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ATI 5870 / 5850

category: general [glöplog]
I'm thinking about buying one, but normal hardware sites doesn't really consider the demoscene... and my main consern is if it will run most demos. Seams like when there is a demo not working on some hardware its mostly on ATI cards.

I haven't had ATI for several generations, but this new one is very tempting to get to replace my current Nvidia one.

So... am I wrong in thinking that demos are generally more compatible with Nvidia cards/drivers or is it an "urban myth"?

added on the 2009-10-07 14:52:33 by neptun neptun
well, some ogl demos use nv-specific extensions
added on the 2009-10-07 14:56:15 by Speed Speed
The ATI GLSL (openGL shader) compiler is very strict. nVidia allows for dirty coding, whilst ATI refuses to compile a shader if it doesn't strictly follow the GLSL specs. For example, if a shader uses the function pow, it clearly needs 2 float arguments. nVidia would compile pow(x, 2) without problems. ATI would not compile the shader, because there's no implicit type-cast in GLSL, and it doesn't convert the int "2" to float "2.0". To make ATI compatible shaders, you have to write pow(x, 2.0).

If a demo coder only has nVidia cards, it's more than likely that his shaders won't run on ATI, because nVidia so recklessly allows non-standard shader code.

Therefore, if you're a demo coder, please get an ATI card. If you're mainly a demo viewer, get an nVidia card.
added on the 2009-10-07 14:57:22 by xTr1m xTr1m
ati opengl drivers are a pain in the ass tho it got better.
added on the 2009-10-07 16:01:22 by supah supah
what xTr1m said.

As an ATI user I see a lot of demos that either don't run or look shit on ATI (frameranger is one of them - no headlight beams and blockiness). I kind of wish people would test on this hardware, since it's kinda the best on the market right now until nVidia release Fermi.
added on the 2009-10-07 16:22:18 by Claw Claw
I kind of wish people would test on this hardware

i actually had a couple of ati cards (2600xt then a 4850) but then i got a gf280 and it blew it out of the water.
sadly it's not possible for me to test on ati at all anymore. it seems almost everyone has nvidia hw (cos of the gl compatibility probably). i try and make the code work on both, of course, but it's hard to get it right without testing it.
added on the 2009-10-07 16:27:37 by smash smash
Smash: It was surprising it worked at all to be honest and it still looked lush even in crappo-mode. I realise demo groups don't necessarily have the resources to test on different vendors cards and drivers and there's probably not much incentive to do so.

The problem is more with demos that won't run at all due to shader compiler errors. There must be a strict mode or something to test this stuff before release, right?
added on the 2009-10-07 16:39:26 by Claw Claw
If it's a few shaders (and no runtime composition..) amd's gpu shaderanalyzer is a usable way to validate your glsl shaders on nvidia hardware. As xtr1m mentions that's by far the most common problem - usually I can make them work by shader replacement.
Lets see how many complains when we start releasing dx11 stuff ;)
added on the 2009-10-07 17:16:35 by Psycho Psycho
back to the topic, these cards are a bit disappointing in terms of memory bandwidth imo, so on my side i'm waiting for GT300..
added on the 2009-10-07 17:21:21 by nystep nystep
The 5870 has greater bandwidth than the GTX280 by about 10GB/s. Were you expecting a 50% improvement like some are claiming for the GT300? I will believe that when I see it...
added on the 2009-10-07 18:08:29 by Claw Claw
i'm a nvidia only use at home but the gt300 stuff is just words at the moment. let's wait for the release of both for a fair comparison. nevertheless i'm eager to see the "next generation" and what quality is coming along...

