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8500vs.Ti500vs.2Ultra (the real scoop,unbiased)

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Old 11-07-01, 02:18 PM Thread Starter   #1
Ritteri&Bubbles
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8500vs.Ti500vs.2Ultra (the real scoop,unbiased)


Ok, after having the 8500 up and running somewhat stable for over a week now. I think I can post and UNBIASED account between this product and the Geforce3/Ti500 and 2 Ultra cards.

To make it short and sweet, the overall BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK category goes to the:

GeForce 2 Ultra

The best card regardless of price currently:

GeForce3 Ti500

The card with the most "features" that will not be able to be properly implemented(hence driver "problems")because of software problems AND improper hardware implementation:

Radeon 8500

This is coming from not just me, but my highschool friend who works for Sierra, and a grafx designer from VALVE.

After numerous phone calls and chats concerning getting the Radeon up and running as smooth as possible, they both agreed that the Radeon, though having some great new potential features in the hardware chipset. Will probably never be realized in the 8500, due to pipelines,RAM, and current GPU. They feel that the pipelines between the chipset componenets are bottlenecking the features potential(like smoothshader etc)and hurt the cards ability. The feeling is that also having a quad 32 bit(of which are not all being used as some are hardware and instruction specific) pipeline in past,current,and near future games is one problem and that dual 64 bit pipelines are currently the better way to go and can be used to much better advantage. A few people also feel that some of the hardware implemented into the chipset was done as an "afterthought" to the current card. And that quite a few of the "highlights" of the card's potential will never be used in the cards lifetime by current software programmers. They feel this card is being marketed as a "window into the future", though that future seems to be about 2-3 years away at the closest, and by this time, there will be cards out obviously that can implement the hardware correctly.

As for current games, Mike from Sierra told me that the best bang for the buck is the GeForce2 Ultra. He says that if you do have a bit of a budget, then snag up this card, as it is a ROCKETSHIP! And this card will be current still for another 18-24 months at least in terms of performance on upcoming games. The GeForce3 series will probably extend this potential another 6-12 months too.

As far as 2d and DVD goes, Mike at Sierra, and a few people from Valve agree that the ATI's 2d and DVD palyback is TOP NOTCH. But also state that Nvidia's DVD and 2d playback has been slowly improved with each generation of card, and that its pretty much ipossible to tell the difference between a 3 series and 8500 card now. But to add to this, people should stick with certain cards that have been balanced for great 2d/3d performance as some(Like the Gainward cards)cards colors will be off because of oc'ed/different RAM and cores, along with different quality components used on the actual cards themselves, so pay attention in this area if 2d is a big factor in your decision.

As for 3d,FPS,stability amd PROGRAMMING, the NVIDIA product is king. Hardware is well layed out, and easy for software programmers to use and implement. Nvidia basically releases hardware cards that are able to be implemented right away, and make sure features added in will make sense to the cards actual lifespan. This is thinking that ATI is going to have to begin to gear themselves towards. As told, Nvidia could easily release a new generation card that would look insane on paper, but know that lots of the features would go wasted or unused along with driver issues, so why release it? Its smart thinking, and this is why they are in the position they are in today. Mike states that 2 years down the road the Nvidia product will still be superior to the ATI product, just from a software programmers point alone. Yeah it may only have a 6 point T&L function vs. a 12 point from ATI(this is an exaple statement only)but software programmers see no need in using a 12 point for anytime within the next 2-3 years, so why add it?
Also people may have noticed but the ATI 8500 has some issues with alot of older games, this was a point brought up to me. The GeForce series card is not only excellent with translating todays games, but yesterday's as well.

So of the games where I had artifacts on using XP,Windows 2k Prof.,and 98 SE:

NFSIII: (triangles popping up,lines and color issues)
Starcraft color artifacts)
Homeworld: (lines and freezes)
Unreal: (random crashes,triangles)
NFL BLITZ: (odd textures popping up,odd colors,fps slowdowns in certain cases)
Halflifecrashes)
NHL 2002fps slowdown,BAD, crashes)
NHL 2001: (same probs)
Red factionred and green lines,triangle pop ups)

These are just a few of the games listed. Some games did run great without any hitches(motor city online,Max payne etc)and all games got similiar results with different op systems. Card was swapped out too to make sure the card itself wasnt defective along with a program to verify that potential. My system was run at stable settings only(Abit KG7 mobo, 1.024 gig ECC Registered RAM, RAID 0, AND SCSI hd setup, NO OVERCLOCKING, Athlon xp and T-bird preocessor, and a concurrent P3/4 setup too, again NO OCing)

The ultra and Ti series went though most games without 1 single hitch(1 0r 2 driver swaps were done, but at least the problem could be correct easily enough)and ran all benchmarks without any hitches.

