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Compatibility - ATI vs nVidia?





David_Pardy
This isn't intended to be a debate about who is better.

But my past experience with ATI is that they work with less games, and the perform worse in some games than nVidia. I am trying to find out if this is still the case.

I'm not trying to compare performance or anything, although I am interested in the mid-range - high end lines, ie. the models comparable in price only to the 9600GT, 9800GT and 9800GTX+. I've actually already ordered my 9800GTX+ but I'm still interested to see what the compatibility issues are like.
8166UY
I had no compatability issues with my Ati HD4850 apart from Linux drivers. It also gives very high framerates on the newest games, so I'm glad I bought it. But I do admit that the drivers from NVidia were indeed better in the past.
Loathing in Fear
I've only had nVidia cards, so I can't tell you anything about compatability issues. But, according to a friend who's got 2 PCs, 1 nVidia and 1 with an Ati card, there isn't much difference in performance and compatability, it all depends on the drivers they release (Ati released a Far Cry 2 hotfix a few days back, which gives Ati an advantage over nVidia in FC2).
blk3
I had the old ATI Radeon 9600 (128MB), so far during its time (when it was released) it can handle most games that I use it with. But recent games can't run all too well with this. For the next rig I'll build I'm planning on an nVidia this time though.
ddukki
Microsoft PCs and Macs are probably more compatible with NVidia because they have products (like XBox and Mac Books) that use NVidias as standard installations. ATI's a great brand, but if you're not going for the upper division cards like the HD4850, then stick with NVidia ... although NVidia's got a slew of issues with driver failures and BSODs on some motherboards.
QrafTee
A lot of games are optimized for nVidia because they have partnerships with developers. However, some games utilize Direct X 10.1 which is exclusive to ATI... Either way, both cards work with modern games without problems now.
David_Pardy
Thanks for the info, everyone Smile. It has confirmed my suspicions.

The 4850 and 4870 were both a bit too expensive in comparison to the price I could get on the 9800GTX+ which is already a fantastic card (and the best video card I've ever owned). So I don't feel like I've ripped myself off Smile
ForceRun
I'm very Nvidia biosed, as I have always used them, but from the experance I have had with other people's ATi card, I would have to say overall nvidia will do more for you. All the bench mark sites usall have one or two games where the ATi card was unable to play the game.

However the most recent cards out from AMD/ATi are looking much better and they took the time to fix some of the core issue they have had in the past.
QrafTee
David_Pardy wrote:
Thanks for the info, everyone Smile. It has confirmed my suspicions.

The 4850 and 4870 were both a bit too expensive in comparison to the price I could get on the 9800GTX+ which is already a fantastic card (and the best video card I've ever owned). So I don't feel like I've ripped myself off Smile


I can find an HD4850 for $137.99 AR w/FS how much can you find an nVidia 9800 GTX+ for?
David_Pardy
I've just spotted a 4850 1GB card for AU$279 (don't ask me for a US price comparison)

hmm...

I might have to get in contact with certain people again and see what cards they've got available...

Would a 4850 1GB card be better than an overclocked 9800GTX+ 512mb?
David_Pardy
I should mention that I'm paying cost price for the 9800GTX+, which is about AU$320 at the moment. I'm not sure what the retail value of the card is, I should check Wink.
milk
ATI tends not to supply drivers for Linux. nVidia is so much better, although it can be more expensive.
ForceRun
It is wrong to say that Nvidia always cost more. ATi just has them beat for just the moment. Like last year this time you could buy the 8800GT (Brand New) for $240 USD, while ATi sold no cards that came even close to it's total performance. Their closes one cost over $400 USD. If I was to upgrade right now I would get an eVGA 260 GTX Core 216:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130400
For $279.99 after discounts from Newegg.com

It has the power of the 280 if you give is a just a tiny overclock, and this card loves to overclock. eVGA has a full-life-time warrenty; which no ATi card has at all. They have a 90 day trade up program which totally rocks. And it is nvidia.

Right now I have a 9800GTX that I got for $100, and I'm perfectly happy with it. It overclocks very nicely, runs quiet and cool. I can run ever game very high settings a get a solid 60 FPS overall. (Not counting Crysis).
QrafTee
ForceRun wrote:
It is wrong to say that Nvidia always cost more. ATi just has them beat for just the moment. Like last year this time you could buy the 8800GT (Brand New) for $240 USD, while ATi sold no cards that came even close to it's total performance. Their closes one cost over $400 USD. If I was to upgrade right now I would get an eVGA 260 GTX Core 216:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130400
For $279.99 after discounts from Newegg.com

It has the power of the 280 if you give is a just a tiny overclock, and this card loves to overclock. eVGA has a full-life-time warrenty; which no ATi card has at all. They have a 90 day trade up program which totally rocks. And it is nvidia.

