•  djspl
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my question is about cpu limitation, here are my current specs:
P4/1.7/423 socket (williamete)
Intel 850GB mobo (no OC, 1.7 ghz)
1 gig PC800 RDRAM
9500 pro (Cat 3.7's)
SB Audigy
350 watt power supply
W2K sp4
this system is great, has worked flawlessly forever, I maintain my computer and Windows on a regular basis (meaning I love to re-format).

I have been gaming for a while, I want to experience the best for once. I am willing to trade my 9500 Pro in for a 9800 Pro in order to up my resolution and move my settings towards quality instead of performance.

I currently run 4XAA and 8XAF all the time at 1024x768, sliders at full performance for stutter free gameplay in games (Vice City, Mech Mercs, Rallisport Challenge, Homeworld 2).

If I added a 9800 pro to my current system, would it be able to reach it's full potential and give me luscious quality at high frame rates and increased resolutions? Or, would it be limited by my processor speed. I'm not looking for uber 3D Mark scores, just a happy home for my inevitable video card purchase.

Since I have the feeling the answer is yes, although I'm STILL open to only purchasing the card and nothing else, here is plan B so far, from
P4 2.6C ($208)
Abit IS7 Mobo ($109)
2 X 256 OCZ Performance Series PC3200 DDR (2 x $60)
Saphire 9800 Pro OEM ($306)

is an OEM Saphire 9800 Pro EXACTLY the same as a retail? I'm talking build and RAM quality, not Cd's and packaging. The price seems a little low, I don't want some cheap substitution for the real thing.
Will I need a bigger power supply?
A 2.6C P4 would be plenty of processor, right?
ok your processor is most likly holding your 9500 pro back, i would go with plan B, and OEM card is the exact same as a non OEM card but it doesnt come with anything but the card. ie. the driver cd(that you can get from the ati website) or any other software or cords. sometimes you get the stuff from newegg but dont rely on that.
SS Joe
I'd say keep the 9500 Pro, Upgrade your CPU, Motherboard, Ram and then wait for the radeon 9900 to come out and get that. With a good CPU/RAM combo, the 9500 Pro can run everything perfectly and overclocks great. If you get the 9800 Pro now, you'll wish you'd have gotten the 9900 Pro.

Oh and what do you get in 3dmark01?
  •  boa
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Yeah post some benches. You can also use the project search and compare @ futuremark to see how a system like your own scores with a 9800Pro. Or too see how an upgraded system runs on a 9500Pro. The 9800Pro would let you run your games at 6xAA and 16x AF if you can run 4x and 8x right now I would think. But your 9500Pro is in no way obsolete so as others stated, upgrade your rig then get the 9900Pro down the road is good advice.
  •  djspl
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I know that the 9900 pro will come out soon, but that is always the case with the graphics card market, sometimes you just have to make a decision. I can spend $300 on a graphics card, but the primo price of the newest graphics card,$400+, is a little over my budget, I'm sure the 9900 pro will be at least that. The 9800pro has been out long enough that the price has come down and I'm comfortable with the reliabilty that most seem to get. It is a couple steps up from what I have, I'm sure the improvement will be noticeable especially with a new CPU/mobo/ram.

so far I have been scavenging the mid-price/performance graphics cards (from GF3Ti200 to 9500pro), I'm ready to jump up to the next level, just not the most recent, although I would hardly call the 9800 pro old, but as we all know, the 9900 pro is coming.

I saw my local computer tech on campus today, he stated the same thing, my CPU would not be able to maximize the abilities of the 9800 pro.

I found my scores, not as high as I thought: 9262 after fresh re-format, system optimized (services disabled, de-fragged, fresh drivers, etc.) 

3D '03 :3459 

now I'm even thinking of getting another case, HDD and power supply and making a whole computer since I'm already getting most of it and it would be a crime to put the old stuff to death. I would be able to race people side by side in Rallisport over a LAN, that sounds pretty cool. I'm making another post with new questions.
SS Joe
With my System OC'd to it's limit, I get a little over 15,000 in 3dMark01 and 4443 in 3dMark03. 03 is mostly a video card Benchmark and I feel it doesn't represent your computer as a whole so i'd say the 3dmark01 benchies are a little more accurate as to the total performance.

Anyways, I can run everything fine without any skips with 4xaa and 4xaf. Yeah maybe it will slow down once or twice in UT2k3 when I have 10 bots going but thats about it. I really see no point in buying a 9800 Pro when you have a 9500 Pro. Even to wait a few more months for the price to come down on the 9800 Pro.

Like i've said again and again, who cares if your Vid Card can do 200FPS in a game, it's not a noticeable performance boost as we can't see 200FPS. If your card can keep it above 45 with AA and AF on in every game you play, theres no reason to buy a new card.

I'm not trying to tell you what to do, but I just can't see the logic in wasting alot of money when you already have a good card and won't get much of an improvement if you upgrade. Upgrade your CPU and Mobo first and then see how fast your system runs. If your still not satisfied, get the 9800 Pro. But the bottom line is you already have a decent Vid Card but an aging CPU and Mobo and thats whats holding you back, so replace the oldest parts first. Best thing you can do though is just go online and read some reviews for yourself.
  •  djspl
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well, by looking at your score I do have some headroom in the 9500 pro department, so I see your point.

I am not interested in 200 FPS or high benchmark scores, I want glassy gameplay at 1600X1200 with 6xAA and 16xAF and everything maxxed quality wise. That is my goal for this project.

Will a 9500 pro with 2.6C/800mhzFSB/512mb DR400 push this type of framerate? Will even a 9800 pro push this type of framerate.

I don't want to OC my 9500 pro to achieve this, I'm really not too big of a fan of OC'ing, it just pushes the card harder for something it might not have been designed to do. It's fun to OC, but I am over the "how much can I s[censored]ze out of this" phase, I want some real muscle.

when the 9900 pro comes out, the 10000 pro will be 5 months away, I could potentially be waiting forever for the newest card, I think a 9800 pro would be just fine, I am looking to spoil myself. Like I said before, the 9800 pro has proven itself as reliable, which is important to me, I feel sorry for those that rushed out and bought the early Nvidia FX hair dryers for $400. I don't want to be a beta tester.

Since I must spend $500 to upgrade (without card), the thought of having 2 systems for a LAN type of setup is appealing, especially since my current system is fine for standard resolutions.

I am not lloking for a lifetime video card, in a year I will probably want the next best, that's why I only want to spend $300 instead of $400, the card will be eventually replaced by another.
lol FX hair dryers, I gotta hand it to you thats so funny reminds me when I used to flame the FX cards before they came out

btw overclocking a 9500 PRO is'nt pushing it at all, 9500 pro is a 9700 pro downclocked gpu with lower cuality 128 bit memory.( 9500 PRO was a nutcase madness from ATI to beat nvidia on the middle end market)

When the 9500 PRO was found to be overclockable then ATI stoped producing them or noone would buy a 9700 PRO since it just perform a bit over the OC 9500 PRO due to its good 256 bit SANG. memory.

anyway games like HL2 will run at a nice 45 FPS or so with all maxed with a 2.8 800 fsb

anyway future games at 1600x1200 all maxed and AAx6 AFx16 ..... noone can do that yet with out uber lag

I don't think i'll even run it.