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Tom's 46 Video Card Roundup

CmdrTaco posted more than 10 years ago | from the thats-a-lotta-pixels dept.

Hardware 279

Hoagie writes "Tom's Hardware has posted (12/29) a huge 46 video card roundup. Included are a few generations of nVidia and ATI chipsets. Along with the newcomers/return of XTI, Parhelia, and S3."

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Cunt FACE! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7834506)

FIRST POST FAGGOTS@!

Give me your house (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7834770)

I am Jewish. Give me your house. If you don't, you are anti-semetic scum.

Fuck all of you fat ass nerds (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7834509)

Fuck all of you fat ass nerds. # Important Stuff: Please try to keep posts on topic. # Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. # Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. # Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. # Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page)

I WANT TO PUT MY PEE PEE IN YOUR POO POO HOLE (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7834511)

Fuck all of you fat ass nerds. # Important Stuff: Please try to keep posts on topic. # Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. # Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. # Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. # Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page)

I WANT TO PUT MY PEE PEE IN YOUR POO POO HOLE

So? (5, Interesting)

rafael_es_son (669255) | more than 10 years ago | (#7834513)

My GeForce2MX (64 MB) runs Max Payne 2 and Tron 2.0 reasonably well. Why should I upgrade?

Re:So? (1)

DZign (200479) | more than 10 years ago | (#7834539)

good question - that's the problem I have with tests of video cards, usually they only test current models and not new models compared to old models.. at home I've got a P3-500 with some Diamond Viper card in it.. would like to know if it's really interesting for me to upgrade the videocard or not.. or just buy a new computer, but if I buy a new computer I won't be spending $500 on a videocard, so are the built-in graphic cards better then what I've got now ??

Re:So? (1, Interesting)

rafael_es_son (669255) | more than 10 years ago | (#7834577)

True, I agree. I can still play games reasonably well with the aforementioned video card on a 1GHz P3 w. 512MB RAM.

This essay [critical-art.net] pretty much sums-up what these round-ups amount to

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7834830)

That essay is a fat load of shit.

Re:So? (0)

rafael_es_son (669255) | more than 10 years ago | (#7835076)

You cave troll. I'll be nice and feed you some [m-w.com] .

Re:So? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7834540)

Congrats on the first SFW post! You're still a moron, but at least you are faster than your fellow monkeys.

Re:So? (5, Insightful)

Trashman (3003) | more than 10 years ago | (#7834581)

Simple answer: If your current hardware does what you want acceptably, then there's no need to upgrade.

One of the reasons I got an X-Box... (4, Insightful)

Channard (693317) | more than 10 years ago | (#7834632)

.. was that working with PCs every day, coupled with the hassle of upgrading my own PC to play the latest games got on my nerves. Currently, my PC does all I want it to do - can be used to go on the internet, play most older games, and so forth. I may upgrade at some point when I'm not dealing with PCs every day, but at the moment I prefer just being able to get a game, slap it in my console and know it'll run at a decent rate.

Re:One of the reasons I got an X-Box... (0)

rafael_es_son (669255) | more than 10 years ago | (#7834660)

I agree. I haven't bought a console since N64 came out (I sold it a week later), what I would like to see is more depth in those console games. On the other hand... Final Fantasy X might be my ticket to getting myself a console.

Re:One of the reasons I got an X-Box... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7834816)

I may upgrade at some point when I'm not dealing with PCs every day, but at the moment I prefer just being able to get a game, slap it in my console and know it'll run at a decent rate.

You know, I thought I'd try to give consoles a chance, but both times I bought one (first a PS1 and then a PS2 last year) I went running back to my PC. The Playstations are just boring after awhile and the controllers are a major limiting factor in playability. I played on the PS1 for a few weeks until I noticed a game called Half-Life advertising the Team Fortress Classic mod on the cover of a box at Compusa (it was the Game of the Year edition) so I picked it up and got instantly hooked the same way I did when I first played TF on the Quake 1 engine. Then by chance I downloaded this interesting little beta project some guy was working on called Counter-Strike and the next 3 years were kind of a blur. I don't think I bought any other games in the 3 years since I started playing Counter-Strike.

Anyway, to make a long story short, I promised my wife I'd stop playing Counter-Strike if she'd buy me a PS2 for Christmas. I played on that (GTA Vice City) for about 2 weeks, got bored again, and it's been sitting on the shelf for the past year. I went back to playing Counter-Strike, discovered Battlefield 1942 and eventually Desert Combat and I've been hooked on PC games again ever since. The moral of the story? Don't ask your wife for an X-Box for Christmas after you've burned her twice in the past on the consoles even if they do have Counter-Strike for X-Box now. It's probably not as good anyway with a stupid X-Box controller. I need at least 34 key bindings.

Re:So? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7834678)

My Atari VCS runs asteroids and lunar lander reasonably well. Why should I upgrade?

Offtopic? WTF? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7834944)

How is a question asking about upgrading video cards offtopic on an article about comparing new video cards? Jackass mods.

We need a hot geek babe roundup! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7834533)

How can people say BSD [freebsd.org] is dying when it has a mascot [freebsd.org] like this?! Linux [debian.org] needs to get its act together if it's going to compete with the kind of hot chicks [hope-2000.org] and gorgeous babes [hope-2000.org] that BSD [openbsd.org] has to offer!

You just can't take Linux [redhat.com] seriously when its fronted by losers [nylug.org] like these. Would you buy software from them? I don't think so! You Linux [suse.com] groupies need to find some sexy girls like her [hope-2000.org] ! I mean just look at this girl [wigen.net] ! Doesn't she [pipboy2002.mine.nu] excite you? I know this little hottie [pipboy2002.mine.nu] puts me in need of a cold shower! This guy looks like he is about to cream his pants standing next to such a fox [spilth.org] . As you can see, no man can resist this sexy [spilth.org] little minx [spilth.org] . I mean are you telling me you wouldn't like to get your hands on this ass [dis.org] ?!

