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Hardware Technology

Graphics Card Comparison Guide 271

JaniceZ writes "These days, there are so many graphics card models that it has become quite impossible to keep up with the different configurations. Therefore, we decided to compile this guide to provide an easy reference for those who are interested in comparing the specifications of the various desktop GPUs in the market as well as those already obsolescent or obsolete."
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Graphics Card Comparison Guide

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  • by linux_warp ( 187395 ) on Saturday August 20, 2005 @08:35PM (#13364244) Homepage
    This article does not provide benchmarks, just things like "transistor count" and the number of pixel pipelines. Check out http://graphics.tomshardware.com/graphic/20050705/ index.html [tomshardware.com] has the same information and benchmark charts.
  • Re:Thank God (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 20, 2005 @08:47PM (#13364298)
    That model sounds an oem from Dell. My cousin has one in his Dimension 8250. I believe your best upgrade path is to an agp Geforce 6600gt. Depending on the power supply you could try for a 6800 model, but I'm not sure if you'll want to try that due to the limitations of your power supply. I'm guessing it's rated at 250 watts or so, and Dell underrates their power supplies if I remember correctly so you might be able to risk it. If do you want to go all the way and get a Geforce 6800 Ultra or GT and have a system with a better chance of working stably, you could try PC Power and Cooling, as they offer power supply upgrades that are compatible with Dell systems. You could also wait around for a 7xxx model, but nVidia sems disinterested in agp now. The 6600gt is still a good deal though; it's cheaper and performance wise either ties or beats a radeon 9800 pro, which is obviosuly better than your 97000 tx.
  • by Coneasfast ( 690509 ) on Saturday August 20, 2005 @08:55PM (#13364326)
    i like digital-daily, they have some good benchmarks:

    PCI-E 2005 [digital-daily.com]
    ATI 2003 [slashdot.org]

    for example
  • Re:Me dumb (Score:2, Informative)

    by feanor512 ( 905622 ) on Saturday August 20, 2005 @08:56PM (#13364328)
    Look at the fillrate and memory bandwidth. In general a card with a higher fillrate and more memory bandwidth is faster than one with a lower fillrate and less memory bandwidth. This isn't always true, though. The ATI Radeon 9700/9800 series is faster than the Geforce FX 5900 series clock for clock, while the Geforce 6800 series is faster than the ATI X800 series clock for clock.
  • Short list (Score:5, Informative)

    by Brian Stretch ( 5304 ) * on Saturday August 20, 2005 @08:57PM (#13364334)
    If you want Linux compatibility, you want nVidia. Yes, nVidia's drivers are closed-source, but they're at the same level as their Windows drivers, right down to the overclocking controls.

    If you want a fanless, low-power GPU that can also do light gaming, get a GeForce 6200 with as much onboard RAM as you can find (ignore the TC "TurboCache" crap).

    If you want a midrange, not-too-power-hungry card, get the 6600GT. This is my favorite card.

    If you need a high-end GPU, get a 7800GT. If you have money to burn, get the GTX version. Check to make sure your power supply is up to snuff (Seasonic S12 series is my favorite, highest efficiency I've found), especially if you did something silly like buy an Intel P4. If you can afford one of these you can afford a proper AMD 64-bit processor to go with it.

    There, everything you need to know. The 6200 was a pleasant surprise to me. I put one in my parents' Shuttle SFF box (Athlon 64 3000+), replacing a Ti4200, and the lower power consumption was enough for the main system fan to slow down to its minimum 1000RPM most of the time. It's still good enough to play UT2004 Demo at full detail at 1280x1024 res.
  • Re:Short list (Score:2, Informative)

    by s_p_oneil ( 795792 ) on Saturday August 20, 2005 @09:17PM (#13364405) Homepage
    You have to watch out for some of the 6200's. Some are a step down from the 6600's and others are a step up from the 6200 TurboCache versions. Even though they're not TurboCache versions, they are actually slower than the original 6200. It's a shame that they're not marked as being different from the others.

    If you want silence, there are some fanless 6600's on the market. They may use too much power to run in a Shuttle, though. ;-)
  • Re:Short list (Score:3, Informative)

    by NitsujTPU ( 19263 ) on Saturday August 20, 2005 @09:19PM (#13364415)
    He's right. I have an ATI video card, and it's pure misery.

    People will argue it in both directions, but they're just completely incorrect. My 4 year old GeForce works far better under Linux than my brand spanking new Radeon.
  • by digitalderbs ( 718388 ) on Saturday August 20, 2005 @10:11PM (#13364576)
    I'm in the process shopping for a fanless card. I found this review [digital-daily.com] useful (Nvidia and ATI). Sorry, no linux. The review comes with detailed benchmarks.

