ATI vs NVIDIA Video Cards

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ati vs nvidia

So your getting ready to drop some money on a video card and you want to know which is better. ATI vs NVIDIA is a war that has at times been in favour of one or the other. They are both great but usually one or the other has been better at a particular time, but it goes back and fourth. The architecture of the two types of cards is completely different, there is no worth in comparing clocks, or numbers of shaders... simply they are straight up different. Think of it as ATI is an Orange to NVIDIA is an Apple. Its like comparing a muscle car to an Asian import... US got the engine displacement, and the imports have 12000 RPM... you cant look at those specs and compare them because there are just too many factors. This whole Mhz and, MB, and shaders can only be measured together, and that is the FPS you get on your screen... there is no use to wreck your brains trying to figure which is better using that data, just look at benchmarks.

Nvidia wins more often then ATI but ATI always makes a very strong show and isn't usually to far behind but are always priced better. Other differences to consider is the quality of after care you get from each of the respective partners. It's not unusual for NVIDIA partners to offer life time warranties, step up programmes or double life time warranties with their products. ATI partners until very recently gave you just the basic 1 year warranty (Nvidia has always given 2 year or 3 year depending on where you live in the world) but just recently 2 years has become more of the norm with ATI boards now

Advantages of ATI:

-Adopting newer tech faster/on time and normally before NVIDIA does (normally ATI tried harder to be more innovative with newer tech or coming up with something new)
-Normally offers decent /good performance cards at a lower price than NVIDIA (focus on best bang for buck or the sweet spot)
-Offer high-end multiple GPU solution at cheaper price than NVIDIA
-Crossfire allows different card model to be crossfire
-Normally has good marketing brand names and less confusing in respect to NVIDIA

Disadvantages of ATI:

-Normally doesn't offer fastest high end card as a single GPU card but as a multi GPU solution, thus risking to have micro-stuttering effect issue
-Normally has slightly slower single GPU card than NVIDIA

Advantages of NVIDIA:

-Supporting game developers with (TWIMTBP)
-Having good drivers support
-Normally offers the fastest single GPU card than ATI (but much more expensive than ATI)
-NVIDIA's high-end cards normally doesn't suffer from micro-stuttering effect since they are single GPU cards

Disadvantages of NVIDIA:

-Adopting the newer tech slowly
-Tends to/depended on overclocking the next-gen card instead of using new tech, thus ended up rebranding the old architecture cards (not being innovative enough)
-TWIMTBP program is sometimes for NVIDIA's political reason and could be seen as anti-competitive practice like refusing to adopt DX 10.1 in time or urging game devs to remove DX 10.1 from PC game Assassin's Creed to avoid rival ATI's DX 10.1 advantages.
-The price of some cards are sometimes too expensive and would rip your wallet or doesn't have a good price/performance offer maybe due to failing to die shrinking the GPU.
-confusing brand names that could mislead customers

So the fight is still on and there will never really be a clear winner. PCModer offers up what we think is the Best Video Card for unde $199 so you can start there if you want good performance at a cheap price.