Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
bessi222

Which video card is best for SL, AMD Radeon or nVidia GeForce?

Recommended Posts

My brother is helping me build a new computer. I already know which CPU, motherboard, case, PSU I want. One thing I am not certain is which video card to get. I primarily play games like Sims 3, Spore, Sim City 4 and Second Life. After much research, I have narrowed it down to two video cards.

AMD Radeon HD 7950, 3 GB 385-bit GDDR5 memory, OpenGL 4.2, PCIe 3.0 x16

nVidia GeForce 560 Ti, 2 GB 256-bit GDDR5 memory, OpenGL 4.1, 2 DVI & 1 HDMI

 

Which of those two graphics cards is faster? Which GPU is more capable at ultra high settings with texture & lighting on and anti-aliasing set to maximum? Which one is best for SL?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The AMD HD 7970 is currently the fastest single graphics card available at the moment, the 7950 a bit slower but still very fast. That may or may not change when Nvidia reveals its new series shortly. The 7950 is also considerably more expensive than the Nvidia 560 Ti which is known to work very well with Second Life so a sizeable difference in cost between your two named options. There is a slightly faster version of the 560 Ti which is the 560Ti 448 which lies somewhere between the 560 Ti and the 570.

Like you I'd be interested to hear of anyone using the HD 7950 with SL, how it performs and are there any driver issues as the 7950 driver is so new. I'm thinking of upgrading my ATI HD 5850 this year and was thinking of the AMD HD 7950.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For sl, stay away from ati/amd as they will never play nice with opengl

If you get it for general use, you can pick any of the 2 as it`s an hit or miss for any game designer prefference

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Alicia Sautereau wrote:

For sl, stay away from ati/amd as they will never play nice with opengl

If you get it for general use, you can pick any of the 2 as it`s an hit or miss for any game designer prefference

I have run both ATI and nVidia cards.  I've never had a problem with my ATI card. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The AMD card is considerably faster:

GPUReview

Passmakr - Video Card benchmark

This doesn't mean it will run SL better though.

There used to be this page with benchmarks specifically for SL, no idea if it still exists and if so, if both cards are on it.

(The Nvidia card linked is the 1 GB version, but I don't think the 2 GB will be that much faster if faster at all)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Ati/AMD vs nVidia debate still rages in SL. 

The ATi/AMD cards represent on the whole more "Bang for your Buck" than nVidia almost anywhere but in SL.

In SL because of its use of OpenGL, nVidia cards give far fewer problems, and run faster.

In the limit if you are prepared to fight a few SL bugs (and we all seem to have to now and again) the ATi card might be your choice.

My recommendation, however, is an nVidia card, and I have run both so I think I have seen all their warts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

no question. nvidia. as an fyi:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-card-review,3107-7.html

i personally run dual 590s, with a i7 2600k. the only issue if you plan on running quad SLI, is getting a mobo that has adaquete space for cooling.  given the heat of a I7, with the 590's the only solution for me was to watercool. 

if you want the best, EVGA 590's.  and watercool it.  you will not regret it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ehr did you see where the two mentioned cards are on the hierarchy chart you linked? The ATI card is above the 560, it's right next to the 580.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can't buy a GTX 590 anymore unless some computer shop has an old one in stock that the owner hasn't managed to offload but few if any shops would hold one of them in stoock anyway. You won't find any for sale in online stores. Anyway, even if one could buy a GTX 590, it would be crazy to spend £640 instead of £170 for a Nvidia 560 Ti which will give excellent performance in SL. The AMD HD 7950 is not exactly cheap either at £375 but still over £260 cheaper than the GTX 590 and at least it is a current card unlike the discontinued GTX 590.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nvidia have always outperformed ATI/AMD cards in opengl. It's down to design parts of the Nvidia cards are optimised/dedicated to this (I'm a nerd for knowing that). ATI/AMD tend to do better in direct3d though (irrelevent to SL).

