A little summer update for all you cats and kittens out there. I’m currently awaiting a call from my Boss to let me know if he needs me to come in today. We’re setup at the convention center downtown this weekend as part of the “Bridal Extravaganza”. Notable the largest bridal show on the planet, or so they claim. So, that’s what we’ve been focused on at work for the past week or so. That and getting Texans stuff ready to go to print. I’m not allowed to tell you what the new poster looks like but I can say that it’s pretty kick-ass. The “magazine” will be equally impressive if not more so in my opinion. It’s really the frosting on the cake. So that’s whats been keeping us busy at work.
Elsewhere in the Marvel universe…
I got in on my first BattleField Vietnam battle of any significance. We won, by a lot. Actually we stomped their asses. Forum post here. We had a scrimmage against the [RN] clan last week. Actually, if I get out of the convention at a decent time, we have another schedule tonight and, what I’m more excited for, an actual league match this week. We’re trying to move up the ladder into 3rd. On the Desert Combat side of things we’re locked in an overtime, sudden-death rematch with another clan ( -VOD- ) for the number 1 spot. They played tough for the required 6 rounds (each round being 40 minutes) without a flag capture and so we go to sudden death. Should be fun. If you’re bored, there’s a forum thread here.
I have to admit that I’m enjoying BF:V more and more. The system is very different and your total score isn’t based on kills alone. For example, look at that BF:V forum link above. I had 17 points, 6 kills and 2 deaths. I have playing defense most of the game. I had 17 posts because I held a control point and captured the next closest one as well. The game also rewards for good team work, which in the end, is really why you play a game like that anyway.
Let’s see, what else. Oh, I picked up Far-Cry. Interesting game. Can’t play it at home because of my graphics card (more about this in a minute) so I’ve been trying it out at work. Very sweet engine and a very “pretty” game.
The main problem I have is the lack of graphics card power. Which is expected since that card is what, 3 years old? Time for a replacement I’d say. Since the bonus check I was waiting for came in, as well as another check, I have enough to buy a reasonably priced card. I’m not going to be buying an X800 Ultra or a 6800 Ultra but I can foresee something like a 9800 Pro in my future.
Here’s my dilemma. I hate ATI. I’ve never liked the company, their drivers or their lack of support for their products. I do admit however, that the Radeon series was a very good products and perhaps they’re turning the company around. So, a 9800 isn’t a “bad” card by any stretch. The other side of this coin is that the comparable Nvidia cards sucked. A lot. They’re plagued with problems, driver issues, heat issues and general lack of speed. The 5900 line really stunk. Also, in an ironic twist, ATI has partnered with Valve for Half-Life 2’s release and Nvidia has joined forces with Doom 3. So, the cards I want (the Nvidia 6800) runs better on the game I don’t have as much anticipation for. ATI and Valve have both said that the benchmark with ATI cards on HL2 are incredible. So, do I get a card from a company that I dislike in order to play a game I love OR get a card I like and live with mediocre performance on my favorite games?
That’s like giving me the choice between a Honda Civic that I can drive to NH or a Porche that I can only drive to work.
Let’s brake down some of this, I need to work it out in my head and this is as good a place as any…
Both the X800 and 6800 series cards are incredibly expensive (read: $500+). I won’t be getting them. That said, I’m left with last summers cards for a bargain at around $200. I should also state that in order to make up for lack of “new spiffy-ness” I’d like to try and find a card with 256mb of memory.
Your average ATI Radeon 9800 Pro runs for about $190 on NewEgg. Something like this Sapphire card for example. THIS card here is a 256mb version for $260.
Compare those to something like this Gainward GeForce FX5900 XT for $190. There isn’t a comparable 256mb card though. The next step up is to a 5950 Ultra, and those are $300.
So, what should I do? Doom 3 comes out in 2 weeks and HL2 will go gold inside of a month. I need to upgrade both the mobo/chip combo and my graphics card. I figure I’ll get more use out of the graphics card immediately so it should be the first buy. If I upgraded my chip I would still have the graphics bottleneck for my games. Sure Photoshop would open faster, but who wants to do work anyways. 🙂
Oh, and lastly, before I go, we saw the Borne Supremacy this weekend. Pretty good flick. Not a 100% Tomato or anything, but a solid 80. A good popcorn flick with classic spy movie elements. Car chases and kung-fu, that sort of thing.
hmm, just found a 6800 (non-Pro or Ultra) at NewEgg for $287. What’s everyones thought on that? It’s $87 more than I wanted to spend, but it would get me to that “front of the line” product series. It would be DX9 compatable and play the two new games like they should be played, with all the vertex shadder crap that you can only get with these cards. It’s only 128mb though. What does everyone think about buying the “mid-range” card in a certain product line? It’s not super awesome, but it’s not the bargain card either.
It’s also not on sale… and knowing NewEgg, it might be soon. Should I wait?
yo yo yo
I got the GeForce 6800 GT ($399). it rocks my socks. It’s the same as the ultra, except clocked at lower speeds (and not a double wide card), and only requires one power connector.
You don’t want to get the vanilla 6800 ($299) because it has fewer pipelines than the GT/ Ultra. Same problem as the Radeon Pro. More piplines = (more or less) more bandwidth. Yes it’s infinitely more complicated than this, but bear with me. The decision for me was easy. I wanted a hot hot Doom3 box. I knew the GF was gonna reign supreme (at least for a while) on these games. As for Half-Life 2, it’s mostly a DX9 game, and honestly, Nvidia’s DX scores aren’t that far behind ATI (as opposed to ATI’s horrendous OpenGL scores – e.g. Quake3, Doom3). The only thing you’d be lacking is some of the ATI specific texture compression stuff that’ll be in HL2, but you gain a bit more future proofing (Pixel Shader 3.0, SmartShader II) with the 6800 series. Also, as far as I know, HL2 might eventually incorporate some of the P.S. 3.0 into a future patch. And judging by the fact that you still have a (I believe) 4400, you tend to keep your hardware around for a bit longer than most folks.
That’s what I had guessed about the vanilla 6800 but I wasn’t sure. And, for reference, I have a GeForce 4 Ti 4600 Ultra. It’s a “gold sample” and is clocked higher. It’s been very good to me thus far.
I have no doubts about the coolness of the 6800 GT. I know it kicks ass… but I simply don’t have $400. And won’t anytime soon. I have $400 total, to upgrade the mobo/chip AND graphics card. I was going to go with the Athlon 64 3000+ and an MSI mobo. NewEgg was running a special, the combo for $211.
So, see, I want that sweet sweet card… but my wallet says otherwise.
well, I say keep a lookout on some of the deal boards, such as anandtech and slickdeals. There have been quite a number of 6800GT deals in the last few weeks, so it might be worth checking into….