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Old Jan 6, 2004, 09:54 AM   #1
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Ratchet
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Default Rage3D Sapphire 9800XT Review

I just published my review of Sapphire's 9800XT. Built on ATI's latest R360 graphics core and featuring 256MB of high-speed DDR memory and a killer bundle, the Sapphire 9800XT delivers about as good as gaming gets. Click here to read the review.
Clearly the most distinctive change to the 9800XT though is the addition of a large copper heatsink/fan assembly. On the front is a copper heatsink that draws heat from both the core and the memory modules. A relativly large fan, off-set from the graphics core, then directs air through copper formed "tunnels" to disipate the heat. The fan is large, but it spins slow enough that the noise it produces is negligable.
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Old Jan 6, 2004, 11:37 AM   #2
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Excellent and very detailed review
Way to go Ratchet
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Old Jan 6, 2004, 11:54 AM   #3
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very good review, ratchet. Your advisement on whether to upgrade to the 9800xt is spot on. Also, good point to maybe wait on the next gen parts from ati and nv. **hugs 9800 pro**
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Old Jan 6, 2004, 03:24 PM   #4
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Great review buddy, can't wait for your reviews on future products (helps decide if I want to buy or not)
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Old Jan 6, 2004, 05:00 PM   #5
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Excellent review Ratchet, highlighted some very important details, good layout, a good range of benchmarking. Well done!
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Old Jan 6, 2004, 08:12 PM   #6
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Quote:
In my opinion, if you are currently using a 9800 non-Pro or better (or a 9700 Pro, which performs pretty much on par with a 9800NP), then a 9800XT won't net you very impressive framerate improvements.
I don't know man. We heard the same thing from reviewers when Radeon 9800 was out.
"If you have a 9700 Pro, keep it.."
But of course everyone went out and got a 9800 Pro.

I think we are seing the same pattern here. 9800XT is selling really good now and even people with 9800's are getting one, including me.

You don't notice that much difference in benchmarks, thats true, but you can
feel it's more powerful. Hard to explain
Anyway, if you have some cash left after the holiday season i think you should get one

Btw, great review.
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Old Jan 6, 2004, 09:56 PM   #7
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Excellent review...those graphs are a thing of BEEEEAAAUUUTTTTYYY!
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Old Jan 7, 2004, 04:39 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by IbaneZ
I don't know man. We heard the same thing from reviewers when Radeon 9800 was out.
"If you have a 9700 Pro, keep it.."
But of course everyone went out and got a 9800 Pro.

I think we are seing the same pattern here. 9800XT is selling really good now and even people with 9800's are getting one, including me.

You don't notice that much difference in benchmarks, thats true, but you can
feel it's more powerful. Hard to explain
Anyway, if you have some cash left after the holiday season i think you should get one

Btw, great review.
yeah of course it's all your own decision and if you want the fastest thing out there now, 9800XT is it (like I said in the last sentance). But for "sane" people, there's really no need to go from a 9800/Pro to a 9800XT
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Old Jan 7, 2004, 05:29 AM   #9
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i have to say nice layout. Very clearly and enjoyable to read. I liked it alot


btw is there an 9600xt review in the pipeline?

Last edited by tEd : Jan 7, 2004 at 05:40 AM.
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Old Jan 7, 2004, 06:48 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by tEd
i have to say nice layout. Very clearly and enjoyable to read. I liked it alot
Yeah I've been using that layout for most of my reviews over the last year or so. It's pretty easy to create a review using it and works fast as lightning (it's all templates). My favorite so far is the one I used for the AquaMark3 review. Not only because the bg looks cool and fits the review template perfectly, but also because I think that particular review was one of the more informative and indepth ones around for AM3... too bad no one reads my stuff...
Quote:
btw is there an 9600xt review in the pipeline? [/b]
I asked for a 9600XT from ATI but no word yet, it's likely that Sapphire will come through for us again, but no word from them yet either. I just got a 9500 Pro (well, it's on the way) to throw in there as a comparison point as well, just for interests sake.

My next review will be a AIW 9600 Pro, which should be here by the end of this week or early next week at the latest.
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Old Jan 7, 2004, 01:07 PM   #11
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Good read, but explain to us what does "making baby Jesus cry" means?

