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Old 31-03-2006, 06:46 PM   #1
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Can't decide between NVidia or ATI

I've been a fan of NVIdia cards for a while, just a personal preference to have a card thats quieter, and does the job for the same price.

But, now I'm making the decision for a friends pc I'm building for him it's not that simple anymore and I was wondering what you guys thought.

Here's the basic system, got to keep price to between 900 - 1100 excluding monitor.

AMD 64 X2 Dual Core 4200+ 250
Corsair 2GB DDR Value Select PC3200 111
2 X Seagate Barracude 7200.9 NCQ 300GB SATA II 160
Keyboard + Mouse
DVD Writer
Case, PSU, TV card etc

Then a custom mobo/chipset for the graphics cards - either:

Abit AT8 ATI Xfire, S939 , PCI-E (x16) , DDR PC3200 (400), SATA II , SATA RAID , ATX 78

with

Sapphire ATI Radeon X1900 XT 512MB 299

OR

Abit AN8 SLi NF4 SLI , S939 , PCI-E (x16) , DDR PC3200 (400), SATA II , SATA RAID , ATX 88

with

GeForce 7900 GT/2DHT 256MB 250

IMO the difference is only 40 between mobo and g.card config but the GPU clock speeds of the ati card are far more superior along with the memory speed and size but NVidia are still popular with a lot of people so what are the pitfalls with ATI?

Tried to futute proof the system by allowing SLI/XFire and mem and HD expanability too.

Cheers for any opinions you can give
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Old 31-03-2006, 06:53 PM   #2
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ATI are supposed to be good, Nathan loves his X1800.
I use SLI myself and Im very very impressed, just make sure you get a good PSU, I run a 500 Watt Antec and its not enough
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Old 31-03-2006, 06:56 PM   #3
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Thanks platinum

I've opted for an SLi ready Hiper PSU, got 1 in my pc. I know Antec are popular here but Hiper win a lot of awards and mine is really quite but has high quality ampage.

About 50 - 60 quid
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Old 31-03-2006, 06:57 PM   #4
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aye mate... PSU is parmount... has to be the one of the best components of the system.

I'm sure the GFX boffins will reply in due cause

I'll benchmark my system tonight so you can get an idea on my spec vs cost etc
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Old 31-03-2006, 06:59 PM   #5
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remember that ex pro cs player at the LAN party, poon i think, he had a hiper psu running v well with sli 7800 gt setup so im sure they're the bizniz.

Last edited by Zammo; 31-03-2006 at 07:12 PM.
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Old 31-03-2006, 07:14 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Zammo
Thanks platinum

I've opted for an SLi ready Hiper PSU, got 1 in my pc. I know Antec are popular here but Hiper win a lot of awards and mine is really quite but has high quality ampage.

About 50 - 60 quid
Check this page mate : http://www.slizone.com/object/slizon..._powersupplies

Dont see your PSU on there, I would recomend saving and splashing out on one of the top PSU's at leasyt a 600 watt model, I found out the hard way that you need a lot of Juice, I thought my 500 Watt Antec would handle a OC'd system with 2 7800GTX cards and it just cant.
Gonna get the FSP 700 Watt model when I have some cash
Also you have to think about future upgrades, get a top spec PSU now and your safe for a few years
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Old 31-03-2006, 07:16 PM   #7
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Hiper Type-R series 580W HPU-4[B,K,R,S]580 was in the link you just sent me.

Thanks for the info tho, will look at the price of the others.

Cheers
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Old 31-03-2006, 07:19 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Zammo
Hiper Type-R series 580W HPU-4[B,K,R,S]580 was in the link you just sent me.

Thanks for the info tho, will look at the price of the others.

Cheers
lol, Im not a n00b for nothing , good luck with the build mate

welcome to the forums BTW
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Old 31-03-2006, 10:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Platinum
lol, Im not a n00b for nothing , good luck with the build mate

welcome to the forums BTW
Haha dont worry! Useful link anyway.

Did you go the last LAN? was my first one.

Cheers for taking the time to answer
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Old 03-04-2006, 04:25 PM   #10
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Nathan... you must have some input for this one?

Where u hiding?
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Old 03-04-2006, 05:00 PM   #11
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If you intend to run in a single card config go with the X1900, if you intend to run multi card at some point in the near future go with the 7900. Basically Nvidia SLI > ATI Crossfire atm, since you are looking at multi gpu capable motherboards id say go with Nvidia on this one.

ATI do have the RD580 chipset coming fairly soon, which will give better performance and when coupled with the new drivers should give more flexibility then the current system (using a Crossfire Master Card and "slave") but details are sparse atm.
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Old 03-04-2006, 08:46 PM   #12
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Zammo are you actually looking at running SLI at any point for this system?
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Old 03-04-2006, 10:03 PM   #13
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Thanks for the posts guys.

I think from a money point of view my mate only wants 1 card, so maybe i'll go for the X1900.

Not starting for a couple of weeks so there's still time for some more convincing people.

Nathan, will NVidia fix the restriction on HDR and AA or is AF at the same time or is the 7900 capable already?

Cheers
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Old 03-04-2006, 10:53 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Nathan, will NVidia fix the restriction on HDR and AA or is AF at the same time or is the 7900 capable already?
It is a hardware restriction in the case of FP16 HDR (like the kind used in Far Cry) where multisampled antialiasing won't work with it. Apprently supersampled AA does work though (big performance hit). HDR can also be implemented on the software side, like in the case of Half Life 2, where Nvidia cards can also do antialiasing and HDR. The X1K series cards can use both FP16 HDR and the software implementation seen in HL2 with antialiasing. How big an advantage this feature is remains to be seen, iirc Far Cry wasnt performing too well with both enabled and I cant seem to get HDR and AA working on my X1800 for some reason. :/

It is likely the next generation Nvidia cards will support FP16 HDR and AA as well as High Quality angle independent anisotropic filtering much like the X1K series cards do.
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Old 04-04-2006, 05:39 PM   #15
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So if your going for a single card solution, you don't need the SLI/Crossfire board right?
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Old 04-04-2006, 05:42 PM   #16
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Its always good to have one in case you want to in the future?
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Old 04-04-2006, 07:28 PM   #17
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Its always good to have one in case you want to in the future?
Indeed, thats what I did, got the SLI mobo and Vid card then about 6 months later I added this second card for SLI lovin
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Old 05-04-2006, 05:25 PM   #18
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Yeah Platinum thats my thinking, build it in for the future just in case, SLi boards dont cost much more than single slot boards anyway.

trying to save a tenner if it means shelling out 70 quid plus on a new board if you want to go down the SLi route later?
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Old 05-04-2006, 05:35 PM   #19
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Indeed, and then when it comes to going SLI the cards should be cheaper anyhow so saving you money
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