Best Graphics Card On the Market.....

By SuperCheetah ยท 105 replies
Mar 6, 2002
  1. Gman

    Gman TS Rookie


    for the time being, the new GeForce 4600ti seems to take the cake. if you go to, you can see the results of all sorts of video card benchmarks.:grinthumb
  2. PreservedSwine

    PreservedSwine TS Rookie Posts: 325

    For the money, I'd pick up an ATI R8500. For about half of what Nvidia's latest offering, you get a little less speed, more features, and as good or greater IQ:)

    just my $.0005
  3. SleeperDC

    SleeperDC TS Rookie Posts: 184

    i think ATI 8500 is the best video card on the market
    i don't like comparing speed, i like quality. in same FPS games, there will be some 100% dark spots where snipers will hide. with i compared ATI and Nvidia, ATI can see at lease see a thing standing there, but Nvidia can see nothing.

    anyways, i still think the best video card ever was 3dfx's voodoo2 and voodoo5, first mass market 2GPU 3d card, first FSAA.
    and the quality can win back all the speed from the geforces.

    3dfx is like Elvis.
    they were the best, and are still the best.
  4. svtcobra

    svtcobra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 761

    Im with you Sleeper on your points about 3DFX. If ATI had better driver support I may agree there as well, but they dont. With 3DFX dead, Nvidia will get my money every time. I do not like flakey driver support at all.
  5. SuperCheetah

    SuperCheetah TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 709

    I agree and disagree with you svtcobra. I think the ATI card has tons more software features than any Nvidia card, which makes it especially appealing in my eyes. Granted their drivers support isn't the greatest, but for the features than come with the card, it makes it more than enough for me to buy one.

    I'm not too anal about an extra couple of FPS, so I think my next purchase will be the ATI 8500DV with 128MB of RAM!!!
  6. ^b0rG^

    ^b0rG^ TS Rookie

    Though they did REALLY bad in the past ATi's driver support has improved by leaps and bounds. Latest drivers (either leaked or official) are light years ahead of what shipped with the card. And new drivers come out on a pretty regular basis now. And I have 0 problems with mine. Even on my wimp lil system everything works fine, and looks great. :)
  7. svtcobra

    svtcobra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 761

    Thats what I have heard..ATI's driver support has gotten much better.

    Thats a good thing for ATI users..
  8. SuperCheetah

    SuperCheetah TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 709

    No offense svtcobra, but you seem pretty close minded when it comes to video cards. I've always seen you post about how you wouldn't get an ATI and how Nvidia's driver support is so great (which is is good and better than ATI's).

    There isn't even a chance you would try out a ATI card if once became available that peaked your interest???
  9. svtcobra

    svtcobra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 761

    Well here is where I get my distaste from.

    I bought a Radeon All-in-wonder the day after I got my DVI-enabled Flat panel monitor. My Voodoo 5 didnt have DVI support and my picture quality was pretty bad in Analog mode. The card was the biggest waste of time. The drivers were a nightmare, hte colors just seemed to rich no matter how much I played around with the settings and the card was very slow. I returned the card the next day, reinstalled my V5 and waited till the GF3 came out. This is why I am not a big ATI fan.

    To be honest with you, at work we have a computer with the new 8500 card and I like it alot. It seems like a good card. My issue now with ATI is that their reputation has been shot down a little bit by they're driver support. First it wasnt enough drivers, then it was drivers that didnt increase the performance of the card, then it was drivers that were optimized for speed in certain games. The games would run really fast but the image quality was bad.

    I dont know..It seems to me that ATI is the mac and nvidia is the pc. I am sticking with the popular one here. I have always gone the road less traveled but when it comes to spending $300+ on something that I am going to want for the next 12-24 months I would rather get the proven technology.

    Ati is just starting to clean up the drivers fiasco now. Ati boasted faster clock speeds and better memory bandwith with the 8500 over the GF3. Unfortunately, the drivers never came out to give the boost the 8500 needed to support its claims. Meanwhile, Nvidia is releasing detonator drivers once a week continually improving on speed and stability. Who would you go with..

    Im not close minded on this issue, I would just rather go with a product that will get the support it needs to stay current in this high paced industry.
  10. PreservedSwine

    PreservedSwine TS Rookie Posts: 325

    Umm- ATI has been releasing new beta (unified) drivers more often than Nvidia recently, and they are blazing!- her's a fairly recent review:

    Maya R8500 review

    I think you would be more than a little suprised w/ the number of driver releases recently:

    March 27 9023 (win9x)

    March 20 4.13.9016 for the 9x systems,
    5.13.6037 for Win2K and for XP systems

    March 18 6.13.6052 Windows XP

    March 9 4.13.9021 Windows 9x/ME

    March 4 5.13.6043 Windows 2000 Display Driver
    6.13.6043 Windows XP

    March 2 4.13.9017 win9x
    WinXP 6.13.6037
    Win2K 5.13.6037
    WinNT 4.3.3288

    Well, that's just March, but I think that will help you get the idea

  11. SuperCheetah

    SuperCheetah TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 709

    I'm glad that ATI is vastly improving their drivers support. The thing that I'm pondering over is how fast Nvidia and ATI are coming out with new cards. I've heard that the next series cards will be out in the fall with all new hardware architecture.

