Switch X800 XT PE for 6800 Ultra?

renegadex

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My parents, with a lot of convincing ordered a system for my sister and I from Alienware on July 8th with an estimated arrival date of August 26th. At the time I chose the x800xt pe because the delay was less, 35 days as opposed to the 42 day wait for the 6800 ultra as well as being twenty dollars cheaper and not requiring a 480w power supply as I read in Computer Gaming World. Now my dad got an e-mail today from Alienware saying they have a large stock of 6800 ultra's and they are wondering if we wish to change, offering to pay the difference and they would begin building the system right away (as of now I'm stuck at phase 8 waiting for the x800 xt card). A couple of weeks ago they said it would arrive at our house this tuesday, though with this e-mail I'm beginning to doubt that. ;) It doesn't matter greatly when it comes as I start college next week, but futureproofing is what we are looking for. Here are the specs:

480 watt power supply
AMD Athlon 64 3500+
ASUS® A8V Deluxe - VIA K8T800 Pro Motherboard
1GB Dual Channel DDR PC-3200 SDRAM at 400MHz - 2 x 512MB
ATI RADEON X800XT PE
120GB Seagate® Barracuda 7,200 RPM w/8MB Cache
Plextor® PX-712A 12x DVD±R/W Drive
Creative Sound Blaster® Audigy® 2 High Definition 6.1 Surround
XP Home
Microsoft® Multimedia Keyboard
Microsoft® IntelliMouse Explorer 4.0 - USB

Now some questions:

1a.) Would a 480watt power supply be sufficent for a 6800 ultra and the specs above?
b.) What if I upgrade this system 1 1/2 or 2 years down the road?
2.) I mainly play fps and my sister plays sims (literally) so which would be the best all around card?

On a sidenote my dad is not willing to pay the extra $200+ for a power supply upgrade (to 650w) so the 480w will have to make do. I know nothing about the insides of a pc, so it is not so 'easy' for me to just replace it down the road. :p Maybe I'll learn eventually. Oh, the system cost about 2.9k with a three year warranty (my dad still bugs me with 'any price changes yet?'), we've had nothing but trouble with the compaq I'm on now... :eek: I'm more into Half-Life then doom and 'supposedly' ati's top card will run 30% faster than the 6800 ultra, but will nVidia be able to minimize this margin? I'm a big fan of the Half-life mods, but then again I like Call of Duty which uses id's Q3 engine, so I'm kind of stuck in the middle...

Any suggestions guys? This forum is the most knowledgeable one I've been to, so I'm looking forward to your replies and will bring them up with my parents.


EDIT: All the cards run at standard speeds
 

^eMpTy^

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480 Watts is more than enough...if the x800xtpe is slowing down your shipping, I would definitely switch it up for the 6800Ultra...

You look just fine for upgrades except it's not PCI-Express...but right now isn't the best time to switch to PCI-Express anyways...

Get the Ultra...don't worry about power...that 30% number came from a marketing guy and is generally considered to be bullshit...every known benchmark seen to date shows the 6800s competing very closely with the x800s in HL2...
 

joecuddles

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You won't be complaining about your performance in HL2 with a 6800U. If you play more OpenGL games, grab it. The two cards are pretty much tied for HL2 performance, you can't really go wrong. Since 6800U also does better in OpenGL and you play some OpenGL games, might as well get the 6800U.

I'd give it about 6 months - 1 year before PCI-E actually shows an improvement. I give it another year or two before we actually need that improvement. You're fine with AGP.
 

rancor

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they come with a 480 watt psu if you are getting an high end system (area-51 or aurora)

get the 6800 ultra and don't take the 600 watt upgrade it doesn't need it.

Upgrading the system to 1-2 years down the road a new pcie motherboard, and new cpu and graphics cards run you about a 1000 bucks for the upgrade. (probably don't need to upgrade for 2 years other then your graphics card and apg will still be around for around 2 years)
 

R1ckCa1n

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You will be happy with either card, hands down. It really comes down to how fast you actually want the machine to arrive. The power supply, won't be needed.

