Advice Needed!

rgw

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My system specs are...

Sony Vaio
1.7 GHz
Pentium 4
512 SDRAM
Bus Speed 400 MHz
AGP 4x
XP home edition

I'm looking to replace my old NVIDIA RIVA TNT2 Model 64 that shipped with it.

I need this card for games, primarly the game World of Warcraft (coming out later this year). WoW could probably be compared graphically to Battlefield 1942 (maybe?). Anyway I have about $250 to spend.

From what I've read the ASUS Radeon 9600 XT/TVD looks good. My question is how does this stack up against the ATI Radeon 9600 XT ? I would prefer to buy the card from my local store (I don't want to have to deal with shipping) which carries only the ATI version but if there is a significant difference I'd be willing.

Which of these two cards would be the best choice? Is there another card that would be better within my price range?

Also what about the issue of the NVIDIA drivers not uninstalling properly? Is it absolutely necessary that I reinstall the OP? And iif it is necessary is there a comparable NVIDIA card? (I'd prefer not to reinstall)

sorry about all the questions! Thx in advance
 

rgw

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in case this matters....

I forgot to mention I don't care about all the "special" texture crap. I just want the game to run SMOOTHLY at all times. I'll probably have all the special features turned as low as possible.

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by rgw on 02/01/04 06:40 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
 

Crashman

Polypheme
Former Staff
Both 9600XT cards should perform equally, but the Asus might have a video input. You can even watch TV with that video input if you use an external tuner (such as a VCR).

I'd try doing the standard driver uninstall and installing the new card/drivers. If you have problems after that, you can find a program that will remove remaining driver files.

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rgw

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So if I don't need the TV output there is no reason to get the ASUS?

Also would the jump to a 9700 pro be worth it? (considering I only have AGP 4x)

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by rgw on 02/01/04 07:57 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
 

sirak

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Are you talking in US or Canadian dollars? For $250 US you can buy a Sapphire 9800pro 128mb at Newegg.com. Leaps and bounds above the 9600xt.

----------------------
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cleeve

Illustrious
AGP 4x isn't really any better than 8x. No discernable performance difference.

Yes, a 9700 PRO would be noticably much better, and a 9800 PRO would be even better than that.

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rgw

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which would be the best cost/benefit ratio? I'm guessing the 9600 pro (which no one seems to sell)...

aside from that I'm curious when does the difference become imperceptible? (ie could I tell between a 9800 Pro and 9800 XT) Also what about my low 512 SDRAM, will this limit the card's performance in any way?


"AGP 4x isn't really any better than 8x. No discernable performance difference."

-do you mean 4x isn't really any worse than 8x? I was under the impression that 8x was newer and therefore slightly better.
 
First no card takes FULL advantage of the 8X bus. There are some areas where you will see a 5-10% benifit both those are VERY few and far between right now. The main thing is you will get pretty much the same performance from a 4X slot as an 8X slot so it's not the limiting factor that a 2X slot or PCI would be.

The R9600P has GREAT price/performance ratio, but if you can afford it future games will appreciate the extra power of an R9700/9800 series card. It can be fairly significant in some cases, meaning the difference between playable and unplayable FPS at certain resolutions.

If you just wanna play some games regardless of resolution, then maybe get the R9600Pro and then put the savings towards another card in the summer or fall of this year when the next gen cards are about to be replaced (like the R42X being suplanted by the R450 line). Really there's no way to be sure.

But unless you are making another purchase within the next 12 months, then I would recommend an R9700/9800 [not SE] series card to hold you over until 2005+.

The difference between and R9800Pro and an R9800XT is very small in most cases, once again there are some rare instances when the gap can widen a bit, but if you are really worried you could try your hand at overclocking.


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cleeve

Illustrious
Best cost/benefit ratio?

