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 Post subject: problem with new 9800np
PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2003 2:13 pm 
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I received my 9800np today. I pm'ed a couple of my pals here because I was worried that it might be a "bait and switch" vendor. But as far as I can tell, I have a genuine 9800np.

Problem I am having is with Quake3. I'm seeing black geometric lines in the maps. This is my first ATI card so I am not familiar with all the settings. Is there a setting related to what I am describing?

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2003 2:38 pm 
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Is it like a checkerboard pattern?

If it is then you've got a card with dead pipelines. The 9800/9700's have 8, while the 9500/9600's only have 4.

Some 9500/9600 cards have chips that were produced to be 9800/9700's but have one or more dead pipelines, so to save them from the scrapheap Ati just turns off the dead pipes and sells them as the lower end cards. Rather ingenious, actually.

Some modders then take those cards and "unlock" the pipes to see if they got lucky and got a chip where all the pipelines are working. For example, my 9500np is running merrily along as a 9800Pro. :lol:

So for you one of two things happened.... You either got a 9800 that slipped through QC with a defect, or you got a 9600 that someone rebadged as a 9800. Either way you should RMA it immedietely.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2003 3:03 pm 
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yea thats why i only trust newegg. there are too many companies out there selling graphic cards under false pretenses. You can usually tell if the price is too good to be true. For example, a 9800np should be about 250-275.US any cheaper and your getting screwed some how.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2003 6:07 pm 
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The problem I am having (I might describe it better now as I have seen it described at quake3world forums)....I have black seams in the skyboxes where the textures should "clamp". This only happens in some maps and not others.

Other than that I see no real problem with the card, but then again I have only tested quake3. It is clocked at non pro speeds, says 9800 pro in the device manager, contains the PN of a sapphire model (contains a letter in the PN; whereas, all ATI's PNs have numbers only). Anything else to look for? just request....

I'm gonna try the cat 3.5 as it seems that a guy reported that it helped him. Will post back with results.

Oh yeah, and I paid $249 for this one.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2003 6:54 pm 
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Well the device manager is not a good source, mine says that my card is a 9800Pro . (when it's really a 9500np) A cracked BIOS could fool that.

Could you tell which Sapphire model number it has. If you have the number handy just post it here.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2003 7:27 pm 
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102A0751301081342

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2003 7:41 pm 
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Actualyl rusty a 4 pipeline 9800 is called the 9800 se. a 9800 core cannot become a 9600 core they use 2 dif processes one is .15 mircon the other is .13.

The 9700 and 9800 cores are also different they are not interchangable.

Rusty075 wrote:
Is it like a checkerboard pattern?

If it is then you've got a card with dead pipelines. The 9800/9700's have 8, while the 9500/9600's only have 4.

Some 9500/9600 cards have chips that were produced to be 9800/9700's but have one or more dead pipelines, so to save them from the scrapheap Ati just turns off the dead pipes and sells them as the lower end cards. Rather ingenious, actually.

Some modders then take those cards and "unlock" the pipes to see if they got lucky and got a chip where all the pipelines are working. For example, my 9500np is running merrily along as a 9800Pro. :lol:

So for you one of two things happened.... You either got a 9800 that slipped through QC with a defect, or you got a 9600 that someone rebadged as a 9800. Either way you should RMA it immedietely.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2003 7:46 pm 
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You're right about them migrating to the new .13 process. Most of what I said I guess applies more to the 9700/9500's.

But the only difference between a 9800 and a 9700 is the drivers and the clock speed.

If you take my 9500, which I've hacked the drivers to run as a 9800Pro, and scale the benchmarks to the 9800 speeds they benchmark exactly the same All of the "features" of the 9800Pro work on my 9500. (my card won't run at 9800 speeds, thanks to the cheaper memory used on the lower end cards)

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2003 8:23 pm 
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So what do you guys use to overclock? I presently have RivaTuner and it doesn't support the advanced display features of the card, but it will overclock it (haven't tried it yet because I want to sort out this "black seam" problem in Quake first).

