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GeForce GTX 590 and Radeon HD 6990 Face Off

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the there-can-be-only-two dept.

AMD 124

Vigile writes "Both NVIDIA and AMD have recently released new extreme-high-end graphics cards with dual-GPU configurations and PC Perspective has compared them to each other with some standard SLI/CrossFire comparisons for good measure. The GTX 590 is a pair of 512 shader processor GF110 GPUs which had the potential to be the fastest combination available, but the clock speeds were lowered to such a level that is has trouble keeping up with AMD's Radeon HD 6990. Sound levels were noticeably better on NVIDIA's option though the Radeon card provided better frame rates at the highest resolutions. So, while the $700 video card market just got a pair of new competitors, the best investment for that money might still be two less expensive Radeon or GeForce single-GPU cards."

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Windows Shills (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35598076)

I wonder how the Windows Shills are going to hijack this one?

Re:Windows Shills (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35598794)

Well congratulations on giving them a spectacular opening to do so.

Re:Windows Shills (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35600358)

Back on topic...

There have been a few reports of the drivers shipped with the cards causing them to burn.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=sRo-1VFMcbc [youtube.com]

lol (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35598080)

Who cares. I'd rather see the face off between CmdrTaco's micropeen and a Japanese fetus' penis. My bet is the fetus wins by a 300% margin.

Re:lol (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35598240)

Rob Malda's asshole is delicious!

6990 (2, Insightful)

AnonGCB (1398517) | more than 3 years ago | (#35598138)

Not the 5990, which doesn't exist.

Seriously, why do we even have editors?

Re:6990 (-1, Troll)

Mike Mentalist (544984) | more than 3 years ago | (#35598150)

To give pedants like you something to moan about.

Re:6990 (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35598368)

Because expecting the one line a submitter has to be write to be factually correct is pedantic? It even says 6990 in the story, for fuck's sake.

Re:6990 (2)

CokoBWare (584686) | more than 3 years ago | (#35598884)

Because expecting the one line a submitter has to be write to be factually correct is pedantic? It even says 6990 in the story, for fuck's sake.

Yes, please fix this editors... it's 6990, not 5990 like it says in the title.

Re:6990 (1)

arndawg (1468629) | more than 3 years ago | (#35598328)

Without editors this would be Reddit.

Re:6990 (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35598784)

Without editors this would be Reddit.

If only.....

Slashdot is turning into the bizaro Digg. Insane moderation which usually consists of any quality posts being quickly deleted while garbage opinions floats to the top, unfunny comments voted to "Funny 5" and all of the content is 2-3 days behind Reddit. I think I've seen 4 news stories in the past week that were posted the same day as on Reddit, everything else is just an old repost.

Re:6990 (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 3 years ago | (#35601604)

What would it be if the editor's were not monkeys?

Re:6990 (1)

Vigile (99919) | more than 3 years ago | (#35598604)

Yeah, that's my bad. Sorry! I sent an email off to /. to correct it.

Re:6990 (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 3 years ago | (#35598866)

so that they can make mistakes and post incredibly misinformed or biased articles, including tests that aren't even repeatable, reliable, or honest.

Re:6990 (0)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 3 years ago | (#35600080)

Well, I'd have preferred to see a face off between the XeForce Dual XF9801-Deluxe and the Radeon SDD 7370-01 Xtreme, both of which can be considered as upgrades from by Niforce 13005-FX2, as is obvious from the version numbers.

Re:6990 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35600604)

The ATI numbers are pretty much as obvious as they can be. I think you're just a retard.

Silent cards? (1)

Chemisor (97276) | more than 3 years ago | (#35598142)

I'm wondering what to replace my Radeon 3850 with. Is there anything newer that's faster and can run with a passive heatsink? I put an Accelero X1 heatsink on my 3850 and the temperatures are just fine. With all the recent cards though, it seems impossible to go silent with anything but liquid cooling, which would be a lot of work to install.

Re:Silent cards? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35598216)

there are 5770's that feature passive cooling, can't go much higher than that though as those cards draw more than 150W in load.
http://www.guru3d.com/news/gigabyte-offers-passive-cooled-radeon-5770/

Re:Silent cards? (3, Interesting)

whoop (194) | more than 3 years ago | (#35598574)

I just got a 5770, and stay away from it. It turns out the thing has a lot of screen flicker bugs in 2D mode. After Googling it, the bug has been around since about December and remains unfixed. I'm going to RMA this thing and start the video-card search all over again...

Re:Silent cards? (2)

robow (1609129) | more than 3 years ago | (#35598266)

Liquid cooling is a lot of work to install, but it sure does impress the ladies.

Re:Silent cards? (1)

Tr3vin (1220548) | more than 3 years ago | (#35598270)

I think there was a passively cooled Radeon 5750. I'm not sure how well it worked under load, though.

