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I DEFECTED FROM NVIDIA.....FOLLOW ME!!!!

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Well,You don't HAVE to but I thought I would give you my experience in switching from NVIDIA to ATI. This is for those who are interested in some impressions only. Don't get all defensive...please. I was stressed over the switch for quite awhile and would have appreciated input from others, especially groups like this so I thought this might help the next guy....or girl.Anyway, this is what I went from:P3-866ABIT VH-6768Mb PC-133 ramGeforce 3Ti200Win XPAnd this is what I went to:AMD xp 2200+ ($110 with heatsink)ASUS NForce2 board ($145)512Mb DDR 2700 ($140)ATI 9700 non pro ($225)On the suggestion of others I bought hardware online for the first time from www.newegg.com and it was AWESOME. What service!!!ANYHOO,1) I was most worried about the driver horror stories and at this point all I can say is that I have a ton of games and ALMOST NO complaints so far from any of them. Almost, because the ATI 9700 doesn't seem to like to alt-tab in and out of MSFS2002 but I just window it instead and SimCity 4 had an issue that is easily fixed now. The bottom line is that I had scattered issues with my NVIDIA cards too. No card is perfect just check out the forums. I DO NOT see any significant difference in compatibility or stability between the cards now that ATI is out with the CAT 3.1 drivers.2) In terms of framerate in my games especially MSFS2002 the only thing I can say is I have stopped caring about it. When I first got the card I was all excited to see 40,50,60+ FPS but then I just locked it at 25 or 30 and haven't worried about it since. I see in forums how one person says that they are getting 46 FPS and the next guy says "well I get 48 FPS"...so there. This is the first time that I go entire flights without using "shift-z". Do you know how great that feels? I think I was getting 25 to 35 before and having to balance the % of mesh detail with AI % and autogen density. Now, I just put EVERYTHING at max except lights (I put it up to 4 or 6 from 1, but I haven't tried higher yet..I bet it works perfect). The sim works silky smooth.3) Oh and remember trying to put FSAA and AF as high as you could without slowing the sim down to much? Not any more!!! I use 6x FSAA and 16x AF with the best mipmap settings I can find with NO noticeable performance feel in the sim. It really is unbelievable. As far as picture quality, I've heard that the ATI is better but HONESTLY I can't tell very well. It is at least as good as the NVIDIA only brighter and with much higher graphics settings.4) I can now land in a big city at twilight with aftermarket mesh, 100% AI traffic and custom scenery...oh and rain and...and...and.. clouds and I don't get that choppiness creeping up on me. The worst thing for me used to be a low and slow fly over past an airport with a bunch of AI traffic moving around. Not now!! I'm all giddy about it can't you tell. If you don't want to upgrade in this way or switch from NVIDIA it's a-ok by me but if you are hesitating.......DON'T...TRUST ME5) Same type thing with other sims. Here are some gut changes I've noticed:IL-2 - Used to be smooth except when flying thru heavy action. Now absolutely perfect all the time.CFS3 - Works great now, but you can tell that the graphic engine stinks compared to MSFS2002.Morrowind - With highest settings I now get ~30FPS in towns!!!Typical shooters - I don't think about it anymore. Maybe 100 FPS, maybe 700 FPS, just high enough DARN it and always with the 6x FSAA and 16x AF. It's great.I'm sure I forgot something but I hope this helps those of you painfully deciding whether or not to switch. I've loved the NVIDIA cards that I have owned and will switch back when they can make my flying that much better but for now....It's ATI time DAWGS.Mark

