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View Full Version : Price/Perf question 5900/9800pro


warzer
12-06-03, 12:48 PM
Now days one can find a 5900nu/se for 199 with 128mb, and the 9800pro is still around 350-400. is the 9800pro still that much better? also with this being a nvida fan site, are there any people that use the 9800 over a nvidia offering? and how are the drivers and game campatability issues?

had a few friends buy ati and ended up returning it but that was last year. it seems ati might have changed their driver tune.

well let me know what you think

Warzer

jAkUp
12-06-03, 12:53 PM
I had a 5900, I sold it for a 9800 pro. I'm way more happy with my 9800pro, colors are better, overall fps is higher, and its just as stable as my 5900. Overall its a kickass card:)

I have always been really big on nvidia.. until now... check out the defacing of the Nvidia sticker from my case:) http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?s=&threadid=17823

Kev1
12-06-03, 12:57 PM
I don't think the 9800 Pro is worth the extra $100 dollars it costs over a 5900 non ultra. But thats just me, and lots of people will disagree with me.

I am somewhat biased in that I think the video cards you need to play games today are priced way too high. Of course we all have different price points and max for me is around $200. Even thats too much.

I have no doubt the 9800 pro is a better card, but whether its $100 dollars better than the 5900 is what buyer needs to decide.

cthellis
12-06-03, 01:42 PM
First off, 5900SE's are not the same thing as non-Ultras, so you can't automatically put them in the same grouping. You definitely want non-Ultra's for the price, which is good since you can get them. (Though you might have some problems with getting SE's instead, as they seem to be phasing the one out and the other one in, as some people are finding out.) Also, you might be better off comparing it to a 9800 non-Pro than a Pro. I'm not one who thinks the extra $100 is worth it for either going to a Pro or an Ultra, so I definitely say that 5900NU/9800NP are your price/performance leaders. It's a bit harder to still find non-Pro's for $200, but they recenetly had it through Circuit City, so it happens. Both can be clocked up to their "big brother" speeds, normally, which is why they're getting replaced by worse versions it would seem.

Also for reference, the 9800 Pro is $300 almost anywhere, so it's not as expensive as you think. And it's $300 at Best Buy, which I believe still offers a mail-in HL2 coupon for EVERY Radeon purchase, which makes it a ~$250 card if you plan on getting the game when it comes out anyway. Might make it easier for you to decide between them. ;) The Ultra/Pro versions are certainly better than their 'non' counterparts and can be OC'd higher as well, and at might be worth $50 or so for you to get that anyway.

bkswaney
12-06-03, 03:12 PM
I've had both the 9800 and 5900.
Well, I also had a 9700 and 5800 to but.......

I do not think the 9800 is worth the extra $.

Now that's just my 2 cents worth. ;):surrender
In "MY" rig the 5900 is much more stable.

john19055
12-06-03, 03:23 PM
If the 5900NU and the 9800pro are close to the same price I would go with the 9800pro,but if you can get a 5900nu for a $150 cheaper then that would be the one to get IMO.

Malfunction
12-06-03, 03:45 PM
Originally posted by cthellis
First off, 5900SE's are not the same thing as non-Ultras, so you can't automatically put them in the same grouping. You definitely want non-Ultra's for the price, which is good since you can get them. (Though you might have some problems with getting SE's instead, as they seem to be phasing the one out and the other one in, as some people are finding out.)

