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A $99 Graphics Card Might Be All You Need

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the market-beater dept.

AMD 618

Vigile writes "With the release of AMD's latest budget graphics card, the Radeon HD 4770, the GPU giant is bringing a lot of technology to the table. The card sports the world's first 40nm GPU (beating out CPUs to a new process technology for the first time), GDDR5 memory, and 640 stream processors, all for under $100. What is even more interesting is that as PC gaming has evolved it appears that a $99 graphics card is all you really need to play the latest PC titles — as long as you are comfortable with a resolution of 1920x1200 or below. Since so few PC gamers have screens larger than that, could the world of high-end PC graphics simply go away?"

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But their drivers still suck (-1, Troll)

netscan (1028690) | more than 5 years ago | (#27749937)

$99 or $500, if it don't work it don't work.

Re:But their drivers still suck (0)

dogmatixpsych (786818) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750081)

I've had much better experience with ATI than NVIDIA cards. I like both but ATI cards generally seem more power efficient, at least at the level I spend (which isn't a lot). Maybe I just had some poor NVIDIA manufacturers though. I agree with the summary. Even with existing cards, you can get very acceptable performance from cards that are $100 or less (especially if you find a nice deal on a card). I don't know if I'd limit it to just $100 though but for $150 and under you can definitely buy enough card to run most games at high detail and quite high resolutions.

Re:But their drivers still suck (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27750331)

Here [youtube.com] is an accurate comparison between ATI and NVIDIA's Linux software. I found it fairly informative.

Re:But their drivers still suck (-1, Offtopic)

ultrabot (200914) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750463)

I'd wager this is easily contradicted [youtube.com] .

Re:But their drivers still suck (1, Redundant)

Qubit (100461) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750133)

Amen. I wish the open graphics project [opengraphics.org] the best of luck -- imagine how much better our drivers could be if we had real documentation for our graphics hardware!

What's probably going to happen is that the second that the OGP starts to get a decent graphics card, some of the major vendors will start releasing documentation and/or much better Free Software drivers. And hopefully everyone will benefit.

Re:But their drivers still suck (5, Informative)

644bd346996 (1012333) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750515)

Have you been ignoring AMD/ATI for the past year?

They've been releasing documentation on most of their chips lately, and the open source drivers have been making good use of it. The open-source 3d drivers aren't as good as the proprietary drivers, but if open-source drivers are a must for you, AMD is clearly the way to go, and has been for quite some time.

Re:But their drivers still suck (0, Troll)

Bigbutt (65939) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750135)

Probably shouldn't be a troll here. I have a $250 high end Radeon. Bought it along with a new system back in October. From the beginning, it would blue screen on boot but only once in a while. Now it's doing it more often (event log identifies the problem as with the ATI driver), it randomly boots the machine, and currently the machine is in a reboot cycle. Searching on the problem shows it's well known. Suggestions are to upgrade to the newest driver (fails) and disable some feature (fails). Reports of contacting ATI results in "it's Microsoft's fault". Calls to Microsoft result in "it's ATI's fault".

Yea. I agree. No matter the price, if it doesn't work, it doesn't work.

[John]

Vacuum your case out... (4, Insightful)

RabidMoose (746680) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750477)

Sounds like you've got an overheating issue. Vacuum out the dust, and/or check that all the fans are working. Maybe get an extra case fan.

parent not really a troll (4, Informative)

DeadDecoy (877617) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750175)

Hmm ... do you use linux for your gaming/graphics needs? I've only had headaches when I've been futzing around with ATI cards on one of my linux boxes. Configuring them sometimes requires a bit of xorg.conf knowledge and it never seemed to perform as well compared to running on a windows machine. Nvidia, however, tends to have good linux support, thus teaching me a lesson about buying a gfx card for a particular os. Even if they're more expensive, I'd rather shell out the extra 50$ for some decent firmware support than get something which sometimes works.

Re:But their drivers still suck (1)

Kneo24 (688412) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750491)

Perhaps under Linux, but under Windows I haven't had any issues.

Re:But their drivers still suck (4, Interesting)

Nightspirit (846159) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750617)

Like Nvidia's are any better. They haven't had flat panel scaling working for I don't know how long.

