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Which Card for $250?

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October 8, 2004 6:53:31 PM

Which of these cards would you get if you had a $250 budget, and if it is going into an OPTERON 140-based GAMING rig?

1) BFG FX6800 OC 128MB - $249.99
<A HREF="http://shop4.outpost.com/product/4082672" target="_new">http://shop4.outpost.com/product/4082672&lt;/A>

2) CHAINTECH nVIDIA GeForce 6800 Video Card, 128MB DDR - $269
<A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?descripti..." target="_new">http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?descripti...;/A>

3)High Tech ATI RADEON 9800PRO Video Card, 128MB DDR - $235
<A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?descripti..." target="_new">http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?descripti...;/A>

4)SAPPHIRE ATI RADEON 9800PRO ULTRA Video Card, 128MB DDR - $224
<A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?descripti..." target="_new">http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?descripti...;/A>

More about : card 250

October 8, 2004 7:20:35 PM

either choice 1 or choice 3
they both are the leading enthusiast manufacturers.

Now thats decided, keeping budget in mind
if u go Nvidia -> BFG
if u go ATI -> HIS

now one has to figure out which performs better. HIS is definitely clocked more. And can be clocked even further. BFG can also be clocked further, but i wont do that much bcos that card comes OCed from BFG. BFG has better warranty and support. HIS - i dunno where to get support that card, mine is a HIS and if it ever got fuc*ked, wont know where to call, their site sucks balls.

Perf w.r.t D3 and HL2: chk out that on firing squad, hardocp, THG vga charts.

My recommendation: HIS ATI OCed to 9800 XT.

:tongue: <A HREF="http://www.geocities.com/priyajeet/Fing.jpg" target="_new"><i><font color=red>Very funny, Scotty.</font color=red><font color=blue> Now beam down my clothes.</font color=blue></i></A> :tongue:
October 8, 2004 7:49:52 PM

Stock 6800 and 9800XT's are neck and neck as far as performance goes.

I would choose the 6800 with little hesitation however; there is a good (some say slight) chance it can be modded from 12 to a full 16 pipeline card using the driver hack in Rivatuner, essentially giving you a 6800GT (albeit not clocked quite as fast, but you can OC it) for free.

For this reason alone, it's worth getting the 6800 over the 9800XT. And worst case scenario you have a 6800, which is still a good card and has very strong OpenGL performance.

Either that or I'd save the cash and spend ~$160 to get a nice 9800 PRO and overclock it to XT speeds.

________________
<b>Radeon <font color=red>9700 PRO</b></font color=red> <i>(o/c 332/345)</i>
<b>AthlonXP <font color=red>3200+</b></font color=red> <i>(Barton 2500+ o/c 400 FSB)</i>
<b>3dMark03: <font color=red>5,354</b>
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October 8, 2004 8:18:03 PM

none of the ATI's listed here are XT's, they are all PRO's, but Sapphire has a normal Pro, and an PRO Ultimate. what's the difference?
October 8, 2004 8:22:19 PM

He is comparing the 6800nu to the 9800Pro, not the XT. Big price difference.

The XT is still at $300, and all the 9800Pros I have seen from retailers under $190 have had the 128bit memory (instead of 256bit) and have had underclocked cores.

I had a friend in the same dilemma. He chose the BFG 6800 OC for $250 from Outpost. The 6800 performs better overall, although the 128bit memory does hinder it with AA on a bit at 1600x1200 where the 9800Pro pulls even and sometimes passes--and even this is a moot point because both cards are playing new games at these resolutions well undre 30FPS. Considering that the 6800 outperforms the 9800Pro at 1024x768 and 1280x1024 by a bit in most games the majority of the time, plus SM 3.0 support, it looks like a better card IMO. Both are good cards, but the 6800nu seems to be the better overall card--the question you need to ask is what games do you play. If you are only playing 1 game, pick the best card at that price point. If you play a lot of games choose what meets your needs best. Below are some links of some comparisons that include the 9800Pro and 6800 (and other cards):

<A HREF="http://www20.graphics.tomshardware.com/graphic/20041004..." target="_new">http://www20.graphics.tomshardware.com/graphic/20041004...;/A>
<A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=2196&p=1" target="_new">http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=2196&p=1&...;/A>
October 8, 2004 8:27:48 PM

oh yeah, i forgot that modding part. If that can be done then, definitely the 6800.

