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View Full Version : Video Card Upgraders...IMHO I Found the Best Bang for the Buck!!



Skimmer
8th October 2000, 05:32
WARNING!! LONG POST!! WARNING!!

To all G200/G400 owners (or anyone else for that matter) wanting to upgrade,

I've been a Matrox fan for years and have been waiting patiently for Matrox to come out with a new card that keeps its superior 2D while upping 3D to rival that of the current competitors (i.e. the G800).

Well, I decided to stop waiting and jumped on a.....ATI Radeon 32MB DDR!! Now some of you may flame me for this purchase (shame on me) but I'm writing this to tell you that, so far, this card is excellent!! So for those out there yearning for an upgrade, here is a brief look at the last couple of days of Radeon ownership.

Perspective...I have a PIII, 19 inch Sony, Win98, upgrading from a G400 but also have a Voodoo 3000 and TNT2 Ultra in other systems. I have also bought but returned a CL GF2 and GF2 MX.

Radeon summary

1. 2D quality: Ranking the video cards (1-10) I own or purchased but returned:

G400: 10 (still tops)
Radeon: 9 (great at low res...solid at high)
Voodoo 3000: 8.5 (prefer the Radeon by a nod)
CL TNT2 Ultra: 5 (marginal even at low res)
CL GF2: 3.5 (returned...awful on a Trinitron, ghosting, focus probs, etc.).

Only issue here is if you have on of the latest Trinitron flat screen monitors. It seems like there is a possible ďshimmeringĒ problem. I donít have this problem but if you would like to read more head on over to:
http://www.rage3d.com/forum/Ultimate.cgi?action=intro and check out the very long thread on the topic.

2. Video driver stability:

So far not one crash or blue screen (Win98). Drivers have many options for tweaking although D3D is a bit weak. All I can say is ATI has really done a good job with these drivers...and this card is only a few months old!!! This is a good sign that the drivers can get faster with more features since stability is probably a minor issue at this time.

Tested a total of 20 games for Opengl and D3D compatibility. Not one crash although I have found a few minor quirks.....example is System Shock 2 gamma adjustment does not maintain its setting and W&W will not run in D3D. Overall I would say this card is NOT any worse in compatibility than the G400 or GF2. In fact, my experiences with the GF2 and reading the nVidia newsgroups about all the problems people are having with the Det 6.3x drivers itís possible the latest Radeon drivers may be more trouble free.

3. 3D image quality:

Excellent. I thought the G400 was the best....and it was until now. I put it ahead of G400 and Geforce 2 in quality (as many reviews of this card have also found).

4. 3D speed:

Excellent. As expected I'm getting 2-2.5x fps increase over my G400. It's also comparable to Geforce 2 in 32 bit. Although as many reviews have stated there is no big 16 bit framerate increase....but why would someone want to play in 16 bit today? I remember Nvidia/Nvidia fanatics trashing 3dfx because the Voodoo 3 could not do 32 bit. Now they are trashing the Radeon because of low 16 bit performance.....hhhmmm...Nvidia owners are playing games in that unacceptable 16 bit setting????

For those of you interested in seeing the Radeon performance against a G400 Max just head on over to:
http://www.avault.com/hardware/getreview.asp?review=atiradeon64

5. Finally, the main reason why I jumped on the Radeon...the price!!

You can buy a 32MB DDR Radeon for as low as $149 (ex. Best Buy w/rebate). No Geforce 2 (non MX) or Voodoo 5500 can touch that one.

Oh sure, some may say Radeon gets beat badly by the GF2 Ultra...it better at $499 (http://www.pricewatch.com).

For those of you still reading here are a few more reviews for those interested:
http://www.review-zone.com/hardware/video/ati_radeon_256/page1.shtml
http://www.sharkyextreme.com/hardware/articles/ati_aiw_radeon_32mb/

So for the best all-around card that delivers great 2D, excellent 3D, is as stable as any video card on the market today and won't break the bank I'll give my vote to the Radeon....very impressed so far and I hope it stays this way.

Regards,

Jeff D.

p.s. I was going to sell my G400.....the deal fell thru and now I decided to keep the card....itís still excellent in its own right. I think Iíll replace my Voodoo 3000 in my other system instead.

dZeus
8th October 2000, 05:41
thanks for letting us know that the Radeon drivers are not as bad as we thought they would be..

Big Al
8th October 2000, 05:49
The Radeon all-in-wonder looks really neat. Would their most likely be macrovision hacks for something like this?

Gurm
8th October 2000, 06:07
It depends. The last AIW had macrovision hacks, but they were based on the fact that ATI put all the macrovision code in a single file (called ATIMACXX or something simple like that) and if you just deleted the file it turned off Macrovision.

Since then they have rectified that problem, so the likelihood now is slim unless someone disassembles the drivers.

- Gurm

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Listen up, you primitive screwheads! See this? This is my BOOMSTICK! Etc. etc.

Kruzin
8th October 2000, 07:41
As this is the MATROX Harware forum, this little ATI sales pitch by a single post minimurcer trying to justify his purchase will be relocated to the GENERAL hardware forum.

[This message has been edited by Kruzin (edited 08 October 2000).]