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Low cost and integrated GPUs gain the most in Q2

GPU sales are looked at as an indicator of how well the overall computer market is doing since all computers today ship with a GPU of some sort be it of the discrete or integrated variety. So far, 2009 has been a rough year for GPU makers.

Typically, GPU makers would be disappointed with no significant growth, but with the poor economy, it's a welcome change from the significant declines other quarters have seen. Jon Peddie Research (JPR) has unveiled its latest numbers for the add-in GPU industry for Q2 2009. The numbers show that 16.81 million add-in units were shipped, up 3% from the previous quarter and down 15% from the same quarter in 2008.

Inventories had to be replenished over Q2 and JPR estimates that the replenishment at least shadowed consumption or was a bit higher. With the poor economy still hurting many consumers, sales in the GPU market moved downstream. Most of the growth in the GPU market was in the integrated segment with a 4% year-over-year increase in shipments for the quarter. Lower cost discrete cards also saw modest improvements according to JPR with higher cost discrete cards taking the worst the quarter had to offer.

The quarter was the first where AMD finally started to gain back some share from NVIDIA. JPR reports that AMD's unit share rose from 31% in Q1 to 35% in Q2 with NVIDIA seeing their share decline the same 4% to 64% overall. That means that AMD took every bit of its growth from NVIDIA's marketshare. NVIDIA and Intel GPU shipments did rebound slightly in Q1 2009.

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Why Would You Buy NVidia?
By MrDiSante on 8/26/2009 1:05:45 PM , Rating: 5
Since the advent of the HD 4xxx series, I don't understand why anyone (except those who are buying $300+ video cards, which I also don't understand) would buy an NVidia card. In price/performance ATi is better or equal at just about every price point under $300 and it consumes less power.

NVidida beat ATi's offerings hands down in the days of the HD 2xxx's, now the situation is reversed and I'm amazed that it's taken this long for the market to begin adjusting.

RE: Why Would You Buy NVidia?
By BrandtTheMan on 8/26/09, Rating: 0
RE: Why Would You Buy NVidia?
By PhoetuS on 8/26/2009 1:39:16 PM , Rating: 5
I've never had a single issue in any of my nvidia cards....wish I could say the same with amd/ati.

The reverse is true as well. I have never had any problems with any of my ati/amd cards, however I have had serious issues with all my nvidia cards but one...

RE: Why Would You Buy NVidia?
By SpaceRanger on 8/26/2009 3:34:10 PM , Rating: 2
Absolutely. Bought an ATI 4890 1GB to replace my 8800 GTS and haven't regretted the decision at all. I believe ATI has a better product out there right now compared to nVidia. Of course this could (and probably will) change down the road, but we'll see...

RE: Why Would You Buy NVidia?
By MonkeyPaw on 8/26/2009 6:57:54 PM , Rating: 3
Also, nVidia has had a slew of reported issues on IGP chipsets and dedicated notebook graphics cards. Such problems lead OEMs to other product lines, and they go a long way towards public perception. I know I have avoided nVidia cards and chipsets because of these problems. That, and the fact that my last notebook had nVidia graphics and it was having all kinds of screen corruption problems.

RE: Why Would You Buy NVidia?
By Sazar on 8/26/2009 2:21:40 PM , Rating: 2
Honestly, it goes both ways :)

I've never had any issues with Vista on my AMD video card but the ridiculous and still present Nvidia BSOD error due to the Nvidia driver continues to hurt my otherwise brilliant 8800 GTS (g92) in my HTPC.

Haven't had an issue with Win 7, but just saying, anecdotal evidence with a sample size of 1 vs a widely present issue (as seen by number of people commenting on this on Nvidia themed forums around the web), doesn't imply one product is more or less problematic than the other :)

Besides the bsod issue, my nvidia card has been just as good as my amd card in terms of stability and usability.

RE: Why Would You Buy NVidia?
By niva on 8/27/2009 12:14:28 PM , Rating: 2
Heh, I have the same issue with the same card. It's rare but usually once a month I do get a BSOD and a subsequent reboot seems to point the error happening somewhere in the NVIDIA drivers.

I bought NVIDIA due to much better linux support, I've never had any crashes on the same system in linux so this issue definitely seems to be windows related.

RE: Why Would You Buy NVidia?
By MrDiSante on 8/26/2009 3:16:39 PM , Rating: 2
It all depends on your particular experience, neither one is perfect and NVidia has had its own share of issues.

