Ok here is my dillema..please do help me out. I worked during the beginning of summer and saved 500 dollars for my computer use. i am debating wether to plunk down 499 for radeon 9800 256 or the fx 5900 ultra. I don't care which card..now here is the dillema, for hundred dollars less I can get the radeon 9800 128 and use the leftover money for something else. Is there a huge increase in 256 memery upgrade in the fx 5900 or 9800, as oppose to the 9800 128?. My card right now is a voodoo 3 (thats right..im old school..heheh). And upgrade is definately in hand. My computer is spec is good enough though. P4 2ghz, 768 rdram, 80 gig hdd. but my graphic card is...ugh....SO is it worth plunking down the extra 100 for the newer models?..oh and is the ultra 5900 or the 9800 256 out yet?..thanks!!!
so what exactly is the difference betweent the memory bandwidth?..less constraint for the cpu?..and I was really gearing towards nvidia..but the 9800 128 seems to be in praise all over the board..will I really enjoy this card?..obviously I am upgrading for gaming+photoshop needs..thanks...please do leave your 2cents, such as personal experience with 9800 128, it will be geratly appreciated
There is very little difference in memory bandwidth.
Bandwidth is how "fast" the video card can take in and expel video information. This has a big impact on performance, but the difference of bandwidth between the Radeon 9800 PRO 128MB and 256MB versions is negligable: a mere 10 Megahertz! (340 Mhz DDR on the 128MB version VS. 350 Mhz DDR-2 on the 256MB version)
The main difference between the 128 MB and 256 MB versions is the AMOUNT of TEXTURE MEMORY availbable.
Texture memory available limits the resolution of textures you will see in a game. A newer game might have a 32 MB texture set and a 64 MB texture set. The 64 MB texture set would be higher resolution and would look alot clearer in the game. But if you have a 32 meg video card, you couldn't see the 64 meg versions of the textures.
I don't know if there's a game that exists yet that is designed for 128 MB of texture memory, not to mention 256 MB.
Personally I never buy the fastest graphics card (or CPU or anything else) on the market. I've found they tend to drop in price soon after a new model is released, leaving you feel like you've been suckered. I would get the ATI Radeon 9700 Pro (or even the 9500) and spend the rest of the money on beer.
<font color=blue>-Toast always lands buttered-side down and cats always land on their feet. So what happens if you strap a piece of toast on the back of a cat and drop it?</font color=blue>
I also agree that you're best off not spending more than $200 USD on any computer component. That's my magic number, anyway. Right now, that'll get you a 9700 non-pro on e-bay...
The upside to this strategy being that I'm always current for cheap. I can always play the latest games with decent detail settings.
The downside being I have to upgrade every component about every 1 to 1.5 years to stay that way.
But if you got the cash, and don't want to upgrade as frequently, I don't think the 9800 PRO is a bad choice at all.