View Full Version : ATI vs Nvidia

02-03-2002, 08:52 PM
Hi, I'm considering buying myself a new graphics card soon, and I wanted to know what the differences are between ATI and Nvidia's product line. Some things I need to know are, which performs more efficiently when you compare, say, Nvidia GeForce3 to ATI's equivalent, which features each chipset supports that the other one doesn't, etc.

Currently, I'm using an Nvidia GeForce2MX on my parents' PC and I hate it. If I ever do build my own box, I need to decide which GPU maker to go with when I start needing a graphics card.

I've been to each GPU designer's websites and looked at all their fluff demonstrations they had for viewing and read their technical stuff. Now I'm asking for a third opinion before I make up my mind and actually go out and buy one.

02-03-2002, 09:10 PM
Oh, hardware > http://www.opengl.org/discussion_boards/ubb/smile.gif

I'm building my own box, and are ordering it this fri from NewEgg.com.

(they are cheap)

Anyways, the GF3ti500 is the equivelant of a Radeon 8500.

The GF3ti500, and Radeon 8500 are both pretty Expensive, but of course they are Top-o-line.

The next fastest step for ATI is the 7500
Which is ABOUT the equivelant of a GF3.
Keep in mind there are MANY variations in cards. It all depends on who makes them.
Ati isn't really one of those. but GF3 is only a chipset. Not a manufacturer.
I personally are going with the GeForce3ti200 from LeadTek.
Normally I wouldn't get a ti200 but I found out the leadtek is somethin' special. (TDH)
I has a different 2d-3d driver they use a "phillips". It is supposed to provide sharper images at higher Res. From what I've read it does. Also, this particular GF3, ant maybe some others has a really good potential for overclocking. Unlike other GF3's. LeadTek plugged in a different type of RAM then the Regular GF3ti200s. They used the same typs of RAM (4ns) as they do in the regular GF3ti500 (top of the line).
It also comes with heat monitering and a program to overclock it, fresh from Leadtek.

Whereas ATI, well some people have a problem with ATI because of drivers. Some people feel thy do not produce / keep maintaining a good flow of drivers. Well, I have an ATI (old as dirt) and I can vouch for that.

Anyways, just my 2Cents. I can't wait til' Fri.

Here is a good link for Nvidia, and some others:
www.nvnews.net (http://www.nvnews.net)
www.hardocp.com (http://www.hardocp.com) http://firingsquad.gamers.com/hardware/
(^ in the Video card sections)
www.guru3d.com (http://www.guru3d.com)

I'm getting an XP1800+, EPoX 8kha+, 256DDR, and of course, a LeadTek GF3Ti200.

[This message has been edited by ThinIce (edited 02-03-2002).]

02-05-2002, 10:30 AM
Yeah, but has anybody had any experience with ATI cards? I'm more interested in that. I've heard a lot of good things, as well as bad things about Nvidia's chipsets, but not much on ATI.

02-05-2002, 12:22 PM
I'm running a Radeon64DDR VIVO (aka Radeon 7200), and I love it. The GeForce cards seem to make a few more frames per sec, but from the Geforce's I've seen, the color felt more "rich", with better image quality on my Radeon. I think the prices are very competative with Nvidia cards. ATI is also improving their driver support, in my opinion, which has previously been one major negative point for ATI cards. The last beta driver release (6025) are performing very well for me.

Bottom line, if I were going to get a new card, I'd probably get the Radeon 8500 over the Geforce3.

My .02 http://www.opengl.org/discussion_boards/ubb/smile.gif

02-05-2002, 01:36 PM
The Ti500 would be best.

Here is a page with a TON of links to reviews, the reviews usually contain Graphs of the card running certain games and against other cards..

02-05-2002, 07:37 PM
I would wate till tomrow(the 6th) Nvida will hopefully be anoucing the Geforce4. http://www.opengl.org/discussion_boards/ubb/smile.gif

02-05-2002, 09:21 PM
Nvidia all the way! I used to LOVE ATI back in DOS and Win3.11. Nvidia ownz the scene now though. I am a hardcore gamer and demand a LOT out of a card, and recently had the chance to compare two of the same machines, one with GeForce3 and one with a Radeon 8500. The GeForce3 blew the Radeon AWAY! The GeForce3 also didn't crash several times during the gaming test. When I got back to Windoze however, and ran some software benchmark programs, they almost looked identical, with the Radeon trailing only by a few frames. This is why I do NOT use benchmark software, as it is total BS once you're in the game. I recomend an Nvidia card, unless you're only going to be running in software modes only.

