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Blowing away my Radeon 9800Pro for under $150?

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September 14, 2006 2:34:56 PM

I currently have a

ATI Radeon 9800 Pro 128MB Video Card
AMD Athlon 2800+ Barton
2GB Corsair XMS PC3200 Memory

I would like to keep this setup for another 1/2 year - year, until I upgrade to Vista, 64bit, and pci-e.

So I really want to upgrade this video card, get a real nice performance upgrade, but spend $150 or less. What are my best options?

I would like this card to have 256bit 256MB memory too.

More about : blowing radeon 9800pro 150

September 14, 2006 3:12:48 PM

A 7600 gt would do it, but it's over your budget at $175.

The 7600 GS would beat your 9800 PRO for $130, bt I'm not sure it would 'blow it away'.

Your best bet might be an X800 PRO or X850 PRO, used on ebay you should be able to get 'em for $100 or so...
September 14, 2006 3:13:08 PM

Well seeing that its only 1/2 a year, save that $150 and get a better comp.
But if you really want a upgrade, buy a 7600GS AGP, they come in at around US$120-130 or so i think
Related resources
September 14, 2006 3:17:08 PM

Quote:
Well seeing that its only 1/2 a year, save that $150 and get a better comp.
But if you really want a upgrade, buy a 7600GS AGP, they come in at around US$120-130 or so i think


Totally right, but make that 7600 GT (7600 GS isnt worth the price drop).
a b U Graphics card
September 14, 2006 4:48:28 PM

I'd splurge and do the 7600GT AGP if you can find one for $180.

Otherwise, best card that will meet the $150 limit is the X850 pro:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Next choice down would be a X800GTO:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Then after that a 7600GS. It's alot better than your 9800 pro, but getting downright borderline for "blowing away" a 9800 pro. You be better off with the 7600GT or X850 pro.

Theses cards will have way more power for using FSAA/AF than the 9800 pro. Check out the charts below. The X850 pro is about equal to the X800XL, the X800GTO is about equal to the X800 pro. Make sure you look at the 9800 pro not the 9800 128-bit for your card:

Farcry:
http://www.digit-life.com/articles2/digest3d/0705/itogi...

HL2:
http://www.digit-life.com/articles2/digest3d/0705/itogi...

Doom 3:
http://www.digit-life.com/articles2/digest3d/0705/itogi...




In the PCI-e charts you can see how the X800GTO stacks up a 7600GT and 7600GS. The 7600GS is behind it in most games while the 7600GT is easily better than it.
http://www.digit-life.com/articles2/digest3d/index.html
September 15, 2006 1:36:06 AM

Quote:
I'd splurge and do the 7600GT AGP if you can find one for $180.

Otherwise, best card that will meet the $150 limit is the X850 pro:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Next choice down would be a X800GTO:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Then after that a 7600GS. It's alot better than your 9800 pro, but getting downright borderline for "blowing away" a 9800 pro. You be better off with the 7600GT or X850 pro.

Theses cards will have way more power for using FSAA/AF than the 9800 pro. Check out the charts below. The X850 pro is about equal to the X800XL, the X800GTO is about equal to the X800 pro. Make sure you look at the 9800 pro not the 9800 128-bit for your card:

Farcry:
http://www.digit-life.com/articles2/digest3d/0705/itogi...

HL2:
http://www.digit-life.com/articles2/digest3d/0705/itogi...

Doom 3:
http://www.digit-life.com/articles2/digest3d/0705/itogi...




In the PCI-e charts you can see how the X800GTO stacks up a 7600GT and 7600GS. The 7600GS is behind it in most games while the 7600GT is easily better than it.
http://www.digit-life.com/articles2/digest3d/index.html


I agree with pauldh. The x850pro would be the best bet in the price range your looking at. Cards a little old, but will perform to the expectations that you want it to. Good Luck. :D 
September 15, 2006 1:53:57 AM

i'd save my money
a b U Graphics card
September 15, 2006 2:13:20 AM

Quote:
i'd save my money

Ah, but it isnt your money :wink:
September 15, 2006 2:33:07 AM

i'd take the money then lol
September 15, 2006 3:19:08 AM

x850 doesn't have s.m. 3 so games would look like crap compared to the 7600gt. What's wrong with your current rig, it looks like it can play games nicely. I have a r9800Pro and it's still humming along :D 

*cuddles with former performance leader*

Ok enough of the r9800, it sucks pretty hard nowadays.. x850 pwnage if u absolutely have to have better performance. My x850 xt serverd me well for about two months >.>. My first 256meg card :X

If you haven't overclocked your CPU then do that first, you might be able to get an FPS boost of 20% or higher if you have the right mobo, a good chip and some knowhow.