Once upon a time (4, Insightful)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#27749945)

I used to have a top-of-the-line 3dfx graphics card. It was all I ever thought I'd need.

Today, that kind of power is available in my scientific caluclator.

Just goes to show that today's technology will become yesterday's technology in a very short period of time.

Re:Once upon a time (5, Informative)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750157)

That is NOT what he's saying at all. He's saying that 'high end' will be reasonably priced. We will surely continue to move forwards but the market is targeting a 100$ video card group and will continue to do so in future. Less games like crysis will be released that require you to spend 300$ on a video card.

Personally I think this is true. And I think most game companies have targeted 100$ or less video cards for a while now. But there will always be games like crysis that will allow you to make use of your cutting edge 500$ card. Games can easily be built to 'work' on a 50$ card and still with a few settings tax a 500$ card. There is minimal coding investment compared to other features so people will always want it.

Re:Once upon a time (3, Insightful)

Kneo24 (688412) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750421)

Less games like Crysis? The majority of PC games aren't like Crysis in their demands at the high end anyway. So what are you trying to say exactly? Crysis has always been the exception, not the rule.

Re:Once upon a time (4, Interesting)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750523)

Yeah it is a shift that has already happened. 6years ago you were expected to spend more on a video card to properly game than you are now. I'd say the average amount a gamer spends on his video card has halved in that time.

Re:Once upon a time (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27750185)

"...today's technology will become yesterday's technology in a very short period of time."

Yeah, in only one day.

Re:Once upon a time (3, Interesting)

Threni (635302) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750233)

Point is, though, there was probably a time where each generation new scientific calculators came out with more (useful) features or more (meaningful) speed increases - but that nowadays what's out there at the lowest price point is probably good enough for practically everyone. Certainly that was the way things were about 10 years ago in the 2d world of graphics cards. The makers kept cranking the drivers and improving the hardware but I don't think anyone cared because no-one was waiting around for 2d text to be rendered. By the sound of it, it's getting that way for 3d cards now for all but the saddest and richest of gamers. I'm perfectly happy with my on-motherboard graphics when I'm playing OpenArena under Ubuntu (couldn't tell you what it's like on Windows). Sure, the effects are turned down, but I can play the game, which is all I'm really after when I'm playing games. Sounds like graphics cards are becoming a commodity item you buy on price, not features. I suppose the manufacturers should be worried. Of course, they started off being called 'windows accelerators', didn't they? Now graphics are fast enough, perhaps more effect could be spent on physics engines, sound (especially latency)and perhaps helping out with AI etc - it might make for slightly less tedious single player games (if people still play them, that is).

Re:Once upon a time (1)

mpeskett (1221084) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750613)

Graphics are reaching the point of being 'good enough' on cheap hardware, now they'll need to find something new to push processing power into (like you said - physics, sound, AI etc.) to make the latest technology worth buying.

Either that or Windows will need to come up with some new and shinier interface to drive along demand for graphics cards again. Maybe if every window was turned into a cube... and those cubes were made of jelly... and that jelly had fish swimming in it...

I once had a $300K SGI computer (4, Insightful)

peter303 (12292) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750459)

Less powerful than these cards.

High-end what? (5, Insightful)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750621)

I've been 'into computing' since a '286/20 was described as 'lightning fast'. I've never, ever spent more than 100 dollars on a video card. I've always bought last-years' high flyer for 60-80 dollars and I've never hurt for lack of fun games to play at resolutions that I've ever noticed as a problem.

Last years' CPU on last years' mobo costs 100 dollars for the pair. HDD upgrades for sale at 60 dollars - who isn't happy with this? Your average computer lasts about 4 years, by buying 1 year late you get 3/4 the performance life at 1/4 the cost while staying within the range of the target platform for most of the latest games.

Why is this even a question?

That's why we have... (2, Interesting)

HerculesMO (693085) | more than 5 years ago | (#27749953)

Xbox.

It's exactly the same principle, that you have a 'standard' set of guidelines.

The PC world brings you the ability to get deeper textures and whatever if you want better graphics, or LESS if you want faster framerates. It's nice customizability, and while a $99 graphics card may be all you need to play the titles, the options don't end just there... and that's why there will always be a market for higher end graphics cards, or processors for that matter.