In 1 1/2 years the upgrade will be to dual core AMD with PCI-E video cards so don't worry about the furture since todays boards don't support up and coming technology.
 

Xenozx

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yup either card will do you great. The nvidia card wins here and the ati card wins there. thats all you ever hear. even them out and they are pretty equal.
 

renegadex

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Two more questions:

1.) Will it be easier for nVidia to catch up in Half-life 2 than ATI in Open GL like Doom 3?

Those Driver Heaven benchmarks:
http://www.driverheaven.net/showthread.php?p=423812#post423812 are making me lean towards keeping the x800xt pe, but the Gamers Depot benchmarks:
http://www.gamers-depot.com/hardware/video_cards/source/002.htm make it seem as if it is not much of a difference.

2.) Which is more reasonable, Driver's Heaven or Game Depot?



Oh and thanks for all the advice so far!
 

joecuddles

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Game Depot

If someone could post those benches for me as well... I'm at work and can't get to it. What are the results at 1280 and 1600 with 4xAA for each card?
 

tranCendenZ

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renegadex said:
Two more questions:

1.) Will it be easier for nVidia to catch up in Half-life 2 than ATI in Open GL like Doom 3?

Already within 10-15% with these new drivers
http://downloads.guru3d.com/download.php?det=847

2.) Which is more reasonable, Driver's Heaven or Game Depot?

Driver Heaven hasn't been reasonable this entire generation - they continue to stack the deck against the 6800U in their articles and benchmarks. Gamers Depot for sure.

Go with the 6800U.
 

rancor

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get the ultra on gamer depot thier screenshots show banding on the ATi......

Both cards are very close to each other in frame rates too
 

renegadex

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Thanks for the help! :)

I just checked Alienware's site and they have a 42 day delay now on x800xt pe :eek: (was 21 yesterday...) as opposed to the 14 day delay for the 6800 ultra. No wonder they sent that e-mail. I'm going to call them up within the hour. :)
 

Psyco

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Do they offer Raptor drives? I sure as hell would be ordering one instead of or additional to the seagate drive. ;)
 

chrisf6969

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Get the 6800U if you can get it faster... b/c who knows when the X800XT will come in. I'd rather a concrete ship time, then a supposedly ship date.

They are basically equivalent cards... depending on the game. However, the 6800 owns in Doom3.

Before they were requiring the PSU upgrade, but I dont think its necessary and I would ask to keep the 480W instead of upgrade to the 600W or whatever the wattage. Everyone that I've seen with a 400W or better was doing fine.
 

CrimandEvil

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Hell I saw one of the beta testers use an Enermax 320w PSU so 480w will do you well.
 

BuckeyeBoy

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They are both awesome cards. Just take the one with a concrete shipping date.

BTW, a good friend of mine is running an overclocked GT on a 380W PSU. So you should be fine. My 550W PSU isn't being as stressed anywhere near as much as I was lead to believe it would (6800GT though).
 
F

fallguy

Guest
joecuddles said:
You won't be complaining about your performance in HL2 with a 6800U. If you play more OpenGL games, grab it. The two cards are pretty much tied for HL2 performance, you can't really go wrong.

Uh... You know this how?
 

joecuddles

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Have you not been awake this morning?

Unless you call 60 FPS vs. 70 FPS a big difference, they're pretty much tied. You can't go wrong with either card really, they're within a few frames of each other in almost all games. NV wins in OpenGL, ATi usually wins in DX. It's no surprise, and you can't go wrong with either card.

