Michael Thomas at GPUreview

If you want really detailed video card information and specs, GPUreview.com is a really good resource.  He has a lot of information on video cards.

If you want to know the most about graphics processing, or you are doing any 3D work or running any 3D applications, check out Michael's site, I'm sure you'll be pleased.

Q: What was your initial inspiration for setting up GPUReview?
A: Back when the GeForce FX cards were coming out, I was constantly annoyed trying to figure out what all the different model numbers meant. So I started writing down specifications. Over the course of a summer, this list of specs grew into gpureview.com.

Q: Do you have a preference between ATI or Nvidia? Why?
A: I personally prefer nVidia cards. Mostly out of habit at this point. My first video card was an STB Velocity 128 (Riva 128 chipset). And when I was first really getting into video cards, nVidia was the undisputed king of 3d acceleration. I was a pretty huge nVidia fan for the longest time. But these days ATi cards are just as good and I recommend them often.

Q: What is the biggest thing your look for when buying a video card? Eg. Core, Memory, Benchmarks, Brand.
A: Bang for the buck. Or, if I have a particular game I really want to play and I need the horsepower, I just buy the fastest card on the market.

Q: What is your favorite video card manufacturer and why? Eg. BFG, EVGA
A: All the big names are pretty equal: ASUS, Gigabyte, MSI, EVGA, BFG, etc. Gigabyte and EVGA tend to have more features for the price, I've bought several cards from them. But mostly I just go for whatever brand has the features I want at a good price. Also, I refuse to buy Sapphire cards. I think they have crappy construction and poor customer support.

Q: If you had a limited budget and currently had to choose a video card that offered the most bang for its buck, which card would you pick?
A: That depends entirely on the budget. Right now everything is in a state of flux while the market responds to the release of the HD 5870. So prices will be dropping. For now the 5850 and the 5870 are the best bang for the buck out there, just cuz they're so damn fast.

Q: Would you recommend someone SLI or just buy a faster card?
A: SLI makes sense for some people in certain situations. Here are some general guidelines: 

  • If you want to play the most resource-intensive games on the market and you have lots of money, get two of the fastest cards on the market and put them in SLI (or CrossFire).
  • If high-end cards are so overpriced that you can buy two mid-range cards, put them in SLI, and get equal or better performance for less money than a high-end card, do it.
  • Don't invest in SLI right before a new generation of video cards comes out, you'll regret it.
  • If you already have an SLI motherboard, buying one card now, and dropping another identical card in later when the price drops, is a pretty solid upgrade path.
In general, SLI performance gains are all over the map. Before you invest in an SLI setup, check out reviews/benchmarks to make sure SLI is going to give you the boost you need in the games you care about.

Q: What is the best advice you can give someone before they buy a video card?
A: Don't let somebody sell you something. Brick and mortar stores and internet retailers are always happy to sell you a card that's 2 generations old for the original MSRP (I've seen advertised deals where you'd be overpaying for the performance by a factor of 10!). Don't buy it. Ask a friend, ask people on forums, at a bare minimum, go to my website and look at what cards are popular. Get some information before you buy.

Thank you Michael Thomas for your contribution to the computer community.

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