nvidia 6800 vs 9800 xt

By rao ยท 18 replies
Aug 29, 2004
  1. hi ppl!

    for the past few weeks i have been in a great dilemma. i hope someone here is able to help me out. i am going to order a new video card in a few days but i have not been able to make up my mind which one to buy. i have a budget of bout 330$ and the two finalists that i have chosen are

    1. ati radeon 9800 xt with 256 mb ram ( $ 325 )

    2. chaintech geforce 6800 apogee aa6800 128 mb ( 280 $ )

    i have seen a lot of stuff on the web and as far as i have seen doom 3 will run better on the nvidia cards and hal life will run better on the ati cards. i have seen the screen shots from both the cards and the difference is hadrly noticable. both can be over clocked. 9800 xt supports 2.0 shader model where as 6800 supports the latest 3.0 shaders. the future games as they r turning out would require more and more video ram to run complex models hence givin 9800 xt 256 an edge. what i want to know is

    1 shader model really that imp coz i dont see any difference in games?

    2 if u were in my place what video card would u prefer and y?

    3 which card would last longer ?
  2. Korperal

    Korperal TS Rookie

    Well,i cant give you an answer.But i can tell you that i have a 9800XT and just recently replaced it(put it in my second puter :p) with a 6800 gt.Between those the best was definately the 6800 for me(opinion* no proof too lazy :) )Basically the reasoning for my opinion*,is that while i "heavily" used the 9800XT i had a lot of driver problems(eg...painkiller,thief3,etc) and moderately mediocre opengl performance.But it is a great card,im just not a fan of switching drivers a lot.I want all my games(i have lots :p) to work without hasseling with fix this/break that drivers once a month.When i got this 6800 i did a clean install of my os,updated with latest drivers from nvidia,and everything ive played has worked great from old to new,while on the 9800XT about 75% of what i tried worked without flaw.
  3. vega

    vega TS Enthusiast Posts: 147

    Both cards perform well with todays software but the 6800 has the edge in terms of uber modern games like doom 3 and the forthcoming HL2 especially if you intend to use anti aliasing.
    I'v been using my 128mb 6800 for a week now and apart from a slight incompatiability issue which has been resolved, I have to say that I'm extremely impressed.
    I currently use the latest nvidia driver (61.77 I think) and have no issues at all.
    My model (leadtek 128mb) comes with an hefty piece of copper stuck onto it making overclocking a must - with 3d mark 03, I'v gone from around 7100 to 7958.
    As for which would last longer, I feel the question is irrelevant as chances are, you'll upgrade whichever card you choose before it gets a chance to crash and burn!
  4. Bug

    Bug TS Rookie Posts: 79

    I will personally go with the 6800 GT. If you are comparing just the 6800 vs the 9800 xt, they are both very good cards. You have most of the details you need. The framerates of both cards for todays games, you wouldn't really tell the difference. Only additional question is will you be using high resolutions? They both perform better at the higher res. One is older technology, the 6800 is "hopefully" looking into the future. ATI should come out with the "Fubu" (sp.) that will have pixel shader 3 sometime next year. Perhaps then games will take better advantage.

    I don't think you will be disappointed either way you go (unless you are upgrading from a 9800 pro ;) )
  5. JD53887

    JD53887 TS Rookie

    why will I be dissapointed if I upgraded from a 9800 pro to a 9800xt? (Which is wat I just did) BTW, is the final decision of which is better resolved, cuz I could have gotten the 6800 for slightly cheaper.
  6. PreservedSwine

    PreservedSwine TS Rookie Posts: 325

    Because they're virtually the same card. The XT has slightly faster clock speeds, but they're basically the same thing...

    The X800 line of cards would be a much better upgrade...
  7. JD53887

    JD53887 TS Rookie

    are u telling me I wont notice a difference? Cuz my friend has a 9800-xt, and it can run Doom 3 at high. The 9800 pro can't even go to high with the settings I use. BTW, my comp is 2.8GHZ OC to 3.05GHZ (I could go higher.. but I didn't want to). Will that be a bottleneck?
  8. Thimlee

    Thimlee TS Rookie

    The X800 is better for overall quality than the 6800. If you want to see one serious pitfall of the 6800, go to tomshardware site and look at the old article about the 6800 ultra and click on the farcry shader quality

    the 6800 has some issues with shader quality and especially lighting, and that's versus a 9800 XT, not an X800

    it's your choice in the end, but make sure you have a big enough power supply to feed the 6800 if you decide to get it.
  9. PreservedSwine

    PreservedSwine TS Rookie Posts: 325

    You won't notice a difference between the 9800XT and R9800PRO. There will be a difference, perhaps 5-10 fps...but that's not really upgrade worthy IMO.

