Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

NVIDIA's 8800 Ultra Provides Performance at a Price

CmdrTaco posted more than 7 years ago | from the pixels-and-vectors-and-shading-oh-my dept.

88

Mighty Mouse writes "Hardware review sites across the web have published reviews on NVIDIA's GeForce 8800 Ultra. The response appears to be fairly lukewarm at the moment, mainly thanks to its incredibly high asking price. Bit-tech tested the 8800 Ultra in eight different games at three resolutions, finding it to be on average about 10% faster. TechReport's Scott Wasson reviewed the card using another good selection of games, while HotHardware had the chance to check out SLI performance."

cancel ×

88 comments

My Wallet hurts reading this one... (4, Funny)

Kid Zero (4866) | more than 7 years ago | (#18957387)

10% faster for $200 (+/-)? How's this a deal? For that price it'd better do dishes, too.

Re:My Wallet hurts reading this one... (1)

ShawnPrend (1096383) | more than 7 years ago | (#18957449)

Agreed there, that doesn't really sound like a huge deal for the average consumer, but for buisnesses that deal with graphics that could be useful.

Re:My Wallet hurts reading this one... (1)

toleraen (831634) | more than 7 years ago | (#18957731)

Wouldn't businesses that deal with graphics be using their Quadro line? Unless you mean the game developers themselves...

Re:My Wallet hurts reading this one... (1)

ShawnPrend (1096383) | more than 7 years ago | (#18957871)

I meant any company related to graphics design, and game developers. This card could also be used for 3D rendering and any company that did 3D work may want to look at that for modeling, etc.

Re:My Wallet hurts reading this one... (1)

leenks (906881) | more than 7 years ago | (#18964899)

Well they would if the consumer line wasn't now more powerful than the quadro line :-)

Re:My Wallet hurts reading this one... (3, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#18957499)

$200 by itself doesn't mean much. If I could make my car 10% faster for $200, I think that'd be great.

We're talking about 10% faster than a $600 card. (Newegg prices.) So that's 10% for 33% more money. Doesn't sound nearly so bad, now. Factor in that a lot of the price of a device is overhead that doesn't change between cards, and 10% faster is quite a bit more for that amount of money.

Also, don't forget that we're not talking about a card for casual gamers for $50. This is an entire series of cards meant only for those who absolutely have to have the fastest/best card on the market no matter the cost. And they buy 2 of them.

Re:My Wallet hurts reading this one... (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#18957699)

If I could make my car 10% faster for $200, I think that'd be great.

I'm not sure what kind of car you have, but I don't think most people need their car to go any faster. Most cars i've seen go 1.5 ( or probably 2) times the speed limit. Why pay $200 for something you aren't going to be able to use. I think it's the same with these high end video cards. Sure they do better in benchmarks, but how does that actually affect game play. Can you really tell the difference between 300 FPS and 330 FPS? What I might pay $200 for is 10% more acceleration, or 10% better gas mileage.

Re:My Wallet hurts reading this one... (1)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 7 years ago | (#18957895)

You kind of ran away with the analogy in an attempt to make it inappropriate, but you forgot something basic about these cards. They are targeted to very specific people who are looking for the best performance. If you did nothing but land speed tests, 33% more money for a 10% higher top end would indeed be worth it.

Also, the 300 to 330 FPS comparison is flawed. With many modern games, the quality of the effects scales upward with the power of the GPU. It's not just that the games will run smoother, but also that it will look better.

All that said, I'd never buy it.

Re:My Wallet hurts reading this one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18958831)

Tell me, does your ass get sore doing all that talking? 33% increase in cost is worth a 10% performance boost? I think your math is a tad flawed. I did some checking and you can upgrade a name-brand truck from a 185 HP engine to a 232 HP engine for about $3000 (including some additional features that make these numbers skewed). This is 25% increase in performance for a 20% cost increase. Here the performance (measured in HP, not necessarily the best number) is greater then the cost increase. Note: The included features also have a change from a manual to automatic transmission, something automakers are known to charge close to $1k for alone.

Your comment about improved quality is also slightly flawed. With a few exception, games will not magically look better unless you adjust the settings for the games. The differences would be switching from a DX9 compatible card to a DX10 compatible card. (There were visible differences in games during the DX8 -> DX9 shift.) Most review sites (there are some that don't do this and it pisses me off) use the same settings for all cards to provide a fair comparison. Another point, you will not be able to see a difference in a 300 FPS and 330 FPS framerate. Now, if these were at max settings and you were getting a difference between 40 and 44 FPS or 60 and 66 FPS, then maybe I could see where you might notice small differences, but I do not think many would argue that $200 for 66 vs. 60 FPS is even remotely worth it, even to the crazed enthusiast that this part is marketed for.

real costs... (1)

way2trivial (601132) | more than 7 years ago | (#18959053)

if I'm paying a guy $100.00 per hour to wait for some raytracing,
  yes- it's worth a 10% performance boost at a 200% increase in the card.

I've spent more money on a single video card than most people do on their entire dell PC.
it's money well spent in some cases...

Re:real costs... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18966847)

the graphics cards do raytracing??

Re:My Wallet hurts reading this one... (1)

ravenshrike (808508) | more than 7 years ago | (#19076159)

? Okay, now try to do another 25% increase. The 8800 GTX was already pretty much the fastest card on the market. It would be like upgrading a Z06 or an M3. In which case it's perfectly reasonable. If you like that sort of thing.

Re:My Wallet hurts reading this one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18958021)

If I could make my car 10% faster for $200, I think that'd be great.

