Nvidia or ATI now?
I've been skimming the forum on the video card/driver section and I was wondering if ATI has made consistent progress with their open source drivers. From the looks of it, it is still a work in progress. ATI's cards in Windows probably eclipse Nvidia at the top end now which hasn't happened for a while. However, I don't know for sure, just guessing and that is what a local computer store vendor told me.
As for Linux, I am not sure but I guess it depends how quick ATI is in improving their drivers?
If you were buying a mid-level graphics card now, which one would you buy and would it be from Nvidia or ATI?
Both the Nvidia 8800 series and ATI 4850 can be had for about $200 so if I was going to upgrade my card, that is my limit. I was thinking of a 8800GT for $150+ tax. Is this a good deal and is it better to stay with NVidia still? Is the 8800GT still a good card or is worth it to wait a bit for more money and go for a 8800GTS 512MB card? I think the latter cards have better cooling but I found some 8800GT cards for under $200 which gives them a very good price per performance ratio.
My current card is a eVGA 7950GT which I bought used. I have a relative who might want a PCIe card in the future so I would probably just let them have it or I would sell it so they could get a brand new card (some people are a bit hesitant to take over a used graphics card)
Well i have got a Leadtek 8800 GTS 512. It works fine, however some options (expecially for Win) are only enabled with the 9 series. So maybe get a 9800 GTX+. The + is shrinked and a bit faster, without + it is the same G92 chip as on the 8800 GTS 512 just different name and 5% faster.
Would I need a new case? I have an Antec Solo. I knew I should have bought the 900. Would it fit in an Antec 900 case? I doubt that it would fit my current one. The 7950GT is even long enough that it comes close to the hard drives (mostly regarding the data/power cables plugging into the drives).
Originally Posted by Kano
I think the ATI 4850 is the closest competitor performance wise so I was wondering about how it does in Linux. I guess one has to worry about drivers, software (that runs the card) and the card itself?
I think the progress of ATI in Linux was really slow in the past (imho) and dare I say, plagued with issues, but I was wondering if this is still the case. I would like to support open source hardware but not at the expense of hardware that is problematic. I am too inexperienced (especially in Linux) to have to find 'workarounds' and deal with hardware/drivers that aren't optimized by default or that 'just can't be.' Also, I am used to Nvidia installs so is ATI installation in Linux the same procedure? I am interested in the 4850 card since it already is the top performer in Windows and I dual boot XP anyway. But, I read this:
I am wondering how come an open-source company and open source hardware component lags so much behind a closed source company's hardware? Is ATI's progress good enough to close the gap quickly enough compared to previous improvements and will they be significant enough? I would have thought the developers can easily compare the Windows drivers and apply the required 'fixes' based on what is needed in the Linux world. No? Inccorrect assessment or I'm missing something here?
Anyway, thanks for the feedback and recommendation. I'm not a super duper gamer by all means but it is good that the prices have come down and I think I'd like to buy a new card this time rather than not know what's going on with a used card. I would like to buy local as well but as long as I can do a quick RMA if needed, then it doesn't matter. I prefer to buy on price/performance ratio and will spend on the cheapest option (as long as performance is also equally good) so brand names I'm not rigid on. I like eVGA, XFX and BFG for Nvidia and for ATI, I assume that Sapphire, HIS and maybe VisonTek are the names for ATI?
Last edited by Panix; 07-27-2008 at 04:09 PM.