Was directed to this in the newsgroups:
Glad to see my 1.2Athlon/256/GF2-64 isn't as outdated as some people would have me believe!
Looks like my 56k is, however.
By Aszurom (Aszurom) on Saturday, September 22, 2001 - 08:22 pm:
Also interesting that approx 50% of the respondents didn't know if their graphics hardware was PCI or AGP.
By Dave Long on Sunday, September 23, 2001 - 12:24 am:
Interesting also is how many GeForce2 MX cards are in use in that survey. Just goes to show that most people don't really want to pay the big dollars for top level performance.
By Jason_cross (Jason_cross) on Sunday, September 23, 2001 - 02:04 am:
Make that 30%, not 50% (AGP vs PCI).
And if you applied the patch, you know this, but...
You only actually ANSWER one question: your network speed. Everything else is actually detected by your patch. So things like the number of unknown AMD/Intel and PCI/AGP questions are just problems with the way the software determines what you've got.
I find it telling that of the 60,000+ people who submitted info, NVIDIA has over a 60% market share. For graphics, that's HUGE.
>Just goes to show that most people don't really want to pay the big dollars for top level performance.
The MX and TNT2 cards are probably mostly from OEM stuff. It's just the cards that came with people's computers.
The point is still the same, though: most people are content with the graphics they have, and not willing to pay big bucks to upgrade.
It's always worth paying attention to top-level performance, though. It eventually becomes low-grade OEM bundles. The TNT2 was once an expensive $200 card, and the GF2 MX is equivalent to a Geforce 256 DDR - a $299 card when it was brand new.
By Westyx (Westyx) on Sunday, September 23, 2001 - 02:29 pm:
As someone who has a tnt2 m64 card, i'm amazed that i get good framerates in cs/dod. unreal does at times really test it (frag cannons on some of the small levels), but it does what it needs to do well.
This is why i think the xbox (in particular, and consoles in general) are going to do so well - every single player will have a geforce 2 level machine.
By Jeff Atwood (Wumpus) on Sunday, September 23, 2001 - 02:42 pm:
Ouch. tnt2 M64. I highly recommend a video card upgrade. 64mb GeForce 2 Pros can be had for $125 from http://www.newegg.com .. and the new GF3 models should be out any day now.
By Jason_cross (Jason_cross) on Sunday, September 23, 2001 - 05:08 pm:
>every single player will have a geforce 2 level machine
Make that GeForce 3... actually, quite a bit more powerful than a GF3 in some ways (a lot more vertex processing power).
By Jeff Atwood (Wumpus) on Sunday, September 23, 2001 - 06:17 pm:
I just want to point out that, unless there is some really super-zooty GeForce3MX with DDR introduced in the next month (and from what I understand, nVidia is making the big mistake of making their low end cards SDR *AGAIN*.. morons)
Anyway. The $125 64mb GeForce2 Pro is an astonishing bang-for-the-buck. You want the MSI StarForce 831 with the 64mb of 5ns (200mhz) DDR. This will likely overclock to GeForce 2 Ultra levels, by the way.
The cheaper cards aren't that great of a deal, IMO. A basic GeForce2MX is going to be about half the speed of the GeForce 2 Pro, for 3/4 of the same price. That's a big drop for not many more bucks. I say suck it up and go for the $125 price point. It's worth it.
The next step up is the $299 GeForce3, and paying nearly 3x for 20% more performance is not a great deal.
*No, I do not work for NewEgg. I do frequently patronize their online store though, and I heartily recommend them. Super-fast shipping, great in-stock status monitor. Close to the ideal!
By Jeff Atwood (Wumpus) on Sunday, September 23, 2001 - 06:21 pm:
Sweet. I just noticed newegg has the CardExpert GeForce 2 Pro 64mb "golden sample" which has 4.5ns RAM, for only $132!!
That means you are practically guaranteed a GeForce 2 Ultra if you know how to overclock .. definitely worth the extra $8 over the MSI card mentioned above. Woo-hoo!