Anyway the basic line is if your only really using opengl based games (unlikely nowdays) a mid range Nvidia will outperform a top of the line ATI in the opengl stuff.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Simply put, Nvidia is better because of the drivers and the function library. TL:DR version ==== Nvidia gives you all the functions and driver responsiveness you need because it does not withhold code/libraries from you in order to sell you a business class card. ATI-AMD has a business class line of openGL cards, these cards exist because most game making/modeling/animation/movie software is based in openGL. To be able to demonstrate superior performance to a corporate buyer, they have to show how much better these "FIREGL" cards are, compared to stock cards. ATI-AMD make this gap in performance artificially larger by skunking how their normal cards handle openGL by removing function libraries. Function libraries are like knowing the answer to a long division problem without having to work it out in pen and paper, knowing them off hand makes you faster, not knowing makes you slower. As a result, with a game or 3D design program, ATI-AMD cards can take almost twice to three times longer for an AMD-ATI card to figure out, almost entirely swallowing up the speed/ performance the higher clock speeds should provide. Nvidia uses a huge built in functions library, and they don't short change their openGL so they can sell pro-class cards, this is why Nvidia is better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Keppler (600 series) is due immenently so really unless your current card just exploded its really not the best time to buy. Wait a few weeks for the new stuff to launch and see how it impacts prices. The keppler leaks appear to show it being utterly awesome and if you buy a high end 500 now just to see it outclassed by a mid range 600 in a months time you wont be too chuffed. If keppler prices launch too high its reasonable to assume the 500 series prices will slide as people try to unload them from their shelves so even then you will likely get a better card at your pricepoint if you wait.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There seems to be a lot of misinformation out there about AMD Radeon & nVidia GeForce video cards, so I thought I would clarify some things. First off, both AMD Radeon as well as nVidia GeForce video cards run OpenGL just fine with the latest drivers.

At the university computer center, Second Life is used for educational purposes and I have setup and seen hundreds of computers using nVidia GeForce & AMD Radeon run problem free. Secondly, AMD Radeon video cards are actually slightly faster than nVidia GeForce when it comes to running OpenGL. Furmark, is an intense OpenGL benchmark. If you take a look at that chart, you will see that an AMD Radeon HD 6950 is faster than dual nVidia GeForce GTX 580 running in SLI.

http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1533/15/

 

However, for most people running Second Life, both nVidia GeForce & AMD Radeon will work well. If you are running at a resolution of 1080P and which to achieve an average frames per second of 30, which is the fps required for smooth animation, provided your CPU, RAM and internet connection is sufficient, the AMD Radeon HD 7750 or nVidia GeForce GTX 550 Ti is sufficient. Anything faster is a bonus :) So feel free to choose either an AMD Radeon or an nVidia GeForce for your SL system. Both will work well although based on the latest OpenGL benchmarks, AMD Radeon video cards tend to be faster.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

AMD Radeon video cards have minimal support for OpenGL graphics which is why most Second Life users who use ATI Radeon have horrible experiences on SL with shoddy graphics and slow speeds. nVidia GeForce cards are optimized for OpenGL, thus nVidia GeForce users experience beautiful graphics and fast speeds.

The AMD Radeon HD 7950 will run Direct X games, like Solitaire on Windows faster than the nVidia GeForce GTX 560 Ti. For Second Life and other OpenGL games, the nVidia GeForce GTX 560 Ti would be much faster than the AMD Radeon HD 7950. Even an inexpensive nVidia GeForce GT 520 would be faster than an AMD Radeon HD 7950 for running SL. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@kakprp
AMD's openGL support has been fine the past couple of years. I'm using 12.2 preview Catalyst and it seems to work very well. Using the official LL viewer, I can wander around SL in Ultra mode with Lighting and Shadows on and achieve very good performance between 25 and 55 FPS depending on the sim and even better performance with Niran's viewer.

You've only to look through the Forum and Answers archives to discover the issues some Nvidia cards had with SL last year and many notebook owners had serious issues with Nvidia Optimus as well. AMD/ATI of course has had recent issues too when LL make changes such as the  pink textures affecting older ATI cards, not newer ones though. Most problems with both Nvidia and AMD cards can be solved with workarounds and/or driver updates. You will find both Nvidia and ATI/AMD issues in the public Jira.

Tell you what, here's a little challenge for you. Using the official LL viewer, teleport to Linden Realms Portal Park 1 (easily found in Search), walk a few steps to get out of the landing area then set your Environment Settings to Default/Incongruent Truths (great colour and shadows) and your graphics settings to Ultra (standard settings) with Lighting & Shadows & Ambient Occulsion ticked. Open your Statistics window showing your FPS and also your Preferences > Graphics Window to confirm your settings. Take a snapshot with the UI box checked so the Statistics, Preferences and your name tag show up then post it here.  This is the view you should see. Personally I don't consider 53.4 FPS on Ultra with full Shadows and Ambient Occlusion enabled as me enduring "horrible experiences on SL with shoddy graphics and slow speeds" as you state. Do you seriously think so? Anyway, I look forward to seeing your photo.

