[OT]: Upgrading video card, would like opinions...

I’m upgrading my video card and I’m looking at a gf4 (currently have gf2 and happy), however if the next generation of video cards are just around the corner I would rather wait. I guess my question is: are nvidia, ati, or 3dlabs about to release new high-end gaming cards. If so will the features be worth the wait?



i suggest the ati radeon9700… as it is here yet (at least, somewhere ), while the nv30 will have some delays and hopefully will be around on christmas…

i would not take a gf4, as, except in speed, it doesn’t provide much you can’t have yet somehow on the gf2… actually, a bit larget registercombiners, and texture shaders, as well as shadowmaps are the main features (vertex shaders can work in software quite okay…)…

remember, the r300 is the “doom3-card”

no, but i think its cool to get a card wich is dx9 standart, as there are a lot of fancy things in… displacementmapping, fat vertex and pixelprograms, floatingpoint stuff everywhere, and its really quite much faster than the gf4…

if you want something cheaper, then the only thing i can suggest is the gf4ti4200… anything less is stupid…

r300 is 3dlabs right? the nv30 will be the gf5?



The R300 is the ATI Radeon 9700. It’s a full DX9 part which means e.g. full floating point pixel pipeline. Expensive but übercool. If you want to get something cheaper you might want to wait for the 9500 which will appear somewhere around october or so. It’s supposed to be a slowed down cheap 9700.

[This message has been edited by harsman (edited 09-04-2002).]

übercoll = very cool I presume…

Ok, I thinking of going with nvidia, because that’s what I currently have. I do have another question:

I want to start using vertex and fragment programs. I’ve found a lot of info on vertex programs, but if I look up fragment info on nvidias developers website all I get is texture and pixel shader demos. Can you only use fragment programs with cg? Or is there an opengl extension I should be looking for (tried looking for NV_fragment_program)?



I just got an ATI Radeon 9700 Pro and it’s fast. Very fast. It also supports DX9, but this won’t be available until Microsoft releases it sometime in a couple of months.

Here’s an interesting report I just saw on Tom’s Hardware that links to The Inquirer which links to a Japanese site that states:

nVidia’s NV30 may not be coming out until Q1 2003 now.

If you want nVIDIA, your best bet is to wait for the NV30, which might be a 3-5 month wait (according to the tom’s hardware rumor).

If you want the coolest possible consumer card right now, I believe that distinction goes to the Radeon 9700. $335 on pricewatch.

If you have a lot of nVIDIA specific code, and don’t want to change horses, but also want a card NOW instead of later, then look at something like a GeForce 4 Ti4400, or maybe even a 4200. The idea being to save money while still getting a speed and capability bump, so you can upgrade to something cooler later, earlier :slight_smile:

Last, a possible alternative would be the 3dlabs Wildcat VP, which is about $450, and is “fully programmable”. It allegedly supports large parts of OpenGL 2.0 in hardware already, using extensions (I haven’t had the luxury of spending time on this, unfortunately).

I was down at ECTS in London and the most impressive hardware on show was the Radeon 9700 pro, definately go for that…

Originally posted by john_at_kbs_is:
[b]r300 is 3dlabs right? the nv30 will be the gf5?



3DLabs is P10, while R300 is R9700pro from ATI.

nVidia’s next-gen card codenamed NV30 won’t have the GeForce tagname anymore.

From the latest info, NV30 will be offically announed on Comdex in November 18-22.

If you want the fastest & best card on the market right now and money is not a problem definetly go for the R9700pro, but if you’re on a tight budget and want a good price/perfomance card, definetly go for the gf4ti4200.

Just search google groups for the keywords “ATI” “drivers” “crash” “locked up” “help” “is it my code?” “blue screen”, then and only then make your decision.

I think thats a bit unfair knackered, ATI’s drivers have come on a long way since the original radeon. Showing old archives of ppl with problems doesn’t indicate the quality of their drivers now does it?

Nutty, I recommended my company buy a radeon 8500 to see if it would give us an edge in our simulators - I had to eat humble pie as it consistantly crashed in many machines, under various d3d and opengl apps.
See my previous thread on RenderMonkey:- http://www.opengl.org/discussion_boards/ubb/Forum3/HTML/007307.html

I believe ATI are producing fantastic cards, and produce really nice research stuff like RenderMonkey, but their drivers are still terrible. Unfortunately, this means we can’t target our simulators to their cards, just because of the reliability issue.
This still holds true with their latest drivers.
I’m just giving john_at_kbs_is the benefit of my unfortunate experience.

I’ve had only a 3-4 crashes/lockups since I installed the card ( all from D3D apps strangely enough ). As for driver bugs, I can mention maybe 3 bugs. The drivers are good, maybe not as good as NVIDIA’s but definitely on the right track. As someone mentioned a long time ago, stability is a seperate issue from driver correctness ( Carmack in a .plan update ). There are too many outside factors that can affect the stability of the system. I remember reading a post from a gamer on Rage3D complaining about crashes and lockups, it turned out he had overclocked his card/CPU. The drivers seem good enough to run DOOM3 .

My 9700 hasn’t locked up at all. I’ve never owned an 8500. My 9700 is in a Pentium 4 based machine.

My GeForce 3 and GeForce 2MX would all lock up consistently if I used nVidia’s driver past v28.11 (or something like that) on my Pentium III setup (AGP 2x). They were rock solid if I kept the driver at v28.11.

So yes, there are a lot of factors at play.

[This message has been edited by IT (edited 09-08-2002).]

Well I’ve never owned an ATI card, so I can’t comment from experience, but I’m sure their drivers are alot better than when the 8500 1st debuted.

As for bugs n stuff, well I’ve found a fair few in nvidia drivers too, and I dont even code for PC graphics in my profession. Both companies have bugs in the drivers, as for stability, well theres lots of things that can influence that. I still get the (very) occasional lockup with a Gf4 in my system. No idea what causes it. More likely something to do with the old via chipset


I still get the (very) occasional lockup with a Gf4 in my system. No idea what causes it. More likely something to do with the old via chipset.

I had some problems with my GF3 on an Athlon 1.4Ghz. It turned out to be a the sound chip on the motherboard causing problems ( disabling it in the BIOS and installing a seperate soundcard solved it ). The motherboard used the old VIA chipset too.

Then I’m even more perplexed…multiple PC’s, multiple processors, multiple OS’s (98/2k/xp)…doesn’t seem to matter with this radeon (it’s a replacement from the retailer, but behaves as badly as the initial one).

My 8500 is a Built-by-ATI version ( BIOS version 1.004 that came with it ). You could try installing that BIOS, I have no idea how or where you can get these but it might solve your problems ( control panel/options/details to see BIOS version ).

You can switch down your AGP if you get lock ups. You can also mess around with your memory timings.I have an old VIA board too, but I only had a lockup once when I overclocked the GPU too much and the screen started to get covered by nicely spaced pixels starting from the top to bottom and the cursor got corrupted.

Guess I should be happy with my current setup