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View Full Version : Your honest opinions wanted in here


Smokey
12-04-03, 07:28 PM
I thought that I would start a thread here to help me with my end decision in which card I will upgrade to after Christmas. Basiclly this time round, I am on a budget, around about 230 max, and although Im pretty sure Ive made up my mind, I would like everyones feedback all the same.

first things first, all my prices come from

MonsieurPrix (http://www.monsieurprix.com/hardware/gen/140013.html) which is like PriceWatch but here in France.

Now here are a list of contenders within my price range.


Radeon 9800se 128mb 256bit (380/680) (http://www.grosbill.fr/index.php3?id=9834&site=mprix)

PNY GeforceFX 5700Ultra 128mb (http://www.grosbill.fr/index.php3?id=9834&site=mprix)

Sapphire Radeon 9600XT 128mb (http://www.grosbill.fr/index.php3?id=9834&site=mprix)

Sapphire Radeon 9600XT 256mb (http://www.grosbill.fr/index.php3?id=9834&site=mprix)

So thats about it, Im almost 100% on getting the 9800se in the hopes that it will softmod ok into a 9800Pro, and even though its a 50/50 chance, I think it will be worth it. Even if it doesnt softmod, the performance should be around that of the 9600Pro I believe, which is still a nice upgrade for me.

A question about the Sapphire 9600XT 256mb, is it the same as the 9600Pro 256mb, in that it uses really slow ram when compared to the 128mb version? I would also be interested in seeing some benchmarks on any of the specific cards above, and I am also after user feedback. If any of you have these exact cards, I would like to hear of all/any problems, the game I play the most is RavenShield, so feedback with that would be appreciated.

Ive owned nothing but Nvidia cards in the past, and Ive been happy with tthem all, but ever since the 9700, I believe ATI has had the better cards. I am still not 100% clear on how ATIs drivers are though, I will be playing mostly newer games, oldest one being maybe Rune, Serious Sam, Alice but only on the odd ocassion. I will be looking at playing games at max details, 1280*1024 with 2xAA and AF, its hard to find any SS at this setting in reviews, most only test 4XFSAA, so any pics at these settings would be nice also. Ok thats it really, post your Pro/Cons about the cards/drivers etc, remeber im not a fanboy, all I want is some honest user feedback.

saturnotaku
12-04-03, 07:33 PM
The 9800SE can have the other 4 pipelines unlocked but you won't be able to get the Pro's 256-bit bus. So the card will be more like a 9500 Pro in that regard, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Regardless, I still would go for the 9800SE if I couldn't find a 9800NP. :)

EMunEeE
12-04-03, 07:46 PM
Originally posted by saturnotaku
The 9800SE can have the other 4 pipelines unlocked but you won't be able to get the Pro's 256-bit bus. So the card will be more like a 9500 Pro in that regard, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Regardless, I still would go for the 9800SE if I couldn't find a 9800NP. :)

It depends on what 9800SE he gets. There are two versions out:

9800SE with 4 pipes and 128bit bus
9800SE with 4 pipes and 256bit bus

If you can be sure that you will get the latter, then it may mod to a 9800 Pro, but either way, unmodded, it should outperform any cards on your list.

ATI drivers are rock solid for me. I heard of CoD being somewhat shakey, but both demos run to perfection for me.

As far as the 9600s, get the 128MB version, it will be the faster of the two. You will get 256MB with the otherone, but unless it is clocked at the same speed, it will be slower.

