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Hardware Thread, Comparing Graphics Cards in Technical; Hi Everybody! Because of SIMS Discover we've been discussing graphics cards and I was wondering how do people compare cards? ...
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    Comparing Graphics Cards

    Hi Everybody!

    Because of SIMS Discover we've been discussing graphics cards and I was wondering how do people compare cards?

    For a real-world example: We've got two dual-DVI, 256MB PCI-E Nvidia Quadro cards: an NVS 290 and an older FX 1500. One side is saying the NVS 290 is the better card as it has a newer, faster GPU & DirectX10 support but the other side is the FX 1500 has better & faster memory, better Fillrates and higher Bus Width & Bandwidth.

    Are we comparing apples and oranges? What do people think?


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    Dos_Box's Avatar
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    What youhave to remeber is that Quadro cards are not run of the mill graphic cards. They were designed for CAD\CAM work i.e. throwing lots of numbers and not polygons around.

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    Yes, apologies - it's a bad example (While the FX1500 is a CAD\CAM card (it was pulled out of a Sun workstation) the NVS series seems to be marketed as multi-monitor cards)

    Anyhow, for general use do you normally just look at GPU speed and memory size?

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    I've never bothered to compare graphics cards unless it's for gaming, and for that use you compare pretty much everything between the "ROPs" section and "Shader clock"

    At a complete and utter guess (i know nothing of quadro cards) the FX1500 is simply an older generation but higher up the scale of performance for it's generation than the NV290, the 290 looks like the specs of a low end budget card, while the FX1500 looks more mid range for their respective generations.

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    If this Discover program uses any GPGPU feaures then you want as many unifies shaders as you can get along with a bunch of memory. The newer directX versions offer more, deeper instructions which can perform more complex calculations quicker if the program uses those features.

    As we don't know what level of DX is required for the program or what kind of features in the GPU are used by it figuring out which GPU is the best for it at this point is not possible without more architectural information about the software in question.

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    From those basic specs, the FX 1500 is the vastly superior card - would have been high end when it was released. The NVS290 is low-end - narrow memory bus width, poor fillrate. In terms of actual application, it's more difficult to say. The NVS 290 supports CUDA where the FX 1500 does not, this may be critical.

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