With sexy chicks [minions.com] like the lovely Ceren [dis.org] you could have people queuing up to buy open source products. Could you really refuse to buy a copy of BSD [netbsd.org] if she [dis.org] told you to? Come on, you must admit she [imagewhore.com] is better than an overweight penguin [tamu.edu] or a gay looking goat [gnu.org] ! Don't you wish you could get one of these [drexel.edu] ? Personally I know I would give my right arm to get this close [dis.org] to such a divine beauty [czarina.org] !

Join the campaign for more cute [pipboy2002.mine.nu] open source babes [pipboy2002.mine.nu] today!

Warcraft III @ 1024 x 768?!?!? (0, Offtopic)

actionvance (635238) | more than 10 years ago | (#7834537)

Thats a complete YAWN. Any card worth a damn should be running that in 1152 x 864 mode!

kudos on fbucks.

Re:Warcraft III @ 1024 x 768?!?!? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7834704)

Um, why was this offtopic? He raised a good point. 1024x768 is too low to be testing with.

Re:Warcraft III @ 1024 x 768?!?!? (-1)

actionvance (635238) | more than 10 years ago | (#7834711)

Yeah. I agree..

What what (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7834538)

BLING BLING

aww yeah, i gotz skills dat pay bills.

What I'm sick of (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7834543)

is that I can't run most of these cards multiply. I want four monitors, and I don't want to run one AGP and multiple SLOOOOOOW pci cards at once. Where's the motherboards with dual, triple or quad AGP buses? There's no reason this can't be done.

I suspect it's a way of getting more $$$ from the consumer by forcing us to buy something alternative but I can't figure out what it is???????

Re:What I'm sick of (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7834563)

Where's the motherboards with dual, triple or quad AGP buses? There's no reason this can't be done.

Steps:

1. Read and understand AGP Spec
2. ???
3. Profit!!!

Re:What I'm sick of (2, Insightful)

karnal (22275) | more than 10 years ago | (#7834946)

What are you trying to do with the "extra" monitors?

I know that when I enable dualhead on my machine, you specify a "primary" monitor for games and overlays (on an nVidia card) and the secondary just blanks on these...

If you want all 4 monitors to have 3d displays on them, then MAYBE the pci bus would be slow for that. However, for what I'd use 4 monitors for (more code windows, more windows of slashdot, more terminals up at once, monitoring networks etc) PCI would be just happy.

Now, finding a deal on monitors and a new desk......

Re:What I'm sick of (1)

way2trivial (601132) | more than 10 years ago | (#7834986)

multiple monitors on flight sims looks good.
I've seen a setup with three- it's just nice

Re:What I'm sick of (1)

gnu-generation-one (717590) | more than 10 years ago | (#7835053)

"multiple monitors on flight sims looks good... I've seen a setup with three- it's just nice"

We use 10 displays for flight sims (4 projectors for outside world, plus LCDs for instruments), and they tend to have at least one computer per display to control it, each one running an image rendering program, and synchronising over the network.

0 FPS? (0, Funny)

ScribeOfTheNile (694546) | more than 10 years ago | (#7834567)

I noticed there were about three cards that produced 0fps in a number of the games tested. Isn't that just a little bit low-quality?

Re:0 FPS? (2, Funny)

knightPhlight (173012) | more than 10 years ago | (#7834646)

Obviously, you failed to read the story but posted as soon as you had the chance. Would you happen to be a Slashdot editor in training?

Re:0 FPS? (1)

xie (722634) | more than 10 years ago | (#7834664)

Those cards are still early beta w/ very beta drivers ... not even sure why you would throw them into a benchmark roundup like this? Why not run it on the next beta mobo w/ beta cpu?

Re:0 FPS? (2, Funny)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 10 years ago | (#7834693)

I noticed there were about three cards that produced 0fps in a number of the games tested. Isn't that just a little bit low-quality?

You can view gorgeous hi-res truecolor high-quality tiffs at 0 fps ...

The Technology of Uselessness (-1, Redundant)

rafael_es_son (669255) | more than 10 years ago | (#7834587)

This essay [critical-art.net] here pretty much sums-up what in my opinion this round-up amounts to.

Re:The Technology of Uselessness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7834901)

Yes, I already ready that stupid essay the fisrt time you posted the link, shitbreath. Did you write that drivel yourself, or does it just make you feel smart to read it?

Wow, 46 video cards at Tom's! (5, Funny)

sharkey (16670) | more than 10 years ago | (#7834598)

At an estimated 7 pages per card, plus 4 pages of exposition on the front and 3 on the back, plus a big chart: a whopping 330 pages of ads estimated! Go Tom!

Re:Wow, 46 video cards at Tom's! (1)

Tran (721196) | more than 10 years ago | (#7834794)

Last tiem this charge was made about Tom's several other boards where mentioned that where supposedly better, but i found that not to be the case. One that was praised even forces you to go page by page - exposing you to way more ad impression's than Tom's, where you still can jump to the page you might be interested in via the table of contents.

Prices (4, Insightful)

Via_Patrino (702161) | more than 10 years ago | (#7834601)

I think those benchmarks would have prices in, the boards would look much less atractive :)

When will VGA board makers will compete by price, like AMD started to do few years ago and not for hundreds of FPS that no one uses (because they're over humam eyes limits)?

Re:Prices (2, Interesting)

Tim C (15259) | more than 10 years ago | (#7834653)

It probably doesn't make a great deal of difference if a card can "only" run Q3 at 200fps rather 300.

