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Sapphire Radeon 9600XT

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 30, 2004 3:06:23 AM

I am looking at buying a new video card. The place were I am buying the card are telling me to go with the Sapphire Radeon 9600XT 256mb card because the price is better than the ATI Radeon 9600XT 128MB card. Now I can't anything that says any differences between these cards. Just the usual stuff saying that BBA are the best performers. I need advice, what should I do? The Sapphire 9600XT 256MB (not the ultimate) is $270 canadian at this place and the ATI 9600XT 128MB card is around $300. Any advice would be great.

More about : sapphire radeon 9600xt

a b U Graphics card
March 30, 2004 12:19:37 PM

If you look at the Buyer's Guide Spitfire made up you will see special attention paid to the BBA R9600XT;

<font color=blue>"but sometimes they are limited because they are only as good as their reference standard, and others outdo ATI (the R9600XT)"</font color=blue>

The Sapphire may be much better than the BBA in overclocking performance, and perhaps even long term reliability, because it likely comes with superiror memory. The BBA R9600XT took a step down memory wise from the R9600PRO and was saddled with slower memory (3.3ns) which significantly hampers memory overclocking, which is what truely holds back the R9600 series (in all it's flavours).

Likely the Sapphire comes with at least 3.0 ns memory, and maybe even 2.86 or a variant of 2.8 (usually slower than the 2.86 in reality), which would make it a better overall choice if you plan on running anything out of stock speeds.

One question for you though, where are you getting your prices? Is that including PST/GST?
The prices you have are a little high compared to what is readily available out there.

As a baseline (there are better prices out there) , look at <A HREF="http://www.ncix.com" target="_new">NCIX.COM</A> to get an idea of the Maximum you should be paying. That Sapphire is going for <A HREF="http://www.ncix.com/forums/index.php?mode=showthread&ms..." target="_new">$246</A> there and the BBA is <A HREF="http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=10900&vpn=10..." target="_new">$271</A> . Personally I would recommend the 256mb versaion for<A HREF="http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=11184&vpn=10..." target="_new"> $223.74</A> as a good starting point for your price searches, and remember that for these cards there is very VERY little use for 256mb of memory. And take another look at the Buyer's guide.

BTW, disregard their forum replies, the guys there don't have a freakin' clue!


- 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: 
March 30, 2004 4:26:15 PM

The place where those prices are coming from is a small outfit in the city that I live in (small city). I can't order anything online because don't have a credit card so I really didn't have a choice where to order from. Thanks for the information. The reason the 256MB card is for future games that come out. Not really how long until you need a 256mb video card but I figured right now with doing the upgrade to my system it was the better choice.
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a b U Graphics card
March 30, 2004 9:44:41 PM

Quote:
The reason the 256MB card is for future games that come out. Not really how long until you need a 256mb video card but I figured right now with doing the upgrade to my system it was the better choice.

If you pay $1 more for the 256mb, it's too much. The R9600 class card will never make use of the 256mb even in future games. It doesn't have the bandwidth with 128bit pipe to take advantage of it now or later.

I wouldn't worry about 256/128. If you have extra money to spend get the best quality 128mb board that will overclock well. Faster 128mb memory will kill any slower 256mb memory.


- 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: 
March 30, 2004 11:37:20 PM

This may not matter much, but just to let you know Sapphire 9600XT 256mb uses crappy TSOP memory from a no name brand eletron or something.

-AMD Athlon64 3200+@2300mhz -GAK8N -3x512 Hynix PC3200 ram@192mhz 2.5-3-3-7 -Albatron 5900PV @ 509/1000 -SB Audigy -Adaptec 1210SA Raid -2x120G Seagate SATA150 7200.7 Raid0 -Enermax 460watt psu
a b U Graphics card
March 31, 2004 12:49:11 PM

Yeah, true SOME of them do, and some of them don't. Freakin' annoying really. Early 256mb version were BGA, now most of the newer Sapphires are Samsung 3.3ns TSOP on the low end and Hynix 2.8ns BGA or Samsung 2.86ns BGA on the 256 Fireblade editions.

And head to head the BGA 3.3ns memory usually performas better than the TSOP, and it almost assuredly overclocks better despite being the same rating.

So yes, avoid any of the cards saddled with the TSOP memory.


- 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: 
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