I'm not sure what kind of car you have, but I don't think most people need their car to go any faster. Most cars i've seen go 1.5 ( or probably 2) times the speed limit. Why pay $200 for something you aren't going to be able to use. I think it's the same with these high end video cards. Sure they do better in benchmarks, but how does that actually affect game play. Can you really tell the difference between 300 FPS and 330 FPS? What I might pay $200 for is 10% more acceleration, or 10% better gas mileage.
That's not how it works. Of course you can't possibly tell the difference once the framerate is higher than the screen refresh rate (or the framerate you personally perceive as "smooth," whatever).
What matters is what level of effects and image processing you can enable and maintain whilst keeping above that framerate threshold. The question you should be asking is "but can you tell the difference between 1600x1200 with 16x anti-aliasing and 1600x1200 with 12x anti-aliasing?"

Re:My Wallet hurts reading this one... (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958321)

Around 75-80mph, my car shimmies and shakes enough that I don't feel it's safe to drive over that speed. The extra 10% would be quite useful to me on interstate highways, where my car can barely do the limit safely. That really has nothing to do with the point of my statement, though. $200 to improve a car (a $10-100k item) 10% is a lot different from improving a graphics card (a $100-1000 item) 10%. The $200 by itself didn't mean anything. It's the percent increase in cost compared to the percent increase in performance that matters.

Your statement does apply to graphics cards as well as cars, though. The high-end graphics cards are more powerful than I can use in any of the games I play. The analogy is similar: Most cars don't need to go racecar speeds. Most graphics cards don't need to go next-gen speeds. The enthusiasts that buy the high-end equipment are the ones that need them to go those speeds, not the common consumer. Ask an racecar driver if he wants 10% more speed. For any price.

Re:My Wallet hurts reading this one... (1)

magarity (164372) | more than 7 years ago | (#18959627)

Around 75-80mph, my car shimmies and shakes ... $200 to improve a car ...
 
Umm, there's a thing called a "wheel alignment" and another called "tire balancing" and both together should cost less than $200.

Re:My Wallet hurts reading this one... (1)

vought (160908) | more than 7 years ago | (#18960419)

Around 75-80mph, my car shimmies and shakes enough that I don't feel it's safe to drive over that speed.

Then you need to have the suspension, wheels, and tire balance checked. Driving safely doesn't just mean going slow - it means operating a safe vehicle. If your car shimmies and shakes that badly at 75mph, it probably isn't safe trying to make emergency maneuvers or stopping from more normal highway speeds, either.

Re:My Wallet hurts reading this one... (1)

orlanz (882574) | more than 7 years ago | (#18964061)

Ok, lets get those refresh rates more reasonable.

TV is around 25-30 fps which totally sucks for gaming, but is doable. 1080p is 60 fps, which is very good and quite comfortable for most players. But for hardcore games, they need a min of 50 fps. Their game play gets effected by frame rates under 80 fps.

For me, when I was a hardcore gamer, my game play got effected when the frame rates dropped below 60 fps, beyond which I couldn't tell the difference. Today (am not on campus with access to the high end gaming PC, so I am stuck with my personal 6 year old PC), I don't play as much and I would like more than 40 fps, but happly put up with 30 fps. I stop playing if the rate ever falls below 25 fps as that becomes unbareable.

Now, include the fact that with more powerful graphics cards you can pump more graphics into the game environment while (very important) maintaining the fps, that 10% seems quite nice for a hardcore gamer (assuming that 10% translates into the game, very few benchmarks do).

I have a friend who has a $4000 PC (minus upgrading over time and HDTV) and a very fast high speed connection. _He_ thinks the Xbox360 next to it looks like crap, and I... can tell there is a difference. He is a bachelor making over 90k/year... what do you expect.

Re:My Wallet hurts reading this one... (1)

Refefer (1070110) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958659)

$200 by itself doesn't mean much. If I could make my car 10% faster for $200, I think that'd be great. Clearly you haven't seen the Honda Civics around where I live. I don't know if their giant after market exhaust pipes make them go any faster, but they sure make them at least 10% more annoying...

Re:My Wallet hurts reading this one... (1)

fuzz6y (240555) | more than 7 years ago | (#18959941)

Factor in that a lot of the price of a device is overhead that doesn't change between cards, and 10% faster is quite a bit more for that amount of money.

Taking that into account makes it worse, not better. if some amount x of the price of both cards is overhead, then the speed-related portion of the prices are 800-x and 600-x, and (800-x)/(600-x) is bigger than 800/600 (for 0<x<600 of course).

Re:My Wallet hurts reading this one... (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#18962427)

Er, yeah. Can't imagine what I was thinking on that one.

Re:My Wallet hurts reading this one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18964223)

10% quite a bit? You haven't been around with computers a lot have you?

When I've upgraded something the performance ratio has been like 400% so if you're willing to pay 33% extra to get 440% improvement instead of 400%.. it's your money, I suppose.

Re:My Wallet hurts reading this one... (3, Insightful)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#18957573)

10% faster for $200 (+/-)? How's this a deal? For that price it'd better do dishes, too.

It's possible the benchmarks they tried had hit another bottleneck (hardware or software), but either way, the top-range of cards are *all* overpriced and more of a status symbol than a practical purchase.

Anyone buying 8800 today (ultra or not) apparently has money to waste, and if 10% more cost $200, so be it.

Re:My Wallet hurts reading this one... (2, Insightful)

Fweeky (41046) | more than 7 years ago | (#18960373)

"top-range of cards are *all* overpriced and more of a status symbol than a practical purchase."

Not really; plenty of games struggle even on fairly beefy cards if you want to run them at native resolution on a decent TFT with details turned way up. I spent about £200 on a 512MB 7950GT and it likes to dip into the distracting world of jerkovision in plenty of games in at least some spots, even without full detail. Spending twice as much for 2-3x the performance seems like a pretty good deal to me if you actually have use for the extra power -- it's probably a smarter investment than getting a top-of-the-range CPU which costs 2x as much for a whole 10% extra performance.

Hell, I'm using over £800 worth of monitors, why should spending half that on a card which can do them justice bother me?

