I currently am running a geoforce mx440 and want to upgrade to either a radeon 9550 or 9600 (non pro or xt). is it worth it to spend the extra to get a 9600? (im not going beyond that to a pro so dont tell me to) and if i just get a 9550, will the dfference over my mx440 be significant?
I guess it depends on the rest of your system and exactly what games you play as to how much performance increase you will see. Same with whether it is worth upgrading. How are your games playing now? <A HREF="http://www.ixbt.com/video2/over2k4-ut-1024.shtml" target="_new">UT2003 at 1024x768</A> you can get about double the framerates of the MX440. The 9550 128-bit still shows a decent boost also. Not to mention having a DX9 card(although slow one) vs. a DX7 card. I tend to think it's not a bad upgrade.
Now, what are your prices? Make sure you are getting one with a 128-bit memory bus not 64-bit. Online in the US, there isn't much of a price difference jumping up to a 9600 Pro. Newegg has 9600 Pro's starting at around $100, while 128-bit 9600's are not that much cheaper. Unless the passive fan is something you desire, then the pro will give alot better performance. I understand you said you are not interested in the pro, but I'm doing you an injustice not to at least mention pricing similarities of these cards. For the price of a 9550 at a retail chain, you could probably order a 9600 pro online. If $105 is not stretching the budget too much, order a 9600pro. If the budget is $75, you should be able to find a 128-bit 9550 for that price. 9600's will run $80-$100 depending if you want a name brand or not. if you are outside the USA, sorry for mentioning prices as yours are probably different. Still no matter where you are, it makes sense to consider stepping up if prices are almost the same.
MSI K8N Neo2 platinum, A64 3000+, 1GB Corsair XMS 4000 Pro Series, Radeon 9800 Pro
128-bit 9550's and 128-bit 9600's are basically the same card, with different clocks... and, YES, both will be MUCH better than your mx440.
It's definitely worth it to get the 9600 PRO because the clockspeeds are much higher and it's a pretty decent performer.
But if you're into overclocking, you can get great value from the 9550 by seeing if it will push to 9600 PRO speeds.
As stated above my my honorable colleague, stay the hell away from 64-bit 9550's and 9600's however. Not good.
(NOTE: 64-bit and 128-bit is NOT the same thing as 64-megs and 128-megs of RAM on the cards. 64-bit and 128-bit refer to the memory INTERFACE, which indicates memory BANDWIDTH (i.e. speed) and NOT the amount of memory)
Yeh, so as long as the speed and transfer mode are the same, 2x the bitwidth provides 2x the bandwidth.
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last christmas I did the upgrade thing, from a geforce mx 440 to a BBA 9600 xt. WOW. I have no experience what the lesser cards will give you in terms of performance. but the 9600xt blows the mx 440 away, different world altogether. and I usually don't even play the state-of-the-art games. usually just rpg's and such here, but the performance was still amazing compared to what I was getting outta the geforce.
the reason I upgraded when I did was I was just tired of pathetic performance. even with games like wizardry 8. which, if I'm not mistaken, doesn't exactly push the envelope as far as grahpics standards goes. it's not just the quality of the picture, it's how smooth it plays now.
guess I'm kinda rambling, but yeah, if you get a card anywhere near the 9600 pro you'll be amazed. not sure if you do any gaming or not though.
good luck with whatever card you decide to go with
yea when i had to send my 9600pro to ati on RMA i was using a 440mx. I could run HL2 on low quality and it was playable but i missed my 9600pro. Definetly worth the money to get a 9600pro they are only like 130 or so now? probably far less seeing as you can get a 9800 for about 170 USD, i dont check prices often
AMD Athlon 64 3500+ | MSI K8N Neo2 Platinum | 1gb Kingston HyperX PC4000 [2x512] | ATI 9600 Pro [upgrade soon] | Sound Blaster Audigy LS | Samsung 120gb hd