Polling and Graphics: Help Us Help Youby Derek Wilson on January 27, 2009 11:05 PM EST
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Hello everyone. We often get asked questions like: what is the most popular x? how common is y? And sometimes we can guess from what we read on the forums or from general market trends. But nothing beats actually knowing what readers are thinking. So it's about time we asked.
We've brought back the ability to do polls. And polls we shall do.
This is more or less a test run to see how polling works out, but I'm hoping we can answer one really key question and also satisfy a curiosity today. The really important question has to do with display information, while the curiosity has to do with current opinions about graphics hardware.
By knowing what resolutions our reader's displays are capable of, we can help target our testing and articles to better accommodate the average reader. We can look more heavily at graphics solutions that satisfy the needs of more of our readers. We've been doing a lot of high end stuff lately (and we've got one more in the pipe), but we are ready to focus on the more mainstream and value segments and we would love to be able to taylor those articles a bit better.
Also, there are a lot of different monitor options with all the many widescreen and laptop panels. Just pick the one that's closest to yours out of this list. If you really want to be as accurate as possible, you could multiply out the resolutions and see which has the closest number of pixels. But just a close guess is fine too.
Well, there's really no sense in beating around the bush. It's a poll, it's not rocket science. Here it is:
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setzer - Saturday, January 31, 2009 - linkYou are missing 1152x864.
I use that resolution and quite like it :P
PrinceGaz - Thursday, January 29, 2009 - linkI've been visiting AT for many years (since around the time when a GeForce 3 was state-of-the-art) and I don't seem to remember any polls being available. They must have really been back in the early days of the site.
They are an excellent idea though. Knowing what your readership are most interested in will help ensure future articles are of more relevance to them, increasing the likelihood they will return in future. One point I will make is that whilst you did include the option for "other" in which GPU manufacturer you would choose for an upgrade, an option like "other lower resolution" and "other higher resolution" should have been offered for the other question. There may still be some people running at 800x600, and likewise it is possible with multiple monitor setups (possibly using an external splitter-box) to run at above 2560x1600.
The graphics related question I would most like you to ask is "what is your current graphics card?". I know a poll with fifty or more answers would be madness, so you could in the short accompanying article group similar performance-level cards from nVidia and AMD together, along with Intel, and even SiS and VIA/S3 when you get low enough, then ask which group of cards yours falls into. Starting from SLI'd GTS280s and the like in the top category, by halving in performance for each group, the sixth or seventh option would probably be including the likes of "Intel Extreme Graphics II (i865G)", the GeForce 2MX, and the Radeon 7500.
That would give you some idea of what your readers are currently using, and what the majority of them are likely to be upgrading from (not all of us buy a new card every year, and my own nVidia history has been 2MX -> Ti4200 -> 6800GT -> 8800GTS640) which means that reviews of high-end cards which only compare them with similar cards from the previous generation aren't entirely useful. I could understand this in the AGP->PCIe change-over, but there is no reason now why you can't dig up a popular card from some time ago, like a 6600GT, along with a 6800GT, 7900GT, 8800GT (or equivalent at each performance level from AMD) and include them in the mix alongside the 9800GT and other recent cards. Even if the older cards often have slide-show framerates at higher resolutions, that is the information people with them need to judge how effective an upgrade will be.
FXi - Thursday, January 29, 2009 - linkAnswered the honest thing and put 1920 for res, but 2560 is in the very, very near future.
No matter what res you are at now, it would be interesting to ask if folks plan to up that resolution over 2009, and if so, what resolution they would be going to.
It would give you some sense of the growing need for more gpu power down the road. And that's not even accounting for the quad resolution displays that will be all the rage in the next few years. At 5120 resolution, you'll put even moden SLI 295's to shame.
Holly - Thursday, January 29, 2009 - linkSince I started to play a bit with 3D graphics I can't stand ATI cards. For lack of other words they SUCK big time. Just to be able to use certain effects, you need to set the size of certain value to specific number. And their cards are full of that. Honestly if you miss black book with list of these "features" you won't be able to run anything but very basic 3D with ATI cards while with nVidia everything runs fine (_so far_).
Revolution - Wednesday, January 28, 2009 - link1024x768 on my Samsung 15" CRT..........:(
The0ne - Thursday, January 29, 2009 - linkWhy haven't you made the upgrade yet? :)
StraightPipe - Wednesday, January 28, 2009 - linkI'm currently using a 50" Sony 720p on my gaming rig.
I've always had the PC in the living room on my bigscreen. Even back in the day when i played on a 36" tube over S-video (my eyes hurt ;)
I never saw the point in buying a 24-30" monitor for gaming, when you can buy a 50" Projection LCD for $1000 and it's got a tuner.
The0ne - Wednesday, January 28, 2009 - linkThe pixels doesn't bother you than it's ok. Games on PC or consoles are fine on my 1080P 73" :P so I can't complain either. But then they're much nicer on the 30" LCD.
StraightPipe - Wednesday, January 28, 2009 - linkPs. that's 1280x720 on my 50" Sony.
I figure the 1080P resolutions will be big too.
chizow - Wednesday, January 28, 2009 - linkFeedback is always good imo, and I've mentioned similar with polling in the past, although I'd rather see a follow-up poll for further investigation in that article, or a follow-up based on the findings of the original article.
But honestly, I'd settle for better quality reviews done in a more timely fashion that get away from some of the bad habits AT has gotten into. Using archived results based on old drivers is clearly something AT needs to stop doing given how much performance gains newer drivers have shown lately.
I understand that the number of solutions, particularly in CF/SLI, increase the number of potential tests exponentially, but the obvious trade-off would be to cut the number of configurations tested per benchmark, not to keep using months-old benches with old drivers and sometimes, different hardware. Which is another point, if you're using archived benches and relying on the same test bench as the reasoning, this also prevents you from using the fastest hardware available at any given time.