    • PCI-E and AGP
    • Nvidia Geforce 6200, 6600 and 6800 models
    • ATI X300, X700, X800
    • Benchmarks : 3DMark05, 3DMark03, Half-Life 2, Doom 3, Far Cry,
  • Rojakpot? (Score:4, Informative)

    by mblase ( 200735 ) on Saturday August 20, 2005 @10:18PM (#13364599)
    Didn't we already slashdot this server once today [slashdot.org]?
  • by weekendgeek ( 711624 ) on Saturday August 20, 2005 @10:39PM (#13364644)
    How about a nVidia FX5500 or FX5700? Roughly about $100 and easy driver installation.

    Newegg has them in stock (just search for video cards with a PCI interface).
  • Whiffed... (Score:3, Informative)

    by NeoBeans ( 591740 ) * on Saturday August 20, 2005 @10:48PM (#13364670) Homepage Journal
    You do realize you totally missed the sarcasm, right?
  • by NanoGator ( 522640 ) on Saturday August 20, 2005 @11:05PM (#13364722) Homepage Journal
    "wtf is a texel"

    It's a 'textured pixel'. Yeah, I know, that's not too descriptive. In 2D, when you draw a point on the screen, it's known as a pixel. In 3D, when you're filling a polygon with a texture map, every one of the pixels of that texture map is considered a 'texel'. That texel may be drawn of several pixels, but it's still one unit of that polygon that's worth measuring.

  • by DJ-Dodger ( 169589 ) on Saturday August 20, 2005 @11:15PM (#13364755) Homepage
    The Tech-Report has a similar chart [techreport.com], but theirs is sortable and each card is linked to a review of the card if they did one.

  • 6600GT "infinite loop" [google.com]. 7,900 hits.

    If you support dishonesty and violence [doonesbury.com], don't say you are Christian.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 21, 2005 @12:13AM (#13364933)
    Fortunately, I've converted to the Mac, so I don't have to worry about stupid things like having a choice in graphics cards.

    Really? When I bought my G5 tower I had the choice between a GeForce 6800 Ultra, an ATI X800XT, an ATI 9600XT, or an aftermarket ATI Radeon 9800 Pro.
    If you *really* needed the choice you shouldn't have bought a Mini, Emac or an Imac.

    No, you don't get all off the off-brand "XFX Sooper EXTREEM O'CLOCKED 78000GTX with Dual Inline Turbo" types of things, but there are choices for some of us.
  • by rrhal ( 88665 ) on Sunday August 21, 2005 @01:01AM (#13365085)
    Well they're still on the cutting edge -
    http://www.matrox.com/mga/media_center/press_rel/2 005/millennium_g550_pcie.cfm [matrox.com]Matrox announces world's first PCI Express x1 graphics card
  • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Sunday August 21, 2005 @06:28AM (#13365829) Journal
    Another poster suggested the Quadro. This is not a good idea, since the main difference between the Quadro and the GeForce line is the drivers - and you're not really going to need CAD-optimised OpenGL good drivers for scientific computing.

    In general, newer is better, but at the moment I'd go with nVidia, since their shader pipelines have much better branch support in the latest generation than ATi - something very important for non-graphics work.

    AGP might it might not be a bottleneck, depending on what you do. You can get data onto an AGP card a lot faster than you can get it off, but if you're streaming data in and only want an cumulative result then AGP will be fine (render to target extensions in modern cards are great for intermediate results).

  • by Loonacy ( 459630 ) on Sunday August 21, 2005 @07:23AM (#13365926)
    What's funny is the first result was a bunch of posts by "Infinite Loop" and the second result was someone complaining about an infinite loop with the ATi 9600XT.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 21, 2005 @11:33AM (#13366519)
    (Ok, maybe I forgot a ??? step)

    Yes, you did; several in fact.

    * They've licensed some technology from 3rd parties, and can't disclose the related source code due to non-disclosure agreements.

    * The GPU industry is encamped in a patent minefield. If they release their source-code, their competitors might find incontrovertible evidence that they have infringed on one or more of the competitors' patents. This would put NV (or ATI) in a costly legal position, even if the infringement was inadvertant. That's not an attractive proposition.

    * Even if NV (or ATI) thinks their software has no trade secrets of its own, their hardware certainly contains features that they consider to be trade secrets. Unlike patents, trade secrets have no statutory protection, and so-- were they to become public knowledge-- NV/ATI would have little recourse. Open sourcing their drivers could potentially publicize many of these hardware trade secrets, either by inference, by deduction, or by explicit statement (like, comments in the source.)

    If your hardware happens to be better than your competitors at performing some particular task, why would you want to tell your competitors how your hardware does it? (This is not to say your competition couldn't deduce such things via other technical means, but those other means are by definition harder. I mean, what's easier than reading a document your competition so graciously gave you for free?)

    The GPU business, perhaps more than any other type of silicon business, is essentially an arms race, and so maintaining technological leverage is paramount. If you trip up once, you find yourself no longer the leader, and playing catch-up.

    Consequently, forfeiting any advantage at all can be a financially devastating mistake.

To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing. -- Elbert Hubbard