Is ATI 9700Pro all that good?
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Thread: Is ATI 9700Pro all that good?

  1. #1
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    Is ATI 9700Pro all that good?

    I'm considering an upgrade from my GF3ti200 to an ATI Radeon 9700/9700Pro based card. So I'm wondering if those cards are as good as it seems. Are drivers good? Any known flaws in any games? I have heard a lot of problems with the old 8500, and I DON'T want that....

    I'm running windows 2000 pro. CPU is an T-bird 1,4 DDR, is that one enough to feed the 9700?


    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    they are the best cards on the market at the moment but there are many new cards coming out soon (we hope) such as the nv30 which looks excellent also.
    i think some people have had to do a bios flash to get the card to work though. but once they do they are fine.
    driver support has improved greatly from ati recently so no problems there.
    i would check your power supply though since its a power hungry card.

    however i would recommend getting a 9500pro and getting a newer cpu such as a 2000+ as a 1.4 is holding you back quite a bit.

    should be cheaper and would be nice in other apps aswell as games.
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  3. #3
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    Depends on what you understand by "that good". IMHO _no_ card is _that_ good to be worth 400 bucks. (Thanks to VAT down here I actually paid some 440 on mine.) It's more of a question of whether you want to have the biggest toy in town or not.

    That said, there are uses for this card that don't need a bigger CPU. One of the pros of a 9700 Pro is that it's got twice as much bandwidth as the next card _and_ some good FSAA and aniso options to use that bandwidth. You can give your games a very nice facelift without needing a new CPU, because both FSAA and aniso happen on the graphics card.

    And there's another reason why I'm glad I did the same upgrade from GF3 TI 200 to a 9700 Pro. Image quality. You see, with the old Elsa I always got an annoying case of waves going up or down on the screen. A lot of screwing around with the refresh rates managed to at most minimize the effect, never to completely eliminate it. With the ATI I have no such problem. And it didn't need more CPU power for that either.

    On the other hand if your problem is measured in frames per second, then yes, a CPU upgrade can help.
    Last edited by Moraelin v2.0; January 12th, 2003 at 02:13 AM.

  4. #4
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    Follow-up questions.......

    A 9700 costs less than 75% of a 9700 Pro here in sweden, so I'm looking at a "non-pro" version.
    The "only" difference between the two chips is clockspeed right? Then I think a non-pro is a better buy.

    I'm considering the Sapphire brand. Any issues with those? (Cheapest ones I can find here.....)

    Thanks!

  5. #5
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    The Pro is clocked at 325/310MHz, while the non-Pro is clocked at 275/275MHz. Physically, they latter is identical to the Pro apart from the fact that it has 3.3ns Infineon or 3.6ns Hynix RAM - the Pro has 2.8ns Samsung. This does affect overclocking compared with the Pro card (strangely, the Hynix is normally the more capable in this respect, although neither reach the clockspeeds attained by the Samsung) but not by *that* much because the memory speed is fairly limited by the bus itself.

    Generally, expect 340-350MHz out of the memory on a 9700 Pro without too much trouble, and 310-320MHz out of the memory on a non-Pro. The cores reach similar speeds.

    Sapphiretech are fine, yeah. All their boards are based on the ATi reference designs and they don't have any major QC issues that I am aware of.

    MuFu.

  6. #6
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    I've seen several Radeon 9700 Pro cards only overclock the memory to 320-330Mhz, but it is not that big of a deal. Do to the 256bit wide bus, the memory is not stressed that much. The core on both hit about the same levels. Expect something in the 350-400Mhz range for the core, with the Pro getting slightly better scores. Even if the non pro only hits 350/300 it will likely beat the Pro version not overclocked. Just remember, you will need to flash the BIOS on the 9700 non-pro to overclock it until the soft hack gets released soon. Reva-Tuner I think is the one that is incorperating this soft hack, also with a Soft9700 hack to turn a Radeon 9500 non-pro into a 9700 and overclock. I bet ATI is not to happy about that last one.
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  7. #7
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    I have the Sapphire Atlantis Pro, and nope, no major issues worth mentioning so far. (Well, except that, like all 9700's, it can't do FSAA in 16 bit colour. In 32 bit it looks beautiful, though.)

    Looking back in restrospect, I should have probably waited for the non-pro version. The difference in price is a lot bigger than the difference in speed, and should still be plenty for the next year of gaming. (Well, you might have to settle for "only" 4x FSAA and 4x Aniso in some games ) But then it would have went against the whole idea of having the most expensive toys

    And yes, the memory speed should be the least of your problems there, since a 256 bit wide bus is still bloody huge. A non-pro at 275 MHz not only still has twice the bandwidth of an 8500, it also has more bandwidth than what's expected for the NV30. Basically even if you're into overclocking, unless you plan to do something really extreme (such as water cooling the RAM chips), I'd leave the memory speed where it is.

  8. #8
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    Originally posted by Moraelin v2.0
    I have the Sapphire Atlantis Pro, and nope, no major issues worth mentioning so far. (Well, except that, like all 9700's, it can't do FSAA in 16 bit colour. In 32 bit it looks beautiful, though.)
    I too have the Sapphire Atlantis Pro and am more than happy with the upgrade I did going from GF3 (original) to 9700 Pro, but just prior to this I went from 1.4 Tbird to 2100+ XP and my GF3 score went from around 6000 to 8000 with a few tweaks. Only problem I have is that it doesn't seem to like non standard AGP speeds so overclocking via fsb is a bit limited for me. Aside from that its great. I encountered the non FSAA in 16bit when playing Counter Strike (half life) but found this could be fixed by adding "-32bpp" to the command line for launching CS.
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  9. #9
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    The latest drivers support 16-bit FSAA. They get around the limitation by upsampling to 32-bit first (so old 16-bit games can now be played in true colour).

    MuFu.

  10. #10
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    Originally posted by MuFu
    The latest drivers support 16-bit FSAA. They get around the limitation by upsampling to 32-bit first (so old 16-bit games can now be played in true colour).

    MuFu.
    Thanks for that little update MuFu
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  11. #11
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    At first I was really impressed with my 9700pro but after cranking up the settings and seeing some games skip and get real choppy I realized that it doesn't take too much to fill up all that so called bandwidth. I am happy but not impressed by any means.
    Last edited by netchspadetch; January 14th, 2003 at 04:11 PM.

  12. #12
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    I meant to say cranked up but it wont let me edit my last post!!!


    D'oh!

  13. #13
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    Blimey. You must be the only one!

    MuFu.

  14. #14
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    Originally posted by netchspadetch
    At first I was really impressed with my 9700pro but after craking up the settings and seeing some games skip and get real choppy I realized that it doesn't take too much to fill up all that so called bandwidth. I am happy but not impressed by any means.
    Ya may want to search Rage3D for a solution to this problem. Try this.
    Last edited by Kid Chaos; January 14th, 2003 at 06:22 PM.

  15. #15
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    Does anyone happen to have this so called fix because the file was taken off the webpage and I can't get it. Please email it to me or post a link where I can download it. All the people in the forums say that the fix works so I need to try it out! Please help me.

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