The SE are identical to the Ultra and Non Ultra. The difference is the Core/Memory clock speeds. http://www.3dcenter.de/artikel/2003/11-09_a.php

GeForceFX 5950 Ultra
NV38 (4x2, 256 bits)
475/475 MHz

GeForceFX 5900 Ultra
NV35 (4x2, 256 bits)
450/425 MHz

GeForceFX 5900SE
NV35 (4x2, 256 bits)
400/350 MHz

GeForceFX 5900XT
NV35 (4x2, 256 bits)
390/350 MHz

Hynix 2.8ns memory chips (corresponds to 350 (700) MHz), memory works at the same speed, GPU at 400 MHz. 256bit memory bus.

http://www.battlefieldgrunts.net/graphics/M1.jpg

Hynix 2.5ns memory chips (corresponds to 400 (800) MHz), memory clocked at 405 (810) MHz, GPU at 405 MHz. 256bit memory bus.

http://www.battlefieldgrunts.net/graphics/M2.jpg

Hynix 2.8ns memory chips (corresponds to 350 (700) MHz), memory works at the same speed, GPU at 400 MHz. 256bit memory bus.

http://www.battlefieldgrunts.net/graphics/M3.jpg



Gets old posting this...lol. The LX versions (400/350) are being fased out by the XT (390/350). All still come with a 256bit bus and 8 pipeline (4x2). The 400/700 models appear to overclock to 450/850 just fine. I have been searching for reviews of people who have been unable too and come up short. Haven't seen the XT's overclockability yet... so we will just have to wait and see. Someone around here has a Leadtek A350LX overclocked to 450/850. It hast the [Hynix 2.8ns memory chips (corresponds to 350 (700) MHz), memory works at the same speed, GPU at 400 MHz. 256bit memory bus.] The lower the ns on the memory, the faster... though not bad when you can overclock the 2.8ns to 850. :)

Peace,

;)

Blacklash
12-06-03, 03:46 PM
I have said it before and will say it again. The 9800pro is the best long term investment in a video card currently. We all know why the FX line is flawed. I consider any card from it a tide over to the NV40.

SO if you are buying a card and are planning to upgrade when the next generation comes. Get a 5900 or even 5700u, <they are down to 170 now.

If you want a card to skip the next generation and wait for the one after that. Get a 9800pro. Yes its worth the money if you want to have the card close to two years.

http://www.digitalriver.com/dr/v2/ec_MAIN.Entry10?V1=505874&PN=1&SP=10023&xid=39634&DSP=&CUR=840&PGRP=0&CACHE_ID=0

close ups>

http://www.nordichardware.com/reviews/graphiccard/2003/Radeon9800Roundup/Hercules/front.jpg


http://www.nordichardware.com/reviews/graphiccard/2003/Radeon9800Roundup/Hercules/back.jpg


Thats the card I have in my other rig ^^.Note the black Rubycon capacitors, superior cooling, as much as 6 celsius difference vs other 9800pro cards. First rate materials and work all the way. If you are out to invest, thats the one.

I do not feel the 5950, or 9800XT are worth the price when you compare performance/value to the 9800pro.

Edge
12-06-03, 04:37 PM
Considering the price gap, I'd say the FX5900 is more worth it. Sure, the 9800 will have superior performence in games like Half-life 2 and better AA, but not enough to justify an extra $100+. If it was $50 or so, then it'd be a close one, but if the cheapest 9800 you can get is $100 more then an FX5900, I'd go with the FX5900.

Oh, and as far as drivers go, the ATI cards have more issues with older games, but in newer games they're about even (maybe a slight edge to the ATI cards).

Rogozhin
12-07-03, 03:32 AM
Newegg has the 9800pro for $282 and BB and CC have them for $250.

I wouldn't go the 5900nonu route unless it was $200 cheaper, I've build 6 client rigs with the 5900-5950s and they just aren't worth the money.

rogo

cthellis
12-07-03, 06:37 AM
Originally posted by Malfunction
The SE are identical to the Ultra and Non Ultra. The difference is the Core/Memory clock speeds. http://www.3dcenter.de/artikel/2003/11-09_a.php

Um... Doesn't that MAKE them different? The only difference I was TALKING about was listed clocks and the RAM--where you can't always tell what you're getting. There may not be a helluva lot of difference, but 2.2ns RAM is still different from 2.5ns is still different from 2.8ns... Online reviews I've read usually take 2.8ns RAM to around 800mhz--as did Spivey as I recall--which is certainly different to the 950+mhz Ultra's can hit. Cores starting at 400 can usually hit 470-480 with no problems, and that wouldn't be a difference between SE's and NU's at least. (Is a difference to what the Ultra's can pull, of course.) Considering some OEM's have many versions of the "same level" card they go through, it's not a brainless buy to get what you want.

