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Guest Max Cowgill

In Defense of ATI Radeon Cards.............

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Hi,I felt I should chip in here (and start a new thread) in defense of the downtrodden ATI cards ;)"Some like to run 8xAF with these cards though visually stunning to the whole scene in the FS world, to the performance of the card 8xAF absolutely kills it, even 4xAF practically cuts the fill rate in half."The above was stated on this forum by Paul Leatzaw (PaulL01) in a recent thread headed "FSW: Fps and Fix for Fs2004 Available Now!" He was referring to the GeForce Cards.He also stated:"the Radeon card owners will not see much of a change in performance with AA on as the Radeons do not AA alpha textures at all, something that is great for performance but visually poor as the rock steady look of filtered textures as done with GF3/GF4/FX cards is completely missing."As one who made the change from a GeForce4 Ti4400 128MB card to an ATI Radeon 9800 Pro 128MB the performance gains do on balance, for me at any rate, far outweigh any discernible (alpha texture related) visual degradation. To be able to use 4xAA and 4xAF with a mipmapping setting of 4 within FS2k4 without any significant hit in sim performance in most situations is a real boon.If we are talking simulation of reality here, while aesthetically pleasing, I always found the tweaked oversharp textures that extended a fair distance out towards the horizon under the GeForce4 in FS2002, while undoubtedly impressive, were somewhat artificial. I suspect anyone with real flying experience would confirm the ATI cards do a pretty good job at rendering ground textures in a way that more closely matches what they see for real during their GA trips at any height. And those clouds in FS2k4... quite, quite beautiful and very little performance hit!I should perhaps mention that I could easily still swap cards if I really felt unhappy, but still do not feel the need to do so after 2 months of use of the Radeon with FS2k2 and now FS2k4. Both sims look great and visually perform well on my Sony Multiscan G200 17" monitor. Perhaps the monitor is the variable frequently left out of the equation when we discuss the quality of onscreen imagery. Recently I purchased a Samsung 17" LCD for my wife and the quality and vibrancy of the image was frankly jaw-dropping. My Sony appeared very second rate in comparison. Yes, I am aware of issues like recovery time and trailing which have hitherto tended to unimpress and discourage the gaming community but, I kid you not, at 25ms and a native resolution of 1280x1024 I could detect little or no trailing. Researching Tom's Hardware Guide confirm that the more recent 20ms and sub 20ms LCD panels have pretty well eliminated this objection. Also, there are several such monitors available now that fit the bill both in accuracy of colour quality at 24bit and overall performance. Needless to say I am very tempted :)Anyway, while I acknowledge and respect Paul's (PaulL01)undoubted expertize and accuracy of technical info when it comes to comparing these great cards, don't be put off if you are currently considering making the change to ATI. You won't be disappointed. For a long time I resisted making the change simply out of loyalty towards nVidia. I have had a TNT2 Ultra, GeForce2 GTS, GeForce4 Ti4400 and liked them all. Now, I like the ATI Radeon 9800 Pro :)Mike :-wave P4 2.4GHz (400FSB), 512MB PC2100 DDR Crucial, ATI Radeon 9800 Pro 128MB (Catalyst 3.5), Gigabyte GA-8IRXP MoBo, Ultra-Quiet PSU 400W, WinXP Home (SP1), DirectX 9.0b3DMark 2001SE : 123753Dmark 2003: 5311

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I too am very happy with the performance so far. After turning down the mip map slider I got rid of the shimmers. No stutters and image quality is terrific. The only thing I don't care for are the reflective natural metal textures. They look way too bright. Is this just a Radeon issue? They looked just fine in FS2002.Todd

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Hi Mike,I changed over to a 9700 Pro a couple months ago. My experiences have been very much like yours... especially the "jaw dropping" part. I had heard about the great performance and visual quality of the new ATI cards/drivers, but frankly didn't believe them.To see the difference between my previous 4600 and the 9700 Pro was stunning. I spent the first hour with the new card in FS2K2 just flying around my "neighborhood"... seeing all that I had never seen before. Simply put, the 9700 Pro has provided a huge enhancement in my simming experience... as much as my Cougar when I bought it 16 months ago.One of the sad things I see since the new sim was released is the video card bashing... much more so at other sites than here. But at a time when we should all be working together to get the most out of FS9, there are always those that will tell folks having troubles that "it's your video card". Fact of the matter is, the new generation of ATI's aren't going away... in fact they have taken a nice chunk of business from nVidia. ATI is providing the consumer with a worthy counterpart to the single choice we've had the past few years.The numbers are simple for me... the best I could do with the 4600 is 2X AA and 8X AF. With the 9700 Pro I run 4X AA and 16X AF. And in the new sim I have everything set for my high visual quality preferance. The visuals are superior on my 19" Sony... and that's what it's all about.