Smokey
12-04-03, 08:21 PM
Originally posted by saturnotaku
The 9800SE can have the other 4 pipelines unlocked but you won't be able to get the Pro's 256-bit bus. So the card will be more like a 9500 Pro in that regard, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Regardless, I still would go for the 9800SE if I couldn't find a 9800NP. :)

I even typed in the link that it is the 256bit version ;)

I came across
THIS (http://www.ocfaq.com/softmod/faq.php?vo=2) site, which is why I want to get this 9800se. I would prefer to buy a 9800np, but Im looking at least an extra 80 which I just dont have :(

Line01
12-04-03, 08:40 PM
FX 5700

Unit01
12-05-03, 03:33 AM
Depending on situation i'm not quite sure.
From what i know the 9800SE is about the performance of a 9600Pro. But if you manage to softmod it will perform alot better. And if it really the 256-bit 9800SE then it should be somewhat better when AA is enabled. Or am i completely wrong here now? :confused:

ginfest
12-05-03, 06:50 AM
Originally posted by OWA
I wouldn't worry too much about the drivers. I was the same way but ended up being pleasantly surprised at how much the ATI drivers had improved.

Same here, I was impressed with the Cats when I was using my 9800P. With that being said, just a FYI, the driver situation depends on the games that you play. I have had to put my 5900 back in due to issues with COD, KOTOR, IL2:FB, LOMAC and NWN. These all are OpenGL games (in the case of IL2:FB it user choice) and I found that the Cats (using 3.8/3.9 at the time) had problems.
B/4 the usual suspects chirp in with the old ".. it runs fine here...user error...etc..", this is what I experienced, YMMV.
Both cards run at 1280x960 4xAA/8xAF with good perf in most games, the exception being the flight sims which need lower res and or AA/AF depending on the scenario.

Mike G

saturnotaku
12-05-03, 07:06 AM
I would be very surprised if you could find a 9800SE that was built on the 9800 Pro PCB. If that's what you're able to get, go for it and soft-mod that sucker.

Otherwise, the 9800SE really isn't a bad card at all, about on-par with a 9600 Pro. And even if you can unlock just the eight pipelines that will still give you a bit of a boost. And something extra is always good. :)

cthellis
12-05-03, 09:26 AM
Indeed, if you can find 256-bit 9800SE (only one I'm positive of is the Hercules 9800SE AIE, and last I saw they were selling for about the tip of your price range--on your site as well (http://www.grosbill.fr/index.php3?id=9834&site=mprix)--but then I don't know everywhere to check on european sites) that would probably be your best bet overall--provided you were going to hunt down and use the ROM-flashing and soft-modding to access its "hidden reserves"... Hehe. Otherwise, the 9600XT would be your best choice speed-wise, and bear in mind its relative value gets kicked down with the bundle. (Provided you care about it.) Up to you whether to care about the extra 128 megs of RAM; it won't always come in handy, but it's still good to have around and will extend the functional lifespan of the card, so if you're planning on having this for a while... <shrugs>

bkswaney
12-05-03, 12:28 PM
I would go with the 9800se as long as it has a 256 bit bus.

As for as drivers. ATI has made leaps and bounds on making them top notch.
But Nvidia still has the best. Even Carmack agrees. ;)

Spivey
12-05-03, 01:11 PM
Don't buy a PNY, look at the warranty details first if you will. You can get a GFFX 5900SE for less than 200 dollars here in the states and thats likely still better than a GFFX 5700U but I'm not possitive (another topic of discussion) since the SE has 700mhz memory. I favor NVIDIA right now for reliability (drivers) and backwards compatability with alot of good games. I have heard bad things about Sapphire and Newegg.com here in the states sure gets alot of them sent back but they apparently go to great lengths on board designs and cooling.

dan2097
12-05-03, 04:08 PM
If the 9800se 256bit has the same clock speeds as the 9800 pro it is actually on a par with the 9600XT. The 9800se AIWs are like this. I think some 9800se 256bits are clocked lower hence nearer 9600 pro speed

http://www.hexus.net/content/reviews/review.php?dXJsX3Jldmlld19JRD02NTU=

Review of a 9800se 256bit (AIW)

cthellis
12-05-03, 04:31 PM
It's not just clock speed, there are also BIOS differences and programmed under-utilization of the card's full resources to get the scale they're looking for. Hence how soft-modding tends to start with a BIOS flash or other tricks to get a card to use what's there physically, but it's not originally programmed to.