Question Very bad performance ATI vs NVIDIA

Retro-pc-user-1

Junior Member
Feb 1, 2023
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I'm running tests with 2 PCs from 2003 with TOP configurations.
They are stacked next to each other and run the same benchmarks and games.
- One with ATI 9800 XT (top 2003)
- One with NVIDIA FX 5950 Ultra (Top 2003 Nvidia)

in games and benchmarks in DirectX 8 : the GPUS are similar
in games and benchmarks in DirectX 9 : there is an abyss: ATI always wins and by a lot.

Nvidia was a generation behind in performance in 2003!
Do others have the same gpus? what do you think?

an example :
- if you try Call of duty 2 in DX 7 : boards both fly.
- if you try Call of duty 2 in DX 9 : nvidia switches from 70 fps to 15 fps. unusable


(obviously identical conditions: perfect pc formatted and optimized)
 

alcoholbob

Diamond Member
May 24, 2005
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ATI was dominating Nvidia at the time in the GPU market, so it's not super surprising. Nvidia was running hot and loud to compete and FX 5000 series was considered similar to first release of Fermi in 2010.
 
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SPBHM

Diamond Member
Sep 12, 2012
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it was very well documented at the time that the FX series was very slow at DX9;
the 6000 series in 2004 had an epic performance gain and was around on par with ATI from that point,
the story I hear is that Microsoft worked closely with ATI on the DX9 spec and the R300 (9700PRO) was kind of a reference for DX9
FX is good for DX8.1 and some later more advanced games like Doom 3 (OGL) can also perform OK
but a Radeon 9700 is way faster for Half Life 2 in DX9.

Call of Duty 2 is from late 2005 I think, by that point FX series was dead for new games,
Radeon 9700 still had some life in it, even Crysis at low is kind of playable, and Oblivion was also, FX can't dream of running those.
 

BFG10K

Lifer
Aug 14, 2000
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FX line is notorious for being an utter failure for DX9 and DX8.x to a lesser extent. I still remember nVidia shills on this forum that received FX cards as "gifts", telling us there's no difference between those cards and the 9700 Pro except for "wack wack wack, oooh, ahhh, shiney pipes!"


It should be worth noting that Halo was the flagship XBox title running on basically a GeForce3. How embarrassing for nVidia. Even worse, the cloak effect was dumbed down on nVidia cards until patch 1.10 finally restored it years later.

We were also told by certain individuals FX noise wasn't an issue. When youtube finally arrived we could see what bare-faced liars they were.

 
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Stuka87

Diamond Member
Dec 10, 2010
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I had a 9800 Pro and a 5700 Ultra in two different machines at the time. The 9800 Pro is still one of the best GPUs I have ever had. The 5700 Ultra was a big upgrade from the GeForce 3 Ti200 that was in place before it. And I think I used the 5700 Ultra until I built a new Phenom II machine with a Radeon 5750.
 

solidsnake1298

Senior member
Aug 7, 2009
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GPU's back then were not very loud. The fans could be a bit high pitched, but most GPUs only had one small fan.
When I was looking up the release dates for the Ti4600 and 9700 Pro to confirm my memory, I noticed that the recommended PSU for each was 200w. And neither card had power connectors. Just straight slot power. I remember getting an aftermarket cooler for my 9700 Pro so I push the OC more. Even the aftermarket cooler was tiny.

Something like this, but shorter and with a fan.

1675435033334.png
 
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SPBHM

Diamond Member
Sep 12, 2012
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the stock cooler for the 9700/9500 was not very good, I think a bunch of them died on the long run because of poor cooling,
I also remember removing the shim on my 9500np and gaining some clock on OC, meaning it was probably running pretty hot and not making good contact.

I mean it was a nice OC, the stock clock was 275Mhz and I could run it at 380 with stock voltage after the cooler mods, good times.
 
