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GeForce 8800GT or Radeon HD 3870?

post #1 of 64
Thread Starter 
What with the GeForce cards arriving in the next few days at great prices ($250 or lower) is it worth waiting to see how ATI's next card will perform before picking up the GeForce?

I know ATI let "leak" a whitepaper on the features of their HD 3870, but no solid release dates as of yet have been given. How long is it going to be until ATI gives some solid news on release dates? They've been historically bad on such things.
post #2 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveFi View Post

What with the GeForce cards arriving in the next few days at great prices ($250 or lower) is it worth waiting to see how ATI's next card will perform before picking up the GeForce?

I know ATI let "leak" a whitepaper on the features of their HD 3870, but no solid release dates as of yet have been given. How long is it going to be until ATI gives some solid news on release dates? They've been historically bad on such things.

I've heard from a few places that Nov 15 is ATI's release. The ATI is going to be 8-10% slower than the 8800GT, but will be cheaper. In either case you should wait. The 8800 GTs are mostly out of stock, and won't be coming in force for another 2 weeks. Once the ATI card is out, it will force a price war. You'll probably save $50-60 just for waiting a couple of weeks.
post #3 of 64
o for god sakes, just wait 2 weeks till it comes out and buy one of them!
post #4 of 64
I'd probably go for a GT, of course you'll have to wait until you can actually FIND one somewhere first.

Right now I'm using an ATI 2900pro but if the GT is still around in 3-4 months I could see myself making the switch. Especially if ATI can't get it's sh*t together when it comes to drivers.
post #5 of 64
It'll probably be a good idea to wait until the 15th. I already sprung for a MSI 8800gt, but that's because I use Linux as my primary OS, and ATI linux drivers are pitiful. I use XP Pro for most games, all except for TF2 which runs surprisingly well under Wine in Linux and freezes occasionally in XP.
post #6 of 64
So it seems today is the day for the NDA to be over on the 38xx cards...The reviews are up in the usual places. 3850 looks like a great deal for a low end setup and spanks the 8600 but the 8750 doesn't look all that great considering it's dual slot, slower and not really quieter than the 880GT. The 8800s are still getting price gouged and are high but I think shortly we'll see the two cards within a few bucks of eachother.
-Trouble
post #7 of 64
Thread Starter 
What's even worse is that neither of the cards seem to suit my purposes because I don't have a SLI mobo and these cards don't seem to perform well at my new display's 1920x1200 res.
post #8 of 64
Thread Starter 
I think I've decided to go with the 3870. Even though it doesn't perform quite as well as the 8800GT, it's only a bit slower, cheaper, and offers better HTPC support (full HDMI video/audio and working UVD).
post #9 of 64
Dare I say, at 1900x1200 you're throwing your money away in many of todays modern games.
post #10 of 64
I was trying to decide between a 8600 gt(s) or X2600 pro for my HTPC. Now with 3850, will prices for the other ones go down? Which of the three should I get? Looking to spend under $200.

Mostly will be used for watching/recording HDTV on 42" 1080p HDTV, playing light games like World of Warcraft or Counter Strike Source. Would like to some day put a HDDVD or Bluray player in it.

I have another PC for higher end gaming. I would like the HTPC to remain quite and cool.
post #11 of 64
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadRusch View Post

Dare I say, at 1900x1200 you're throwing your money away in many of todays modern games.

Fine. Are you going to buy a $500 card for me?

I can buy this one to start and when I upgrade my mobo to an SLI one I can add another later.
post #12 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by mateatworld View Post

I was trying to decide between a 8600 gt(s) or X2600 pro for my HTPC. Now with 3850, will prices for the other ones go down? Which of the three should I get? Looking to spend under $200.

Mostly will be used for watching/recording HDTV on 42" 1080p HDTV, playing light games like World of Warcraft or Counter Strike Source. Would like to some day put a HDDVD or Bluray player in it.

I have another PC for higher end gaming. I would like the HTPC to remain quite and cool.

There are 8800 GT 256 meg's coming for under $200 they say...
post #13 of 64
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HorrorScope View Post

There are 8800 GT 256 meg's coming for under $200 they say...

The 512mb 3870s are already $219 so that's pretty damn cheap. If only there wasn't a shortage of them and the artifical price markups it should come in at around $200. I expect all these cards to sellout relatively quickly.
post #14 of 64
well I was waiting for both cards to be out. The 3870 is more "bang for the buck" but I would rather go with an OC 8800GT (evga 700mhz) I need the extra frames to game @ 1920 x 1080 but either card is sold out
post #15 of 64
Thread Starter 
The 3870 isn't really such a bad card but I do wish it performed better. The interesting scenario is the 4 card SLI 3850 (which of course you can't do with the 3870's huge fan, but I'm sure someone will figure a way around it).

