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Please help me decide.

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February 14, 2004 6:09:31 AM

<i>EDIT - Added Sapphire OEM to list.</i>

K, I'm finally starting to think I must get a 9800 Pro before they start becoming harder to find. However I can't decide which is best. Three options I'm seeing for me are a Sapphire 9800 Pro full retail for $359 Can, HIS 9800 Pro IceQ full retail for $379 Can, or a ATI 9800 Pro Full Retail for $380 Can.

<b><font color=blue>Sapphire 9800 Pro OEM:</font color=blue></b>
<b>Price-</b>
$329.99
<b>Pros-</b>
-I save $50.01 compared to ATI's,
<b>Cons-</b>
-1 year warrenty
-Its OEM

<b><font color=blue>Sapphire 9800 Pro full retail:</font color=blue></b>
<b>Price-</b>
$359
<b>Pros-</b>
-I save $21 compared to ATI's,
-I get a free game thats worth at least $20
<b>Cons-</b>
-1 year warrenty

<b><font color=blue>HIS 9800 Pro IceQ full retail:</font color=blue></b>
<b>Price-</b>
$379
<b>Pros-</b>
-I save $1 compared to ATI's,
-Comes with 2 games, both of which get better ratings at Gamespot then the 1 game that comes with Sapphire's,
-Has a unique cooling system that exhausts the heat out the back of the case and makes it one of the quietest 9800 pro cards not to mention it was reviewed to have the best overclocking ability compared to ATI, Saphire, Crucial, and Hercules 9800 Pro cards reaching core of 474mhz and memory of 384mhz(768mhz)
<b>Cons-</b>
-Costs $20 more then Sapphire's,
-Possibly a 1 year or liftime warrenty (I can't find out what HIS's warrenty is but I'm betting it isn't 3 years)

<b><font color=blue>ATI 9800 Pro Full Retail:</font color=blue></b>
<b>Price-</b>
$380
<b>Pros-</b>
-3 year warrenty
<b>Cons-</b>
-Costs me $21 more then Sapphire retail and $50.01 more then Sapphire OEM and $1 more then HIS,
-Comes with no games

Any other cons and pros I'm overlooking? Can someone give me advise on which to choose or relate experience with any of the manufacturers?

<font color=blue>_____________________________________</font color=blue>
Vancouver, B.C., Canada
Asus A7N8X-X, Athelon XP 2500+ Barton,
Samsung 512mb DDR400, Creative Geforce2 GTS,
SoundBlaster Live! Value.<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Vimp on 02/14/04 03:48 AM.</EM></FONT></P>

More about : decide

February 14, 2004 8:40:06 AM

I would go for the 3 year warranty!

AMD Athlon XP 2400+
1x512MB Kingston RAM
Abit NF7-S rev2.0
Club3D Radeon 9800 Pro 128MB (cat 3.9)
SATA HDD Seagate Baracuda IV 60GB 7200rpm
Windows XP Pro
February 14, 2004 8:48:46 AM

The 3 year warrenty is very tempting I'll admit. However now that I just found the HIS one I'm really taking a liking to it for all that I get with it. Although I don't know what HIS's warrenty is but I'm sure it can't be worse then Sapphire's.

<font color=blue>_____________________________________</font color=blue>
Vancouver, B.C., Canada
Asus A7N8X-X, Athelon XP 2500+ Barton,
Samsung 512mb DDR400, Creative Geforce2 GTS,
SoundBlaster Live! Value.
Related resources
February 14, 2004 10:40:21 AM

his is a nice card for people who DONT overclock because its made for the fact that it doesnt produce noise. saphhire screw with their cards before they sell them (make them totally different to reference, only use the ati chipset). this can be a really good or bad thing depending on the card. with the ati card u know your getting a stock standard 9800pro which has the 3 year warranty (voided if OCed i imaging)

my coice is the HIS because its quite and performs well at stock.

