quaint little rutted bucket

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Geekish Rambling: Notice anything different here? ;)


Yep. That's right. My rig has jumped over to the red side. And it feels weird.

I've been using Nvidia since 2000, when I first got my real 3D card, a GeForce 2 GTS. At that time, it was simply one of the fastest, and nothing came close to Nvidia's dominant performance and quality when it comes to graphics. This, of course, made me a fan of Nvidia up until recently, when I had the [unlucky] opportunity to use a GeForce FX 5600, after more than a year on a GeForce 4 Ti card (The Ti card suffered from "hot flashes", and Axis Global, Inno3D's local distie, didn't stock up on the card I had, thus they offered me to "upgrade" it to a FX 5600 card.) The 5600 was like flying economy after flying business for quite some time. Until today. :)

I was actually contemplating on whether to get a 5900XT or a Radeon 9800 Pro. All things considered, I decided to get the 9800 Pro, simply because it offered more bang for the buck while virtually costing the same.

The first thing I missed after installing Omega's modded Catalyst drivers was the familiar Nvidia ForceWare menus and dialogs. ATI's Catalyst isn't by no means a slouch (it in fact offers almost the same or even more changeable options compared to NV's ForceWare drivers) but I felt like somebody on a foreign land. While the added tweakability over Nvidia's is well-appreciated, I am still learning how this entire thing works. :)

3D quality is in fact a bit better than Nvidia's, although not by much. (I've been using Omega's modded ForceWare's so that was my point of comparison.) but what I cannot understand is, what's with all the hype over ATI's 2D quality being better over Nvidia's? Ack. I couldn't notice a darn single thing, even with my spectacles on. Maybe just some fanboy s***.

I'm actually scared about the 9800 Pro card in my PC. For one thing, ATI's R3xx based parts have been known to run pretty hot, and my case doesn't really have that good of an airflow. Nevertheless, its still a work in progress, and I'll be checking the temps every now and then to make sure it stays well within acceptable operating parameters.

I haven't ran a benchmark on this yet, focusing instead on performance in games. I've reinstalled NFSU just to run a few rounds on this thing. Maybe I'll be posting some benchies tomorrow or over the weekend.

I'm planning to add some ramsinks and maybe save up for a good after-market GPU cooler and OC the card a bit just for kicks. You'll never know, maybe this baby can be a 9800XT soon. :)


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