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UPDATED - Radeon 9550: good option?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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June 18, 2004 10:00:33 AM

Hi to everybody,

I am looking to build a SFF as home theatre, TV recording, etc. Among GPUs, I have seen 9600 as an option due to low consumption, no fan cooling solution. It still offers some power for games.

Recently at newegg I found a <A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?descripti..." target="_new">Sapphire 9550</A> for $75. It seems it's based on 9600 core, but downclocked to 250Mhz. RAM is running at 400Mhz @ 128bits. So the only diference with regular 9600 is 75Mhz less for the core. And my guess is that probably can be overclocked easily (up to a point when active cooling would be required)

The only review I could find is <A HREF="http://www.tweaktown.com/document.php?dType=article&dId..." target="_new">this one</A>, but it is not the same brand/model and one is 256Mb while the other is "Extreme". So I don't know if I can trust the results.

Any idea of what this 9550 is performing? Any review or link?

Thanks for your help in advance!


<b>[edited]</b>

Finally I have found a <A HREF="http://www.neoseeker.com/Articles/Hardware/Reviews/tul9..." target="_new">review</A> of a 9550 that covers overclocking. The most interesting conclusion comes here:

"Using Powerstrip we managed to max out the graphics core at <b>332 Mhz</b> and the memory at 230. Something of note here is that <b>the core was limited by the overclocking software NOT its inability to scale up further</b>. The VPU remained very cool even after extended sessions of benchmarking leading me to believe that there is still a lot of headroom to be had. I had no luck trying to raise the clockrate cap of Powerstrip."

In other words, you can overclock easily to 9600 np levels, and probably even further if you found a way to break soft limitation. My guess is that yields are "too good", but still they need to build cards for low-medium segment. So in fact 9600 cores for 9550 cards could be used even for 9600Pro.

Nice for anyone in a tight budget :wink:

<b>[/edited]</b>

Still looking for a <b>good online retailer</b> in Spain :frown: <P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by baldurga on 07/07/04 10:56 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
June 23, 2004 4:32:21 AM

Search the forums... I think this has been discussed before... if more questions persist, then post again... but I think the AIW 9000 is going to be better than the 9550... just go for the AIW 9600...

------------------------------

"It seems it's based on 9600 core" I missed that part... priced at $75 seems odd, if it is truly all it claims to be...

<font color=red><b>NF7-S/Mobile Barton 2600+
211x11.5 1.824v SLK900A
1GB Corsair XMS PC3200
Sapphire 9500np@9700np</font color=red><font color=black>
NF7-S/Barton 2500+
200x11.5 1.76v
512MB XMS PC2700
XFX Ti4200<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Titanion on 06/23/04 01:59 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
June 23, 2004 4:39:49 AM

depends on the price a 9600 aiw is 150 bucks at least.

Performance wise its not as good as the 9600 no where near
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June 23, 2004 7:39:59 AM

In fact I plan to use a PCI card for TV input so no AIW needed. And as Entium has said, price is quite different.

I want to spend the less the better. For exemple, I have a XP 1700+ and 256Mb PC2100 lying around that will go to that SFF. I thing that would be enough just for watching TV, listen music, recording programs, etc.

Anyway, I will search in the forums again. Thanks!


Still looking for a <b>good online retailer</b> in Spain :frown:
June 23, 2004 2:48:19 PM

You'd probably be good just to get a 9200 if your not gaming. All it really needs is good image quality and perhaps DVd decoding or something (which nearly all modern cards have IIRC).

<A HREF="http://service.futuremark.com/compare?2k1=7454540" target="_new">Yay, I Finally broke the 12k barrier!!</A>
June 23, 2004 3:52:27 PM

I would not touch that AGP.

Mobile Barton 2500+ @ 2420mhz 11x220 1.7v
Asus A7N8X Dlx 440 FSB
1gb Geil GD pc3500 Dual Channel (2-3-3-6)
Segata 80gb SATA 8.5ms seek
ATI Radeon 9800 Pro to XT(420/730)
June 23, 2004 4:19:48 PM

???

Sorry, I think I miss your point ... you mean is not worth?


Still looking for a <b>good online retailer</b> in Spain :frown:
June 23, 2004 4:23:00 PM

Exactly NOT worth getting. Its a POS. Just get the 9600 pro. That 9550 is nothing like the 9500 lines we are used to.

Mobile Barton 2500+ @ 2420mhz 11x220 1.7v
Asus A7N8X Dlx 440 FSB
1gb Geil GD pc3500 Dual Channel (2-3-3-6)
Segata 80gb SATA 8.5ms seek
ATI Radeon 9800 Pro to XT(420/730)
a b U Graphics card
June 23, 2004 6:02:37 PM

IF you're looking for an OK card, but nothing for gaming, then the R9550 should be fine. It may have a slightly longer life span and slightly better functionality than an R9200 and it looks like it's better than the R9600SE based on the initial tests you list. But it really will depend on the application. With the 128bit memory it should do bet in most modern games at higher resolution, BUT, if your output is a TV, unless it's HDTV, you will likely be dealing with low res, and thus the R9600SE's faster core may prove to be more effective in some applications.

For gaming, I'd say you're likely still memory starved even at the lower core speed, so the R9550 should outplay the R9600SE in most cases, except maybe some older titles like Quake3. Of course I wouldn't expect to play much future games with it anyways.

So for your basic video etc, the R9500 will do fine, and will likely no show a noticeable difference from and R9200 to an R9800, but for games that's where really you will see the difference, and I'd hazard a guess that the R9550 would beat and R9600SE and lose to the straight R9600.

Just my two frames worth as usual.


- 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: 
a b U Graphics card
June 24, 2004 4:52:52 AM

9600 runs with a passive heatsink too, might be his best option.

<font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
a b U Graphics card
June 24, 2004 5:00:26 AM

Yeah I definitely agree with you on that, but I haven't seen any for $75 (both PriceWatch and NewEgg starting at $93.75/94), so it really depends on price issues for my recommendation.
If he's not gaming much, as was my impression, then the R9550 should be ok, and still better than an SE.


- 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: 
a b U Graphics card
June 24, 2004 7:34:50 AM

Digit-Life's Russian site has a <A HREF="http://www.ixbt.com/video2/rx800-4-p1.shtml" target="_new">new review up with the R9550</A>, as part of the X800 review. Should see the English version soon, but if you can't wait use Babel's 'engine', <A HREF="http://www.systranbox.com/systran/box" target="_new">Systran</A>, to translate it, it works with pictures while babel is still hung up on anything but text, and considering that the links/pics are basically the most important. However it only translates the link you submit, not subsequent links, but it's one page with links to benchies so should be good enough.

Anywhooo, it's once again the 256mb version, but should still give a ball park compared to cards like the R9600/PRO/SE. I think we predicted it pretty well, somewhere between the R9600SE and the R9600, how close to each depends on the game.


- 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: 
June 28, 2004 7:41:46 AM

Thanks a lot for your information!

I know 9600 runs without fan, but as you said 9550 is $20 less. From what I see in Digit-Life's Russian review, 9550 should have 9600 core but underclocked. That's perfect, because it's imposible to switch 64bit to 128bit, but I can overclock the core if ever needed :wink:

Thanks to all!




Still looking for a <b>good online retailer</b> in Spain :frown:
July 7, 2004 8:57:58 AM

Updated info on the first post. Hope this helps!


Still looking for a <b>good online retailer</b> in Spain :frown:
!