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RobHague
01-01-04, 08:30 PM
Simple, relaxed question here.

Someone i know is looking to upgrade his graphics card, he isnt a HUGE gamer and he just mainly plays RPG's like DAOC. The latest expanshion for this game utilizes DX9. He has an AMD 1800+ with a Geforce3 Ti200 right now.

Im not really sure what to suggest to him, his budget is quite low. Max of 70. But he wants it so he can enjoy the added graphical splendor of this new expanshion.

I was thinking Radeon 9200 or a 5200/5600XT.

What do you guys think would offer the best performance, and it also has to support DX9 which im not sure if the 9200 does or not. I dont want to give him advise if there is something better i havent considered. Ive not really investigated this far down the graphics spectrum.

Thanks for the suggestions,

- Rob

The Baron
01-01-04, 08:33 PM
9200 is based on the R200 chipset (essentially, it might have been retooled as the RV250 or something, I forget) and does not support DX9.

Guess there's your decision.

RobHague
01-01-04, 08:35 PM
Nothing else in ATI's corner for this money that supports DX9 then?

Also which is going to be better...

5600xt or a 5200 Ultra.... what does the 5200 lack to the 5600??

jAkUp
01-01-04, 08:35 PM
Well a 5600xt is a really bad card... 64bit memory bus, same can be said for the 9200..

Save up a few pennies and pick up a 5700NU for around $130. I just got one for my GF and the thing is really good for the money. Rallysport challenge, Ghost reacon play beautifully at 1280x1024 all options maxed. (plus its a nice overclocker ;) )

If not, i would go the route of the 5200 ultra, but realistically, a 5200 ultra is in the same price range of a 5700NU

The Baron
01-01-04, 08:37 PM
I agree with the 5700NU assessment.

Edge
01-01-04, 09:33 PM
Based on his budget, tell him not to buy a new card. Getting an FX5200 or 9200 would be TOTALLY pointless if he already has a TI200, because a TI200 already comes very close to both those card in performence. The least he'll need to get a noticable performence boost would be an ATI 9500 or an FX5600/5700. But do NOT get an SE version of any card, and stay away from anything that has a 64-bit memory bus.

And the added DX9 effects in DOAC are definatly NOT worth upgrading for, just slightly better looking water and maybe a few extra effects which probably wouldn't be noticable unless you were directly compairing screenshots. But the only card in that price range that supports DX9 is the FX5200, which is very slow at running DX9 stuff, so he might not even be able to play the game with DX9 effects at a decent framerate (though I doubt DAOC uses it enough to bog down an FX5200).

ragejg
01-01-04, 10:06 PM
Originally posted by jAkUp
(plus its a nice overclocker ;) )

...HOW good?

jAkUp
01-01-04, 10:12 PM
Well, I dont know personally.. My GF doesn't need it overclocked.. she doesnt even play games..lol. I have just heard its a good overclocker... look at these specs:

5700NU
425/550 MHz

5700 Ultra
475/900 MHz

If you can get that memory speed up to Ultra specs, thats quite a buy:)

cthellis
01-01-04, 10:33 PM
Originally posted by RobHague
Nothing else in ATI's corner for this money that supports DX9 then?

The 9600SE fits your price range and is DX9. Performs at the same approximate level as the 9200 and 5200U (with the occasional particularly good performance spike and the occasional worse one).

Originally posted by The Baron
I agree with the 5700NU assessment.

Have you seen it anywhere showing significant differences from a 5600U, though? By most accounts they're pretty much neck-and-neck, and the 5600U's are usually a lot cheaper right now. (Don't know about in Europe.) Unless that's differing models and confused listings getting in the way... (All the models are driving me nuts right now, since sites can't keep them straight.) Regardless, if you get up to the $150-ish for a 5700 non-Ultra, you're next to a number of 9600XT listings which I would recomment instead.

Offhand, Rob, unless he IS willing to break that price level, his choices are going to basically be between a 5200U (avoid the 256MB versions of these cards--waste of money) and the 9600SE. But that's only if he REALLY wants DX9 or is planning on playing with quality features at high resolutions and not minding the low framerate, as I'd normally recomment a Ti4200 down there, which will bring MUCH better generic gaming performance.

jAkUp
01-01-04, 10:38 PM
like i said, a 5700NU is $30 more than a 9600se, and nearly twice as fast.

a 5200 is even faster than a 9600se in most cases

http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/attachment.php?s=&postid=253586

cthellis
01-01-04, 10:43 PM
Originally posted by jAkUp
like i said, a 5700NU is $30 more than a 9600se, and nearly twice as fast.
I've barely seen them under $150 yet, which makes them $50 more. (Not to mention 9600SE's start in the $80's.)
Originally posted by jAkUp
a 5200 is even faster than a 9600se in most cases
I said that too. I mention it only because it specifically answers the query--being a DX9 card in that approximate price range and performance level, whereas the 9200 is not.

