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Old 04-08-2003, 11:01 PM
tobin tobin is offline
WorldViz Team Member
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 251
nVidia vs. ATI

WorldViz mostly uses nVidia cards but in the last year ATI has done an excellent job catching up and now surpassing at least in terms of raw numbers. Both the latest nVidia (geforce and quadro series) and ATI Radeon support dual monitors which means you get support for high-end HMDs.

The two specs to watch out for are the polygon draw rate and the pixel fill rate. The former is more important is you're interesting in having really complex scenes with lots of polygonal detail; the latter better predicts how robust your performance for immersive environments will be.

The chart below shows various specs including the pixel fill rates; it is reproduced from the following web address:

The differences are real but probably not significant enough to get too excited about. WorldViz has had excellent experience with nvidia in terms of the quality of OpenGL support and legacy drivers. We have very little experience with ATI at this point but will endeavor to gain some experience in the near future. Without that experience, I can't strongly recommend ATI cards yet. One other thing to note between the two cards, however, is that the latest nVidia uses two slots whereas the ATI only uses one. This might be important to you if you're packing lots of cards into one computer.
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