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Radeon 9700 Pro - does this even hold a candle anymore?

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January 8, 2007 5:21:57 PM

Topic subject pretty much sums it up.

Does this card even hold a candle to entry level cards these days? Say against cards running about $100?
January 8, 2007 5:31:18 PM

The 9700 PRO is about as good as, say, a Geforce 6600 (not GT) or X700 (not pro)

Still a decent card. I used one for reference in an upcoming review, there wasn't a new game it couldn't play at 1024x768 smoothly at decent detail.
January 8, 2007 5:40:05 PM

I wouldn't upgrade from a 9700 Pro to a 7600GT, because that's not a DRASTIC upgrade.

It depends on what games you're playing.

If you're upgrading barely now from a 9700 Pro, I'd say it definitely lived out its full lifetime. I mean those came out when, 2003? 2002? That's a long time ago. For a card to last 3-4 years, I'd say it definitely fit the bill.
January 8, 2007 5:52:30 PM

Quote:
I wouldn't upgrade from a 9700 Pro to a 7600GT, because that's not a DRASTIC upgrade.


I do not think you have experience with these cards.

Going to a 7600 GT from a 9700 PRO is a COLOSSAL upgrade.

At least twice the framerates at higher settings with a 7600 GT, if not triple in some cases...

Then again, the 7600 GT AGP is at least $180, it's definitely more than the $100 mark.
But a $130 X1650 PRO or 7600 GS is still a big upgrade from the 9700 PRO.
January 8, 2007 5:55:07 PM

Quote:
I wouldn't upgrade from a 9700 Pro to a 7600GT, because that's not a DRASTIC upgrade.


I do not think you have experience with these cards.

A 7600 GT from a 9700 PRO is a COLOSSAL upgrade.

At least twice the framerates at higher settings with a 7600 GT, if not triple in some cases...

I'm not talking about the upgrade by itself. I'm talking about the reasoning behind it.

I don't like when people give bad advice on this forum. And the bottom line is, any advice leading a person to stick with AGP is bad advice.

And I don't know if you're comparing a 7600GT AGP or PCI-Express, because while it's a big framerate difference, it doesn't change the fact that you're going from "not" being able to play games at max settings to "still not" being able to play games at max settings.
January 8, 2007 5:56:46 PM

Quote:
I wouldn't upgrade from a 9700 Pro to a 7600GT, because that's not a DRASTIC upgrade.


I have to disagree.

I went from 9600pro which is only slight slower than 9700 and it was a revelation.

7600GT is a great card that you can overclock easily and now it's really cheap.

Can you not afford a 7900GS?????

Or even 1900XT???
January 8, 2007 5:58:46 PM

im still using a 9600 pro - the fan is really giving way.... AGP
January 8, 2007 5:59:12 PM

:sigh:

There's not a big difference between PCI express and AGP performance.
Who told you there was? Where are your benchmarks to prove it?

Even an Athlon XP 2500+ will show a colossal difference between a 9700 PRO and a 7600 GT. I know because I just wrote a review about it that's going up on Tom's soon...


Quote:
And the bottom line is, any advice leading a person to stick with AGP is bad advice.


:D ouble sigh:

You don't know what you're talking about, sir.

I don't like it when people give bad advice, either... :roll:
January 8, 2007 6:03:39 PM

Quote:
:sigh:

There's not a big difference between PCI express and AGP performance.
Who told you there was? Where are your benchmarks to prove it?

Even an Athlon XP 2500+ will show a colossal difference between a 9700 PRO and a 7600 GT. I know because I just wrote a review about it that's going up on Tom's soon...

I don't like it when people give bad advice, either... :roll:

And the bottom line is, any advice leading a person to stick with AGP is bad advice.


:D ouble sigh:

You don't know what you're talking about.

i didn't meant to hint agp was bad i just thought id say its agp lol

im looking for a new card but i cant choose which one !