Re:That's why we have... (2, Insightful)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750329)

My intimation is that the distinction between console and PC will evaporate in the next batch of machines. With moves afoot to create a standard platform gaming PC all of the advantages of consoles will manifest in PCs, and as consoles become more broadly targeted the advantages of PC flexibility will be incorporated.

I expect we'll find that Xbox4000, PS4 and standard PC platform (TM) will be just as common in the study as in the lounge room, and vice versa - the upgrade treadmill will be broken.

I expect there will be few complaints, since everyone stands to benefit from that kind of transition. Players will have machines that are smaller and can do more, game devs can target hardware more closely and spend more time actually making games, GPU manufacturers can exploit longer product cycles and broader sales.

The only folks who will suffer are those insufferable people who like to flaunt bleeding edge hardware like it's a technological penis extension.

Re:That's why we have... (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750633)

Yeah but now games get developed for console specs first and ported to the PC so the PC games have been pretty much stagnating (with a few exceptions of course) in their resource usage and I could play even new games on my 5 year old PC (until the graphics card burned out and I replaced it with a 70€ one).

Agreed! (3, Informative)

Lordfly (590616) | more than 5 years ago | (#27749977)

I recently purchased an Nvidia 9800 for around 129 bucks. It came with two Call of Duty games, so I imagine the card is significantly cheaper than that.

It runs everything without so much as a single complaint, on max details.

And is it just me, or does FSAA have little real effect on visual quality? I never have it on, and even with it on (such as in WoW), I can't notice a bit of difference on a 19" LCD monitor. Turning FSAA can save you tons of money (and framerates!)

Re:Agreed! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27750039)

And is it just me, or does FSAA have little real effect on visual quality?

A lot depends on the resolutions you're running at. If you're running at something like 1680x1050 or higher, you probably won't even notice it. Some people will just crank everything up for the sake of cranking it up, but they have tiny weenies.

Re:Agreed! (5, Funny)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750063)

Turning FSAA can save you tons of money (and framerates!)

Yes, but turning japanese can save you child support payments. I really think so.

Oh... I see... you accidentally the whole thing.

Re:Agreed! (3, Funny)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750155)

You accidentally the whole topic.

Re:Agreed! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27750225)

It's dependent on the game. I switched on for my dad's racing games and the difference was huge. Pavement markings were suddenly clear all the way 'round the track instead of a popping, jittery mess just past the hood.

Re:Agreed! (4, Informative)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750267)

Well I'm not an expert of any kind, but AFAIK the point of antialiasing is pretty much to compensate for low-resolutions displays. If you have a high enough DPI or a big enough display (and so you can sit far enough away) then FSAA isn't going to make a huge difference anymore.

Re:Agreed! (5, Informative)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750553)

Well I'm not an expert of any kind, but AFAIK the point of antialiasing is pretty much to compensate for low-resolutions displays. If you have a high enough DPI or a big enough display (and so you can sit far enough away) then FSAA isn't going to make a huge difference anymore.

It exists to compensate for rendering artifacts due to rendering points on a regular grid; having more pixels per steradian (whether due to higher resolution or greater viewing distance) doesn't eliminate the artifacts, though it will, for most kinds of rendering artifacts, make them less noticeable. AA tries to eliminate the artifacts by sampling additional points around the "real" location on the grid and blending them to create the actual value rendered for the pixel.

Re:Agreed! (4, Insightful)

trentblase (717954) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750557)

True I think. Because if you have a "high enough DPI" then your lack of visual acuity is doing the down-sampling for you.

Complexity (5, Insightful)

sky289hawk1 (459600) | more than 5 years ago | (#27749981)

It's not merely a matter of what resolution you are running at, but how many polys you are pushing, how many texture passes you are doing, and what shaders you are taking advantage of. As long as artists can dream, we will require more and more power from our graphics renderers.

Re:Complexity (5, Funny)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750015)

You're obviously wrong. This story is about how a $99 graphics card might be all you need.

It's on the internet, so it must be true.

Re:Complexity (5, Funny)

Trigun (685027) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750025)

Best argument for shooting artists I've heard all week!

