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Spivey
11-30-03, 12:57 PM
Hello,
Yes I am new here. I have been shopping for about 2 weeks for a card upgrade for my Radeon 8500 64Mb since the thing is near crap. I have extensively analyzed benchmarks at well over a dozen sites comparing the Radeons vs the new NVIDIA FX series with particular interest in the GeForce FX 5700 ULTRA lately. It has been VERY difficult for me to make a final decission on my final comparisson cards, the FX 5700 Ultra or the Radeon 9600 XT as this is my price range.

As far as I can see most of the comparissons show the Radeon 9600 XT in the lead "marginaly" with better image quality generaly with better FPS with IQ settings up esp. in DX 9 games. The cards are about the same price, sure you can say the Radeon is almost $50.00 less (considering Half Life 2 included) than the FX 5700 however <-- the BFG Asylum GeForce FX 5700 Ultra comes with a Lifetime warrenty and 24/7 toll free customer support (great card build and great company btw).

Here is why I am going to choose the FX 5700 however -> backward compatablity for "older" games and the title optimizations for NVIDIA chips for the games I love to play, ie: Everquest, BF1942, etc. The current driver support/game title compatability of my current Radeon 8500 is just... well, I can't bear it anymore.. pure ****! From the forum discussions in searching for a fix to this problem (over 2 months!) I have found several stings and numerous web sites about current ATI card owners with newer cards with similar and sometimes worse driver/compatability issues. ATI is supposedly working on game title compatability but I've got $200 dollars to spend (lmao) but if I can't play the game or play it proper with no headaches the WTF?. From the impressions I get the FX 5700 will work very nicely with DX9 titles and possibly even better in the future with driver updates.

Honestly I'm looking for more advice... I want feedback and opinions on my post since I havent made a purchase yet although I feel I have made a firm decission. ATI fans I would be glad to hear what you have to say and you will likely get no arguments on extreemly technical issues from me since I have, for the most part, only general consumer knowledge. I'll say this though, Radeon 8500 isn't old enough that I should be forced into buying a new video card with the exception of DX9 games and free Half Life just isn't going to be worth the risk... BFG's customer care and quality is well worth the average retail price and no HL 2. I'm going to get this posted and edit/add on to it later, hope i put this in the correct spot. Please let me know what you think.
:afro:

digitalwanderer
11-30-03, 01:52 PM
No way, 9600 XT is $50us cheaper not including HL2 and is a better card anyways unless you are talking about going back to the mid-80s for your gaming pleasure. ;)

Spivey
11-30-03, 01:58 PM
My experience is theyre the same price unless you count the Half Life 2 with 9600XT but like I said the BFG support if well worth the trade off there.

I am reffering to recent games and backwards... not 80's games. haha :p

title compatability and driver issues

PreservedSwine
11-30-03, 02:07 PM
Originally posted by Spivey
My experience is theyre the same price unless you count the Half Life 2 with 9600XT but like I said the BFG support if well worth the trade off there.

I am reffering to recent games and backwards... not 80's games. haha :p

title compatability and driver issues

I think your confusing old game compatability w/ drivers for older products. Driver support on the R9600 line-up, even on older games, seems better than what nVidia can offer on their FX series of cards.

On older Ti4200 and GF3 platforms, nVidia does have better drivers than the R8500, but the new stuff (Nv3X vs R3XX), forget about it....ATI drivers are as good or better (usually better) than any of the crap detonators recently, no matter how "old" of a game you are playing...

Spivey
11-30-03, 02:29 PM
Well there's food for thought and thanks. This is the kind of feedback I need. The thing is is that the games I play are all optimized for NVIDIA... I'm not sure I understand what you meant by Gf 3 platform so I am presuming you mean that. I will just pop if I buy a 9600XT and I get the same problems with graphics and same problems as other ATI users on these NVIDIA optimized games. I wish I had all the links to post from the countless articles, reviews, and forum gripes but I see alot of general title incompatability and driver issues still with games most of which are NVIDIA optimized (nvidia in mind) yes. I may still go with a 9600 XT (asus) but I'm not sure yet. Oh btw, I discovered there is a GeForce FX 5800 Ultra.. yeah, hardware noob recently but is this card super rare? I haven't found comparison reviews on it and only a few for sale ('bout $288.00). Wonder how it stacks to the rest of the mid-range card group.