Sapphire Radeon X1600 PRO 256M DDR2 TVO DVI-I AVIVO PCI-E
http://www.ebuyer.com/UK/product/113199

HIS X1600Pro 512MB Hypermemory 128MB onboard 64bit DDR2 DVI TVO PCI-E
http://www.ebuyer.com/UK/product/119050

Sapphire ATI Radeon X1300 XT 256MB DDR2 VGA TVO DVI PCI-E
http://www.ebuyer.com/UK/product/116155

any geforce ones better? for same price
January 8, 2007 6:04:55 PM

Quote:
:sigh:

There's not a big difference between PCI express and AGP performance.
Who told you there was? Where are your benchmarks to prove it?

Even an Athlon XP 2500+ will show a colossal difference between a 9700 PRO and a 7600 GT. I know because I just wrote a review about it that's going up on Tom's soon...


And the bottom line is, any advice leading a person to stick with AGP is bad advice.


:D ouble sigh:

You don't know what you're talking about.

I don't like it when people give bad advice, either... :roll:

I like it when Cleeve shows it to someone, gives me a warm feeling inside.

Just gotta hope i'm never on the recieving end, to be honest.
January 8, 2007 6:07:12 PM

THe X1300 XT is basically an X1600 PRO with a 10mhz or so clock jump. Noting to write home about. I'd get the cheapest of the three.

Pealjam, for under $100 now online (newegg) you should be able to pick up an X1650 PRO or 7600 GS, either of which are better than the cards you listed.
The X1650 PROs probably the slightly better bet, but both are good cheap gaming cards.

I'm talking PCI express here, because those are the cards you listed...
January 8, 2007 6:07:51 PM

I have a 7600GT.

The only reason I got it is because it was 78.99 after rebate. I wouldn't have touched it with a 10' pole otherwise. It doesn't overclock as well as its competitor and there are a lot of games that seem to "favor" the ATI counterpart.

I went from, in this order:

9600XT (Sapphire edition)
to
X800GTO2 (Sapphire, could be softmodded to X850XT capabilities)
to
6800XT (Really bad decision. Gave the X800GTO2 modded to a friend, didn't want to be a jerk and ask for it back when I made a poor videocard decision)
to
7600GT

The X800GTO2 modded was the best card, and was pretty much the best card I could've had at the time.

The 7600GT is about 15-20% slower than my X800GTO2, but for certain games, the upgrade wasn't drastic. The only game I really see a huge performance gain from was FEAR, which was practically not playable at all on my 9600XT and then I could play it max settings with 4x AA on my X800GTO2 @ 1024x768.

I don't know if my BFG 7600GT is buggy or what, I got 6060 score in 3dmark05, and I can't play FEAR at even medium settings @ 1440x900 resolution. Sure Riddick was great, max settings + 4x AA, but FEAR? Runs like crap. Oblivion? Mild performance gain, still can't play at high settings, medium settings still shows some choppiness outdoors.
January 8, 2007 6:10:05 PM

Quote:
Oblivion? Mild performance gain, still can't play at high settings, medium settings still shows some choppiness outdoors.


Oblivion won't run on my volt modded 7900GT @ 760mhz core 1.9ghz Memory at max settings without getting choppy outside!
January 8, 2007 6:13:07 PM

In my testing I've found that a 7600 GT will stand toe to toe with an X850 XT in almost everything. There are a few games that favor ATI alot though... Oblivion and Need for Speed Carbon are a couple notables.
January 8, 2007 6:15:07 PM

Quote:
THe X1300 XT is basically an X1600 PRO with a 10mhz or so clock jump. Noting to write home about. I'd get the cheapest of the three.

Pealjam, for under $100 now online (newegg) you should be able to pick up an X1650 PRO or 7600 GS, either of which are better than the cards you listed.
The X1650 PROs probably the slightly better bet, but both are good cheap gaming cards.

I'm talking PCI express here, because those are the cards you listed...


ok

what about this ?

http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProdu...
January 8, 2007 6:16:30 PM

Quote:
THe X1300 XT is basically an X1600 PRO with a 10mhz or so clock jump. Noting to write home about. I'd get the cheapest of the three.

Pealjam, for under $100 now online (newegg) you should be able to pick up an X1650 PRO or 7600 GS, either of which are better than the cards you listed.
The X1650 PROs probably the slightly better bet, but both are good cheap gaming cards.

