1. Join Now

    AVForums.com uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Radeon 9000 or 9500? Or Sigma X?

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by Aladdin, Apr 22, 2003.

  1. Aladdin

    Aladdin
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2003
    Messages:
    25
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Location:
    From UK but working in Germany
    Ratings:
    +0
    I’m in the process of upgrading my PC and my intention is to play DVDs and use as a PVR (using something like a Nebula digitv card). Playing games will not be a significant requirement.

    As a first step, I am going to replace my video card and it seems like ATI Radeon is the way to but I’m not sure which one and I have the following questions:

    1) My budget extends to a Radeon 9500 but is this overkill and would a 9000 card suffice?

    2) Is 64MB of memory OK or would I be better off going for 128MB?

    3) Is there any advantage in going for the pro version over the non-pro?

    In other words, which of the following cards do I really need for HCPC?

    Radeon 9000 64MB
    Radeon 9000 Pro 64MB
    Radeon 9000 128MB
    Radeon 9000 Pro 128MB
    Radeon 9500 64MB
    Radeon 9500 Pro 64MB
    Radeon 9500 128MB
    Radeon 9500 Pro 128MB

    I’ve also seen a lot of good comments about the Sigma X card. Would this be an alternative to the one of the above or is it something to be used in addition to it?
     
  2. IanM

    IanM
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2002
    Messages:
    158
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +5
    The advantage of 128Mb over 64Mb is mainly when dealing with large textures, which is mainly of use with recent games. See http://www.tech-report.com/etc/2002q3/graphicsmem/index.x?pg=1 for a comparison.

    The Pro versions are quicker than the non-Pro versions, with higher clock speeds and greater memory bandwidth meaning more frames per second. Again, the difference will only really be noticeable with recent games.

    If games are not a priority then go for a 9000 non-pro. Not only are they the cheapest, but they generally have heatsinks rather than fans and are therefore silent, which is handy when viewing TV or a DVD. If you can get a 128Mb model without a fan then all the better, but it probably won't be necessary for your current needs. This should be enough for DVD and PVR functionality.

    If you do want a bit more 3d speed, then a 9500 Pro is good value for money (and I believe can be modded to almost match a 9700). To make it silent you might want to add a Zalman Heat Pipe. If you do decide to really stretch your budget then you could buy a 9700 Pro with a factory-fitted heatpipe, such as the Ultimate from Sapphire.

    The new 9200 and 9600 Radeons could also be of interest. There are bound to be heatsink versions of the former and possibly the latter. They are due to become available about now.

    Also, it may be worth looking for OEM rather than retail versions of the cards. These don't come in the fancy boxes with games that you'll never play, but are usually a bit cheaper.

    Cheers,
    Ian.
     
  3. 50/50

    50/50
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2003
    Messages:
    249
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Ratings:
    +0
    stay away from non-pro radeons
     
  4. Kramer

    Kramer
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Oh contrare :D

    Non pros are fine for DVD playback - gaming, that's another story.
     
  5. feet14

    feet14
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2002
    Messages:
    88
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Location:
    UK, West Midlands
    Ratings:
    +0
    Even for games, a non pro should be fine in most circumstances. My 9000 handles games without any problems. By the time most people need Radeon 9500+ performance, this will be available in the lower models.
     
  6. mephistopheles

    mephistopheles
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    I went for a Sapphire (because they use Samsung memory and that's important) 9500 non-pro 128MB, which is perfectly fine for my non- game playing requirements, and gives me the option (because it's the right PCB version) of software modding it to 9700 pro spec (with overclocking) if I want. Unless you're seriously into games it just isn't worth going higher spec IMHO, and I've heard even the lesser spec Radeons are fine for DVD etc.

    The Sigma Designs Xcard is a hardware MPEG2/MPEG4 decoder card for DVD and DivX playback and cannot be considered as an alternative to a video card. Subject to your having at least a PIII 850 you don't need one, but it does provide certain enhanced TV out capabilities you won't find on a video card (but only for playback), such as component and SCART RGB, and it has SPDIF out, too.
     
  7. dprior

    dprior
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2002
    Messages:
    14
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Ratings:
    +0
    I'm using a sapphire 9000 non-pro with 128 meg.. with with powerdvd xp4. I find it works perfectly okay. PJ is a sony 1271.

    I haven't tried any games on it though.
     
  8. Aladdin

    Aladdin
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2003
    Messages:
    25
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Location:
    From UK but working in Germany
    Ratings:
    +0
    Thanks for all your replies.

    I think I'll order the 9000 non-pro with 64Mb.
     
  9. Aladdin

    Aladdin
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2003
    Messages:
    25
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Location:
    From UK but working in Germany
    Ratings:
    +0
    Now that I’ve decided to get the Radeon 9000 64MB I started looking around to buy one and have found some Sapphire branded cards. However, there seem to be different versions of this product.

