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Radeon upgrade

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by MarkHudds, Mar 26, 2004.

  1. MarkHudds

    MarkHudds
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    Hi,

    It's gfx card upgrade time ...

    Can anyone give me an idea regarding how much better the 96** or 98** series are over the 8500 for DVD playback (i.e MPEG2 decoding?)

    (Will be via Theatertek @ 1366x768 on 10' screen)
     
  2. Jeff

    Jeff
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  3. MarkHudds

    MarkHudds
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    Nice one Jeff!

    Quite a marked difference. Can you still buy the 'Ultimate' Fanless 9600?
     
  4. Jeff

    Jeff
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  5. al5x

    al5x
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    Just an fyi, If you're gonna consider the 9600SE, the cheapest price I've seen is £46 inc VAT at http://www.tekheads.co.uk which I believe is about as cheap as it gets...
     
  6. al5x

    al5x
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    Scrap that, just realised dabs have got it for £40!

    (although checking the abit website looks like its got a fan, whereas the tekheads card doesn't...)
     
  7. MarkHudds

    MarkHudds
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    Another question!

    Would I be right in assuming that, as the Catalyst drivers are common across Radeons, I should be able to just take one Radeon card out and put a new one in without having to re-install drivers etc?

    Just concerned as I've got my system really stable at the moment!

    Thanks.
     
  8. Jeff

    Jeff
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    Yes, that works.
     
  9. groovyclam

    groovyclam
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    Sorry to hi-jack the thread but I'm a newbie and need a bit of advice about 9600 cards.

    I'm going to build a HTPC to play DVDs and record/watch TV but *not* play games on.

    I've decided on a 9600 card for the output but am a bit confused about what the various types do.

    What is the difference between an SE, and XT and a plain 9600 - there seems to be such a big difference in price across the whole 9600 range ?

    I also want one that doesn't use a fan - I see the "Ultimate" doesn't have a fan and the cheap Tekheads doesn't either. Which of the other 9600 cards have fans ? Do all the SE have just heatsinks or is it a case of each manufacturer uses different cooling on their cards and you have to check beforehand ?

    I will probably get the cheap tekheads card unless anyone can offer advice against doing so...
     
  10. Too Tall

    Too Tall
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    I'm putting together a HTPC and am looking at the standard 9600 because it's silent. I won't be playing games just using it for vide oand the net. So would I notice any difference between the standard fanless 9600 and the ultimate 9600XT?

    Stuart.
     
  11. MarkHudds

    MarkHudds
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    I think the general consensus on here is that a standard 'fanless' 9600 is the one to get for general HTPC duties.

    SE - concerns over lower spec components and not as many 'pipes'!

    PRO - who knows!

    XT - mainly aimed at gamers, although I think these have built in VIVO ability (with an extra lead) - handy for video capture without having to get an extra card or an 'All-in-wonder'.

    As you can probably guess, I'm no expert, this is just what I've picked up recently (which could be totally wrong)

    One thing I noticed looking at the Sapphire 'Ultimate' editions is that the heat sinks are quite big and could therefore impact on adjacent cards.

    Personally I'm tempted by the 9600XT Ultimate, however considering how much time I get to play games these days, I (and my bank account) might be better off with a standard fanless 9600.
     
  12. MarkHudds

    MarkHudds
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    Found this table on Tomshardware which compares the 9600 series...

    RADEON 9600 XT RADEON 9600 PRO RADEON 9600 RADEON 9600 SE
    Frame Buffer 128MB DDR 128MB DDR 128MB DDR 128MB DDR
    Memory Interface 128-bit 128-bit 128-bit 64-bit
    Rendering Pipelines 4 4 4 4
    Pixel Fillrate (Gpixels/sec) 2.0 1.6 1.3 1.3
    Engine Clock (MHz) 500 400 325 325
    Memory Clock (MHz) 600 600 400 400
     
  13. Jeff

    Jeff
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    I wouldn't go for the cheapest cards, analogue 2D quality isn't as good. The components and build quality aren't up to scratch.
     
  14. Too Tall

    Too Tall
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    Jeff,

    Sorry are you saying "don't go for the standard fanless 9600, the XT Ultimate will be better" or are you saying "don't go for a cheap make standard fanless 9600"?

    Stuart.
     
  15. Jeff

    Jeff
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    I'm saying dont go for the SE and stick to good brands such as Sapphire.
     
  16. groovyclam

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    Thanks for your input on the thread Jeff.

    I have decided to go for a Sapphire 9600 fanless.

    Dabs seem to have two types:

    Radeon 9600 128MB DDR AGP RP DVI VO ( dabs qicklink "2NXZWS" )

    and

    Radeon 9600 256MB AGP RP DVI VO ( dabs qicklink "2QD4WS" )


    Can anyone confirm that these are both fanless before I order - dabs don't show pictures on their site.
     
  17. groovyclam

    groovyclam
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    It's OK - I've found some review sites that show the cards and both are fanless.

    In fact, both are the same construction apart from the capacity of the memory chips.
     
  18. groovyclam

    groovyclam
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    The Rage3D site has a review of the 256M version here which shows that it has practically the same performance as the 128M version anyway, so I am going to save a few pennies and get the cheaper 128M version.

    Dabs here I come...
     

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