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2 similar cards, Big price difference, why?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 18, 2001 10:07:26 AM

Here are URL for the 2 cards im looking at.
http://www.msicomputer.com/products/detail.asp?ProductI...
and
http://www.leadtek.com/geforce2pro/gf2pro.htm
First off what is RAMDAC? Both cards say it is at 350MHz. The leadtek says Core is 200MHz and Memory is 400MHz, but I couldn't find the speeds of Core/Memory on the MSI card. Are all GF2 Pro cards at 200/400? Also I noticed that the Leadtek card has a HS/Fan and the MSI card doesn't appear to have one, is there a way to add a fan to the AGP card? The reason I ask all these questions is because they look like they are the same, specs read same also, but the Leadtek cost $280 and the MSI cost $210. Please help me understand why the price is so different and if it is ok to buy the MSI card. Oh and they both have 5ns memory, is that good? And the Leadtek has DDR SGRAM and the MSI has DDR SDRAM, what is the difference in that? Thx ahead of time, you guys are great for help.

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March 18, 2001 10:27:00 AM

Your questions seems easy enough for me (a senior newbie) to answer. If Tom or a semi-tom would like to add to what I say, please take it easy on me.
First, I think the RAMDAC is the rate at which the vid card gives the output to the crt. I remember something about the radeon and the matrox having 350 which is better than the gf2's 300.
2- Most geforce 2 pro if not all have 5ns memory with 200core/400mem clock speeds.
3-About the heatsink/fan, I don't think that a geforce 2 pro can survive without a heatsink. I think they stripped it out for the picture. The only geforce card that might come without a fan is the mx of some manufactureres. And you certainly can add a hs/fan to your agp card.
I don't know about the sg/sd Ram. I think it's only a naming thing although I remember readying that an sg is a plus.
What also might matter when buying a video card is its software bundle, good support and quality. I hope I helped you a little.
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March 19, 2001 2:06:16 AM

Thx for the response. I have found more GF2 Pro's that are 5.5ns than I did that are 5ns. Also you didn't really aswer my question about why these 2 cards have a $70 price difference, when the specs list the exact same speeds and gigapixle and stuff like that. I really want to know if anyone knows of a problem with the MSI StarForce 815Pro, that would be the reason behind the price difference.

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Related resources
a b U Graphics card
a b } Memory
March 19, 2001 3:06:34 AM

BEWARE! a lot of companies are selling GF2 PRO cards with 6ns memory (as found in the GTS). Because the memory speed is the key to performance, these cheap cards are no faster than the GTS, even with a slightly higher core speed!

Suicide is painless...........
March 19, 2001 3:26:40 AM

the price difference may be for a few reasons... is one a retail boxed card and one an oem card? does one use the 5.5ns ram and the other use the 5ns ram (i don't know if this is true in this spicific case but this does account for price differences with other cards). and last but not least...you know how an abit kt7 or asus a7v might cost ~$125 but a chaintech might cost ~$75 even though they are both kt-133 mobo's (pretend they have the same features), well, brand name makes a difference. i would venture to guess that the msi card is an oem card (or they sell mostly to oem's) and is therefore cheaper.
March 19, 2001 5:45:26 AM

I'm sorry I didn't quite answer your questions. You know, this brand name thing is true: Brand names are often more expensive than ordinary manufacturers. However, this memory thing being different between geforce 2 pro cards is new to me. This is why I have to ask crashman...
March 19, 2001 5:49:38 AM

So how do I know what kind of memory I get on the card. I was thinking of buying a geforce 2 card from any near computer shop. Is the hercules brand putting 5 ns memory on their pro card? What about the ultra's? They are supposed to have 4 or 4.4 ns mem.- On pricewatch the vision tech has ultra's for about 330 bucks. Do these cards have higher latency than that?
March 19, 2001 7:13:12 AM

Crashman, They both use 5ns and are both retail. I am starting to think that the reason is that the MSI card doesn't appear to come with a fan. I also noticed that the MSI card has a extra little notch thingy makeing 5 prongs instead of 4, does this mean it is AGP Pro? It kinda sucks because I really want the Leadtek Winfast GTS Pro 5ns but it only comes in 64MB, and I can't afford $273. They always seem to have the wrong set-up, almost like they do it on purpose to make you pay more. They have a 32MB GTS Pro but it has 5.5ns memory and from what you said that is a bad thing. What is AGP Pro anyway? Can you look at that MSI card in the link in first post and tell me if that extra prong means its AGP Pro?

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a b U Graphics card
a b } Memory
March 19, 2001 8:24:15 PM

5.5ns is a least better than 6ns and you can get it at a good price. My 6ns memory lets me go to 390MHz without memory heatsinks. 5.5ns should be 400MHz stock and can still be overclocked. I don't know what the extra tab is for, probably a retention device. I did not see any extra power leads like a pro would have, but that is all that pro gives you is extra power leads anyway. I would go for the reasonably price 32MB version of the Leadtek card with the 5.5ns memory. It was only $164 last time I checked. Also remember that some venders who list 5ns are lying-they simply round down 5.5ns.

Suicide is painless...........
a b U Graphics card
a b } Memory
March 19, 2001 8:27:45 PM

If your buying locally you can actually read the memory speed on the memory itself!

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March 20, 2001 6:26:57 AM

Thank You for the good info. I will look into them more. Also will it say on the box what the memory is, or do you have to actually open the box and look at the chips? Also is the standard for the GTS Pro Core 200MHz and 5.5ns Memory at 400MHz?

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a b U Graphics card
a b } Memory
March 20, 2001 12:40:25 PM

I believe the standard for the PRO is supposed to be 5.5ns at 400MHz. In that respect, some people are selling substadard PRO cards with 6ns memory. A few companies will tell you on the box what memory speed they are using, while most require you to actually look at the card for the number 5.5 somwhere on the memory chips.

Suicide is painless...........
March 21, 2001 5:57:39 AM

Bummer. What if I tell somebody to buy them for me? Is there a specific manufacturer that uses only 5/5.5 ns mem? What about the ultra, would they put 6ns on it?
a b U Graphics card
a b } Memory
March 21, 2001 6:27:52 AM

There are a few companies offering 5.5ns PRO cards for less that $5 more than the typical 6ns GTS cards. Check pricewatch, these can be had reasonably now. Like I said, just type 5.5ns in the search box.

Suicide is painless...........
!