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Powerworks
07-16-03, 06:49 AM
Ok.. I am looking at two cards currently..

Some of you may have read my post about building a pc and know the budget ($350) that I am on...

I am looking at the XFX GeforceFX 5200 128mb AGP 8x and the Sapphire ATI Radeon 9200 SE 64MB AGP 8x..

I know the geforcefx has more memory and its only about $15 more than the 9200..

Whats everyone's opinion..

Also just incase anyone knows where I can find a better deal..

XFX GeforceFX 5200...$69.99
Sapphire Radeon 9200 SE...$54.00

Powerworks
07-16-03, 07:02 AM
Sorry about posting this in the wrong forum...

lol.. its early and I got no sleep last night ;)

ragejg
07-16-03, 07:34 AM
hmm... let's let this conversation evolve a little before we move it...

9200...ummm... if yer after a cheap radeon, a 9100 IMO makes more sense... It's a little more powerful, and the same price basically. OC'ed correctly, these cards can reach *stock ti4200* speeds... or thereabouts.

5200... a definite gamble, unless you know FOR SURE that you're getting the 128bit bus version... If you do get the good version, the card is wort the money...

... but EVEN MORE worth the money are the following:

- You can find 64mb GF3's for 50-65
- GF3 128mb's for 75-85
-Radeon 8500's for 60-90
-GF4 ti4200's for 70-90

If you gotta spend just a little on a vidcard, I wouldn't worry about "future proof", I'd worry about today's games... All the cards I mentioned can pretty much do everything @ 1024, med to hi detail, with maybe a smackerel of AF/AA... Christmas 03 games will be a different story...

Good luck on your search for a value packed video card :).

Powerworks
07-16-03, 07:37 AM
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=535920&Sku=P450-8502

Thats a link the page with the 5200.. doesn't say if its the 128bit version or not.. maybe I could email the retailer and find out?

http://www.xfxforce.com/product_view.php?sku=PVT34KNA

Also here is a link the the xfx stats (on their site).. don't see anything about 128bit :(

Head_slinger
07-16-03, 10:20 AM
i think i remember hearing that the 64mb 5200 can come with 64bit or 128 bit memory interfaces. The 128mb versions always come with 128bit interfaces.

Dont hold me to this, but im pretty sure. i think i read it in a review about how to tell the difference.

de><ta
07-16-03, 10:44 AM
Is the 9200 you are talking about the mobile chip or the one meant for PC's.

One of the potential laptops which i am going to get has the 9200 chip set, but i am having a hard time finding any proper "data" for me to decide whether to get it or not. (The other chip option is the GF4Ti mobile, yeah i know it has a higher benchmark score but us computer engineers do not believe in such scores....)

ragejg
07-16-03, 11:14 AM
there's 64 bit memory versions of the 5200 in the 64, 128, and 256mb versions...

BUT: a 128bit 128mb 5200 has 8 chips... the 64bit version has 4...

Powerworks
07-16-03, 07:50 PM
Well is there anyway I can tell if its 128bit or not??

ragejg
07-16-03, 08:00 PM
Originally posted by ragejg
a 128bit 128mb 5200 has 8 chips... the 64bit version has 4...

Powerworks
07-16-03, 08:02 PM
I don't see anywhere on the stats page where it says what chips it has ;)

Sorry I am kind of new to this.

ragejg
07-16-03, 08:08 PM
that's ok...

do a google search of that variety of 5200... look for reviews... The reviews will probably mention bus style...

Or get the mfg part number from the site you might buy from, call customer svce @ the manufacturer, and ask them if that part number has a 64 or 128 bit memory interface...

Powerworks
07-16-03, 09:03 PM
Isn't DDR 128bit though?

ragejg
07-16-03, 09:15 PM
There is 64 bit DDR as well as 128 bit... the 64 bit is badly crippling and is as fast as 128 bit SDRAM...

CaptNKILL
07-16-03, 09:20 PM
Originally posted by Powerworks
Isn't DDR 128bit though?
128Bit DDR is :)

There is 64Bit DDR (ends up being the same speed as 128bit SDR), 128bit DDR (most recent cards have this) and 256bit DDR (Radeon 9700, 9800, Geforce FX 5900).

64bit DDR is really just a scam. Its cheaper to make than 128bit DDR, so manufacturers use it on lower end cards. This way, they can still label the card with "DDR" so people buy it, but the card actually has the memory bandwidth of a card with SDR.

Be very carefull of this when purchasing cards that are priced "too good to be true".

Powerworks
07-16-03, 09:40 PM
So whats the big deal.. Does it really affect performance that much?

CaptNKILL
07-17-03, 12:07 AM
Originally posted by Powerworks
So whats the big deal.. Does it really affect performance that much?
YES

I'll explain this as well as I can.

The two most important parts of the card that determine performance are the GPU power and memory bandwidth. If you dont have enough of either, the card will suck. PERIOD. The GPU does the calculating, the memory transfers the calculated data.

