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Some Clarafication On The Impact Of Different Features

post #1 of 3
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In today's world of advertising, companies do everything they can to sell as much of their product as possible. This sometimes means that you are bombarded with numbers, facts and "features".

So, I am looking at upgrading my video card, and I am curious as to what some of the features do. I know I can just look at the benchmarks to see what beats what, but that is not the point.

So, if someone could provide a brief explanation of what all the following do and when more of it is useful.

Memory Size - My video card has 640MB, but the 48xx cards only have 512MB. What does this mainly effect?
Memory Interface - Some cards have 128, some 256, and some 320. What does this effect?
Memory Type - What is the difference between GDDR3 and GDDR5. Are there how helpful is GDDR5 over GDDR3?
Stream Processors - What do these do?
post #2 of 3
Memory Size - Higher resolution and textures. 512MB seems to be optimal for current games.
Memory Interface - How much data can be transfered in an instance
Memory Type - GDDR5 is faster and has more bandwidth.
Stream Processors - These are the number of processors that do... the processing.

Benefit of each depends on the game, setting, and resolution. There is no clear cut answer except more is generally better.
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Once again...
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post #3 of 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dethredic View Post
In today's world of advertising, companies do everything they can to sell as much of their product as possible. This sometimes means that you are bombarded with numbers, facts and "features".

So, I am looking at upgrading my video card, and I am curious as to what some of the features do. I know I can just look at the benchmarks to see what beats what, but that is not the point.

So, if someone could provide a brief explanation of what all the following do and when more of it is useful.

Memory Size - My video card has 640MB, but the 48xx cards only have 512MB. What does this mainly effect?
Memory Interface - Some cards have 128, some 256, and some 320. What does this effect?
Memory Type - What is the difference between GDDR3 and GDDR5. Are there how helpful is GDDR5 over GDDR3?
Stream Processors - What do these do?

Basically, the easiest thing to do is look at reviews. I usually don't let specs have an impact on my purchases, because each card is so different.

For example, a GTX 260 has 896 mb of RAM and a 441 (or something) bit bus. Bus width has to do with the bandwidth of a card. The bandwidth is how much information can be passed to the card at one time (115 GB/s for example). Sometimes this can be an issue when comparing two cards. My 8800gts 512 has about 62 Gb/s of bandwidth. Even thoguh every single one of its other theoretical specs might be higher than say, and 8800gtx, the 8800gtx has higher bandwidth (due to a larger bus width) so some games that need more bandwidth to perform will do better on that card.

To answer your other question, GDDR5 runs MUCH faster than GDDR3, meaning bandwidth is increased (as it is a function of bus width and memory speed). A HD 4870 has the same bus width, as a 4850, but almost twice the bandwidth because the GDDR5 takes memroy clocks and quadruples it (GDDR3 just doubles it)

Haha sorry if that post was hard to read or full of mis-information but its late and I can't think straight. hope I helped!

P.S - Stream processors are different than shader processors. So 800 stream processors is comparable to 192 shader processors.
    
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Q6700 @ 3.4Ghz - 1.44v Gigabyte GA-EP35-DS3R XFX GTX 260 XXX [640,2300] 4Gb (2 x 2gb G.Skill DDR2 1066) @ 1000Mhz 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
1.5Tb (2 x WD6400AAKS RAID0 + WD 320Gb IDE ) Pioneer DVD+-RW Windows 7 Ultimate x64 Samsung 2232gw 22" + Samsung 2433bw 24" 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech G15 Corsair 650W Single Rail Antec Nine Hundred Logitech G500 
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Alienware 
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