"Anyone buying 8800 today (ultra or not) apparently has money to waste, and if 10% more cost $200, so be it."

Well, yes, it's a high end part, and high end parts are generally bought by people with a bit of disposable income or a very pressing need. Still, just because I can easily afford it doesn't mean I'm going to spend it on something I'll barely notice.

Re:My Wallet hurts reading this one... (1)

Barny (103770) | more than 7 years ago | (#18960967)

/me grins

8800gtx owner here, upgraded from a pair of 7900gt a few months back (well, when the gtx first came out actually) and paired with a 24" screen can just keep games above that 35 fps with all details up @1920x1200

Yes, it is definitely worth the money for the gtx imho, however....

You will note the EVGA 8800gtx gives the same performance as a 8800ultra http://theinquirer.net/default.aspx?article=39342 [theinquirer.net]

This new breed is just a 8800gtx heavily over clocked, no wonder NV didn't want people OEM OCing the gtx.

Re:My Wallet hurts reading this one... (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#18967339)

Not really; plenty of games struggle even on fairly beefy cards if you want to run them at native resolution on a decent TFT with details turned way up.

So what do you do. You pay an insane price for a card that's 10% faster (and will cost twice less in few months)?

How about not running with the details way up, how's that for a solution?

I also struggle without a Ferrari with all extras, but it doesn't mean I indebt myself and go buy, since I struggle.

Re:My Wallet hurts reading this one... (1)

Fweeky (41046) | more than 7 years ago | (#18975413)

What? No, you know it's normally polite to actually read the comment you're replying to, right?

"Spending twice as much for 2-3x the performance seems like a pretty good deal to me if you actually have use for the extra power"

"Still, just because I can easily afford it doesn't mean I'm going to spend it on something I'll barely notice."

The former was about the 8800 series in general; it's a good couple of times faster than my existing card. The latter is about the Ultra, which is similar to "getting a top-of-the-range CPU which costs 2x as much for a whole 10% extra performance."

I'm sorry you're poor. Maybe learning to read will help :P

Re:My Wallet hurts reading this one... (2, Insightful)

Deliveranc3 (629997) | more than 7 years ago | (#18961169)

This generation is pretty scary fo Nvidia, looks like the 8800 isn't scaling well (No surprise with so many pipelines you need better and better schedulers). And the midrange is slower than the old midrange, and not even close to the old medium-high or high end (Which was the trend for the last 10 years). I think they're scared because the best resolution on most of the older LCDs is 1280x960 and the old 7800 could do that with 16ANx4AA and no one wanted more.

To stay away from this they've been killing the middle and low end, and game makers aren't pushing because they know most people don't want to suffer low framerates again and would rather just have features that perform well and run at 1280.

It used to be that graphics levels increased so fast that in 2 generations (Even with a high end card) you couldn't even PLAY the newest games. I can still play everything with my old machine (AMD 2600+, Radeon 9000Pro) let alone my "new" machine (AMD 2600+, 6600GT). If they want to sell cards they need to push the mid range, and they aren't.

The closest thing they have to the old style is the 8800GTS 320 which is about $350. Trying to DOUBLE the price of the midrange is probably not a smart business move.

We need a third player, it's time.

Not mine! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18957579)

I just bought 4 of these puppies for the pure, unadulterated performance boost that makes my life significantly more comfortable during the daily WoW grinding for my demanding gold farm biz.

Re:My Wallet hurts reading this one... (2, Insightful)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#18957605)

Top of the line has never had the best price/performance ratio on PC components, to my knowledge, which means spending 33% more for a 10% improvement is very in-line with the way things work.

Not saying it's reasonable or rational, but when you deal with the crowds that have to have the best, and have plenty of disposable income, you can get away with it.

Re:My Wallet hurts reading this one... (1)

bendodge (998616) | more than 7 years ago | (#18957679)

All of the 8800's pixel pipelines are programmable, instead of being fixed to a certain function. When that starts getting heavily exploited, then you should see a big jump in performance.

Re:My Wallet hurts reading this one... (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 7 years ago | (#18957735)

Not only is the upfront cost more, but so is the recurring cost. An SLI'd system with a Core 2 6800, 2GB of ram, and a single Raptor ate 524W! I have an Athlon 64 x2 4200, SLI'd 7600GT's, Raid'd HDD's and 2Gb of ram and I probably pull 150W max.

Re:My Wallet hurts reading this one... (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 7 years ago | (#18959819)

Interestingly enough, from the article apparently the 8800GTX Ultras pull less power than the 8800GTXes. It's from the improved manufacturing techniques though, and since those improvements should trickle down to the regular 8800GTXes fairly soon the advantage will go away. It may come as a bit of a surprise to the early adopters that they could save 20-30W by just rebuying their card now.

Re:My Wallet hurts reading this one... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18961777)

Yeah... your mom does dishes and she's free!

Re:My Wallet hurts reading this one... (0, Offtopic)

FluxIntegrator (1094517) | more than 7 years ago | (#18968891)

My grandma can hand sew polygons faster than that, and she's dead. Come on, with the amount of money they are making, it's practically a crime that cards aren't at least 10 times faster than they are. In fact, this article is just propaganda to make them even MORE money to roll in. There should be a much smaller limiting size for monopoly businesses. In any industry you look, a few giant companies basically control the whole industry. Our society is falling apart right in front of our eyes, and people are just going about their merry lives. Don't wait until you get a wake up call that the twin towers have collapsed before you start taking action. Oh, wait... that already happened. Well, don't wait until 33 people die at VT in some crazy mass shooting, because some guy was off his meds, that were "helping" him. Oh, wait... that already happened too. Well, don't wait until Global Warming causes hurricanes that wipe out entire cities. Oh, shoot, that happened too.

Will somebody **PLEASE** tell me what is going on here???

