Nov 28, 2001
1) what's the difference between 128MB and 256MB video cards in general?

2) for cad work, would a 9600pro 128MB or 256MB card suffice?

3) or would a 9700pro be the best choice

i'm looking to spend under $200, and my perferred brand is powercolor



Mar 2, 2003
1) 256 cards can run at higher res. But don't buy one unless it's for the 9800 or 5950 cause any other card won't be powerful enough to take advantage of the extra mem.
2) Almost any card will do for CAD work because it's mostly CPU + RAM intensive
3) see above

Why Powercolor??? It has the worst reputation!!!


Jul 13, 2003
1)As I understand it the more video ram a card has the more it can take in when rendering. For instance 256mb can take in twice as much detail(larger textures for instance) into its memory then a 128mb card. This would act as a cache for the video card so that the videocard can more easily display things on your screen with out long pauses while it loads things into its memory since it would have so much memory. However the storage is only one aspect of it. The speed at which data is put into memory and accessed through its memory will be a determining factor to its speed at drawing things. For instance lets liken the ram to a bucket and liken the speed at which the ram is accessed to a tap on the bucket. If you had a large bucket with a small tap then it could store alot of water but it would be limited by the small tap in its ability to access that water. Where as a small bucket with a larger tap can gain access to the water very quickly but yet it isn't able to store much at once due to its limited capacity. In such a case the smaller bucket would likly outperform the bigger bucket because its transfering of the water it can store is much faster. In the case of a 9600 series card I don't think its able to access 256mbs of ram fast enough to make good use of all that storage capacity. Not the best analogy but its somewhat simelar. I don't actually understand all the workings of it myself to be honest.

2) I'm not sure that a 256mb 9600 Pro card would perform better then a 128mb 9600 Pro card in such a case. however assuming that cad relies more on large quantities of data in comparison to fast access of data then the 256mb card might do a bit better with this program.

3) The 9700 pro 128mb card would certainly be better then either a 128mb or 256mb version of a 9600 Pro.

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Asus A7N8X-X, Athelon XP 2500+ Barton,
Samsung 1024mb DDR400, MSI GeforceFX5900 XT.


Former Staff
1.) Not much unless your editing extremely large images
2.) My AIW 9600 Pro works great in Solidworks (CAD package), and even scores well on SpeCapc's Solidworks benchmarks.
3.) A 9700 Pro would be a better choice.

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Jan 20, 2004
Powercolor has a VERY BAD REP !! I bought and then gave back their 9600 XT because i found out it was based on the 9600 pro board, used o/C ram and GPU, and their was no thermal diode circitry for the "overdrive" facility dispite it stating very clearly on teh box that it supported it. After all of that, i wondered what other shortcuts they might have taken and took the damn thing back and got a 9800 pro extreme.


<font color=red>AMD 2700 XP<font color=red>
<font color=red>Gecube 9800 pro Extreme<font color=red>
<font color=blue>ASUS A7N8X deluxe<font color=blue>
<font color=blue>1024 meg Dual Channel DDR 3200<font color=blue>


Everybody had #1 wrong to some extent, so here's the real deal:

1) 256MB cards will support larger texture-sets in games of the future. However, 128 and 64 meg texture sets will be supported for years to come. But they will not be able to see the highest texture resolutions in upcoming games.
To a smaller extent, 256 MB has an advatage for very high-resolution Antialiassing use

2) more than suffice.

3) Well, the 9700 PRO would be a better choice, but I doubt you'd see much difference in CAD applications.. although it depends on the CAD program you're using.

<b>Radeon <font color=red>9500 PRO</b></font color=red> <i>(hardmodded 9500, o/c 322/322)</i>
<b>AthlonXP <font color=red>2600+</b></font color=red> <i>(o/c 2400+ w/143Mhz fsb)</i>
<b>3dMark03: <font color=red>4,055</b></font color=red>