Introduction

Affordable, full-featured cards have been long in coming from ATI and NVIDIA. With the HyperMemory and TurboCache cards, we are finally able to recommend a budget card that can absolutely play the latest games with all the eye candy that developers have built in. The tradeoff that we have to make for the lower price is resolution and filtering options, but we no longer need to sacrifice effects or realism and are rewarded with the immersive experience that modern games are able to deliver at a reasonable price.

For those who have experienced huge resolutions with AA and AF enabled, it would be very hard to go back to playing games at an aliased 800x600 with no filtering. On the upside, casual computer users who may not have any real gaming experience now have a cost-effective way to add DX9 level graphics to their next computer upgrade.

Another major upside of the current landscape is that when the bear minimum in graphics cards supports DX9 level graphics, the minimum requirements of games will shift up to the DX9 level. Designing for DX9 at the outset will change the way that game developers approach their work. This is really the excuse that we need to see gaming experiences jump up to the next level.

In this look at ATI's HyperMemory and NVIDIA's TurboCache parts, we will be trying to determine which card is the best value for the money. Something that we also want to learn is whether the cheapest budget card can still hold its own, and whether the most expensive card that we test is worth the price difference.

We have already written about the technology behind TurboCache. Today, we talk about HyperMemory and concentrate on what these products are actually able to deliver.

Round 1: Architecture
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  • DAPUNISHER - Thursday, May 12, 2005 - link

    I'm on my first cup of coffee, so help me out here Derek,what was the test setup config please? Reply
  • erinlegault - Thursday, May 12, 2005 - link

    LOL. I beat the losers who care about having the 1st post. Reply
  • erinlegault - Thursday, May 12, 2005 - link

    Unfortunately, I don't think this was a completely fair test of hypermemory, since the Radeon X300 (synonymous with 9200) is complete crap, while Geforce 6200 is probably adequate for most users (I think there equivalent or better than the Radeon 9600's) Reply

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