Which Radeon for me?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Stike, Nov 23, 2003.

  1. Stike macrumors 65816

    Stike

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2002
    Location:
    Germany
    #1
    Hi people,
    I´ve had it with my GeForce 4 MX. My old 933 MHz G4 stumbles around in UT2003 country.
    What upgrade should I get? Radeon 8500, 9000, 9600, 9800?
    I don´t want to spend too much money, so the 9800 is way out there...

    In the end, I just want UT to run good, so I am not looking for the latest and greatest. Just a reasonable thing in between.

    Any ideas or experiences?
     
  2. MoparShaha macrumors 68000

    MoparShaha

    Joined:
    May 15, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #2
    Pick up a Radeon 9000. I have one in my G4 and it plays UT2003 perfectly. I play at 1280x1024 at high levels of detail, and it doesn't miss a beat.
     
  3. Stike thread starter macrumors 65816

    Stike

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2002
    Location:
    Germany
    #3
    Well, but you also have an Dual 1.25 GHz G4... maybe my CPU is also a limiting factor.
     
  4. manitoubalck macrumors 6502a

    manitoubalck

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2003
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #4
    Radoen 8500 and 9000 are no longer even made for PC so I wouldn't buy either. Go for the R9600, cost between $150-200US, plus you can overclock them from 400MHz-500MHz with no trouble.
     
  5. Stike thread starter macrumors 65816

    Stike

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Germany
    #5
    Well, I am not into flashing the cards or overclocking, so, I have doubts I could do that...
    And btw, I really dont know where to buy a Radeon 9600 Mac Edition in Germany. Its pure horror. Can´t find anything here :(
     
  6. hvfsl macrumors 68000

    hvfsl

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2001
    Location:
    London, UK
    #6
    The best card to get would be a Geforce 4Ti. It produces the same frame rates as a Radeon 9700 on pre 1Ghz Macs. (The same thing happens on PCs as well).
     
  7. Stike thread starter macrumors 65816

    Stike

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2002
    Location:
    Germany
    #7
    Well, it would really be fine, but I cant find one here in german online stores.
    I don´t know what devil is here at work, but the cheapest Mac GeForce4Ti I could find was at 550 Euros (655 Dollars!!!!!!) :eek: :eek: :eek:

    This can´t be true!
    I would order from the US to get that beast cheaper!
    Did they get the year wrong? Is it 2001 still?
     
  8. manitoubalck macrumors 6502a

    manitoubalck

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2003
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #8
    The new ati driver come with an overdrive clock generator wich automatically overclocks the card to a stable level and downclocks them when they get too hot.

    Also, any computer store who deals with ati, and can get 'built-by-ati' cards will be able to get in a mac specific graphics cards. To my knowlege no third party companies produce mac graphics cards only nVidia and Ati.
     
  9. manitoubalck macrumors 6502a

    manitoubalck

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2003
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #9
    Don't get a GeForce Ti, they were good for their time, but don't have the advanced pixel and vertix shaders of the DirectX 9.0 cards. eg Geforce FX and R9xxx (except the 9200, which isn't avaliable for mac)
     
  10. Stike thread starter macrumors 65816

    Stike

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    #10
    I really don´t care about DirectX features, but maybe you can imagine that :rolleyes:
     
  11. ddtlm macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2001
    #11
    I've never seen a seperate Radeon 9600 for Macs nor any way to flash a PC version. I suspect that processor speed is more of a problem than video card speed, though.
     
  12. Stike thread starter macrumors 65816

    Stike

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2002
    Location:
    Germany
    #12
    So it looks like I am bound to get a new CPU to run that game better? Oh, this is.... bummer!
    I will be stuck at 640x480 with medium details to have it run smooth. What a disappointment.
     
  13. ddtlm macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2001
    #13
    Stike:

    You may be able to gain insight by searching around for PC gamers talking about performance on their machines, look for people with similar video cards to yours and see if they fare better. Your G4 is probably more-or-less as good a gaming processor as a P3 or Athlon at the same clockspeed, and as you know thats not real good these days.
     
  14. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030

    crazzyeddie

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    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    Florida, USA
    #14
    manitoubalck: you might want to learn some more about the way Mac games are structured how the drivers support the graphics cards on the Mac before giving advice.

    The 9600 does not clock itself up and down on the Mac, only the 9600XT does this on the PC side.

    DirectX is not used on the Mac, and therefore DX9 support is pointless. Also, pixel shaders are not even supported at the driver level the last time i checked.

    If you want a powerful card, get the 9600. If you want a semi-powerful card for occasional gaming, get the 9000 Pro. If you want gaming 24x7 with the best graphics, get the 9800 Pro.
     