With 64bit memory you get exactly HALF the memory bandwidth of the cards with 128bit memory.

So if the card is already not really fast like 5200, that means its probably about HALF as fast as that. Chances are you arent paying a whole lot less for a 64bit version than you are for a 128bit, so all in all, its a big rip off. This happened with the Geforce 2 MX cards as well as the Geforce 4 MX cards... its a low-end thing ;)

CaptNKILL
07-17-03, 12:24 AM
I dont really know how accurate this diagram is, but I just threw one together.

There is a lot more to the performance of a card than JUST bandwidth and GPU power (such as the way it is built\programmed, and the drivers powering it), but this diagram should help you out for now.

Powerworks
07-17-03, 02:14 AM
Well, I found a GeforceFX 5200 on newegg for $77.. People have reviewed it saying it was an excellent card.. better than their Geforce4 Ti--- I dunno.. Maybe I will get it... but then again.. maybe I will order the one from tigerdirect its cheaper..

Oh well. I'm too tired to think..

EDIT...
Found something.. On the FX5200 from newegg.com its says.. Memory: 128MB -4ns DDRAM

Would this mean anything.. not sure what the -4ns means...

CaptNKILL
07-17-03, 03:18 AM
Hey! Dont order yet!!!!!

http://www.tweaktown.com/document.php?dType=review&dId=477&dPage=4

That Prolink is probably one of the best 5200s you can get (4ns RAM is rated at 500Mhz... same speed RAM as my 5600!... plus this one IS 128bit). BUT, look at how it performs compaired to the 4200! I think you should really consider throwing another 20-30 bucks toward the video card. You have a really nice computer going there, dont slow it down with a weak video card.

http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduct.asp?submit=property&DEPA=1

Ignore the first card on there (apparently it has horrible stability) but the other two would be a LOT better than the 5200. The $95 card is 64Mb and the $119 card is 128Mb.

I guess its your call tho. Do you want to save some money and get DX9 features (although VERY slowly), or do you want to spend a little more and get a good increase performance?

Powerworks
07-17-03, 06:37 AM
Its saying something about the search string.. hmm.. I really don't know.. I have posted on the XFX website to see if their card is 128bit.. Maybe there's will perform better than the Prolink?

CaptNKILL
07-17-03, 11:01 AM
Originally posted by Powerworks
Its saying something about the search string.. hmm.. I really don't know.. I have posted on the XFX website to see if their card is 128bit.. Maybe there's will perform better than the Prolink?
Well, since the search didnt work, I was looking at the Chaintech Ti 4200 cards. But avoid the cheapest one (the one with all the bad reviews).

And no, I dont think the XFX would be any faster. I still cant believe that Prolink has 4ns memory (the lower the number the better... this determines how fast it can be clocked in Mhz). If you wanted to stay with the 5200, deffinitely go with the Prolink. Its dirt cheap and seems to be one of the better ones.

But the 4200 still blows it away, so if you can spend a little more and dont mind losing the DX9 features (almost useless on anything less than a 5600\9600 anyway), the 4200 is a better card.

Powerworks
07-17-03, 11:03 AM
Well.. I was in wallly world the other day.. and to my surprise they got a few nice looking GeforceFX cards.. I think I saw one GeforceFX 5600 there.. can't remember. .but anyway they were namebrands like PNY, think I saw one Chaintech.. But I am going to look today.. if its any cheaper i'll buy it there.

Gator
07-17-03, 04:14 PM
have you considered a GF4 TI4200 instead? Newegg has some great deals on refurbished GF4 TI4200 128DDR with Vivo for only $100us ;)

it'll kick butt over R9200 and GFFX5200

Powerworks
07-17-03, 07:33 PM
Well, I found a GeforceFX 5200 128mb that IS 128bit..

http://www.komusa.com/smedia.html

$74.. think its worth it?

I do not want to go with geforce4 because I don't want to be buying a new graphics card in two months.. atleast this way I have dx9 support..

With 128bit shouldn't the graphics increase some?

NOTE: Found quite a few 128bit 5200s on newegg..

amusedtodeath
07-17-03, 11:46 PM
I have an MSI FX 5200 and it stinks. All I am trying to do is get dual monitors to work with 2D audio applications but the drivers are hopelessly screwed up. MSI tech support is non existent, they hung up on me after a 45 min wait, are clueless about any issues that dont involve them reading me the manual and have not attempted to resolve the problem. Add to that that after installing their drivers, my system hangs for 1-2 minutes right after boot when I go to control panel->display or control panel->system and I have to end several rundll processes to get it back. It is a VTD128 so it has the fast ram/bus but this thing bites the big one. My only recourse is to return it and get a Matrox G550 (which I know works) but they had to order it. Also the redraws in my audio apps were slower than sh1t. Get a card that works dude! Otherwise your gonna be pissed of like me.