What Graphics Card?

  Gaz W 16:17 08 Jun 04

I currently have an ATi Radeon 9600 Pro 128MB. I didn't intend upgrading, but I have been forced to do so by the fact that the fan on it is faulty and I've lost my invoice to take it back!

Anyway the outcome is I'm going to have to buy a new card because if I send it back to the manufacturer (Powercolor) it will probably take ages to arrive, and I need the computer working tomorrow evening.

If I stick with ATi I can carry on using my existing driver (which is the latest one) and most probably all my settings will be the same.

Whatever I get will need TV output and DVI output as well as the standard VGA out - I don't want to lose features from my 9600 Pro.

Anyway, here are my options (all from the same place inc. VAT):

1. The same again: Powercolor ATI Rad 9600 Pro 128MB DDR 8x AGP (400MHz clock) +DVI +TV out Retail - £88.07

2. Sapphire ATI Radeon 9600 Pro 256MB DDR AGP +DVI +TV out Retail - £105.69

3. Sapphire ATI Radeon 9600XT 256MB DDR AGP +DVI +TV out Retail - £116.27

4. Sapphire ATI Radeon 9800 Pro 128MB DDR AGP +DVI +TV Out Retail - £155.04
- doesn't leave much for DVD writer!

I thought maybe the 9800 Pro was a bit pricey, but is it better than a 9600 XT with 256MB? I don't play a lot of games but I'm sure any of these can handle that quite well.

Which one would be the best buy? I like the idea of upgrading to 256MB and from the Pro to the XT - despite not knowing the difference!

  Baledor 16:44 08 Jun 04

Are you a gamer? If ao then the 9800 pro is probably your best option, else most graphics cards listed will handle what you can throw at it.

  georgemac 16:53 08 Jun 04

can't you simply replace the fan?

  georgemac 17:03 08 Jun 04

click here and there is a link to a pdf file which will probably have much more detail.

Know this will not help yuo as you need the pc running for tomorrow!

If the card has a serial number, why not try emailing ATI, they should be able to tell if it is still under warranty and at least repair it so you could sell it on and get some of your cash back.

Good luck whichever way you go.

Unless you are a serious gamer I would not spend too much on a graphics card.

  Gaz W 17:12 08 Jun 04

I have looked at some of those things. I could buy one tomorrow (probably) but saw this as an opportunity to upgrade.

I am considering getting it either repaired or replaced under warranty and selling it on to get some of my money back, but who would I send it to - Powercolor or ATi?

I doubt Micro Direct will want to know about it without any proof of purchase.

Anyway, if the card was replaced with a new one (which seems to be what they have done in the past to other people) I could sell it on as brand new straight from the manufacturer. Even if it is just repaired I could still get a bit of money for it.

Back on to the new graphics card...

I don't really play a lot of games, and don't have any very new games anyway. I do intend getting a few, but I don't know whether it would justify spending the extra money on a 9800 card.

I notice now that ATi cards come in a few variants: the standard card (e.g. 9600 or 9800), then there's the SE which is basically the same, the Pro (can't remember why it's better but apparently is far superior to standard ones and that's why I got mine) and more recently the XT, which is supposed to be even better than the Pro.

The prices of these cards have gone down quite a bit, and I've heard (on this forum I think) it's because ATi are bringing out some new cards.

  Gaz W 17:19 08 Jun 04

I've found that the differences in the 9800 series of cards is mainly the engine clock and the memory clock, and the "pixel fillrate" - whatever all that means!

Anyway I think I might get the 9800 Pro. It must be better than all of the 9600 range and it isn't much more expensive either. I think I paid something like £135 for my 9600 Pro but that was nearly a year ago.

  Rayuk 18:56 08 Jun 04

Micro Direct have the 9800Pro for £131 +p&p at this moment.

You would have to send the card back to Powercolor.

  goonerbill 20:33 08 Jun 04

you bought the card from mico direct. did you buy it with a credit card, as i believe if you can produce the statement for you credit card showing your purchase that will be proof enough plus if you can remember roughly when you bought it from them they should have a record of your purchase and your details and see that the card is under warrenty and replace it for you.

  Gaz W 13:02 09 Jun 04

I have heard that as well. It all depends on whether the statement still exists! If not, I'll send it back to Powercolor. The advantage of taking it back to Micro Direct is that I'm guaranteed a brand new replacement almost immediately. Sending it to Powercolor might just mean a new fan on the same card, and I can't sell it as a new one then!

Anyway I've bought the 9800 Pro 128MB and it's going in this evening.

Thanks everyone for your help. Hopefully I'll be able to get the other one replaced and sell it!

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