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_______________________________________________________________"I had heard about the great performance and visual quality of the new ATI cards/drivers, but frankly didn't believe them."_______________________________________________________________I got my 9700 Pro last September. Almost a year now. Seeing is believing. The only other really great graphic card that I've owned is the Hercules GF2 GTS64 card. It's still in the machine I'm typing on. Not used for gaming anymore.

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>Hi,>>I felt I should chip in here (and start a new thread) in>defense of the downtrodden ATI cards ;)>>"Some like to run 8xAF with these cards though visually>stunning to the whole scene in the FS world, to the>performance of the card 8xAF absolutely kills it, even 4xAF>practically cuts the fill rate in half.">>The above was stated on this forum by Paul Leatzaw (PaulL01)>in a recent thread headed "FSW: Fps and Fix for Fs2004>Available Now!" He was referring to the GeForce Cards.Right, so what is your point? :)>He also stated:>>"the Radeon card owners will not see much of a change in>performance with AA on as the Radeons do not AA alpha textures>at all, something that is great for performance but visually>poor as the rock steady look of filtered textures as done with>GF3/GF4/FX cards is completely missing.">>As one who made the change from a GeForce4 Ti4400 128MB card>to an ATI Radeon 9800 Pro 128MB the performance gains do on>balance, for me at any rate, far outweigh any discernible>(alpha texture related) visual degradation. To be able to use>4xAA and 4xAF with a mipmapping setting of 4 within FS2k4>without any significant hit in sim performance in most>situations is a real boon.Uh Mike,This is in the context of Chris's new Cloud textures to reduce the load as noted on a GF4 card, since the ATI card does not AA the clouds this fits a post by a ATI user who saw no gain in performance. >If we are talking simulation of reality here, while>aesthetically pleasing, I always found the tweaked oversharp>textures that extended a fair distance out towards the horizon>under the GeForce4 in FS2002, while undoubtedly impressive,>were somewhat artificial. I suspect anyone with real flying>experience would confirm the ATI cards do a pretty good job at>rendering ground textures in a way that more closely matches>what they see for real during their GA trips at any height.If you really want to get me going you just picked the topic Mike, this is complete BS!!! :) I have spent the better part of the last 7 years going up, sometimes in the same AC that was doing my aerial work as used by the FAA as going up to just helping a friend who needed the flight time that I used to snap off shots myself and take note, I have normal vision, and have often noted the lack of being able to discern and resolve objects in FS as I had or was able to in flight, Excepting that the human eye can resolve a quarter at 100yards, a blank sheet of 9x11 paper from one end of a 6000' runway, a subcompact auto from 13 miles (depending on contrasting color) If you need to verify this you can check with a good university, I already have invested enough time to know of where I speak but what ever...If you have 20/40 vision you can cut these figures in half...You also can resolve 300 DPI, lets see the screen on my 19 monitor is 18"x14" so we can go all the way up to 4200x5400 screen res there to, while needing the high res textures to fill it before we are using all of yer eyeballs ability, what ever...:) In MSFS The graphics engine as matched up with any stock driver never comes close in the clearest conditions even when using 1 meter textures as my scenery does.Do we start back words and think "well when its fogy I can only see a foot in front of my nose so I'll limit my texture to..No, of course not. So we start with what the best conditions and visibility and let the FS weather conditions limit our visibility just like in the real world, see, a method to the madness!That is the point where I started trying to develop my scenery Mike and when you invest your time in doing this you too would no doubt come to the same conclusion that I came too, The FS image as portrayed on our screens needed a little help, so came the image tweaks etc. >And those clouds in FS2k4... quite, quite beautiful and very>little performance hit!Right, the ATI does not AA them as your GF4 did and as the FX5900 will. Hope you understand.>I should perhaps mention that I could easily still swap cards>if I really felt unhappy, but still do not feel the need to do>so after 2 months of use of the Radeon with FS2k2 and now>FS2k4. Both sims look great and visually perform well on my>Sony Multiscan G200 17" monitor. And the other option is that other folks can understand a little something about the difference between ATI's top of the line card and Nvidia's before they lay down there cold cash, is that all right with you Mike? I don

