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7800gs AGP or x850xt platinum edition AGP?

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#1
hey guys,

id really appreciate ur input on which card i should get. right now i have a powercolor 9800se agp and am really not thrilled with it to say the least. I get 4000 in 3dmark03. My rig is:

AMD Athlon 64 3200+ stock @ 2.2Ghz (socket 754)
Elitegroup SiS 755 Mobo
1GB of PC3200 @ 400Mhz
80GB hard drive (irrelevant yea i know)

which do u think really let me get the best out of my system? All input would be greatly appreciated especially if u have either of the 2. thanks!
 
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#2
first of all, i just got my eVGA 7800GS about 2 days ago, and i am outrageously happy with it. :)

second of all, which way you decide to go is dependant on how much money you have to spend, and how important having an SM3.0 compliant card is to you.

in the only direct comparison i've seen between an X850 XT PE and a 7800GS, the 7800GS was completley outclassed. (this cooltechzone.com review)

however... from what i've seen an X850 XT PE is about 100$ more expensive in most places than a 7800GS... the 7800GS is SM3.0 compliant. while the X850XT PE is not.
 
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#3
spectre440 said:
first of all, i just got my eVGA 7800GS about 2 days ago, and i am outrageously happy with it. :)

second of all, which way you decide to go is dependant on how much money you have to spend, and how important having an SM3.0 compliant card is to you.

in the only direct comparison i've seen between an X850 XT PE and a 7800GS, the 7800GS was completley outclassed. (this cooltechzone.com review)

however... from what i've seen an X850 XT PE is about 100$ more expensive in most places than a 7800GS... the 7800GS is SM3.0 compliant. while the X850XT PE is not.
Let remember that X850 was released in early 2005 (february) and it is based on the same architecture like 9800 series. 7800GS has new and much more advanced architecture and it MUST perform better than X850XT. (I currently have X850XT PE and X800XT PE) and even very happy with them I have to admit that these new 7800 AGP cards could be better than X8x0 series. The only task remaining is the price tag for both nVidia and ATI and the dying AGP :rolleyes: .
But finally whatever the choice will be both (nVidia 7800 series and ATI X850 series for AGP) are extremely fast cards even today and the owners of them will be happy at least for a while :D .
 
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#4
"MUST perform better than X850XT"

its dosnt peform better but it does have SM3.. your logic is way off..

newer does not mean better when the newer is deliberately crippled which is the case with the 7800gs..

the X850 XT PE will ourperform anything out there except the uncrippled X1800 series or the uncrippled 7800 series.. older dosnt come into it..

trog

ps.. none of this is "better".. except the 2006 score which dosnt permit the sm2 cards to run half the tests so it creates a totally false impression..

http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=30296

there is no X850 cards running there but i know what mine scores and i am sure u know what yours scores..
 
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#5
hey guys thanks so much for the input but i really am not worrying about price, as newegg has the cards about 10 dollars apart. so which would give me the absolute best scores for my system? (not factoring in price)
 
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#6
bcracer220 said:
hey guys thanks so much for the input but i really am not worrying about price, as newegg has the cards about 10 dollars apart. so which would give me the absolute best scores for my system? (not factoring in price)
The 7800GS :)
 
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#7
not much in it but the 7800gs at similar money would be a better bet cos of its sm3 abilities..

EVGA 7800 GS 460/1350 MHz 3dmark 2005 = 6070.. my x850 beats that so i will continue to dispute the "better" performance line thow.. he he he

trog
 
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#8
considering my X850XT stock gets 6050 in 3Dmark05 with a RAM bottleneck, I'd say that the X850XT is a better card. However, if you really want SM3, then 7800GS will make you just as happy. And the X850XT does NOT have the same architecture as the 9800 series (or at least the SE). I think that there are probably a gazillion articles explaining the X800 architecture vs. the 9800, but still. A quick look at ATI.com will give you detailed specs of each series, and the difference isnt too hard to find lol.
 