Re:Silent cards? (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 3 years ago | (#35598732)

Just fine if you have decent case cooling, mine gets to about 95C core temp under extreme load (furmark) and only about 85C after hours of gaming.

Re:Silent cards? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35598946)

It works really well, actually. I've run 48-hour+ OpenCL computations on it without a hitch.

Re:Silent cards? (1)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 3 years ago | (#35602204)

There is even a passively cooled 5770 from Gigabyte. I'm running one practically fanless, with only a single slow fan in the entire system, and the GPU stays around 64 C while crunching Bitcoins for days at a time. Fan placement is somewhat critical, in that a randomly oriented case fan is not enough, but in an otherwise fanless system this is nice and quiet.

Re:Silent cards? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35598466)

just zap-strap a 120mm case fan to the X1 like i did. still silent because of the large fan but cools like crazy

Re:Silent cards? (1)

Shadow99_1 (86250) | more than 3 years ago | (#35598504)

I bought a Radeon HD 6950 recently to replace my failing 3870 and found it to be extremely quiet (my PSU and CPU fans made more noise) unless I was putting it under serious strain. You can also control the fan through a host of different apps including a custom fan profile (temp vs percent max fan speed). Personally I wanted it to run cooler, so I made the fan more aggressive in its fan speeds. However you can make it less aggressive yet, like say under 80C it runs at 30% fan speed. The default is 30% until about 70C and then it jumps to 60% and at 100C becomes 100%. Since the temp range doesn't extend beyond 100C I'm guessing 100% fan speed is a last ditch effort to get temps under control before it exceeds the cards tolerance.

Anyways... While not utterly silent it remains very quiet on default.

Re:Silent cards? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35598722)

The 6950 is quiet in idle, because of the well designed core clock control and vcore stepdown, under some load however, at full clock speeds the 30% fan is really loud. Better opt for something like Asus 3 slot DCII cooler.

Re:Silent cards? (1)

Shadow99_1 (86250) | more than 3 years ago | (#35599716)

I can run FurMark at less than 50% gpu fan performance. And 30% fan is hard to hear, I don't know why you think it's 'loud' since, at least for me, the other coolers in my system are all louder than it. If you can't hear the gpu cooler above the sound of the stock cpu cooler what does it matter?

Re:Silent cards? (1)

Chemisor (97276) | more than 3 years ago | (#35601142)

If you can't hear the gpu cooler above the sound of the stock cpu cooler what does it matter?

It matters because those of us who can't stand the noise do not use the stock CPU cooler. I have a completely passive CPU cooler, for example, and a total system noise at ~15dB. In such a setup the stock GPU fan sounds like a tortured scream of overheated silicone.

Re:Silent cards? (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 3 years ago | (#35598688)

I'm wondering what to replace my Radeon 3850 with. Is there anything newer that's faster and can run with a passive heatsink? I put an Accelero X1 heatsink on my 3850 and the temperatures are just fine. With all the recent cards though, it seems impossible to go silent with anything but liquid cooling, which would be a lot of work to install.

Most, if not all mid to high range cards require an external power source. With that kind of heat dissipation, active cooling is required. When you start looking into semi-mid to low range, they'll usually only need power from PCIe slot. At those levels, you can get away with passive cooling.

If you're serious about gaming and bleeding edge graphic technologies, unfortunatly silent isn't really an option from a stock video card. Modding will be required at those levels to keep them both cook and silent.

But before you go down that road, you might want enable V-Sync on all your games. This way, you still get that silky-smooth frame rate without processing graphics to infinity. Honestly, there's no need to do that unless your a benchmark queen. At most, you'll save 50 to 100 watts of unnecessary consumption, and thus less heat and noise being generated.

Re:Silent cards? (1)

Chemisor (97276) | more than 3 years ago | (#35598872)

Modding will be required at those levels to keep them both cook and silent.

I'm not really opposed to modding; I am just dreading doing liquid cooling again. It was a serious PITA the last time I tried it, but I suppose there really is no other option...

But before you go down that road, you might want enable V-Sync on all your games. This way, you still get that silky-smooth frame rate without processing graphics to infinity.

The 3850 can't get 60fps on all the games I play. Fallout 3, for example, often stutters at as low as 30fps. FS X can't maintain 60fps with any but the lowest settings. Heck, even Sims 3 stutters. So no, 3850 is not really ideal for 3D gaming of any kind. But, since nobody cares about silence any more, there appears to be no way to achieve the degree of silence I want without liquid cooling. Oh well.

Re:Silent cards? (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 3 years ago | (#35599228)

I have an Accelero Xtreme cooler on my 8800GTX; Very hot card. Runs at 60C under load with the fans inaudible over my case fans. I do have a Corsair H70 CPU cooler which warbles a little, but it's enclosed so no maintenance.