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>One of the sad things I see since the new sim was released is>the video card bashing... much more so at other sites than>here. But at a time when we should all be working together to>get the most out of FS9, there are always those that will tell>folks having troubles that "it's your video card". Video card Bashing? :-lolLets see, working together..Uh, so someone tells you that if you purchase X monitor you might want to know about the fact that it cant refresh very quickly but someone else comes to the "rescue" to stop the "monitor bashing" and bashes the frigin guy who was trying to tell you?That is really Moronic Mike! I am a human so bash me, but god forbid dont bash the hardware!Thanks, I feel all warm inside... here let me share some twaeks with you... http://www.frontiernet.net/~pleatzaw/images/arge.gifHey Mike, who is the one in hear that posted that we can get ATI 9800 pros for $299 at Compusa through a nice little link? I do know how good the cards are Mike, I also know there limits, but if you want to pretend that is OK, as for the rest of us is it Ok with you if we share the facts?What? I must be loyal to X brand for pointing out it has an advantage? or no, I must be an X brand basher because I ponted out it has certain flaws that have been denied and pointed point blank at me?Hey dont forget, "we need to work together". :)Very Moronic Mike. :-wave

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I got the ATI ALL-IN-WONDER 8500DV over a year old. I got it for its powerful video capture capabilities. I do lots of DVD work. The quality is practically impeccable. And of course, I am also very happy with the results in FS2002 and FS2004. I use dual-21"-monitor system. The display is great!! Just my 2-cents worth.AbeIt's always good to voice the positive!!

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""To get rid of the shimmering folks have to run the settings in "performance mode" which turns off the cards trilinear filtering! Would you call that quality?""Sorry; but that doesn't sound right. Shimmering and performance mode are two completely different things. There's no cause and effect. I control any shimmer by raising the AA slider and/or reduce the mipmap slider. I was glad to see a mipmap slider in FS2k4 so we can adjust as needed. Many games/sims give us the ability to force trilinear filtering regardless of whether we run AF in quality or performance mode. I run 16xAF performance because it gives a nice performance boost when set that way in the card menu and gives a much nicer transition effect with the near textures and the far away textures. In other words, no distinct line out in front of the aircraft when flying fast and low. I then force trilinear filtering back on in the settings/display in the flight sim. As I understand, ATI uses trilinear filtering in either mode if the game/sim provides for forcing trilinear back on. There's a big technical discussion about this very subject in one of the threads over at rage3d. Something about trilinear filtering on the top layers and bilinear filtering on the other layers. It's a very good read on how ATI does it.

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"It's always good to voice the positive!!"Yep, and I stated that the "ATI card does a masterful job with Antialiasing the rest of the image". But I think what we have here are a few folks in denial about a peace of hardware because >they< purchased it and so the guy giving them the bad news is an easy target to vent their frustration at.

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Hey, hey Paul, calm down before you blow a gasket! See my other posts in the thread: "Turning on AA in FS2004"My intention was not to upset you but merely to reassure folk that making the choice to purchase an ATI Radeon was unlikely to disappoint. Most of your points are, of course, valid but, at the end of the day, there are a hell of a lot of users out there who, like myself, are convinced the change was very worthwhile. The ATI Radeons, in particular the 9700/9800, are undeniably great cards. So to are the Geforce3/4 series. Each has plus and minus points and, in the end, each user has to decide what is important to him or her. That's all I wanted to convey. Best regards,Mike

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Congratulations, Paul, you have again managed to foul the air of a mature discussion.I take it that your last post was directed at me (though you've revealed your immaturity by addressing it to "Moronic Mike").So let's look at some of your facts:You claim to have gone up occassionally to "snap off shots" for your scenery work. And just what does "snap off shots" mean? As a guy who has done more than a little aerial photography in my time, please give more info. Like the film you use... that will have alot to do with resolution and contrast. And tell us about the format and print sizes you utilize. Filtration? Lens (generic consumer or high perf "fast glass")? Shooting through a piece of plexiglass or hang your butt out in the slipstream (I do the latter... but then I do own "fast glass". Why ruin the abilities of a $2000.00 lens by shooting through a $20.00 piece of plexiglass.)? And tell us more about the met conditions on those "occasional" trips aloft. How consistent were they? Always the same... I doubt it. So your eyeball benchmarking of what the world looks like from the air through a camera lense are all pretty much worthless.Finally, you mention that you have "normal vision". Just what is that? Normal for you, or normal for the rest of the world? And how many people have the same "normal vision"?Mike started this thread as a simple discussion. Nothing more, nothing less. But then you arrive talking about how much you know how the real world looks by snapping a few pics on a few flights over 7 years. You may indeed know alot about the technical aspects of today's popular video cards, but you know very little about the scenes they are supposed to render. So to those amongst us who are far more mature than you, your arguements have very little validity.Rant on, Paul, as we all know you will...

