What Happened to the 512MB Cards?

Discussion in 'Graphics and Semiconductor Industry' started by Geo, Dec 18, 2004.

  1. Geo

    Geo Mostly Harmless
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    I was just reading some articles on Doom 3 quality settings, and was reminded that id had told people at release that the Ultra Quality setting was intended for 512MB cards to run at acceptable performance, and that such cards were expected this fall. Then I remembered as well a Richard Huddy comment from somewhere (maybe the infamous notes-still-in-it powerpoint?) that also pointed at 512MB cards around now.

    So what happened? Is this further evidence that NV shifted strategies at some point and decided to push SLI instead of a new high-end refresh?

    Or is it a casualty of the high-speed memory market not developing as expected in availability, price, and speeds?

    Or something else entirely?
     
  2. Wunderchu

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    I believe you are correct with this reason...
     
  3. DukenukemX

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    I personally believe that the Ultra Quality setting in Doom 3 is only there to keep people thinking that they need new video cards.

    The Ultra Quality setting is just not using any compressed textures. Realistically all games use some form of texture compressing.

    If ATI or Nvidia did release cards with 512MB of memory it would probably be a paper launch.

    I remember I saw benchmarks with a Radeon 9800 Pro 128MB and Radeon 9800 256MB were compared. The only time when the FPS was noticibly different was when FarCry was 1600X1200 with max settings.
     
  4. Tim Murray

    Tim Murray the Windom Earle of mobile SOCs
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    What happened is that there isn't really a point right now, even at max quality settings in most apps.
     
  5. Dutch Guy

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    Excactly, my 128Mb softmodded 6800NU can play DoomIII relatively fine in Ultra setting, there are only some slight hitches but overall fps is fine.
     
  6. John Reynolds

    John Reynolds Ecce homo
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    Bigger is better. I want my graphics board super-sized, thank you very much. 8)
     
  7. wireframe

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    The reason may be that they are saving this *extra* for when they need it to make sales. One example could have been the mostly uninteresting x850 series Had ATI decided to market the x850XT PE with 512MB it would have made it far more interesting. Unfortunately, ATI already had a product diversity card in the form of PCI-e.

    I expect PCI-e has a larger influence on the decision to hold back glamor features such as doubling the memory capacity. With essentially two identical products having to be produced for two separated/incompatible markets, it is a very scary time to allocate inventory one way or the other. This is why I made the example of the x850 XT PE, as this would work in the manufacturer's favor, pushing the market into early adoption of PCI-e by offering bonuses. Bonuses, however, do no come naturally to companies looking to make money. This is especially true in a somehwat depressed/recovering market with a competitor at your throat.

    Let me sum this up by categorizing it as: They're playing it safe.
     
  8. MasterBaiter

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    Me waits for 1024 meg cards. :lol:

    Most likely we'll see some 512 cards in the middle to later part of this year (later than sooner). I would assume that Nvidia and ATI's product refreshes will offer a 512meg varient... :?
     
  9. John Reynolds

    John Reynolds Ecce homo
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    We don't need more RAM, we need better compression and more procedural data.
     
  10. digitalwanderer

    digitalwanderer Dangerously Mirthful
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    Pfffft! It'll never happen, the PR people say that don't look as impressive on the box. :?
     
  11. Geo

    Geo Mostly Harmless
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    12x or 16x AA? :D That would take that kinda RAM to be useable up to 16x12 and still have decent on-board storage for textures and stuff, right?

    Of course whether there's enuf oomph (apparently I'm feeling anti-jargon this morning) to go with the storage to do 12-16x AA next gen is less clear to me. . .my guess right now is yes. Whether in practice it would be a signficant (i.e. visually obvious to a casual observer) IQ win is less clear to me as I've never seen it. <g> I'm assuming some of the boys and girls in the IHV labs have, however.

    It seems like 4x AA is very usuable for mainstream apps, cards, and resolutions right now. . .time for a significant step-up on the high-end. . .or what's the point of having a high-end other than bragging rights?
     
  12. wireframe

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    Same here. Not that I will skip the "512MB generation," but I have a hunch that the 512MB series will be less spectacular than most imagine (as in: 512MB itself won't bring enough to the table). It's my belief, or perhaps it is my hope, that we won't see the next great computer graphics revolution until we hit 1GB of video memory. Upping the memory from 32MB to 64MB then 128MB and so on was fine when we also wanted simple things like more polygons with somewhat realistic looking textures. The current trend towards photo-realism and all these lovely shaders is just begging for more data to work with. Take a look at Doom 3 and Half-Life 2 as examples. Both have some nice looking effects and interesting worlds, but don't look too closely because you suddenly begin realizing how ugly some of the texturing is.

    Texturing needs to elevate and clever assistance from pooled system memory shuffling over the video interface won't be enough. We'll want loads of variety in one scene and it must be carried close to the GPU for ultra fast access.

    I agree with both of you, although I think digitalwanderer played a key card: marketing. New features simply don't sound as impressive as old features increased, like more memory, etc. This may also be one reason why SM 3.0 looks much better on a box than 3Dc. Then again, maybe next generation the Nvidia box will read 3Dc and ATI's will have the power of slapping "3Dc 2.0" on theirs. Of course this has little to do with what we need. Effective and efficient use of resources is naturally as important as increasing those resources. However, the safe road here is to 'want' more memory.
     
  13. MasterBaiter

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    I was joking about the 1024 actually. :wink:

    I'm probably going to do a system upgrade in early summer, so I'm hoping there will be some enhancements (system and graphics wise) out around then. :)
     
  14. jvd

    jvd
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    Here is what happened .


    Ati and nvidia sat down for tea . They said ... well we are still stuck on dx 9 . Your going to put out your first sm 3.0 card but we got nothing ati . Well how about we wait and release the 512 meg cards with the new tech so that we give them that extra reason to upgrade
     
  15. ANova

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    They should take a look at http://www.theprodukkt.com/ :wink:
     
  16. karlotta

    karlotta pifft
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    if the Ram is on one side, is 25% faster than current GDDR3. Ill buy 4 cards today.
     
  17. Frank

    Frank Certified not a majority
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    "Now out, Doom 4!!!"
    "Minimum system specs: DX9 compatible Graphics card with 1024 MB, 2000 Mhz CPU, 512 MB system RAM.

    :D
     
  18. Unit01

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    That would be weird, requirements that require more ram on the graphics card than on the system? :lol:
     
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