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Voodoo Rufus

Powder Junkie Moderator
Joined
Sep 20, 2001
Ok, I'm on a roughly $200 budget.

I've looked at all the midrange cards by Nvidia and Ati, and XGI.

Basicly I've narrowed it down to these:

ATI 9600XT
BFG 5700 Ultra (450/900)
EVGA 5900 (400/850)

I currently have a Hercules Kyro2 64MB. For those of you who don't know what it is, think Geforce2 GTS/Pro speed. AKA OLD SCHOOL! Barely plays UT2k3 on low settings/mid res. Same with JK2 on the later levels on Yavin.

Any of the three cards I've stated are such a large leap from what I have I'm certain I'd like any. I plan on playing HL2 but that isn't really a factor at this time for the XT's coupon.

I do overclock too.

Anyone have any reasons to prefer one over the others? I'm leaning towards the BFG 5700 Ultra right now, because it edges out the 9600XT. I gather that it should be roughly equal to a 5900, even if a bit slower, but not noticable.

I also saw a refurb newegg Sapphire 9700 Pro Ultimate for $230, which looks tempting as well. Gotta love the heatpipe.
 

Hurk

Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2001
Location
London, Ont
Sharkman said:
I'm a big Nvidia fan but I have to say that Ati looks really good right now. I just checked NewEgg Refurbs and they have a Sapphire ATI RADEON 9700 ATLANTIS PRO ULTIMATE 128MB DDR 8X AGP for $230. Its not much off the regular one so it should have everything included. Otherwise the 9600XT is an excellent deal with HL2 free when ti comes out.

I'd agree here.

Starting from best to worst, whatever you can afford, I'd get.

9700 Pro
9800 non-pro
9700 non-pro
9500 Pro
9600 XT
9600 Pro

Any of these cards are great, you won't be sorry with any of them. Unless you want to waste your money, do not get an FX card. They haven't proven themselves to be very good. I'm hoping this will change.
 

Sentential

Contributing Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2003
Location
Knoxville, TN
I know im gonna get some flakk for this but.... I would get a 5900 non / ultra. Unless CC or another store has a sale on a 9800np like they did earlier. Then its gonna be out of that price range.

A 9700 / 9600XT / 5700 is no match for a 5900 or a 9800. The latter cards are crap. Stay away from any card that reduces bandwith. (ie 5700 / 9600) The 9700 would be an ok choice but it isnt nearly as good as the 5900. You will sacrifice image quality if you go with NV, but FPS is all that really matter 3 years from now.

Just stay away from the 5700 / 9600. You will be disappointed. Also re-furbished products aren't worth the hassle.

The 5900 is not an "FX" type card. It actually is a very good card. If you can get it for under $200 i would go for it. Also the 5900 WILL OC to 5950 levels. The 9700 / 9800s wont.

ATi is fantastic and am enjoying my 9800np, but ATi isnt a solution for everyones problems. I think that your best bet will be the Evga 5900ultra / non.
 
Last edited:

Evnas

Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2002
Location
Seattle, WA
Sentential said:
The 5900 is not an "FX" type card.

Sure it is...it has all the other problems that the rest do

Sentential said:
Also the 5900 WILL OC to 5950 levels. The 9700 / 9800s wont.

Do you mean they wont match its clock speed? So what...they will match its performance
 

matrixzen

Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2003
Location
CA
I myself would go with the Radeon 9700 Pro. Post a wanted ad in the wanted section for one and I'm sure you'll find one for $200. Good Luck
 

Alacritan

Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2002
Location
Kingston, NY
The best deal right now is the 9600 XT. $10 more on Pricewatch gets you 10-15% performance increase over the 9600 Pro (which was the best value) and HL2 free. The 5700 Ultra is only 5% better than the 9600 XT, except in Quake 3 based games that Nvidia has always been better at. After Call of Duty, I don't think we'll be seeing too many more Q3 based games. Also, I hope you noticed you have to send in the $40 mail in rebate on the 5700 Ultra to get it down to $166. I saw that one on Pricewatch too. You won't be paying $166 upfront, and you won't be getting HL2 free either. If you want HL2 at all, and don't feel like paying $185-200 for the 5700 Ultra compared to the 9600 XT for $160, you should get the 9600 XT. I think of it as a $110 card and I'm buying HL2 at the same time. Keep in mind you DO get the HL2 voucher with OEM versions too.
 

