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Graphics Card: The Difference Is there really a difference?


19 replies to this topic

#1 108Soc

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Posted 03 May 2006 - 07:50 PM

Well I was looking online a graphics cards recently and I had noticed something. Two different companies had the same graphics card. This is where I got confused. Is it the same card, or is it different because another company makes them. It has me thinking that that little difference could be bad in the end. I know I should have asked before I bought my card, but I just remembered that I was going to ask someone.

My real question that got me to make this post is:

Is the ATI Radeon 9250 and the Visiontek Radeon 9250 the same card? Did I make a mistake by buying the Visiontek Radeon 9250 over the ATI Radeon 9250?

I would really like any help I could get on this topic.

#2 techocian

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Posted 03 May 2006 - 09:51 PM

Trust me, if you bought the Visiontek, stick with it. Just trust me on this one seriously. Just look at what kind of issues I've got just by buying the stupid ATI Radeon 9250.

You probably have like a remake of the 9250. Visiontek might be part of Sapphire technologies since ATI is part of it. Or is it vice versa? Hmm.. :P

#3 108Soc

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Posted 03 May 2006 - 10:18 PM

Well so far I have had no problems with this card. So I think I can agree with you that Visiontek is much better then ATI. And to your other question, I have no idea. I am not the big computer guy that most people here are.

I am hoping to get into computers and learn as much about them as I can. Maybe then I will be able to answer my own question.

#4 xboxrulz

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Posted 03 May 2006 - 10:42 PM

These companies license the technology and core parts from ATI. It's all the same card, but different vendors with extra tweaks. They run the same drivers.

xboxrulz

#5 108Soc

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Posted 03 May 2006 - 11:56 PM

These companies license the technology and core parts from ATI. It's all the same card, but different vendors with extra tweaks. They run the same drivers.

xboxrulz


Thank you for answering my question. Now I know exactly what I wanted to know, but I still don't understand why these companies do this. Is it cheaper than just making their own products? I don't even know if anyone can answer that question, but if you can it would be good.

Oh and I have one other question, how do you know who originally created the product?

#6 wutske

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Posted 05 May 2006 - 05:48 AM

It's quite simple.
There are several chip makers, but the 2 biggest are ATI and nVidia. What they do is just creating the GPU (like, for example, the NV350 wich is an ATI Radeon9600PRO).
Now, they sell those chips to different companies who put those chips on a PCB, together with memory and all other stuff needed to have a videocard and then they sell it.

Now, ATI also sells it's own cards, but those are the most 'stock' cards available from ATI. nVidia does not sell cards and let other companies do this.

Why they do that? More companies that sell cards means more diversity (memory configuration, cooling, ...) and better concurrency (and broken cards go to the companies and not directly to ATI & nVidia, wich also saves a lot of time and money)

#7 108Soc

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Posted 05 May 2006 - 05:30 PM

So what your saying is that for companies like nVidia, they are selling the chips to different companies and making money. Well if these other companies are doing different things with the chips, wouldn't that mean they would make more money than they spent on the chip? Wow big business can be very confusing.

Wutske, would you say that getting the Visiontek Radeon 9250 was a smarter idea than getting the ATI Radeon 9250?

#8 roggle

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Posted 05 May 2006 - 07:10 PM

So what your saying is that for companies like nVidia, they are selling the chips to different companies and making money. Well if these other companies are doing different things with the chips, wouldn't that mean they would make more money than they spent on the chip? Wow big business can be very confusing.

Wutske, would you say that getting the Visiontek Radeon 9250 was a smarter idea than getting the ATI Radeon 9250?


I think it's also to do with Nvidia not having to spend a lot on facilities to actually produce their card and distribute them. Just sell the blueprints to them, get a sizeable profit without having to risk sales being bad in a certain area. Kinda like a franchise if you now what I mean.

Opening/closing factories/distributing is a huge amount of work by itself so it's not surprising that they choose to outsource it.

By the way, what are you using the graphics card for? Just a warning but the 9250 is really the bottom of the lot and can't really play modern games properly.

#9 108Soc

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Posted 05 May 2006 - 07:33 PM

Are you sure about that? I can play alot of the newer more modern games on it. It works well with all the games I play.

