my opinion only

  fitcher 12:27 20 Jul 2005

I do think here is a lot of bull as regardes graphics cards ..when i look in a magazine that shows a picture of say a good one and one very expensive one I can see very little difference ..if a game is made by art work .say for instance drawing..the foreground is easy to make clear to look at (a gun in a hand say ) but the background is made deliberatly obscure to give it distance .middle ground is made a bit more clear how can the best graphics card out bring more detail out of an indistinct background, I would like to know ..ok movement you may say is slower .(not if it is a point and click ) and in time as the graphics become film like will one need an expensive card to run them .as on board graphics seem ok for films now ..are we seeing clearly drawn edges to figures as perfection .. ok comments all

  gudgulf 14:35 20 Jul 2005

Well to start with the difference between a top of the range card and a good mid range one will really only show when the resolurion is cranked right up.Try running a resolution of 1024x764 and then switch to 1600x1200 and have a look at the difference in appearance.And then there is the detail settings to mention a blurred background for example.As the detail level is cranked up then the distance at which the blurring begins might increase significantly adding lots more background detail.Similarly more effects such as detailing in brickwork,complex reflections in water might be added.You might than add antialiasing to reduce the appearance of jagged edges on objects and also add anisotrophic filtration to improve 3d detailing.

All of these effects add considerably to the amount of work the graphics card has to do.

The net effect is that the top range cards have the processing power to maintain a playable performance as these settings are increased whereas more modest cards will only go so far before they can no longer manage a playable frame rate.So,if you want maximum image quality and frame rate from your games you get it with a top range graphics card.....but you have to pay a hefty price for the privilege.

So my opinion is it is NOT a load of bull.....but only if you are a keen gamer (or want to view HDTV/High res video on your pc).

  Mysticnas 15:59 20 Jul 2005

If you take the 6800Ultra and the 6800GT, i would class both as high end card, only things seperating them is DUAL DVI connections and 50Mhz clock speeds which can be overclocked in the GT anyway. There's only a few FPS in between the performance of the two card anway; and with FPS rates of well over what's necassary to get a game running smoothly on full settings what's the point?

I currently use a GF4 Ti4600 and have bought a 6800GT (not installed yet). I do 3D modelling and animation as well as other multimedia work, and my GF4 has served me well for years, and still does. I can run games with 1280x1024 res with med settings on it. Using a 6800GT I'll be able to crank up the settings to full and raise the res to 1600x1200 and still have very playable FPS rates.

If you browse through CustomPC magazine they do a regular game tweak section. They show what the game graphics look like with low and high settings. Have a peak and you'll see how much they differ. It's difficult to explain the visual differences of a game using words.

gudgulf hit the nail on the head in the last paragraph.

It's horses for courses. If you can justify to yourself that buying a £400(?) Vapochill case to lower your CPU temp to overclock it more is worth the money then yes buy it.

People have different priorities. Some people have families to tend to (rent/mortgage, living costs) others tend to live at home, work and spend their earnings on whatever they like.

I know people who spend £4000 on a mountain bike but only £250 on a rubbish old car.

  Sapins 21:17 20 Jul 2005

£4000 on a mountain bike, do you get a mountain thrown in?

  Mysticnas 07:05 21 Jul 2005

I'm into Down Hill Racing, jumping, riding down moutains at around 40mph. Bikes built specifically for one thing, they're not suitable for riding up-hill or XC, especially when they weigh in at around 40lbs. They're built to take knocks at high speed, a typical phrase in the MTB market is "Bomb Proof". I won't go into specifics re: what componentry they consist of as this isn't a MTB forum! :o)

click here

There's a link to the kind of bikes we ride. I can't afford anything like that though, unfortunately.

Computers aren't the only costly thing when it comes to the 'Top of the line' range.

  Sapins 09:00 21 Jul 2005

Now that looks cool indeed, but, I can't see anywhere to put my pension book so I'll have to resist;-)

Good luck in your races though,



  Mysticnas 09:09 21 Jul 2005

I don't race any more unfortunately. I did it as a hobby thing at one point, but tore my shoulder apart a few years ago. Haven't ridden properly since then. lol

Thanks anyway.

It's good to get away from computers every now and then. ;o)

  fitcher 11:37 21 Jul 2005

although I have closed ..I do think graphics cards will be replaced .with an all in one motherboard ,,no need for all these seperates at all .

  Mysticnas 13:39 21 Jul 2005

They already have them. lol

I don't think they'll get very far with integrated board, as many people want to choose what components they put in.

  Stuartli 19:06 27 Jul 2005

I remember my son getting all excited not all that many years ago because the then latest graphics card he was about to install in his friend's system would render lifelike mist or fog in motor racing games...:-)

  Mr Mistoffelees 20:29 27 Jul 2005

I used to be a roadie and rode time trials for a few years. I thought nothing of spending a fortune on a wonderful Argos frame that fitted me perfectly. My car, and transport to races, at the time was a past-it old Fiat Uno with rusty wheel-arches and squeaky suspension!

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