ANYONE HAVE the link for the old agp charts here on toms? I don't feel like hunting through archives or googling.
a b U Graphics card
September 15, 2006 4:29:50 AM

Quote:
x850 doesn't have s.m. 3 so games would look like crap compared to the 7600gt.

That's pure nonsense.
a b U Graphics card
September 15, 2006 4:56:02 AM

Quote:
x850 doesn't have s.m. 3 so games would look like crap compared to the 7600gt.

That's pure nonsense.
Doesnt sm3 enabled games just run slightly faster on sm3 cards than sm2 cards, since theyre optimized for sm3. Theres really no visual difference between sm2/3. Saying games look like crap on sm2 is really showing how misinformed you are. Did FarCry ever look "crap" on your old 9800 pro? Then when you you upgraded to an x850xt and enabled AA and FA did it still look "crap"? Sure it looks better with HDR, but it never looked crap (except on my geforce 4 ti 4400 8) ).
a b U Graphics card
September 15, 2006 5:31:10 AM

I really hate misinformed statements like what he made. I invite anyone who believes such nonsense to check out screenies of these 12 games and compare IQ between the X850 pro and the GF6 and GF7 series.
http://www.digit-life.com/articles2/digest3d/0806/itogi...

HDR in Oblivion will be the biggest spot you will notice a difference in favor of SM3.0, and I'd take the better performance/resolution/detial/fsaa of the X850 pro over an equal priced 7600GS anyday, even in Oblivion. Besides OpenEXR HDR in a few titles there are very few effects in any current game out that you could spot a noticeable difference between SM2.0 and Sm3.0. Water effects in AOE3 is the only other spot I noticed a difference in those screenies, and I can't really say I personally liked one over the other.
a b U Graphics card
September 15, 2006 6:50:05 AM

Thanks for the link, shame its all in russian or something tho :( 
September 16, 2006 1:49:43 AM

I guess looking like "crap" is subjective. Please note I said 'in comparison' :D 
a b U Graphics card
September 16, 2006 2:39:39 AM

Subjective? I still prefer "pure nonsense". :roll:
September 16, 2006 3:47:20 AM

my bro and i have had that same cpu (i just got ride of mine this week!), i didnt even try upgrading, but my bro tried, and he got an x800gto, so u can say its "old" technology, and it didnt run! his cpu was bottlenecking it, so he sold it to my cousing that has a P4 3.0ghz and it ran exelent, so i would say keep that card.. in fact the pc im using to write this has an AMD 64 3000+ s754 with an ATI 9800pro.. i wouldnt risk upgrading to then bottleneck the video card (the 9600pro of my bro ran better on his 2800 barton than the x800gto on the same cpu.. and theres a big difference between them!).. just hold off and upgrade later.. those are my 2 cents.
a b U Graphics card
September 16, 2006 1:20:05 PM

Quote:
(the 9600pro of my bro ran better on his 2800 barton than the x800gto on the same cpu.. and theres a big difference between them!)

The only explanations for that are he didn't install it right (drivers), he was running cpu bottlenecked/old games/low resolution that wasn't even 9600 pro bottlenecked, or you are not comparing the same settings (IQ cranked for the GTO). Paired with an AMD XP2800+ a X800GTO would destroy a R9600 pro in best playable settings (resolution/detail levels/eye candy).

Example of CPU limited game & settings is UT2004. AT 10x7 resolution no FSAA, the 9800 pro and X800pro perform the same...cpu limited with the P4 3.2GHz. But cranking the resolution and FSAA, and even UT2004 became GPU limited and the X800 pro doubles the 9800 pro's performance. And the 9800 pro already doubles the 9600 pro's performance at 10x7 with fsaa. http://www.tomshardware.com/2004/10/04/vga_charts_iv/pa...

