Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Unhealthy Partnerships Plague the Graphics Industry

Filed under
Hardware

If I were to buy a graphics card today, I would have little choice but to go with either ATI or NVIDIA. To break down my buying decision, I would probably consider the card's features, the novel (and pointless in certain cases) concept of future proofing, price and performance in games that I want to play. Everything sounds so clear-cut, doesn't it? I hate to be the one to break the news to you, but picking a graphics card is not an easy task these days. I can probably list a few reasons as to why my thinking runs that way, but chances are you are already aware of them. Therefore, I am going to focus this column on special relationships between the game developers and the graphics card makers.

The thing with today's graphics cards from both manufacturers is that they will perform quite well in latest games; so going with either brand isn't a tough choice anymore. For many of you, either NVIDIA or ATI will do just fine, but those of us who want to play games like Doom III or Half-Life 2, the companies have just made our lives more complicated than they already are.

For arguments sake, say you are building a computer. You know you will play Doom III extensively and maybe even think about Half-Life 2 in the future. In order to make up your mind, you will probably visit a few online publications to get a feel for performance differences between ATI and NVIDIA cards in the aforementioned titles. The problem is that when you look at the various performance numbers, the performance crown can go either way. And quite logically, a faster ATI card will outperform a slower NVIDIA card and vice versa, but things completely take turn for the worse when it comes to performance between Doom III and Half-Life 2. Shockingly, performance numbers between the two cards may be completely upside down. In certain scenarios, a mid-end NVIDIA card will beat ATI's high-end card in Doom III. The same thing happens in Half-Life 2; the only difference is that the winner is ATI and NVIDIA takes the backseat.

As long as the competition is healthy and consumers are benefiting from it, I think all this is perfectly fine. When you and I are feeling hassled by these wacky performance results, for which the card manufacturers and game developers share blame, then all of this gets quite irritating. After all, performance testing is supposed to help us make up our minds, not confuse us with upside down results in certain titles.

Now, lets say your goal is to play Half-Life 2 and Doom III. Which card should you go for?

Continued

More in Tux Machines

Leftovers: Gaming

  • Dying Light Action Survival Game Coming to Steam January 27
    Dying Light, a modern first-person survival horror game set in a world hit by plague, is now available for pre-purchase on Steam and will be available for download on January 27.
  • Dying Light FPS Has Been Confirmed for Linux, Zombies Galore
    Techland is preparing to launch Dying Light, a new FPS with amazing graphics and hordes of zombies. The developer has revealed that it will also have a Linux version, right from the start.
  • Dying Light Is Now Confirmed For Linux, Bring It On Techland
    Dying Light is now confirmed for Linux thanks to the announcement from the developers on the Steam store itself. The Linux icons show up on the store pages, and the game even has a steam coming soon banner on the home-page. Time to get seriously excited.
  • Star Traders: 4X Empires Strategy Game Now On Linux
  • 5 reasons Valve's Steam Machine dream is still very alive
    Steam Machines? More like has-been machines, am I right? Actually, no: while many people are giving Valve's PC-console-hybrids the cold shoulder, this gamer reckons they'll be worth the wait. I realise that I'm part of a shrinking group still backing Valve's SteamOS-powered Linux boxes, and it's not difficult to see why the hype around them has all but evaporated. Several controller-related delays, U-turns by seemingly committed hardware partners and a lack of news from the top has made many think that Valve is blowing hot air.

Android Leftovers

Tizen Samsung Z1, made in India and soon to be available in Bangladesh

As we have reported Samsung has been sending the parts for its Samsung Z1 SM-Z130H/DS to be assembled at its Noida plant in India, which has the capacity to produce over 4 million handsets per month. The Samsung Z1 was launched in India as the first Tizen based commercial handset at a competitive price of 5,700 INR. Read more

Ubuntu 15.04 to Integrate Linux Kernel 3.19 Branch Soon

The Linux kernel is one of the most important components in a distribution and Ubuntu users are interested to know what will be used in the stable edition for the 15.04 branch, which is scheduled to arrive in a couple of months. Read more