Hello to everyone.
I have searched through the forum and have found numerous threads addressing the whole "video card question". However, none of them really seemed to target the real issue of which card was a better value. I just hope this thread can be real and filled with actual fact & evidence, not supportive fanatics defending their card to their last dying breath. Please post with evidence and read all or a majority of the post before replying
. Positive feedback is appreciated.
I am looking to build a new computer, and as you could have guessed, the GPU is a very large component in the computer, pricewise and performance wise. This is why I have decided to lay a fairly steep budget on the graphics card, but somehow, I can't arrive at a decision.
Obviously I have targeted the x850 XT and 6800 Ultra. I was even suggested to consider the 6800 GT because of its price and get an SLI board to buy another 6800 GT when the price drops. The 6800GT SLI combination seemed to be the most attractive option, but I am in search of getting a lot of performance very soon.
x850 XT or 6800 Ultra?
So far, I am really veering towards the x850 XT because of its pure golden performance, even though it does not have a very steep advantage over the 6800 Ultra. The x850 XT and 6800 Ultra have around the same price, but based upon online reviews (anandtech, guru3d, pcstats), the x850 XT takes the performance edge even though slightly. Despite its higher grunt, the 6800 Ultra just plainly dominates OpenGL games (particularly Doom3). Out of these two cards, I simply want a great amount of performance. However, I do want a noticeable amount of performance at a balanced cost. For the same price with the x850 slightly overpowering, my decision from these two cards rests on the x850 XT.
the 6800 GT SLI option
I believe the 6800 GT SLI option would dominate the x850 xt. However, cost-wise, buying two 6800 GTs right out of the box would be much more expensive (+$70 for sli mobo, +$275 for GPUs). Obviously the best way to counter that cost would be to wait until the 6800 GT cost declines. The only problem here in my case is that I do need a very high performance GPU quickly, and waiting is not really an option considering the garbage PC I have now. Unless someone can convince me (benchmarking, test results) that the 6800 GT SLI setup is worth the wait and will clearly dominate with a noticeable
performance increase, my decision still lies on the x850 XT given my current standpoint and conditions.
ATI vs nVidia reputations
From reading numerous posts here and online reviews, nVidia simply seems to be a solid reliable manufacturer. However, the majority of nVidia supports' posts had no support to backup nVidia's reliability edge over ATI's GPUs. As long as the card will last and does not constantly
give me game support problems, then I am satisfied. I know that ATI has a reputation to have driver support problems, but in all honesty, if it can be fixed and isn't consistent in every game I play, then it should not be a big issue. Overall, I have seen that ATI has had a reputation from building strong performing cards given the 9800s long lasting edge. In contrast, I have seen nVidia to expand outwards into newer technologies given SLI. Like I have said earlier, I am in search of a simply high performing dominant card. Given ATI's reputation, the x850 XT still holds my decision.
I have heard a few posts of people expecting to see new releases by nVidia in this coming May. Hell, if this is true, then perhaps I should be waiting. Although my cost budget is next to nothing, it has somewhat capped at the $550 or less price range. Let's be honest though. Should these new coming cards be ridiculousness, are there even any games that can abuse these cards? Sure the 512mb x850 looks to take things to the next level, and nVidia probably has something in store to compete, but they are looking to be incredibly expensive at release given that they have to exceed their already outstanding cards.
conclusion: incorporating price, performance, and potential
- The 6800 ultra looks to be out of the picture compared to the x850 xt given its earlier release and same price range as the x850 xt. I have heard that the 6800 GT can be overclocked to perform to the degree of the Ultra, making the $120 price difference useless.
- The 6800 GT single GPU packs a punch for its price, but obviously cannot overtake the x850 xt performance wise. Then again, do look at the price. Obviously the 6800 GT-SLI looks to dominate in the future once the price drops. However, in my case, I need a well rounded card that is not just a gamer card. I need a level of video processing performance. Since the SLI system is only utilized from support games, the x850 XT would more suit my needs for a card to perform solidly in multiple areas and not just games.
- The x850 XT is obviously a solid card, bringing performance over all single GPUs currently on the market. Given its capabilities and price matching the 6800 Ultra, the slight performance advantage has been taken into systems currently dominating and looking to have a future (DirectX) as opposed to the nVidia GPUs which accelerate in OpenGL rendered games.
Given my current budget ($550 or less), the x850 XT has dominated performance over the price matching 6800 Ultra and has greater all around capabilities over an SLI system. Considering ATI's reputation for strong performance GPUs, the x850 XT
is my decision so far. Please convince me with evidence, reviews, benchmarks, test results, or whatever needs be, but not with "ATI crap". To be honest, a post as such is crap.
Thanks. I greatly appreciate any feedback.