Anyway, my point is the 9600/9500 pro to X800GTO upgrade should show a big increase in performance on an XP2800+. Not at cpu limited settings, but that's not why you upgrade GPU's anyway. The XP2800+ should rarely be a bottleneck if games settings are tweaked right. Try Farcry max details at 10x7 or higher with 4xaa and the X800GTO will pummle the 9800 pro and 9600 pro.


Here is a review that answers the XP2800+ bottleneck question altogether (for quite a few games).
http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/x800_pro_athlon_xp/...

That review does a good job of showing where the bottle is using various Athlon XP's and a 9800XT vs. X800 pro. Both 256MB cards, and both leaps and bounds over a 9600 pro. Farcry for example is CPU limited without FSAA at 12x10 and lower on the XP2800+ with the X800 pro barley edging out the 9800XT. Go higher res and the 9800XT becomes the bottleneck. (Of course we are talking a 9800XT here not a 9500P/9600P. )Now enable the eye candy and you see the CPU is only the bottlneck at 800x600 with 4x/8x. Once you hit 10x7 at those settings the 9800XT is the complete bottleneck getting the same framerates whether on an XP2500+, 3200+ or A64 3400+. You have to crank 12x10 4x/8x and beyond to make the X800 pro the bottleneck in that game. With the X800 pro fully playable at 12x10 4X/8X on an XP2800+, imagine now putting that 9600 pro back in...single digit framerates I bet.

Anyway, study all the games and you'll see the X800GTO should have provided a huge gaming advantage paired with the XP2800+. It outgames the 9800XT with ease on that CPU, so imagine the much weaker 9600 pro. Your bro did something wrong or didn't tweak the playable settings to match his new card. If the OP wants to play current titles at resolutions of 10x7 or above or with any eye candy, a GPU upgrade would be well worth it on his system.
September 16, 2006 1:24:04 PM

I just picked this up from ebay on Thursday...I'll get it early next week...

ATI RADEON X800 PRO 256MB AGP VIDEO CARD

I ended up getting it for only $80 plus shipping, so came to $96. I was able to spend under $100 and should get a nice bump in performance. Like I mentioned before, I just want this card for about a year or less, then when Vista SP1 is out, then I will dump some more money, and upgrade most of my stuff to 64bit and pci-e.

Once I get this card and install, then I'm going to resell my Radeon 9800 Pro, see if I can't get $25 - $50 from Ebay, then that will make my total purchase, more around $45 - $70. Should see 50 - 100% performance improvement ending up being $70 or less, definitely worth the money. Cool thing too is, I only spent $50 on the Radeon 9800 pro a few years ago, when a friend upgraded to a 6800GT.
a b U Graphics card
September 16, 2006 1:30:32 PM

I think you made a fine upgrade. While you wait for the card, Take a look at that review I linked to and you can see just how well a X800 pro can do on your CPU vs. a 9800XT(step above your pro). Contgrats on the new card, enjoy the new eye candy. :D 

http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/x800_pro_athlon_xp/...
September 17, 2006 5:35:48 AM

Quote:
Subjective? I still prefer "pure nonsense". Rolling Eyes


**continues to wear SM3 t-shirt~~**
a b U Graphics card
September 17, 2006 7:02:44 AM

i have a 68gt. my brother has an x800xl both pci-e
both are about the same performance wise
mine has sm3.0 the x800xl doesnt

and yes i do see a diff.


no wait, thats only in 3dmark06 :tongue:
a b U Graphics card
September 18, 2006 1:35:37 AM

Quote:
I guess looking like "crap" is subjective. Please note I said 'in comparison' :D 

Its quite subjective unless you can show some evidence to say otherwise, like some pics (not from 3dmark). Still I hardly think its looks crap even in comparison; maybe not as good, but certainly not crap.
September 18, 2006 2:39:13 AM

Quote:
THIS


That card is not at all that fast as compared to an X800 series. So what if it has Pixel Shader 3.0, and the X8 has 2? That's fine because the 9800 he has had so far doesn't have 3, either, and it's just a temporary upgrade.
a b U Graphics card
September 18, 2006 3:01:03 AM

Actually its about the same as an x800gto, sometimes faster.
September 18, 2006 3:06:15 AM