2.6C @ 3.25G (Zalman 7000AU-ALCU HSF)
ABIT IC7-Max3
2x Kingmax SuperRam 512 DDR433
GeXcube 9800pro @ 450/750
80G Seagate S-ATA150
Antec Super Lanboy w/ 350 Smart Blue PSU
February 14, 2004 11:16:58 AM

Thanks for your reply. I'm curioius though that you specificly say the HIS is not good for overclocking. This <A HREF="http://www.ocprices.com/index.php?rev_id=183&page=10&ac..." target="_new">review</A> shows it to be one of the best overclockers without using 3rd party coolers. Also this <A HREF="http://www.in4.pl/recenzje.htm?rec_id=176&rectr_str_num..." target="_new">review</A> (Although not in English), shows the HIS IceQ overclocked beating the 9800XT at stock speeds in every test done in Aquamark and 3DMark03.

<font color=blue>_____________________________________</font color=blue>
Vancouver, B.C., Canada
Asus A7N8X-X, Athelon XP 2500+ Barton,
Samsung 512mb DDR400, Creative Geforce2 GTS,
SoundBlaster Live! Value.
a b U Graphics card
February 15, 2004 4:17:05 AM

The HIS would be the Best CARD listed by far. The Warrant I believe is 1 year IIRC. I just saw one today in Calgary at Techtronics, for $599cdn for retail box.

It's a very nice card, and as you noted it's a GREAT overclocker. It's quiet AND has a great cooling solution. I like HIS' stuff, I almost bought one of their R9000PROs with VIVO, but they were out of stock when I went to get one so I got a Sapphire R9000 OEM for about the same freakin' price too! I just needed something and didn't want to wait on MAYBE one coming on the next shipment.

Anywho, my recommendation would be the HIS, then the ATI then the Sapphire OEM then the Sapphire Retail. I fouy don't care about the warranty, then go with the Sapphire OEM before the ATI retail, but I'd have to say that the HIS would be a very solid choice, and would allow good overhead on the overclocking , and HIS is not a powercolor or Gigapuke, they are middle of the line, just like Sapphires stuff (which can be all over the map from great to mediocre).

Well, that's my two frames worth.


- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! - <font color=green>RED </font color=green> <font color=red> GREEN</font color=red> GA to SK :evil: 
February 15, 2004 5:27:49 AM

Thanks for the reply TGGA. I've wondering for a long time what IIRC means. Can you fill me in? Also I've decided on the HIS card. I'm thinking that its very possible that the price may not go down much at all even after the new cards come out, and/or if I wait that long I won't be able to find the card anyways. So with that in mind I think I need to get it as quickly as possible and check my bank account and hope I have enough money.

<font color=blue>_____________________________________</font color=blue>
Vancouver, B.C., Canada
Asus A7N8X-X, Athelon XP 2500+ Barton,
Samsung 512mb DDR400, Creative Geforce2 GTS,
SoundBlaster Live! Value.
a b U Graphics card
February 15, 2004 5:37:02 AM

IIRC = If I Recall Correctly, meaning "I think......, but I can't find a link or additional evidence..."

In this case I THINK I remember seeing a GOLD raised lettering logo on the light blue box I saw today that said 1 year warranty, but I can't really remember (my mind's not as clear as it could be right now, and I didn't think it important at the time unfortunately).

As for the availibility of the cards, these cards really just started hitting the market. The HIS ICE-Q is a little bit of a late entry from HIS, they had their regular R9800PRo, and the ICE-Q came out about 3-4 months after the rest. I can't remember when but I think they came out in like the fall or something. So I would think you have a bit of time left with them. But if you have the money now, then I WOULD recommend getting one, since the enjoyment you will get using it now will be owrth the 'what is likely to be' small price difference for that card between now and then even if it is available. And likely if it goes down in price significantly then they would be snapped up even quicker.

I would think you won't regret this purchase, but as always there could be a surprise. However I think it's not a high risk, and a good choice. As always let everyone know how things go with it if you do nab one.