My friend's XPS is pretty much unuseable for gaming because the 8600M overheats and causes graphical artifacts, shutdowns and BSODs. On the other hand my Studio is fine, although the 3450M is a lot less powerful.

Regardless, I can't say I've had any problems aside from minor driver issues with either, but I only buy new video cards every 3-4 years so my sample size is pretty small (1 Geforce and 2 Radeons not counting my Studio).

RE: Why Would You Buy NVidia?
By randomly on 8/26/2009 3:22:57 PM , Rating: 2
I haven't had any problems with ATI, but 3 Nvidia cards have died on me, and the built in Nvidia video on two dv2100 HP notebooks failed due to their solder bump manufacturing defects just outside warranty.
My patience with Nvidia has been exhausted, I'll stick with ATI for now.

RE: Why Would You Buy NVidia?
By Omega215D on 8/27/2009 8:44:10 AM , Rating: 2
Wow, I have had several ATi cards since the Maxx days and nVidia cards since the TNT2. I must've been really lucky to only have had 1 card fail on me which was the Gainward Golden Sample Ti4200. My 7900GT, 8800GT, GTX260, 4850 and 4870 cards have been running great (sister's PC runs the ATi cards and my system runs the nVidia).

By elpresidente2075 on 8/26/2009 10:01:11 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, you got shot down. I agree with you, and will add that with the half dozen (integrated) ATi video chips I've used, all have been trouble in some way or another, be it not scaling properly on HDTV through HDMI at 1080p or utterly lacking in linux driver support or even struggling to attain stable driver support in Windows.

Contrasted with my experiences with a similar number of Nvidia add-in cards that has been wholly stellar, my opinion of ATi has tarnished somewhat. Granted, driver support has improved significantly over the past few years despite retaining the multiple process driver model, and their products have become significantly faster in the same timeframe. However it will take quite a compelling product to woo me away from an Nvidia product for my next purchase, something they failed to do even with the latest 4000-series of cards.

Though despite the graphics division, AMD for life!

RE: Why Would You Buy NVidia?
By chick0n on 8/27/2009 9:06:15 AM , Rating: 2
its both.

I had Nvidia AND ATi/AMD cards. from Low to top end.

Both had Quality issues before. Nvidia's massive recall? 5900FX garbage series? 185 Driver series random crashing issue? etc. ATI/AMD's Rage MAXX flip? Catalyst driver suit gave how many problems? etc.

so saying ATi got problems and not Nvidia simply means u dont know shit about video cards.

RE: Why Would You Buy NVidia?
By KingstonU on 8/26/2009 1:20:27 PM , Rating: 2
If you look at buyer's guide, for every single price margin, except the $400+, most sites recommend the 4000 series across the board. However, Nivida does have the "Fastest Card Money Can Buy" crown, and Nvidia banks on how much this image sells cards, even only the mainstream ones, to the uneducated buyer. What portion of consumers are uneducated? The vast majority, and they only go by reputation for their purchase decision.

RE: Why Would You Buy NVidia?
By Ananke on 8/26/2009 1:31:56 PM , Rating: 5
ATI needs a card manufacturer like EVGA - support and quality of products matter. Since XFX started making Radeons, the choice of quality ATI based products is kind of there, but yet not on par.

ATI needs card maker with good design, quality components, excellent customer support, life warranty and fair trade up program.

RE: Why Would You Buy NVidia?
By PhoetuS on 8/26/2009 1:41:25 PM , Rating: 2
I agree entirely! I have often lamented the lack of an EVGA equivalent manufacturer for ATI/AMD cards...

RE: Why Would You Buy NVidia?
By Beno on 8/26/2009 3:13:50 PM , Rating: 5
Sapphire it is.

RE: Why Would You Buy NVidia?
By just4U on 8/26/2009 11:01:28 PM , Rating: 3

They are making some stellar products for the ATi line.

One of the reasons for Nvidia's popularity is it's partners. XFX, BFG, and EVGA. In this regard it was hard for ATi to match them. Sapphire, His, & VisionTek were just not quite up to par. (In fairness they are improving all the time)

Now with XFX on board your seeing some top notch support, Lifetime warranties, and just general overall confidence in what your buying. I do hope that the other partners follow in these companies footsteps. Their is a reason why their popular.