Of course, if you aren't satisfied with 60FPS at 1600 with 4xAA / 8xAF enabled and it's just not fast enough, by all means, get an x800XTPE instead. If you want to be playing now, grab a 6800U.
 

jhiandoe

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Yup I got a phone call & an email from Alienware today too. UNFORTUNATELY unlike you I ordered my Aurora FX-53 about a month ago and NOW those Alienware expletives are telling me about the X800XT P.E. being out of stock. They should have shipped my Aurora today instead it will ship next week about the same time as yours probably. And yes they said they'd cover the $20 difference but when I looked at the Alienware website today the 6800U is actually $9 CHEAPER . This is my first Alienware PC and will probably be my last. I dropped $ 4,200 on this setup ( I went for the 22 inch NEC CRT plus the Logitech Z-680 THX speakers ) and now I feel cheated / supremely pissed off. I will be calling Alienware customer service today and they better do better.
 

hovz

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dont listen to anyone here. the xtpe on average is about 30% faster in half life 2. even with the new drivers. if you want proof i can link you directly to it. the only game nvidia is usefully faster in is doom 3. the older opengl games it comes down to 110 fps v 140. in virtually every modern direct x game the xt pe is a clear leader. the lead will increase as games start using more shaders. if performance is your #1 concern go with the xt pe. if you cant wait then get the ultra as its still a great card. the xt pe is just better.
 

The Batman

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hovz said:
dont listen to anyone here. the xtpe on average is about 30% faster in half life 2. even with the new drivers. if you want proof i can link you directly to it. the only game nvidia is usefully faster in is doom 3. the older opengl games it comes down to 110 fps v 140. in virtually every modern direct x game the xt pe is a clear leader. the lead will increase as games start using more shaders. if performance is your #1 concern go with the xt pe. if you cant wait then get the ultra as its still a great card. the xt pe is just better.

http://www.gamers-depot.com/hardware/video_cards/source/002.htm


:rolleyes:

Keep in mind that the opts are disabled on Nvidia cards and enabled on ATI cards. On an even playing field the GT beats the Pro.

And you, slither back to the beyond3d forums will you. Just because you got flamebaisted over there on mutliple threads doesn't give you a free 'crap on HOCP' pass.

Now with that said, to the original topic poster...there's no real point in switching to the Ultra from the XTPE. The XTPE typically beats the Ultra in most D3D games [but not by 30% as some of our more asinine posters would have you believe]. Only reason I'd switch over to Nvidia from an XTPE would be for SLI. SM3 is great and all but it's just there to close the gap between the Ultra and the XTPE.
 

jonavin

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Don't buy Logitech Z-680 from Alienware, they are overprice. Try amazon.com or newegg.
For $294 not including shipping is whack. Unless you are getting a package deal here then ok nevermind. Forget X800XP PE, it's like invisible at the moment. Well anyway good luck with your purchase.
 

hovz

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The Batman said:
http://www.gamers-depot.com/hardware/video_cards/source/002.htm


:rolleyes:

Keep in mind that the opts are disabled on Nvidia cards and enabled on ATI cards. On an even playing field the GT beats the Pro.

And you, slither back to the beyond3d forums will you. Just because you got flamebaisted over there on mutliple threads doesn't give you a free 'crap on HOCP' pass.

Now with that said, to the original topic poster...there's no real point in switching to the Ultra from the XTPE. The XTPE typically beats the Ultra in most D3D games [but not by 30% as some of our more asinine posters would have you believe]. Only reason I'd switch over to Nvidia from an XTPE would be for SLI. SM3 is great and all but it's just there to close the gap between the Ultra and the XTPE.

http://www.vr-zone.com/?i=1193&s=5 :rolleyes:

slither back to your hole of ignorance.
 

The Batman

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hovz said:
http://www.vr-zone.com/?i=1193&s=5 :rolleyes:

slither back to your hole of ignorance.

But hovick [no, I'm not trying to be cute, you just remind of this lard-ass I know at work], why do you want to stay here anyways? I understand that they call you funny things over at B3D...But we're just going to do the same thing over here. You see man...it's not us...it you. Really it is. Your about as likable as a loan shark. Might I suggest rage3d. Where you'll be free to frolick and fornicate with your own kind.
 

^eMpTy^

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The Batman said:
Only when George Bush signs a decree saying chronic stupidity [as it is in your case] is a captial offense. Go texas baby. :rolleyes:

That would be like the guys from queer eye for the straight guy campaigning for a ban on gay marriage...
 