Of course, I know many just flash the BIOS to make it a pro, but if I can acheive pro speeds without a flash then why do it?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2003 8:30 pm 
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I use rivatuner. The display features are still accessible through the display properties, just like always. (did I confuse that part? I'm not sure what "advanced display features" you're talking about)

Other than speed I can't think of any difference between the 9800np and the Pro.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2003 9:42 pm 
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Rusty075 wrote:
I use rivatuner. The display features are still accessible through the display properties, just like always. (did I confuse that part? I'm not sure what "advanced display features" you're talking about)

Other than speed I can't think of any difference between the 9800np and the Pro.


No, you aren't confused; you understood what I was referring to perfectly. I guess the way I should have said it was to refer to "control panel" features? (again, it's new to me because it's my first ATI card -- i'm used to nvidia).

btw, one thing I can see that ATI does better than nvidia is the lighting --- it's more realistic. And of course, the infamous AA and AF increases without losing performance.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2003 10:22 pm 
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Rusty075 wrote:
Is it like a checkerboard pattern?

If it is then you've got a card with dead pipelines.


Which means it's defective, or possibly hacked, but not merely "relabeled"

Quote:
The 9800/9700's have 8, while the 9500/9600's only have 4.


Active pipelines, yes.

The 9800SE only has 4 pipelines as well (which just makes it a .15-micron 9600, which is rather pointless, IMO)

Quote:
Some 9500/9600 cards have chips that were produced to be 9800/9700's but have one or more dead pipelines, so to save them from the scrapheap Ati just turns off the dead pipes and sells them as the lower end cards. Rather ingenious, actually.


Yeh, that is a rather ingenious idea...if it was actually in use.

The 9500 Non-Pro was slated hit the market before a reference design was available, so they took 9700s and disabled the 4 extra pipelines.

The 9500 Pro's are/were only available using the new reference design with only 4 pixel pipelines present.

The 9600s (all of them) make use of the .13 micron process, so obviously they have their own architecture and board design as well.

Quote:
Some modders then take those cards and "unlock" the pipes to see if they got lucky and got a chip where all the pipelines are working.
Quote:

If they did it right, it would work. As far as I know, the only way the pipelines were "broken" were because of a mistake made during the modification. But, thanks to the Softmod and hacked BIOSes, you can do it all without even opening your system.

Quote:
So for you one of two things happened.... You either got a 9800 that slipped through QC with a defect, or you got a 9600 that someone rebadged as a 9800. Either way you should RMA it immedietely.


Rebadged? Hardly. What you're suggesting happened would require the reseller to open the box and tamper with the physical card itself. Not to say they wouldn't, but I'm SURE someone would have spoken up by now about recieving opened merchandise.


Last edited by Syphon869 on Fri Sep 19, 2003 10:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2003 10:27 pm 
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Rusty075 wrote:
But the only difference between a 9800 and a 9700 is the drivers and the clock speed.


That's not right, either. The 9700 and 9800 are physically different revisions.

But that's not to say those differences don't mean anything as far as the BIOS is concerned. Except for the name difference, of course.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2003 11:50 pm 
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Rusty075 wrote:
Is it like a checkerboard pattern?


Sorry I didn't answer this already. No, no checkerboard pattern, just the "black seam" in certain quake maps. I have checked around at quake3world forums and I am not only radeon owner with this problem. It occurs because it has something to do with ATI's strick adherence to OpenGL specs whereby certain maps that aren't made properly have this effect (even though it's occuring with a few stock maps -- go figure?). Another guy says he only sees it in add-on maps, which makes sense, but I insist that it's on a few "official" maps as well.

Anyway, I feel that I have a genuine 9800np; however, something isn't quite right:
I am confused about the P/N because I can see two. One is on the card itself (not a sticker on the card). It is PN 109-A07500-00, which I beleive denotes a Sapphire build, according to this reveiw (check the last paragraph on the page, and the bottom pic on the right shows exactly what I see on mine).

The other P/N is found on a sticker on the card; it's the one I listed earlier in this post (102A0751301081342).

But the retail box says "Build by ATI". And if you look here you will see that all "Built by ATI" P/Ns begin with a 102 and have NO LETTERS. So consider the first P/N I gave you (102A0751301081342). It has the letter "A" in it, which is specifically stated at the link above to be a card by a 3rd party.

