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 Post subject: Sapphire launches R9600/9800 Ultimate editions
PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2003 1:45 am 
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Location: Finland
Well these have been discussed a few times already, but today Sapphire officially launched the two cards.

For those who aren't up to speed with these cards, they are basically a Radeon 9800pro and a 9600pro with a Zalman passive heatsink installed, which of course makes them silent.

http://www.sapphiretech.com/VGA/ult-main-launch.asp

There's a couple of links to articles about the two cards, together with pictures and benchmarks (I think there hasn't been a review of the 9800 ultimate before these).

Must say that the 9600pro ultimate is looking really nice performance and price wise, I may just have to get one myself :)

It's really great to see how companies are starting to invest more and more in silent components.

Edit:
Another article which isn't linked on Sapphires page:
http://www.extremeoverclocking.com/revi ... ate_1.html

And one more:
http://www.gotapex.com/reviews.php?rev= ... index.html

Yet another review:
http://www.hothardware.com/hh_files/S&V ... _eds.shtml

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Last edited by Fabool on Fri Jul 25, 2003 7:09 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2003 3:17 am 
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Location: Belgium
Those are looking very nice indeed!
I do however wonder whether they are able to outperform the FX5600 Ultra's ... (they can be passively cooled as well ... ).


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2003 3:54 am 
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Seems like the Sapphire link went down or something.

Well, the other reviews which were linked there can be found here:
http://www.beyond3d.com/reviews/sapphire/ults/

http://www.hardware-mag.de/hardware.php?id=176
(in german)


I'd say the Radeon 9600-series is a better purchase than the FX5600 Ultra. The performance is about the same, but overall the 9600 seems to perform better, especially with Antialiasing.

Check out the Digit-life 9600 roundup (which also has the ultimate card) for FX5600 comparisons and their conclusions here:
http://www.digit-life.com/articles2/radeon/r9600-2.html

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2003 4:20 am 
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Location: London, UK
Fabool wrote:
Well, the other reviews which were linked there can be found here:
http://www.beyond3d.com/reviews/sapphire/ults/


Holy mumma.. I recently bought a Crucial 9800 Pro (stock ATI fan cooling) for ~280gbp inc del. because I really couldn't wait any longer for the Sapphire 9800 pro ultimate. But 409 gbp!!!! yikes! A ZM80A-HP only costs 30 gbp so why is this card another 100 gbp more!?! Ok so the Sapphire has a ZM80C-HP but a hundred quid?!

DonP.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2003 8:54 am 
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Here's another review:

http://www.avault.com/hardware/getrevie ... sappradeon


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2003 9:27 am 
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Fabool wrote:
I'd say the Radeon 9600-series is a better purchase than the FX5600 Ultra. The performance is about the same, but overall the 9600 seems to perform better, especially with Antialiasing.

The Tom's Hardware review seems to conclude otherwise, actually much to my surprise. They show the 9600Pro falling behind the 5600 non-Ultra in many tests. Then again, there's been many people questioning the validity of review results in Tom's these days. Thanks for the Digit Life link.

There's also a recent article (linked from AnandTech news) that said there's a bug in current DX-9 anti-aliasing hardware, and there's a workaround for ATI but not for nVidia.

Extremetech also has a series of articles about nVidia and their "optimizations". Of course, ATI is hardly innocent in this as well. Just that they didn't seem to cheat as much - oops I mean optimize as aggressively :)

Personally, I feel that the 9600 Pro is a more elegant design, though I can't exactly explain why when I think about it. Is it the result of a good marketing effort on ATI's part? Can't trust those Canadians, like South Park showed us :wink: And the Sapphire Ultimate fanless heatpipe (cheaper than 9600Pro + Zalman heatpipe) is icing on the cake.

In case you're wondering, I'm still waffling over which $200 card to buy. Or should I get the DVD burner instead.

Maybe I'll just get both :D


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2003 10:43 am 
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Yeah, for some reason I too think that the 9600pro is more elegant than a FX5600.
Nowadays I question almost every review I read, especially those on Tom's. Their quality has really been falling over the years and the rumors of so-called 'bribes' don't do them much good either.

My opinion is that the 9600pro is a good card for it's price if you're not a huge gamer that requires the best of the best (note that this is based on the ridiculous prices here in Finland, which are easily $50-100 higher than those in the states). Especially the ultimate edition since it's passive straight out of the box, has a good bundle, 0.13 micron=less power usage/less heat and even overclocks fairly well without additional cooling.

Though if you can get a 9700 non-pro with the price, it's most likely a better deal (although I've been reading of a strange "shimmering" bug with the 9500/9700 series..), but I think their production has been halted as all the retailers here have been sold out on almost every brand of 9700 non-pro for weeks and no estimate when, and if they get more.

http://www.digit-life.com/articles2/rad ... ro-ue.html

9800 ultimate edition 256mb review @ Digit-life if someone's interested. I think Digit-life's reviews are a bit odd as well and some of the results are quite different than in other reviews, but I like how they review the cards, with pictures of the bundle and memory chips and all.. :)

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