Help with choosing graphics card!

Hi all, I recently bought a Zotac GeForce 9800GT Eco-edition from The card cost 85$ (CAD) with free shipping, so it came down to 89$ in the end. I thought at the time that this was a pretty good deal, seeing as the cheapest 9600GT goes for the same price, but I'd have to pay 10$ extra in shipping charges.

Unfortunately, I didn't realize that this was the Eco-edition. It's actually underclocked compared to the normal GeForce 9800GT. It has a 550MHz core-clock instead of 600MHz, and its shader clock speed was knocked down from 1500MHz to 1375MHz. What does this mean? Is this card still superior to the GeForce 9600GT?

I did some research and actually found a direct comparison between the Eco-edition and the standard versions.
They also managed to overclock the eco-editions to 650MHz. Does anyone know if is trustworthy? Is this safe to do? Will it have a strong impact on the card's lifespan? I don't upgrade very often.

I did some comparisons between the above review and some 9600GT reviews. The Eco-9800GTs seem to fall half-way between the 9600GT and standard 9800GT in performance based on 3DMark06 Pro. Is this a good measure?

I'm debating on whether or not to return this card and just keep my 7600GT a while longer. I'm upgrading to an Athlon II X4 Propus before Christmas. Any advice? Thanks!
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  1. I don't know anything about eco editions so I can't comment on that. But why not spend maybe $25-$30 for a 250GTS? It'll be a lot better than your current 7600gt and a bit better than just a regular 9800gt. How much can you spend?

    These things are weird. I sorta started off with a low budget. Was aiming for just a 9800gt in the $90 price range, but slowly worked my way up to a 9800gtx, then to a ATI 4850, then convinced myself to go with a ATI 4870, then finally ended at a GTX 260 216 shader SC. Budget went from $90 to $219-$30.00 mailin rebate=$189.00.

    If you have a budget stick with it. Don't be a lamer like me.
  2. Best answer
    OCing shouldn't cause problems. The only issue with that card would be it doesn't have an external power connector so OCing past a certain point may need more power than the system can deliver to the card. If that happens your system would likely just restart itself without any actual harm done.
    DL rivatuner and see how much you can OC, no reason not to.
    If you want a better card and are willing to spend a bit more the GTS 250 seems too expensive($130+) on the Canadian newegg but the HD4770 is actually cheaper in Canada($105);
  3. Thanks for the tips! I actually do have a very small budget, don't have much cash, being a poor student, and I've already gone overboard with the CPU upgrade...hehe...

    I think I might trying OCing the core clock back to 600MHz, if they did it to 650MHz, then 600 should be stable enough. I've never OCed before though...

    Any other suggestions or insights?
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