difference between these. They all use ATi 9600 xt gpu but does it matter what you get.

    Cheers For Any Help. :)
  10. InsaneMonkeyBoy

    InsaneMonkeyBoy TS Rookie Posts: 163

    The ATI cards lack the amount of memory bandwith that NVIDIA have huge amounts of. This is real important, but as i've said ATI still match up to them with other cool bits on their cards (pixel shading for example) and r better with DX9 .............................

    Also i agree with agissi, the power colour cards are underclocked because the bandwith given to the card manufacturers is 19.3GB/s but some manufacturers (power colour) underclock it down to a lower GB/s...............god knows why.

    Good choice with the card wont be dissapointed :cool:
  11. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,977   +15

    Yes, some brands you should really stick clear of, such as Power Color. I would highly reccomnend Sapphire, however Gainward and 3D Prophet are all good too. If you can get Saphire for around the same price as other brands, get it. Other good brands are:


    If £160 is around $270, for $30 more you could get a Sapphire 9800PRO.

    Note: Just got done looking for good prices on a 9600XT for you, and no one seems to sell the XT series yet. Here are some great sites linking to the videocards you may be interested in:

    9600 PRO+Free 2Day Air $174:

    9700 PRO+Free 2Day Air $254:


    The 9700PRO is a chunk more, but if you can make the stretch I really would, it'll save you in the future from having to get another card sooner (which is more expensive in the long run).
  12. Justin

    Justin TS Rookie Posts: 942

    Where did you get this information from? I want to see a spec sheet or a reference that shows this.
  13. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,202   +422

    agassi - the 9700 Pro from Powercolor was the only bad one - in fact, on the 9800 Pro side they have one of the fastest
  14. Jaf

    Jaf TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 52

    I've found a site located in the UK

    It sells the Sapphire Radeon 9600XT Atlantis 256M DDR for £140.
    I think this is quite a good price.

    Just one question what does API stand for? In the specsfor the card it says API supported: openGL, directX.

    What about Direct-3D doesn't that matter, can all games run on DirctX. Lets take max payne 1 for example, on the back of the box it says something like specs: direct3D compatible card. Will a card only with openGL and directx still run the game.

    It would all make more sense if I knew what API meant.

    Also im grateful for all your views and links to websites that i might be interested in. :) :)
  15. InsaneMonkeyBoy

    InsaneMonkeyBoy TS Rookie Posts: 163


    ASUS are a good brand 2 go for. They're very reliable and at the moment the 9600XT and the 9800XT are the fastest ATI cards made by a manufacturer.

    Here's a link to a good priced asus cards:

    Click view spec on the 9600XT (or any other pic) to get some info on the software and a bigger picture.

    API stands for Application Program(ming) Interface by the way.

    And Direct 3D is software included with the Direct X software you download so dont worry about not having that or anything.
  16. Jaf

    Jaf TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 52

    Cheers for that InsaneMonkeyBoy :) :)
  17. Jaf

    Jaf TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 52

    Cheers for that InsaneMonkeyBoy :) :)
  18. Jaf

    Jaf TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 52

    Cheers for that InsaneMonkeyBoy :) :)
  19. InsaneMonkeyBoy

    InsaneMonkeyBoy TS Rookie Posts: 163


    No problem Jaf!:grinthumb
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