I think it would be more beneficial for Rob to link to where he likely WOULD be recommending purchasing from, because comparing North American prices won't go straight across anyway, but we can all root around and see what things cost what 's from UK equivalents. ^_^

jAkUp
01-01-04, 10:54 PM
well.. we sell 5700NU for $149 http://www.pcclub.com/product_detail.cfm?itemno=A9602602

But yes, as CT said, you will get the most bang for your buck if you can find a geforce4TI line.. not dx9, but unless you shell out the bucks, your not gonna get acceptable dx9 performance.

Spiritwalker
01-01-04, 10:55 PM
if you can still find one a 9600np not se would fit the bill as well
you will be able to highly overclock the core. The memory overclock may be a little more of a stretch. But it would be better than the 5200 and 5600nu

Edge
01-02-04, 12:05 AM
I really, really can't see any way to justify getting a 9600se when he has a TI200. Why pay $120 to get a card that has DX9 effects (a very trivial point, on a 9600se) at the cost of performence? A 9600se would almost certainly be SLOWER then his current card. I stand by what I said before, if you can't get at least an FX5600 or 9500 non-SE, don't bother "upgrading" at all. Even a 9600 was a downgrade from my TI4200 in many games, a 9600se would be a big step below that.

cthellis
01-02-04, 01:05 AM
I wouldn't really justify upgrading to a 70 "must be DX9" card from a GF3 Ti200 either, but then again I'm not that guy. :p I tend to say, "if you're going to spend $100 or more already, devote a bit more on a good deal for a GOOD performance upgrade."
Why pay $120 to get a card that has DX9 effects (a very trivial point, on a 9600se)
More like $90 on a 9600SE. Going to the roof amount listed of 70 (so around $125) you can get into 9600 non-Pros as well (around $110), which is probably the best recommendation of the bunch. I was simply stating the cards similar to what he mentioned in the first post. (The 9600SE being more similar in performance to 9200's, 5200's, and 5600XT's.)

Since I don't know UK/Euro prices, I don't know enough to make comparisons. Are 9600NP's more than 70 over there? <shrugs> Hard to make suggestions when only half-armed. Hehe...

Gator
01-02-04, 06:51 AM
R9200 is nothing more than a R8500 or R9100, but with AGP8x and slower memory. The R9200SE is the same thing but with 64bit memory bus which makes it a TERRIBLE card. I don't recommend any of those cards, and none of them have DX9 like you asked for.

FX5200NU and FX5600XT are both underpowered regardless of being DX9, and the FX5600XT is especially bad because it too has 64bit memory bus, as do many 5200NU and 5200SE cards. Avoid these cards too!

The best budget gaming card with DX9 is currently the FX5700 like many people suggested. Only $148 at http://www.newegg.com. Got less money? The lowest card I'd recommend is the FX5600Ultra for $130, but for only $18 more the FX5700 makes better sense.

RobHague
01-02-04, 08:23 AM
Originally posted by cthellis

I think it would be more beneficial for Rob to link to where he likely WOULD be recommending purchasing from, because comparing North American prices won't go straight across anyway, but we can all root around and see what things cost what 's from UK equivalents. ^_^

Yeah good idea, thanks for all the suggestions btw :). I just thought it would make a good thread as peeps could input their suggests for value gaming. I have been talking to him about upping his budget and i *may* be able to get him to 117 which would buy him a 9600XT. However if not his original budget would be 70.

These are the UK stores.

http://www.ebuyer.com
http://www.overclockers.co.uk
http://www.komplett.co.uk
http://www.dabs.com/uk

The top 3 are most likley, i use OvclockersUK my self personally (the 2nd one down).

Just to note, he does not go in for the whole AA/AF thing. He just wants to get the added effects that they are putting into the next expanshion of this game. I would assume as its a MMORPG that the graphics while nice should be 'too' complex.

My choice for budget gaming would have been a good 5200 to overclock (as malfunctions specs look rather sweet with that card :)) but like i said i wanted some more suggestions. :D ta

*edit* I found a standard 9600 for 89. I think if i have to recommend anything lower than a 9600XT i will recommend he push's that 70 to get the 9600. :)

Gator
01-02-04, 08:54 AM
Originally posted by RobHague
...found a standard 9600 for 89. I think if i have to recommend anything lower than a 9600XT i will recommend he push's that 70 to get the 9600. :)

R9600 standard only has 200mhz (400mhz effective) DDR memory on it, I don't recommend it. For all video cards you want something with at least 275mhz (550 effective) or 300mhz (600 effective) DDR memory. It makes a difference in performance.

GlowStick
01-02-04, 09:09 AM
Heh, in my honest opinion no card for that price will run dx9 fast, he may be forced to run it in a lesser mode even if he supports dx9 heh.

The Baron
01-02-04, 09:24 AM
Regarding 5600U versus 5700NU--for DX9, the 5700NU will beat the 5600U by quite a bit. The 5700NU has the 5600U's integer registers (or at least I think they were registers, but whatever) replaced with FP registers, so it runs PS2.0 apps considerably faster.

Gator
01-02-04, 10:40 AM
Originally posted by GlowStick
Heh, in my honest opinion no card for that price will run dx9 fast, he may be forced to run it in a lesser mode even if he supports dx9 heh.

