Could one of you gentlemen provide a simple video card rank?

I’m not asking for fanboy enthusiams, just a simple “this equals this, and then this” type of chart. Perhaps going from the 70$ jobs up to 300$. It used to be that the Monster III was the rough equivalent of the voodoo4, or whatever. But I’m completely lost these days with the various memory/chipset/buffer/speed/agp/pci varieties. I just want to know what the mainstream offerings of Nvidia and ATI are in relation to each other. Something like this:

ATI 9600 in 64/128/256 is equal to the Nvidia GeForce 5200 128/256 card.

Thanks in advance,


Do you want a decoder ring as well? :shock:

It’s never that easy and pat to break down a GPU’s performance . Which are the site reviews you usually use? Here are a few that are usually more incisive in their analysis (at least those that do graphic card reviews regularly:

Beyond3D (and in particularly their forums) is probably the best place for information. When your new card can cost 400-500, some caveat emptor research is always good.

That actually is a pretty tall order.

At the risk of “self-pimpage”, we did a price-performance shootout a little while ago at ExtremeTech:

You get framerates and 3dmark scores for all the major cards of the last generation, with the exception of the really low-end models (6200, X300), which you should probably stay away from anyway.

So with that you can really compare what is equal to what.

Probably the most useful chart is the one where we measure dollars-per-fps. The prices will be slightly out of date, but it’s still a pretty good guide.

There’s a pretty straightforward ranking on the Ars forum, in this thread. Not terribly precise, but it sounds like you’re looking for rough estimates anyway.

nVIDIA’s and ATI’s product lines have gotten completely out of hand over the last two years. Not only are there just a ridiculous number of models; they all have unbelievably stupid names.

Your best bet is to decide beforehand which company you want to go with, then buy the card that hits your price/performance sweet spot. Trying to compare roughly equivalent ATI/Nvidia cards is just going to give you a headache.

But posting a question asking which would be better for you is a great way to start the inevitable ATI/NVidia fanbois wars on any sufficiently juvenile gaming forum (which is pretty much is all of them aside from QT3).

Also a good point.

Unfortunately, I think this thread has convinced me to buy one of these, even though I wasn’t in the market an hour ago.

By all accounts the Nvidia 6600GT is where the monetary sweet spot is, and NewEgg has a ridiculous deal on the Leadtek version right now. The card is retail and includes Pandora Tomorrow and PoP, if you have missed either of them.

I’ve got the PCI-E version of that Leadtek card. Runs nice.

Thanks for the links, that was what I needed. Like I said, I just wanted an idea of which cards came where in the sequence. In particular, it’s hard to keep up with esoterica like the 6600 256mb being less powerful than the 6600GT with 128mb.


GT = +
Ultra = ++

The memory sizes really don’t have that big an effect in most cases. It should allow you to use higher quality textures without slowdown from swapping, but it’s usually a marginal improvement at best.

To be fair, 512 MB boards do have an advantage if you’re really cranking up the FSAA to 6x, but that’s usually not that great of a concern for most gamers.