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Ati Radeon 9800 Non-pro A Good Choice?


lilkev715
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Well it is that time again to replace my current video card. Right now I have a ATI AIW Radeon 8500DV which has served me well, but I need a new video card that has DX9 support for the next gen. of games. Is the 9800 non-pro a good choice? I am NOT talking about the crappy SE version that has 4 pipelines disabled or whatever it is. I am also aware about the bios-flashing of a non-pro 9800 to a 9800 "pro." Will a "built by ATI" 9800 non-pro have the right type of BGA memory to support a bios flash? I have tried google all ready but I could not find any specific info. on it. Money is kind of a limit as $250 is the highest I wanna spend on a video card. The only place I know of that is the cheapest is buying from Circuit City online at a price of $250 + free shipping.

 

Ok, not to hammer you guys/gals with questions, I have one final question about its performance. I have heard that a 9800 non-pro is comparable to a 9700 pro, is this correct? If I do purchase the 9800 non-pro I plan on buying some BGA ramsinks to keep the memory cool. I dont plan to OC the card either.

 

Any help/advice is greatly appreciated.

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Even if the 9800 and 9700PRO are comparable in performance, the 9800 does have some upgraded features like smartshader 2.1, smoothvision 2.1, hyper z III+...etc

The software is all updated so the quality should be a bit higher.

read about the specs here for 9800 and here for 9700.

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Well I finally got the 9800 non-pro in and I am a bit disappointed. Apparently you can only flash a 9800 non-pro that has Samsung BGA memory. The one I got has Infineon BGA memory that can't handle the higher speeds required for 9800pro operational speeds. The guy at Circuit City was cool enough to open up 4 other boxes but they all had Infineon memory. From what I hear on the net it is a 50/50 chance of getting Samsung BGA memory on "built by ATI" 9800 non-pros. I think the Sapphire/Powercolor 9800 non-pros use mainly Samsung BGA memory. Oh wellz, its still a pretty decent video card stock. I am not going to bother returning it and search for another one that has Samsung BGA memory. I got 15268 on 3dmark01 with a 2600+(not OC'd) and 512mb of Corsair PC 3200 RAM.

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Wellz after doing some more research I found out that the Infineon memory is rated up to 333mhz(666mhz effective) on paper. I was brave enough to flash the BIOS, which left the core/mem at 380/325. I retested and got 16630 on 3dmark01 and 5505 on 3dmark03. Im gonna wait until I get the BGA ramsinks/Vantec GPU cooler before I go any further.

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The 9800 runs fine with no ramsyncs and stock coolers. If you were to mod the 9700 to the 9800 power, then youd probely want ram syncs. The over all answer to your question is yes. The 9800 Non pro is a fine card. High mem speeds, lots of bandwidth and a fast processing unit and lots of Bios options useing the right drivers, settings and proper care It will serve you well.

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Hercules has always underclocked their cards which I never liked.

 

actually, not always. I still remember those good old times when they overclocked their cards. My old gf2mx 175/183 instead of 175/166. :D

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the 9800 non pro is a great card so good ati stoped making them since so many people were overclocking them to 380core and 340 mem and getting a 9800pro for 300bucks or lower .thats the only diff in the nonpro and the pro is clock speeds. now the 9800se is a different beast altogehter it has the same clock speeds as the pro but only has 4 pipelines and 128bit memory and can be modded like the 9500 could be. open up the extra 4 pipes same method as the 9500>9700 hack and you have a 9800pro but its like the 9500.9700hack only about 40% of the se's can be softmadded with out checker boarding

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