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Poll: If you were buying a new card, would it be an NV GT480 or ATI 5870?
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If you were buying a new card, would it be an NV GT480 or ATI 5870?

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Old 04-02-2010, 09:12 PM   #16
Blackhawkckc
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Bill, Im not saying Intel chipsets cant *run* games. Just that they aren't close to the acceleration and raw FPS that ATI and Nvidia cards are capable of. There is more to a game than resolution. Throw Crysis in your rig, set everything to ultra, and let me know how the FPS is. In general whenever I read about PC gaming of any sort, its either Nvidia or ATI. Intel isn't -incapable- of running games. They just aren't -as- capable.

@MTK: I can't comment on the 3d status of either driver. I've never had to use them. Nvidias drivers to this point have been rock solid. Like I said in my original post, its been nearly 10 years since I dealt with ATI. Thanks for letting me know the Xf86 ATI driver does though. If I do go with an ATI card that will be good to know.
 
Old 04-02-2010, 09:57 PM   #17
DragonSlayer48DX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackhawkckc View Post
In general whenever I read about PC gaming of any sort, its either Nvidia or ATI. Intel isn't -incapable- of running games. They just aren't -as- capable.
Yup, high-end marketing works... Just look at Windows' market share.

As far as FPS goes, I have no need to bother checking it unless my system is choking, and that's never happened through the many years I've been using Intel video cards/chipsets. I'd also like to point out that games for Linux aren't anywhere near as resource-hungry as those written for Windows, and still quite a few 'Windows' games running on Linux with Wine are so freakin fast that they're unplayable. But, to each his own... I'm not going to turn your thread into a flame war over the issue.

Cheers, and Good Luck
 
Old 04-03-2010, 06:31 AM   #18
MTK358
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackhawkckc View Post
@MTK: I can't comment on the 3d status of either driver. I've never had to use them. Nvidias drivers to this point have been rock solid. Like I said in my original post, its been nearly 10 years since I dealt with ATI. Thanks for letting me know the Xf86 ATI driver does though. If I do go with an ATI card that will be good to know.
I guess that the proprietary would have a little better performance, but they are a horrible pain in the @$$ for me.

They never worked right, they cause certain functionality to break, and they integrate very poorly with Linux and X.

It was a painful experience of swapping cards and having nothing really working for months until xf86-video-ati started to have 3D support.

Besides, xf86-video-ati is open-source.
 
Old 04-14-2010, 11:01 PM   #19
melk600
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While the Nvidia card does have better performance than the ATI, I would definitely go with the ATI. As you noted in your original post, the performance gains are far less than the power draw difference which I think is something to seriously weigh in your decision making. Also, while in the past, Nvidia did have better support, that is no longer true, and actually the opposite is probably true now. ATI is far more friendly to the open source world than Nvidia and Nvidia has even stated that they have no plans to change that. I've read that the Nouveau team has done a great job, but without full documentation, they will never be able to compete with the proprietary driver from Nvidia. The ATI open source driver is getting close to being able to be compared to the proprietary ATI driver in performance, and after that is on par, I'm sure the complicated stuff like CrossFire will get addressed.

I would do some more research before buying either though and not just trust opinions from users on this forum. I have an ATI 3870 now and had an Nvidia FX5700 before that, so I've had both brands, but I haven't had any experience with either of the two cards your asking about, and I haven't seen any responses on this forum from someone who actually has one of the cards you asked about and has said "it works great for me!".

Good luck with your decision,

Mike E.
 
Old 04-15-2010, 10:59 AM   #20
strick1226
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In my experience, the super-latest-and-greatest of nearly any manufacturer's video card initially has some kind of issues with linux until either a new kernel update becomes available and/or the manufacturer provides updated drivers for the platform.

That being said, I agree that nVidia does seem to archive their products a bit more slowly than ATI. There's a reason a vast majority of MythTV users run older nVidia cards--it's nearly plug and play. The proprietary driver generally works quite well for most users.

Still, I find the progress occurring with the opensource ATI X11 driver to be very encouraging; within a year or two, this might very well be a much easier question to answer. When you take this into consideration along with the latest, very expensive nVidia hardware performing less-than-admirably, I'd probably have to choose an ATI card at this point.