I'm going to recommend the Radeon 9800 PRO. SUpposedly you can nab 'em for $230 at Newegg now! That is an incredible deal for the preice, since these cards are the second-to-absolute best card available on the market right now, IMHO. (the Radeon 9800XT)

And almost as fast as those, even.

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rgw

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Why is this card:

SAPPHIRE RADEON 9700PRO Video Card, 128MB DDR, 256-bit, DVI/TV-Out, 8X $238


more than the

SAPPHIRE RADEON 9800PRO Video Card, 128MB DDR, 256-bit, DVI/TV-Out, 8X AGP -BULK at $229


Isn't the 9700 pro inferior to the 9800 p? Also are the cards made by Sapphire inferior to those made by ATI?

Also what is the difference between core speed and effective speed?

as in...
Chipset/Core Speed: RADEON 9800PRO/380MHz
Memory/Effective Speed: 128MB DDR/680MHz
BUS: AGP 1X/2X/4X/8X

LOL - ONE more thing !

why is does the POWERCOLOR RADEON 9600PRO Video Card, 128MB DDR, 128-bit, DVI/TV-Out, 8X AGP, Model "R96-C3G(Radeon9600 Pro EZ version)" -RETAIL

with:
Chipset/Core Speed: RADEON 9600PRO/400MHz
Memory/Effective Speed: 128MB DDR/400MHz

have a higher core speed than the sapphire 9800 pro (for 230 on newegg)


<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by rgw on 02/02/04 04:28 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
 

cleeve

Illustrious
As for your first question, why is the 9700 PRO more than the 9800 PRO... well, the 9700 PRO has not been utilized as a 5900XT killer in the price segment.

Indeed the 9800 PRO is better than the 9700 PRO, but Sapphire has decided to drop prices on the 9800 PRO to compete with the 5900XT.

Also note that the 9800 PRO is a white-box OEM issue card, and the 9700 PRO is a full retail boxed product. Fancy packaging always makes a big difference in $$$.

In this price battle, the consumer wins.

As for the question why is the 9600 PRO clocked higher than a 9800 PRO... well, it just is. That's the spec. The 9800 PRO will still perform MUCH better than a 9600 PRO, however.

Clockspeed has very little to do with comparing different graphics chips, because architectures are so different. Just like the Athlon 1.5 Ghz will beat up a Celeron at 2.0 Ghz, because the Athlon's architecture is superior.

Well, the 9800 PRO architecture is superior to the 9600 PROs. The 9800 PRO has 8 pipelines and more shaders than the 9600 PRO (which only has 4 pixel pipelines).
The 9800 PRO also has a memory interface twice as wide (256 bit) as the 9600 PRO (128 bit).

For these reasons, the 9800 PRO is the second best gamer's video card out there today, surpassed only by the radeon 9800XT, IMHO.


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<b>AthlonXP <font color=red>2600+</b></font color=red> <i>(o/c 2400+ w/143Mhz fsb)</i>
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rgw

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and the fact that it is produced by sapphire and not by ATI affects nothing? (The ATI version is $295 vs the Sapphire $230, the ATI comes in the retail box- which may explain the $65 increase)

as far as overclocking it I don't think I well since I know pretty much nothing about the subject. In this case I won't have to worry about extra fans/cooling ? ... (on one of the reviews on newegg someone commented that the sapphire 9800 pro (I'm probably getting this one)produced an abnormal amount of heat)
 
Retail cards will also typically have a 3 year warranty... OEM / Bulk / Whitebox cards have little to no warranty. (Though I have seen some cards have as much as 1 year).

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cleeve

Illustrious
Yep, ATI is always more expensive because of the warranty

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rgw

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for that reason would it be risky to buy the sapphire from newegg?

something alittle weird
http://www.sapphiretech.com/vga/products.asp

if you look on that page of the sapphire website they don't have just a SAPPHIRE RADEON 9800PRO like on newegg, they either have a ATLANTIS 9800 PRO or a ULTIMATE 9800 PRO. Newegg doesn't specify which one it is.