i don't know if the gt300 can handle a six monitors configuration as well but if its at least three in a row i'm really curious since two monitors is so yesterday (and yes sli or whatever is an option but i'd love to see something like that in a single card configuration)
added on the 2009-10-07 18:14:19 by supah supah
If they actually survive long enough to put them out.
Let's hope they do, because otherwise we are in a world of pain until Intel releases their Larrabee (and lives up to their hype).
added on the 2009-10-07 19:21:30 by Blue Ion Blue Ion
haha, that website is more biased against nvidia than rush limbaugh and ann coulter combined, just read their front page.
added on the 2009-10-07 19:46:40 by Gargaj Gargaj
Who puts out a website with news called semi accurate anyway? :-D
added on the 2009-10-07 20:00:49 by d3pth d3pth
Buy the ati. Enjoy. Sorry but the fact that gt300 details were released the same week ati new cards were being bench marked and killing NVIDIA scores just smacked of cynical marketing ... and you wouldn't want to be a sucker for marketing would you? I'll believe the miracle of the gt300 when I see it.
added on the 2009-10-07 20:08:31 by auld auld
True, and sometimes gets really annoying when reading his articles (since it is a one man publication), but so far, none (or very few) of his predictions has failed so far.
It is not just fanboism, there are well thought conclusions based on facts that has to be filtered out from the incesant hate to everything nvidia he has, and taking a look at nvidia last years, I would be suprised if they managed to stay afloat with every nvidia section intact.

Check his previous articles, he talks about the production of the famous Fermi chip, how big it is, how much it costs, how well production goes, etc...
added on the 2009-10-07 20:12:40 by Blue Ion Blue Ion
Blue Ion: that website is a crock of shit written by some hack from The Inquirer as a vehicle for his personal vendetta against nvidia. I like my ATI cards, but the fact that this guy and his followers are ambassadors for ATI makes me sick.
added on the 2009-10-07 20:33:31 by Claw Claw
Insectecutor: Perhaps you should take a look at this.
Who's the crock now?

Anyway, according to Fudzilla NVidia should have something out by late November.
whats the catch in showing a faked fermi board? even if they somewhat faked the presentation it says nothing about the fabrication process at all. maybe their 'time to market' process has taken a bit longer since they had a semi-complete redesign of the gpu insides (at least thats what i've read so far). for me its more important to buy a card that actually works (no overheating whatsoever) when i spent that amount of money for it. product presentations are always a bit of fake no matter if its hardware nor software.
added on the 2009-10-07 21:03:04 by supah supah
Regurgitating more of his bullshit does not prove to me that he is anything more than a crazy troll. I don't dispute that nvidia showed a mock up to the press - companies do this all the time when a product is still in development. I don't dispute that fermi should be done by now, it's widely known that it's late. What I don't like is the attitude, the spite, the obvious enjoyment he gets from bashing this company. It's as if nvidia murdered his kids.

The guy is totally unbalanced, he's not interested in whether or not Fermi will be a good product or move graphics technology forward at all. All he cares about is failure. All of his articles about nvidia are negative, and his site is covered in ATI advertising. It's not journalism, it's PR.
added on the 2009-10-07 21:32:28 by Claw Claw
Heh, good spot.
added on the 2009-10-07 23:34:38 by Claw Claw
Sure Charlie is biased but he definatly got sources and has a pretty good track record. You just have to filter the essence out from the hatred and speculative conclusions. In this case the essence is more or less confirmed from fudo, which is pretty biased too - in the opposite direction: http://www.fudzilla.com/content/view/15831/1/
However, looks like ati played a trick on us regarding the 57x0 specs (they just went from 1120/56 SP/TMUs to 800/40), so it looks like there is more room for gt200 than predicted.
added on the 2009-10-08 00:08:57 by Psycho Psycho
I guess option c is to wait a bit and see when/what Nvidia will be releasing.

I would hate to have a fast ATI card that can't show demos. (For whatever reason).

added on the 2009-10-08 11:31:07 by neptun neptun
Psycho: "Nvidia doesn’t want to sell GT200 under cost" -> "Nvidia kills GTX285, GTX275, GTX260, abandons the mid and high end market"... wat :D even albert hoffman would say that's seriously implausible :D
added on the 2009-10-08 11:45:30 by Gargaj Gargaj


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