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#9
I can't speak for which one would be better for your system, but I CAN relate my recent experience with the same topic. my 6800GT cand went bad, so I was in the market for a new card. Looked at both the 7800GS, and the X850XT/PE at NewEgg. Finally decided to go with the newer technology. Ordered an XFX7800GS Extreme factory overclocked card. It was a nightmare right from the start. I had a fully re-formatted hard drive and fresh windows install to work with. Card would crash me to a black screen and looping sound in every game I played. I had to UNDERCLOCK the card to get it to run at all. NOT what I paid for, and that didn't set well with me. Turns out, it's a VERY common problem with their v. 1.0 cards and bios. Some of the same in the newer v. 1.3, but apparently, not as common. I finally got tired of fighting with it, and RMA'd the card, and ordered the VisionTek X850XT/PE. What a difference. Haven't had a single crash since installing the card. I get 60-85 FPS in Half-Life2, Far Cry, BOTH with all the eye candy turned on, and 50-70 in BF2 set at high. Only negative I have found, is heat. The 7800GS NEVER climbed above 55C, while the S850XT regularly tops 75C. BIG difference. Fortunately, I have a well ventilated case, (6 case fans, 2 PSU fans) so it's not a problem for the rest of my hardware, but it concerns me. Ati/VisionTek tell me not to sweat it, the card isn't considered to be overheating till it hits 105C!!
There are also lots of threads about incompatiblity with different chipsets and the 7800GS. Not sure which ones are suspect, since mine isn't one of them. It'd be worth your while to surf the other forums and look at that before buying one.
HTH.
 
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#10
I would definately go with X850 XT. the fan is alittle noisy though, if you order from newegg.com also get the Arctic Cooling ATI Silencer 5 rev. 2.
BTW, what does SM3.0 do anyway?
 

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#11
Be aware that replacing the HSF WILL void the lifetime warranty. I checked with VisionTek to be sure of that, since mine runs so hot.
 
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#12
Well, if you're going to RMA the card, just replace the fan. A lot of stuff we do to our cards void the warranty(i.e. overclocking, BIOS flash, etc...)
 
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#13
trog100 said:
not much in it but the 7800gs at similar money would be a better bet cos of its sm3 abilities..

EVGA 7800 GS 460/1350 MHz 3dmark 2005 = 6070.. my x850 beats that so i will continue to dispute the "better" performance line thow.. he he he

trog
As I mantioned before I also have X850XT PE (9800XT and X800XT PE) and can compare only ATI. The only difference between these cards are speeds and number of pipes. They are definitely fast and good but for the same amount of money today I would choose 7800gs not because of the imaginurily "better" raw performance but because of SM3.0.
App. two years ago I haven't care about SM3.0 and choosed to buy X800XT instead 6800 which has SM3.0 these days.
Now days we have to think in perspective especially talking for AGP which is already history.

Like final of my story I want to say that definitely I have always like ATI more than nVidia for some reasons and still do....
 
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#14
my opinion

i see that plp get lured by SM3.0 which the 7800GS has but if you want quality and performance, get the x850xt, i used to have a x850xt and personally it was the BEST card i ever encountered i never got under 40 fps in high quality and high resolution, and my card went tops 66C because the dual pci slot heatsink it has is pretty cool, in my opinion is that the only thing the 7800GS has for advantage is the SM3.0 which is most known as HDR, and the only thing it does is that it makes the light on games look shinnier.....which i think is dumb because HDR eats the fps supposely you normally have 50 fps and when you turn on HDR you get 40 or 37 fps .....so i think that is just an eye-candy (i have an x1800xl and i always have my HDR feature on games off...but still if i turn it on it doesnt eat my performance, cause its ATI :p )

i REEEEEALLY recommend you to get the x850xt..... but i think you can buy the x1800xl which is a really good card, and has HDR and it doesnt hurt the performance.

here is an overview of HDR lighting :
http://www.bit-tech.net/gaming/2005/06/14/hl2_hdr_overview/1.html
 
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#15
im runnin an x850xtpe right now from vision tek if your case is set up right your temps will be low ive never seen mine go over 67 and that was when i had it max oc'ed and running ati tool to test for artifacts which generates more heat than any game the only fans i have are on the psu and the cpu exaust fan i drilled some holes in the side of my case next to the gfx card so it could breathe i belive i read somehwere that for best cooling your want your case to be trying to remove more air than it can take in hence creating a vacume and my room usualy runs about 75-85F so id say the stock cooler works just make sure u blow the dust outa it often. bf2 runs around 55c on max details 6x aa no dynamic shadows or lighting max resolution at around 38-81 fps in my crapy dell computer just look at my specs i can almost max fear geting a new 939 mobo and a 3700+ san core soon then it will be unleashed :rockout:
 
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#16
hmm yeah i never got dust ion my fans because i have some filters that came with my case. but lol i always had that x850xt and i never OCed it :p i need to try that. and hey you think my ram is bottlenecking my video card? look at my specs
 
