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Best Company for ATi Radeon 9600

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 20, 2004 5:48:40 PM

My dad has been willing to get me a Radeon 9600 card for Christmas but now I need to choose the right brand. Whilst many people suggest Sapphire I never understand what is so good about Saphire cards when compared to Connect 3D or Abit Cards so if you coudl justify your response that will give me a much more informed decision and also help me when choosing my new PCI Express Card in the future. I have the following options:

Saphire Ati Radeon 9600 256MB AGP (£70.44 from Overclockers.co.uk)
Abit Ati Radeon 9600 256MB AGP (£66.14 from PC World component centre)
Connect 3D Ati Radeon 9600 256MB AGP (£71.33 from PC World component centre)

I chose cards from the component centre as this will put my dad at more ease if he can purchase the card from a store where he has someone to actually have a go at when it goes wrong rather than sending lots of emails which remain unanswered.

So what is the ranking of these brands and why. I have checked out the specs from the Info I have been given and there doesn't seem to be any difference (if I have omissed important figures please let me know)

Thank you for your time and Happy holidays!

PC Spec: AMD Athlon XP 2000+, ECS K7S5A Motherboard, 768MB SDRAM PC133, Sparkle nVidia Riva TNT2 M64 32MB AGP Graphics Card, Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2 6.1, Windows XP
December 20, 2004 6:13:34 PM

Mostly, you just have to know which brand suck: Powercolor and Gigacube.

Sapphire & Abit are fine. Connect3d I haven't heard to much about, but I haven't heard they suck either.

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<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>
December 20, 2004 8:02:15 PM

How much does the 6600GT cost where you are? Thats AGP.
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a b U Graphics card
December 20, 2004 9:33:11 PM

They are all generica, standard editions. Sapphire CAN make some extra nice cards, but no the vanilla R9600, they have a FireBlade R9600PRO, and that's when you'd see differences, but for the regular R9600, don't expect much variance, those three you listed are all within each other, the thing to look for is any additional features, like software etc that they throw in that you like.

With the R9600 they are all pretty much standard features nothing sexy. Just be sure to make sure they're not an SE with 64bit 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: 
a b U Graphics card
December 20, 2004 10:05:11 PM

The thing to remember abour Sapphire though (and especially for the R9600 series) they will put just about any memory they can find at a discount on their cards. If you're not going to overclock, they'll be fine, however if you plan on OC'ing, make sure you can look at the memory chips before you buy or have a good return policy if you can't. With the plain R9600 it doesn't matter as much, but something to keep in mind for cards like the R9600Pro or R9600XT (although just about anything beats the 3.3ns memory on the BBA R9600XT).


- 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: 
December 20, 2004 10:50:20 PM

OK so I'll chose the Abit card failing that I'll opt for Connect 3D. Does anyone know the software or drivers contained with these cards, the retailer was very sketchy with the details of what was included with this card. Abit are known to provide games and superb utitlies but I've not heard much from Connect 3D

Last of all another R9600 had a feature called Trueform 2.0 which claims to smoothen out the edges of onscreen characters. Does this come with all R9600 cards, as the other features mentioned seemed to be standard to all R9600 cards?

Thank you for your time

PC Spec: AMD Athlon XP 2000+, ECS K7S5A Motherboard, 768MB SDRAM PC133, Sparkle nVidia Riva TNT2 M64 32MB AGP Graphics Card, Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2 6.1, Windows XP
a b U Graphics card
December 20, 2004 11:14:27 PM

Truform 2.0 comes on all R9600's <A HREF="http://www.ati.com/products/radeon9600/radeon9600pro/sp..." target="_new">Check ATI's SPEC for the CHIP (not the MFR's board)</A>, it's only effective in a few games that support it (Morrowind), and it's and then you usually need to know how to use it (running additional software like FPS Optimizer to make it work best). The site that had the best screenies of the differences in Morowind is currently not hosting the pics, just the layout. <A HREF="http://www.morrowind.nm.ru/Morrowind FPS Optimizer/pics.html" target="_new">http://www.morrowind.nm.ru/Morrowind FPS Optimizer/pics.html</A>

Here's a few pics from Digit-Life of what Connect3D has to offer (scroll down [R9600/9600pro together]);
<A HREF="http://www.digit-life.com/articles2/radeon/connect3d-2...." target="_new">http://www.digit-life.com/articles2/radeon/connect3d-2....;/A>

I could only find the bundle for the R9600XT as shown by HEXUS;
<A HREF="http://www.hexus.net/content/reviews/review.php?dXJsX3J..." target="_new">http://www.hexus.net/content/reviews/review.php?dXJsX3J...;/A>


- 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
December 21, 2004 4:47:20 AM

Official spec for Radeon 9600Pro 128MB is 400MHz VPU, 300MHz RAM(DDR600). For the 256MB version, it's 400/200 (DDR400). So you can see the 128MB card has better RAM than the 256MB card under official clock speeds. It's actually 50% faster RAM on the 128MB card.

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December 21, 2004 10:43:21 PM

Thanks for that tip crashman. Now for a little help in advance for xmas day when I get to unwrap the graphics card.

