Ati 9600 flavors

after reading the half life benchmarking information I’m starting to think I need an Ati card. The 9600 has 6 different versions on pricewatch. Does anyone know what the actual difference is? The prices range from 109 to 188. Or would there be a better pick in this price range?

To extend on this topic, if you (like me) have a Ti4200, and want this fall to upgrade the video to keep pace with games like HL2, what card is the best upgrade? I can’t afford a 9800/5900 Ultra however.

gnmarsh,

You want a 9600 Pro. It’s dramatically faster than the plain old 9600 – like, about 40% on average.

Bob,

ATI 9600 Pro is the best price/performance deal right now. About $140 to $150 for a 128MB card.

GeForceFX 5600 Ultra is the best deal if you’re an nVidia driver fan, but it sounds like the ATI is going to smoke it in Half-Life 2.

[size=1][edit: typo fix][/size]

Does anyone know what the actual difference is?
Some have coolers, some don’t. Some have slower VRAM (5ns), some have faster one (3.3ns or even lower). I’d suggest going for a 9600 Pro as well (unless you really don’t want to spend more than $120). Plus the cards with cooler have a nice overlocking potential.

which is better the 9500 pro or the 9600 pro?

As far as I’ve seen and read the 9500 series seems to be on par or even better than the 9600 cards. They’re not being produced anymore though, but if you still can get one at some store for a decent price, you shouldn’t ignore it.

The 9600 Pros are known to be incredible overclockers and the 9500 Pros have actually risen in price a bit since they were discontinued.

would the 256 meg version be a better pick? I to have a 4200 right now and am guessing it won’t run half life 2 very well.

Has anyone tried the Sapphire Atlantis Radeon 9600 Pro cards? They’re quite a bit cheaper, but I’m not familiar with the company.

“would the 256 meg version be a better pick? I to have a 4200 right now and am guessing it won’t run half life 2 very well.”

The only 256meg versions I’ve seen are non pro versions. I’d say the 128 Pro is a better deal especially with the overclocking it can do.

I have a Sapphire 9700 Pro and it has performed well for me.

– Xaroc

I’m not planning to buy a graphics card right now, but I usually check prices just in case. My impression is that this is a very consumer-unfriendly hardware segment right now. Cards with the same number can have drastically different clock frequencies (and performance), and cards with lower numbers can be faster than cards with higher.

To make an informed purchase you basically need to know the frequency of gpu/memory, and this information is not always easy to find. I think Sapphire has three versions of 9600Pro, one which is slow (“lite” or something with slow memory) , one which is standard (400/600Mhz) and one which is fast (“Fireblade” I think, slightly faster in both gpu/memory). In general more memory is worse because it is rarely needed in itself and the memory type used is usually slower = it is slower overall.

I have a Sapphire 9700 Pro and it has performed well for me.

– Xaroc[/quote]

Same here