I don't agree with that, in most benchmarks I've seen the FX5700NU at stock speed is about on par with the GF4 TI4200 stock speed in DX8 or lower apps. It's not an almighty FX5900, but it performs decent. And in DX9 the 3dmark2k3 score isn't bad at all. And if you can overclock your FX5700NU to Ultra levels, then it's pretty damn good deal for only $148us

cthellis
01-02-04, 10:41 AM
Originally posted by RobHague
*edit* I found a standard 9600 for 89. I think if i have to recommend anything lower than a 9600XT i will recommend he push's that 70 to get the 9600. :)
There's a Hercules 9600 on Overclocker's for 76 and a PowerColor for 79, which are both good brands. Also a Connect3D for exactly 70, though I don't think I've seen much of that brand to know their relative performance.
R9600 standard only has 200mhz (400mhz effective) DDR memory on it, I don't recommend it.
Granted it's a bit hampered, but you can always add more money to add more performance. This IS "budget gaming" and all... Hehe. I can't think of a card I'd recommend more at that level or just barely above. The only other one that comes close is an XFX 5600 non-Ultra for 74, and I'd recommend a 9600 over it.

The closest cards after that are 5600U's, 5700NU's and 9600XT's which all hover at around 100, so if he's willing to make that next price hop (which is not insubstantial) I'd recommend this'n (http://www.overclockers.co.uk/cgi-bin/sh000001.pl?REFPAGE=http%3a%2f%2fwww%2eoverclocker s%2eco%2euk%2facatalog%2fsearch%2ehtml&WD=9600xt&PREVQUERY=RANDOM%3dNETQUOTEVAR%253ARANDOM%26PAGE%3 dSEARCH%26SS%3d9600xt%26TB%3dA%26PR%3d%2d1%26GB%3d A%26ACTION%3dSearch&PN=sapphire_ati_graphics_cards%2ehtml%23aGX_2d035_ 2dSP#aGX_2d035_2dSP) offhand. A Sapphire card, the most solid performer of the bunch, and with the bundle.

5700 Ultras seem to start at 120 (a Creative for 115, but I'm leery of their cards right now, what with the craptastic overclocking their 5900's have gotten), and 5900's at 130-140 or so, but this is just getting well out of both his pricing range or his needs.

I think offhand you should just see if he's planning on buying HL2 when it comes out, which pretty much answers the question if he is--the Sapphire I linked will give him the best card for just barely over his stated cap after factoring out "game value" (25 or so, right?). He'd just have to be willing to go to 100 now. If he's NOT at all interested, it's rather up to him. He can pick up a 9600 or 5600 for at-and-just-above his stated 70 cap, or save some money and pick up a 5200U or 9600SE in the sub-60 area, which will let him have "access" to DX9, but rather lackluster performance at all levels. My #1 recommendation would be he buck up and shoot to 100 for the 9600XT now, because I just feel bad recommending anything of lesser performance. :p

chris454
01-02-04, 11:53 AM
The latest expanison for DAoC the Trials of Atlantis, can in places bog down
my fx5900 Ultra btw.

Rob_0126
01-02-04, 02:53 PM
Just break down, gather up $220, and get a FX5900 NU, and enjoy. :)

Seriously though, dx9 effects aren't all that and a bag of chips. dx8 shaders are pretty enough, seriously, for now.

32bit fp computations have a very high impact on performance, no? :confused:

Robert

RobHague
01-02-04, 06:43 PM
Thanks for that info chris454, not exactley good news though lol.

Yeah Rob_0126 if it was me i would be buying a 5900XT or something of that nature. Most likley a 9600XT if my budget was really tight - but he does not really play enough games to make purchasing a more expensive graphics card worth it. The ONLY reason he is upgrading AFAIK is to play this new expanshion for DAOC, as like i said, it uses DX9 features and he wants to enjoy them. :D

FP32, dont the latest dets bring it down to FP16?? I thought the DX9 performance is getting quite a lot better on NV hardware of recent driver releases. I doubt he will be going over 800x600 resolutions... i had a quick peak at the 9600 results and it seems to run Tomb Raider AOD with a playable Frame Rate.

He nearly died when i suggested a +100 graphics card ;) i doubt i can convince him to get anything more than 90 absolute max. I really dont see anything else in that price range. Even if better is only a few pounds away, his original budget was about 50... u have to stop sometime :)

Oh and i had to convince him that ATI was now decent too lol, he was adiment about an NVIDIA card originally. While i do love nvidia products in general, ATI make pretty fine bits of hardware so....

I think he might be better off with a 5200 Ultra TBH. I dont think its worth spending anything more as the 5600/5700/9600 all bring u into the price ranges of much better cards... seems a waste.

*edit* Btw rob, ive been enjoying TR:AOD's graphical goodness. Im really looking forward to Half-Life 2 now :D if its even uses half the effects in TR:AOD it will be a pant wetting experience ;) and im pretty sure it will be ;) hehe