The Batman

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^eMpTy^ said:
That would be like the guys from queer eye for the straight guy campaigning for a ban on gay marriage...

Which would make it that much more enjoyable to watch when he's the first one hauled off. :D
 

renegadex

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I called them last night and switched to the ultra. They said they would begin building it any day now and I should get around September 1st. I asked about the x800xt pe, the spokesperson said I was first in line (a lot of people had already switched) but that I wouldn't get the shipment until the September 18th at the earliest. From July 8th with the x800xt pe that would have been 71 days since I ordered. :eek: Maybe I made the wrong decision, I don't know... :confused:

1.) Does anyone believe that Battlefield 2 will run well on the system?

2.) If I don't replace the graphics card for several years, it is better to keep the x800xt pe over the ultra? I mean, which will benefit most over the future?

BTW my monitor is only 17 inches, so 80fps (source test) with 4xaa and 8xaf isn't too bad... (though there's no gameplay -_- )

Edit: added a question
 

renegadex

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^^^^^^^^^
It will take them one to two days to do the paperwork, so I still have a chance to switch back to the x800xt pe...
 

CrimandEvil

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I'd say the Ultra will be more "future proof" right now, just think ov all of the games that are still being made using the Quake 3 engine and Source based stuff runs pretty well too.
 

TheRapture

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hovz said:
dont listen to anyone here. the xtpe on average is about 30% faster in half life 2. even with the new drivers. if you want proof i can link you directly to it. the only game nvidia is usefully faster in is doom 3. the older opengl games it comes down to 110 fps v 140. in virtually every modern direct x game the xt pe is a clear leader. the lead will increase as games start using more shaders. if performance is your #1 concern go with the xt pe. if you cant wait then get the ultra as its still a great card. the xt pe is just better.


I guess you have both cards in your possesion, and have thoroughly benched both? I also assume that you know how to properly bench them? I also assume you are not just a fan boy and have an unbiased view? I also assume you don't believe everything you read on the web and actually test stuff for yourself...


Actually, I don't think you do any of the above, and after you got flamed on other forums you came here and are trying to spread more FUD. Get a life man...

Both cards are basically equal in most games, slight leads/losses in other games. I would be happy with either one...
 

joecuddles

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renegadex said:
1.) Does anyone believe that Battlefield 2 will run well on the system?

2.) If I don't replace the graphics card for several years, it is better to keep the x800xt pe over the ultra? I mean, which will benefit most over the future?

Dude, you really have no idea about computers, do you? :) You're getting one of the best cards around, period. Any game in the next 12 months will be running fine on your computer. Several years? That's stretching it a bit. Between the two cards, they'll both last the same amount of time. In 2006 UE3 is being released (Unreal Engine 3). As it stands, with only 3 enemies on screen (no environment) the 6800U pulls about 20FPS. They're expecting cards like the 6800U to run it at it's minimum requirements. So a year and a bit? Yes. Two - 3 years? Might be pushing it.
 

chrisf6969

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Both cards kick ass. You'll be able to play anything you want.

Look at Doom3, FarCry and HalfLife2(Source Engine) - You can run all of these most recent graphically intensive games at 60fps at 1600x1200 with 4AA/8AF, ultra high quality, max detail, etc.

I would imagine since you have a 17" moniter you'll probably be playing at 1024x768 with 4AA/8AF and max everything. I personally like to play at that resolution anyway b/c my moniter's refresh rate is too low at 1600x1200.

So as new games come out (even years from now) I'd imagine you will be able to play them easily. AND very worse case you might have to play them at medium quality instead of high. (like a long time from now)

Game publishers are NOT going to release games that only cater to the crowd of freaks that buy $400-500 videocards! :) They release games for the "lowest common denominator". IE: Doom3 runs decent on GeForce 3's
 

joecuddles

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I understand what you're saying, but clearly you haven't seen UE3 videos / screenshots. They have specifically stated that 256MB cards will be the minimum requirement, and cards with 512-1GB of memory will be optimal. The 6800U handles 3 enemies, no environments, at 20FPS. You think it could handle a level?