Oh yeah, is the 9200 SE up for sale in the near future like the reviewed 9500 PRO last year?
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Old Jan 7, 2004, 01:09 PM   #12
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As usual a very well done review...it is winter time on the Rock though so lots of time to spend indoors
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Old Jan 7, 2004, 01:13 PM   #13
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Balmy spring like conditions here on my island my friend... I don't need weather as an excuse to stay inside
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Old Jan 7, 2004, 01:36 PM   #14
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The Ugly:
My inability to get this review done on time



Other than that... Great review man. Nicely laid out.
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Old Jan 7, 2004, 02:07 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ratchet
Yeah I've been using that layout for most of my reviews over the last year or so. It's pretty easy to create a review using it and works fast as lightning (it's all templates). My favorite so far is the one I used for the AquaMark3 review. Not only because the bg looks cool and fits the review template perfectly, but also because I think that particular review was one of the more informative and indepth ones around for AM3... too bad no one reads my stuff...


i think i read that

Quote:
I asked for a 9600XT from ATI but no word yet, it's likely that Sapphire will come through for us again, but no word from them yet either. I just got a 9500 Pro (well, it's on the way) to throw in there as a comparison point as well, just for interests sake.

My next review will be a AIW 9600 Pro, which should be here by the end of this week or early next week at the latest.
actually why i'm asking is because you may know that nvidia has this optimisation with all their fx cards now where they don't do full trilinear filtering in D3D anymore as default.

Well what many people don't know is that ati has the same functionality in their 9600pro/XT cards(unfortunately only for those) and it can be controlled with the texture preference slider in the CP. As default they are doing full trilinear as we are used to (texture preference at high quality) but the trilinear blend can be reduced like on the fx cards. Now i would really like to see some benchmarks between the different trilinear blend modes to see how much performance you can gain with this. I think for a mainstream card this is a really good optimisation without loosing too much IQ.

That's a thing which i really missed in pretty much any 9600pro/XT review(besides one) and if you have some time it would really be nice if you could add this to your next 9600pro or XT review.

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Old Jan 7, 2004, 02:15 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by tEd
i think i read that



actually why i'm asking is because you may know that nvidia has this optimisation with all their fx cards now where they don't do full trilinear filtering in D3D anymore as default.

Well what many people don't know is that ati has the same functionality in their 9600pro/XT cards(unfortunately only for those) and it can be controlled with the texture preference slider in the CP. As default they are doing full trilinear as we are used to (texture preference at high quality) but the trilinear blend can be reduced like on the fx cards. Now i would really like to see some benchmarks between the different trilinear blend modes to see how much performance you can gain with this. I think for a mainstream card this is a really good optimisation without loosing too much IQ.

That's a thing which i really missed in pretty much any 9600pro/XT review(besides one) and if you have some time it would really be nice if you could add this to your next 9600pro or XT review.
I don't have a FX5700U (not for lack of trying) but I will definitly check it out when I do my 9600XT review.
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Old Jan 8, 2004, 06:35 AM   #17
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Nice review, I tottally support your findings!

My Sapphire 9800XT is just awesome.

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Old Jan 8, 2004, 09:18 AM   #18
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It could be me but did you have V-Sync on with the tests (didn't read all the text in the review because I'm at work ). Because in the RtCW test all the cards almost have 60fps all the time. Which looks like vsync and a 60hz refresh rate.
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Old Jan 8, 2004, 09:37 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ratchet
My next review will be a AIW 9600 Pro, which should be here by the end of this week or early next week at the latest.
If you could get hold of a AIW 9800SE that would make for an interesting comparison with the AIW 9600 pro as there are quite a few AIW 9800SEs about in the UK, they were out before the AIW 9600 pro and still seem to be easier to get a hold of, there's not really anything from Nvidia to consider in that class, although I admit I don't really know much about their personal cinema offerings and how they compare to AIW cards.

John
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Old Jan 8, 2004, 10:53 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by Johnmcl7
If you could get hold of a AIW 9800SE that would make for an interesting comparison with the AIW 9600 pro as there are quite a few AIW 9800SEs about in the UK, they were out before the AIW 9600 pro and still seem to be easier to get a hold of, there's not really anything from Nvidia to consider in that class, although I admit I don't really know much about their personal cinema offerings and how they compare to AIW cards.

John
If you're looking for something to help you decide between those two cards then all you have to think about is the graphics core since the AIW features between them are nearly identical.

Your idea of comparing an AIW to an nVidia Personal Cinema is interesting though.
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