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>Almost, because the ATI 9700 doesn't seem to like to alt-tab in and >out of MSFS2002 but I just window it instead and SimCity 4 had an >issue that is easily fixed now.I've also been a long time "fan" of nVidia, but with all the good things I have ben hearing about the RADEON 9700, I'm probably going to end up converting (back) to ATI as well. Well, as soon as the price drops quite a bit more. ;-)Now, onto the quote I included. What problems are you experiencing with "alt-tab"? I use this a lot while flying, and wouldn't imagine going a flight without using it or running FS2k2 in Windowed mode. Is this a common problem?Ryan-Flightpro08 :-cool VATSIM Pilot/ControllerZLA ARTCC Senior Controller (C-3)ASRC (Advanced Simulated Radar Client) Beta Testerhttp://vatsim.pilotmedia.fi/statusindicato...tor=OD1&a=a.jpg-----------------------------My "Home Made" System Specs:Intel Pentium 4 2.2GHz ProcessorTurbo Gamer ATX Mid-Tower with 420W Power SupplyEPoX 4G4A Motherboard with Intel 845G ChipsetVisiontek XTASY GeForce4 128MB Ti4600 (Det 42.86 Drivers)512MB PC2100 DDR RAM40GB Matrox 7200RPM Hard DriveWindows XP Home Edition SP1*No CPU or GPU Overclocking*3dMark2001SE Score: 11298-----------------------------Click Here to Download my American Eagle POSKY CRJ-200!

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I defected for the third time :-lolHope they saying "Third Time Lucky" comes through this time :-hahMight as well buy now, the Radeon 9700s aren't going to come down too much soon, retailers in the US slashed prices by $100 from $399 to $299 for the Pro.

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Flightpro1)You won't regret the switch in my humble opinion. I have a one year old laptop with an older ATI video card and boy does it suck and the drivers....Whew!!! But the 9700 is a new animal especially with the new drivers. Do you think about whether or not to use 16 bit or 32 bit color with you games? Of course not but it used to be a concern in terms of performance and that is what FSAA and AF will be like with the 9700. It will be a memory. It is really neat.2)If you go on the ATI message boards there was a weird bug reported where you would get a crash if you tried to alt-tab in and out of MSFS with a 9700. I experienced it myself. I get no other crashes and use the "windowed" function to get around it. Maybe someone has an update on this by now.Take careMark

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>BillLet yourself be giddy!!! It's ok. :)Looking at your system the biggest difference you'll notice is smoothness and full FSAA and AF. As if that isn't enough.Have FunMark>>I have defected too :-) >>My 9700 PRO comes on Tuesday. >>Bill

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John,That's why I am so pleased with the 9700 non-pro. Same architecture as the pro but just about 5%-10% slower and with my card as well as SOME other cards like mine you can flash the BIOS and..Wallah...you have a pro. All for ~$230.Take CareMark

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I am an Ex Nvidia person as well. Just got a 9500 Pro and love it.I am a stockholder in Nvidia, and from what I have gathered from them, and from talking with different folks it seems that Nvidia is only Going to produce the FX chips to cover the backorders for the Chipset. After that they Probably won't release any more FX based chips. (due to it's performance barely over that of the 9700Pro)None of this is set in stone, it is just from observations, and conversations I have had with some folks who are in the know.I hated to stray from Nvidia, but it seems it may have been the smart thing to do.Al

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>I have a one year old laptop with an older ATI video card and boy >does it suck and the drivers....Whew!!! :-lolYeah, I have an old RADEON 7200 64MB DDR VIVO card in my "old" computer (P4 1.3GHz Hewlett Packard). It was my primary computer for quite some time, and I neevr really did like the 7200 (though, it was better than the Voodoo3 which is what it replaced). ;-)From all the good things I've heard about the 9700, I'll probably grab one early in the summer (right before FS9 I hope). But, I hope alt-tab works by then. ;-)Ryan-Flightpro08 :-cool VATSIM Pilot/ControllerZLA ARTCC Senior Controller (C-3)ASRC (Advanced Simulated Radar Client) Beta Testerhttp://vatsim.pilotmedia.fi/statusindicato...tor=OD1&a=a.jpg-----------------------------My "Home Made" System Specs:Intel Pentium 4 2.2GHz ProcessorTurbo Gamer ATX Mid-Tower with 420W Power SupplyEPoX 4G4A Motherboard with Intel 845G ChipsetVisiontek XTASY GeForce4 128MB Ti4600 (Det 42.86 Drivers)512MB PC2100 DDR RAM40GB Matrox 7200RPM Hard DriveWindows XP Home Edition SP1*No CPU or GPU Overclocking*3dMark2001SE Score: 11298-----------------------------Click Here to Download my American Eagle POSKY CRJ-200!