Linden Realms.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Which card are you running  Nyll Bergbahn Im finally about to upgrade the machine ive been using for sl for the past 3 years ;) my nvidia 8800 is starting to feel dated and well tbh your machines specs/the way its responding in sl is what im after. My current rig maybe hits 20 - 30 fps in windows in sl on a private region at 256 draw, on mainland with the same settings i may get 5 fps if im lucky. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry but the claim that AMD/ATI run faster than Nvidia in a opengl environment is horsesh@t. Its the other way round. You even reference a site thats widely discredited.

Nvidia cards outperform in opengl its a fact of hardware. If you have "seen" AMD/ATI outperform Nvidia then its because you must have used a Nvidia from 2007 against a 2012 AMD. AMD currently hold the crown in Direct3d thats why they are so popular right now. That likely wont last when Nvidia let keppler in the mainstream .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OpenBench & Furmark are two legitimate OpenGL bencharks. Both show that similarly priced AMD Radeon graphics cards outperform nVidia GeForce at OpenGL.

http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1533/15/

http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=nvidia_gtx_550ti&num=6

 

These have been tested on Windows as well as Linux. As you can see, the Radeon HD 6770 outperforming a Geforce GTX 550 Ti on OpenGL using OpenBench. It also shows a Radeon HD 6970 outperforming an nVidia GeForce GTX 580 using a test that runs Open GL 3.X. 

OpenGL performance for various games can vary but it is clear current generation AMD Radeon & nVidia GeForce are equally capable and for the OpenGL benchmarks tested, the similarly priced AMD Radeon outperformed their nVidia GeForce counterparts although benchmarks are subjective and OpenGL peformance may vary on different software or games with the same GPU.

I also work in a computer center thus I have the advantage of working with many different video cards and seeing them work in the OpenGL environment. I stand by my statements with links to benchmarks.

@Chris, if you very strangely believe that a mid-end GeForce, like a GeForce GTX 550 can outperform something high end from AMD like the Radeon HD 7950 as you claimed, instead of making empty statements, show us some benchmarks.

 

OpenGL Benchmarks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Neocrypter.

My card is an ATI Radeon HD 5850, which you can't buy now as it's been replaced by the 6950 and now the 7950. It works very well with my i5 750 quad core processor, but it too has been replaced by newer Sandy Bridge chipsets. It may be better to wait until Nvidia releases its new graphic cards soon then see which is best in tests.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You quote meaningless benchmarks and uncredible sites. Taking your route i can post charts that show FX Bulldozer outperforming Sandybridge...... yet anyone that has managed to engage a 2nd neuron of brainpower can know thats cr@p . You know AMD have a entire set of fanboi forums where you can read all the doctored charts you want and pretend you live in never never land.

Nvidia outperform AMD in real world OpenGL performance. That is a fact due to the HARDWARE itself and libraries as was previously said in this thread. Ontop of that most OpenGL is compiled and tested on Nvidia hardware as it more forgiving to syntax errors and other little slips. This adds to the fact AMD/ATI often then suffer bugs and glitches that were not seen or worked out properly in the original testing.

Thats me outta this thread I'm not arguing anymore with a fanboi it would be more productive to teach a chimp binary.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Chris Mammoth.

I didn't quote any benchmarks or web sites so for you to reply to me in that manner is disgraceful. I sincerely trust you have the decency to apologise to me immediately. If you wish to reply to someone else, then reply to that person not me.

I find it strange that anytime a thread comes up on Nvidia and AMD cards, Nvidia fans jump up and down in ire at the mere suggestion that an ATI/AMD card could outperform a Nvidia card in Second Life.

Personally, I will use whatever card I think gives me the best performance. I have a Nvidia 8600M GT in my Dell XPS 17 laptop which can run at Mid quite happily but high is more of a struggle. and a ATI Radeon HD 5850 in my desktop, which performs superbly at the highest settings. When ordering my custom built desktop a couple of years ago, it was based on a review of the actual setup in a well known computer magazine. I haven't been disappointed with the performance. When I get a new computer, probably next year, it could have an AMD or Nvidia graphics card.

Earlier in this thread I posted a photo showing the figures I obtained in a Linden Realms sim on Ultra with full Lighting & Shadows and Ambient Occlusion using environment setting Incongruent Truths (for vivid colour and long deep black shadows), Statistics and Preferences to appear onscreen in the photo. kakprp did not respond for whatever reason so perhaps you would do so stating what Nvidia card you use. This is a simple test within Second Life in a stable Linden sim, no outside benchmarks or sites. Look forward to seeing your photo.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...