The card that can run it at 300fps, though, stands a better chance of running a new game at an acceptable frame rate than the slower card does. That's the point, really - chances are if you're a gamer, the last card you bought was benchmarked against Q3, so when shopping for a new one, you can do some comparisons based on that. Of course, the system used now is completely different, so you can't really compare, but I digress...

The point is that a card that can run, say, UT2k3 at high settings at 50+fps is going to have no problems with Q3. One that only gets 50fps on Q3, though, is probably going to struggle on UT2k3 or similar. The problem is not so much the card manufacturers, as the tests used to benchmark the cards; Q3 really ought to have been retired long ago, imho.

Read the article! (2, Informative)

poge (678298) | more than 10 years ago | (#7834703)

He does include prices - and the last two pages of the article include a comparison of FPS per dollar - much more useful than a straight performance comparison, IMHO...

Re:Read the article! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7834820)

a comparison of FPS per dollar - much more useful than a straight performance comparison,

Huh? Not especially. Everyone will have a price limit and a minimum FPS and featureset they'll put up with. Across sich a large price range FPS/$ is just an academic statistic.

Re:Prices (1)

Ba3r (720309) | more than 10 years ago | (#7834800)

The really high fps might seem unreasonable, but as this is an average, and it gives a clue as to what your fps would be if all hell broke loose (i.e. shitloads of polys to be drawn). Although counterstrike(cs) is an old game, a good example is on dust with 32 players, when you pop out into the bombsite and there are close to twenty players running around, you do not want you framerate to drop below 50 fps, and you would prefer to see things at 1600x1200, not 800x600. My ol' gf3 can take this burden without flinching in counterstrike, but we will see how well it handles a similar situation in half-life2.. that is a good reason for me to upgrade!

It's going to piss gamers off (1)

BoomerSooner (308737) | more than 10 years ago | (#7834897)

when Doom 3 limits the max frame rate to 60fps (I think that is what was said).

Re:Prices (5, Interesting)

Zathrus (232140) | more than 10 years ago | (#7835057)

When will VGA board makers will compete by price

They already do. Both nVidia and ATI have high end and low end chipsets, and they're very price competitive. They also segment them for sub-$100, sub-$200, and high-end (for which the price limit keeps going up).

not for hundreds of FPS that no one uses (because they're over humam eyes limits)

I'm sorry you have such poor eyesight. Have you considered seeing a doctor about it? I doubt they can do anything though -- it's probably neurological. Did you stare into the sun as a child?

I wish people would quit spouting out the crap about "above human eye limits". There is no such thing. We don't know what the maximum frame rate that the eye can see is. Don't go talking about movies or TV -- they're not the same. All video capture methods (be it film or digital) capture motion blur, which our brains happily interpret when shown at a somewhat adequate frame rate. But that doesn't help a bit for somethings -- like fast pans (move the camera horizontally). Throw in some vertical definition (like, oh say, a white picket fence) and you'll wind up with a headache because what comes out on video does not look good. It's doubtful that it even looks like a white picket fence.

Games don't render motion blur (3Dfx was working on this when they went tits up, but nobody has revived the work -- it wasn't well received at the time either). They render individual frames with static content. You CAN tell the difference between 30 fps and 60 fps. You can tell the difference between 60 fps and 120 fps too.

And, of course, this doesn't address the minor issue that what the card is rendering still isn't photorealistic. Or truely 3D. When we get to ~300 fps of photorealistic 3D holograms then we can start talking about where to go next.

Hey, go check out the benchmarks for the high end cards on HL2 or people's impressions of Doom3. IIRC, none of the cards were breaking 60 fps in HL2 at 1024x768. And those weren't even in intense firefights.

Fbucks (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7834608)

That Fbucks chart at the end is fantastic, I hope they make extensive use of it in the future.

But be careful when you type Fbucks!

long in the tooth (5, Insightful)

GerbilSocks (713781) | more than 10 years ago | (#7834609)

6 years ago I could get excited about these roundups but lately, it's becoming a real yawn. Who cares anymore? Fine, give me a -100 flamebait, but I although I hardly play games now that I'm in my late teens, my old nVidia GEFORCE 2mx with 32MB RAM is more than enough for my daily computing. My enthusiam for video 3d accelerators died about the same time as 3dfx.

Re:long in the tooth (1)

airjrdn (681898) | more than 10 years ago | (#7834809)

That's more than likely because of your age. In my late teens, I pulled away from gaming quite a bit too. However, now in my 30's (34 in Feb), Married, w/2 children, I play when I get the time. It's a nice way to relieve stress, and the lan parties are still fun. Almost all of us are between 27 and 35 that attend. I'm also at the point where I can afford the latest technology, so it's nice seeing the benchmarks. The FBucks are interesting, but won't sway my purchasing decision. I typically buy one step below the best, and upgrade when a new tech comes out (GF1 to GF3, etc.). FWIW, I'm currently running a 2.8Ghz Intel, 1G of Crucial XMS, a R9700 Pro, and an Audigy 2 ZS. Basically, about one step behind the leading edge.

Re:long in the tooth (1)

AKnightCowboy (608632) | more than 10 years ago | (#7834861)

although I hardly play games now that I'm in my late teens, my old nVidia GEFORCE 2mx with 32MB RAM is more than enough for my daily computing.

You know, it's kind of funny. I used to have a GeForce 2 Pro with 32 megs of RAM and I was getting system lockups playing graphics intensive games like GTA3 and BF1942 so I went out and bought a $250 GeForce 5600FX card with 256 megs of DDR ram on it. The lockups are gone, but gameplay doesn't really seem to be much smoother than it was with the GeForce 2. I guess it's time to upgrade the tired old 1.4 GHz AMD Athlon under the hood... that's probably what's causing the slowness, not to mention the measely 4x AGP bus.