    While all the drivers coming out is good, I plan on waiting until the next series comes out and see what they have to offer over the present GeForce 4's and ATI 8500 series.

    The last thing I have to say, which has been said here before, is that I hope Nvidia uses 3dfx's AA technology very wisely, as it could very well make their next card superior to ATI's in my opinion.
  12. SuperCheetah

    SuperCheetah TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 709

    From The Inquirer:

    Seems like things are really heating up...I hope Nvidia is up to the challenge.
  13. setscrew

    setscrew TS Rookie Posts: 23

    Best bang for the buck: ATI Radeon 8500 You can find some resellers of the retail version (275/275) of this great performer offering then for $150-170. This card has the hardware and a continued driver development program (albeit a tad slow) that can handle any game currently on the market.

    Best overclocker: GeForce 3 TI 200 This budget gamer card can be found for the same price as the Radeon 8500 mentioned above. Many companies' cards can be overclocked to TI 500 levels. nVidia continues to crank out a steady supply of beta drivers that should enable you to run any game you own.

    Best overkill performer (currently): nVidia GeForce TI 4600 This $350+ video card while not needed for the current crop of video games, does decimate the competition in being able to display high resolutions at blistering frame rates.
  14. svtcobra

    svtcobra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 761

    Hey Super, I agree with setscrew...What do ya think about that?
    Just giving you a hard time...

    The Radeon 8500 for $150 is a sweet deal. Now, if a GF3 Ti500 could be had for a similar cost...there would be quite the dilemma on which one to go with.
  15. JAV

    JAV TS Rookie Posts: 210

    Best card? Depends on a lot of things. Games? FPS? Visual quality? Raw power? The eye can only 'see' up to ~65fps, anything over that is ??? :rolleyes:

    IMHO (in my humble opinion), the Kyro chips are the best. They don't render what won't be seen. When the new ones come out w/core & memory clock speed = to the ATI & nVidia :grinthumb

    For visual quality, the edge goes to ATI. That said, there are Oxygen Labs $$$ nVidia based cards that will rock an 8500.

    The Kyro guys are struggling, ATI is making moves & nVidia has the major share of the market. Support/compatibility is the major issue.

    Cooling & memory ns are the differences between 'stock' & 'company' built cards. Look for heatsinks on the RAM, big fans on the chip & low (5 or 6) ns on the RAM. Gainward/Ledtek & some others build for overclocking/performance enhancements in mind. :cool:

    That said, I have a VisionTek GeF2 MX 400 64mb that factory clocks 200/334. I have it up to 212/343 w/an extra fan & it works great for me. :D It's a PCI (not AGP) because that's what I needed. ~$70 US.

    Processor, bus speed & computer memory also matter. If it is slow going from the HD to the video card ... no point in a high end card. ;)

    Thanks for listening/reading & nice board here.
  16. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

    Kyro is looking to strike a deal with Via. If the S3 story is anything to go by, Kyro ins't gonna get better ( which is really a shame, I was looking for a successor to my PCX2 :D ).

    Seeing the new reviews that have come out, the best bang for the buck now has to be the GF4 4200 64 mb. The 64mb version has its memory running @ 250 for 179$ whereas the 128mb has 222mhz memory for 199$ ( nVIDIA prices ).

    The extra 64 mb really shows at very high resolutions ( 1280*1024 & higher ) so IMO it's not worth the extra 20$.
  17. DogStar

    DogStar TS Rookie Posts: 129


    This thread has a humungous amount of info and ideas and personal choice.
    I had to fast forward, but will put in my 2 cents.
    I believe it has a lot to do with what your system consists of.There are a lot of factors for each component and a lot of manufacturers for each of those components.I think that's why google was born--to help--.But when it boils down to it, I imagine there must be some type of formula to use to decide whether you should get card A/B. A lot of us always want that bit extra out of their card (which is our right-I believe-) but as other people have stated, it's no good pairing a GF4 ti/mx with a cyrix233 and hoping to break 20K on 3DMarkse. As people have said, a lot of different factors come into it, such as what you wish to do with the card. So I must say that the best graphics card is the one that you choose.
    I'll shut up now.:blackeye:
  18. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    Re: Wow

    Yes, it does. I made this sticky for it is also an extremely popular/common question here.
  19. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,730   +379

    WhAtZ tHe BeZ ViDeO CarD DoodZ?

    The recently released GF4 Ti4200 which can be overclocked to at least Ti4400 speeds seems to be the latest Best bang for buck card...

    Tomshardware GF4 Ti4200 article (this page shows the overclocked 4200 performing at 4400 levels or above!)
  20. SuperCheetah

    SuperCheetah TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 709

    I have to agree with you there Arris. If your looking for speed and performance this card is definitely the way to go. I've even seen reports of the 4200 series getting up to 4600 speeds!!! Now that's bang for your buck without spending the extra 200 dollars for the 4600.

    ATI still has the software advantage by far, but if your looking for raw speed and as many FPS as possible then the GeForce 4 is undoubtedly the way to go.
  21. JAV

    JAV TS Rookie Posts: 210

    Thought I'd add: Those that have Intel chips on their mb's can go to Intels website & download their "Application Accelerator" to speed up HD to processor speed. There is also a "Chip ID utility" there you can run to get the info on which chipset you have. Don't forget the 'software installation utility' so your version of Win will recognize the applications related to the 'Accelerator'. :)

    Another program that will help the i/o data is "CPUFSB". You'll need to know the chipset/mb to use it too. With it you can increase the cpu speed & the bus speed. If you 'overclock' too far, simply shutdown, unplug the power & then reboot to original specs. ;)

    Sorry I can't link to Intel (each system takes a different dl) & CPUFSB can be dl'd by a search from various places. "Si Sandra" is also a nice program for info on your system & benchmarking, as is "Fresh Diagnose". :cool:

    Optimizing your system will improve the video, sound & everything else so you (we/me) can get the most out of it. :grinthumb

    SCheetah: GF2 Ultra? That can be clocked to 275/440, IIRC & is a great card. I don't think the $$$ of going to a GF4 or Radeon 8500 will really give you that much improvement. Run the 23.11 driver & the "GeForce Tweak Utility" & I think you'll find great fps & graphic quality too, IMHO.

    HTH (hope this helps),
  22. SuperCheetah

    SuperCheetah TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 709

    The new technology in the GeForce 3 and 4 series cards will soon be implemented in the newer games. When this is done you will see the substantial improvements that everyone talks about. Still, you will achieve much better FPS and a little better quality (maybe) with the newer cards for not much more money than you would be spending for a GeForce 2 Ultra.

    If your looking for a cheaper card then just go with a GeForce 3 TI200 for right now. As mentioned earlier in this post, the newer generation cards from ATI and Nvidia will be coming out soon with all new architexture so those might be worth waiting for IMO.
  23. infocom

    infocom TS Rookie

    Personally I prefer the ATI Radeon8500 although at times I prefer to use the Nvidia cards because of their frequent drivers updates (which ATI is mimicking now). I guess all of this boils down to personal oppinion and branding :) Lots of people would prefer Nvidia because of their fast speed and less problems with their drivers (I guess when people talk about ATI drivers many of them would think of the Quake 3 Arena "driver efficiency" issue highlighted). Anyway my previous card used to be Geforce 3 Ti200 and in my oppinion it would outperform the Geforce 3 Ti 500 in certain cases only.

    System Specs:
    Athlon XP 1.4ghz
    Abit KG7 Raid
    512 MB DDR RAM
    Power Color Evil Master 2 Radeon 8500 Pro
    80GB HDD
    Creative DVD-ROM
    HP CD-Writer (4x 4x 24x, I guess this must be the oldest component in my system)

    My 3D Mark 2001 score is 9800 (This could be attributed to the fact that 3D Mark has another option for the ATI cards called Pure Hardware T&L)
  24. SuperCheetah

    SuperCheetah TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 709

    Nice system specs infocom!!! :D I also have the KG7-RAID board with a 1.4GHZ Thunderbird and 512 of Crucial CAS 2 DDR memory. I only have a GeForce 2 Pro, but I plan on upgrading soon. I want to get the ATI 8500DV All-In-Wonder card, but I think I'm going to wait until the next generation cards come out later this year. Also I have, 2 60GB IBM Deskstars with Raid 0. :)

    I'm happy with it. Especially since the new bios now support the AMD 2100+ and the new Thouroughbreds coming out soon.
  25. infocom

    infocom TS Rookie

    Yah I like the mobo alot because it is stable and the new bios revision supports the new processors. Anyway I have been hoping to change my cd-writer for some time but haven't actually gotten down to buying a new one :) Play games more than actually writing cds. Your system specs are cool too man, I don't have a spare hdd to run raid so it is kind of wasteful of my raid motherboard at the moment :) Yah I wanted to get the all in wonder (the hercules version) but it was just too damn expensive to consider, together with the 128mb version of the radeon8500 which is another expensive card. I keep hoping that the geforce4 4600 price will drop when the new geforce card comes out.
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