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AT reviews ATi 9600 Pro Mac & PC Edition


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#1 Batcat

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Posted 19 August 2005 - 10:04 PM

Quote

When I first started using Macs alongside my PCs I was quickly reminded of how similar the two platforms had become in terms of their actual hardware.  Honestly, with the exception of the PowerPC CPU and custom chipset/motherboard, the inside of my first G5 looked hardly any different than a very well built PC.  It used a plain old SATA hard drive, a DVD drive, the same DDR memory and even the same GPUs. 

Of course there were some limitations; I couldn't just throw in the gigabytes of DDR memory I had laying around, I needed G5 compatible modules that adhered to Apple's strict SPD programming requirements.  But after locating some, I could use them on both Mac and PC platforms, albeit their slower timings made them mostly undesirable for use on any of my PC test beds.  The use of Mac compatible video cards wasn't as multifaceted however; although the Mac cards shared the exact same GPUs I had been used to on the PC side of things, the cards were sometimes physically different and always featured a Mac-only firmware.  You could stick a Mac card in a PC, but it wouldn't POST, not without a firmware reflash; and the same applied in reverse as well.
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#2 rob_ART

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Posted 21 August 2005 - 05:02 PM

Check out the review of the Radeon 9600 Pro PC and Mac Edition on BareFeats:
http:/www.barefeats.com/rad4x.html

Includes 3D Game results for faster and slower Mac graphics cards.
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#3 Shade

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Posted 21 August 2005 - 05:57 PM

Why do you need a double platform card?  So if you have a PC and a Mac you can keep switching it to each one depending on what you wanted to do?


Edit:

At BareFeats the reasoning behind this double platform card I just found out is:

Quote

Now mid-range Windows PC users can drive the Dual-Link 30" Cinema LCD display without buying an expensive workstation card like the nVidia Quadro or ATI FireGL.

So I stand corrected.

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#4 Forrest

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Posted 21 August 2005 - 07:06 PM

If you have a PC, the only reason you'd want this card is for the Duallink DVI port. Otherwise, you'll find a few manufacturer's selling the Radeon 9600 Pro 256 MB with DVI and VGA connectors for $75-$85.

#5 bobbob

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Posted 21 August 2005 - 07:09 PM

Shade, on August 21st 2005, 04:57 PM, said:

At BareFeats the reasoning behind this double platform card I just found out is

That's only a reason for putting dual-link DVI in a low-end card. The reason for making a Mac/PC compatible card is because it's cheaper than designing and making two models. The price disparity between the Mac/PC compatible card and the PC-only version is probably ATI's 'built by ATI' markup, ATI's Mac-compatible markup, and choosing to design a seperate model with dual-link DVI and then only doing a very small run of them.

#6 rob_ART

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Posted 21 August 2005 - 10:07 PM

It will be interesting to see how many people buy the 9600 Pro for the Dual-Link feature.

If I was spending $3000 on a 30" Cinema, I wouldn't choke on spending $399 on the retail X800 XT. Or in the case of buying a new G5, I wouldn't choke on the CTO option of the X850 XT.
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#7 iPod_man

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Posted 21 August 2005 - 11:16 PM

this seems pointless really, why would someone want a "cheap" card to run a 30" display if there spending $3000 for a display im sure that they can buy the best graphics card...

#8 bobbob

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Posted 22 August 2005 - 12:39 AM

iPod_man, on August 21st 2005, 10:16 PM, said:

this seems pointless really, why would someone want a "cheap" card to run a 30" display

An additional $200 to get an X800 is wasted if the 9600 is good enough.

#9 Batcat

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Posted 22 August 2005 - 03:30 AM

bobbob, on August 22nd 2005, 01:39 AM, said:

An additional $200 to get an X800 is wasted if the 9600 is good enough.

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Exactly- and it's silent.

