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GeForce 8800GT or Radeon HD 3870? - Page 2

post #31 of 64
First off hi all, first post here and I have found some interesting info, thanks:

DaveFi, you mention HD38xx series feature full HDMI video/audio and working UVD.

Could you explain what this means in laymans terms - is it simply that audio can go through the HDMI cable along with the video to, say, the TV? I note this is not possible on the Nvida 8800GTs (or at least not yet implemented on cards). UVD is simply the onboard processing of the video?

For me, I want to get a card that I may eventually pop into a HTPC case so I would prob go for the cheaper HD 3870 with the better quality/better featured card.

I'm pleased people are stating how they feel about picture quality on the two cards, useful info and something that does not really appear in any benchmarks which focus on speed/heat etc.
post #32 of 64
Thread Starter 
Josh, that's correct. The ATI boards feature a HDMI dongle which will pass video and 5.1 uncompressed audio, which is something nVidia has yet to offer (why I'm not sure). That feature alone has me a bit conflicted over which boards to choose.

The UVD feature is better onboard processing of video, something which was supposed to be working in the last generation of ATI cards but wasn't. So now ATI's cards offers better overall hardware decoding of HD video than nVidia's cards. Of course no one has really reviewed this feature to really know the full advantages of it as of yet.
post #33 of 64
What I dont get is if the 8600's have H264 decoding on card, and the ATI's have this feature too.....why would anyone use it, when even a low-Ghz Core2Duo seems to be capable of decoding 1080p content in this most demanding of formats without assitance from GPU's.....???
post #34 of 64
DaveFi - thanks for confirming that, yes, def. has me torn between the two. Sure it looks like GTs beat the 38xx on performance in general, but the lower cost of the 38xx series seems almost proportional in terms of performance/cost yet quality and features may be better.

elitebastards review a 3850 512MB and include CPU utilisation on playback for MPEG, Divx and H264 (Dave, you mention using a dongle, this GFX card reviewd actually has an HDMI port out I think)

HeadRush: at a guess, with the decoding on a GPU it is effctively optimised in 'machine code' (crikey, do people still use that term these days?), whereas if you just loaded up some software on your PC to do the decoding it will be more inneficient/slower/take up more CPU overhead. If you machine is doing things in the background (running virus checks, defraging, downloading large demos) while it is primarly showing you a movie, I guess the movies could start stuffering if it all gets too much. There again, you could equally well argue we should just go to quad chips and dedicate one to decode!! I guess there is very little expense involved in placing the decoder onthe GPU, bit of a bonus I suppose.

Thanks guys.

Apologies for any bad spelling - could not find a spell check
post #35 of 64
OK I just made my mind. I'm getting an 8800GT before X-mas (if I find one) The thing is here I have an AM2 mobo and I plan to sell my 4800 to get an 5000 black edition and OC'it to 3.1/3.2ghz. will this CPU be enough with this card? Thanks in advance!
post #36 of 64
I have a 939 4800 overclocked to 2.75 and it will play anything with a 8800gts. Save your money and keep the rig you have. Just get a new Vcard.
post #37 of 64
What's the difference between the 3870 and the 8800GT in HDCP capabilities? I understand the 3870 is slightly better in HDCP capabilities but in what way?
post #38 of 64
ATI 3870 @ Mwave for $259.99 and instock.
ATI generally has better picture quality than nVidia.
Don't know about HDCP and don't care/ don't use it. The people in charge will just switch to a new method and everyone will have to get new stuff again. The 8800gt is single slot so figure in replacing the cooler it will be double slot again.

Edit: Since this is the gaming thread, Direct X 10 is already a dead format. ATI 3870 supports Direct X 10.1 and 8800 does not.

http://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/122...dr4/index.html

Problem with most Vcard reviews is they only care about frames per second which means nothing for an HTPC.
post #39 of 64
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob7145 View Post

ATI 3870 @ Mwave for $259.99 and instock.
ATI generally has better picture quality than nVidia.
Don't know about HDCP and don't care/ don't use it. The people in charge will just switch to a new method and everyone will have to get new stuff again. The 8800gt is single slot so figure in replacing the cooler it will be double slot again.