Yes but for under 150 dollars after the rebate (and im sure it can be found cheaper on ebay) he can have something that is substantially better than his 9800 pro. The 6800 GS isnt that bad of a card, from my experiences with it. With SM3 and a 256 bit memory interface it isnt that shabby of a card, with decent overclocking capabilities as well. But then again, going with the x850 is a very wise decision as well. My personal opinion is that he sends me the 150 dollars he has to spend, and i'll see what i can do. :-D
September 18, 2006 3:12:54 AM

I thought the x800 xt was faster than the x850 pro. you can find the aiw model for about $170
a b U Graphics card
September 18, 2006 3:14:32 AM

What is the difference between the AIW and Radeons anyway?
September 18, 2006 3:17:52 AM

All in wonders arent really designed for gaming, they are designed for htpc's. Decoding etc... Thats why generally you can find them relativley cheaper than the standard model. Anywho, dont get an AIW.

Edit: And by standard model i mean like X1900XT instead of X1900 AIW.
September 18, 2006 3:25:52 AM

so the x800 xt aiw isn't as good as the x800 xt?
September 18, 2006 3:27:30 AM

Heavens no... Unless you were building an HTPC as i said earlier, then i would go with the AIW. If not, stick with the XT.
a b U Graphics card
September 18, 2006 3:27:40 AM

Thanks, I knew they werent designed for gaming but I wasnt sure what they were designed for :lol:  . Do they generally have quiet cooling solutions, since they are for HTPCs? Also, is there much of a performance difference between say, an x1900 (the lowest "standard model" :)  ) and an x1900 AIW?
September 18, 2006 3:31:37 AM

Generally yes, from what i've seen (note that, from what i've seen) they do run a little cooler because thier clocks are lower and a bit quieter because thier fans dont need to run at such high rpms.

Edit: With the exception of the x1900 Series AIW's, ive heard they have both heat and noise problems. And yes there is a significant diffrence between the x1900XT and the X1900 AIW, about half the clock speed. You would still be able to play games and such, just nowhere near as good as they would be on the 1900XT. I keep on realizing that im leaving stuff out, thus, i have to keep hitting the edit button.
September 18, 2006 3:42:01 AM

I guess I wasn't aware that the x800 xt wasn't as good at gameplay as the regular x800 xt. I've been reading customer reviews on tigerdirect.com and newegg.com and this card has gotten high ratings on it's gameplay. the complaints seem to be centered around the software suite for the media center os and that it runs hot, which I would think could be corrected by an aftermarket heatsink and fan.
a b U Graphics card
September 18, 2006 3:43:53 AM

Quote:
Generally yes, from what i've seen (note that, from what i've seen) they do run a little cooler because thier clocks are lower and a bit quieter because thier fans dont need to run at such high rpms.

Edit: With the exception of the x1900 Series AIW's, ive heard they have both heat and noise problems. And yes there is a significant diffrence between the x1900XT and the X1900 AIW, about half the clock speed. You would still be able to play games and such, just nowhere near as good as they would be on the 1900XT. I keep on realizing that im leaving stuff out, thus, i have to keep hitting the edit button.

So I noticed, I do the same thing alot too. Most of my posts have edits somewhere. I guess the decrease in performance doesnt justify the decrease in price if you play games, but then you could always OC. But ATI probably used lower grade silicon for the AIWs because of their lower speeds.

EDIT: (here I go 8) ) We have gone quite a bit off topic lol but hey, the OP isnt saying anything about it.
September 18, 2006 3:44:43 AM

You will learn in the near future that the more reviews that you read from newegg.com and tigerdirect.com, the dumber you will get. Dont get me wrong, customer evaluation is a great idea. But dont listen to thier hardware knowledge, most of them are complete baffoons. I just check the customer evals for anything unusual to expect and thats about it. Once they get into talking about how it can run this game at this resolution and how they overclocked it etc etc... i exit out of the window. But anyways, AIW can play games dont get me wrong... just not as good as your 'standard' version of the card.
a b U Graphics card
September 18, 2006 3:45:12 AM

Quote:
I guess looking like "crap" is subjective. Please note I said 'in comparison' :D 