There are good aftermarket coolers which aren't water... With some high airflow fans pointed at the Accelero I've no doubt I could make it a passive cooler. I won't try until I upgrade, though... No point ruining the card if it fails.

Re:Silent cards? (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 3 years ago | (#35598712)

There's a couple passive 5750 cards and there's the Sparkle GTS 450. Those are the most powerful completely silent cards available.

Re:Silent cards? (1)

robot256 (1635039) | more than 3 years ago | (#35600260)

I second this. My EVGA GTS450 is so quiet I can hardly tell the machine is on, even when playing games.

Re:Silent cards? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35599240)

Newegg.ca category [newegg.ca]

Re:Silent cards? (1)

Rashdot (845549) | more than 3 years ago | (#35599564)

I'm probably going to buy an "XFX Radeon HD 5670 Silent 1GB". There's also a "Radeon HD 5750 Noiseless Edition 1GB" but it runs much hotter according to benchmarks.

Re:Silent cards? (1)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | more than 3 years ago | (#35600274)

My 5770 HAWK edition is virtually silent unless you run furmark, or other stress testing tools..
even then, I cant really hear it over the PSU,CPU,HDD's

Request for a new video card benchmark (4, Informative)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#35598204)

While comparing video cards is all well and good, I make a formal nerd request that a decibel comparison be included in future reviews, say at idle fan speed, half maximum speed and full speed. Honestly it has gotten ridiculous - high end cards are just too damned loud. (switching to night-club mode) I MEAN WHAT IS THE POINT OF HAVING NICE GRAPHICS IF YOU CAN'T HEAR THE GAME YOU'RE PLAYING

Re:Request for a new video card benchmark (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#35598232)

Ah well, in true slashdot style I RTFA after making my post and, er, there is one. Still, this should be standard in all reviews nowadays.

Re:Request for a new video card benchmark (2)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 3 years ago | (#35598310)

Maybe you should get noise cancelling headphones. Am I the only one who likes using headphones more than anything else. Much better stereo effects. Maybe not as good as a full surround setup, but who has room and money for that anyway? A decent pair of headphones (even in the $30-$50 range) can produce some pretty good sound.

Re:Request for a new video card benchmark (1)

moogied (1175879) | more than 3 years ago | (#35598342)

I use to use headphones(over the ear and in the inner ear buds ones) and recently I picked up a set of 30$ speakers(2.0) and man it is SO nice to have real speakers again. I know a lot of people use headphones for 'tactical' input in a game. Foot steps, doors opening, bombs, whatever.. but I just like having pandora playing in the background with the sound effects lowered.

Re:Request for a new video card benchmark (1)

Shadow99_1 (86250) | more than 3 years ago | (#35598536)

Personally I find the opposite... I just can't stand wearing headphones and the lower resonance annoys me compared to good speakers. Though due to having a roommate I often am forced to wear headphones anyways.

Re:Request for a new video card benchmark (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#35601846)

Good god no! I can't stand wearing headphones for more than 10 minutes at a time. Earbuds, circumaural, doesn't matter. Besides, what head phones can compete with the kick of a good subwoofer?

Re:Request for a new video card benchmark (1)

Chas (5144) | more than 3 years ago | (#35598560)

Loud? What?

Headphones!

My system isn't silent by any means, but it isn't loud either. However I don't care for playing with speakers on. I COULD, and they'd be booming. But I'm in an apartment and my neighbors would know EXACTLY what I was doing.

A nice pair of headphones goes a long way.

Barring that, there are other noise elimination strategies available.

Should you HAVE to? No. But remember you're dealing with the high-end performance cards. You're sacrificing many types of elegant design in favor of BRUTE FORCE POWER! *Tears a chunk of meat off a joint with his teeth*.

Why? So you can play Duke Snookums For Never at 61 fps instead of 59 with all the settings turned up and spread across 5 monitors.

Re:Request for a new video card benchmark (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#35600578)

Well soon your neighbors will be complaining about the noise of your video card(s)... COULD YOU PLEASE STOP VACUUMING AT 3AM? lol

Re:Request for a new video card benchmark (1)

demonbug (309515) | more than 3 years ago | (#35601314)

While comparing video cards is all well and good, I make a formal nerd request that a decibel comparison be included in future reviews, say at idle fan speed, half maximum speed and full speed. Honestly it has gotten ridiculous - high end cards are just too damned loud. (switching to night-club mode) I MEAN WHAT IS THE POINT OF HAVING NICE GRAPHICS IF YOU CAN'T HEAR THE GAME YOU'RE PLAYING

You just need to find a better review site [anandtech.com] .

Looks like the 6990 is significantly quieter at low loads, but at very high loads (furmark) it isn't as far ahead.

Re:Request for a new video card benchmark (1)

kalirion (728907) | more than 3 years ago | (#35602798)

According to this review [hardocp.com] , the 590 is actually pretty quiet.

