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ATI Radeon X850XT vs Nvidia 6800 Ultra

by damasta55r / March 16, 2005 10:38 AM PST

I am looking to upgrade my ATI X300 with one of these graphics card, ATI Radeon X850XT or the Nvidia 6800 Ultra, which is better?

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Flip a coin, you personally would not
by John Robie / March 16, 2005 3:08 PM PST

be able to tell the difference and nether card will fit your new T5026 you purchased in February.

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Other Computer
by damasta55r / March 17, 2005 1:44 PM PST

This is for my other computer... The eMachines is my little brother's. Thnx for the reply John.

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by abirnbaum / March 18, 2005 12:35 AM PST
In reply to: Other Computer

You have hit upon an age old debate for techies. What it boils down to IMHO is a personal preference. Some people (myself included) have had issues with older ATI cards, so they stick with GFx. I'd suggest looking online for the millions of opinions and read the tech specs carefully. Cost may also factor in. Unless you are editing video, or doing graphic intensive work, I think you would be hard pressed to spend over $200. I have a 256MB GF that satisfies my gaming lust just fine. My step brother uses the ATI 9500, and hes happy too.

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yes, abirnbaum but
by dmoodie / March 18, 2005 2:32 AM PST
In reply to: ATI v GFx

i bet you are not playing the same games, or at least not at the same resolution, as damasta is looking to.

i have both an x800 and a 6800GT. they both smoke. i agree with the first guy. flip a coin. or base it on price.

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by culture_of_one / March 19, 2005 11:15 AM PST
In reply to: yes, abirnbaum but

That "first guy" is "Mr. John Robie--Gaming Guru!" And yes, you can definitely listen to what he says! Wink

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consider price vs performance
by ozos / March 19, 2005 3:23 PM PST
In reply to: Yo!

the X850XT PE (Which i'm guessing your consider, and there is a non-PE version) will easily SMASH the 6800 Ultra

the X850XT will also, SMASH the 6800 Ultra

the 6800 Ultra's competition is the X800XT (NOT THE PE)
and the X800XT is about 3% faster (it's not fast enough to be regarded as better, but not slow enough to let the ATi fans view it as the 6800U's equal, imo it's the same performance, unles your talking 3DMark05, which does show a slight lead for the X800XT)

I would consider a few factors:

A) Can your PSU handle the monstrous 6800U? the card that reccomends (XFX says requires) a 480W PSU
B) Do you need that much power?

I wouldn't say over $200 unless video editing (as you can buy an excellent VIVO capable card for under $200)

You should evaluate what games your playing, and at what resolution you would like to play them at...

I personally have a GeForce FX 5900XT, while it's not the fastest card out there, it will easily handle all games on the market (yes, i have played and beaten Half-Life2 on this card, so don't tell me it won't do it, and it never dipped below 40 FPS (I was running 800x600, no AA/AF, high in game settings)

I would suggest from the cost point of view the 6800nU for PCIE, or the 6600GT PCIE

the 6600GT is of course slower than the 6800nU
but in reality the 6800nU can do everything the 6800U can do (except run 1600x1200/everything maxed and still play (and some games the 6800U can't do this in)

the X850 series are all very expensive atm
as are most of the higher end cards on PCIE
I would suggest some of the following cards to satisfy your need for speed:

If you want to go nVidia:
GeForce 6600GT PCIE
GeForce 6800nU PCIE
GeForce 6800GT PCIE

If you want to stay ATi:
Radeon X700XT
Radeon X800XL

I'm not suggesting the 6800 Ultra or the X850 line for the following reasons:

A) it sounds like your using an OEM built machine, which gurantees (even if it's a Dell with their fancy PCP&C PSU's) that it won't take the 6800U correctly (the card takes A TON OF POWER, and i can tell you no OEM Builder uses a PSU which can run the rails the 6800U wants, they can claim their at the level all they want, but stability under load is another story)