Why u/g the GX card, just (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7834612)

go out and buy a Dell with an ATi 9800 Pro in it.

That's what I did. Buying a full machine from a supplier impacted on the price of the LCD screen and the GFX card enough to make it worthwhile. The reason it's a Dell is cos they seem to be the only mainstream supplier that gives you a decent choice over the matter. There's no way I'd ever buy a GFX card for 250 or an LCD for 500, but when I can get them inclusive in a PC for 1000, that's too much of a bargain to pass over.

Generally, I find I can get through a PC every 2-3 years. If I'm buying machines with cutting edge stuff in them, why should I ever need to buy a GFX card upgrade? I'll just wait that extra 6-12 months and upgrade the whole caboodle...

Re:Why u/g the GX card, just (1)

gspr (602968) | more than 10 years ago | (#7834647)

We're not just talking about upgrades here. If you have the intelligence to open a door, you'll want to build your own (personal) computer yourself.

Re:Why u/g the GX card, just (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7834742)

Building a machine yourself is all well and good, but after doing it for the last 10 years or so, I find that it just get's incredibly boring. Although in that time, I've seen the GFX card eat up a larger part of the budget as time has gone on, to the extent that the benefits you now get from upgrading the card do not give as much bang per buck as they did 5-6 years ago. Therefore, I'll find a cheaper way to get hold of what I need. Dell - for me - are a great source of bits.

In any case (no pun intended), why should I reduce myself to becoming a production line doing something that someone with the intelligence to open a door can do - assemble a computer?

Re:Why u/g the GX card, just (1)

Joe U (443617) | more than 10 years ago | (#7834763)

That way lies maddness... or at least crashes.

I rarely get a home-made system to work 'just right' there is always one (usually minor) problem somewhere that won't go away, or shows up every 10~15 reboots.

I gave up this year, bought my first (personal) desktop from Dell, after assembling my own since about 1986.

Re:Why u/g the GX card, just (1)

Brushfireb (635997) | more than 10 years ago | (#7834855)

I have assembled at least 10 PCs for myself and close family members. I have never had the trouble that you are describing, save for some bad components along the road.

On the other hand, family with dell computers always end up getting shafted on support (guess what, they are in india!!) and the components are about as cheap as dell can get them.

Not to sound insulting, but perhaps it isnt the hardware, its the assembler in your case that is making things unstable. Regardless, if you are going to buy a big-name PC, for god's sake, make it anything BUT a dell.

Re:Why u/g the GX card, just (1)

fyonn (115426) | more than 10 years ago | (#7834892)

that's not a given you know.

I've built my fair share of PC's for bhoth windows, linux and freebsd and frankly I've got bored of the hassle. yes, you can save money doing so but I'm not a student anymore, I've got a decent job with a decent salary, I don't need to penny pinch anymore and I'm coming to the conclusing that my time is worth more to me than the money I might save by hand making it, esp considering all the hassle you can get.

yes, all the individual bits have their own warranties but that's little help when all you know is that the box is crashing. is it the mobo that's at fault? how about the ram? maybe the PSU isn't providing enough juice. maybe I just didn't plug a pci card in hard enough?

if you try and take the mobo back they'll ask if you tried it with different ram, well, of course you didn't, this machine takes shiny new ddr400 ram, you don't have any more of that. then they test it and it works and they charge you a tenner for wasting their time, you go home with the mobo, having wasted an hours worth of time and petrol driving and you've still got the same problem, it keeps crashing.

so you go on the beg, can you borrow some sticks of ddr400 from a friend, so now you're inconveniencing both yourself and a friend to fix this problem. and so the story goes.

and it's not just due to buying crap components either. my last handbuilt PC had an abit mobo with, it turns out, a propensity to run the CPU at high temps (60 degrees C). not a major problem, the machine ran without a glitch, but I couldn't cool it without making a racket etcetc.

I've built PC's ever since I finally put my amiga in the cupboard and it rarely goes all according to plan.

I'm now at the point where if I want a new PC. I want to get it out of a box, all built, put it on a desk and turn it on.

dave

Re:Why u/g the GX card, just (2, Informative)

RicoX9 (558353) | more than 10 years ago | (#7835060)

One thing that you should be aware of is that you are NOT (usually) getting the same 9800 Pro that you'd get from ATI.

Dell has the power to bulk order graphics cards to thier own specifications. They can say "leave off this IC" or "use this cheaper (ie slower) memory". It is standard practice to do this. They may actually just license the design and have them built by their own fabrication contractors using their modifications to cut costs.

Either way, it is RARELY the same card. You are frequently limited to using Dell drivers, not ATI drivers, as they've modified the firmware somehow.

I would be very wary of doing this as a method to acquire a cheaper card. I have found that the old adage "You get what you pay for" is almost always true in the computer world.

The problem with this super-duper video boards (5, Insightful)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 10 years ago | (#7834624)

is that normal ones, the cheapo ones witl 8M of ram and no 3D-XYZ and hyper-acme rendering, that work just dandy for word processing, spreadsheeting and other forms of work (oh the dirty word!), are disappearing.

Pricewise, that's not a problem in itself, I don't care if I have a super vidboard for dirt cheap and underuse it, but with all those bells and whistles that I won't use, manufacturers don't release their specs anymore, and so I have to install shitty binary drivers instead of using kernel-compiled ones.