The Baron
11-30-03, 02:35 PM
Hehe. The 5800 Ultra. The legendary NV30. Quite possibly the biggest flop in video card history. It runs obscenely hot, was ultra-rare due to manufacturing problems, has the loudest cooling "solution" in history, and is pretty much not very fast.

Don't get a 5800 Ultra whatever you do. Get a 5900 non-Ultra. Much better card.

kraigc
11-30-03, 03:09 PM
Baron hit the nail on the head. Definately go with the 5900 non ultra. They are down to about $200 now.

netviper13
11-30-03, 03:13 PM
I switched from an nVidia card to ATI (GF3 to R9800), and I'll have to admit I was a bit worried about the transition. All I have to say now is: why oh why didn't I switch sooner. This card blazes through all current 3d games and should tackle DX9 titles as well.

As for the budget category, however, it really all depends on what type of gaming you're looking for. The 5700 is a great budget card for current DX8 and lower games (which it sounds like you mostly want to play); without some nice optimizations in the drivers nVidia's DX9 performance may be a bit disappointing, but the 5700 won't be horribly slow or anything.

I too was almost tempted by BFG on the nVidia side, but now that I decided ATI I'm definitely happy with the decision.

digitalwanderer
11-30-03, 03:29 PM
Are you at all interested in the AIW 9600 Pro? I'm totally in love with it and consider it one of the best bang-for-buck solutions around right now, but you'd have to be interested in the TV/FM tuner and VIVO features for it to be a contender. (And it games like a champ and OC well. :) )

Spivey
11-30-03, 03:35 PM
The Baron, kraigc - thank you for the heads up on FX 5900nu. I think I'll go with that, looking at reviews and benchmark results now. ATI may or may not be a mistake and I know they make a great product but I'm done with them for a while.

Probably would have no (few, sorry. FEW) problems with a Radeon 9600 and up but the direction the driver support went for the Radeon 8500 was just horrible. That card isnt old enough to *still have those problems with DX 8 games. If I want to use this card on a different game I tend to have to install a new Cat driver set (older/newer) to resolve compatability problems (alot of the Cat problems seem to be DX 9 related hence the newer model problems also and LMAO) not just different settings.

I'm going to see if I can score a BFG FX 5900nu or maybe an XFX as an alternative (MSI? there's another thread on it I know ;) ) ...how's that for a budget card? heh!

stefan567
11-30-03, 03:45 PM
You can get the FX5900 Non ultra now for $196.00 on Newegg. that would be a much beter buy if you wanna go Nvidia.

http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduct.asp?catalog=48&DEPA=1&submit=property&mfrcode=0&propertycode=&propertycodevalue=4828,3668

DivotMaker
11-30-03, 03:58 PM
Originally posted by Spivey
I'm going to see if I can score a BFG FX 5900nu or maybe an XFX as an alternative (MSI? there's another thread on it I know ;) ) ...how's that for a budget card? heh!

Sorry to see that you are going the nVidia route. Circuit City has 9800 Non-Pro's on sale for $199 which is a much better card than any 5900 NU.

digitalwanderer
11-30-03, 04:05 PM
Originally posted by Spivey
Probably would have no (few, sorry. FEW) problems with a Radeon 9600 and up but the direction the driver support went for the Radeon 8500 was just horrible. That card isnt old enough to *still have those problems with DX 8 games. If I want to use this card on a different game I tend to have to install a new Cat driver set (older/newer) to resolve compatability problems (alot of the Cat problems seem to be DX 9 related hence the newer model problems also and LMAO) not just different settings.
I can fully understand/sympathize with that attitude, I had a 8500 also and hated it just about as much as you seem to hate yours. In fact I vowed not to buy another ATi product until they proved to me they had changed.

They did, they lent me a 9500 Pro to play with for a month. After my experience with that I was a born-again believer. :)

I've got an AIW 9600 Pro right now as well as a 9700 Pro and I just can't say enough good things about 'em. All I can do is to tell you that the R3xx series of cards is an entirely different beast than your 8500 was, but I wish you well whichever way you decided to go. :cool:

Spivey
11-30-03, 04:11 PM
wow! Yes, I will buy a GeForce FX 5900nu. This card not only bests the FX 5700 but the Radeon 9600 XT in every benchmark test I have looked at so far and for about the same price as either. For the performace of the FX 5900 you can keep the free Half Life 2 cards :p :p. If you want better on the ATI side looks like youre going to have to pay at least $40.00 more for the Radeon 9700 Pro (nice card btw). I'm staying at or below $200, no point in wasting money on a high end card right now.

