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9600 SE or Pro for moderate gamer?

Discussion in 'ATI' started by LRW, Jan 9, 2004.

  1. LRW

    LRW Guest

    OK, I just posted "9200 and DX9" asking if the 9200 is really not DX9
    compatable...and I since found out that was true.
    So, since I have $100 to spend on a card I was really considering the
    GeForce5200FX because of it's DX9 compat...and found out it's a REALLY slow
    card. So, now I'm considering the 9600SE.
    I can find that at the very edge of my price range, (but the 9600PRO is out
    of it).
    Worth it? I think the clock speeds are OK enough for me, and the shader
    features are nice....but that 64bit memory bandwidth really worries me.
    Anyone have a 9600SE that's also a moderate, not extreme gamer, that can
    give me any feedback?
    LRW, Jan 9, 2004
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  2. LRW

    Vellu Guest

    9600SE is pretty much as crippled as 5200FX, so I'd get atleast a regular

    I myself have 9700 Pro on my primary PC, and 9600SE on my secondary
    "barebone" system. And having tested a few games on 9600SE I'd say it
    performs fairly enough. For example Need for Speed Underground is playable
    at 1024x768, 2xAA with most graphic options enabled (nothing compared to
    9700, though). Synthetic benchmark-wise the 9600SE scores about 1600 at
    Vellu, Jan 9, 2004
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  3. LRW

    NDF Guest

    Have a look on ebay and get a 9600 Pro for a lot less than retail.

    Anything less will dissappoint you.
    NDF, Jan 9, 2004
  4. LRW

    NDF Guest


    This guys is selling his for $110 shipping $15
    NDF, Jan 9, 2004
  5. LRW

    Kent_Diego Guest

    ......that's also a moderate, not extreme gamer,

    My sons have the 8500LE's and can play every single modern game just fine.
    The only reason to go higher than 8500/9000/9100/9200 is if you want FSAA at
    1600x1200 or want to play the games new games two years in future. By then a
    9800 will be dirt cheap.

    Kent_Diego, Jan 9, 2004
  6. LRW

    Sham B Guest

    I find that all current/imminent games are playable on most hardware up to a
    couple of years old (games need to be able to do this for max buying
    audience), its just a question of how much detail you are prepared to lose.

    My advise would be to save your money, because prices of current hardware
    will have come down by the summer (new product lines push current prices
    down, plus the emerging consumer debt issues in the US/Europe will probably
    cause problems to all retail prices, esp. in things like electronics)... and
    that 9600 pro will have become affordable.

    Slum it with 800x600 or 1024x768 until then (and you might not even have
    to - my 9500 pro works well with current games: Halo, Forgotten Battles,
    lock-on and Chrome all directX 9 and playable at 1200x1024, which is about
    the biggest rez I need for my 19'' screen), and the only thing I have done
    to it by way of 'upgrades' to give it a bit of an edge once it started
    showing slight signs of lagging is to add a Artic cooler ($25.00) and
    unlocked the Bios for OC and use of the extra pipelines (free, but the
    pipeline BIOS mod isn't available on the 9600).

    Oh, the other thing is that you shouldn't be really considering upgrading
    until you actually *run* an application/game that looks like it needs it,
    rather than believing the vapourware and marketing hype of

    Hope that helps

    Sham B, Jan 9, 2004
  7. LRW

    Wblane Guest

    I thought 9500 Pros had all the pipelines unlocked? Do you mean the memory bus
    can be unlocked to 256-bit from 128-bit?

    -Bill (remove "botizer" to reply via email)
    Wblane, Jan 9, 2004
  8. LRW

    Thomas Guest

    You were correct, and no, no 256 bit mem on the pro

    Thomas, Jan 9, 2004
  9. LRW

    LRW Guest

    Good advice! Isn't "Call of Duty" DX9? I tried running it on an
    All-In-Wonder VE (7500) and it barely crawled at 800x600 with ALL features
    turned off.

    Well, I just went to Circuit City to check things out, and they had a 9600
    XT 128MB for $190. Outside my budget, but my wife said "Merry X-mas" and we
    got it. (I know, could have gotten it cheaper online, but it's a "Built By"
    and after shipping, and taking in the benefit of having a local retail store
    in case something goes wrong...)
    THEN, got it to the counter and discovered it has TWO $20 rebates (mail-in.)
    So for $150+tax I got the best card of the 9600 line! I'm impressed. =)
    So, thanks everyone for your feedback...and if you want to get a Built-By
    Radeon 9600XT for $150 find a Circuit City!
    (Rebates are already in the mail *g*)
    LRW, Jan 9, 2004
  10. LRW

    dino Guest

    Call of Duty sucked on my FX5600-256...wait until you can afford a good
    card. I got rid of my FX and replaced it with a 9600 XT. Was a little
    nervous...have been Nvidia sice the old TNT2 came out...have had 5 of
    them..from the TNT2 right up to a Ti4200. I am not disappointed..wait till
    you have money for the Pro or XT...you will not be disappointed
    dino, Jan 9, 2004
  11. LRW

    Daren Evans Guest

    She spoils you - you'll love the card - i'm happy with my xt
    Daren Evans, Jan 10, 2004
  12. LRW

    Sham B Guest

    Whoops. Sorry. Here's a post (below, long) from 'god knows where' that
    You can also look at http://www.tech-report.com/etc/comparo/graphics/ for
    basic internal diffs between cards.