Edit: Since this is the gaming thread, Direct X 10 is already a dead format. ATI 3870 supports Direct X 10.1 and 8800 does not.

http://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/122...dr4/index.html

Problem with most Vcard reviews is they only care about frames per second which means nothing for an HTPC.

Nonsense. DX10 is not a "dead format". Since most games do not support DX10 features, by the time they support DX10.1 features in hardware it will be irrelevent. Just because the card doesn't have 10.1 support in hardware means little, if nothing at all (it's not like it won't run 10.1 supported software). Let alone the fact the 3870 is a slower performer overall anyways.

Also, what does adding a extra cooler have to do with anything? I doubt most people will add one. I certainly won't as the card I purchased is OC'd to 660MHz anyways (That's for $207). Having a single slot cooler is a good thing.
post #40 of 64
Just noticed Dell has the 8800GT (Manufacturer Part# : PVT88PYDF4 | Dell Part# : A1350995)for $234 and if you use paypal you get 20% off. Does not say if it's HDCP or not just it does HD


p.s it's HDCP

Highlighted Features:
HDTV ready , Dual DVI Out , Vista , TV Out , SLI ready , RoHS , HDCP Ready
post #41 of 64
Remember DX8 and DX8.1 ? Yeah and then DX9.
Read up on DX10.1. It's another freebie from M$ you get with SP1 for people that only have Vista. I still use DX9. Took the wait and see approach and glad I did.
The 8800gt does not exhaust out the case which is OK for a tower case but HTPCs usually lack good cooling.
Since this is Home Theater gaming section (read the section description) I figured most people would be interested in Picture Quality than FPS #'s achieved thru driver "optimizations".
If I'd known how much I was gonna blow on hardware over the years I'd kept my old dx 8.1 ti 4600 longer! It had an aluminum cooler that covered both sides of the card. Gave the whole computer (1.83ghz w/1024 ram) to a friend when I "upgraded" years ago. He plays HL2 and EP1 (yeah old game) on it just fine but at 1024 x 768. I think it's because the card doesn't have to bother processing DX 9 stuff and it still looks great. That card has seen almost constant use for 5yrs.
Bottom line is what is more important 2D picture quality or 3D frames per second.
I don't care. I use an MDP-130 HD tuner that has it's own video output connected to CRT flat screen leaving the video card to do whatever it wants to it's display including gaming at the same time. And a Fusion Digital tuner so I can watch 1 show on the monitor while someone watches something else TV, DVD or recording on the HDTV.
post #42 of 64
I got an 8800 GT about 2 weeks ago. It replaced an ATI x1600. At first blush, I was disappointed with the 8800, but now that I've had it for a while I am getting more satisfied. It has a couple of quirks that I've had to find work-arounds for. But the video quality is pretty good. It is at least as good as the ATI x1600.
post #43 of 64
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob7145 View Post

Remember DX8 and DX8.1 ? Yeah and then DX9.
Read up on DX10.1. It's another freebie from M$ you get with SP1 for people that only have Vista. I still use DX9. Took the wait and see approach and glad I did.
The 8800gt does not exhaust out the case which is OK for a tower case but HTPCs usually lack good cooling.
Since this is Home Theater gaming section (read the section description) I figured most people would be interested in Picture Quality than FPS #'s achieved thru driver "optimizations".
If I'd known how much I was gonna blow on hardware over the years I'd kept my old dx 8.1 ti 4600 longer! It had an aluminum cooler that covered both sides of the card. Gave the whole computer (1.83ghz w/1024 ram) to a friend when I "upgraded" years ago. He plays HL2 and EP1 (yeah old game) on it just fine but at 1024 x 768. I think it's because the card doesn't have to bother processing DX 9 stuff and it still looks great. That card has seen almost constant use for 5yrs.
Bottom line is what is more important 2D picture quality or 3D frames per second.
I don't care. I use an MDP-130 HD tuner that has it's own video output connected to CRT flat screen leaving the video card to do whatever it wants to it's display including gaming at the same time. And a Fusion Digital tuner so I can watch 1 show on the monitor while someone watches something else TV, DVD or recording on the HDTV.