  15. yamabushi macrumors 65816

    yamabushi

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    Oct 6, 2003
    #15
    IMHO the ati 9000 is very outdated. In fact it was underwhelming when it was released. Sure it's pretty cheap but you won't notice a huge improvement in most games. The 8500 is a better bargain but still not really adequate. The 9600 will provide a noticeable benefit if you can find one at a reasonable price. The 9600 would probably be the best match for your G4. The 9800 pro will take anything your cpu can give it without even breaking a sweat. It's worth the money if you can afford it.
     
  16. ddtlm macrumors 65816

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    #16
    yamabushi:

    I'm thinking that both the 9600 and 9800 are far more video card than a 933mhz G4 can keep up with in most games. In the world of PC's processors that fast are probably three years old, while the video cards are less than six months old. Virtually noone has such a disparity between video and CPU and so I don't see why games would run well on it.
     
  17. yamabushi macrumors 65816

    yamabushi

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2003
    #17
    A good graphics card might have to wait for instructions from a slow cpu occasionally, but it is my understanding that it will not slow down the cpu in any way regardless of how powerful the graphics card is. A 933MHz G4 isn't quite as slow as you make it out to be anyways. Check out threads about the clock speed myth for more discussion on this. While a faster cpu would be able to take better advantage of the 9600, this G4 will certainly be able to function better with it than if it were paired to a lesser card.
     
  18. ddtlm macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2001
    #18
    Yeah a faster video card will almost certainly improve things, but it may be that running the game engine is the bottleneck so framerate is not effected. He may find that with a R9800 (for example) he can run the same framerate at a higher resolution but that choppiness is not addressed at all. I've had pretty good expereinces in PC land by biasing my computers towards fast processors.
     
  19. yamabushi macrumors 65816

    yamabushi

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2003
    #19
    Not spending too much money was listed as one of the requirements so a cpu upgrade is probably not an option. UT2003 is very cpu heavy during offline play but there isn't much that can be done about that beyond various setting tweaks which can be found in these forums. The original post didn't mention installed RAM or HD, both of which could improve performance with an upgrade.
     
  20. Stike thread starter macrumors 65816

    Stike

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2002
    Location:
    Germany
    #20
    Thanks guys for all the replies.
    I have 3 HDs (7200) with 220 GB total and 512 MB RAM. Maybe RAM could work some wonders, even better than a gfx card?

    I really believe that the 9800 is overkill for my comp, but the 9600 sounds fine if I can find it for a good price around here. Don´t really want to import it, although the Euro is pretty strong these days. (1 Eur = 1.20 $)
     
  21. manitoubalck macrumors 6502a

    manitoubalck

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    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #21
    Tell me this, do games on macs still uses pixel and vertix shaders? The answer is YES, so the better the inbuilt features the better the card will preform today and tomorrow. I may have been off key but the R9600Pro is still better than any GeForce4 Ti.
     
  22. manitoubalck macrumors 6502a

    manitoubalck

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    #22
    The biggest problem with the G4's is the 167MHz FSB (the 933 may even be @ 133MHz, can't remember) which isn't even double pumped like the Athlon XP's to 333MHz. This is the major bottle neck in the system not the processor speed. I have a 2 and a bit old Athlon T.Bird with an FSB of 266 and a core clock of 1GHz. This is the single biggest advantage of the G5 other than it's high clock speeds, since the FSB is half that of the processor speed.
     
  23. manitoubalck macrumors 6502a

    manitoubalck

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    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #23
    I intend to buy either a MSI R9600XT or Tyan R9600Pro, since they are easy to overclock. Sorry you chaps can't get 3rd party graphics cards. The R9600 is a great budget card and gets my vote.
     

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  24. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Location:
    Yahooville S.C.
    #24
    my advice to stike is to get a faster cpu and perhaps a better card, the 2mx 4mx & fx5200 are not very good cards, but on the other hand a 933 isnt going to push a 9800 enough. i went from a 733 to a 1.33 and ut2003 is much better looking on a geforce 3 but at 1024 you have to start turning stuff down. ask yourself what kind of frames you want and what resolution you intend to play at. the geforce4Titanium is a great 1024 card but very overpriced selling at $399 at the apple store with a Adc connection.
     
  25. Sabbath macrumors 6502a

    Sabbath

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
    Location:
    London
    #25
    I was under the impression that G4 graphics cards would only work with G4s and G5 graphics cards would only work with g5s. Im not sure hwere I heard it but if so it would put the 9600 and 9800 out of the question. Leaving the GF4 ti and 9700 as the top end options, with the 9000 (which is still expensive isnt it?) lower down the pecking order. The 9700 is clearly the best card in my mind, but I dont know if they were ever sold seperately? and they were expensive to BTO so its unlikely you'll find one cheaply. The GF4 Ti is still sold on the apple site or was a few weeks ago but is also too expensive for my mind. I guess there just isnt the markeyt for mac gamers. I ahte to say it but maybe buying a very cheap 2nd hand PC of ebay may be the best way to go for a gaming rig.
     

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