It appears as though this was a Sapphire that was pawned to me as a retail card. The box has definitely been opened, no question about that, but all cables and manuels are present, and the card appears in good condition. What's more confusing is that the manual came sealed in a bag that has a sticker (on the bag) with the S/N and this serial matches the sticker's S/N found on the card (the same sticker with the P/N 102A.....).
Also, the sticker on the bag says "Important: This is your unique ATI CustomerCare Product Serial Number. Affix it to your Getting Started Guide. Please register your product online to recieve full warranty and product support".

So what's wrong with this picture?
=Box reads "Built by ATI" not "Powered by ATI"; has definitely been opened.
=2 P/Ns both which point to 3rd party builder, although they do not match each other.
=2 serials that match; 1 on sticker on the card, the other on plastic bag containing the manual.

The only thing I feel certain about is that this is not "Built by ATI", which means no 3 year warranty.

EDIT/ btw, I have Infineon 3.0ns memory.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2003 7:12 am 
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Syphon869 wrote:
That's not right, either. The 9700 and 9800 are physically different revisions.


The card PCB is different, but not the core. All the changes in performance amount to the increase in clock speeds and driver changes.

Esssentially Ati refined the manufacturing process to get chips that would run at higher clock rates. Rather than make the new cards yet another version of the 9700 (The 9700Super-Pro perhaps?:lol:) they gave them a new model number. If you unlock the BIOS of a 9700 so its PCI-ID will allow you to install it as a 9800, and OC it to 9800 speeds, it will be a 9800 in every measureable way. Take a cruise through the hardware sites, there's been plenty of articles on it already.


Syphon869 wrote:
Which means it's defective, or possibly hacked, but not merely "relabeled"



Isn't that exactly what I said in the first place? If its hacked, its also obviously relabeled.

Syphon869 wrote:
Yeh, that is a rather ingenious idea...if it was actually in use.

The 9500 Non-Pro was slated hit the market before a reference design was available, so they took 9700s and disabled the 4 extra pipelines.

The 9500 Pro's are/were only available using the new reference design with only 4 pixel pipelines present.


From the percentage of 9500np's that checkerboard no matter how they are unlocked its fairly obvious that some of these chips have defective pipelines. There's nothing about the modding process that could damage the internal workings of the core.

The 9500Pro's still use the same chip as a 9500np or a 9700Pro or a 9800Pro Its the PCB that stops the 4 other pipelines from being functional. The traces simply aren't on the card. The 9500np used the 9700 PCB because it was faster and cheaper than developing its own. Ati saved money by splitting the same R&D money between the two lines of cards.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2003 11:11 am 
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Rusty075 wrote:
The card PCB is different, but not the core. All the changes in performance amount to the increase in clock speeds and driver changes.


Driver? You mean the BIOS?

But yes, I do understand that the core is the same. That's why your card has no problems (yet) running the 9800Pro BIOS.

Quote:
Esssentially Ati refined the manufacturing process to get chips that would run at higher clock rates. Rather than make the new cards yet another version of the 9700 (The 9700Super-Pro perhaps?:lol:) they gave them a new model number. If you unlock the BIOS of a 9700 so its PCI-ID will allow you to install it as a 9800, and OC it to 9800 speeds, it will be a 9800 in every measureable way.


Yes, I understand that. My point was that there were changes made in the PCB which you didn't acknowledge.

Quote:
Take a cruise through the hardware sites, there's been plenty of articles on it already.


Most of which I've already read.

Quote:
Isn't that exactly what I said in the first place? If its hacked, its also obviously relabeled.


But you simply said hacked, only "relabeled." I was just clarifying.

Quote:
From the percentage of 9500np's that checkerboard no matter how they are unlocked its fairly obvious that some of these chips have defective pipelines.


I wouldn't doubt it, but this is the first I've heard of it.

Quote:
Its the PCB that stops the 4 other pipelines from being functional. The traces simply aren't on the card. The 9500np used the 9700 PCB because it was faster and cheaper than developing its own. Ati saved money by splitting the same R&D money between the two lines of cards.


That's exactly what I was saying...


