ATI chipset + ATI GPU _or_ nForce chipset + nVidia GPU -- Which combination performs better?

Discussion in 'Asus' started by andrew.gullans, Jan 30, 2006.

  1. I'm about to lay down some money on building a gaming rig.

    Which is the *best* combination?

    A motherboard with an ATI-chipset with a Radeon?

    A motherboard with an nForce chipset with an nVidia graphics card?

    By all means, please commence discussion and provide suggestions.
    andrew.gullans, Jan 30, 2006
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  2. andrew.gullans

    peter Guest

    How about an Nforce 4Chipset with the newest ATI graphics card...the 1900??
    You realize of course that most chipsets run about the same...give or take a
    So it really comes down to $$$$$$$$$$$$$..........can you afford 2 7800GTX
    to run in SLI mode???
    peter, Jan 30, 2006
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  3. andrew.gullans

    John Lewis Guest

    Not quite. Avoid one with the current ATi Southbridge SB480. Poor
    USB2.0 performance; no support for 3.0GBit SATA.

    John Lewis
    John Lewis, Jan 30, 2006
  4. andrew.gullans

    BC Guest

    I would vote for Nvidia chipset, NF4, and Nvidia card, just on the basis
    of what I have read about stability, compatibility. Have been burned by
    VIA chipset in the past not being compatible with soundcards, occasional
    random crashes, etc. Seems like the ATI chipsets are not great for
    gamers, either, in terms of speed, etc.

    Another possiblity: Intel 955X or 975X chipset, and Nvidia
    graphics...also super stable, compatible...AMD CPU overall better for
    gaming. Runs games better, smoother, and, runs cooler.


    BC, Jan 30, 2006
  5. andrew.gullans

    Thomas Guest

    Yes, this WAS the case. But now Asus has launched the A8R-MVP. It has the
    Crossfire chipset, but now combined with the ULi M1575 southbridge!! Check
    it out here: Radeon® Xpress 200 CrossFire™

    This mainboard is the highest overclocker at Anandtech, check out this text:
    " The most important thing that the Asus A8R-MVP brings us, however, is not
    the competitive USB and SATA2 capabilities - they are just icing on the
    cake. The A8R-MVP is a monster of an overclocker "

    The whole article:

    This board has switched me over from looking just at SLI mainboards. It's
    twice cheaper than the top-of-the-line SLI's, but overclocks better...

    I'm just trying to figure out Crossfire. The first reports were that you
    could combine any two PCI-Express cards, but this doesnt work, i think.
    Thomas, Jan 30, 2006
  6. andrew.gullans

    RzR Guest

    yeah which means soooooo much in real-world usage :)
    RzR, Jan 30, 2006
  7. I'm afraid you've been misinformed. Nvidia is not necessarily more stable or
    compatible than the equivalent ATI component in terms of chipsets or GPUs or
    drivers. Some have propagated the notion that ATI products are instable;
    this is just not the case. I've owned NVidia and ATI (and many other
    pre-NVidia brands) and can testify to the quality of ATI parts. I currently
    own an X1900XTX and the card is stable as a rock. Previous to that card I
    had an X1800XT which also worked perfectly fine but which I sold on ebay to
    pay for the X1900XTX. Previous to both I used a 9800 Pro which was nothing
    but a joy for about 3 years. Now it's in my closet and collecting dust but
    still in the same working condition as when I bought it.

    There was a time when ATI drivers were not up to par, but that time is long
    gone. ATI's catalyst driver team has delivered on there promises.

    The crossfire chipsets have also come a long way. Check out the review of
    the Asus A8R-MVP "" . Half
    the price of it's NForce equivalent, just as stable, and a much better
    overclocker. For all intents and purposes, an X1900XTX coupled with an
    A8R-MVP is the fastest consumer based 3D solution available. ATI are "are
    not great for gamers, either, in terms of speed, etc." ??

    If you're gonna be brand loyal then be brand loyal. Nothing wrong with that.
    But please don't post inaccurate information to a person trying to make
    their own decision. Let them make there decision based on accurate
    Tony DiMarzio, Jan 30, 2006
  8. andrew.gullans

    BC Guest

    Yes, this WAS the case. But now Asus has launched the A8R-MVP. It has the
    Hmm, I was looking into getting one of these for a second home machine
    over the weekend, and, it looks like there is more than the usual amount
    of grumbling out there:;f=44;t=000091;p=0

    And, I do like the user reviews on Newegg: must read them with grains
    of salt on hand, but, I have found them to be pretty accurate over the
    years. Board is not a favorite:

    While the 'new and different' are always interesting and appealing, when
    it comes to chipsets it seems to me that an older and more mainstream
    solution is preferable....let someone else work out all the bugs.

