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help me understand graphic cards...

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Questions:
Are Graphics Cards Overrated?
Are nvidia and ati scamming ppl?
Do you feel you get the bang for your buck?
Is the hype real or is just hype?
whats the difference btwn gaming cards and professional cards? can they do the same thing? why are professional cards so expensive?


im asking these questions because i just tested the asus radeon 6870 and wasnt impressed much.


maybe i dont understand graphics card much so i will be challenging some posts...
    
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post #2 of 17
Vague questions.

My advice is to do some of your own research, then come back when you want the details filling in.

Although there are those on here who have nothing better to do than to answer all those questions in immense, unnecessary detail when you are probably quite capable of answering them yourself!
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post #3 of 17
Huh? The video card is the most important factor in graphical performance, so obviously it makes a huge impact on gaming. Nvidia and AMD are continually making better-performing cards that draw less power for their performance.

Why were you unimpressed by the 6870?
post #4 of 17
I didn't write this, quoted from techspot...

so a comparison between mainstream graphic cards and workstation only cards.let see,graphic cards nowadays are focused on only being clocked higher to give higher fps scores in demanding games,they are designed ground up focusing on direct3d applications like 90% of the games.however workstation graphic cards are clocked slower for stability reason and focus heavily on opengl applications.some of them are optimized and carry special plugins for 3dsmax and maya.in the mainstream texturing or prgrammatic vertex or fragment shading would be considered high ends in workstations however AA lines and points, overlay plane support, two-sided lighting (fixed function path), logic operations, fast pixel read-back speeds, and dual 10-bit 400MHz RAMDACs and 2 dual-link DVI-I connectors supporting 3840x2400 on a single display are high end.needless to say they are for cad designing for programs like proengineer/autocad and not to mention animation programs like 3dsmax and maya.

now there have always been softmod that you could do on a mainstream graphic card that can make it a workstation one like a geforce to quadro and a radeon 9800 to a firexl through freefirexl but you wouldnt see the perfromance increase and would be bugged continously by its drivers.these workstation cards offer features like occulsion culling,lossless depth z-buffer,line anti-alaising,accelarated clip region,clip planes.two sided lighting,opengl logic and overlay planes.a quadro for example can achieve 80 million lit and textured triangles per second fillrate.they also carry third generation vertex and pixel programibility.here is a qute from the manufacturers"Alias|Wavefront, Discreet, Softimage, and more. End users can take full advantage of the programmable NVIDIA Quadro FX architecture by enabling sophisticated real-time shaders to simulate a virtually unlimited range of physica l characteristics, such as lighting effects (fresnel effects, chromatic dispersion, reflection, refraction, BRDF models*, etc.) and even physical surface properties (such as casting effects, porosity, molded surfaces, etc.).

For example, car models can be modified on-the-fly to change their clear coat and metallic reflective paint properties; the sheen of a character`s skin can be adjusted through a dynamic range from oily to dry by interactively adjusting a few sliders; or objects can be programmed to dynamically self shadow. Real-time shaders allow these effects to be combined and modified interactively-impossible with simple 2D static texture maps."
there is also the issue of subpixel precision-"Sophisticated real-time effects typically involve multiple mathematical operations that demand high precision to maintain image quality. The NVIDIA Quadro® FX features 128-bit IEEE floating-point precision, making available millions of colors in a broad dynamic range. This results in the highest level of accuracy and the ultimate in visual quality.
High subpixel precision is another major contributor to image quality, addressing visual anomalies that cause models to "sparkle" or "crack." The NVIDIA Quadro FX virtually eliminates this problem by providing 12 bits of sub-pixel precision¡Xfour times higher precision than the nearest competitive product.

Precision continues to be a critical factor when rendering high quality antialiased images-for both line and full-scene antialiasing (FSAA). The NVIDIA Quadro FX architecture accelerates antialiased points and lines in hardware, and supports up to 16X FSAA. And unlike other competitive hardware, NVIDIA Quadro FX products drive FSAA up to a phenomenal 3840x2400 resolution"
besides these feature they carry the same old 8 pixel pipe line and are'nt clocked high compared to there counterpart mainstream cards.so i guess the mainstream cards and the workstation cards would run maya and 3ds max at pretty much the same speed but if you wan to make use of the above listed features your going to have to spend that extra amount on a workstation only card.


what must concern you the most is the premium that these cards carry easily priced over 1000$ as opposed to 450$ highend in gaming.so you want to justify there prices,well workstation graphic cards have other features as well like overlay plane support which is crucial in maya and 3ds max otherwise you'll see a definite performance hit.earlier you could softmod a gf4 card to a quadro but today they are two different chips.ati has fire gl/xl line up while nvidia has quadro fx line for graphic card,latter offering feature like sli for workstatio grahic cards.however the bottom line is buy a workstaion card only if you want the workstation class features,if you are expecting a huge increase in performance if you were using a 150$mainstream nvidia geforce6600 gt to a 1000$ quadro fx or ati fire gl than forget it,you wouldnt see it both the cards will be able to run most of the applications but the latter are designed for those application ,yes they do carry huge premium over the other but that's what you get.they have added features and support for your field of work.you can get a sub 500$ workstaion graphic card today from nvidia or ati(there are other manufacturers too like creative,3dlabs).i would suggest you to consider the workstation graphic cards becasue you dont want to be held back just beacuse of mainstream appoach,get a quadro or fire but with a lot of video ram more than 128 if possible and a lot of ram for the system.3ds max and maya make use of hardware rendering optomized for the workstation cards,while there minimum requirement is any card with atleast 64mb ram that supports direct 3d and opengl,a 256 mb card is preferred.