The clock speeds were purposely lowered in order to keep the acoustics in check. This differs from AMD's explanation of down-clocking the core clock speed in the Radeon HD 6990 in order to keep power levels down within spec. AMD has focused majorly on power efficiency this generation, and NVIDIA is focusing on acoustics. To this, I will say that NVIDIA has succeeded. At idle and at full load while gaming, I simply could not hear this video card.

Slowed down to stay in thermal and power envelopes (1)

Chas (5144) | more than 3 years ago | (#35598300)

What? Doesn't EVERYONE have a 2 kilowatt power supply and vapor phase-change cooling on every available source of heat in the case?

Re:Slowed down to stay in thermal and power envelo (1)

Shadow99_1 (86250) | more than 3 years ago | (#35598614)

I built a 6-core cpu system with a HD 6970 graphics card recently and it uses a 750 Watt 80+ gold rated PSU. I'm not really pushing near the limits (cpu 120W max, gpu 250W max), even if I bought one of those monstrous cards I'd probably still be ok though maybe maxing it out. 900-1k Watt is probably still overkill as long as you buy a good PSU, no 2kw PSU needed.

Re:Slowed down to stay in thermal and power envelo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35598902)

good grief, this thinkpad x301 browses slashdot on 7 watts

Re:Slowed down to stay in thermal and power envelo (1)

Shadow99_1 (86250) | more than 3 years ago | (#35599742)

That's a desktop, it's not meant to be portable it's for performance oriented tasks that would take much to long otherwise. And those numbers are MAX! The core steps down to idle near 11 Watts (for 6 cores mind you, so under 2W/core) and the gpu on idle powers down to use around 25W. Neither are going in a laptop any time soon. Total idle power is under 100W or about what a lightbulb uses. I don't see how the 'typical power consumption' of a high end desktop being equal to a lightbulb is bad.

My laptop is a desktop replacement model (my 'portable desktop) and is quad core cpu with a older mobility HD 59XX series GPU. It uses around 10W total idle and 40W MAX (as far as I can tell), though MAX can't be achieved without being plugged in. It can do everything the desktop can, just slower. I can tell you though cooling is far far better for the desktop, the laptop at 40W gets extremely warm. It also benches less than half of what my brand new desktop can do.

There is no need to lessen what a desktop can do just to lower power consumption. In fact I have a feeling in the future desktops will exist solely to fit in the high end of performance single person need; with laptops, Pads, and phones filling all the lower niches. Multi-user high performance will go into servers of various types and low performance units will be things like NAS.

Re:Slowed down to stay in thermal and power envelo (1)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | more than 3 years ago | (#35600400)

An overclocked i7 990X , quad SLI , Liquid Cooling

How would you NOT need a 1kW+ PSU?

Re:Slowed down to stay in thermal and power envelo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35599578)

Your outrage reminds me of this exchange [memory-alpha.org] :

"Captain, they are now locking lasers on us."
"Lasers!?"
"Yes, sir."
"Lasers can't even penetrate our navigation shields. Don't they know that?"

Troll and flamebait (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35598410)

I bought 560Ti and there are still no stable linux drivers for it. As far as I am concerned, I do not care for latest and greatest cards anymore. "Latest" to me now equals "have stable linux drivers".

Innovation is good if it is for the people and not just for the sake of innovation and showing off.

Re:Troll and flamebait (1)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | more than 3 years ago | (#35598558)

I agree there's no stable driver support for the 560Ti, this was a little disconcerting the first time I booted up to a ChunkyVision resolution with no dual screen.

In the case of Ubuntu, adding a PPA [launchpad.net] to my repository list was enough to get the drivers.

While that's not ideal, I'm sure they'll be rolled into the next release.

Re:Troll and flamebait (0)

DriedClexler (814907) | more than 3 years ago | (#35598928)

Yeah, it's a good thing nobody shows off by, say, advertising how they only use Linux and only the best graphics cards they can put on it.

Re:Troll and flamebait (1)

hoytak (1148181) | more than 3 years ago | (#35599372)

FYI: I also got a 560ti this week, but I have had almost no problems with the 270.26 beta nvidia driver [nvidia.com] (running kubuntu 10.10). It took a little tweaking -- namely, make sure the settings on things like vsync match up between that and kde (both in the settings menu), don't install the 32 bit compatibility libraries (which do seem to cause problems), and blacklist noveau (which the installation process did for me automatically). With those things, everything is amazing.

So... not sure if that's evidence for or against, but hey, I'm happy.

Re:Troll and flamebait (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35599408)

Agreed, I am similarly disappointed in my Ferrari's poor trailer pulling performance. I shelled out all this money for a Ferrari and, WTF? It sucks at pulling trailers!

who supplies all kings with nasty weaponry/wmd (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35598422)

is it the iranians? the queers? southern baptists? aliens? do we know?

who supplies all the fake weather for the world? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35598530)

same answers?