BTW, where are you getting the good price? If you feel they may sell too quickly then don't say until after you have yours. I'm just interested, considering the price I saw today for one ($599 CDN).


- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! - <font color=green>RED </font color=green> <font color=red> GREEN</font color=red> GA to SK :evil: 
February 15, 2004 6:17:00 AM

Now that I'm actually faced with the idea of actually spending my money I'm starting to get for hesitent and anxious so that I don't spend my money and see something better or better value right afterward. So I was looking at MSI's 5900XT and now I'm wondering if I should get that instead.

<b><font color=blue>HIS 9800 Pro IceQ:</font color=blue></b>
<b>Price -</b> $433.96 after 14.5% taxes
<b>Performance -</b> 95%
<b>Package -</b> 2 so-so games that I never heard of. No tempeture monitoring. No tweaking software. Fan system keeps computer cooler then any alternative and keeps computer quieter then any alternative.
<b>Warrenty -</b> 1 Year

<b><font color=blue>MSI GeforceFX5900XT:</font color=blue></b>
<b>Price -</b> $308.01 after 14.5% tax
<b>Performance -</b> 65-70%
<b>Package -</b> Comes with very nice game package including Morrowind (which I wanted to get), has tempeture monitoring, has video-in, no tweaking software that I know of but many other types of software including virtual drive and such.
<b>Warrenty -</b> 3 Years

I like the MSI package and warrenty much better not to mention the $130 savings. But the 9800 pro performs significantly better in the latest games. Arrg. Can some one point me in the right direction? Oh, TGGA, the price I got is at <A HREF="http://uniwest.ca/" target="_new">This</A> place. I'm not to concerned about others seeing it. Don't think they even sell to the US.

<font color=blue>_____________________________________</font color=blue>
Vancouver, B.C., Canada
Asus A7N8X-X, Athelon XP 2500+ Barton,
Samsung 512mb DDR400, Creative Geforce2 GTS,
SoundBlaster Live! Value.
February 17, 2004 4:44:18 AM

You guys may dislike me for it but I ordered the MSI 5900XT for $269. With the savings I bought myself an additional 512mb DDR3200 so I have 1gb now. I think one thing would have made me go for the HIS card instead, and that is if its warrenty was 3 years. However considering the MSI came with a much better warrenty and much better game bundle as well as video-in I think that makes the $269 MSI card actually closer to something like a $180-$200 savings when compared to the $379 HIS card. Its also worth noting that I don't play games at resolutions higher then 1024x768 because my monitor dosn't support any higher then that at refresh rates that I deem acceptable. So the MSI card I got isn't that far behind the 9800 Pro when you take that into consideration.

<font color=blue>_____________________________________</font color=blue>
Vancouver, B.C., Canada
Asus A7N8X-X, Athelon XP 2500+ Barton,
Samsung 512mb DDR400, Creative Geforce2 GTS,
SoundBlaster Live! Value.
February 17, 2004 4:49:48 AM

Is that MSI 5900 XT a "Geforce 5900 XT" chipset? Because I thought those were going for more like the $180 mark?

If it's an Ultra and they're just going with ATI's naming system, then ignore me. (I'm assuming you wouldn't consider a 5900-XT as an alternative to a Radeon 9800.)
a b U Graphics card
February 17, 2004 4:34:00 PM

Quote:
You guys may dislike me for it but I ordered the MSI 5900XT for $269.

HEy man, it's your money and your computer. I doubt you'll be unsatisfied with th FX5900XT, except for maybe that I've seen a few R9600Pros for about $160CDN, so you coulda saved yourself $110 PST/GST and then used that for the next gen. :evil: 

That card should power you through pretty much any game until the next generation itself become 'cheap enough to be' a good buy.