I'm talking PCI express here, because those are the cards you listed...


ok

what about this ?

http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProdu...

For the price that's about as good as you'll get, but invest a bit more and for £93 you can get an x1650xt from www.overclockers.co.uk

I personally don't use www.scan.co.uk Try www.overclockers.co.uk , www.aria.co.uk and www.ebuyer.com
January 8, 2007 6:19:45 PM

Quote:
In my testing I've found that a 7600 GT will stand toe to toe with an X850 XT in almost everything. There are a few games that favor ATI alot though... Oblivion and Need for Speed Carbon are a couple notables.


Then I don't know what I think about your testing, because even Tom's Hardware shows an X850XT being anywhere between 10 and 15% faster than a 7600GT in almost every benchmark.

Again, I don't know if my 7600GT is messed up, I was able to play Riddick at max settings + 4x AA, but FEAR ran better on my soft modded X800GTO2 than it did on my 7600GT.

I don't know of any games that favor Nvidia either, so if anything, ATI favored games just leans more weight into choosing an ATI card. The only downfall is probably the higher power usage and that some of them run really hot.

I do remember OC'ing my X800GTO2 and staying under stock temperature at load. I haven't OC'ed my 7600GT though because I don't know if it's running right and it's already OC'ed from the factory. (BFG OC version)
January 8, 2007 6:32:43 PM

Quote:

I'm not talking about the upgrade by itself. I'm talking about the reasoning behind it.

I don't like when people give bad advice on this forum. And the bottom line is, any advice leading a person to stick with AGP is bad advice.

And I don't know if you're comparing a 7600GT AGP or PCI-Express, because while it's a big framerate difference, it doesn't change the fact that you're going from "not" being able to play games at max settings to "still not" being able to play games at max settings.


Classic. Come on man, just admit you made a foolish comment and move on. We all do from time to time.
January 8, 2007 6:34:12 PM

Quote:

Then I don't know what I think about your testing, because even Tom's Hardware shows an X850XT being anywhere between 10 and 15% faster than a 7600GT in almost every benchmark.


Well, here's my testing:

Oblivion - X850 XT faster (although X850 couldn't compete in HDR tests)
Far Cry - X850 XT faster (although X850 couldn't compete in HDR tests)
Quake 4 - 7600 GT faster
NFS Most Wanted: 7600 GT faster (close though)
SW: empire at war: 7600 GT faster
X3 reunion: X850 XT faster (close)

3 for the X850, 3 for the 7600 GT.
Looks pretty toe-to-toe to me.

http://www.tomshardware.com/2006/04/14/is_the_kuformula...
January 8, 2007 6:43:09 PM

I'm just wondering, how did you become a reviewer for THG?
January 8, 2007 7:33:23 PM

Easy! I applied. :) 
January 8, 2007 7:37:05 PM

Quote:
Easy! I applied. :) 


But where did the last reviewer go?! *looks at Cleeve suspiciously*
January 8, 2007 9:24:53 PM

Wow, I was sure glad to see this post. I am also looking to upgrade my 9700 Pro (that I purchased in 2002/3). This has been a great card for me for a long time, but I really felt its limitations in the new release "Dark Messiah of Might and Magic". Had to turn down the rez and turn off a lot of the beauty in order to maintain playable frame rates, and even then it barely clunked along.

I'm on a pretty tight budget for an upgrade. After reading a couple of Cleeve's excellent articles, I've been thinking about a used X850 XT. I see them going used for about $110-$120 and that sounds like it would be a pretty big step up in performance.

I'd like your thoughts and recommendations. I'm definitely staying in AGP-land for the next 12-18 months, so I need AGP and would ideally double my framerates for 1280/1024 with 2x AA when playing a variety of games.

I don't need or expect a card to last me another 4 years: I'll shop for that when I buy my first PCI-E mobo in 2008.

Thanks,
tengu
January 8, 2007 9:26:18 PM

Oh: one more question. I replaced the fan on my old 9700 Pro with a big Zalman heatsink because I hate noisy computers. Am I going to be able to do something similar with a more modern AGP card?

