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Guest JonP01

Breaking CPU, Video Card, AA Myths (Radeon 9700)

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Hi All,Time progresses. And, of course, so does hardware - too fast as always, yet not fast enough. :-)Here's a great review of the Radeon 9700 Pro on a latest-hardware system. Some here tend to argue that FS is CPU limited to the point that a high-end video card doesn't make any sense, but that argument has never made sense to me. FS is a sim and as such, benefits *highly* from anti-aliasing. Any game that involves lots of polys against a flatish background or open sky (ie: autogen, airport buildings, what have you), or any game that involves slow movement at any time - just cries for AA. Almost all simulations were *made* for AA... But as we all know, few cards have provided it (specifically at the highest resolutions) without a massive framerate hit.Well, how does 1600x1200, 4xAA, 8x AF Score? Ti4600: 10fps. 9700 Pro: 23. And the NV30 should easily surpass that. Its a great time to be a simmer, folks.Here's a review of the Radeon 9700 using the latest sims and standard benchmarks (as always, from SimHQ.com):http://www.simhq.com/simhq3/hardware/revie...pro/index.shtmlTake care,Elrondhttp://members.rogers.com/eelvish/Boycott-RIAA.gif]"A musician without the RIAA, is like a fish without a bicycle."[/font://http://members.rogers.com/eelvish/B...cle."[/b][/font

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I'm beginning to think that the folks that coded FS2002 are real genius'. A CPU that can take full advantage of this sim hasn't been built yet. It appears that a video card has been made that comes close though. So far, I'm seeing a WOW factor that's equivalent to the WOW factor I experienced when changing from a 56K dialup to a cable modem. Are folks having problems with the 9700? You bet. I'm not so far. It works like it's suppose to. Fingers still crossed. About 12-14 hours actually flying so far. Everything I've read though indicates that it's a fussy frustrating card with lot's RMAs. My question was "will I be able to fly out of LAX with all the bells and whistles that I want turned on, in a fast jet, see the terrain all the way to the horizon, roll inverted at 600 knots, pull hard back on the stick and do a 6g vertical turn nice and smooth without losing any terrain"? My other question was "will FS2k2 run without any glitches"?The answer in both cases is "YES". SO FAR!!!! I'm still doubting the card though. No reason for the doubt. The only reason I went with it is cause of the one year on site warranty. I figured they could always bring me an nvidia if needed. Don't think that'll be necessary? Course, I'm also wondering what nvidia hides in their drivers that sabotages the Radeon Cards. hehehe. Since a clean install seems to solve most problems when switching between the two. hehehe.

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There's no real reason why the NV30 will "easily" beat the 9700. It might be a few FPS faster but it's pretty much the same technology, and it might have a narrower memory bus than the 9700.

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Hello mgdbottledI recognize the name from the X-Plane forums (I think!). So, what's the 9700 OpenGL drivers like ? Do they still suck like a vacuum cleaner or does X-Plane rock with this card ?ThanksChris Ehttp://website.lineone.net/~flightsimukAvoid AGP texturing = Better Performance ;)

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Don't tell anybody but my Xplane CD is somewhere collecting a whole lot of dust. I used to love doing those high g turns in the tomcat with Xplane. As far as opengl goes, I don't know yet. I set the video card up for both D3D and opengl at 4xAA & 16xAF if I remember right. IL2 is sitting on my desk. That 75mg update is downloaded and ready to go. Just haven't had the time or the nerve to put it on the harddrive. I'll try that one in opengl when it gets loaded. ATC is moved up from Default to 40% now. Here's a high speed pass over LAX in the Talon:http://www.x-plane.org/users/mgdbottled/Talon9700_LAX2.jpg

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Good question? Nvidia has always been the ole reliable. I had two of em' and was a happy camper. They just got old. Go to the rage forum and it looks like a nightmare over there. But then a lot of that is probably old hardware problems and "headspace" problems. It'll be interesting to read the nvidia forums when the nv30 comes out. It'll probably look the same way?? If my system hadn't been so aged, I would've waited.

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Hi JimmiG,You're in for a pleasant surprise. I wish I could say exactly why here to back that up, but alas. Regardless, the NV30 will be an AA user's dream - it is of course a DX9 part just like the Radeon, but all things are never equal when designed from the ground up by different teams with different goals (as both the NV30 and the R300 were).That doesn't discount the Radeon however, as its available today and is a hell of a card. For once in a long while, I am truly enjoying selling and using an ATI barn burner.Take care,Elrondhttp://members.rogers.com/eelvish/Boycott-RIAA.gif]"A musician without the RIAA, is like a fish without a bicycle."[/font://http://members.rogers.com/eelvish/B...cle."[/b][/font