B) the X800XL is about 15% slower than the 6800U, and costs about...$200 less ($300-$350 vs $490-$550)
C) Staying ATi makes life easier for you (you don't seem to be having issues with ATi, just that the X300 is slow)

i'm going to have to say the X800XL is your best buy in this case
while the X850 and 6800 are nice cards
and would yield higher benchmarks
you have to consider you aren't playing the benchmarks, your playing the games

my 5900XT pulls horrfically low scores in 3DMark00 and 3DMark01, and semi-average scores (for it's generation) in 3D03, it would hardly run 3D05 (sub 1200 scores) yet it can play any game out there, with ease

the 5900 series get low benchmark scores (all of em except the Ultra at least, and this is referring to the NV35 5900 series, which means NO NV38 CAN BE COMPARED, SO DON'T GO THERE, as those cards bench well)

what i'm trying to get at is
i bought my 5900XT for gaming power, not benchmarking ability

the X800XL will give you gaming power, at a low cost
yet won't give you earth shattering benchies

the X850 would play the games the same, and will have an earth shattering price

while you won't notice the difference between any of the cards i suggested (the 6600/X700 cards won't do 1600x1200 everything maxed, but all but the best have issues with that resolution (and most people don't have monitors that can support that (most average people, hard core gamers usually use 19" CRT's)

i'd say X800XL

if it keeps it above 30FPS your fine
above 40FPS your doing great

and the X800XL can keep things above 45 in most cases
(including 1600x1200, the advantage it has is 16 pixel pipes)

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Thank you so much!
by culture_of_one / March 20, 2005 1:45 AM PST

You sure know your stuff! Thanks for all the great info!

BTW, I'm planning the system now...that's why I'm asking around. Gonna be awesome yo! While I'm not into "wasting" money, price is not really an issue. It's been a good year for me! Happy

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by ozos / March 20, 2005 5:22 AM PST
In reply to: Thank you so much!

i would advise against all of ATi's current cards for the follwoing reason (why i didn't remember this in my last post is beyond me)

ATi's current generation only supports FP24 and PS2.0
which probably doesn't mean antyhing
nVidia's supports FP32 and PS3.0

again it probably doesn't mean anything

Unreal 3 (the engine) is being released next year
it requires PS 3.0 and FP32 to run with full settings/quality/normally
i've herad that it can run in FP24/PS2.5, but idk if that is true, but i do know it's an PS3.0/FP32 required game

get Athlon64 and GeForce 6800 if you want to be able to run efficiently next year

if you buy a Pentium IV and Radeon X your gonna be replacing it next year gurnateed, with the Athlon64/6800 rig it could run next year, just slow/reduced settings

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Come on now ozos you are acting like
by John Robie / March 20, 2005 9:38 AM PST
In reply to: well...

some people did with the speculation months and even years ahead of the actual release of Doom3 and Half-Life 2 when you say, "if you buy a Pentium IV and Radeon X your gonna be replacing it next year gurnateed".

Makers of PC games realize that the majority of uses will not have the latest and greatest of Video Cards and Computers, so they give great allowances to use much lesser video cards and GHz computers. Believe gamers were shocked to see that when Doom3 and HL2 was released. So what if you don't get the higest resolution, FPS, like a hard core competition gamer,the games will still play very good on lesser cards & computers. I predict the same with the engine of Unreal 3..... the games makers are not going to loose money just catering to high end gamers. Happy

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Power Supply
by damasta55r / March 20, 2005 10:59 AM PST

If the graphics card requires a 350Watt power supply and I only have a 400 Watt, can i run the graphics card or not?

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the 6800? no (read this john robie)
by ozos / March 21, 2005 2:27 PM PST
In reply to: Power Supply

if it's the 6800U
you need to read it's reccomendation
and go on that
it's 480W (i'll link one at the end of this post)
as to you john robie

please consider where i'm coming from here, and i'm sure this makes sense to you if you thought about it longer than the ammount of time it took you to come up with that terrible response

if your going to buy a new gfx card and CPU
consider the Pentium IV 5xx and 6xx, the 5xx beats the 6xx and that is known fact (and i've proven this to you) and while the X850XT is a faster card in benchmarks and gaming performance

if your buying a new $600 graphics card, that is the fastest card on the market
yet it won't be able to run the new U3 engine at anywhere near full settings, and $200 mid-range nVidia cards are gonna be able to run it with full PS3.0 and FP32 (while your new $600 X850XT won't even run that, and your going to be stuck with FP24 and PS2.0 (the FP thing is texture compression, and the Pixel shader affects visual quality)

