Decent Nvidia options?

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Hezu
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Decent Nvidia options?

Post by Hezu » Sun Jul 05, 2009 10:39 pm

Yesterday evening and today I have been once again fighting with ATI fglrx drivers and Linux kernels and it looks like I am starting to get fed up with this hassle despite that I very much like this Sapphire Radeon HD 4760 Ultimate card spec wise. So, I'm thinking about getting a new card with Nvidia chipset and thus better (albeit much less open) drivers, but I'm puzzled about the options. My wishlist for the new card is following:
- dual DVI or DVI+HDMI outputs since I want to hook this card to two flat panel monitors
- passive cooling out of box
- low power comsumption
- affordable (preferably in approximately same price category as my current graphics card)

Can someone point towards suitable candidates that would fulfill my wishes? Top 3D speed is unimportant since I do not run anything 3D intensive like Windoze games.

pfft
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Post by pfft » Sun Jul 05, 2009 11:50 pm

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6814141094

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6814127396

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6814127386

The chipsets are 8400gs, 9400gt and 9500gt. If you care about hd video playback then there are differences between the degree of acceleration provided by these cards. Look for 567mhz in the 8400gs chip if you are considering the 8400gs.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purevideo

Nvidia dropped later cards like the 9400 and 9500 back to an earlier implementation of purevideo stating that the extra codecs didn't tax systems much and software decompression tends to look better.

pfft
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Post by pfft » Mon Jul 06, 2009 12:17 am

Sorry about the double post but I searched for performance comparisons and if the 3d performance matters then the 4760 is a rough match to the 9600gt.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6814125274

The 9600gt will draw more power and may require some extra power connection. The card eats 2 slots and is pricey as well.

lodestar
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Post by lodestar » Mon Jul 06, 2009 1:18 am

Don't forget the Gigabyte GV-N98TSL-1GI, see
http://www.quietpc.com/gb-en-gbp/produc ... n98tsl-1gi

And this review might help
http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/rev ... -gv-n98tsl

psiu
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Post by psiu » Mon Jul 06, 2009 2:44 am

Did you try the ATI drivers? I thought their in-house stuff had much improved--looks that way from a glance over at phoronix anyway...

quest_for_silence
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Re: Decent Nvidia options?

Post by quest_for_silence » Mon Jul 06, 2009 10:01 am

Hezu wrote:My wishlist for the new card is following:
- dual DVI or DVI+HDMI outputs since I want to hook this card to two flat panel monitors
- passive cooling out of box
- low power comsumption
- affordable (preferably in approximately same price category as my current graphics card)

Simply no way.

As said by others, "similar" performance Nvidias (9600GSO, 9600GT, 9800GT) are either higher power consuming, or less affordable, or both: especially if they come with passive cooler (only two I know, Gigabyte and BFG).

You may hope that some firm releases a passive version of the "newer" low power G94/G92 (currently Zotac, Galaxy, ELSA and a few others have released only active cooled ones), but if in case it will cost more than a Sapphire Ultimate or a HIS iSilence.

Alternatively you have to wait to next 40nm Nvidias, such as the so-called GT220, which is expected to be released next fall.

Actually AMD (ATI) price/perfomance ratio is not easily matchable, at least for midrange cards.

Regards,
Luca

psyopper
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Re: Decent Nvidia options?

Post by psyopper » Mon Jul 06, 2009 4:32 pm

quest_for_silence wrote: Actually AMD (ATI) price/perfomance ratio is not easily matchable, at least for midrange cards.

Regards,
Luca
Not so under Linux. It's really hard to beat the performance and ease of use of Nvidia cards with the Nvidia closed source drivers. The key in that sentence is ease of use - the Nvidia Linux drivers just work, and quite simply, especially if your distro has them packaged for you.

quest_for_silence
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Re: Decent Nvidia options?

Post by quest_for_silence » Mon Jul 06, 2009 10:34 pm

psyopper wrote:Not so under Linux

Well, as you have not understood, I precise my own words: the sense of them is that there isn't, generally speaking, any Nvidia GPU which is either enough powerful, economical on electricity and affordable, with reference to current ATI's midrange line-up, expecially if we're talking about out-of-box passively cooled cards.

That ATIs don't properly work under Linux is just an accident (a further one: however, even under Windows Nvidia's drivers are better than ATI's ones): even if it hasn't been so, hypothetically, Nvidia would not have been able to match ATI price/performance ratio for actual current technological reasons (as well as for some marketing ones).