Could all of this, POSSIBLY, be due to ONE thing? Perhaps, GOVERNMENT CORRUPTION???? Wake up Slashdotters. You all know that something is not right. You're smart people. Do something about it before it's too late.

I can't wait! (1)

nuclearpenguins (907128) | more than 7 years ago | (#18957395)

To get one of these in three years when I can afford it. Then I'll be able to play three year old games that no one else is playing at the highest settings! It'll be great!

Faster? Yes. Performance for pricepoint? No. (5, Informative)

hsa (598343) | more than 7 years ago | (#18957447)

Read this review.

http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=2979 [anandtech.com]

And conclusion
"But not this time: The NVIDIA GeForce 8800 Ultra is an utter waste of money. "

Don't pay $180 extra for something that gives only few percents extra.

Re:Faster? Yes. Performance for pricepoint? No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18958205)

What if the "something" originally cost $1,800,000?

Re:Faster? Yes. Performance for pricepoint? No. (1)

Vexorian (959249) | more than 7 years ago | (#18959845)

Am I the only one who thinks that 10% faster does not mean 10% more money? I mean I wouldn't really expect the price/speed relation actually linear...

No. (1)

ichigo 2.0 (900288) | more than 7 years ago | (#18963437)

No, but in this case, ~1% (yes, one!) faster means 28% more money. And I think most people will agree that's absurd. The reason for this discrepancy is that there are already cards that are factory-overclocked that cost about 650$ and deliver similar performance to the 8800 ultra.

Pointless card (4, Insightful)

eebra82 (907996) | more than 7 years ago | (#18957531)

We all know why NVIDIA would release such a card - considering how soon the R600 is released. Still, giving this card too much attention is pointless. It will exist in very limited quantities and even if you can afford one, you are highly unlikely to find one.

So basically, we are looking at a card only a few hundred will buy.

8800 GTS 320meg (1)

RingDev (879105) | more than 7 years ago | (#18957563)

I picked up an 8800 GTS 320meg card a few weeks ago for under $300. The thing runs all my games at top settings with AA cranked up on a 20.1" wide screen. I can run FRAPS through Shat'rath in WoW and still keep 30+ fps.

-Rick

Re:8800 GTS 320meg (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18958171)

Its spelled Shattrath, moron.

Re:8800 GTS 320meg (1, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#18959487)

It's spelled "it's", moron. Really, if you're going to be anal, check your own post first.

Re:8800 GTS 320meg (1)

bdjacobson (1094909) | more than 7 years ago | (#18962113)

Fraps means nothing; I can do the exact same thing too. All the fraps work is done on the CPU, what minor encoding there is before it dumps it to the disk. That's why a minute or two of footage can run several hundred megabytes no problem-- because it's just an uncompressed video dump.

Re:8800 GTS 320meg (1)

RingDev (879105) | more than 7 years ago | (#18962383)

Correct! FRAPS adds little to the video processing load. For people who are interested in recording game play though, knowing that a card that costs 1/3rd as much will provided you the exact same output (30fps) can drastically alter their purchasing decision.

-Rick

Re:8800 GTS 320meg (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18967241)

I can run FRAPS through Shat'rath in WoW and still keep 30+ fps.

that sounds impressive! what does it mean? ;-)

Re:8800 GTS 320meg (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18968297)

Fraps [fraps.com] seems to be a capture tool for 3D animated video on Windows, and Shattrath City [wowwiki.com] is an important location in World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade which requires rendering a large crowd of high-level characters wearing elaborate equipment (often glowing and/or animated). The poster's video card can accomplish all this at over thirty frames per second.

Considering existing 8800GTXs are faster (4, Interesting)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 7 years ago | (#18957595)

whats the point?

XFX and others have factory over clocked cards with better speeds than the ultra, though the ultra does feature better memory that should allow overclocked ultras to be quicker than overclocked gtxs.

One thing I did find interesting, most sites say that Nvidia is only competing against itself as the R600 is supposedly very disappointing. In other words, its no threat to the 88 series

New baseline (1)

eddy (18759) | more than 7 years ago | (#18957655)

But this is the new baseline according to nVidia, partners will then sell overclocked versions of the Ultra. XFX are quoted as saying they'll introduce three different speed grades of it, which sounds crazy to me considering what a gigantic novelty item this is.

Re:Considering existing 8800GTXs are faster (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18957799)

Your last few statements are somewhat ironic, considering your signature...

Re:Considering existing 8800GTXs are faster (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 7 years ago | (#18959919)

Given that nobody has published benchmarks on the R600s yet, that's pure speculation/hearsay. ATI has typically had faster hardware (but crappier drivers), although nVidia really put out a monster with the 8800. It remains to be seen how well they compete. Frankly, I'd be highly disappointed in ATI if the R600s don't beat out the 8800 given that the 8800 has been out for 7 months now.

It is a complete RIP OFF!!! (4, Informative)

Fallen Kell (165468) | more than 7 years ago | (#18957709)

The reviews that were posted here on /. while good normally didn't do their homework today with this new card. Only Anandtech seemed to take a look at what is currently available in terms of factory overclocked 8800GTX's on the market. They used the EVGA 8800GTX KO w/AC3, which benches within less then 1% of the performance of the 8800 Ultra AND costs $180 LESS!

Read the review yourself.... [anandtech.com]

Re:It is a complete RIP OFF!!! (1)

torxic (939488) | more than 7 years ago | (#18957919)

Well, sounds like an apple to orange comparison again pal. You can't go around comparing overclocked to non-overclocked performance.

Re:It is a complete RIP OFF!!! (4, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958345)

Indeed. When I was in my teenage years, I overclocked the crap out of anything I could get my hands on. I wanted the max speed I could get out of something, and often times given my limited income (my high school job was part-time and netted me maybe $50/week), I often NEEDED to squeeze extra performance out of everything to avoid replacing it or, if it was a new purchase, to get acceptable performance for what little cash I had on hand.

