8500LE or ti4200?

imported_zenwhen

Senior member
Jun 5, 2002
302
0
0
I just bought the Retail Radeon 8500LE 128MB. (comes 250/250) Paid 150 for the card. Im running it at 270/300.

Im getting about 9600 3dmarks.

Im wondering....

Would I be better off with a 64MB Geforce 4 ti4200?

 

Rand

Lifer
Oct 11, 1999
11,071
1
81
Depends what you want in a graphics card....
TV-Out/ VIVO- ATi.
Dual Display- Pretty much even.
Pure 3D performance the Ti4200 is faster, though with the latest drivers the 8500LE is reasonably close.
2D Visual quality- ATi.
3D feature set- ATi.
DVD playback-ATi.
FSAA visual quality- ATi.
FSAA performance- nVidia
Anisotropic filtering visual quality- nVidia.
Anisotropic filtering performance- ATi.
nVidia has somewhat better driver support also, but the R8500 drivers are pretty mature at this point.
Price: R8500 is cheaper.

Personally, I'd rather the R8500 as it's a more well rounded card, that's quite feature packed at the price it's selling at. With the latest drivers it's decently close to Ti4200 in performance and I'm fond of FSAA so ATi's SmoothVision is a big selling point for me. TruForm seems to be getting a respectable amount of industry support so it's a nice addition. The biggest point in favor of the R8500 for me would likely be ATi's solid 2D visual quality as my eyes tend to be somewhat sensitive to 2D quality and even the best of nVidia boards are merely adequate for me in 2D.

The only significant point in favor of nVidia for me would be the Ti4200 offers a bit better performance and is a somewhat better overclocker as well.

But that's me... other people have different requirements in a graphics card.
I suspect many will lean towards the GF4 for sheer performance, and many for the fact that nVidia's driver support has a sterling reputation... though personally I don't find nVidia's driver support half as good as the nearly perfect drivers they were once able to boast.

In the end, neither card is likely to disappoint you. Their both quite impressive boards.
 

Tates

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Jun 25, 2000
9,079
10
81
I've owned a GF2 Ultra and GF3. Good cards.

With the latest ATi Catalyst drivers and my Radeon 8500, I was able to score 10,841 in 3DMark2001se.

I'm sticking with ATi :D
 

AmigaMan

Diamond Member
Oct 12, 1999
3,644
1
0
Originally posted by: Rand
Depends what you want in a graphics card....
TV-Out/ VIVO- ATi.
Dual Display- Pretty much even.
Pure 3D performance the Ti4200 is faster, though with the latest drivers the 8500LE is reasonably close.
2D Visual quality- ATi.
3D feature set- ATi.
DVD playback-ATi.
FSAA visual quality- ATi.
FSAA performance- nVidia
Anisotropic filtering visual quality- nVidia.
Anisotropic filtering performance- ATi.
nVidia has somewhat better driver support also, but the R8500 drivers are pretty mature at this point.
Price: R8500 is cheaper.

Personally, I'd rather the R8500 as it's a more well rounded card, that's quite feature packed at the price it's selling at. With the latest drivers it's decently close to Ti4200 in performance and I'm fond of FSAA so ATi's SmoothVision is a big selling point for me. TruForm seems to be getting a respectable amount of industry support so it's a nice addition. The biggest point in favor of the R8500 for me would likely be ATi's solid 2D visual quality as my eyes tend to be somewhat sensitive to 2D quality and even the best of nVidia boards are merely adequate for me in 2D.

The only significant point in favor of nVidia for me would be the Ti4200 offers a bit better performance and is a somewhat better overclocker as well.

But that's me... other people have different requirements in a graphics card.
I suspect many will lean towards the GF4 for sheer performance, and many for the fact that nVidia's driver support has a sterling reputation... though personally I don't find nVidia's driver support half as good as the nearly perfect drivers they were once able to boast.

In the end, neither card is likely to disappoint you. Their both quite impressive boards.
Wow, that's a real quality post right there. Answered just about everything I wanted to know about the two cards. You've earned your Elite status, thanks Rand!
 

kami

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
17,627
4
81
FSAA visual quality- ATi.
FSAA performance- nVidia
I think I have to disagree with this. Did you read Anand's smoothvision article? nVidia matches ATI's quality and obviously surpasses it performance wise. You just have to enable the anisotropic filtering to match the quality (and it still beats it with aniso on)
 

dude

Diamond Member
Oct 16, 1999
3,192
0
71
Originally posted by: Rand
2D Visual quality- ATi. 3D feature set- ATi. DVD playback-ATi. FSAA visual quality- ATi. FSAA performance- nVidia Anisotropic filtering visual quality- nVidia. Anisotropic filtering performance- ATi. nVidia has somewhat better driver support also, but the R8500 drivers are pretty mature at this point.
I'd Have to disagree on the above bolded items.

