ATI Radeon 9600 vs. 9800 - need advice

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by mmathis, Aug 25, 2003.

  1. macrumors newbie

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    #1
    Hey guys,
    This week I'm ordering a dual processor G5 from school. My question is this. I've been debating for a while about which graphics card to get with it. Is the ATI Radeon 9800 really worth the extra $300? Or is the 9600 the way to go. The computer is mostly going to be running final cut pro and photoshop. Any advice would be much appreciated.
     
  2. macrumors 6502

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    #2
    Re: ATI Radeon 9600 vs. 9800 - need advice

    Unless you are playing 3D games (or maybe doing some types of 3D work...I'm honestly not sure how it affects that), go with the 9600. The 9800 is mainly intended for gamers - it won't make your UI run much faster, and it certainly won't speed up FCP encoding or Photoshop filters. And even for games, the 9600 is pretty fast...it's just not high end.
     
  3. macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    #3
    Re: Re: ATI Radeon 9600 vs. 9800 - need advice

    agreed, 9600 is great unless you got $300 to blow in which case 9800. 1 thing you should be thinking about is greater cards will come to the powermac, but if you want top dog bar none this moment a 9800 in a dual 2 gig is top dog. I would like to see apple make a nvidea card fx 5900 for mac.
     
  4. macrumors 6502a

    Fender2112

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    #4
    Re: ATI Radeon 9600 vs. 9800 - need advice

    From what I understand, the 9800 will enhance 3D applications such as games, 3D modeling, CAD. I'm not sure how much improvement you get with 2D apps like Photoshop

    Check this thread. It might help.
     
  5. macrumors 68000

    Gymnut

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    #5
    Yes it would be nice to see nvidea release a Macintosh version of their heralded FX5900 but in recent tests the 5900 was held in stalemate to ATI's 9800 and in some instances the 9800 ran a slight advantage. Nvidea still has its work cut out for them since the 9800 now also ships in a 256mb version tho not on the Macintosh side yet and is also in fact cheaper than the 5900 since it has been on the market for a little while longer.
     
  6. macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    #6
    please remember that nvidea cards for mac are made by apple, while ati makes their own. nvidea makes the chips & drivers and lets others put them on the boards.
     
  7. macrumors 6502a

    aethier

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    #7
    I fully understand what you are going threw, when i was in the procces or ordering my dual g5(will arrive on or before oct. 15 :() i went threw the same thing. I thought that the 9600 was a good card too, then i went to tom'shardware, and read its reviews, noticed that even the geforce 4 4200 is better then it, i thenn decided to go with the 9800. NOt only that but the 9800 that BTO with the g5, is AGP 8x Pro enabled, where as, if you chose the 9600 and upgrade to 9800 later, the street mac version of the 9800 is on AGP 2x/4x, wich does have a rather large impact on game speeds...

    aethier
     
  8. macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    #8
    go's to show that apple is using crappy video or should i say the bottom of video cards in their macs unless you get a powermac and upgrade. They should feel like crap forcing mx and 5200fx on everyone when a 2 year old geforce 3 beats the hell of of them. I love apple but they are constantly screwing us in one way or another. Another reason not to upgrade from a quicksilver or mdd. one day they will or may wake up and make a consumer mac with a top notch video card and memory. i really think sometimes they dont want to sell macs.
     
  9. macrumors 6502

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    #9
    The Radeon 9600 *is* a good card. It is a good midrange card. And that is exactly what it is supposed to be. It is *not* a high end card, so you shouldn't expect it to have Quake and Unreal Tournament framerates that match the Radeon 9800 or the FX5900 or even the GeForce4 Ti 4200.

    The vast majority of us buying G5's are not planning to spend a lot of time playing 3D shoot-em-ups, so we don't want to pay an extra few hundred dollars for a Radeon 9800. I for one am glad that Apple will ship a 9600 instead of a 9800 with my dual G5 - I would get zero benefit out of a 9800, so the only thing it would do for me is raise the total system price.
     
  10. macrumors 6502

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    #10
    Have you looked at the systems Dell sells? The consumer systems don't even come with GPUs - just Intel Integrated crap (i.e. uses the main memory as the VRAM). Trust me, you are lucky in the PC world if you buy a consumer system and it comes with something as good as the 5200FX as the default card.
     