It won't be out until 2006, and it could be the end of 2006. Even so, I don't see a 6800U living through it. Maybe on lowest settings, but they haven't made any mention of it, other than 256MB cards being a minimum.

But for now, until 2006, both cards will get you through anything with no problems :D
 

ysaric

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I would expect the coding on that game to be pretty rough at this point. We are also assuming the game, still 2 years out, will hit its release date.

By the end of 2006 there will be likely at least one or 1.5 new versions of D3D that include new visual features. The Ultra will still play games well, but obviously in 2+ years it won't be top-of-the-line anymore.

But if you are a gamer, you need to start planning out an upgrade path now, at least a rough one. You can't simply say "How long will this machine last"? Because then you get to the end and you have to replace a lot of stuff at once, maybe even the whole machine.

But if you plan average expenditures over time, you can blunt the all-at-once impact of pestering your folks or draining your meager savings for a whole new rig.

The machine you will have soon is smooth like butter, but plan to do something minor for it maybe next spring, then something for the summer or fall. Bits at a time, that's the way to go, unless you're made of money.
 

chrisf6969

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joecuddles said:
I understand what you're saying, but clearly you haven't seen UE3 videos / screenshots. They have specifically stated that 256MB cards will be the minimum requirement, and cards with 512-1GB of memory will be optimal. The 6800U handles 3 enemies, no environments, at 20FPS. You think it could handle a level?

It won't be out until 2006, and it could be the end of 2006. Even so, I don't see a 6800U living through it. Maybe on lowest settings, but they haven't made any mention of it, other than 256MB cards being a minimum.

But for now, until 2006, both cards will get you through anything with no problems :D

Thats an unreleased, unoptimized engine thats probably 3 years away.
In the gaming industry... everyone knows that the games NEVER come out on time or even close to it.

When its released the minimim requirements MIGHT be 256 (probably 128 though) with a recommended 512Mb. But I bet he will still be able to play it. Maybe not max detail. or max resolution... but decent quality fun gaming.

IF he cant play it.... He wont be able to play it with either card!! Which is the point of the thread!!! Neither card is FUTURE PROOF. The both would last about the same amount of time..... JUST GET ONE ALREADY!!!!

The future will always have bigger better cards & games. However, he's getting a super highend system that should last him a "long" time (by computer standards).
 

uwackme

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Ill never understand why people buy from places like Alienware. Lets see how you could have doen better....with no more than a phillips screwdriver and some light tech reading.

$228 1Gig BH5 DDR ZipZoomFly BH5 ram

Burned in...72 hours on memtest86 test #5.... easy 240Mhz FSB 1:1, 11,2,2,cas2.0

$90 DFI Infinity Infinity Newegg

Slap in latest 6/19 bios, great board.

$99 AthalonXP 2600+ mobile NewEgg Athalon

Easily able to do 2.5Ghz on air, 2.7-8 on water.

$91 NEC 16x DVD duallayer burner NewEgg DVD Burner

Super quiet and fast, truly universal.

$80 Antec SuperLanboy case NewEgg case

Awesome cooling, better than anything Alien uses, and very LIGHT.

$214 2x Raptor 36Gb sata Raid0 NewEgg HDisks

Super fast for windows/programs.

$136 160Gb IDE NewEgg HDiskToo

Stick pagefile, Linux, VirtualPC images, etc to increase system speed.

On the disks.... local retail rebate sales alot cheaper ($79ish), Fry's had Raptors for $69 each (after $30 rebate) this week. SO just using Newegg for reference.

$454 21" Viewsonic Monitor NewEgg monitor

Awesome image, bigtime gaming at 1600x1200 on the X800's

$49 5.1 Logitech speakers NewEgg Speakers

*note: little dude, these will already scare the neighbors, the 680's are overkill. Crankup America'sArmy and the neighbors will call the police.

