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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just bought one of the dell 4550 computers on a whim. Pretty much feel stupid b/c I don't even know if the thing is 4x or 8x AGP. So I guess that's my first question.


Next, I didn't get a video card w/ the thing so want to get one. I've been wanting the 9700 and thought the 9800 would reduce the price but it hasn't gone down like I thought it would. Why? I guess b/c the 9800 isn't really available? So should I wait a week or two to save some money?


Also, is the 9800 better in any respect than the 9700 for HT? I am familiar w/ its performance gains in gaming, but if there are any HTPC improvements I haven't heard. Anyone know?


If the 4550 only has 4x AGP, what card should I look at? Still the 9700?


Oh, I'm a gamer and I have a pj, so I want DVI out and superior game performance.


thanks all,


rob
 

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rob -


The 9700 and the 9800 should have the same feature set. I don't know of the 9800 having anything that would improve HT performance. They both are fully DX9 compliant, and use the same driver suite.


The 9800 just isn't available enough for the 9700 prices to be depressed, yet. Give it a couple weeks, and they should come down. However, the 9700 is still a great card, so the prices aren't going to hit anything rock bottom for quite a while. If you want to save some money, you could get the 9500 pro (if you can find it) - it's an excellent value. If your resolutions are limited by your pj, then you might not need to spend the extra $150, and you would still get great framerates. Unless you are gaming at 1280 or higher, or you have to have anthroscopic filtering and high level anti-aliasing on all the time, the 9700 may not be necessary. If your projector is 1024 or less, I would save the cash.


Remember, you can buy a 9500 now, and a 9800 in a year for the same amount of money as a 9800 now (or so), and still have 90% of the maximum available power and 100% of the feature set.


I don't think the AGP bandwidth is a real limit at 4X, but I am not sure.


Good luck,

RDaneel
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Right on, sounds like good advice! I'll look around. But maybe a 9700 would be the best after all, at whatever price the market bears next week. Hmmm...


what, if any, HT advantages does the 9700 have over the 9500?


also, my pj is 1368x768, or something very close to that. I'm not much of a numbers person...


I think the frame rates of the 9700 are enough to push me up to it over the 9500.


And, yes, it does look like the 4550 only has a 4x AGP so I'm a bit bummed, but it should get me to next year w/ the 9700. I hope. When does DoomIII come out?



~rob
 

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IMHO, AGP 8x, it seems from recent benchmarks, doesn't make a whole lot of difference.


I'm putting together a new HTPC and I just went out and bought a AIW Radeon 9000 Pro for
 

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You should have got the 9700TX that Dell offers as a $126 option. An underclocked 9700, I doubt you would be able to tell the difference outside of benchmarks.
 

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Hello I own a Radeon 9700 pro card + MP1 mod. and have quiet some problems with my 8x AGP motherboard (Asus P4G8X). I have heared that the 9700pro + TT + a 4x AGP board seem to work better.


Especially when trying to FF with 4x or 8x speed the system slows down. Also the combination for some reason doesn't sssem to be very stable. Sometinmes the whole system hangs up for a few minutes during dvd-playback.


Can someone confirm please that a 4x AGP is the better match for a 9700pro card. Or did I receive ab "old" version of the 9700pro card when ordering with the MP-1 mod ?


Thanks


Anthony
 

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As fcg_vi indicated, I got the 9700TX option, knowing that it's an underclocked 9700. I've heard that it's still a better card than the 9500. Looking around on the retail market, the cost of the 9700TX upgrade is still less than the cost of 9500. So that was an easy decision.


I understand that others have reprogrammed the 9700TX BIOS with that of the 9700 PRO. In effect, the 9700TX turns into a 9700 PRO. That would be great for gamers. But I think the reason the TX is underclocked is to reduce heat and cooling needs. Thus, the PC would be quieter. Given the cramped interior of the Dell case, I think keeping the TX running cool is a good idea.
 

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... and where does the 9600 and 9600 Pro fit into all of this?


I don't care about gaming, only DVD picture quality at maximum 1280x1024.


///Magnus
 

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Magnus,


If, like myself, your interest is not in gaming, but in PQ and noiseless, the 9600 non-pro looks like a winner (cheap, no fans, and -most likely- same PQ as all the more expensive models)
 

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The 9600 pro and non-pro are based on a different core than the 9500/9700/9800. The 9500 was a crippled (barely) R300 core, the 9700 was the R300, and the 9800 is a modified core called the R350. What is different with the 9600 is that it isn't just a modified R350 - it is a whole different chip called the RV350. Confused yet?


Anyway, the RV350 is a .13 micron chip (smallest yet for ATI) that should run nice and cool. The 9500 is actually faster than the 9600, so if you want a sub$200 card, go buy it now! The 9600 should be a great card. It has all the features of the 9700/9800, but fewer rendering units and stuff, so it won't have the framerate performance of the flagship card.


Unless you absolutely need high end gaming capability, I would go with a 9500 or 9600. If you game at 1280 or above with all the AF and AA turned on, then go high end. I figure that I can spend $200 or less on a fanless 9600 now, and then in a year and a half buy the next generation mid-level card (to get all the new features like DX10) for $200, and have spent, in sum, what a 9800 would cost now. You pay double for 10-25% more performance and identical feature set. The 9600 and 9800 should have ZERO difference for HT, except the 9600 can be had with passive cooling. Sweet deal, I'll get two...


Cheers,

RDaneel
 

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Thanks Rob4x20!


Why is this kind of info so hard to find nowadays?

ATI has filled their web site with marketing garbage.


///Magnus
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
:cool:


I don't know ****. So you must mean someone else.



I'm betting it's RDaneel and I second the vote. Somehow I'm fixated on the 9700pro though, and I'm sure we've all been there (w/ the fixation on something). I will check those other cards out though b/c I'm already wanting to build on the next chipset and so may fare better by using an inferior gaming card now and buying another mid-to-higher card in a year or so. thx.


I sure want the 9700pro for $250 though. :mad:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
can someone tell me whether I should look at the 'all in wonder' model or not? What's it do? Tv tuner and what else? Whatever it does over what the 9700 does, does it do it well? I mean, if it can be a capture card (and I don't know if it can) does it work top-notch or does it just do the job?


thx!
 
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