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View Full Version : 5900 or 9800s pros and cons


nithdurr
12-18-03, 07:59 PM
Greetings fellow zappers..

Please bear with me as I am a new member and this is a forum that I'm beginning to like and frequent even though wading through all the threads via dial-up is kinda a chore but is worth it :afro:

Am building a oc'd amd 2500 rig with an Epoxy 8rda+ mobo and dual Corsair XMS 256 pc3200 DDR memory modules.

A few questions regarding videocards. ATI or NV. All the techspeak and mumbo jumbo with those cards are throwing me for a loop with FF, anti aliasing and blah blah etc etc. 128 or 256 bit, xt, pro and ultra.

I usually play action/shooter games like BF1942 and loved the COD demo I played on a friend's computer (he has a 5900 card). Although I do play some NWN and EQ. Mainly would be playing shooters like unreal, COD, and NWN/EQ.

Could anyone, in layman's terms list the pros and cons of the ati/nv cards--9800/5900. What a good overclocking card and it being able to handle the games mentioned above. Looking for a card around $300 ish as my wife, with a lapse in mental judgement, is getting me a $100 gift certificate to BestBuy:jumping: bless her heart and saying goodbye to her for the time being:alc: while i delve deeper into the fantasy realms:nana:

Thank you for your time and consideration.

saturnotaku
12-18-03, 11:34 PM
Originally posted by nithdurr
is getting me a $100 gift certificate to BestBuy

Oh I'm terribly sorry.

Anyway, you can find a Radeon 9800 Pro for less than $300 ('bout $275 if you know where to look). While it doesn't have the pure clock speed of its NVIDIA counterpart, it's a more capable card overall especially if you plan to run games with anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering.

Now if you really wanted to impress the wife with your good spending habits, you can pick up a GeForce FX 5900 non-ultra for $200. Though it's not as pretty or efficient as a 9800 Pro, it's about the best card you can buy for that kind of money.

Both cards have their strengths and weaknesses. Having owned both for a time, I have to say that I like the 9800 Pro more. I've had fewer issues with my games on ATI cards than on anything of recent NVIDIA vintage. But you honestly won't go wrong by picking either card, it's all a matter of exactly what you're willing to spend. Just make sure your case is big/deep enough if you decide to go with the GeForce.

LiquidX
12-19-03, 12:24 AM
5900-I have the Ultra my bro the regular. Runs all those games you mentioned at full blast without so much as a stutter at 1280 by 1024 maxed out (I have them all and mostly play them so I can claim that). Some say it will not play future games as well as the 9800.

9800-Runs all those games just as good if not better than the 5900(same for the Nvida). Most argue it will be able to handle games coming out in 2004 and beyond better. It does not take up an extra pci slot like most 5900's.

I have 5900Ultra in my system and can attest to its power and I lan all most every week at a friend and get to try out a 9800 once in awile and I dont think there much of a big difference in games out now like some claim. The one game I can say hands down looks better and plays better on the ATI is a game called Raven Shield. But on the other hand COD, Medal of Honor off the top of my head ran much much better on the Nvidia. Fact is both card runs current games great. .

You can decide like some and base it all on DOOMIII and HL2. Word is DOOMIII will play much better on a Nvidia and HL2 on a ATI. Which one you want more? But Being that you have $300 to spend I say go all out and grab the 9800 Pro for $300 for the long run.

cthellis
12-19-03, 12:40 AM
5900 or 9800s pros and cons

Don't you mean Pros and Ultra's...? Ha! *ba-dum, KSSSSH*

Rogozhin
12-19-03, 01:30 AM
I've played the games you mentioned on both a 9800xt (kept it) and a fx5950(sold it after a month to a client) and the only one that plays a little better is NVW-but I will take ati's aa over nvidia's and at the settings I play (128x960and above with 4xAA and 16xAF) the 9800xt was the card for me.

but for less than $200 as mentioned you can pick up a 5900nU-a hell of a deal.

Before I had my XT I was runnings a 9800nonpro ($230) and I was able to overclock it to 450/411 with only a bios flash, stock cooling, I slapped it in to do a comparion with the 5950 and it was just as fast and looked better-so If you're at bestbuy ask them if they have any built by ati 9800nps or sapphire 9800nps with 3.0 or 3.3ns samsung ram.

rogo

Edge
12-19-03, 02:15 AM
Originally posted by cthellis
5900 or 9800s pros and cons

Don't you mean Pros and Ultra's...? Ha! *ba-dum, KSSSSH*

Bad...so horribly...horribly bad...:|
hehe, actually it did bring me a chuckle...after groaning at it for a few seconds.

Anyway, since you're looking for a $300 card, and since you have a $100 gift certificate at Best Buy (or will, anyway), I'd recommend getting the 9800pro. it comes with a free Half-life 2 voucher, has very nice performance, and while you're there you might as well get one of those Reward Zone Points cards so that you get a few more gift certificates in the mail (since $300 should definatly get you at least $20 or so in gift cards).