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>""To get rid of the shimmering folks have to run the settings>in "performance mode" which turns off the cards trilinear>filtering! Would you call that quality?"">>Sorry; but that doesn't sound right. Shimmering and>performance mode are two completely different things. There's>no cause and effect. I control any shimmer by raising the AA>slider and/or reduce the mipmap slider. That is Funny. :-lol>Many>games/sims give us the ability to force trilinear filtering>regardless of whether we run AF in quality or performance>mode. I run 16xAF performance because it gives a nice>performance boost when set that way in the card menu and gives>a much nicer transition effect with the near textures and the>far away textures. In other words, no distinct line out in>front of the aircraft when flying fast and low. I then force>trilinear filtering back on in the settings/display in the>flight sim. As I understand, ATI uses trilinear filtering in>either mode if the game/sim provides for forcing trilinear>back on. Then You understand wrong, discusions in "threads" in no way compare to what the manufacturer provides to game developers and what is easily tested, "In other words, no distinct line out infront of the aircraft when flying fast and low."Right, sounds kind of like when bilinear is in use huh? :-lol subject in one of the threads over at rage3d. Something about>trilinear filtering on the top layers and bilinear filtering>on the other layers. It's a very good read on how ATI does>it.Look MG, you dont have to try to sell me, I get plenty of free time in front of ATI cards, they do a lot of thing better than any card on the planet right now, but they have shortcomings as well so go sell to someone else.

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__________________________________________________________________Look MG, you dont have to try to sell me, I get plenty of free time in front of ATI cards, they do a lot of thing better than any card on the planet right now, but they have shortcomings as well so go sell to someone else__________________________________________________________________We agree. There's no such thing as a perfect video card. They all have their shortcomings. Next year we'll be talking about a whole new class of cards again. Maybe, just maybe; I'll own an Nvidia again. Maybe not!! :-lol

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"But I think what we have here are a few folks in denial about a peace of hardware because >they;)

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>Congratulations, Paul, you have again managed to foul the air>of a mature discussion.>>I take it that your last post was directed at me (though>you've revealed your immaturity by addressing it to "Moronic>Mike").>>So let's look at some of your facts:>>You claim to have gone up occassionally to "snap off shots">for your scenery work. And just what does "snap off shots">mean? As a guy who has done more than a little aerial>photography in my time, please give more info. Like the film>you use... that will have alot to do with resolution and>contrast. And tell us about the format and print sizes you>utilize. Filtration? Lens (generic consumer or high perf>"fast glass")? Shooting through a piece of plexiglass or hang>your butt out in the slipstream (I do the latter... but then I>do own "fast glass". Why ruin the abilities of a $2000.00>lens by shooting through a $20.00 piece of plexiglass.)? And>tell us more about the met conditions on those "occasional">trips aloft. How consistent were they? Always the same... I>doubt it. So your eyeball benchmarking of what the world>looks like from the air through a camera lense are all pretty>much worthless.I use a 35MM for the pics I take for refference work, the folks working the "real" equipment Are here:http://www.pictometry.com/They are about two miles from where I am typing this right now, you can ask them about the exact... whatever.But I believe it was Kodak equipment, my film was 9x9 inches as I remember, lets see pulling open the drawer that holds some test shots, measuring... measuring... 10"x10" it is! The cams shot thru the belly of the plane and still do the last time I looked.Ok, let's see, my sattelite data appears to be shot on... 6.5x8 inches as used by SPOT, I don't know what equipment was used for those shots either and no, I did not go on those flights...:-roll>Finally, you mention that you have "normal vision". Just what>is that? Normal for you, or normal for the rest of the world?> And how many people have the same "normal vision"?Normal human 20/20 Dick!>Mike started this thread as a simple discussion. Nothing>more, nothing less. Simple? Kinda called me out by my first and last name as I remember, yeah I think that was it.But then you arrive talking about how>much you know how the real world looks by snapping a few pics>on a few flights over 7 years. You may indeed know alot about>the technical aspects of today's popular video cards, but you>know very little about the scenes they are supposed to render.> So to those amongst us who are far more mature than you, your>arguements have very little validity.I arrived talking about how it is not just a passing fancy smart guy. :)

