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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I was just wondering where is the best place to figure out what is the best $200 video card to buy? Is there a ratings site or so that is complete or a chart?



I figure that it is either the ATI 9600XT (at CDW) with 128megs of ram or the


NVIDEA 5900 FX at (Compgeeks)



Please let me know.... Thanks.
 

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In the HTPC world, the accepted standard is the radeon. I would recommend the 9600 over any other card in that price range. It has great video quality for an HT, as well as being plenty powerful enough to game on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I might go for the Radeon, but having troubles with the Radeon ATI All in Wonder 7500 card due to


a) not being able to fast write in the drivers

b) not being able to hardware enable without seeing green lines all over the place

c) TV software never worked right

d) DVD player software will not upgrade no matter what I do


All this makes me nervous about another ATI card in general. I have owned Nvidea cards and they never have given me any problems. They have always been rock solid without problems. ATI just makes me nervous. I still feel ripped off from them regarding the ATI 7500 All-in-Wonder Card. The reason I need to buy a new card is because that card stutters during video playback.


Just when I thought it might be safe to buy an ATI card.......

Looks like Rudy1178 is having problems with a ATI 9600XT with pixelation and hardware enable problems as well.......... Not Good.... Why can't ATI make a decent product?
 

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I had what could be described as the opposite of your experiences. My nvidia based Ti4200 died unexpectedly. I recently bought an ATI AIW 9600 for under your budget. It has only been about 2 1/2 weeks, but I have nothing negative to say about it.


FWIW the 9600XT shows minimal improvement over the 9600 pro and if it were my money I would save it. Also, the AIW 9600 has the same chipset as the 9600 pro except that the AIW actually has slightly faster clock speeds.


A decent comparison of nvidia and ati cards:
http://www6.tomshardware.com/graphic...9600xt-07.html
 

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edwardr132 ,

--- as somebody that builds PC's often I can assure you there is very little wrong with the ATi hardware . They do have driver bugs now and then but so does Nvidia [ and 3Dfx before that ] .

-- Most of the problems people are having with Fast Write and Hardware Enable are due to the Motherboard bios and/or the AGP driver .

-- Now I am certainly not knocking Nvidia as they make a Fantastic product and offer great drivers :) .

-- Best of Luck either way ;) ,

---- Jason
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for all your posts..............

Quote:
Originally posted by DaGamePimp
edwardr132 ,

--- as somebody that builds PC's often I can assure you there is very little wrong with the ATi hardware . They do have driver bugs now and then but so does Nvidia [ and 3Dfx before that ] .

-- Most of the problems people are having with Fast Write and Hardware Enable are due to the Motherboard bios and/or the AGP driver .

-- Now I am certainly not knocking Nvidia as they make a Fantastic product and offer great drivers :) .

-- Best of Luck either way ;) ,

---- Jason
The motherboard I am using is the Asus P3V4x motherboard with a P3 1,000 slot one chip. The hardware enable is recognized in the bios and Powerstrip recognizes that it is recognized. Powerstrip also mentions that the drivers have not enabled fast write. The ATI video drivers (I have tried all of them including the newest drivers) just will not let me enable the fast write which I believe would stop my stuttering during DVD playback. Is there a way to overwrite/bypass the drivers and enable fast write? Another crazy thing is that the ATI test software will not recognize my P3 chip as having MMX???? Of course it has MMX.


Thanks Klipsch... I will look at that site..
 

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I've used the Radeon 7500, 8500 AIW and 9800 Pro AIW. I can say things have imporved drastically since the 7500 days. On the flip side, I've also had a GeForce 2, a GeForce 3, and a Ti 4200 and I've always loved the NVidia based cards. I'm currently using the 9800 pro in my HTPC. I use it mostly for Gaming and watching DVDs. I had no problem getting powerstrip to force the 9800 pro to output in 720p, the native resolution of my Sanyo Z2.


I have not tried out any of the TV features of the 9800 pro, but yeah it sucked on the 7500. As far as fastwrites and stuff go, they work fine asuming your motherboard can do it correctly. I have an older Via KT333 mobo, and it turns out the Via chipset doesn't handle it correctly. In one of my other machines it works fine. For DVD, you don't really want to go with ATI's player anyway. Look into TheaterTek, WinDVD, and PowerDVD. Also you may want to check out NVidia's DVD player if you go with an NVidia card.


