[rescue] Elite3D Question

Nathan Raymond nate at portents.com
Mon Jan 19 22:17:54 CST 2004

On Mon, 19 Jan 2004, Jonathan C. Patschke wrote:

> On Mon, 19 Jan 2004, Bill Bradford wrote:
> > "mass marketing".  Also, I like nVidia, because their cards are fast,
> > cheap, and *perfect* for what *I* need them for (2D 99% of the time, and
> > 3D when I feel like a game).
> ATI's cards are only marginally more expensive and do a much nicer job
> of 2D.  Their 3D isn't nearly as laggy as it used to be, either.

Depends on your price/performance point... sometimes ATI is cheaper than
NVIDIA these days.  And they are certainly ahead of NVIDIA in terms of
performance, and have become the standard for DirectX 9 on the Wintel
platform.  Why?  They reached the market with the 9700 and 9500 months
before NVIDIA did with their FX series because NVIDIA ran into design and
fab delays, and then NVIDIA's FX series is based on a hybrid SIMD/VLIW
architecture that has meant driver/shader compiler issues as complicated
as some other VLIW architectures (think Itanium more than Crusoe).  The
DirectX 9 features on the FX 5200 and FX 5600 are so slow that Valve had
to turn them off in their engine and go a DirectX 8 path on those two
parts for Half Life 2, and it took Valve twice as long to optimize for
NVIDIA as it did for them to optimize for ATI.

That being said, last week I bought a refurb retail GeForce FX 5900 for
$165 because, well, it was $165, and its almost as fast as a Radeon 9800
Pro which would have cost me $255 (for a new OEM part, so not quite
apples to apples).  Nonetheless, I generally recommend ATI these days,
though for the under-$200 price point the FX 5900SE is the sweet spot at

- Nate

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