View Full Version : ATI vs nVidia: IQ in FS2004.....
02-01-2004, 02:33 AM
I've noticed in the screenshots forum that the Radeon cards have much brighter, and overall better looking images than the nVidia cards, is there really that big of a difference in IQ between the FX and 9xxx series of DX9 videocards?.
02-01-2004, 03:24 PM
You can simply turn up options like AA and AF and not lose as much FPS as with the FX cards. Probably the Radeon's 8 rendering pipelines allows this. There are FX5900 cards with somewhat limited 8 pipeline architecture (it will use 4 or 8,depending on the game) (??)
Note it's been months since I read up on this stuff so things may have changed since.
02-02-2004, 10:46 AM
Since you can crank up AA and AF to much higher levels, the ATI cards can produce better IQ. The number of pipes do not improve quality, instead, they give you more or less performance. Therefore, a card with eight pipes can perform much more than one with 4 pipes.
Another thing worth mentioning is that the ATI driver has many more options for tweaking than NVidia's. This allows you to tweak the living daylights out of your card and with some ATI models, overclock them.
NVidia also suffers from Shader Performance problems, which means, they might be looking at problems down the road as more and more DX9 games come out. If you are looking into replacing your card, do some reading before making a decision. I don't recommend making your decision based on comments from this forum. Read some reviews and compare prices, every detail is worth looking at. One thing to keep in mind though, FPS in FS2004 is dictated by your Processor/Memory/MB?Video Card. If any of these items is on the low end is, such as the processor or memory, don't expect your video card to make up the difference.
The 8 pixel rendering pipelines = speed. But this contributes in allowing one to use the ATI cards' options (AA, AF..) without dropping to Nvidia-level performance.
02-02-2004, 01:55 PM
Lets clear things up a bit because we are not being 100% honest here. If you have a nice system 2.6Ghz and up, you will get good IQ with either cards. Now, when it comes to AA/AF, ATI cards can go a bit higher and produce more details (less jaggies, etc) without a huge hit on FPS. However, the high end NVidia cards are just as good as the high end ATI cards. Its the middle market of NVidia where you see this performance issue and if you don't know where to navigate then you start having problems.
With that said, for the middle market, the two ideal cards right now are NVidia's 5900XT and ATI's 9600XT. Note, the 5900XT will smoke the 9600XT for the same amount of money. Reason being, the number of pipes and the 5900XT comes with a 256bit memory interface. So the moral of the story is, if you want our images to look like real life you will need several things. For one, a good processor and motherboard followed by at least 512 megs of Ram. Then, when that is all said and done, you introduce a nice video card to deliver the final product. Even by using the mid market cards, you can get beautiful images. So don't fool yourself or mislead anyone else, you don't have to spend $300 for a video card in order to get detail images.
02-02-2004, 05:04 PM
The 9800Pro is selling for $239. The 9600XT is selling for $120. ATI has adjusted it's pricing to meet and beat any potential pricing competition from Nvidia. As far as the high end Nvidia keeping up with the high end ATI, well; that's an argument for another day. ATI does have considerably better 2d quality than Nvidia. That's pretty much unquestionable. We'll have to see what the new Nvidia NV40 will do?? Let the competition continue, I say!! As far as pipelines, ATI offers 8:1 while Nvidia offers 4:2. Only the techno geeks know the difference.
02-02-2004, 05:12 PM
The difference is that NVidia does 2 instructions per pipe, in other words, while an ATI pipe handles one instruction NVidia handles two. But I have to agree with BigShot, the 8:1 ratio is more realistic than the 4:2.
02-03-2004, 04:07 AM
While we're on minor points, in response to the original post (straight from PC Format - a UK computer magazine so I apologise to those in the UK);
"It's the subject of much debate, but put simply, nVIDIA cards are capable of higher colour accuracy, and can process scenes in 32-bit colour compared to ATI's 24-bit. This sounds like a good thing, but to the naked eye there's little difference in quality and the extra calculations slow the nVIDIA cards up.
To counter this, nVIDIA cards also have a seperate 16-bit path, for shader instructions that don't require full accuracy - but this doesn't meet DirectX standards and is therefore the subject of some controversy."
You could argue then, that whilst the ATI is 'faster' in terms of rendering games, the nVIDIA would be better for 'real-world video' if you have a quality display (for a small performance hit).
02-03-2004, 06:28 AM
I couldnt have stated it any better- I agree with your opinion!
02-10-2004, 10:50 AM
Yeh, but unless everyone has a NVidia/Radeon running side by side, I
wonder about all this...and for the record, I have a GF4 4200 running next to a Radeon 9700 Pro...and overall IQ is certainly better with ATI. I prefer the 2D panel displays on the 4200 however, as numbers and letters are a bit clearer...of course the monitors are different! And there lies another ingredient in the image quality soup.
Bottom line in my case, Radeon 9700 Pro does 4XAA and 16XAF with little FR loss and looks beautiful, while GF 4200 takes it on the chin if enabling the same settings and looks not-as-beautiful.
1GB CAS2 DDR
Radeon 9700 Pro
02-10-2004, 12:41 PM
Greg, my experience is similar. I have a 9800XT and GF FX5900 Ultra:
-Antileasing in exterior views of planes (rounded shapes)is better with the Radeon.
-2D Panels are far better with the NVIDIA (looking and readable).
-Frames are similar , but NVIDIA is more consistent(53.04 and Cat 4.1).
-Colors are better or accurate with the NVIDIA (my personal opinion).
-NVIDIA seems smoother than the RADEON (both work very well and stutters are not perceptible, but in rotations or severe turns, the NVIDIA seems smoother).
-Runaways look better with Radeon.Sky and clouds with NVIDIA.
These observations are made with 4X AA and 4X AF at 1280X1024X32 with a Diamontron Pro 19" at 85 HZ.
The Cat 4.1 seems more robust, because with the 53.03 or 53.04, when you press ALT, with the NVIDIA you see the last menu you have chosen and some menus have some tearing (aviation history).
02-10-2004, 12:57 PM
Sorry I forgot to say that for any big AA or AF resolution, the winner without any doubt is tha RADEON, but I donīt use those big resolutions because I donīt see a great gain in visual experience,maybe with a biger display Iīd do it but I use complex ac like 737PMDG NG and PSS Airbus and, both card notice the extra work impact. For this reason I use 4X and 4X at 12080X1024X32. The experience is fabulous and the frames are unbelievable ; for example in Seattle or Los Angeles with very dense scenery, dense autogen and 3D clouds at 100%, with PMDG737, I get 45-50 fps in finals in 2D panel.
Pentium 4 3,2
Audigy 2 ZS.
02-12-2004, 07:35 AM
I think the comparison Miguel makes is a far more valid "Nvidia vs. ATI" evaluation...
Even then though, he's comparing ATI's top dog with Nvidias second best card, but the FX5950 Ultra isn't that much better than the 5900.
But to compare a 9700Pro to a TI-4200 is rather pointless.
I may as well go with Intel because somebody reports that his P4 3ghz smokes his Athlon XP 2100.
02-13-2004, 11:04 AM
I think Miguel's findings are very accurate in regards to what I've seen.
03-18-2005, 08:15 AM
If my Nvidia has a dimness issue I sure haven't noticed it...
Had to really mangle this screenie to fit the filesize limitation here, so the quality isn't good.
I rarely post screenshots and do NOT know much about retaining quality while reducing file size lol.
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