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I'm an idiot: help me understand

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
I've been shopping around and drooling at various GPUs for some time now (going to buy early Q2 2012). Everytime I go to compare a AMD/ATI card agaisnt a nVidia vard, the same question pops up in my head. Let's start out by taking these two products from the same manufacturer.

ATI: MSI 6950 TFIII
nVidia: MSI 560Ti TFII

This isn't a "which GPU should I buy" question, rather why the difference in the tech behind these FPS pushers, and should it matter to my purchase in the future? I want to understand why the nVidia GPU has three seperate clocks (core 880mhz, shader 1760mhz, memory 400mhz) and the Ati has two (core 850mhz , memory 1300mhz).

What does the "shader" clock do on the nVidia card, and why doesn't the Ati need it? I know it's marketing and what not, but can you help me understand what if any difference between the two architectures?

edit: how does CUDA fit into all of this? Do CUDA cores have any relation to gaming performance?

edit 2: I won't be purchasing either of these cards, my current system would be a waste of GPU power. I'll be making a new rig Q2 2012 w BD/BDe or SBe/IB; whichever proc fits my budget price/performance ratio.
Edited by Nocturin - 6/16/11 at 7:40am
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post #2 of 28
Your processor would bottleneck those cards.
post #3 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kand;13893545 
Your processor would bottleneck those cards.

Which is why I'm not bothering to update the GPU until next year when I rebuild my system.

Thank you for the input, can you help me understand the difference between the technology behind the cards, not the performance of the cards themselves?
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post #4 of 28
For AMD, the Shader's, or "Stream Processors", are the main FPS pushers so to speak. Their clock speed is tied to the Core clock speed, so whatever the core speed is, the shader speed is. That is why you don't see it on AMD cards. Cuda Cores are the same thing as Shaders, Cuda cores are the FPS pushers for Nvidia cards. They are architecturally different, that is the reason there is a big difference in the number of Shaders for each company. They work differently and cannot be compared by clock speeds or numbers between the two companies. On Nvidia cards(for the most part anyway), the shader speed is not tied to the core clock, so you can change them independently.

Basically they both have the same stuff in them, just named differently for marketing reasons. Both have shaders as the main powerhouse. AMD calls theirs "Stream Processors" and Nvidia calls theirs "Cuda Cores".
Edited by Strat79 - 6/16/11 at 7:46am
post #5 of 28
Cuda cores previously called SP's weren't they? yep as far as I remember. The more Cuda cores you got the faster your card. Usually 1 nVidia Cuda core is equal to 4 - 5 amd shaders/cores.

you should seriously consider a newer CPU, if going SLi/nVidia then grab something from the intel i7 (1366) range.
post #6 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBirdman74;13893837 
Cuda cores previously called SP's weren't they? yep as far as I remember. The more Cuda cores you got the faster your card. Usually 1 nVidia Cuda core is equal to 4 - 5 amd shaders/cores.

you should seriously consider a newer CPU, if going SLi/nVidia then grab something from the intel i7 (1366) range.

SP just stands for "Streaming Processor". That still applies to both companies as a generic name for them.
post #7 of 28
Get a new cpu.Athlon ii x4 or Phenom ii x4.And overclock your gpu up to its neck.I think you can play all games at 1024x768(which is HD)and medium settings at a playable fps.I say again overclock your gpu to ts highest level.You need horespower.The more the better.
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post #8 of 28
Yep. As said, NVidia used Cuda cores to drive the FPS, AMD uses shaders. A cuda core is more powerful than a shader, hence, a GTX 480 has 480 Cuda cores while the 5870 has 1,600 shaders. However, the GTX 480 is actually faster than the 5870.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sinakr6;13893917 
Get a new cpu.Athlon ii x4 or Phenom ii x4.And overclock your gpu up to its neck.I think you can play all games at 1024x768(which is HD)and medium settings at a playable fps.I say again overclock your gpu to ts highest level.You need horespower.The more the better.

He stated he is buying a new rig next year.
    
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post #9 of 28
The architectural differences are quite complex.

Essentially, NVIDIA has fewer shader units that are individually more powerful, and that are clocked at double the speed of the rest of the core.

ATI has many more, simpler, lower clocked shaders, and more theoretical shader performance, but tend to be limited by lower fill rate (based on ROPs) and memory bandwidth.
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post #10 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by sinakr6;13893917 
Get a new cpu.Athlon ii x4 or Phenom ii x4.And overclock your gpu up to its neck.I think you can play all games at 1024x768(which is HD)and medium settings at a playable fps.I say again overclock your gpu to ts highest level.You need horespower.The more the better.

Please don't refer to that resolution as HD, its so misleading even if TECHNICALLY true. That res is horrible!!
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