    For about the same price: Asus A8N-e, or A8N5X; can get $5 Zalman
    northbridge cooler, and install that before motherboard goes in, to
    eliminate the noisy northbridge fan.

    The ATI chipset seems to me analogous to a British car: you can expect
    to have a few problems with it. Intel chipset: Honda. Nvidia: Toyota.


    BC, Jan 30, 2006
  9. andrew.gullans

    GlassVial Guest

    I'm about to lay down some money on building a gaming rig.
    Speaking from experience I've had compatibility issues with NForce
    chipsets (both memory and drivers). I haven't worked on many ATI
    chipset boards, however.

    GlassVial, Jan 30, 2006
  10. andrew.gullans

    BC Guest

    Hi Tony,

    I did read that review at Anandtech, and the board looked great--but,
    looks like that was a hand-picked board, and in the real world, others
    have not been able to achieve the same results, apparently in part
    because the BIOS used at Anandtech was not released to anyone else.

    I looked into that board because I noticed that Intel is using the ATI
    chipset now in some of their low end boards, and I would guess that they
    would be pretty careful about preserving their hard earned reputation
    for stable chipsets. Reviews of the A8R from users were pretty harsh at
    times....and, having had multiple problems with a VIA chipset in the
    past (I have sworn at them, and off them), it's something I am sensitive to.

    re: brand loyalty: sending this from a Tyan K8E with an ATI X700 PCIe
    video card; Kingston ECC RAM. Seagate hard drives in RAID 1. XP pro
    SP2. No northbridge fan on the K8E so it is quiet....I know from
    statistics that n=1 is statistically insignificant, but, this system has
    never ever locked up/crashed on me, ever.

    re: accurate information and Anandtech: check out this review of Value
    I am a big fan of Consumer Reports: no *advertising* dollars to
    potentially impact on their impartiality. Anandtech takes advertising
    dollars from Corsair, Newegg, and other online retailers.

    Anandtech could have ordered some Corsair Valueram online, and tested
    it--they didn't, I would assume because they did not want to affect
    their advertising relationship with Corsair.

    Based on their review of the A8R-MVP, seems as though Anandtech may have
    been given a hand picked board, one not available to the general public.
    The BIOS is apparently different. (I don't know, did not purchase

    By the way, I use my Macintosh at my office....the most problem free
    factory built PC according to Consumer Reports users. (Note: I have a
    feeling that may change this year, since it seems a lot of people had
    problems with their iMac G5s....) I run Mail, Safari, Word, iPhoto, and
    iChat: in the past year, Safari has crashed two or three times, does
    fine after restart, and Mail, also once or twice. Does not bring the
    system down. Uptime: usually 30 days; I reboot every month, just to
    refresh the system memory. Otherwise, system goes into sleep mode, does
    disk cleanup/other system stuff at night. Very happy with it....

    From everything I have read, it seems that Intel chipset plus Intel CPU
    is the most stable, most compatible, most problem free....YMMV.


    BC, Jan 30, 2006
  11. andrew.gullans

    0_Qed Guest

    BC wrote:

    I hadnt realized that 'Lucas' also made mobo chip_sets .


    I never had an MGB gas tank fire I couldnt survive.

    0_Qed, Jan 30, 2006
  12. andrew.gullans

    Daniel Guest

    And the built in ethernet controller on nforce 4 causes a major headache for
    many! Short of exchanging motherboard I've had to use a separate pci card
    for ethernet. The ethernet drivers and specifically the firewall drivers
    BSOD the computer. From searching the web it seems to be a very common

    Daniel, Jan 30, 2006
  13. andrew.gullans

    BC Guest

    Lucas: the Prince of Darkness.

    I still own a 1967 MGB. Needs a bit of work, as you might expect.

    Never had a gas tank fire....did get the worst shock of my life when I
    was working on distributor cap wire that sensed I was in a hurry
    (driving someone to airport), and had therefore melted while driving on
    the freeway....
    BC, Jan 30, 2006
  14. andrew.gullans

    BC Guest

    Concur--seems that turning off NVidia firewall solves that
    problem...never activated it on my PC because of that....
    BC, Jan 30, 2006
  15. andrew.gullans

    kony Guest

    3 or 4 samples does not a conclusion make.
    Of course there are a lot that work fine, ATI would've been
    out of business long ago if much if it didn't work. Problem
    is rate of issues, chances there may be a problem.

    Nonsense and you sound like a shill.
    ATIs drivers have indeed improved a lot but that's only seen
    in context of going from really poor to worse than those
    from a certain n company.

    X1900XT has decent, even very good performnace. It has to
    use ATI drivers though, and in a few months it won't be
    fastest anymore. Coupling it with a particluar motherboard
    is just silly.