I'm really torn. If I don't buy a card now, I know by the time the newer high-end arrives I'll be ready to buy a SLI motherboard and won't really have the money to invest in a videocard again (only have a E6600 dual core CPU clocked to 356). I know I need a better videocard for gaming at 1920x1200, but it seems that for the current gen games like Orange-Box, COD4, Unreal 3 engine games, all will perform just fine on either new board except Crysis.
post #16 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveFi View Post

The 3870 isn't really such a bad card but I do wish it performed better. The interesting scenario is the 4 card SLI 3850 (which of course you can't do with the 3870's huge fan, but I'm sure someone will figure a way around it).

I'm really torn. If I don't buy a card now, I know by the time the newer high-end arrives I'll be ready to buy a SLI motherboard and won't really have the money to invest in a videocard again (only have a E6600 dual core CPU clocked to 356). I know I need a better videocard for gaming at 1920x1200, but it seems that for the current gen games like Orange-Box, COD4, Unreal 3 engine games, all will perform just fine on either new board except Crysis.

get a 8800 GT now you won't regret it. I just ordered one myself.
post #17 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveFi View Post

The 3870 isn't really such a bad card but I do wish it performed better. The interesting scenario is the 4 card SLI 3850 (which of course you can't do with the 3870's huge fan, but I'm sure someone will figure a way around it).

I'm really torn. If I don't buy a card now, I know by the time the newer high-end arrives I'll be ready to buy a SLI motherboard and won't really have the money to invest in a videocard again (only have a E6600 dual core CPU clocked to 356). I know I need a better videocard for gaming at 1920x1200, but it seems that for the current gen games like Orange-Box, COD4, Unreal 3 engine games, all will perform just fine on either new board except Crysis.

Well, remember that no card performs well with Crysis right now, so just put that aside off the table...I've got a system overclocked all to hell CPU and GPU and I still can't stay at 30fps with Crysis.

Orange Box is years old, even the new HDR effects shouldn't make any modern card sweat. COD4 however requires a horse of a machine, keep that in mind...not as bad as Crysis, but not that far off at high resolutions.

Unreal 3 looks like its going to be easier on the video hardware than COD4 or Crysis are.

1920x1200 is a high rez, period. You want an 8800GT that you'll likely overclock, or an 8800 GTX...or whatever the next round of chips are. I dont like ATI anymore simply because they always seem to underperform, dollar for dollar on the gaming side of things.

The ugly truth is you need a high end video hardware solution to drive 1920x1200. I'd simply wait it out until hardware is avalable, do NOT simply buy "something in the mean time"...thats just going to waste you money, and it sounds like you don't have tons of disposable income at any one time, so I'd be extra wary about buying something cheap in the interim....just my .02 cents here.
post #18 of 64
Thread Starter 
That's all well and good, but as I wait, the list of games I can play on my 512mb X1800XT gets shorter and shorter. And I certainly can't play anything at an acceptable speed at 1900x1200.
post #19 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveFi View Post

That's all well and good, but as I wait, the list of games I can play on my 512mb X1800XT gets shorter and shorter. And I certainly can't play anything at an acceptable speed at 1900x1200.

Your only option at this point is to get an 8800GT. Firingsquad showed COD4 at 1920x1200 running at a mighty 28fps average on the new ATI hardware, and at 38fps on the 8800GT. If you o/c the 8800gt a bit and turn off 4xaa, you'll be fine in that game. I wouldn't risk it on the ATI side.

At 1080p and up, you simply cant cheap out on mid-range boards, dude....you have to look past price and go right to performance, and ATI boards have underperformed now for years and years.
post #20 of 64
Thread Starter 
It doesn't matter. In either event both cards are sold out and in the few places that do have them are price gauging (ie:Newegg) by ~$50. So I guess I'll be waiting anyways.
post #21 of 64
Waiting sucks, I know...I've been there...but pretty soon you'll have the hardware you need to game properly at that rez.
post #22 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by mateatworld View Post

I was trying to decide between a 8600 gt(s) or X2600 pro for my HTPC. Now with 3850, will prices for the other ones go down? Which of the three should I get? Looking to spend under $200.

Mostly will be used for watching/recording HDTV on 42" 1080p HDTV, playing light games like World of Warcraft or Counter Strike Source. Would like to some day put a HDDVD or Bluray player in it.

I have another PC for higher end gaming. I would like the HTPC to remain quite and cool.

