End of geek weekend....

Just so I could sleep at night knowing I made the right decision I tested the 8800gt vs. the 4850 in Xp64... Here are the results compared to the same tests in Vista64...

And since its easy to do in Pages here are the graphs ^ ^

In the real world tests the scores were very close for simple scenes... one character dancing around for example... but in the heavier scenes with detailed backgrounds etc the ATI nearly doubled the performance of the Nvidia card... This is reflected in Furmark as well as Furmark is a very intense test...

Final Observations:

The Ati card is more powerful than the Nvidia and they are at nearly the same pricepoint...How? Well the ATi card at stock idles at 80' but its very quiet... a fan hack is required to up the fan speed which increases the fan noise but cools the card down to 55' idle... The 8800gt has a huge heatsink and fan which keeps the card cool at all times... the ATi has only a cheap fan... So since the ATI is a higher spec card they kept the price down by having a cheap cooling mechanism... So crank up the fan a bit and I think its still a great deal... Both cards will get the job done though.


  1. Great layout of your test results and conclusions. Makes for interesting reading, esp part where you wonder why both cards are at the same pricepoint. Cooling certainly has something to do with it. In addition to the fan hack, it's pretty easy to get a Zalman VF 900 VGA fan + new press on heat sinks for the mosfets on the card. It adds about $50 to the price, but keeps the temps down when you are doing an all nighter.
    Can't find em at Fry's, try newegg


    Thanks for sharing all the gorey details, mDot.

  2. Thanks for all these tech posts, Mdot... I suspected that Vista wasn't quite as graphically performant as XP, but it's great to see the raw data supporting it.

    One thing I've been wondering, though: how noisy is your new behemoth? And how noisy was it without the fan hack? I'm thinking about putting together a new machine, but noise is a concern for me, especially overnight rendering in a bedroom studio.

  3. The ATI is doing pretty well right now...I don't play any games so there won't be any prolonged intense GPU stressing so the stock cooling with fan turned up to %65 should be fine ^ ^

    Noise hmmm... well... I have an exhaust fan in the window behind my rig... and its not as loud as that... I adjusted the GPU fan to %65 which seems to be the sweet spot for cooling/noise... the 5410's fans aren't quiet BUT they aren't loud either and the GPU fan is hidden behind the noise they make... I could only find one other cooling solution for the 5410's on newegg...socket 771 cooling gear is rare... can't just put Zalman 9500's on em...I got these dynatron ones but they were a lot louder then the Intel ones...So from a scale of 1 - 10...1 being quiet... My Shuttle box with a single x2 4400 was a 1... this rig rates like a 4.5 in loudness... just a little louder than a Mac Pro.... its not silent but its not disruptive either.

  4. Also my rig is on top of my desk rather than below it...so I guess if it was under a desk it would be a lot quieter....

  5. Gotcha. But if your case was under the desk no one would see the awesome custom artwork! 4.5 is just a little louder than my rig (under the desk). Sounds like you got the cooling issues well in hand. Just pay attention to cooling every so often, esp when you render a lot.

  6. How's the 4850 holding up so far with the fan hack? Has the heat issue been pretty much resolved? I ask cuz Im buying a new workstation next week and Im trying to decide between the 4850 and a 9800 GTX+. The ATI is cheaper, but I've heard bad things about the heat. I dont wanna go buy an aftermarket fan for the card, so does the fan hack do the trick without any adverse effects?

    Thanks man

  7. With the fan hack heat isn't an issue at all... idles at 58'C and its 85'F outside right now so like 100' in here... BUT it does make it louder..doesnt bother me cause its not as loud as the E5410 fans so depends on your cpu and cooling setup...if everything else is quiet then the 4850 might be disruptive... then you add $50 for a cooler and its a $250 card... so is it worth it price/performance vs the 9800gtx? i dont know....

    $200 is like the most I would spend on a gfx card cause I dont play any games... I rather spend less now so I can replace the card with a $200 card in a year or two if need be rather than dropping 300-400 now and staying with that card for a few years ya know...cause the new ones stay at the same price point...


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