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Need some help choosing a GeForce FX card...

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Need some help choosing a GeForce FX card...

Postby BurninMan921 on Fri Jan 30, 2004 3:52 pm

OK, I want a card around $200 or so. A quick look through newegg turned up FX 5900's around $200 and FX 5700 Ultra's around $170.

How much performance difference is there really? Anyone know of good, reliable benchmarks online? I'm guessing Toms Hardware isn't that reliable in their benchmarks...
Last edited by BurninMan921 on Fri Jan 30, 2004 4:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Ian on Fri Jan 30, 2004 3:55 pm

Check out HardOCP. I usually read their reviews for stuff like vid cards. They're not afraid to say something sucks.
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Postby BurninMan921 on Fri Jan 30, 2004 4:05 pm

Thanks Ian, I'll see what they've got to say!

I did a quick look through Tom's just for the heck of it; and even if they're a tad "off" the 9600 Pro just sucks compared to the 5900.

Right now, it looks like a basic FX 5900 for about $220 is a) very, very fast and b) fairly cheap.

Time to dig even deeper...
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Postby Ian on Fri Jan 30, 2004 4:41 pm

Personally, I'm waiting for Doom III and HalfLife 2 to come out before buying a new vid card. My Geforce 4200 is fine for the games I play. When those two games come out, I'll get the one that works best with them.
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Postby BurninMan921 on Fri Jan 30, 2004 7:19 pm

Doom III is gonna rock! HL2 I could care less about.

HL2 does use DX9 a bit more than D3, so it's a good idea to wait for that one.
But D3 doesn't use it as much; so a current mid-to-high end card will do great for it.

I have the Doom 3 alpha; it drags on my system but looks freaking awesome!
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Postby tazdevl on Sat Jan 31, 2004 1:16 am

BurninMan921 wrote:Doom III is gonna rock! HL2 I could care less about.

HL2 does use DX9 a bit more than D3, so it's a good idea to wait for that one.
But D3 doesn't use it as much; so a current mid-to-high end card will do great for it.

I have the Doom 3 alpha; it drags on my system but looks freaking awesome!


That's why it's an alpha. You'd be surprised how much DX9 made it into Doom3. Might want to look past the FUD out there.

Best buy out there is a 5900. This is coming from an ATI card owner BTW. Nice thing about it is that you can flash it to a 5950. There is no comparison between a 5700 and 5900. 128bit bus versus 256bit in addition to clockspeed means for $30 more you get a lot more for your money.

Don't bother reading Tom's or Anand BTW, both are some of the most biased sites out there when it concerns video card reviews. Granted there objectivity seems to be swinging somewhere back to normal, but it still isn't there yet.

Look @ Beyond3d or HardOCP if you want decent video card reviews. The quality of reviews at Driverheaven has picked up lately as well.

Ian I don't think you'll see much of a performance delta between the NV40 and R420. nVIDIA has their act together this round. Maybe 3-5% difference depending on the benchmark.
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Postby BurninMan921 on Sat Jan 31, 2004 1:30 am

For Doom 3, what I meant was that it isn't as dependent on some of the more advanced DX9 features as HL2 is. To more properly explain:
John Carmack wrote: Unfortunately, [Half-Life 2] will probably be representative of most DX9 games...[Lowering precision] doesn't really matter to Doom, but that won't be a resonable option in future games designed around DX9-level hardware as a minimum spec.

Quote taken from Maximum PC, Nov. 2003.

For me, at least, the ATI vs. nVidia comes down to only 2 things:
1) Cost/Performance
2) Driver stability (for Linux, not Windows).

The nVidia 5900 looks like the best for both; I will be getting one. Now I just gotta figure out which brand :o

Right now I have an nVidia GeForce 2 Ti hooked to a crappy 15" monitor. So it'll be a nice upgrade! (And yeah, I'm getting a new monitor too...newegg has a nice 19" Samsung for under $200 right now).

There's only a small handfull of games I care about: UT2K3 (4?), Doom 3, BF1942. Maybe a couple of others. Other than Doom3, nothing to stressful for the system (judging by how they run on my system right now, anyway).
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Postby tazdevl on Sat Jan 31, 2004 3:58 am

FP16 vs FP32... pfft. He's talking about the NV3X codepath in D3. Not DX9 feature implemented, nor did he mention the greater precision offered with the NV40/R420. HL2 uses HLSL more than D3... . That quote doesn't even support your statement.

Asus and eVGA (good things said about eVGA in my last meeting in Santa Clara) are two solid AIBs. Leadtek makes good cards as well. Gainward has gone down hill and at this point I wouldn't touch Chaintech (Tier 3 company).

The whole 5950 BIOS flashing makes the card very attractive because you get an instant speed boost.

I'd wait a bit if I were you... you've got CeBIT coming up. R420/NV40 will be launched, prices will drop even further. Probably won't see either HL2 or D3 until after launch anyway.
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Postby Bhairav on Sat Jan 31, 2004 4:02 am

I second the idea of a 5900 NOn-Ultra. A BFG 5900NU is around 170$, check out PriceWatch. Flash it up to 5950 speeds, and you're having fun.
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