    Only really useful for 9500 users btw...



    so to sum it up

    buy a 9700Pro if u can afford one however a 9600Pro and a 9500Pro can
    overclock to 9700Pro levels pretty much.

    the following is RIPPED directly from someone called Creig on Anandtech
    forums so THX CREIG!!!

    Ok. Here are all the possible mods:

    9500 NON-PRO 64 meg - Can be modded to an unofficial 64 meg 9500 Pro. Since
    the chips are built on only one half of the board, the 64 meg NON-PRO is
    limited to a 128 bit memory path. However, the unused four pipelines can be
    enabled which gives you 8 pipelines on a 128 bit memory path. This is the
    same as the 9500 Pro, but with only 64 megs. It can then be overclocked to
    further enhance performance. Overclocking results can vary from board to
    board depending on how well the GPU tolerates overclocking and the speed
    rating of the memory chips.

    9500 NON-PRO 128 meg - Can be modded into a 9700 ONLY if the memory
    configuration is in a "L" configuration. The "L" configuration consists of
    two chips above the GPU and two to the right hand side. Only this memory
    configuration is moddable as it will be built on the PCB originally designed
    for the 9700 which has a 256 bit memory path. The boards with the memory
    chips in a straight row above the GPU are built on the PCB that was
    specifically designed for the 9500. This board has a 128 bit memory path. No
    software can ever change this fact.

    The way ATI made these two different boards perform the same was that the
    moddable "L" shaped memory boards came with only four pipelines enabled. So
    they were 4 pipelines on a 256 memory bit path. The non-moddable "all in a
    row" memory boards came with all 8 pipelines on a 128 memory bit path. All
    the mod does is unlock the 4 unused pipelines on the "L" boards. It does
    absolutely nothing to the size of the memory path. And so you end up with 8
    pipelines and a 256 bit memory path which is identical to the 9700.

    You can then overclock the board to 9700 speeds or above. Overclocking
    results can vary from board to board depending on how well the GPU tolerates
    overclocking and the speed rating of the memory chips. It is this unlocking
    of pipelines combined with overclocking that has made this video card so

    But as with all mods/overclocking, YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary). Some boards
    came with GPUs that had one or more faulty pipelines. These were most likely
    rejected 9700 GPUs. ATI disabled four of the pipelines and retested these
    rejected cores. If the faulty pipeline was one of the four disabled then the
    chip was used to make a 9500 NON-PRO. This was a good financial move for ATI
    as it allowed them to use cores that would have otherwise been tossed in the
    trash. However, the number of faulty cores that could still be reused was
    not enough to keep full production of 9500 NON-PRO cards. So ATI
    supplemented this with fully functional cores with 8 good pipelines and
    simply disabled four of them.

    Unfortunately for us hardware fanatics, this means that the whole 9500
    NON-PRO mod is a bit of a gamble. Since some have good cores and some have
    bad, there's no way to tell until you get it home and attempt it. Screen
    "checkerboarding" and "visual artifacts" were the two most common symptoms
    experienced with receiving a board with a bad pipelines. Before the software
    mod was available, people hardware modded the boards with the same "some
    good, some bad" results. This hardware mod does the exact same thing as the
    software mod. So a board with artifacts using the software mod will have the
    exact same problems if it were hard modded, and vice versa. I believe the
    success rate of finding a good moddable board was around 60%. Unfortunately,
    ATI has suspended production of the moddable version of the 9500 NON-PRO so
    supply of this board is definitely limited and getting more so every day.

    9500 PRO 128 meg - Cannot be modded, but can be overclocked. The 9500 PRO
    comes from the factory with all 8 pipelines enabled. And it's built on the
    128 bit memory path PCB. Since this board already has 8 pipelines, all you
    can do to the 9500 PRO is overclock it. You can't mod it into anything else.

    9700 128 meg - As above, the 9700 cannot be modded. It comes enabled with 8
    pipelines on a 256 bit memory path. However, it can be overclocked to 9700
    PRO levels. Overclocking results can vary from board to board depending on
    how well the GPU tolerates overclocking and the speed rating of the memory

    Sham B, Jan 10, 2004
  13. LRW

    Darthy Guest

    Excellent deal... Enjoy... hey, and you should get Half Life 2 as

    Just think... a $100~130 fx5200 or 9600se wouldnt compare!
    Darthy, Jan 11, 2004
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