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Afternoon Francois,Indeed, that is the question. Since the time lapse between the two is short enough, I'm personally waiting for the NV30 before I outfit my home systems for good this fall. Making an informed decision will be much easier, of course. I am very surprised at the Radeon I'm using at the moment however. I haven't been an ATI fan since the original TNT hit the scene quite some years ago, but the 9700 is indeed an excellent card with *great* features: from 3D to 2D, video, DVD and everything in between. The All In Wonder variant should be an all-in-one multi-media PC users wet dream as well.I personally haven't had any driver issues to date, no matter what I've thrown at it. For ATI, that's a miracle jump from their extremely poor driver team of old. I have no doubt they have built a world class driver team at long last and given them top priority. That it took Nvidia's extreme competitive pressure and five long years to do so still surprises me, but it indeed seems like a non-issue going forward - finally! That doesn't mean there won't be incompatibilities and bugs, but the same is said for *every* video card driver set out there: NVidia most definitely included. Its the response time to fix those issues that matters. ATI has been just as quick on the draw as Nvidia the past eight months.So, I would personally say wait till November to make your decision. But if you can't for whatever reason, the 9700 is indeed a great purchase - it is, after all, easily available *right now*. The NV30 should surpass the 9700 in more than a few areas, but that doesn't diminish the 9700 in any way since it is a different design.By the way, my wife was just in the office as I was typing this and she wanted me to tell you she loves the Moose in your sig... She says its cute! Good heavens, she's flirting with you Francois! :-)Take care,Elrondhttp://members.rogers.com/eelvish/Boycott-RIAA.gif]"A musician without the RIAA, is like a fish without a bicycle."[/font://http://members.rogers.com/eelvish/B...cle."[/b][/font

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Ive just installed the Radeon 9700 pro without a hitch. The picture quality is definitely an improvement over my old GEforce 2 Pro card although the frame rates are only marginally improved - say 2-3 frames/sec.It basically confirms what we all know - FS2002 is mostly about processor grunt. Using the PIC Panel, FS Skyworld, Posky 767, Aerosoft's superb Baleric Island scenery, FS Meteo, with all settings maxed out in FS2002 and max quality settings on the card I get around 10-12 FPS on an approach to Ibiza.Reading the Rage forums it seemed to me that most of the problems arise from AGP 8X implementation on various motherboards. No problem on AGP4XRegards

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Hi Howard,"It basically confirms what we all know - FS2002 is mostly about processor grunt."Until you use the features of the higher end cards. Meaning anti-aliasing, anisotropic filtering and LOD optimizations - in higher resolutions. Then, FS tilts to being video card bound.Under generic out-of-box video settings however, I agree: CPU is king. If thats all one is looking to run with however, they should stick to the lower priced cards - at the cost of the best display. The price difference can be somewhat dramatic.Take care,Elrondhttp://members.rogers.com/eelvish/Boycott-RIAA.gif]"A musician without the RIAA, is like a fish without a bicycle."[/font://http://members.rogers.com/eelvish/B...cle."[/b][/font

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I agree. You need the processor power behind the card first, then you need a card that'll keep up with everything turned on and ram that'll feed the thing fast enough. Running 4xAA & 16xAF at 16x12x32 here with the sliders maxed (mesh on 90%) and ATC at 40% coming out of Seattle Tacomba Int. It stays right on 20fps, no stutters:http://www.x-plane.org/users/mgdbottled/Ta...700_Seattle.jpg

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Hi Elrond,I have been following the 9700 Pro closely ever since I saw the Tom's Hardware benchmarks that suggested this card, with both AA and AF enabled, was more or less as fast as the Ti 4600 at default. I was even more amazed when subsequent reviews of the card in actual gaming situations vindicated those original benchmarks. I have always maintained that were my Geforce capable of AA without detectable performance loss, I would be a happy man. Well, unfortunately it can't. On the face of it, the 9700 appears to be the first graphics card ever that combines the very best qualities of the last 3dfx cards with the very best qualities of the latest Nvidia cards.I have heard quite a few rumours, however, that some users have expeienced problems with this card in some AGP 8x boards. Further to this rumour, I had heard that ATi released a new a GPU stepping a few days ago that reportedly resolves this issue. I really don't know the truth to these rumours - only that this has been reported by a fair few different people.Whatever, I too am waiting for the NV30 but also (hopefully) a .13 micron revision of the 9700 Pro. I will probably buy my next graphics card in the first quarter of next year, so the choices by then should be great for both FS2002 and CFS3. It seems it will be hard to go wrong.btw, Nvidia informs me the NV30 will have Win9x driver support. Again, how true this is I don't know. This is great for Win9x users if it turns out to be true, especially considering MS doesn't even WHQL certify Win9x drivers anymore. Still, if I were Ati or Nvidia, I would continue to support 9x, at least for the time being. I am certain the majority of private computer users worldwide still use Win9x. Mind you, I'm not even sure Nvidia was sure of the question I asked them. They probably didn't read my question properly and thought I was just asking if the 40.xx drivers will be Win9x compatible.

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You may want to check out the il2 forums over at simhq cause I remember em' talking about the 9700 with il2 and that it was working fine for the most part. I also seem to remember some threads about it running faster in opengl than in D3D which would make sense since opengl is a much better (whatever you call it API?) than Microsoft's D3D. I just wish Microsoft would release their sims with both options. I know Xplane's 5xx versions just screamed with opengl and my GTS64 card.

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