RE: Why Would You Buy NVidia?
By bug77 on 8/26/2009 1:49:06 PM , Rating: 2
ATI has had HIS for a long time. True, it's not on par with EVGA, but it's been on the market for much longer...

RE: Why Would You Buy NVidia?
By RjBass on 8/26/2009 2:21:30 PM , Rating: 3
I have been buying nothing but Sapphire Radeon cards since the X800 days, and have not had any issues with a single one of them. They make top quality products.

RE: Why Would You Buy NVidia?
By FITCamaro on 8/26/2009 2:51:17 PM , Rating: 3
Not to mention offer a lifetime warranty.

RE: Why Would You Buy NVidia?
By afkrotch on 8/26/2009 8:55:01 PM , Rating: 3
The same as BFG Tech. Hell, your watercooling can leak on your BFG card and they'll replace it.

RE: Why Would You Buy NVidia?
By just4U on 8/26/2009 11:06:00 PM , Rating: 2
When did Sapphire start offering lifetime warranties? This is news to me. They have had some questionable customer support and it's been a bit of a rocky road for them there. On the plus side they have been improving and it's nice to see them thinking outside the box with custom coolers and packaging that includes alot of goodies (in their ultimate editions)

My 4870 only came with a 3 year warranty and that was bought hmm... 7 months ago, so unless they've changed recently I don't think they are offering lifetime warranties yet. Be a great move on their part and hopefully their customer support is up to the task.

RE: Why Would You Buy NVidia?
By KingstonU on 8/26/2009 2:13:06 PM , Rating: 2
I would love to be able to "Step-Up" from my 4870 to the 5870. I never would have used that option before, but now that I'm out of school and have a bit more disposable income for my hobbies, I would definitely do so now.

RE: Why Would You Buy NVidia?
By JPForums on 8/27/2009 9:37:59 AM , Rating: 2
Hit the nail on the head there.

Due to my constant upgrade and hand down system I've got going with a lot of friends and family, I've owned quite a few ATi and nVidia cards (these don't include systems I've built/worked on for others):
Rage Pro, Rage 128 Pro, TNT2, Radeon, GF2, Radeon 8500, GF4 TI4600, Radeon 9700Pro, GF 6800GT, Radeon X800XT, Radeon X1900XT, Radeon HD3850 AGP, Radeon HD3870, GF 8800GTS(G80), GF 8800GTS(G92), Radeon HD4850, GF GTX260(core 216), Radeon HD4870 X2, Radeon HD4890
From various manufacturers:
Chaintech,PowerColor, Saphire, Leadtech, XFX, HIS, BFG, Asus, MSI, EVGA

I'd like to think I've got a good feal for both nVidia and ATi over the years. In my experience, neither nVidia nor ATi really stand out as clearly superior in the long term. I've experienced driver issues of similar magnitude from both. nVidia had the clear performance advantage until the Radeon 9700Pro. Afterwards, the two companies have been in close proximity trading blows. Arguably the largest screw up from either company was nVidia's FX series. Not only did it underperform, but they put graphically detrimental tricks in the driver to fake better performance (a practice that was, unfortunately, copied by their competition) . They were, however, quick to rectify both issues with the 6000 series. ATi screwed up with their HD2000 series, but though this was less of a screw up in my opinion, ATi showed themselves less capable of handling such a screw up and didn't really get back into the game until the HD4000 series. nVidia has a minor advantage with SLI over Crossfire, but ATI has a minor advantage with Rage Theater over Purevideo.

The point is, both companies have had similarly sever driver issues and similar complicated workarounds. Both companies have had great performers and sour performers. The biggest standout is the manufacturers.

The following is based on my somewhat extensive experience and other will most certainly have different experiences.

On the ATi side in no particular order:
Asus has good quality (non standard design as well), performance, and good non-reference cooling, but the support is lousy.

XFX has good quality, and support, but performance is average on the ATi side and there are no non-reference coolers.

MSI has good performance and good non-reference coolers, but support is lousy and quality is sometimes suspect.

HIS has good quality, performance, and their own excellent non-reference cooler, but support is beyond lousy.

On the nVidia side I haven't found many manufacturers that use non-reference coolers, especially lately, so lack of one isn't really a downside.
EVGA has good quality, performance, and support.

BFG has good quality, performance, and support.

XFX has good quality, performance, and support.