I currently have an nVidia TNT2 sitting in my system with Detonator Drivers version 60 or something like that. Since I have not had any luck with updating drivers especially when I was on Windows Me, would someone be able to provide me with a small tutorial guiding me on how I go about removing the TNT2 from my system and installing my nice new R9600, so I can enjoy my games at the lovely resolutions of 12870x1024 without having any problems of no AGP Acceleration or errors in games. I currently have Service Pack 2 installed as well so naturally DirectX 9.0 was also installed.

Thanks for your help so far

PC Spec: AMD Athlon XP 2000+, ECS K7S5A Motherboard, 768MB SDRAM PC133, Sparkle nVidia Riva TNT2 M64 32MB AGP Graphics Card, Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2 6.1, Windows XP
a b U Graphics card
December 21, 2004 11:21:59 PM

First grab all the things you need. ATI drivers, AGP-Chipset/Mobo drivers, Instructions off of ATI's site, etc. Whatever you think you need. Remember to look at or print instructions that may come with your new install CD <b>before</b> shutting down and changing cards.

Next Grab <A HREF="http://downloads.guru3d.com/download.php?det=745" target="_new">DriverCleaner</A>

Now, Close all programs, save whatever.

Run DriverCleaner, recommended use use the full backup features.

Once you're done and powering down, don't reboot simply shut-down.

Now unplug Internet (to keep M$ from downloading drivers)

With the PC unplugged fromt the power remove old card put int new card as per instructions that come with the card.

Next boot up and follow instructions. Install drivers on CD first, update to neweer drivers once everything works first.

That should do it. Other people may do it differently.

For a little more insight, this little blurb from Rage3D may help;

<A HREF="http://www.rage3d.com/board/showthread.php?s=&threadid=..." target="_new">http://www.rage3d.com/board/showthread.php?s=&threadid=...;/A>

- 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: 
December 22, 2004 1:57:27 AM

Now if memory dosn't fail me. I uninstalled drivers of nV from Control panel Ad remove software. Then I went to regedit. Removed nV from there . Removed old vid card. Installed 9800XT plus loaded all Cds that came with it. No problems. Did same when reinstalling old vid card. Which reminds me to check Best Buy to see if they got any new 6800GTOCs in. To play with, They have no X800s.
December 22, 2004 9:03:04 PM

Do I really have to use the driver remover tool, last time I tried something like that my graphics went really wrong. Do I also really need to go into Regedit to remove the nView reference, wont the uninstallation of the detanator drivers do this for me? I know I sound like a complete noob but after the experiences I have had in the Regedit and with driver remover tools, I simply am too cautious to want to mess with those tools again and I prefer to my installations to be as automatic as possible without having to make too many alterations, as I then have the problem of retracing my steps if there are so many.

No one seemed to mention anything about setting the display adapter to Standard Display device like you would do under Windows Me before switching off and putting the new card in. Does this mean that so long as my graphics drivers are uninstalled and the detonator drivers are cleared off the system I can simply turn the PC off and then install the new card?

Thanks for your help again!

PC Spec: AMD Athlon XP 2000+, ECS K7S5A Motherboard, 768MB SDRAM PC133, Sparkle nVidia Riva TNT2 M64 32MB AGP Graphics Card, Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2 6.1, Windows XP
December 22, 2004 9:48:50 PM

Don't play in Regedit if you don't know what you are doing. Driver cleaner should remove all nV drivers.
December 26, 2004 10:04:38 PM

Ok i'll stay clear of regedit. Where can I obtain drivers for my AGP Chipset on my mobo, I didnt have any driver disks included with my motherboard yet when I installed XP with my TNT2 it amazingly installed the AGP drivers, although it was probably because it was using native Win XP drivers for my TNT2 resulting in mediocore 3D performance, althought I must confess it was better than the performance I received on Windows Me with the latest drivers installed LMAO!

Is it Mandatory to use the Driver Remover tool to remove all nV drivers or can I just uninstall the detonator drivers form the Control Panel, decline the offer to restart and then shut my PC down, and insert the new card. Windows XP detects my nVidia TNT2 and uses native drivers anyway so surely when it detects and ATi it wont be foolish enough to force native nVidia drivers onto the card - or will it?

Will I need to reinstall Direct X 9.0 in order for the new graphics card to work? BTW I remember from last time I was criticised and called a moron for installing DirectX 9 on my TNT2 under Windows Me. Believe me I did avoid installin DX9 as I was told my card coudlnt handle anything past 8 lol. Of course when Microsoft offered SP2 for installation they decided to sneak in DX9, although thankfully I havnet had any loss in performance or features so far, this card has behaved itself under XP despite it having to put up with the tortures of GTA 3, VC and Solider of Fortune II Double Helix!

Also if the new graphics card offers DX9b shoudl I install that after or before I have installed the Chipset and Mobo AGP Drivers? Last but not least, which of these latter two are installed first, the AGP mobo drivers or the chipset drivers?

Sorry if I am repeating myself I just want to clarify some issues.

PC Spec: AMD Athlon XP 2000+, ECS K7S5A Motherboard, 768MB SDRAM PC133, Sparkle nVidia Riva TNT2 M64 32MB AGP Graphics Card, Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2 6.1, Windows XP
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