Honestly, if you "don't care" I'm not sure what the big deal is. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a 8800GT for current generation games, and certainly if you're only going to buy 1 card, for playing at higher resolutions there isn't much of a choice.

We all know about DX10.1, but all we're saying is that by the time it's commenly used in games the card will be irrelevent. Take Crysis' famed "DX10" effects, it took someone a matter of days to figure out how to unlock them with in DX9 with a hack...
post #44 of 64
I was an ATI guy for years pretty much all around and especially in my HTPCs because to be honest ATI REALLY had better PQ for video for ages. These days, I don't see it at all. I really don't give a damn about either company. I buy what is best pricewise for what I'm looking to do with it. Right now, I'm totally against ATI cards primarily because their Linux drivers SUCK and have sucked for a long time. My HTPC is now Linux based. I gave up on Windows for HTPC about 3 years ago now I guess. Nvidia at least puts out semi-decent drivers for Linux. At the same time 3D performance is currently owned by Nvidia. So I guess that makes me an Nvidia fanboy now eh?
I think that the 3850 and the 8800GT are the golden cards right now.

Single slot
Cheap for what they do though both have different goals
ATI has audio over HDMI (wicked cool!)
NVidia smokes in gaming (wicked cool!)
Both have good PQ.
Dual slot on the 3870 isn't good IMO and the 8800 still runs circles around it.

The 8800GT with it's 'terrible non venting single slot cooler' has run silently in my tiny little Shuttle case (which can't even hold a dual slot card) overclocked to 710/2000 with no issues. I've started and finished: Gears of War, HL2ep2 and Bioshock with this card in this case at this clockspeed. I have never heard the fan. The biggest issue I'm facing right now with the card is that the current beta Linux Nvidia drivers have broken XVmc on it. My old 3.2 Intel however is having no issues playing back HD in software.

I see pros and cons in both cards. The whole DX10 thing is a joke at this point. Both card companies and Microsoft are doing anything they can to make us spend as much as possible with them.

I think the 3870 is the weakest of the offerings based on price/performance.

The concept of brand loyalty is just totally mind boggling to me. Either (any?) company is happy to bone their customers in any way they can make a buck if the outcry isn't too loud.

-Trouble
post #45 of 64
Well it appears as though you two think its a big deal. I actually agreed about the DX joke and mentioned the DX8, 8.1 and then 9 jumps.
I use Linux also. Have to use the "old" gaming rigs for something. But the MDP-130 does not work with Linux. And Linux has no hardware based tuners with their own separate SPDIF audio and DVI/VGA video outputs that don't require a graphics card or sound card. Speaking of sucky drivers... Nvidia's 8800 drivers have sucked for the past year in windows only recently getting it together. Don't believe me? Read the release notes for the past year. That's how long I've been using them.
But at least you're not telling someone to use their receiver as a pathway to ground or telling people not to learn how services in windows work and then suggesting they go monkeying around in the registry like other Special Members.
This whole section seams more like a Dell ad disguised as a public forum.
post #46 of 64
Thread Starter 
So now you're accusing us of being biased? If you read the whole thread I was the one who was trying to decide between which companies' hardware to go with to begin with, and we both acknowledge there are advantages to ATI and nVida- it is actually you Bob who has been very intollerent and making a big deal over what comes down to pretty much nothing.

It's just a piece of computer harwdare. Relax.
post #47 of 64
Well dell's price on the OC 8800 made my choice for me the other day. Real easy choice there for me, the hdmi audio probably wont work right or something on the one card anyway. It's always something with BOTH companies really, HD acceleration on both suck or they just plain lie about it.

Watch it will pass only plain DD 5.1 and not the lossless formats or something stupid lol. Oh well can't wait till mine arrives I've had it with the 1900xt I been using for 2 years now.
post #48 of 64
lol what'd I say... look what I just found out about the ATI hdmi audio

Since the same questions are being asked again and again, here's the situation with HDMI audio on the 2xxx, 3850 & 3870 cards:

1) There is a Realtek audio device on the card that sends it's output only over the HDMI output on the card.
2) The HDMI output on these cards is NOT v1.3, therefore no TrueHD or DTS-MA.
3) You do not need any additional driver for the onboard Realtek chip in Vista.
4) Audio output via HDMI is only 2ch LPCM or 5.1 AC3. No 5.1 or 7.1 LPCM.

