R300 and NV30: Hit or Wait?

Emultra

Golden Member
Jul 6, 2002
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Buy the Radeon9700 (preferably 256 MB) When it comes out or wait for NV30? It would depend on interest, economy and current graphics card. I've got a GF2 Pro 64 MB. For me, it currently leans towards the NV30...My card will last until then, I think.
Post your thoughts.
 

Rand

Lifer
Oct 11, 1999
11,071
1
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Right now I'd say R300 though I'd certainly wait to see how the driver situation seems at launch. Indications seem to point towards the fact that drivers shouldnt be a huge issues though, assuming that's the case the R300 looks appealing.

It's certainly heads and shoulders above anything else available in terms of 3D Performance and feature set.
When you can enable 4X FSAA, and maximum anisotrophy and still maintain frame rates above the GF4 Ti4600 rendering only the base scene you know it's a damn fast card.

The NV30 will likely be faster, but I don't see it being a great deal faster and both will comply with the basic DX9 feature set.
The generation performance jump between GF4/DX8 to R9700/DX9 is probably the single largest jump we've seen since the long ago days of the V1 to V2 SLI combo. I just can't see the NV30 going significantly beyond that. A small performance difference isnt worth waiting months for.
A NV30 does look to be slightly more programmable in the area of shaders but that's of dubious benefit at present, using over 100 textures in a shader won't perform well in realtime. They'll be primarily beneficial for fancy tech demos and offline rendering. Plus with DX9 not even supporting beyond the R9700's programmable shading capabilities I can't see the NV30's advantage being of any benefit until long after both boards have been relegated to the low end to mainstream.

Plus, given that nVidia's CEO has recently revealed the NV30 has yet to even tape-out it looks as though the NV30 will be a November launch in the best realistic case scenario with strong possibilities that it could slip further.
If the first core revision hasnt taped out, then the multiple silicon samples before final product assure that the R300 should have at least a few month headway.
If the NV30 needs merely two silicon revisions prior to launch then I might be able to see them push low availability in October, but the NV30 is quite an architectural departure from previous products so I'm betting on 3-4 samples more realistically which may well push it into December-January time frame for initial availability.
The GF4 Ti hit release in only two slicion revisions, but the GF4 was architectually similar to the GF1 in many ways and was at it's heart essentially an improved GF3.
The NV30 won't have near the dvelopmental benefits the GF4 design team had.

If you do choose to wait, there is an off-chance ATi will be getting ready to release their performance refresh of the R300 core.
Higher clockspeed/DDR 2? R9900/R10000?


As things stand now- I'd say go with the R300, it doesnt seem worth waiting for the NV30.
Much can change in a few months time though, so I definitely would not make any solid decision until we see the R9700 in final release.... by then we should also have more information on how the NV30 is fairing and possible .13u R300 refresh.
 

mike9390

Member
Mar 23, 2002
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Well I'm in the same boat. I have a GF2 Ultra 64MB and it really starting to show its age. I want a new card but I want to see what R300 and NV30 are like. I keep hearing that nVidia is having problems with their .13 micron process and NV30 may not be out until late this year or maybe next year.

So I have three choices: Wait for NV30, buy R9700, or buy something cheap to get me by. I'm leaning toward buying a Ti 4200 64MB just to get me through the rest of the year. I just can't see buying a Radeon 9700 for $400 and then a few months later have NV30 wipe the floor with it. I'm not saying NV30 is better than R300, nobody knows. I'm just saying it makes sense to wait until both cards are out and everyone has had a chance to test them. It's just going to take forever for that to happen. At least for me.

Until then we all have to agonize about our slow crappy cards.;)

Mike
 

jiffylube1024

Diamond Member
Feb 17, 2002
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Originally posted by: Emultra
Buy the Radeon9700 (preferably 256 MB) When it comes out or wait for NV30? It would depend on interest, economy and current graphics card. I've got a GF2 Pro 64 MB. For me, it currently leans towards the NV30...My card will last until then, I think.
Post your thoughts.
I don't think we will see any 256 MB cards from either ATI or nVidia this year. Not in the mainstream anyways. We just switched from 64MB, anyways!

If you aren't happy with your performance right now, I'd suggest you get a 128MB GF4 Ti4200, or if you have the money shell it out for the Radeon 9700.
 

Rand

Lifer
Oct 11, 1999
11,071
1
81
I'm leaning toward buying a Ti 4200 64MB just to get me through the rest of the year.