Re:Complexity (3, Interesting)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750149)

As long as artists can dream, we will require more and more power from our graphics renderers.

You mean, as long as the market supports ever-increasing poly counts etc?

At some point we hit a point of diminishing returns on better graphics units... the human eye can only distinguish so much.

Eventually we'll hit the point where there's simply not enough benefit to be gotten out of an expensive GPU. For me, that time is long past. For others, it may come in the next few years. For a small portion, the 'dreamers', it'll never come... but why would any company spend millions and millions developing new and better chips for such a small market?

Re:Complexity (1)

NervousNerd (1190935) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750337)

As soon as graphics cards can render nuts.wad photo realistically at over 60 FPS, then I'll agree with that.

Re:Complexity (1)

BlackSnake112 (912158) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750419)

And that point will be when what is displayed on the screen looks real. Until then let the GPU people make better and better stuff to get to that point.

I have used both ATI and Nvidia cards over the years. The cards worked for what I was doing. It was strange to see the same image look different depending on the card used*. But that is why there are options. If you like the look of ATI, pick ATI. If you like the look of Nvidia, pick Nvidia. Read the reviews, and if possible actually see how the card you are looking at displays the stuff you want.

*An old example was doom 2. The color of the text and graphics were different depending on the card you used. One the yellows would be yellow. On an other they were more gold or darker.

Re:Complexity (2, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750563)

Well we aren't yet to the point where a cheap card can produce completely photorealistic movies in real-time that are completely indistinguishable from real life. Until we get there, I'm sure people will keep pushing those limits.

Once we get there, I'm not sure what will happen. Maybe they'll still want faster cards so they can offload some other kinds of processing (physics? AI?).

A more expensive card == a bigger e-Peen (4, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750001)

Therefore, no. The high end will not be going away. Some folks will always feel inadequate and seek to compensate.

That's why... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27750249)

...I'm packin' four of nVidia's latest and greatest. My mobo may not support SLI, but it sure as hell supports duct tape.

Yes, I'm hung like a foetus.

Try playing older games (1)

Timberwolf0122 (872207) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750049)

I still like X-Wing alliance an Half life 2, they are great games and run great on reasonably modern pc's

Re:Try playing older games (2, Funny)

creimer (824291) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750189)

Quake is fantastic with 200 to 500 frames per second on my ATI 3870. :)

Re:Try playing older games (1)

BobNET (119675) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750315)

The only games I play are Doom and Nethack, so all I need are this [soulsphere.org] and this [bbspot.com] ...

Re:Try playing older games (5, Funny)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750207)

Meh. I still like Oregon Trail, it's a great game and runs great on reasonably modern kitchen appliances. Though hooking up a UI can be difficult.

Re:Try playing older games (5, Funny)

Jason Earl (1894) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750407)

I still have grill marks on my arm from playing Oregon Trail on my George Foreman grill. I think one of the members of my party got bit by a snake, but I am not sure.

Could the world of high-end PC graphics go Away? (5, Insightful)

Toreo asesino (951231) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750053)

No is the easy answer.

High-end graphics cards are rarely sold because of their real-world in game performance which is often insanely high; too high to notice in any game on release anyway. Nope, in my experience $600 graphics cards is all about bragging rights and benchmarks. It's the same category of people that buy water-cooling and ram chip heat-sinks & fans; they just want to squeeze that last 2% throughput out their probably insanely overclocked systems for the highest benchmarks possible.

It's actually good fun if you're into that; what you learn in overclocking is quite astonishing, but the super-high-end graphics cards are all part of that game.

Re:Could the world of high-end PC graphics go Away (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27750159)

Actually, I purchased my watercooling system not to overclock, but to run everything at a lower temperature. So far it's kept my GTX260 and Q6600 at constant temps and has kept my office about 5 to 10 degrees F cooler.

Re:Could the world of high-end PC graphics go Away (3, Insightful)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750349)

Wait...

Where does the heat in the water go?

Re:Could the world of high-end PC graphics go Away (4, Funny)

exploder (196936) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750603)

Reminds me of the guy in my wife's office who kept a window unit AC sitting (and running) on his shelf. His office had no windows.