Thanks,
tengu
January 8, 2007 9:36:26 PM

9700pro to an X850XT= HUGE upgrade.
January 8, 2007 9:52:41 PM

If you can find a used AGP X850XT for around $120 then it's a good upgrade, but it sounds a little too good to be true. Prices I'm seeing used on eBay are around $175ish. An alternative would be a 6800GT or Ultra. More the former as it's more common and for less money. While not as powerful as the X850XT, it's still not a bad upgrade over the 9700Pro and will probably run you less than $100 used from eBay.

Granted the noise level could be a factor for you and this isn't a major upgrade, but it should hold you over nicely until you buy that PCI-E motherboard in 2008.
January 8, 2007 10:12:56 PM

Hmmm....

Problem is, I like to upgrade and it's been a long time - as you can see by my card. The rest of my system is an old Asus CUSL2 running a PIII 1GHz mildly OC'ed to 1.2GHz.

I wanted to do some sort of a budget upgrade to one of the Core 2 Duo capable mobos with an AGP slot, going with an OC'ed Pentium 805D, and some decent memory. My thought was that I could get by for another year or two until the better CPU come down in price then I'd still have a mobo and RAM that would work with the newer processors.

Since I'm not a big gamer (think I own two) the graphics are not a huge issue for me. But, I'd like an increase in general processing power for photo work, music compression, video compression, etc. - more so than gaming concerns. Although, at the same time, I don't want to forego gaming possibilities altogether.

My point was if I can get as good or better performance than the 9700 Pro without adding too much cost to the computer, I'd maybe just let the card stay with the PIII computer.

Am I crazy to try to integrate that 9700 into a new system knowing now the above information?
January 8, 2007 10:28:03 PM

Believe it or not, a G965 like the GA-965GM-S2 with onboard GMAX3000 graphics might be a good option for you. Paired with a Pentium D820 and 1GB of DDR2, it would cost around $300.00. The GMAX3000 isn't fantastic but it just might suit your graphical needs and you still have the option of upgrading to a PCI-E card later on down the road.
January 8, 2007 10:44:06 PM

I'm not familiar with the GMAX3000 onboard graphics.

Would it be possible to mention a PCI-E card that is roughly equivalent GMAX3000? If this level of performance is not too costly, I'd probably prefer to buy it as an inexpensive card for now to forgo onboard graphics - as I understand they can be a hindrance to OC at some point.
a b U Graphics card
January 9, 2007 4:02:21 AM

Quote:
I'm not familiar with the GMAX3000 onboard graphics.

Would it be possible to mention a PCI-E card that is roughly equivalent GMAX3000? If this level of performance is not too costly, I'd probably prefer to buy it as an inexpensive card for now to forgo onboard graphics - as I understand they can be a hindrance to OC at some point.


The GMAX3000 IS an onboard video card, with some DX10 capability. I wouldn't expect it to compete with cards such as the x850 or 7600gt for that matter, though in pure DX10 situations, compatibility might only be its strong point.

If you're going for Core 2, then forget the AGP slot as bnew AGP cards cost more than their PCI-E counter parts, plus you'd have more options with a PCI-E slot. If you can wait then get a board with a PCI-E slot now and use the onboard temporarily.
January 9, 2007 12:21:56 PM

Well, I hope I didn't screw up too badly, but remember I'm not a x-gamer.

Went with a Gigabyte 7300GT 256MB (128 bit version with factory OC) that I found as an open box with full return/warranty for just a couple tics over $50...

If this is at least a sideways move, or even a small increase, it should fit my needs.
January 9, 2007 1:39:36 PM

Well it holds my candle at the moment. I built my most recent machine over 2 years ago (Ohmygodisitreallythatlong!) and it has a 9700pro with just 128mb of mem and 1GB of main ram under a northwood c at 3.0GHz on a 875 asus board. The most recent game I played was HL2 and there was no slowdown at 1024/768 settings. Granted I had to reduce shadows to minimum but that was fine for me.

As far as upgrading is concerned I shall be remaining with this setup for at least another year so my next purchase will be the X1650 or the newer X1950 agp variant.

