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-   -   FLOPS: do they matter for gaming? (http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/video-cards/26987-flops-do-they-matter-gaming.html)

castorjocky December 23, 2009 04:03 PM

FLOPS: do they matter for gaming?
 
I'm currently looking to buy a new monitor (22-24") and because of that, I need to buy a new video card.
My motherboard is the M2N-SLi Deluxe, which means I can either buy one ATI card, or two Nvidias (I can SLi, but can't crossfire).

It seems ATI makes cards that can process 2-3 times the amount of FLOPS. Does this mean anything when it comes to gaming?
I intend to do some FOLDING, but if this is the only time you'll notice a performance between 470 FLOPS (nvid) and 1200 FLOPS (ATI)?

Zero82z December 23, 2009 04:07 PM

As far as folding goes, nVidia cards are actually much better than ATI's. When it comes to gaming, the pure FLOPS number is not really that important. You just have to look at benchmarks for each card and find out how well they tend to perform in games. Do you have any specific cards in mind?

Sagath December 23, 2009 04:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by castorjocky (Post 306811)
I'm currently looking to buy a new monitor (22-24") and because of that, I need to buy a new video card.
My motherboard is the M2N-SLi Deluxe, which means I can either buy one ATI card, or two Nvidias (I can SLi, but can't crossfire).

It seems ATI makes cards that can process 2-3 times the amount of FLOPS. Does this mean anything when it comes to gaming?
I intend to do some FOLDING, but if this is the only time you'll notice a performance between 470 FLOPS (nvid) and 1200 FLOPS (ATI)?


For gaming, the architecture of the card has more to do with it then the FLOPS a card can push. Even in other applications, the pure thruput of flops is (almost) meaningless. There isnt one true way to benchmark a card. You cant do mhz, flops, i/o, etc. Much like todays CPU vs yesteryears, the mhz matter little. The architecture of the CPU is more important (Think Core 2 Duo vs P4 vs i7). The same is true with a GPU. Its even harder to compare apples to oranges, or in this case, ATI vs nVidia (or AMD vs Intel!).

You're best to read some reviews, and find out what you'll be using your GPU for, and buy based upon that. Folding? Really you only have one option at present: nVidia. Multi-Monitor or VERY high resolution gaming? You may want to go with ATI's new 58xx series.

Hope that helps!

Thund3rball December 23, 2009 04:10 PM

What's your budget for the card? Any particular games you going to play? Does lack of support on some games scare you?

castorjocky December 23, 2009 06:34 PM

Budget: ~$150-220 each
System: AMD X2 6000+ 64, M2N-SLi Deluxe MoBo, 4GB DDR2 800mHz, 700w modular PSU, running on XP Black (sp3)
Plans for my video card: I game (outside of work) for only a few hours each week, but when I do, I want an immersive experience. I love RTSs, Large-Environment RPGs and working on my Autodesk suite (3DMax, ACAD, Inventor, etc.)
Additional info: going to buy an LCD monitor that displays at 1920:1080

Thoughts: what Zero82z said, I've pretty much given up the idea of an ATI card and settled with the idea of buying a nice mid-price card that I can SLi if and when I need. Should I wait until the nVidia 300 series is released before buying a lower-level card? Will my system bottleneck the Vcards I listed? How do I tell?

Zero82z December 23, 2009 09:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by castorjocky (Post 306909)
Thoughts: what Zero82z said, I've pretty much given up the idea of an ATI card and settled with the idea of buying a nice mid-price card that I can SLi if and when I need. Should I wait until the nVidia 300 series is released before buying a lower-level card? Will my system bottleneck the Vcards I listed? How do I tell?

I think you'd be better off upgrading both your CPU and GPU. The X2 6000+ is a little long in the tooth at this point. As for waiting, that depends on how badly you want to upgrade. There will always be something new on the horizon, but if you think you'll be able to afford a next-gen nVidia card when they are released, then it might be worth waiting for assuming you can hold off on gaming until then.

castorjocky December 23, 2009 11:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zero82z (Post 306979)
I think you'd be better off upgrading both your CPU and GPU. The X2 6000+ is a little long in the tooth at this point. As for waiting, that depends on how badly you want to upgrade. There will always be something new on the horizon, but if you think you'll be able to afford a next-gen nVidia card when they are released, then it might be worth waiting for assuming you can hold off on gaming until then.

It's not that I wanted to wait to buy the 300 series, but wait to enjoy the resulting pricedrop. As they say with Vcards: "might as well just buy now."
As for my card, I've got no intention on replacing it... it's got more headroom than the Skydome!
anyway, can I get someone's input on which of the two cards (linked above) are better?

I'm leaning towards the 260(216).

Zero82z December 24, 2009 12:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by castorjocky (Post 307003)
anyway, can I get someone's input on which of the two cards (linked above) are better?

Either I really need to get some sleep, or there aren't any links.

Thund3rball December 24, 2009 08:42 AM

I don't see the links?

With your budget and resolution I would go for GTX 275. You may need more power as they do suck the juice a bit more than other cards, not sure about that though? Yes your CPU is old (just like mine!) but you can start to collect other upgrades as you go from there, which is what I am doing. The 275s will last quite a while me thinks. Games just don't seem to be progressing by leaps and bounds anymore. If it can play Crysis, it can play anything.


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