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Tiina Twine

Which one is better for SL, NVIDIA GeForce or ATI Radeon?

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Ok as far as i know NVIDIA is far better for SL than ATI RADEON..

Altho i am a "proud" owner of an ATI RADEON myself....i can't speak of the newest models since mine is very old (does the job pretty good even tho it heats up ALOT and crashes often) ..but i have at least one friend who has one of the newest models and he had HUGE issues with it in SL ...like graphics not rendering properly...(ie sky was patterned with stars...the kind u find on the US flag lol not the SL stars)...

So ultimately it's up to what u want from SL ...STUNNING graphics and great stabillity... or average graphics and poor stability.

Yes...i say go with NVIDIA.

Hope this helps

P.S.: These observations about the behaviour of the ATI were for desktop PC's...not sure about the laptop versions of the graphics cards in question...could be the same or could be the other way around... On a PC i would strongly recommend NVIDIA..(that's my choice for when i'll get a new pc)

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Ok as far as i know NVIDIA is far better for SL than ATI RADEON..

Altho i am a "proud" owner of an ATI RADEON myself....i can't speak of the newest models since mine is very old (does the job pretty good even tho it heats up ALOT and crashes often) ..but i have at least one friend who has one of the newest models and he had HUGE issues with it in SL ...like graphics not rendering properly...(ie sky was patterned with stars...the kind u find on the US flag lol not the SL stars)...

So ultimately it's up to what u want from SL ...STUNNING graphics and great stabillity... or average graphics and poor stability.

Yes...i say go with NVIDIA.

Hope this helps

P.S.: These observations about the behaviour of the ATI were for desktop PC's...not sure about the laptop versions of the graphics cards in question...could be the same or could be the other way around... On a PC i would strongly recommend NVIDIA..(that's my choice for when i'll get a new pc)

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When it comes to gaming graphics cards, ATI are quite some way ahead of NVidia, apart from NVidia's new Fermi chips (GTX470/480) which have redressed the balance somewhat.

Regarding ATI and Second Life, it's true, there has been some issues in the past and probably still for users of the older cards. With some minor tweaking of Catalyst, I've run an ATI card for the past three years with no problems. I'm not aware of any issues in the modern cards such as the 4000 and 5000 series. Incidentally, some NVidia cards have proved troublesome with Second Life too.

I've just purchased a new gaming computer running Windows 7 and an ATI Radeon HD5850 (CPU and GPU overclocked) and it works perfectly with no tweaking whatsoever on Catalyst 10.4, the current version. I can run Ultra at up to 70 fps (frames per second) in quiet sims although in very busy sims this can drop to about 30-35 fps. Generally, graphics performance is exemplary and what Ihehy said about NVidia cards giving stunning graphics to ATI's cards average is just totally wrong.

I'm not too familiar with the Mobility Radeon cards but I would expect similar performance from them. There is no reason why not.

Nyll

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What Nyll said.

 

Up to about 6 or 8 months ago ATI was somewhat behind the curve on OpenGL rendering compared to nVidia.  It appears that ATI has solved whatever issues the cards had.  ATI has long had the reputation of top line gaming cards.  SL is not exactly a game but the graphics demands are very similar, and even more demanding due to the dynamic, real time rendering of less than optimized content utilizing OpenGL for it's cross platform architecture.  Both manufacturers have cards that are more than up to the task.......but it will be the higher performance cards.  The "bargain" cards in the lower performance end are the ones most people have issues with......that's for both ATI and nVidia.

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The best GPU available for laptops today is the ATI 5870.  In a short time, the Nvidia GTX 480 will be out (Clevo has one in the works, Alienware will follow shortly, and Asus may try one for bragging rights, but their cooling may not be up to the 100-watt card).  Several options from those makers have the Nvidia GTX 260m, which is a very good card.

In general, I'd consider any or the Nvidia 100/200/300 cards with a second digit 3 or better to be acceptable, with the GTX cards giving the best performance.  For ATI 4000/5000 cards, look for 6 or better in the second digit.

It would help if you could provide a few details about what you want to buy:

1. What country will you be purchasing in?

2. What screen size are you looking for, and how mobile do you want to be?

3. How much money do you have to spend?

4. What level of performance do you want to see in SL?

If you have $800 or more, there are a few options that will get you decent performance, including refurbished Asus G series that will run SL on ultra with a proper cooling pad.  Under $800, reconsider if you need a laptop, or save a bit more.  A good desktop can be had for $500-750 that will outperform laptops at twice the pricetag.  $1200+ USD is a reasonable budget for an SL notebook.