    Actually yes there is something wrong with that when your
    loyality causes you to see the world through colored
    glasses. Products should be chosen in their merits, not
    their brand, and also recognized to have faults. That you
    don't care about a fault or don't see it in a particular
    application is no consolation to another user who has
    different hardware or application needs.

    Same to you.
    kony, Jan 31, 2006
  16. andrew.gullans

    kony Guest

    Everyone hopes for the "perfect" trouble-free motherboard,
    and it's not going to happen. One person may use board X
    chipset Y fine but another won't. We can selectively bash
    all the chipsets but it's easier to just recognize the
    specific needs rather than think any particular board is
    going to have 100% of the features perfect. The industry
    moves forward way too fast to spend enough time debugging
    and it's unfortunate but it also allows more rapid adoption
    of newer tech and lower prices.
    kony, Jan 31, 2006
  17. andrew.gullans

    GlassVial Guest

    Everyone hopes for the "perfect" trouble-free motherboard,
    I will say that I haven't had any issues with a VIA chipset based
    board in a long, long time ;)

    GlassVial, Jan 31, 2006
  18. Of course a "3 or 4 unit sample" is not sufficient to draw a conclusion on
    ATI parts in general. However, the only thing that I *can* testify to is my
    own experiences, and that is what I've done.

    Shill? Look I know it's much more "cool" to criticize than to compliment,
    but, credit where credit's due, sport. There is absolutely no empirical data
    to show that your "certain n company"'s drivers are in any way "better" than
    ATI's. Any claims to the contrary are at best anecdotal and incidental and
    at worse flat out lies.
    Yes, normally ATI cards DO use ATI drivers. Your point? Or was that another
    implied "ATI drivers are the debil!" comment? In a few months nothing will
    be "fastest" any more. That's the name of the game. So if you're referring
    to G71, then _assuming_ it does surpass X1900XTX, then expect a crown time
    of no more than 6 months. "Coupling it with a particular motherboard is just
    silly" ? Uh, silly to use an NForce mobo with high end NVidia cards or vice
    Brand loyalty is a necessary component of the capitalistic model. It's the
    natural result of positive experiences by the buyer and is the reward to the
    seller for offering good products/services. Basically, there's nothing
    inherently wrong with it. However, and like you said, "when it causes you to
    see the world through colored glasses" then there is something wrong with
    it. Now, please explain to me how I'm looking at the world through colored
    glasses. We're not talking about standing behind a inferior product. We're
    talking a company that currently has the fastest and most complex consumer
    3D acceleration hardware in the world and that has consistently been toe to
    toe with it's largest competitor. This is Honda vs Toyota, not Pontiac vs
    I believe that's what I did.
    Tony DiMarzio, Jan 31, 2006
  19. andrew.gullans

    kony Guest

    Nope, at best they're generous.
    ATI doesn't give a damn about their customers. I've had
    over a dozen servers that can't even uninstall ATI's driver
    because their driver was broken and they were too apathetic
    to bother fixing it. They take a "tough luck, buy our next
    product and everything will be wonderful" attitude. It gets
    old after a while.

    You know my point was that ATI's drivers are the weak link.
    You knew it all along too, because there have been plenty of
    people over the years commenting about it.
    Yes. But even more specifically I meant what was replied
    to, a PARTICULAR motherboard, moreso than a particular
    chipset. You do understand the difference?

    No, it's for the brain-dead.
    Nope, it's what happens when one has insufficient experience
    to make a proper evaluation of the alternatives.
    Maybe in your fairy-tale world.
    When I buy a product, their "reward" is my payment for that
    product. If they make another product I want, their reward
    is again payment for that 2nd product, and so on. You are
    describing a fanboy.
    LOL. You must be joking.
    Yeah let's just ignore reality and pretend the grass we're
    sitting on is always greenest. Sorry but that's no good.
    It wouldn't do any good because you see no problem with
    being irrational.
    Only because we includes you. A product comprised of both
    hardware and software can fail on either front. If you like
    the hardware enough to put up with the software, that's
    fine, it's your money. That doesn't begain to mean another
    person couldn't have a different priority, particularly if
    they weren't trying to buy among the fastest video card at
    any given moment but rather, the majority of the market.
    Yes you are oblivious to anything but "fastest", it would
    seem, else you wouldn't be making it a primary point here.

    It could definitely be like comparing Pontiac to BMW, that
    GM merely shoehorned a monsterous engine in a Sunbird so it
    has a great 0-60 time. Granted, it's not that ATI is lower
    quality than, oh take Sis for example, but being a fanboy
    doesn't begin to make them any better by will alone.
    kony, Jan 31, 2006
  20. andrew.gullans

    kony Guest

    I haven't either but some people never forget.
    kony, Jan 31, 2006
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