Re:Could the world of high-end PC graphics go Away (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750441)

How does that work? You're still producing the same amount of heat. Water cooling just moves it away from the electronics and into the room faster.

Re:Could the world of high-end PC graphics go Away (2, Funny)

greed (112493) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750581)

What he didn't say is, it's a total-loss water cooling system. His office is cooler from the "swamp cooling" effect of the water pooling around the base of the PC.

Re:Could the world of high-end PC graphics go Away (1)

SlashDotDotDot (1356809) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750595)

Actually, I purchased my watercooling system not to overclock, but to run everything at a lower temperature. So far it's kept my GTX260 and Q6600 at constant temps and has kept my office about 5 to 10 degrees F cooler.

I know nothing about water cooling, so maybe I'm missing something obvious, but why would your office be any cooler? The goal is to keep the CPU cooler by moving the heat away from it more efficiently, but all of that heat still dissipates into the room doesn't it? Or have I just been trolled?

Re:Could the world of high-end PC graphics go Away (1)

johnlcallaway (165670) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750569)

People spend large sums of money on audio and video equipment, cars, trucks, boats, motorcycles, lawnmowers, and tons of other items in the quest to have the biggest/fastest/showiest/best quality, spending amounts that far exceed any percent gain in relation to the dollars spent. Some do it for bragging rights, others suffer from the 'just because I can' syndrome. Some do it because they really can tell the difference in quality and can't stand cheaper alternatives. I used to take plenty of pictures with a cheap point and shoot camera. I have a dSLR now with an assortment of lenses and can't stand to use a cheap camera anymore.

Some choose to spend money on the beefiest system they can while others choose to purchase designer clothes or eat at expensive restaurants or take vacations to exotic locals or play golf at expensive courses. They are all choices that seem reasonable to anyone with similar preferences, but will always seem outrageous or extravagant to everyone else.

I noticed this trend as well (3, Informative)

Magreger_V (1441121) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750061)

I recently bought the HD4830 for $130 and was completely blown away by the performance. Crysis maxed out on a budget system?!! Hallelujah!! Now just imagine that without the OS Layer.

Of course not (1)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750067)

Budget video cards have always been available. As higher performance cards become available, game designers take advantage of those additional cycles to make their games look even more impressive than the competitor.

There are still lots of little tricks to try and get every ounce out of a graphics card's performance that could be done away with for higher quality graphics as better cards come out.

At some point, we may actually have cards fast enough to do truly intelligent per-pixel shadows on every applicable object, for example, at good frame rates.

Resolution != size. (0, Troll)

MaerD (954222) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750079)

Since so few PC gamers have screens larger than that, could the world of high-end PC graphics simply go away?

.... This statement boggles my mind. Resolution does not, and never has equaled screen size.

Heck, we just now have tv's that do above 640x480.. but all the old sd sets came in all sorts of sizes. It did not mean your 54inch tv was capable of displaying any more pixels then your 7 inch handheld.

Re:Resolution != size. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27750319)

Resolution != size.

Correct indeed, and thus they are completely uncorrelated!

Re:Resolution != size. (1)

sarahbau (692647) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750399)

Oh, come on. You know perfectly well he was talking about size in terms of resolution, not physical hardware dimensions. Even so, almost all 1920x1200 or higher displays are 24" or more, so the comment would still hold true - most people don't have monitors bigger than that, resolution wise or physical size wise.

Re:Resolution != size. (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750635)

You know perfectly well he was talking about size in terms of resolution, not physical hardware dimensions.

You can't easily fit four players around a 17" monitor.

Re:Resolution != size. (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750579)

TVs are irrelevant, since the images they display have a set resolution while for computers they don't. That's why TVs of all sizes were about the same resolution.

It's true larger computer monitors don't have to have higher resolution, but they do tend to.

Re:Resolution != size. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27750587)

Don't mod this guy up... It is perfectly valid vernacular to use the word larger to make a comparison between things other than size. California's population is LARGER than Texas's, although Texas has a larger size. Going abstract, 9 is larger than 3.

