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GeForce 6800GT this card worth getting ?



 
 
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Old August 25th 04, 06:44 AM
rms
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Default GeForce 6800GT this card worth getting ?

If
you read up on all these new high end cards, they're almost exactly the
same
in benchmarks unless you take the resolution up to 1600x1200 and crank up
AA
and AF to max and then the NVIDIA cards pull ahead.


Actually it's just the opposite. ATI pulls ahead at high-res + AA&AF in
both Farcry and HL2. Doom3 looks more and more like an aberration, due
mostly to its use of opengl. Doom3-engine games won't appear for at least a
year if not 2 years, and are a non-factor.

The new ATI cards are not much more that rebuilt 9800 cards like the one I
have at home...The new ATI cards are
damn fast, but don't really bring anything new to the table other more raw
horsepower.


Which is all that is needed for any game in the past and most if not all
games in the forseeable future. There is some parallels here with the 32 vs
16, Nvidia vs 3dfx, marketing battle in the past, where Nvidia got marketing
points from claiming 32bit support, while in fact it was completely
unusable.

As for pixel-shader 3.0. There will be 3 or 4 games out in the very near
future (a patch for FarCry to make it PS3, and the new Doom instantly come
to mind) and by Christmas, there will be a slew of new titles with it.


The farcry patch still isn't officially out, nor does the beta SM30 path
in the 1.2 patch add more than a few percent speed; ATI is significantly
faster already; and the fabled 1.3 patch will presumably include HDR (sp?)
and SM2.0b support, and thus I suspect ATI will be well ahead in Farcry for
the forseeable future.

As for Doom3, my information is that the Doom3 shaders are fairly
simple, with no branching, and not long enough to benefit from SM30 anyway.
Ultrashadow is already included, and thus little or no more improvement is
to be looked for on the nvidia front. ATI has hardly started on their
opengl rewrite, and I look for more improvement from them with this engine.

The reason ATI doesn't have PS3 on their cards is because the ATI cards
run
at 24 bit precision. PS3 requires 32 bit.


I'm not certain this is even a correct statement, or if Nvidia cards are
fast enough to use full 32bit for most games. Indeed, is 32bit visually
noticeable vs 24bit in upcoming games that will appear before this
generation of cards is obselete anyway? All of this is really debateable.

It took Nvidia 60 million new transistors to add better 32 bit and PS3
abilities. The ATI card would probably need to be redone completely to add
those....Because ATI doesn't even use
32 bit right now, they'd need to ditch their 24 bit system and completely
replace it.


There is plenty of reason to believe that PS3 and 32bit are mainly
marketing points for Nvidia in this (and in previous) generation of cards,
nor is there any evidence thus far that either PS3 or 32bit provide any
benefit for the gamer that can't be duplicated with SM2.0b, and I suspect
that full-time use of 32bit is prohibitive framerate-wise anyway and won't
be used by most game makers until a newer generation of cards appears next
year.

I myself did in fact replace a 9700pro with a 6800GT, which I'm
perfectly happy with (both farcry & doom3 run well at 1600x1200 -- but with
AA & AF turned off -- on my system now), and it is definitely true that ATI
left a performance/price hole inbetween the X800pro and the X800XT, that
nvidia was able to exploit with the 6800GT. It's pretty clear to me that
Nvidia has done a much better job of spacing out their new line of cards
across the market than ATI has. However it's not clear to me that Nvidia
has a real exploitable technological advantage over ATI in this present line
of cards.

rms


 




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