  11. macrumors newbie

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    #11
    Thanks for the info, guys. I didn't know that the graphics card would mainly affect 3d graphics. I'm now in a position to make a much better informed decision. Looks like I'll be going with the 9600. Although I may play a game or two on the computer, they won't get a whole lot of play, and it isn't worth the extra $300 for me to get a few more fps out of a 3d game.
    I really appreciate everyone's help.
     
  12. macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    2d speed

    i'll agree with everyone, 2d acceleration improvements stopped years ago.
    i was looking at www.barefeats.com and was amazed to find that on the same computer the original 32MB pci radeon was almost as fast as the 9700 and nvidia ti in 2d operations like scrolling, photoshop and other stuff while costing about $300 less in on the pci bus and being years older.
    i really wish ati and nvdia would improve 2d speed as much as they keep doing 3d.
    But maybe 2d speed is already at its limit.
    Who wouldn't want a GPU that would double 2d operational speed, osx would fly
     
  13. Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

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    #13
    Take anything Tom's Hardware says with a pinch of salt is what I've been told. Over @ PC forums I have visited asking questions about my PC and possible upgrades I have been warned to stay well clear of TH if I want an un-biased review. You're better of with places like www.anandtech.com.
    Also, it is pretty much agreed that the 9800 Pro is a better card than the FX5900. The 5900 does have *slightly* higher frame rates, but the image quality from the 9800 is superior by far.
    As others have said, if you wanna play games, then the extra cash will be worth it, I have a 9800 Pro in my PC and it kicks arse! Otherwise the 9600 will do the job fine, and save you some money that you can spend on getting your G5 kitted out with 8GB RAM :D :eek: ;)
     
  14. macrumors 6502

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    #14
    Not to mention that the 5800 takes up the adjacent PCI slot, and some magazine article I read said it "caused a tornado" but I think they just were exaggerating how loud it was. That alone would make me go for a 9800 over a 5900. For my PC I basically have a 9700 Pro, but it started life as a 9500 non pro, and I put "special" drivers in it to magically upgrade it.
     
  15. macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #15
    If you're getting it for school, you do know you can get a discount right? Apple's online education store, for college students and teachers. Everything is a little cheaper there. Sometimes, you can even go into a retail store, show your college ID, and walk out with a discounted computer (and/or software).

    Definitely go with the 9600, though. Not as fast as the 9800 for 3D, but better value for the money. And better than the FX currently offered.
     
  16. macrumors newbie

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    #16
    Yeah, I'm getting it at my school's bookstore. Instead of the regular $2994, it's $2842. Not a huge discount, but it's something. Now software.... that's a different story. We get huge discounts on software!!
     
  17. iPC
    macrumors 6502

    iPC

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    #17
    *sigh*

    Only 2 Dell systems come with Integrated graphics, the cheapest system (Dimension 2400), and the low profile system (Dimension 4600C) which doesn't have enough space for a hot running video card.

    http://www.dell.com/us/en/dhs/products/series_dimen_desktops.htm

    If you want to troll, that is fine. But at least have a clue about what it is that you are saying first. :rolleyes:

    Thanks.
     
  18. macrumors 6502

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    #18
    And how many consumer systems does Dell sell? Two (the 2400 and the 4600C) . Thanks for making my point.

    You might consider the 4600 also to be a consumer system, though it is functionally more similar to the G5 (since it is a fairly large tower) than an iMac/eMac (the argument for comparing to the iMac/eMac, of course, would be that the price is much closer to those systems than the G5). But even then 2/3rds of the systems are still shipping with integrated graphics, so you're still out of luck.

    BTW, if you're going to troll, don't erroneously accuse others of trolling. Pot, kettle, black. ;-)
     
  19. macrumors 68000

    Gymnut

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    #19
    While the 5800 was a major disappointment, the 5900 does not take up an additional PCI slot as a result of the massive fan and is also quieter at that.
     
  20. Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

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    #20
    The 5900 does take up to slots, and does make alot of noise.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     

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