*BigBertha that item at C. City is a Radeon 9600XT for $200 not a np 9800. Pricewatch.com has several 9800's for around $200 but theyre all SE versions and I'm not into soft modding at all and not OC'ing to much anymore. I want performance out of the box and I'll go from there maybe to OC'ing. PM me with that $200 9800np or post here, like to see that. Haven't seen a comparison of Radeon 9800np to a GeForce FX 5900nu in benchmark scores but I expect the performance is very very similar.. am I wrong? GeForce FX 5900nu looks like the bang for the buck right now in mid-range.

RobHague
11-30-03, 04:18 PM
Speaking of ATI driver problems, did they ever completley fix Counter-Strike? Last time i was downloading catalyst drivers they had supposidly fixed the problem, but they hadent - next release they had fixed it finally - realease after that they had broken it again. Complaints on forums were met with something along the lines of "Counter-Strike is so old now, play a different game" :D :rolleyes:.

The catalyst's are not bad, but ive come from where Spivey has in a way. I went from NVIDIA (Always bought nvidia) to ATI, and back to Nvidia again. There really wasent one major thing that swayed me back to NVIDIA but just little niggles - like not being able to get beta drivers to play with. I used to enjoy the latest Nvidia leaks :D and issues with CS. I also couldnt play Halo that well, i couldnt run some of my older titles (Windows 98/95 sort of thing) without going back a driver version. As for IQ..... Big deal ;) From 5800 > 9700 > 9600 (dont ask) > 5900 the differences i can actually see simply arent there - i mean what do people do... Actually play games or look at enlarged screenshots of them looking for out of place pixels? ;)

The way NVIDIA are going they have a lot of developers in their pockets and no matter who may have the technically better hardware - its software that prevails. I was stung by the 5800 Ultra, well when i say stung - I got what i paid for. I saw reviews of it before i bought it so i knew what i was buying :) The only reason i tried an ATI based card after was just to see what i was missing out on...

Originally posted by Spivey
wow! Yes, I will buy a GeForce FX 5900nu. This card not only bests the FX 5700 but the Radeon 9600 XT in every benchmark test I have looked at so far and for about the same price as either. For the performace of the FX 5900 you can keep the free Half Life 2 cards :p :p. If you want better on the ATI side looks like youre going to have to pay at least $40.00 more for the Radeon 9700 Pro (nice card btw). I'm staying at or below $200, no point in wasting money on a high end card right now.

You will be very happy with it im quite sure. One suggestion i have for you is to maybe look out for thee 5900SE/LX/XT type cards. These are 5900's with the memory clocked slightly lower - You can clock it right back up again and they are around 40-50 less than the 5900. I have one by leadtek and i can set it to Ultra speeds with no problems what-so-ever. Very nice indeed. :)

micronX
11-30-03, 05:14 PM
People talk alot of smack about cards they've never even seen in real life, much less having a chance to actually play games on. If you can find a guarantee'd good ATi card, then that might be a good choice for you. But you never know what your going to get when you buy ATi ....it's like playing the slot machines. I was seriously persuing a 9600XT....but the thought of owning a card with 3.3ns memory was enough to sway my buying direction. I know that some of the more recent XT's are coming with faster memory, but none were available in the stores I buy from. Only the Built by ATi brand were being stocked. I really like the 5700U I bought, it clocked to 570/1.0Ghz right out of the box, and I've yet to see if it goes further.
I think I'm just a little bummed to see all the ATi guy's jump someone the minute they start a thread mentioning the 5700Ultra. The 9600XT and the 5700U are really close competitors.....until you overclock the 5700U:fanboy:

RobHague
11-30-03, 06:42 PM
Originally posted by digitalwanderer
Are you at all interested in the AIW 9600 Pro? I'm totally in love with it and consider it one of the best bang-for-buck solutions around right now, but you'd have to be interested in the TV/FM tuner and VIVO features for it to be a contender. (And it games like a champ and OC well. :) )

Hmm i dunno, Hercules do a 9800SE All-In-Wonder which is only 161. To put that into perspective the 9600XT sells for 130 on the same site. Damn good value me thinks. :) If you like that sort of thing anyway.