#10 xboxrulz

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Posted 06 May 2006 - 03:47 PM

yes 9250 isn't really good, it forced my cousin to go out and fished a 9600. This was just to play C&C Generals.

xboxrulz

#11 wutske

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Posted 07 May 2006 - 09:25 AM

So what your saying is that for companies like nVidia, they are selling the chips to different companies and making money. Well if these other companies are doing different things with the chips, wouldn't that mean they would make more money than they spent on the chip? Wow big business can be very confusing.

Wutske, would you say that getting the Visiontek Radeon 9250 was a smarter idea than getting the ATI Radeon 9250?


That's possible yes. I don't know visiontek realy well, I've never owned one or know someone who has one (maybe if I think realy hard I'll remember :P ).

And what you say is correct. nVidia creates and sells their GPU's to other companies. These companies can either follow the reference design (the standard board that nVidia designed) and use the default chips (like voltage regulators, caps, memory) or they can design a complete new board (=expensive) or use faster memory than normaly or put another cooler on it or ... or all of the previous at once.

I'll give you an example.
This is the reference radeon 9600 PRO board: http://www.beyond3d....9...on 9600 PRO

Now, this is the sapphire Radeon 9600PRO Ultimate: http://www.sharkyext...t/9600_card.jpg

And here are 3 9600 PRO: http://www.tt-hardwa.../rad9600_03.jpg
Left: Sapphire
Middle: Hercules
Right: Reference

#12 roggle

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Posted 07 May 2006 - 07:29 PM

Well it all depends on the games you play but most of the big titles out there will run horribly on a 9250.

Also note that some of the manufacturers tend to overclock their graphics card a bit and install nicer fan systems (good brands like Leadtek, BFG etc etc) so you get more performance as compared to the normal reference systems. They cost slightly more but they can be quieter and deliver better performance. When looking for a new graphics card just do a google search around and see which manufacturers give you the most bang for buck. Generally you get what you pay for.

#13 DjCalvin

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 10:00 PM

Well it all depends on the games you play but most of the big titles out there will run horribly on a 9250.

Also note that some of the manufacturers tend to overclock their graphics card a bit and install nicer fan systems (good brands like Leadtek, BFG etc etc) so you get more performance as compared to the normal reference systems. They cost slightly more but they can be quieter and deliver better performance. When looking for a new graphics card just do a google search around and see which manufacturers give you the most bang for buck. Generally you get what you pay for.



I would Strongly reccomend BFG hardware.
I have been using them since my 4200 and i have upgraded every year to the latest and greatest car out there (stopping at my current 6800 ultra oc) I have had 2 problems with bfg over the last 2 years, and both of them were resolved quickly and painlessly.

BFG gives you a lifetime warantee with their cards, which is friggin sweet when it comes to high end cards.
I had a bfg 5950 ultra that fried due to overheating. (i was overclocking it by 2%) I called up bfg, they didnt even ask me if i was overclocking, I would have told them yes though. (i try to be honest with a $600 card at the time) I shipped out my card, and got a new one within a week.

Now jump ahead to this year.
I shorted out my 5950 ultra when cleaning out my case (screw fell touching 2 capacitors leads) and when i powered the thing on.. you could smell the burnt chip.
I called up bfg, got an rma number and packaged up the box.
Now, I dont know if this will work anymore or even if that person still works at bfg, and I have 6 witnesses to the fact when i opened up the return box.
I put a little hand written note inside the box saying I loved their cards and they are rock solid, but I couldnt find a 6800 gt in my area at a low enough price for me to upgrade to, and asked if they had any suggestions for places in my area.

Well a week went buy and the box from bfg shows up. I opened it up and inside was a handwritten note from one of the sales persons saying something along the lines of: "Im sorry to hear that you cannot find a retailer that stocks the 6800gt oc, We value your return business and would like you to have this 6800 with our compliments"

I open up the shrink wrap and HOLY CRAP! its a 6800 Ultra OC a $700 card at the time.
I called up bfg and thanked them for a good 15 minutes telling them how i will always stick with bfg.
I was like a fat kid in a penny store when i opened that wrapper and to this day remember how happy i was with bfg and their customer service.