And honestly, I didn't normally have an unstable system back then, it's just that I'd have to sit around doing torture tests, getting the super-duper heatsink paste, researching which chip batch to buy from to get best results, etc.

Somewhere along the line though, I stopped caring so much. I'm almost 26. I have a good job. Yeah I still play PC games, program, and do geeky things, but for the most part - I just buy a reasonably priced component that's "good enough" and don't tinker with it (for example: I'm currently running a Sempron 3400 and a Geforce 7300GT - neither costed too much, and both work just fine for what I need). When it gets too slow I'll buy another "budget" part that will last me another 2 years or so. Yeah I'm spending probably the same money as back then and my systems are comparatively not as fast compared to what's available, but the lack of stress is wonderful.

It is a complete RIP and BLOWOUT!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18960491)

"Indeed. When I was in my teenage years, I overclocked the crap out of anything I could get my hands on."

Hope you used lots of KY?

Re:It is a complete RIP OFF!!! (2, Insightful)

Fallen Kell (165468) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958447)

But that is just it. The card isn't USER overclocked. It is STOCK (i.e. FULL WARRANTY, SUPPORT, etc., etc.). In other words, no DIFFERENT then what you get when you buy an Ultra. The Ultra itself isn't using a new chip design, new features or anything else. The only difference is that the Ultra uses slightly changed silicone which removes some of the bottle necks they have in terms of making a full run of chips which reach a certain clock speed (i.e. not all chips made on waffer will meet specs for full speed, all chip makers do this, they simply bin the chips which meet spec into different piles and lable them at certain clocks accordingly). The only thing the 8800 Ultra does is bin the chips at Nvidia before they are shipped out to the manufacturers. The card makers themselves have in the past been binning the chips they get and found that many could be run faster then Nvidia said they can.

How do you think we have RAM that range in speeds from DDR2 PC6400 to PC8000 which use the EXACT SAME Micron D9 memory chips?

The difference here is that Nvidia feels they should get the premium cash for the chips instead of selling them to the card makers and letting them figure out if the chip can go faster. While I don't blame them for wanting to do this, Nvidia should have decided to do this with a new line of chips, not an existing line where there are plenty of chips available which already meet the high-end spec speed and have been priced over $180 less then what Nvidia now wants to charge for the same chip.

Quad SLI (3, Funny)

Coleon (946269) | more than 7 years ago | (#18957995)

Great ... now ill sell my four 8800 GTX. and in ... maybe 10 years i could get the money to buy ONE of those. Damn AMDTI why are you keeping away from US!!! I hope the price war will make the ULTRA a little bit cheaper. I just want to play my starcraft with a Quad SLI ULTRA :-)

E-P... (1)

fineghal (989689) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958003)

Now seriously, I love that shiny new (and hot!) GPU as much as everyone else does, but is this really vital news? With a slightly improved architecture, and higher clocks, NVIDIA achieves a 10% performance increase. Nothing to see here.

Re:E-P... (1)

Tarlus (1000874) | more than 7 years ago | (#18961089)

I agree. The Ultra doesn't have any different features or capabilities over what the 8800 GTX or GTS can already do. It's just a tiny bit faster.

Why Ultra already? (3, Insightful)

Murrdox (601048) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958057)

I won't be needing an Ultra anytime soon, and I can't see why others would need to either.

I built a brand new system for myself back in November '06, and I put a BFG-Tech 8800 GTX in it.

I love this card. I love it to death. I can throw anything at all at it, and it turns it into pretty rainbows. I run Oblivion and Supreme Commander at the maximum my monitor can support (1920x1200) full everything turned up to the maximum, and the 8800 doesn't even flinch.

Now, if an enthusiast like me needs to build a new system, and didn't buy a 8800 GTX when it came out, and has a lot of money to spend, then maybe that person will jump on this Ultra.

However, considering that there are no games out there right now that can really tax the GTX, why spend more money on an Ultra, when there's nothing out there to really get the extra performance from? If there was a new game out there, and the GTX struggled to give you 35 FPS on, but the Ultra could get you 45... then that might be a performance issue worth looking at. But who is going to be able to tell the difference between 50 FPS and 53 FPS? The difference will be imperceptible.

Just my 2 cents. However, I applaud NVidia for coming out with this, just to make sure they stay on top of the mountain. It shows that they are not resting on the laurels of their recent successes, and are still innovating.

Re:Why Ultra already? (1)

dr_wheel (671305) | more than 7 years ago | (#18960399)

If your video card doesn't flinch at Supreme Commander, please share your secret. SupCom is capable of burying even the 8800 Ultra in tests.

http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/2007/05/02/nvidia _geforce_8800_ultra/5.html [bit-tech.net]
http://techreport.com/reviews/2007q2/geforce-8800u ltra/index.x?pg=4 [techreport.com]

Nvidia keeps releasing Hardware without Drivers. (3, Interesting)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958383)

Nvidia needs to stop releasing new cards. The current 8800 GTX and GTS have absolutely terrible driver support in XP and Vista. There is no reason Nvidia should be releasing hardware. They need to get their asses in gear and write some real drivers.

XP drivers have serious overlay issues, and gui rendering issues that cause adobe apps to be very unstable. It has vsync problems that can crush opengl performance from 160FPS at 2560x1600 to 15fps !!!

The Nvidia control panel is complete shit. Its impossible to use, and its a half ass work in progress. The color control sucks in the nvidia panel.

Anyone editing in Avid Express, or Media Composer will quickly find that Video Overlay's on the 8800gtx are rendered with a different color space than regular ui rendered stuff... It makes it near impossible to match the two also because Nvidia's drivers control panel is horrible.

Nvidia has decided to not support NFORCE 3 boards on Vista. How fucking convenient for them. There is no reason to not support it. It's not that old and the platform can use pretty fast modern cpus and gpus.

