9700 PRO or 9600 PRO or XT


Dec 31, 2003
Unless I am going to plop down $300+ for a 9800 card, which of these two would you purchase? The 9700 PRO has great reviews here and is recommended, but it is an older chipset and is a year and a half years old. The 9700 Pro is still a good $50-$100 more than the 9600 Pro or XT.

Which card should I be adding to my Athlon 2600 for pure gaming? Thanks for your advcice!
An R9700PRo shouldn't be that much more expensive, and if it's $100 more than an R9600Pro or $50 more than an XT, then you should be able to get and R9800 for that price.

BTW, what currency is this in? Country?

You should be able to find an R9800 in the US for much less than $300, and in Canada if you can get and R9700pro for under $300 then that's a good choice.

Of course that's just my two frames worth.

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Former Staff
It's a year and a half old. It's current. How is this possible?

All of ATI's technology is "old". The 9800 core is based on the 9700 core. All they did is fix a couple small things to make it clock higher. The newer feature revisions are software only. The chips are virtually identicle.

The 9600 is based on a 9700 with half the piped physically removed (as opposed to disabled on the 9500). It uses a 128-bit memory bus instead of a 256-bit memory bus, not to save cost but to make it slower (in order to keep the 9700/9800 cards significantly faster). 9600 Pro and XT are great cards, but can't catch up to the physically superior 9700/9800 cards.

The main advantage of the 9600 series is that it draws less power and makes less heat, due to the .13 micron process used and the fact it has fewer transistors (4 pipelines instead of 8). The 9700 Pro was intended to be .13 micron but didn't make the cut due to early problem in the .13 micron manufacturing process. The 9800 Pro should have been .13 micron but ATI was too lazy to make the switch when they revised the 9700 core for it.

ATI was supposed to release a new graphics chip instead of the 9800XT, but nVidia put so little pressure on them that they decided to wait 1 more product cycle. Every time you can get someone to pay as much for an old product as they would have for a new one, you save money as a company.

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