I wish i still had the letter from bfg, i'd scan it and post it.

You never know what a little kindness will do when your without a graphics card.
100000000000% true experience with bfg. (toss in all the extra zeros you want)

- C

Edited by DjCalvin, 08 May 2006 - 10:03 PM.


#14 108Soc

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Posted 09 May 2006 - 10:57 PM

yes 9250 isn't really good, it forced my cousin to go out and fished a 9600. This was just to play C&C Generals.

xboxrulz


Are you sure? I mean I really hope your kidding me.
If I gave up my good nVidia for this piece of crap I will be mad. Least I can get my nVidia back.

Okay, after looking my old card was:
XFX Geforce FX5200 256MB DDR PCI Video Card

My new card is:
VisionTek® Radeon™ 256MB 9250 PCI Video Card

I never had problems from my old card, but I have not tested my new one.

I got one other question, is it true that PCI isn't all that good?

Edited by 108Soc, 09 May 2006 - 11:15 PM.


#15 HellFire121

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Posted 10 May 2006 - 06:41 AM

Pretty much they are the same but with some tweaks.
You can go for a cheaper version of the same card but it might perform just a little less than the one that costs the most.
In most cases the cheapest to the one that costs somewhere in between are quite adeqate for normal gaming/office use.
I'd only go for the top priced ones if you want the maximum fps out of your games, these ones usually come with a decent bundle of software too.

In short, there is little difference to the actual chipset, but there can be some small tweaks that will show quite some performace gains

-HellFire

#16 108Soc

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Posted 10 May 2006 - 10:57 AM

I still have a question, what is the difference between AGP and PCI?

#17 wutske

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Posted 10 May 2006 - 01:50 PM

Those are the buses via wich a component can communicate with the rest of the computer.
The first was ISA and EISA, those were 8-bit and are nowadays not used.
The PCI bus was a faster bus with a speed limit of 133Mbs (if I remember correctly). A normal PCI slot (wich connects an add-in card to the computer) is white.
But PCI was to slow for the fast graphics cards, so the AGP standard was introduced (and it's only used for graphics). There are different speed grades, 1x, 2x, 4x and 8x. AGP can transfer several gigabytes per second. Normaly the AGP slots is brown.
Not that it wasn't fast enough, but few years ago, PCIe was introduced. This new and faster bus can not only connect graphic cards, but lots of other devices like SATA controlles. The PCIe bus is features several lanes, every lane is an extra x ;) . So PCIe 1x has one lane, while PCIe 16x has 16 lanes. In this way, every devices has it's own connection and doesn't have to share the bus at the same time. A PCIe is normaly black and can be recognised by it's tabs on the side.

Hope this helped :P

#18 108Soc

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Posted 10 May 2006 - 08:45 PM

Wow thank you Wutske, but my questions are not even over yet. As I learn more and more, the questions start coming out more and more.

So is there anyway I can get AGP for my computer?


(To any admins who are reading this, sorry for the short posts. I am just a bit tired. When school is over my post length and count will improve.)

#19 xip

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Posted 11 May 2006 - 07:02 AM

It's quite simple.
There are several chip makers, but the 2 biggest are ATI and nVidia. What they do is just creating the GPU (like, for example, the NV350 wich is an ATI Radeon9600PRO).
Now, they sell those chips to different companies who put those chips on a PCB, together with memory and all other stuff needed to have a videocard and then they sell it.

Now, ATI also sells it's own cards, but those are the most 'stock' cards available from ATI. nVidia does not sell cards and let other companies do this.

Why they do that? More companies that sell cards means more diversity (memory configuration, cooling, ...) and better concurrency (and broken cards go to the companies and not directly to ATI & nVidia, wich also saves a lot of time and money)



I always have the same doubt. In fact there are only two technologies of graphic cards: nVidia and ATI , but what is better ?
There are any substancial diference between them? Despite of the different model of cards of course, I mean if you compare two similar cards but one nVidia and the other ATI... what will be the key to make a decission? :D

#20 Termin-X-man

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Posted 21 May 2006 - 08:58 PM

Just different manufacturers, although some tend to build their video cards cheaper, crappy heatsinks etc. They still have the same VPU though.



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