So in conclusion, if your a gamer, or games are a big part of your attire, then the Best bang currently is am Ultra2 or 3Ti200.
If cost is no object and you want the best in games,DVD,s2,stability, then the Ti500 does everything as close to perfection as possible.
If your looking for great dvd, and 2d at a budget with ok 3d gaming then the 8500 may be a good choice in a few more months, but the 3 ti200/or 2 ultra may still be a better value as the 2d and dvd is no slouch by any means amd the 3d gaming is superior. All for around $150-250 I believe.

So take this thread FWIW but i got alot of answers from my own experience,along with opinions from actual game programmers themselves on the actual hardwares abilities.

cheers!
R&B
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Old 11-07-01, 04:30 PM   #2
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hmmm, interesting, check out the review at tomshardware.com......they just had a new 8500 review and in the games it worked well in (Windows 98SE) the 8500 whooped Ti500....this card can beat the Ti500 even if its full potential is never reached......it also overclocked to 300/620 that is awesome.....

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Old 11-07-01, 05:40 PM   #3
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don't turn this into a debate for crying out loud, everyones entitled to there opinion so stop it.

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Old 11-07-01, 06:24 PM   #4
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first of all im not trying to start a debate, and second he is not trying to state his opinion, he is trying to establish something as a fact (real scoop).....just trying to add some facts that i saw in the tomshardware review...

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Old 11-07-01, 06:27 PM Thread Starter   #5
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Hehe, I knew Tom's latest review would be brought in for the "debate". Though its a pretty well known fact that "Tom's hardware" isnt the most reliable source for unbiased reviews anymore, I'll take the review for what it is. Once again it just shows the obvious. ATI cannot take advantage of its "feature set" that it advertises. And it still cannot take advantage of any form of long term stability either. Mike from Sierra also pointed this out, as he pointed out that ATI is only making drivers to show benchmark potential to try and boost sales which I heard are not that good presently, and that they arent concentrating where they should be. Making drivers where all games run smoothly and reliably. Personally I would take what software programmers know as fact vs. Tom's regardless. People from Sierra and VALVE both know that ATI is literally in the doghouse, and are trying to cover up the fact that they cant reliably perform better than ANY Geforce card from the 3 series or 2 Ultra. THese folks use whatever hardware they want or need. Neither use ATI products for their own personal workstations. BOth use Voodoo and Nvidia products.
Mike also told me that all you folks can kiss "smoothvision" goodbye in the 8500. Not enough memory,nor is the pipeline setup for that kind of bandwidth. ATI has been forced with a huge dilemna on how to get it to run without falling below unreasonable fps rates. Again the card is not programmer friendly, this is what it all boils down too also. You wont see too many games in the future optimized for the features on this card. Better off waiting for the next generation from ATI when they can get their hardware to coincide with their software. And Mike also thinks that people that go by "benchmarks" alone should learn a few things about software programming before they look too hard into raw synthetic benchmark scores. And ATI needs to realize that the drivers need to be geared towards 2k and XP, 98 wont be around much longer, its being phased out by Micro$.

One last thing to note too. The ATI card has some issues with the DVI output feature for digital monitors. It ran my Viewsonic VG171 when in normal mode, but wouldnt allow the change in the BIOS so all the text was super huge and most of the "screen" was actually out of view. Making it impossible to set up BIOS or reinstalling an op system. An analog monitor was needed. Ati's response to this problem was "were working on it".



I hope they work on realizing that it takes 2 to tango in the future(software and hardware)!

Last edited by Ritteri&Bubbles; 11-07-01 at 06:33 PM.
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Old 11-07-01, 06:33 PM   #6
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yeah me too, its really a shame that such a beautiful peice of hardware had to be dragged in the mud because of poor driver support......

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Old 11-07-01, 06:36 PM Thread Starter   #7
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Funny: Unfortunatly its not just poor driver support, its poor chipset BUS management too on the card. ATI cant get functional drivers because of the BUS piping on the actual card itself. THis is why there are "delays" on even having good drivers. I was bet $1000 that ATI will never get the drivers resolved on the 8500 because of this. Wait, youll see a replacement for this card sooner than later.
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Old 11-07-01, 06:49 PM Thread Starter   #8
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Also to note too, Nvidia does something smart for their consumer related cards. What they do is get actual input from software programmers for applications,video games, etc. to see what will honestly be used for programming for the next say 2-3 years. They then design a chipset that is proven from workstations and such around these consumer cards. This way they add on features that have excellent potential to be actually used. They normally dont add on new technology that may be experimental, or utilized if they know that software developers wont use the actual hardware itself.
ATI though being in a marketing hole adds on features that may or may not be used by programmers for future development, thus many features may or may not be supported. And considering how the majority of the market share is now Nvidia, software programmers are more likely to work together with Nvidia to create feature sets that will help them advance gaming technology. THis is why probably Nvidia cards run a wider variety of games with a greater stability advantage. Nobody wants to create games with hardware that isnt going to be mainstream, or be even supported at all. If they did, they too may be in a situation that puts the actual game develpoer behind the 8 ball. Nobody in this industry wants to do that let me tell you. Its sad but true. For ATI to play ball with Nvidia, they need to make a card that is superior than Nvidia's on Nvidia's own playing field. Once ATI takes away home field advangate(market share), they can then dictate what hardware feature set can be used and influence the software developers. But right now ATI is trying to force homefield advantage without market share. They should know that this is pretty much an impossibility. Nvidia is like the Microsoft of Video cards right now. Or the Intel of Processors.