Nvidia sold the 8800 as vista ready, without even having a vista driver written...

To this day, the Vista drivers still suck and both the XP or Vista drivers have had very few updates in the course of 4 months. (1 update for xp drivers)

I just dont see Nvidia taking things seriously this time around. They are really fucking up something great. BTW i question the 8800 hardware, because there has been a lot of hardware bugs with the dam thing. Check out EVGA's forum and all of the RMAs that have taken place and how many problems people have with the 8800

AVOID the 8800 until Nvidia gets their shit together.

Re:Nvidia keeps releasing Hardware without Drivers (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18958663)

I agree. We've been using the 8800GTX for an OpenGL application under XP, and it has terrible performance with certain types of lines (GL_LINE*) in VBO mode. So much so that our application runs faster on a high-performance laptop with a 7series 'Go' than it does on a machine with an E6700 and a 8800GTX.
I keep hoping that they'll fix this straight-lines problem - our app draws plenty of lines, but I have to use immediate mode to draw them or else I only get 10fps.

Re:Nvidia keeps releasing Hardware without Drivers (2, Informative)

dhakbar (783117) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958821)

They just released the new Forceware drivers today.

Re:Nvidia keeps releasing Hardware without Drivers (1)

Zebra_X (13249) | more than 7 years ago | (#18959189)

They release them about once a month. It's still beta. Just recently, nTune actually started to work. If you check out the number of issues that have been fixed and are still outstanding - it's pretty incredible that they haven't gotten into some sort of legal trouble for advertising their product as something it's not e.g. Vista Ready or even SLI capable. You can't overclock it and there are no performance monitoring tools (this new build includes some support but it crashes a lot).

The parent is basically right on - if you do any highend stuff it's going to be hit or miss.

Re:Nvidia keeps releasing Hardware without Drivers (3, Insightful)

ASBands (1087159) | more than 7 years ago | (#18959495)

I understand where you're coming from, but the problem is that they can't just have the computer engineers working on hardware just join up with the people making their software. Sure, there those working on the hardware have to know about the software, but there is always a disconnect between the two teams. Besides, with unified drivers, a fix for the 8800 Ultra will reflect on the GTX and GTS. Releasing a new card is not impeding the development of better drivers, but making them more money to hire more computer scientists to make better drivers (etc.).

NVidia follows ATI? (1)

phorm (591458) | more than 7 years ago | (#18959605)

It seems that while ATI is improving in the driver-arena, NVidia is falling into the hole that previously had a lot of people switching over to them.

It used to be that ATI made powerful cards, but the drivers were crap so you couldn't fully utilize them, or at least not reliably. Nowadays it seems ATI is putting forth a decent effort to getting their cards working with Vista, and decent XP drivers as well. Heck, even the ATI linux driver works quite nicely on my laptop after I tweaked with it a bit.

Nvidia is going to fall victim to the situation which contributed to their rise, and people *will* be switching over to ATI unless they get things straightened out, and soon!

Re:NVidia follows ATI? (1)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 7 years ago | (#18960897)

>> even the ATI linux driver works quite nicely on my laptop after I tweaked with it a bit

Not what I've experienced at all.
ATI Linux driver performance is massively below the performance of same HW under windows.
This isn't true of nVidia's linux drivers, which occasionally even outperform same under windows.
Also as you said, ATI's linux drivers require lots of tweaking to even work, nVidia's are plug-n-play.

Re:NVidia follows ATI? (1)

phorm (591458) | more than 7 years ago | (#18962641)

I guess it depends on the card. On mine is has issues running GL screensavers in windows, but the acceleration works better in linux :-)

Re:Nvidia keeps releasing Hardware without Drivers (1)

NVP_Radical_Dreamer (925080) | more than 7 years ago | (#18959835)

I hate to say it but this seems to be more of a fanboi rant than anything. The vista operating system is new and drivers reflect that, I'll give you that. I'll also give you the fact that the nvidia control panel is a complete waste of time since it only confuses the hell out of people and makes it difficult to change the settings you want, but you can always revert and use the old control panel.

Now what I will NOT give you is the XP stability bit. Ive been using their drivers pretty much since XP came out and the ONLY problem I EVER had was with the 23.10 and the 23.11 driver set that caused XP to randomly bsod and reboot.

I also dont agree with your complaints regarding video editing software and the problems. Dont forget the fact that the 8800 series is a CONSUMER card made primarily for GAMING. If you want something for use in professional apps, then get a professional card such as their quadro line

Re:Nvidia keeps releasing Hardware without Drivers (3, Interesting)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 7 years ago | (#18961919)

It is most certainly not a "fanboi" rant anymore than you're a troll.

Go read the nvidia forum, even TODAY, look at the complaints and all of the problems with the drivers released today.

I cant for the life of me imagine why you would think it is a fan boy rant? I own an nv 8800gtx, installed in my quad core qx6700 workstation which i use for 3d animation and modelling professionally. This is not a fan boy rant. I didnt just make up the opengl vsync issue... I fucking discovered it! After scratching my head and trying to figure out why in the hell opengl was so deathly slow, I ran the same opengl test on an ATI x1550 AGP that was in my web surfing computer.... The ATI smoked the 8800 in opengl performance (this is softimage XSI, not doom 3 :) )

The 8800 was choking at 15FPS will all 4 viewports being displayed, where as the ATI was 90 to 100fps... and this is all rendering at 2560x1600 on my hp 30inch monitor...

The 8800GTX has been NOTHING but hell since i got it. The few games i played... Company of Hereos for one, would render stray polygons and stretch them into infinity...

You can not run the 8800gtx with the /3G switch, or else you can expect ALL adobe applications to basically not redraw. They simply will work for 4 minutes and then a massive redraw melt down will take place...

