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PowerColor 9800 np 256mb???

By mike0381
Nov 15, 2003
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  1. Hi,

    Wonder if any of you guys can help. I recently ordered a Sapphire 9800 np 128mb card from the usual online shop I order from, and when I got it through I realised that they sent a PowerColor 9800 np 256mb!!!

    I guess they must have been out of stock and replaced it with a better card, although it's a different make. PowerColor's reputation is pretty good so I'm not too worried about that, it's just I'd never heard of a 256mb version of the non-pro 9800.

    Looking it up on the web I couldn't find any information about it, even on PowerColor's site! No one seems to have written about this particular version of the card, and even typing the model number in a search came up with nothing.

    Do any of you know about this model?

    Thanks,

    Mike
  2. mike0381

    mike0381 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    PowerColor 9800 np 256mb

    Also, the card looks identical to the 9800 Pro 256mb with ramsinks over all the RAM, that brings me to my other point. How do I know what kind of RAM it is with the ramsinks on? They cover them up so I can't see. It could be DDR II like the PRO but since I don't have any info on the non-pro version of this I can't be sure.
  3. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,383   +15

    Sorry man but Powercolor is a horrid brand!! They underclock all their cards :mad: If I were you I'd be making a phone call.. and I wouldnt count on that RAM being any kind of quailty :( Those heatsinks are there to cover up, not to cool (to add to my point even more, RAM speeds on 256MB cards are a tad bit slower then 128MB cards, therefor the RAM wouldnt run as hot in the first place).
  4. Supra

    Supra TS Enthusiast Posts: 236

    Take a look at this LINK and tell me if it looks like your card. Product number is the same except the L at the end
  5. mike0381

    mike0381 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    that link looks identical to my card except mine is definitely a non-pro. It's weird, can't find anywhere that says my model exists!
  6. wicka_wicka

    wicka_wicka Banned Posts: 179

    [CHANGE] Underclocking a card is actually GOOD. It means you can OC and possibly mod the card to much higher levels.
  7. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,383   +15

    I dont believe thats a true statment. However feel free to prove me wrong ;)
  8. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Rookie Posts: 2,871

    Untrue, the same tolerences apply to the components, and sometimes lower quality and spec components are used because there is no need for the higher tolerences since it won't be operating at the same speeds. So the card will either have the same limits or less than those limits, according to whether the manufacturer chooses to use cheaper parts(which would explain why it was underclocked to begin with)
  9. wicka_wicka

    wicka_wicka Banned Posts: 179

    Uh, no, that is true bud. You take a 350mhz video card and underclock it to 250mhz, then sell it as a 250mhz card. It will OC MUCH better than a card that was simply made at 250mhz. Understand? Bucky didn't...

    BTW, I don't think either of you are understanding what underclocking actually is...you both seem to be thinking overclocking.
  10. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 5,899

    The 9800 non-Pro should be running at 325/280 ( GPU/mem ). If that is the case then everything is fine, you got what you paid for ( & even 128 extra mb in memory ).

    PowerColor has a bad reputation but everytime I bought their products they ended up delivering what they promised. Their products follow the specs, period. It is still good to check the speeds when you buy a card, no matter what brand it is.

    PS. The memory is DDR, so it might show up as 580mhz.
  11. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Rookie Posts: 2,871

    You are talking about something completely different than what I was refering to. I was talking about manufacturers who used to(some may still do it) underclock in order to use cheaper components. they could shave a few $ off the selling price without sacrificing much performance. All was good until you tried to OC, then you found out quickly the reason you got such a good deal.


    In the future, don't try to twist what I say against me.

    Also, my name isn't Bud.
     
  12. wicka_wicka

    wicka_wicka Banned Posts: 179

    That doesn't make sense, you mean OVERCLOCKING. That's when manufacturers use cheaper components and OVERCLOCK them in order to sell them as higher-level components. Understand, BUD?
  13. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Rookie Posts: 2,871

    umm, no, thats not what I mean at all.

