Next generations of low end graphics cards

Discussion in 'Architecture and Products' started by Blazkowicz, Oct 27, 2012.

  1. Blazkowicz

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    The low end has been stagnating, with new architectures from both AMD and nvidia avoiding it, GCN and Kepler. (they can't be scaled down that much, probably). Older cheaps, which now form the low end are quite big in their own way, requiring either a dual slot heatsink or a cooling fan.

    So, I'd like if something would come next. What I'd like is something under 10 watts, but with good enough drivers. That means AMD, Intel or nvidia.
    I could be interested in an Intel graphics card if there were one. AMD gets more like Intel with IGP displacing graphics card.

    The whole reason is I want to keep my Athlon II X2, really (modern competition is Intel Celeron, AMD A4 and the same X2 with 10+% higher clocking). I wish to get a micro-ATX mobo and 4GB to 8GB ddr3. just enough for a PCIe sound card, a PCIe graphics card, a PCI additional network card and PCI IDE controller.

    Likewise older systems can get a supported and working card when their card is dead or failing (noisy, occasional crash, unsupported, very slow, or old driver).
    I'd be willing for a card to get down to 32bit wide memory (gddr3 or ddr4), or low power memory. Interface could be PCIe 1x 2.0 or 3.0, allowing for flexible placement, friendly use as a second or third graphics card. silicon interposer + memory on 32bit ddr4 would be welcome as well.

    nVidia will have an architecture able to scale well down, with Maxwell, it gets into Tegra (i.e. cell phone stuff. we're meant to say tablets ; but hell I'd like to call it Game Boy stuff if I could)

    Intel and AMD forfeit low end cards, S3 Graphics I don't know what they're doing but they had very low volume, Asia only. They do 2D only support on linux, too (after compiling driver from SVN).
    Best actor left is nvidia, with their Maxwell architecture and strong software support from top to bottom (i.e. you get drivers supporting Windows, Linux, BSD, Physx, Stereo 3D on all cards. old, low end, high end, newest, future cards are covered)

    IGP fuck this up overall but there are always more-or-less strong niches. (socket 2011 and succesor, socket AM3+, older hardware, VIA Nano X2 and X4..)
     
    #1 Blazkowicz, Oct 27, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 27, 2012
  2. Alexko

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    I don't think we'll see anything like this again. With the integrated graphics found in Intel mainstream CPUs and AMD APUs, the market just isn't there anymore.

    People using a socket 2011 or AM3+ platform will either go for high-end discrete graphics, or they'll have to make do with stuff like the GT 640 if they don't care about graphics. If you care about power, you're much better off with an APU, anyway.
     
  3. Blazkowicz

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    Yes.
    It may be a personal thing but I want a single slot, silent card, never failing card for 20 euros with both output workings. Performance and drivers allowing to run valve games and stuff like minecraft/google earth/trackmania.
    Else I need to buy a celeron G550 or A6 5400K, plus mobo, but that feels like a sidegrade. With my drivers needs I have these tiers : nVidia, then Intel, then AMD (then the other players, only seen on ARM and lowest end PC).

    I believe there is quite an opportunity given the greatest and latest techs. Performance could be nothing shameful too, if you did packaged memory (even at a miserable 128bit width). If mobile GPUs and low power APUs are desirable, a similar PCIe 1x 3.0 card could be desirable too.

    I wish such a low footprint chip could be launched, to meet a niche (what if one million computers got to use it). It would repair and/or upgrade computers which by themselves are responsible of all the media buzz about desktop computers dying, tablets taking over.. It's actually desktop computers's useful life constantly increasing.
     
    #3 Blazkowicz, Oct 27, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 27, 2012
  4. 3dcgi

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    Low cost and niche don't go together. Did any boards ever sell for 20 euros? That's insanely cheap for a complete board and sounds like a going out of business sale.
     
