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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  • OrSin - Thursday, May 12, 2005 - link

    Why test $60 video cards on systems with the highend chips and memory. No one test goodyear tires on ferrari. I want to see these test ran on 2800 CPU and kinmax memory. As it stands this a waste to me.

    Also why not test some on board cards to these.
    To see if its even worth upgrade the Intel ,ATI, or NV solution to these.

  • stevty2889 - Thursday, May 12, 2005 - link

    What the heck? The system it was tested on was:
    Microsoft Windows XP SP2
    ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe
    AMD Athlon FX-53
    1GB OCZ PC3200 @ 2:2:2:9
    Seagate 7200.7 HD
    OCZ Powerstream 600W PS

    Nobody that buy's these cards is going to be running on a system like that..should have been tested with a sempron, or 2.8ghz P4/A64 2800+ type setup instead..
  • DerekWilson - Thursday, May 12, 2005 - link

    Sorry about leaving off the machine specs -- I've updated the article.

    Actually, that was quite an oversight as the system these cards are run in is very important to note when looking at the numbers.

    Marlin1975, InuYasha is correct -- the 32MB card out performed the 64MB part in almost every test. It wasn't until we upped the resolution to unplayable degrees that the 64MB part was able to make up the difference.
  • bob661 - Thursday, May 12, 2005 - link

    Does anyone know what motherboard and how much ram was used in their test system?
  • CrystalBay - Thursday, May 12, 2005 - link

    #3 I was wondering the same thing myself, hmmm.
  • InuYasha - Thursday, May 12, 2005 - link

    #4 the 32MB and 64MB results are not backward.

    if i remember correctly from HOCP, the 32MB has faster memory and that makes a huge difference than the amount of memory.
  • Icehawk - Thursday, May 12, 2005 - link

    I don't see the machine specs anywhere either? I'm curious if these were tested on the "standard" uber-machine or tested on what kind of PC someone buying these would actually have. Somehow, by the #s generated I think this was on the uber-machine. While interesting to see ultimate performance I think end-users would also be served by showing more realistic performance #s.

    A couple of minor typos ;)
  • Marlin1975 - Thursday, May 12, 2005 - link

    OK I think it is a mis-tpe, not the graohs that are wrong on page 7...

    "Unreal Tournament 2004 shows our 32MB HyperMemory performing on par with the 64MB TurboCache part in the middle of the pack. The 16 and 32 MB TC cards round out the bottom and top of the pack respectively."
  • gimpsoft - Thursday, May 12, 2005 - link

    be alot better if it could be the other way around taking video card memory and using it for windows then ill really pay for it lol letting video card borrow system memory bad idea for the future

    anyways that's just me
  • Marlin1975 - Thursday, May 12, 2005 - link

    Do you have the 32mb and 64mb cards backwards?

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