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9600 Pro in old comp...

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January 7, 2006 7:15:36 PM

I decided to upgrade my video card so I could play some games with a better framerate and overall better graphics. I got a Sapphire Radeon 9600 PRO to replace my GeForce2 GTS. Unfortunately I get the pretty much the sameFPS in games like Madden2006, GTA:SA, DS2 using FRAPs to test, although they do look better. The FPS in madden 2006 is slow about 20-30fps running unless I throw a long ball it will get 40-50fps. But mostly 20-30. In San Andreas its unplayable, 10-20fps, usually around 15, I had hope a new card which allow me to play these games. I can still play madden 2006 but fps sucks. fps doesnt seem to be as important in Madden though. I did a timedemo on quake3 and only get 10 more fps with 9600 PRO compared to my O/C GF2 GTS. 80 vs 90fps. I guess my system is bottlenecking the performance but I read some posts from here and it seemed that the 9600 PRO would have been good for my sytem. Here are the important specs...

1GHz AMD TBird on Asus A7V
384 SDRAM 133mhz

Now that your all done laughing, it gets even worse. ATiTool and System Info from Ati Tray Tool from the Omega Drivers report my default memory speed at 230mhz! It should be 300! My core is at 400 like normal. My card is 128-bit with 4 pipelines and looks exactly the same as pictures of the sapphire radeon 9600 pro which I looked up on the net. I have tried the latest official drivers from ATI now I'm on the Omega. I think its worthless because I believe my system is the bottleneck but I didnt expect pretty much no performance gain! Whats the deal? Should I send this thing back? I know I'm one broke ass mofo and need to build a new comp but I really was expecting more than 10fps increase in q3 lol. Any suggestions to remove the bottleneck? Can anyone explain why my memory core is default at 230mhz?

Thank You,
Dan

P.S. - Sorry for long post

More about : 9600 pro comp

January 8, 2006 12:20:00 AM

it could have been one of the crippled 9600s with cheaper memory.
all i can say is upgrade mobo and memory to a 'value' setup and you might see an improvement if your processor is just about the minimum spec of those games
January 8, 2006 2:40:50 AM

Quote:
it could have been one of the crippled 9600s with cheaper memory.
all i can say is upgrade mobo and memory to a 'value' setup and you might see an improvement if your processor is just about the minimum spec of those games


Hrmm...could you tell me more about these crippled 9600s? Any links discussing them? I never heard this before. 8O
Related resources
January 8, 2006 9:37:30 AM

Quote:
it could have been one of the crippled 9600s with cheaper memory.
all i can say is upgrade mobo and memory to a 'value' setup and you might see an improvement if your processor is just about the minimum spec of those games


Hrmm...could you tell me more about these crippled 9600s? Any links discussing them? I never heard this before. 8O

haven't seen it discussed but here is a link to one for sale which sounds like yours
crippled 9600pro (466MHz RAM)
January 8, 2006 2:57:04 PM

My dad has an old computer but still I could play gta san andreas at 25-30 fps(with antialiasing on) on agp2 mode!

his rig is

xp 1600(Palomino)
sdram(133Mhz) 768mb
connect3d radeon 9600xt 128Mb agpx2(an agp8 card that for strange reasons don´t work in agp4 even thoug the motherboard support it)
Matsonic 830EP sis730

If you compare this rig with yours then you see that cpu does the most difference 8)
January 8, 2006 6:05:27 PM

but his 9600 would limit your dads computer to about 20FPS so its part cpu part graphics.
still though i would consider a new cpu/board/ram before new card although a new system might be the best bet instead of tyking yourself to agp
January 11, 2006 5:05:56 AM

You're wrong, that's not crippled, that's OVERCLOCKED!

The problem with 9600 Pro 256MB versions is that the reference speed is DDR400. The 128MB card was DDR600.
January 11, 2006 5:08:11 AM

It's a 256MB version isn't it? Well then, don't complain, you did this to yourself.

All the experts know that the 128MB card has a reference of 400MHz core and 300MHz (DDR600) RAM, but the 256MB reference is 400MHz core and 200MHz (DDR400) RAM. You actually got a FASTER THAN STANDARD card, so you should be happy! Either that, or you should have bought the faster 128MB version.
January 11, 2006 11:09:21 AM

Shame isn't it?

Too bad he has the 256MB card and can't complain, at least if he had the 128MB card he'd have reason to complain.
January 11, 2006 11:27:31 AM

I ordered the cheapest 9600 Pro I could find back in the day... and when it arrived it had a "9600 Pro EZ" label on it... those last two letters were an indication I'd bought a crippled card (if I remember correctly I believe the memory was severely underclocked)
January 11, 2006 11:48:04 AM

The good new is, a bunch of 9600 Pros with 200MHz RAM clock actually shipped with 4ns RAM, making them easy for 250MHz. The bad news is, some came with 5ns RAM.
January 11, 2006 11:58:56 AM

I dont know if anyone already said this but: You can flash your card to a 9600xt it will work faster, the reason you are having trouble is A: It is a sapphire.
B: your cpu is too slow.
C: your motherboard is probably also too slow.