  5. Blazkowicz

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    I don't think either, it's too nuts. But what sells here is a radeon 5450 at 27 euros, with 512MB 64bit gddr3 and a dual slot heatsink, low profile.
    It's pretty good, I just don't trust their linux drivers and would like even lower power so it doesn't waste a slot. (Or same dual slot but even faster)

    I dunno if a niche can work out pretty big. A weakness is it needs people both poor and very knowledgeable.Or people who get an 6-8 core or dual CPU workstation but need to keep it cheap.
    or it's just freedom of building your hardware the way you want it. A decade or more ago you would choose the best hardware for you, be it dedicated 2D card, 3D card, sound card, network.. today I have a three year old CPU, but with a dedicated sound card (well over 110dB signal/noise), dedicated graphics card, and ideally I'd have a great network card such as a single or dual Intel, along with an SSD (can go on motherboard's SATA) and a lot of ram. And backup drives, along with paying for a rented VPS server.

    I'm just overwhelmed with stuff to get (buy) to make a great and rock solid PC, just I have no need to spend 70 euros for a fucking new CPU that will only be marginally better than mine.
     
    #5 Blazkowicz, Oct 27, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 27, 2012
  6. Gipsel

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    I don't think it has nything to do with scalability. Not only do the smallest Llano and Trinity models have only 2 CUs (160 or 128 SPs) enabled, also GCN can in principle scale to quite small GPUs. You will see it with Kabini (Zacate/Ontario successor) next year (probably 2 CUs/128 SPs). You simply don't want anything smaller than that as a GPU nowadays.
     
  7. 3dilettante

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    At that point, could they just sell an APU as a GPU on a board with whatever extra features a niche AIB buyer might want? A few extra components (if they don't sneak them on-die) and tweaks to the behavior of the chip, and it wouldn't appear all that different to the rest of the system.
     
  8. Alexko

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    I suppose Kabini might work fairly well for that job. Maybe someone will actually do it. Sounds like something Asrock or Powercolor might consider.
     
  9. keritto

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    Nvidias GK107 is pretty much low budget chip as it can be and it uses close to nothing when its cutdown to 192:16:16 in GT630. Its not real budget chip as it uses 128-bit memory bus but its as close as it can be, its meant to fight Llano APUs (Fusion Gen.1). But its damn great performing beauty when its fully featured in GT640

    Other than that we have old GF119 design that's on level where old GT216 (featured in GF220/GF315) used to be and its better than anything AMD has offered since they moved into Fusion APU market

    I think you ask for too much :grin:

    32b memory was only featured in some crappy nvidias back in 2005 (GF 6000) and its utter crap that was meant for office computer of those days to show a picture on monitor.

    Close to what you're asking you already have in current Brazos 2.0 platform and i believe E1-1200 (2x1.4GHz+ HD 7310@500M) would suffice for occasional surfing, HD movie play etc. Its huge graphic advancement over integrated HD32/33/4200 parts that serve us well on AM2+/AM3 MoBos.

    Other than that you can stick to integrated graphics in SB/IB/Haswell which doesn't features beauty of AMD graphic but its fast and sufficient for their Pentium G /Core i3 parts if that's what you're asked.

    Or alternatively use damn cheapo Trinity A10-5800K APUs (Fusion Gen .2) and be a happy little bunny as you get GPU which performances surpasses that of four-n-half year old G92 (latest sawn in GTS250 incarnation)

    PCIe x16 3.0 you have in latest Ivy Bridge CPUs. Should we see same in Kabini APUs somewhere next year you should Ask Dave.

    Beside that DDR memory isn't somewhat we should praised for anymore since GDDR5 arrival :wink:
     
  10. keritto

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    This kind of things are long gone. We never saw that even with rebates in HD3450 and HD4350 days :mad: and these were 64b :wink:

    Why do you thing AMD and Intel both push so hastily towards APU ... because OEM makers didnt saw any profit from making and selling those cards in large quantities :wink: And beside time when every kid wants a smartphone or a tablet so these cheapo 20€ cards are not something that you'll put inside yours neighbor kid rig just that he can play for a long time. Damn brats.

    Besides tablets features better graphics which are easier to program are its simply stunning. Why do you think we saw unified shaders six years ago in the first place? (khm for DX to stay competitive with OGL) So its the reason why AMD is trying so hardly with their Brazos 2.0 Z-series --- To get themselves a nice share of market cherry pie
     
  11. Blazkowicz

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    Thanks for your replies, yay asking for 20 is a bit much.
    Sure, I would get either an Intel APU or AMD APU if I started from nothing.
    I've refurbished and repaired computers over the years, I liked how you just plug an old PCI or AGP 2x card in and it just works, 100% stable and silent, though you only ask for 2D and playback of video in an arbitrary resolution from it.