If he was talking about size, he would have said most gamers don't have screens over 21", which would mean nothing, because it is precisely the pixel count we care about since it requires more computing power to draw more pixels. Asking if your screen size is larger than 1920x1200 is valid, and certainly not "mind boggling."

What is mind boggling to me is the "1920x1200 or below part." Altitude has not, and will never equal screen size. No wait...

Re:Resolution != size. (1)

Rennt (582550) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750643)

...resolution of 1920x1200 or below. Since so few PC gamers have screens larger than that...

This seems like a perfectly reasonable statement to me. Size in this context is refers to the amount of screen real-estate you have, - how much stuff you can display.

Your desktop size is unrelated to the physical size of your screen. Most people would agree that 1024x768 is bigger then 640x480.

ATI 4830 is a better deal... (2, Informative)

creimer (824291) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750097)

First, why pay more than $99 USD for a video card?

Second, Newegg lists the ATI 4770 as $109 USD [newegg.com] with a 128-bit memory.

Third, the ATI 4830 are a better deal for under $99 [newegg.com] with a 256-bit memory.

Re:ATI 4830 is a better deal... (4, Informative)

subsolar2 (147428) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750305)

First, the 4770 is running GDDR5 at approximatly the same clock rate as the 4830 running GDDR3 so they have the same effective memory bandwidth.

Second, while they both have 640 universal shaders, the shaders on the 4770 are running ~40% faster.

Third, so the 4770 has approximately the same or better performance than a 4850 that costs $130-150.

So I think the 4770 is a deal at $109 ... the price will probably come down after the inital rush and the 4830 will disappear.

Re:ATI 4830 is a better deal... (1)

subsolar2 (147428) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750609)

Slight correction ... the shaders are running 30% faster 750 VS 575.

It still is better performing in the benchmarks I've seen than the 4830, and matches the 4850 in many.

Re:ATI 4830 is a better deal... (2, Interesting)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750345)

From the 4830 uses 30 watts more power and runs 20 degrees hotter. It is a very good card for the money but it isn't much faster than 4770 and the 4770 is no so will only come down in price. Both are good choices but I think the 4770 has more value than you are giving it.

Re:ATI 4830 is a better deal... (2, Interesting)

mkettler (6309) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750533)

Well, it's hardly clear cut to call the 4830 higher performing.

The 4830 may have slightly better memory performance, but the higher core clock gives the 4770 higher processing performance. Also, quite a lot of the detriment of 128bit memory is made up for by much higher effective clockrates on the 4770's GDDR5 memory. You really can't look at bus width alone, bandwidth is a better measure.

in general, the 4770 vs the 4830 has:

29.7% more FLOPS (960 vs 740 GFLOPS)
11.1% less memory bandwidth ( 51.2 vs 57.6 GB/sec)

The 4770 also consumes less power, thus makes less heat (80w vs 110w), but that might not be a problem for you.

Which will be more critical (memory vs processing) depends a LOT on the game being played. I suspect the 4830 will win out in heavily texture-loaded environments, and the 4770 will win out in shader-intensive environments.

Re:ATI 4830 is a better deal... (1)

tfranzese (869766) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750549)

Considering you're talking only a $10-15 difference give or take, I'd certainly pay more for the faster card (4770) that also happens to save on idle and load power (something that matters to me). The width of the memory bus means little if its not the performance bottleneck, not to mention nearly made up for by higher frequency memories as is the case here (1.8 GHz versus 3.2 GHz effective for the 4830 and 4770 respectively). All the tests I've seen show the 4770 out ahead of the 4830 even at the highest resolutions and levels of AA (obviously the gap becomes smaller as the resolution + AA becomes more extreme).

Hey, Jealousy (1)

bensafrickingenius (828123) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750165)

"could the world of high-end PC graphics simply go away?"

I wish it would! I'm tired of carrying around all this envy directed at people with the kind of coin required to buy top-of-the-line graphics cards. I got a wife and kids to support!

Re:Hey, Jealousy (5, Funny)

genner (694963) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750231)

"could the world of high-end PC graphics simply go away?" I wish it would! I'm tired of carrying around all this envy directed at people with the kind of coin required to buy top-of-the-line graphics cards. I got a wife and kids to support!

Haha tremble before my single childless income.