Quote

What ATI has done with the Radeon 9600 Pro Mac & PC Edition is bring forth a 256MB card that offers a silent solution for those users wanting to move to a 30" Cinema Display.  The actual OS X UI performance of the card is just as good as ATI's top-of-the-line X800 XT. So, unless you are playing any games or running any applications that make extensive use of pixel shaders, the Radeon 9600 Pro Mac & PC Edition is a very functional card to pair with a 30" display.  The biggest draw in our opinion is the card's passive cooling; combine that with its 256MB frame buffer and you have a pretty decent solution for OS X users.
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#10 rob_ART

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Posted 22 August 2005 - 03:21 PM

I agree that the 9600 Pro PC and Mac Edition is sufficent for most content producers assuming they aren't using Core iMage apps like iMaginator (and others that are bound to follow).

As those applications grow in number, it would make a lot of sense to buy an X800/850 XT or GeForce 6800 GT or whatever follows (GeForce 7800 GTX) -- especially if you are pushing around 2560 x 1600 pixels.

But, again, if I'm spending $3000 on a 30" Cinema, spending $200 more for a high end graphics card  is a no-brainer.
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#11 a2daj

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Posted 23 August 2005 - 09:06 AM

For G4 owners with the appropriate AGP, it's the only choice to use the 30" ACD.  Spending $200 more would give them a card that doesn't fit in their computer.
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#12 Abecedaria

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Posted 25 August 2005 - 02:32 PM

a2daj, on August 23rd 2005, 08:06 AM, said:

For G4 owners with the appropriate AGP, it's the only choice to use the 30" ACD.  Spending $200 more would give them a card that doesn't fit in their computer.

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This new 9600 is:
1) Far too underpowered for it's intended purpose
2) Far too expensive considering the age and speed of the technology
3) Inexplicably missing from IMG news section

Considering that you can get a 6600GT or 9800Pro AGP on the PC side for around $180, I would suggest ATI:

1) Drop the price of this card to about $100 considering that is about all it's worth AND/OR
2) Replace it with a 9800XT version of the card for the same price

As it stands, this thing is an embarrassment.

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References:
$85 9600Pro 256
$180 ATI 9800Pro 256
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#13 Lucian

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Posted 26 August 2005 - 02:37 AM

Again, there are zero retail video cards (Mac or PC) that support Apple's 30" LCD that are in the $200 price range. That feature alone makes it worth the $200 for some people.
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#14 flargh

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Posted 26 August 2005 - 07:49 AM

Abecedaria, on August 25th 2005, 03:32 PM, said:

As it stands, this thing is an embarrassment.

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$199 is ATI's suggested retail price. As with all retail products from ATI, the actual retail price is set by the retail vendors and is typically substantially lower than the SRP, especially after it's been on the market for a while.
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#15 Abecedaria

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Posted 26 August 2005 - 01:26 PM

flargh, on August 26th 2005, 06:49 AM, said:

$199 is ATI's suggested retail price. As with all retail products from ATI, the actual retail price is set by the retail vendors and is typically substantially lower than the SRP, especially after it's been on the market for a while.

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That may be true for PC-only cards but not for Mac cards where ATI does not have to worry about competing. Besides, the 9600Pro in question has not been on the market for a while. Need proof?

Mac 9800 Pro 256 SRP=$299 Newegg=$279
PC 9800 Pro 256 SRP=$299 Newegg=$179

Here's the one that'll really make you happy...
Mac X800 XT 256 SRP=$399 Newegg=$449!!!!!!!! (granted, this is probably an error. You can find the Mac x800 for as low as $360 elsewhere online)

Woohoo! Sign ME up to pay MORE than retail! Of course, you could always buy it from Apple. They sell it for $499. And it's not even the x850. You'll have to buy a whole new Mac to get that card.

Stop making excuses for ATI and the Mac platform; we are getting ripped off. We should not be having to pay a $100 premium to buy an dual-link DVI card with a 3 year old GPU. God I love trying to game on the Mac—just grab the Vasoline™ and bend-over.... (sorry BC!)

abc

SRP source: http://shop.ati.com/....asp?dept_id=31
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#16 Rubel

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Posted 04 September 2005 - 06:56 PM

So, this new 9600 is probably not the desired cheap replacement for my 9000 pro.
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