Potentially you could purchase the Radeon 9500, which looks as though it'll simply be a lower clocked R9700. Assuming that's true it should still certainly be faster then the Ti4600. If you go that route though your going to have to wait.... whereas the Ti4200 is available right now.
R9500 is likely to be available around or a bit after the R9700 hits.
 

gururu

Platinum Member
Jul 16, 2002
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the nv30 hasn't been 'taped out' yet. I have no idea what this means, but I sense a release date later
than initially anticipated. i would not be surprised if its release was postponed for next year.

i think the r300 will also be later than thought. now they are saying that it will hit best buy on sept. 15th.
any possibility that ati's online store will be shipping out aug 15th as planned. i hope so. i don't think so.

i will end up splurging fora 9700, only because i was soooo pleased with the initial benchmarks.

 

mike9390

Member
Mar 23, 2002
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Has anyone heard if nVidia is going to make more than one version of the NV30 like they did with the GeForce4? I read where the Ti 4400 isn't selling well, everyone is buying either the Ti 4600 or the 4200.

I think two versions would be great but if NV30 is going to use DDR-II that could be a problem. I heard the only DDR-II available now is 1000Mhz and that's what the NV30 is supposed to use. So what would a cheaper model use? High speed DDR? What's the fastest DDR now?

Mike
 

Emultra

Golden Member
Jul 6, 2002
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400 Mhz?
A 256 MB version of 9700 will come out after the initial one, and not too long after. That is my impression of the Tom's article.
 

AnAndAustin

Platinum Member
Apr 15, 2002
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:) My rec is always so. If you have a relatively fast CPU (1.3ghz+ or so) and have anything less than a Rad8500LE or GF3TI200 then upgrade to one of those for $90ish or the GF4TI4200 (pref 128MB) for around $140ish. These will make the wait much easier, and may even serve your purposes for a good while longer. If you already have one of these great cards (or better) then waiting a few months for new cards, reviews and concrete info should be VERY worthwhile and prices should all drop (esp high end cards) with the increased competition. Who knows, maybe nVidia or ATI will give us a 'budget' $200 slower clocked version of their new DX9 AGP8x cards ;).
 
Mar 8, 2001
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I'm waiting just to see what the new product looks like. I'm currently 1/4 way into putting a new gaming rig together and I'm waiting until this November-December time frame for the CPU, Motherboard, memory and Video card. It's really the memory technology that has me in a holding pattern. I had to drop down to 800x600 to play Warcraft III without any jumps or stutters but it was still good on my 733mhz & GeForce 2 Pro.

I'm with agreement with Rand, the ATI and NVIDIA cards will be a big jump in performance and quality like Voodoo 1 and Voodoo 2. I believe 2003 will yield incremental performance enhancement products and driver revisions to these existing products since these cards are poised for the Doom 3 engine already. Seems like whenever a major change occurs to DirectX or OpenGl that when we get a big product jump from these companies. I don't think anyone really bought into DirectX 8 too much, not much in the way of extreme upgrades from earlier DirectX releases. All the developers seem to be jumping at this Pixel Shader, floating point color, and other big improvements.
 

Emultra

Golden Member
Jul 6, 2002
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Another fact to back my argument (for me) to wait until NV30 is that Mark Rein (from Epic Games) said that UT2003 runs fine on his 800 Mhz computer, with a GeForce2 GTS. :)
 

AnAndAustin

Platinum Member
Apr 15, 2002
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AnAndTech CPU Scaling 1

;) GF4MX440 is better than GF2-Pro, using that as a guide in the above link. You see the following AVERAGE FPS (note the lowest FPS will be significantly lower, an average of 60FPS is generally considered playable).

UNREAL PERF TEST:
AthlonXP2100+ & GF4MX440 gives: 25FPS at 800x600, 18FPS at 1024x768 and 12FPS at 1280x1024.
AthlonXP2100+ & GF4TI4200: 49FPS at 800x600, 44FPS at 1024x768 and 31FPS at 1280x1024.
AthlonXP @ 800mhz & GF4MX440: 18FPS at 1024x768.
AthlonXP @ 800mhz & GF3TI200: 26FPS at 1024x768.
AthlonXP @ 800mhz & GF4TI4200: 29FPS at 1024x768.

SERIOUS SAM 2:
AthlonXP2100+ & GF4MX440 gives: 59FPS at 800x600, 38FPS at 1024x768 and 24FPS at 1280x1024.
AthlonXP2100+ & GF4TI4200: 126FPS at 800x600, 88FPS at 1024x768 and 57FPS at 1280x1024.
AthlonXP @ 800mhz & GF4MX440: 37FPS at 1024x768.
AthlonXP @ 800mhz & GF3TI200: 58FPS at 1024x768.
AthlonXP @ 800mhz & GF4TI4200: 74FPS at 1024x768.