Asus has good quality and performance, but lousy support.

nVidia has three excellent manufacturers, one of which is also present on the ATi side, but they don't seem to have the same commitment to ATi. Meanwhile, ATi customers have to deal with often poor support and warranties. Also, the ATi side has some big names that have issues that can give it a bad reputation. I'm going to point out Sapphire in particular since they used to be (maybe still are) the largest ATi manufacturer. I've had several cards from them, none of which were satisfactory. The first one roasted due to a poor thermal adhesive (heatsink fell off). The second, had some bad solder joints, that I repaired with a hairdryer and sand, and a poorly mounted heatsink that I fixed before the first use (still works). The third one didn't have any obvious problems except that it had to be underclocked to keep from artifacting. The final straw was the X1900XT that had some type of soft plastic under the shield that melted to the heatsink. It didn't die as I noticed the artifacting immediately looked at the temperature (~110C). After I found the problem, I tried to RMA it and made the mistake of telling them what I had found. They said removing the shield (to find the problem) voided my warranty. After removing the melted plastic from the heatsink, the card still artifacted (~90). A Zalman copper after market cooler keeps it cool enough (~60C) that it won't artifact at stock speeds, but it can't get much warmer without problems.

The biggest problem I had with nVidia side manufacturers was a poorly manufactured heatsink on my Leadtech 6800GT. I should mention that Leadtech used a non-reference heatsink for this one. The irony is I've never liked the reference coolers from ATi, but I've only ever had problems with an non-reference cooler on the nVidia side.

The single best thing that could happen to ATi, right now, is for EVGA and/or BFG to add ATi to their product line and for XFX to give a full commitment to them. It might just be that XFX doesn't yet understand that aftermarket coolers are a lot more important on the ATi side than the nVidia side.

RE: Why Would You Buy NVidia?
By inyafase on 8/26/2009 1:42:26 PM , Rating: 4
It is widely agreed that AMD/ATI has the performance crown when it comes to their HD 4xxx. That is of no question. It is also true that past a certain price point, nVidia regains that crown. However, most average people would fall in the former category.

Still, regardless of performance, there is the issue of support. nVidia's support has been in my opinion very good about rolling out driver updates on a consistent basis, even supporting cards from long ago. A client of mine bought a Radeon 9250 early last year. But when XP SP3 rolled out, he lost the ability to rotate his screens. I have heard of multiple issues of that sort, where a simply update to the display driver will do the trick. However, for that particular chipset, the last time it was updated was in 2006.

nVidia does not seem to be plagued by that. True, there cards are somewhat slower now, but their support remains quite superior. It's not always about performance. Same reason why people still buy Matrox cards.

RE: Why Would You Buy NVidia?
By Parhel on 8/27/2009 9:04:54 AM , Rating: 2
A client of mine bought a Radeon 9250 early last year. But when XP SP3 rolled out, he lost the ability to rotate his screens.

That, I believe, was the last of the R200 chips. To put it in perspective, it's an eight year old chip, or the equivalent of the Geforce3 series. I'm not surprised it doesn't run 100% perfectly in 2009, and I doubt nVidia is still actively developing for the Geforce3 either.

Submit a bug report. You never know, they may fix it.

RE: Why Would You Buy NVidia?
By Ralos on 8/27/2009 11:58:56 PM , Rating: 2
Same reason why people still buy Matrox cards.

Ahah! Good one!

RE: Why Would You Buy NVidia?
By bug77 on 8/26/2009 1:42:38 PM , Rating: 3
I don't know about everybody else, but I'll give you my reason: proper Linux support.

RE: Why Would You Buy NVidia?
By stmok on 8/27/2009 3:44:18 AM , Rating: 3
Same here...In the Linux world, Nvidia is the better of the two. (Compared to ATI).

My three reasons for staying with Nvidia at this time are:

(1) CUDA framework is maintained with current distro versions.

(2) CUDA is easier to implement than ATI's Stream. (Also has a larger community).

(3) VDPAU => Only Nvidia based solutions have HD playback support under Linux. ATI has no equivalent.

RE: Why Would You Buy NVidia?
By Spoelie on 8/27/2009 6:43:06 AM , Rating: 3
Every manufacturer has it's own API, even though they're all supposed to be open.
Intel - VA-API

Phoronix says:

To expose the video engine on newer ATI GPUs, Unified Video Decoder 2 (UVD2), AMD has been working to introduce X-Video Bitstream Acceleration on Linux. The XvBA shared library can be found starting with Catalyst 8.10, but there is no accompanying documentation, media player patches, or header file to make it usable. As we exclusively shared in our XvBA article, this new AMD video API for Linux is modeled after Microsoft's DxVA and provides GPU acceleration for iDCT, motion compensation, de-interlacing, and color correction. The formats to be initially supported by the X-Video Bitstream Acceleration are H.264, VC-1, and MPEG-2.

