Comparing NVIDIA with ATI is more like comparing Coke with Pepsi. It ultimately goes down to which brand you are loyal to. Talking about gaming, you're a gamer, huh? And a good one. And let's just assume you're building a new computer. Did you know your selection of a Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) could pose problems with some older games? Agreed, price and performance are the biggest concerns of any tech-savvy, but in a world where every device is expected to play every program, compatibility is the ultimate issue.
But when you're talking about the leaders of GPUs in the market, you cannot afford to question their credibility, or can you? Which graphics card seems to be more on top of the drivers? Which one is an underdog? Which one outranks the other? This article studies both NVIDIA and ATI Graphics Processing Units, and figures out the one that suits your needs the best. But why such brouhaha about only the two of them? What's the big deal? Here's the big deal. Describing the two most loved graphics cards present in the workstation of every computer builder...
NVIDIA: World Leader in Visual Computing Technologies
An American global technology company, NVIDIA is the most common name you will come across when it comes to graphic processing units and chipset technologies for PCs, mobiles, and workstations. Graphic processors, chipsets used in PC motherboards, and digital media player software, are a few domains where NVIDIA proves its worth, and the GeForce range launched by the technology company took the world by storm with its awesome core graphics technology - Xbox 360 and Sony PS3 being two of the most successful video game consoles having vouched for it.
Other product lines launched by NVIDIA comprise Quadro, Tesla, Tegra, and nForce, each of which have taken the popularity of NVIDIA to a different level. However, many users switched to different graphic cards simply because NVIDIA cards used to cost an arm and a leg. But of late, it's back into action by launching cards like GTX 460, which are way too low to leave anybody complaining about the price range. All in all, it's only a matter of preference as to which one satisfies your needs. You'll find mixed reviews for both NVIDIA and ATI, since both are equally great. So seems like the price quotient wins in the end.
ATI: Global Provider of Innovative Graphics, Processors, and Media
The big deal about ATI is that its ATI 4870X2 won the 2008 Gamers Choice Award, thanks to its range of budget-friendly cards that made it every gamer's favorite. ATI is a sub-element of the Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) company, and note that, AMD was launched almost 25 years before NVIDIA. But if it still reigns over the GPU market... dude, it's got to have something!
ATI specializes in the development of graphics processing units and chipsets, and later on, grew as an independent graphics-card retailer, having brought EGA Wonder and VGA Wonder graphic card product ranges, along with Mach, Rage, and Radeon series, out of which Radeon became the most successful product line, and a direct competitor of NVIDIA's GeForce product range.
ATI products are lesser in price when compared to NVIDIA, and this alone is a reason for many users to grab an ATI instead of an NVIDIA. However, spending a little more equals to a little more power, and that is what a gamer needs. So, what's the verdict? Which one's better? It's going to be complicated, but is answered in the section to follow.
Which is Better - NVIDIA or ATI
The launch of the dual 3D-card SLI setup took NVIDIA to the top of the lot, where it has been staying for years now. Of course, for the not-computer-freaks, a simple system with a decent graphics card can do the trick, but for a serious gamer who lives by gaming, NVIDIA offers a range of powerful graphics cards, demanding a high-voltage power supply and a supporting motherboard. From world reviews, it can be said that many users have experienced huge compatibility problems by using NVIDIA cards, considering that they were all looking for cards with a less scientific view.
On the other hand, those who looked for a sophisticated, low-end graphics processing unit for their computers, switched to the ATI Radeon series, with ATI Radeon X800 XL and ATI 4870X2 winning hands down. The verdict is, if you're looking for less expensive GPUs, ATI seems to be a great deal. However, if you're up for some killer money squander (most cards from NVIDIA are priced towards the higher end), NVIDIA is what you should go for. All in all, it's totally your call as to the kind of user you are.
From a wide range of graphics cards, a user fails to understand what really makes GPUs better than each other. For a person not into technology at all, choosing a graphics card is no less than a nightmare. Hence, the conclusion of this comparison is that, both GPUs are awesome in their own myriad ways, and you will find mixed reviews for both. However, considering the category of users you fall in, every graphics card has its configuration that you can take account of, to settle for the best buy.