JEDI KNIGHT 2 J.O.:

AthlonXP2100+ & GF4MX440 gives: 104FPS at 800x600, 102FPS at 1024x768 and 78FPS at 1280x1024.
AthlonXP2100+ & GF4TI4200: 105FPS at 800x600, 105FPS at 1024x768 and 104FPS at 1280x1024.
AthlonXP @ 800mhz & GF4MX440: 62FPS at 1024x768.
AthlonXP @ 800mhz & GF3TI200: 62FPS at 1024x768.
AthlonXP @ 800mhz & GF4TI4200: 62FPS at 1024x768.

COMMANCHE 4:

AthlonXP2100+ & GF4MX440 gives: 36FPS at 800x600, 31FPS at 1024x768 and 40FPS at 1280x1024.
AthlonXP2100+ & GF4TI4200: 43FPS at 800x600, 43FPS at 1024x768 and 24FPS at 1280x1024.
AthlonXP @ 800mhz & GF4MX440: 22FPS at 1024x768.
AthlonXP @ 800mhz & GF3TI200: 27FPS at 1024x768.
AthlonXP @ 800mhz & GF4TI4200: 28FPS at 1024x768.

QUAKE3A:

AthlonXP2100+ & GF4MX440 gives: 209FPS at 800x600, 115FPS at 1024x768 and 103FPS at 1280x1024.
AthlonXP2100+ & GF4TI4200: 250FPS at 800x600, 228FPS at 1024x768 and 172FPS at 1280x1024.
AthlonXP @ 800mhz & GF4MX440: 140FPS at 1024x768.
AthlonXP @ 800mhz & GF3TI200: 155FPS at 1024x768.
AthlonXP @ 800mhz & GF4TI4200: 160FPS at 1024x768.

RETURN TO CASTLE WOLFENSTEIN:

AthlonXP2100+ & GF4MX440 gives: 137FPS at 800x600, 121FPS at 1024x768 and 87FPS at 1280x1024.
AthlonXP2100+ & GF4TI4200: 167FPS at 800x600, 162FPS at 1024x768 and 133FPS at 1280x1024.
AthlonXP @ 800mhz & GF4MX440: 90FPS at 1024x768.
AthlonXP @ 800mhz & GF3TI200: 93FPS at 1024x768.
AthlonXP @ 800mhz & GF4TI4200: 101FPS at 1024x768.

AnAndTech CPU Scaling 2

UNREAL TOURN2003 Asbestos Benchmark (indoors):

AthlonXP2100+ & GF2-PRO: 80FPS at 800x600 HIGH DETAIL.
AthlonXP2100+ & GF4MX440: 90FPS at 800x600 HIGH DETAIL.
AthlonXP2100+ & GF4TI4200: 195FPS at 800x600 HIGH DETAIL.
AthlonXP @ 800mhz & GF2-PRO: 79FPS at 800x600 HIGH DETAIL.
AthlonXP @ 800mhz & GF4MX440: 90FPS at 800x600 HIGH DETAIL.
AthlonXP @ 800mhz & GF3TI200: 125FPS at 800x600 HIGH DETAIL.
AthlonXP @ 800mhz & GF4TI4200: 140FPS at 800x600 HIGH DETAIL.

:eek: From all of these benchmarks we see the following with AthlonXP @ 800mhz (faster than Athlon 800mhz or PIII 800mhz); GF4MX440 can only manage an average 18FPS at 1024x768 on Unreal Perf Test, 37FPS at 1024x768 on Serious Sam 2, 62FPS at 1024x768 on Jedi Knight 2 JO, 22FPS at 1024x768 on Commanche 4, 140FPS (hooray!) at 1024x768 on Quake3A, 90FPS at 1024x768 on Return To Castle Wolfenstein and from the last link we see the MX440 can manage 90FPS at 800x600, but it also shows the GF2-Pro is about 15% slower than the GF4MX440. So in the final test we see 800mhz & GF2-Pro can achieve an average of around 80FPS at 800x600 with High Detail, not bad at all, but obviously when things go outdoors or we change games the combination can't really be called playable in many instances.

:D I obviously take the point that many people get speed for the sake of it, rather than for any noticable gain, but IMHO 800mhz & GF2 is taking things a touch far to be classed as playable in modern games, and that's if you're happy living without AA (and most people are). With an AthlonXP1800+ costing $80 and a GF3TI200 / Rad8500LE costing $90 it isn't a big concern considering the perf gain to be had.
 