And i also agree with micronX, although the changing specs of cards can happen to Nvidia too. The amount of 5200's out there with different RAM, clocks and memory bus's (some are 64bit!) is horrid - its a trap waiting to happen unless you look at the small details VERY closely.

I think that both ATI and NVIDIA have an impressive card line up and i think that brand favouratism is what will sway a dicission eitherway. That and price. So whatever you can find cheaper, go for it ;) Unless your really set on a certain brand in which case... you have nothing to lose.

DivotMaker
11-30-03, 07:06 PM
Originally posted by Spivey
*BigBertha that item at C. City is a Radeon 9600XT for $200 not a np 9800.

No, not true at all. The ad that came in today's paper shows the 9600SE for $129 at Circuit City.

Right below that is:

ATI RADEON 9800 128 MB SDRAM AGP 8X video card: $199.99.

http://www.circuitcity.com/detail.jsp?c=0&b=g&BV_SessionID=@@@@0619102869.1070240706@@@@&BV_EngineID=ccecadckdellhdhcfngcfkmdffhdffl.0&catoid=-10266&qp=0&bookmark=bookmark_6&oid=80847

I have a 9800 Pro and 9800XT. I took out my 5900 Ultra because it simply could not perform better than either ATI card in games that I play. A 9800 NP will be a better card and long-term value than any 5900 U or other card in that price range.

Edge
11-30-03, 07:08 PM
Well, based on his reasons I can certainly understand why he chose the FX5700. The 9600xt is a good card, but for older games and for drivers the FX would probably be a bit better. When I got my 9600, one of the things that I totally forgot about until I tried playing System Shock 2 was that it doesn't support AA in 16-bit color mode. It totally sucks for older games, since those are the ones that need AA the MOST! Plus it would be nice if it supported some super-sampling modes for the old games that REALLY need high-quality AA (and for Alpha textures). Also, while ATI's drivers are certainly much better now then they were in the 8500 days, I still have found a few issues with them (certain effects in Deus Ex showing up as squares in both D3D and OpenGL modes, Half-life taking an excessive amount of time to switch back to the menu, etc.). They're mostly minor issues, but I was actually suprised to find any problems with it considering how much I hear about ATI's superior drivers. Oh, and for older games the Nvidia cards are generally less problematic, I used to think that Trespasser showed some big anomalies on my TI4200, but on the 9600 it looks like I'm watching a psychedelic color wheel while under the influence of both pot AND alcohol.

But really, both cards are very good. I suspect the 9600 will do much better in HL2, but aside from that they come in very, very close, and even with AA/Aniso enabled the FX5700 doesn't lag to far behind. The 9600 offers better quality AA/Aniso though, so it depends on where your priorities are.

RobHague
11-30-03, 07:15 PM
<puts my nvidia cap back on ;)>

People keep making assumptions about the FX range and HL2, from the benchmarks we saw its like thats it.... thats the final result. The game isnt even out yet, the benchmarks of the FX cards were done with old drivers (NVIDIA wanted Vavle to use its newer ones but they wouldnt for some reason i forget) and the tests were done at an ATI even were they not? Yes very un-biased im sure. Let us not remember..... the game isnt done yet. Lets just wait and see, HL2 "may" and i say "may" run better on ATI cards.... but then im willing to bet Doom3 "may" run better on NVIDIA cards.... ;)

Last time i heard NVIDIA were working away hard with Valve to get the FX cards optimized (driver wise) for the game. So we could be supprised.

We wont know for sure until we see some more conclusive benchmarks - and EVERYTIME we see some benchies go in NVIDIA's favour you get people crying foul that NVIDIA has to be cheating or cutting IQ...:rolleyes:

Spivey
11-30-03, 07:42 PM
BigBertha sorry, I realy did search for it and thought you had mistaken it for the 9800se when I didnt find it. Noticed there has been at least one other thread to a post on my topic so don't mean to have everyone rehash it all here, just didnt notice. Looks like a good deal but also looks like $215.00 plus gas money to drive to the city from where I live in Maine, USA :o but I may look into it. If I do get a 9800np and I have similar problems as that 8500 that card will never make it back to the store... it's sad but I will have to bite clean through my lower lip to keep from dissasembling it with an axe from the wood pile in my basement... my 8500 just has no idea what's in store for it when it's replacement arrives. Crazy gamer but not more than the average person who spends 11 hours a day watching TV :POKE:

nice to meet everyone btw

Spotch
11-30-03, 08:01 PM
Originally posted by Spivey
BigBertha sorry, I realy did search for it and thought you had mistaken it for the 9800se when I didnt find it. Noticed there has been at least one other thread to a post on my topic so don't mean to have everyone rehash it all here, just didnt notice. Looks like a good deal but also looks like $215.00 plus gas money to drive to the city from where I live in Maine, USA :o but I may look into it. If I do get a 9800np and I have similar problems as that 8500 that card will never make it back to the store... it's sad but I will have to bite clean through my lower lip to keep from dissasembling it with an axe from the wood pile in my basement... my 8500 just has no idea what's in store for it when it's replacement arrives. Crazy gamer but not more than the average person who spends 11 hours a day watching TV :POKE:

nice to meet everyone btw

I can understand your frustration with the 8500. I have a buddy whio is having a few problems with BF42 and has to underclock his card to get it to run stable for a few other titles. He came down for Qcon a year ago and I grabbed his card and popped it into one of my machines that has the exact same 8500 card in it and there was not a single issue to be found. He is a bit lazy and never bothered to properly trouble shoot the problem he was having to find a solution. Oh well. Its his stuff so I dont worry about it.

Anyhow you see my point? I have never had any problems with my 8500 in the two+ years I have owned it. I have used it in three different rigs without issue. My 9700Pro has not had any problems either other than when it died flat out. (Got a replacement from ATI in less than a week)

Right now I cannot really see a better deal around than a 9800NP or a 5900NU for 200 bucks. These cards are head and shoulders above the 5700/9600 lines.

PS: How long do you think BFG will be around? Three years is a good enough warranty for a vid card. Especially one that might barely be worth 50 bucks by then.

Spivey
11-30-03, 11:06 PM
Yeah Spotch, done trouble shooting it esp. after I see a few dozen people with the same problems and ATI's advice was to revert to Cat 3.1 or 3.7 drivers and I'm done reinstalling driver sets. I bought this card when it came out so maybe it's cooked who knows maybe everyones 8500 is cooked except yours, heh.
Bro I've built over 22 computers over the last 12 years or so and I am no expert but sufficent troubleshooting I have done. When I see people all over the world are haveing the same troubles I am with the same card and titles I know it's not my hardware and after all the profile testing I am pretty sure I have had it set the best I can. I think it's very possible with the use I've given it it's got memory problems but it just does not like WinXP and or DX9 (same problems in Win98se), NVIDIA optimized games, and Catalyst based drivers. Anyone have a link to a benchmark comparison which includes a 9800np and a 5900nu?

cthellis
11-30-03, 11:27 PM
Man, we seem to get an awful lot of these exact threads, don't we? ^_^

If you want the best card for ~$200 you get a 5900 non-Ultra, since for whatever reason they're still selling obscenely cheap. (5700U's seem to go for the same if not more, in fact, despite being the worse card.) 9600XT's you can pick up for a bit cheaper, and keep in mind if you're planning on picking up HL2 once it comes out anyway, it effectively kicks another $50 off the card price, making it a rather sweet deal--ESPECIALLY compared to the 5700U, considering it's the better card in most cases anyway.

Both lose out notably to the 5900 non-Ultra.

...should someone sticky this or something? Hehe.

cthellis
11-30-03, 11:28 PM
Originally posted by cthellis
Man, we seem to get an awful lot of these exact threads, don't we? ^_^

If you want the best card for ~$200 you get a 5900 non-Ultra, since for whatever reason they're still selling obscenely cheap. (5700U's seem to go for the same if not more, in fact, despite being the worse card.) 9600XT's you can pick up for a bit cheaper, and keep in mind if you're planning on picking up HL2 once it comes out anyway, it effectively kicks another $50 off the card price, making it a rather sweet deal--ESPECIALLY compared to the 5700U, considering it's the better card in most cases anyway. Both lose out notably to the 5900 non-Ultra.

Basically, there is NO REASON ON EARTH to get a 5700 Ultra right now.

...should someone sticky this or something? Hehe.