GeForce 6600 or a Radeon X700?
September 4, 2005 5:54 AM   Subscribe

I have my eye on a new computer. I have the choice between including a 256Mb GeForce 6600 or a 256Mb Radeon X700. For an avid gamer, I have no idea if the latter is worth the extra £50. Is it?
posted by nthdegx to Computers & Internet (18 answers total)
I have no idea either, but despite that, I will say that in my experience, from a driver standpoint, Nvidia fares better. I'd sworn off ATI's for years but gave them another chance about a year ago. After far too many VPU errors in a variety of games from a variety of different developers I'd had enough and went and got a Nvidia based card. Absolutely no VPU errors any longer.

I'd go for the best Nvidia card that fits your budget.
posted by juiceCake at 8:15 AM on September 4, 2005

I'm with juiceCake. I have a Radeon 9800 PRO and I'm absolutely sick of driver issues - no way is my next card going to be an ATI.
posted by LukeyBoy at 8:37 AM on September 4, 2005

echoing the above...
posted by SNACKeR at 8:39 AM on September 4, 2005

I had to make the choice between X800 and GeForce 6800. I put an X800 in my friend's and a GeForce 6800 in mine. They are nearly identical but I find that 6800 fares slightly better.
posted by geoff. at 8:45 AM on September 4, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks, odinsdream.
posted by nthdegx at 8:59 AM on September 4, 2005

Being in a computer graphics research, I used a lot of graphic cards, both from Nvidia and ATI (though my direct experience stops with generation around GeForce FX9000 and Radeon 9800).

Historically, Nvidia had better OpenGL and ATI had better DirectX drivers/performance. Current (and future) games are most likely to use DirectX. Given that Longhorn is going to mess-up OpenGL and XBOX 360 will have ATI chip, I would think that ATI is a safer bet for future games.

Also, check Tom's Hardware PCI-express cards performance comparison to see how both cards fare.
posted by b. at 9:13 AM on September 4, 2005

I have an ATI x800 XL PCI-E card. One version of drivers was quite buggy (produced the only bluescreens I've ever had with XP), but the next update fixed the problems. Games run fast. It was cheaper than the 6800GT, which was the next comparable card. Even Doom 3 runs well. The real issue I've run into is non-windows drivers. The linux drivers might as well not exist, and drivers for any other platform (BSD..) don't. Compare that to nVidia, whose linux drivers are actually decent, and provide at least 2D support for FreeBSD. My next card will definitely be an nVidia.
posted by devilsbrigade at 9:44 AM on September 4, 2005

nVidia will give you sharper text and less driver issues.
posted by kenchie at 10:12 AM on September 4, 2005

AnandTech had an article on the 6600. In the conclusion, Anand specifically addresses the price difference between the 6600 and the X700 at the time of the review. He suggests the $149 X700 is the obvious winner over the $149 6600, but a if the X700's street price were $179, the $149 6600 wins.

So, short answer: it's not worth it, according to Anand.
posted by maschnitz at 10:51 AM on September 4, 2005

Is there anyway you could get the 6600 gt instead? IMO it is the most bang for you buck these days. I agree about problems with ATI drivers. If you ever plan to use Maya for 3d work, definitely get Nvidia because the ati's don't work half as well.
posted by meta87 at 11:21 AM on September 4, 2005

You can install FireGL drivers for radeon cards that will work with Maya quite well. The FireGL drivers have a specific profile for Maya that seems to fix the driver issues. This is similar to the nVidia SoftQuadro fix, if you're familiar with that.
posted by devilsbrigade at 12:07 PM on September 4, 2005

Mehhh I did try that, but still had problems. It was probably just me though. That was back in Maya 5 as well, not sure how the Radeons do with Maya 6 and 7.
posted by meta87 at 12:15 PM on September 4, 2005

Maya 6 has run very well for me. Could be card-specific at that point?
posted by devilsbrigade at 12:41 PM on September 4, 2005

Could be, it was the 9800 Pro that I had problems with. They probably addressed the problems in the newer cards, but people in the industry still seem to stick with Nvidia more often it seems.
posted by meta87 at 12:49 PM on September 4, 2005

See if there's any way you can get a 6600GT.
posted by krisjohn at 6:37 PM on September 4, 2005

Echoing the ATI driver issues of the previous posters.
posted by creeront at 7:15 PM on September 4, 2005

I had to replace an ATI card in my PC with an NV card, because the ATI drivers completely sodded up driving two DVI outs at once. (It worked, but no acceleration whatsoever.)

My 6800 on the other hand has been flawless.
posted by mosch at 3:34 AM on September 5, 2005

It seems I have to consider myself lucky with my flawless ATI card (and the one I used before).

Even respectable source gives Nvidia victory (though by a small margin).

Independently of these issues (and the one I mentioned before), take Nvidia, according to my brief survey, prices for these two options should be more or less the same, so £50 extra for ATI sounds fishy, especially when it's like 2/3 of the full price. For saved money + some extra you will get in one year much better card, no matter from which manufacturer.
posted by b. at 11:48 PM on September 6, 2005

« Older Shall We Play A Game?   |   John Wayne's opinion of Native Americans. Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.