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PrincessFrosty

Platinum Member
Feb 13, 2008
2,301
68
91
www.frostyhacks.blogspot.com
Meh I disagree.

Recent increases in GPU power have been lacklustre compared to previous generations which have often been close to or achieved 2x performanec over the prior gen (think 8800 as a great example)

We also have way less reason to upgrade, there's simply no PC exclusive AAA titles any more than push the envelope, the whole market is stagnating. I'd trade away cheap GPUs for getting the more traditional PC gaming scene back on its feet where we our GPUs have something to do rather than sit there idle for most of the time.
 

MrK6

Diamond Member
Aug 9, 2004
4,458
3
81
Meh I disagree.

Recent increases in GPU power have been lacklustre compared to previous generations which have often been close to or achieved 2x performanec over the prior gen (think 8800 as a great example)
The 8800 is probably the best example for the point you're arguing against. The 8800GT/GTS came out a year after the 8800GTS/GTX and offered the exact same performance. If either company did that now for its flagship part there would be a s*** storm on the forums. People love to quote the performance jump we saw with the G80 architecture, but it's the exception, not the rule. There are few instances in graphics technology where a huge bottleneck is removed (like moving to unified shaders with G80) and the performance increase is staggering.

Graphics cards, and technology as a whole, has never been cheaper, especially once inflation is accounted for. We live in an extremely fortunate age and people who disagree simply haven't been in the game long enough.
 

crisium

Platinum Member
Aug 19, 2001
2,632
593
136
Prices were best with the Radeon 4000 series, imo. In summer 2009, just months before the Radeon 5000 series came out, you could nab the Radeon 4890 for around $180 (and even less with rebate). I can't remember the last time the second fastest single-gpu card (behind the GTX 285) could be found for well under $200. 4870s, the third fastest card effectively, were around $140. 4850s were $100.

And then the 5850 came out in September for $259, handily beating the GTX 285 for much less. That's around the price of the 7870 now, many months after launch, and only being in the third fastest tier of graphics cards compared to the 5850 being the second fastest (and only 5-7% slower when max OC'd vs a Max OC 5870).

We're better now than most generations, but not quite the best.

Also, there has been excessive stagnation around the $100-$150 area for years. At least in many DX 9 aps, the $140 Radeon 4870 you could get in 2009 is faster than the $100 Radeon 7750 of today. What? And over 14 months ago I got a Radeon 6850 for a friend's build for $140. They are still $140. Sure another $40 gets you the 2GB 7850, but at the actual $140 price point the best you can get now is the GTX 650 Ti which is only a very small bump over a Radeon 6850.

Not all sunshine and rainbows right now.
 

PrincessFrosty

Platinum Member
Feb 13, 2008
2,301
68
91
www.frostyhacks.blogspot.com
The 8800 is probably the best example for the point you're arguing against. The 8800GT/GTS came out a year after the 8800GTS/GTX and offered the exact same performance. If either company did that now for its flagship part there would be a s*** storm on the forums. People love to quote the performance jump we saw with the G80 architecture, but it's the exception, not the rule. There are few instances in graphics technology where a huge bottleneck is removed (like moving to unified shaders with G80) and the performance increase is staggering.

Graphics cards, and technology as a whole, has never been cheaper, especially once inflation is accounted for. We live in an extremely fortunate age and people who disagree simply haven't been in the game long enough.
I'm not talking about product refreshes which usually bring no real benefit, I'm talking about gaps between generations of video cards, the 8800 was a strong part for sure, maybe one of the strongest, but I would not call it an exception, I would say that in general the gaps between generations has become slimmer.

I've bought a flagship card from every single generation from before the Geforce 4 range all the way through to the GTX580 I have now, that is a good £400-550 every 18 months for maybe 15 years now.

The 680 is the first time I've look at the market and said without a doubt that it's simply not worth the upgrade, and funnily enough this is a time in my life I have the most disposible income to throw at hardware upgrades. Sure prices of some of the parts are cheaper, but the performance increase is just...severely underwhelming.

A large part of that right now is that I simply do not have need for that small amount of extra power, my 30" @ 2560x1600 generally runs well for all the games I play with mostly max settings and maxed AF plus some AA. My 120Hz panel gets high frame rates at only 1080p with this card also.