Told ya it was only a gimmick and only looked good on paper.....total BS in other words, if it can't do lossless audio then the whole feature is 100% worthless.
post #49 of 64
I just picked up an 8800GT 512, EVGA brand, from fry's in Fremont CA, 270 retail... they had about 6 of them.

Next to them were about 8 Diamond 3800HD cards, 256 MB ram, 229 retail.

I'm a gamer and prefer the nvidia for this upgrade but do plan to connect the pc to my HLT-5687s Samsung LED dlp set (purchased in September).

This card is replacing a solid performing eVGA 7900GT KO that I've run for 1 1/2 years. Looking forward to getting this installed tonight and I'll post back any updates, good or bad.
post #50 of 64
post #51 of 64
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob7145 View Post

New 8800gt Killer Available Dec. 11
http://www.tweaktown.com/articles/12...ion/index.html

Not much of one, and not very cost effective. I suppose it's good if you want the dual-slot cooler, etc, etc. But considering my 8800GT clocks in at 660MHz and the 8800GTS clocks at 650MHz they're going to be pretty close to each other performance-wise.

For $207 for my 8800GT OC I think I'll be satisfied as compared to a $299-$350 for the 8800GTS (if they even are available).
post #52 of 64
Yep I agree since dave and I got ours for the dell price, I'm ok with the 8800GTS being every so slightly better, but killer lol come on now. It's not killing a thing. Uses lots more power too from the look of it. But still if it comes in at $300, and the GT at normal prices is still 270 or so, I think it does do away for the need for the GT, cept in pc's that can only handle single slot.

I just order parts for a new pc tonight. Hope I did ok, so far I feel good about it.
post #53 of 64
New 8800GTS
Cooler, quieter, much better performance at 1900 x 1200.
post #54 of 64
Thread Starter 
Fine. You buy your 8800GTS for $400, while I'll be playing with my 8800GT OC with similar performance for $220. I hope your quiet fan is worth >$150.
post #55 of 64
Much better performance....huh, 3 frames per second is what you call MUCH better. Least in Crysis anyway, which of all those games is the only one I really care about. Thanks for pointing it out though I'll keep my eye on it for sure if dell screws up my order.
post #56 of 64
Thread Starter 
Go to Anandtech forums and check out all the 8800GTS reviews listed. So far they are pretty much (8800GT & GTS ) equivalent at the same clock speed. No big deal.
post #57 of 64
The 3870 matches the 8800GT in World in Conflict, which is the 2nd best looking game out on the market right now...And Nvidia sponsors Crysis right? lol

3870..runs quieter...runs cooler...HDMI Audio..

post #58 of 64
post #59 of 64
For what it's worth, I'm running the eVGA 8800GT in an Antec 900 case and it's silent. At system power on, there's a noticeable fan spin from it, this is before POST. After that couple seconds, I don't hear it again.

I'll try to check temps this week. I play a lot of world of warcraft but plan to pick up COD4 this week and see how it does. The 900 case keeps things very cool for me, just using air flow that is.

Good luck whichever choice you use. I may have tried the ATI if they had a 512 card on the shelf.
post #60 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by BBS G35 View Post

The 3870 matches the 8800GT in World in Conflict, which is the 2nd best looking game out on the market right now...And Nvidia sponsors Crysis right? lol

3870..runs quieter...runs cooler...HDMI Audio..

Yeah hdmi audio is so important in pc gaming(100% worthless)...not to mention in lossless audio playback (also 100% worthless) ....and I paid less for my 8800GT...yeah because the difference in that level of noise is so huge, I seen plenty of reviews that called the GT the quietest vid card they'd ever reviewed. Noise isn't going to be an issue. Temps who knows depends on the case at this point.

Either way it's win/win for most of us. Damn that silent one would solve sound. Interesting but really who wants to run a vid card at 106C lol...although my 1900xt hit up to 94C few times. The preset fan speeds and when they kicked in were WORTHLESS on my 1900xt, I use ati tool just to set overrides on fan speed. No OC on teh card either fyi.
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