Hijacking the topic... (2, Interesting)

theghost (156240) | more than 3 years ago | (#35598432)

I'd like to hijack the topic a little bit in order to ask a question because i don't have the time to bust out the google-fu and dig in for some serious research right now.

The last time i really looked into the matter was 5-ish years ago, and the conclusion i came to was that radeons had slightly better hardware, but nvidia's drivers were so far superior that this theoretical lead was completely obliterated. Is this still true? (No die-hard brand shilling here please - i'd like to hear from people who at least think they can be impartial.)

Re:Hijacking the topic... (1)

DCFusor (1763438) | more than 3 years ago | (#35598576)

It's still pretty much the case as far as I can tell. I run linux (duh, of course) and the NVidia stuff rocks, particularly if you want to do "other" things with the card (CUDA). This may not be as true in a windows environment, but I now only run windows in virtual box...and there it only sees a generic vid card anyway (which is still fast enough for what I do in windows, which isn't gaming).

Re:Hijacking the topic... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35598910)

It pretty much depends on what you want to do with your card. I am interested in opengl es and have gallium + nouveau installed to experiment a bit with gles and dx10 state tracker on linux. There the radeon open source drivers are better than nouveau and closed source ones are out of the question since they don't support dri or gallium. Also X server feels like a breeze on kms(you need open source drivers for that), you can switch to vt/load it in no time. On the other hand if you need high performance 3d or 32bit 3d compatibility for wine, you need proprietary drivers, they work great as long as your hardware is supported and relatively stable but don't support a lot of new and interesting technologies. Nvidia's video acceleration is also quite unstable on my notebook, allthough nouveau doesn't have any. As time passes by, nouveau matures and it can even do most of 3d now, and a lot of distributions use it by default. I bet 2 or 3 years from now, the performance of them will be good enough to do most of 3d quite comfortably.

Re:Hijacking the topic... (1)

Shadow99_1 (86250) | more than 3 years ago | (#35598668)

It depends. I've played with linux on systems with both brands gpu's in them and even nvidia's drivers don't always 'just work' in linux. Though Radeons still tend to be far more picky. If the drivers work like they should then typically the Radeon won't do any worse than the nvidia card. The biggest issue tends to be in how new the card is, linux lags behind windows and the launch date considerably. My laptops Mobility HD 5900 series card works fine in linux (though not its wireless sadly) yet my Radeon HD 6970 has issues...

Re:Hijacking the topic... (1)

vlueboy (1799360) | more than 3 years ago | (#35599896)

My laptops Mobility HD 5900 series card works fine in linux (though not its wireless sadly) yet my Radeon HD 6970 has issues

Quick and dirty^W clean laptop wireless has stopped being the norm in Ubuntu for intel cards this past year, so I'm contemplating switching out to Scientific Linux 6. Ever since 10.4, unencrypted *and* WPA connectivity drops erratically or fails to connect though Vista and 9.4 are OK.

Replacing network-manager with wifi-radar helped temporarily, but then further tweaking to get my original WPA2 off the ground killed it. I heard on forums that intel's fixing some microcode problems with ~AGN5000 and ~AGN4000 cards, and I'm not about to stick around for that and the other annoying changes Mark has planned for Gnome.

More on topic, ever since Intel announced it will never touch the dedicated card market, I've lost all hope for games ever working right on anything but AMD / nvidia laptops. Up till when compiz finally worked without tweaking in my distro, I had no use for 3D other than gl-screensavers.

Re:Hijacking the topic... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35598710)

Having a geforce 240 on my current computer and an old ati card on my old one I can't really speak about the stability of later hardware, but for me both drivers have been rock solid under Windows. However, and this is what caused me to go nVidia over AMD.. Their drivers come with preset resolutions, there is no way to change them. My screen's native resolution was not supported at all and it gave me all kinds of grief because of it. With my geforce it just worked.
I never tried the AMD drivers under Linux, but under ubuntu my nVidia drivers have always just worked and have been nice and snappy whereas I keep hearing about horrible bugs in the AMD drivers. So TL;DR: I'd say you're probably still right.

Re:Hijacking the topic... (1, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#35599124)

Which 240 do you have, Coward? I have gigabyte's first 1GB model, which has a long and stupid name but it's the one with DDR3 and not DDR5. It was cheap and low-power.

Sadly, mine DOES NOT work reliably under Windows. Oddly, no matter WHAT video card I used I got a blue screen installing XP until recently. Without any BIOS update of video card or motherboard (the motherboard is gigabyte too, a GA-MA770-UD3P v1.0... I've looked up the info on that a lot more than the video card, so I know the name well) it just spontaneously worked the last time I tried... same XPSP3 installer CD even. I've tried the latest stable and beta drivers and I get lots of extra fail even playing games which target 9.0c specifically. I'm about to try 191.07, which is what you can download from gigabyte directly, to see if it is any better than 266.whatever, 260, etc...