02-06-2002, 01:25 AM
I've been using a Radeon 8500 for some time now, and it rox. It has far more flexible shaders than GF3, and now after reading the GF4 reviews it's even more flexible than the new GF4's!

The driver situation with ATi ís highly exagereated. Generally I have had very few problems with it, which I can't say about the GF2 Pro I bought and installed for an old friend.

02-06-2002, 10:25 AM
I see a lot of people have replied to my post, and I'd like to thank those people...but I still haven't made up my mind yet. Other than driver support, the only thing I've heard about so far is a performance and framerate comparison. True, performance and framerate is one thing (arguing on that front is kind've like AMD vs Intel) but what I really want to know is what features each chipset supports that the other one doesn't, when you take, say, ATI Radeon 8500 and Nvidia GeForce3 and compare what each one can do.

One of the things I've noticed in my experience with my parents' Nvidia GeForce2MX is that it doesn't have support for 8-bit color...only 16- and 32-. From the figures I've seen, I don't believe any Nvidia GeForce chipsets have support for 8-bit color, though. When it came across an 8-bit color texture, it would always want to convert it into a 16- or 32-...which made games like Final Fantasy VIII look weird. This is especially true under the latest version of Detonater, however, I believe ATI Radeon chipsets do support 8-bit color. I know this may sound silly, but I'm just stating this as an example.

02-06-2002, 02:51 PM
There are a lot of differences in the two cards. If you would have chacked the reviews on the link I gave you, they all compare themselves with the Radeon 8500 and whatnot. As you can tell the GF3's are a bit betterthan the Radeon 8500. Although the GF4 was released fresh today. I would go with a GF3.

Here are some more links: http://www.tomshardware.com/graphic/01q4/011218/geforce-ti-22.html

**********GOTTA SEE THIS ONE!************* http://firingsquad.gamers.com/hardware/geforce4/page7.asp
**********GOTTA SEE THIS ONE!*************

Some AA info:

You should read some of the reviews. We cannot make a choice for you, nor do I want to type 5 pages on the differences. They are already done! So check out the links. Read the reviews. They contain information.

****These are good links too**** http://www.hardocp.com/reviews/vidcards/ati/8500_revisited/

Now I have given you LOTS of resources. You should take the information the good people have written and compare. Also, visit
www.nvidia.com (http://www.nvidia.com)

www.ati.com (http://www.ati.com)

for any other details

02-06-2002, 05:45 PM
I believe ATI Radeon chipsets do support 8-bit color.

That would be correct, my Radeon supports 8bit color, I'd assume the 8500 does as well.

I also agree with those links Thin Ice put up, in particular http://www.hardocp.com as I feel they generally seem to have a fair and unbiased opinion on these things. They have a new Geforce4 article up that is an interesting read if you really want to understand the features of the cards.

Good luck with your decision!

02-06-2002, 11:03 PM
If you're interested in featureset, then the Radeon 8500 is clearly superior to the GeForce 3 Ti. And, that a new version of pixel shaders isn't avaliable for D3D, the 8500 is at least a match for the upcoming GeForce 4, if not its superior.

So, if you're looking for a flexible feature set at a reasonable price, the 8500 is what you're looking for. If you're looking for a gaming card (a card to play games on rather than develop them), then the GeForce 3 Ti500 might (and this is subject to change with any ATI driver revision) be faster than the 8500.

02-07-2002, 07:45 AM
Okay, thanks, I was thinking about getting the ATI Radeon 8500 anyways, since it's been out for a while, and I wanted to try ATI myself. I've definately ruled out Nvidia GeForce4, since it's new, it hasn't had much time to get many consumer complaints, and I don't want to have to wait six months for a decent set of drivers.