Alacritan

Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2002
Location
Kingston, NY
Oh, I've always owned an Nvidia card since 3dfx closed down, so I'm no ATI fanboy. I just can't pass up a deal like the 9600 XT. Better performance than the 9600 Pro for marginally more and HL2 free. A truly great deal.
 

funnyperson1

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2001
The 5900 is a far superior card to the 9600XT.

Personally I would get a 5900 or a 9800 non pro for around 200$.
 

Falcon-K

Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2002
Location
Maple Grove, MN
i would try for a 9800 np with samsung memory(i know its hard these days) but that would be the best for around 200$ and the 5900 is not as bad as many would like you to think.
 

Sentential

Contributing Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2003
Location
Knoxville, TN
What I meant was that the 5900 dosnt suck as badly as the other FX cards. I bought an ATi myself, but odds are that another sale of $200 for a 9800np is unlikely.

I have heard that the 5900 OC quite well. The ultras aparently get to the clock / mem of a 5950. As for the ATi's what I meant is that its very difficult to get to PRO / XT speeds unlike NV.

However the best option is for a 9800np, but the odds of another sale happening before the next-gens come out is slim to none
 

Alacritan

Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2002
Location
Kingston, NY
You guys forget that the 5900 and 9800 are both $40-50 more. That's a 30% increase in price. When you're on a budget, in this case, the $150 range, you don't look at $200+ cards. If I did, I'd be getting a 9700 (I like the 8 pixel pipelines).
 

Sentential

Contributing Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2003
Location
Knoxville, TN
...Thats true but you must include price / preformance. So youre tellin me that $50 isnt worth 50%+ boost in preformance :D
 

Oni

Oni-ni-Kanab;, Ninja Hippo eater Moderator
Joined
Apr 5, 2001
Location
St. Catharines, Ontario Canada
Sentential said:
...Thats true but you must include price / preformance. So youre tellin me that $50 isnt worth 50%+ boost in preformance :D

Not when it means eating well or eating ramen noodle soup for 2 weeks, my friend ;)
 
OP
Voodoo Rufus

Voodoo Rufus

Powder Junkie Moderator
Joined
Sep 20, 2001
Well, thanks for the replies. I think I'll try for the Evga 5900, then the BFG 5700 Ultra then the 9600XT. Compared to what I currently have, these things are absolute rockets.

They're all good cards, and I by no means want to start a fanboy contest.
 

Overclocker550

Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2002
"I plan on playing HL2 but that isn't really a factor at this time for the XT's coupon."

agreed. dont get the fx5700, it gets owned by the 9600xt. I have mixed feelings about the fx5900 since all fx cards perform poorly in dx9 and need forceware drivers which lower the IQ. I can see you want HL2 which the fx cards are weak at. 9600xt and you get free HL2 may be your best bet. also you may want a faster cpu if ut2003 is slow
 

Matthias99

Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2003
Location
North Attleboro, MA
Out of those three cards, definitely take the 5900NU. It's WAY faster than the 5700Ultra and the 9600XT. Of course, as you said, they're all much faster than your current card.

Preferable would be a 9800NP or 9700Pro, but they're tough to find at that price unless you go for a used card (which has its own troubles). 9800Non-Pro cards (at least the BBA ones) have the same 2.8ns RAM as the 9800Pro cards, and will quite easily reach 9800Pro speeds.

If you intend to overclock, and you get the 5900, make sure it has 2.2ns RAM. If it has 2.8ns RAM, you won't be able to get it anywhere near 5900Ultra speeds (although it'll still be pretty damn fast out of the box).