Right now I have a 9800GTX that I got for $100, and I'm perfectly happy with it. It overclocks very nicely, runs quiet and cool. I can run ever game very high settings a get a solid 60 FPS overall. (Not counting Crysis).


ATI cards are usually cheaper than NVIDIA cards... But in the past the lower price never really matched NVIDIA in performance which is why they always lagged behind. This time around ATI beat NVIDIA in price/performance and most powerful graphics card.

And there are ATI cards which full lifetime warranties, I believe Visiontek is the company that backs their ATI cards with full lifetime warranties; please do check your facts before posting biased opinions as fact.
David_Pardy
I decided not to worry about the ATI card. The Geforce I'm getting is made by Zotac, and comes with a 5 year warranty. As my greatest concern is compatibility over an extra 5 or 10 FPS in a couple of games, I'm going to stick with the nVidia.
Flarkis
I started with an ATI graphics card (although it was very old and couldnt run most of the newer games out there) and I was satisfied with it. Now though, I have a nvidia graphics card that is fairly decent and it can work with most games so far.

I must add, in some games, in the begining credits or whatever you want to call them, that show companies that made the game and such, I've seen quite a few games that showed a nvidia logo. No games I've seen have had an ATI video card o.o. Just thought I'd throw that out there

Edit: Just started playing Monopoly Tycoon (again) and saw a ATI intro credit thing. Thing is, this game I got in a cereal box Laughing I see more Nvidia logos in high graphic games then I do ATI, but thats just me Smile
David_Pardy
My biggest problem with ATI comes from my own experience with my Radeon 9600. The problem was that in a few games the gameplay was very jerky. The framerate was smooth, but nothing was steady. As in, you'd have pulses of speed when it should just be consistent. I noticed it a lot with Max Payne and GTA3. It basically made the games otherwise unplayable. The problem was eliminated when I got the Geforce 7600GT.
ServalM
Just bought myself an HD4850 and I must say that I'm very glad with it. The price/performance comparison of ATI has always been much better than Nvidia's. Although I agree when you say Nvidia has always been slightly better than ATI, you will only see or take notice of it when you wanna play high-end and the latest games only (and don't forget the higher cost for it). So for a little gain in framerate, you pay lot's more money. It's just not worth it for me. One thing I need to say about the overclock function that ATI has, it sucks Smile
Flakky
QrafTee wrote:
A lot of games are optimized for nVidia because they have partnerships with developers. However, some games utilize Direct X 10.1 which is exclusive to ATI... Either way, both cards work with modern games without problems now.
Assasins Creed had a dx 10.1 patch available for ATI users but NVIDIA threated to drop Assasins Creed support on their next drivers if they would release the patch. I feel that NVIDIA is the best because of PhysX, CUDA and the relationships they have with developers. I've seen an ATI advertisement in one game so far and countless of NVIDIA logos in other games.
David_Pardy
That's poor business practise though, Flakky. I'm sure that could be considered an attempt to monopolize and is probably illegal. If that's actually true, nVidia could get themselves into hot water doing things like that.
ServalM
David_Pardy wrote:
That's poor business practise though, Flakky. I'm sure that could be considered an attempt to monopolize and is probably illegal. If that's actually true, nVidia could get themselves into hot water doing things like that.


even if you're right, that doesn't even matter. What does it matter anyway that a "logo" of a video card distributor is on a game cover or not? Both brands support the game, both intend to work around it (if a problem comes up, both of them will eventually make patches for it).
I'm just saying, today doesn't matter if you choose Nvidia or ATI for the name, you have to look for the price/performance comparison in order to choose the best fitted card for you.
David_Pardy
Hey, *I* never said anything about which games have product placement Wink.

I was more concerned about ACTUAL compatibility issues people have had. Nothing to do with whether there's a logo for a particular brand in a game. To me that's just more advertisement.


DirectX and OpenGL are the standards that both companies have to follow, it is the responsibility of the card manufacturers to follow these design standards, and it is also the responsibility of the game programmers to design their cards to follow these standards. The problem though, is that the hardware for each game is obviously designed differently, so their instruction sets are different. Certain things will be performed more or less efficiently in comparison to the competitor.