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>I am an Ex Nvidia person as well. Just got a 9500 Pro and >love it. >I am a stockholder in Nvidia, and from what I have gathered >from them, and from talking with different folks it seems >that Nvidia is only Going to produce the FX chips to cover >the backorders for the Chipset. After that they Probably >won't release any more FX based chips. (due to it's >performance barely over that of the 9700Pro) >>None of this is set in stone, it is just from observations, >and conversations I have had with some folks who are in the >know. >I hated to stray from Nvidia, but it seems it may have been >the smart thing to do. >>Al Al,Glad to hear you like your 9500 pro. I considered that one as well. The only one that I've heard that you should stay away from is the 9000. Just for everyone's buying info and based ONLY on a bunch of reviews I read.Regarding NVIDIA, with their cash and talent I can only assume that they will be back in the hunt soon and that's great for you and me competition wise. I only hope they don't put out half baked attempts over the next 6-9 months trying to "save face". It makes them look unprepared and DESPERATE. They should just focus on blowing past ATI for Christmas or whenever.Take careMark

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>2)If you go on the ATI message boards there was a weird bug >reported where you would get a crash if you tried to alt-tab >in and out of MSFS with a 9700. I experienced it myself. I >get no other crashes and use the "windowed" function to get >around it. Maybe someone has an update on this by now. I had the alt tab crashing for awhile as well. After my last driver update (3.1 catalyst) the problem went away. I did a complete uninstall of the old drivers first. Could have been caused by some remnants of old drivers left on the HD, since the previous update was from GeForce to Radeon.As far as drivers go I have tons less problems with ATI than I did with my GeForce 4. I used to have a problem with the GF4 completely losing its drivers and needing a reinstall. A couple of times I had to reinstall windows as well. THis happened ever 2-3 weeks. The ATI has been going for 2 months with no problems now.

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STOP IT! STOP IT! I've spent too much money already this year. ;)

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I remember YEARS AGO when I got my 2 3DFX cards {12 meg wonders} running in SLI mode, it was a way to run both cards together for better preformance. Boy have times changed. It was a sad day when 3DFX went under and Nvidia bought them out. The Voodoo 5 would put a stop to this Nvidia crap {so I thought!}. Now we have ATI who are beating the crap out of Nvidia with their new 9800 Pro series and the new Nvidia FX card {GFORCEFX} does not have a chance {unless you need a leaf blower}. Hell the 9700 already beats the pants off of any GF4 4600 ti! I'm saving up for the ATI, so goodbye for now Nvidia, it's been a fun and exciting adventure.Best Wishes,Randy J. Smithcrvm@iwon.com" A little learning is a dangerous thing"AMD XP 2100 |MUNCHKIN 512 DDR RAM |ECS[/b ] K7S5A MB |[b]GF3 64 MEG |WIN XP PRO |MITSUBISHI DIAMOND PLUS 91 19"

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Hi all, I used to have that too with the 9700pro, but it also went away with the new 3.1 drivers. I don't think it's related to left-over nVidia drivers, as I had a Radeon 7200 before. Anyway, instead of alt+tab, you could try the 'Window' button (next to the 'Alt' button on most keyboards)Cheers,Gosta.http://hifi.avsim.net/activesky/images/wxrebeta.jpg

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Well, I too made the switch. I have an ATI Radeon 9500 Pro sitting in my living room just waiting for my attention. It's next to a computer case, P4 processor, ram, etc... that sometime this week will be assembled into a computer.I will say that it took some courage on my part to switch, especially after reading the "horror stories" over at the rage3d forums. Tim13