Hilariously the card works great in Linux, AFAICT. Things were very stable in Maverick. Now I'm running Natty and it still seems good but I won't know for sure until I exercise it more. Simcity 4 in Wine 1.3 still works... Faster, if anything.

I just run whatever driver Ubuntu delivers me and it works a treat. But nothing I can download from nVidia delivers reliability on XP.

Perhaps Windows 7 is better-supported.

Re:Hijacking the topic... (1)

smoothnorman (1670542) | more than 3 years ago | (#35600298)

I'd be grateful to know what is the "long and stupid name" of this card that "works great" with Linux - thankee! (gigabyte seems to have several graphics cards with DDR3) (seems to be often the case that "hijacked" slashdot topics are among the best ;)

Re:Hijacking the topic... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35601738)

I don't recall at the moment, the PC came from ibuypower.com. My motherboard is ASUS but the video card manufacturer was one I'd never heard of before, although its using the GT240 chipset, and that's how it shows up on the device list. Everything worked well until last summer when I got the newest version of Firefox. I've tried disabling Aero and uninstalling Adobe Flash. I don't have to worry about accidentally clicking on a youtube link and crashing my computer, but it seems like half the web won't work. I tried opening a video file from my hard drive last night and down it went.

I wasn't sure what was causing the problem but finally narrowed it down to video. I can boot into safemode ok, and strangely enough if I use remote desktop to operate my PC, I don't have quite the same problems. Instead of crashing spectacularly the browser or media player will crash somewhat gracefully. I can get a replacement video card for roughly the same performance specs for about $65-$75 but I'm afraid of throwing good money after bad. From what I've read in various forums the problems are mostly with 64-bit Windows. I did come across a couple of forum entries yesterday that said the GPU could be faulty or maybe an external power connector has become disconnected. I do have an older ATI Radeon from 2004 I could try out and see if that works without any problems before buying a new one. I'll have to see if its card slot is compatible.

Re:Hijacking the topic... (1)

Ecuador (740021) | more than 3 years ago | (#35599232)

Are you asking about Windows or Linux? For Linux, the AMD binary drivers have worked great for my multi-monitor setup. For Windows, there has not been an issue for a few years now, and in fact, even when the ATI drivers were lagging behind nVidia for gaming, I had to always get ATI cards due to the usually severe problems I had with nVidia for Home Theater setups.
So, AFAIK, for home theater ATI/AMD still has better drivers/hardware, for Windows gaming it is mostly "take your pick", for Linux, you shouldn't have a problem with either (esp. if you go the binary blob way), but I have never played games on Linux, so I don't know how that front goes. Of course nVidia has CUDA if that is of interest, although OpenCL is a much more promising technology (heterogenous processors).
I won't tell you about Macs, since most of the time Steve chooses your gpu (plus ATI does have a long history with Macs).

Re:Hijacking the topic... (1)

quasigenx (843945) | more than 3 years ago | (#35599392)

I found that a single-card triple-monitor setup worked out of the box with ATI in Linux, but not nvidia.

Re:Hijacking the topic... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35599876)

I've been wanting to migrate to a single card - triple monitor setup (currently using an nVidia card w/ a Matrox Dualhead2go box to connect 3 monitors). Sadly none of the current gen nVidia cards support three monitors on one card (that I'm aware of).

Which ATI card are you using and do you use it for gaming/wine?

Re:Hijacking the topic... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35600760)

Here's my experience, I've used ATI video cards since 1999 with no problems at all, and have been very happy with them. When I spec'd out my new PC in late December 2009, I decided to go with Nvidia for a change, since I had heard what you heard (that NVidia has better drivers). I got a GT240 with 1 GB of video memory. It ran great for a while, but for the past 6 months my computer has been crashing like a bitch. All research points to either a driver or GPU hardware problem. I've tried the newest drivers, re-installing drivers, etc but it is still a mess. I'm probably going to switch back to ATI but it irks me that I have to spent $60-$75 to replace my video card that should have lasted me the life of that computer. I'm not a gamer, I do mostly photo editing but I'm looking forward to Diablo 3 when it comes out and want to play it.

FYI I'm running Windows 7 64-bit

Re:Hijacking the topic... (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#35601924)

Yes, still the case. I had heard that ATI was getting better, so I bought a 4350 for an HTPC build. I was unable to get it working properly with any X.org driver besides VESA. The open source driver flickered constantly. The proprietary driver gave me a black screen, with no errors or warnings or any sort of hint as to the problem.

nVidia on the other hand, I've never had a problem that rerunning the driver installer won't fix.

Unless you are a professional gamer... (1)

Fibe-Piper (1879824) | more than 3 years ago | (#35598452)

There is no way anyone can justify calling a $700 graphics card an "investment". Investment in what? Immediate depreciation comes to mind.