Turn off the /3 Switch... and the redraw problem goes away... although it seems to be back with Adobe CS3, so i'm guessing Nvidia needs to fix something in their drivers again...

As for quadro cards... I've owned them. They were NEVER worth their price. Most people run Geforces, not Quadros in their workstations. Quadros are nice by insanely over priced and often lacking in performance compared to the geforces...

And WHY would i buy another quadro, when Nvidia cant even support NFORCE3 anymore, OR write a dam driver for the 8800gtx? You're saying i should invest even more money into Nvidia after having been SCREWED by them?

Hmm.. RANT yes.. Fan boy? no. I have never liked ATI. The 9800pro i owned, i was given (game developement) The ATI x1550 AGP is in my web surfing pc... The PC i basically do nothying excepot get email and do office stuff on...

Nvidia's XP drivers are stable in that XP wont crash... but they are have serious issues as i've listed.

Plenty of people edit video with a Geforce card. Nv8800GTX isnt just a consumer card. A $600 video card is not a consumer card in my eyes. Most people wont buy the dam thing. These are enthusiast cards.... Its a high performance card, the fastest yet... Are you saying it is ok to have terrible drivers for a $600 peice of hardware? Are you saying it is ok to release hardware as "vista ready" without a dam driver that functions in vista?!??

And As for the video editing overlay... I'll leave you with this. Do a search on Avid's forum. Yes AVID does recommend the Quadro line of cards for Media Composer... But if you search the forum... you'll quickly find out that the QUADRO cards have the same dam video overlay color problem. It was fixed in one of the drivers, and broken again in the next... and AVID had to tell its customers to adjust the color overlay settings in Nvidia's control panel. The problem is... It is NEAR impossible to match the overlay color, with the regular gdi color values. So when you're stopping and pausing your video in avid... the dam video colors change, which makes it quite hard to color correct etc.

Buying an expensive quadro would not solve that issue. It's all Nvidia's driver...

I just want Nvidia to support their product, which in my opinion is the best dam card out there... but it is so plagued with problems.

A friend of mine pointed out to Nvidia actually a vsync issue within their hardware, and they all run quadros... to do large format 3d at very high resolutions real time.... Nvidia's response was "ooops oh yeah thats a bug" Basically they couldnt get the cards to all sync and render the frames together across multiple displays...

They're going to ATI now.

I could careless WHO gets my money, as long as the dam thing works.

Agreed! (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 7 years ago | (#18960317)

NVIDIA used to be great, but its shoddy driver sucks now for Windows. I can't use the 8x.xx with my GeForce 7950 GT KO PCIE card. :( It's nice that NVIDIA still rocks for Linux compared to crappy ATI's Linux support, but it seems like Windows drivers are going downhill like ATI's. Ugh! I am stuck between two card manufactures. Yes, I know about other brands but I play games so...

NVIDIA, I want my TV display overlay ratio corrected now! Release new versions with the fix already!!!!!! Also, Vista users [nvidia.com] are angry too.

Nothing new with the lack of Vista nForce3 support (1)

BKX (5066) | more than 7 years ago | (#18960589)

In fact, considering nVidia's past performance concerning older chipsets/cards, I expected it. For example, to use a Geforce 2 GTS (which, while old, isn't half-bad for the games I like to play (CS1.6, *craft (not WoW)) you have to go back to Forceware 71.xx. Now that's some old shit. The WinXP x64 Forceware doesn't include (and never did) support for cards older than GeForce 4 (which was damn near state of the art when XP x64 was released).

Re:Nvidia keeps releasing Hardware without Drivers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18960653)

I agree, Nvidia's downside isn't their hardware department it's their developers. Their hardware refresh outpaces their driver developers by way too much. They come out with a new card every other week and a new driver once a year. Not that drivers should have to be updated that frequently (one good driver for each OS is all that should be needed), but with the problems the drivers currently have they should be updated almost as frequently until there are good stable drivers for each OS.

Nvidia+Vista=serious problems (1)

bogie (31020) | more than 7 years ago | (#18963565)

In my experience unless you have a cutting edge card you should be able to find a driver that works OK in XP, although there are obivously exceptions. But on Vista....well let's just say Nvidia fell down and bumped its head 6 months ago and never got up. The Vista drivers are garbage and it took outright revolt to even get them to admit there was a serious problem. If you upgrade to Vista be prepared to see a massive framerate loss on some of your favorites titles. If you insist on upgrading make dam sure your game is playable on Vista. If I was Microsoft I'd be extremely pissed by now regarding how badly Nvidia is botching their drivers. For the first time since my Voodoo days I will probably be buying a non-Nvidia card.

Not in my experience (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 7 years ago | (#18964485)

I have an 8800, and have for a couple months. When I got it the XP drivers were fine, and XP was what I was running. It ran all my games very fast. Now I've upgraded to 64-bit Vista, and it's still fine. Everything runs, and quite well.

I think a large part of the problem is people who screw with their systems, computer ricers I call them. When you try and over clock everything, run beta drivers, do all kinds of wacky tweaks to try and get 100 extra 3DMark points and such, is it any real surprise stability problems can result? I'm not saying that people aren't having problems, I'm saying the problems are things they tend to bring on themselves.

The only thing I can really say anyone can fault nVidia on is not having Vista drivers when Vista came out. However, you can fault a great deal of companies for that. Creative Labs only had beta drivers, and still doesn't have full support for the X-fi, M-Audio doesn't even seem to mention Vista, and so on. This shit always happens with a major OS upgrade, same deal back in the 2k days. Many companies drug their feet on drivers.

But trying to say that the 8800 doesn't have working drivers out now, well, sorry, you are wrong. They do work, and quite well. Not sure how they'd work if I was overclocking components, or if I used a cheap motherboard that wasn't up to spec but really that's not nVidia's problem. With all components at stock speeds on good hardware I don't find any problems. I'm also not the only person I know with this experience.