02-07-2002, 09:15 AM
You got it wrong, the GF4 uses the same drivers as all the other Nvidia products.

This wasn't the case with ATI, but I think they are going the unified route as well, but I am not sure.

It really depends who you trust more, and how many driver releases, and most important, visit the "fan" sites of each product. I think www.rage3d.com (http://www.rage3d.com) or www.rageunderground.com (http://www.rageunderground.com) are still around, and if those sites were around before I got my card, I would have NEVER bought the Rage 128 card I had. Hell, any company that takes over 1 year for stable drivers gets a big fat 0 in my book.

Hopefully ATI has gotten its act together.

02-07-2002, 09:55 AM
From my experience with Nvidia's GPUs, I wasn't really satisfied with their drivers, though. I understand where you get the GeForce4 uses the same drivers as all the other Nvidia products. My parents got their Nvidia GeForce2MX card around November 2000, and they had to wait until Summer 2001 for Nvidia to release a set of drivers that would unlock most of the card's OpenGL features.

Oh well...it'll be a while before I go out and purchase one anyway...I have to build the damn box first *eg*

02-07-2002, 01:10 PM

I bought my new system online at newegg.com last night, from looking at the revies and reading them. I anded up buying a Radeon8500


02-07-2002, 06:47 PM
Uhh, that is what you wanted, right? Oh well...

Now you have something to compare that GeForce3 Ti500 to *VEG*

02-07-2002, 07:28 PM
Well, I anded up reading the reviews, looking at charts. Looking into the Features. I just anded up liking it. Plus, the new ATI driver (recently released) increaded the performance in the 8500 by ~20%.

Now, although ATI needs to make drivers. They are working on them in fact. And when they DO release drivers. look at the effect? That is just a VERY simplistic reson. I have others too,

02-08-2002, 06:03 AM
Well, I anded up reading the reviews, looking at charts. Looking into the Features. I just anded up liking it. Plus, the new ATI driver (recently released) increaded the performance in the 8500 by ~20%.

Wow, I'm surprised, you seemed set on the GeForce. The new drivers really are working out well, I think Ati is moving in the right direction. Rage3d.com is a good resource, ATI developers read those forums and post regularly. I've just got to convince myself that I can afford an 8500 to replace my 7200. http://www.opengl.org/discussion_boards/ubb/smile.gif

02-08-2002, 07:44 AM
Hey guys,
there is an intresting thread on coding:advanced

02-08-2002, 11:14 AM
Order from www.newegg.com (http://www.newegg.com) they are really fast and cheap. I got the Radeon 8500 Retail for $240. They have the LE for $179

My new comp should arrive soon today!


[This message has been edited by ThinIce (edited 02-08-2002).]

02-10-2002, 11:50 AM
Well done good and correct choice http://www.opengl.org/discussion_boards/ubb/smile.gif, im a little bias, but only a little.
Nvidia u r the weakest link goodbye!

02-10-2002, 09:19 PM
Come to think of it, cards that use Nvidia's chipsets don't even need to be running on Detonator, since the card manufacturers themselves make their own drivers.

The way I heard it, Detonator was more of a 'generic' type of drivers, meant to run on any Nvidia chipset, regardless of the card manufacturer. However, the card manufacturers themselves, i.e. Hercules, make their own set of drivers that are meant to run specifically on their own products.

My parents' GeForce2MX currently runs on Detonator, however, I heard that the card manufacturer's drivers are better, since they're designed for that specific card. My question is, which set of drivers, the chipset designer's, or the card manufacturer's, would run better?

02-11-2002, 12:29 AM
Chipset designer's.

02-11-2002, 05:00 AM
Originally posted by rpxmaster:
My question is, which set of drivers, the chipset designer's, or the card manufacturer's, would run better?

As I understand it, the card manufacturers use the "detonator" drivers as a base for their own drivers, and then they slap on their own logos, and add little tweaks for card specific stuff (e.g. video in/out, 3D glasses etc).

The thing is, that the chipset designer's drivers are usually more up to date (often much so), since the card manufacturer driver design adds yet another cycle of development over the generic drivers (and my experience is that nVidia is putting alot of more work into drivers than do e.g. ASUS).