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Hi Tim,while the 9700 pro may certainly have had a lot of teething problems after it first came out, they appear to have been resolved.Even if you do experience problems, I found their customer service to be excellent - I had to RMA my card twice, and got a replacement two days after e-mailing the request. Of course I'm referring to North American standards of service, where there's next to no consumer protection - if you're in the EU, just take it back to the shop and demand an immediate replacement or full refund... So, even if you have problems with the card (which is much more unlikely than it was a couple of months ago), I'm sure you'll be pleased with the end result.Cheers,Gosta.http://hifi.avsim.net/activesky/images/wxrebeta.jpg

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John,"The direct use of force is such a poor solution to any problem, it is generally employed only by small children and large nations.David Friedman"I disagree with this because I've been told by my wife that I can fix "anything" with a "sledge hammer", a "big screwdriver" and a "large pair of pliers"Sskoup

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happy the sim works nicely for you!!beside the improved vid card I think that the upgrade of the processor from 866 to 2.2GHz played some role....

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Absolutely, this guy did more than just upgraded his videocard. The results he is getting have to be meted out to other factors as well, CPU, motherboard....Robb

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I also have a 9700 Pro. Great card. I went from a Ti500 to this card...With the Ti500 I played FS2002 at: 1024x768, 2x FSAA/4x bilinear-Anisotropic filtering. OK framerate.With the 9700 Pro: 1280x960, 4x AA/16X Trilinear-Anisotropic. Very smooth framerates except at big/detailed airports where it drops a little.Using it on an XP2400x at 185x12 (2220 MHz), 8RDA+ and lots of goodies. What's funny is my mobo is using the Nvidia chipset and I'm using an ATI Videocard :-lolI had the ALT+TAB problem. It was not there with Catalyst 2.5. It was defeinetly there with Catalyst 3.0. I haven't tried with Catalyst 3.1, I hardly alt+tab out of FS2002 anyway. You don't have to run it in Windowed mode all the time to work around the bug, you only use alt+enter instead of alt+tab when you need to get to the desktop :)The Catalst 3.1 driver set is very good. I haven't had a single issue with the new drivers. They also iinclude the much needed FSAA in 16-bit mode, so you can enjoy all your old sims with FSAA and anisotropic filtering to the max.

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Jimmi, In preparation for me recieving my card next week I downloaded the Catalyst 3.1 drivers and the Radeon control panel utility. I take it that the driver has to be installed first before the control panel thingy ?Like you I am upgrading from the GF3 Ti 500 and should (or should I say hope! ) expect to see a significant increase in performance :-)Bill

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>> Anyway, this is what I went from:>> Geforce 3Ti200>> And this is what I went to:>> ATI 9700 non pro ($225)"I defected from Skoda to Ferrari and I like the Ferrari better"Why is that not a surprise?I mean, defections based on uncomparible hardware is easy.Not to be blunt but I think you can't blame NVidia for comparing a GF3 with a 9700.......Be honest and use a GF4-4600, cooled in a machine you have now and see what you get.I for one tried and don't see too many differences in FS2K2.Maybe the 9800/FX battle will be one to watch.

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The difference between a GF4 and a 9700 Pro is quite significant, easily 200% when using FSAA. FS2002 is already pretty CPU limited so the difference there isn't that great. But set both cards to 1600x1200, 4x AA, maximum AF (8x for the Geforce, 16x for Radeon) and watch the Radeon FLY past the GF4.It's actually a shame really. I would love to see more use of advanced 3d features in FS instead of the outdated, barely DX7-spec engine that FS2002 uses.Pixel shaders could be used for all sorts of things - realistic water, niiiice water drops on the windshield, heat ripples, reflections and bumps on the aircraft body, cloud effects, water/snow un runways, the list truly is endless. Vertex shaders could be used to animate the aircraft and free the CPU for other things. That would be a huge benefit on R9500's and above as far as I understand.The 9700 Pro is already holding up well against the GF-FX. The new 9800 Pro makes the FX look downright silly. Nvidia is already preparing the NV35 which they hope will be better than the lackluster NV30 (which every single hardware site claimed would beat the R9700 Pro...).

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