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best vid card for athlon 1.4ghz? 5600 or 5900/9800

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 30, 2003 3:00:14 AM

i need a new card to replace my gf2 gts, and i really dont want to spend a lot of money.

i was looking at a $170ish geforce fx 5600 (the editor's choice in the graphics card roundup) but my friend its much more worth it to spend 350 on a ati 9800 or gf 5900 b/c the 5600 is more processor speed dependent.

any thoughts?
July 30, 2003 3:05:33 AM

The least powerful card you want to upgrade to is a Radeon 9700 nonpro, found for $200.

I'm not particularly attracted to the Radeon 9500/9600 or FX5600 anymore and wouldnt recommend it for you.

9700 nonpro is the only card within 9800/5900 range.
Go 9700 for about a little more than the midrange cards and massive increase in performance.

Athlon 1700+, Epox 8RDA (NForce2), Maxtor Diamondmax Plus 9 80GB 8MB cache, 2x256mb Crucial PC2100 in Dual DDR, Geforce 3, Audigy, Z560s, MX500
July 30, 2003 3:20:04 AM

well my concern is more of which of these cards is least processor-speed dependent, and if it is one of the more expensive cards is so big of a difference that it justifies the price difference?

what my friend is telling me is basically the 5900/9800 cards will perform the same almost no matter what the cpu speed is wheras the 5600 will perform much worse on a low speed such as my 1.4ghz athlon.
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July 30, 2003 3:28:37 AM

Your friend is wrong. I think Anandtech shows how the graphics cards are CPU dependent. Go back to their 9700 Pro review and you'll probably find it there.

<A HREF="http://forums.btvillarin.com/index.php?act=ST&f=41&t=38..." target="_new"><font color=red>dhlucke's system</font color=red></A>

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July 30, 2003 3:30:36 AM

<A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.html?i=1683&p=22" target="_new">http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.html?i=1683&p=22...;/A>

For all I know there is a more recent example of CPU scaling, but I wanted you to see this.

<A HREF="http://forums.btvillarin.com/index.php?act=ST&f=41&t=38..." target="_new"><font color=red>dhlucke's system</font color=red></A>

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July 30, 2003 3:57:24 AM

thanks so much.

he still insists that the 5900/9800 arent like that though, im not sure why.
July 30, 2003 5:07:39 AM

All I can say is the 5900/9800 will make your Athlon 1.4GHZ a huge bottleneck if the game you play is not video-card dependant.

If only there were more games like Aquanox. You could own a P3 800MHZ and miss out on only 3 more frames, from a 2.2GHZ P4!

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July 30, 2003 5:16:28 AM

your friend is an Nvidia fan

thers no reasoning with them. and they have no actual facts as to why Nvidia is better

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July 30, 2003 6:17:20 AM

Not neccessarily Phial, he said 5900 OR 9800!

Neways, if you got the money, sure get a 9800 Pro! You can upgrade the rest of your system later, and see a big increase in performance then.

Your friend is wrong though, about the cards being less CPU dependant/affected.....

HOWEVER!!! With a kick-ass card like that, you can just lower the res a bit 800x600/1024x768 (depending on the game,and other stuff) and turn on Anti-Aliasing and anisotropic filtering!!!

So yes, it would be worth it for you to get a kick ass card, such as the 9800 Pro.

The 9700 non-pro is, oh, i dunno, 30% slower than a 9800 pro, its still a very good card though, if you want to go cheaper than 9800 Pro, and it will also have enough power for AA and aniso.

Don't get an nVidia sh*t overpriced cheating POS.

Right now the ONLY card I recommend from them is the 5600 Ultra rev. 2, but thats pushin it, since a 9700 non-pro isn't too much more, and alot better!!

(I admit the 5900 Ultra is a nice performer, but theres too much crap goin on..)

"Mice eat cheese." - Modest Mouse

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a b U Graphics card
July 30, 2003 10:11:57 AM

Just in addition to the good points by all (especially agree with alot of what WS said above).
The thing to consider is what point of the upgrade cycle is this for you. Did you come into money and this is a one time thing or are you going to be constantly upgrading and can put aside money for the next item (CPU+MOBO)?

If this is a one time thing, then definitely go ahead and get something similar to the R9700non-pro and a new MOBO/CPU. That would give you the BEST overall performance increase for your specific $ spent. Now if this is just step 1 in an ongoing process, then you may wish to get the best you can afford right now (9700Pro/9800/9800Po/FX5900/U).
Now there is also another option, save a LITTLE on this next upgrade, get an R9500P/9600P or FX5600U-R.2 and then save the difference for a NEXT generation card in the spring/summer of next year along with a new Mobo. It's only a small savings and therefore even the R9700non-pro may be a better choice now.
Of course you won't get the MOST out of the high-end cards right now with your st-up, but hen again if you are upgrading the MOBO+CPU next year (or soone) then you will want a good card to max that out as well.
One final issue, may be how much power do you REALLY need, if you are just trying to make a capable gaming rig and not looking for MAX performance, then the FX5600U-R.2 or R9500P/9600P/9700NP would make the best choice because they would deliver what you need to play the basics of the current and near-term games. In that case I'd say th 9700NP is the best bet.

But as ever for max performance comes max price.

Hope that helps.


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a b U Graphics card
July 31, 2003 9:02:35 AM

In ligh of the DELAYS in games. I'd get a good DX8/DX9 card (either the GF4tis or R9500/9600s) and save the diff. for a TRUELY good card when the Games arrive. IT appears you will be safe for a while with the this calibre of card. Also see my post above again to get a little background to my suggestion (2nd time around). With everything being delayed, what's the rush if there's nothing to max ou card out there.


- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! <A HREF="http://www.redgreen.com" target="_new"><font color=green>RED</font color=green> <font color=red>GREEN</font color=red></A> GA to SK :evil: 
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