...so lonely

Re:Hey, Jealousy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27750531)

Meh. Go render yourself a girlfriend. It's what the rest of us do.

Re:Hey, Jealousy (4, Funny)

genner (694963) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750649)

Meh. Go render yourself a girlfriend. It's what the rest of us do.

I tried that but we have nothing in common so she dumped me.

Rich kids will always... (2, Interesting)

aceofspades1217 (1267996) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750169)

Blow their money on hundreds upon hundreds of dollars on super high-end processors, super high-end video cards, and super high-end RAM.

They will probably never learn that all those super high-end cards are such a waste of money. IMO the best thing to do is to shoot towards the middle to low high-end cards at most. In addition SLI is kind of stupid. Your better off using your money to get one high end video card. SLI/Crossfire doesn't double performance, it increases it substantially of course but it certainly isn't double performance.

Also you won't see performance gains on most games for a while on your super-duper high end cards, and by the time you do your card would be a middle-end card.

With how fast prices drop, the best thing to do is get decent stuff and upgrade it ever 1-2 years depending on your budget. Performance wise, Getting a 200 dollar video card ever 2 years is better than getting a 600 dollar SLI set of video cards ever 4 years.

And this is why I choose to get a Clevo laptop when I got a gaming laptop, but I would rather pay a little extra for an upgradable solidly built upgradable laptop with quad core support because it will last longer than a slightly cheaper dell POS.

Re:Rich kids will always... (1)

socrplayr813 (1372733) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750359)

Agreed, though I have heard of cases where people were able to get more performance for their money with two budget cards and SLI than with high-end cards. It all depends on the deal you get when you're shopping.

GTA4?? (1)

d-r0ck (1365765) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750177)

Does it play GTA4 at good res with good detail?

Different people have different needs.

For me a $99 vid card is overkill I just use onboard.

For hardcore gamer dude with money it's definitely not enough.

Re:GTA4?? (2, Insightful)

crazybit (918023) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750279)

GTA4 is poorly optimized for PC, it's one of the ugliest ports of an Xbox game I've ever seen.

Would that $99 card run at decent framerates? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27750191)

Would that $99 card run at decent framerates for high end games?
By decent framerates, I mean 40FPS avg with decent graphic quality settings.

Do anyone use that card mentioned above to play Crysis and see how well it runs?

Yes, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27750241)

...does it run Linux?

Umm.. DUH!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27750251)

My GeForce 8800 died a few weeks ago, so I bought a sub $100 HD 4830. And since I have a 1440x900 monitor, it should play todays games just fine at reasonable frame rates with reasonable quality. There's a reason why NVIDIA and ATI make so much on their lower-end products.

And, funnily enough, the CAPTCHA was "justify". How can you justify paying $400 for a damn graphics card?

Matrox TripleHead2Go (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750261)

as long as you are comfortable with a resolution of 1920x1200 or below. Since so few PC gamers have screens larger than that, could the world of high-end PC graphics simply go away?"

My primary display is 2048x1536, my secondary is 3840x1024, and I've been wanting to build a 5040x1050 display but need to build a new system capable of driving it first (req. Windows XP with Nvidia 200 series GPUs, not supported under Vista).

Re:Matrox TripleHead2Go (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27750395)

I highly doubt that you're in the $99 graphics card market group.

Re:Matrox TripleHead2Go (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27750473)

Re:Matrox TripleHead2Go (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27750575)

Actually, beta version of 200-series supported TH2G software is available over on WSGF. Check it out. It's supposed to run under Vista. (win7 as well?)

$99? Where? (1)

Corf (145778) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750371)

A quick google search [google.com] reveals nothing under $104.99. Anyone have some magical fell-off-the-truck source for the sub-$100 price quoted in the article?

Re:$99? Where? (1)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750517)

A quick google search [google.com] reveals nothing under $104.99.

Anyone have some magical fell-off-the-truck source for the sub-$100 price quoted in the article?

The MSRP is $110, and that's the price most everywhere. As Anand stated, $99 was the expected price. The summary is a lie. Most likely, it was based off info in TFA, which came from Pcper. Pcper probably wrote their article before the release and forgot to change the price from the rumored to announced value when ATI revealed it.