Also, ATI has a bad rep for their drivers. They already made a promise to keep up with their drivers, only to flatly drop their promise to their users (early last year). Now, they dicided to give the same promise to their users again. I don't trust them. And they <U>always</U> had problems with keeping up with drivers. Their software suite also has it's fair share of compability problems.

For the driver reason alone, I'd lean very hard on NVidias shoulders.
 

dude

Diamond Member
Oct 16, 1999
3,192
0
71
Oh, forgot to mention, the 2D quality is very on par with ATi. Unless you're some sort of freak with hawk precision eyes, it would not bother most of the human race.
 

Rand

Lifer
Oct 11, 1999
11,071
1
81
Originally posted by: kami
FSAA visual quality- ATi.
FSAA performance- nVidia
I think I have to disagree with this. Did you read Anand's smoothvision article? nVidia matches ATI's quality and obviously surpasses it performance wise. You just have to enable the anisotropic filtering to match the quality (and it still beats it with aniso on)
The simple fact that you have to enable anisotropic filtering along with FSAA on nVidia boards to match the bare FSAA of ATi's boards should make it clear that ATi's implementation offers superior visual quality.
Yes, that brings nVidia's quality up to the level of ATi's. But what if we were to enable anisotropic filtering on ATi's board?
Presto, ATi has the advantage again... and with virtually no performance hit for enabling anisotropic.

Not that's I'm particularly fond of ATi's anisotropic filtering, but i does boost image quality somewhat, at a performance hit that is in most cases near non-existant.

This is without touching upon the fact that ATi's implementation has no issues with antialiasing Alpha textures and other such items that nVidia's implementation cannot antialias.


Also, ATI has a bad rep for their drivers. They already made a promise to keep up with their drivers, only to flatly drop their promise to their users (early last year). Now, they dicided to give the same promise to their users again. I don't trust them. And they always had problems with keeping up with drivers. Their software suite also has it's fair share of compability problems.
Indeed, they do have a bad repuation. Their initial attempts with the Rage IIC was a joke, the Rage 128 was nearly as bad. The original Radeon was bearly passable, and the initial R8500 drivers stank.
Their poor repuation is for the most part deserved.
Putting all that aside though, the R8500 drivers have had quite a long time to mature by now and are pretty decent at this point in time.

If you look around, you'll find remarkably few people have had any complaints with the more recent drivers, and ATi's .6071 and their latest 'Catalyst' drivers seem to have gained a respectable amount of popularity for being solid drivers.
ATi's been releasing drivers quite a bit more rapidly then they once were and they've been improving quickly. At the present time I'd have absolutely no qualms with trusting my system to an ATi Radeon graphics card.


Oh, forgot to mention, the 2D quality is very on par with ATi. Unless you're some sort of freak with hawk precision eyes, it would not bother most of the human race.
Then I presume a remarkable number of people on this forum are freaks with hawk eyes :p
2D visual quality has been debated on the forums in-depth a hundred times over, and it's clear it tends to be extremely dependent upon the individual persons eyesight, individual graphics cards within any given model, monitor, resolution, and refresh rate utilized, cabling used, etc etc.
The end fact is you'll find precious few people that disagree that ATi offers superior 2D visual quality though.

I myself am using an nVidia graphics card in my present system, and while I'm pretty satisfied with it and have no particular desire to replace it at the moment I can only honestly say that the 2D visual quality is only 'satisfactory'. I can most clearly see a difference between it and ATi.
And this coming from a Gainward board that is generally considered to have among the best 2D quality of nVidia board manufacturers.

As for disagreeing with the bolded items, it would be hekpful if you were to present your reasoning for your disagreement. If I knew why you disagreed I could more easily formulate a reply that would perhaps address your comments.
 

uncouth

Golden Member
Mar 23, 2000
1,707
1
0
to put things in perspective, here's a nice comparison to show exactly how much you're missing if you only have an 8500LE.
3dvelocity.com
Now naturally this doesn't account for whatever subjective claims such as the ATi "looking better" or "having shitty drivers", it just provides some nice side by side benchmarks...