In short, with my old Matrox Millenium, I could do 1600x1200x16 just like I do now, but I didn't have to fight with the nVidia drivers that belch on me each time I change something with libc, modutils or the kernel. And I suppose I could try out 2.6, while with the proprietary driver, I can't.

I reckon there should be a market for sub-$10 basic video cards with open specs, for those who care more about low-cost, driver support and not having headaches to do real work, than playing games.

Re:The problem with this super-duper video boards (0)

diablobynight (646304) | more than 10 years ago | (#7834679)

Sir, no offense, but your first problem is that believing your 8M card is fine. Secondly, I have never had any problems with my Nvidia drivers, oh and Matrox Millenium was an expensive card when it came out seven years ago.

Get older, get wiser, upgrade

If you're not doing 3d, why would you need more? (1)

CarrionBird (589738) | more than 10 years ago | (#7834705)

8m should be plenty, since you're using it as mostly framebuffer.

Re:The problem with this super-duper video boards (1)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 10 years ago | (#7834731)

your first problem is that believing your 8M card is fine

It's fine for what I do, which is non-3D, non-video, non-graphic-intensive computer work. And I believe most secretaries, lawyers, small biz owners, marketting guy, salesmen ... don't need anymore than that. For some people, architects, graphic artists, ..., higher resolutions, good color definition and high-quality video signals may be needed, but hardly anything that requires the kind of calculating power todays video cards sport.

Would you tell me then what's wrong with my 8M card, apart the fact that it won't work in an AGP port?

Re:The problem with this super-duper video boards (1)

bzzzt (313005) | more than 10 years ago | (#7834688)

Then just buy a Radeon 9200 (the fastest ATI which is supported by the open source drivers). Vote with your dollars...

Re:The problem with this super-duper video boards (1)

fyonn (115426) | more than 10 years ago | (#7834943)

Vote with your dollars...

there is a problem with this. they see you buying the 9200 but they don't know why. they probably think you're buying it because it's cheap and this gives them cause to bring out a cheaper version of the bigger cards, still with a proprietry driver. they don't know that the reason you're getting it is because it has OS drivers.

dave

Re:The problem with this super-duper video boards (1)

proj_2501 (78149) | more than 10 years ago | (#7834719)

what happens is that the market for motherboards with built-in video increases.

eventually nearly all expansion cards will exist as outboard boxes or built-in motherboard components anyway

Re:The problem with this super-duper video boards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7834724)

I'm with you there. How much could a Rage 128 with 8MB ram on it be these days? It's 2D performance pretty much matches anything else out there now (yes, I'm ignoring 3D cos it's useless to most of us) and it's had time in the market to be well supported.

I'm sure you could be making them these days for sub $5, and selling even for $25 would be a massive profit.

Re:The problem with this super-duper video boards (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 10 years ago | (#7834751)

The problem is that with the low-end 3D cards so cheap, there really isn't a market for people like you. Don't get me wrong, I actually agree with what you say - there are plenty of machines, from desktops that are never used for 3D stuff to servers, that have no need of anything as remotely powerful as even the cheapest of currently-available cards.

But the thing is that those cards are so cheap already that the profit on them must be next to nothing. Making cheaper cards probably wouldn't be cost effective in the slightest. Even ignoring manufacturing costs, there's transportation, storage, etc - if you're only making a tiny profit on each card, you'd have to sell an awful lot more to cover your costs. I don't think that there's anything like enough people in the market for that sort of card to make it worthwhile.

Re:The problem with this super-duper video boards (1)

tmark (230091) | more than 10 years ago | (#7834823)

I reckon there should be a market for sub-$10 basic video cards with open specs,

Considering that the company would not only have to make the video card, but also support the video card, market them, distribute them, etc., it's hard to imagine that any market could exist for a peripheral card under 10 bucks - people might only pay 10 bucks for them, but it would cost more than 10 bucks to get them into the hands of the consumer. Name me one other peripheral card which is marketed, new, under 10 dollars. You could make a similar argument that hard drive makers ought to sell say 5 GB drives under 10 bucks too, because there's people out there who would need them. But do you really think that makes sense for the company ?

Seems to me that the market you're describing is ALREADY satisfied. People who don't care about playing games are probably mostly buying motherboards with integrated video, either themselves or indirectly through a Dell or Gateway.

Re:The problem with this super-duper video boards (1)

nelsonal (549144) | more than 10 years ago | (#7834888)

Can't you get new cheapo lan cards for about $10?

Re:The problem with this super-duper video boards (1)

iainl (136759) | more than 10 years ago | (#7834898)

"In short, with my old Matrox Millenium, I could do 1600x1200x16 just like I do now, but I didn't have to fight with the nVidia drivers that belch on me each time I change something with libc, modutils or the kernel. And I suppose I could try out 2.6, while with the proprietary driver, I can't."

If anything works fine for you there is no need to go spending extra for features you don't need. But to cover your problems with the nVidia kernel modules, I'm fairly sure you only need them to support the 3D hardware accelleration features of the board. 2D stuff in X runs just fine out of the box without any proprietary module nonsense on any nVidia card.

The MooForce Cowdeon 10000GX (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7834625)

< Watch the Skull of trollkore get crushed by a herd of Cows at 500FPS! >
\ ^__^
\ (oo)\_______
(__)\ )\/\
||----w |
|| ||

--MooKore - At the Herd of the game

Who Cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7834627)

Just like every other part of a computer it is inherantly obsolete the moment you buy it. If you have the money to throw away, get the latest and greatest each and every time they release a card. I personally don't care.