By Mark Bussman on Sunday, September 23, 2001 - 08:34 pm:
I've been looking at that card for a while. I figure I'll be building a new system next summer, but my current system (Duron 800, 192mb PC100 ram, TNT2 Ultra) needs an upgrade sooner than that. Mechcommander2 is chunky at 800x600 and Max Payne is just so so at 1024x168. I haven't been able to decide whether to get a gf3 and not buy a new card next summer, or to get the gf2pro sooner (maybe next month) and decide next summer whether or not to replace it. I think I just got my answer. Thanks.
By antony brian west (Westyx) on Tuesday, September 25, 2001 - 01:30 pm:
$125 us equals approx 3 tonnes worth of bananas, or whatever the currency_of_choice is at the moment (living in a banana republic does that to prices :)).
Seriously, i'm looking to upgrade sometime early next year. I'll be looking at getting something to replace the 700 Duron, too.
By Jason_cross (Jason_cross) on Tuesday, September 25, 2001 - 10:58 pm:
>and from what I understand, nVidia is making the big mistake of making their low end cards SDR *AGAIN*.. morons
They're not. The slowest card in the new fall lineup does indeed use a full 128bit DDR interface. I'm under NDA about it, but I'll say that much.
The Valve patch survey is now up to 187,224 users! It's all of a sudden becoming a really large and relevant data set.
The most surprising stat to me: only 19.7% have 56k or worse net connection, with only another 7.3% at 128k. Nearly 73% have 256k net connection or better, and over 50% have at least 512k!
The RAM amounts don't surprise me too much - 256MB is a little higher than I thought, but not much.
NVIDIA is womping everyone with 64% of the video card market, mostly in the cheaper GF2 MX and TNT2 cards. ATI's getting womped, with only %3 having some form of Radeon and another 4.3% with some kind of Rage 128. Almost as many people still have their Voodoo3 cards installed as all ATI cards put together.
Granted, this represents a limited data set in that it's only Half-Life patchers who said "yes" to the survey, but it's a really BIG set of survey data about gamers.
And more importantly, it's pretty obvious that Valve is going to use this to base future design decisions on. I just hope they do this again in the next patch, because I want to compare the data from another survey 6 months from now.
By Sean Tudor on Wednesday, September 26, 2001 - 01:02 am:
Sure that's a lot of users but that only represents online gamers. I'd argue there are many 56K users out there who have basically given up on multiplay because of lag issues.
My own connection is limited to 28.8K (because of local telco exchange) and there is no cable infrastructure in my neighbour nor will there be in the foreseeable future.
Then again if Valve gears their games towards the typical broadband user then that is ok as long as they realise it is only a limited market segment that might only net them X amount of unit sales.
By Sean Tudor on Wednesday, September 26, 2001 - 01:12 am:
Wow - still 39,000 users in this survey using a TNT2. I am still using my TNT2U since they were first released.
Great graphics card with long legs.
By Dave Long on Wednesday, September 26, 2001 - 11:42 am:
Even with over 100,000 respondants to this survey, I'd venture a guess that this is still the hardcore segment only. I haven't patched my game in a long time because I'm on 56k and just don't play Half-Life and all its mods, etc. because of it. Too much time downloading crap and not playing. I'll bet the potential players on 56k is much higher than this small sampling seems to indicate.
What you don't know is how many people responded and how many did NOT respond. If everyone is replying, that means there's only a little over 100,000 people actively updating their Half-Life game yet. Compare that with units sold and it really shows how few people play online.
By Jason_cross (Jason_cross) on Wednesday, September 26, 2001 - 09:31 pm:
I dunno how hardcore this group is. I think it's a mix. I mean, Half-Life is enormously popular, and definitely a break-out game. And it's a game that runs very well on older, slower hardware, so it's something non-hardcore can play well.
But, this is a big patch you gotta download. How many non-hardcore HL/CS players are doing so?
It's up over 200,000 users now, so the numbers are growing steadily. That's 200k people who applied the patch AND said "yes" to the survey. I wonder how many people applied it and just said "no" when it asked?
As for broadband... I guess it depends on how long the legs you think your game will have are. I mean, if Valve releases a game next year aimed at broadband users, maybe it will initially only sell several hundred thousand. But if it's around for three years again, and they keep refreshing it at retail like they have with HL, that number could really grow as millions more get broadband.
It's a nifty gamble - for a non-MMO, a game that only sells a few hundred thousand might not have enough momentum to last for three years in the limelight.