Better in the long run....FX 5600 or Radeon 9600?


Aug 8, 2003
Hi! Long-time gamer, first-time poster..... In the long run, as far as the technology, cost and compatibility are concerned are the GeForce FX 5600/5600 Ultra and Radeon 9600/9600 Pro cards comparable or does one outweigh the other? I really like Nvidia and I've heard that ATI can be problematic, but if anyone could give me a few facts and a personal reccomendation, that would be great!


While I do not have the exact link, I can tell you right off my head, ATi rules the DirectX 9 shader performance.
It is almost guaranteed that a properly programmed DX9 game will run better on ATi's DX 9 serie of cards.

Their shader performance is sometimes over 5 times better. It is relatively sad to see such piss-poor FX performance, but nVidia shot themselves by believing people will adopt a proprietary CineFX architecture than the standard DX9 which runs on all cards equally. (should be)

I recommend and would, anyday a 9600PRO over a 5600 Ultra or not for DX9 gaming.
The test that proves DX9 shader strength is called ShaderMark.

Ah, I've located the benchmark! Be aware that even at an overclocked speed of 490MHZ, it still can be less performing in DX9 shaders. (the 5x more performance comment used to apply previously for past 5600s with the old drivers. Seem to have refined them, nVidia did.
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Judge for yourself, then check out some benchmarks. But IMO the 9600PRO is better for a DX9 investment. (not that it will be that much good at it anyways, most current DX9 cards won't)

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In addition to Eden's statements above I have the follwoing to add (be aware that I own an R9600P so take that as you will). I'd put more links but I'm not at home (where most of my R9600P links are; however these are really the only ones that put it up against the FX5600U revision <b>2</b>;

Here's a good article comparing the R9600P to the FX5600Ultra Revision 2 (gainward overclocked version):

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Xbit Labs puts the R9600P (Tyan version [poor memory, good other features]) up against the FX5600U-R1 , FX5600U-R2, and the R9500Pro and R9800Pro.

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And then their recent review of the Siluro FX5600U-R.2 (unfortunately compared to the same underperforming TYAN R9600P, but it should still give you a good idea) Be sure to check the point in the conclusion about pixel shaders and that affecting future game play;

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I most cases they are very close. The Pixel shader issue may come into play in future games, and may be a big issue. It hasn't been a big issue in this era of DX8/8.1 gaming.

If you can wait 'til sept. there will be the FX5700Ultra with a 256bit memory bus. It will likely outperform the current R9600P and FX5600U-R2 by a good margin. Once again check this Xbit article about the future FX5700U, also note the mention of the PS2.0;

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In the end we won't know until they arrive. Best bet go with what's cheaper and save the diff. for potential future upgrade. In the end the R9700non-pro might be the best choice of all if you can get that for just a few bucks more.

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