    You need a next generation product to really notice, like a 6800 or X800...
  10. JD53887

    JD53887 TS Rookie


    just kiddin. I'm screwed. Anyone wanna buy my new preowned, self-certified 9800xt? If I get one of those artic silencer thingy and overclock the hell out of it, will I notice a difference then?

    Ok someone tell me what this is about.

    Link 1

    The 9800xt is in the 6800gt level. Is it because of my untrained eye or perhaps it's because I missed something when I'm reading. The 9800xt is performing at a level the 6800gt is performing. Is it because ATI and HL2 had a thing going so now HL2 is works better with ATI product?
  11. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    It's because Half-Life 2 is a Direct3D game. Generally speaking, ATi is better in Direct3D and nVIDIA in OpenGL.
  12. JD53887

    JD53887 TS Rookie

    really? that so good to hear. Is Doom 3 OpenGL or Direct3D? Better yet, what good games are OpenGL that I might be playing?
  13. olefarte

    olefarte TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 1,345   +13

    Look here, to see a list of games in OpenGL. Among the more popular games of late are, Doom 3, Medal of Honor, Call of Duty, and Return to Castle Wolfenstein.
  14. shadow_29

    shadow_29 TS Rookie Posts: 211

    i think there is a rather important difference between radeon 9800 pro and a 9800xt namely that 9800xt comes with something called overdrive or something.which basically oc's the gpu so i dont think you would either be able to overclock it or get favourable results from it.it has a feature to overclock and underclock itself as the usage demands.
    as for a comparison between ati x800 and nvidia geforce 6800,i think people always overlook geforce 6800's extra molex connector and a huge heatsink that occupies an additional slot.but the 6800 would last longer than ati's flagship because of shader model 3.0
  15. duh-huh-wha?

    duh-huh-wha? TS Rookie

    im getting a pci express 256mb 6800 whats the diffrence between the one you all have been talking and the one im getting? and what does adding more Mb 128->256 do to the card?
  16. shadow_29

    shadow_29 TS Rookie Posts: 211

    well what you are getting is a pci express card it was made for the pci express interface the 9800 rpo and 9800 xt are agp car which is now the older interface for video cards.pci express is faster than agp port but the diffenrence right now would only be negligeble,soon you will start to see the difference when the newer and newer games come out that use its true power which has an unbelivably fast bandwith.
    as for the differnece between the 128 and 256 well the main one of course is the most obvious one that the 256 mb version would have a bigger cache and a lot more textural memory.so basically it will be able to load more on its video memory.for eg you will be able to run doom 3 on the highest possible setting with everything turned on (aa,af)at the highest achievable frame rate from a singel card.it wont go any higher(maybe 1-2 fps but no more)also there was some issue earlier about ati radeon 9800 pro when its 256 mb version came out that the 256 mb version's gpu might be just a bit slower than 128 mb's but there wasnt any folloe up on that.well so the bottomline remains that you wont get a powerful card than 6800 line maybe a 6800 gt or pe if you can find one but its on par with them.its the best single card that money can buy you right now for games.a word of caution though get a hefty psu as well because this card is very power hungry requires a separate molex connector maybe 2 depending on the maker.

    hope this post helps you
  17. JD53887

    JD53887 TS Rookie

    Ok I decided to not pay the guy on ebay for the 9800xt. Hopefully, a $5 bribe will not get me a neg feedback. Anyways, I'm going to get a 6800. Now you guys, please tell me which card exactly, I mean exactly, should I get. I think the leadtek is good cuz of the giant heatsink. So give me the best 6800 brand or w/e so I can get it flash to GT or ultra. BTW, I dont know what those LE or NU stands for. Give me an update please.
  18. duh-huh-wha?

    duh-huh-wha? TS Rookie


    i just got my new system with the nvidia 6800 256mb not gt or ultra and i have to say it runs flawlessly at highest settings.

    p4 3.4
    1gb ram 400mhz
    80Gb hardie 7200
    and the card
  19. K Taylor

    K Taylor TS Rookie

    Hey "Duh" -

    Is your new system a Dell? I just ordered a Dell with a 6800 256. Am hoping it screams...
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