DX9 Showdown

Who are we to argue with NVIDIA’s wishes? They’ve been insisting that synthetic benchmarks such as 3DMark 2003 don’t reflect actual game play - yesterday we took them up on that in the mobile space, and today we look at the desktop cards. Using a Beta build of Halo (version 1.5) and the newly released Tomb Raider Patch, we’ve been able to provide an early peak at Pixel Shader 2.0 performance – even 1.1 and 1.4 performance as well.

We’ve heard it all by now – most notably, that we’re a bunch of “ATI Fan-boys” – let me set the record straight, we’re “performance Fan-boys”, regardless of who’s making the product. Our review history of video cards will show that if you actually go read our past NVIDIA-based video card reviews.

NVIDIA has done a great job of stroking game developers which have let them land their “Way It’s Meant to be Played” badge in most of the games coming out. After spending some time with cards from both ATI and NVIDIA it’s apparent that NVIDIA is more marketing-driven while ATI is sticking to its guns of bringing the best performance to the desktop user bar-none. They don’t sacrifice image quality for the sake of performance – their card has been out well ahead of NVIDIA.

We know that both companies have tied themselves to two of the most anticipated games ever – NVIDIA with Doom 3 and ATI with Half Life 2. In a rather ironic twist of fate for NVIDIA, however, Doom 3 won’t ship until next year – meanwhile Half Life 2 is said to ship this year (ATI’s next card should come bundled with it). So it looks like ATI will get quite a large jump in user-base before NVIDIA can strike again.

It’s interesting, nonetheless to watch both companies jockey for position – it’s no doubt a great time to be a gamer.

What’s disturbing for us, however, is that typically 5900 Ultra’s are priced incredibly higher than 9800 Pro’s; our last check around the web have the 9800 Pro’s starting at $290.00 while a 5900 Pro will run you closer to $400.00 for quite a bit less performance under the games right around the corner and some which are in stores now. We’re afraid that there are many gamers and OEM’s who get “blinded” by the benchmarks we’ve all been guilty of holding too much weight in and have based their purchasing decisions on those scores. Heck, for the price of the 5900 Ultra, you can get a 9800 Pro All-in-Wonder - all the 3D goodness with kick-ass Multimedia features to boot.

Gamers Depot

Read the full article