NVIDIA has developed and provided the header file for the VDPAU API along with some development documentation, but at this time, the support can only be found within NVIDIA's binary driver. It's not too likely VDPAU will find its way within AMD's proprietary Linux driver and it's unknown whether it will eventually find its way into any open-source driver.

VA-API (Video Acceleration API), which is another Intel spawned open-source project and it aims to provide hardware acceleration for video processing. Just over a month ago we shared that patches had emerged to support Intel's VA-API in MPlayer and FFmpeg. VA-API supports popular video formats such as MPEG-4 and VC-1 and is able to accelerate IDCT, Motion Compensation, LVC, bit-stream processing, and other functions, but this video API has not picked up much speed yet. The only display driver to have implemented support for VA-API in the hardware is Intel's closed-source driver (the one that's a bloody mess) for the Poulsbo chipset, which is found in a few select netbooks/nettops.

RE: Why Would You Buy NVidia?
By peebee on 8/26/09, Rating: -1
RE: Why Would You Buy NVidia?
By rudolphna on 8/26/2009 2:15:18 PM , Rating: 2
Really? I have always had much better luck with ATi drivers. Every NVIDIA card I had had crashing issues. Especially with Vista, in line with the massive numbers of BSODs related to NVIDIA drivers. For me, ATi drivers are excellent. Powercolor makes a decent card too, currently on a 4670 512 from them.

By StevoLincolnite on 8/26/2009 2:24:31 PM , Rating: 3
I actually like ATI's drivers, and whats better is using the NGOHQ/Omega drivers for ATI cards. (Although the Omega's need an update really badly).

Both nVidia and ATI have had a history of shoddy drivers at one stage or another (With the Radeon 8500 and earlier, ATI drivers plainly SUCKED, and nVidia's with it's early Vista drivers), but both companies have drivers that glisten in diamonds when compared to the likes of Intel/Matrox/SiS/S3.

RE: Why Would You Buy NVidia?
By inighthawki on 8/26/2009 4:52:47 PM , Rating: 2
Ever since Vista's release i've seen nothing but problems from nvidia, and honestly ive never seen an issue with ati's drivers. granted im only one person but i think ur living 10 years in the past, ati's drivers are greatly improved...

RE: Why Would You Buy NVidia?
By BuffDaddySmurf on 8/26/09, Rating: 0
RE: Why Would You Buy NVidia?
By Totally on 8/27/2009 12:01:33 AM , Rating: 4
Game over? but I want to keep playing, isn't that why we buy these things.

HD4890 for $179. 'Game On'

RE: Why Would You Buy NVidia?
By therealnickdanger on 8/26/2009 2:12:33 PM , Rating: 2

RE: Why Would You Buy NVidia?
By jaericho on 8/26/2009 2:24:51 PM , Rating: 2
CUDA, yes.

RE: Why Would You Buy NVidia?
By Zingam on 8/27/2009 5:12:50 AM , Rating: 2
CUDA would matter just as much as CG or whatever it was called mattered before.

OpenCL might matter because it will offer cross-vendor compatibility but CUDA - no way!

By StevoLincolnite on 8/26/2009 2:29:35 PM , Rating: 2
Cuda is Great and all, but like PhysX it hasn't really been an "Industry wide adoption" of the technology.

Why? nVidia only owns a fraction of the market, most of it is dominated by Intel as well as AMD/ATI, so developers generally choose not to support the technology in order to maximize there customers user base.

RE: Why Would You Buy NVidia?
By NicodemusMM on 8/26/2009 2:41:13 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed... CUDA could be a serious factor.
I don't know if Folding uses CUDA, but it seems that nVidia hardware performs better and has less issues when using multiple GPU's.

I've used ATI since the 9800 Pro, including 2x 4870's now. It bugs me when I see AMD flailing around in the mud with regards to GPGPU applications. I'm not into programming, so I have no idea if it's just poor implementation or nVidia's solution is really that much better.

RE: Why Would You Buy NVidia?
By Amiga500 on 8/26/2009 3:26:21 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed... CUDA could be a serious factor.