Last edited by Syphon869 on Sat Sep 20, 2003 8:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2003 11:22 am 
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I think our confusion comes from us not differentiatiing whether we were talking about the "card" or the GPU "cores". For 9500's, 9700's, and 9800's the GPU's are all exactly the same. The card is different, but the core is the same, just like you said :lol: I didn't mean to start a mini-flame here in poor Wedge's now hijacked thread, sorry for any confusion.

The BIOS contains the PCI-ID which is what prevents the driver from installing on a card its not supposed to. The only thing that a hacked BIOS changes is the PCI-ID number.

My card is running with its stock BIOS, its not hacked in any way. I hacked the driver files, so they would accept my card's PCI-ID as a valid 9800Pro ID.

Apparantly 30% of the 9500np's checkerboard when modded. I actually had one of them, which I RMA'd, hoping that I would get one of the 70% of cards where it works in exchange. :lol: (which I did)

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2003 11:35 am 
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Rusty075 wrote:
I didn't mean to start a mini-flame here in poor Wedge's now hijacked thread, sorry for any confusion.


No problem bud.


Rusty075 wrote:
I actually had one of them, which I RMA'd, hoping that I would get one of the 70% of cards where it works in exchange. :lol: (which I did)


Lucky you Image
Where did you get yours?

But tell me...after reading my novella-of-a-post, do you think my card is backed by the ATI 3 year warranty, even though it might be actually "built" by Sapphire?

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2003 1:59 pm 
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I got mine from pcparts4less.com. But I really, really don't recommend them. First they double billed me, then I had to fight to get my RMA'd card back. Turns out their mailing address is a MailBoxes Etc. store in a strip mall.

Two questions about your's: Where'd you get it from, and what kind of box did it come in?

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2003 3:34 pm 
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I got mine from Ateck.com, but I just scanned their web site and it appears that they are not carrying the "Retail ATI 9800" anymore (it's being discontinued).

It came in a box like this. The back has pics of gameplay and the "Built by ATI" emblem.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2003 3:40 pm 
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Well it's an Ati box all right.

I suggest to save everything about the sale, including packing invoices and your credit card statement with that transaction on it. Just in case you ever need to have warranty work done on it.

Did you check them out on ResellerRatings.com?

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2003 4:16 pm 
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Yes, I checked them out, but only after I ordered. I won't make that mistake again. I read that some guys claim to have gotten the "bait and switch" but if I remember correctly it seemed to be with OEM cards.

As far as my card goes, it "seems" to be a 9800. The only questionable thing is the confusing Part Numbers (P/N). ATI's website clearly states that any P/N with a LETTER in it is NOT built by ATI, which means no 3 year warranty policy. Other than this P/N confusion, everything about this card seems right to me.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2003 5:38 pm 
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That is a bit odd. Ok, more than a bit. You may have gotten a refurb, or someone else's RMA. Have you contacted the site about getting a replacement yet?

Considering their amazing 2.50 resellerrating for returns I have a feeling the RMA process isn't going to be pleasant for you.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2003 6:44 pm 
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Well, the whole thing is that I don't know that there is any reason to RMA. The card works fine as far as I can tell. I'm just saying that the P/N is a cloudy issue. ATI offers a 3 year warranty only if you buy a "Built by ATI" card, which mine is supposed to be, but the P/N indicates otherwise. The 3 year warranty is the reason I bought it from Ateck (and the price).

Hopefully this is a non-issue as the card will not give me any problems.

Btw, just checked their reseller rating. They have a lifetime of 6.34 which isn't great, but certainly not the worst. I read the feedback and there are mixed reviews.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2003 6:50 pm 
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One more thing... I think I am confusing you Rusty because of my Quake issue, but I have since discovered this is not a fault of the card. So maybe I should change this thread's topic.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2003 7:05 pm 
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Oh yeah, true, I guess this thread had kinda wandered away from its point.

I would save the paperwork, just in case though. (better safe than sorry)

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2003 7:17 pm 
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Roger that Rusty. That's always a good idea when ordering things online, especially expensive hardware.

Oh yeah, and mystery solved. It is "Built by ATI". The BIOS P/N matched their database (at their website) as being as such. Just took me a while to stumble upon the right page.

Yay! Image

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