Notebookcheck is probably the most comprehensive review of laptop GPUs.  Their rankings need to be taken with a grain of salt (especially for cards that are closely ranked: factors like CPU and amount of RAM will impact the benchmarks, and benchmarks are not games: real world performance will differ), but they are a good source for info.

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I have a Dell with an ATI and two ThinkPads with Nvidea. The ThankPads run SL very well, SL sometimes causes the ATI driver to crash.

Though I expect newer versions will differ as has been expressed in this thread.

Check also LL's recommendations, they used to recommend Nvidea over ATI, that may also have changed.

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Wilde Nitely wrote:

I have a Dell with an ATI and two ThinkPads with Nvidea. The ThankPads run SL very well, SL sometimes causes the ATI driver to crash.

Though I expect newer versions will differ as has been expressed in this thread.

Check also LL's recommendations, they used to recommend Nvidea over ATI, that may also have changed.

Linden Labs recommending nVidia cards dates back to 2003 when the companies were involved in commercial dealings to optimise SL for the GeForce FX range of cards.

http://lindenlab.com/pressroom/releases/03_05_14_2

This is presumably why older graphics cards seem biased towards nVidia in working well with Second Life. But with developments in Second Life in the intervening years and the popularity of ATI graphics cards in the general gaming community compared to NVIDIA, it would make no sense for LL still to favour NVIDIA. Certainly, LL work closely with AMD/ATI to resolve issues just as they do with NVIDIA.

Nyll

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Thank you Veritable! Very good info.

Country of purchase: Finland. Screen: 15.6-17.3 inches. Normal mobility is all that I need. Budget: About $890.

As for the level of performance by SL, I can't possibly see that it could be worse than that what I've had since April 2008 on the old (now dead) laptop, a HP nx6110. That one actually didn't meet the requirements for the graphics card at all, but SL somehow managed to perform well enough for me. I'm not a builder, just a basic user that loves to explore.

 

I have a few possible candidates that are readily available (I need a new laptop fast), including:

Acer Aspire 5551G with ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650

Asus A52JK with ATI Radeon HD5145

Asus K70ID with nVidia GeForce GT 320M

Fujitsu Amilo Pi 3560-02 with nVidia GeForce GT240M

Toshiba Satellite L650-11R with ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650

 

Can you recommend any of these? Thanks again.

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Of the ones you listed, I would avoid the Asus A52JK.   The ATI 5145 is a rebadged 4000 series, and the weakest dedicated GPU on your list.  Also scratch the Asus K70ID, as it uses an integrated graphics chip.  I like Asus as a brand (I have a G51), but those are not strong GPUs.  All things being equal, the ATI 5650 should perform better than the Nvidia GT 240m.

You might want to check for an Asus N61/N71.  These have stronger graphics than the others you were looking at, and Asus is very reliable and has an excellent warranty.  The G series (G51/G60/G71-3) start at the top end of your price range, but are the best value for a gaming laptop.  If you look around you might be a able to find one on sale that fits your budget.  They all have strong GPUs (the new line have either a GTS 360m, a GTX 260m, or the ATI 5870).

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i own a desktop pc with 4830 overcloacked abit @675mhz....anyway not the matter at the momment

ati cards are smooth on video games but ...sl is a bit of a headache after 7.11 ati changed the aproach to opengl and thing got bad for the combination of ati+sl so preaty mutch the problem was that sl couldn't recognise the video ram "i am not sure if it does now but things are definatly way way better that it was before almost a year that i had to tweak my system parameters and experiment with advanced settings "clossing fbo and stuff " to have a smooth experience for 1 hour before the drivers give out and freeze my screen ending up crashing my viewer ..." the problem was with opengl vertex ...enabling it was meaning broken graphs for a lot of people around but things got a lot better by the time drivers are not crashing every one hour maybie not even for 100 hours but eventualy they still crashing but realy realy rare opengl vertex works ok and not dropping your perfomance and perfomance as well been increased a lot lately viewer 2 is even better ((i think they updated the outdated open gl librarys )) so conclusion ati nowdays can give you smooth experience with sl but if you are going to mess with the action sims i recomend nvidia if i am right 9600gt and 9800gt beating 4850 like 1,5x perfomance when especialy 9600gt is slower on any other game