Is it me or... (3, Insightful)

JFMulder (59706) | more than 10 years ago | (#7834635)

... has video card technology have become pretty much uninterresting in the last 1 or 2 years. I mean, I can remember being in awe when the first GeForce came out, reading everything about what made it great and how it worked. It introduced us to a whole new world of possibilities. Then came the GF2, boring. GF3 raised my interest for a while with it's vertex and fragment shaders, but it dissipated pretty quick. Then GF4 and GF5 FX. I don't even look at card comparisons anymore. It's been a while since I've been anticipating new video card technology. Am I the only one?

Re:Is it me or... (1)

JFMulder (59706) | more than 10 years ago | (#7834723)

Come to think of it, the same thing is valid for CPUs also. I should be exited at the different AMD 64-bit offerings, but since it mostly involves more memory and bigger data type, I fail to be excited when I read about them. Itanium was very interresting to read about, but sadly it failed to deliver.

I'll patiently wait until quantum computing comes out I guess.

Re:Is it me or... (1)

cozziewozzie (344246) | more than 10 years ago | (#7834773)

Let's see...

AMD vs Intel: check
Who needs 64bits?: check
Knock on Itanium: check
Quantum computing: check
Computers not as exciting as they used to be: check

Dude, that's like the archetypical Slashdot post, all in three lines. Respect!

Re:Is it me or... (1)

JFMulder (59706) | more than 10 years ago | (#7835036)

Nah, I wouldn't put it that way. I'm not saying new cards and CPUs are useless, of course not, I'm just saying their not exciting as they used to be. They just faster than before, not revolutionary.

Re:Is it me or... (1)

cozziewozzie (344246) | more than 10 years ago | (#7835094)

Yeah, these new times are not as exciting as before... Why, I remember when I first got my 386, that was a revolution, 32 bits.........;-)

As for me, I'm very excited about x86-64. Actually, with these new Athlon64 3000+ babies, I will probably buy one.

Re:Is it me or... (1)

karnal (22275) | more than 10 years ago | (#7834877)

In addition, I'm noticing a "slowdown" trend within CPU and Video cards. They seem to remain "higher priced" for longer, it seems.

I've got a spare mobo and would like to get some pieces and parts to complete another machine. Of course, this means mildly upgrading my current machine, and then throwing most of the parts I'm currently using (amd2100+xp, GF4ti4200, memory) to the currently unused mobo.

My problem is that I could buy the same parts I bought when I first built my primary machine, and only pay about 50-100$ less than what I did 1 year ago. I'd really like to have the secondary machine up and running, but I look at the numbers and it's just not worth it to me.

Maybe I'm just getting older, too. Seeing the value in keeping a computer around for 3-4 years instead of looking once a year at upgrades or revamping.....

Re:Is it me or... (3, Interesting)

sklib (26440) | more than 10 years ago | (#7834958)

You are the only one.

Recent advances in video card technology may not be blatantly obvious from the gaming side, although certainly the difference between half-life 2 and half-life will make all of that clear.

The real changes are from the programming side. Pixel and vertex shaders allow a programmer to use the hardware in un-foreseen ways, unlike the fixed-pipeline cards of the past. A lot of graphics programming on the fixed pipeline (GF1) came down to playing with parameters that OpenGL or Direct3D would expose to you -- as in how to look up textures, how to transform your geometry, etc. You say the GF2 came out, and it was "boring". In fact, it's the first generation of slightly programmable video hardware, because it supported hardware bump mapping -- a huge feature used by every modern game, although at the time it was still playing with pre-existing settings.

Nowadays (since the geforce3), a programmer can invent his own parameters to tweak -- a huge step. You say things "dissipated" after that -- completely untrue! With every new generation of video card, the vertex and fragment programs can be longer and more complicated. The next-generation games (hl2, doom3) already use all of this technology, and next-generation consoles (xb2, gc2, ps3) will undoubtedly integrate all of it.

It's you. (1)

ceeam (39911) | more than 10 years ago | (#7834963)

Well, welcome to the "old farts" club ;-)
(sorry)

creators' unprecedented evile roundup/disposal (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7834675)

remember, good gnus travels last? also, this stuff is unbreakable, & wwworks on several (more than 3) dimensions.

morons build vessel that floats on any suBStance? (Score:0)
by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 29, @02:53PM (#7829639)
you can bet your .asp on that won?

creators/humankind converge to repel unprecedented evile? (Score:0)
by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 29, @02:51PM (#7829610)

& why not? what other options are there for us?

eyecon0meter: survival most sought after feature? (Score:0)
by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 29, @02:48PM (#7829586)

creators' badtoll over corepirate nazi execrable (Score:0)
by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 29, @02:46PM (#7829567)
disposal?

newclear power dissed/cussed? (Score:0)
by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 29, @02:41PM (#7829536)

newclear powered blips explore corepirate nazi (Score:-1, Offtopic)
by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 29, @07:53AM (#7826913)
cesspool?

pheWWW.

lookout bullow. the daze of the phonIE payper liesense ?pr? ?firm? hypenosys stock markup FraUD softwar gangster execrable, is WANing into coolapps/the abyss, at the increasing speed of right.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators.... get ready to brighten up?

mynuts won: solar(is) power included?

Laptop Video Cards (5, Interesting)

AssClown2520 (695423) | more than 10 years ago | (#7834685)

It would be nice to see a review of this extent at least mention a few laptop video cards. Laptops video cards have really progressed, but how do they compare to their desktop counterparts?

Obviously, the desktop cards are always going to be ahead of the curve considerably, but does the 4200GO perform similar to the 4200 cards? For everything I do, this seems to be a pretty solid card, but I always wonder what kind of power I am giving up by going to a laptop only setup.

Are high end cards worth the money? (1)

heffel (83440) | more than 10 years ago | (#7834690)

I recently bought an Nvidia GeForce FX 5200 for about $50 after rebates, to replace my aging ATI Rage Fury Pro.