In your case I would go with an HD 3850. I'm typing this message to you on my 720p projector on an e6300/2GB/500GB pc running an Asus 8600gts and I'm telling you that HD video is handled MUCH better by an ATI card in this class--and I've had this card for 4 months and an 8800gts for a month before that (now relegated to a friend's strictly gaming rig). I had an x1950pro and an XTX in this machine before and both were better for displaying text and for video processing and pushing via DVI connection to my DLP projector. The ATI colors were also better. All of this despite the fact that the 8600gts provides better CPU offload and runs cooler than the x1950 cards did. Same exact computer with no software or hardware changes except video cards and drivers. Personally, I'd rather take the CPU hit and have better overall text, smooth running video and more dynamic color display than CPU offload any day of the week. If I can have all that AND have a cooler running card that offloads work from my dual cores, it's a no brainer... This card will be replaced by next week.

In some small defense of the nVidia cards and PurevideoHD, they do have a bit more control over noise reduction than the more basic approach taken by ATi's drivers. However, ATi's still works great and (to my eyes at least) allows smoother playback and crisper, sharper looking video while still doing a good job of noise control at standard settings. This is all before playing with any non-standard settings in or extra processing with ffdshow and the like.
Sometimes (dependent on the capabilities of your display) you will have slightly better options for pixel mapping and overscan correction with the nVidia cards as well. Using strictly LCD monitors and a front projector, overscan and 1:1 pixel mapping have never been problems in my case at all.

To give you better perspective, I've been running both nVida and ATI cards since the days before the Ti series and the ATi 8500 in multiple PCs. I've been a system builder for years and still build for friends and others on occaision. I've had "HTPCs" in my house since first TV tuners and DVD decoders were availabe, so I've had a great deal of experience with both gaming and HTPC equipment. NVidia has made huge strides in recent years to catch up to ATi in image quality in games and video, and of course their latest highend cards are still tops for speed in most games, but I still think that they have a ways to go in the video processing. Their Purevideo technology works very well--especially for DVD video--and their newest cards work great with my ATi 650 HDTV tuner; but, for h.264 encoded video and other types of HD media, I think they still have some catching up to do.

Bottom line is, if all you care about is top speed, then go with NVidia. If you want crisper text (which is important when displaying on a large screen) and better video pocessing and scaling (and, yes, even image quality in a wider variety of games) with a variety of HD sources and types, you might want to give the ATI cards a try.
post #23 of 64
Well if he wants a card for gaming and help with video optimization the 8800gt supports purevideo 2.0 which still has pretty good performance. I personally think ATI has a little bit better solution when compared to Nvidia's current implemntation of purevideo. However, if you play with AA and AF on the ATI cards take a pretty dramatic hit in performance and this is really their biggest weakness. Also, the GT card uses less power if you care.
post #24 of 64
I ordered the 880GT on newegg last night. They had quite a few of them available. The EVGA and it came with free crysis.
post #25 of 64
I upgraded to a 8800GT from an ATI x1600. I've had problems with Zoomplayer and VMR9 playback with the 8800. It looked terrible... no video processing. I've since switched to VMR7 and Haali's renderer and it looks much better, but I still must say that the ATI looked a bit better.

However, the gaming on the 8800 it great. I think with some tweaking I could get the playback in ZP with VMR9 to look good (vmr9 looks great in Beyond TV), but I just haven't had the time to troubleshoot yet.

So my conclusion, if you want no hassle video with decent gaming, go with the ATI 3870. If you want decent video with some hassle and great gaming go with the 8800.

BTW if anyone has suggestions on fixing vmr9 playback in zoomplayer with the 8800, please let me know.
post #26 of 64
My only concern right now for the 8800GT is that is not DX10.1 (I don't know if this is a plus over DX10) but I like my things as future proof as posible. And I know this card rocks Its just that this DX10 & 10.1 and PCI-E 2.0 is so
post #27 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by SAVholic View Post

My only concern right now for the 8800GT is that is not DX10.1 (I don't know if this is a plus over DX10) but I like my things as future proof as posible. And I know this card rocks Its just that this DX10 & 10.1 and PCI-E 2.0 is so

To date, DX10 has proven to be more hype than substance, so I wouldn't worry about DX10.1!
post #28 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveFi View Post

That's all well and good, but as I wait, the list of games I can play on my 512mb X1800XT gets shorter and shorter. And I certainly can't play anything at an acceptable speed at 1900x1200.

IMO getting a 1900x1200 monitor is a curse, I feel 1680x1050 monitors are still the sweet spot when everything is considered. I could be wrong.
post #29 of 64
Thread Starter 
Best Buy has the BFG 8800GT OC "on sale" this week for $250 but of course none of their stores has it in stock, including their warehouse, so chalk up another non-existent 8800GT sale.

Can you say "bait and switch"? I thought you could...
post #30 of 64
Wanting HD video more than gaming I would get the 3870. But that's out of stock too. This http://www.tgdaily.com/content/view/34861/135/helped me decide.
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