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AMD vs. NVIDIA - Are they even playing the same game?

In the GPU world there are many flavors, despite the perception that you either get AMD or NVIDIA. There is Matrox, WildCat/3D Labs, S3, VIA and a few more. But in the end what you hear the most about are NVIDIA and AMD. These two companies are compared back and forth in a game of favorites that would make a selfish 4 year old proud. Still, can you really compare them in equal terms?

On the surface you can. After all, you are measuring the number of frames per second the GPU (attached to a specific build of materials) can render. The magic number you are looking for is between 28 and 32 frames per second. This is the number of frames per second that will “fool†the human eye into thinking you are seeing full, fluid motion.

Now, there are ways to compensate for lower frame rates, but that is not what we are talking about here. No, what we are looking at today is more of a fundamental look at how each of these GPUs gets you to that magical number. This will not be a deep technical “white paperâ€, but more of an everyday reference and a look at where each brand differs in implementation and execution.
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On the surface you can. After all, you are measuring the number of frames per second the GPU (attached to a specific build of materials) can render. The magic number you are looking for is between 28 and 32 frames per second. This is the number of frames per second that will "fool" the human eye into thinking you are seeing full, fluid motion.
That's funny, because after playing at 85hz, I see a major difference when playing at 60hz. Must be my eyes then....
 

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Originally Posted by awaizy
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Stopped reading the article after the "28-32fps" sentence.

Exactly. 28-32 average is NOT smooth. If they are talking about minimum FPS, then fine.
 

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I would have liked little more detailed explanation on the differences, but this was interesting in it's own right. I never really understood even these basics on the differences between ATI and Nvidia so this was a good read.

Thanks for the post, but the News Nazi in me has to say this probably isn't news.
 

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So this guy is saying he thinks that Nvidia's gpu's are better than ATI's, at least in design.

The funny thing is, that even though this is Tweaktown this article kind of seems like a very well written fanboy piece, as it is lacking on any real info, just full of a lot of well written opinion.
 

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I think the interesting part to note about that commonly referred to statement is that it says "fluid motion". I think that it just means nothing seems choppy, jerky, or too slow, not that things can't get better or that the human eye can't perceive further improvements; 60-->120 Hrz more or less shows us that.

Just my two cents.

Also, interesting article.
 

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Why even talk about his now? Wait for the GTX 300 to come out 1st before talk about who's best.
 

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Informative, but it's stuff we already have a grasp on.

But one thing I didn't know was Vec5D only 1 of the 5 shaders in capable of larger instructions and the other 4 are for small.

If the game code is in complex and bulky blocks then AMD only has 320 stream processors that can execute that code and then at a significantly slower speed.
 

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Quote:


Originally Posted by Domino
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That's funny, because after playing at 85hz, I see a major difference when playing at 60hz. Must be my eyes then....


Quote:


Originally Posted by Ruei
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I think the interesting part to note about that commonly referred to statement is that it says "fluid motion". I think that it just means nothing seems choppy, jerky, or too slow, not that things can't get better or that the human eye can't perceive further improvements; 60-->120 Hrz more or less shows us that.

Just my two cents.

Also, interesting article.

The refresh rate of the monitor and the frame rate of a game are two completely different things...

You could have a game running at 60fps at 60hz or at 60fps at 120hz, the game frame rate would be the same but the 120hz CRT would be significantly easier on the eyes.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Refresh_rate

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The refresh rate (most commonly the "vertical refresh rate", "vertical scan rate" for CRTs) is the number of times in a second that display hardware draws the data. This is distinct from the measure of frame rate in that the refresh rate includes the repeated drawing of identical frames, while frame rate measures how a video source can feed an entire frame of new data to a display.

...On CRT displays, increasing the refresh rate decreases flickering, thereby reducing eye strain. However, if a refresh rate is specified that is beyond what is recommended for the display, damage to the display can occur.[1]...


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Liquid crystal displays

Much of the discussion of refresh rate does not apply to the liquid crystal portion of an LCD monitor. This is because while a CRT monitor uses the same mechanism for both illumination and imaging, LCDs employ a separate backlight to illuminate the image being portrayed by the LCD's liquid crystal shutters. The shutters themselves do not have a "refresh rate" as such due to the fact that they always stay at whatever opacity they were last instructed to continuously, and do not become more or less transparent until instructed to produce a different opacity. Most of the TFT LCDs used in portable devices and computer monitors need a continuous refresh. The driving voltage determines the transmittance of the liquid crystal.

The closest thing liquid crystal shutters have to a refresh rate is their response time, while nearly all LCD backlights (most notably fluorescent cathodes, which commonly operate at ~200 Hz) have a separate figure known as flicker, which describes how many times a second the backlight pulses on and off. However they also have a refresh rate that governs how often a new image is received from the video card (often at 60 Hz).


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Computer displays

On smaller CRT monitors (up to about 15"), few people notice any discomfort below 60-72 Hz. On larger CRT monitors (17" or larger), most people experience mild discomfort unless the refresh is set to 85 Hz or higher. A rate of 100 Hz is comfortable at almost any size. However, this does not apply to LCD monitors. The closest equivalent to a refresh rate on an LCD monitor is its frame rate, which is often locked at 60 Hz. But this is rarely a problem, because the only part of an LCD monitor that could produce CRT-like flicker-its backlight-typically operates at around 200 Hz.

You wouldn't think wikipedia would be so hard to read.
 

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Pretty good article IMO. You have to admire AMD for doing so much with so little. Go underdog. Imagine if they had money.
 

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If the game code is all small and simple instructions, then the AMD GPU has a very large upper hand, even considering the faster speed of the NV shaders. If the game code is in complex and bulky blocks then AMD only has 320 stream processors that can execute that code and then at a significantly slower speed. This problem has come to light more and more in the world of GPGPU computing, but is also starting to show up in gaming situations.

So that's why Ati seems to have the upper hand, relatively, for older games.
 

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The Hz is the limit.
The FPS is the value.
The V.sync is the organizer.
Keep FPS above the Hz makes no difference.
Keep it under the Hz makes impact on performance.
Keep it at the max Hz with V.sync eliminated Screen tearing.

Try using windows on 28-32FPS and everyone will see that this article is stupid.
Those with TFT monitors will not get that smooth feeling the CRT users with 85+ Hz gets so if you don't own a CRT that manage that you have little to nothing to argue with if you insist that 60Hz+ghosting is smooth.
 

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"The magic number you are looking for is between 28 and 32 frames per second."

Stopped reading just about here.
 

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Quote:


Originally Posted by awaizy
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Stopped reading the article after the "28-32fps" sentence.

Same. That is not fluid to me.
 

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The magic number you are looking for is between 28 and 32 frames per second. This is the number of frames per second that will "fool" the human eye into thinking you are seeing full, fluid motion.
The only thing that is smooth at such low frame rates is movies, and that is because they can use a special kind of motion blur that takes into account the fact that the movie is not rendered in realtime. It doesn't work for realtime rendering, like games.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by awaizy View Post
Stopped reading the article after the "28-32fps" sentence.
Same here.
 

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I honestly am undecided as far as the whole ATI vs Nvidia, I've only ever had ATI cards, but I've only been given PCs and never built my own. I use linux too (where Nvidia is better). So I'm kind of in equilibrium, and I could tell that this article was biased and was written by a Nvidia fan.
 
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