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Thread: ATI 8500- useability

  1. #1
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    ATI 8500- useability

    I have built a new PC and want a new gfx card to put in instaed of my tnt2m64. For the last year I have been wanting a GeForce 3 but now with the ATI 8500 on the market it makes my choice more difficult. The 8500 is a lot cheaper and as powerfull as a geforce 3 ti500. The drivers may not be excelent but they are getting better. I know the 8500 actaully has better pixel and vertex shaders than the Geforce 3 but how easy are they to use? How much support and documentation is there? I know the nvidia extensions are widely used and supported with many example programs and tutorials etc.

    What are your views??

    Tim
    Reality is for idiots only the best over come it!

  2. #2
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    Re: ATI 8500- useability

    I've been using one since September of this year (yes, I know that's BEFORE the card was released), haven't had a single driver problem (unlike what everyone says).

    As for developer support, I think that ATI has done a GREAT job.

    The shader code I've found to be easly move from D3D to OpenGL and back again with out problems, so you could use D3D PS 1.4 examples for OpenGL (they only differ slightly).

    Check out this sample for a good example of how to use ATI's vertex and fragment shaders: http://www.ati.com/na/pages/resource...ghtShader.html

    And there are a few documents on the shaders (not too meny though, as it's still quite new), they all can be found on ATI's developer relations page (http://www.ati.com/online/sdk/).

    [This message has been edited by NitroGL (edited 12-29-2001).]

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    Re: ATI 8500- useability

    Thanks for the reply. What about performance, are there any nice techniques like VAR on Nvidia cards?


    Tim
    Reality is for idiots only the best over come it!

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    Re: ATI 8500- useability

    You can't compare ATI to NVidia about developersupport in my opinion. NVidia offers tons of GL-demos with source and tutorials, depending on who you are you get a phonecallthrough to US or UK through which you can discuss problems by phone, it's extensions are much better supported by games and in the i-net than ATI and so on. Here in firm we've got two or three Radeon 8500 sponsored by ATI and three GeForce3 cards sponsored by NVidia.
    ATI has got a couple of GL-extensions similar to the NVidia ones, in general they are implemented a worser way, worser way I mean, because you've for example no possibility to directly access the AGP- or videomemory, but can just update it by a command, a cleaner solution, but I don't like it this way, mainly if you do a lot of AGP-work you've all time to have a local buffer into which you calculate the data and then you are allowed to copy it, double memorytransfer. A very positive extension ATI offers is that you can store indices in videomemory and through this save a lot of memorytransfer, mainly when you reuse them often.
    The Radeon 8500 is MUCH faster than the GeForce3, I don't know, if we got any non-consumer-market-cards sent by ATI, but in 3DMark2001 the polygonrate of the Radeon was nearly two times as high as the one of the G3Ti500 and I've really been nearly ashamed about my brandnew G3.
    So in general...if you want to program for OpenGL...forget about the Radeon, else you will push away 90% of the market for may be 10%. If you just program for yourself or DirectX...a Radeon would slowly get interesting. I personally always first develope for NVidia. ATI sent us theirs cards, so I'm of course so fair to support theirs extensions too, but just as far as they are at least relative compatible to NVidia's extensions, if not...theirs problem, I wanna develope for the mass after all, not for the some percents of Radon users. I don't know where for you wanna use it...for gaming...take a Radeon...for OpenGL developing...take a GeForce3, cuz that's the standard. My opinion.

    Michael

  5. #5
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    Re: ATI 8500- useability

    The Radeon 8500 has superior per-fragment operations to that of the GeForce 3. That, alone, is worth it to me.

    [This message has been edited by Korval (edited 12-30-2001).]

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    Re: ATI 8500- useability

    and the extensions are much nicer designed imho.. i go for a radeon.. much cheaper, yeah.. and i like the ps1.4-standart.. instead of the nvidia-gpu this pixelprogram is programable (i always wanted to say that )
    http://davepermen.net - if i could stay true to my heart, i would feel totally free

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    Re: ATI 8500- useability

    I'm going to get it too.
    Does it inherit a Radeon's 3d textures limitations ? (no mipmaps, 3d texture takes up 2 tmu)
    Thanks.



    [This message has been edited by mbespalov (edited 12-30-2001).]

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    Re: ATI 8500- useability

    Originally posted by mbespalov:
    I'm going to get it too.
    Does it inherit a Radeon's 3d textures limitations ? (no mipmaps, 3d texture takes up 2 tmu)
    Thanks.

    [This message has been edited by mbespalov (edited 12-30-2001).]
    The orignal Radeon has issues with 3D texturing, but the 8500 is fine (fully ortho 3D texturing). It doesn't support mipmapping as of right now, but it does support it.

  9. #9
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    Re: ATI 8500- useability

    Thanks, I know the 8500 appears to be alot faster but in every game it runs slower, somtimes by a significant margin. Any thoughts on how much better the 8500 will be compared to the TI500 in the next gen games like unreal 2 and doom3 powered games. I have a feeling that the 8500 should be a good bit faster if properly used. Didn't John Carmack say that a GeForce 3 will run Doom3 at 30FPS while an 8500 at 40FPS?

    Tim
    Reality is for idiots only the best over come it!

  10. #10
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    Re: ATI 8500- useability

    Maybe its because Doom 3 will have lot more geometry than any current games. The 8500 soundly beats the GF3 in the 3DMark TnL test.

    Has anyone done TnL speed tests for the 8500 in OpenGL? I would be interested in seeing some results.

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