:tongue: <A HREF="http://www.geocities.com/priyajeet/Fing.jpg" target="_new"><i><font color=red>Very funny, Scotty.</font color=red><font color=blue> Now beam down my clothes.</font color=blue></i></A> :tongue:
October 8, 2004 8:28:36 PM

u can mod the 9800pro to xt, specially that HIS

:tongue: <A HREF="http://www.geocities.com/priyajeet/Fing.jpg" target="_new"><i><font color=red>Very funny, Scotty.</font color=red><font color=blue> Now beam down my clothes.</font color=blue></i></A> :tongue:
October 8, 2004 8:38:10 PM

Judging by the new VGA tests, the 6800 beats out the ATI 9800 PRO in every test, so if I can get an OEM 6800 for around the smae price as a retail 9800 PRo, shouldnt i got with the 6800?

Most of the OEM 9800 Pro's are like $160-$200
Retail 9800 Pro's are like @ $250?

OEM 6800's run @ $250 and up...

oy, my head's swimming...what to do....

What are the BRANDS I should definitely AVOID? I read what the guide has to say about the various brands, but was lookin for some more input...
October 8, 2004 8:40:41 PM

Unlocking the last 4 pipelines doesn't make it a GT because the 6800NU only has 128Mb of memory. The only 128Mb 6800GT that I've seen is Asus, everyone else has 256Mb. (Although it still gives a big boost and it's totally worth a try)

Athlon 2500+, Asus A7N8X Deluxe Rev2, 768Mb Corsair XMS 5-2-2-2.5, Sapphire 9800 Pro 128Mb, Seagate SATA 80Gb, Fortron-Source FSP400-60PFN <P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by sweatlaserxp on 10/08/04 04:41 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
October 8, 2004 8:54:57 PM

my gaming box is PRIMARILY for Star Wars Galaxies, which is an MMORPG that is eqyually reliant on graphics card, memory, and the CPU...which is why I should PROBABLY plan on a CPU upgrade as well...my Opteron 140 will become a bottleneck with either of these new cards I suspect...My current Vid card is an FX5600 256 BTW..
October 8, 2004 9:18:17 PM

Get the BFG 6800OC!! The 6800nu is faster than the 9800Pro (and XT in MOST cases), not to mention most OC very well. Some also can be modded to 16 pipes now....I don't see a reason to get a 9800Pro anymore.

Maxtor disgraces the six letters that make Matrox.
October 8, 2004 9:23:27 PM

Quote:
The XT is still at $300

....or higher.
Quote:
all the 9800Pros I have seen from retailers under $190 have had the 128bit memory (instead of 256bit) and have had underclocked cores.

I've seen TRUE 9800Pros for less...where the [-peep-] are you looking?
Quote:
The 6800 performs better overall, although the 128bit memory does hinder it with AA on a bit at 1600x1200 where the 9800Pro pulls even and sometimes passes--and even this is a moot point because both cards are playing new games at these resolutions well undre 30FPS.

Ummmm...NO. 6800 series cards have 256-bit memory (even the upcoming 6700s will have 256-bit!). They do, however, have 128MB, but that really isn't too much of a hindrance in most games (only a select few can really use 256MB, anyway).