Some sapphire cards are faster but ati put a stop to that and i think it only involves the x800 series of cards.

I can run all new games on my computer with a 9600xt, but then again they dont look too good, also my processor is a TAD faster.
January 11, 2006 1:30:03 PM

Don't try flashing it! theres two cores for the 9600pros rv350/360 the 360 are the xt core. you may have a 360 core but if your ram can't hit 300 your card will fry. Try finding max ram on atitools then move to the core. my 9600 pro hit 462core 324 mem thats with after market cooling [arctic silencer and ran hs]. Your system mem looks like the problem, does your hard drive light come on alot while playing? The sad part is that it's cheaper to get a new mobo and 512 ddr then 512 pc133. Try turning off all programs besides the game and check bios settings see if your agp setting matches the cards. tbirds are socket A right, those mobo run about $30 and 512ddr is around $20. I have the same thing with an old budget build. 384mb of pc133 on xp is just slow. Did you set system properties in control panel[xp] to best performance? It makes a big difference.
January 11, 2006 2:27:51 PM

Dude, all you have to do is get a newer CPU, motherboard, and more ram. I'm running a P4 478 (2.8ghz) 800mhzFSB CPU, which at this time you get at newegg.com for $178.00, an ASUS P4P800-E mobo, which I could not find on newegg, but I did find a ASUS P4P800-VM MicroATX board that is pretty close to mine for $92.00, and 2.5ghz Corsair ValueSelect RAM(3 sticks), you can get it for $83.00 a stick at newegg (as you can see I love newegg. IT ROCKS!). I also use a Radeon 9600XT and I can play Battlefield 2 at 1024x768 resolution and everything at medium graphics online with a few hick-ups here and there. So you can spend $353.00+shipping and probably see a much bigger improvement or jsut break down and build I new PC. And on a side note I would buy AMD CPUs from now on. They have slower clock speeds than Intel, but their architecture is much better for gaming and normally outperform Intel in that area.
January 11, 2006 3:16:32 PM

I guess i am just lucky that i bought my card second hand, already flashed. I didn't know that your ram could mess with the process.
January 11, 2006 5:23:58 PM

Wow,

I thought this thread was dead. So many replies, thank you all for your advice/opinion/etc.

Crashman: No, its a 128MB Version, I didn't consider putting a 256mb version into this comp. Thank you for the heads up tho! I thought they all would be clocked at 300mhz for the mem core. Also I don't mean to complain if it came across that way, because really my comp is so outdated I'm glad no one just replied "omg your comp sux ROFFLES" Hehe.

Unsmart: I will try your suggestions ASAP! Thank you.

You all are very nice! I learn alot reading here. :D 
January 11, 2006 6:07:24 PM

Havent seen it mentioned at all yet.
Did you completely clean off the old nvidia drivers before you installed the ati dirvers.
That could definitly make it run slow.
January 11, 2006 6:32:59 PM

Quote:
Havent seen it mentioned at all yet.
Did you completely clean off the old nvidia drivers before you installed the ati dirvers.
That could definitly make it run slow.


Yea, I used Driver Cleaner 3 in safe mode and got rid of the extra traces of the nvidia drivers. Still runs the same. My system is definately the bottleneck. Thanks tho.
January 11, 2006 6:39:25 PM

Quote:
there are plenty of 200 MHz 128 MB pros out there too
link(newegg of course)


Is NewEgg getting it wrong? Because on the page it says 400MHZ for the memory. How do you the mem is at 200mhz?
January 11, 2006 6:42:31 PM

Quote:
The good new is, a bunch of 9600 Pros with 200MHz RAM clock actually shipped with 4ns RAM, making them easy for 250MHz. The bad news is, some came with 5ns RAM.


I thought all 9600 Pro's would have 300mhz Ram, now the regular 9600s do have 200mhz. Mine which is a Pro has 230mhz.
January 11, 2006 11:57:39 PM

Some manufacturers don't follow ATI's guidelines. ATI's guidelines were 300MHz RAM for the 128MB and 200MHz RAM for the 256MB version of the 9600 Pro. The reason their guidlines include slower RAM on the 256MB version is to keep the price premium over the 128MB version small.

Some manufactuers have ignored ATI's guidelines and put the slow RAM on the 128MB version, or used speeds somewhere between the two.