    I am done with you, you seem to know everything and understand nothing.
  14. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 5,899

    When you have different products based on the same chips ( take the 4600/4400/4200 GF4 chips for example ), certain parts that don't pass the high-end validation process get used for low-end parts.

    Say you have a bunch of chips that won't run at 300mhz in a stable manner, you lower the speed to 250mhz & call it a 4200.

    As the fabrication process matures, you'll probably have more & more chips passing the high-end validation. Since the demand is always stronger on the low-end parts, you'll have to take chips that could very well work at 300mhz & downclock them to 250mhz in order to meet the demand.

    When that becomes the case, the manufacturor would rather come up with a new chip that is cheaper to fabricate then to keep selling those high-end ones as low-end. That's why the R9500 got canned for a cheaper version for example ( the 9600 ).

    Why sell something performing below its fullest potential, especially when you can charge a premium for it to work like that ?
  15. wicka_wicka

    wicka_wicka Banned Posts: 179

    That's pretty much exactly what I'm talking about. Except I thought the 9500's got canned because ATi found out people were modding them into 9700's. Well that doesn't really matter anyway...
  16. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 5,899

    They got canned because ATI was selling them at a loss. They will try to avoid such situations as much as possible.
  17. Supra

    Supra TS Enthusiast Posts: 236

    Ok, let me try and straighten this out. From my experience Powercolor uses lower quality memory that they UNDERCLOCK when compared to specs set out by the original card manufacturers. I owned a Powercolor Geforce2 Pro 64mb and by Nvidias standards the card should have a 200mhz core and 400mhz ddr memory but when I looked at my card in windows it showed up as 200 core/365 memory. The only way I ever got the card to handle 400mhz on the memory was to apply heatsinks to them.
  18. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 5,899

  19. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 5,899

    BTW it also happens that when high-end parts sell very well, unscrupulous companies can take low-end parts, OC them & sell them at a heftier price tag.

    Anyways, all we need now is for mike0381 to check the speeds of his card & put this thread to rest.;)
  20. wicka_wicka

    wicka_wicka Banned Posts: 179

    When you use lower quality parts, it is overclocked to meet higher standards. Supra, you receieved a card that simply did not meet nvidia's specifications; it was not underclocked, and it probably did not use lower quality parts.
  21. mike0381

    mike0381 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ok guys, I haven't actually got a comp of my own to stick the card in and run it, I've sold my current one and I'm waiting for new bits to arrive. I'll have to ask around and see if anyone will let me put it in their system so I can test it, or I can just wait a few days till I get my new bits.

    I am a bit confused as to why no one has ever heard of this model and it ain't on PowerColor's site, it's not even in their list of discontinued products. The place I got it from don't even stock PowerColor stuff, let alone this one.

    Seems to me that PowerColor weren't all that with their old cards...but appears they may have got better with newer ones. Doubt the 9800 np - pro flash would work with it either (I wasn't intending to do it but in the future I might have tried). The only thing I could flash it to is the 9800 Pro 256mb but the memory on that is DDR II and mine's almost certainly not.
  22. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Rookie Posts: 2,871

    Once you work in the industry for ten years, you'll understand things a little better, for now, you have much to learn kid.
  23. Steg

    Steg TS Rookie Posts: 422

  24. mike0381

    mike0381 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    It's all genuine because it's retail packed and shrink wrapped, not OEM. Hmmmm pretty damn odd.....got myself a phantom card! lol maybe I should ask the company where the hell they got it from, although I won't put it exactly like that. :eek:) As for sending it back I'm not sure.....the Sapphire sounds better but this has got double the memory, even though I realise it's pointless having 256mb as it won't be of any use in games for ages. Perhaps I should E-Mail PowerColor about it but they've probably never heard of it either even though they made the thing. lol
  25. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 5,899

    If it happens to run at the non-Pro speeds ( 325 / 580 ), who cares what brand it is ?

    Many cards based on the same chip will perform almost exactly the same. The only difference is the bundle nowadays. So if the card performs like a R9800 non-Pro, then there's no problem.
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