what kind of game is Nvidia and ATI playing anyway

UnSan

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why are my newest video card aging so quickly? Are there any new feature on the new video card except speed? BTW, what 's the difference between 9700 pro and 9800 pro except for the speed? I meant they both support DX9? Is speed the only difference that I am going to see in future graphic card? If so, that would be not enough for our money.....
 

Vimp

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The only difference between the 9700 Pro and 9800 Pro is a speed difference that I'm aware of. However the 9800 Pro came out after the 9700 Pro so its possible the 9800 Pro has some newer features. But nothing special. However once a new generation of video cards comes out then they usually are not only a bit faster then the previous but also feature enhanced special effects along with newer features that are minor improvements to older features. All the 9xxx series of cards are of the same generation so niether has speciaal effects that the other isn't capable of.

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cleeve

Illustrious
Quickly?

Ati's newest offering today is the 9800XT, which is essentially an overclocked 9700 PRO... you know, the chip they launched about 2 years ago?

I don't think it's moving that fast at all. Both chip companies (Ati & Nvidia) have said they won't be releasing new architectures every year, from now on it'll be every 2 years or so.

All of the new products we see between the 2 year marks are modified versions of old products. (9600 is a value version of the 9700, 9000/9200 are value versions of the 8500, etc.)

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Crashman

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Former Staff
ATI has been very relaxed about product release because of nVidia's problems. They were supposed to release the 9700 Pro with .13 micron, but didn't because of manufacturing issues. They were supposed to correct that with the 9800 Pro, but didn't because they didn't need the extra clock speed to stay ahead of nVidia. They were supposed to release the R400 a few months ago, but didn't because they didn't need it to compete with nVidia. So basically cards have stayed the same for over a year now because nVidia screwed up and ATI saw it as a chance to save money.

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splenda20

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bitten by it.
How are we bitten? Personally, I'm glad it's taking so long for the new chips to come out, it means I get better value from my 9500Pro and quite frankly there isn't any game that the current gen of cards can't handle, and there aren't too many games that even NEED a DX9 chip. Look at Unreal 2004, that apparently works fine on DX 7 cards. Hardware has been improving much quicker than software and finally the quality of the games are catching up. The consumer does win! when it takes so long for new hardware to come out because better looking games will work on older cards and you get better value.
 

JoeB

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well, that's pretty much the only good side to it You forget that the prices of the video cards stay higher for longer periods of time too.

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splenda20

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They don't stay higher. They go down in price!!! Sure the high end cards will always be a small fortune, but look at the quality of cards you can get for so little. The midrange cards are awesome (9600XT or Pro, or 5700) are they are relatively dirt cheap. If there were brand new chips, new architexture coming out every six months, then no one would buy midrange cards cause they would suck so much too quickly. My 9500Pro that I bought last May for $260 CDN is still awesome and plays everything really well. If new cards came out every 6 months, my card would be useless and I'd have to spend more money to upgrade. No one NEEDS to upgrade from a 9500/9600/9700 to a 9800Pro, you wouldn't notice the difference until DX10 games came out. Cards are much cheaper.
 

Crashman

Polypheme
Former Staff
I TOTALLY disagree.

First of all, when ATI introduced the 9800XT it was $500. Now the R400 should have been at least 50% more powerfull, for the same price. So new high end buyers get stuck with LESS card for the same money. The other cards can devaluate at a slower rate, meaning midrange buyers will be getting a 9600XT rather than a 9800 Pro right now.

It really doesn't matter what anyone really needs right now, people buy $500 cards planning to play the latest games at the highest settings for at least a year!

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splenda20

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I can see your point about how one should be able to buy a 9800Pro right now at a midrange card price. But where I think the consumer gains from the longer product cycles is the fact that your $500 investment today lasts much longer than it used to. For example, a buyer of a GeForce 3 Ti500 never even had the chance to fully appreciate that card because by the time games came out that actually used it's features, the GeForce 4 was announced, followed shortly after by the 9700Pro. Which means it was much more expensive to stick with the high-end. Whereas the buyer of a 9700Pro (which IMO marked the latest significant step in hardware design) is able to experience the reward of buying a top of line card for much longer than the GeForce 3 buyer.

Your point about how high-end buyers getting less card for the same money is well taken, but again, you also have to look at the performance increase gained by let's say a 9800Pro vs XT, it's a very small incremental increase for the XT, which corresponds to the slow drop in the Pro's price.
 

Crashman

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Former Staff
The problem here is, this one time stall is not slowing game developement, so your 9800XT will seem a lot weaker on next years games than a R400 based card would have.

Sure, quicker product releases drive down the price of the card you already own, but this is a GOOD thing as long as you plan on keeping your card it's whole life! I just upgraded from a Radeon DDR to an AIW 9600 Pro a few months back, and my Radeon DDR still played the latest games (but with a bunch of features missing). NONE of that would have changed had ATI stuck with their plans of a .13 micron R350 at 400-500MHz, and then gone to an R400.