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#17
warup89 said:
the only thing the 7800GS has for advantage is the SM3.0 which is most known as HDR, and the only thing it does is that it makes the light on games look shinnier.....
I see your knowledge about SM3.0 is diddly squat :slap:

MS SM3.0 Especification:
The 3_0 vertex shader model (vs_3_0) expands on the features of vs_2_0 with more powerful register indexing, a set of simplified output registers, the ability to sample a texture in a vertex shader, and the ability to control the rate at which shader inputs are initialized.
Tom's Hardware
Gamers are wondering how long it will take before they see any real benefit from the switch to SM3.0. It seems certain that the changeover will occur faster than that from SM1.x (DirectX 8.x) to SM2.x (DirectX 9), as nowadays most of the optimization work is done by compilers. All developers need to do is set a few options and voila - they either get a shader optimized for SM2.x or 3.x (Well, I don't think it's that easy in the end...). This should make it relatively easy and painless to convert a game to the newer shader model.
"Shader Model 3.0 - No Limits"
One major feature of both Shader 3.0 models (vertex and pixel) is Dynamic Branching. Put simply, this allows a shader author to create true loops and conditionals in their shader programs. For instance, one could write a shader that looped through a certain number of vertex lights, determine which ones might influence a particular vertex, and then pass down the index of each relevant light to the pixel shader. The pixel shader could then use this ‘light index’ to determine which light parameters to apply. The pixel shader would then loop over the active lights, then use dynamic branching to exit the shader early once all lights are processed.

Most light types only apply to the front side of an object—the side facing the light. Therefore, you can use both vertex and pixel branching to skip processing for lights that the shader detects as facing away from the light. This can save significant processing time, and speed up the shader. Similar speedups can be used to skip processing of character bone animation as well as many similar algorithms.

As game engines become more and more complex, they often create many different versions of each shader in order to fit them all in to the Pixel Shader 2.0 program length limitations. This can add to code maintenance, as well as take up valuable system memory at runtime. Shader Model 3.0 eliminates this issue, through its comprehensive looping and branching, allowing the engine to write a single vertex and single pixel shader containing appropriate static and dynamic branching in order to select the correct execution path at runtime, thus greatly simplifying the shader combinatorial explosion issue.

Another key feature of Shader Model 3.0 is the support for the Microsoft DirectX® Instancing API. Currently, games face limits on the number of unique objects they can display in the scene, not because of graphics horsepower, but often the CPU-side overhead of either storing or submitting many slightly different variations of the same object. For instance, a forest is made up of trees that are often similar to each other, but each would be in a different position, have differing height, branch length, leaf color, and so on. In order to add the desired variation, developers have to choose between storing many separate copies of the tree, each slightly different, or making expensive render state changes in order to rotate, scale, color and place each tree.
ShaderMark SM2.0 comparison to SM3.0
In average we get an increase in performance of 21.2 % in Shadermark 2.1 with Shader Model 3.0. Not too bad considering no shaders in the software are written directly for Pixel Shader 3.0. What makes the difference is simply that a Shader Model 3.0 Compiler Target has been used in HLSL. This may sound as mumbo jumbo to most of you. Briefly you can say that the test isn't programmed with Shader Model 3.0 in mind, but the support for it has been added afterwards when all the shaders already had been written. From that point of view it is actually a fairly impressive result, as the support for Shader Model 3.0 didn't require any work at all for the producer.
Havok FX Physics Engine SM3.0 Optimization
The flexibility, programmability and power available with SM3.0 hardware is programmed both through standard interfaces, DirectX and OpenGL, and more specifically through languages like HLSL and Cg. These are powerful, flexible GPU programming languages, with the backing of industry leaders like NVIDIA, Sony Computer Entertainment, Microsoft, and ATI for use on a range of game platforms and PC configurations. These languages are mature, cross-platform, documented, tested, supported, and most importantly– publicly available for evaluation and testing. The SM3.0 GPUs have become general and powerful enough to perform a broader range of computations – beyond the role of pure graphical shading for which they were initially used. Moreover, the GPU has been progressing toward more general computing tasks with massive potential for accelerating floating-point intensive operations. The combination of these capabilities – and the momentum behind the industry leaders supporting these languages – make them ideal for delivering an ever-increasing array of physical effects that augment game play and visual fidelity gamers have come to expect.
Unreal Engine 3 SM3.0 Optimizations
PS 3.0 utilizes a wide range of optimizations, from 64-bit frame-buffer blending to looping and dynamic conditionals for rendering multiple light interactions in a single pass without requiring a combinatorical explosion of precompiled shaders.