your gonna be pissed that you could've saved $400 and played the game "the way it was meant to be played"
you just have to consider it logically
i refuse to defend ATi and Intel because if your buying either an nVidia, or an ATi, or an Intel or an AMD
you should know which is going to give you the most product life for your $400+ purchase

if i bought a new Pentium IV 6xx like you'd suggest i do, after kicking myself for buying a chip that get's killed by it's previous generation (and i can explain why too) model
i'd have just spent around $500 on a CPU

while it wouldn't suck for gaming (oh wait, it would, the 570J is competitive with an Athlon64 3200+ in Half-Life 2...so yeah, the 6xx chips couldn't touch that)
but anyways
i would feel stupid knowing that a $355 AMD could
A) outperform it easily in all applications i could throw at it
B) give me more product life for my money (while the P4 will last the same length of time (given that both chips are in a good system enviroment, and are cooled to around 35C idle and under 40C loaded) they wil live the same time period in years)

but the Athlon64 will give me more performance longer
i could probably run an Athlon64 3800+ and nVidia GeForce 6800U until around next easter (meaning about a year from next sunday) and not need to upgrade or worry about not having all the games i wanted, and i could just buy games, load them, and play them with no issues
and probalby have a fair chance of Longhorn running on the machine

a Pentium IV 6xx and Radeon X850 will last the same time, and next easter (about a year from next sunday) i'll be upgrading (actually before) so that i can again play all the games in their higher quality modes, and what not

the X850 is a part designed to allow playing every game on the market at it's highest settings
thus far
it's fine

it can't run U3 at it's highest settings (u3's highest settings) if it can't even support all of the games graphics features hardware wise

the Pentium IV 6xx is a bad move, because in most benchmarks (excluding Sysmark, but i'd rather have a chip that's 80% faster in games and 10% slower in office apps, than a chip that's 80% slwoer in games and 10% faster in office apps) it loses to the Pentium IV 5x, which loses to the Athlon64

i'm saying be smart with your money
and please
you keep coming up with stuff to "challenge ozos" with
because i post truth, i am not instigating fights
i'm trying to help people save money, while getting a system that will give them a longer effective lifetime for the some $2000 it will ultimatly cost

the first game that is native PS3.0 and FP32 was released about 2 weeks ago, the newest Splinter Cell game

now i saw the Demo played on X800's and 6800's alike
owners of each said the X800's handled it fine, and 6800's were equally impressive

you couldn't really tell the difference in screenshots
but what you have to consider is that the newest Splinter Cell game isn't on the U3 engine, it's on it's own engine, the U3 engine is still in partial devolpment (the first game on U3 won't be out until next spring)

basically waht i'm trying to convey to you is
if your spending $1200 on a machine
why buy somethign that can't run upcoming games at their full potential
and wast money doing it?

a Pentium IV 6xx is the most expensive CPU on the market (for the performance)
and it's because of a feature that actually slows the chip down...how is that for irony?
let's pay Intel to add a feature to an already expensive CPU, that slows it down, yet makes it cost around $120 more

i'm gonna have to go with NO on that

so please
stop trying to argue me
and view this from the value point of view
when your shopping for a VCR
do you buy a crappy $25 K-Mark special? and replace it every 2 months?
or a $900 Mitsubishi (only expensive VCR i know of that still is on the market, and idk if it's still out...Sony pulled it's $150+ range a while ago) D-VHS player that wil last you 4 decades?

you may spend more on the Mitsubishi D-VHS player (it does normal VHS, D-VHS is HDTV to VHS) but it'll last much longer, give much better quailty while around, and generally a nicer set-up

even if paired with a normal TV

i'd just like to hammer these points to you some more because your starting to incite annoyance

as to the guy wanting a PSU for a 6800U
i'd suggest:

yeah, it's expensive
but the PSU is one of the most important parts of your system
and if it dies, it can take your whole system with it
i'd suggest that OCZ
that one would probably do just fine

this one i don't have much info on (aside from what newegg has)

it's rails look OK, and the power output is more than enough

this one would also suit you

or this one:

personally i'd buy the Sparkle power, or the Antec NeoPower

the reason the OCZ and NeoPower are so expensive:

the OCZ has adjustable rails
the NeoPower is modular

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