Game Programming and Development Tools

Best graphics card? – Believer

Believer

Member

Posts: 80
From: British Columbia, Canada
Registered: 01-30-2001
I'm looking to buy a new development machine, but I've been out of the loop for a while when it comes to graphics cards...

What 3D video card would you choose if money was no object? What if your limit was about $1,000 (just for the card)? What if your limit was about $500?

GUMP

Member

Posts: 1335
From: Melbourne, FL USA
Registered: 11-09-2002
I'm assuming you mean developing for games. Currently, the best video card is the ATI Radeon 9700 Pro. If you sign up for the ATI developers program and if you live in the US or Canada you can order it directly through the developers program for 40% off the retail price with $10 shipping. Came out to be ~$240 when I ordered from them in the fall. The only problem is that there may be a waiting list and then pricewatch.com is listing retailers who will sale it OEM for $230.

http://apps.ati.com/developers/devform1.asp

I've just noticed they have changed the signup form... hope they have fixed the spelling errors since I pointed them out several months ago.

Destroyer

Member

Posts: 31
From: Bismarck, ND
Registered: 10-06-2002
Geforce Quadro4 900 is $999 on newegg.com with free shipping
Geforce Quadro4 750 is $499
i dont know for sure if they are the best out there, but that looks like it hits your marks pretty much right on
Krylar

Administrator

Posts: 502
From: MD, USA
Registered: 03-05-2001
Hiya,

Well, my limit was a bit lower! I got the nVidia GeForce4 Ti 4400 and it's been working great with all my stuff ;D

-Krylar

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Believer

Member

Posts: 80
From: British Columbia, Canada
Registered: 01-30-2001
quote:
Originally posted by GUMP:
Currently, the best video card is the ATI Radeon 9700 Pro.


Not doubting you, just wondering why it's considered "the best". What are the specs like compared to others?


GUMP

Member

Posts: 1335
From: Melbourne, FL USA
Registered: 11-09-2002
Depending on what you're doing it can be up to 2 to 6 times as fast as the GF4 Ti4600.

http://www.beyond3d.com/reviews/ati/radeon9700pro/

http://www.anandtech.com/showdoc.html?i=1683

Plus, since you're buying for development of games it is currently the only video card to support PS/VS 2.0... thought ATI has exceeded those specifications so you could call it 2.0+ but it doesn't reach the level of 3.0. Nvidia's Geforce FX may be coming at the end of this month or sometime next month and it will also support 2.0. For programmers, both cards will have pluses and minuses depending on what you're doing.

http://www.beyond3d.com/articles/nv30r300/

That gives an overview but it is an old article. If you wait for the FX to release then you should look for similiar articles then as they will give a much more clear picture as a lot of the info in the above article is speculation.

If you're looking for a workstation card there is also the new FireGL cards based on the R300 core and Nvidia will surely have a new Quadro coming up.

rowanseymour

Member

Posts: 284
From: Belfast, Northern Ireland
Registered: 02-10-2001
http://www.tomshardware.com/graphic/20021218/index.html

Benchmarks the top 30 video cards. ATI R9700 PRO seems to win everything.

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Rowan GODCENTRIC Christian Demoscene

GUMP

Member

Posts: 1335
From: Melbourne, FL USA
Registered: 11-09-2002
The problem with that article is that it doesn't even begin to stress the video cards as the benchmarks don't use FSAA or AF. Without using those high quality options the system will usually be bottlenecked by the CPU. According to Toms part 2 will include these benchmarks.

As an example the Jedi Knight 2 and Dungeon Siege benchmarks are heavily CPU bottlenecked. It can be seen that the Nvidia cards are better in this situation as the drivers are more optimized... plus those games were developed on Nvidia cards if I remember correctly.

[This message has been edited by GUMP (edited January 13, 2003).]

Gift
Member

Posts: 85
From: Palatine, IL, USA
Registered: 02-11-2001
The GeForce FX (NV30) should be coming out at the end of the month. With Nvidia's NV31 and NV34 coming out in march and april. All the while ATI will be trying to one up Nvidia. The market is highly deflationary and that means that six months from now will be a better time to buy.

Love in Christ
Gift

rowanseymour

Member

Posts: 284
From: Belfast, Northern Ireland
Registered: 02-10-2001
According to my friend ATI have messed up and someone's discovered that a Radeon 9500 ($150) can be turned into a Radeon 9700 Pro using software, and now they are trying to recall that entire line...

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Rowan GODCENTRIC Christian Demoscene

rowanseymour

Member

Posts: 284
From: Belfast, Northern Ireland
Registered: 02-10-2001
It appears to be true...

http://www.hardforum.com/showthread.php?postid=1024262089

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Rowan GODCENTRIC Christian Demoscene

D-SIPL

Moderator

Posts: 1345
From: Maesteg, Wales
Registered: 07-21-2001
Has anyone checked out Alienware?

--D-SIPL

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