 

conclusion what i suggest if you want laptop for sl only you can go for nvidia 340mobile but if you can't find on your price range laptop with this range of nvidia card go for the 5650

 

i am going for Aspire AS7740G-334G64MN in like 1-2 weeks

Core i3-330M 2.13 GHz

4 GB ddr3

5650 512mb

17,3 1600x900 led monitor

if you are still on the market for laptop i will be able to upload some numbers  compared to my desktop pc

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Tiina Twine wrote:

 

I am about to buy a new laptop. Before I do, I'd love to hear anyone's opinion on this. Which graphics card is generally better for SL, NVIDIA GeForce or ATI Radeon? Is ATI Mobility Radeon OK?

The system requirements don't say anything about Windows 7, but as it is the standard operating system for most new Windows computers, I guess it is OK?

Many thanks for any advice!

Let me sum it up this way. My ANCIENT Nvidea card rezzes faster and produces richer graphics than an ATI on a brand new laptop. It also rezzed better than my friends who have NEW computers. My frame rate sucks, of course. The new one gets a better frame rate, sure, but any Nvidea card is better than ATI for SL. The ATI drivers also crash, crashing SL, quite often.

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i hope latest drivers are installed 9.11 9.12 drivers are damn bad for sl i am on 10.4 and crashes are realy rare about the old nvidia cards ((just instaled 10.5 so can't say if they actualy do better or worse)).... i am just to lazy to take my old 7900gs from my brothers computer

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error on editing

 

ps nvidia are better for sl no question on that but since i am not only sl user for 685 euros theres no better laptop for me to buy damn crysis

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I always go with nVidia, better compatibility.  I've had a few problems in the past with ATI.

Now I've been using both linux and windows for years, the nvidia compatibility really shows.

But when we talk about graphic quality, they can be equally good.

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New ATI Models and drivers have done away with most if not all of the previous "BAW THEY HATE OPENGL" issues. So really go with whichever.

I'm running a laptop with a Mobility Radeon HD4650 and things seem fine here.

 

However! There are benefits outside of SL that may persuade you to go NVidia, depending on if you play other games.

PhysX for one, CUDA (although I'd assume OpenCL will eventually catch on for being more widely supported), and 3D Vision (although you'd need an external monitor for that) are all good reasons to go NVidia.

 

If price is a big factor, go ATI for sure.

-Asami

 

Edit: Windows 7 is fine also. 64bit here.

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Too general of a question.  Both companies make GPUs that won't support SL, and both companies make GPUs that support SL quite well.  Mind narrowing it down to a few final selections in your price range?

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Baloo Uriza wrote:

Too general of a question.  Both companies make GPUs that won't support SL, and both companies make GPUs that support SL quite well.  Mind narrowing it down to a few final selections in your price range?

Tilna already did in one reply above and seems to have made her choice as the question is answered.

Nyll

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While they are still developing CUDA, Nvidia is also heavily involved in OpenCL as well, which should also work on ATI cards in all OS's.  For Windows 7 users, both will support Directcompute as well, which is MicroSoft's Windows-only version.

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Asami Imako wrote:

Edit: Windows 7 is fine also. 64bit here.

Good point...Windows 7 has been no problem for me, I've been running it since the RTM version came out.  Just make sure that when you get your laptop, you 1) install security software 2) patch Windows with all of the important updates and 3) get the latest video driver directly from ATI or Nvidia for your system BEFORE you install SecondLife.  That seems to avoid most of the driver issues people have had.

Also: invest in a good cooler for your laptop, whichever model you end up getting.

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Asami Imako wrote:

However! There are benefits outside of SL that may persuade you to go NVidia, depending on if you play other games.

PhysX for one, CUDA (although I'd assume OpenCL will eventually catch on for being more widely supported), and 3D Vision (although you'd need an external monitor for that) are all good reasons to go NVidia.

-Asami

 

Edit: Windows 7 is fine also. 64bit here.

Gamers already know how to use PhysX with their preferred ATI cards. They install an NVIDIA card in their computers but set the ATI as the primary display card. NVIDIA shot itself in the foot by inserting code in its drivers to stop PhysX working if its driver sees an ATI card in the machine, thus angering many gamers. There is a patch to disable NVIDIA's restrictive code though.

Nyll

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