This card I bought is as low end as they get, however I can play Enemy Territory under Linux just fine with it, at a resolution of 800x600. The graphics look fine at that resolution, and I don't experience any slowdowns.

Is it really worth it to spend $400+ on a video card? I don't think I've ever seen a game being played using one of the high end video cards, therefore I might be blissfully ignorant, but I believe a low end card is enough for a satisfying gaming experience.

Re:Are high end cards worth the money? (1)

BlueTrin (683373) | more than 10 years ago | (#7834998)

It's all about what do you need ... Some people want to enjoy the best experience when they play. For myself, I will never downgrade the speakers or the sound card to get the latest graphic card, because most of the time when I am stuck at home I don't play but listen to music or watch DVDs

Re:Are high end cards worth the money? (1)

Dagowolf (646208) | more than 10 years ago | (#7835049)

While I see the validity of your arguement, and agree with you in principle, there is at least one case that comes to mind where a $400 video card makes sense. Video editing.

Granted the number of people using these expensive and powerful cards for this purpose is small, it still represents a powerful buying force and a big reason for cards like the ATI All-In-Wonder Radeons still occupy shelf space at computer parts stores.

Don't waste your money (4, Insightful)

MicroBerto (91055) | more than 10 years ago | (#7834695)

The biggest mistake I ever made when building a new computer was buying a $300 graphics card. Unless you game 24 hours a day, don't waste your money.

Instead, money is best sunk in a good set of speakers and monitor -- these things depreciate way less. Along with that $300 graphics card, I also bought a 19" Sony monitor and Klipsch Promedia v400 speakers with my athlon 550 back in dec 99 (yep, still using it!). While that graphics card has long been in the graveyard, the speakers and monitor are still rockin along.

My graphics card, however, was a 2nd rate GeForce2 for about 60 dollars that performs excellently for what I do.

My opinion? Look for a good price gap on graphics cards and processors, and go with something a bit older than the newest. But splurge on the stuff that won't depreciate as quickly.... unless you game 24 hours a day.

Re:Don't waste your money (1)

Jorrit (19549) | more than 10 years ago | (#7834777)

Or unless you make 3D engines :-)

Greetings,

Re:Don't waste your money (1)

nelsonal (549144) | more than 10 years ago | (#7834827)

I don't know why so many people are shocked when they come and ask my advice on computer purchases and I tell them not to worry about the box, and the places to shell out are on faster drives and a good monitor, and be picky. I don't think I'll mail order another monitor I want to see the thing work. On graphics cards, I've found the best value for my dollar comes in the $50-$100 range, I get the newest card to enter that price range, and keep it for 2 years or so. My Radeon is getting a bit old now, but so is the rest of the system, Athlon 64 and Serial ATA are begining to call.

Re:Don't waste your money (1)

tmark (230091) | more than 10 years ago | (#7834904)

$300 graphics card....don't waste your money.

It's really all relative, isn't it ? There are subjective values to things like video quality which cannot just be measured in terms of dollars because they differ from person to person. Some people might only game for an hour a week, but when they do so, they really want to have the best quality video they can.

Who is anyone to say they're "wasting" their money, especially when it is undeniable that the more expensive video cards ARE measurably better in several ways ?

Someone else might well argue that you wasted your money on your Klipsches because you could buy cheaper Logitech speakers that sound pretty good for 15 bucks. Are they wrong or are you ?

Toms is a stinking sales site anymore (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7834735)

When I want facts on graphics, I go to beyond3d.

P.S. NV3x architectures can't do everything in 8x1 mode [beyond3d.com] . Has to drop to 4 ops/clock with color operations.

FBucks? (1)

PhiltheeG (688063) | more than 10 years ago | (#7834747)

I had to do a double take to make sure it was FBucks and not something else...

The most advanced card I have is the ATI AIW 8500 DV and I really don't see a reason to leave it for something newer. For the $300 I could get a sizable memory upgrade and another hard disk, or a cheap LCD.

I was caught up in the "upgrade" fever a while ago, though. Getting burned a couple of times by Matrox (Marvel capture/driver support is not and will not be supported under Windows XP) and once by ATI (early 8500 drivers were horrific) diverted my geek money elsewhere.

It works now, why bother changing

A bit off-subject... (4, Interesting)

evilviper (135110) | more than 10 years ago | (#7834757)

A bit off the subject, but interesting news for sure:

MPlayer has XVMC support (with mpeg1/2). That means any videocard, with an XF86 driver that supports XVMC, can now do MPEG1/MPEG2 playback entirely on the card's processor, so no CPU load at all.

NVidia's binary drivers support it on the Geforce4, and Intel 810/815 cards have open source X drivers that support it as well. ATI's driver don't support XVMC just yet, even though the hardware has the capability.

RTFA (1)

dubbayu_d_40 (622643) | more than 10 years ago | (#7834779)

Old chipsets are reviewed too. I took their charts went to newegg and found their #2 for under $100. Very useful if you ask me.

Flawed results (5, Interesting)

Call Me Black Cloud (616282) | more than 10 years ago | (#7834780)

The GF4 Ti4600 comes out at or near the top of their "Fbucks" rating, which is fps/$. They show a price of $65 for the card, based on what bizrate.com reports. If you go to bizrate.com and look at the Ti4600's available it does appear there are some for $55-65.

If you dig a little deeper and follow the link for the Jaton 3DForce4 Ti4600 for $54 you'll find all the retailers listed are actually selling the MX440, a lesser card.

If you follow an $89 link (still a great price) you'll find half.com is offering the PNY Verto GEFORCE4 TI 4600 for that price (according to bizrate). Click the link to half.com and hey! you can get a new one for $319 or a used one for $180. No $89.

