ATI vs. Sapphire

By DonNagual
Jul 3, 2004
  1. I am living in Japan (Tokyo) and need to get some tech help in English (that means you guys :cool: )

    I am about to upgrade my video card from the ultimate crappy card FX5200 to something with some hair :D

    I am looking at the ATI 9800Pro 256Mb. It is listed at about $300 US (at today's exchange rates).

    The ATI 9800XT 256Mb is listed at about $500

    But, the Sapphire 9800XT 256 Mb is listed at about $320!?! How could this be? What am I missing here? It is listed as the full DDR256 Mb 256bit memory version.


    All three of these cards are Bulk versions.
    The website I am ordering from says the sapphire does not come with the drivers, I have to download directly from ATI.
  2. young&wild

    young&wild TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 993

    I dont know if this is still a trend. Generally
    ATI cards manufactured by ATI itself are price higher than those by companies like Sapphire, Gigabyte and etc.
  3. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 2,404

    I can understand being priced higher..... but THAT much higher?

    9800XT 256Mb

    ATI $500
    Sapphire $320

    I think it must be more than just name brand..... I am thinking that this sapphire version must be a lowered version somehow.... anyone have any input?
  4. STK

    STK TS Rookie Posts: 102

    umm i think that extra $$$ is a couple of different things. 1. the drivers included(not too much extra) brand 3.the support
    ATI im assuming probably has better tech support then the other manufacturers. if you can work with your computer and you dont think you will have any problems and wont need support go with the cheapr ones. also check ebay they will most likely have the stuff you want usually at a discount price.
  5. young&wild

    young&wild TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 993

    Hmm if in that case you might want to double check with the retailer.

    Care to give us link as well?

    As with the ATI, i m sure you can get one for around $450 or slightly less if you search for more,
  6. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 2,404

  7. STK

    STK TS Rookie Posts: 102

    i took a quick look at ebay i saw bids around $250 and some buy-it-nows at $350 still in box, go check it out

  8. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 2,404

    The thing I really want to know is:

    The sapphire 9800XT 256Mb is listed as being the 256bit version, so I am not worried that they are trying to scam me with the 128bit version.

    Are there any other scams people have heard of besides these crippled 128bit versions that have popped up? Are there any other questions I should be asking the retailer before buying this Sapphire?

    (STK - if this Sapphire is legit, then it would be cheaper here since I don't have to pay shipping costs to Japan by ordering from ebay, plus then I have a retailer here in Japan to go to if I have problems. Thanks for your help though, I really do appreciate it!)
  9. MrGaribaldi

    MrGaribaldi TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,512

    From what I could understand from the site, the Sapphire 9800XT is indeed TheRealThing©

    The most likely reason that it's being sold so much cheaper is that Sapphire is emptying out their inventory of 9800XT since the X800 has arrived. (It would also appear that Sapphire has decided to try to get more customers by cutting prices on their entire line (they seem to be cheaper on X800pro and X800XT too))

    As for which to choose, if it hade been me I'd gone for the Sapphire card. There is no difference between the ATI and Sapphire card (ATI doesn't produce their own boards anymore), and for that price difference....!

    Another point about that shop is that it is selling ATI 9800XT (last gen's top card) for 4 >insert your monetary notation here> less than the X800pro!, which tells me that some of it's pricing is out of whack...

    But if you could afford the ATI card, you could look into getting the X800pro instead, as it is a much better card (though it costs quite a bit)..
    Once again Sapphire is a bit cheaper on that card (about 50.-)
  10. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 2,404

    The part that is really strange is that they are selling the Sapphire Box version at roughly 500bucks, then they have that bulk version, which comes with no drivers - easily download though- for 320 bucks. Same card, same maker even.... I can't figure out why the big difference. I am going to go into the shop on the weekend, but I am wondering if you can give me any key questions I need to be asking them....

    Thanks as always. This site rules.

    Oh ya, the answer is a big NO to the X800. Only in my dreams, for now.:D
  11. STK

    STK TS Rookie Posts: 102

    i say go with the cheaper one, noone has complained about it, seems good to me. and about the price differences, noone will know except the people that are doing all this buisiness in the economic world.
  12. MrGaribaldi

    MrGaribaldi TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,512

    Hehe, ok.

    Sapphire usually sells their cards in either Full-Retail with games & stuff, and Lite-Retail with only drivers.
    It's been a long time since I heard that Sapphire sold their cards in Bulk. This leads me to think the card has been used. So that's one thing you'd want to ask about.
    If the answer is yes, how long has it been used, for what purpose, was it overclocked and was there made any changes to the card?

    It is a 256-bit memory bus?
    How fast is the ram compared to the ATI card?
    (How many ns is it rated for and what speed is it running at?)

    And of course, the obvious one, what is the difference between this card and the one for roughly 500 bucks (except for bundle)?

    X800, yeah. I understand that... Was hoping to get a job this summer so I could buy one, but alas.....
  13. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 2,404

    MrGaribaldi, you are the best! Thank you. I will ask these questions (eeeesh, in Japanese, as they speak no English, wish me luck......)
  14. STK

    STK TS Rookie Posts: 102

    you might also want to ask to make sure that it comes with the wires needed to connect(i would hope it does, but better safe then sorry) and you might want to get the specs from the retailer and right them down then go home and make sure they are the same as the ATI
    oh ya good luck
  15. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 2,404

    Thank you to you as well STK! I appreciate your input. I owe you a beer (but you have to come to Tokyo to collect) :grinthumb
  16. STK

    STK TS Rookie Posts: 102

    haha im 14 send it into the woods with my friends :p right now im grounded for drinking so in a week or so mayb you can ship it over :) and once again good luck
  17. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 2,404

    I have confirmed that it is not a used card. The store I use also is a computer manufacturer, and they get OEM versions of cards. It is actually an OEM version that they are selling, and it looks legit. Going to pick that baby up tomorrow! 9800XT 256Mb roughly 320 US bucks, not bad!
  18. STK

    STK TS Rookie Posts: 102

    koo i hav it its a beauty very nice card
    hope evrything goes well and you get the full package
  19. MrGaribaldi

    MrGaribaldi TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,512

    That sounds sweet!
    Good luck with your new card.

    And just glad to be of service :)
  20. Ayasha

    Ayasha TS Rookie Posts: 37


    Just to let you all know for future purchases of ATI based cards.

    Saphire actually produces about 70% of all "Made by ATI" or ATI branded cards for ATI to sell themselves. There are no quality issues what so ever with these cards as they are identical to those being sold by ATI in their own retail shop. Th reason for the price difference is that it is probably an OEM card for one. Second, about 2 weeks before the X800 came out Sapphire annouced price-cuts to all their cards thus putting the squeeze on the competition *mainly competing Nvidia based cards*. When looking for ATI cards I look for Sapphire first because you'll get the same card for less money. The over-all bundle isn't as good if you get one with the card. But if you really want the game then you'll usually still end up saving some money by buying the Sapphire version of the card.


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