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Thread: Is it worth going to a 6600GT from a 9800 Pro?

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    Not *@!%in Postman Pat! Ruggerbugger's Avatar
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    Is it worth going to a 6600GT from a 9800 Pro?

    I came across the XFX 6600GT dual DVI on Tekheads today and got thinking. I went to 4xAA/4xAF(+TAA using Catalyst AI and Cat 5.2) last night on HL2 (replaying on Hard ) and it looks absolutely gorgeous (AA/AF adds so much to the water and NPC models). However, whilst I've not measured it, I think I'm nearing the limits of playable framerates.

    I'm now wondering whether to go for the 6600GT, as it's a nice price (more than £150 is a new build price for me) or try the softmod to a 9800XT first. I have the 256bit version, but I'm clueless about the rest of the procedure.

    Considering I already have the 9800 Pro, is there enough benefit to warrant spending £150 on the 6600GT? I'm unlikely to be upgrading this comp in the next 12-18 months, so whatever I have will last.

    If I try the softmod and it doesn't work, can I go back? Or will I have solved my own buying dilemma?


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    Quote Originally Posted by Gonzo
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    HEXUS.timelord. Zak33's Avatar
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    nope. wasting your dough. Use that older card for another 6 months, then get a better one.

    your sig doesntstate how much ramyou have in youjr system....if its 512, get 1 gig

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    Not *@!%in Postman Pat! Ruggerbugger's Avatar
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    It's 512 Zak, I recently ran a poll to try and decide between an extra 512, an extra gig or a gig + flog the 512. I couln't make my mnd up.

    The Anandtech article below seems to show the 6600GT developing a clear lead over the 9800 Pro. Would the extra system RAM really make that much of a difference in HL2 performance?

    Perhaps I should grab FRAPS and do some tests.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Gonzo
    my a55 shoots great video in 1080i

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    Hi there!

    I too have a 9800pro and have it OC to past 9800XT speeds. Its served me well and I've a similar setup to yours, bar my cpu may be clocked a tad higher and I've more ram. It all comes down to what you play at the mo.

    I wanted to upgrade before playing all the new engine games (Doom3, HL2 etc) but after I got my new cpu and 1gig ram, I found that it plays fine (HL2 with AA/AF etc, D3 not as good, but playable enough). In my opinion, theres no real reason for me to upgrade my GPU yet as theres nothing available that would really push my system - in that theres nothing out that I cant play, should i want to.

    So I think that unless you must play everything at highest res/AA/AF, then just wait a bit. I'm sure new product lines are going to come out and push the prices down of the current range. Personally, I want to get a 6800GT when the price is right.

    I think that getting a matched gig of ram would benefit you more, as i couldnt believe the change in loading times etc. when i got my gig. And you can get them for £80, which is cheapish really.

    Let us know what you decide!

    JP

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    Not *@!%in Postman Pat! Ruggerbugger's Avatar
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    I'm really leaning towards the RAM following these comments and reading the Tom's review of the 6600GT.

    Jonathan, what were your loading times before/after the RAM upgrade? I get between 2 and 3 minutes for mid level loads . I really want to address that urgently. What RAM did you use?


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    Quote Originally Posted by Gonzo
    my a55 shoots great video in 1080i

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    Now with added sobriety Rave's Avatar
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    You don't need to flash to a 9800XT bios (there is no softmod for a 9800 Pro), just OC the card using powerstrip or a similar program. As I understand it, the 256bit memory bus helps out the 9800 when you enable AA; the 6600GT has more of a speed advantage when you're not using AA than when you are. It's probably not a worthwhile upgrade in all honesty.

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    Not *@!%in Postman Pat! Ruggerbugger's Avatar
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    Will try that Rave. I tried ATI Tool, but it didn't seem to work properlly, and gave me a measly overclock. I think it was a conflict ATI mentioned when Catalyst AI (or something else) is enabled.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Gonzo
    my a55 shoots great video in 1080i

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruggerbugger
    what were your loading times before/after the RAM upgrade? I get between 2 and 3 minutes for mid level loads . I really want to address that urgently. What RAM did you use?
    If you mean in terms of gaming, then I'd definitely ssay that it makes a BIG difference. I was already playing Far Cry before the upgrade and though i never timed it, I always used to go and do something before it'd be finished!
    After, its much quicker probably due to the large amount of textures loaded in RAM and not needing to be accessed from the hard drive.

    As for what ram to go for, I bought Kingston 3500 duals, as I'm not an ardent Ocer and as it happens, am only running my XP-M 2500+ at 200FSB anyway. So if you're not going to be clocking like mad, then just get some well known but basic 3200 ram. You cant really go wrong with crucial tbh. Apparently clocks well too.

    If you DO want to clock high, then go and buy this months issue of CustomPC, which has a roundup of basic, low latency and DDR2 ram. I think the cheapest for a gig of 3200 was £81 - Bargain!

    JP

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    well if you sell the 9800 then you wouldn't have to spend much on the 6600gt, which is a better card by far.

  10. #10
    Senior Member chriswood_7's Avatar
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    Ill second that

  11. #11
    bored out of my tiny mind malfunction's Avatar
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    You won't see a big difference - but as mentioned above if you sell the 9800 Pro then you wouldn't have to spend a lot of money to get a 6600GT. If you aren't overclocking both the XP3200+ and the 9800Pro though I suggest you do that first (and consider an aftermarket heatsink for the 9800Pro to possibly help you get higher clocks too - everyone raves about the Arctic Cooling VGA HSFs but I'd probably go for a Zalman VF700)

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