The 9600 non-pro should come with 300MHz core/200MHz RAM. The Pro gets a 400MHz core.
January 12, 2006 12:09:11 PM

The 9600XT is stock 500mhz core/297mhz mem. I overclocked the core 526mhz in ATITool, but the mem wont budge any further without artifacts. :( 
January 12, 2006 12:23:51 PM

I can only get mine that far too. The mem can go to 383 or so though. But weirdly enough i actually noticed no performance increase, i think i killed a pipeline.
January 12, 2006 12:37:46 PM

Wow, do you have an after market cooler? Because if I try to push my mem any faster than 297mhz the screen starts to go crazy and I don't have an off brand card its an ATI.
January 12, 2006 1:48:57 PM

I would get rid and get ur self an 9800pro wid a 360 core and flash it then clock the thing wid a antec cooler and some ram coolers. i picked my 9800pro Ati for £48.00 off ebay, it saves playing around, also i would check if the multiplyer is unlocked on you cpu and if so look at getting a new cooler and clock da thing, also remember get some front and rear case fans to keep ya system temp down, just find a friend u could dump ya 9600 on to for £25.00 or so in good con-. Or just change the cooler on your 9600 flash it to xt if and if you have the right check when u remove the cooler. Get some ram chips and fit rear fans on the case 80mms or 120mms to be better get something that has a good rpm rate, no cheap 2500 crap, then get some plastice tunneling fix to rear fans and drop over the back of the card wid the memorry coolers and clock as far as u want to go, peace :p 
January 12, 2006 6:44:36 PM

That's the problem, you don't have an off-brand you have ATI! ATI used 3.33ns memory, while their partners often used 3.0 and 2.8ns memory. 3.3ns memory is rated for 300MHz, 3.0ns for 333MHz, and 2.8ns for 350-366MHz. So ATI cards couldn't overclock the memory as well.

In the case of Sapphire cards with 2.8ns memory, clocking it from 300 to 350 still kept the chips within spec, and most would go to around 385MHz, give or take 15MHz.

The problem is, unless you actually looked into it, you might not know whether you were getting a third-party card with faster-than-specified or slower-than-specified RAM.
January 12, 2006 6:56:47 PM

It was my first build so I didn't look much into it at the time, but now I know what to look for and, as in this thread, I learn something new everyday. Thanks.
January 13, 2006 7:06:20 AM

Sorry that was one HELL of a typo, 338 for ram. sorry.
January 22, 2006 8:02:34 PM

*Smack's forehead hard*

I don't believe it!!! My system is AMD Athlon XP 2000+ with 768MB PC133 SDRAM and I have similar disappointments. San Andreas is pretty smooth but any intense action and it lags to around 20fps or lower - e.g. the first mission when the ballers do a drive by near you, the framerate completely drops!!! This is at 640x480 at 32bit colour. HL2 gives good framerates in 1024x768 with all details on high but the deathmatch runs slightly laggy even at 640 x 480 with (or maybe its the server lol)

Soldier of Fortune II:D ouble Helix runs really choppy at like 25fps at 800x600 with the "System Default" or "Recommended Settings" (the ones they configure for you)

Then again I suspect most of my problems are self inflicted - im using the latest 6.1 catalyst drivers along with Hydravision n all the 3D settings are all set towards best visual quality - with AA at 6x and AF at 16x. Also most of the games havent been reinstalled since i changed my card from an nVidia TNT2 - I HAVE removed all traces of the nVidia driver though!
January 23, 2006 4:04:08 AM

Quote:
That's the problem, you don't have an off-brand you have ATI! ATI used 3.33ns memory, while their partners often used 3.0 and 2.8ns memory. 3.3ns memory is rated for 300MHz, 3.0ns for 333MHz, and 2.8ns for 350-366MHz. So ATI cards couldn't overclock the memory as well.


That's why most R9600Pro were better for overclockers than R9600XTs since they are already memory hampered, and the cores of the R9600P were fairly overclockable even without the advantage of low-kd.

As an example my R9600P can OC to 535/365 no problem, whereas stumppy's gettin lower core clocks, AND his memory is the 3.3ns junk that they put on the XTs (to limit overclockers it seems BBA R9600Ps were better than the rest in most case, maybe this was to help OEM partners) so his will never get to the level or the Pros before it, similar to your old AIW card.

Quote:
In the case of Sapphire cards with 2.8ns memory, clocking it from 300 to 350 still kept the chips within spec, and most would go to around 385MHz, give or take 15MHz.


Yeah it depends on the generation, most initial XTs even from OEMs were getting the 3.3 and 3.0ns meory (it was like Gigabyte and powercolor IIRC who were bucking the trend from the start). After about 1-2 months most of the OEMs had top cards with 2.86ns memory like the PROs.

Quote:
The problem is, unless you actually looked into it, you might not know whether you were getting a third-party card with faster-than-specified or slower-than-specified RAM.


I don't knoq if you can call it slower than specified if it's 3.3ns because it is rated for stock speed, unlike Tyan's which was OC'ed 3.6ns hynix junk, which was below stock.
January 23, 2006 7:17:05 AM

Quote:
I don't knoq if you can call it slower than specified if it's 3.3ns because it is rated for stock speed, unlike Tyan's which was OC'ed 3.6ns hynix junk, which was below stock.


I wasn't refering to 3.3ns RAM, I was refering to the plethora of 128MB 9600 Pro's that came with 4 or even 5ns RAM.
January 23, 2006 1:04:40 PM

Quote:

I wasn't refering to 3.3ns RAM, I was refering to the plethora of 128MB 9600 Pro's that came with 4 or even 5ns RAM.


My apologies, that's what I get for reading before bed. Should've picked up on that based on the thread, but kept it in the context of the post.
!