Also, why do /. stories about graphics cards always link to laughable sites like Pcper? Not only is Anand's site a lot better in its testing, but it also offers truly insightful discussion concerning the technology or metanarrative behind a new release.

Re:$99? Where? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27750551)

They are $109.99 + $10 rebates at newegg.com

This is ominously reminding me of... (2, Funny)

HerculesMO (693085) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750401)

"640K is more memory than anyone will ever need."

Am I alone?

In the market (5, Funny)

LotsOfPhil (982823) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750431)

I am going to build a new PC and am in the market for a card. $100 on the graphics card would give me welcome flexibility on other components. Does anyone know if this can run Nethack at full res? [bbspot.com] What if you overclock it?

Re:In the market (1)

genner (694963) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750623)

I am going to build a new PC and am in the market for a card. $100 on the graphics card would give me welcome flexibility on other components. Does anyone know if this can run Nethack at full res? [bbspot.com] What if you overclock it?

Maybe if you overclock it you can run nethack in tile mode [infinit.net] with all it's pixlated glory.

I'm pretty happy (1)

Satanboy (253169) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750467)

It's about time vid card companies stepped away from the 500 dollar cards and started offering more in the 100-150 dollar range.

I remember back when a geforce2 mx cost about 150 bucks and you could play everything under the sun on it, just at a little bit lower resolution.

I have a 3870 currently, and it's looking like this card is equivalent to that, and my 3870 cost me about 250 bucks, so this is a pretty cool development for the consumer.

Graphics Will Advance (4, Interesting)

PingPongBoy (303994) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750485)

There are many untapped aspects of graphics. Showing a multiple-screens, multiple-angles viewpoint better is in immediate demand, but really high dpi, dots per inch, has yet to be available to budget PC users. Several years ago, IBM was reported to have monitors that have a resolution equivalent to what you find on the printed page. With that kind of resolution, a typical small laptop screen should fit inside 1 square inch with room to spare. I don't know if this is CRT technology rather than LCD, but higher resolution could be around the corner.

After 2D, there's 3D, and real time 3D. So keep buying better graphics, and there will be even better graphics coming.

60fps and FSAA AA? (1)

BrookHarty (9119) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750509)

Until the cards can do at least 60fps, with full FSAA turned on in most games, then no...

The benchmarks on some of those games are low 20fps on that card. And they dont even have Antialiasing turned on.

Icky performance on a 20 or 24inch lcd.

And we didnt even hit multi monitor with playing h.264 on one and wow on the other like some people do.

ray tracing? (1)

Dan667 (564390) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750543)

Maybe that is the next high end craze.

F*ck Ati, (1)

Delifisek (190943) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750567)

Their latest drivers are f*cked up in Linux Dual Monitor setup.

And guess what previous versions working good with dual setup.

And double guess what.

Older versions won't install never version linux kernels.

F*cking F*cks. C'moon we are in 2009.

They can make a 99$ card and can't wrote proper driver for Linux.

My current setup was first and last ati thing ever.

This week I will replace an onboard config or a new NVIDIA card.

All and all its still going to be $500 (1)

amartire (766501) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750571)

Now its going to be only $99 for a graphics card and only $400 for the physics engine card..

What is wrong with this at £29 ? (1)

Alain Williams (2972) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750619)

Asus 3450 256mb DDR2 [rlsupplies.co.uk] looks OK to me, should be able to run Xterm & Firefox -- what else do you really need ?

Uh, no. (2, Interesting)

beavis88 (25983) | more than 5 years ago | (#27750639)

Well below 30 FPS average in Crysis 1920x1200 with only 0xAA and 8xAF? No thanks. Why would I buy a card that's underpowered on today's^H^H^H last year's games at far less than max quality?

It's Economics. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27750641)

This might be a big deal.

Prices are sometimes thought of as starting extremely high to compensate for high initial costs. However, once the technology is developed the per-chip cost is rather low throughout the life cycle.

Regardless they kept prices high at first to makes as much off those who would pay a lot. What we seeing is economics. If you cut your prices below the competitor you'll sell more. So they cut the top of the line a little, the other guy does, and soon enough you have what you have here. The prices are reaching equilibrium!!

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