Rob
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have owned so many video cards, before my wife starting complaining about PC budgets etc...............


The Nvidea cards that I have owned are Gladiac Geforce 2, and currently own the TI4600 which I use in my "gaming PC".


Before that I owned the Diamond Stealth 32 and can't remember before that....


The ATI all-in-wonder card is the only ATI card that I have owned, and they are right; I am still wondering why it isn't working!
 

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edwardr132 ,

-- That board uses an old VIA Apollo Pro 133A chip-set , have you tried updating the VIA AGP driver ?

-- You might want to give it a Bios update if you have not done so , it is an AWARD bios .

---- Try the Asus site first for any drivers [ obviously ;) ] .

---- Jason
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I will try that. I have always avoided updating the via agp driver before, because I always remember having trouble with the computer after updating the 4 in one via drivers. I believe I had to format the hard drives before..... I hope that won't happen this time. I am guessing the VIA drivers that came with Windows XP Pro are no good?
 

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Go with the regular 9600, if you can still find it. Great card, and no fan noise ('cause it doesn't have a fan!).
 

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If you come across the Via 4.50 4in1's DO NOT USE them !!! Very nasty bug in there that left many with no choice but to re-format :( [ be sure to have a restore point or back-up image ] .

---- Jason
 

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The 9200SE has no fan, which is good if you want a quiet card
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Just wanted to thank DaGamePimp for his all his help and warning... I did get to the Asus Website and downloaded their 4.0 or 4.04 AGP driver, but still wasn't able to enable fast write in the ATI drivers. I also went to the Via site and saw they are only pushing the 4.5 drivers, so I didn't load those...


Bottom Line,

I just don't think ATI supports the AGP port on my Asus motherboard very well..... I have a feeling that all ATI cards having unified drivers will not support that motherboard very well, which would rule out ATI cards for me.... Maybe I am wrong, but I just have that feeling.... I just don't want to spend the money on upgrading the whole computer with a new motherboard and new ram and everything right now.... I don't use the HTPC for gaming at all really, just movies using ZoomPlayer and PowerDVD. Well, maybe a little Podracing now and then on the big screen :)


Hatecrime69, why don't you think enabling fastwrite makes hardly any difference? I think that feature could stop all that stuttering I get.... It stutters about once every 30 seconds or so...


So for about $200 or so, is it agreed then that the NVideo 9600Xt is probably the best bang for the buck regarding Nvidea, or can one do better......?
 

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FWIW - I just returned my AIW 9600 Pro. The ATI hardware seemed fantastic, an incredible value. I suspect that most any ATI card would be a great choice for a video card for most people.


But the ATI software, particularly for the AIW MMC stuff, seems to be extremely poorly written, buggy, and crashprone. The various features are very poorly integrated. The user interface is a disaster, and I would have saved myself some time if they had simply deleted the help files.
 

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I just spent a few hours looking for the best deal on a powerfull video card.

I’m gonna use it for HTPC and to play extremely resourse intensive PC games (C&C Generals Zero Hour)

I currently have GF4 Ti4200, but, unfortunately nVidea cards don’t seem to work well with my SONY GWIII TVs (resolution problems).


Anyway, after doing a little research (check out this great site www.tomshardware.com ) I determined that ATI 9600 series card offer the best bang for the buck (currently)

9700 and 9800 are a bit faster, but only marginally, however the price is significantly higher once you go to 9700 or 9800 (check out www.pricewatch.com and you’ll see what I mean)


Here’s a very good deal I found that I think I’ll go with

Sapphire RADEON 9600 XT 256MB for only $171.00 !!!
http://www.allstarshop.com/shop/prod...TDQS0MDS777P1#


I think it’s a smoking deal for XT and 256MB.

You can probably find 9600 PRO with 128mb for ~$150, but for extra $20 I think this is worth it.

Hope this helps!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
FYI......


I have read about people having lots of problems with Saphire cards and getting no support in dealing with the problems. Don't know if that is still the case. I know it has been talked about here and other places by some really mad owners.
 
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