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Best Bang For The Buck Under or just over $100

Discussion in 'ATI' started by SpicaTC50, Jun 20, 2004.

  1. SpicaTC50

    SpicaTC50 Guest

    Hi all. I'm going to be building a PC for my daughter, the Wolfenstein addict.
    What's the best ATI card for the money right now under $100. I've had a
    Sapphire 8500LE that's been quite stable. Do they still make good products?
    I see a Sapphire 9200 256meg for $69 at Newegg but have some input
    that the way to go is with 9600 or higher which does strain the budget. Thanks
    for any advice.
     
    SpicaTC50, Jun 20, 2004
    #1
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  2. SpicaTC50

    Inglo Guest

    I'll be selling my "Built By ATI" Radeon 9600 Pro for ~$100 really soon,
    I'm not trying to sell it to you but if you look around at used cards
    you'll find a lot of them out there on ebay or your local classifieds
    for that price. Mine's in perfect shape, less than a year old, I just
    want to get a 9800.
    If you happen to live in Northern California let me know.

    Besides all that I put a PowerColor Radeon 9200 256 Mb bought from
    newegg.com for ~$90 that went into a pretty crappy old 933 MHz Celeron
    that's doing a great job, plays RTCW great and does a decent job
    handling newer games like Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow. Sapphire's
    good too, these 9200s with 256 Mb is just a gimmick, the extra 128 Mb
    does almost nothing. The main thing to check is that you're getting a
    card that's memory bus is 128 bit rather than 64.
     
    Inglo, Jun 20, 2004
    #2
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  3. SpicaTC50

    boe Guest

    I'd get the 9600 ultimate with the passive cooler from Sapphire w 128mb -
    you will get little benefit from more memory with a slower processor. Take
    a look on pricewatch.com for vendors and price - while it is about $150 it
    is quiet fast and gives your the potential to play more demanding games with
    greater detail as they become available.
     
    boe, Jun 20, 2004
    #3
  4. If you can find a reputable eBay seller it might be possible to get a fairly
    high-end card for about $100- I got a 9700 for £70 (UK, about $130 US). Give
    it a go- look out for the 9700s, 9500s (there is one type of 9500 that is
    software moddable into a 9700), and 9600s.

    OTOH, if she's just playing Wolfenstein (I assume not the early '90s one!)
    why not find an old GF4 Ti?
     
    Martin Francis, Jun 20, 2004
    #4
  5. SpicaTC50

    NightSky 421 Guest


    Return to Castle Wolfenstein should be just fine with a 9200 video card.
    Try not to get the SE version, but even it would probably be fine. After
    all, I originally ran RTCW on a Celeron 800 with a GeForce2 MX AGP and it
    was pretty smooth (although not absolutely 100%) in 800x600x32 resolution.
    But let me put things into perspective based on my own experience with
    regards to video cards...

    I just upgraded my second computer. It's now running an Athlon XP 2500+
    processor on a Gigabyte GA-7N400-L motherboard and a pair of PC3200 CAS3
    Kingston memory sticks (dual channel mode). On this machine, I have a
    Radeon 9200SE 128MB AGP video card. My 3DMark2001SE score is 4216 at
    default settings with this newly upgraded system with a fresh OS install
    and updated drivers.

    My big computer is a P4 2.8GHz system with a Gigabyte GA-8IPE1000 Pro
    motherboard and 1GB of PC3200 CAS3 Kingston memory in dual channel mode as
    well. Video card is a built-by-ATI Radeon 9800 Pro with 128MB. My
    3DMark2001SE score on this system is 15,900...more than ten thousand
    points higher!

    My point is, although I did expect this type of a result, it says a lot
    about the gap in performance between video cards. I can draw this
    comparison largely because the performance difference between the
    processors on my two systems isn't very wide now.
     
    NightSky 421, Jun 21, 2004
    #5
  6. SpicaTC50

    Augustus Guest

    Don't get a 9200 card of any kind. It's a DX 8.1 card, RV280 core with
    AGP8X support, but 4 pipelines with one TMU per pipe and even slower memory
    than your 8500LE. The 9200 Pro has the same core and memory speed. Your
    existing 8500 has 4 pipelines with 2 TMU per pipe. Seeing as how a full bore
    8500 can't fill the AGP4X bandwidth, AGP8X compatibility is pointless.
    It'll be outperformed by your 8500LE. Best value is to pick up a 9600 Pro,
    which is DX9 and considerably faster memory and core. Avoid the
    9600SE....that's a step down in speed with DX9 support.
     
    Augustus, Jun 21, 2004
    #6
  7. SpicaTC50

    Augustus Guest

    Don't get a 9200 card of any kind. It's a DX 8.1 card, RV280 core with
    AGP8X support, but 4 pipelines with one TMU per pipe and even slower memory
    than your 8500LE. The 9200 Pro has the same core and memory speed. Your
    existing 8500 has 4 pipelines with 2 TMU per pipe. Seeing as how a full bore
    8500 can't fill the AGP4X bandwidth, AGP8X compatibility is pointless.
    It'll be outperformed by your 8500LE. Best value is to pick up a 9600 Pro,
    which is DX9 and considerably faster memory and core. Avoid the
    9600SE....that's a step down in speed with DX9 support.
     
    Augustus, Jun 21, 2004
    #7
  8. SpicaTC50

    Mark Guest

    You wrote in thusly:
    The difference might be because the AMD 2500+ has a operating frequency
    of 1.83GHz, compared to your 2.8GHz "big computer". That's a ~1GHz
    difference between the processors.
     
    Mark, Jun 21, 2004
    #8
  9. SpicaTC50

    SpicaTC50 Guest

    Thanks for the responses. I've decided on a few things after spending the
    weekend re-educating myself on all this stuff. I'm going with at least a
    non-SE 9600 but haven't decided on standard or Pro while the Ultimate is
    definately out of range. It might be to my advantage to keep the new PC and
    vid card and give my daughter my Athlon XP 1600/8500LE with 512 non-DDR
    memory only because I will be working from home often on a network
    administering Active Directory when we deploy it later on this year, and from
    the fact that my son and daughter will still want to play games on my system
    since I have a great looking Compaq Q-Vision 210 21" monitor which certainly
    adds to the effect compared to 17" monitors. Your input was certainly
    appreciated.
     
    SpicaTC50, Jun 21, 2004
    #9
  10. SpicaTC50

    NightSky 421 Guest


    That's true, but AMD and Intel engineered their processors differently.
    This is why AMD went with the Pentium rating system (i.e. 2500+).
     
    NightSky 421, Jun 21, 2004
    #10
  11. SpicaTC50

    Mark Guest

    You wrote in thusly:
    Wouldn't that then be the 1.83GHz rating? That's what the actual clock
    frequency is and that's the rating I thought was used by Intel. It would
    be interesting to see just what makes up that difference.

    One way that I can think of to take the video cards far out of the
    equation would be to use a low resolution. That leaves the CPUs to do
    all the calculations for such things as physics, AI and many other
    things.

    Perhaps knowing that difference, also helps to know what kind of role
    the video cards actually play towards the scores.
     
    Mark, Jun 22, 2004
    #11
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