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Which Radeon?????

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by Tim Cooper, Jul 21, 2003.

  1. Tim Cooper

    Tim Cooper
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    Chappies,
    I was thinking of upgrading my trusty Radeon 7200, but to what?
    I get the impression that the Radeon 9000/9100 are cheaply built & thus suffer in the PQ stakes.
    I'm just overwhelmed, what card do i go for? what will give me good PQ without all the "extras", basically what is my "best bang for a buck" & of course manufacturer recommendations.
    The card will be used for HCPC use only.
    Cheers.
    Tim.:smashin:
     
  2. Steve Bate

    Steve Bate
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    Tim,

    When I got my last card the 9500 was the card of choice, not sure if the 9600/9700/9800 give anything more for HCPC use. I got mine modded by Mike Parker and am very impressed thro' my 808s

    Steve
     
  3. Tim Cooper

    Tim Cooper
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    Cheers Steve,
    I can't seem to find a 9500 anywhere except fleabay.
    Does anyone know if the 9600 is as good as the 9500 or if I should go for the pro versions blah blah but more importantly which manufacturer to go for, do ATI still make graphics cards or they just supplying chips to oem's?
    Thanks for any assistance.
    Tim.
    Tim.
     
  4. 50/50

    50/50
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    I think 9600 is the same as 9500 but with 8x AGP

    But only get the 'PRO' cards. Stay away from the non-pro's.

    9600 pro costs about £130. Very good value from money.
     
  5. Jeff

    Jeff
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    Why stay away from the non-pro? Baring in mind its for HTPC use only.
     
  6. MuFu

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    Both support AGP 8x. As Jeff said, for HC the non-Pros are fine.

    There is virtually no difference between R300 (9500/Pro, 9700/Pro), RV350 (9600/Pro) and R350 (9800/Pro) based cards for HTPC use alone. There are some minor discrepancies between cards in terms of analogue output quality but they are barely noticeable and largely brand-dependent rather than product-dependent. Avoid some of the more obscure brands if you want to be sure - sometimes they fit very cheap filtering components.

    I'd go for a 9500 non-Pro and buy a passive cooler (e.g. Zalman heatpipe). Dabs and Komplett are still selling them, IIRC.

    MuFu.
     
  7. Underscore

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    My understanding is that the 9600 basically the 9500 on a smaller technology (0.18?) so they run cooler. For HTPC use, I would suggest the 9600 non-Pro since it is fanless (or at least some cards are.)

    HTH,

    _
     
  8. biggygiant

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    Most importantly IMHO - are any of these cards available in a fanless configuration?

    If not, which are easier to fit a Zalman heatpipe to? (I have a hercules Radeon 9700 Pro in my main PC, and was wanting to get a Zalman heatpipe to it, but got scared when I saw the heatsink glued to the underside of the card - I dont want to try snap that off...)

    cheers,

    Martin
     
  9. 50/50

    50/50
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    Just found some intesting facts.

    The 9500 pro kills the 9600 pro and the Nvidia FX 5600/ultra

    the 9500pro has 8 pipelines, while all the other cards only have 4. This makes a dramatic impact on the performance. They have made the size of the GPU smaller and increase the crock speed from 275mhz to 400mhz on the 9600 to compensate for the pipelines. The 9500pro will overclock to 400mhz on stock cooling, so what are ATi playing at ?!. So go buy a 9500 pro while you still can!

    have a look at this:
    http://www.digit-life.com/articles2/radeon/r9600pro.html

    (why would ati downgrade the card
     
  10. MuFu

    MuFu
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    Cost reasons. The RV350 is a lot cheaper to produce, both per die and per board. Margins are critical in the mainstream sector and ATi don't make very much on the 9500 Pros, even with the A075 PCB.

    Having said that, they are currently having yield issues @0.13u so they have a respun part (RV360) in development that they may introduce into the lineup at some stage. It all depends on nVidia, really - the 5700/Ultra will most likely have a 256-bit memory interface and a few other performance tweaks so ATi may need a clock bump to stay competitive.

    Even though the 9500 Pro overclocks to 350Mhz+ quite easily, it lacks the memory bandwidth to make use of the additional fillrate. With the 9600 Pros hitting ~500/350MHz+ quite consistently, the two are fairly evenly matched when O/C'ed, especially in bandwidth-limited situations. The lack of Hierarchial-Z buffering in RV350 counteracts the advantage of having faster memory.

    None of this matters for HTPC use though. :)

    MuFu.
     

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