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XyZspineZyX
11-07-2003, 09:51 PM
I'm looking to buy a new GFX card that will provide me with adequate performance. From the benchmarks at Tom's Hardware, it seems the Ti4200 is almost on par with the Radeon 9500/9600 Pro. So mostly what I'm looking for is information from people running the Ti4200 on how well it handles today's games.
Of course, advice on other options that don't cost much more and are significantly better is always appreciated, just please don't bombard me with things like "get the 9800, it rocks!!!" - I know what there is out there and I know I can't afford most of it (even the 9600 is a bit on the expensive side for me, especially if it's not much faster than a 4200).

Thanks for the help!

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Never argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level, then beat you with experience.

XyZspineZyX
11-07-2003, 09:51 PM
I'm looking to buy a new GFX card that will provide me with adequate performance. From the benchmarks at Tom's Hardware, it seems the Ti4200 is almost on par with the Radeon 9500/9600 Pro. So mostly what I'm looking for is information from people running the Ti4200 on how well it handles today's games.
Of course, advice on other options that don't cost much more and are significantly better is always appreciated, just please don't bombard me with things like "get the 9800, it rocks!!!" - I know what there is out there and I know I can't afford most of it (even the 9600 is a bit on the expensive side for me, especially if it's not much faster than a 4200).

Thanks for the help!

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Never argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level, then beat you with experience.

XyZspineZyX
11-07-2003, 10:13 PM
Here's a link to a good review on the 9600XT. It shows benchmarks against the 9600PRO, Ti4200 and quite a few others.

http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/ati_radeon_9600_xt/

The main thing is that the Ti4200 is almost at the back of the pack under 4xAA and 8xAF against all the cards.

The best bang for the buck in your range is either the 9600PRO or FX 5600/5700 series. I know Powercolor has a wicked 9600PRO clocked at 400/680 with a 256-bit wide memory interface, but only 4 rendering pipelines. I haven't fully investigated, but there are software mods to open the other 4 pipelines on certain cards. There is a wide range of 9600PROs between $150.00 and $200.00 to choose from. Don't get fooled with the 9600 Pro EZ models out there. They are clocked lower and most have a 128-bit interface.

My investigation, since I'm looking for a new video card at this time as well, has shown me that FX series cards work close to their theoretical fill rates, but are almost maxed. The Radeons have fill rate to spare and I believe this is one of the main difference between the Radeon and FX series of cards and related to how many frames they'll drop under heavy action.

Just some ideas for you./i/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

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XyZspineZyX
11-08-2003, 10:15 AM
Thanks for the advice SlickStick.
These benchmarks do seem to confirm that the Ti4200 is still competitive, esp. on resolutions up to 1024x768 and without AA (although it often achieves good results even with AA on - see the FB 4xAA benchmark).
The main thing is price: Over here, the Ti4200 is 240 NIS ($50+) cheaper than the Radeon 9600 and 300 NIS ($65+) cheaper than the FX5600, not to even mention the Pro/Ultra versions. So basically what I want to know is will the Ti4200 be good enough to run my games for a while, or do I absolutely have to get something newer to stay current for more than a month? As such, input from Ti4200 owners is especially appreciated.

BTW, AFAIK the Radeon 9600s all have 4 rendering pipelines - their PCBs are supposed to be brand new and made specially for them, so I don't think there are even 8 pipelines on the card physically.
What you're probably referring to is the Radeon 9500 - the early cards (identified by their 'L' shaped memory) were printed on the same PCB as the 9700, and the 4 extra pipelines were simply disabled on the non-Pro versions. That means that it would be possible to mod it into a fully working Radeon 9700. Unfortunately, these cards are hard to come by and there's usually no guarantee the mod will even work. I've been trying to get a hold of one for some time now.

Here's a page that tells you what each ATi card can be modded into: http://www.ocfaq.com/softmod/faq.php

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Never argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level, then beat you with experience.

XyZspineZyX
11-08-2003, 04:10 PM
There are a few 9600 types that are floating around that are the type with 8 pipelines and having 4 disabled. They are the earlier models. They are getting rarer, however, as board companies are making PCBs new for the 9600 and other cards and not just using their big brothers PCB and disabling options on it.

I really can't justify getting a Ti4200 over anything these days. Every bench with AA and AF puts the Ti4200 back with that GF3 card. I think you'd be kicking yourself down the road, like maybe a week after getting the Ti4200, for not getting a more robust card.

I'd save up a little and at least try and get into the 9600PRO series range. There are many cards to choose from as low as $140.00USD here.

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XyZspineZyX
11-08-2003, 04:24 PM
- There are a few 9600 types that are floating around
- that are the type with 8 pipelines and having 4
- disabled. They are the earlier models. They are
- getting rarer, however, as board companies are
- making PCBs new for the 9600 and other cards and not
- just using their big brothers PCB and disabling
- options on it.

i think you are confusing the 9500 with the 9600.

the 9500, used the same core as the 9700, and when teamed with the same pcb(256mem bus) you could mod it to try and enable the 4 extra pipes.

the 9600(4 pipes), and 9800(8 pipes) are actually 2 different chips! not like the setup involving the 9500/9700(same chip, just some pipes disabled).
the 9600 only have 4 pipes by design(no more), even mounting them on a 9800s pcb wouldnt net you very much other then perhaps a 256bit memory buss, but their just arent another 4 pipes there to enable.

XyZspineZyX
11-08-2003, 05:58 PM
Davinci beat me to it so... Yeah, what he said.