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>"But I think what we have here are a few folks in denial>about a peace of hardware because >they< purchased it and so>P.S. I could sell the ATI Radeon 9800 Pro card tomorrow for>very little financial loss and reinstall my GeForce4>Ti4400..... but can see no compelling reason for so doing.Then U missed the whole point didn't you.>Hey guys, perhaps we should all club together and get Paul a>Radeon ;)Yes, please do, I, I have never seen one, well not just one. Anyway, yes I'll take it. :)

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"Right, the ATI does not AA them as your GF4 did and as the FX5900 will. Hope you understand."This, is a good thing. Why in the world would you want to AA the CLOUDS?! They have no sharp edges in the first place since they are completely transparent at the edges. The clouds certainly don't need AA and if you AA them you're just wasting bandwidth and fillrate. A LOT of bandwidth at that which is why Supersampling AA is so slow."To get rid of the shimmering folks have to run the settings in "performance mode" which turns off the cards trilinear filtering! >Sorry; but that doesn't sound right. Shimmering and>performance mode are two completely different things. There's>no cause and effect. I control any shimmer by raising the AA>slider and/or reduce the mipmap slider. >>That is Funny. :-lol "It's funny because you were wrong? If you had any clue how 3D graphics work, you would know that there's no way how using Performace AF mode could get rid of "shimmering" alpha textures.As others have pointed out, that is NOT correct. You do NOT have to use Performance mode to get rid of shimmering. The only reason one would want to set it to performance mode, is to get better performance. It has NO effect on the shimmering. How would running bilinear instead of trilinear remove the shimmering anyway?Lowering the Mipmap detail slider within FS2004 (at the default 8, the LOD-bias is so low that all the mipmap "bands" are moved way out towards the horizon on any card), is the key to reducing shimmering and it has no effect on texture sharpness of terrain or non-alpha textures. Compared to Geforce cards that I have used and briefly tried (GF3 Ti500, Ti200, GF4 Ti4200), the Radeon 9700 produces far clearer visuals at 16x AF and 8X AF, and the card is fast enough to use those modes in FS2004."Well sorry, but I would prefer to know about it, that way I can make an educated choice as to what I am buying."Well it seems your idea of an educated choice is misinformation. The only advantage the Geforce has in this case, is that it has the option to use Supersampling AA (4xS, 6xS), which eliminates the shimmering of autogen tree textures. The performance hit is however twice as big as with MSAA.http://www.beyond3d.com/previews/nvidia/nv35/index.php?p=17(21% hit with 4x MSAA, 38% performance hit with 4xS AA at 1024x768)Radeon cards technically support Supersampling, but ATI has chosen not to expose it in the drivers, for good reasons - Supersampling belongs to the Geforce2/Voodoo5 era."Some like to run 8xAF with these cards though visually>stunning to the whole scene in the FS world, to the>performance of the card 8xAF absolutely kills it, even 4xAF>practically cuts the fill rate in half.""That is just a big lie. 4x AF certainly does not cut the fillrate in half. It takes a big performance hit on Geforce3/4 cards but both the GeforceFX and Radeon 9x00 series handle AF very well with only a small performance hit. You can use up to 16X AF on the Radeons and 8X AF on GeforceFX (Geforce FX does not support 16X AF) and the performance hit will almost always be too small to even notice.

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Dear Jimmy,I do not have time to respond to you, you have confused some statments that I made about GF4 cards and have misapplied them, as well have no grasp as to what I know or do not know and are quite wrong on many things here, but that I do not intend to change.:-lol

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:-lol I'm not wrong about anything :-lol I merely corrected your completely false and misinforming statements. I suggest you check out some 3D hardware sites and read a few articles, check a few benchmarks etc. Also, please TRY a Radeon card before you say anything about performance or image quality;)

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This thread got so out of hand... Let's all just shake hands and down a beer or two :)-Max Cowgill

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You're nothing if not consistent. You always revert to name calling any time some one calls you on the carpet for your "expert" opinions. "arrived talking about how it is not just a passing fancy smart guy."It is a passing fancy for you. You claim to know how the world is supposed to look, yet you've done little to benchmark the world other than downloading some aerial pics (which you clearly know little or nothing concerning the tech specs of how they were made). And by failing to offer the specs of your own equipment used to make your "snap shots", we can only assume one of two things... you don't know what you're using, or you do and know it's inferior.And yes, I'm a "smart guy". At least I'm smart enough to know not to make definitive claims about how the world should look in our sim. You, on the other hand, fail to realize one very important fact: The view above the world and video card design share the common traits that they are both dynamic, and that nothing is perfect.So you claim to know alot about video card design. That knowledge is useless until you learn more about the scenes those cards render.

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does anyone know anything about how to fix that stuttering problem with ati cards?

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