AnAndAustin

Platinum Member
Apr 15, 2002
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;)
Originally posted by: AnAndAustin:) My rec is always so. If you have a relatively fast CPU (1.3ghz+ or so) and have anything less than a Rad8500LE or GF3TI200 then upgrade to one of those for $90ish or the GF4TI4200 (pref 128MB) for around $140ish. These will make the wait much easier, and may even serve your purposes for a good while longer. If you already have one of these great cards (or better) then waiting a few months for new cards, reviews and concrete info should be VERY worthwhile and prices should all drop (esp high end cards) with the increased competition. Who knows, maybe nVidia or ATI will give us a 'budget' $200 slower clocked version of their new DX9 AGP8x cards ;).
Do yourself a favour and ditch your GF2, Rad8500LE and GF3TI200 are well worth their asking price and that XP1600+ deserves (and will pay dividends to) a faster gfx card. Buying a GF4TI4200-128MB may be wise, it will most likely be 6 months before budget versions of these new DX9 cards come out, and another 6 months before games will use DX9 in any real quantity, by then there will definitely be better, cheaper and faster cards out!
 

bunnyfubbles

Lifer
Sep 3, 2001
12,248
3
0
That way he is out of $100 by the time the NV30 rolls around? Maybe he should wait and play the game before he decides to waste $100 on a card just to fill a few months...
 

BFG10K

Lifer
Aug 14, 2000
22,135
1,344
126
I'd probably wait for both cards to be released before making a final decision.

However at this stage I'm leaning at getting a 9700 and skipping the NV30 if the 9700's reviews turn out positive.

Another fact to back my argument (for me) to wait until NV30 is that Mark Rein (from Epic Games) said that UT2003 runs fine on his 800 Mhz computer, with a GeForce2 GTS. :)
"Fine" is probably 30 FPS which is unacceptable. A good rule of thumb is to triple a game's minimum requirements (or double the recommended specs) to get the actual specs required to make it run well. Some of the minimum specs coming out for games these days (especially Epic's ones for Unreal and UT) are just plain laughable.
 

AnAndAustin

Platinum Member
Apr 15, 2002
2,112
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:eek: Well waiting 6-12 months with a GF2 killing your AthlonXP isn't good news, Rad8500 or GF3 are very capable of giving a whole lot more with that CPU, and in a few months time noone will want to buy a GF2. As for GF4TI4200-128MB, it's a very nifty performer (esp o/c'ed), is well priced, and is the most likely current card to not only last the longest but devalue the least and should give excellent perf in all games out over the next 6-12 months in very respectable resolutions and detail settings. Even after the new Dx9 cards are out a 4200-128MB should still sell on very well.

:) IMHO if you wait for Rad9700 to be out along with reviews and concrete info you WILL then wait a few weeks longer for nVidia's NV30 release, then wait another month or two for reviews and concrete info, BUT then Matrox (or whoever) will be promising a 'special' new card and you'll be torn over waiting for that ... in short if you start waiting you won't finish BUT if what you've got peforms adequately for you, or you have decent kit already (decent CPU with GF3/Rad8500 or better) then you are in a very nice position to wait without worrying too much about perf even in the new games. Just MHO. ;)
 

AnAndAustin

Platinum Member
Apr 15, 2002
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;) Well the Rad9700 is scheduled for Sept (IIRC, please don't shout), given ATI's track record that means late Sept to early Oct, nVidia are usually (but maybe they're scared) very on the ball with their releases and it is scheduled for Nov. Even early Sept to early Nov is 9 weeks while early Oct to early Nov is 4 weeks, so I understand what you mean, but I doubt many people, even ATI-fanboys will want to part with $400 for the great Rad9700 until they see what Nvidia can offer, even if it's just to bring the prices down.
 

Flatline

Golden Member
Jun 28, 2001
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If the NV30 isn't even taped out yet, it won't be out in any quantity until next spring. Even then, TSMC says that yield on .13 micron chips is about 15%, so they won't be able to just make gobs and gobs of them at once.
The 9700 should hit shelves at BestBuy in mid-September, and usually online stores have new cards at leat a week or two before BestBuy gets them. I wouldn't recommend waiting an extra 4-6 months just to see if the NV30 is a little faster.
In the meantime, I have to concur with the others here in the forum...if you don't want to drop a whole lot of cash but want a HUGE performance boost, pick up an 8500LE or a TI4200 (they're both great cards).
 

Emultra

Golden Member
Jul 6, 2002
1,166
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Well, if the NV30 DOES come out this year, I don't think it's worth buying a new card. But how to now? If it's gonna be five months, I should probably get a Ti4200.
BTW, I need a test program to overclock my GF2 to the right and optimal amount, which one is the best for that? Bench 2001?
 

Soulkeeper

Diamond Member
Nov 23, 2001
6,707
136
106
Emultra powerstrip is great for overclocking vid cards
you can find it with a simple google search
 
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