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The lesser of 2 evils

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
September 13, 2007 10:48:46 PM

My main system died.

I have 2 other spare systems however. I picked one and got it up and running as my new main system but I am left with a small issue. Which of the 2 graphics cards between the two is better?

I play a number of games so I'd like the better of the two in there. Keep in mind this PC is just a temp until I can build a new one so I am NOT likely to go out and spend any money on upgrading the card in these units even tho it may be fairly cheap to do so. There isn't much point.

Keep in mind also ...

Both systems are AGP 4x

One card is a GeForce 6200 256 MB
One card is a Radeon 9550 256 MB

Both of the cards are so old that they do not show up on the comparison list in Toms Hardware comparison chart so I have no idea how these two units stack up against each other.

Does anyone know off hand which of these two are the better card?

More about : lesser evils

September 14, 2007 12:42:19 PM

1 last question. It's been a long while since I've even dealt with AGP. Are cards listed as AGP 8x backwards compatible and can go down to be used in a AGP 4x machine?
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a b U Graphics card
September 14, 2007 12:51:16 PM

Yes, it will run fine at 4x. I actually ran a 9600XT for years at 4x. You'll take a slight hit in performance, but it's not going to be halved. I still have that old card. If you were nearby I'd probably let you have it.
September 14, 2007 10:47:38 PM

I can assure you that the 9550 will outperform the 6200 i played prey on medium settings with 800x600 smoothly.
September 15, 2007 12:35:05 PM

but have you tried the 6200? (I'm not arguing, I'm just noticing a potential flaw in that statement)
a b U Graphics card
September 15, 2007 4:11:19 PM

Well, it depends on the exact model of 9550 and 6200 you have, but here are the general specs of each that I could find:

ATI 9550
Core Clock: 250MHz
DirectX 9.0c
Memory Clock: 200MHz (400MHz DDR)

nVidia 6200
Core Clock: 350MHz
DirectX 9.0c
Memory Clock: 275 MHz (550MHz DDR)

So it looks like the only advantage the 9550 has is a better memory bandwidth. The higher clock frequencies of the 6200 might offset that advantage though.
September 15, 2007 4:33:05 PM

It depends on what type of 6200 you have. A 6200TC or 6200LE:TC will run slower because of their turbo-cache memory which borrows from system memory. Looking back at the older VGA charts, they don't have the 6200 in AGP or a 9550, but a 9550 is just a 9600 with some lower clock speeds, so you can compare a 6200 to a 9600 and see that the normal 6200 performs better then a 9550. At least in the couple of games I looked at.
September 15, 2007 7:07:10 PM

September 15, 2007 7:40:48 PM

i had the 6200se 64mb and a 128mb radeon 9550. (i build a lot of used systems from parts and see a lot of different hardware :o )

i like benchmarking stuff i didn't use before so i benchmarked both cards with 3dmark 2001 and 2003.

i can't remember the exact scores but both benchmarks were faster on the radeon. then i tested nfs underground and the difference was very clear: on the ardeon it played nice with decent settings, the 6200se was struggling and 1024 was hardly playable.

i tested on a 3000+ athlon64 system with agp slot so cpu was not an issue.

both cards were higly overclockable but even here the radeon was better. don't get me wrong, i like nvidia cards just as much as the ati's, the 6200se was BAD! i doubt a vanilla 6200 is that much faster that it outperforms a 9550......

best idea maybe?: sell one system and with the money fix your main system! can't be all broke..........must be fixable
a b U Graphics card
September 15, 2007 8:42:05 PM

I'd say the R9550 will tend to win out on average, howver the only GF6200 benefit is it's ability to 'play' games that are SM3.0 only, although play them might be an overstatement of the situation. And also there's no OpenEXR style HDR support for the GF6200 so it can't do HDR on old games either.

In general the R9550 should outperform the GF6200, unless it's one of the very early crippled GF6600s sold as a 6200 that have the rare ability to be unlocked.

That site is terrible, it's simply a popularity contest with no rules (PS you can vote multiple times). Did you notice that the only area on their lists that the R9550 loses to the GF6200 is the 'overall' which has way more votes than any other section? I think like wiki that site is too influenced by fanbois voting up/down their choices. Hey I'm gonna go vote me up the XGI Volari Duo now. :sol: 

I wouldn't trust that site with my or my friend's money, nor would I recommend anyone else do so.
September 15, 2007 8:45:53 PM

September 16, 2007 8:38:42 PM

since you have 2 cards.... you could always OC 1 to dangerous levels.... (ok, not serious there but you really could OC without much worry)