On a side note. AMD is playing Intel on Intels turf and looks to be winning a few battles. AMD just took a few huge OEM sources from INTEL in India and China. Way to go AMD!
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Old 11-07-01, 06:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ritteri&Bubbles
Also to note too, Nvidia does something smart for their consumer related cards. What they do is get actual input from software programmers for applications,video games, etc. to see what will honestly be used for programming for the next say 2-3 years. They then design a chipset that is proven from workstations and such around these consumer cards. This way they add on features that have excellent potential to be actually used. They normally dont add on new technology that may be experimental, or utilized if they know that software developers wont use the actual hardware itself.
ATI though being in a marketing hole adds on features that may or may not be used by programmers for future development, thus many features may or may not be supported. And considering how the majority of the market share is now Nvidia, software programmers are more likely to work together with Nvidia to create feature sets that will help them advance gaming technology. THis is why probably Nvidia cards run a wider variety of games with a greater stability advantage. Nobody wants to create games with hardware that isnt going to be mainstream, or be even supported at all. If they did, they too may be in a situation that puts the actual game develpoer behind the 8 ball. Nobody in this industry wants to do that let me tell you. Its sad but true. For ATI to play ball with Nvidia, they need to make a card that is superior than Nvidia's on Nvidia's own playing field. Once ATI takes away home field advangate(market share), they can then dictate what hardware feature set can be used and influence the software developers. But right now ATI is trying to force homefield advantage without market share. They should know that this is pretty much an impossibility. Nvidia is like the Microsoft of Video cards right now. Or the Intel of Processors.

On a side note. AMD is playing Intel on Intels turf and looks to be winning a few battles. AMD just took a few huge OEM sources from INTEL in India and China. Way to go AMD!
I couldn't say it better myself. Especially the AMD part!! I think this card has "potential" but that potential will never come into play because of the reasons above. Even though I didn't agree with some of your earlier posts this one is my thoughts 100%.

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Old 11-07-01, 07:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
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don't turn this into a debate for crying out loud, everyones entitled to there opinion so stop it.
Debating is how we get to the truth...if we can be objective an unbiased...yes??

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Old 11-07-01, 07:07 PM   #11
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i hope the graphics card market comes to a point where ATI and Nvidia are almost equal in market share, and power VR is there on their a**** to keep em both honest, because that is best for the consumer, people shouldnt have had to pay 450$ for a Geforce2 Ultra, or 400$ for a geforce3, or 550$ for a PentiumII.....lets face it, prices are good because of AMD and ATI without them look what Intel and Nvidia did, look what Microsoft does......hopefully linux will come up and bring Microsoft prices down.....and on the other side the truth is that people who say Nvidia should go down, or want Intel and Microsoft to be destroyed are plain stupid because then ATI and AMD will tkae their places, these are businesses, noone has the moral upper hand.....
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Old 11-07-01, 10:03 PM   #12
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as much as it pains me, i must agree with ritooro on this one :-( hehe. seriously, ati is doing a pitiful job. its impressive that they can perform well in some tests, but if not in a majority of games, i dont see the point in getting this card. lookin at maybe a ti200 for now, unless dell refuses to cancel my order like they should have already.
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Old 11-08-01, 11:10 AM   #13
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You make some excellent observations on the current situation.

Unfortunately, only time will tell...
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Old 11-08-01, 11:26 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ritteri&Bubbles
[B]Hehe, I knew Tom's latest review would be brought in for the "debate". Though its a pretty well known fact that "Tom's hardware" isnt the most reliable source for unbiased reviews anymore...B]
We actually agree on something...who'da thunk it.

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Old 11-08-01, 05:55 PM   #15
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ATI makes great products. So does nVidia. I mean, ATI jumped into the market and did a pretty damn good job w/ the original Radeon line, even considering sh!tty drivers and the fact that they had never really been a contender. They've never really had to release competitive drivers, seeing as they were never really competitive. Now, however, they have to learn that drivers are our friends, and if you release a half-assed driver update, people get upset. Right now, I'd be suprised to even see SmoothVision technology for the Radeon2 line even ever implemented, merely because the guys at ATI have their thumbs up their butts.

Its very unfortunate that such a worthy product can be brought to its knees by really crappy drivers.

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