    There is a ‘VO’ version which I guess stands for video out.
    There is a ‘VIVO’ version which I guess stands for video in and video out.
    Finally, there is a DVI VO version which I guess means it has a DVI connector and is video out.

    I already have a Pinnacle card for capturing both analogue and digital video from camcorders. TV capture for PVR will be done through the Nebula DigiTV card when I get that.

    Can I save a few pounds and get the ‘VO’ version rather than the ‘VIVO’ version?

    I do want to be able to drive two monitors so does that mean I need to get the DVI version and get a DVI monitor as a second monitor?
     
  10. peteh65

    peteh65
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2001
    Messages:
    10
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Location:
    Manchester
    Ratings:
    +0
    Yes without any problems.

    similar set up , but only with a mono tv card
     
  11. peteh65

    peteh65
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2001
    Messages:
    10
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Location:
    Manchester
    Ratings:
    +0
    if you want the second device to be either a normal monitor or a TFT monitor then go with the DVI VO if your second screen is just a tv or then just stick to VO
     
  12. mephistopheles

    mephistopheles
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    The DVI out can be connected to a second CRT monitor via the adapter which is supplied with the card, or directly to a flat panel etc.

    Subject to how much extra it costs, it might be worth getting the VIVO version; you never know how handy it might be to have an additional input sometime.
     
  13. iwilson

    iwilson
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2001
    Messages:
    83
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Ratings:
    +1
    I wouldn't bother with the 9000 and below. Better to go for the 9500 and above as they have full DX9 support.

    Ian
     
  14. Aladdin

    Aladdin
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2003
    Messages:
    25
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Location:
    From UK but working in Germany
    Ratings:
    +0
    I think I'll just go for the 9000 with the DVI out as I do have 2 monitors.

    The 9000 is about £50 and the 9500 is quite a bit more expensive so I'll see how it goes with the 9000.

    Saying that there are 9100 and 9200 versions now available which are only a couple of pounds more expensive. Is it worth going for one of these upgraded versions?
     
  15. iwilson

    iwilson
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2001
    Messages:
    83
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Ratings:
    +1
  16. Aladdin

    Aladdin
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2003
    Messages:
    25
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Location:
    From UK but working in Germany
    Ratings:
    +0
  17. iwilson

    iwilson
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2001
    Messages:
    83
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Ratings:
    +1
    I presume there is some sort of Pricewatch site in the UK. There are a number of vendors in The Netherlands selling the 64MB 9500 for the price I quoted - so it must be availiable in the UK for similar money. I really would not bother with anything below a 9500 for the small price premium you get a DX9 card and lots more performance.

    Ian
     
  18. Aladdin

    Aladdin
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2003
    Messages:
    25
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Location:
    From UK but working in Germany
    Ratings:
    +0
    Yes, there is pricerunner, dealtime, kelkoo among others and that's what I used.

    I guess it's just another example of rip-off Britain.
     
  19. iwilson

    iwilson
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2001
    Messages:
    83
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Ratings:
    +1
    Buy it from Holland then, there's no VAT or customs to pay. Pricewatch in Holland is at www.tweakers.net click on pricewatch. Companies with a green thumb next to them are considered good to deal with. They all speak english as well.

    Ian
     
  20. RichardH

    RichardH
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2002
    Messages:
    753
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Hertfordshire, UK
    Ratings:
    +1
    Question for those using Radeons with 2 monitors. What's the dual monitor functionality like - particularly in Win2K? I have a Matrox G550 - mainly because of the 2 monitor support. However, for games it stinks.

    In particular, can you have the primary monitor with toolbar, and secondary monitor at a different resolution?
     
  21. JohnS

    JohnS
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2000
    Messages:
    2,580
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    71
    Location:
    Herne Bay, Kent
    Ratings:
    +33
    The dual monitor works fine and you can easily swap primary monitors and resolutions by using hotkeys, you can@t display different resolutions at the same time to different monitors though.
     
  22. RichardH

    RichardH
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2002
    Messages:
    753
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Hertfordshire, UK
    Ratings:
    +1
    Thanks for that, John - no go there then - primary monitor is a TFT with a native res of 1280x1024, and secondary is a old 15" banger that just manages 1024x768 - but darn handy for all those floating toolbars etc.
    Can't justify another TFT, sadly :(
     
  23. HouseofMu

    HouseofMu
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2000
    Messages:
    376
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    UK
    Ratings:
    +13
    If the gfx card is going in a HTPC who's primary use is going to be for DVD, shouldn't fan noise (after playback quality) be the main consideration?

    What's is the fan noise level like for a 9500, at all noticable ? Are they much different between the cheaper makers such as Sapphire and Connect3D ?
    Are there any prefered 'quieter' version (with DVI) of the 9500?

    n.
     

Share This Page

Loading...