Unless you're in need of a space heater
 
Old 04-15-2010, 12:15 PM   #21
Blackhawkckc
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Originally Posted by strick1226 View Post
When you take this into consideration along with the latest, very expensive nVidia hardware performing less-than-admirably, I'd probably have to choose an ATI card at this point.

Unless you're in need of a space heater
Well, Currently I have an Nvidia 8800GT which is getting quite old considering how quickly things like this become out of date. It is definitely time to upgrade. As far as being latest and expensive, and even driver support, to be fair ATI has had a nearly 6 month lead on their newest cards and driver development. According to what Ive read via google regarding the 470\80 linux drivers, they're expected to be available on the release of the new cards (they dont go on sale "officially" until the 16th of this month.. tomorrow) or very soon after release. Saying Nvidia doesn't have drivers for these cards isn't quite fair since the cards aren't even widely available yet. As for price, the newest Radeon 5970 is priced at $700 USD and the Nvidia 480GT is $500. The Radeon 5870 is about $450 on average. Most reviews Ive read compared the 480GT to the 5870. The price point is about the same, with the 480 outperforming the ATI card in most cases, but only by 10-15%. It isn't that the latest NV cards are performing "less than admirably", they just aren't performing as admirably as the hype from Nvidia lead a lot of people to expect. I probably sound like I'm going Nvidia no matter what, that isn't the case. If I were I wouldn't be considering the ATI solution. It's just that if I'm going to drop $500 I want to know it will work and be a good investment either way. Im just really unsure about ATI since I haven't used one of their cards since my old All-In-Wonder, 10 years ago. My lack of information on its linux compatibility is giving me some serious pause. Im glad they're doing much better now, but historically, that has not been the case. I don't want to get one of their cards thinking they'll support it, which they do right now, just to watch them drop support of it 3 years from now. I can be reasonably assured Nvidia won't do that based on, as you point out, their excellent driver updating and archiving for older products.
 
Old 04-15-2010, 12:21 PM   #22
dna9
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i still prefer nvidia. end of story.
 
Old 04-15-2010, 12:27 PM   #23
strick1226
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Less-than-admirably, to me, is being 6 months late to market compared to its closest competitor and providing little noteworthy performance gains while excelling mainly at more heat, constant fan noise, and a higher price than similar ATI offerings.

Hey, I've been a long-time nVidia fan, but even *I* am willing to admit they pretty much dropped the ball on the Fermi cards. Seriously.

If you haven't used an ATI card in 10 years then it's time to check them out! I hadn't used one since the old 9700 Pro days, when they actually trounced the nVidia offerings at the time, but the 5870 is pretty hard to beat for high-end gaming. Linux compatibility? Don't know, but definitely worth checking out before you make a purchase.


Bottom line: where do you spend most of your time on the computer? Gaming or linux? That really should make the decision for you. If you want maximum bang for the buck *plus* linux performance and compatibility, I guess nVidia would be the best option--though I certainly wouldn't purchase any of the first series of Fermi cards.

Just my $.02 .
 
Old 04-15-2010, 12:35 PM   #24
melk600
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The point that I was trying to make earlier is that with nVidia, you are at their mercy. Although nVidia has been good about supporting legacy cards in the past, there is no reason that it has to stay that way. nVidia controls it because they don't release the necessary documentation for the open source community to create their own driver from, which means you are stuck reverse engineering, which limits how well it will ever be able to perform with an open source driver. ATI on the other hand has great legacy support. It is true that ATI dropped support for their legacy drivers from their proprietary driver, but it doesn't matter. ATI has made the documentation for the chips available to the open source community and so the open source driver available for their legacy cards does the job instead. There is no need for the catalyst drivers to even be installed, because the xorg driver does the job right out of the box. The best way to make sure you'll have legacy support is to have documentation so that the driver can be created by anyone. Which is what ATI is doing. Until nVidia starts releasing documentation to the open source communities, they are the ones lacking for legacy support.

Mike E.
 
Old 04-15-2010, 12:39 PM   #25
strick1226
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Spot-on, melk600. nVidia has provided superior linux support in the past, but the progress with the opensource ATI linux driver seems--to me, at least--more promising overall.

The Noveau opensource driver for nVidia is unlikely ever to make the same level of progress, given nVidia's unwillingness to provide specs and documentation to the community.
 
Old 04-15-2010, 03:51 PM   #26
alawishis
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Both flavours can be trouble it's hard to predict. I also have ad issues with each of ATI and nVidia. I currently have an ATI HD 5850 made by XFX. I'm running Ubuntu 9.10 and really set-up/config was a breeze compared to past struggles. I think a lot of that goes toward how Ubuntu has matured as a platform also. For me the difference in price for essentially the same thing is the big signpost to decide. I have lived on either side of the fence and will buy either companies product based on my needs at the time. I really think you have to be a fan-boy or something to justify to yourself that $150 difference in price is not significant.

Just my two cents, so being my opinion it may not be worth any more than two cents, you decide.

-Alan
 
Old 04-15-2010, 04:17 PM   #27
Electro
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A lot of people are misunderstood about what AMD or ATI provided to the open source community. AMD provided only and only documentation to access AtomBIOS. AtomBIOS is an microcode API that gives driver developers another way to write drivers instead of the nitty gritty way. nVidia uses the nitty gritty way of writing drivers because they can control the performance, reliability, and stability.

By picking nVidia does not mean you are at their mercy of their driver releases. nVidia's drivers tries to be up to date to the latest kernel and Xorg as much as possible. You are getting a lot from nVidia instead of very little compared to ATI. Usually, you are the mercy of the maintainer for your distribution when installing proprietary software because these maintainers creates the most problems.

nVidia is the only company that surpasses my expectations when supporting their hardware. nVidia provides full OpenGL up to 3. ATI provides partial 3D support and this is using their proprietary software which should provide full OpenGL support up to what they advertise. The open source ATI drivers from freedesktop.org or Xorg is only good for setups that rarely use 3D graphics and other features.

If you are a gamer, go with nVidia because you will not have problems with limited 3D support. Also you will not have problems with reliability and stability because nVidia makes sure their software is reliable and stable compared to ATI. If you go with ATI graphic cards, you will be disappointed with ATI software.

The benchmarks from what I saw is only for DirectX. Linux does not use DirectX. It uses OpenGL. OpenGL is a different beast compared to DirectX. OpenGL relies on the video card instead of other components of the computer that DirectX relies on. Though I only saw one OpenGL benchmark for the GT480 and I think it stated the worst of the card, so it does not mean this one OpenGL benchmark shows everything about the latest card.
 
Old 04-15-2010, 05:39 PM   #28
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Do you guys know that Nvidia does not open their driver's source code? They don't contribute to the Nouveau project? I wouldn't buy NV.
 
Old 04-15-2010, 08:37 PM   #29
damgar
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Do you guys know that Nvidia does not open their driver's source code? They don't contribute to the Nouveau project?
Yes, and I don't really don't mind. I know 100% opensource is a philosophical goal, but as I've said before, it's THEIR hardware, and they can choose to support it however they choose. They've chosen to support their hardware very well with a very well performing, if proprietary, driver. I have never had a problem using either the proprietary driver from a distro's repos or from NVIDIA directly. I've had to patch the driver for a new kernel (2.6.33) before, but the kernel was at RC when I had to patch it. I think they were maybe a week behind the kernel's actual release before they had a new driver that didn't require patching. That's not bad considering the kernel's release cycle.

I agree with Electro's post just about 100%.
 
Old 04-16-2010, 01:49 PM   #30
alawishis
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There are some great arguments for NVid if all other things were equal, however, I don't have so much money that I can pay an extra $150 for a driver philosophy. For me the difference in price is the trump card. I know there are those with money to burn and will pay hundreds of dollars more to get a particular name brand even everything else is the same. For me it could be a "Nazi" brand GPU if it was the best solution I'd buy it. Well that may be over stating it a tad but you get my point.
 
  


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