When this all finally gets replaced then it will be a whole new gaming machine and this one will become my business machine and the old business machine will be donated to one of the children to rip to pieces.

Overall this 9700pro has done well and I have been a happy bunny.

Q
January 9, 2007 1:48:31 PM

Quote:
But, I'd like an increase in general processing power for photo work, music compression, video compression, etc. - more so than gaming concerns. Although, at the same time, I don't want to forego gaming possibilities altogether.

My point was if I can get as good or better performance than the 9700 Pro without adding too much cost to the computer, I'd maybe just let the card stay with the PIII computer.

Am I crazy to try to integrate that 9700 into a new system knowing now the above information?


If gaming isn't your primary concern, a 9700 PRO will do an excellent job. It will even do moderate gaming.

If you want to put more of a stress on gaming, and you want better than a 9700 PRO, you're probably going to have to spend at least $120 on something else.
January 9, 2007 2:56:06 PM

Whether it is a budget upgrade or not, $50.00 is not going to make or brake you, friend.

Go here and grab this fabulous Radeon X850 PRO for $149.00

Brand new;
In a BOX

I would strongly discourage you from buying hardware on e-Bay. You never really know what you are getting.

EDIT: Okay, the brand new one is gone. Only one used remains. But it looks like it is in a good shape + Amazon has a great return policy.
January 9, 2007 3:29:07 PM

I'd really like to pimp out the graphics at this time, but I had to stay within budget for now.

The mobo and RAM I have will support upgraditis for the next couple years as more Core 2 Duo and quad core CPUs become available/fall in price.

If I get more into gaming, then perhaps I'll have to find a more serious graphics card than the one I choose, but for a tick over $50, it seemed like an OK budget buy.
January 9, 2007 3:31:21 PM

Are you upgrading the rest of your system too? Because that sounds suspiciously like a PCI-E deal and not one for an AGP card.

EDIT: n/m
January 9, 2007 3:33:35 PM

I read very little of the thread so I don't know your system specs but I'll throw in my exp with both of the cards in question along with some knowledge gained in using the older 9xxx series cards in todays modern games.

going from a 9700pro vs a 7600 gt will yield a huge benefit without a doubt.

that said you have to understand that most of the problems with the older generation of cards is relegated to struggling with real time lighting from multiple sources.

if you want to see a 200% framerate increase out of a 9600 or 9700 pro for that matter disable real time shadows and lighting.

I did this with F.E.A.R., Warhammer 40,000 Dawn of War and Dark Crusade while using a 9600pro running stock speeds and to be honest Dawn of War I thought looked better being it's an RTS I wanted the additional viewing area and it was easier to play.

literally the frames jumped from minimum frames hovering around 5 fps to minimums hovering around 25 fps by disabling 1 feature... it goese without question that AA is out of the question but it's not that significant anyway..... I got these results by running fraps in game and while I don't profess the experience was the best to be had I do grant you that the card was playable at the settings mentioned.

would I reccomend anyone go to a 7600 GT or would I reccomend they go higher it depends on the budget the 7600 GT is a very nice card as was the 6600 GT for the money, that said ATI took forever but finally released X1900 GT's and X1950 GT's on the market for really good prices albeit higher but with better performance.

additionally while Nvidia releases a stellar product on time with excellent drivers Nvidia generally tends to abandone that stellar product a month after the next stellar product is released while ATI has a history of continuing updates via drivers over a much longer span.

understand you will always be able to grab a running driver for almost any Nvidia card but performance increase efforts stop prior to a new architecture's impending release..... this wouldn't matter save that Nvidia likes to re-invent the wheel far more often than ATI who generally releases an architecture then tweaks and optimises it far longer.

IE: Nvidia, Geforce 4 then 5xxx then 6xxx and 7xxx which were similiar but driver updates have shown 6xxx as falling drastically behind and now the 8xxx series is out which is a total changeover which if anyone has noted Nvidia is struggling with drivers and has no interest in the 7xxx series anymore at all.