You will have small drawbacks, but realy it's minor. The FX5900s are not the equal of the R9800s, but seriously, the FX5900XT/SE/LE/etc is hard to deny as being a wise bang for your buck choice. And when it comes to personal gaming then that's what it's all about. If Canada enjoyed the low prices on the R9800s the way the US does, then maybe ou'd have another choice, but I think you made a wise decision, and the fact that you even deliberated it for more than a day and looked at ALL the contenders means you can feel pretty secure in your purchase regardless of what anyone says. Sure we may razz, you but we do that to eeryone, just ask CoolS about his R9600PRO! :evil: 


- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! - <font color=green>RED </font color=green> <font color=red> GREEN</font color=red> GA to SK :evil: 
February 17, 2004 7:59:24 PM

Graphixmonkey, the $180 you speak of is US not Canadian. But even still I have not seen MSI's 5900XT for $237 ($180US) either. The lowest I could get it was $265 ($200.89US).

I havn't seen a 9600 Pro for anything less then $200 where I am. However as I pointed out in the last post I made I would have prefered to get the 9800 Pro over the 5900XT. Its just that considering the price difference I couldn't go for the 9800 Pro when it come with such an inferior package and warrenty compared to the significantly cheaper 5900XT. And at lower resolutions and not on full AA or AF, the 5900XT performs only very minorly slower then the 9800 Pro in most games. So I think I'll be pretty pleased with my purchase. Also because I currently own an Nvidia card there shouldn't be much hassle in swapping cards either. Also knowing that I only payed under $300 for my video card will make me that much more likly to buy a new video card sooner then I would have other wise. Last card I bought, which was a Geforce256 Pro and later upgraded to a Geforce2 GTS for free because the fan died on my first one while under warrenty, cost me $375 +tax ($427.50) about 4-5 years ago and that purchase has lasted me till now because, due to what I payed for it, I wanted to get as much milage out of it as possible. But Because I didn't pay that much this time around I won't feel like I need to wait that long before upgrading again.

<font color=blue>_____________________________________</font color=blue>
Vancouver, Canada
Asus A7N8X-X, Athelon XP 2500+ Barton,
Samsung 1024mb DDR400, Creative Geforce2 GTS,
SoundBlaster Live! Value.
February 19, 2004 2:13:28 AM

Well I expect to recieve my new videocard tommorow hopefully. So just so I could compare results with my current rig I downloaded Aquamark3 and did a benchmark using the default settings it uses and I got a score of 8041 - GPU 858 + CPU 7018. When I compared my results to others with the same CPU and simelar graphics card (Most had either a Geforce2 Ti or Geforce2 Ultra but some had a Geforce2 GTS), I got 9 results with my score comeing in 3rd place. What I can't understand though is how 1 person with a Athelon 2500+ at 1837mhz can get a cpu score of 7402 while another person with the exact same cpu clocked the exact same speed gets a cpu score of 6450. Looking at scores from reviews and such I'm expecting to get a score closer to 35000 with my 5900XT at stock speeds. So we'll see if that ends up being the case.

I'm little disappointed in my hastiness in buying the videocard where I did. After looking in the paper, after I already ordered my card for $269 at Uniwest, I see the same card at A-Link for $255. After taxs I woulda saved myself $16.03 had I gotten the card at A-Link instead. Deffinitly not one of my wisest purchases. I was to impulsive since I had the money and normally I never have the money.

<font color=blue>_____________________________________</font color=blue>
Vancouver, Canada
Asus A7N8X-X, Athelon XP 2500+ Barton,
Samsung 1024mb DDR400, Creative Geforce2 GTS,
SoundBlaster Live! Value.<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Vimp on 02/18/04 08:15 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
a b U Graphics card
February 19, 2004 6:40:41 PM

One thing I've learned about tech purchases, if you can't return it, then be happy with what you bought for the price. You will almost always find cheaper prices after whether it's 2 days later or 2 months.

Never regret a well researched purchase.

As for the scores, the reason one computer will draw a higher CPU score with the same CPU running at the same speeds with the same memory, comes down to what else is going on. Are there more efficient audio cards, a ton of peripherals or programs riding shotgun on the system, etc.
There will of course be a small amount of variance from run to run even on the exact same computer, but large differences are usually due to what else is holding back or helping the system.


- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! - <font color=green>RED </font color=green> <font color=red> GREEN</font color=red> GA to SK :evil: 
February 20, 2004 11:34:49 PM

Update...

My MSI 5900XT card came in today and I just went and picked it up. After showing the guy one place in the paper that had it at $255 and another at $259 he decided to lower the price for me from $269 to $259 which was nice of him. Seeing as I had to put a $50 deposit down the guy really didn't need to lower the price at all since I wasn't about to go somewhere else and lose my $50.

Also I recieved a reply from an email I sent to HIS regarding their warrenty. Although it makes no difference to me now, for anyone who is interested, the warrenty for HIS video cards in Canada is 1.5 (One and a Half) years.

I'm going to install my card now and I'll report back with my benchmark results if everything goes well.

<font color=blue>_____________________________________</font color=blue>
Canada
Asus A7N8X-X, Athelon XP 2500+ Barton,
Samsung 1024mb DDR400, Creative Geforce2 GTS.
Aquamark=<b>8041</b>
a b U Graphics card
February 20, 2004 11:37:33 PM

Hope you enjoy your new and improved Gameplay :smile:

ABIT IS7, P4 2.6C, 512MB Corsair TwinX PC3200LL, Radeon 9800 Pro, Santa Cruz, TruePower 430watt
February 21, 2004 12:55:10 AM

Thanks Paul, I hope I do too.

So I ran Aquamark3 just now. My system using Geforce2 GTS = GPU-858, CPU-7,018, Total-<b>8,041</b>.
My system with my new 5900XT = GPU-4,896, CPU-6,084, Total-<b>34,702</b>.

I was expecting somewheres around 35,000 so I got very close to what I expected. I'm slightly disappointed that the core is only clocked at 390mhz when every review said it was 400mhz though. One thing I don't understand at all about my Aquamark results though is why my CPU score did so much better when I benchmarked with my older card compared to my newer card. All an all though I'm very pleased. Going to go try some games out now such as FarCry demo and such to see if I really can appreciate the difference.

<font color=blue>_____________________________________</font color=blue>
Canada
Asus A7N8X-X, Athelon XP 2500+ Barton,
Samsung 1024mb DDR400, Creative Geforce2 GTS.
Aquamark=<b>8041</b>
a b U Graphics card
February 21, 2004 2:38:14 AM

My cpu score went down quite a bit when I upgraded from a radeon 9500 Pro with Cat 3.10 to a Radeon 9800 Pro with cat 4.1

I didn't like seeing that, but figured it may be related to the driver version and not the card. I was tempted to try Cat 3.10, but everything was running rock solid, so I said forget it.

ABIT IS7, P4 2.6C, 512MB Corsair TwinX PC3200LL, Radeon 9800 Pro, Santa Cruz, TruePower 430watt
February 21, 2004 6:31:54 AM

Unfortunatly I can't attribute mine to a difference in drivers since I'm using the same ver. 53 forceware drivers with my new card as I was with my old card when I did the benchmark for it. So far I'm a bit dissappointed at how little performance difference there is in what I'm played so far. It seems as though the biggest thing the cards offer over the older cards are newer special effects for the most part and some minor performance gains. I'm gonna continue trying different games I like and see what its like for them. So far I've tried the demo for NeedForSpeedHP2, NeedForSpeedU, Midnight Club 2, Railroad Tycoon 3 (this game has the best water effects I've seen yet, even better then Morrowind), Aquamark3, and the full version games SimCity4: Rush Hour (this one almost seemed like it played slower), and Morrowind (this game came with the card). I'm going to now try the demo of UT04, FarCry, Call For Duty, Halo, Deus Ex: IW, and the full game of Planetside.

<font color=blue>_____________________________________</font color=blue>
Canada
Asus A7N8X-X, Athelon XP 2500+ Barton,
Samsung 1024mb DDR400, MSI GeforceFX5900 XT.
Aquamark=<b>34702</b>
!