The only thing that might not perform great on a 9800 is Neverwinter Nights, since the game has quite a few optimisations for Nvidia cards, but it will still definatly be playable as long as you keep the AA/AF to medium levels. If you don't know what Anti-aliasing and Anisotropic Filtering are, you can look at some compairision pictures, but the gist of it is that AA smooths the edges of the pixels on the screen (you may have noticed "Jaggies" before in your games), and Anisotropic makes the textures much clearer at an angle (it's a big deal once you see the difference). ATI's AA and AF are generally superior to Nvidia's, so if you have any intrest in doing either, ATI would be the way to go. But Nvidia has an excelent "budget" card with the FX5900/SE, so if you can get one of those for $200 it would definatly serve you well.

Oh, and I'm on a 56k as well, so I feel your pain, brother. But how do you play Unreal Tournament with all that lag? I can bearly handle it in U2XMP, and that's only because I usually just end up setting up turrets and stuff rather then actually shooting.

Malfunction
12-19-03, 02:17 AM
Originally posted by LiquidX
5900-I have the Ultra my bro the regular. Runs all those games you mentioned at full blast without so much as a stutter at 1280 by 1024 maxed out (I have them all and mostly play them so I can claim that). Some say it will not play future games as well as the 9800.

9800-Runs all those games just as good if not better than the 5900(same for the Nvida). Most argue it will be able to handle games coming out in 2004 and beyond better. It does not take up an extra pci slot like most 5900's.

I have 5900Ultra in my system and can attest to its power and I lan all most every week at a friend and get to try out a 9800 once in awile and I dont think there much of a big difference in games out now like some claim. The one game I can say hands down looks better and plays better on the ATI is a game called Raven Shield. But on the other hand COD, Medal of Honor off the top of my head ran much much better on the Nvidia. Fact is both card runs current games great. .

You can decide like some and base it all on DOOMIII and HL2. Word is DOOMIII will play much better on a Nvidia and HL2 on a ATI. Which one you want more? But Being that you have $300 to spend I say go all out and grab the 9800 Pro for $300 for the long run.

Hey nithdurr,

What LiquidX and saturnotaku have said about the 5900 is golden. :thumbsup: I really think the 5900NU or SE are fantastic choices for the games you have mentioned. I just got a hold of CoD Tuesday and have to say the [WoW] factor is off the charts. I was also re-reading the 3D Performance with Call of Duty (http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/call_of_duty_ati/) and couldn't help laughing at this mistake:

UPDATE 11/24/03: After originally posting this article, one reader posted in the news comments concerning the maxfps setting. It turns out that our original numbers were taken with the setting capped at 85, the default value for Call of Duty. With the "com_maxfps" console command we increased this value to 1,000, a frame rate that is much higher than what any of these cards are capable of. This impacted all results at low resolutions as well as the 9800 XT, while the lower-end cards and the RADEON 9500 weren't affected as much. The article now reflects these adjustments

Now, when they say the lower-end cards weren't affected that much is just plain out :bs:. I have noticed a significant change in doing this with my FX5200U. What they also didn't mention is that you can also force a higher refresh rate in the games .CFG file as well. I was taken by surprise when I made my adjustments to my config.cfg and my config_mp.cfg.

The line I altered in the .CFG's was:
seta com_maxfps "1000"

and the line I added was:
seta r_displayrefresh "100"

I set it at 100 because that is the hz I have for 1024x768. With 2xQ AA/4xAF and better than optimal performance settings, this is the result of my Fraps FPS average:

2003-12-18 23:47:45 - CoDSP
Frames: 17788 - Time: 251015ms - Avg: 70.864 - Min: 1 - Max: 176

The reason I told you all of this is for the mere fact that alot has been put on this game in the way of benchmarking videocards lately. So if you wish to get the most performance out of CoD with your video, make sure you do the above alterations for maximum performance. I really don't know how many sites out there have not done this while benchmarking videocards recently with CoD, so I take their results with a grain of salt.

Peace,

:afro:

*EDIT- Result of fraps was taken from the level right after the training mission.

The_KELRaTH
12-20-03, 06:56 AM
Another option in the $200 range is the PowerColor 9800NP 256mb, you might have to do a bit of searching as they've only just started to surface.

http://www.lowestonweb.com/Products/DisplayInfo.asp?e=F9C4EABF-508E-465D-86AD-82B585D6021C

A week ago I would have bought the FX 5900XT over the 5700 U or ATI 9600XT any day but now I would say that this 9800np 256mb is a far the better deal.

saturnotaku
12-20-03, 08:42 AM
It looks like that card only has a three-pin floppy connector so I'd be very suspicious (it could be an SE). Either that or they're using a picture of Gigabyte's 9700 Pro. I'd still wait to see if more cards like it start to surface. I would think a 256 mb 9800NP would probably go for about the same price as a 9800 Pro 128 mb. I'm thinking this is one of those "if it's too good to be true" deals.