Therefore it is likely and probable that the software developers will use code optimised for one or the other developer. While these differences might usually be very small, there's still differences. To me, if one brand has more faults than the other (regardless of the software developers' coding practises), then I would be more inclined to buy the other brand regardless of price/performance. I want my video card to work with everything!
JinTenshi
I'm thinking nVidia is better in terms of performance. ATi seems to have problems with some game. (CS:Source for one will crash if runned on certain ATi graphic cards) But to each their own, I'll stick to nVidia.
ServalM
David_Pardy wrote:

Therefore it is likely and probable that the software developers will use code optimised for one or the other developer. While these differences might usually be very small, there's still differences. To me, if one brand has more faults than the other (regardless of the software developers' coding practises), then I would be more inclined to buy the other brand regardless of price/performance. I want my video card to work with everything!


Your are absolutely right when it comes to choosing the video card that works with everything, and so I was saying before. Today it really doesn't matter which brand you take, because even if the slightest changes you notice are there, they will be patched away in an instant. But offcourse it still is your own opinion and I respect that. Still (xD), I would say only to compare price/performance, or if not looking for a certain price category, reed lots and lots of reviews before buying anything, and not specifically look at a brand.

Yours forever,
QrafTee
David_Pardy wrote:
That's poor business practise though, Flakky. I'm sure that could be considered an attempt to monopolize and is probably illegal. If that's actually true, nVidia could get themselves into hot water doing things like that.

Well NVIDIA is already paying... call it karma. Many of their notebook GPUs are overheating and failing--even their mid-grade 8600M GT cards; reports of their high-end desktop cards have issues--from 8400GS to 9600GTS; which includes the well-known 8800 series. And they're being sued with a class-action lawsuit by many Dell/HP customers. Not only that, their sales has been down while ATIs has been up.

By the way, CUDA isn't that much of an advantage NVIDIA has over ATI; in fact NVIDIA has admitted that they have made contact with their competitor to integrate CUDA into their GPUs. It sounds strange, but it actually makes sense when Intel's Larrabee is just around the corner. So far, however, ATI has responded with, "Thanks, but no thanks."
catscratches
I'm having problems with drivers for my ATI card, but that probably hasn't anything to do with that it's ATI, rather that it's so old.
ServalM
catscratches wrote:
I'm having problems with drivers for my ATI card, but that probably hasn't anything to do with that it's ATI, rather that it's so old.


CCC solves many problems, update it, normally it should find your card and look for the best drivers.
Fatality
I'm not sure about compatibility, but I've always thought ATI was better for gaming. I'm looking to build a new PC and so i started doing some research into the two brands of card. I think I'm going to go with an nVidia, I did not really dig into the how each of them compare with compatibility. I know for a lot of the more popular games (Crisis, COD 4, etc.) both cards were about the same.
funky_programmer
Since I have my first computer, I always stick with nVidia. Starting with my first GPU, GeForce 4 MX 400, GeForce PCX5300, and now GeForce 8600GT, I always satisfied by the stability and reliabilty of my GPUs. nVidia also has good driver support, because when I face some compatibility issues with some games, nVidia would release a driver update that will resolve the issues.

I think that the future of nVidia is much more brighter, because many developer work with nVidia, including Folding@home, which include nVidia CUDA technology in its application.
Many games include nVidia logo 'The Way It Meant To Be Played', which means that the game is optimized for nVidia GPUs.
And also, nVidia's newest GPUs, GeForce GTX 260 and 280 include PhysX processor embedded in its core.
Flakky
funky_programmer wrote:
Since I have my first computer, I always stick with nVidia. Starting with my first GPU, GeForce 4 MX 400, GeForce PCX5300, and now GeForce 8600GT, I always satisfied by the stability and reliabilty of my GPUs. nVidia also has good driver support, because when I face some compatibility issues with some games, nVidia would release a driver update that will resolve the issues.

I think that the future of nVidia is much more brighter, because many developer work with nVidia, including Folding@home, which include nVidia CUDA technology in its application.
Many games include nVidia logo 'The Way It Meant To Be Played', which means that the game is optimized for nVidia GPUs.
And also, nVidia's newest GPUs, GeForce GTX 260 and 280 include PhysX processor embedded in its core.
I thought the 9000 series also had PhysX and CUDA. It does matter if there is a logo of nVidia or ATI in a game, it states it will work in any case unless it's your own fault and we optimized it for these cards.
QrafTee
Flakky wrote:
funky_programmer wrote:
Since I have my first computer, I always stick with nVidia. Starting with my first GPU, GeForce 4 MX 400, GeForce PCX5300, and now GeForce 8600GT, I always satisfied by the stability and reliabilty of my GPUs. nVidia also has good driver support, because when I face some compatibility issues with some games, nVidia would release a driver update that will resolve the issues.

I think that the future of nVidia is much more brighter, because many developer work with nVidia, including Folding@home, which include nVidia CUDA technology in its application.
Many games include nVidia logo 'The Way It Meant To Be Played', which means that the game is optimized for nVidia GPUs.
And also, nVidia's newest GPUs, GeForce GTX 260 and 280 include PhysX processor embedded in its core.
I thought the 9000 series also had PhysX and CUDA. It does matter if there is a logo of nVidia or ATI in a game, it states it will work in any case unless it's your own fault and we optimized it for these cards.

There are a lot of nVidia fanboys... Buy even funky_programmer's build is mediocore at best; all his cards are mainstream cards. In that case ATI or nVidia are pretty much in the same boat--benchmarks do show better scores with ATI 4000 series cards though.

PhysX is currently not very useful. It's facing the same problems as the standalone PhysX cards; turning it on causes the game to suffer lower framerates. CUDA, on the otherhand, is looking nice. Already being incorporated in Adobe's CS4 collection, it'll be real nice. If CUDA continues to succeed and is also adopted by ATI, Intel will have to watch their backs. If CUDA fails, however, nVidia will definitely have difficult decisions to make by the time Intel's Larrabee is released.
achowles
I've got an ATI card and it's the crappy incompatible drivers that are putting me off. I don't know where you're getting the idea that the cards aren't as fast though. The hardware is powerful. It's just the drivers for them that are the problem.

The card may well see me through next year, in terms of being adequately powerful. But the drivers may make me switch before then.
Flakky
QrafTee wrote:
Flakky wrote:
funky_programmer wrote:
Since I have my first computer, I always stick with nVidia. Starting with my first GPU, GeForce 4 MX 400, GeForce PCX5300, and now GeForce 8600GT, I always satisfied by the stability and reliabilty of my GPUs. nVidia also has good driver support, because when I face some compatibility issues with some games, nVidia would release a driver update that will resolve the issues.

I think that the future of nVidia is much more brighter, because many developer work with nVidia, including Folding@home, which include nVidia CUDA technology in its application.
Many games include nVidia logo 'The Way It Meant To Be Played', which means that the game is optimized for nVidia GPUs.
And also, nVidia's newest GPUs, GeForce GTX 260 and 280 include PhysX processor embedded in its core.
I thought the 9000 series also had PhysX and CUDA. It does matter if there is a logo of nVidia or ATI in a game, it states it will work in any case unless it's your own fault and we optimized it for these cards.

There are a lot of nVidia fanboys... Buy even funky_programmer's build is mediocore at best; all his cards are mainstream cards. In that case ATI or nVidia are pretty much in the same boat--benchmarks do show better scores with ATI 4000 series cards though.

PhysX is currently not very useful. It's facing the same problems as the standalone PhysX cards; turning it on causes the game to suffer lower framerates. CUDA, on the otherhand, is looking nice. Already being incorporated in Adobe's CS4 collection, it'll be real nice. If CUDA continues to succeed and is also adopted by ATI, Intel will have to watch their backs. If CUDA fails, however, nVidia will definitely have difficult decisions to make by the time Intel's Larrabee is released.
The games which use PhysX don't realize that too many objects slow down rendering. That's why nVidia is hammering about SLI.
QrafTee
achowles wrote:
I've got an ATI card and it's the crappy incompatible drivers that are putting me off. I don't know where you're getting the idea that the cards aren't as fast though. The hardware is powerful. It's just the drivers for them that are the problem.

The card may well see me through next year, in terms of being adequately powerful. But the drivers may make me switch before then.

I don't know about you, I'm using the Catalyst drivers and they're fine. You can always try third-party ones if you want to tweak.
ServalM
QrafTee wrote:
achowles wrote:
I've got an ATI card and it's the crappy incompatible drivers that are putting me off. I don't know where you're getting the idea that the cards aren't as fast though. The hardware is powerful. It's just the drivers for them that are the problem.

The card may well see me through next year, in terms of being adequately powerful. But the drivers may make me switch before then.

I don't know about you, I'm using the Catalyst drivers and they're fine. You can always try third-party ones if you want to tweak.


indeed here Smile
don't know with the compatibillity of older cards since I have the new HD4850, but it's flying for me Smile
the new far cry is in very high setting and it's beautifull. Which means that Nvidia or ATI, they both work on a good level for gaming, and hard to see the difference.
QrafTee
In a new update from Fudzilla, it shows that a new driver nVidia's been working on is going to help the new GTX 260 run faster than ATI Radeon's HD4870. I hope ATI is taking notice and keeping to their promise to keep their drivers up-to-date and working well.
ServalM
or you can also call it marketing, sponsors or whatever the hell you like Cool
it's up to the brands to make it run, ofcourse they can be tested and made with one specific brand, but don't think the other one will be so much slower...
Starrfoxx
I've used Nvidia for the longest time, and I'm currently using a factory overclocked 8600gt 512mb. Works great. My wife has used ATI mostly, although for a year she was using an 8400gs card. It worked to start off with, but later games would go black. We recently bought her an ATI HD3650 and things are much better now.
QrafTee
ServalM wrote:
or you can also call it marketing, sponsors or whatever the hell you like Cool
it's up to the brands to make it run, ofcourse they can be tested and made with one specific brand, but don't think the other one will be so much slower...

True, the one exception is Crysis. nVidia worked hard with that company and you can tell from the benchmarks that it shows quite a difference with ATi cards... until the new firmware is released.
8166UY
I get an avarage of 28 frames if I put everything maxed with my HD4850 on 1200x1024, so that's pretty relative.
weableandbob
I've never had an ATI card, but from what I've heard, nVidia might be a bit more compatible, although there probably aren't too many issues.
ForceRun
ATi/AMD has had a tough time the last few years, but has really made a push this last 6 month with the 4870 cards. Like you guys said they really are neck to neck right now. ATi has the current lead with the 4870 X2 as far and 'highend' card (which they haven't even tried to compete in in the last 2 years before this). Nvidia currently has the 280 which is a little 'slower' in overall FPS then the 4870 X2 but beats the pants off the single 4870. It will be more exciting when Nvidia releases its 295 (2x 280s), which will mostlikly beat the 4870 X2 as the top card.

However the real market is the mid level cards, cards under $199 that have the preformace close to the $500 card but make the cut. This is were ATi has a very definate lead, with a $50 value lead it seems on their cards. Nvidia countered by lowering it prices, which ATi also did again making it a buyers market by far. Nvidia has the 260 GTX (NOT GT) 216 Core for about $249 which is the one to get if you want Nvidia, mean while ATi has the better value of 4870 for $190 ish, which has better stock preformance.

I have used both ATi and Nvidia in the past and have always thought that Nvidia had better drivers overall, and better constant performance across all the differant games. So unless things change I'm sticking with Nvidia. I currantly have a 9800GTX+ that I traded a dude for, it overclocks nicely and play most every game at high settings + 1920X1080, currant retail is something like $150. My brother has the 260 Core 216, and can max out every game he plays. It is a very nice card. Disclamer being who cares about Crysis and GTA is just badly coded.
Seiji
The ATI cards are really good, as time goes on they are more compatible with games and plus they are a lot cheaper than Nvidia cards. Its kind of like Firefox and IE, Firefox took awhile to catch up with IE but it finally did. I'm running an 8800GS, I have yet to upgrade yet, since it can play any game out right now. Whenever I do, I'll probably look into ATI cards because of the price.
funky_programmer
Yes..ATI cards is more affordable than nVidia on the same specs. But I didn't like the way they build the drivers.
The Catalyst Control Center always requires Microsoft .NET Framework to be installed, which in effect, make our system heavier. In other side, nVidia's drivers do not require such an external Framework to work. Its only download and install, so the download size also can be kept small, because we don't have to download the .NET Framework.
QrafTee
funky_programmer wrote:
Yes..ATI cards is more affordable than nVidia on the same specs. But I didn't like the way they build the drivers.
The Catalyst Control Center always requires Microsoft .NET Framework to be installed, which in effect, make our system heavier. In other side, nVidia's drivers do not require such an external Framework to work. Its only download and install, so the download size also can be kept small, because we don't have to download the .NET Framework.

... I have to say any serious gamer/enthusiast who gets a high-end card--even mid-range--will have a computer that won't be the least "weighed down" by .NET Framework, any Internet Security programs, any PC component monitoring program, IM programs, or anything else.

I have people claiming to be enthusiasts and gamers and say they don't install Internet Security programs because its a "waste of resources." If that's a waste of resource then so is Lavalys Everest--which monitors clock speed, core temps, etc.

You make a point with the drivers themselves, but taking a jab at CCC... give me a break. Either go big or go home.
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