I don't see why ANYBODY would consider an 9800Pro over a 6800nu (unless they play ONLY one game [and that's all they'll ever play] and the 9800Pro wins that...or if they are a high-ranking employee of ATi)

Maxtor disgraces the six letters that make Matrox.
October 8, 2004 9:54:52 PM

nu = non ultra i am assuming. does leadtek usually do pretty good on there cards. im looking at a 6800 for 278 right now good deal?
October 8, 2004 9:54:53 PM

nu = non ultra i am assuming. does leadtek usually do pretty good on there cards. im looking at a 6800 for 278 right now good deal?
October 9, 2004 2:22:28 AM

i paid for my evga 6800 at zipzoomfly for 270 a month ago. so id say thats a little high but just by a $10-20 (USD) range

"Freeze, your under arrest for the murder of Moe Sislack and Apu Nahasapasa...OK nevermind, just moe."
October 9, 2004 2:37:21 AM

Sweatklaserxp, if I take a 256mb 9800XT and take away 128mb, it's still a 9800XT.

A 128 meg 6800 GT is still a 6800GT. It's the 16 pipe core that makes it a 6800GT.

And yes, there are true 256-bit 9800 PROs out there for ~$160...

________________
<b>Radeon <font color=red>9700 PRO</b></font color=red> <i>(o/c 332/345)</i>
<b>AthlonXP <font color=red>3200+</b></font color=red> <i>(Barton 2500+ o/c 400 FSB)</i>
<b>3dMark03: <font color=red>5,354</b>
a b U Graphics card
October 9, 2004 4:30:46 AM

I see <A HREF="http://shop1.outpost.com/product/3628345" target="_new">This Reason</A> to buy a 9800 pro. BBA retail box. Saves enough money to buy the DVD edition of HL2 compared to some of those other cards. Might be out of stock though.

True, the 6800's are ahead at the settings you'd be playing at with these cards. Crank the res and AA/AF and the 6800's fall down to at or below 9800 Pro performance. But neither would be playable at those settings anyway, at least in the new games. Is the BFG worth $70 more, or is that money better put into HL2 or more Ram?






ABIT IS7, P4 2.6C, 1GB Corsair XMS 4000 Pro Series, Radeon 9800 Pro, Santa Cruz, TruePower 430watt
October 9, 2004 7:22:37 AM

You are right about the RAM on the 6800, it is 256bit @ 700MHz. My bad.

Where are you finding 9800Pros at retail for less than $190 (someone else stated for $160)? I checked pricewatch before I posted and everything under $194 had the lame 128bit memory/reduced speed core. My question is where are you looking where you are finding 9800Pros for less via retail? I could always use one for $160 ;) 

Anyhow, to the original poster, the links I posted do show the 6800 performs better than the 9800Pro most of the time in most games. I like ATi and loved my Radeon 9700, but the 6800 is a better buy than a comparably priced (i.e. ~$25 difference) 9800Pro.
October 9, 2004 7:30:20 AM

Pauldh,

That is a good price on the Radeon 9800Pro ($180)! To bady Outpost charges tax in my state :( 
a b U Graphics card
October 9, 2004 12:48:27 PM

Bummer, just like Newegg does for me. [cry]


ABIT IS7, P4 2.6C, 1GB Corsair XMS 4000 Pro Series, Radeon 9800 Pro, Santa Cruz, TruePower 430watt
October 13, 2004 9:57:16 PM

well, I picked up a BFG 6800 OC from Fry's and I'm only getting 8500 score in 3Dmark

My CPU is Opteron 140
1GIG Corsair registered RAM

I'm waiting on an Opteron 148 to see if that makes a bigger difference. but I DEFINITELY expected better performance after goin from an old FX5600 to the 6800 OC card...but not seeing much improvement in Star Wars Galaxies...:( 
October 13, 2004 10:27:42 PM

Blame SW: Galaxies... it's always SOE's fault.

:smile:

<font color=red> If you design software that is fool-proof, only a fool will want to use it. </font color=red>
October 13, 2004 10:40:11 PM

nokiddn right? baaastaaards!!
!