OpenCL will kill it. Stone dead.

CUDA is already becoming a dinosaur in the world of accelerated computing.

Why develop for one GPU segment (Nvidia), when you could develop for all three* (+ATi & Intel)? Makes no sense whatsoever. Watch CUDA die a slow death over the next 2 years.

*neglecting the smaller brands

RE: Why Would You Buy NVidia?
By stmok on 8/27/2009 4:02:22 AM , Rating: 2
OpenCL will kill it. Stone dead.

CUDA is already becoming a dinosaur in the world of accelerated computing.

Why develop for one GPU segment (Nvidia), when you could develop for all three* (+ATi & Intel)? Makes no sense whatsoever. Watch CUDA die a slow death over the next 2 years.

*neglecting the smaller brands

Could you be any more ignorant?

(1) CUDA is a framework that allows you directly access Nvidia GPUs; You can also call OpenCL or DirectCompute APIs with it. Seriously dude, download the CUDA SDK and you'll see they teach you how to use OpenCL with CUDA...OpenCL sits on top of CUDA and provides an alternative way to access the GPU.

(2) If you know CUDA, you have a bit of a head start when using OpenCL. Hell, you can port CUDA code to OpenCL.

(3) CUDA calls on GPUs. OpenCL calls for all sorts of processors. This could be CPU, GPU, Cell processor, DSPs, etc.

RE: Why Would You Buy NVidia?
By inighthawki on 8/27/2009 1:40:53 AM , Rating: 2
Ati has includes gpgpu support in its 'stream' technology, which of course is different from cuda, but performs the same basic tasks. I haven't really seen adoption of either technology from anyone other than ati and nvidia themselves, but it still exists. Also i thin opencl and directx11 are going to completely kill off cuda and stream in the gpgpu technology, seeing as both of them probably support a much larger user base than nvidia and ati together, let alone either or.

RE: Why Would You Buy NVidia?
By FITCamaro on 8/26/2009 2:52:59 PM , Rating: 2
If Nvidia wants CUDA to ever really be used, they're going to have to make it officially supported on ATI GPUs as well. No one is going to make a game using it which then drastically reduces performance on ATI cards.

RE: Why Would You Buy NVidia?
By monomer on 8/26/2009 4:51:03 PM , Rating: 2
I agree. Unless Nvidia somehow makes CUDA into an industry-wide standard, it will quickly be going the way of Glide.

RE: Why Would You Buy NVidia?
By just4U on 8/26/2009 11:14:22 PM , Rating: 2
Nvidia went to Ati to try and get them to adopt it. For whatever reason they didn't come on board. Maybe it had to do with not having enough say in it.. who know! Someone else might remember more about it then I do.

RE: Why Would You Buy NVidia?
By bobvodka on 8/27/2009 4:23:43 AM , Rating: 2
Probably because they had no intrest in pushing the technology of a rivial when they had their own initative which better suited their hardware (CTM as it was called originaly, back in/around 2006)

RE: Why Would You Buy NVidia?
By smitty3268 on 8/26/2009 2:36:58 PM , Rating: 3
I don't think these stats are about retail sales, but rather total marketshare. Which means that the vast majority of it doesn't depend on what you or I would buy, but what kind of a deal each was willing to make with Dell. And Apple, and the other major OEMs that put together the vast majority of computers sold. I'm guessing those OEMs like to make a deal with one company and then stick with it, at least for a while, in order to reduce all the costs associated with switching back and forth. NVidia might also be giving them special price breaks that AMD can't keep up with.

RE: Why Would You Buy NVidia?
By rudy on 8/26/2009 2:45:07 PM , Rating: 2
The consumers are slow to change the same happened with intel / nvidia, and japanese vs US automakers the consumers are always about 1 or 2 generations behind reality. It is just the way it is they are still talking about the old product that is no longer produced.

I will admit though I recently bought an ATI card over an nVidia card but the decision was hard because ATI had few of the good brand choices and their cards from the good brands all seemed to come in that nasty red. I ended up putting up with the red but really hate it. So ATI has some issues that need to be addressed.

RE: Why Would You Buy NVidia?
By wuZheng on 8/26/2009 3:15:22 PM , Rating: 2
Addressing issues like rudy's dislike of the colour red.