Hardware forums are a real bad place to point to for product info. I mean, have you ever actually read a significant amount of them? They are rife with people bitching about strange issues. Part of it is simple self selection bias. The people who are working happily aren't as likely to want to find a forum to talk on since they don't have a need to vent. Part of it is as I've already mentioned, people who screw with their systems and then blame everyone but themselves.

So, I'm sorry that you are having problems, but guess what? You are not everyone. I find the 8800 to be a great card, and I find the drivers do not have problems.

Re:Not in my experience (1)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 7 years ago | (#18965141)

I dont overclock.

What you've said, is a common response, but in this case, it doesnt apply. Nvidia really does have its hands full. Just because the XP drivers function, doesnt meake them fully functional. If the XP drivers didnt work at all.. Nvidia would be out of buisness right now. Their stock would have dumped pretty low once stock holders found out that their latest hardware didnt even support XP.

So yes, it does function in XP... to an extent. There are bugs... there are optimization and performance problems and artifacts... that cause apps to crash. (adobe)

I'm not everyone. That is correct. But i am one of many having problems with the 8800gtx. Check the evga forum, and the nvidia forums. There are just far too many people having problems with the 8800gtx. Its mainly because its new hardware, but its more so that nvidia cant develope drivers fast enough for it. They were able to make the hardware though... but as we all know.. its the drivers that make it work.

Again.. yes it works in xp... not entirely... but it works cause it has to. Nvidia has made sure it works in XP... but they do not have what i would call "drivers" yet :) We're getting beta drivers from Nvidia on XP and Vista... not finalized drivers.

Re:Not in my experience (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 7 years ago | (#18965593)

Well, as far as I can tell, they are final. MS has signed off on them, they do everything I want, Adobe does NOT crash for me (Photoshop CS2 in this case), I don't get artifacts in anything and so on.

Sorry, but you are having problem, as are some others, but that doesn't mean that the problems are global. Look at all the bitching about the X-Fi lots of users seem to have troubles with it, though even more don't. The biggest problems were centred around timing problems on the PCI bus of certain motherboards. I suppose one could argue Creative should make their card more tolerant, but then one could argue they should have to.

Regardless, I consider the nVidia Vista drivers to be just fine, seeing as I can't find any problems with them. They work for 2D, they work for 3D, I'm a happy camper.

If you are having problems, you might want to spend less time posting lengthy rants about nVidia on the Internet and more time trying to see if perhaps there's something screwed up on your system. I know, nobody ever thinks their system is at fault, but doing work in computer support I find that most of the time, it's the setup that is the problem.

Re:Not in my experience (1)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 7 years ago | (#18966865)

are you running on a qx6700? How is your system similar to mine? You cant say the 8800gtx works for everyone, just as i cant say it's broken for everyone. Our setups are probably different, and as you stated.. often it is the unique aspects of each person's build/software combinations that we can attribute these problems to. HOWEVER there is a lot of people having all kinds of problems with the 8800gtx.

I'm only ranting because there is nothing left to do, short of buying a 7900 based card :) And I'll spread the word about Nvidia's problems because that is the only thing one can do in my position besides tinkering component which i've done, although as you've mentioned, and i completely agree with... Often the problems are just the hardware/software combinations that cause strange things like this. So sure, the problem could be in my software combination. For all i know the Nvidia forceware drivers may completely blow on a qx6700. I do not know. But my experience has been quite problematic with the 8800gtx... and i've certainly seen plenty of others with all kinds of driver issues.

As for the driver being final in xp. I dont beleive that. Just because it got certified, doesnt make it final. The control panel is still a work in progress. I'm not sold that they are final. Call me a conspiracy lover but i'm not sold on it. Again i havent gotten to put the new drivers through its paces because i have decided to reinstall XP and or give Vista 64 a run....

I'm not coming down on you. I agree in many respects, and your point is well taken... Its just my experience with the 8800gtx has been that a lot of people are having problems with it.... unfortunately even in XP.

But your point still stands... and as i said before, it will always apply in general to these technical situations... but this time i really feel Nvidia is lacking in the support this hardware cycle.

General Purpose Computing (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#18958545)

Has anyone shelled out the bucks and spent the time checking whether nVidia's CUDA dev env actually delivers the power of the 8800 for general purpose cpmputing (GPGPU), in easy procedural programming, as nVidia promised?

Basic business (1)

Mockylock (1087585) | more than 7 years ago | (#18959127)

They're squeezing everything they can out of the current architecture and leftover parts (to get more money), as long as they're still on top. Why release something new when you can make current specs faster and still make a few more bucks?

It's business. Once ATI releases their new cards, Nvidia will do the same and drop the prices of these and vice/versa.

Hardware manufacturers chess, I guess.
In the end, we benefit from it.

This is what happens when you remove competition (1)

Gordo_1 (256312) | more than 7 years ago | (#18959259)

from the equation. ATI's R600 is purported to be a disaster so nVidia took the luxury of releasing this turd at an unheard of price. Sure it's fast, but performance-wise it's within a couple percent of the already factory-overclocked BFG 8800GTX ACS at $180 more!

Nvidiots and AMD/ATI fanboys, listen up:

Embrace your fellow gamer. Meaningless paper launches like this will be par for the course in the future if one or the other company fails to compete.

You search the dead body... (2, Funny)

Cheezymadman (1083175) | more than 7 years ago | (#18959623)

And find an 8800 Ultra. E-pen0r +1.

When's the "normal people" version coming out? (1)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 7 years ago | (#18963723)

I tried to buy a new card last month. I had a 7900GS AGP ready to buy with money in hand, until I noticed on the back it wanted a 350W PSU. All the other cards on sale had the same or higher requirement. They've lost a sale just based on that.

first try on being obligatory ;) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18969453)

in soviet russia Ultras review you...
Check for New Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...