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SteveGrabowski

Diamond Member
Oct 20, 2014
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Ah man FX Ultra, that takes me back, my favorite gpu design of all time

leaf-blower.jpg
 
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CP5670

Diamond Member
Jun 24, 2004
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GPU's back then were not very loud. The fans could be a bit high pitched, but most GPUs only had one small fan.

Some were loud. I had an X1900XTX which was an excellent card, but it made a growling, lawnmower-like sound and was the loudest card I ever had. I used a fixed speed in games since the slow ramp-up was even more annoying. I had a GTX 280 that was pretty loud too.

These blowers were common for many years and make a lot more noise than fans. I think people were more accepting of fan noise back then.
 

Shmee

Memory & Storage, Graphics Cards Mod Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 13, 2008
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I'm running tests with 2 PCs from 2003 with TOP configurations.
They are stacked next to each other and run the same benchmarks and games.
- One with ATI 9800 XT (top 2003)
- One with NVIDIA FX 5950 Ultra (Top 2003 Nvidia)

in games and benchmarks in DirectX 8 : the GPUS are similar
in games and benchmarks in DirectX 9 : there is an abyss: ATI always wins and by a lot.

Nvidia was a generation behind in performance in 2003!
Do others have the same gpus? what do you think?

an example :
- if you try Call of duty 2 in DX 7 : boards both fly.
- if you try Call of duty 2 in DX 9 : nvidia switches from 70 fps to 15 fps. unusable


(obviously identical conditions: perfect pc formatted and optimized)
This is a neat retro comparison you are doing. What OS and CPU are you using for this?
 

Insert_Nickname

Diamond Member
May 6, 2012
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When I was looking up the release dates for the Ti4600 and 9700 Pro to confirm my memory, I noticed that the recommended PSU for each was 200w. And neither card had power connectors. Just straight slot power. I remember getting an aftermarket cooler for my 9700 Pro so I push the OC more. Even the aftermarket cooler was tiny.

My (Sapphire?*) 9700 definitely had a floppy power connector. It would not boot without it connected.

*Going to have to do a spot of digging to clear that up.
 
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Stuka87

Diamond Member
Dec 10, 2010
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Small fans can get terribly loud. I'm guessing you've never heard a 60mm Delta fan before?

As mentioned above, I owned a 9800 Pro and a 5700 Ultra. The fans can certainly be high frequency, which can make them more audible to our ears. But the measured dB is typically much lower than some later cards, or the big blower cards from the early to mid teens.

But yes, a small, very high RPM fan can be crazy loud. Just look at the fans that are typically put into 1U servers. But those aren't really comparable to the cards being discussed here.
 

Stuka87

Diamond Member
Dec 10, 2010
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My (Sapphire?*) 9700 definitely had a floppy power connector. It would not boot without it connected.

*Going to have to do a spot of digging to clear that up.

I don't feel like digging through my bin of old computer parts right now, but I actually recall my 9800 Pro having a molex connector on it for additional power.

Oh, did a google search, and sure enough, it has a 12V molex connector on it:
1675542381812.png
 

solidsnake1298

Senior member
Aug 7, 2009
302
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Oh snap! You are right. I completely forgot about that. I also had the Sapphire model and it did, indeed, have a floppy power connector. Mine is long gone. Sold to fund the purchase of a X1900XTX.

1675558423005.png
 
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Retro-pc-user-1

Junior Member
Feb 1, 2023
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This is a neat retro comparison you are doing. What OS and CPU are you using for this?

yes, I've been doing a lot of gpu comparisons these days, and I compare the results with other users to confirm. We want to have reliable benchmarks of all [top of the line] gpu's from all years. it's not in Eng, but it's here:


We use HWBOT's "STOCK" standard :
Default settings HWBOT :
3DMark 99 : 800x600x16
3DMark2000 : 1024x768
3DMark 2001se: 1024x768

OS: win7 (me) (other users confirm tests with optimized windows xp/98)
CPU :

each test is performed twice on two configurations: - [top of the line CPU] same year as gpu : an Athlon XP 3200+ was used for the 5950 Ultra - [2.8 GHz dual core - Core 2 Duo] MB with AGP support