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Buy a nVidia card now or wait for ATi

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  • Buy a nVidia card now or wait for ATi

    hi there!

    After seeing a nice improvement in current ATi drivers, I am thinking about buying an ATi card. What do you think: Should I wait for an 38xx series card, or should i go with an 8800gt?



  • #2
    Since both are currently not really in stock at all the traders, I would wait a little and go for an AMD/ATI. I have a) faith that the proprietary driver will improve and b) there will be all the specs and (very important, too) help from AMD/ATI that the open source devs need to develop a really good driver.

    To be more precise: I did already preorder a 3870 card since it does at least work with radeonhd...


    • #3
      well, as far as i read reviews, it looks like the 3870 is going to be slower than the 8800gt. The nvidia card is somewhere around 20? more expensive than the ati card.


      • #4
        IF they get the drivers more robust and get the tech data to us so we have alternatives, the AMD part is a slightly better bet. But this implies you can wait for either or both items occurring within the next 12 or so months.

        If you're able to wait, it's probably not too bad of an idea to hang loose and see if they get their act together on either front. If they don't, you probably can get an NVidia or an Intel solution (IF they get that discrete part out and keep to their plan of open source drivers- both of which, while aren't a foregone conclusion, are looking at least better than a 50-50 chance right now...). It's worth waiting as AMD does have the, in theory, better part right now and if they can get things wired together before Intel shows it's discrete stuff, you'll want their stuff over everyone else's.

        If you can't wait- there is absolutely NO sense in buying either an AMD solution (any of them...the current new codebase driver is only for the brave of heart or the masochistic right now...) or the NVidia G80 series solutions. There is nothing at all that supports the added features of the G80 series on Linux right at the moment and the driver situation with the G80 series parts is suboptimal when compared to the G70 stuff which works, works well, and outperforms the G80 in regards to stability and overall performance (Right now, that is- this may change any day now with them shoring up those problems as we're discussing this. Much like AMD's doing with theirs- but NVidia's likely to have a shorter distance to go to get there right now...).


        • #5
          Well it depends if you really need Xvmc, this is not supported with 8xxx, I see no reason to use that anyway. Xv is enough for me and less problematic.


          • #6
            Well I see point in waiting for ATi, I mean the new driver train is going full steam. I know a lot of people were really disappointed about the 7.11 (8.433) driver (I personally cannot comment, for although having it installed I haven't used it.) but people need to understand, maybe they were onto something big when release schedule came about so they had to cut their losses and release what they had.

            I think it's a good turn with the AMD/ATi business. I think they could really do something with it.

            Or flop if they aren't careful.


            • #7
              AMD performacewise comes near to a 8800GT with its HD3870, but at the end NVidia has the higher performance (both Windows and Linux) and better image quality in games with their outstanding Anisotropic Filtering. Unfortunately there were no comments about image quality in recent Phronix reviews, but I doubt there are differences between Linux and Windows so NVidia wins here.

              AMD HD38XX cards on the other hand have Power Play and therefore power consumption in idle states is just a dream, NVidia sees no land here. Unfortunately power consumption also wasn't addressed in the Phronix review of HD38XX, but other reviews clearly show this.

              Coming to linux drivers everything seems to speak for AMD. The fglrx development distinctly improved since ATI is no more and the free RadeonHD driver has the chance to become a Linux users paradise with all those open specs and support from AMD.

              For me there is only one way to go. Sophisticated power saving hardware with a completely free and powerful driver to come - AMD HD38XX.


              • #8
                Should I wait for an 38xx series card, or should i go with an 8800gt?
                you could wait (if you have the time). this way both cards will drop in prices and you'll find out whether there will be a proper driver for 38xx or not.


                • #9
                  Well I wanted to get a 8800 GT, but now it is out of stock (or extremely overpriced). Maybe after Xmas it would be a better time to get one. It is a bit sad that only ATI cards are currently easy to get. But I would not expect highly improved fglrx drivers soon. radeonhd is good for low expectations but not for 3d. Usually ATI makes very small steps to fix some issues...


                  • #10
                    I would wait for ATI, just because open drivers do meter for me ...