Our pixel shaders in the Unreal Engine 3 demos are typically 50-200 instructions in length, and are composed from a wide range of artist-controlled components and procedural algorithms.

Our vertex shaders are quite simple nowadays, and just perform skeletal blending and linear interpolant setup on behalf of the pixel shaders. All of the heavy lifting is now on the pixel shader side -- all lighting is per-pixel, all shadowing is per-pixel, and all material effects are per-pixel.

Once you have the hardware power to do everything per-pixel, it becomes undesirable to implement rendering or lighting effects at the vertex level; such effects are tessellation-dependent and difficult to integrate seamlessly with pixel effects.

A major design goal of Unreal Engine 3 is that designers should never, ever have to think about "fallback" shaders, as Unreal Engine 2 and past mixed-generation DirectX6/7/8/9 engines relied on. We support everything everywhere, and use new hardware features like PS3.0 to implement optimizations: reducing the number of rendering passes to implement an effect, to reduce the number of SetRenderTarget operations needed by performing blending in-place, and so on. Artists create an effect, and it's up to the engine and runtime to figure out how to most efficiently render it faithfully on a given hardware architecture.
Hope that was useful :)
 
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#18
And about which card to choose, well, let's hear what most respected hardware sites have to say:

Tom's Hardware:
The GeForce 7800GS is a solid card for anyone looking for Shader Model 3.0 support on the AGP platform. It clearly is head and shoulders above the GeForce 6800 Ultra, which also provides SM 3.0 functionality. Going head to head against the ATI Radeon X800XT and X850XT Platinum Edition, it is the AGP king.
AnnandTech:
With prices on the aging, high-end 6 series parts absurdly high, it is quite nice to see an AGP 7 series part show up with good performance, lower power requirements, better features and a friendlier price tag, at about $300. Even though the X850 XTPE is generally faster than the new NVIDIA part, the price tag is a little steeper as well, at about $400. This leaves ATI holding onto a claim for the fastest AGP solution out there, but the feature set of the 7 series part is a bit more refined than that of the venerable X850.
Along with high performance (for an AGP system), the 7800 GS brings a more efficient architecture to the platform. With the math revisions and added features of the 7 series, per clock and per watt performance is increased over the 6 series parts. Transparency AA might not be very performance-friendly on newer games, but older titles and CPU limited games will certainly benefit from enabling it. Other features, like SM3.0, are also an advantage, as most of the ATI AGP hardware still doesn't support this.
HardOCP:
If the 7800 GS AGP had 4 more pixel pipes, or cost about $100 less dollars, we might be able to look you in the eye and say, “Go for it.” Overall, I think most our readers that are still using AGP systems would be better served by moving their upgrade path to more promising horizons. If you are dead set on staying in the AGP era, the BFGTech 7800 GS OC will surely provide you with a fantastic gaming experience…at a healthy price. And while technically this was not a hard launch for this product, many are already on retail shelves and sure to be for sale today at your favorite e-tailer.
The Adrenaline Vault:
This product is in a class by itself sitting under no cards shadow in the AGP market. If you are a gamer holding out for PCI Express you can easily wait another year. Your games will run faster and look sharper than ever before. At this point I have decided to keep my older Xeon system out of storage and use if for some for some gaming. For the last three nights I have been very pleased with the video performance the 7800 GS has given this system and will use it for many more nights to come. The 7800 GS AGP brings a breath of fresh air on what was once though to be a dead platform.
Guru3d:
XFX provides you, as always, with a quality product which is a pleasure to own. So ... this is that last of the Mohicans .. you just bough yourself another year on the AGP platform .. but after this card you really are going to need to upgrade towards a PCI-Express system.
The Tech Report:
The 7800 GS is probably the better choice overall because of its support for Shader Model 3.0 and 16-bit floating-point blending and filtering. These capabilities will no doubt make the 7800 GS more future-proof, as contradictory as that may sound for an AGP card. The 7800 GS OC also looks to be cheaper than the Radeon X850 XT, if street prices work out as NVIDIA has suggested they will. That pretty much makes the 7800 GS king of the AGP upgrade market—but if you cast off your Radeon X850 XT in favor of one of these, you need your head examined. The X850 XT may lack a few bullet-point features, but it's clearly the same class of graphics card...
...This makes the GeForce 7800 GS just barely the best choice among AGP graphics cards, and strangely enough, that appears to be exactly what NVIDIA intended.
Neoseeker:
Keep in mind that our tests are designed for the high end spectrum of cards, which means that not only is the 7800GS an excellent performer, it is a very good upgrade for AGP users who have the CPU power to take advantage of it. Owners of more powerful AGP cards may hesitate to upgrade however. In most aspects the 7800GS is a higher performer, but there are cards which have performance close enough to question this as an upgrade. If you already own a 6800GT, X850XT PE, or even an X800XL/XT you probably won't consider upgrade FROM one of those cards to the 7800GS, unless you really must have SM3.0 and transparency antialiasing. If you are considering an upgrade TO one of those performance cards, the 7800GS makes a lot of sense.
I know this seems a little overwhelming, but I hope this settle your doubts, also, please note that some of the prices quoted on these articles aren't valid anymore, as both the prices of the X850XT and the 7800GS have gone down really fast since most of these articles were posted.
Whatever you choose, good luck :)
 