    On the low end there's Celeron G550 and A6 5400K, one has a pretty fast CPU and the other one is overclockable and has faster graphics. An E-350 or variant would be a downgrade and not cheaper enough. Or I keep my CPU and get a low end mobo with IGP, and have to choose between geforce 7025 (renamed geforce 6100) and 760G (radeon HD 3000)
     
  12. CRoland

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    If you don't game on Linux, the open drivers for 4xxx and 5xxx generations are very mature. It's only performance that sucks.

    Oh, there's no real video decode acceleration either, but a ~3GHz Athlon II will play even most 1080p content just fine in software.
     
  13. swaaye

    swaaye Entirely Suboptimal
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    The only time I've bought a budget card was for a little case that needs half height cards. And only then because I was rigging up a HTPC with a micro ATX board without a IGP capable of HD video decode. Decoding Bluray on a CPU creates heat and noise. I went with one that was fanless but the heatsink was inadequate to keep it from overheating while doing more than rendering Aero. If you get one with a fan the fan will likely die after a year or so just like classic Radeon and Geforce cards. Budget cards are most often bottom of the barrel junk.

    I usually dig out or buy a second hand midrange card if there is no IGP.
     
  14. Davros

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    No it didnt, Agp was horrible for compatibility you put that agp 2x card in a 1x or a 4x or 8x slot and watch it die every version of agp used a different voltage (apart from 4x/8x)
     
  15. Blazkowicz

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    There are physical notches so the card shouldn't burn, some universal cards and some universal AGP slots supporting both voltages, too. But yes that was a bit painful, mainly not being able to use AGP 1x/2x cards in motherboards that did not take them.

    Right or wrong, I have a feeling these old cards did not fail as much, when you just need to boot a decade old, or 15 year old PCI graphics card just works most time.
    As for a good future low end, it should be on 28nm and have 64bit ddr4, that would put it in 2014 at least.. I agree this will lack market sense, with IGP well entrenched by then.

    Upgrade and repair would be the only market, or the odd pairing with an Intel CPU. That former niche might be not insignificant, there are plenty cash-strapped people fixing and/or bettering their old PC. (or it's just me liking to plug stuff together at whim.)

    There may be one last low end card, if nvidia does a GK119 that replaces GF119 (even with ddr3/gddr3). It would be not quite soon (can it be made cheaper than Fermi?) and useful for nvidia only if they really want to retire their Fermi chips (including the old GF108 still on geforce 6xx)

    Thanks for listening to my ramblings :)
     
  16. Blazkowicz

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    maybe I can get a 7600GT back, that was a good card, it was smart and efficient back then and probably still can run Valve games.
     
  17. HMBR

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    that's the OEM card, retail GT 630 is a rebranded GT 440.


    as for the OP,
    you should look at the GT 520/610 I guess...
     
  18. swaaye

    swaaye Entirely Suboptimal
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    Sure. You can run Aero on that and it's not a power hog. I have a X1600 around yet for that. 7600GT might have retro followers though and fetch money with them.

    But really you can score midrange cards from only a few years ago for cheap. I wouldn't buy old GeForce cards because of the bumpgate problem possibility. But a Radeon 4670 is pretty nice for example.
     
  19. HMBR

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    x1600 was actually quite nice at the time
    if it's just for aero, even a 6200 will handle just fine,
    I think it's possible to even force a FX5200 to work with Aero, but I'm not sure how well it performs...

    the trouble with the 7600GT is that it's really slow for newer (DX9C) games compared to a low end newer (g80+) card, also there is not video acceleration support for h264, flash video and all of that... so a GT 520 is probably a lot better to have for basic use.
     
  20. swaaye

    swaaye Entirely Suboptimal
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    I wouldn't say X1600 was nice. It's one of ATI's embarrassing old midrange cards that came out overpriced and got replaced by a crippled high-end card (X1800-based) once 7600GT blew it away. Another much faster equivalently priced card was X800 GTO2. But it indeed can run Aero. In fact in my experience it runs Aero better than ATI's low-end HD 2000/3000 cards and IGPs.

    If HD video or gaming is important these are not the cards to look at of course. I look for a Radeon 4670 or similar instead because they can be had for $30-40. We're not really talking about gaming here though, more about getting decent cheap video for boards without an IGP.
     
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