I have already searched through the forum to answer my questions by myself, unfortunately all I found was rather inconclusive, so I hope nobody minds me opening a new thread about the following: -g-
1) Does the HD48X0 series also show bad or occasional video tearing like I have read about in reference to the "older" cards?
2) Is the 2D performance normal or as bad as with the current nvidia cards?
Background is the following: I currently own a 8600 GTS card and I am really not satisfied with it. Like most people, I am having issues with 2D performance which haven't been solved for several month and I really doubt they will be solved eventually. :-( I am not a gamer, even though I tend to play ET:QW from time to time but that's where the nvidia card really shines but that's not my main task, so... :-)
I really would appreciate any hints. If the HD48x0 also shows video tearing (which is a definite driver bug), that's an absolute no go for me because there is almost nothing more annoying when watching a DVD or TV.
I think there will not that much of a difference when compared to the HD 3000 series. 2D performance should be fine, while video tearing is a driver problem and may be fixed this month. I'll get the card by the end of the month, but as far as I know, some people in here already have them, so you'll only have to wait for the Catalyst 8.7 user tests.
@Moustacha: nVidia 6000/7000 series have bad 3D performance in comparison.
2d performance right now on the current fglrx drivers is actually better than the current nVidia drivers. Well, at least the 2d performance isn't exactly the best on Geforce 8 and 9 cards right now on the nVidia drivers, on 6 and 7 series its fine. But I wouldn't buy a 7600 GT if you want bleeding edge graphical power. If you haven't bought a 4850 or 4870 yet, I would do what d2kx is doing and buy one at the end of the month after the new drivers have come out and check out the feedback.
But if you happen to just want to get something that works and doesn't have really any problems period and don't care too much about performance (you'll still get pretty good performance at resolutions like 1024x768 and 1280x1024 in ETQW), then yeah, the 7600 GT is a good option. Its dirt cheap too. But of course the 4850 would be ALOT faster in that game, so I mean, its up to you. Heres some results:
The 7600 GT will give you a solid experience overall as far as watching videos and stuff at this current time, but considering the future, the 4850 will probably be the better card in the end when it comes to driver improvements. One last thing, the 7600 GT will probably run at about 45 degrees C idle, 4850's are known to run at around 75-80ish on idle. This is very likely due to powerplay not working in the fglrx driver at this current time. So thats another thing to keep in mind. Hope I was helpful.