Hold off! I found a page that does analyze the 2d/3d "quality". Interestingly our reviewer finds the GeForce to be the favorite! And he provides proof via screenshots. Be your own judge (on page 3)
 

BFG10K

Lifer
Aug 14, 2000
22,065
1,236
126
The Ti4200 has better 3D image quality, better drivers and in most cases higher performance too.
 

Rand

Lifer
Oct 11, 1999
11,071
1
81
Hold off! I found a page that does analyze the 2d/3d "quality". Interestingly our reviewer finds the GeForce to be the favorite! And he provides proof via screenshots. Be your own judge (on page 3)
I find that which has superior 3D image quality to vary depending upon the individual application used, IMHO neither is consistently superior. nVidia usually has an edge in professional 3D apps in some cases, though again it depends considerably upon application requirements and usage.
But then neither of the specified graphics cards are meant for the professional realm.

null
to put things in perspective, here's a nice comparison to show exactly how much you're missing if you only have an 8500LE.
Slight problem in that the benchmarks are a few months old. ATi has definitely improved performance in two successive driver releaes since then, and nVidia has also improved performance in some areas.
HardOCP has a somewhat more recent comparison here, though using the AIW 8500 so the 8500LE should be a notch lower.
 

joe678

Platinum Member
Jun 12, 2001
2,407
0
71
i generally like nvidia's driver support alot better than ATI and less bugs...i would have gone with the ti...
 

Bink

Member
Feb 21, 2002
71
0
0
I have an older NVidia card (Riva) and I can barely use 1024x768 - it is definitely blurry and strains my eyes.

The image quality debate clearly exists on 2 levels: 2D & 3D. On 3D it appears to be an issue of "jaggies", etc. On 2D, for such applications as spreadsheets & word processing/internet, the consensus appears to be that NVidia is still weak. This issue gains prominence as resolutions increase - at 1600x1200 it is critical, at 1280x1024 significant, at 1024x768 some people may notice. I think that those who claim "no difference" in 2D are looking at low resolutions, or have a particularly good model of card (or possibly better production quality.) The following comparison shows variation between manufacturers (e.g. Abit vs Chaintech) and even between models (e.g. Visiontek 4400 & Visiontek 4600).


Comparison of 11 Geforce 4 cards visual quality


I don't know why the quality of the Visiontek 4400 & 4600 should be any different. Any opinions??
 

recha

Banned
Jun 17, 2002
543
0
0
Mmm, I'm leaning towards the Ti4200 now...I might just get that instead of the 8500. Btw, what does LE mean?
 

MithShrike

Diamond Member
May 5, 2002
3,440
0
0
Listen to Rand people! Time and again I've seen this guy open a can on some nVidia freak. Sure, nVidia and ATi are at war so what! Go with the 8500 it's cheap and good. OK there.
 

sxr7171

Diamond Member
Jun 21, 2002
5,079
40
91
I wish I could find a link right now (Edit: See below), but I remember seeing pictures that showed that ATI's maximum 16x (I really don't know if this is equivalent to 16-tap or not?) Anisotropic filtering was (much - in my visual opinion) better than Nvidia's maximum 8x (again, I have the ability to run 64-tap with GeForce tweak are they the same?) anisotropic filtering.

Between the two cards which should I favor, if I like to run games at 1280x1024, no AA (I think at a reasonably high resolution Anisotropic filtering improves the image much more than AA), and 64-tap Anisotropic (or the highest possible on the card - GeForce can do 64-tap)? Thanks!

BTW, enabling 64-tap on GeForce4 4400, really slows things down, will ATI run 64-tap without such a big hit?

This link from Anand's Parhelia review shows the superiority of ATI's Anisotropic image quality (ATI 16x vs. Nvidia 16-tap) and also describes the speed advantage that ATI has:

http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.html?i=1645&p=12

I suppose I answered my own question on which card would work best for me, I should give the Radeon 8500 a try. Although one caveat applies: the image quality on GeForce's 64-tap anisotropic filtering is amazing! Can the Radeon be tweaked into doing 64-tap? And will the performance hit stay relatively benign?


Uncouth, I looked at the link you provided and I have to say that I prefer the GeForce image quality in the pictures on that site. Maybe Nvidia's 8x = 64-tap? If so that would explain the differences, since I thought they were dramatic. The Radeon dealt with aliasing a lot better, but the texture quality on the GeForce images were several orders of magnitude sharper than the Radeon image.

I hope we can find a way to explain all these findings.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY