Which Radeon 9000?
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Thread: Which Radeon 9000?

  1. #1
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    Question Which Radeon 9000?

    Hi,
    I've decided I need a new video card and that I'm bored with my trusty old GF2MX. I've also decided that a Radeon 9000 best meets my needs. Basically, I want a card that will be able to occasionally play the latest games at 1024x768 possibly 1280x1024, perhaps with some FSAA but I also don't want to spend too much money!

    A Ti4200 is out my price range, not only that, I feel like owning a Radeon (I've had a few nVidia products). The 8500 is oldish technology and is also out of my price range. This pretty much leaves the Radeon 9000 and the Geforce 4 MX440, which falls into my price bracket of about 80 ($120?) quite nicely.

    I believe a GF4MX440 is basically a turbocharged GF2MX. So, unless someone can convince me to go with a GF4MX440, a Radeon 9000 it is. I'd also consider getting a bleeding-edge graphics card in about a years time, so this card is a stop gap measure.

    The reasoning behind a 9000 out of the way, which do I go for? Another way of phrasing this would be, do I really need 128mb of RAM for my needs and time for the sake of 20? Also, do I need a 9000 Pro or can I easily overclock the standard 9000 to Pro speeds (I've read that the Pro isn't very o/cable)?

    If it helps, the manufacturers I am looking at are Hercules (128mb) and Sapphire (64mb). Overclockers UK for more information!

    Any input would be appreciated!
    Chris
    Athlon XP Barton 2500+ @ 2,075 GHz
    MSI K7N2-Delta ILSR
    2x SATA 80GB Maxtor Plus 9 in a RAID Mirror
    512 MB Crucial PC2700 DDR
    ATI Radeon 9000 Pro 64MB
    Logitech Z-560
    Relisys TL766B 17" TFT
    Windows 2000 Professional

  2. #2
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    Well, you seem to have given a thorough account of your situation and I have to agree that the 9000 is an excellent choice. For occasional gaming the 128MB isn't going to give you anything extra and you won't be playing at the kind of resolutions where this amount of memory becomes important. It also affects performance in texture-heavy games but again, it's a small luxury that really isn't going to help. Spend the extra on clock speed, not memory.

    I haven't seen any reviews testing the overclocking power of the standard 9000 card, to be honest I haven't seen any reviews of it at all, only of the Pro card. Given the difference in memory clocks of 200 and 275MHz I think you would be pushed to get it near that, a healthy 15% overclock would only get you to 230MHz. The core would almost certainly go from 250 to 275MHz but it's not going to give you much of a performance boost, if any. The Pro card may cost 20 more but it is a wise investment that gives you a playable solution that will let you game comfortably for the next year. Remember, just because you are an occasional gamer doesn't mean you can play with jerky frame rates, it just means you don't have to have everything cranked to max.

    That leaves you with a Radeon 9000 Pro 64MB. The Sapphire comes in at 77.50 with shipping at OCUK, right under your budget. You may also want to try www.ebuyer.com, shipping is slightly less and works out 50p cheaper, they have a good returns policy as well should anything go wrong (Sapphire is an OK brand, but you do hear the name slated a bit in the forums). A better brand won't cost you much more actually. Forget the Hercules, they are way too pricy, Watford Electronics have a retail ATi 9000 Pro 64MB for just 84 shipped! Alternatively you can get a Gigabyte card for 79.80 from www.dabs.com. I would plump the extra 7 and go for the genuine ATi article, it has a DVI port too in case you venture into TFT territory someday, as well as the peace-of-mind of a full-warrantied well-made card.

    Hope this helps. The great news is that you are able to reach a no-compromise situation given your budget. All of these cards will do great, all are affordable, so you might as well treat yourself and get the best one.

    Bennyboy.

  3. #3
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    Good post.

    Originally posted by Bennyboy
    I haven't seen any reviews testing the overclocking power of the standard 9000 card, to be honest I haven't seen any reviews of it at all, only of the Pro card. Given the difference in memory clocks of 200 and 275MHz I think you would be pushed to get it near that, a healthy 15% overclock would only get you to 230MHz. The core would almost certainly go from 250 to 275MHz but it's not going to give you much of a performance boost, if any.
    I noticed Weeboll's post in General:

    Originally posted by Weeboll
    i've just stepped upto a radeon 9000 vivo for 60 which is a pretty good deal, no qualms about o/cing it to the same spec as a 9000pro especially as the difference is miniscule!

    you get damn good 2d, dvd and more than good enough 3d especially if like me gaming is only a side line + you get tv out and tv in which although not a frequent requirement for me is handy to have.
    Interesting... if it overclocks to Pro spec easily then it's a very attractive card for 60! Especially considering that the Pro is virtually clock-locked.

    MuFu.

  4. #4
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    Sapphire Radeon 9000 Pro

    Hi,
    Thanks for your replies, especially BennyBoy , your reply was very helpful. It turned out I had to go to Stoke today so I decided to pay a vist to Overclockers.co.uk to buy a Sapphire Radeon 9000 Pro 64mb for 72.84.

    It's not installed yet, but I'll update you later on to see how we're getting on.

    Thanks again,
    Chris
    Athlon XP Barton 2500+ @ 2,075 GHz
    MSI K7N2-Delta ILSR
    2x SATA 80GB Maxtor Plus 9 in a RAID Mirror
    512 MB Crucial PC2700 DDR
    ATI Radeon 9000 Pro 64MB
    Logitech Z-560
    Relisys TL766B 17" TFT
    Windows 2000 Professional

  5. #5
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    Quick Update

    Hi
    Just tried the card under Windows 98 and the drivers on the CD are a bit naff. I thought this might be the case, no matter. Windows 2000 drivers seem to run a little better, so I'm going to sit here for a bit and wait for the 15mb reference drivers to download - oh to be on DSL!

    Chris
    Athlon XP Barton 2500+ @ 2,075 GHz
    MSI K7N2-Delta ILSR
    2x SATA 80GB Maxtor Plus 9 in a RAID Mirror
    512 MB Crucial PC2700 DDR
    ATI Radeon 9000 Pro 64MB
    Logitech Z-560
    Relisys TL766B 17" TFT
    Windows 2000 Professional

  6. #6
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    http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.html?i=1756&p=11

    The above is a benchmark of the ATI 9500 pro, to sell at about $200 initially. About equal to a GF4 4600, with better anistropic filtering and Fs4aa. It actually did better than the 9700pro in some benchmarks and good overclocker, around a 20% overclock and uses its own drivers.
    Last edited by evetsrim1; November 30th, 2002 at 11:42 AM.
    Technology increases at a parabolic curve upward.

  7. #7
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    heh, as I sit here waiting to download the same drivers, probably for the same reason..

    my Sapphire R9000 Vivo has been running smoothly for a week, just added ramsinks and a fan to the heatsink after initially overclocking and getting burnt - game freezes etc

  8. #8
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    Hey Weeboll!
    What program do you use to overclock your Radeon 9000? BTW, my Sapphire Pro came with a HSF on the GPU already. Have you got the standard 9000 or the pro?

    Chris
    Athlon XP Barton 2500+ @ 2,075 GHz
    MSI K7N2-Delta ILSR
    2x SATA 80GB Maxtor Plus 9 in a RAID Mirror
    512 MB Crucial PC2700 DDR
    ATI Radeon 9000 Pro 64MB
    Logitech Z-560
    Relisys TL766B 17" TFT
    Windows 2000 Professional

  9. #9
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    at the moment, rage tweak 3.6 from www.rage3d.com but i'm held back by my pathetic cooling

    The hynix ram -hy5dv641622at-4 is rated at 250mhz, assuming yours is Hynix ram too, its probably either hy5dv641622at- 36, rated at 275 or (more likely) hy5dv641622at-33 rated at 300.

    http://www.hynix.com/eng/index.html

    which means you should be able to crank up your ram to 300, which as its ddr equates to 600 and you should be able to get the chip up to 300 no worries too giving you 300/600 instead of the stock 275/300(550) and at that speed puts you up at radeon 8500 performanc in quake

    http://www.tech-report.com/reviews/2.../index.x?pg=13

    I get 275/250(500) , which is getting close to 9000pro performance but its hot for comfort without a fan and I reckon with a decent gpu heatsink + fan and ramsinks I should get 275/275 no worries. Which is nice cos the sapphire 9000 vivo is cheap as chips and had video in

    milkdrop runs smooth as you like at 1600*1200 too..

    downloading the latest cat. drivers was a definate bonus and
    using the ati dvd player is also a tidy improvement on powerdvd (or at least my version)

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