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View Full Version : ATI Radeon 9800 Pro... 128 or 256 MB?


Compa_Mighty
10-13-2003, 03:31 PM
Hey people, I'm planning on building a new computer. I have every part picked out except for the video card, I'm sure I want to go with an ATI 9800 Pro but I'm not sure if the 256 MB version is worth the extra $100.

Any help or advice you could give me?

Eets
10-13-2003, 04:18 PM
I'd gladly pay an extra hundred for a boost in my vid card ^_^

Praetorian
10-13-2003, 04:45 PM
linkage (http://www.tomshardware.com/graphic/20030604/index.html)

If you want to be able to play all the new games w/ awesome frame rates w/ all the features turned on, then get the 256MB. Other wise, save the $100.

EDIT:
Note that you only really get a boost from the 256MB card when you are at HIGH res. and 4xFSAA or 8xAA.

Sivy
10-13-2003, 04:56 PM
personally i would get the 256 version.

the more 'top-of-the-range' you get, the longer it will be before you have to upgrade.

Jed
10-16-2003, 10:07 PM
Funny you should bring this up, since I'm having the same struggle.

Compa - Now, by the 256MB version, are you talking about the 9800 XT? Otherwise, where are you planning on getting the card?

another_trooper
10-16-2003, 10:54 PM
i got the 256 MB, which quite excellent i must say, I dont know about the 128 though. . .

Compa_Mighty
10-17-2003, 04:47 PM
Originally posted by Jed
Funny you should bring this up, since I'm having the same struggle.

Compa - Now, by the 256MB version, are you talking about the 9800 XT? Otherwise, where are you planning on getting the card?

Hi Jed, no, not the XT one, I believe that's much more expensive...
I still don't know where I'm getting it, since I live in Mexico, and these good video cards are hard to get here.

All my budget is based on on-line stores, so you might want to check Amazon, for example.

EDIT: I'm reading that the 256 MB PRO edition is almost out of the market... and was reading a couple reviews about the XT version, the question is, how loud is the card? Is it just normal loud, or disturbingly loud?

Reviews here:
http://www.nordichardware.com/reviews/graphiccard/2003/Radeon9800XT/index.php
http://www.sharkyextreme.com/hardware/videocards/article.php/3211_3086361__1

Please answer if you know about it.

Praetorian
10-17-2003, 06:30 PM
To my understanding, none of the ATI cards are extra loud. Only normal loud.

If you want good reviews, go check out Tom's Hardware Guide (http://www.tomshardware.com)

If you want good online retailers, try these:
Newegg (http://www.newegg.com)
Zipzoomfly (http://www.zipzoomfly.com)

Good price finding site:
Pricegrabber (http://www.pricegrabber.com)

Good site to check ratings for online computer retailers (it's always good to check this before ordering from a site you don't know...pay a few extra bucks to get the product from a decient site):
Reseller Ratings (http://www.resellerratings.com)

I hope those help.

Compa_Mighty
10-18-2003, 05:30 AM
Thanks for those links Praetorian, they are very useful, now I only have to decide... :confused:

Jed
10-19-2003, 12:15 AM
I've been looking at NewEgg, and the XT looks like it *might* be worth the plunge...

Compa_Mighty
10-20-2003, 02:17 AM
Hi again Jed, I've also been reading soem reviews and checking prices, and now I really do think we both should go for the XT.

If those extra $100 aren't a problem for you, you'll get double de memory of the regular PRO version, and a card that doesn't heat up like the 256 PRO. At the same $500, I think it's worth it, even more if you want to keep it for a long time before updating.

JEDI_MASTA
10-23-2003, 12:20 AM
Compa, I know of a place in phoenix that sells the Nvidia 5600 256 cards for 215 or so, called Fry's electronics, if you wanna take a little bit of a drive, dunno where you are in relation to AZ tho

Jed
10-23-2003, 12:36 AM
Originally posted by Compa_Mighty
Hi again Jed, I've also been reading soem reviews and checking prices, and now I really do think we both should go for the XT.

If those extra $100 aren't a problem for you, you'll get double de memory of the regular PRO version, and a card that doesn't heat up like the 256 PRO. At the same $500, I think it's worth it, even more if you want to keep it for a long time before updating.

Agreed :)

9800XT, ahoy!

Sherack Nhar
10-23-2003, 01:25 AM
There's a point that no one has mentionned yet that is very important; the advantage of buying the card with 256 megs of RAM is most apparent in games in the future. If you're planning on keeping your videocard for more than a year, then I would definitely recommend the 256MB version. It really does make a difference in the future, because games will use larger textures for 3D graphics (which takes up way more memory on the videocard).

Compa_Mighty
10-23-2003, 01:51 AM
Originally posted by JEDI_MASTA
Compa, I know of a place in phoenix that sells the Nvidia 5600 256 cards for 215 or so, called Fry's electronics, if you wanna take a little bit of a drive, dunno where you are in relation to AZ tho

MASTA! I thought you were dead! J/k. Great to see you again...
Anyway, I appreciate it, but I'm in Mexico City , so to go to Arizona it's like 15 hours by car, which I find a little difficult.

Anyway, I'll take it into consideration, thanks again.

Sherack, thanks for posting that, actually, that was one of the factors that led me to decide to buy the 256 card.

Praetorian
10-23-2003, 10:57 AM
In all honesty, right now the NVidia 5600 cards are not they way to go. They can't handle the DX9 games. NVidia is releasing new drivers soon that are supposed to fix this, so I would hold off on getting an NVidia FX card for now. Wait to see if NVidia can fix their drivers first. If you don't want to wait, then get an ATI.

Also, check this (http://www.xgitech.com/) out. XGI Tech is a company made up of former ATI and NVidia employees who believe they can make a better card than their former employers. I haven't read any tests or benchmarks from them yet (I don't think their cards are out yet), but the whole idea looks promising. Keep an eye on this company, they could go somewhere if they build their cards right.

STTCT
10-23-2003, 11:03 AM
Here, you don't have to drive 15 hours :)

http://shop1.outpost.com/product/3665055

Praetorian
10-23-2003, 11:10 AM
Originally posted by STTCT
Here, you don't have to drive 15 hours :)

http://shop1.outpost.com/product/3665055

Shoot, now I don't have an excuse for a road trip.:D

Save your money and get something better than that...just my personal opinion.

Treacherous Mercenary
10-26-2003, 04:42 AM
Originally posted by Praetorian
If you want to be able to play all the new games w/ awesome frame rates w/ all the features turned on, then get the 256MB. Other wise, save the $100.

EDIT:
Note that you only really get a boost from the 256MB card when you are at HIGH res. and 4xFSAA or 8xAA.

I don't think I'd bother with the 256MB version of the Radeon 9800 Pro.. The above is mentioned, but the memory over heats badly compared to the 128MB version (being the fact 256MB version uses DDR-II RAM). As I see it, if hardware over heats badly, it's not worth bothering with in the first place unless you can get some good air flow going on it.

Just my $ .02

Also, if your going to get a 256MB version of a video card, why don't you wait at least six months to a year and a half perhaps? Maybe 256MB will start to actually become more useful then, otherwise, stick with the 128MB version..

Praetorian
10-27-2003, 02:38 PM
I disagree about the memory overheating. Yes, the DDRII will get hot, but it has heatsinks. It will not OVERheat, but it will get hot. CPUs, GPUs, and memory can actually get very hot before overheating and causing problems. All you need to be sure of good airflow is the power supply fan + one case fan in the back (pulling out air). (unless you're overclocking, then you need more)
Most CPUs can reach 70-90 degrees celcius before they overheat. (158-194 degrees fahrenheight)

Treacherous Mercenary
10-27-2003, 07:21 PM
Originally posted by Praetorian
I disagree about the memory overheating. Yes, the DDRII will get hot, but it has heatsinks. It will not OVERheat, but it will get hot. CPUs, GPUs, and memory can actually get very hot before overheating and causing problems. All you need to be sure of good airflow is the power supply fan + one case fan in the back (pulling out air). (unless you're overclocking, then you need more)
Most CPUs can reach 70-90 degrees celcius before they overheat. (158-194 degrees fahrenheight)

But it doesn't leave much for over clocking as opposed to 128MB version would. Just put some RAM sinks on the 128MB version and OC it abit more than the 256MB version and you might be set for a while. :) Yeah, I know it's not about OCing, but that's something I look for in hardware, how well can you OC it?

Sherack Nhar
10-27-2003, 08:16 PM
I never understood the point of overclocking. Why run the risk of melting your hardware just to get a 0.2% performance increase? If your hardware runs too hot for long period of time, its projected lifespan decreases pretty considerably.

Treacherous Mercenary
10-27-2003, 09:50 PM
Originally posted by Sherack Nhar
I never understood the point of overclocking. Why run the risk of melting your hardware just to get a 0.2% performance increase? If your hardware runs too hot for long period of time, its projected lifespan decreases pretty considerably.

With the proper cooling and knowing what to overclock and not to OC too high, then you could be safe to do so... Otherwise, it's not worth the risk as your saying, but if you do it right.. You can save some money on the other hand. It all depends really.

Praetorian
10-28-2003, 11:48 AM
I gotta go w/ Sherack on this on. You get proformance increase, but you quite often void your warranty. And he right, no matter how well cooled, you do decrease the life of the componate. (however, the expected life could be 10 years and this only shorts it to maybe 6 in bad cases...by then you have a new computer anyway) But what happens if your fan dies and the component doesn't have an auto-clockdown or shutdown feature. Fried.

For example, a standard Athlon XP processor will be able to survive if the fan dies (the heatsink will keep it cool), but if it is overclocked the heatsink probably won't be able to keep it cool enough on it's own. And if you don't have a good MB with a fast shutdown feature (very fast) you'll lose the CPU. (plus you have no warranty on it, cause you overclocked it)

Darth Groovy
10-28-2003, 11:52 AM
I'm running ATI Radeon 9200 now, at 128MB, so far, no complaints from me, but I may upgrade to the new Geforce later, however I have to get a new power pack for my PC first. That is gonna cost me....:p

Treacherous Mercenary
10-28-2003, 07:29 PM
Originally posted by Praetorian
I gotta go w/ Sherack on this on. You get proformance increase, but you quite often void your warranty. And he right, no matter how well cooled, you do decrease the life of the componate. (however, the expected life could be 10 years and this only shorts it to maybe 6 in bad cases...by then you have a new computer anyway)

But there isn't anything that says your video card is voided if you over clock your video card though.. ;)

Originally posted by Praetorian
But what happens if your fan dies and the component doesn't have an auto-clockdown or shutdown feature. Fried.

For example, a standard Athlon XP processor will be able to survive if the fan dies (the heatsink will keep it cool), but if it is overclocked the heatsink probably won't be able to keep it cool enough on it's own. And if you don't have a good MB with a fast shutdown feature (very fast) you'll lose the CPU. (plus you have no warranty on it, cause you overclocked it)

However... If you set within the BIOS to beep when it overheats and for the shut down feature.. I would think that would be a bit standard, but with the right mother board with the shut down and/or a utility to tell you the temperature, then you can be good. As for the fan ceasing, I sometimes open the case and check, but I mainly do it to clean some dust than can ruin my PC.. This can be annoying with a window case..