I agree however, AMD/ATI don't have very good brand images in the public's eye, even for the current generation. From where they are headed hardware wise, ATI has basically copied Intel's rather successful "tick-tock" development cycle strategy.

The drivers are another point of contention and where people being behind by 1 or 2 generations can be applied... even here... ATI's drivers have gotten better, they work, they are stable on a good majority of system configurations. What people SHOULD be picking on ATI for is the lack of proper optimization for the entire driver set. Which explains the complete lack of performance competitive GPGPU offerings.

So yes, ATI has some issues to hammer out, but these issues aren't the dealbreakers some people think they are.

RE: Why Would You Buy NVidia?
By Pirks on 8/26/2009 3:41:25 PM , Rating: 2
why anyone would buy an NVidia card
Because of atikmdag.sys BSODs
buying $300+ video cards, which I also don't understand
You gotta try Crysis to understand. I'm already saving for my next $300 DX11 GPU to be purchased right at the moment Crysis 2 hits the EA digital downloads. Investing $300 in a new GPU every two years is not that expensive actually :o)

RE: Why Would You Buy NVidia?
By ClownPuncher on 8/26/2009 4:07:12 PM , Rating: 2
It all depends on how you purchase, when new products hit the market, and what programs can make use of it.

I was an early adopter for my old 8800GTS 512mb, paid about $300, but it was worth it as 8800GTX and Ultra were $500-700 at the time. I picked up a 4890 for my girl about 3 weeks back for ~$180, clocked it to 950mhz and didn't need to opt for the GTX 285. I'm now running a pair of 8800GTS g92 in sli, works fine for anything at 1680x1050 but I will be an early adopter for the Evergreen (5870?) since my 512mb frame buffer is becoming a bottleneck.

I usually skip a generation (nvidia naming schemes notwithstanding), but this time I didn't have a need for a GTX 280 or 4870. It's also good in my opinion to have a new card every other fall season, fall/winter games seem to be the best.

RE: Why Would You Buy NVidia?
By FITCamaro on 8/27/2009 8:17:26 AM , Rating: 2
When is the 58xx series due?

RE: Why Would You Buy NVidia?
By ClownPuncher on 8/27/2009 11:32:04 AM , Rating: 2
In a few weeks actually. I'm pretty excited this time, DX11 actually looks like a well optimized API and I think AMD has a little momentum after the 4xxx series. It might be the push we need to finally break free of DX9c and people clinging to winxp for gaming.

RE: Why Would You Buy NVidia?
By monomer on 8/26/2009 4:56:30 PM , Rating: 5
Because of atikmdag.sys BSODs

Yes, I prefer the nvlddmkm.sys BSOD's myself.

RE: Why Would You Buy NVidia?
By kroker on 8/26/2009 4:03:29 PM , Rating: 2
Raw performance vs price is not always the only aspect of a purchase. It's also the little things that make the difference.

I own a Radeon HD4850. This is my very first Radeon card (only Nvidia cards before this), and I can say I'm pretty happy with it. It was well worth the money, even though in the end Crysis is the only graphically demanding game I ever played on it. But still, next time I think I'll go with Nvidia again. Why? As I said, it's the little things: lack of stereoscopic functionality in ATI cards, small but annoying issues with ATI cards in older games which I still play (for example, various shadow issues in NFS: Most Wanted, decals disappearing when viewed from certain angles etc), 3DMark (any version) didn't work in XP without hotfixes when I first got the card in July 2008, some annoying driver issues, etc. With Nvidia, I didn't really care to update my drivers - with ATI I do it every month. Nvidia was always a smoother experience for me! Granted, I still use XP and I have never experienced the buggy Vista drivers that so many people complained about when it was launched.

Anyway, what really matters is that now we have a CHOICE. Until the HD4000 series, Nvidia was pretty much the only game in town.

RE: Why Would You Buy NVidia?
By bobvodka on 8/26/2009 5:11:15 PM , Rating: 2
Well, for a developer it pretty much comes down to tools. AMD currently have nothing which matches perfhud for debugging graphical issues. (well, in my experiance, AMD do have a tool out there but I haven't used it because...well, eep reading).

I was amused that XFX got held up as a mark of quality because during my years of ATI buying the ONLY card I've had problems with was an XFX brand HD4780 X2 (currently RMAing).

Currently I'm on a XFX brand GT8800 which I happened to have laying about and I'm pleased that, after the horrible experiance I had with this in Vista x64 (wait? BSOD while watching stuff from my TV card in an NV lib? wut?) I'm glad to say that in Win7 x64 I've had no problems with it.