I've never really used AA, AF or resolutions higher than 1024x768. What I mostly want is a card that will allow me to run current games with an acceptable frame-rate and detail level at about 800x600/1024x768 for a year or two down the road. Looking at the benchmarks, it seems the Ti4200 is capable of delivering.
I've actually survived on an MX420 for about 1-2 years (still running it now), so I don't think my requirements are that high /i/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif . Thing is, I'm not even sure a Radeon 9600 is worth the money, being slower than it's predecessor and not considerably cheaper. If anything, I think a Radeon 9500 is a better buy.
BTW: Which card are you running?

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Never argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level, then beat you with experience.

XyZspineZyX
11-08-2003, 06:13 PM
Trust me, for sure there is a Powercolor card out there with 256-bit interface and 4 disabled pipelines. I'll try and find the article later. Don't know if the card is stil easy to get or not.

I'm still on a GF2 GTS 32MB, unfortunately, but it gives me about 50fps AVG at 1024x768x32, excellent settings - medium landscape and no AA, but 2X AF. It really shows it's bandwidth handicap, when things get intense and there's heavy action on the screen, dropping into the teens, but no major pauses or anything.

My price range is in the 9800 / 5900 range and the 9800 definitely has more fill rate headroom and does AA better than 5900, performance-wise. There's this GigaCube 9800 I've got my eye on for about $259.00, Retail version. Most 9800 nowadays are easily overclocked near, to or over, Pro/XT speeds, due to the newer generation R350 and R360 cores.

I, personally, wouldn't buy a Ti4200, even if that was my price range. Yeah it's a few frames faster at lower res and no AA or AF, but why limit yourself so severely, when for a few more bucks, you can at least get into a card tat has more fill rate headroom.

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çk?¯kT 2003**

XyZspineZyX
11-08-2003, 06:19 PM
I will also check my info on where I read about the 9600PRO, because I also may be remembering incorrectly. It happens now and then./i/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

I know the 9600Pro uses the .13 micron RV350, but I thought there were early 9600s based on R350 cores? If I made a mistake or got bogus info, I apologize for passing it on.

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çk?¯kT 2003**

Message Edited on 11/08/0312:25PM by SlickStick

XyZspineZyX
11-08-2003, 06:28 PM
SlickStick wrote:
- Trust me, for sure there is a Powercolor card out
- there with 256-bit interface and 4 disabled
- pipelines. I'll try and find the article later.
- Don't know if the card is stil easy to get or not.

negative!

this only worked on 9500 cards
the 9500pro had 8pipes and a 128mem bus, but some of the early sapphire brand cards used the 9700s pdbs because not enough 9500 series pcbs were available, the result was a 9500 with 8pipes and a 256bit memory bus, it differd from the 9700pro in clocl speed only!

the 9500non-pro was the 4pipe version, but again, on the right pcb, it gained a 265bit memory bus, and could have the other 4 pipes enabled. the result again, was a 9500non pro(very cheap) that was identicle to a 9700pro, in everything except clock speed.
this only worked because all 3(9700pro, 9500pro, and 9500non pro) were the exact same chip!

this is not the case with the 9800/9600

they are DIFFERENT chips, with the 9800 having 8 pipes, and the 9600 having only 4 pipes. the 9600 is not a 9800(8 pipes) with 4 less pipe enabled! like the 9700/9500 was. the 9600 only has 4 pipes to begin with!

quote from tomshardware guide
"The new Radeon 9600/ 9600 PRO remedies this situation. Like the Radeon 9500, the RV350 chip has only four pixel pipelines, but physically, this time"

note the "but physically, this time". the 9600 only has 4 physical pipes, unlike the 9500 that had 8 physically and 4 enabled(you could mod to enbable the other 4).

heres the link to the whole page.
http://www20.tomshardware.com/graphic/20030416/radeon_9600-01.html

should help you understand the difference.

XyZspineZyX
11-08-2003, 07:45 PM
Like I said, I thought I read that there were a few rushed 9600s early on that were the modified R350 cores, before the .13 RV350, just clocked lower and had pipes disabled, but they were physically there. Can't locate the article, but I'm still digging in my internet cache, so I may find it. It wasn't that long ago, I think./i/smilies/16x16_smiley-indifferent.gif

Actually, considering how much trouble I'm having finding it, a thousand pardons if I recalled incorrectly. A trivial point, but point made nonetheless./i/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

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çk?¯kT 2003**

XyZspineZyX
11-08-2003, 11:22 PM
The 4200 may be as fast as the 9600 right now but as soon as DirectX 9 games come out the 4200 will be left far behind.

Sure if you only intend on playing forgotten battles then the ti4200 is fine, but if you want to buy more games to play in the future then get a DX9 compatible card.


For an insight into how the TI4200 will compare to the 9600 in tomorrows games, check any 3dmark 2003 scores for the 2 cards. You will find the TI4200 miles behind. The only reason it keeps up with the 9600 on the benchmarks you have seen is because they are DX8 tests.

XyZspineZyX
11-09-2003, 10:11 AM
Yes, I know that. I just wonder how extensively new games in the near future will use the new features of DirectX 9. I'm not necessarily sure they'll use too many of these features, and in that case a DirectX 9 compatible vid card doesn't help squat.

Anyway, anyone know the answer to my question above?

Oh, and... BUMP /i/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

Xiolablu3 wrote:
- The 4200 may be as fast as the 9600 right now but as
- soon as DirectX 9 games come out the 4200 will be
- left far behind.
-
- Sure if you only intend on playing forgotten battles
- then the ti4200 is fine, but if you want to buy more
- games to play in the future then get a DX9
- compatible card.
-
-
- For an insight into how the TI4200 will compare to
- the 9600 in tomorrows games, check any 3dmark 2003
- scores for the 2 cards. You will find the TI4200
- miles behind. The only reason it keeps up with the
- 9600 on the benchmarks you have seen is because they
- are DX8 tests.
-
-



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Never argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level, then beat you with experience.