$192 9800pro videocard NewEgg Video

To hold you over till X800XT more available at $499 list or less, giving you a near FREE 9800pro for a little patience. Or....

$495 X800proVivo NewEgg X800

Do the Bios XTPE conversion dance.

$137 XPpro -OEM NewEgg OS

$79 550W PSU Directron PSU

This thing is a battleship with all the power you need and great cooling in combo with Superlanboy.

$39 CPU heatsink Directron HS

Clip on great cooler.... sticking with the phllips screwdriver ONLY theme.

$22 Floppy/Cardreader Directron Floppy

You need a floppy to carryout the SATA raid setup.

So for roughly... $2200 you have a complete system that can slap the crap out of the Alienware, saving hundreds....to spend on... GAMES?

A less expensive monitor bought locally, you save even more.
 

chrisf6969

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NAH, now if you built it with an Athlon64 it would rock!

You're combining the poor man's OC king cpu with a high end system! (great CPU, just starting to show its age)

Throw a 939 pin A64 or highend P4 (EE!) in there!

EDIT: you forgot to add in TECH SUPPORT.

The main problem is most people dont know what to do if it doesnt work. when 90% of the time its just reseating a card or dimm, etc. The reason I dont build systems for people I know is I dont want to be their 24 hour on call tech support man. Who has to rush to save the day when they get spyware or viruses from being STUPID!! Dell/Alienware, etc... provide support for their PC's which is priceless for many people. (or you can start adding $50/hour for a technician to come out)
 

uwackme

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Chris... the 2600+ mobile, running 240Mhz x 10.5 1:1 11,2,2,cas2.0 with a gig of BH5 smacks the 3500+ in the face for HUNDREDS$$$ less. Just check out the real world benchies....in the world of 32bit software the A64 is overpriced. Comparable performance for hundreds $ less is always sensible in my book.

Call me in two more generations, when A64 reaches "Barton" equivalent of maturity, then we'll talk.

In fact DONT call me until AMD takes the memory controller back out of the CPU _OR_ learns how to design a memory controller.
 

chrisf6969

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uwackme said:
Chris... the 2600+ mobile, running 240Mhz x 10.5 1:1 11,2,2,cas2.0 with a gig of BH5 smacks the 3500+ in the face for HUNDREDS$$$ less. Just check out the real world benchies....in the world of 32bit software the A64 is overpriced. Comparable performance for hundreds $ less is always sensible in my book.

Call me in two more generations, when A64 reaches "Barton" equivalent of maturity, then we'll talk.

What about an overclocked 3500+ if you're going to overclock one... compare the other one overclocked too. I know it would reach 2.4Ghz and probably 2.5Ghz+ the same as the XP. However, factor in the integrated memory controller (not 64-bit apps) and it blows it away b/c of the LOW LATENCY. (real world apps)

And if we're talking about comparable performance.. he might as well get a 6800 NU. which has comparable performance for over $100 less.
 

CrimandEvil

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chrisf6969 said:
The main problem is most people dont know what to do if it doesnt work. when 90% of the time its just reseating a card or dimm, etc. The reason I dont build systems for people I know is I dont want to be their 24 hour on call tech support man. Who has to rush to save the day when they get spyware or viruses from being STUPID!! Dell/Alienware, etc... provide support for their PC's which is priceless for many people.
I have built systems for people in the pass, this is something that I show and explain to them. After that they understand the most problems could simple be spyware/ viruses/ worms/ etc so they know what do to about it, I only get called when the problem is pretty weird and they don't know what to do about it or when they need something installed.

Security is something that I talk through with them since it is very important, anyways I'm rather appalled at the level of tech support for most PC stuff. I've only had to call them twice myself (replacement keyboard part, shitty DSL modem) and it took a few calls before I even got someone that understand what NAT was (in the case of the modem) or for them to tell me to get a new keyboard (it's an MS Natual MM with one broken leg).
 
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