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Please help me wade through the Radeon numbers game...

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by JohnAd, May 21, 2003.

  1. JohnAd

    JohnAd
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    At the moment I'm using a basic 7500 Radeon on my HTPC and have a 7000 on another box. The time has come for me to start looking at VMR stuff more seriously and I need at least one newer Radeon to test with. So what I want is a cheap decent enough recent Radeon with no fan. Does such a thing exist?

    I think I need a greater than 9500 card but I'm extremely confused by all the numbering to start with and then there's all the built by, made by stuff on top of that. I don't think I need anything like the top end gaming performance but then maybe I do with the VMR.

    So can anybody help me pick a cheap fanless card that I can pick up in the UK for about £150 or less?

    Cheers

    John
     
  2. IanM

    IanM
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    The nearest unmodified cards I can think of are the two that I've got: a Radeon 9000 (at ~£50) and a Sapphire 9700 Pro Ultimate Edition (at ~£300).

    If you're willing to tinker then you could get a 9500 Pro and replace the fan with a Zalman heat pipe (which is what Sapphire do for their 9700 Ultimate Edition). That would be about the right price and performance.

    Cheers,
    Ian.
     
  3. Jeff

    Jeff
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    John,

    Anything from the 9500 and above should be fine, I did here that some of the new 9600 cards are fanless. Otherwise the other cards are quite easy to mod, I put one of these on my 9500 pro

    http://www.kustompcs.co.uk/product.php?view=2812
     
  4. JohnAd

    JohnAd
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    Cheers guys!

    Any thoughts on what manufacturer to go for? Do the normal Radeon drivers work on say the sapphire cards or do you have to wait for a special version? If you have to wait are they normally pretty good at getting the drivers out quickly.

    Also are there any sightings of the 9600 in the uk yet? I've not seen anything so far.

    John
     
  5. JohnS

    JohnS
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    I've got a connect3D radeon 9500 and it works happily with the built by ati drivers as oppossed to the powered by ones. Same applies to my older 9000.

    The 9500 is the cheaper slower version of the 9700 but fine for HTPC

    The 9800 replaces the 9700.

    The 9600 is the cheaper slower 9700.

    Whether or not the cards have fans or not varies between the various manufacturers. I know Sapphire do a fanless 9700 now but quite dear. Cheaper to but the fanned one and mode it with the passive sink Jeff suggested or the ZM80 Heatpipe for slightly more cooling.

    All of the 9500 upwards cards run much hotter than the 9000 series increasing the case tempratures by quite a bit.
     
  6. Jeff

    Jeff
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    John, drivers aren't a problem, the powered by and built by drivers are virtually identical and are released at the same time. I can install regular built by drivers on my Saphire 9500 pro, but couldn't on my genuine ATI 8500LE which I foolishly reflashed with an OEM firmware. Dabs have a 9600 listed in their value range (pot luck) if you want to give it a try. ;)
     
  7. Jeff

    Jeff
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    If you want to help the heat and don't need the extra 3D power you can use powerstrip to underclock the card, only underclock the GPU and not the memory or it will go horribly wrong ;)
     
  8. JohnAd

    JohnAd
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    Thanks again to you all, I've ordered a saphire 9500 Pro. I noticed the 9600s at dabs but none of them looked fanless out of the box so I passed.

    John
     
  9. Rob.Screene

    Rob.Screene
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    Hi John,
    I know you probably don't care about 3d performance, but I thought it would be a nice bonus to know how much faster the 9500 Pro is over it's 9600 Pro and 9500 sibblings.
    http://www6.tomshardware.com/graphic/20030416/radeon_9600-08.html

    You've definately got some headroom on that card!
    Now, how cool and quiet can you get it for HTPC use?

    regards,
    Rob.
     

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