While I respect Tom's hardware I think fact checking is a much larger task in these bulk reviews and is something they need to pay a little more attention to.

Re:Flawed results (1)

iainl (136759) | more than 10 years ago | (#7834989)

Arrgh, I thought that was the case. The first thing I thought when I looked at the tables were 'blooming heck, is a Ti4600 that cheap in the US? They are like 5 times that over here!'

Little DX9, low resolutions... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7834786)

...is the way Tom's shows its bias towards nVidia. Their may be plenty of reasons to get an ATI or nVidia, but Tom's is not a site to use to make a comparison. He also avoided much of the futuremark fiasco (which made nVidia look bad), but was all over quack (which made ATI look bad). I think Tom's, like many of these sites, either avoids ballsy reviews to keep getting free stuff, or is outright taking payoffs (in this case, nVidia).

Matrox (1)

GeckoFood (585211) | more than 10 years ago | (#7834806)

As I look through the benchmarks, I see the Parhelia consistently in the basement. For a 256bit card, it's a pig. And this raises an interesting question -- do any gamers actually use Matrox anymore?

Re:Matrox (2, Informative)

jandrese (485) | more than 10 years ago | (#7834930)

The Parhelia isn't a gamers card though. It's optimized for professional 3D uses (whatever those are). That's what Matrox claims at least.

Re:Matrox (1)

grung0r (538079) | more than 10 years ago | (#7834969)

err....they never did. In the 3d era, Matrox's best card(for gaming)was the rage fury MAXX, and it was too little, too late. Matrox has been all about the buiesness side of things, they have pretty much ignored gaming since the advent of 3d acceleration, which has cost them quite a bit. Oh, and no one refers to cards by their "bit" number.

Underappreciated Value Card - Radeon 9800 (2, Interesting)

TrollBridge (550878) | more than 10 years ago | (#7834832)

I don't know about you guys, but I thought that at ~$140, the Radeon 9800 scored pretty well for such a reasonably priced card. That was the first non-NVIDIA card I've bought since '99, and believe me it's worth every penny. No need to spend $400 on the PRO models or the latest NVIDIA offering. Ya can't beat the price/performance of the 9800, IMHO!

Re:Underappreciated Value Card - Radeon 9800 (3, Informative)

faust13 (535994) | more than 10 years ago | (#7834993)

Most likely, you have the Radeon 9800 SE, which is grossly underpowered-marketing-named-it-to-cause-confusion video card. There is however, a real Radeon 9800, built only by ATI, which was never priced below $200. The real Radeon 9800 was killed by ATI because it presented too much threat to their Pro lines. The Radeon 9800 SE is priced in the $120 - $160 range.

Interesting comparison at bottom (2, Interesting)

Millbuddah (677912) | more than 10 years ago | (#7834926)

The fbucks feature was pretty interesting to me. Being able to see just how much performance you can get for the price for all these cards definitely helps to narrow the field somewhat. These newer cards just don't seem to be worth the money they're asking for if that's all the performance you'll get, not counting the quality cut from not enabling all the latest "features" like FSAA and Anisotropic filtering.

Newcomer... Prahelia (2, Insightful)

faust13 (535994) | more than 10 years ago | (#7834931)

Um, the Prahelia is no newcomer it's been on the market for well over a year.

How about DVD Burner round up? (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 10 years ago | (#7834968)

Has there been one and I missed it? I took a couple months off and now I don't know wtf is going on.

And I'm just using my ATI Radeon AIW 9700 Pro as basic VGA and TV as trying to run games still resets. Probably time to go see if anyone over at the ATI support forum has a clue or it's the same old idiot line "take it back and get another one."

Summary for those with ADHD (4, Funny)

B5_geek (638928) | more than 10 years ago | (#7834973)

#1) New cards are faster then old cards
#2) Old cards are cheaper then new cards
#3) Best bang for your buck = older cards

ATI 9700 pro (3, Informative)

BrookHarty (9119) | more than 10 years ago | (#7834975)

I upgraded from a GF3-TI500 [tomshardware.de] to an ATI 9700 pro, almost as fast as the GF4-4200 or ATI 8500. At the time (2002) it was the king.

I first tried the Nvidia GF4-4600 for 199, and it didn't even feel faster(took it back). The ATI 9700 Pro, Ati's main comeback into the game, really was impressive. It was worth every penny (39,900 of em).

Anti-Aliasing was the new kid on the block, and the ATI 9700 pro allowed all games at the time (and most now) with AA turned on. Toms benchmarks shows the ATI 9700 pro still to be in the top 10. With video cards not doubling in speed every 6 months anymore (i miss you 3dfx), I dont expect to see the speeds jump like they use too. This card might just last me another year, and in the last 6 years, thats amazing in gfx card releases.

The only problem I've seen so far, is Nvidia's CG code really messes with ATI's textures and shaders. And with lots of developers loving Nvidia SDK's. ATI has been good to fix most bugs with ever new Catalyst release, but I'm still waiting SecondLife [secondlife.com] to get patched. (Nvidia CG bugs) Such a work horse of an engine (Havok), should be interesting to see Havok2 [havok.com] engine used. (Also used in Max Payne2)

The benchmark had me wondering, why only a P3.2ghz? I'd like to see them also include a High End AMD, and both mid range (2.6hz P4, AMD 2600) to round it out. Always wonder how many more FPS a faster CPU will give me, so I can just if its worth the cost. BTW Save those pics from toms hardware, then you can compare hardware later. I had to search the tomshardware.de for the benchmarks I was looking for 2002.

Hey, lucky they didnt use a P4EE ;)

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