If there was some really pressing need for that extra bit of performance you might be able to justify the purchase, but lets face it, with the endless stream of quake3 engine based CoD games coming out, directly ported from consoletown...there's no possible way to justify that without running something insane like 3x1080p panels or bigger resolutions.

Maybe when the new consoles land we'll see a sharp increase in quality and we'll flip back to being GPU limited in our games, then maybe I could justify buying a 30% increase from a underwhelming new generation, but right now it's kind of laughable, and pathetic.
 

_Rick_

Diamond Member
Apr 20, 2012
3,893
58
91
The Geforce 3 debuted at $600.00 That was in 2001.
And the GeForce 2 Ultra was hitting 500. Voodoo 5 6000 was also 600.

...at least there weren't any dual GPU cards in the main stream market back then :D
 

MrK6

Diamond Member
Aug 9, 2004
4,458
3
81
I'm not talking about product refreshes which usually bring no real benefit, I'm talking about gaps between generations of video cards, the 8800 was a strong part for sure, maybe one of the strongest, but I would not call it an exception, I would say that in general the gaps between generations has become slimmer.
The reference I always tell people to keep in mind is that as graphics technology becomes more and more improved, is becomes harder to further improve. Big tweaks in efficiency, e.g. unified shaders which dramatically increased the efficiency of GPUs, are one-time deals and once they've been implemented, that's one less thing to improve upon. GPU manufacturers also have to deal with power constraints, as they've expanded to the ~300W PCIe wall, as well. Also, new node technology is harder to work with as TSMC is also pressured under a tighter schedule, manufacturing, and supply. All of these factors and more add up.
I've bought a flagship card from every single generation from before the Geforce 4 range all the way through to the GTX580 I have now, that is a good £400-550 every 18 months for maybe 15 years now.

The 680 is the first time I've look at the market and said without a doubt that it's simply not worth the upgrade, and funnily enough this is a time in my life I have the most disposible income to throw at hardware upgrades. Sure prices of some of the parts are cheaper, but the performance increase is just...severely underwhelming.
Going from a GTX 580 I can perfectly understand this. The GTX 680 is only ~30-40% faster. However, you have to realize that nvidia shifted gears with Kepler and focused on performance/watt, which in turn reduces absolute maximum performance of the chip. This is further compounded by the fact that Kepler chips are voltage locked and their efficient designs can't be exploited through overclocking like in the past.

A large part of that right now is that I simply do not have need for that small amount of extra power, my 30" @ 2560x1600 generally runs well for all the games I play with mostly max settings and maxed AF plus some AA. My 120Hz panel gets high frame rates at only 1080p with this card also.

If there was some really pressing need for that extra bit of performance you might be able to justify the purchase, but lets face it, with the endless stream of quake3 engine based CoD games coming out, directly ported from consoletown...there's no possible way to justify that without running something insane like 3x1080p panels or bigger resolutions.

Maybe when the new consoles land we'll see a sharp increase in quality and we'll flip back to being GPU limited in our games, then maybe I could justify buying a 30% increase from a underwhelming new generation, but right now it's kind of laughable, and pathetic.
That comes down to personal experience I think. BF3 certainly will crush your GTX 580 at 2560x1600 as will newer power houses, like Crysis 3, Metro Last Light, etc., without turning down settings. However if you don't mind turning down settings for a few games, then certainly you can save some money.

To relay my experience, last January I upgraded to a 7970 at release because reviews showed that with a good overclock it would double the performance of my current "6970" (unlocked 6950). I got the card, benched it, and it turned out I was right: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0ArenPD8u-kUfdFlmUGVQMUZReHI0bFg4czR1Z3AwdXc&hl=en_US#gid=1 . Furthermore it mined bitcoins at nearly double the hashrate but at a fractional power increase. The card paid for itself this summer when bitcoin prices rose and I dumped my wallet, and now continually makes me profit. In all, this makes the 7970 hands down the best graphics card I have ever purchased.

I think the thing to take away is that graphics cards are more advanced and involve a more rigorous purchasing decision now than ever before. Gone are the days where you could look up a few benchmarks and clearly define your next purchase. It really comes down to each individuals needs and expectations.
 

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