Is your graphics card fast enough?

By Nic · 46 replies
Jul 14, 2003
  1. PreservedSwine

    PreservedSwine TS Rookie Posts: 325

    Re: the reality is this

    I agree, the 128meg R9800 seems a smarter choice than the R9800256. There isn't a whole lot of difference between the two in many of tadays games and benches, simply b/c most don't even need the extra 128meg's of video memory:) The 5900U seems to benefit a little more w/ more memory, but I feel the reasons for this are thier innefficient memory controller (it's the same one they used on the Geforce4) and their inneffient FSAA algorithm (check their 6x and 8xFSAA numbers, same AA algorithm used on the GF4 as well, nothing changed). The 5900U seems to benefit a little more with more memory, while the R9800 doesn't. The R9800 seems to utilize it's memory compression techniques a littel more efficiently than these cards anyway, and the extra memory simply doesn't get utilized....... Just my opinion, of course:)
  2. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 1,549

    PreservedSwine: That review you posted compares the non-ultra version of the FX5900 card, which is not really what we were originally comparing.

    JSR: Just as you say, the 9800 Pro 128MB, is the best value high end card available right now.
  3. PreservedSwine

    PreservedSwine TS Rookie Posts: 325

    OMG- I didn't notice- :eek:

    I'll edit my post:rolleyes:
  4. JSR

    JSR Banned Posts: 592


    and to make matters worse....acid just relesed anandtech's review in his post.....he must not have read it, as the post proclaims the arrival of the 256 card..............but, read it and weep..........and, preserved.........the memory controller of the fx5900 is new and twice as effective
  5. PreservedSwine

    PreservedSwine TS Rookie Posts: 325

    Re: yes

    It's a 256bit Bus, but not twice as effective.....And this was more of a pre-view than a review (Dated May 12th).....Back when the hype around the NV35 was more air than meat. The memory controller originally intended for the NV35 was still 128bitDDR, but that changed after the NV30 fell on it's face. The afterthought 256bitDDR bus and memory controller were more or less slapped together (according to Mufu), in a not alltogether impressive or efficient fashion.
  6. acidosmosis

    acidosmosis TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,350

    No, it is not "twice as effective". Read the full article.
  7. PreservedSwine

    PreservedSwine TS Rookie Posts: 325

    Here is another review, this one released today, that indeed shows the R9800 and 5900U to be on about equal footing...

    Very cool looking 5900 btw;)

    Still not sure if this is a 5900 or 5900U review, since no mention of clockspeeds on the 5900, but here it is again.....

    Might well be 5900U...I noticed the Albatron didn't mention the fact that it was a 5900U, but the clockpeeds give that away:cool:
  8. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 1,549

    Wrong! It's a non-ultra, take a look over here (albatron website):


    This one's the ultra:


    Same goes for that other link.

    This is probably how you came to the conclusion that the 9800 pro was faster. If you can't tell one from the other, then how can you expect to draw accurate conclusions? :blush:

    However, the 9800 pro is about the same price as the 5900 non-ultra, so it is a fair comparison at the end of the day. The 9800 pro takes the medal. :)
  9. JSR

    JSR Banned Posts: 592


    and, he....... was the one that brought up the issue of the memory controller......which was or not it was .....twice (pixel shading power) effective or not (just posting specs) was not, the same .........nonetheless, defensive posturing, and nit-picking issues, won't alter the basic truth.
  10. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 1,549

    Here's another new review at FiringSquad ...

    MSI GeForce FX5900U-VTD256 Review

    Once again, the 5900Ultra wins every game benchmark at all resultions bar the occasional 800x600, and even with 4xAA turned on. Radeon 9800 Pro comes top on 3DMark03.

    Here is a good reason NOT to buy an Nvidia GeForce card ...

    NVIDIA-based Graphics Cards Will Have a Bug in Half-Life 2? FSAA Cannot Be Enabled

    The highly-anticipated Half-Life 2 game will have a major bug with current DirectX 9.0 hardware resulting in impossibility in enabling Full-Scene Anti-Aliasing, a popular feature that dramatically improves image quality in games. Apparently, there is a limitation in DirectX 9.0 and/or DirectX 9.0-compliant hardware that will not allow the function to be enabled on certain graphics cards if the workaround is not found.

    According a Valve officials quoted in forums at web-site, there are problems with the way that current hardware implements FSAA. If you enable it, you will see a lot of artifacts on polygon boundaries due to the way that current graphics processors sample texture subjects with FSAA enabled.

    Valve continued that this is a problem for any application that packs small textures into larger textures. The small textures will bleed into each other if you have multi-sample FSAA enabled.

    Currently both leading graphics chips designers use multi-sampling or hybrid multi-sampling + super-sampling methods to for FSAA.

    The developers of the legendary Half-Life game said that drivers are not likely to solve the problem, however, it still can be solved for graphics cards based on VPUs from ATI Technologies, such as RADEON 9500-, 9600-, 9700- and 9800-series. As for NVIDIA GeForce and GeForce FX-series, there are practically no chances to find a workaround, according to Valve.

    Some industry sources indicated that the problem with such FSAA is a known one and is to be addressed in DirectX 9.1 and next-generation graphics processors with Pixel Shaders 3.0 and Vertex Shaders 3.0, such as ATI Technologies’s code-named R420 and NVIDIA’s code-named NV40 VPUs and derivatives. Both next-generation products will come later than the Half-Life 2 that is expected to be available by October.

    Stay tuned with us because we are looking forward to bring you some comments from ATI Technologies and NVIDIA about the situation


    The bug may not be an issue for some users, as we still don't know what kind of performance hit enabling FSAA will have. Maybe most users will leave it off anyways, so that the framerate will be smooth. If ATI do manage to produce a workaround for the issue (Nvidia owners appear out of luck), then there will most likely be an additional performance hit involved.
  11. PreservedSwine

    PreservedSwine TS Rookie Posts: 325

  12. JSR

    JSR Banned Posts: 592

    and for preserved's continuing education

    everything had to be turned on to make it close.......turn off AA and it's cyaaaaaaaaa
  13. PreservedSwine

    PreservedSwine TS Rookie Posts: 325

    Re: and for preserved's continuing education

    I agree w/ you there, the FX5900U is fasdter w/out seye candy, but only marginally so, we're talking just a few fps:)

    This seems true for both cards, each winning a few, or losing a few, and not by a clear, devisive margin...

    I just don't see the purpose of buying a $400+- video card and NOT game w/ FSAA.

    Might as well run in 16bit, 600x800:p
  14. JSR

    JSR Banned Posts: 592

    no, i hear ya

    i personally will wait until the games force the upgrade...........the prices will continue to drop...............but, i primarily play fps, for me, i play all games @16x12...........without aa............and, i smoke :grinthumb
  15. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 1,549

    Re: For JSR's continuing education

    You must be looking through rose tinted spectacles. I just followed that link and as far as I can see the 5900 ultra is ahead in most benchmarks even with FSAA turned on. Some figures ...

    There are 28 benchmark screens, 16 with FSAA, 12 without. Results are:

    With FSAA : 5900U = 12 wins, 9800Pro = 4 wins.
    Without FSAA : 5900U = 8 wins , 9800Pro = 4 wins.

    5900U : Total wins = 20
    9800Pro : Total wins = 8

    So much for your description of them both sharing leads. There is no evidence at all that this is the case.
  16. PreservedSwine

    PreservedSwine TS Rookie Posts: 325

    Re: Re: For JSR's continuing education

    Glad you read it, perhaps you missed the margin of vicory, or has the point flown by you?:D

    They are VERY close in nearly all benches. In most cases, we're talking just a few fps:cool:
  17. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 1,549

    Re: Re: Re: For JSR's continuing education

    No, I read all the points, and if you look at all my previous posts you'll already be aware of that fact. My point is, that we should always be objective when posting, and we should always avoid stretching the truth, or misleading others by posting selective information, just to maintain our fanboy status. Something to be aware of in the future as I'm sure you'll agree. ;)
  18. PreservedSwine

    PreservedSwine TS Rookie Posts: 325

    Re: Re: Re: Re: For JSR's continuing education

    I agree. I just re-read this thread, and we are discussing the trivial. I still, however, disagree about the FX5900U being the fastest card out there. Nearly all these benches don't even take into account any FSAA level higher than 4x. Not to mention the quality at equal settings in the FSAA dept @ 4x. Any FSAA setting over4x, and the Radeon wins ALL the benchmarks, period.

    Something to think about. Still not sure why you continue to call me a fanboy. Have I posted anything that is indicititive of that? I would think anyone who thinks the FX5900U the undisputed fastest card out there across all benches to be the fanboy;)
  19. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 1,549

    And who in their right mind would ever play at anything above 4x AA? Also where is the proof that the 9800 Pro is faster under these conditions?

    In fact, up to now most of us have been happy with no FSAA at all. What is more important is that when games getting even more demanding on graphics cards, at least you can get a big boost by disabling any FSAA.

    And you're at it again, posting misleading info by not stating the basis of your claims. For example, your quote "... anyone who thinks the FX5900U the undisputed fastest card out there across all benches to be the fanboy ..." is directly implying that I am claiming this, yet when you look at my posts there is no basis for this.

    On the otherhand, you have made several posts that show non-objective and very misleading views, which are only applicable under certain constrained conditions which you do not state, and which are not normal conditions that most of us tend to use. What is more to the point is that you fail to give nVidia any credit at all, except when backed into a corner that you cannot argue your way out of. This is classic fanboy behaviour. Now go take a look at my posts, and you'll find very balanced objective views that are always open to being changed by good debate and suitable evidence. Not something you can say for your own contributions.

    And you are right, we are arguing about nothing, so lets just stop, and leave it at that. Please have a nice day, and be good to yourself, and others. ;) :)
  20. acidosmosis

    acidosmosis TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,350

    Ace's Hardware has stumbled accross something interesting while testing out 3Dmark03 on a PII 350 and a Radeon 9700 Pro.

    While doing some research on an old 350 MHz Pentium II system, Johan came across some interesting results while benchmarking 3DMark03. When equipped with a high-end video card, like a Radeon 9700 Pro, the 350 MHz Pentium II was able to more than keep pace with a 1.4 GHz Pentium III Celeron and even a 2.8 GHz Pentium 4 in several of the 3DMark03 game tests.

    Perhaps this should not come as a suprise, since 3DMark03 is, after all, primarily a video card benchmark. But how much of one? Given the sheer magnitude of difference between the 350 MHz Pentium II and more modern hardware, we decided to investigate further to determine whether or not these 3DMark03 results would be mirrored in real-world gaming situations.

    Goes to show you that benches are diddly squat poop. :-D

    Rely on your own judgements and REAL performance not benches.
  21. JSR

    JSR Banned Posts: 592

    that just goes to show you

    how much the cpu fits into this equation....... play games? .....want to win?......get the big gun :grinthumb
  22. acidosmosis

    acidosmosis TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,350

    Exactly. I think, if I understood what you just said, lol. It says a lot to prove that you don't need a very fast processor to run a benchmark and get a high score, but to actually play a game with high quality graphics you need very fast processor. It really goes to show how useless benchmarks can be. I've used 3D Mark 2003 but only for testing purposes. I didn't let it brainwash me into thinking that my computer was going to be able to handle a certain game.
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