so hope this proves helpful,post back if you have any other questions.
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post #5 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Remix65 View Post
Questions:
Are Graphics Cards Overrated?
Are nvidia and ati scamming ppl?
Do you feel you get the bang for your buck?
Is the hype real or is just hype?
1. Nope
2. Nvidia are IMHO.
3. Kinda.
4. Not sure what you meant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Remix65 View Post

im asking these questions because i just tested the asus radeon 6870 and wasnt impressed much.
If you tested it in your sig rig, this is probably down to your motherboard.
Edited by Am* - 8/16/11 at 10:44am
    
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post #6 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Remix65 View Post
Questions:
Are Graphics Cards Overrated?
Are nvidia and ati scamming ppl? They both provide excellent products for the end user, sure people are biased on one side vs. the other, but overall they both provide excellent performance for the price.
Do you feel you get the bang for your buck?
Is the hype real or is just hype?
whats the difference btwn gaming cards and professional cards? can they do the same thing? why are professional cards so expensive?


im asking these questions because i just tested the asus radeon 6870 and wasnt impressed much.


maybe i dont understand graphics card much so i will be challenging some posts...

Things such as GPUs always depend on your priorities.

1. For Gaming, no, its like asking if a calculator is over rated for trig?
2. How would they be "scamming people"?
3. Bang for the buck depends on your perspective, if your paying a lot of $$ and you get a lot of performance, that can be great bang for the buck, or if you buy something cheap and get relatively good performance that can be the same.
4. What hype? Please be specific.
5. Gaming cards have drivers and hardware optimized for gaming, Professional cards have drivers and hardware optimized for a professional environment. Some of them may seem similar, but are different on a hardware level to optimize for the programs they use. They are expensive because of this optimization (i.e. a 580 can run program A. at 5fps vs the equivalent Quadro that can run it at 50fps), also since they are made in limited numbers (small quantities) they tend to be significantly more expensive to produce and to buy.

A 6870 has its place, its mostly a 1680 x 1050 card or 1920 x 1080 @ medium settings. If you're trying to crank the resolution and settings you need to look into a higher end card. Don't base your experience on a single card that is on the lower/middle tier of performance GPU's.
Edited by appleg33k85 - 8/16/11 at 10:44am
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post #7 of 17
Frankly, I prefer the intel gma. It kicks out an average 60 FPS which gives some really good refreshin rates. But your right, Nvidia and ATI are totally scamming people, intel is the best graphics card maker out there. No joke I once got like 40 FPS on Metro 2033 and I was playing with my old intel gma, not my new one! ( I prefer to use the HD's they are better.)
Edited by andycludge - 8/16/11 at 10:47am
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post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
nice post chris. went a little over my head...
    
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post #9 of 17
It doesn't matter if they are...because it's business ;( unless you can form your own company and make better cards, you're kinda stuck in playing their game. The only thing you can do is look for benchmarks and guage what card you will need and for what price. For video games it's just an entertainment industry. They could pretend technology is improving by controlling what gets released, giving the illusion that things are getting better (manipulation through the contrast principle). It's not like they have to hurry in pushing out the best right away. They will juice out your wallets in a sneaky way.

But I think I know what you're trying to say. I have 2 cards that came out ~4 years ago and it can still catch up with current lower-end cards on the market. I.e. When I built my current sig rig, I already had 1 8800GT and decided to just get a 2nd used one for 60 bucks. 5770's and GTS 450's are still about ~120 bucks on NCIX. They may support DX11, but why use DX11 if the card will barely manage comfortable framerates anyways?
Edited by Raizy - 8/16/11 at 11:00am
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post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by t-ramp View Post
Huh? The video card is the most important factor in graphical performance, so obviously it makes a huge impact on gaming. Nvidia and AMD are continually making better-performing cards that draw less power for their performance.

Why were you unimpressed by the 6870?
for those who've held a 6870 it is beastly. huge card. its the only good card i've owned. well, i also have a 6850 [untested at this point].

but before selling it i wanted to test it to make sure it works and put it in my rig.

i dont play much games and put on a fps and cranked up all the settings. at 2560x1600 (zr30w) and it couldnt handle it. i had to tone down some settings. (im not home to upload the video settings i played the card on).

i have the 5670 that i play the same game on. with medium eye candy and played the game ok and very playable even at 1600p. the only difference it that the 5670 heats up to over 110 C then computer crashes after a few hours. 6870 is stable at 53 C.

apart from looks the performance didnt really impress me.


so i keep asking myself outside of gaming what the 6870 would help me with because at this point i don't feel its any better than the 5670.
but i must admit when installing the 6870 its auto calibrated with the zr30w a little better than the 5670. but since i'm not a gamer im thinking of keeping the 6850 instead.

i also see a lot of users complain of bugs, driver issues, poor designs with these cards... are they really worth it?
2 yrs ago around the 5700-5800 card these cards seem to have bugs that ati's response was releasing the 6000 series cards to fix the issues... ?
    
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