Ti4200 vs. non-pro (black PCB) 9500

Titanion

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How much better is an ATI 9500 128 MB non-Pro (Black PCB, i.e., can only modded to a 9500 Pro) than an XFX GF4 Ti4200 128 MB video card? I am putting a computer together for my father-in-law, and he wants a good video card, but he will not have any use for a DX9 video card. Will the difference between the two be significant in HL2, etc? I currently have the GF4 in my 2nd computer, but I am tempted to get the ATI card for myself and turn him into a nVIDIA fanboy. I am still fond of my GF4, and I do have a modded 9500 in my 1st computer. I could easily keep my GF4, find him something like a GF3 Ti200, and he would. But I am always looking for ways to upgrade my gaming computers, and having two DX9 cards sounds awesome. He does want a good card, so my ethical dilemma is only minor. Would the 9500 non-Pro be a significant improvement for me? I have read the Black PCB version can be modded into a Pro using the same drivers I use to mod my other card.



<font color=red><b>To reign is worth ambition though in Hell:
Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heav'n.</b></font color=red>
John Milton, <i>Paradise Lost</i>, II 262-263
 

Titanion

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I keep waiting for someone to push me one way or another. "Hey, Dude, keep your 4200 and get your father-in-law a cheaper ATI 9100 or GF3." Or "Ya, get the 9500 because it is a DX9 card and swap him your 4200."

I am torn between the two choices. $120 or so is his limit, but I could add a few more dollars to get a slightly better card for me, if it is worth it. It will be a long time before i can justify upgrading a card on my second computer, so this is a good opportunity. But even with something like HL2, will the standard non-pro 9500 be that much better than the 4200?

<font color=red><b>To reign is worth ambition though in Hell:
Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heav'n.</b></font color=red>
John Milton, <i>Paradise Lost</i>, II 262-263
 

dhlucke

Polypheme
HL2 isn't out so I can't give you a good answer, but for dx9 games the Radeon is going to be a lot better.

_________________________________________
<font color=red>12 bit... The way games are meant to be played!</font color=red>
 

cleeve

Illustrious
Here is the information you seek:

1) Stock... the cards are neck-and-neck. The 4200 is a bit better without antialiassing, the 9500 is a bit better with antialiassing.
The only reason the 9500 would be any better is that it's DirectX 9 shaders are very good, so in DirectX 9 games (like half life) it should perform noticably better.

2) There is a 50% chance that any 9500 non-pro can mod to a PRO. If it mods without producing artifacts, you've got a MUCH faster card, now with 8 pipelines instead of 4. This is actually a Radeon 9700 GPU with a 128 bit memory interface. Not shabby at all.

3) If the mod fails, you can still overclock most 9500's to pretty impressive speeds, the R300 core is quite happy to get pushed past the measly 275 mhz default speed it comes with. But the memory probably won't be as cooperative.


So your answer is:

If you don't plan to overclock/mod DON'T BOTHER with the 9500.

If you're a betting man, and you want to give the mod a try, and you're lucky... the card is the deal of the century. I know because I have one.

But if the mod fails you're left with very little performance difference from your 4200.
Sure, you can still overclock it, but you can overclock a Ti4200, too.

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Radeon 9500 (hardmodded to PRO, o/c to 322/322)
AMD AthlonXP 2400+ (o/c to 2600+ with 143 fsb)
3dMark03: 4055
 

Titanion

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I did not think the mod from 9500 non-pro to 9500 pro had any chance of failure... I thought the chance for failure was with the mod from 9500 non-pro to the 9700 non-pro. Even if the mod fails, it sounds like the 9500 is better because it overclocks better and will perform better in HL2 and other DX9 games. If they are equal save for HL2 and DX9 games, then they are not equal.

I do plan to overclock. The ram on my 4200 gets artifacts at 523. My core is at 290, and I not sure hoe far people push these GPUs.

My main video card is a modded 9500 non-pro to 9700 non-pro that is overclocked to 308.25/369. This new card would be for my 2nd gaming computer. To recap, my father-in-law wants to put about $120 into a video card, and this is a way for me to upgrade and make us both happy. If they get back inn stock, I can get the 9500 for $135 at newegg. If it only costs me $15 to upgrade to a 9500, I am wondering if I should do it.

I am leaning toward doing it. But the 4200 is still a hard card to give up.

Thannks for the advice here.

<font color=red><b>To reign is worth ambition though in Hell:
Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heav'n.</b></font color=red>
John Milton, <i>Paradise Lost</i>, II 262-263
 

cleeve

Illustrious
the 9500-to-pro mod is exactly the same as the 9500-to-9700 mod, with an equal chance of failure.

The only difference is the PCB that the 9500 non-pro board is based on. SOme have a 256 bit memory interface, some have a 128 bit memory interface.

The mod opens up the 8 pipelines from 4.

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Radeon 9500 (hardmodded to PRO, o/c to 322/322)
AMD AthlonXP 2400+ (o/c to 2600+ with 143 fsb)
3dMark03: 4055
 

Titanion

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The black PBC card in questionis currently out of stock anyway... if it dies not come back in over the next week, i am not sure what card to order. I sould stay away from the cheap 9600 non-pro, right? OEM is $113.00 right now... Is my 4200 better than that card?

<font color=red><b>To reign is worth ambition though in Hell:
Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heav'n.</b></font color=red>
John Milton, <i>Paradise Lost</i>, II 262-263
 

Titanion

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Yikes, the $113 9600 card has ~4ns ram set at stock 200. If the 9500 does not come in, what is the best $100.00 card for my father-in-law's computer... ATI 9100, GF3 Ti200, od splurg at #113.00 for this lemon of a 9600?

<font color=red><b>To reign is worth ambition though in Hell:
Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heav'n.</b></font color=red>
John Milton, <i>Paradise Lost</i>, II 262-263
 

cleeve

Illustrious
As long as that 9600 has a 128 bit memory interface, it's still probably better than a 9100 or Gf3 Ti200.

But if it has a 64 bit memory interface, get a 9100 PRO.

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Radeon 9500 (hardmodded to PRO, o/c to 322/322)
AMD AthlonXP 2400+ (o/c to 2600+ with 143 fsb)
3dMark03: 4055
 

HarrY

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Since u r looking to build a gaming pc.....
i say u sud rather wait for the holiday season :)
u will definitely find a better deal.........
since ur dad isnt much of a gamer get him a low end card
get ur self a high end baby ....later
 

Titanion

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There is NO WAY I will be able to upgrade any time soon unless it is done in a underhanded way like this. My current two cards are fairly good, and money is short. But I can justify the swap in video cards as production costs. :)

I am now looking at the 9600 Pro, perhaps buying that and putting the 4200 in my father-in-law's computer. If someone tells me the 4200 is still on par with the 9600 Pro, then I will get him the oem non-pro 9600 and keep my XFX 4200.

<font color=red><b>To reign is worth ambition though in Hell:
Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heav'n.</b></font color=red>
John Milton, <i>Paradise Lost</i>, II 262-263