Its quite subjective unless you can show some evidence to say otherwise, like some pics (not from 3dmark). Still I hardly think its looks crap even in comparison; maybe not as good, but certainly not crap.
IMO it's mostly hogwash, especially on sub $150 AGP cards. I think people bite into the theoretical possible differences and not actually noticeable IQ. I've run a 6800U side-by-side with a X800XTpe for weeks of gaming/testing and to say the Sm2.0 X800XTpe looks like crap is pure fanboy bologna. Look over the 12 games in the digit-life link I posted. You can compare a X850 pro to a 6800GT and 7800GTX. Besides the two I pointed out, I'd be eager to have the "Looks like crap" people point out some valid differences. Just like the big farcry stink of SM3.0 GF6 IQ superiority claims: http://www.hardocp.com/article.html?art=NjA5LDMsLGhlbnR... . Note the quotes at the bottom:

"Q: 7) What aspects of the screenshots seen at the launch event are specific examples of the flexibility and power of Shader 3.0?

A: In current engine there are no visible difference between PS2.0 and PS3.0. PS3.0 is used automatically for per-pixel lighting depending on some conditions to improve speed of rendering.

Q: 8) Is the same level of image quality seen when using Shader 3.0 possible using Shader 2.0? If so, what dictates which Shader you decide to use?

A: In current generation engine quality of PS3.0 is almost the same as PS2.0. PS3.0 is used for performance optimization purposes."





Oh, and Here's the link to digit-lifes screenies again. I'd like to know what games the SM2.0 card looks worse, never mind looks like crap. The same people claiming there's a difference probably also would claim not to notice NV GF7 texture shimmering. :roll:
http://www.digit-life.com/articles2/digest3d/0806/itogi...
September 18, 2006 3:48:09 AM

Not only that, but the cards just arent really put on the market with the 'gamer' in mind.
September 18, 2006 3:56:22 AM

well, I'm glad I stumbled onto this thread as I've been considering purchasing an x800 xt aiw for my agp system instead of upgrading to a pci-e system. still kind of torn, have to spend some bucks to buy basically what's amounting to be an entire new system. kinda bummed about that. thought when I bought my antec truecontrol 550w that it would allow for me to upgrade as I seen fit.

anyhow, I live....I learn....

or at least I try to
a b U Graphics card
September 18, 2006 4:02:27 AM

Quote:
anyhow, I live....I learn....

or at least I try to

OOO, thats deep...
September 18, 2006 4:46:02 AM

Honestly man, you should save your dough and wait until Dx10 and vista start taking over the market before you get a new system. New CPU's will be out by then and defenatly new GPU's will be flooding the market, giving you the opportunity to not only have more cash to spend, but have a very wide selection on what you want to spend it on.
September 18, 2006 4:49:05 AM

I think I'm just gonna buy this
September 18, 2006 5:02:09 AM

Dude, I'll buy that 9800PRO for sure.
September 18, 2006 2:56:40 PM

$140 for a 6800 GS? Even overclocked I don't think that's a super deal.

For $35 more you'd get a 7600 GT. That would be way faster.
September 18, 2006 3:04:39 PM

Yeah, well i do belive he can get the 6800 gs for cheaper on ebay. Which is always an option. And he could probably find the 7600gt on ebay as well for a bit cheaper. The main thing is, that all he needs is something to suffice him for now instead of forking over the big bucks when dx10 cards are around the corner.
September 18, 2006 4:38:49 PM

For sure.

a 6800 gt OR x800 XL on ebay would be a great deal, might even get 'em for $125-ish.

Both perform close to the 7600 GT, much better than the 6800 GS or X800 GTO.
September 18, 2006 4:40:05 PM

Yeah no joke, hell ive seen x850's going for that cheap if you can find them at the right place/right time.
September 18, 2006 7:07:08 PM

Quote:
i have a 68gt. my brother has an x800xl both pci-e
both are about the same performance wise
mine has sm3.0 the x800xl doesnt

and yes i do see a diff.


no wait, thats only in 3dmark06 :tongue:


My computer can't even finish 3DMark06 :cry:  . SM2.0, FTW!
September 18, 2006 8:35:38 PM

thats y ppl still use 05. 01 is like a cpu bench mark now since any card owns on it
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