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coolsquirtle

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that's a good thing, if the computer industry can release products that revolutionalize the market every 3 months, it wont be long until technology kills us all!

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TheRod

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All the 9xxx series of cards are of the same generation so niether has speciaal effects that the other isn't capable of.
Not true!

9000/9100/9200 cards are DirectX 8.1 cards.
If you want DirectX 9.0 ATI card, you must buy 9500 and up.


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Yeah I have to agree, except for one thing.

The Game market is falling behind so bad too (HL2/D3/Stalker and a few others have been pushed back from their original release dates), So the games aren't arriving either. Sure it would be nice to get 150FPS in the Far Cry demo, but it's not like we are onset by games we can't play.

Likely the next generation will see an acceleration of development once they reach the market.

I'm gonna post a little blurb on where ATI currently is (pretty close to final product really), and that nV is still dragging a bit (which sucks for the idea of competition).


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And actually, not all R3XX cards are the same either. The R350 and RV350 and above offer longer shader instructions with the F-buffer (to compete with nV's UltraShadow), plus a few other features. Minor additions, but differences none the less.

<A HREF="http://www6.tomshardware.com/graphic/20030306/radeon9800pro-01.html" target="_new">The Start of THG's description of the the differences</A>, nothing revolutionary really.


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splenda20

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The problem here is, this one time stall is not slowing game developement, so your 9800XT will seem a lot weaker on next years games than a R400 based card would have.
I'd have to disagree again. The R400 isn't going to be drastically different than the 9800XT. It'll be like the jump from GeForce 3 to 4. More so just speed (alot of speed) rather than anything crazy. Remember, R400 is still only DX9.
In terms of not slowing game development, games are taking longer and longer and longer and longer to develope and the hardware is still way ahead of the software in terms of power. It's the hardware that's driving the software forward and most devs aren't so quick to make beautiful games at the expense of cutting a large part of the market (ppl with older DX7,8 vid cards). Also don't forget that there are no games in development right now that are DX10 (obviously) so the only real advancement we are going to really see in games will be more advanced shaders. PS 3.0 is not going to revolutionize anything, it'll make things prettier, but not revolutionary. Not until the next DX release, which MS has said is a long time from now, will there be anything drastic. Which means cards retain their value longer.
 

phial

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thats your point of view , but your saying it like what is actually gonna happen :)

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splenda20

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You're right! That's because no one in the industry has been saying a word about anything else. All indications are that there isn't going to be any type of graphic card revolution in the near future, just an improvement on the current technology.
If anyone thinks differently, I would love to hear it.
 
It's not just about beauty, it's also about efficiencies.

No one knows exactly what will happen with PS3.0/VS3.0, but PS/VS2.0 lead to great speed advantages as well.

And regardless of whether they are DX9, there are architecture differences like changes in the pipelines, as well as efficiencies with AA/AF. Most people are expecting about at least 50% increase in performance.


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Crashman

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Former Staff
It doesn't matter how long your card "retains value". If DX10 came out tomorrow, your new DX9 card would still play the latest games at the highest resolutions, it simply wouldn't display the new features. My Radeon DDR was a great card in games all the way up to DX9, and it was a DX7 card (with a couple DX8 features).

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lik

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The diference is not only speed between 9700 chip and 9800 chip. If you put a 9800 Pro at 9700 Pro speeds it will be faster. The shader engine was optimized in 9800.

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pauldh

Illustrious
Yeah I remember reading that along time ago here. It seems there is a little more too it than clock speeds.

<A HREF="http://www.hardocp.com/article.html?art=NDQ4" target="_new">http://www.hardocp.com/article.html?art=NDQ4</A>

EDIT fixed link to correct review.


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cleeve

Illustrious
The shader engine was optimized, but I've yet to see a benchmark where a 9800 will beat a 9700 at the same clockspeeds. (more than a couple percent for the margin of error)

Maybe upcoming games will illustrate the difference; but until then, it's theoretical.

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Yeah the only one I would expect it to MAYBE be a factor would be for Doom]|[ with the Shadows. That's really one of the issues it addressed, the idea of UltraShadow.

We shall see. I doubt it will have a HUGE impact even then, but it may allow for more realistic visuals wich would be neat.


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pauldh

Illustrious
I fixed that link a couple posts up. I Was in too much of a hurry to notice I linked the wrong review. In this one they underclock the 9800 Pro to 9700 Pro speeds for a clock to clock comparison.

The 9800 Pro did win even at 9700 speeds, by up to 10%. But mostly just a few fps.

<A HREF="http://www.hardocp.com/article.html?art=NDQ4" target="_new">http://www.hardocp.com/article.html?art=NDQ4</A>


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