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MDK22

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#19
I say basically do you want pretty or do you want more fps for better registry in mmofps games.

I have an ATI brand x850 Pro AGP @ 540/579 /w 16pp 75°@Max Load.

I have literally beat the crap out of this card while its still using the stock cooler. ITs too bad you cant get a pro and flash it up as easy anymore.

Anyway this is what you are going to be faced with if you want to play games like HL2 it is better to go ATI. Espeacially if it is HL2 because the source engine was built for ATI cards. I get really good registry and my fps never drops below 45 on our css server.

If you play a wide variety of games and want to be compatible with everything and stuff in the near future you go Nvidia.

Now what i am going to state is if you are willing to spend this much money get a mobo that supports PCI-e. I will tell you from expereince that u get lower fps from agp then you would from pci-e. I also suggest you go pci-e because the future doesn't look bright for agp anymore.

Plus if u really want to argue sm 3.0 get a x1600pro 512MB.

Sigh its going to feel like a waste spendin 300 when you wont be able to move it to your next board cause its how i feel.

Basically

x850 XT = Speed

x1600 PRO 512 MB = Im in the middle dont yell at me.

7800GS = Look at all the pretty shading
 
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#20
Azn Tr14dZ said:
BTW, what does SM3.0 do anyway?
SM3 renders stuff you won't notice unless you are looking and will lag you up alot :laugh:. X850XT all the way, and if you dont want ATIsilencer5, zalman has a good VGA cooler.
 
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#21
lol this is starting to get complicated. In my opinion, both cards are absolutely wonderful. The place where you will really notice the difference is the games, so lets explain how it affects games (really simple :p). Okay, ATI has a history of "softer" rendering quality, and it seems more realistic. Nvidia has a history of shiny eye candy and pretty effects, and so it looks awesome. However, If you look at the back of games at the system requirements, you will see that GAMES ARE MORE PLAYABLE ON ATI GRAPHICS THEN NVIDIA GRAPHICS on cards that are a few years old. I say again, you won't notice SM3 except in benchmarks and when you're really focusing on the render (and not the game). Its a personal choice, X850XT vs. 7800GS. Happy Gaming!
 

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#22
Yep.


Also Warlock the x1600 Pro 512MB AGP wasnt out when they were doing those reviews. Only the 256 was and even then the drivers for it were first gen. Also don't overwelm people with soo much by quoting it just give a bunch of links.

In my opinion upgrade to pci-e buy a x1300 and just wait till prices drops some. Or if you have the money do it all at once. But sticking with AGP isnt the best idea in the world.

ATI = speed.

Nvidia = Look at all the pretty stuff i can do.

Nvidia i have seen played on i dont like it. ATI i have played on for years its good for most games although sometimes it lacks things like extra shaders to create awsome shadows. Cause i really care if a shadow is perfectly blended or not.
 

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#23
It's a shame your looking for an AGP card, because there is so much to choose from with PCIe, and prices are also good. it should have a similar performance to the AGP cards, and i can say, the x850 is pretty sweet!

I can't say anything about the nVidia card, but if you really want SM3.0, go for it!

I would definatly say to go with ATI, but with the x850 AGP it will cost a pretty penny! In this case, the nVidia might be the better choice.
 
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#24
doh forgot about how expensive a good AGP card can run you
 

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#25
At NewEgg, both the 7800GS and X850XT/PE are about $300.00, give or take a few $$ Not enough difference IMO to let the cost difference be a deciding factor.