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Brand name, brand name

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Sisu, Sep 9, 2004.

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  1. Sisu

    Sisu Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2004
    Messages:
    17
    System:

    Dell Dimension 4400
    1.7ghz P4
    768mb PC2100 RAM
    40gb WD Caviar
    160gb Maxtor, both on a SIIG Ultra ATA 133 card
    Sound Blaster 5.1 Value
    MSI GeForce 4 Ti4200 64mb
    Antec Cyclone blower in open PCI slot
    400 watt Coolermaster psu (to be installed)

    I'm trying to decide which new video card to buy and think that I'm going to go with a 9800 Pro 128mb because I'm not sure I'll get that much bang for the buck from a 9800 Pro 256mb and can't use the full capability of a 6800 due to mb limitations (i.e. 4X AGP). Moreover, I may want to go with PCI Express in a new setup.

    Questions:

    (1) What brand of 9800 Pro is best? On newegg, they had an MSI with a huge heatsink, but it's now not listed. They also have a nice Sapphire that comes with a Zalman heatpipe on it.

    (2) VGA cooling. If I get a card without additional cooling, is the Arctic VGA Silencer (v3) a good bet? What about a Zalman heatpipe? Speeze dual fan case cooler next to the video card? Other ideas?

    (3) What about case cooling? I could put in a cooler in an open 5.25 bay, but don't know anything about modding my Dell case.

    A lot of questions I know, but that's what this site's about. Thanks in advance for any help.
     
  2. WarC

    WarC

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2001
    Messages:
    5,531
    Stock cooling on any given graphics card should work right out of the box. If it doesn't, RMA it.

    MSI makes excellent cards, Sapphire is one of ATI's main partners and they use a very close-to-reference design, Some of their other 9800's (like my 9800se!) were under-clocked compared to similar cards from other manufacturers but this isn't a problem with their 9800Pro as far as I know. You could also get the card straight from ATI. Powercolor is a little-known brand that makes very good graphics cards as well...Chances are the Powercolor, Sapphire, and reference ATI brands of the Radeon 9800Pro will come in with the best "bang for your buck".

    If you can, try to withhold for a month or two...Nvidia's newest midrange card that outperforms the 9800 is being released, first in PCI-E and then in an AGP format...And ATI will soon follow with their x700 midrange cards. Both of these cards will come in @ around $200 each, and will probably outperform the 9800Pro in most benchmarks.

    This will also probably drive the price down on their other cards.

    EDIT: If you plan on overclocking, The Arctic cooler you mentioned would indeed be a good idea. For efficient cooling, try putting a PCI slot cooler underneath the graphics card, and a bay cooler like you mentioned for intake. I'm assuming your Dell doesn't have extra places for a chasis fan.
     
  3. Sisu

    Sisu Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2004
    Messages:
    17
    Do you mean the 6600? I saw some Doom 3 (finished it in low settings) benchmarks and the 6800 smokes the X800, 9800 Pro and 9800XT with fully aa and af on.

    Also, does flashing the 9800 Pro to XT void the warranty?
     
  4. WarC

    WarC

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2001
    Messages:
    5,531
    Yes, flashing your video BIOS voids the warranty.

    Have you heard of ATItool? It's an awesome utility, it even has a function to detect the highest possible stable overclock for your core and memory. Less things to screw up...If you flash your video BIOS incorrectly, or use an incorrect BIOS, theres a chance it won't even boot.
     
  5. Skivvywaver

    Skivvywaver

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2001
    Messages:
    13,949
    Doom 3 is one game and my 9800 plays it fine, but given that I have a 360 core on an MSI 9800 pro, and it is flashed via an edited bios to a 9800 xt.

    I would never, ever buy a video card based on one game that the game developer worked hand in hand with a card manufacturer to make sure their card would play it better. Doom 3 isn't even that great of a game IMO. The game doesn't live up to its hype.

    When Half Life 2 is released ATI is going to rule the game, still not a good reason to buy an ATI card for the reason stated above. ATI and Valve worked together to make sure ATI cards would play the game better.

    It is dirty business from both sides. I will wait a year and then compare the cards. In the mean time my 9800 will play any game that is released and there will be a clearer picture of what card is better?? As of right now Nvidia is better at one game, ATI is whipping their tail in other apps such as video editing and most other graphics apps.

    Also, in a year the prices will be down to the point where they are not quite as obnoxious to deal with.
     
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