So lets get a little on history on where I’m coming from.
We won’t go into my PCI days but lets start with AGP. My first AGP card was a Savage S3. This 8mb card was king back in that say and if you could find games that would run OpenGL or Savage it was king back in 2000-2003. I was able to play Unreal Tournament on my S3 at about 120fps. This was unheard of back in this erra and all doing so on my AMD k62 450! Yea that’s taking ya’ll back in time. But then when I upgraded into my next system which was a AMD Duron 800, I had more issues with that mobo than anything else! I never really got too far into testing on that system with different video cards until I got into my next system.
My next system was a daul P3 933 OC @ 1001 MHz. Most my friends were running single core P4s and I was lapping them all in many games! (I knew the future was in dual-core tech and I was right.) Now is when I wanted to play with video cards and I did so, thanks to Bestbuy… I first tried out Nvidia and I can’t remember what is was back in that day but it just plain sucked. I couldn’t get NFS to perform very well and then I started my research. Radeon 9600xt with 2ns memory ended up being my selection! From here on out I thought I’d be a Radeon fan for life! The following years proved that all to be wrong.
I was playing HL2 and CS:S with my Dual P3 9600xt setup and conquering all! Averaging about 38fps overall it was king. Rumors starting flying about a company called Ageia and their new PhysX technology calling it a PPU. It was proving to be something in the gaming world as it was a add-on card to ANY GPU! PPU is a PhysX Processing Unit. Then over the next 2 years things changed for the graphics world forever. PCI-E was introduced and there were now only 2 real competitors, Radeon and Nvidia. Everybody else ended in the AGP being Voodoo, Savage, etc… Into the of PCI-E it was rumored that Nvidia had scooped up much of Voodoo’s tech in SLI technology but I also guess that Redeon stole of the tech too. Radeon was looking into a new physics engine just as Nvidia was looking into purchasing Ageia! Shortly after sellout of Radeon to AMD, Nvidia released the Geforce 9800 GTX. This was HUGE because Geforce had 128 Cuda cores. What are cuda cores? Well essentially they are PhysX PPUs but built into the GPU. At first this wasn’t much, but game makers started to embrace it. On top of that Nvidia started learning how to offload normal CPU processes onto the GPU! What’s that mean for the normal person? Well imagine you’re surfing Google. Images load onto the screen and instead of the CPU doing that tasking of loading on the screen, the GPU did it all. It actually was accelerating your web surfing! As more tech came out, more offloading was being done!
So lets fast forward past the Core2Duo, past the first and into the second gen i series processors. Nvida did a reset out of the 4 numbers and into 3. First number signifies generation, second is performance. AMD (Radeon) did something similar but with 4 digits still. With each generation of Radeon, they just kept pumping performance and never really worried about quality. Nvidia saw the Cuda cores as a way to worry about quality and do stable performance.
So I guess my proof lies in our build of multiple builds at a computer store of ultimate i5-2500k systems. We were building these the release week of the CPUs and overclocking them to mad extremes. Our lead builders insisted on building them with Radeon cards as “they were faster”. On every game this was true. However we loaded Battlefield 3 and it ran fast! However it looked like crap! I ultimately compared it to looking like CS:S or worse! I finally convinced them to take screen shots and to then load a Nvidia GTX 480 OC edition by Gigabyte. On initial loading of just webpages, things were faster! The GPU offloading was faster than that of the Radeon. And then the game play of BF3 was completely amazing and like nothing we had seen before! While the Radeon was flying at over 180fps and missing the quality, the 480 was soaring at about 75-85 FPS and looking VERY real and not cartoonist! Even customers who saw then wanted to know what graphics card was in it! And they sold!
At this point in time lets ask, what is Radeon and what do they bring to the table in cutting edge technology? Well as it was purchased by AMD it was actually a way to gain a foothold on merging their CPU with GPU and releasing the APU. Popular models are the A4, A6, A8, & A10. While it is a gain over a stock GPU in systems for laptop and some desktops, they still won’t beat a Nvidia in visual quality. They haven’t released much but they did try something called Havoc that little to nobody ever adopted!
Over the years Nvidia really has done a lot for quality, realism, stable FPS, and lowering power consumption not only during game play but also at idle! So where do I stand!? I currently own nothing but Nvidia. I have a 210 (PCI-E 1x), 260, 460SOC, and a 850. Even if you’re on a budget, there is no reason to choose AMD’s Radeon! Sorry haters!