IE: ATI, 8500 then 9xxx then X8xx... then came the changeover to X1xxx and now R600 which is a more optimised version of X1xxx and likely this design will again be revamped....

atm ATI is still supporting officially the 9600 series cards and while the tweaks have pretty much run out for the entire R200 - R420 Nvidia has already dropped the 6xxx cards offering the use of no longer optimised newer driver revisions only.

would I reccomend you buy 7600 GT for today sure for the right price but mainly as a temporary upgrade, for tomorrow no not really while I wouldn't hesitate to reccomend an X1800 GT or higher so long as the price was right.... as a side note the X1650 XT's are apparently quite good as well again depending on the right price and I'd reccomend them mainly because of the history of support in future apps that is gained from a long lived architecture.
January 9, 2007 3:55:47 PM

Yes, I am updating most of the remainder of the system too - mobo, CPU, RAM, SATA drive(s).

Reusing several items as well, Plextor DVD, Antec case and power supply, etc., plus, recycling some IDE drives into more or less a storage array.
January 9, 2007 4:19:14 PM

well, i had a 9600 pro for my agp and then went to an x800xl and the improvement was pretty incredible. then that card broke, so the retailer gave me a 7800gs which was comparable, no big change.
January 9, 2007 5:05:06 PM

Quote:
I went from 9600pro which is only slight slower than 9700 and it was a revelation.


The 9700 Pro is much more powerful than the 9600 Pro.
January 15, 2007 12:02:13 AM

Quote:
Well, I hope I didn't screw up too badly, but remember I'm not a x-gamer.

Went with a Gigabyte 7300GT 256MB (128 bit version with factory OC) that I found as an open box with full return/warranty for just a couple tics over $50...

If this is at least a sideways move, or even a small increase, it should fit my needs.



FWIW...

My old system (P3 @1.2GHz, 512MB RAM) with the 9700 PRO ran 4353 on 3DMark03.

The updated system (Celeron D @ 3.33GHz, 1GB dual channel RAM) with the Gigabyte 7300GT ran 8230 on 3DMark03.

I don't know much about the benchmarking process so, with such a difference in the computers themselves, does this test even mean anything with respect to comparing the two graphics boards?
January 15, 2007 1:05:59 AM

Is that one of those Cedar Mill based Celerons? How do they perform in everyday use?
January 15, 2007 1:43:41 AM

Yes, it is a Cedar Mills.

I just fired it up yesterday so I have not tested it out too much.

It has my stuff running a lot faster - the basic apps snap right open. Then again, my basis is a P3 - 1GHz OC'ed to 1.2GHz so the Celeron seems like a rocket at this point.

At stock speed, it's roughly 43 seconds from power-on to the desktop with Win XP Home (SP2).

Just for kicks, I turned it up to 3.75GHz and it seemed to run just fine, but I've since turned it back to stock. Gonna run it a while before I put the screws to it. I'm going to see if I can go 4GHz or more.
January 15, 2007 2:25:19 AM

Sounds good! I´d be really interested in how far you push it, how stable it will be (at 4 Ghz) and how it performs at that clock speed. I´ve a Socket 775 Board around but no processor to get it running and i´m considering to get me a cedar mill celeron if it overclocks good and its performanc isn´t too bad. :) 
January 15, 2007 11:25:03 AM

Need to get to work soon so no stability testing right now, but it booted OK and it's running at 4GHz (160/640 FSB) as I write this. All I did was change the (clock?) setting from 133 to 160, didn't mess with anything else. This is with Gigabyte 965P-S3

So far, so good...
January 15, 2007 11:57:52 AM

One of the greatest things about Radeon 9700 is that it works on 1x/2x/4x/8x AGP, while the new cards work only with 4x/8x AGP.
January 15, 2007 12:02:55 PM

I thought AGP x1 worked on a different voltage from x2,x4,x8?

Q
July 18, 2010 12:49:37 AM

Is there a chart that compares the Radeon 9700 to the Nvidia Ultra 6800?
a c 172 U Graphics card
July 18, 2010 1:27:53 AM

Wow what a thread necro oh well. I used to own a 9800pro aiw that managed to run crysis on lowest settings. I later swapped it out for a 7800gs co. Now the system is all gone except for a few parts.
!