Does a person ultimately care if their RAM can hit 850 insteado 800, or 950 instead of 850 if in the end it's only going to make the difference of a few percent where they play anyway? <shrugs> That's up to them. But there are certainly differences from vendor to vendor and card to card, and it's up to the individual to spend the extra time to make sure they get what they want.

...at which point they have to hope they actually GET that card from the distributor. ;)

Malfunction
12-07-03, 08:48 AM
Originally posted by cthellis
Um... Doesn't that MAKE them different?

Ummm... yes it does, however a 2.8ns 5900LX is capable of hitting the speeds of the 5900 Ultra version which is 450/850. That is what you are trying to do here, buy yourself a 5900Ultra at the price of a 5900 Non Ultra. Anything higher than 450/850 is just icing on the cake. The whole goal is to meet the Ultra versions speed without paying the Ultra's price tag.

If you can do it with 2.8ns memory modules, it will be that much easier with 2.2ns or 2.5ns modules. That is the point being made here. Just because the card comes with 2.8ns modules, doesn't make it a bad card.

Peace,

:)

cthellis
12-07-03, 09:20 AM
Ultra speeds still does not precisely translate to Ultra performance (especially since the majority of the time there is 128MB more RAM to consider), and of course of you're going to OC's the one card you'll be OC'ing the other, so people will still be asking themselves the question "is the extra XXX dollars worth the performance difference between an overclocked 5900 and an overclocked 5900 Ultra?" (Or replace with 9800 Pro/non-Pro depending on what you're comparing.)

Not all RAM is the same, and not all RAM overclocks the same, so there are still things for everyone to keep an eye out between the Ultra, NU, SE, LX, XT, BS, and QTF-ever these silly companies want to throw out next as far as model designations--made all the more confusing because each OEM has design leeway to do what it wants.

Basically, if you care you do legwork. If you don't then one probably isn't going to care about RAM timing regardless. :p

Malfunction
12-07-03, 09:38 AM
Originally posted by cthellis
Ultra speeds still does not precisely translate to Ultra performance (especially since the majority of the time there is 128MB more RAM to consider), and of course of you're going to OC's the one card you'll be OC'ing the other, so people will still be asking themselves the question "is the extra XXX dollars worth the performance difference between an overclocked 5900 and an overclocked 5900 Ultra?" (Or replace with 9800 Pro/non-Pro depending on what you're comparing.)

Not all RAM is the same, and not all RAM overclocks the same, so there are still things for everyone to keep an eye out between the Ultra, NU, SE, LX, XT, BS, and QTF-ever these silly companies want to throw out next as far as model designations--made all the more confusing because each OEM has design leeway to do what it wants.

Basically, if you care you do legwork. If you don't then one probably isn't going to care about RAM timing regardless. :p

I would simply suggest this, read the consumer reviews of the product at sites such as NewEgg.com or PriceGrabber.com. If your model number matches up, chances are someone will be able to offer their successful overclock. There are also many users here that have purchased 5900 Non Ultra and LX's. I haven't seen one yet that hasn't been able to overclock their card beyond 450/850 yet. Does this increase in overclock warrent a 5900 Ultra? The only differences between the Ultra's and the other versions is : 1) The Memory Modules (Some like the BFG Non Ultra's come with 2.2ns Memory. 2) The Core/Memory speeds. You have 400/700, 400/800, 405/810 and 400/850. read the customers review for a more personal review of performance/overclockability.

http://www.newegg.com/app/viewproduct.asp?DEPA=1&submit=Go&description=5900

P.S. - There are 2 pages worth of 5900's to choose from. Make sure you look for the lowest price ones as well. $196 is the lowest so far I believe which has been overclocked easy to: 480/863. :)

Peace,

:afro:

maxbero
12-07-03, 09:49 AM
I've got both cards, 5900NU and 9800pro AIW.
Go for 5900.

warzer
12-07-03, 12:57 PM
i was looking at the albatron one as its already clocked at 400 850. but its out of stock now.

cthellis
12-07-03, 05:14 PM
Originally posted by Malfunction
I haven't seen one yet that hasn't been able to overclock their card beyond 450/850 yet.

Creative's 5900 reviewed (http://www.beyond3d.com/reviews/creative/fx5900/) at Beyond3D only got to 800 (http://www.beyond3d.com/reviews/creative/fx5900/index.php?p=15) on RAM (2.86ns Samsung, which started at 700) but 480 on core, which is good. (Did even worse (http://www.guru3d.com/article/Videocards/92/7/) on Guru3D.) Reflection on Creative? Reflection on the RAM speed? On Samsung as opposed to Hynix? <shrugs> I've seen Leadteks barely OC anywhere on RAM (though there's a chance they were already at 850mhz), and there have certainly been a myriad of cards to look at. (And impossible to track down after the fact. Hehe...) Also, why be satisfied with those that CAN get to 850, when the right models can push to 950 or more?

The point is not to ignore everything provided a card CAN hit 450/850, but to make sure you get the most for your money. That takes a bit more than culling the lowest price on NewEgg.

Malfunction
12-07-03, 05:18 PM
Originally posted by cthellis
Creative's 5900 reviewed (http://www.beyond3d.com/reviews/creative/fx5900/) at Beyond3D only got to 800 (http://www.beyond3d.com/reviews/creative/fx5900/index.php?p=15) on RAM (2.86ns Samsung, which started at 700) but 480 on core, which is good. (Did even worse (http://www.guru3d.com/article/Videocards/92/7/) on Guru3D.) Reflection on Creative? Reflection on the RAM speed? On Samsung as opposed to Hynix? <shrugs> I've seen Leadteks barely OC anywhere on RAM (though there's a chance they were already at 850mhz), and there have certainly been a myriad of cards to look at. (And impossible to track down after the fact. Hehe...) Also, why be satisfied with those that CAN get to 850, when the right models can push to 950 or more?

The point is not to ignore everything provided a card CAN hit 450/850, but to make sure you get the most for your money. That takes a bit more than culling the lowest price on NewEgg.

cthellis, give up.... your wasting your time. Everyone you have advised against the purchase of a 5900 NU.LX etc.. has been successful at clocking it to 450/850 and enjoys the framerate they get. You are truely wasting your breathe and time now. The evidence has been made availible more than once and the owners here have proved you wrong countless times... so sad. :rofl

Peace,

:afro:

cthellis
12-07-03, 06:12 PM
Dude, I've just been saying to look for an NU before an LX or SE, and even then to do minimal checking and see what vendor offers what instead of picking the lowest-price version of whatever's out there and running away with it. If you know you get 2.2ns instead of 2.8ns on Model X from OEM Y and it costs you $10 more, which way do you go? It's just called "intelligent consumerism" and it's the same thing people should be doing in EVERY other area.

For someone who looks to create a fight in basically every thread where there is none, you're a helluva guy to talk.

Malfunction
12-07-03, 06:19 PM
Originally posted by cthellis
Dude, I've just been saying to look for an NU before an LX or SE, and even then to do minimal checking and see what vendor offers what instead of picking the lowest-price version of whatever's out there and running away with it. If you know you get 2.2ns instead of 2.8ns on Model X from OEM Y and it costs you $10 more, which way do you go? It's just called "intelligent consumerism" and it's the same thing people should be doing in EVERY other area.

For someone who looks to create a fight in basically every thread where there is none, you're a helluva guy to talk.

Ummm, how do you create a fight in a thread? Could your interputation just be off a bit and you take things personal?

Peace,

:confused: