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Blackphoenix
14th July 2002, 21:45
Ok guys, I'm upgrading soon, basically one large upgrade for a while and I need help deciding between the 3 following video cards.

1. ATI 9700 128meg (or whatever it's called)
2. Gainward 750xp GF4 4600
3. Matrox Parhelia 128meg (retail)

I'm going to need a card that will last me a while, I play quite a few games but I sit in front of my computer alot so a good 2d is needed.

Here's the specs on my coming computer parts.

P4 2.53ghz
768megs of Cosair 3200 DDR
2 Maxtor Atlas3 10,000 RPM 18.4gig SCSI160 drives
Plextor 12/8/32 SCSI burner
Plextor 40x SCSI cdrom drive
Abit IT7 motherboard (I know, a waste of the IDE stuff)


I have to admit the benchmarks of the Parhelia did surprize me, but I do realize that the drivers are not completely mature yet and they will get better with time.


So what are your opinions?
Thanks

Wombat
14th July 2002, 22:14
The 9700 won't be out for quite some time, and even longer than that before it has good drivers.

The Parhelia is really a personal choice. If you want it, you want it. If not, you'll bitch about the money and benchmark speeds, and ignore the features.

The 4600? I can't really justify the cost. Get a 4200 or even 4400, and save yourself $100 bucks. That's about 1/2 of what you'll need to replace the card with something faster when you need it.

Blackphoenix
15th July 2002, 05:43
Future upgrading of the video card is kinda out of the question, atleast for a few years. I'm upgrading now and going to wait quite a while.

I have been leaning towards the Parhelia though.

What made you guys pick the Parhelia over a GF4?
Other than some of you Matrox fanatics :)

103er-Fan
15th July 2002, 08:19
Originally posted by Blackphoenix
What made you guys pick the Parhelia over a GF4?
Other than some of you Matrox fanatics :)

First the FAA:
Since the days of the V5 5500 I just love Anti-Aliasing, and the P is one of the first cards which offers very good AA at a great speedlevel. (I know, the GF4 sometimes beat it, but in SS2 for example the Ti4600 get's only FPS in the low-30's, while the P. get's in the low 50's)
Another thing would be Aniso-Filtering, though it is a common feature these days, I would like to combine it with AA, the GF4 cards can't handle some games with that combination, the P. can. And as stated somewhere, there will be higher Aniso levels available in a feature driver release.

Then of course the awesome 2d image quality, I am working much on my comp, but I also still play lot's of 2d games like Diablo 2, StarCraft, C&C and so on.
Triple-Head is only slightly interesting, I would really like it, but I don't have the money for two additional monitors. Though when you look at the current prices, you can get some ok 17" CRTs at a good price, so this might be a good option for the future!

Another point most people won't understand:
I don't want a nVidia card in my system. So ATI would be the only alternative besides Matrox at the moment. I had a Radeon 8500 for a couple of months, and I liked the almost free Aniso-Filtering. But the FSAA was slow! I think that my current V5 5500 could almost be as fast as the Radeon in some situations!

GT98
15th July 2002, 08:55
Originally posted by 103er-Fan


First the FAA:
Since the days of the V5 5500 I just love Anti-Aliasing, and the P is one of the first cards which offers very good AA at a great speedlevel. (I know, the GF4 sometimes beat it, but in SS2 for example the Ti4600 get's only FPS in the low-30's, while the P. get's in the low 50's)
Another thing would be Aniso-Filtering, though it is a common feature these days, I would like to combine it with AA, the GF4 cards can't handle some games with that combination, the P. can. And as stated somewhere, there will be higher Aniso levels available in a feature driver release.

Then of course the awesome 2d image quality, I am working much on my comp, but I also still play lot's of 2d games like Diablo 2, StarCraft, C&C and so on.
Triple-Head is only slightly interesting, I would really like it, but I don't have the money for two additional monitors. Though when you look at the current prices, you can get some ok 17" CRTs at a good price, so this might be a good option for the future!

Another point most people won't understand:
I don't want a nVidia card in my system. So ATI would be the only alternative besides Matrox at the moment. I had a Radeon 8500 for a couple of months, and I liked the almost free Aniso-Filtering. But the FSAA was slow! I think that my current V5 5500 could almost be as fast as the Radeon in some situations!


I have to agree 100% with you. I had the R8500 also for about 6-7 months and its drivers where worlds better then the Radeon AIW I got to replace the G400 I had with. The Drivers sucked so bad that I sold it and got a Kyro2, which was a decent card and wasn't a Nvidia or ATI product. I waited over a year and half to put a new Matrox Card in my Home PC that would have it both in 3d and 2d Performance. The Parhelia hasn't dissapointed me yet and I can barely notice any change from the R8500 and it,even though I'm running most of my 3d Shooters at 1200x1024, which was higher then the 1024x768 that I had on with the Radeon. I'm sure performance will Improve in Benchmarks as the drivers Mature and a little overclocking wont hurt either :D I never used any form of AA on my other cards, but the way stuff looks with FAAx16 turned on, I can't live with out it :)

The PIT
15th July 2002, 10:10
The new ATI cards should be out in July if this article is right.
http://digitimes.com/NewsShow/Article.asp?datePublish=2002/07/15&pages=04&seq=24

ATI seems to have improved it driver devolpment quite a bit and theres always third party drivers from Omega and cyborg to play around with.

Blackphoenix
15th July 2002, 10:18
Well so far matrox is winning me over just because I have a G100 that has never given me problems.

Though I worry about basically wasting the extra 2 heads since I only plan on having one monitor.

mungu
15th July 2002, 11:06
Originally posted by Blackphoenix
Though I worry about basically wasting the extra 2 heads since I only plan on having one monitor.

Well, the only time i use my other two monitors is for gaming, which i dont do very much (especially games that use surround, i just got WC3 :D ) It's just something that is nice to have IF you need it. Saying what you said is like not buying a motherboard because you arent going to use all of the RAM slots at first.
You might get the urge to scrounge up some old monitors to do some surround gaming (it IS very cool!) or you might just get bored and want to play with dual/triple head. Basically what i am saying...the extra two heads is a luxury that you may or may not use...it's nice to know that it's there :) When i first bought my G400 3 years ago i didnt use the 2nd head for a very long time. It wasn't until my brother got a new monitor and gave me his old 15" that i started to use it.

just some thoughts (yes, a bit longwinded for meaningless thoughts)