Next card... if the price and performance is right then whatever D3D11 AMD throw out. They would have to be some pretty convincing rumors/hints from some trusted sources, much like the AMD HD4 release, with regards to NV numbers for me to wait for their cards to hit retail. (Last I heard AMD are going to have an estimated 2 months of being the only D3D11 game in town).

My point... well, imo & experiance, apart from Devtools it's pretty much a coin toss when it comes to stability and you have to start focusing on things like price:performance when buying.

RE: Why Would You Buy NVidia?
By HelToupee on 8/26/2009 5:16:42 PM , Rating: 2
If you're running Linux and don't like AMD's constant ball-dropping on their Linux drivers. Hardware video acceleration in Linux (think MythTV, XBMC, etc) will not work with AMD cards, period.

RE: Why Would You Buy NVidia?
By KCjoker on 8/26/2009 6:54:20 PM , Rating: 2
I've had one ATI card and I hated their drivers. I'm sure they have improved since then. However I'm familiar with Nvidia's drivers and so I'd rather stick with what I know. I'm sure there are many ATI users that even when the 8800 Nvidia series hit stuck with ATI for the same reason.

RE: Why Would You Buy NVidia?
By afkrotch on 8/26/09, Rating: 0
RE: Why Would You Buy NVidia?
By Zingam on 8/27/2009 5:06:05 AM , Rating: 2
Perhaps because every other game starts with: $The way it's meant to be played$

RE: Why Would You Buy NVidia?
By Boushh on 8/27/2009 6:00:11 AM , Rating: 2
Well, most people buy a brand out of habit. I for one have been using Nvidia cards for some 10 years without any problems. In fact, I've never used an ATI/AMD card in my life.

Sure, I've been tempted by the recent HD 4xxx line of ATI/AMD, but since I rotate my GPU cards between a dozen PC's I maintain for family and friends, it could mean trouble if I would add a ATI/AMD card to the line up. When using only Nvidia cards, I can just remove the old card, plug-in the new one, install the latest drivers and be done.

The difference in price/performance is not worth the extra trouble in my opinion. So that's why I stick with Nvidia...

RE: Why Would You Buy NVidia?
By Parhel on 8/27/2009 8:55:33 AM , Rating: 2
. . . since I rotate my GPU cards between a dozen PC's I maintain for family and friends, it could mean trouble if I would add a ATI/AMD card to the line up. When using only Nvidia cards, I can just remove the old card, plug-in the new one, install the latest drivers and be done.

Trouble like what? You maintain PC's for family and friends and you're afraid of uninstalling a driver?

I for one have been using Nvidia cards for some 10 years without any problems

Even during the Geforce 4 and 5 series? I guess so, since the 6 series only came out about 5 years ago now. Nvidia had about three years where they weren't even in the game on price or performance. If your friends and family rely on you to buy them parts, you really ought to try and find them the best bang for the buck, rather than purchase cards out of habit. I'm glad you aren't spending my money.

RE: Why Would You Buy NVidia?
By Dribble on 8/27/2009 11:08:07 AM , Rating: 2
For me it was drivers and features that made me go with a 260 GTX (with a large stock o/c). I have never had problems with nvidia drivers so why take a risk with Ati - if it ain't broken don't try to fix it. I also wanted the 3d vision, and physx more then the $$$ saving going for a 4870 would give me. Now I can slot in my old 8800GT as a physx card, hook up to my new 120hz monitor (which is a must for 2d games too) and hopefully play batman/L4D2/RE5 in 3d with all the extra graphical physx (in batman) goodies.

Ati can't offer me that.

RE: Why Would You Buy NVidia?
By Hyperion1400 on 8/27/2009 7:04:17 PM , Rating: 2
Two words, driver support.

ATI/AMD's drivers are a nightmare. The stability has improved over the past year, but not the hardware conflicts, or the bloat, and certainly not the performance.

RE: Why Would You Buy NVidia?
By eddieroolz on 8/28/2009 5:46:03 PM , Rating: 2
I seriously considered buying a 4850. It was a competition between the 4850 and GTS 250.

In the end, I bought a GTS 250. The reason? Most of the games I play benefit from the nVidia architecture.

"We shipped it on Saturday. Then on Sunday, we rested." -- Steve Jobs on the iPad launch
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