Most people would never consider buying a used video card so really if there is any case to be made that this will be a better choice than the next lowest priced card it isn't that the resale value will hold up when you go to again buy the most expensive card next year.

Re:Unless you are a professional gamer... (1)

SirMasterboy (872152) | more than 3 years ago | (#35598590)

There are plenty of buyers of used video cards. The main places that people look to buy them are from the For sale sections of high-end hardware forums like EVGA forums or HardOCP forums. The highest-end cards do have the best re-sale values as well.

Enthusiasts (2)

ahoffer0 (1372847) | more than 3 years ago | (#35598762)

AMD and NVDIA have a euphemism for people that spend $500+ on a graphics card. They call these customers "enthusiasts". I'm glad someone out there is willing to spend that kind of money to drive the state of the art and I'm glad it's not me. Just for fun, I googled "silly expensive item" and got this link: http://coolmaterial.com/cool-list/24-ridiculously-expensive-everyday-items/.

Re:Enthusiasts (1)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 3 years ago | (#35601026)

Put things in perspective: if golf is your primary leisure activity, you will easily spend $500 on equipment--maybe even on a single club. If you're into winter sports, you'll spend that much on a season lift pass. Have a passion for fine wine? $500 is a few bottles of good stuff. Like to travel? That's only half a plane ticket.

Now consider someone for whom gaming is the primary leisure activity. Spending $500 every couple years (call it $200/year after selling the old card) is downright cheap compared to other forms of entertainment. Buying top-of-the-line graphics cards is actually a frugal use of your entertainment dollars.

Re:Enthusiasts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35602908)

Stop it! You're going to dash the parent poster's smug sense of superiority!

Re:Unless you are a professional gamer... (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 3 years ago | (#35599468)

In this sense, "investment" means future-proofing. If you drop $700 now, you won't likely be replacing your $200 card in 2 years.

Re:Unless you are a professional gamer... (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 3 years ago | (#35599472)

I don't know about $700, but I bought an 8800GTX when they were top of the range at £320 ($640 at the time). It's been 5 years since then, and I can play Bioshock 2, Crysis, CoD:MW2, Prototype, loads of games which came out in the past year (hell, month) at native 1920x1200 at over 40fps (I'd call it a day at 30). I'm probably upgrading at the end of the year when CPUs are due to scale down to 22nm, but before then I'm still rocking a 5 year old gaming system.

Re:Unless you are a professional gamer... (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 3 years ago | (#35599696)

yea and less than a year later I got a 9600GT which is damn near the same card for 79 bucks, latest and greatest is pointless unless you like burning money

Re:Unless you are a professional gamer... (1)

kalirion (728907) | more than 3 years ago | (#35602930)

I don't know about $700, but I bought an 8800GTX when they were top of the range at ã320 ($640 at the time). It's been 5 years since then, and I can play Bioshock 2, Crysis, CoD:MW2, Prototype, loads of games which came out in the past year (hell, month) at native 1920x1200 at over 40fps (I'd call it a day at 30).

There's no way a 8800GTX can get a relatively steady 40fps on Crysis at 1920x1200 unless you lower the settings to Medium. Maybe even a mix of Low and Medium.

Re:Unless you are a professional gamer... (1)

powerlord (28156) | more than 3 years ago | (#35599530)

Agreed. If I had mod points I'd throw in a +1, since I don't, I'll add my $0.02. :)

Besides the resale value of the card, you have to take into perspective the life expectancy of the card, and the relative purchasing power to other means of access.

For the relative life expectancy of the card, if you are going to have the card for 4 years, then the question is, how much is it going to be worth in resale in 4 years after the next X releases by nVidia/AMD?

For relative purchasing power, you can almost buy a 360,PS3 and Wii for the same $700.
Yes, the graphics won't be as cool as whatever is pushing the state of the art, but for the majority of people, it should be enough.
The console will also probably have a longer lifespan and better resale value.

The downside of course is that the same "Enthusiast" crowd that must have a $700 video card, also feels console gaming is antithetical to the experience (usually due to the lack of Keyboard/Mouse). Can't say they're entirely wrong for some genres, and using a Game Controller certainly took some getting used to, but I think its all a bit overblown.

Re:Unless you are a professional gamer... (1)

ChefInnocent (667809) | more than 3 years ago | (#35602518)

You're a bit off there. There are uses beyond gamers for the newest cards, and as much hope as I had for the GTX 590, I think nVidia missed it too. The answer is GPU computing. The way I see it (I may be myopic), is that $700 for a GPU is cheap for the computational performance. Sadly, the GTX 590 under performs because nVidia was worried about noise & power more than FLOPS. As far as I'm concerned, I'm just going to buy banks of cards and put them in a room where I can't hear them. So, despite weeks of waiting, we'll be going with the GTX 580 as it beats the GTX 590, Radeon 6990, and Radeon 5970 for our uses.

