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Question about the Sapphire 9800 video cards

Posted on 2003-11-06
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Last Modified: 2013-11-08
Okay, i'm going to be buying a video card very very soon. I have been looking at the Radeon 9600 or 9700 (9800 is above my budget) but I have read a little bit about the Sapphire 9800. I have seen this card for as cheap as 150 bucks! is this too good to be true? Does this card actually compare with the ATI Radeon 9800? I'm not too familiar with the Sapphire line of products but they seem to get decent reviews. If anyone here has experience with this card it would be a great help. I read somewhere that it only supports 4 pipelines, is this true? Also I have read somewhere that with soft modding it actually can compare with a top of the line VC... again... is this true? If this is all true (except for the pipelines) then it will be my next video card!

Also if someone knows the URL for Sapphire it would be a great help as well.

Thanks!
- Steve
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Question by:PoeticAudio
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11 Comments
 

Expert Comment

by:calcifer
ID: 9695428
Are you sure that it's not a 9800se?  If so, from what I understand, it's more like a faster 9500.  It uses 128 bit memory and therefore only has 4 pipes instead of the 8 that a real 9800 or 9800 pro would have.  If you are debating between that and a 9700, I would go with the 9700.  I beleive it uses 256 bit memory.  I have seen 9700 pros for about $260 and a saphire 9800 pro for about $300.  If you have the money, I'd suggest the saphire 9800 pro, all the reviews I have read about it say it performs almost exactly as well as the ATI version.
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radomirthegreat earned 125 total points
ID: 9696673
http://www.allstarshop.com/shop/product.asp?dept%5Fid=339&pid=8110&sid=HM4104FHGQVH9GJS939LWECV8JWA3EJ7

It's definitely a 9800SE.  I really think it's quite good.  Its speed, 324/540, is way above my FX 5200's 250/400.  However, it's slower than a Radeon 9800 Pro (speed unknown).

ATI is trying to develop the habit of releasing second editions of their good video cards.  These are slower altogether, and yet they still provide the same engine.  You'll have a 9800 engine, but it'll be underpowered.  That's because the GPU is be weaker (it's not underclocked - do not try to overclock it to the regular 9800 speed).

Thank you,
Radomir Jordanovic
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by:dave10234
ID: 9700484
If you cannot afford a 9800 pro, go for a 9600pro or 9700pro, there dead cheap and fast.

Dave
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by:PoeticAudio
ID: 9702136
9700 Pro runs only 15 bucks cheaper then a Sapphire 9800 pro, at least everywhere I look. Looks like the Sapphire is my next VC, thanks for the help everyone!
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by:dave10234
ID: 9702245
Can you accept the answers you found to be most helpfull please, thanks.

Dave
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Author Comment

by:PoeticAudio
ID: 9702612
Yeah I was going to do that. Just hoping someone might grant the request for the URL for Sapphire.
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Expert Comment

by:e_sandrs
ID: 9704654
Oh?  Here's the links.

English
http://www.sapphiretech.com/

Right to the card:  http://www.sapphiretech.com/vga/9800se.asp (it is 4 pipelines)

Other Lang's.
http://www.sapphiretech.ru/
http://www.sapphiretech.de/
http://www.ukr.sapphiretech.ru/

In general, though, I've heard that SapphireTech makes some of the "made by ATI" cards as well as those under it's own label - so I'd be fairly confident about them as a company (assuming what I heard is true).  I did by a 9600PRO card from them for a friend - it's been fine (sample size = 1).

Eric Sanders
-Just some guy on a board.
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Expert Comment

by:D222
ID: 9705288
Poetic
There are a lot of boards specializing in video cards.
I am looking to buy a Radeon card too and I have been following some discussion on NCIX.com (under different cards)- this is not a discussion site, but a shop, but they have discussion board for every product.

So for an average Joe, Radeon 9800 (non-pro) = 9700 Pro.
9500 Pro is overclocket to 9700 pro.
9600 Pro is significantly worse than 9500 Pro

9800 SE is significantly worse than 9800 (non-pro) - this is the trickiest ones as usually SE is not specified. I would not recommend this one. This is a trojan horse. And it costs only a little cheaper than the real 9800 non-pro.

So my choice now would be
1) 9800 (non-pro)
2) 9600 XT
Personally I am waiting till there are enough 9600 xt cards appear (pretty soon). Prices drop a little bit (supposedly to 9600 pro levels)
And if the tests show that 9600 xt is close enough in performance to 9800 - I will take 9600 xt.

As for the brand, Sapphire is good enough and nearly all Radeon cards are made on the same plant.
So you really choose between 1 year warranty with Sapphire and 3 years with ATI but pricier.

Good luck
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Expert Comment

by:radomirthegreat
ID: 9707507
A 9600XT is barely faster than a 9600 Pro and it's also far slower than a 9800.  A 9800XT tucks in the competition and then slaughters it in its sleep - you'll soon see that 9800XTs will rule over all the other cards!

I do believe that a 9800SE is a good choice.  Think about the price!  I work for $6.25/hour at a local Subway.  I ride my bike to work because a car (insurance, gas) costs too much.  Every two weeks, I get pretty close to $100.  It would take me a month to get a 9800SE.  Seriously, that would seem like a complete waste.  To imagine how much time I would've spent earning enough for just a video card is really nauseating.  With $200, I don't think I'd buy a 9800SE...  It's too expensive.  Weird, isn't it?

Have a nice time with your 9800SE.

Thank you,
Radomir Jordanovic
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Expert Comment

by:dave10234
ID: 9717013
I have a 9600 Pro running on dual 256/333 mem and a 2600+ CPU. It has performed pritty well untill you play newer games which do not perform as well at times. But it is a good value card if you can't afford a 9800. I don't think its anything special, but there is not much if anything better for the price (not in UK anyway!).

Radomir it's not weird, it's called a budget!!

So how much is the 9600XT and 9800XT going to cost guys, I mite have to have a look into these :)? I think you should wait and see what the XT price's are like.

Dave

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by:radomirthegreat
ID: 9717631
www.ocmodshop.com keeps good track of video cards and other hardware.

Post in a forum on www.hardwareanalysis.com to get links to people's profiles.  You can find pictures of video cards, whole systems, desktop wallpaper, and user reviews about all of that stuff.

Rad
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