Regards,
Luca

Hezu
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Post by Hezu » Tue Jul 07, 2009 11:13 am

Strictly speaking I'm not needing any speed monsters (Geforce 9800 mentioned earlier is certainly overkill for me) since I was happy with the performance provided by my previous card, ASUS Geforce 8500 Sílent. But since I bought earlier this year two new 24" TFTs and thus wanted to use digital connections I wanted new graphics card too. This Sapphire was the logical choice since it seemed offer about everything I wanted, but so far I haven't got full use of it since I cannot get ATI drivers work properly (eg. any GL or video player application segmentation faults) and I cannot quite understand why. So, I can indeed accept small downgrade in absolute performance, but silence and especially power comsumption I would like to keep at same level with the current card.
I have now looked a bit at Geforce 9500GT based cards, since there is few inexpensive, passively cooled models, but I am still bit hesitant as most such models seem to use DDR2 memory and feature two slot cooler solution, which I'm not very fond of. Also, I'm still bit unsure about Nvidia's models' power usage.

quest_for_silence
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Post by quest_for_silence » Tue Jul 07, 2009 11:45 am

Hezu wrote:I can indeed accept small downgrade in absolute performance, but silence and especially power comsumption I would like to keep at same level with the current card.

As far as I know, there's only one choice: Zotac 9500GT DDR3 ZONE Edition ZT-95TES2P-HSL, but it's pricey and very hard to find.

http://www.zotac.com/index.php?option=c ... Itemid=483

Any other Nvidia cannot match your requirements (always afaik).
Hezu wrote:I'm still bit unsure about Nvidia's models' power usage.

You may give a first look to this:

http://forums.atomicmpc.com.au/index.php?showtopic=264

(there are always links to the original information sources).

Regards,
Luca

Shamgar
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Post by Shamgar » Mon Jul 13, 2009 10:36 am

For your purposes the 8400GS seems fine. The G98 core is preferred over the older G86 core. What I have heard from users on the forums is that it's a good choice for Linux and daily Windows use. It is very poor for contemporary gaming but might pass for non-demanding older games.

Like most bottom rung budget cards there are compromises: only one DVI connection, obsolete D-SUB connection, 64bit memory, insanely useless amount of RAM (512MB-1GB!), fancy but poor heatsinks and generally no extras in the bundle.

I am deciding whether to stick to my tried and true ATI or go for a budget Nvidia card this time. Like the OP, I do not need 3D power; just good quality 2D output and preferably all digital connections with 128bit memory.

AFAIK there is no single card at the moment that fulfils all these requirements in the budget range. You get some things and lose out on others. For instance, I just don't understand why a midrange card like ATI HD 4670 still persists with a D-SUB connection. Granted that some cut-down LCDs are only analog, and that some users still own and use CRTs. But if I pay that price I expect to get all digital connections for the sake of improving image quality. And why 4350-4550 cards have only 64bit memory one can only be cynical about.

Nvidia is behind ATI at the moment for power efficiency, features and value, especially at the low - midrange. ATI has 4350 - 4550 - 4650 - 4670 - 4770 : all of which are good to excellent cards depending on your uses. Nvidia has 8400 - 9400 - 9500 - 9600 with all the GS and GT variants inbetween : the higher spec'd cards are arguably not that much better than the lower ones, while consuming more power and falling behind ATI in performance for the dollar.

ATI/AMD has always had headache causing drivers and support. Enough to give one a nervous breakdown. Combined with their pathetic attempt at a website to go and download said drivers is enough to sway one to Nvidia. Including a long time ATI user like myself.

RoGuE
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Post by RoGuE » Mon Jul 13, 2009 12:07 pm

Shamgar wrote:...ATI/AMD has always had headache causing drivers and support. Enough to give one a nervous breakdown. Combined with their pathetic attempt at a website to go and download said drivers is enough to sway one to Nvidia. Including a long time ATI user like myself.
I buy nvidia cards for the drivers. The nvidia control panel with the built in gamma adjuster makes games look like..well..the real thing. I love the desktop settings too, so you can still have brightness for your games, but the second you tab/exit out to ur desktop the brightness goes down should you chose.

Never had quite that experiance with ATi cards..plus..I dual boot ubuntu....nuff said?

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