Bang for your Buck (3, Insightful)

awjr (1248008) | more than 3 years ago | (#35598456)

Apparently crossfire scales better than sli [tomshardware.com] and you are currently better off buying a couple of HD5970 as the cost is less than one HD5990/GTX590 and you get better performance.

I am on a 'tight' budget and bought one HD5970. I will upgrade next year by buying another should I get some sort of penis envy.

Re:Bang for your Buck (3, Interesting)

DriedClexler (814907) | more than 3 years ago | (#35599044)

HD5970s are being bought up by over-optimistic Bitcoin miners. They currently run for ~$700. Why not buy two HD5870s (each at ~$250) and use Crossfire. They're less than half the price and more than half the performance.

Re:Bang for your Buck (1)

The Great Pretender (975978) | more than 3 years ago | (#35602378)

I purchased 2 GTX465's for $400 total inc. tax and Sli'd them. The 465's are going cheap as people didn't like the power consumption, but I don't care about power consumption (it's really unnoticeable with an i5 and 750W PS). They give top notch in-game performance (where the test is simply playing the game) for BC2 (60c)/COD:BO (60c)/Crysis 2 (80c) and Deathspank.

Re:Bang for your Buck (1)

DriedClexler (814907) | more than 3 years ago | (#35600424)

Actually, it's an even bigger margin than I suggested before: the HD5870 can be had for $220 now [videocardbenchmark.net] , *and* it benchmarks higher than the 5970 (see link), *and* the 5970 is actually $910 [videocardbenchmark.net] ... *if* you can find it.

Yikes, who would actually get the 59 in this case?

Re:Bang for your Buck (1)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 3 years ago | (#35600570)

Don't forget the state of AMDs Linux drivers compared to nVidias.

  I primarily use Linux of my desktop (I only boot windows for windows games that refuse to run under wine or a VM).

Because of AMDs crappy Linux drivers I won't ever consider purchasing any AMD GPU regardless of its price/performance vs nVidia under windows.

Re:Bang for your Buck (1)

DriedClexler (814907) | more than 3 years ago | (#35602352)

Fortunately, I bought my HD 5870s for GPGPU [wikipedia.org] , and the drivers are good enough for that, so I'm happy.

shutter glasses 3d (2)

strack (1051390) | more than 3 years ago | (#35598658)

one thing you might wanna consider is that ATIs support for stereoscopic 3d gaming using shutter glasses and 120hz monitors is weak to nonexistent, whereas nvidias support is excellent. hell, they have their own shutter glasses. and if your gonna drop $700 on a video card, your probably the sort of person wholl pay a bit extra for a 120hz monitor and shutter glasses for 3d gaming.

Additional Coverage Here (3, Interesting)

MojoKid (1002251) | more than 3 years ago | (#35598966)

Surprisingly, NVIDIA can't catch AMD's dual-GPU card with their new GTX 590: http://hothardware.com/Reviews/NVIDIA-GeForce-GTX-590-Dual-GF110s-One-PCB/ [hothardware.com]

Even in heavier DX11 titles, the cards are not quite up to par with the Radeon HD 6990: http://hothardware.com/Reviews/NVIDIA-GeForce-GTX-590-Dual-GF110s-One-PCB/?page=8 [hothardware.com]

Anandtech comparison (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35599080)

http://www.anandtech.com/print/4239

Would rather buy all 3 current game consoles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35599160)

Then one of these cards. Sorry, I like gaming, not owning a video card.

No longer seeing the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35599858)

Sure, these new cards are great and all, but PC games these days tend to be ports of PS3/Xbox360 fare, and as such, they pretty much only support DirectX 9-class cards. Nothing coming out these days pushes the graphics envelope very far, not even Crysis 2 [dasreviews.com] .

Drivers make the difference (3, Informative)

echusarcana (832151) | more than 3 years ago | (#35600530)

ATI really needs to fix its drivers. This has been a problem for over a decade. Ridiculous performances is NOT important. Reliable drivers will always be. The difference in my case was 10fps with flakey bombouts (ATI) vs. 45 fps completely solid performance (nVidia).

Crap review (1)

ubergeek65536 (862868) | more than 3 years ago | (#35601328)

The author of that article has no clue how to do a comparison. The graphs are all skewed, none of them start at zero so the differences are blown of of proportion. The magnification also varies from graph to graph.

TFA does not compare OpenCL performance. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35601602)

Suggest coming up with a VRay-RT/GPU benchmark & using that as a real world test.

What's the point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35602098)

My rather old Geforce 8800 GTS still handles even today's games just fine at 1280x1024 as long as cheesy gimmicks like AA and HDR are switched off. There are better things to spend $700 on than a new videocard. Now that every major release out there is expected to come out on consoles as well as PC, the upgrade treadmill is rapidly becoming a thing of the past, and thank god for that!

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